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One of the founders of modern philosophical thought Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) has gained the reputation of being one of the most abstruse and impenetrable of thinkers. This first major biography of Hegel in English offers not only a complete, up-to-date account of the life, but also an overview of the key philosophical concepts in Hegel's work in an accessi One of the founders of modern philosophical thought Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) has gained the reputation of being one of the most abstruse and impenetrable of thinkers. This first major biography of Hegel in English offers not only a complete, up-to-date account of the life, but also an overview of the key philosophical concepts in Hegel's work in an accessible style. Terry Pinkard situates Hegel firmly in the historical context of his times. The story of that life is of an ambitious, powerful thinker living in a period of great tumult dominated by the figure of Napolean. Pinkard explores Hegel's interactions with some of the great minds of this period: H�lderlin, Goethe, Humboldt, Schelling, Novalis, the Schlegels, Mendelssohn, and others. Throughout, he avoids Hegal's own famously technical jargon in order to display the full sweep and power of Hegel's thought. Terry Pinkard is professor of Philosophy at Northwestern University and is author/editor of five previous books, the most recent being ^UHegel's Phenomenology (Cambridge, 1996). He is honorary Professor of the Philosophy Faculty of T�bingen University, Germany and serves on the advisory board for the Zeitschrift f�r Philosophique Forschung.


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One of the founders of modern philosophical thought Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) has gained the reputation of being one of the most abstruse and impenetrable of thinkers. This first major biography of Hegel in English offers not only a complete, up-to-date account of the life, but also an overview of the key philosophical concepts in Hegel's work in an accessi One of the founders of modern philosophical thought Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) has gained the reputation of being one of the most abstruse and impenetrable of thinkers. This first major biography of Hegel in English offers not only a complete, up-to-date account of the life, but also an overview of the key philosophical concepts in Hegel's work in an accessible style. Terry Pinkard situates Hegel firmly in the historical context of his times. The story of that life is of an ambitious, powerful thinker living in a period of great tumult dominated by the figure of Napolean. Pinkard explores Hegel's interactions with some of the great minds of this period: H�lderlin, Goethe, Humboldt, Schelling, Novalis, the Schlegels, Mendelssohn, and others. Throughout, he avoids Hegal's own famously technical jargon in order to display the full sweep and power of Hegel's thought. Terry Pinkard is professor of Philosophy at Northwestern University and is author/editor of five previous books, the most recent being ^UHegel's Phenomenology (Cambridge, 1996). He is honorary Professor of the Philosophy Faculty of T�bingen University, Germany and serves on the advisory board for the Zeitschrift f�r Philosophique Forschung.

30 review for Hegel: A Biography

  1. 5 out of 5

    Josh

    "Christoph Theodor Schwab visited Hölderlin shortly before his death on June 7, 1843. He asked him whether he had thought of Hegel. Hölderlin answered that of course he had, muttered something incomprehensible, and then noted simply, "The Absolute"" An incredibly well written and thoroughly researched biography that combines intensely rich and detailed examination of Hegel's life with a rigorous exposition of his philosophy and evolution of thought. Hegel is portrayed as a man of great passion, "Christoph Theodor Schwab visited Hölderlin shortly before his death on June 7, 1843. He asked him whether he had thought of Hegel. Hölderlin answered that of course he had, muttered something incomprehensible, and then noted simply, "The Absolute"" An incredibly well written and thoroughly researched biography that combines intensely rich and detailed examination of Hegel's life with a rigorous exposition of his philosophy and evolution of thought. Hegel is portrayed as a man of great passion, dynamism and intelligence. Less desirable facets of Hegel's life and personality are not omitted and discussed openly, giving a balanced and authentic view of one of history's greatest thinkers. With exposition covering the philosophy, art, history, politics of Hegel's environment, the work is immensely vivid. Bravo to Pinkard who's work here is nothing short of fantastic, an honestly splendid read. Highly recommended to anyone with an interest in Hegel, German idealism or philosophy in general.

