‘Hegel, Nietzsche and the Criticism of Metaphysics’ by Stephen Houlgate

Published by Cambridge University Press in 1986.

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This study of Hegel and Nietzsche evaluates and compares their work through their common criticism of the metaphysics for operating with conceptual oppositions such as being/becoming and egoism/altruism. Dr. Houlgate exposes Nietzsche’s critique as employing the distinction of Life and Thought, which itself constitutes a metaphysical dualism of the kind Nietzsche attacks. By comparison Hegel is shown to provide a more profound critique of metaphysical dualism by applying his philosophy of the dialectic, which sees such alleged opposites as defining components of a dynamic. In choosing to study a theme so fundamental to both philosophers’ work, Houlgate has established a framework within which to evaluate the Hegel-Nietzsche debate; to make the first full study of Nietzsche’s view of Hegel’s work; and to compare Nietzsche’s Dionysic philosophy with Hegel’s dialectical philosophy by focusing on tragedy, a subject central to the philosophy of both.

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