Essays in Hegelian Dialectic

Essays in Hegelian Dialectic

Essays in Hegelian Dialectic

Essays in Hegelian Dialectic

Excerpt

At the very beginning of an enterprise such as the present one a rather simple (but serious) question must be asked: Is the author justified in digging up a series of studies which have issued from his pen over the past twelve years and collecting them within the covers of one book? The question is not whether it is worthwhile to publish one more book--even one more collection of essays--on Hegel. A look at the rapidly growing list of books which the thought of Hegel has called forth in recent years would seem to answer the latter question adequately. What has to be justified is giving to this collection of articles a unity they do not of themselves possess by simply putting them together in this way. Each was, after all, written independently of the others, and each was intended to stand on its own feet. Many of them do, of course, complement each other, as the numerous cross references from one to another will indicate, but of itself that does not answer the question. When one writes of Hegel, whose own thought is so systematically unified that every aspect of it implies every other aspect of it, one inevitably multiplies such cross references. But perhaps the answer to the question is contained right there: Hegel himself provides the unity which justifies gathering together what can seem to be disparate attempts to come to terms with one or another aspect of his thought.

No one more than Hegel, it can safely be said, has made more gigantic efforts to bring all being and all thought into a unity. To put it negatively: no one saw more clearly than Hegel the futility of fragmentation, of disconnectedness, whether it be the political fragmentation of a Europe which Napoleon had vainly sought to unify by force, the cultural fragmentation of an intellectual community caught in the grip of Romantic individualism, the social fragmentation of a civil society whose members were becoming alienated from each other through the fierce competitive activity of production, the moral and religious fragmentation of a mob scene of sheer selfishness, or the intellectual fragmentation of a world dominated by the power of scientific abstraction. The entire Hegelian endeavor was dedicated to the task of reintegrating the dismembered world in which Hegel found himself. Yet he did not see his mission as that of the activist crusader who would change the world by revolutionary activity. Nor could he be satisfied with simply ensconcing himself in the ivory tower of abstract thought and criticizing the world as it passed beneath him. As he saw it, his task was, rather, that of educating his people--and . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.