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Hegel's Political PhilosophyOn the Normative Significance of Method and System$
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Thom Brooks and Sebastian Stein

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198778165

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198778165.001.0001

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To Know and Not Know Right

To Know and Not Know Right

Hegel on Empirical Cognition and Philosophical Knowledge of Right

(p.161) 8 To Know and Not Know Right
Hegel's Political Philosophy

Sebastian Stein

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the epistemological status of the knowledge claims Hegel makes in the Philosophy of Right. It distinguishes between empirical knowledge (EK), potentially conditioned knowledge (PCPK), and philosophical knowledge (PK), and argues that PK is immune to criticism based on EK and PCPK because it is ontological prior to them. From ‘our’, PCPK-style perspective, Hegel might have failed truthfully to express PK so for ‘us’, his claims as well as our own are open for revision by the always already present standard of PK. Insofar as Hegel failed to express PK and we succeed, true thought is manifest and recognizes itself in ‘our’ thinking. When this happens, PK replaces PCPK and the contradiction between PK and PCPK is avoided.

Keywords:   Hegel, philosophy of right, method, system, empirical knowledge, cognition, philosophical knowledge, German Idealism

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