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Hegel’s Idea of a Phenomenology of Spirit

Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit has acquired a paradoxical reputation as one the most important and most impenetrable and inconsistent philosophical works. In Hegel’s Idea of a Phenomenology of Spirit, Michael N. Forster advances an original reading of the work. His approach differs from that of previous scholars in two crucial ways: he reads the work, first, as a whole—not piecemeal, as it has usually been analyzed—and second, within the context of Hegel’s broader corpus and the works of other philosophers.

The Phenomenology of Spirit emerges as an extraordinarily coherent work with a rich array of important and original ideas. These include a diagnosis of the ills of modernity in terms of its commitment to a series of dualisms, and a project for overcoming them; a sweeping naturalism; a deep rethinking of and response to problems of skepticism; subtle arguments for social theories of meaning and truth; and ideas based on the insight that human thought changes in fundamental ways over the course of history. Forster’s unique and compelling reading unlocks the mysteries of Hegel’s seminal work.

669 pages | 6 x 9 | © 1998

Philosophy: History and Classic Works

Table of Contents

Ch. 1: The Phenomenology as "Introduction" to Hegelian Science
Ch. 2: Curing Modern Culture: The Pedagogical Tasks
Ch. 3: Justifying Hegelian Science: The Epistemological Tasks
Ch. 4: Creating God, Meaning, and Truth: The Metaphysical Tasks
Ch. 5: The Phenomenology as "Appearance" of Hegelian Science
Ch. 6: The Phenomenology’s Independence from Hegelian Science
Ch. 7: The Aufhebung of the Phenomenology to Hegelian Science
Ch. 8: Two Varieties of Historicism
Ch. 9: History in the Chapters Consciousness through Reason
Ch. 10: Intellectual Historicism in the Chapters Consciousness through Reason
Ch. 11: History in the Chapters Spirit through Absolute Knowing
Ch. 12: Further Intellectual Historicism in the Phenomenology
Ch. 13: The Issues
Ch. 14: The Basic Case for a Shift in Plan
Ch. 15: The Underlying Logic of the Phenomenology
Ch. 16: The Effects of the Shift in Plan on the Design of the Phenomenology
Ch. 17: Hegel’s Reasons for the Shift in Plan
Ch. 18: A Fundamental Reinterpretation or Devaluation?
Ch. 19: The Historical Relativity of the Phenomenology

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