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Identity and Difference

Studies in Hegel's Logic, Philosophy of Spirit, and Politics

Philip T. Grier

Publication Year: 2007

Identity and difference (or sameness and otherness) are contrasting but interrelated terms that have played an explicit role in the development of Western philosophy at least since Plato wrote the Sophist. As Plato pointed out then, and Hegel reiterated more recently in his Science of Logic, the proper comprehension of these terms, and particularly of their interrelation, plays a fundamental role in shaping our conception of philosophical reason itself. The contributors in this book examine Hegel’s treatment of these terms, and the role they play in structuring his philosophical system as a whole and also in shaping his conception of dialectical reasoning.

Published by: State University of New York Press

Identity and Difference

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pp. iii-iv


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-viii

The original versions of the chapters collected in this book were all presented at the Eighteenth Biennial Meeting of the Hegel Society of America,held at UCLA on October 22-24, 2004. I wish to thank conference hosts Professor John McCumber and the Department of ...

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pp. 1-12

All too frequently in the contemporary world we find groups obsessed with asserting the "identity" or "sameness" of their members in order to affirm the contrast with what they perceive to threaten them as "different" or "other." The perceived differences may belong to any number ...

Part I. Identity and Difference in the Science of Logic

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1. Identity, Difference, and the Logic of Otherness

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pp. 15-30

It is in this dialectic as it is here understood, that is, in the grasping of opposites in their unity or of the positive in the negative, that speculative thought consists. It is the most important aspect of dialectic, but for thinking which is as yet unpracticed thought....It is a matter of infinite importance that in this way...

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2. Double Transition, Dialectic, and Recognition

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pp. 31-62

In what sort of discourse is Hegel's thought to be discussed, evaluated, and criticized? This is not simply a question of how to translate Hegel's obscure and complex German into English. Rather, it is a question about the discourse in which Hegel's thought is formulated ...

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3. Identity as a Process of Self-Determination in Hegel's Logic

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pp. 63-82

One of the striking aspects of Hegel's category of identity is that he thinks it involves a process of self-determination: the identical has established its own unity (WL260/SL411).1 A second striking aspect of Hegel's concept of identity is that it is a relation between semblances ...

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4. Identity and Difference, Thought and Being

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pp. 83-100

In Identity and Difference, Martin Heidegger notes that "Thinking has needed more than two thousand years really to understand such a simple relation as that of mediation within identity."1 Western thought, he observes, has always understood identity in terms of unity. "But that ...

Part 2. Identity and Difference in the Philosophy of Mind

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5. Identity, Difference, and the Unity of Mind: Reflections on Hegel's Determination of Psyche, Consciousness, and Intelligence

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pp. 103-128

Much debate in modern philosophy of mind has revolved around whether awareness of self,awareness of objects,and awareness of others are intrinsically connected. Controversy has raged ever since Descartes examined what could be doubted, found certainty only of "I" as a ...

Part 3. Identities and Differences:Peoples, Genders, and Nations

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6. Changing Identities: Dialectical Separations and Resisting Barriers

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pp. 131-154

A striking, unsettling feature of the contemporary world order is the falling and rising of separation barriers-walls and defensive fences, material and virtual, and political and symbolic borders. A permanent phenomenon in world history displays today some hitherto unknown ...

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7. Hegel's Conception of an International "We"

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pp. 155-176

Well known though he is for his arguments supporting notions of collective social and political identity,1 Hegel is generally presumed to advance no arguments in support of collective identity at the international or global level. Indeed, he appears to suggest that such arguments are entirely...

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8. The Power of Particularities:Gender and Nation in the Phenomenology of Spirit and the Philosophy of Right

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pp. 177-200

While it remains uncontroversial to assert that Hegel's philosophy of identity and difference is highly influential, its meaning must be renegotiated in an era that has long since become suspicious of power disparities in his systematic thought. Recent scholarship,characterized ...

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9. The Return of Africa:Hegel and the Question of the Racial Identity of the Egyptians

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pp. 201-216

At the end of his scandalous discussion of sub-Saharan Africa, and before beginning his account of world history, Hegel announced in a well-known and yet usually unquestioned sentence that he would leave Africa behind,never to mention it again.1 This has perhaps led ...

Part 4. Identity and Difference in the Philosophy of Right

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10. Identity and Difference in Hegel's Model of Ethical Normativity

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pp. 228-241

It is a powerful vision.The individuals in such a community do not simply trust in their laws and institutions, they have something more than even faith in these powers. In fact, they identify themselves, their innermost essence, with these governing norms. They are somehow ...

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11. Political Identity and the Dynamics of Accountability in Hegel's Philosophy of Right: Patriotism and Trust in the Modern State

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pp. 233-252

My goal in this chapter is to examine one of the more controversial aspects of Hegel's Philosophy of Right, which is the status of conscience for legitimating the political identity of the state. Much quality scholarship has gone into this issue over the last two decades ...

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12. Substantial Freedom as Identity of Rights and Duties

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pp. 262-285

In Philosophy of Right, Hegel boldly asserts that each individual has a right to freedom, but he also argues that an individual finds his substantial freedom in duties. Enveloped in these two claims is an apparent contradiction. The main objective of this chapter is to assess ...


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pp. 277-280


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pp. 281-290

E-ISBN-13: 9780791479681
Print-ISBN-13: 9780791471678
Print-ISBN-10: 0791471675

Page Count: 297
Publication Year: 2007