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The Limits of Recognition: Hegel, Materialism, and Panpsychism

(Original title: The Limits of Recognition: Hegel, Materialism, and Panpsychism)
Filozofia, 78 (2023), 9, 703 - 710.
Type of work: Critical Notices
Publication language: English
This contribution outlines several questions concerning the very paradigm of intersubjective recognition in post-Hegelian German philosophy in response to the work of Jon Stewart and Axel Honneth. It briefly traces, in conjunction with Stewart’s recent book on recognition, how discontent with this Hegelian paradigm, and its prioritization of spirit over nature, informed developments in nineteenth-century materialism (Karl Marx) and panpsychism (Gustav Fechner, Eduard von Hartmann). While Marx analyzed the political-economic and metabolic entangle-ment of humans and nature, the German panpsychic philosophers elucidated the bio-psychological interconnectedness of human and natural life. Both express forms of relation, developed in confrontation with Hegel, which are still inadequately addressed in recognition theory and contemporary critical social theory. Hegelian inspired thinkers, such as Honneth, continue to overly prioritize social second nature and reciprocal human recognition while marginalizing other asymmetrical relations that are crucial to humans living within animal, environ-mental, and material life.

Alienation, Hegel, Recognition, Philosophy of nature, Materialism, Panpsychism

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