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Hegel and McDowell on the “Unboundedness of the Conceptual”

  • Federico Sanguinetti
Chapter
Part of the Studies in German Idealism book series (SIGI, volume 20)

Abstract

In his philosophical proposal, McDowell draws on theoretical elements that can be found in Hegel’s thought. The thesis of the “unboundedness of the conceptual” (UC) is one of the central theoretical aspects (if not the central theoretical aspect) that McDowell claims to share with Hegel. In this chapter, I claim that the Hegelian version of UC has a specific ontological and metaphysical import that implies an excess with respect to McDowell’s “therapeutic” attitude. This excess in Hegel’s version of UC does not simply amount to a meta-philosophical difference. Rather, it has decisive theoretical consequences, which can be recognised as further having repercussions on other theoretical aspects shared by McDowell and Hegel. In Sect. 8.1, I analyse McDowell’s version of UC. In Sect. 8.2, I discuss the form UC assumes in Hegel’s thought. Here I show that, unlike McDowell, Hegel defends a more robust form of conceptualism, which is the result of a (partly) different argumentative framework. Unlike McDowell, the objects of the world are not something immediate or a-conceptual, but are always already intrinsically ontologically mediated in a conceptual way, insofar as they are determined starting from the holistic articulation of the Concept. In Sect. 8.3, I show the repercussions of these two interpretations of UC on other theoretical claims that can be ascribed both to McDowell and Hegel, such as α) the denial that an immediate givenness can count as a justification for a belief, β) the conceptuality of sensible experience, γ) a non-subjectivistic account of reason, δ) the direct openness to the world.

Notes

Acknowledgements

I would like to sincerely thank Michela Bordignon, Luca Corti, Davide Dalla Rosa, Federico Orsini and Paolo Tripodi for reading and commenting on previous versions of this paper.

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Authors and Affiliations

  • Federico Sanguinetti
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyThe Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN)NatalBrazil

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