The Owl of Minerva

Volume 41, Issue 1/2, Fall/Spring 2009/2010

Stephen Houlgate
Pages 39-51

Response to John McDowell

In this response, I accept some of McDowell’s criticisms of my presentation of his views in my essay, but argue that his understanding of Hegel (and of Kant) remains problematic. In particular, I claim (a) that he fails to see that, for Kant, intuitional unit y is inseparable from judging; (b) that his understanding of Hegelian absolute knowing is wrong as it stands (though more plausible, if suitably qualified); (c) that he fails to see that self-consciousness aims, not to overcome the specific antithesis between self-consciousness and the empirical world, but to achieve explicit consciousness of itself in its relation to what is other, and that this requires it to relate to another self-consciousness; and (d) that the implications of his idea that Hegel’s account of the life and death struggle and the master/slave relation is “allegorical” remain unclear.