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The Owl of Minerva

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

William Maker
Pages 135-157

Hegel’s Realism
Comments on K. R. Westphal’s “Intelligenz and the Interpretation of Hegel’s Idealism”

Agreeing that Hegel is a realist, I take issue concerning how Hegel establishes realism. Westphal’s Hegel develops a Kantian formal-transcendental philosophy founded in an epistemology which establishes how consciousness apprehends a given world. My account contends that Hegel has moved beyond foundational epistemology, beginning philosophical science in a logic which develops conceptual self-determination independently of and prior to any assumptions about consciousness and world. This methodological idealism leads to metaphysical realism in that the completion of logic’s selfdetermination necessitates the subsequent consideration of the nonlogical in the Realphilosophie. This reconciles Hegel’s insistence that philosophy be thoroughly self-grounding with his recognition of a world beyond thought which philosophy conceptualizes realistically as a distinct domain that is neither thought itself nor thought-like.

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