Back to the Future: Hegelian Pragmatism

Understanding Collective Self-consciousness

Hegel is usually thought of as defending an obscure metaphysics that claims reality is the manifestation of a collective mind, Geist. But, as Terry Pinkard argues, Hegel has a lot in common with the more "down-to-earth" movement of pragmatism. Geist doesn't need to be interpreted as one gigantic metaphysical entity, but as the collection of self-conscious individuals whose practices reveal that they are part of something greater. Following this approach, Hegel's idealist view of history as the development of our collective self-consciousness begins to make a lot more sense.

This is the second installment in our series on idealism, Mind & Reality, in partnership with the Essentia Foundation. Read the previous installment of the series, Parmenides: the firs

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