Date of Award

Summer 8-1-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Philosophy

First Advisor

Sebastian Rand

Abstract

Recent work on the philosophy of G.W.F. Hegel has emphasized his interest in skeptical concerns. These contemporary scholars argue that, despite common opinions to the contrary, Hegel actually had a very keen interest in skepticism, one that informed and motivated much of his overall project. While I welcome this recent literature, I argue here that contemporary scholars have overemphasized the importance of skepticism for Hegel. By looking closely at Hegel’s arguments against skepticism in the Phenomenology of Spirit, I argue that Hegel’s anti-skeptical arguments are in fact major failures. Hegel’s failure is at odds with the emphasis that contemporary literature places on Hegel’s interests in skepticism. For a philosopher who was supposedly centrally concerned with skeptical issues, Hegel sure does not act like it. I conclude that the tension here is the result of contemporary scholars’ overemphasis of the role that skepticism plays in Hegel’s project.

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