Southwest Philosophy Review 34 (1):181-188 (2018)

Peter Nennig
University of Georgia
In this paper examine the relation between the account of mechanical memory in Hegel’s Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences and the speculative sentence in his Phenomenology of Spirit. Both accounts involve a transition to speculative thinking, a kind of thinking that is free from given images and representations. By discussing them together I hope to illuminate how speculative thinking functions for Hegel and why it is important. Specifically, I try to show how what Hegel calls mechanical memory can shed light on Hegel’s more familiar notion of the speculative sentence. I also draw out implications of language and mechanical memory for what Hegel calls speculative thinking. First, I examine Hegel’s account of language acquisition in the Encyclopedia, which involves an account of mechanical memory, to show how Hegel thinks the mind can produce a vehicle for thinking that it has produced both in form and content. Second, I show how this vehicle of language works in the speculative sentence in the Phenomenology.
Keywords Conference Proceedings  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
Categories No categories specified
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ISBN(s) 0897-2346
DOI 10.5840/swphilreview201834118
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