Abstract The Systematic Socrates: Hegel as Moral Philosopher By James A. Dunson III
My dissertation reopens a philosophical dispute: Hegel's critique of Kantian moral philosophy. It argues that the standard characterization of this dispute involves a superficial reading of both Kant and Hegel. My reconstruction of Hegel's moral philosophy recognizes his unique contribution to this area of philosophy, while outlining a deeper criticism of Kant. Far from being a merely historical project, however, this reconstruction raises several questions regarding the nature of philosophical inquiry: (1) In what sense, if any, is moral philosophy 'practical'? (2) What is the proper philosophical reply to the challenges posed by dogmatism and skepticism? 3) What substantive ends, if any, result from studying moral philosophy?
I argue that Hegel revives the pre-Kantian substantive ends of self-knowledge and some form of philosophical satisfaction (e.g. Stoic ataraxia or Spinoza's blessedness). He recovers an often-overlooked form of moral and practical philosophy: the Bildung (the education or self-formation) of one's philosophical understanding, which requires the training of one's judgment. Yet Hegel's revival of this tradition is also an attempt to complete Kant's own practical philosophy. By overcoming what he deems to be the existential disorder of the Kantian moral subject, Hegel's version of autonomy results in being `at home in the world.' I claim that the revival of these substantive ends does not require the reversion to a pre-Kantian form of speculative metaphysics. The close connection between Hegel's systematic thought and his version of skepticism provides the key insight into how this is accomplished.
Table of Contents
Hegel's Revival of Socratic Ignorance
What is Practical Philosophy?
1 MAKING KANT EXPLICIT 33
A Theologian in Disguise?
What is Dogmatism?
Skepticism, Solved or Dissolved?
An Entire Nest of Contradictions
2 HEGEL AS MORAL PHILOSOPHER 89
Kant, Hegel, and Ancient Skepticism
Reconciliation and Consolation
The Satisfactions of Stoicism and Spinozism
3 HEGEL AS PRAGMATIC METAPHYSICIAN 145
Autonomy as Beisichselbstsein
A Socratic Transformation of Metaphysics
The Prophet in Reverse
4 MAKING ETHICAL LIFE EXPLICIT 182
Liberty, Ancient and Modern
Autonomy, Public and Private
Socratic Ignorance and Irony
About this Dissertation
|Committee Chair / Thesis Advisor|
|The Systematic Socrates: Hegel as Moral Philosopher ()||2018-08-28 11:49:26 -0400||