That great foe of immediacy? Intellectual intuition in Pippin’s reading of Hegel

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This commentary considers Robert Pippin's treatment of Hegel’s attempt to overcome Kant’s account of the distinction between (and necessary togetherness of) conceptual and intuitional representation. Pippin reads Hegel as committed to Kant’s discursivity thesis, namely, that thought is mediate and general, and thus reliant on sensible intuition for singular immediate contents – a position broadly in line with Wilfrid Sellars’ famous portrayal of Hegel as “that great foe of immediacy.” It is suggested, however, that such a reading makes it difficult to provide an account of the concept/intuition distinction in Hegel that is not, at bottom, Kantian. Attention to the preservation of a certain Schellingean moment in Hegel’s mature thinking—the maintenance of a form of intellectual intuition—perhaps provides resources for an understanding of Hegel’s distinctively post-Kantian understanding of the relation between immediacy and mediation. In my view, intellectual intuition understood as the immediacy of thought is central to the Science of Logic’s attempt to generalise Kant’s distinction between (and claim for the togetherness of) concept and intuition as a logical relation, not one limited to sensibly conditioned cognition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)420-426
Number of pages7
JournalAustralasian Philosophical Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Hegel
  • Kant
  • concept/intuition distinction
  • Schelling
  • intellectual intuition

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