Hegel’s Realism

Review of Metaphysics 61 (1):81-117 (2007)
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Abstract

This paper addresses a reading of Hegel's metaphysics made by Tom Rockmore in Hegel, Idealism, and Analytic Philosophy, and in doing so offers an alternative. Whereas Rockmore sees Hegel's project as metaphysically anti-realist, and so squarely at odds with most contemporary appropriations of his work, I argue that metaphysical realism is a commitment Hegel requires in order to overcome the Kantian reliance on an unknowable thing-in-itself. This metaphysically realist reading of Hegel clarifies some of the more puzzling sections of the Phenomenology of Spirit, and it offers insight into the structure of Hegel's philosophy writ large, particularly concerning the relationship between the Phenomenology's closing discussion of Absolute Knowing and Hegel's views on logic, the natural world, and society.

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Preston Stovall
University of Hradec Králové

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