“Workshop with Paul Redding” (Potsdam, 18-19 June 2018)

We are pleased to inform that a two day-workshop with Prof. Paul Redding  (University of Sydney) will take place at the Universität Potsdam from June 18th to June 19th in the Campus Neues Palais, room

The workshop is organised by Prof. Dr. Johannes Haag (Universität Potsdam)

Here below you can find the complete program of the event, also available at this link.



Session 1, Monday June 18, 10 am. -1 pm. 

Discussion of “An Hegelian Solution to a Tangle of Problems Facing Brandom’s Analytic Pragmatism” British Journal for the History of Philosophy, vol. 23, no. 4 (2015), 657–80.

In his program of analytic pragmatism, Robert Brandom has presented a thoroughgoing reinterpretation of the place of analytic philosophy in the history of philosophy by linking his own non-representational “inferentialist” approach to semantics to the rationalist–idealist tradition, and in particular, to Hegel. Brandom, however, has not been without his critics in regard to both his approach to semantics and his interpretation of Hegel.

Here I single out four interlinked problematic areas facing Brandom’s inferentialist semantics— his approach of perceptual content, to de re attitudes and judgments, to perceptual experience and to modality, and then go on to contrast the different approach to these issues that is found in Hegel. While Hegel can helpfully be understood as anticipating an inferentialist semantics as Brandom claims, his is a weak inferentialism in contrast to Brandom’s strong version. With his weakly inferentialist approach Hegel can, I suggest, be seen as providing a solution to the tangle of problems facing Brandom in these four areas.

Session 2, Monday June 18, 3 pm. -6 pm.

Discussion of  “Subjective Logic and the Unity of Thought and Being: Hegel’s Logical Reconstruction of Aristotle’s Speculative Empiricism”, in Dina Emundts and Sally Sedgwick (eds), Internationales Jahrbuch des Deutschen Idealismus, vol. 12: Logic, April 2017, pp. 165–87.

Interpreters disagree over whether the categories or “thought determinations” of Hegel’s Objective Logic should be construed as, following Aristotle, fundamentally about being, or, following Kant, fundamentally about thought. Moreover, they disagree over the relation that Objective Logic stands to Subjective Logic, which in turn involves its own transition to “objectivity”.   This paper focuses on Hegel’s Subjective Logic as charting a process in which a logic initially understood as subjective and formal, after the manner of Kant, comes to acquire content, issuing in a type of unity of thought and being of which the earlier Objective Logic was incapable. In particular, Hegel’s account of judgment and syllogism can be read as a critical reinterpretation of the logic governing the passage from experience to “ideas” in Aristotle’s account of epagoge or “induction”.

Session 3, Tuesday June 19, 10 am. -1 pm.  

Discussion of “Rethinking Sellars’s Myth of the Given: From Epistemological to Modal Conceptions of Givenness in Kant and Hegel” Part 1 (sections 1, 2, 3 & 4)

Here, I pursue consequences, for the interpretation of Sellars’s critique of the “Myth of the Given”, of separating the modal significance that Kant attributed to empirical intuition from the epistemological role it also played for him. In section 1, it is argued that Kant’s approach to modality in the Critique of Pure Reason can best be understood as a variation on Leibniz’s earlier “possibilist” modal approach that treated the actual world (for Kant understood as the world of objective appearance) as just one of a variety of possible alternative worlds. In this context, empirical intuitions seem to work like the mythical Given’s subject to Sellars’s critique. In sections 2 and 3, Kantian possibilism is contrasted with an “actualist” alternative approach to modality found in the contemporary work of Robert Stalnaker, but also recognizable in Hegel. In particular, the role of givenness in Hegel is likened to the role played by “witness statements” in Robert Stalnaker’s attempt to distinguish the logic of judgments about the actual world from those about its alternate possibilities. In this modal context, Hegel’s immediate “givens” do not fall prey to the Myth of the Given. In section 4, I introduce a “logical dualism” running through Hegel’s account of judgment that enables a systematic modal distinction like that found in Stalnaker.

Session 4, Tuesday June 19, 3 pm. -6 pm.  

Discussion of  “Rethinking Sellars’s Myth of the Given: From Epistemological to Modal Conceptions of Givenness in Kant and Hegel” Part 2 (section 5).

In section 5 an account is given of the cycles that run through Hegel’s treatment of judgment and syllogism in the Subjective Logic of the Science of Logic, in which judgment forms oscillate between two different interpretations of the nature of predication and the significance of negation (his “logical dualism” introduced in section 4). This is interpreted against two historical changes to the interpretation of the Aristotelian syllogistic that Hegel seems to have adopted from the logic text he studied at Tübingen—the introduction of singular judgments into the syllogistic, and the device of “quantifying the predicate”. These devices allow the construction of a modified version of the Aristotelian “square of opposition”, with which a distinctive logical role given to immediate positive qualitative perceptual judgments (“positive judgments of Dasein”, functioning like Stalnaker to “witness statements”) can be linked to their distinct pragmatic role in argumentative discourse.

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