The metaphilosophical implications of Hegel´s conception of absolute idealism as the true philosophy

In Luca Illetterati & Giovanna Miolli (eds.), The Relevance of Hegel’s Concept of Philosophy: From Classical German Philosophy to Contemporary Metaphilosophy. New York: Bloomsbury. pp. 75–90 (2022)
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In the Remark to the final paragraph of the Chapter on “existence” (Dasein) in the Logic of the Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences in Basic Outline (1830) Hegel states that the “ideality of the finite is the chief proposition of philosophy” and that “every true philosophy is for that reason idealism” (Enz § 95A). In turn, at the end of the Chapter on “existence” in the Science of Logic (1832) Hegel claims, further, that “every philosophy is essentially idealism or at least has idealism for its principle, and the question then is only how far this principle is carried out” (GW 21.142). Along this line, Hegel conceives of absolute idealism not only as the result of the history of philosophy, but also as the philosophical system that reveals the essence of the philosophical systems before idealism, that is to say, as the philosophy that reveals, by developing it and formulating it adequately, what the precedent philosophies, mostly unknowingly, tried to develop and formulate, namely a general theory about reality based on the principle of the unity of being and thought. According to Hegel, every particular philosophy throughout history exposed in a successive, partial and complementary way the process of identification of being and thought; inasmuch as the system of absolute idealism assumes the latently idealist theses present in former philosophies, it makes those theses explicit and exposes the process of the identification of being and thought as its own internal development. Thus, absolute idealism is for Hegel the philosophy that exposes and shows what philosophy is actually about. The purpose of this essay is to render explicit the metaphilosophical implications of Hegel´s conception of absolute idealism as the “true philosophy” (wahre Philosophie, wahrhafte Philosophie).

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Hector Ferreiro
National Research Council-Argentina (CONICET)


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