A Companion to Hegel

A Companion to Hegel

A Companion to Hegel

A Companion to Hegel


This companion provides original, scholarly, and cutting-edge essays that cover the whole range of Hegel's mature thought and his lasting influence.
  • A comprehensive guide to one of the most important modern philosophers
  • Essays are written in an accessible manner and draw on the most up-to-date Hegel research
  • Contributions are drawn from across the world and from a wide variety of philosophical approaches and traditions
  • Examines Hegel's influence on a range of thinkers, from Kierkegaard and Marx to Heidegger, Adorno and Derrida
  • Begins with a chronology of Hegel's life and work and is then split into sections covering topics such as Philosophy of Nature, Aesthetics, and Philosophy of Religion


Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770–1831) is one of the giants of the European philosophical tradition. Indeed, in the eyes of many the depth and sophistication of his thought are matched only in the work of Plato, Aristotle, and Kant. Hegel’s texts and lectures are by no means easy to read, but his influence on the modern world has been profound and wide-ranging. His thought helped spawn Marxism, existentialism, American pragmatism and the critical theory of the Frankfurt School; his philosophy of religion has left its mark on theologians, such as Karl Barth, Hans K ü ng, and Rowan Williams; he was considered by Ernst Gombrich to be the “father” of art history; and he continues to provide inspiration to many contemporary philosophers, including Judith Butler, John McDowell, and Robert Brandom.

Hegel is worth studying, however, not just because of the influence he has exercised, but also because of the intrinsic merits of his thought. He has challenging and profound views on thought and being, nature and natural science, consciousness and language, human freedom in society and the state, and on history, art, religion, and the history of philosophy.

The bulk of the chapters in this collection examine aspects of Hegel’s mature thought, which is set out in the Phenomenology of Spirit (1807) and the texts and lectures Hegel produced in the years following the Phenomenology’s publication. All of the principal parts of Hegel’s system are covered in this collection, including the philosophy of nature and philosophy of subjective spirit, which are often overlooked in studies of Hegel. The collection also includes a chapter on Hegel’s early writings that brings out the exploratory character of his work in the late 1790s and early 1800s, and eight chapters that explore the ways in which some of the most significant post-Hegelian thinkers have engaged both sympathetically and critically with Hegel’s ideas.

The chapters in this collection have been written by scholars from Europe, North America, and Australia, and bear witness to the fact that the significance of Hegel’s thought is recognized worldwide. They also reflect a wide variety of different approaches to Hegel. No single “orthodox” interpretation of Hegel’s thought is presented here, but . . .

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