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While there are good reasons to think that Hegel would not engage with modern scepticism in the Science of Logic, this article argues that he nevertheless does so in a way that informs the text's conception of logic as the latter pertains to metaphysics. Hegel engages with modern scepticism's general concerns that philosophy should begin without unexamined presuppositions and should come to attain not only knowledge of truth, but corresponding second-order knowledge: knowledge of knowing truth. These concerns inform two needs that Hegel formulates for first philosophy, which logic—by unifying with metaphysics, which is traditionally synonymous with first philosophy—is to satisfy. However, logic, for the Logic, is unified with metaphysics as a science of absolute knowing, the form of thinking involved in traditional metaphysics. As such, logic, for the Logic, is neither anti-metaphysical nor reducible to metaphysics, but is rather a science of metaphysical thinking, which, for Hegel, includes metaphysics. The article emphasizes how Hegel's construal of logic as a science of absolute knowing avoids running into the ‘swimming problem’ that Hegel raises against, broadly, epistemological forms of first philosophy.
Cavell’s problematic concerning the art critic is taken to mistake imposing upon for finding meaning in an artwork, reading into it for hearing it out. Modernist artworks must diverge from traditional forms of expression and thus toward hermeticism to achieve their voices. If an artwork remains too close to tradition, it becomes automatic and thereby fails to achieve its voice. If an artwork moves too far into hermeticism, it becomes silent and thereby fails to achieve its voice. The critic discerns both what an artwork says and whether it speaks at all. Because the critic cannot fulfill these tasks simply by appeal to tradition or the artist’s intentions, she must interview the work itself with her own devices to identify elements in the work as keys to unlock its voice. Her vindication, however, comes not from a final analysis, but from the clarity she brings to the work, which is always subject to contestation. As the world becomes increasingly multicultural, we increasingly encounter unfamiliar people bearing complex relations to unfamiliar forms of life, heightening the challenge of hearing others out; as Cavell notes, our ways of regarding artworks resemble those of other people.