Theses Doctoral

Logic in Hegel's Logic

McNulty, Jacob Michael

My dissertation concerns Hegel’s mature theoretical philosophy. I focus on the role of logic, meant here in a much more conventional sense of the term than is usually thought relevant to Hegel’s thought. I argue that Hegel’s main achievement in logic is to attempt a noncircular derivation of its laws and materials. Central to my interpretation is a sympathetic treatment of Hegel’s claim that Kant did not have a comparably rigorous justification for logic. In Hegel’s view, the critical philosophy’s pervasive reliance on logic precludes it from evaluating the latter in a non-question-begging way. As a result, Kant is forced to ground logic psychologically (though not “psychologistically” in Frege’s sense). For Hegel, Kant’s critical philosophy is insufficiently self-critical with respect to its own logical foundations. It is therefore vulnerable to criticism on logical grounds — especially from a Hegelian direction. As I also hope to show, Hegel rejects Kant’s critique of metaphysics, arguing that its logical presuppositions are unfounded. Once those presuppositions are overhauled, the true source of the metaphysical tradition’s impasses becomes apparent, and a non-Kantian-idealist, metaphysical solution is at hand. The lesson is that metaphysics is an enduring possibility, provided it is based on secure logical foundations.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Neuhouser, Frederick
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
July 31, 2019