The Phenomenology of Spirit is both one of Hegel's most widely read books and one of his most obscure. The book is the most detailed commentary on Hegel's work available. It develops an independent philosophical account of the general theory of knowledge, culture, and history presented in the Phenomenology. In a clear and straightforward style, Terry Pinkard reconstructs Hegel's theoretical philosophy and shows its connection to ethical and political theory. He sets the work in a historical context and shows the (...) contemporary relevance of Hegel's thought for European and Anglo-American philosophers. The principal audience for the book is teachers and students of philosophy, but the great interest in Hegel's work and the clarity of Pinkard's exposition ensure that historians of ideas, political scientists, and literary theorists will also read it. (shrink)
Terry Pinkard draws on Hegel's central works as well as his lectures on aesthetics, the history of philosophy, and the philosophy of history in this deeply informed and original exploration of Hegel's naturalism.
Although Hegel's philosophy of history is recognized as a great intellectual achievement, it is also widely regarded as a complete failure. Taking his cue from the third century Greek historian Polybius, who argued that the rapid domination of the Mediterranean world by Rome had instituted a new phase of world history, Hegel wondered what the rise of European modernity meant for the rest of the world. In his account of the contingent paths of world history, he argued that at work (...) behind it is an eternal human struggle over justice, and that it had led to a new conception of justice in which nobody by nature had authority to rule over anybody else. Moving away from the ancient conception of justice as ordered through a cosmic system, the modern conception is based instead on freedom. This is, so Hegel argues, not an accident of history but part of the necessary development of the institutions and practices through which humans establish and maintain their changing shapes of agency. Behind it is an infinite end, justice, which as infinite is neither something which can ever be finally achieved nor a goal to which we are getting closer but which requires an infinite effort at sustaining.--. (shrink)
In the second half of the eighteenth century, German philosophy came for a while to dominate European philosophy. It changed the way in which not only Europeans, but people all over the world, conceived of themselves and thought about nature, religion, human history, politics, and the structure of the human mind. In this rich and wide-ranging book, Terry Pinkard interweaves the story of 'Germany' - changing during this period from a loose collection of principalities into a newly-emerged nation with a (...) distinctive culture - with an examination of the currents and complexities of its developing philosophical thought. He examines the dominant influence of Kant, with his revolutionary emphasis on 'self-determination', and traces this influence through the development of romanticism and idealism to the critiques of post-Kantian thinkers such as Schopenhauer and Kierkegaard. His book will interest a range of readers in the history of philosophy, cultural history and the history of ideas. (shrink)
One of the founders of modern philosophical thought Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel has gained the reputation of being one of the most abstruse and impenetrable of thinkers. This major biography of Hegel offers not only a complete account of the life, but also a perspicuous overview of the key philosophical concepts in Hegel's work in a style that will be accessible to professionals and non-professionals alike. Terry Pinkard situates Hegel firmly in the historical context of his times. The story of (...) that life is of an ambitious, powerful thinker living in a period of great tumult dominated by the figure of Napoleon. The Hegel who emerges from this account is a complex, fascinating figure of European modernity, who offers us a still compelling examination of that new world born out of the political, industrial, social, and scientific revolutions of his period. (shrink)
Neuhouser’s book is one of the most important contributions to the revival of Hegelian philosophy that has been taking place in Anglo-American philosophy over the last few years. Much of the debate in moral and political philosophy of the last few years has been set in terms of “the right” versus “the good,” and it is tempting to want to put Hegel in one of those categories and thereby also to classify him as either a “liberal,” a “communitarian,” or perhaps (...) a “romantic.” Neuhouser develops a powerful case for understanding him as none of these things. Instead he wants to understand Hegel as developing a social and political philosophy around the central conception of “self-determi- nation.” At first blush, that makes Hegel sound very much like the post-Kantian many now take him to be, but Neuhouser argues that, however true that might be, Hegel is best understood as continuing and developing certain key Rousseauian insights. In Neuhouser’s treatment, both Hegel and Kant are “post- Rousseauians,” and his understanding of what this means throws new and great light on understanding why Hegel’s social philosophy may still be of importance to us. (shrink)
Hegel is one of the most often cited and least read of all major philosophers. He is alternately regarded as the best and the worst that philosophy has produced. Nobody, however, disputes his influence. In Hegel's Dialectic, Terry Pinkard offers a new interpretation of Hegel's program that assesses his conception of the role of philosophy, his method, and some of the specific theses that he defended. Hegel's dialectic is interpreted as offering explanations of the possibility of basic categories. Pinkard argues (...) that the traditional standard reading of Hegel as the esoteric metaphysician of Absolute Spirit overlooks major elements of his thought. In presenting this alternative reading of Hegel, Pinkard offers a new understanding of the role of history in Hegel's thought and a new perspective on his moral and political thought. Departing from the tradition of explicating Hegel exclusively in Hegelian terms, Pinkard discusses the much disputed philosopher in a way that is accessible and appealing to both analytic and non-analytic philosophers. Hegel's Dialectic is not just an interpretation of Hegel's thought: it is also a reconstruction and defense of Hegel's philosophy as having something of importance to say to late twentieth-century philosophers. (shrink)
Edited by Hans-Christoph Schmidt am Busch & Christopher Zurn. This volume collects original, cutting-edge essays on the philosophy of recognition by international scholars eminent in the field. By considering the topic of recognition as addressed by both classical and contemporary authors, the volume explores the connections between historical and contemporary recognition research and makes substantive contributions to the further development of contemporary theories of recognition.
