Hegel and Wittgenstein on Difficulties of Beginning at the Beginning

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Year of publication 2022
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Topoi
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Web https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11245-022-09797-y
Doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11245-022-09797-y
Keywords Beginning; Doubt; Hegel; Pure being; Resolve; Wittgenstein
Description Both Hegel and the later Wittgenstein were concerned with the problem of how to begin speculation, or the problem of beginning. I argue that despite many differences, there are surprising similarities between their thinking about the beginning. They both consider different kinds of beginnings and combine them into complex analogies. The beginning has a subjective and an objective moment. The philosophizing subject has to begin with something, with an object. For Hegel, the objective moment is pure being. For Wittgenstein, the objective moment is something that cannot be doubted. As regards the subjective moment, the philosophizing subject has to decide, without any reason, to conclude her quest for the presuppositionless beginning and finally begin at the beginning. The arational moment of this decision is echoed throughout any rational thought. Any application of a (rational) rule is, ultimately, a blind decision to apply this rule.
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