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Thought and being in the opening transitions of Hegel's "Phenomenology of Spirit".

Levey, B.; (2007) Thought and being in the opening transitions of Hegel's "Phenomenology of Spirit". Doctoral thesis , University of London. Green open access

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Abstract

My thesis attempts to provide a new account of the opening transitions of My thesis attempts to provide a new account of the opening transitions of Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit (i.e. the transitions of sections A.-C.(AA.)) as the basis for a critical assessment of that work. My account is motivated by two interpretative difficulties that often prove divisive for commentators. First, the difficulty of how we are to understand the transition from section 'A. Consciousness' to section 'B. Self-Consciousness': and second, the difficulty of precisely what Hegel means by identifying Kantian Idealism as the "same kind of self-contradictory ambiguity as Scepticism" (PS 238. p. 144). albeit a positive rather than a negative expression of this ambiguity, in section C.(AA.). I argue that these two difficulties are related, insofar as Hegel's reaction to Scepticism informs his critique of Kant, which in turn affects the conception that Hegel has of his own project in the Phenomenology and of the manner in which it is to be structured. I contend that, for Hegel, a key problem to be addressed is the failure of previous philosophical positions to investigate the general form of judgement (the subject/predicate relation) in a sufficiently critical manner. This failure, for Hegel. leads to a distorted view, to the effect that thought and being are irreparably separated. which he takes to be at the heart of Kantian theoretical philosophy, and which precludes the possibility of giving true philosophical proofs. 1 argue that the correction of such a distorted view is a main aim of the Phenomenology and that, in the transitions from A. to C.(AA.). Hegel provides an in principle proof of the unity of thought and being.(i.e. the transitions of sections A.-C.(AA.)) as the basis for a critical assessment of that work. My account is motivated by two interpretative difficulties that often prove divisive for commentators. First, the difficulty of how we are to understand the transition from section 'A. Consciousness' to section 'B. Self-Consciousness': and second, the difficulty of precisely what Hegel means by identifying Kantian Idealism as the "same kind of self-contradictory ambiguity as Scepticism" (PS 238. p. 144). albeit a positive rather than a negative expression of this ambiguity, in section C.(AA.). I argue that these two difficulties are related, insofar as Hegel's reaction to Scepticism informs his critique of Kant, which in turn affects the conception that Hegel has of his own project in the Phenomenology and of the manner in which it is to be structured. I contend that, for Hegel, a key problem to be addressed is the failure of previous philosophical positions to investigate the general form of judgement (the subject/predicate relation) in a sufficiently critical manner. This failure, for Hegel. leads to a distorted view, to the effect that thought and being are irreparably separated. which he takes to be at the heart of Kantian theoretical philosophy, and which precludes the possibility of giving true philosophical proofs. 1 argue that the correction of such a distorted view is a main aim of the Phenomenology and that, in the transitions from A. to C.(AA.). Hegel provides an in principle proof of the unity of thought and being.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Thought and being in the opening transitions of Hegel's "Phenomenology of Spirit".
Identifier: PQ ETD:592243
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Philosophy
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1444933
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