Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Wrestling Hegel

After grappling with Hegel for one full day - or to be precise, the first three chapters of his book, The Phenomenology of the Spirit, - I still am not sure if I've anything at all of Hegel.  In all earnestness I began the day reading the text of Hegel - the translation, actually (from German to English).  Did not make any progress.  I then realized I needed something of a key to first understand what is he saying and then read the original.  I spent the rest of the morning searching for such a text.

I finally find one that made some sense only by supper time - the one by Robert Stern.  So after supper when I began to read it, I just continued reading. It was a smooth flow.  Cannot say with certainty that it offered the best explanation or translation of Hegel.  Perhaps the previously read texts prepared me for this.  Anyway, it was good reading.  It was late into the night that I "finished" reading the first three chapters.  I revised and felt that I'd now a fairly good idea of what Hegel intended to say.  However, an attempt to read the actual translation was too much at that time of the day/night.

This morning I took up another commentary on Hegel, this time the Terry Pinkard book.  Gosh, confusion abounding. Understanding itself was difficult.  What was worse was that those parts I 'thought' I understood, negated or contradicted the exposition of Stern!!

And what is Hegel saying?
We are not 'metaphysical representers' of the world but organisms engaged in historically mediated social practices.  ... not subjects representing but participating in social practices...!

Anyway, too much jargon.  I'm sure Hegel himself would be smiling in his grave - if at all he had one!

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