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Hegel and the Transformation of Philosophical Critique$
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William F. Bristow

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199290642

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199290642.001.0001

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The Return to Kantian Critique: Recognizing the Rights of Ordinary Consciousness

The Return to Kantian Critique: Recognizing the Rights of Ordinary Consciousness

Chapter:
(p.169) 4 The Return to Kantian Critique: Recognizing the Rights of Ordinary Consciousness
Source:
Hegel and the Transformation of Philosophical Critique
Author(s):

William F. Bristow (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199290642.003.0005

This chapter argues that Hegel's return to the standpoint of Kantian criticism turns on his belated recognition that the epistemological demand expressed in that project — namely, that we establish the possibility of metaphysical knowledge in a subjective reflection on our cognitive criteria as a condition of the possibility of metaphysics itself — is grounded in the independence (Selbständigkeit) of the knowing subject. Whereas Hegel earlier rejects distinctively modern epistemological projects — prominently Kant's criticism — as inherently subjectivistic, he comes to recognize that the epistemological demand expressed in these projects cannot be dismissed, insofar as it is backed by a distinctively modern self-discovery, the discovery of the individual subject as self-standing. Kant contributes essentially to this discovery with his articulation of the knowing and acting subject as the author of the highest principles of its epistemic and practical activity. With this recognition, Hegel comes to see that modern dualisms and subjectivism cannot be evaded by returning to an ancient model of epistemology that is yet innocent of these.

Keywords:   Kantian criticism, subjectivism, independence, self-discovery, epistemology

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