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Introduction to the Philosophy of History [Paperback]

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel , Leo Rauch
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

June 1, 1988 0872200566 978-0872200562
"An elegant and intelligent translation. The text provides a perfect solution to the problem of how to introduce students to Hegel in a survey course in the history of Western philosophy." -- Graham Parkes, University of Hawaii

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Introduction to the Philosophy of History + The Marx-Engels Reader (Second Edition) + On Liberty and Other Essays (Oxford World's Classics)
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Language Notes

Text: English, German (translation)

Product Details

  • Paperback: 106 pages
  • Publisher: Hackett Pub Co (June 1, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0872200566
  • ISBN-13: 978-0872200562
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #406,463 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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26 of 52 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Probably Only for True Hegel Enthusiasts October 21, 2005
Introduction to the Philosophy of History is a short posthumous publication of Hegel's lecture notes pertaining to the nature of history (There are several similar publications of Hegel notes, e.g. The History of Philosophy, The Philosophy of Art. Georg Hegel was one of the most popular and influential German idealists of the ninetieth century. This short book (approximately 100 pages also includes an excerpt from the The Philosophy of the Right. I offer the following thoughts to potential readers.

Rauch's translation is readable and makes Hegel about as accessible as he gets. Generally, my view is that readers should interact with historic thinkers through their own work - with Hegel this can be frustrating given his style. His use of ambiguous metaphysical terminology such as "the World Spirit" and his teleological or progressive view of history may be difficult for the contemporary reader. As a result, an overview German idealism may be helpful before approaching Hegel directly.

Personally, German idealism has always struck me as a somewhat tedious and uninteresting aspect of modern philosophy. Reading this short work was an attempt on my part to re-examine this period and challenge my assumptions - unfortunately it has only reinforced my earlier impressions. Depending on one's perspective Hegel either represents the zenith or nadir of German idealism. While there is no doubt that Hegel was an able thinker much of his written work comes across as empty and highly speculative. Although I am not a positivist Hegel's type of sophistry likely contributed to the appeal of analytical philosophy in the early twentieth century. To be fair to Hegel, however, his work did influence some significant later thinkers such as Marx and may be worth a look for that reason alone.

Overall, probably only for readers well versed with Hegel. For those interested in a survey of German Idealism, Pinkard's German Philosophy 1760-1860 is a solid book.
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