• This book defends a new interpretation of Hegel's theoretical philosophy, according to which Hegel's project in his central Science of Logic has a single organizing focus, provided by taking metaphysics as fundamental to philosophy, rather than any epistemological problem about knowledge or intentionality. Hegel pursues more specifically the metaphysics of reason, concerned with grounds, reasons, or conditions in terms of which things can be explained-and ultimately with the possibility of compl…Read more
  • THE METAPHYSICS OF REASON AND HEGEL’S LOGIC
    Hegel-Studien 1 (50): 129-173. 2017.
    In Reason in the World: Hegel’s Metaphysics and its Philosophical Appeal legt Kreines eine Interpretation vor, die Hegels Wissenschaft der Logik als eine systematisch um metaphysischeProbleme herum organisierte Theorie ausweist. Im Ausgang von Kants Nachweis in der Kritik der reinen Vernunft, die Metaphysik verstricke sich in unvermeidliche Widersprüche, zeigt Kreines die Gründe auf, die Hegel dazu bewegen, den metaphysischen Fundamentalismus in jedweder Form zurückzuweisen – einschließlich eine…Read more
  • The Limit of Metatheory and the Interpretation of Hegel’s System
    Verifiche: Rivista Trimestrale di Scienze Umane 1 (xlvi): 39-61. 2017.
    Hegel aims to defend a system of philosophy. So interpreters should consider what is required to interpret this specifically as a system. Once we are clear about this, I argue, we can see what would be involved in reading Hegel’s philosophy as a kind of metatheory. This allows discerning the strongest way of developing a reading of Hegel’s philosophy as a metatheory. But it also brings out reasons to avoid even the strongest version of that approach, or reasons to read Hegel’s philosophy as meta…Read more
  • Hegel: Metaphysics without Pre-Critical Monism
    Bulletin of the Hegel Society of Great Britain 57 48-70. 2008.
  • Fundamentality without Metaphysical Monism
    Bulletin of the Hegel Society of Great Britain 01-19. 2016.
  • Kant argues that we necessarily conceive of living beings in irreducibly teleological terms, but that we cannot know that living beings themselves truly satisfy the implications of teleological judgment. Hegel argues in response that we can know that living beings are teleological systems. Both Kant and Hegel here advocate positions distinct from those most popular today. And although much of the biological science of their time is now outdated, each has philosophical arguments of lasting intere…Read more
  • (i) There are things in themselves. (ii) We can have no knowledge of things in themselves. An obvious worry is that the denial of knowledge should undercut Kant’s own assertion that there are things in themselves.1 Thus Jacobi quips, referring to the thing in itself as a presupposition of Kant’s system: “without that presupposition I could not enter into the system, but with it I could not stay within” (1787, 336).
  • Between the Bounds of experience and divine intuition: Kant's epistemic limits and Hegel's ambitions
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 50 (3). 2007.
    Hegel seeks to overturn Kant's conclusion that our knowledge is restricted, or that we cannot have knowledge of things as they are in themselves. Understanding this Hegelian ambition requires distinguishing two Kantian characterizations of our epistemic limits: First, we can have knowledge only within the "bounds of experience". Second, we cannot have knowledge of objects that would be accessible only to a divine intellectual intuition, even though the faculty of reason requires us to conceive o…Read more
  • In this interest of time, I’ll just say something directly: this is an incredible book. Reading it, thinking it through, is extremely rewarding. I haven’t read a work of philosophy that had as much impact on me since being in school myself. The book presents you with new ideas and connections and it forces you to see philosophy and its history in new ways, even if you (like me) had been quite attached to your old ways. The book got into my head. Now I find myself, in idle moments, arguing with P…Read more
  • This dissertation develops an interpretation of Hegel's answer to the question of who or what we ourselves are, or his theory of Geist . The theory of Geist is perhaps most familiar when read as an appeal to a romantic metaphysical or theological view on which we are all part of "cosmic spirit", a self-creating collective agent identical to reality itself. I argue that the theory of Geist cannot be understood apart from Hegel's core concerns, but that these are not the concerns of romantic metap…Read more
  • In this interest of time, I’ll just say something directly: this is an incredible book. Reading it, thinking it through, is extremely rewarding. I haven’t read a work of philosophy that had as much impact on me since being in school myself. The book presents you with new ideas and connections and it forces you to see philosophy and its history in new ways, even if you (like me) had been quite attached to your old ways. The book got into my head. Now I find myself, in idle moments, arguing with P…Read more
  • Kant on the laws of nature: Laws, necessitation, and the limitation of our knowledge
    European Journal of Philosophy 17 (4): 527-558. 2009.
