The Accessible Hegel
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was one of the most influential philosophers of the 19th century. Both through proponents such as Karl Marx and detractors such as SÝren Kierkegaard, the impact of his ideas and reaction to them continue to be felt to this day. Unfortunately, reading Hegel is a notoriously difficult task and there is a good deal of debate about how to interpret his words. In fact, his contemporary, Arthur Schopenhauer, criticized Hegelís writing as "the most ponderous and general mystification that has ever existed." There is thus a need for a clear presentation of his major philosophical contributions to help students and other interested persons in approaching the work of this important thinker.
Philosopher Michael Allen Fox admirably fills this need in The Accessible Hegel. He begins by examining Hegelís thought as the culmination of classical German philosophyís idealistic trend toward explaining the universe in its entirety. Unlike Kant, who believed that human reason was limited, Hegel argued that reason has the capacity to unravel the mysteries of existence. Throughout history reason has progressed, said Hegel, like an expanding circle grasping more and more of reality.
Fox discusses at length the chief component of Hegelís systematic philosophy -- the concept of the dialectic. According to Hegel, in a world of becoming and persistent change, reason progresses through conflict and the resolutions that arise from the dialectic of opposing elements. The tumultuous clash of opposites leads to ever new advances in human knowledge and culture.
Fox also considers many of Hegelís other ideas: his difficult notion of the Absolute, the final stage of history in which reason attains perfect mastery of the world and thought realizes its full potential; his dynamic conception of truth as evolving toward total comprehensiveness; the master-slave pattern of human relationships; the social structure of the self; the varied political interpretations and adaptations of Hegelís philosophy on both the Left and the Right; and many other aspects of Hegelís complex system.
For both beginners and those already familiar with Hegelís work, this excellent overview of one of philosophyís great geniuses offers many clarifications and insights.
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Review: The Accessible HegelUser Review - Geoff German - Goodreads
A good introduction for a very challenging philosophy. Read full review
Review: The Accessible HegelUser Review - Mischke - Goodreads
Blew through this book over a few days. As part of my reading plan for the summer of 2012, working my way through Hegel's oeuvre, I was looking for introductions to Hegel to help get the overview of ... Read full review