One Way to Read Hegel

Edward Craig

in The Mind of God and the Works of Man

Published in print December 1996 | ISBN: 9780198236825
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597244 | DOI:
One Way to Read Hegel

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Chapter 4 relates Hegel, the great spokesman and philosophical champion of the Weltbild of his literary contemporaries, to the two major themes of the book. On the one hand, it shows how he picked up the idea of the divinity of man, a prominent feature of the romantic Weltbild, and interpreted it in such a way as to keep contact with the Similarity Thesis. In Hegel’s philosophy, it is reason that constitutes the link between God, nature, and man. On the other hand, the chapter shows how Hegel added impetus and theoretical weight to a style of thought that, by stressing human autonomy and creativity, turns the view away from the divine mind, and on to the works of man. At the textual level, a close reading of the famous chapter on Sense-Certainty in the Phenomenology of Spirit reveals the centrality of the concept of activity: the reason why purely passive sense-certainty collapses is that its content turns out to be always universal, and so cannot be the product of mere passivity.

Keywords: Absolute Spirit; Agency; Hegel; nature; reason; Romanticism; Scepticism; Sense-Certainty; Similarity Thesis; Thing-in-itself; universals; Weltbild

Chapter.  19975 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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