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The title is quite misleading; the book deals only with Hegel and his immediate predecessors and contemporaries. As with many Cambridge Companions, the book isn't really designed for beginners. For students who have some relevant background, and for scholars, the book is a very high quality collection covering quite a lot of what a comprehensive volume on Hegel should cover. It omits only a couple of what I take to be key topics, which I'll touch on below. To allow for a connected discussion with a bit of depth, I'll consider only seven of the book's fifteen papers, plus Fred Beiser's Introduction "The Puzzling Hegel Renaissance" , in which he discusses the general picture of Hegel scholarship in recent years.

Actually Beiser says that the "apex" of the recent "renaissance" was the publication over thirty years ago of Charles Taylor's Hegel Taylor presented Hegel as an ambitious metaphysician. But most Anglophone Hegel commentators since then, as Beiser describes, have avoided this approach. They have either addressed parts of Hegel's system that seem to be separable from his metaphysical project, or they have suggested that his basic project wasn't really metaphysical at all.

Beiser doubts that the latter approach is defensible. But he himself seems to have no stomach for metaphysics. He speaks of it as something that "we" contemporary philosophers can't relate to "our concerns.

Unless people are simply "antiquarians" -- an extreme possibility that Beiser mentions -- it's difficult to understand why they would invest years of work in a philosopher whose central efforts don't speak at all to their own concerns. It's worth noting that this anxiety about "metaphysics" seems to be more of an issue for Hegel commentators, today, than it is for specialists in Plato, Aristotle, medieval philosophy, Descartes, Leibniz or Spinoza.

Is the latter group, then, composed of "antiquarians," who don't care whether the philosophers whom they study speak to their own concerns? Perhaps, on the contrary, they feel that Kant wasn't necessarily fully fair in stigmatizing his non-empiricist forebears as "dogmatic," and that we should give those forebears a more sympathetic hearing before making up our minds on the subject. Whereas Hegel commentators, who aren't dealing with Kant's forebears directly, are still scared silly by the stigma that Kant and his successors have attached to "metaphysics.

The new Companion in fact contains quite a number of papers that speak to this important issue, in ways to which Beiser oddly doesn't draw our attention. Franks makes it clear that Hegel in this essay was intensely aware of the dangers of philosophical "dogmatism. Robert Stern's "Hegel's Idealism" addresses the issue of what Hegel means by his "idealism," and whether what he means is compatible with what we should have learned from Kant.

Stern criticizes the common idea that Hegel is a "mentalistic" idealist who thinks like Bishop Berkeley that we know the world because it's contained in our minds or in our one great Mind , and he also criticizes Robert Pippin's proposal that Hegel's idealism is substantially the same as Kant's. Instead, Stern suggests that Hegel's idealism is based on a critique of the idea that "finite" things are self-explanatory, and on a corresponding critique of empiricism and nominalism. Hegel agrees with "classical" philosophy -- by which Stern seems to mean the broadly Platonic tradition -- that "concepts are part of the structure of reality" p.

Hegel and the Historical Deduction of the Concept of Art. Hegels Philosophy of Religion. Hegels Proofs of the Existence of God. Philosophy and Its Time. Kierkegaard and Hegel on Faith and Knowledge. Hegels Idea of Life. Hegels Solution to the MindBody Problem. The Unwritten Volume. The Idea of a Hegelian Science of Society. Hegels Political Philosophy. So I want people to read Burbidge as well. It adopts a distinctive approach: what Burbidge emphasises is that the Logic is a study of what happens when we think.

From Hegel to Marx: What Went Wrong -Terry Pinkard

The Logic , for him, is not so much a study of categories in their own right, but it is a study of what is involved in understanding something and of the dialectical tensions we get caught up in in the activity of understanding. Due to this emphasis on the process of thinking, some people have accused Burbidge of being too psychologistic in his reading of the Logic , and I share that concern.

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The Bloomsbury Companion to Hegel

In this way, he opened up the Logic to an English-speaking audience and showed it to be a work of serious, rigorous philosophy rather than obscure, impenetrable metaphysics. So, without picking my own book, this would always be the first one I would recommend. Understanding wants to get a clear and distinct conception of a certain idea — for example, being — but dialectic takes over and turns that idea into its opposite — nothing. Speculative thinking then unifies those two thoughts into one, and so we get a new concept: becoming. And so it goes on. The process is aiming at clarity and so, against what Popper and Schopenhauer contend, Hegel, as Burbidge reads him, is not trying to be obscure.


