Conferences, Fourth International Conference "SCIENCE AND SCIENTIST – 2016"

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How Hegel Integrates Science, Ethics, the Arts, Religion, and Philosophy
Robert M Wallace, Ph.D.

Date: 2016-08-26 02:45 PM – 03:15 PM
Last modified: 2016-08-17

Abstract


This paper outlines how Hegel integrates science, ethics, the arts, religion, and philosophy (which Kant’s dualisms had left largely un-integrated) by showing how they are all necessary parts or aspects of a single selfdetermining and thus “more intensive” reality. They all seek to “ascend” above one’s initial opinions, appetites, and emotions, to something that’s truer, better, or more beautiful. (In focusing on all of these forms of “ascent,” Hegel like many intervening thinkers is following very much in the footsteps of Plato.) This ascent takes us beyond the ways in which we’re determined by our biological antecedents and our environment, and thus it makes us more self-governing. By making us more self-governing, all these forms of ascent make us more real as ourselves, and in that sense they constitute a higher, “more intensive” reality. So science, ethics, the arts, religion, and philosophy are all aspects of this more intensive reality. And thus if science is indispensable, so are ethics, the arts, religion, and philosophy (each of them properly understood). To deprive oneself of any of them, on the grounds of its supposed incompatibility with one of the others, is to render one’s experience incoherent.

 

In this paper I’m going to outline how Hegel (following Plato and other thinkers influenced by Plato) integrates science, ethics, the arts, religion, and philosophy by showing how they all contribute to a higher, more intensive kind of reality.

 

Because they are all necessary parts or aspects of this single reality, they are essentially involved with each other and mutually supportive, rather than in conflict. It’s only when we make an “absolute” out of one of them, so that we are no longer able to appreciate the essential contribution of the others, that they appear to be in conflict.

 


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