Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol 3, No 2-3 (2007)

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Hegel, Idealism and God: Philosophy as the Self-Correcting Appropriation of the Norms of Life and Thought

Paul Redding


Can Hegel, a philosopher who claims that philosophy lsquo;has no other object but God and so is essentially rational theologyrsquo;, ever be taken as anything emother than/em a religious philosopher with little to say to any philosophical project that identifies itself as emsecular/em?nbsp; If the valuable substantive insights found in the detail of Hegelrsquo;s philosophy are to be rescued for a secular philosophy, then, it is commonly presupposed, some type of global reinterpretation of the enframing idealistic framework is required. In this essay, this assumption is challenged. br /br /Kantrsquo;s interpretation of space and time as a response to Newtonrsquo;s theologically based spatio-temporal emrealism/em is taken as a model of what it is to be a Kantian emidealist/em about God and the self. In turn, Hegelrsquo;s philosophy is taken as a development of this approach that overcomes the limitations of Kantrsquo;s formal approach. Hegelrsquo;s major contribution to Kantrsquo;s revolutionary transformation of the task of philosophy is, it is argued, his recognitive conception of lsquo;spiritrsquo;. While this has been widely appreciated with regard to the relations between lsquo;subjectiversquo; and lsquo;objectiversquo; spirit, it is suggested that a fuller understanding of the nature of Hegelrsquo;s emabsolute/em idealism requires a proper understanding of how this approach also applies to the domain of lsquo;absolute spiritrsquo;. br /br /

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