Event Detail

Tue Sep 20, 2016
Howison Library, 4–6 PM
Townsend Visitor
Robert Pippin (University of Chicago)
Hegel on Life as a Logical Concept

This lecture concentrates on one claim made by Hegel in what he always claimed was his most important book, his Science of Logic. That book is a “science” or theory of pure thinking. That is, it is an a priori theory of what is necessary for thinking to be thinking at all, where by thinking he means judgment, the truth-bearer in the pre-Fregean tradition. (Hence the claim that it is a “logic.”) But it is also a defense of what Hegel regards as Kant’s revolutionary claim, that even though unaided pure thinking can only be occupied with itself, it can also thereby determine the possible objects of thought, the thinkable as such. He disagrees with Kant that this can be done only by appeal to the extra-conceptual, subjective forms of intuition, and is thus restricted to possible objects of sensible experience. The case in point for this lecture will be Hegel’s claim that the concept “life” is neither an empirical or biological concept, nor a merely regulative notion, but that it belongs just as much in a table of objective pure concepts as “substance” and “causality.”