  2. 5 out of 5

    David M

    Published in 2000, this is the first major biography of Hegel in English. Hegel died in 1831. Why did it take so long? Well, a big part of the reason may be that the man just didn't lead a particularly scintillating life. Pinkard doesn't have a lot to work with in terms of human drama. There's a lot of academic backbiting and university politics. Compare, say, the life of Marx, and I think most would agree this is pretty thin stuff. As far as his subject's personality, Pinkard keeps insisting th Published in 2000, this is the first major biography of Hegel in English. Hegel died in 1831. Why did it take so long? Well, a big part of the reason may be that the man just didn't lead a particularly scintillating life. Pinkard doesn't have a lot to work with in terms of human drama. There's a lot of academic backbiting and university politics. Compare, say, the life of Marx, and I think most would agree this is pretty thin stuff. As far as his subject's personality, Pinkard keeps insisting that Hegel was a surprisingly normal, sociable fellow. I guess this is supposed to be counter-intuitive and therefore kind of interesting. Speaking for myself, I can't really agree. The tortured genius may be a bit of a cliche, but the interestingly boring professor isn't much of an alternative. The good news is that none of us this matters very much, since Pinkard really does know his philosophy. He does an excellent job not just explaining what Hegel said but showing the tension and drama internal to his thought. The chapters exclusively concerned with philosophy are thrilling, the ones on Hegel's career and domestic life tend to drag. * I'm reading this biography in the hopes of actually tackling Hegel's first opus later this summer. Considering that he takes 200 pages to get there, Pinkard's treatment of the Phenomenology is surprisingly brisk, under 20 pages. Kant as representing a kind of 'good Friday' of thought. Where Kant himself downplayed the more skeptical implications of his philosophy, these did not go unnoticed by the next generation of philosophers. Romanticism arose partly in reaction to what many saw as Kant's nihilism. In the first critique Kant sought to demonstrate the failure of all previous metaphysical systems, to show in fact why all such metaphysical ambitions were doomed from the beginning. Kant would thus change the subject of philosophy, a turn from being itself to self-consciousness. 'Reason' provides coherence to our mental processes but does not gurantee any access to the world as it is. Many were dissatisfied with this situation, and yet Kant's revolution was seen as definitive. It wasn't possible to simply go back to an older kind of metaphysics, at least not through arguments. Kant had won the argument, but a longing for unity with being still remained. Thus while Romanticism started out as movement in philosophy, it would find its most natural expression in poetry - a medium which allowed the poet to adumbrate what could no longer be avowed directly as knowledge. At this point (I'm on page 220) it's not exactly clear to me how Hegel fits into this picture. Pinkard emphasizes the importance of Kant's second critique for Hegel in writing the Phenomenology. Against Kant's notion of the pure will, Hegel sought to bring history and inter-subjectivity into philosophy. The struggle for recognition replaces the isolated conscience. All well and good. Kant's moral philosophy is sort of a hypertrophied Protestantism, low-hanging fruit in some respects. Hegel was surely right to reject as hopelessly abstract this project of founding morality on pure practical reason. However, the nature of Hegel's engagement with the first critique remains obscure for the moment. * Great discussion of the Logic. Is Hegel's 'absolute Idea' perhaps equivalent to the 'pre-thematized life-world' of Husserl? The background space of reason or implicit whole in which all our thinking occurs. Does Hegel believe this can ever fully be articulated? The usual knock on him, which may or may not be fair (I'm still only on page 352!), is that he was arrogant enough to believe he had provided this final articulation, thus completing philosophy and bringing it to a close. On the surface Hegel may appear somewhat similar to Spinoza. They seem to share a quasi-mystical obsession with the whole. Yet in his Logic Hegel thought he'd given the definitive refutation of Spinozism, by showing how Spinoza's conception of the whole precludes the possibility of a thinking subject capable of comprehending it. Thus if Spinozism is true it must also be absurd and unknowable. This is a very interesting and relevant line of thought, especially when you consider the contemporary vogue of Spinoza among neuro-scientists wishing to give a reductive account of mind. Hegel is there to beat back this perennial temptation.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jack Hart

