Passing-over: The Death of the Author in Hegel's Philosophy

Southern Journal of Philosophy 47 (1):25-47 (2009)
Criticism of Hegel has been a central preoccupation of “postmodern” philosophy, from critical theory and deconstruction to Lacanianpsychoanalytic theory and Foucauldian “archaeology.” One of the most frequent criticisms is that Hegel’s invocation of “absolute knowledge”installs him in a position of authorial arrogance, of God-like authority, leaving the reader in a position of subservience to the Sage’s perfectwisdom. The argument of this article is that this sort of criticism is profoundly ironic, since Hegel’s construction of the role of the Sage possessing absolute knowledge is in fact an elaborate mask covering over a radical project of disappearance of the author by which itbecomes the reader who is left to author the text. The article explores Hegel’s commitment to his own death as an author in his invention of anew method of demonstration, his epistemology, his philosophy of language, his theory of desire, and even in the seemingly least likelyplace of all, his portrait of “absolute knowledge.”
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0038-4283
DOI 10.1111/j.2041-6962.2009.tb00130.x
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