Hegel's Idea of Philosophy with a New Translation of Hegel's Introduction to the History of Philosophy

By Quentin Lauer; Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel | Go to book overview

Preface

ACCORDING TO JOHANNES HOFFMEISTER in his Preface to the critical edition of Hegel Lectures on the History of Philosophy, published in 1940, any attempt to justify the continued relevance of this text written well over a hundred years ago would be otiose. What we have here is not simply one among many histories of philosophy, rendered obsolete by an ongoing historical scholarship far surpassing in both scope and critical judgment Hegel's own. Its greatness lies not in its historical erudition, although that is enormous -- outstanding in its day -- but in the place it fills in Hegel's own "system" of philosophy. As history it may have been superseded; as philosophy it belongs among the great masterpieces of philosophy's literature.

That Hegel's Introduction to those Lectures should be published separately needs no excuse either. It is far more than an introduction to a book; it is perhaps the best introduction we can find to Hegel's philosophy itself. For Hegel, to speak of the history of philosophy is to tell us what philosophy is, if it can be said to have a history. This is not to say that Hegel gives us here a "definition" of what he means by philosophy. Hegel is unwavering in his insistence that philosophy cannot be defined -- as can other intellectual disciplines. There is only one way to learn what philosophy is, and that is

-vii-

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Hegel's Idea of Philosophy with a New Translation of Hegel's Introduction to the History of Philosophy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • 1 - The Hegelian System 1
  • 2 - The Text of Hegel's Introduction 15
  • 3 Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel - Introduction to the History of Philosophy 67
  • Appendix 143
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