Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Truth about Types

There are two types of people: those who divide people into two types, and those who don't.

I was reminded of this adage, if it is an adage, when mulling over the basic difference in temperament between Kant and Hegel. Kant is a thinker of dualisms: sensible intuitions vs. pure intuitions, intuition vs. understanding, understanding vs. reason, pure reason vs. practical reason, practical reason vs. pathological inclination.

Hegel is, while not quite a monist, some sort of "non-dualist." The dialectic is designed to overcome dualisms: the dualisms of mind and body, reason and nature, religion and philosophy, are all to be overcome (sublated, aufgehoben) in the process of the actualization of the Absolute. Or, to put it more precisely, the dualisms are overcome as dualisms; they are retained as distinctions at the same time as they are undermined as dichotomies.

This is perhaps the most important contribution Hegel has made to philosophy; this insight does an enormous amount of work for Dewey, whose debt to Hegel is considerable, and in more recently this insight has been put to significant use by Hilary Putnam; see for example his recent The Collapse of the Fact/Value Dichotomy and Other Essays.

1 comment:

WW said...

Dear Carl Sachs,

I was so excited when you started your own blog. I truly enjoy reading what you write.

Will you be posting more soon?


p.s. not to worry....I won't clog your blog with my comments.