Quora answer: What is Hegelianism?

Hegelianism is a reification of Hegels thought and a exploration of its consequences just like Platonism with respect to Plato. But the difference is that we might say that Hegelianism was participated in by Hegel himself as he wrote his later works and his views become worked out even more. ArguablyPhenomenology of Mind is the hardest book to read in philosophy. It was a book that got away from its author and went places that he really could not have intended, so later he and his students tried to tie down an interpretation of it that was fully systematic, like in Hegel’s Science of Logic. He even got so far as writing an Encyclopedia of his Logic.

Hegelianism was for the most part transcendentalist in its interpretation of Hegel. But later non-transcendentalist readings have come into vogue which are of interest to Postmodernists. Much of Continental Philosophy can be see as further developing themes or reacting to Hegel, and trying to discover new ways to solve the problems he poses.

Nietzsche for instance, tries to reverse the Master/Slave dialectic and and develop a moral basis for the Masters, while Hegel says only the Slaves can develop Self-consciousness.

Husserl tries to formalize Phenomenology into an exploration of how conscious ness really works.

Heidegger goes back to Hegel in order to get distance from Husserl, his teachers works, and uses the concept of Dasein from Hegel’s Logic as the basis for understanding what is prior to the subject/object dichotomy that Hegel still accepted from Kant. At one point in Being and Time Heidegger says Dasein is Pure Spirit.

Hegel explored the idea that the terror of the French revolution was the ultimate outcome of Kant’s rationalism, and tried to produce an alternative to that. The alternative was to see Society as a whole moving toward a teleological end comprised of the realization of Absolute Spirit. Hegel had some very non-standard theological ideas inspired by Jakob Bohme a German mystic.

Hegel’s system was turned upside down and reinterpreted by Karl Marx, and dialectics became interpreted in a rigid and mechanistic way under Communism which had a materialist bent.

Sartre wrote a book which tired to salvage Dialectics by applying it to itself, calledCritique of Dialectical Reason.

The best way to get into Hegel is via the Bernstein lecture series:http://www.bernsteintapes.com/he…

See also http://plato.stanford.edu/entrie…

C.S. Peirce was anti-Hegelian but much of his work is a reaction against Hegel that attempts to explore deeper some of its central concepts. Peirce develops a set of philosophical principles called First, Second and Third where he attempts to formalize dialectical mediation and use it as a basis for critiquing traditional logic. In the process he invents a form of Phenomenology and Semiotics, as well as contributing to the formalization of symbolic logic.


Posted February 5, 2011 by kentpalmer in Uncategorized

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