The Hegel Variations


Fredrick Jameson has a new book coming out in June and it’s on Hegel (is the old-timer making a comeback? not that he was ever gone, mind you – I mean Hegel, of course, not Jameson):

Master philosopher and cultural theorist tackles the founder of
modern dialectics

In this major new study, the philosopher and cultural theorist Fredric Jameson offers a new reading of Hegel’s foundational text thePhenomenology of Spirit. In contrast to those who see the Phenomenologyas a closed system ending with Absolute Spirit, Jameson’s reading presents an open work in which Hegel has not yet reconstituted himself in terms of a systematic philosophy (Hegelianism) and in which the moments of the dialectic and its levels have not yet been formalized.

Hegel’s text executes a dazzling variety of changes on conceptual relationships, in terms with are never allowed to freeze over and become reified in purely philosophical named concepts. The ending, on the aftermath of the French Revolution, is interpreted by Jameson, contra Fukuyama’s “end of history,” as a provisional stalemate between the political and the social, which is here extrapolated to our own time.

In other news, our favorite Objectologist (the Son, yes, not the Father, he’s hopeless – a kid asks him for an advice and he uses the opportunity to talk more about himself – the lession? be like me and your life will be just dandy) has a couple of interesting posts in a Manifesto form. Despite all of my past annoyances and so on, I actually kind of like these – take a look, it’s straightforward and to the point (whether those points are valid is another issue, of course): Part 1 and Part 2. If you ignore the barbaric misreading of Kant (and his philosophical role – see previous battles vis-a-vis Kant as a strawman) and occasional nonsense (such as wrong book in reference to Hegel – but who has time to look up references, right? it’s a freaking Manifesto), it’s not bad. I hope this Manifesto is published in some more or less finished form (and not on, as the Father calls it, a “message board”) – I would certainly pass it around and see what people think. I think I’m starting to get this whole objectology business (even if I think it’s rather under-investigated, but this is what young ambitious academics are for, right?)

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Science of Logic, “Introduction” (Some More Random Observations)


[The beginning is here and still more here.]

Having read “Introduction” several times last night and earlier this evening, I have to say that Hegel could be accused of all kinds of sins (being dense, confusing, haste and outright bizzare, for starters), but the lack of enthusiasm is not among them!  As I have already pointed out, only as an observation and not, by any means, as a chosen interpretive strategy, the language of the “Introduction” contains several theological metaphors of redemption/salvation: “ordinary logic” is to be saved from its blind mechanistic calculations that are presented to us as actual workings of the mind.  It is interesting to note, at least for me, that if Hegel were to join a discussion on the role of philosophy at a university and asked to share his views on the value of a variety of courses related to so-called “critical thinking,” one would probably hear something like this: 

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