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Hegel: Reason in History 1st Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0023513206
ISBN-10: 0023513209
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Library of Liberal Arts title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Pearson; 1 edition (December 24, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0023513209
  • ISBN-13: 978-0023513206
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.4 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,081 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Hegel is considered a notoriously difficult author to understand, and justly so. But his thorny prose is as much a creation of his as his philosophy itself; it was not because he could not write well that he wrote as he did, but because he wrote in such a way as to communicate ideas that did not come easily to language. That said, it is best to start reading Hegel with something like this, rather than the Phenomenology, so as to get an idea of what's at stake in his writings; Hegel's philosophy is essentially recursive, and so the patterns that emerge in one area of his thought are often applicable to others (his ideas on history cross over with his ideas on art which cross over with his ideas on religion, and so on). Thus learning one part of his system helps you to understand other parts. Contrary to one popular prejudice, Hegel's vision isn't just an a priori framework laid down upon empirical facts - although perhaps this does occur at times. Hegel's vision of history was essentially based upon the actual history of the world as he knew it, based upon the wealth of historical sources he had studied (many of which we must now admit to be outdated, particularly his sources for non-Western history). For this reason I recommend this work for two groups in particular: (1) those looking for an entry into the citadel of Hegel and (2) those looking for an interesting interpretation of history. I won't vouch for Hegel's project, but I will vouch for the richness of the ideas expressed here, particularly when Hegel is in his element, writing about Greek and Roman history. The other sections are uneven but those two fascinate.
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This brief work may be the single best introduction to the philosophy of Hegel in my experience with my college students. The introduction by the translator/editor is a nice synopsis of this area of Hegel's thinking also. Central concepts are the notions of logic in history, the development of the state, and concept of world history. The work is brief and should only be used as introduction.
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Comparing this translation with that of Sibree (1991), I find this one to be clearer and for more penetrable. Even if you read Sibree's entire translation of Hegel's "The Philosophy of History," I suggest you read this introduction instead, if you wish to comprehend the rest of the book by its introduction.
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If you're interested in Hegel, then this book is what you're looking for, but be warned that Hegel does not have an extremely clear writing style, which makes understanding what he's trying to say very difficult.
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