Hegel and Mind: Rethinking Philosophical Psychology

Hegel and Mind draws upon Hegel’s theory of “Subjective Spirit” to address the key problems of philosophical psychology. Winfield rethinks Hegel’s account of the psyche, consciousness, and intelligence to resolve the dilemmas of mind-body dualism and reveal the psychological reality of reason.

Winfield shows why mental activity is not reducible to computation and why machines can never feel, be conscious, or think. Hegel’s famous analysis of desire and recognition is shown to establish how self-consciousness can be without thought or language, making possible the emergence of linguistic intelligence. On this basis, Hegel’s theory of representation is enlisted to grasp how thought can arise, enabling philosophy to account for its own psychological conditions.

The book thereupon brings closure to the philosophy of mind by exploring the psychology of will, arriving at the threshold of ethics. The final chapter makes explicit the significance for knowledge of Hegel’s account of mind, showing why mental processes may be enabling conditions of knowledge, but not epistemological foundations distinguishing true from false beliefs.

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