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date: 17 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter offers an account of the ‘Vorbegriff’ or ‘preliminary conception’ in Hegel’s Encyclopedia Logic, which covers §18 to §83 in the final edition. The chapter thus covers Hegel’s account of what he means by ‘thought’; his account of the three main ways in which previous philosophers have conceived how thought may be taken to relate to things; and his brief but important distinction between the ‘moments’ of thought, which he calls the understanding, the negatively rational, and the positively rational. The chapter concludes with a consideration of what problems the text may seem to raise for Hegel and his overall project, focusing in particular on its apparent rationalism; its claim to presuppositionlessness; and its apparent suggestion that the ‘positively rational’ violates certain fundamental logical principles.

Keywords: Hegel, Vorbegriff, Encyclopedia Logic, rationalism, philosophy

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