Authors
Jeffrey Reid
University of Ottawa
Abstract
In this paper, I explore the largely ignored ethical dimension in the first section of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit, Sense-certainty, which tends to be understood exclusively as an epistemological critique of sense-data empiricism. I approach the ethical aspect of the chapter through Hegel’s analysis of language, there, as unable to refer to individual things. I then show that the position Hegel analyses is akin to the one presented by Thomas Hobbes in his Leviathan, as well as in his De Corpore, and which serves to ground his naturalistic ethics. The linguistic juxtaposition consequently allows me to relate the ethics of sense-certainty to Hobbes, not only to his “shallow” empiricism, as Hegel puts it, but to the ethical vision Hobbes presents in his state of nature.
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DOI 10.5840/epoche20141138
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