Article ID: CBB215567620

Hegel, Dewey, and Habits (2015)


In this paper, I argue against Terry Pinkard's account of the relation between Deweyian pragmatism and Hegelian idealism. Instead of thinking that their affinity concerns the issue of normative authority, as Pinkard does, I argue that we should trace their affinity to Dewey's appropriation of Hegel's naturalism, especially his theory of habits. Pinkard is not in a position to appreciate this affinity because (1) he misreads Dewey as an instrumentalist, and (2) his social-constructivist account of Hegel – which he shares with Pippin and Brandom, is not able to correctly take the measure of Hegel's naturalism. On my reading, Dewey's philosophy is concerned above all with understanding and making objective the proper relation between reason and habit, with our achieving an equipoise in which thought is informed by intelligent habits and where habits are instituted by past thought and inquiry. In achieving this equipoise, one's bodily nature becomes a form in which subjects can realize their freedom. I claim that the origin of this thought can be found in Hegel, and that Dewey, when seen through this lens, is a type of left-Hegelian naturalist.

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Article Robert Stern (2015) Introduction. British Journal for the History of Philosophy (pp. 601-610). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Brown, Matthew J.
Franks, Paul
D’Oro, Giuseppina
Emundts, Dina
Kaag, John J.
Skorburg, Joshua August
British Journal for the History of Philosophy
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
Perspectives on Science
Neusis: The Greek Journal for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology
Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences
Intellectual History Review
Oxford University Press
Harvard University Press
Pragmatism; instrumentalism
Idealism (philosophy)
Philosophy of science
Intellectual history
Dewey, John
Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich
Peirce, Charles Sanders
James, William
Kant, Immanuel
Schelling, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von
Time Periods
19th century
20th century, early
18th century
20th century
17th century
United States

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