•  245
    Transcendental arguments: A plea for modesty
    Grazer Philosophische Studien 74 (1): 143-161. 2007.
    A modest transcendental argument is one that sets out merely to establish how things need to appear to us or how we need to believe them to be, rather than how things are. Stroud's claim to have established that all transcendental arguments must be modest in this way is criticised and rejected. However, a different case for why we should abandon ambitious transcendental arguments is presented: namely, that when it comes to establishing claims about how things are, there is no reason to prefer tr…Read more
  •  240
    The aim of this article is twofold. First, it is argued that while the principle of ‘ought implies can’ is certainly plausible in some form, it is tempting to misconstrue it, and that this has happened in the way it has been taken up in some of the current literature. Second, Kant's understanding of the principle is considered. Here it is argued that these problematic conceptions put the principle to work in a way that Kant does not, so that there is an important divergence here which can easily…Read more
  •  180
    Robert Stern investigates how scepticism can be countered by using transcendental arguments concerning the necessary conditions for the possibility of experience, language, or thought. He shows that the most damaging sceptical questions concern neither the certainty of our beliefs nor the reliability of our belief-forming methods, but rather how we can justify our beliefs.
  •  146
    Transcendental Arguments: Problems and Prospects (edited book)
    Oxford University Press UK. 1999.
    Fourteen new essays by a distinguished team of authors offer a broad and stimulating re-examination of transcendental arguments. This is the philosophical method of arguing that what is doubted or denied by the opponent must be the case, as a condition for the possibility of experience, language, or thought.The line-up of contributors features leading figures in the field from both sides of the Atlantic; they discuss the nature of transcendental arguments, and consider their role and value. In p…Read more
  •  128
    Kant's response to skepticism
    In John Greco (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Skepticism, Oxford University Press. pp. 265. 2008.
    Within much contemporary epistemology, Kant’s response to skepticism has come to be epitomized by an appeal to transcendental arguments. This form of argument is said to provide a distinctively Kantian way of dealing with the skeptic, by showing that what the skeptic questions is in fact a condition for her being able to raise that question in the first place, if she is to have language, thoughts, or experiences at all. In this way, it is hoped, the game played by the skeptic can be turned again…Read more
  •  120
    The Kant-Hegel relation has a continuing fascination for commentators on Hegel, and understandably so: for, taking this route into the Hegelian jungle can promise many advantages. First, it can set Hegel’s thought against a background with which we are fairly familiar, and in a way that makes its relevance clearly apparent; second, it can help us locate Hegel in the broader philosophical tradition, making us see that the traditional ‘analytic’ jump from Kant to Frege leaves out a crucial period …Read more
  •  102
    Coherence as a test for truth
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 69 (2). 2004.
    This paper sets out to demonstrate that a contrast can be drawn between coherentism as an account of the structure of justification, and coherentism as a method of inquiry. Whereas the former position aims to offer an answer to the ‘regress of justification’ problem, the latter position claims that coherence plays a vital and indispensable role as a criterion of truth, given the fallibility of cognitive methods such as perception and memory. It is argued that ‘early’ coherentists like Bradley an…Read more
  •  101
    Hegel, british idealism, and the curious case of the concrete universal
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 15 (1). 2007.
    [INTRODUCTION] Like the terms 'dialectic', 'Aufhebung' (or 'sublation'), and 'Geist', the term 'concrete universal' has a distinctively Hegelian ring to it. But unlike these others, it is particularly associated with the British strand in Hegel's reception history, as having been brought to prominence by some of the central British Idealists. It is therefore perhaps inevitable that, as their star has waned, so too has any use of the term, while an appreciation of the problematic that lay behind …Read more
  •  97
    Hegel's Idealism
    In Frederick C. Beiser (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Hegel and Nineteenth-Century Philosophy, Cambridge University Press. pp. 137--74. 2008.
    The nature of Hegel’s idealism has been much disputed, and this chapter offers an account of it that is distinctive. Against recent commentators such as Robert Pippin, it is argued that Hegel was not a Kantian or transcendental idealist; it is also argued that Hegel was not a mentalistic idealist, offering a kind of ‘spirit monism’ that reduced the world to mind. It is argued instead that Hegel understood idealism to be the view that ‘the finite has no veritable being’, where this leads to a pos…Read more
  •  91
    Did Hegel hold an identity theory of truth?
