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Why are There Four Hegelian Judgments?

11 Pages Posted: 17 Aug 2004  

David Gray Carlson

Yeshiva University - Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law


Hegel is the philosopher of threes. His entire system is triune: logic-nature-spirit. Within the logic is a triune structure: being, essence, notion. Within notion there is a triad: subject-object-idea. Within subjectivity, there is a triad: notion, judgment, syllogism. Yet when we examine Hegel's critique of judgment, there are four (not three): inherence-reflection-necessity-notion.

This paper tries to explain why this is so. There is a disturbing element present at all times in Hegel's logic - what Slavoj Zizek named a silent fourth, which erupts and manifests itself in judgment. This paper refines and justifies Zizek's insight, arguing from the text of Hegel's monumental "Science of Logic".

Keywords: Hegel, judgment, philosophy, jurisprudence, reflection

Suggested Citation

Carlson, David Gray, Why are There Four Hegelian Judgments?. Cardozo Journal of Law, Policy and Ethics, Vol. 2, 2005. Available at SSRN:

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Yeshiva University - Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law ( email )

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