Before he came to Leipzig in April 2013, Yiwen Zhan studied philosophy, musicology, and sinology at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, where he finished his Magisterarbeit on John McDowell. He is currently working on his dissertation originated from a project on the nature of the normative requirements concerning logic, knowledge, and rational thinking from a Hegelian perspective. His dissertation will also discuss topics including Frege’s assertoric force, conceptual content, epistemic authority, and autonomy.
Normativity in Hegel’s Logic of the Concept
The aim of my doctoral project is to present a reading of Hegel’s Science of Logic, above all, the Logic of the Concept. The special significance of this part of Hegel’s Logic is that it yields a crucial understanding of the nature of the Logic itself. Furthermore, a successful reading of the Logic of the Concept is not only necessary for a proper grasp of Hegel’s own Logic, but also helpful for our reflection on contemporary understandings towards the nature of philo-sophical logic in general. In doing so, I try to provide a Hegelian argument for answering the perennial question about logic that causes much debate also within today’s philosophy: Where does the normativity of the logic come from? Or: In which sense is the logic normative? The difficulty of this kind of question is due to the ordinary contrast between ought and being, or mind and world, or subjectivity and objectivity. But it leads to desperate consequences if we always presuppose such contrast in comprehending the normativity of logic. To overcome this, I will examine through Hegel’s multiple discussions on logic and concept, especially his systematic representation and interpretation of the forms of judgment, syllogism, and objectivity, respectively; And finally, I will try to show that a Hegelian answer to the normativity problem lies in his idea of the self-determination of the concept, i.e., the idea that the norm must be constitutive of the conceptual judgment – the judgment that exhibits a spon-taneous and self-conscious achievement of knowledge, i.e., the knowledge of agents. In the end, I wish this argument could also shed some light on the distinction between theoretical and practical knowledge, the distinction that is only comprehensible after acquiring the idea of the self-determination of the concept.