Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770–1831) is generally considered to be the most systematic philosopher within the movement of “German idealism” in the first decades of the Nineteenth Century. In his writings, and particularly in his popular lectures at the University of Berlin in the 1820s, Hegel attempted to elaborate a comprehensive and systematic philosophy from a “logical” starting point. He is perhaps most well-known for his social and political philosophy and for his teleological account of history, an account which was later taken over by Karl Marx and “inverted” into a materialist theory of an historical development culminating in communism. For most of the twentieth century, the “logical” and systematic side of Hegel's thought had been largely forgotten, but his political and social philosophy continued to attract interest and support. Since the 1970s, a degree of more general philosophical interest in Hegel’s systematic thought has also been revived, often treating Hegel’s philosophy in relation to the earlier “transcendental” idealism of Immanuel Kant.
|Key works||Hegel's first major publication was his Phenomenology of Spirit (Phänomenologie des Geistes) [Hegel 1977], published in 1807. Working through this work was meant to lift the reader from their naturally perspectival view of the world to the objective standpoint of philosophy or "science" (Wissenschaft). This work was followed by his Science of Logic (Wissenschaft der Logik) published in three volumes in 1812, 1813 and 1816 [Hegel 2010], and then, in 1817, his Encyclopaedia of the Philosophical Sciences, comprising a shortened "Logic" [Hegel 2010], a "Philosophy of Nature" [Hegel 1970] and a "Philosophy of Spirit" [Hegel 1970]. While occupying the chair of philosophy at the University of Berlin, Hegel gave multiple lecture series on the Philosophy of History [Hegel 2011], the History of Philosophy [Brown 2009, Brown 2006, Brown 2009], Aesthetics [Hegel 1998, Hegel 1998], and Philosophy of Religion [Hegel 2006].|
|Introductions||Online encyclopedia articles: David A. Duquette, "Hegel's Social and Political Thought" [Duquette 2001]; Paul Redding, "G. W. F. Hegel" [Redding 2008]. Book-length introductory works: Frederick Beiser, Hegel [Beiser 2005]; Stephen Houlgate, An Introduction to Hegel: Freedom, Truth and History [Houlgate 2005]; Peter Singer, Hegel: A Very Short Introduction [Singer 2001]. Terry Pinkard, Hegel: A Biography [Pinkard 2000] provides a comprehensive introduction to all spheres of Hegel's philosophy presented in the context of his biography.|
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