    Formally this one should go on my biography shelf, but this work on Hegel's career so helpfully addressed my own reading limitations that I have to count it as a work of philosophy. I had read The Phenomenology more than once, and dutifully slogged through the (more readable) lectures on aesthetics and the history of philosophy. So before reading Pinkard's work I had a pretty good handle on Hegel in a history-of-ideas sort of way. But Hegel never took my breath away--as has practically every oth Formally this one should go on my biography shelf, but this work on Hegel's career so helpfully addressed my own reading limitations that I have to count it as a work of philosophy. I had read The Phenomenology more than once, and dutifully slogged through the (more readable) lectures on aesthetics and the history of philosophy. So before reading Pinkard's work I had a pretty good handle on Hegel in a history-of-ideas sort of way. But Hegel never took my breath away--as has practically every other major philosopher who I've been lucky enough to study at length. I just couldn't figure out why Hegel was such a big deal. I knew that he was and knew my not getting it pointed to a hole in my understanding, not at the quality of his contribution. In his preface to The Tempest Dr. Johnson comments on Shakespeare, "...as we owe everything to him, he owes something to us; that, if much of his praise be given by perception and judgement, much is likewise given by custom and veneration." Terry Pinkard's biography helped me understand why so much is given to Hegel by custom and veneration, and with a clearer idea of why his peers, and the next generation or two, revered him and his work, my subsequent readings of The Phenomenology have been more generous and comprehending. Thanks to Pinkard I get why he's such a big deal. So here's what Pinkard's biography taught me about Hegel's status. Because Hegel was from a small town he had to go to a crappy little seminary not a big prestigious university. There he was formed intellectually by the luck of making two dear friends there (Holderlin and Schelling)who were themselves to emerge as significant intellectuals. As he was becoming an adult, patriotism, as it happened, French patriotism, was emerging as a force in the world for the very first time. Hegel set himself the task of trying to understand what was happening as the notion of the fatherland transformed itself into the idea of the nation state. Here the details help, but it's to be remembered that The Holy Roman Empire was an actual administrative entity in Hegel's time, and progressives were longing for something to come into being that could be called Germany. They wanted this because the French model suggested to them that if the little kingdoms united into a nation it would hire secular philosophers to help determine policy and to provide the historical knowledge thought to be wise government's most crucial source. Hegel was constantly writing his friends begging for help finding a job teaching philosophy at a University, but he could never find such a job. So he had to be a tutor, edit a learned journal and then a newspaper, and then more or less a high school principal with teaching duties. Finally, at age forty six, he got appointed to a university professorship at Heidelberg. He had a deep sense, perhaps mistaken, but quite sincere of what a Professor might and ought to be in the New World Order of his time.This allowed him to invent himself as a self-conscious role model, and many younger ambitious intellectuals learned from him how to take a stance under the new conditions of state patronage. Pinkard is not only smart about putting together the details of Hegel's life to form a revealing and compelling life story, but along the way he makes use of his own professorial explaining skill. You get a sense of the Kantian waters that everyone in Hegel's generation with philosophic ambitions had to swim in. You follow both the controversies within Kantian thought, and the polemic against it. There's a ton of such commentary throughout the book, and yet, at least to me, while some of it slowed me down none of it bogged me down. Much of Hegel's prose is not at all obscure. The Phenomenology is famously obscure, and there are lot of good commentaries on it. Once you've worked you way through that kind of study, though, if like me you're still puzzled by Hegel's achievement, Pinkard's book may be just the help you need to snap it into focus.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jakob Lindholm

    jovialisk jappe

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jesse

    Incredible. Successfully debunks some of the notorious Hegelian myths and presents Hegel as a person that, over the course of the book, I came to admire even more than before.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Fairweather

