Hegel’s Foundation Free Metaphysics: The Logic of Singularity
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AbstractThe book Hegel’s Foundation Free Metaphysics: The Logic of Singularity focuses on one question: what is it to be a universal? In chapter one, I spell out the relevance of this question for philosophy broadly conceived, and discuss the absence of serious engagement with this question from within much prominent Hegel scholarship. In chapter 2, I show that the question ‘what is the universal?’ can only be answered on the assumption of a self-referential and existentially implicative logic. The self-referential and existentially implicative logic implied by the question ‘what is a universal?’ generates the problem of the singularity of the universal, in which the universal is conceived both as a universal and a particular, which appears contradictory. In chapter 2 I show how philosophers have traditionally attempted to avoid the problem of singularity by positing the absolute logical separation of universality from particularity. This assumption, along with others, generates four paradoxes of self-reference: the problem of participation, the problem of the missing differentia, the problem of psychologism, and the problem of onto-theology. Throughout chapters 3-6, each of these problems is explored systematically, and discussed in the historical contexts in which they appear in the Western tradition. The result of this analysis shows that four fundamental dogmas have consistently been imposed upon the determination of the universal. These dogmas are the principle of non-contradiction, the separation of the principles of universality and particularity, the finitude of the concept, and the appeal to foundations. Though each of these problems have been discussed by other scholars individually, they have not been systematically grounded in these four classical assumptions and systematically connected to each other as I demonstrate in chapter 7. I argue that these dogmas systematically render it impossible to take the question ‘what is a universal?’ seriously, since they undermine the possibility of self-reference and existential implication.
I argue that there are only two possible solutions to these four problems: Hegel’s Doctrine of the Concept in his Science of Logic and philosophical mysticism. Having explicated the systematic connection between the problems, I discuss both of these solutions in outline in chapter 7. By carefully explicating Hegel’s account of universality, particularity, and individuality, I show how Hegel’s Doctrine of the Concept may be applied to solve these perennial problems. Chapters 8-11 focus exclusively on explicating Hegel’s Logic of the Concept. Because Hegel advances a logic of self-reference and existential implication, his logic is designed to answer the question: ‘what is a concept?’ and shows how the concept can be conceived as a singularity, namely as a unity of the universality and particularity. The alternative, philosophical mysticism, advances (albeit in various forms throughout the Western tradition) the thesis that we cannot give up on the absolute logical separation of universality from particularity. I argue that the tradition of Western rationalism can only be preserved if we adopt a philosophical perspective on the concept that is modeled on Hegel’s system. Such a system would introduce self-reference and existential implication into the structure of conceptual determination and would make possible a coherent conceptual determination of singularity.
Chapters 12 and 13 apply Hegel’s Doctrine of the Concept to recent issues in Hegel literature, such as judgment and metaphysics. I argue that Hegel’s concept of singularity undermines the concerted efforts by scholars to posit judgment at the center of Hegel’s system of logic. Finally, my analysis demonstrates that the existentially implicative structure of Hegel’s Logic of the Concept illuminates the centrality of the ontological argument in Hegel’s logic, thereby demonstrating the essentially metaphysical structure of his Science of Logic.
All Author(s) ListGregory S. Moss
Series TitleRoutledge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Philosophy
LanguagesEnglish-United States

Last updated on 2019-31-07 at 10:45