•  382
    The Unavailability of the Ordinary
    Political Theory 31 (3): 335-358. 2003.
    In Natural Right and History Leo Strauss argues for the continuing “relevance” of the classical understanding of natural right. Since this relevance is not a matter of a direct return, or a renewed appreciation that a neglected doctrine is simply true, the meaning of this claim is some- what elusive. But it is clear enough that the core of Strauss’s argument for that relevance is a claim about the relation between human experience and philosophy. Strauss argues that the classical understanding a…Read more
  •  302
    Hegel's social theory of agency : the 'inner-outer' problem
    In Arto Laitinen & Constantine Sandis (eds.), Hegel on Action, Palgrave-macmillan. pp. 3-50. 2010.
    The following is a chapter of a book and I should say something at the outset about the content of the book. The topic is Hegel’s “social theory of agency,” and that topic, given how the problem of agency is usually understood, raises the immediate question of why anyone would think that “sociality” would have anything at all to do with the “problem of agency.” That problem is understood in a number of ways; most generally – what distinguishes naturally occurring events from actions (if anything…Read more
  •  217
    When Alexander Nehamas’s pathbreaking, elegantly conceived and executed book, Nietzsche: Life as Literature,1 first appeared in 1985, the reception of Nietzsche in the Anglo-American philosophical community was still in its initial, hesitant stages, even after the relative success of Walter Kaufmann’s much earlier, 1950 book, Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Anti-Christ,2 and its postwar “decontamination” of Nietzsche after his appropriation by the Nazis.3 Arthur Danto’s 1964 book, Nietzsch…Read more
  •  195
    Brandom's Hegel
    European Journal of Philosophy 13 (3). 2005.
  •  169
    Kant on the Spontaneity of Mind
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 17 (2). 1987.
    In the Critique of Pure Reason, Kant refers often and with no apparent hesitation or sense of ambiguity to the mind. He does so not only in his justly famous destruction of rationalist proofs of immaterialism, but throughout his own, positive, ‘transcendental’ account in the Transcendental Aesthetic and Transcendental Analytic. In the first edition of the Critique, he even proposed what he adventurously called a ‘transcendental psychology’ and, although this strange discipline seemed to disappea…Read more
  •  162
    This fresh and original book argues that the central questions in Hegel's practical philosophy are the central questions in modern accounts of freedom: What is freedom, or what would it be to act freely? Is it possible so to act? And how important is leading a free life? Robert Pippin argues that the core of Hegel's answers is a social theory of agency, the view that agency is not exclusively a matter of the self-relation and self-determination of an individual but requires the right sort of eng…Read more
  •  156
    This is the most important book on Hegel to have appeared in the past ten years. Robert Pippin offers a completely new interpretation of Hegel's idealism, which focuses on Hegel's appropriation and development of kant's theoretical project. Hegel is presented neither as a precritical metaphysician nor as a social theorist, but as a critical philosopher whose disagreements with Kant, especially on the issue of intuitions, enrich the idealist arguments against empiricism, realism and naturalism. I…Read more
  •  143
    The significance of taste: Kant, aesthetic and reflective judgment
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 34 (4): 549-569. 1996.
    The Significance of Taste: Kant, Aesthetic and Reflective Judgment ROBERT B. PIPPIN 1? THE FUNDAMENTAL QUESTION of the "Analytic of the Beautiful" in the "Critique of Aesthetic Judgment" is easy enough to identify. On what basis, if any, could one claim some sort of universal a priori validity for judgments of the form, "This is beautiful"? In Kant's well-known analysis of this question, the issue is reformulated as: By what right could one claim that another person ought to feel pleasure in the…Read more
  •  140
  •  138
    The Status of Literature in Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit
    In Richard T. Gray, Nicholas Halmi, Gary Handwerk, Michael A. Rosenthal & Klaus Vieweg (eds.), Inventions of the Imagination: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Imaginary since Romanticism, University of Washington Press. 2011.
    Hegel, in a chapter called “Absolute Knowing,” end his most exciting and original work, the Jena Phenomenology of Spirit, with a quotation, or rather a significant misquotation, of a poet? The poet is Schiller and the poem is his 1782 “Freundschaft” (Friendship). This immediately turns into two questions: Why are the last words not Hegel’s own, and why are they rather a poet’s? I will turn to the details in a moment but, as noted, such an inquiry may not be worth the trouble. Authors, even philo…Read more
  •  118
    Philosophy is its own time comprehended in thought
    Topoi 25 (1-2): 85-90. 2006.
