‘The Opening of Hegel’s Logic: From Being to Infinity’ by Stephen Houlgate

Published by Purdue University Press in 2005. Download link updated on 29. June 2021.

(.pdf, .epub)

Georg W. F. Hegel is held as the most important of modern philosophers, whose thought influenced the development of everything from existentialism, Marxism, pragmatism, hermeneutics, to deconstruction and beyond. Yet Science of Logic, which is his central and monumental work, for most readers still remains a firmly closed book.

The Opening of Hegel’s Logic dispels the myths that surround the Logic, shows that it’s an unjustly neglected work of extraordinary subtlety and insight and argues that Hegel’s project of a presuppositionless science of logic is one that deserves serious reconsideration today. It aims to help students and scholars read Hegel’s often difficult text for themselves and discover the wealth of philosophical ideas it contains.

Part I argues that the Logic provides a rigorous derivation of the fundamental categories of thought and contrasts Hegel’s approach to the categories of Kant. It goes on to examine the historical and linguistic presuppositions of Hegel’s self-critical, “presuppositionless” logic and, in the process, considers several signifi­cant criticisms of such logic advanced by Schelling, Feuerbach, Gadamer, and Kierkegaard.

Separate chapters are devoted to the relation between logic and ontology in Hegel’s Logic and to the relation between the Logic itself and the Phenomenology.

Part II contains the text – German and English – of the first two chapters of Hegel’s Logic, which cover such categories as being, becoming, something, limit, finitude, and infinity.

Part III provides a clear commentary on these two chapters that examines Hegel’s arguments in detail and relates his insights to those of other philosophers, such as Descartes, Spinoza, Kant, Nietzsche, and Levinas.

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