In Kant's "fact of reason," there is an apparent paradox of our being subject to laws of which we must regard ourselves as the author, while at the same time being normatively bound by the same laws that we cannot see ourselves as authoring. Working out the implications of this apparent paradox generated much of the response to Kant in post-Kantian idealism. Wilfrid Sellars notes the same paradox when he speaks of the "paradox of man's encounter with himself" in "Philosophy (...) and the Scientific Image of Man." Like some of the idealists, Sellars thus opted for "two track" system of philosophy that combines the two tracks in a metaphor of "stereoscopic vision." This paper argues that understanding Sellars 's own thought in terms of the issues that formed the dynamic of post-Kantian philosophy in Germany puts us in a better position to understand why Sellars 's own conception of experience and of the unreality of the manifest image is not completely consistent with the argumentative direction of his thought. Understanding Sellars in this way helps us understand the limits of post-Kantian idealism just as understanding the dynamic of post-Kantian idealism gives us a more nuanced version of Sellars 's conception of experience. (shrink)
By now “continental” philosophy has long since ceased to be a geographical term; there are “continental” philosophers in the Midwestern United States. Likewise, “analytical” philosophy is now widely practiced in most areas where academic philosophy is practiced. Moreover, many of the old jabs at each side have lost much of their force. The idea of a pox on both their houses—that analytical philosophers are a bunch of small-minded logic choppers, and continental philosophers are a bunch of wooly minded gasbags—has long (...) since failed to carry the punch it once did. What I want to suggest here is that they are both the same type of philosophy in one crucial, determining aspect: That one of the key experiences of modern philosophy, maybe even the great motivating experience of modern philosophy, is that of a certain type of skepticism, the idea that “we” both collectively and individually are prone to fool ourselves, be misled by conclusions that are attractive but unsupportable, or be misled even by our own experience and ways of thought to come to conclusions that turn out later to be insupportable. Certainly something like this underwrites the motivational power in those parts of contemporary philosophy that can be called “analytic” or are at least inspired by the analytical philosophers of the first two thirds of the twentieth century. Why else the careful attention to argument, the constant recasting of theses so that their implications can be better viewed, the deep ethos of attacking papers given by colleagues with a barrage of counter-examples, and of subjecting our colleagues to ruthless, sometimes unforgiving examination? What often seems perhaps petty to those more irritated than enlightened by analytic philosophy—that it is only tedious logic-chopping or “academic in the worst sense” niggling—is inspired by a brooding sense of skepticism, a sense that without such very intensely rigorous policing of our arguments and our explications, we are simply too prone to slide off into assertions that feel good, that may even seem to some of us like really very deep matters, but which, alas, may on closer inspection or in the light of later hindsight just turn out to be dreadfully false. Better to jump on the arguments now than to be embarrassed by them later. (shrink)
This review of peter hodgson's new english translation of hegel's "lectures on the philosophy of religion", Part iii, And of two other books on hegel, Includes a report on plans for retranslating the entire "lectures". A new edition is made feasible by the hegel archiv's ability to construct a superior critical text of each of the four lecture series (1821, 1824, 1827, 1831) from lasson plus additional recently-Discovered auditors' transcripts. Stephen dunning's book on hegel and hamann, And james yerkes' on (...) hegel's christology, Disagree emphatically on the suitability of hegel's conceptual framework for doing justice to the nature of christianity. (shrink)
IT IS A TRUISM THAT HEGEL took much of his program from Kant, but it has always been a matter of great dispute as to just what he took, how much he took, and how much he altered and added to the Kantian program. Since Kant is currently at a high point in acceptance in Anglo-American philosophical circles, a fresh look at Hegel's adoption and criticisms of that program will perhaps not only shed new light on Hegel but also point (...) the way to a new integration of Hegelian themes in contemporary thought. In Hegel's Idealism: The Satisfactions of Self-Consciousness, Robert Pippin goes a long way to doing just that. Pippin provides a balanced philosophical account of Hegel and his program by arguing, among other things, that Hegel's work should be understood as a transformation of the Kantian idea of deriving all the conditions of knowledge from the transcendental unity of apperception, a special kind of self-conscious awareness of objects. The results are impressive. (shrink)
