Pippin's Hegel on action

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7 Scopus citations


This essay is a commentary on and critique of the conception of human activity that Robert Pippin attributes to Hegel in his recent book, Hegel's Practical Philosophy. Two principal features of this conception are that it treats human activity as indeterminate and that it construes what someone does and why on a given occasion as depending on social contexts. Pippin suggests that these two features will sound strange to contemporary philosophers. The essay claims, by contrast, that these features will not sound strange to philosophers who advocate one of a small family of other accounts that espouse these two ideas. The essay argues, further, that certain such accounts, namely, ones inspired by Heidegger and Wittgenstein, are more promising accounts of human activity than is Hegel's. The bulk of the essay explores the indeterminacy of activity and the dependency of activity on social context as these are analyzed in Pippin's book and in Heidegger and Wittgenstein.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)490-505
Number of pages16
JournalInquiry (United Kingdom)
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Health Policy


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