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Life and Mind in Hegel’s Logic and Subjective Spirit

  • Karen Ng (a1)

Abstract

This paper aims to understand Hegel’s claim in the introduction to his Philosophy of Mind that mind is an actualization of the Idea and argues that this claim provides us with a novel and defensible way of understanding Hegel’s naturalism. I suggest that Hegel’s approach to naturalism should be understood as ‘formal’, and argue that Hegel’s Logic, particularly the section on the ‘Idea’, provides us with a method for this approach. In the first part of the paper, I present an interpretation of Hegel’s method in which life plays a central role. In the second part of the paper, I develop Hegel’s method by providing a reading of Hegel’s Subjective Spirit, focusing on the sections ‘Anthropology’ and ‘Phenomenology’ in particular, arguing that they display the dialectic between life and cognition outlined by Hegel’s Idea.

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