The Owl of Minerva

Volume 39, Issue 1/2, Fall/Spring 2007/2008

Richard Dien Winfield
Pages 55-86

From Representation to Thought
Reflections on Hegel’s Determination of Intelligence

The logical investigation of thinking must not be confused with inquiry into the mental reality of thought, which properly falls within the philosophy of mind. Hegel provides an important, but much neglected contribution towards accounting for the psychological conditions of reason by detailing in his Philosophy of Subjective Spirit how intelligence can progress from representation to thought. By thinking through Hegel’s argument, we can comprehend why thinking is a matter of intelligence rather than consciousness, why representation cannot provide the universality of conceptualization, and how semiotic imagination enables intelligence to leave representation behind and enter the domain of thought, unencumbered by the opposition of consciousness. Through this result, the philosophy of mind can account for the psychological conditions of its own theorizing.