    So much philosophy is so unavoidably guided by intuitions, and such intuitions are so formed by examples, and such examples must of necessity present so cropped and abstract a picture of an instance or event or decision, that, left to its traditional methods, philosophy might be ill-equipped on its own to answer a question about the true content of an historical ideal like ``autonomy'', or authenticity or ``leading a free life''. One needs to bring so many factors into play at once that one non-…Read more
  •  117
    A Mandatory Reading of Kant's Ethics?
    Philosophical Quarterly 51 (204): 386-393. 2001.
    Kant on Freedom, Law, and Happiness. BY PAUL GUYER. (Cambridge UP, 2000. Pp. xii + 440. Price £12.95 or $19.95.) At the beginning of his Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, Kant claims that an ordinary view of morality would have it that moral experience is essentially the experience of obligation. There are clearly occasions, he notes, when our own and others’ interests would be greatly damaged were we to do what is morally required, and when no gain in satisfaction, happiness, well-being …Read more
  •  108
    The affirmation of life: Nietzsche on overcoming nihilism
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (1): 281-291. 2008.
    No Abstract
  •  106
    One of the most discussed and disputed claims in John McDowell’s Mind and World is the claim that we should not think that in experience, “conceptual capacities are exercised on non-conceptual deliverances of sensibility.” Rather, “Conceptual capacities are already operative in the deliverances of sensibility themselves.” Such capacities are said to be operative, but not in the same way they are operative when the faculty of assertoric judgment is explicitly exercised. This position preserves th…Read more
  •  105
    What was abstract art? (From the point of view of hegel)
    In Stephen Houlgate (ed.), Hegel and the Arts, Northwestern University Press. pp. 1-24. 2007.
    The emergence of abstract art, first in the early part of the century with Kandinsky, Malevich, and Mondrian, and then in the much more celebrated case of America in the fifties (Rothko, Pollock, and others) remains puzzling. Such a great shift in aesthetic standards and taste is not only unprecedented in its radicality. The fact that nonfigurative art, without identifiable content in any traditional sense, was produced, appreciated, and, finally, eagerly bought and, even, finally, triumphantly …Read more
  •  101
    Hegel’s Original Insight
    International Philosophical Quarterly 33 (3): 285-295. 1993.
  •  89
    Kant on empirical concepts
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 10 (1): 1-19. 1979.
  •  88
    Kant's theory of value: On Allen wood's Kant's ethical thought
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 43 (2). 2000.
    No abstract
  •  88
    McDowell's germans: Response to 'on Pippin's postscript'
    European Journal of Philosophy 15 (3). 2007.
    As McDowell makes clear in ‘On Pippin’s Postscript’ and in many other works, the interpretive question at issue in this exchange—how to understand the relation between Kant and Hegel, especially as that concerns Kant’s central ‘Deduction’ argument in the Critique of Pure Reason1—brings into the foreground an even larger problem on which all the others depend: the right way to understand at the highest level of generality the relation between active or spontaneous thought and our receptive and co…Read more
  •  87
    The Idealism of Transcendental Arguments
    Idealistic Studies 18 (2): 97-106. 1988.
    Many philosophers have been suspicious of any “transcendental argument”. In the literature concerned with arguments such as Kant’s Transcendental Deduction, or the “private language” or “other minds” argument, there have been frequent charges that such attempts are “impossible,” spurious, or, even more frequently, incomplete, that their success depends on some controversial philosophical position, such as verificationism. A recent addition to the latter kind of charge is that a successful TA mus…Read more
  •  82
    Agency and Fate in Orson Welles's The Lady from Shanghai
    Critical Inquiry 37 (2): 214-244. 2011.
  •  75
    The question of freedom in the modern German tradition is not just a metaphysical question. It concerns the status of a free life as a value, indeed, as they took to saying, the “absolute” value. A free life is of unconditional and incomparable and inestimable value, and it is the basis of the unique, and again, absolute, unqualifiable respect owed to any human person just as such. This certainly increases the pressure on anyone who espouses such a view to tell us what a free life consists in. K…Read more