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Hegel and the Problem of Beginning

  • Robb Dunphy (a1)

Abstract

In this article I develop an interpretation of the opening passages of Hegel's essay ‘With what must the beginning of science be made?’ I suggest firstly that Hegel is engaging there with a distinctive problem, the overcoming of which he understands to be necessary in order to guarantee the scientific character of the derivation of the fundamental categories of thought which he undertakes in the Science of Logic. I refer to this as ‘the problem of beginning’. I proceed to clarify the nature of the problem, which I understand to be motivated by a concern to avoid arbitrariness, and then to detail the nature of Hegel's proposed solution, which turns on understanding how the concept of ‘pure being’, understood in a specific sense to be both mediated and immediate, avoids the concerns about arbitrariness which accompany attempts to begin merely with something mediated, or merely with something immediate. On this basis, I offer a number of criticisms of alternative approaches to the beginning of Hegel's Logic.

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Hegel and the Problem of Beginning

  • Robb Dunphy (a1)

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