From Publishers Weekly
Published a little more than two years ago, Pinkard's Hegel: A Biography has quickly become the standard life in English of the world's major Romantic-era philosopher, not least because of its magisterial explications of the finer points of Hegel's thought, along with its extremely forthright judiciousness about the life. To have another work from Pinkard, professor of philosophy at Northwestern University, in so short a time is remarkable. Pinkard takes readers-carefully, succinctly and in a manner sensitive to the political and social ferment of the time-on a journey through the most important hundred years in philosophy since the Renaissance. Beginning with the Kantian revolution in human understanding of its own knowledge (the ethical and political consequences that result from it), Pinkard walks readers through the philosophical chaos that reigned through the 1790s, when Hegel was at university with Halderlin and Schelling and the German states were in upheaval, through to Hegel's "completion" of Kant's project (announced with 1807's Phenomenology of Spirit) and Schopenhauer's version of idealism (mirrored in Kierkegaard's pessimism). In Pinkard's hands, what could be just names come alive as men and ideas that have much to teach us about our own beliefs about how to live. As he writes of Hegel's phenomenology, "it was to provide an education, a bildung, a formation for its readership so that they could grasp who they had become (namely, a people individually and collectively `called' to be free), why they had become those people, and why that had been necessary."
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"Pinkard does an incredible job of explaining Hegel's strictly philosophical ideas and largely overcomes the barrier of Hegel's notoriously obscure style." The New York Times Book Review
"...Pinkard offers a moving account of a precarious and harried life, interspersing it with lucid and not unduly long accounts of the main arguments of Hegel's works....Mr. Pinkard has written engrossingly of a supreme instance of the life dedicated to thinking." The Washington Times
"Pinkard takes readers-carefully, succinctly and in a manner sensitive to the political and social ferment of the time-on a journey through the most important hundred years in philosophy since the Renaissance...In Pinkard's hands, what could be just names come alive as men and ideas that have much to teach us about our own beliefs about how to live." Publishers Weekly Advance Praise... "Terry Pinkard has given us a welcome, fresh look at the post-Kantian aftermath in nineeenth-century thought. German Philosophy 1760-1860: The Legacy of Idealism is that rare book that can serve as both a lucid, engaging introduction and trustworthy guide, as well as an original, insightful, important contribution to scholarship." Robert Pippin, University of Chicago
"[A]n important history of German idealism.... Recommended." Choice
"Throughout the study, Pinkard's attention to historical detail is impressive; he presents a portrait of an entire century of German intellectual thought, which, to risk understatement, is no small task." Philosophy Today, Elizabeth MillÂn-Zaibert