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Going Beyond the Kantian Philosophy: On McDowell's Hegelian Critique of Kant

By R. Stern


The Kant-Hegel relation has a continuing fascination for commentators on Hegel, and understandbly so: for, taking this route into the Hegelian jungle can promise many advantages. First, it can set Hegel's thought against a background with which we are fairly familiar, and in a way that makes its relevance clearly apparent; second, it can help us locate Hegel in the broader philisophical tradition, making us see that the traditional "analytic jump from Kant to Frege leaves out a crucial period in post-Kantian thought, third, it can show Hegel in a progressive light, as attempting to take that tradition further forward; fourth, it can help us locate familiar philisophical issues in Hegelian thought that other-wise can appear whooly sui generis; and finally, and perhaps most importantly of all, focusing on this relation can help raise and crystalise some of the fascinating ambiguties concerning Hegel's outlook, regarding whether Hegel's response to Kant shows him to have been a reactionary, Romantic, pre-critical thinker, who sought to turn the philosophical clock back to a time before Kant had written, or a modernist, Enlightented and essentially critical one, who remained true to the spirit if not the letter of Kant's philosophy

Year: 1999
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