Hegel

Hegel

Hegel

Hegel

Synopsis

Martin Heidegger's writings on Hegel are notoriously difficult but show an essential engagement between two of the foundational thinkers of phenomenology. Joseph Arel and Niels Feuerhahn provide a clear and careful translation of Volume 68 of the Complete Works, which is comprised of two shorter texts--a treatise on negativity, and a penetrating reading of Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit. In this volume, Heidegger relates his interpretation of Hegel to his own thought on the event, taking up themes developed in Contributions to Philosophy. While many parts of the text are fragmentary in nature, these interpretations are considered some of the most significant as they bring Hegel into Heidegger's philosophical trajectory.

Excerpt

This is a translation of Martin Heidegger’s Hegel, which was originally published in German as volume 68 of Heidegger’s Gesamtausgabe in 1993. This volume comprises two different works: the first, shorter part of the volume has the original title of Die Negativität. Eine Auseinandersetzung mit Hegel aus dem Ansatz in der Negativität (1938–39, 1941). the second part bears the title Erläuterung der “Einleitung” zu Hegels “Phänomenologie des Geistes”(1942). Though the text, especially the first part, is fragmentary and much less polished than many of his other texts, Heidegger seems to have considered it especially important. As the editor of the German original notes, it was Heidegger himself who grouped the two treatises together and assigned them to a special volume on Hegel. It was also Heidegger himself who assigned both treatises to the third division of the Gesamtausgabe. At the time of its publication it was the second volume to come out under the third division of the Gesamtausgabe: “Unpublished Treatises: Addresses— Ponderings.” the first volume to appear under this division was Beiträge zur Philosophie (Vom Ereignis), whose first edition was published in 1989.

In addition to giving some priority to these texts in the organization of his works, Heidegger also explains Hegel’s importance quite explicitly. Early on in the first part, he writes, “The singularity of Hegel’s philosophy consists primarily in the fact that there is no longer a higher standpoint of self-consciousness of spirit beyond it. Thus any future, still higher standpoint over against it, which would be superordinate to Hegel’s system—in the manner by which Hegel’s philosophy for its part and in accord with its point of view had to subordinate every previous philosophy—is once and for all impossible” (p.3). Though Heidegger’s writing and lectures on Hegel, as well as on the German Idealism of Fichte and Schelling, increased significantly during the period in which this volume takes place, his insistence on Hegel’s importance is not new. Many years earlier, in 1915, Heidegger writes that Hegel’s philosophy contains “the system of a historical worldview which is most powerful with regard to its fullness, its depth, its conceptuality, and the richness of its experiences, and which as such has removed and surpassed all preceding fundamental philosophical problems.” It is the task of philosophy, he continues, “to confront Hegel.”

1. ga 1: 410–11. Two writers who have written on Heidegger’s lectures on negativity in English are Dahlstrom and de Boer. See Daniel O. Dahlstrom,

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