    I had taken so many notes while reading this masterpiece--I've been impressed with Pinkard's work in the past, so this is no surprise to me. What really makes this book worth your time is the fact that it goes beyond the call of a mere biography, functioning additionally as a series of exegeses of Hegel's own work. Most of my notes were spent revisiting so many of the ideas here recounted--I'll need to keep them for a rainy day, for a full reflection on Pinkard's reading of Hegel is not on at th I had taken so many notes while reading this masterpiece--I've been impressed with Pinkard's work in the past, so this is no surprise to me. What really makes this book worth your time is the fact that it goes beyond the call of a mere biography, functioning additionally as a series of exegeses of Hegel's own work. Most of my notes were spent revisiting so many of the ideas here recounted--I'll need to keep them for a rainy day, for a full reflection on Pinkard's reading of Hegel is not on at this point in time. Besides, I've written on that elsewhere! What struck me most was the degree to which from early on while a student at the Stuttgart Gymnasium Hegel was obsessed with the idea of overcoming the fragmentation of modern life which maintaining individual liberty of conscience. This would persist as a theme throughout Hegel's lifetime. Though a cosmopolitan at heart, he would never forget his upbringing in a provincial German town--Wurttemburg. Which is not to say that Hegel would have an unchanging philosophical vision his entire life. In fact, it amused me to discover that Hegel had sought to be an accessible "public philosopher" in his younger years, someone who would make the application of Kantian ideas apparent. So much for that! Most significantly to his philosophical journey was the fact that Hegel's opinion of the French Revolution would change throughout his life, even if his belief in its necessity and ultimate justification never wavered. His first misgivings were expressed upon what Hegel called the Jacobin "Freedom Frenzy" which "in the name of freedom tears down all structures that make freedom possible." Essentially touring an unrelenting Girondist position, he would at times find himself under suspicion of "demagoguery" (another way of saying a "libertine" philosopher) and at other times find himself under the suspicion of making apologies for authoritarianism. Of course, neither was true. Hegel's relationship to religion was also here illuminated nicely--previously, it had been something I was not sure what to make of. As the years went by, Hegel becomes more staunchly Protestant, more anti-Catholic (generally speaking) and more appreciative of the Jewish intellectual project and its relationship to the spirit of history (due in large part to his relationship with Gans, who he was to defend against the barrage of anti-semetic attacks on Gans himself). Yet, Hegel's own religious beliefs in terms of actual *faith* remain ambiguous (much to the dismay of his 20-years-his-junior wife, Marie von Tucher, who was devoutly religious... and was more susceptible to the romance of "feeling"... for which Hegel castigated her for in their inaugural quarrel as a married couple!). In fact, Hegel felt it was Christianity's tragic destiny was that it would never be able to successfully unite finite life with infinite life, as is evident in the cult of Jesus as risen and ideal. Rather than a exultation of an "infinite life," the God becomes "not an object of love but merely a master who commands" and Jesus sports the authority of a teacher. This is what commits Christianity to the crime (in the eyes of Hegel) of didacticism. I choke of the phrase, but one might understand Hegel as a spiritual atheist. He is certainly the most Christian atheist to exist if that were not a contradiction in terms. Pinkard even places in context Hegel's unsettling views on women here--it did me good to understand the context of his beliefs here. Surely, Hegel's stance towards the sexes is a case where he does not live up to his own philosophical vision. His relationship with his sister seems to have been complicated. *How* complicated is difficult to ascertain, since all of the letters Christiane wrote to Hegel were destroyed, even if those he wrote to her survived. While something questionable may have occurred, perhaps in relation to her mental illness, we may never know for sure. She committed suicide shortly after Hegel's death. Also, his relationship to Ludwig, his illegitimate son, seem very strained, if only because Ludwig is noticeably absent from his correspondence, which otherwise shows Hegel to have had a virbrant family life, with a devoted wife and doting mother-in-law. I have a special love for this fellow at the end of it. He in many ways was such a unremarkable character. An awkward lecturer... gregarious socialite and magnanimous friend... Hegel was in theory what someone like Deng Xiaopeng was in practice--someone difficult to fit into a well-worn category of understanding. I tend to like these figures more... we're so lucky to have Pinkard tell us the story.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Alex Obrigewitsch

    This book is an essential read for anyone delving into Hegel's corpus. And not because his thought necessarily benefits from a historical contextualization in the nascency and Bildung of German Idealism as an intellectual moment or movement (though Pinkard does an excellemt job of framing such a context). Neither is it for Pinkard's explications of Hegel's texts provided herein, for while they are valuable for those uninitiated into the labyrinthine shades of Hegel's prose, they are somewhat bia This book is an essential read for anyone delving into Hegel's corpus. And not because his thought necessarily benefits from a historical contextualization in the nascency and Bildung of German Idealism as an intellectual moment or movement (though Pinkard does an excellemt job of framing such a context). Neither is it for Pinkard's explications of Hegel's texts provided herein, for while they are valuable for those uninitiated into the labyrinthine shades of Hegel's prose, they are somewhat biased by Pinkard's Analytic reading of Hegel (á la Robert B Pippin). Beyond the elements all too briefly outlined above, Pippin's book is invaluable in its manoeuvring between the biographical figure and his effacement as the purveyor or vehicle, the voice or the hermeneut, of the neutral and anonymous Geist which cannot be strictly identified with any people or nation (as a common Hegelian myth would have it). The voice of all, of no one, rumbling just beneath every word and every thought as its ground and its imminent ungrounding in a eruption of negativity. Was Hegel a prophet, then? A sage? Or simply a child of his times, of its Bildung and Sittlichkeit, more attuned to this silent undercurrent? Was he but a dying man, ever listening to his dying, the dying of all that exhales its final gasps over the breadth of what we call history? It is up to those who are still to come to decide Hegel's fate. History shall be his judge, over his remembrance or his effacement (just as he would have it). And this book shall be but a piece in the (un-)working of that memory, of that forgetting...

