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Philosophy Research Archives

Volume 3, 1977

Caroline Dudeck
Pages 102-112

Hegel on Private Experience

In this article I try to offer a new reading of "Sense Certainty" in Hegel's Phenomenology of Mind. Especially, I try to show that the primary thrust of Hegel's analysis is directed against a view which takes language to be private and private experience to be incorrigible or certain. Hegel plays a number of games with the sense-certain consciousness in order to reveal the social character of language, as well as the role of concepts in experience. I also attempt to show, against Ivan Soil's reading, that Hegel's apparent claims concerning language must be carefully interpreted and that Hegel is not saying that it is impossible to refer in language, to particulars, but, rather, that such reference requires universal conceptual frameworks. Finally, I briefly examine Hegel's position toward ordinary language as well as some further implications of the notion of private language which Hegel suggests in the Science of Logic