I have just read the introduction to this but I liked that very much. I wrote an essay in college discussing a paper by another philosopher on the imp...moreI have just read the introduction to this but I liked that very much. I wrote an essay in college discussing a paper by another philosopher on the importance of literature to philosophy and have continued to think about the topic since then. Reading her substantial overview of her position that is the intro I found a lot of points of agreement and feeling that she had stated there things I had thought about better than I could have. I also found her to articulate further directions for thought as well. I very much look forward to reading the papers she collects here, but would like to wait till I've had a chance to read some of the key novels she discusses.(less)
I really enjoyed reading this. I am definitely not qualified to pass judgment on his resolution of any of the interpretive questions that he discusses...moreI really enjoyed reading this. I am definitely not qualified to pass judgment on his resolution of any of the interpretive questions that he discusses. However, the presentation was very clear and made a lot of sense. I don't claim to be able to understand Hegel despite a fair bit of effort trying, but I would say that Beiser integrated a lot of what I have been able to understand into a larger and more sophisticated picture. At the same time, I felt he introduced new readings of specific theoretical questions doing a good job presenting the conflicting viewpoints and defending his interpretation with interesting arguments as well textual references. I agree strongly, for instance, with the notion that we can't do away with the metaphysical dimension of Hegel's thought, and that it needs to be a key to understand much of what he was doing. I highly recommend to anyone who wants to get a good introduction to Hegel's thought.(less)
I was happy to find this as an e-book at google books, particularly at the price compared to the usual for this sort of academic book.
I wanted to read...moreI was happy to find this as an e-book at google books, particularly at the price compared to the usual for this sort of academic book.
I wanted to read this after reading Coleridge's "Biographia Literaria". I found some parts of the book very rewarding. I focused primarily on the beginning and the end. The earlier parts discuss the first stages of the deduction of the universe from the original principle. I thought this stuff was pretty interesting. Past a certain point though the derivation seemed to be pretty empty speculation. Even fairly early on I had the feeling that some of the arguments weren't truly enlightening but were sort of sophistical tricks to prove theses that he believed in. It seems to me that a truly compelling philosophical argument isn't just to achieve the result of proving some thesis. That sort of argument really is usually pretty useless except in certain domains like logic. Rather the best argument should really reveal something deep and interesting about the subject that thus compels agreement. Still, I found the general picture that was being presented interesting. I have a strange fascination with idealism. In some ways I have a very strong feeling of "How could anyone really believe that?!" but at the same time, that very outlandishness has somehow attracted me for a long time to continue to study it.
The other part that I focused on was the ending which details a theory of art. Again, I think there are many would argue that such theorizing of art from such high level general principles is useless. I have some real sympathy for that argument but at the same time am irresistibly drawn to it nonetheless. This part was too short for me. I would have really enjoyed reading more in this vein. Unfortunately, Schelling's "Philosophy of Art" goes off in a totally different direction that I found pretty useless. The basic idea here is that the work of art is the highest approach to the general unity of the entire universe as it is the conscious fusion of the universal and the particular in a way that maintains the poles at the same time as showing the unity. Philosophy is inferior as it subsumes the particular under the universal and treats the unity in abstract terms. I think there's really something pretty interesting in this way of looking at art, the general metaphysical picture and all. I realize this view makes me a leper in pretty much every circle intellectual or otherwise :)(less)
I got this as an e-book from google books, which I thought was pretty cool. The price was quite low compared with the usual price of an academic book...moreI got this as an e-book from google books, which I thought was pretty cool. The price was quite low compared with the usual price of an academic book of this sort.
I bought this after reading "The System of Transcendental Idealism". I was very interested in his theory of art. This work is strange though. "The System..." is more of a general philosophical work but the theory of art is very important, in fact art is placed above philosophy. Here in "The Philosophy of Art" though the situation is reversed. Philosophy is placed above art. Furthermore there is some really weird material about the ancient Greek religion being the perfect religion and using it as the basis for his philosophical analysis which seemed to me did a lot of violence to both the religion and the philosophy.(less)
I mark this as read in the sense that I read the first few chapters and then skimmed most of the rest and have no intention of going back to it. There...moreI mark this as read in the sense that I read the first few chapters and then skimmed most of the rest and have no intention of going back to it. There was some thought provoking material, but on the whole it just made me realize that I don't care enough about "continental philosophy" to try to make sense of his arguments. Plotinus kicks Zizek's ass.(less)
I've read the introduction to and most of the 3 chapters on Hegel in this volume.
The introduction is definitely interesting and worthwhile. He does a...moreI've read the introduction to and most of the 3 chapters on Hegel in this volume.
The introduction is definitely interesting and worthwhile. He does a comparison/contrast with German Romanticism which I thought was helpful. He also gives a great discussion about how German Idealism as a whole can be seen as a result of Kant's work. These two historical narratives do a lot to make many of the common assumptions of the 3 main figures (Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel) clear and more comprehensible (particularly if you have studied Kant).
On the whole I found the material that is more specifically focused on Hegel to be useful as well. It is obviously and abridged account as it must be. It's a good next step from something like Singer's "very short introduction". Copleston raises more issues and is more interested in trying to give a philosophically defensible account of Hegel's philosophy even if it is meant for the student. He is clear though and his it is a thought provoking account. He is a sincere mind and takes the thinkers he writes about seriously. He clearly has a bit of a soft spot for Hegel but I'm not sure that's based on agreement.
On the other hand it's interesting to read this next to Marcuse. I feel both of them are sincere, serious scholars. That is I believe them to both have intellectual honesty and integrity. On the other hand they do have their respective points of view. So in Marcuse, the social is stressed. Part of the that obviously has to to with the subject of the book, but overall there is a definite "left Hegelian" Marxist emphasis. On the other hand, with Copleston, there is an emphasis on theological questions. Just as Marcuse wants you to see how radical Hegel was (as opposed to the right-Hegelian conservative approach) Copleston wants you to see how theologically minded Hegel was. Again, this isn't dishonesty at all in my opinion. It just exemplifies the way that interpretation works. The two serve as very useful counterpoints to eachother for exactly this reason. They both are attempting to interpret Hegel in a way that is fair to Hegel, but they both have differing interests and feelings about him.(less)
This is the second of these "Very Short Introduction" books that I have been quite happy with. The first being Critchley's on Continental Philosophy i...moreThis is the second of these "Very Short Introduction" books that I have been quite happy with. The first being Critchley's on Continental Philosophy in general. I did have one about Buddhism that was a less exciting but not bad.
This of course can only be what it is, but it is that, short and sweet. It's remarkably clear and interesting. Of course it suffers a little because of that. There are lots of interesting discussions of Hegel, and then the reality of Hegel is always even more daunting. But Singer manages to get a lot of material into the few pages.
So, I think this would be a good place to start even for a philosophy student wanting to get acquainted with Hegel. However, it's important to realize that actually making the step to reading Hegel is going to be a much bigger one than usual with this sort of thing.(less)
In my class on Kierkegaard we used read this little book at the very beginning as an example of the "standard view" on Kierkegaard, which we then inva...moreIn my class on Kierkegaard we used read this little book at the very beginning as an example of the "standard view" on Kierkegaard, which we then invalidated through the whole semester. So it has to be said that this is basically good enough for that purpose, but it's hard to look past that in reviewing it.(less)