The Unity and Difference of the Speculative and the Historical in Hegel's Concept of Geist

PhaenEx 2 (1):87-109 (2007)

Authors
David A. Duquette
St. Norbert College
Abstract
While Hegel scholars overall have acknowledged that the concept of Geist (Spirit or Mind) is central to Hegel’s comprehension of history, there is some degree of controversy among commentators concerning the interpretation of this concept. Lack of clarity about whether the principles Hegel presents fall on the speculative or on the historical level can result in charges of mystification. In this essay I attempt to clarify the concept of Geist by 1) defining the speculative transcendental meaning of Geist , which will involve articulating the principles that structure Geist ’s essential features, especially as presented in Hegel’s Logic; 2) explicating the historical and existential dimension of Geist , which will focus on the nature of its action and embodiment, specifically attending to the nation state as the true historical individual, and 3) explaining the essential connection between the speculative and the historical in such a way as to address their dialectical unity in difference, and thus to alleviate the problem of ontology overcoming Geist ’s temporality
Keywords German Philosophy
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DOI 10.22329/p.v2i1.69
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Hegel's Concept of Geist.Robert R. Williams - 1987 - Proceedings of the Hegel Society of America 8:1-20.

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