  8. 4 out of 5

    Pritam Chattopadhyay

    In his magnum opus, ‘A History of Political Theory’, George Holland Sabine holds that, the philosophy of Hegel aimed at nothing less than an inclusive and methodical re-enactment of contemporary thought. Hegel's accent on "the state' as the quintessence in its fastidious era of the World Spirit stands so far beyond the individual that the latter has implication only as material upon which spirits works its will. Hegel championed war and with it the doctrines of Fascism and Nazism. He touched var In his magnum opus, ‘A History of Political Theory’, George Holland Sabine holds that, the philosophy of Hegel aimed at nothing less than an inclusive and methodical re-enactment of contemporary thought. Hegel's accent on "the state' as the quintessence in its fastidious era of the World Spirit stands so far beyond the individual that the latter has implication only as material upon which spirits works its will. Hegel championed war and with it the doctrines of Fascism and Nazism. He touched various sides of thought. His thought has been subjected to various interpretations from fascism to socialism. The contribution of Hegel to political thought is rather inestimable and it will be many years before the full influence of Hegel's political thought can be measured. His contribution, which would not have been of his own choosing, to the warring ideologies represented on the one side by Lenin and Stalin and on the other by Mussolini and Hitler, constitutes but one part of his significance. " I recently had the fortune of going through ‘Hegel: A Biography’ by Terry Pinkard. I have little doubt in my mind that this book is the fullest and indubitably the most preeminent description of Hegel in the language of the kings. The introduction to this book declares: “One of the founders of modern philosophical thought Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) has gained the reputation of being one of the most abstruse and impenetrable of thinkers. This first major biography of Hegel in English offers not only a complete, up-to-date account of the life, but also an overview of the key philosophical concepts in Hegel's work in an accessible style. Terry Pinkard situates Hegel firmly in the historical context of his times. The story of that life is of an ambitious, powerful thinker living in a period of great tumult dominated by the figure of Napolean.” In the philosophical convention known as German Idealism, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was the 'bella figura'. One goes on to ally with Immanuel Kant, the materialization of German Idealism. Kant’s archetypal work, ‘The Critique of Pure Reason’, was published in 1781. Fichte and Schelling expanded this institution further. Hegel, who was a contemporary and a friend of Schelling, is often perceived to be the zenith of this philosophical ritual. Hegel was born, in Stuttgart, in 1770 in what is at this instant south-western Germany. On concluding his studies in 1793, he worked for some time as an instructor for affluent families in Switzerland and in Frankfurt. For the extent of these years, he penned a a small number of essays on religious conviction, which were published posthumously as ‘Early Theological Writings’. Rather intriguingly, in these essays, he wrestled both with Kantian values and the sermons of Jesus. From Kant he absorbed that the vitally imperative element of human nature is reason, while from Jesus he imbibed that the most significant trait of human nature is love. In these essays, Hegel seemed to support Jesus's pose over that of Kant's. However, later he would go on to aver ‘autonomy’ as the elemental attribute of human nature and to explore the correlation of human self-determination to human rationale and adore. While in his thirties, Hegel commenced on a teaching assignment at the University of Jena. This segment of his life was plainly magic. It is here that he wrote his greatest work, ‘Phenomenology of Spirit’. Hegel reminisces that he was as he was penning down the concluding lines of Phenomenology of Spirit, Napoleon was marching his horde into the city of Jena. After Napoleon’s conquest of Jena, its university closed down. Hegel had to toil for about a year as a newspaper editor in Bamberg and subsequently as the headmaster of a high school at Nuremberg, where he stuck for nine years. In 1816, he relocated to the University of Heidelberg. After a concise stint there, he took up the chair of philosophy at the University of Berlin, in 1818. He worked and taught there till his demise. By the time of his end in November, 1831, philosophy departments accross Europe were ruled and governed by Hegelian initiatives. There’s no overstating the verity that during the tumultuous years of the French Revolution, and the Napoleonic invasions of diverse parts of Europe, Hegel came of age. Enlightenment had its own confined zest and aroma in Scotland, England, France, and Germany. German Enlightenment was arbitrated very stalwartly by the Romantic Movement and its sponsorship of individual perspicuity. Goethe, who was the soaring figure of German Romanticism, and several other important German Romantics, such as Holderlin and the Schlegel brothers, were Hegel's bosom associates. Thus, Hegel was a thinker who acted as the bridge between German Enlightenment as well as German Romanticism. Counter to British empiricists, for instance Locke and Hume, and soon after Mill, who deemed all human awareness to be derived from sense-impressions, the German Idealists gave a principal location to our deliberations and our inspirations as the building chunks of human comprehension. German Idealism inherited the epistemological question-How do human beings get to know their world?-from the empiricists. Beginning with this question, and analysing different forms of knowledge, like science (pure reason) and moral knowledge (practical reason), Kant moved from the realm of epistemology to that of moral and political philosophy. In Hegel we find epistemological questions linked even more strongly to moral and political concerns. Since Hegel taught philosophy for so long, loads of of his works have survived in the form of lecture notes, such as, Lectures on the Philosophy of History, Lectures on Aesthetics, and Lectures on the History of Philosophy. Hegel was a mercurial writer. After publishing Phenomenology of Spirit, in 1807, he brought out Science of Logic in three volumes, followed by Encyclopaedia of the Philosophical Sciences, and finally, in 1821, Philosophy of Right. Hegel's work has been subject to many elucidations. As soon as he died, his works engendered the two distinct schools of the right Hegelians and the left Hegelians. The former interpreted Hegel as a conformist thinker who was attempting to defend the status quo, whereas the left Hegelians, such as Ludwig Feuerbach and Marx, saw Hegel's work as having sweeping implications. All this and much more have been dealt with in this book by Terry Pinkard, professor of Philosophy at Northwestern University and the author/editor of five previous books on Hegel. Read it for yourself.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jaakko

