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23 Nov

Reading Hegel

I think many read Hegel much too innocently – this is especially true of those who want to make religious use of him. He is far more dialectically slippery and equivocal than they seem to realize or want to grant. That said, he is an essential thinker with whom one must come to terms. I’m afraid many of those who think they are beyond Hegel and dialectic are not quite where they claim to be. That is another reason why a recuperation of dialectic, both in its Hegelian and non-Hegelian forms is a continuing task. Dialectic is not univocal.

Does Hegel represent the end of metaphysics? No. Does Hegel stand for the consummation of the philosophical tradition? No. Does Hegel bring about the completion of dialectical thinking? No. Many anti-Hegelians answer yes to the above questions. I say no and engage the metaphysical tradition and dialectic differently.

[…] The reason I continue to teach Hegel is because the struggle with Hegel is worth it philosophically. I do see green readers fall under his bewitchment. I try to offer some philosophical inoculations against false conceptual enchantments. But what can one do when someone is infatuated? The spell will run its course. Or do we need to develop a need area of expertise for treating conceptual possession: philosophical exorcism?

Radical Orthodoxy: Between God and Metaphysics: An Interview with William Desmond

One thought on “Reading Hegel

  1. I agree that teaching Hegel is needed in order for one to recognize the way to move beyond, to synthesize the apparently insurmountable polarizing aspect of Western thinking and – arriving in the 20th century- find what is beyond. And what is beyond the dualism of subject/object? For me anyway,faith– not faith in a comprehensible 17th century type clock work universe, but in a multi dimensional universe formed by and held together and drawing us and all things back to itself thro ugh the deep attraction of love.

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