    Mind 102 (408): 645-647. 1993.
    The aim of this paper is to criticize Thomas Baldwin's claim, that in developing an identity theory of truth, F H Bradley was following Hegel. It is argued that Baldwin has incorrectly understood certain passages from Hegel which he cites in defense of this view, and that Hegel's conception of truth was primarily material, not propositional.
  •  72
    The Value of Humanity: Reflections on Korsgaard's Transcendental Argument
    In Joel Smith & Peter Sullivan (eds.), Transcendental Philosophy and Naturalism, Oxford University Press. pp. 74. 2011.
    This article considers Christine Korsgaard's argument for the value of humanity, and the role that her transcendental argument plays in this, to the effect that an agent must value her own humanity. Two forms of that argument are considered, and the second is defended. The analysis of her position is also put in the context of debates about transcendental arguments more generally.
  •  69
    Is Hegel's Master–Slave Dialectic a Refutation of Solipsism?
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 20 (2): 333-361. 2012.
    This paper considers whether Hegel's master/slave dialectic in the Phenomenology of Spirit should be considered as a refutation of solipsism. It focuses on a recent and detailed attempt to argue for this sort of reading that has been proposed by Frederick Beiser ? but it argues that this reading is unconvincing, both in the historical motivations given for it in the work of Jacobi and Fichte, and as an interpretation of the text itself. An alternative reading of the dialectic is proposed, where …Read more
  •  67
    Moral scepticism and agency: Kant and Korsgaard
    Ratio 23 (4): 453-474. 2010.
    One argument put forward by Christine Korsgaard in favour of her constructivist appeal to the nature of agency, is that it does better than moral realism in answering moral scepticism. However, realists have replied by pressing on her the worry raised by H. A. Prichard, that any attempt to answer the moral sceptic only succeeds in basing moral actions in non-moral ends, and so is self-defeating. I spell out these issues in more detail, and suggest that both sides can learn something by seeing ho…Read more
  •  65
    _The Phenomenology of Spirit_ is Hegel's most important and famous work. It is essential to understanding Hegel's philosophical system and why he remains a major figure in Western Philosophy. This _GuideBook_ introduces and assesses: * Hegel's life and the background to the _Phenomenology of Spirit_ * the ideas and the text of the _Phenomenology of Spirit_ * the continuing importance of Hegel's work to philosophy
  •  64
    Peirce on Hegel: Nominalist or Realist
    Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 41 (1): 65-99. 2005.
    My aim in this paper is to consider one of Peirce's criticisms of Hegel, namely, that Hegel was a nominalist. Of the various criticisms of Hegel that Peirce offers, this has been little discussed, perhaps because it is puzzling to find Peirce making it at all. For, Peirce also criticises Hegel for his overzealous enthusiasm for Thirdness, where it is then hard to see how Hegel can have both faults: how can anyone who acknowledges the significance of Thirdness in Peirce's sense also fail to be a …Read more
  •  55
    Why Hegel Now – and in What Form?
    Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 78 187-210. 2016.
    This paper considers the prospects for the current revival of interest in Hegel, and the direction it might take. Looking back to Richard J. Bernstein's paper from 1977, on, it contrasts his optimistic assessment of a rapprochement between Hegel and analytic philosophy with Sebastian Gardner's more pessimistic view, where Gardner argues that Hegel's idealist account of value makes any such rapprochement impossible. The paper explores Hegel's account of value further, arguing for a middle way bet…Read more
  •  54
    Peirce, Hegel, and the category of secondness
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 50 (2). 2007.
