‘Hegel’s Idea of a Phenomenology of Spirit’ by Michael N. Forster

Published by University of Chicago Press in 1998.

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In Hegel’s Idea, Forster advances a unique and compelling new reading of Phenomenology of Spirit, Hegel’s seminal work which has acquired a paradoxical reputation as one the most important and most impenetrable and inconsistent philosophical books of all time. His approach differs from that of previous scholars in two ways: he reads the work as a whole—not piecemeal, as it has usually been analyzed—and within the broader context of Hegel’s corpus and the works of other philosophers. Thus Phenomenology emerges as a coherent work with a rich array of important and original ideas.


Michael Neil Forster is an American philosopher and Alexander von Humboldt Professor, holder of the Chair in Theoretical Philosophy, and Co-director of the International Center for Philosophy at Bonn University.

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