Book launch and discussion: HEGEL’S CONCEPT OF LIFE, Karen Ng (KU Leuven, December 10)

We are pleased to announce the launch and discussion of Hegel’s Concept of Life (Oxford University Press 2020) by Karen Ng (Vanderbilt University), organized by the  Leuven Research Group in Classical German Philosophy. The launch will be on December 10, 5.00-6.30 pm (CET) on Zoom.

Speakers: Benjamin Berger (Haverford College), Anton Kabeshkin (Universität Potsdam), Manja Kisner (Bergische Universität Wuppertal).



Ng argues that Hegel’s key philosophical contributions concerning self-consciousness, freedom, and logic all develop around the idea of internal purposiveness. Charting the development of this theme in Kant’s third Critique, she maintains that the most important innovation from that text is the claim that the purposiveness of nature enables the operation of the power of judgment. On her account, this innovation is essential for understanding Hegel’s philosophical method in the Differenzschrift (1801) and Phenomenology of Spirit (1807), where Hegel, developing lines of thought from Fichte and Schelling, argues against Kant that internal purposiveness constitutes cognition’s activity, shaping its essential relation to both self and world. From there, Ng defends a new interpretation of Hegel’s Science of Logic, arguing that the Subjective Logic carries out a critique of judgment in which life comes to be understood as opening up the possibility of intelligibility. She makes the case that Hegel’s theory of judgment is modelled on reflective and teleological judgments, in which something’s species provides the objective context for predication. The Subjective Logic culminates in the argument that life is a primitive or original activity of judgment, one that is the necessary presupposition for the actualization of self-conscious cognition.

This event is part of the Leuven Seminar in Classical German Philosophy. Participation is free, but please register through the website in order to receive the Zoom link.

For more information, please visit the seminar Website or contact the organizers via Email.

Events are recorded and made available on the YouTube platform of the research group.

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