Georg "Shifty Eyes" Hegel, portrait by Schlesinger (1831)

A Man of His Time, and Not

I read Roger Scruton’s brilliant short section on Hegel’s theory of being in Scruton’s Modern Philosophy: An Introduction and Survey (Allen Lane Penguin, 2004). Which led me back to a very challenging work by David Gray Carlson, A Commentary to Hegel’s Science of Logic (Palgrave MacMillan, 2007). Between Scruton’s worthy short analysis and Carlson’s ambitious…

The Dialectic of the Object

It’s been around eight years since I first attempted Hegel’s Phenomenology, and it never ceases to amaze me how one can yet gain better comprehension of works such as this, devise better ways to re-articulate the arguments in one’s own language, each time one goes back and wrestles again with the challenging problems presented therein….

“Hegel’s Luther”?

Near the end of a two-hour presentation at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on November 10, 2006, Slavoj Zizek confesses that, in terms of the intellectual ambitions nearest to his heart, “my secret dream is to be Hegel’s Luther” [“Why Only an Atheist Can Believe”]. But this leaves me wondering, if Zizek is Luther,…

A phenomenology of sense

In sections 96-97 of the Hegel’s Phenomenology, he describes the growth of sense (meaning both sense as the sensory and sense as meaning) for consciousness. In the challenge of sense develops the famous pattern of (1) thesis, (2) antithesis (problem, contradiction), then (3) synthesis of multiplicity. The key concepts of “negation” and “mediation” also appear,…

The Parallax View

Zizek’s The Parallax View (MIT, 2006) is a more serious philosophical effort to articulate his theory of the gap or negativity (Heidegger’s “ontological difference”) between human thought (understanding mediated by image and concept) and being (our intuition of immediate material reality). It is good to read Zizek writing in a more serious, scholarly mode (not…