    Consider the laws of nature—the laws of physics, for example. One familiar philosophical question about laws is this: what is it to be a law of nature? More specifically, is a law of nature a regularity, or a generalization stating a regularity? Or is it something else? Another philosophical question is: how, and to what extent, can we have knowledge of the laws of nature? I am interested here in Kant's answers to these questions, and their place within his broader theoretical philosophy during …Read more
  • I undertake here the challenges of clarifying and defending Hegel’s mechanism argument, and showing how it throws some much-needed light on the nature and philosophical appeal of the Logic project. I will argue that the key to all this is Hegel’s focus on a philosophical problem concerning explanation itself. Unfortunately, this problem can easily be obscured from us by contemporary tastes and assumptions. In particular, where Hegel discusses mechanism and teleology, we must not read him as if h…Read more
  • The Inexplicability of Kant’s Naturzweck: Kant on Teleology, Explanation and Biology
    Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 87 (3): 270-311. 2005.
    Kant’s position on teleology and biology is neither inconsistent nor obsolete; his arguments have some surprising and enduring philosophical strengths. But Kant’s account will appear weak if we muddy the waters by reading him as aiming to defend teleology by appealing to considerations popular in contemporary philosophy. Kant argues for very different conclusions: we can neither know teleological judgments of living beings to be true, nor legitimately explain living beings in teleological terms;…Read more
  • Hegel on Philosophy in History (edited book)
    Cambridge University Press. 2017.
    In this volume honouring Robert Pippin, prominent philosophers such as John McDowell, Slavoj Žižek, Jonathan Lear, and Axel Honneth explore Hegel's proposals concerning the historical character of philosophy. Hegelian doctrines discussed include the purported end of art, Hegel's view of human history, including the history of philosophy as the history of freedom, and the nature of self-consciousness as realized in narrative or in action. Hegel scholars Rolf-Peter Horstmann, Sally Sedgwick, Terry…Read more
  • Hegel's metaphysics: Changing the debate
    Philosophy Compass 1 (5). 2006.
    There are two general approaches to Hegel’s theoretical philosophy which are broadly popular in recent work. Debate between them is often characterized, by both sides, as a dispute between those favoring a more traditional “metaphysical” approach and those favoring a newer “nonmetaphysical” approach. But I argue that the most important and compelling points made by both sides are actually independent of the idea of a “nonmetaphysical” interpretation of Hegel, which is itself simply unconvincing.…Read more
  • Kant’s treatment of teleology and life in the Critique of the Power of Judgment is complicated and difficult to interpret; Hegel’s response adds considerable complexity. I propose a new way of understanding the underlying philosophical issues in this debate, allowing a better understanding of the underlying structure of the arguments in Kant and Hegel. My new way is unusual: I use for an interpretive lens some structural features of familiar debates about freedom of the will. These debates, I ar…Read more
  • Between Kant and Hegel: Lectures on German Idealism
    Philosophical Review 115 (1): 112-115. 2006.
  • My focus here is on what Hegel has to say about nature and natural kinds, in ‘Observing Reason’ from the Phenomenology, and also in similar material from the Logic and Encyclopedia. I intend to argue that this material suggests a surprising way of stepping beyond the fundamental debate. There can of course be no question of elaborating and defending here a complete interpretation of Hegel’s entire theoretical philosophy. I will have to restrict myself to arguing for the unlikely conclusion that …Read more