Hegels Naturalism: Mind, Nature, and the Final Ends of Life

Paperback | October 15, 2013

byTerry Pinkard

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Terry Pinkard draws on Hegel's central works as well as his lectures on aesthetics, the history of philosophy, and the philosophy of history in this deeply informed and original exploration of Hegel's naturalism. As Pinkard explains, Hegel's version of naturalism was in fact drawn fromAristotelian naturalism: Hegel fused Aristotle's conception of nature with his insistence that the origin and development of philosophy has empirical physics as its presupposition. As a result, Hegel found that, although modern nature must be understood as a whole to be non-purposive, there isnonetheless a place for Aristotelian purposiveness within such nature. Such a naturalism provides the framework for explaining how we are both natural organisms and also practically minded (self-determining, rationally responsive, reason-giving) beings. In arguing for this point, Hegel shows thatthe kind of self-division which is characteristic of human agency also provides human agents with an updated version of an Aristotelian final end of life. Pinkard treats this conception of the final end of "being at one with oneself" in two parts. The first part focuses on Hegel's account of agency in naturalist terms and how it is that agency requires such a self-division, while the second part explores how Hegel thinks a historical narration isessential for understanding what this kind of self-division has come to require of itself. In making his case, Hegel argues that both the antinomies of philosophical thought and the essential fragmentation of modern life are all not to be understood as overcome in a higher order unity in the"State." On the contrary, Hegel demonstrates that modern institutions do not resolve such tensions any more than a comprehensive philosophical account can resolve them theoretically. The job of modern practices and institutions (and at a reflective level the task of modern philosophy) is to help usunderstand and live with precisely the unresolvability of these oppositions. Therefore, Pinkard explains, Hegel is not the totality theorist he has been taken to be, nor is he an "identity thinker," a la Adorno. He is an anti-totality thinker.

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Terry Pinkard draws on Hegel's central works as well as his lectures on aesthetics, the history of philosophy, and the philosophy of history in this deeply informed and original exploration of Hegel's naturalism. As Pinkard explains, Hegel's version of naturalism was in fact drawn fromAristotelian naturalism: Hegel fused Aristotle's co...

Terry Pinkard is Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University. He is the author of German Philosophy 1760-1860: The Legacy of Idealism, Hegel: A Biography and Hegel's Phenomenology: The Sociality of Reason; and editor of Heinrich Heine on the History of Religion and Philosophy in Germany.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:228 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:October 15, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199330077

ISBN - 13:9780199330072

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Table of Contents

PrefaceIntroductionPart One1. Disenchanted Aristotelian NaturalismA: Hegel's Aristotelian Turn1: Animal Life2: The Inwardness of Animal LifeB: From Animal Subjectivity to Human SubjectivityC: Animal Life and the Will2. Self-Consciousness in the Natural WorldA: Animal and Human AwarenessB: Consciousness of the WorldC. Self-Consciousness1: Being at Odds with Oneself in Desire2: The Attempt at Being at One with Oneself as Mastery Over Others3. Masters, Slaves and Freedom4: The Truth of Mastery and Servitude5: Objectivity, Intuition and RepresentationPart Two:3. The Self-Sufficient GoodA: Actualized Agency: The Sublation of HappinessB: The Actually Free WillC: The Impossibility of Autonomy and the "Idea" of FreedomD. Being at One with Oneself as a Self-Sufficient Final End4. Inner Lives and Public OrientationA. Failure in Forms of LifeB. The Phenomenology of a Form of LifeC. Greek Tensions, Greek HarmonyD: Empire and the Inner Life5. Public reasons, Private ReasonsA. Enlightenment and IndividualismB: Morality and Private ReasonsC. Ethical Life and Public Reasons6. The Inhabitable Alienation of Modern LifeA: Alienation as Uninhabitabi1: Diderot's Dilemma2: Civil Society and the Balance of Interests3: Making the Sale and Getting at the TruthB: Power: the Limits of Morality in Politics1. Bureaucratic Democracy?2: The Nation State?7. Conclusion: Hegel as a Post-HegelianA. Self-Comprehension1: Hegelian Amphibians2: Second Nature and WholenessB: Final Ends?