Closereads: Hegel on Jesus and Kant (Part Three)

We've now recorded four (out of five) sessions on Hegel's "The Spirit of Christianity and its Fate," and starting on this one, we're also reading directly from Matthew V, i.e. the Sermon on the Mount, which Hegel is giving a commentary on. His purpose is to contrast the legalism of Judaism, and by extension Kant with his emphasis on duty, with Jesus' emphasis on love, which he  Continue Reading …

Closereads: Hegel on Spinoza (Part Two)

We're continuing from part one reading through the entry on Spinoza from Hegel's Lectures on the History of Philosophy (1830). Read along with us. You can listen via the Citizen feed or watch the video: Note that this is a new project, not just more PEL, so we're creating new Closereads-specific supporter mechanisms like a standalone Closereads Patreon page, which  Continue Reading …

Closereads: Hegel on Spinoza (Part One)

It's a brand new podcast! Closereads: Philosophy with Mark and Wes, where we read through and talk about a text line by line. Today we're starting the entry on Spinoza from Hegel's Lectures on the History of Philosophy (1830). Read along with us. But you don't have to just listen: This is a video podcast... not that you have to watch the video, but maybe you'd like to.  Continue Reading …

Ep. 277: Hegel on Our Understanding of Physics (Part One for Supporters)

On The Phenomenology of Spirit (1807), ch. 3, "Force and the Understanding." What is "force" as physics describes it? And scientific law? Do these terms denote objects in the world, or models for how we describe the world? For Hegel, force is a way of talking about the metaphysical relation that one object has to other objects. Or taken from another perspective, it's the  Continue Reading …

Ep. 275: Hegel’s Project in “The Phenomenology of Spirit” (Part Two for Supporters)

Continuing from part one on the Introduction to Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel's big book (1807). We're up to section 81 now, getting more detail on what Hegel's goal in the book is and some of his basic terminology. He said that normally, we might think that in a philosophical investigation, there's some criteria for truth that is going to constitute the essence of that  Continue Reading …

Ep. 275: Hegel’s Project in “The Phenomenology of Spirit” (Part One for Supporters)

On the Introduction to Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel's early opus (1807), featuring Mark, Wes, Dylan, and Seth. This is the first of three episodes on this very challenging book. It's a book that demands slow, close reading, and in fact we only had time to talk about just the Introduction (X pages) even though we also read the Preface (X pages). So what is this project?  Continue Reading …

Episode 134: Hegel on Thought & World (or “Logic”)

On G.F.W. Hegel's The Science of Logic (1812–1816), §1–§129 (i.e., the two prefaces and the introduction), plus The Encyclopaedia Logic (1817) §1–§25, which is supposed to dumb it down more so we can understand what's going on. "Logic" for Hegel isn't about symbolic logic; it's about how thought interacts with the world. In short, our thoughts about fundamental metaphysical  Continue Reading …

Ep. 134: Hegel on Thought & World (or “Logic”) (Citizen Edition)

On G.F.W. Hegel's The Science of Logic (1812–1816), §1–§129 (i.e., the two prefaces and the introduction), plus The Encyclopaedia Logic (1817) §1–§25, which is supposed to dumb it down more so we can understand what's going on. "Logic" for Hegel isn't about symbolic logic; it's about how thought interacts with the world. In short, our thoughts about fundamental metaphysical  Continue Reading …

Philosophy of History Part VIII: Hegel’s Dialectic of History

Pure Reason, incapable of any limitation, is the Deity itself. –Hegel Mark Twain is supposed to have said that a classic is a book everyone praises, and no one reads—an observation that we might apply to the works of Georg William Friedrich Hegel (1770–1831). Or perhaps we should say that many people want to read him, but few can understand him. Indeed, the obscurity of  Continue Reading …

Reading ‘Antigone’ with Hegel

Mark W. Roche offers a convenient overview of Hegel's remarks on tragedy in his essay "Introduction to Hegel’s Theory of Tragedy." Listeners to the PEL episodes in which Antigone was read and discussed who wish to uncover more meaning from the play will benefit from his arrangement of Hegel's remarks on Greek tragedy and its context into a theoretical schema for interpreting  Continue Reading …

The Truth (and some lies) About Art

"A bad work of art is an oxymoron," Patrick Doorly says, "like bad skill." He thinks there's no such thing as bad art because the term does not refer to a class of objects or a category of activity. Art simply refers to excellence or to any "high-quality endeavor," a phrase he borrows from Robert Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Doorly's new book, The Truth  Continue Reading …

Episode 70: Marx on the Human Condition (Citizens Only)

On Karl Marx's The German Ideology, Part I, an early, unpublished work from 1846. What is human nature? What drives history? How can we improve our situation? Marx thought that fundamentally, you are what you do: you are your job, your means of subsistence. All the rest, this culture, this religion, this philosophy, is just a thin layer over our basic situation. Ideas are  Continue Reading …

PREVIEW-Episode 70: Marx on the Human Condition

This is a short preview of the full episode. Buy Now Purchase this episode for $2.99. Or become a PEL Citizen for $5 a month, and get access to this and all other paywalled episodes, including 68 back catalogue episodes; exclusive Part 2's for episodes published after September, 2020; and our after-show Nightcap, where the guys respond to listener email and chat more  Continue Reading …

Topic for #70: Karl Marx’s “German Ideology”

On 1/13 we recorded a discussion of an early work of Karl Marx, from about 20 years before the publication of his famous Das Capital, The German Ideology. Listen to the episode. We read just part 1 of the work, which was written in 1845-6 but not published until 1932 (with some portions of it coming out earlier in the 20th century). The work is credited to Marx and Engels, but  Continue Reading …

The Negation of the Negation or Detecting the Truth

[From Douglas Lain - see biographical note below for more details about Doug!] In Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit there is a procedure to which Hegel subjects every positive proposition called dissolution.  This process or procedure of dissolution doesn't belong to Hegel alone.  In fact, the Phenomenology seems to be Hegel's attempt to demonstrate how all the philosophers  Continue Reading …

How Did We Get Here?: Fukuyama on The Origins of Political Order

In his new book The Origins of Political Order,Francis Fukuyama tackles the history of the idea and its reality "from prehuman times to the French Revolution." Fukuyama works under the contemporary name of political science, but he is really one of the few people we have today intellectually able to go beyond the narrow confines of academic specialization and to give us the  Continue Reading …

More Analytic vs. Continental: What is the “Situation of Reason”?

The disciplinary identity of philosophy is in question. So says John McCumber in “Reshaping Reason”, where he makes a serious argument with evidence of trends pointing toward a sort of Hegelian synthesis in American philosophy to overcome the “Fantasy Island” of analytic thought and the “Subversive Struggle” of continental thought. "Fantasy Island" and "Subversive Struggle"  Continue Reading …

Robert C. Solomon on Husserl’s Phenomenology

I couldn't find any Solomon lectures on Hegel, but here's one introducing Edmund Husserl, which I think is apt now that we've covered Hegel's "phenomenology," so you can reflect on the difference: Listen on youtube. Maybe the only reference to Hegel here is the discussion of Husserl's rejection of historicism, though I think it should be clear that "historicist" is  Continue Reading …