    Tämä oli todella hyvä ja tuli tarpeeseen!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jim Cook

    Pinkard’s Hegel gripped this reader from the first paragraph, which explodes several myths about Hegel, to the end of his long book. Hegel specialists and lay aficionados alike owe a debt of gratitude to Terry Pinkard for giving us a modern biography of one of the world’s most influential philosophers. And the book is wonderfully edited. I’m sure this nearly 800 page work of scholarship went through many, many revisions and drafts. Yet, nitpicker that I am, I only discovered three typos (on pages Pinkard’s Hegel gripped this reader from the first paragraph, which explodes several myths about Hegel, to the end of his long book. Hegel specialists and lay aficionados alike owe a debt of gratitude to Terry Pinkard for giving us a modern biography of one of the world’s most influential philosophers. And the book is wonderfully edited. I’m sure this nearly 800 page work of scholarship went through many, many revisions and drafts. Yet, nitpicker that I am, I only discovered three typos (on pages 421, 447, and 588). Pinkard’s Hegel turns out to be a bit of a “foodie” in today’s parlance. I loved reading about Hegel’s adventures with wine and how he may first have learned to appreciate it while working as Hoffmeister (house tutor) to a wealthy wine merchant in Frankfurt. The mature Hegel always had a taste for the best wine and champagne and while, like most bourgeois of his time his wife was responsible for household management, Hegel made sure he remained master of his own wine cellar, ordering his wines himself. Hegel also loved good coffee, and he was one of the first in Berlin to embrace the Rumford percolating-drip coffee maker! During the course of his biography Pinkard discusses in some detail most of Hegel’s philosophical writings. Although his discussion of Hegel’s Science of Logic mostly went over my head, I did appreciate reading his comments on Hegel’s other works. But I do have one complaint: the space in the book devoted to discussing Hegel’s Philosophy of Nature would have been better utilized commenting on Hegel’s illuminating lectures on the History of Philosophy. Pinkard himself observes that Hegel’s Philosophy of Nature was mostly ignored in his own lifetime and then “fell into complete disrepute immediately after his death and has rarely been looked at since by anybody other than dedicated Hegel scholars.” And for good reason: Hegel’s Philosophy of Nature is absolute nonsense. Instead of wasting space on this aspect of Hegel’s philosophy, Pinkard would have been better-served by providing a discussion of Hegel’s lectures on the History of Philosophy, especially the lucid introduction to that work. Unfortunately, apart from citing these lectures in an epigraph that openes the book, Pinkard does not discuss these lectures at all. But, this is still a very minor flaw in an otherwise wonderful book that provides a modern account of Hegel’s life and thought. Anyone who wants to know more about this seminal philosopher of modernity, or who is already a fan of Hegel’s writings, will be happy to have a copy of Pinkard’s Hegel: A biography in their personal library!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Baymavi

