Critique and Universality of Philosophy. Cover Image

Kritika i univerzalnost filozofije.
Critique and Universality of Philosophy.

Review of Hegel’s text On the Essence of Philosophical Criticism

Author(s): Nevena Jevtić
Subject(s): 19th Century Philosophy
Published by: Филозофски факултет, Универзитет у Новом Саду
Keywords: Philosophy; Hegel; Philosophical critique; Mind; Absolute; Subjectivism; History

Summary/Abstract: In this article the author investigates Hegel’s concept of philosophical critique against the background of his philosophical development in Jena. Naturally, the focal point of this investigation is the text with the title of “On the Essence of Philosophical Criticism”, but this interpretation relies also on other Hegel’s important early writings. However, this text sets up the framework of the whole interpretation, because it explicitly puts forward the fundamental relation between critique and the idea of a universal philosophy which is the topic of this article. In order to understand Hegel’s concept of philosophical critique correctly, it is of greatest importance to see it acting as a consciousness of the philosopher’s epoch. Concretely, philosophical critique reflects upon educational, scientific, cultural and ideological horizon of one’s time. Regarding Hegel’s time, this horizon was fundamentally derived from the intellectual and ideological edifice of critical philosophy, which was made transparent through the principle of subjectivism as its dominant trend. Therefore, the task of philosophical critique is to understand philosophy historically, to account for its historical reality and given experiences expressed in the form of the philosophy of subjectivism. It is clear in what way Hegel’s notion of philosophical critique differs from Kant’s concept of critique of pure mind. One of the main characteristics of the different philosophical system of that time lies in their shared misunderstanding of the nature of philosophical cognition. This misunderstanding was brought forth by the Kantian philosophical project and it basically interprets the problem of cognition as a principally unsolvable dualism between the subject and the object. For Hegel, this standpoint is a symptom of a wrong understanding of the nature of philosophical thinking and its relation to the absolute. The subjective principle, upon which many of his contemporaries build their philosophical system, represents just one limited step in the historical development of philosophy. This is why the most important task of philosophical critique, according to Hegel, is to subject to its criticism the whole scope of limitations of philosophy.

  • Issue Year: 42/2017
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 35-46
  • Page Count: 12
  • Language: Serbian