The Philosophy of Hegel

Hegel is a towering figure in the history of philosophy. At the core of Hegel's social and political thought are the concepts of freedom, reason, and self-consciousness. His philosophy influenced areas of thought from Marx to Freud down to the identity politics of the present. Hegel takes political theory in directions no other philosopher had done before. He produces a ‘modern’ understanding of the role of bureaucracy and defines the distinction between civil society and the state. We will also consider his lectures on religion and art. He covers most of the major religions and is also interested in magic, myth, and Paganism. Aesthetically Hegel was concerned about the perceived decline in 'enchantment' in his age: "Nothing great in the world was accomplished without passion". He was also interested in the works of Shakespeare - a truly fascinating man.

DELIVERY MODE

  • Online

COURSE OUTLINE

  • Introduction to Hegel (1770-1831), His Life and Times: Hegel is influenced by the French Revolution and the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo (1815). He condemns the absolutism of Duke Ferdinand but is wary of representational political systems. His position on his contemporary political world is subtle and complex.
  • Introduction to Concepts: This week I will introduce some terminology and primary concepts. For example, the concepts of 'negation' and 'identity in difference' will be introduced. Both ideas had a major impact on the later postmodernists such as Derrida.
  • The Invention of the Dialectic: Dialectical thinking is at the heart of Hegel's system, and is probably his most well-known idea. This is partly because Marx made Dialectical Materialism into the basis of Communism. But Hegel's theory has many other applications, which we will consider.
  • The Phenomenology of Spirit: The Phenomenology of Spirit is a monumental work covering subjects such as the evolution of consciousness and an account of how sense-perceptions work to produce ‘knowledge’. We will spend three weeks on this book.
  • The Making of the Human: The human activity of self-production is, for Hegel both the process of self-discovery and the process of self-revelation; it is a fusion of making oneself and finding oneself.
  • The Structure of Desire: Desire is the engine which drives us into a world of things and others: it produces a consciousness of ourselves in an objective space.
  • The Philosophy of Right: The Philosophy of Right is Hegel's book on politics and Law. Hegel distinguishes between civil society and the state in a way which no other philosopher had done before. This theory produces two branches: The Right Hegelians and the Left Hegelians, and much of subsequent political theory is based on this split.
  • Freedom, Truth and History: For Hegel history is the long and twisted process of humans coming to the consciousness of their own freedom.
  • Lectures on Religion: Hegel covers most of the major religions in his lectures, he is also interested in magic, myth, and Paganism, we will consider the role which Hegel believes religion played in human development.
  • Lectures on Aesthetics: Hegel believed that the arts could teach ethics and values in a different way to philosophy, he was particularly interested in the works of Shakespeare. We will consider his thoughts on the role of the arts in human development. This last week we will take a range of philosophers concerned with the relevance of Hegel for our time.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Have an overall idea of the development of Hegel’s life, works and the history of the times.
  2. Comprehend Hegel’s ideas on: human nature; the dialectical nature of history and thought; the psychology of our relations to others and the world of objects; the role of both religion and art in history.
  3. Discuss the impact which Hegel had on the philosophical world which came after him.
  4. Relate Hegel’s ideas to contemporary debates in political discussion.
  5. Apply Hegel’s theory to the assessment of some current debates on law and religion.
$278 Limited / $250

<p>Hegel is a towering figure in the history of philosophy. At the core of Hegel's social and political thought are the concepts of freedom, reason, and self-consciousness. His philosophy influenced

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01 Feb
Online Platform
Please advised that the brochure has a misprinted error for the delivery mode - this class will not be conducted face-to-face.

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