My current projects focus primarily on self-consciousness and perception in Hegel and Schelling, and the role of artworks in philosophical thinking.
You can click here to see a video of me talking about some of these issues in the context of Schelling’s philosophy at a 2021 session of the Vanderbilt Modern Philosophy group. Look below for further information on recent work and works in progress.
The Self-Exhibition of Reason: Hegel on Intuition and Logical Content
My dissertation offers a new account of Hegel’s reception of Kant’s theoretical philosophy. I argue that one of Hegel’s most significant philosophical contributions is his articulation of a post-Kantian account of the relationship between form and content in acts of a priori judgment. In this context, I call into question the common assumption that Hegel rejects Kant’s claim that intuition contributes to a priori cognition. Instead, I argue that the crucial disagreement between the two thinkers is over what kinds of objects are available to be intuited in the first place. For Kant, the paradigmatic objects of intuition are natural phenomena. For Hegel as I read him, the paradigmatic objects of intuition are acts of self-conscious thinking like theoretical and practical judgments. I demonstrate how this disagreement with Kant has global ramifications for Hegel’s thought by tracking it across all three volumes of Hegel’s mature Encyclopedia project, with emphasis on the formal account of the logical “I” developed in the Science of Logic.
You can read the Introduction to the dissertation here.
Papers in Preparation:
“Boredom as a Propositional Attitude: Reading Alberto Moravia with Hegel”— forthcoming in Fictional Worlds and the Political Imagination, ed. Garry Hagberg (Bloomsbury) – Draft
In this paper I argue that Hegel has a complex and overlooked philosophical psychology that supplements his idealist logic. In Hegel’s psychology, as a consequence of his social and historical theory of rationality, the mental states of finite rational agents index the relationship between political norms and political states of affairs. Works of art, in turn, can make this subjective experience objectively available. I draw on Alberto Moravia’s 1960 novel Boredom, which explores the affective situation of characters living in post-Fascist Italy, in order to examine this complex model in action. I use Moravia’s text to develop a broadly Hegelian account of the way in which subjective psychological states result from and bear on objective facts about the world. I conclude that Moravia’s “boredom” describes a paradigmatically Hegelian structure of mental intentionality, a propositional attitude, that reflects the social, political, and economic circumstances in which judging subjects are embedded.
“Hegel and Schelling on Intuition”—I argue that, contrary to common understanding, one of Hegel’s key inheritances from Schelling can be found in his theory of intuition. Scholarship in this area has rightly focused on Hegel’s rejection of Schelling’s theory of intellectual intuition. On my reading, however, this is not the end of the story. I propose that Hegel takes on a different sort of intuition endorsed by Schelling: namely, a variety of symbolic intuition that is derived from Kant’s account of aesthetic judgment in his third Critique. I further argue that, whereas Schelling is content to stick with Kant in arrogating symbolic intuition to the arena of fine art, Hegel proposes to go further by importing this aesthetic form into the realm of logic.
“How to Acquire the World: Hegel’s Pragmatic Theory of Figurative Synthesis and Kant’s Doctrine of Right” — This paper examines the role that Kant’s Doctrine of Right account of how we come to have a priori possession of physical objects plays in the theory of figurative synthesis that Hegel lays out in the Philosophy of Subjective Spirit.
“Logical Content and the Exhibition of Conceptual Reality in Hegel’s Science of Logic”— Hegel famously rejects Kant’s claim from the Critique of Pure Reason that space and time, the Kantian forms of intuition, provide content for synthetic a priori judgments. Hegel argues instead that a priori concepts give themselves content. The mechanism by which this content is provided is poorly understood and remains a point of deep contention in the literature. Two potential sources have been defended most frequently: intellectual intuition and intuitive intellection. Here, I reject both of these and argue for a novel third option, symbolic intuition, by drawing on resources in Kant’s Critique of Judgment.
“Hegel on Artworks and the Sociality of Perception” — This paper examines the relationship between Hegel’s philosophy of mind and his account of the social role occupied by works of art. The goals of my argument are (i) to propose a novel argument about the connection of mind and artworks in Hegel’s systematic philosophy and (ii) to suggest that Hegel’s account of this relationship remains of interest to the contemporary study of social ontology. In the first part of the paper, I argue that one of the things about human mindedness that Hegel thinks works of art can show are structures of intentionality. I then show what this model looks like in action by considering some specific examples from Hegel’s Lectures on Fine Arts.