Hesperus is Bosphorus

A group blog by philosophers in and from Turkey

Talk at Bogazici, Alper Turken, “Hegel’s Concept of True Infinite and the Idea of a Post-Critical Metaphysics”

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Friday, June 5th, 5-7pm, TB 130 (Anderson Hall 130)


I argue for an interpretative and a philosophical claim in this paper. My interpretative claim is that a viable interpretation of Hegel, in distinction from a philosophical position that is merely inspired from him, should accommodate the concept of true infinity in a manner faithful to its meaning for Hegel. The choice of true infinite is not arbitrary. In Hegel’s words, “it is the basic concept of philosophy”1 and “it gives us the nature of speculative thought displayed in its determining feature”2 and involves the conceptual kernel of all of the richer speculative concepts of Logic. An overview of Hegel’s concept of true infinity is presented and its incompatibility with non-metaphysical interpretations of Hegel are defended with particular reference to Pippin and Brandom.

My philosophical claim is the philosophical correlate of my interpretative proposal. The speculative turn was purposefully introduced by Hegel to rehabilitate some important deficiencies that he believed was inherent in Kant’s critical philosophy. Hegel’s Logic was intended as a completion of Kant’s project as the true critique of pure reason. The concept of true infinity is at the heart of this speculative turn and represents Hegel’s primary conceptual innovation. According to this, Hegel is neither a metaphysical thinker in the pre-critical sense, nor was he a non-metaphysical thinker. His project was formulating the possibility and actual carrying out of a post-Kantian ontology based on the innovative conceptual resources he introduces through his speculative turn. Understanding Hegel’s speculative turn in these lights and recognizing the centrality of his concept of true infinite in that project should be a step forward in assessing his legacy and domesticating his key insights into contemporary discussions on metaphilosophy as well as the nature of self-consciousness, normativity and autonomy.

 1 G.W.F. Hegel, The Encyclopedia Logic, trans. T. F. Geraets, W. A. Suchting, H. S. Harris (Indianapolis, Cambridge: Hacket Publishing Company, 1991), 191.

2 Ibid., 152.


Written by markedwardsteen

May 20, 2015 at 12:52 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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