Georg "Shifty Eyes" Hegel, portrait by Schlesinger (1831)

A Man of His Time, and Not

I read Roger Scruton’s brilliant short section on Hegel’s theory of being in Scruton’s Modern Philosophy: An Introduction and Survey (Allen Lane Penguin, 2004). Which led me back to a very challenging work by David Gray Carlson, A Commentary to Hegel’s Science of Logic (Palgrave MacMillan, 2007). Between Scruton’s worthy short analysis and Carlson’s ambitious…

Why does philosophy continue?

Why does philosophy “continue” when it can never seem to achieve final resolution of its problems? I’ve found that Heidegger offers the most compelling account for why philosophy continually returns to its source problems, whereas sciences seem to come to once-and-for-all conclusions. On Heidegger’s account, philosophy or Theory began when the Greeks explicitly articulated the…

Heidegger the neo-Aristotelian

Heidegger’s philosophy is often maligned as mystical or obfuscating. This is because of the great generality of the terms with which he is working, e.g., “being”, “world”, etc. But these terms are not found to be too general when we investigate them in a concrete phenomenological manner, i.e., from their origin in the primordial experience…

The Mind-Body Problem

Is it like this? — The “I” of speech and thinking exists only in the rhetorical or social “space of reasons” (in Wilfrid Sellars’ phrase) between empirical bodies. Thus “I” need to refer to “my body” as an object here in this particular empirical spatial and temporal location when addressing you about a pain I…

Naturalism

Bas van Fraassen notes how there has been a rehabilitation of metaphysics in analytic philosophy of science in recent years. This is peculiar because analytic philosophy since Russell and Wittgenstein had been rigorously empiricist. So why the change of heart? Perhaps in part it is simply one of those periodic changes of fashion to be…

Heidegger and the question of “being”

What is the radical or root point on which Heidegger’s philosophical relevance turns? It seems to me this: The history of Western philosophy, science, and technology, rooted in Greek thinking, have taught Western civilization always to think of “being” as some particular kind of “substance”. Substance traditionally refers to what ultimately underlies the appearance of…