In this series of videos of Bryan Magee interviewing a young Peter Singer, Singer provides an explication of Hegel's overall philosophical enterprise. We've linked to Magee's show in other places (like here, here and here) and in this interview we get to see Peter Singer actually doing traditional philosopher-type stuff. He has an outstanding 'stach and nice square coke-bottle specs.
Watch on youtube.
The first episode focuses on history and the dialectical process. They use the thesis-antithesis-synthesis characterization that is attributable to Fichte, not Hegel, but get the point across. The second section brings up the idea of alienation and the question of whether Geist is a mental, spiritual or other concept. The third installment covers Hegel's concept of a rational society and Magee gives a good summary of Singer's characterization up to that point. Singer defends Hegel's writing style here as well. The fourth and fifth chunks cover Hegel's influence and Marx.
I was a bit surprised that they don't cover conscious and self-consciousness (where we spent our time in our episodes) or spend too much time on Reason; it's clear Magee is interested in Hegel's view of history and how it influenced Marx. At the time the video was made, Marxism was still very present in the world in the ideology underpinning Communist societies. I suppose we'll end up looking at Hegel's philosophy of right at some point in the future as well.
Tom McDonald says
I like how Singer’s approach emphasizes the problem of ‘eternalized’ division or alienation in human nature in Kant (and modern life generally) and how Hegel looked to Greek life for superior models of harmony. Shows how Hegel anticipates the similar greco-philia in Nietzsche and Heidegger.
Here is Singer’s “little book on Hegel” that Magee refers to:
Scott Russell says
Except that all of Europe in Hegel’s day seemed infatuated with Greco-Roman nostalgia. Could it be a kind of reconciliation with ancient philosophy after the Cartesian split, the invention of the modern person? And of course, even the harmony Hegel perceives is through a lens of distortions. How harmonious were those Peloponesian wars?