Hegel (The Routledge Philosophers)
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Hegel (1770-1831) is one of the major philosophers of the nineteenth century. Many of the major philosophical movements of the twentieth century - from existentialism to analytic philosophy - grew out of reactions against Hegel. He is also one of the hardest philosophers to understand and his complex ideas, though rewarding, are often misunderstood.
In this magisterial and lucid introduction, Frederick Beiser covers every major aspect of Hegel's thought. He places Hegel in the historical context of nineteenth-century Germany whilst clarifying the deep insights and originality of Hegel's philosophy.
A masterpiece of clarity and scholarship, Hegel is both the ideal starting point for those coming to Hegel for the first time and essential reading for any student or scholar of nineteenth century philosophy.
- chapter summaries
- annotated further reading.
deduction has been the subject of endless controversy, which need not concern us now. The crucial question is whether Hegel’s concept of subject–object identity should be understood according to Kant’s principle. It is striking that Fichte uses the term ‘subject–object identity’ to describe the act of self-knowledge involved in Kant’s principle. Since Hegel Absolute Idealism 63 uses the same term, it would seem that he too has a Kantian interpretation of this principle. It is important,
unity and self-organization, that still does not warrant the inference of the existence of natural purposes. Why not? Because, for all we know, the thing might still be acting strictly from mechanical causes. Again, Kant was quite explicit and emphatic about this point: ‘We are quite unable to prove that organized natural products cannot be produced through the mechanism of nature’ (§71; V 388). The attribution of purposes to nature implied that there is some other form of causality not strictly
the possibility of knowledge, then, it is necessary to unite these realms, to forge a bridge between them. Schelling then argues at length that this problem cannot be resolved from conventional Kantian premises (II 16, 25–6). He contends that the orthodox Kantian distinction between the form and matter of experience simply reinstates the dualism that gave rise to the problem in the ﬁrst place. The Kantians cannot bridge the gulf between these realms, because they make so sharp a distinction
least to the people – to be a religion of reason. Hence he wrote his Life of Jesus, a story of Jesus’s life, according to which Christ is a preacher of Kantian morality. But the ﬁrst person who did not believe in this new myth of reason was Hegel himself. For it 134 Hegel clashes violently with his belief in the positivity of Christianity. Already in the Berne Fragments Hegel had argued that Christ was an inferior teacher to Socrates because Christ demanded surrendering to faith rather than
ago. Hegel became a Privatdozent, his income entirely dependent on student fees; he never achieved there his ambition of becoming a salaried professor. Hegel’s resolve to become a university professor marked a signiﬁcant shift in his intellectual ambitions. He ceased to regard himself as a Volkserzieher who would simply apply philosophical principles to the world; he now saw himself as a philosopher in his own right, devoted to the development of his own system. The reasons for this shift seem to