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lonesomepoint

lonesomepoint

Hegel in 90 Minutes - Paul Strathern This book gives you the bare basics on Hegel's philosophy, which may be all you need to know. From what this book says, Hegel is obviously a philosopher you will want to read about rather than actually reading his work; you'll see why when I quote him (as quoted in this book).

Meanwhile, as mind itself is not an abstractly simple entity, but a system of processes, wherein it distinguishes itself into moments; but in the very act of distinguishing remains free and detached; and as mind articulates its body as a whole into a variety of functions; and designates one particular part of the body for only one function; so too one can represent to oneself the fluent state of its internal existence (its existence within itself) as something articulated into parts."


Yes!--that thing was meant to be only one complete statement, and it is taken from The Phenomenology of Mind, generally considered Hegel's masterwork. That was not merely how Hegel wrote, but how he thought and how he spoke in his lectures as a university professor. I wrote a "sentence" like that once, in a minor assignment in a political science course, and it greatly contributed to the paper earning an F. Hegel's works are full of such jargon, and therefore are notoriously difficult.

This book may be extremely short, but author Paul Strathern understands Hegel and what the problems with Hegel's philosophy were. Strathern credibly believes Hegel was, at heart, a melancholy mystic and poet with a brilliant but utterly prosaic mind. Strathern notes that Hegel has been compared to Plato for the extreme abstractness of his philosophy, and believes that comparison is fair. The poet theory is shared by other observers of Hegel: a section of the book contains quotes on Hegel by him and some by others, and includes this one by a Giovanni Papini:
There are pages of Hegel which have the same effect in the realm of thought as the sonnets of Mallarme have in the realm of poetry. They are vehicles of evocation and of vague sentimental nuances--nothing more. This does not belittle their value; it may even increase it. Vet verbal narcotics and hypnotic formulations should not be imposed on us as truths.


The practical importance of Hegel's philosophy lies in who it influenced. Karl Marx was history's most important disciple of Hegel. He understood the philosophical method Hegel created--dialectic logic--and used it to invent a new philosophy of history that was completely different from Hegel's philosophy of history.