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Re: [hegel] Idealism and Realism?

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  • greuterb
    ... Bruce, Yes, I think Fleck advocates a kind of coherence theory of truth. Such a theory runs always into danger of relativism and pragmatism. But I think
    Message 1 of 28 , Jul 30, 2011
      Am 29.07.2011 15:20, Bruce Merrill writes:

      > Beat,
      >
      > I haven't read Fleck, but have heard about him (as discussed by Mario
      > Bunge). I take it that he is very important in the history of
      > collective constructionism, the notion that truth /fact /objectivity
      > in science are established on a collective basis. This is the position
      > that he is advocating contra Kant, correct?
      >



      Bruce,

      Yes, I think Fleck advocates a kind of coherence theory of truth. Such a
      theory runs always into danger of relativism and pragmatism. But I think
      that Rorty in his philosophical essays on "Solidarity or Objectivity?"
      has shown that this danger is not inevitable. BTW, in these essays Rorty
      takes Kant for an advocate of 'objectivity' (correspondence) and Hegel
      for 'solidarity' (coherence) and he claims that for balancing after a
      Kant necessarily a Hegel had to appear. But I think that Hegel did more
      than a mere balancing since in his philosophy he unites both, the
      coherence and the correspondence theory of truth. This is evident from
      the Phenomenology which shows a movement connecting absolute and
      relative truth.



      > Bunge identifies Fleck as proto-Kuhn, tho I gather that Kuhn was very
      > uncomfortable when put into the constructionist - relativist camp. As
      > he was by the Popperians.
      >



      As far as I know Kuhn himself refers to Fleck's book and writes that he
      owes much to him. I do not like much Kuhn's popularization of Flecks
      findings. It has an inclination to a bad ideology. Fleck has shown his
      epistemological findings based on the historical development of the
      syphilis-concept and the subjective ability of vivid concept formations
      and reformations.



      > As for objectivity, i.e. the underlying, independent, reliable order
      > that rescues us from individualist subjectivism, this can be
      > attributed to:
      >
      > 1) Subsistent nature (to which we enjoy substantial empirical access)
      >
      > 2) Universal and Necessary categories of thought (Kant)
      >
      > 3) a collective (Fleck, Kuhn, Rorty et al)
      >
      > But I haven't grasped what Hegel's position is on this topic. It's not
      > clear to me how the move from Kant's subjective idealism to Hegel's
      > objective idealism pertains to objectivity qua an independent order,
      > as defined above.
      >



      I think your shown order is quite appropriate. But what does
      'independent' mean here and why do you claim an INDEPENDENT order for
      objectivity? The first point - as far as I understand you - shows the
      source of cognition, the second one the assessment of the source. This
      is Kantian but as well Hegelian. The difference is only that Hegel's
      view on the relationship of these two moments is not fixed on the
      dichotomy between an empirical source and given categories for
      assessement but the two are in a dialectical relationship whose movement
      generates objective truth. The third point then is the historical moment
      in Hegel's philosophy which is not only to be taken as temporal but as
      inherent to the mentioned dialectical process of source and assessment.
      So, what does this 'independent' mean?



      > There's no doubt that Brinkmann considers Hegel's
      > philosophy to be an advance upon Kant, in this regard.
      >
      > Do you have Beiser's _German Idealism_? It does not extend to Hegel
      > (!), but it's very useful at p553-564 on how Schelling's "objective
      > idealism" breaks with Kant & Fichte's "subjective idealism" and points
      > forward to Hegel.
      >
      > cheers,
      >
      > Bruce
      >



      No, I only know Beiser's book on Hegel's philosophy. In my opinion this
      is a good book. However, I do not like his characterization of Hegel's
      thought as monistic. Hegel knows both, the unity and the difference, and
      both are unseparable from each other

      Regards,
      Beat


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    • Bruce Merrill
      Dear Beat, This will be brief since I m off for two weeks (vacation), and further communication will be occasional. But, in regard to independent, I m
      Message 2 of 28 , Jul 30, 2011
        Dear Beat,

        This will be brief since I'm off for two weeks (vacation), and further
        communication will be occasional.

        But, in regard to "independent," I'm beginning with the standard
        *problem* of subjectivity, whereby our judgments are limited and
        distorted by the individual situation /orientation /inclinations of a
        one single mortal subject. Hence with objectivity, we seek a
        universal, stable, independent (i.e. independent of the contingencies
        of the subject) point of view /basis /ground, to rescue us from our
        partialities.

        The question then is: What is the basis /source /ground of this
        independence? (Then I list 3 different and competing bases.)

        Bruce
      • greuterb
        ... Bruce, Precisely, ........ we seek a universal, stable, independent (i.e. independent of the contingencies of the subject) point of view /basis /ground,
        Message 3 of 28 , Aug 1, 2011
          Am 30.07.2011 19:19, Bruce writes:

          > Dear Beat,
          >
          > This will be brief since I'm off for two weeks (vacation), and further
          > communication will be occasional.
          >
          > But, in regard to "independent," I'm beginning with the standard
          > *problem* of subjectivity, whereby our judgments are limited and
          > distorted by the individual situation /orientation /inclinations of a
          > one single mortal subject. Hence with objectivity, we seek a
          > universal, stable, independent (i.e. independent of the contingencies
          > of the subject) point of view /basis /ground, to rescue us from our
          > partialities.
          >
          > The question then is: What is the basis /source /ground of this
          > independence? (Then I list 3 different and competing bases.)
          >
          > Bruce
          >



          Bruce,

          Precisely, "........ we seek a universal, stable, independent (i.e.
          independent of the contingencies of the subject) point of view /basis
          /ground, to rescue us from our partialities." Hegel could agree with
          this without any restriction. But I think the problem is how this
          universal ..... point of view ..... does arrive. Already Kant wrote:
          "Thought (concepts) without content (finite intuitions) are void,
          intuitions without concepts are blind." (B 74, 75 / A 50, 51). These two
          moments, therefore, are in a mutual relationship: "Therefore it is as
          necessary to make one's concept sensible as one's intuition
          intelligible." (B 74, 75 / A 50, 51). This is also Hegel's project but
          with him the content is not always primarily empirical but a
          being-in-itself (experience which already has some conceptual processing
          being over) which has to be raised (one moment of 'sublate') to a
          being-for-itself. So, the first two 'bases' are certainly not
          "competing" each other as 'bases'. As far as the third 'base' is
          concerned I can only repeat that with Hegel this is the 'historical'
          (taken conceptually) moment which belongs to this conceptual processing
          taken as a process of experience and which certainly (as Ludwik Fleck
          shows) depends on some coherence or solidarity (Rorty) or constructivism
          which has no eternal truth but is subjected to the conceptual
          processing. So, also the third 'base' is not an independent base while
          finding and achieving the universal .... point of view .... .

          Regards,
          Beat


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