Robert Pippin: Phenomenology and Logic of Life
Heidegger and HegelJune 15, 2022 University of Potsdam
House 9, Room 2.05
Am Neuen Palais 10, 14469 Potsdam
According to Hegel in his Science of Logic, life is a logical concept. In his account, this means that we know non-empirically that there is an ontological distinction between living and nonliving beings, and what this difference consists in. We know it as a result of a general reflection on what is involved in self-consciously judging anything to be the case; somewhat more broadly: in the rendering of any object or event intelligible. Heidegger, on the contrary, denies that the way life is understood, or is available to us, is as a concept, a content of a priori thought, and in doing so he treats Hegel as paradigmatic for the approach of western philosophy, a “forgetful” and unsustainable approach. So there is a great deal at stake between them in what one can call a contrast between a phenomenological approach to the living being and a “logical” approach. In this lecture, Robert Pippin defends Heidegger’s claim that Hegel leaves unexplained the original availability of the living/nonliving distinction in human experience.
G.W.F. Hegel, Sketch on Genus (Jenaer Systementwürfe III)