On reading Hegel

Philosophy and Social Criticism 33 (1):55-66 (2007)
Abstract
New readings have recently been offered by Frederick Beiser and Robert Brandom of Hegel, a notoriously difficult writer. I believe that both Beiser and Brandom go astray in reading Hegel otherwise than how he reads others, that is, in terms of the internal development of their theories in response to philosophical problems with which they were concerned as opposed to other, external concerns. Beiser reads Hegel’s position in the context of German idealism in order to refute it and Brandom reads it in the context of analytic philosophy to learn from it. I will be recommending an alternative reading of Hegel’s position in the context of German idealism in order to learn from it. I believe we cannot magically detach Hegel from idealism in order to learn from, or even to understand, his position. But I also believe we need to interpret German idealism differently in order to grasp Hegel’s contribution. Key Words: Frederick Beiser • Robert Brandom • G.W.F.Hegel • idealism • Immanuel Kant • realism.
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