Title

The Superiority of 'Chemical Thinking' for Understanding Free Human Society According to Hegel

Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1-2006

Abstract

This paper examines the claim of G.W.F. Hegel (1770-1831) that chemical thinking-the method of thinking employed in chemistry-marks a significant advance upon (and hence is superior to) meCHANistic thinking-the method of thinking characteristic of physics. This is done in the context of Mancur Olson's theory of collective action and public goods. The analogy between the efficiency of a catalyst in bringing about chemical transformation and the function of leaders in free human society in developing latent groups to provide public goods is explored.

Keywords

Hegel, chemical thinking, mechanism, public goods, Mancur Olson, latent group, leadership, free human society, mechanistic thinking

Discipline

Philosophy

Research Areas

Humanities

Publication

Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences

Volume

988

First Page

313

Last Page

321

ISSN

0077-8923

Identifier

10.1111/j.1749-6632.2003.tb06113.x

Publisher

Wiley

Additional URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1749-6632.2003.tb06113.x

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