Hegel remains widely known but largely unread in Anglo-American philosophy. Although the earlier hostility to his thought in these circles has begun to fade, Hegel still remains for many philosophers a more or less peripheral figure, somebody to be taught once other subjects in the philosophy department have been covered. This is partly because of his obscure style and mostly because of the standard picture of Hegel that remains in the psychic geography of many academic philosophers. Hegel is conceived as (...) the last great thinker who tried to fashion a unified systematic picture of God, man and the world through something called dialectic. On this standard view, Hegel is seen as arguing for a kind of grand Spirit who is gradually coming to self-consciousness by struggling through the contradictions He has created, using people as instruments for His coming to self-consciousness, until finally He succeeds somewhere in Berlin. Spirit-God comes to full self-consciousness and as parts of this grand Spirit-God, we too come to a full awareness of what we really are. This kind of grand metaphysical cosmology and theodicy does not fit the more skeptical temperaments of many twentieth-century academic thinkers. (shrink)
This chapter examines the philosophies of Hegel and Marx. The analysis of Hegel draws upon his book, Philosophy of Right. It considers three controversial Hegelian ideas: dialectic, alienation, and actuality. The discussion of Marx's views includes his thoughts about Hegel's philosophy, capitalism, and bourgeois moral theory.
Kant’s conception of nature’s having a “purposiveness without a purpose” was quickly picked by the Romantics and made into a theory of art as revealing the otherwise hidden unity of nature and freedom. Other responses (such as Hegel’s) turned instead to Kant’s concept of judgment and used this to develop a theory that, instead of the Romantics’ conception of the non-discursive manifestation of the absolute, argued for the discursively articulable realization of conceptual truths. Although Hegel did not argue for the (...) “end of art” (although it is widely held that he did just that), he did, curiously enough, claim that it is art and not philosophy which tells us about the “life” of agents. To see how he reconciles that claim with his otherwise entirely discursively oriented philosophy, it is necessary to look at his thesis of the end of art’s “absolute” importance. Hegel’s worries have to do with the impossibility of fully exhibiting the “inner” in the “outer” in modern art and with the newly emerging problem of “fraudulence” in the poet’s voice. This is illustrated by examples drawn from the history of music and the problems besetting the lyric poet in modern life. Because of these problems, we are, Hegel says, now “amphibious animals” having to live in different and seemingly incompatible worlds. Hegel’s student, Heinrich Heine, found that the only satisfactory way of responding to this was for the modern artist to adopt a distinctive type of irony in response to the Hegel’s worries about modern art. This form of irony, it is argued, is itself Hegelian in spirit. (shrink)
Few books in Hegel scholarship have been as anticipated as H. S. Harris's commentary on Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit. Harris has long been one of the leading commentators and translators of Hegel's pre-Phenomenology works and life, and he was forcefully present at the creation of both the British and the North American Hegel societies. Probably nobody in the Anglophone philosophical world knows the details of all the ins and outs of Hegel's book like Harris does. The wait for his own (...) comments on Hegel's book is now over, and the result is a thick, dense, often-rewarding commentary, even longer than the already-long book that is its subject. The commentary is replete with cross-references to the other parts of the texts and to Hegel's other works, and puts Harris's immense and bounteous erudition on display. (shrink)
ABSTRACT Hegel viewed the task of philosophy as not to direct the present but to grasp its fundamental commitments by uncovering its animating baselines. This led him to depict the antinomies of modern life as manifestations of the same baseline: equal freedom. By grasping equal freedom as a progressive principle of modern life, Hegel was able to criticize the conservatives of his day for treating natural inequalities as unalterable. Hegel’s alternative was a holist account according to which the oppositions contained (...) in modern society, such as that between nature and freedom, are gradually worked out in forms of life that aim to realize the baseline modern commitment to equal freedom. (shrink)