Link of the Day: Pippin on Hegel and Experience

Primary version of this post, with visual content, at Barry Stocker’s Weblog.

‘Concept and Intuition: On Distinguishability and Separability’ by Robert B. Pippin.

Hat tip PhilPapers

Pippin has posted a 2005 paper for Hegel-Studien on his personal page, link to posted publications, at the University of Chicago.

Pippin is a notable commentator on German Idealism, mostly Kant and Hegel. and the philosophical tradition that follows.

The paper resists the idea that Hegel should be seen as completely departing from the experienced based aspects of Kant’s Philosophy. Pippin argues that Hegel does not move into a very subjectivist view, detached from experience of the external world, or an absolute metaphysical structure separate from experience. Hegel has suffered from those kinds of interpretations. Pippin refers to philosophers who have situated Hegel, in an account of concepts, as both derived from experience, but also exceeding the content of one moment of experience, He refers to the Pittsburgh philosopher John McDowell and his predecessor in Puttsburgh Hegelianism, Wilfrid Sellars. Pippin also situates the interpretation if Hegel with regard to discussion of names in Gareth Evans and the discussion of truth and knowledge in Donald Davidson.

This rehabilitation if Hegel as a philosopher who is concerned with experience, and can be situated in ‘Analytic’ discussions of language, truth and knowledge, is well established now. Another Pittsburgh Hegelian has help establish this way of thinking about Hegel, Robert Brandom. However, even those who already have some familiarity with the material will still find Pippin’s paper to be very worth reading as a very economical statement of the issues, and this way of taking Hegel. Anyone who thinks of Hegel as anti-objective or anti-experience philosopher should certainly read this to get an excellent introduction to another way of thinking about Hegel.


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