Reason in Action. A Response to McDowell on Hegel
John McDowell has criticized readings of Hegel that would have him holding that freedom should be understood as the achievement of some mutual recognitive status. He thinks that this saddles Hegel with an “unconvincing” argument, and one that is “out of tune with the characteristic shape of Hegel’s thinking.” Second, he criticizes an interpretation of the “inner-outer” relation in acting, one that tries to account for Hegel’s claim for the speculative “identity” of inner and outer in action. McDowell thinks that the criticized interpretation involves, again, a “misreading”, one that has Hegel “mishandle” the topic in general. And again, an alternate interpretation is presented and defended; defended both as a better reading of the text and sounder philosophically. In both cases the interpretations are mine, and I respond to them in this essay as both correct interpretations and as philosophically sound.
- Kant, Immanuel. 1998. Critique of Pure Reason. Ed. and Trans. P. Guyer and A.W. Wood. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- ———. 2004. Hegels praktischer Realismus: rationales Handeln als Sittlichkeit. In Hegels Erbe, ed. Ch. Halbig, M. Quante, and L. Siep, 295–323. Frankfurt a. M.: Suhrkamp.Google Scholar
- ———. 2006b. Recognition and Reconciliation: Actualized Agency in Hegel’s Jena Phenomenology. In Hegel: New Directions, ed. Katerina Deligiorgi. Chesham: Acumen.Google Scholar