By Paul Redding

This 2007 publication examines the chances for the rehabilitation of Hegelian inspiration inside of analytic philosophy. From its inception, the analytic culture has as a rule approved Bertrand Russell's adversarial dismissal of the idealists, in keeping with the declare that their metaphysical perspectives have been irretrievably corrupted by way of the defective common sense that trained them. those assumptions are challenged via the paintings of such analytic philosophers as John McDowell and Robert Brandom, who, whereas contributing to center components of the analytic flow, however have present in Hegel refined rules which are capable of deal with difficulties which nonetheless hang-out the analytic culture after 100 years. Paul Redding strains the implications of the displacement of the common sense presupposed by means of Kant and Hegel through glossy post-Fregean good judgment, and examines the advancements inside of twentieth-century analytic philosophy that have made attainable an analytic re-engagement with a formerly brushed aside philosophical culture.

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On the other hand, Rorty’s book clearly touched a nerve, and to a considerable extent polarized the Anglophone philosophy profession, and similarly McDowell’s has not entirely escaped the negative reaction that Rorty’s attracted. From the orthodox analytic point of view, perhaps the claim most difficult to digest in the whole book is a remark, made almost as an aside at the end of Lecture II, where McDowell appeals to Hegel as 1 2 Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1979. : Harvard University Press.

46 For McDowell this latter condition implied that there was a grain of truth in those theories of sense that, like Frege’s, identified the sense of a proper name with some definite description picking out the name’s bearer, in that ‘a person who knows the sense of a name must have some beliefs about its bearer’. However, that in itself did not warrant the demand that such descriptions uniquely identify the referent. 47 McDowell envisaged such a revisionary view of sense as having a variety of consequences, one concerning how to think of ‘empty 45 46 47 McDowell, ‘On Sense and Reference of a Proper Name’, p.

The best way I know to work into this different conception of what is natural is by reflecting on Aristotle’s ethics’. , p. 78. 28 ANALYTIC PHILOSOPHY AND THE RETURN OF HEGELIAN THOUGHT object of McDowell’s ‘Hegelian’-styled critique, a more careful reading suggests that it is rather a more general philosophical doctrine, better identified in terms of central elements of Platonism, that emerges as the real object of McDowell’s criticism. In fact, one of McDowell’s first published papers linked Russell, who, in the guise of the proponent of sense-data may be regarded as a prototypical advocate of ‘givenness’ in modern analytic philosophy, with Plato.

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