4. Hegel's Seductions

Daniel Berthold

in The Ethics of Authorship

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780823233946
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823240432 | DOI:
4. Hegel's Seductions

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This chapter presents the case for seeing Hegel's authorship as engaged in the project of seduction. It argues that Hegel employs his own version of seduction. It shows that seduction is embedded even at the level of Hegel's grammar, through his development of an alternative to “the ordinary grammar of the proposition.” In Hegel's unconventional grammar, the reader is left without any assertions to hold on to and hence is not spoken at but invited in to the text to invest herself in the process of the discovery of meaning. Hegel's project of seduction is present in his adoption of the stance of “observer” or “spectator” of the narrative of his texts—a stance that is not so different in purpose from that of Kierkegaard, who refers to himself as “only a reader” of his own work. Hegel's spectatorship reflects an ethic of listening rather than “intrud[ing] into the immanent rhythm” of his text by appealing to “the vanity of his own knowing”.

Keywords: G. W. F. Hegel; authorship; grammar; spectatorship

Chapter.  5901 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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