Hegel's Dialectical Logic

Hegel's Dialectical Logic

Hegel's Dialectical Logic

Hegel's Dialectical Logic

Synopsis

This clear, accessible account of Hegelian logic makes a case for its enormous seductiveness, its surprising presence in the collective consciousness, and the dangers associated therewith. Offering comprehensive coverage of Hegel's important works, Bencivenga avoids getting bogged down in short-lived scholarly debates to provide a work of permanent significance and usefulness.

Excerpt

My first two books dealt with free logics: formal systems which address and try to resolve the charge that the most basic contemporary canons of reasoning (those codified in "classical" quantification theory) are infected with existential assumptions. At the time, keeping logic independent of ontology seemed to me, on the face of it, a reasonable enough task. If requested for motivation, I would have proffered something like the following: "Suppose you want to prove the existence of God, or the nonexistence of the largest prime. Then you would not want that the very logical tools you use in your proof already automatically commit you to the existence of God, or indeed of the largest prime--and you would not want to be forced to awkward reformulations of your statements in order to avoid such commitments." That, for me in my twenties, was that.

Then came Kant. Or, I should say, came an understanding of him--because the man and his work had been in the background for quite a while. And, with my understanding of Kant, came the centrality of ethics: of philosophy as practical reason, as deontic to the core, as intrinsically normative. As that picture got entrenched, the task of disconnecting our ways of thinking from any involvement in actuality became increasingly urgent: it wasn't just a matter of allowing for more elegant and efficient proofs--my social role as an intellectual was at stake.

In an article published in the 1980s, Free from What?, I argued for an intimate conceptual connection between free logics and Kant's . . .

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