Hegel and the Transformation of Philosophical Critique

Paperback | March 1, 2012

byWilliam F. Bristow

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William F. Bristow presents an original and illuminating study of Hegel's hugely influential but notoriously difficult Phenomenology of Spirit. Hegel describes the method of this work as a 'way of despair', meaning thereby that the reader who undertakes its inquiry must be open to theexperience of self-loss through it. Whereas the existential dimension of Hegel's work has often been either ignored or regarded as romantic ornamentation, Bristow argues that it belongs centrally to Hegel's attempt to fulfil a demanding epistemological ambition. With his Critique of Pure Reason, Kant expressed a new epistemological demand with respect to rational knowledge and presented a new method for meeting this demand. Bristow reconstructs Hegel's objection to Kant's Critical Philosophy, according to which Kant's way of meeting the epistemologicaldemand of philosophical critique presupposes subjectivism, that is, presupposes the restriction of our knowledge to things as they are merely for us. Whereas Hegel in his early Jena writings rejects Kant's critical project altogether on this basis, he comes to see that the epistemological demand expressed in Kant's project must be met. Bristow argues that Hegel's method in the Phenomenology of Spirit takes shape as his attempt to meet theepistemological demand of Kantian critique without presupposing subjectivism. The key to Hegel's transformation of Kant's critical procedure, by virtue of which subjectivism is to be avoided, is precisely the existential or self-transformational dimension of Hegel's criticism, the openness of thecriticizing subject to being transformed through the epistemological procedure.

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William F. Bristow presents an original and illuminating study of Hegel's hugely influential but notoriously difficult Phenomenology of Spirit. Hegel describes the method of this work as a 'way of despair', meaning thereby that the reader who undertakes its inquiry must be open to theexperience of self-loss through it. Whereas the exis...

William F. Bristow is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Irvine.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:274 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:March 1, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199645272

ISBN - 13:9780199645275

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPart I Hegel's objection1. Is Kant's idealism subjective?2. Hegel's suspicion: Kantian critique and subjectivismPart II Hegel's transformation of critique3. The rejection of Kantian critique: philosophy, skepticism and the recovery of the ancient idea4. The return to Kantian critique: recognizing the rights of ordinary consciousness5. Hegel's self-transformational criticism

Editorial Reviews

Review from previous edition: "a superb book ... a brilliant defence of Hegel, indispensable reading for anyone interested in Kant and Hegel, and in Kantian and Hegelian themes in contemporary philosophy. It also presents a breathtaking vision of epistemology." --Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews