Hegel and Skepticism by Michael N. Forster

By Michael N. Forster

Forster starts by way of discussing Hegel's severe interpretation of the skeptical culture, specifically his convincingly argued case for the prevalence of old over sleek skepticism. He is going directly to convey that the problems attribute of historical skepticism play a very important and engaging function in Hegel's philosophy of heritage.

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By means of such a picture we would in fact never exhaust the deep and full content of language. Just as no concept is possible without language, so also there can be no object for the mind, since it is only through the concept, of course, that anything external acquires full being for consciousness. (p. 59)10 But on the other hand, what is now constitutive of experience has, as we saw, an irreducibly plural character. Thus we are forced to conclude with Humboldt that ‘‘there resides in every language a peculiar world-view’’ (p.

For such objectivity can no longer be regarded as derived from a prelinguistic categorical synthesis. In this connection, Habermas makes the following remark in Postmetaphysical Thinking: Humboldt’s interest is devoted above all to one phenomenon: in the process of linguistic communication, a synthetic force is at work that generates unity within plurality in a different manner than by way of subsuming what is manifold under a general rule. The construction of a number series had served Kant as a model for the generation of unity.

39 The Constitutive Dimension of Language According to Humboldt language, a world-in-itself that would guarantee the objectivity of knowledge. The only alternative is to appeal to the universal character inherent in language itself. ’’ For Humboldt, every language, no matter how ‘‘primitive’’ its degree of evolution, has a universal character. That is to say, in every language we can express every thought and every concept: However, and this is what is decisive in this context, to the concepts and language of each people, no matter how primitive, there corresponds a totality equivalent in extent to the unlimited human capacity for learning.

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