Routledge – 2004 – 364 pages
Series: The Routledge Philosophers
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.
'Beiser … wants to provide not so much exegesis as a comprehensive overview aimed primarily at the first-time reader. The result is in my judgment little short of a triumph. In 350 pages Beiser manages to suggest much of the sweep and challenge of Hegel's thought, in direct and straightforward prose, yet without shirking the procedural difficulties of Hegel's arguments and positions. ' - Martin Donougho, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
'An impressive achievement - I have no doubt students will find it very useful, and that it will be widely adopted as a teaching text: it is written in a clear and accessible manner; it covers the right topics to the right level; it engages with a wide range of Hegel's works; it is critical, while also being sympathetic; and it deals authoritatively with various matters of scholarship.' - Robert Stern, University of Sheffield
'The best available account in the English language of the whole sweep of Hegel's philosophy. It will be a valuable resource for students encountering Hegel for the first time. It also makes a significant and important contribution to the interpretation and discussion of Hegel's philosophy.' - Sean Sayers, University of Kent
'A very clear introduction - its greatest strengths consist in its clarity and its ability to contextualize Hegel's philosophy … masterfully done … the presentation is clear and engaging.'
- Paul Redding, University of Sydney
Introduction 1. A Question of Relevance 2. A Question of Method 3. Brief Biography Part 1: Early Ideals and Context 1: Cultural Context 2: Early Ideals Part 2: Metaphysics 3: Absolute Idealism 4: The Organic Worldview 5: The Realm of Spirit Life and Spirit 6: The Religious Dimension Part 3: Epistemological Foundations 7: The Dialectic 8: Solipsism and Intersubjectivity Part 4: Social and Political Philosophy 9: Freedom and the Foundation of Right 10: Hegel's Theory of the State Part 5: Philosophy of Culture 11: Philosophy of History 12: Aesthetics Epilogue Further Reading Bibliography
Frederick Beiser is Professor of Philosophy at Syracuse University. He is author of The Fate of Reason: German Philosophy from Kant to Fichte and editor of the Cambridge Companion to Hegel.