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Hegel’s Dialectical Method: A Response to the Modification View

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 July 2020

Andrew Werner*
Affiliation:
Humanities Department, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA

Abstract

A prevailing view in the literature on Hegel’s dialectical method is that employing it involves advancing a false account and then modifying it to be closer to the truth. I will call this the Modification View. In this essay, I argue that the Modification View is incorrect. Hegel’s insight, I show, is that one can only explain the objective validity of a form of thought through employing that very form. Consequently, the dialectical method cannot relate to its subject matter as something given to it, and so cannot involve advancing and then correcting errors in one’s account.

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Article
Copyright
© The Author(s) 2020. Published by Canadian Journal of Philosophy

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