Hegel on Scepticism in the Logic of Essence

In Jannis Kozatsas, George Faraklas, Klaus Vieweg & Stella Synegianni (eds.), Hegel and Scepticism. de Gruyter. pp. 99-120 (2017)
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Early in the Logic of Essence, the second main part of Hegelian Logic, Hegel identifies a logical structure, seeming (Schein), with “the phenomenon of scepticism.” The present paper has two aims: first, to flesh this identification out by describing the argument that leads up to it; and, second, to argue that it is mistaken. I will proceed as follows. Section 1 deciphers the opening statement of the Logic of Essence, “the truth of being is essence,” by specifying the meaning of each of its composing terms. The discussion opens the way for deliberation on the meaning of the notion of seeming, since seeming proves to be what remains of being in the structure of essence. This is done in section 2. It is also shown therein that seeming takes two logical forms, dualistic seeming and monistic seeming. Section 3 argues that Hegel identifies scepticism only with dualistic seeming, and that the scepticism he has in mind is what one may call “subjective scepticism,” namely a scepticism grounded in the subject of cognition. The section concludes that Hegel, judged by his own standards, is mistaken in this identification. Finally, section 4 considers Robert Pippin’s objection to the above conclusion and offers a rejoinder.

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Ioannis Trisokkas
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens


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