    This paper focuses on one of C. S. Peirce's criticisms of G. W. F. Hegel: namely, that Hegel neglected to give sufficient weight to what Peirce calls "Secondness", in a way that put his philosophical system out of touch with reality. The nature of this criticism is explored, together with its relevant philosophical background. It is argued that while the issues Peirce raises go deep, in some respects Hegel's position is closer to his own than he may have realised, whilst in others that criticism…Read more
  •  52
    In many histories of modern ethics, Kant is supposed to have ushered in an anti-realist or constructivist turn by holding that unless we ourselves 'author' or lay down moral norms and values for ourselves, our autonomy as agents will be threatened. In this book, Robert Stern challenges the cogency of this 'argument from autonomy', and claims that Kant never subscribed to it. Rather, it is not value realism but the apparent obligatoriness of morality that really poses a challenge to our autonomy:…Read more
  •  50
    An Hegelian in Strange Costume? On Peirce’s Relation to Hegel I
    Philosophy Compass 8 (1): 53-62. 2013.
    This paper considers the relation between the American pragmatist Charles Sanders Peirce and the German idealist G. W. F. Hegel . While Peirce engaged with Hegel’s thought quite extensively, his often critical comments on the latter have made it hard to see any genuine common ground between the two; recent ways of reading Hegel, however, suggest how this might be possible, where the connections between their respective metaphysical positions and views of the categories are explored here. Issues …Read more
  •  49
    Hegel's Doppelsatz: A Neutral Reading
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 44 (2): 235-266. 2006.
    : This paper offers a distinctive interpretation of Hegel's Doppelsatz from the Preface to the Philosophy of Right: 'What is rational is actual; and what is actual is rational'. This has usually been interpreted either conservatively (as claiming that everything that is, is right or good) or progressively (that if the world were actual, it would be right or good, but that there is a distinction that can be drawn between existence and actuality). My aim in this paper is to argue against both inte…Read more
  •  48
    The Autonomy of Morality and the Morality of Autonomy
    Journal of Moral Philosophy 6 (3): 395-415. 2009.
    This review article is a discussion of Charles Larmore's book The Autonomy of Morality. After presenting an outline of Larmore's position, it focuses on three critical issues: whether Larmore is right to see Kant as an anti-realist; whether he deals adequately with the threat to autonomy posed by the apparent obligatoriness of morality; and whether he establishes that the constructivist idea of practical reason as self-legislating must really be as unconstrained and empty as he suggests
  •  40
    British Hegelianism: A Non-Metaphysical View?
    European Journal of Philosophy 2 (3): 293-321. 1994.
    This article puts forward a revisionary reading of Hegel's reception in Britain at the turn of the nineteenth century, in suggesting that the stance of the British Hegelians is very close to the sort of non-metaphysical or category theory interpretations that have been in vogue amongst contemporary commentators. It is shown that the British Hegelians arrived at this position as a way of responding to the hostile existentialist reaction to Hegel begun by Schelling in the 1840s, which led them to …Read more
  •  40
    In this article, I want to argue that scepticism for Kant must be seen in ancient and not just modern terms, and that if we take this into account we will need to take a different view of Kant's response to Hume from the one that is standardly presented in the literature. This standard view has been put forward recently by Paul Guyer, and it is therefore his view that I want to look at in some detail, and to try to correct
  •  35
    Hegelian Metaphysics
    Oxford University Press. 2009.
    The volume concludes by examining a critique of Hegel's metaphysical position from the perspective of the "continental" tradition, and in particular Gilles ...
  •  33
    Hegel's Critique of Kant: From Dichotomy to Identity
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 21 (4): 807-810. 2013.
    (2013). Hegel's Critique of Kant: From Dichotomy to Identity. British Journal for the History of Philosophy: Vol. 21, No. 4, pp. 807-810. doi: 10.1080/09608788.2013.792778
  •  31
    Valuing Humanity: Kierkegaardian Worries about Korsgaardian Transcendental Arguments
    International Journal of Philosophy and Theology. forthcoming.
    This paper draws out from Kierkegaard’s work a distinctive critical perspective on an influential contemporary approach in moral philosophy: namely, Christine Korsgaard’s transcendental argument for the value of humanity. From Kierkegaard’s perspective, we argue, Korsgaard argument goes too far, in attributing absolute value to humanity – but also that she is required to make this claim if her transcendental argument is to work. From a Kierkegaardian perspective, to place this sort of value in h…Read more