Hegel’s modal argument against Spinozism. An interpretation of the chapter ‘Actuality’ in the Science of Logic

Hegel Bulletin 36 (1):53-79 (2015)
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I propose a new reading of Hegel’s discussion of modality in the ‘Actuality’ chapter of the Science of Logic. On this reading, the main purpose of the chapter is a critical engagement with Spinoza’s modal metaphysics. Hegel first reconstructs a rationalist line of thought — corresponding to the cosmological argument for the existence of God — that ultimately leads to Spinozist necessitarianism. He then presents a reductio argument against necessitarianism, contending that as a consequence of necessitarianism, no adequate explanatory accounts of facts about finite reality can be given.
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