In order to understand Hegel’s form of philosophical reflection in general, we must read his ‘speculative’ sentences about spirit and nature, rationality and reason, the mind and its embodiment as general remarks about conceptual topics in topographical overviews about our ways of talking about ourselves in the world. The resulting attitude to traditional metaphysics gets ambivalent in view of the insight that Aristotle’s prima philosophia is knowledge of human knowledge, developed in meta-scientific reflections on notions like ‘nature’ and ‘essence’, ‘reality’ (or ‘being’) and ‘truth’, about ‘powers’ and ‘faculties’ – and does not lead by itself to an object-level theory about spiritual things like the soul. We therefore cannot just replace critical metaphysics of the human mind by empirical investigation of human behaviour as empiricist approaches to human cognition in naturalized epistemologies do and neuro-physiological explanations propose. Making transcendental forms and material presuppositions of conceptually informed perception and experience explicit needs some understanding of figurative forms of speech in our logical reflections and leads to other forms of knowledge than empirical observation and theory formation.
Quantificational logic in general and its use in a conceptual analysis of causal relations between events in particular presuppose well defined realms of objects for the interpretation of variables. But contrary to the assumptions of Davidson’s and many others there is no context- and description-independent identity of a singular event, nor is there an absolute distinction between a type and a token of an event. Any ‘extensional’ realm and the very difference between extensional and intensional contexts is defined relative to a presupposed equivalence-relation on a limited class of (re)presentations we are interested in: extensional contexts correspond to invariant properties. There is no pregiven ‘extensional’ realm of ‘physical’ objects, properties, and events, and no absolute way of talking about one and the same event under different, e.g. mental and physical, action-theoretic or behaviourial descriptions.