Is Hegel A Conceptual Realist? A Critical Comment on Brandom’s Interpretation of Hegel’s Phenomenology
21 Pages Posted: 3 Jul 2019
Date Written: June 30, 2019
In his long-anticipated book, A Spirit of Trust, Brandom purports to provide a systematic reading of Hegel based on his semantics. He attributes Hegel a conceptual realist view, claiming we have the possibility to know how things really are. This paper scrutinizes this thesis and argues, Hegel’s view in his Phenomenology promises we could always get to know being for consciousness, not how things really are. This distinction between Hegel and Brandom matters, because it shows Brandom’s interpretation is in fact a reading through Hegel, namely, constructing his own theory based on certain Hegelian materials, not necessarily reflecting Hegel’s original views. Besides, it indirectly shows Brandom’s strategy in indeed an advanced representationalism, which Hegel rejects once for all.
Keywords: conceptual realism, representationalism, semantics, language
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