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He is trying to think through what it means to get clear about a concept. And new categories emerge from that. So, in trying to get clear about categories, you are necessarily taken on to other categories. I owe him a tremendous debt.

Blackwell Companions to Philosophy: A Companion to Hegel - Wiley - Literati by Credo

Like Burbidge, Pippin tried to introduce clarity into what Hegel is doing, against the background of what he takes to be an untenable metaphysical reading of Hegel. In fact, however, the matter is a bit more complicated. More specifically, intuitions give us the immediacy of things — their being here and now — and the understanding then gives us the various forms of objectivity. This is in the B deduction of the Critique of Pure Reason. So the categories are conditions not just of our experience of objects but of objects themselves as objects of cognition.

Now we move to Hegel. Hegel takes over the broad idea that the categories, as unfolded in the Logic , are the conditions of anything being a determinate object of cognition. Yet Kant does not, as it were, peer over the wall bounding our experience and see directly that things in themselves are not spatio-temporal.

This is impossible, not just because we are restricted to what is on this side of the wall, that is, to the objects of possible experience, but also because things in themselves should not be thought as actually there beyond the limits of experience.

They are, rather, something that thought posits from within experience itself. More precisely, they are what we must think there to be when, within experience, we abstract from the conditions under which alone we know and experience objects. But because we know that the forms of space and time are subjective, we must think things in themselves not to be spatiotemporal. Be that as it may, Hegel drops the whole idea that things in themselves must be thought to be or that they are beyond the reach of cognition, and maintains that what there is, is knowable.

However, he retains the idea that the categories are the conditions under which things can be known, can be objects of cognition. Pippin understands Hegel in the way I have just described, too, though there are subtle differences between our interpretations. They now read Hegel because of what Pippin has done. Pippin is usually taken to regard Hegel as a non-metaphysical thinker, as a thinker who tells us about the categories required for cognition of objects but nothing more. In fact, however, Pippin accepts that Hegel is a metaphysical thinker of a certain kind, because he thinks that, for Hegel, how something is understood to be is what it is.

But at the same time, he claims that, for thought, this is all that an object can be. There is nothing more to things that we could know beyond what it is for them to be objects of cognition, so understanding the conditions of such objects just is knowing what they are. This is a subtle position, and I think that Pippin is right to complain that his Hegel is not simply non-metaphysical.

When we think about this table, we think that that table is there. Yes, it is known by us, but it also has a being and an identity of its own. My Hegel is thus trying to work out the categories that structure not only a how we must think of things; not only b what something must be to be an object of cognition; but also c what is to be at all.

Table of contents

It has helped give rise to the whole debate about whether Hegel is metaphysical or not. Since Pippin has been associated with the non-metaphysical interpretation, this has allowed others to advocate a metaphysical interpretation again. This is a colossal work on the history of art, as well as analysing individual artforms like sculpture, architecture, poetry etc.

Tell me about this choice.

ISBN 13: 9781119144830

I would say that a great way of getting into Hegel is through the Aesthetics. Hegel comments on paintings, poems, plays, works of sculpture, etc. The question to ask is: why is art so important to him? Hegel thinks that the Logic sets out the basic truth about being and thought, then the philosophy of nature tells you about the truth of nature, and then the various parts of the philosophy of spirit tell you about what it is to be a human being, to be free and so on.

But philosophy is not the only way in which we understand these truths.

Evaluation Copy

There are, in fact, for Hegel, three basic forms of mindedness: i intuition; ii representation; and iii thought. Intuition is sensuous for Hegel: it is the seeing, hearing and feeling of things. Representation is somewhat more inward. Finally, thought deals in concepts. Philosophy knows the truth in pure concepts, in the distinctive categories of the Logic and so on.

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Religion knows basically the same truth, but in images and metaphors — Christianity being the principal religion for Hegel. The story of the creation, the incarnation, the resurrection, etc. Hegel has more to say about religion, and about religions other than Christianity, but this is the core of his theology.

In contrast to religion and philosophy, art knows the truth through sensuous intuition. Hegel holds that we need to have a sensuous encounter with and experience of the truth. In art, therefore, the human spirit articulates its basic truths in what is visible and audible.