    Hegel'in felsefesini değil ama yaşamını öğrenmek için güzel bir kitap. Zaten Hegel felsefesini anlamak için önce Kant'ı, Fichte'yi ve Schelling'i bilmek gerekir. Kant'ı bilmek için Hume'u okumak gerekir. Hume için empiristleri, empiristler için Descartes'i tanımak şarttır. Descartes'e Skolastik felsefeye uğramadan gidilmez. Skolastikler için Hristiyanlığı, İsa öğretisi için Stoa felsefesini, yeni Platonculuğu ve Aristo'yu okumak gerek. Aristo için herşeyi, herşey için hiçbir şeyi hissetmeli. Hiç Hegel'in felsefesini değil ama yaşamını öğrenmek için güzel bir kitap. Zaten Hegel felsefesini anlamak için önce Kant'ı, Fichte'yi ve Schelling'i bilmek gerekir. Kant'ı bilmek için Hume'u okumak gerekir. Hume için empiristleri, empiristler için Descartes'i tanımak şarttır. Descartes'e Skolastik felsefeye uğramadan gidilmez. Skolastikler için Hristiyanlığı, İsa öğretisi için Stoa felsefesini, yeni Platonculuğu ve Aristo'yu okumak gerek. Aristo için herşeyi, herşey için hiçbir şeyi hissetmeli. Hiçbir şey için Parmenides'i, Parmenides için Herakleitos'u, Herakleitos için de Hegel'i anlamak gerekir.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Differengenera

    highly detailed and densely researched account of the man's life, maybe a bit too much so? hegel's life wasn't terribly eventful, so things like his sister coming to visit, hegel trying to hire a tutor, go on for pages and pages. not much engagement with the philosophy, the social and professional jockeying for positions between hegel and his comeptitors is more to the fore in the accounts of the ideas than the ideas themselves, or their political import. if you're looking for a critical biograp highly detailed and densely researched account of the man's life, maybe a bit too much so? hegel's life wasn't terribly eventful, so things like his sister coming to visit, hegel trying to hire a tutor, go on for pages and pages. not much engagement with the philosophy, the social and professional jockeying for positions between hegel and his comeptitors is more to the fore in the accounts of the ideas than the ideas themselves, or their political import. if you're looking for a critical biography, as i was, i don't think pinkard is it

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sumit

    Best intellectual biography of Hegel.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Stanislavskij

    Thoroughly enjoyed it.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Aaron

    Amazing resource for anglophone plebs like me interested in Hegel. Very in-depth. Skimmed a bit but philosophical chapters were great.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rob Wilson

    A must read for anyone looking to become acquainted with or to deepen their knowledge of Hegel. This is an all-round excellent book, despite some small issues.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Enrique Martinez

    It change a lot the idea of who is Hegel, his curious pseudoscience about the planet movement, but also his tremendous knowledge of history and philosophy, a master on this domain

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mohammad

    G. W. F. Hegel's philosophy, and the philosophies of those he influenced, especially Karl Marx, have been accused of obscurantism. Analytic and positivistic philosophers, such as A. J. Ayer, Bertrand Russell, and the critical-rationalist Karl Popper, accused Hegel and Hegelianism of being obscure. About Hegel’s philosophy, Arthur Schopenhauer wrote that it is: ". . . a colossal piece of mystification, which will yet provide posterity with an inexhaustible theme for laughter at our times, that it G. W. F. Hegel's philosophy, and the philosophies of those he influenced, especially Karl Marx, have been accused of obscurantism. Analytic and positivistic philosophers, such as A. J. Ayer, Bertrand Russell, and the critical-rationalist Karl Popper, accused Hegel and Hegelianism of being obscure. About Hegel’s philosophy, Arthur Schopenhauer wrote that it is: ". . . a colossal piece of mystification, which will yet provide posterity with an inexhaustible theme for laughter at our times, that it is a pseudo-philosophy paralyzing all mental powers, stifling all real thinking, and, by the most outrageous misuse of language, putting in its place the hollowest, most senseless, thoughtless, and, as is confirmed by its success, most stupefying verbiage.." Nevertheless, biographer Terry Pinkard in this book notes "Hegel has refused to go away, even in analytic philosophy, itself." Hegel was aware of his obscurantism, and perceived it as part of philosophical thinking — to accept and transcend the limitations of quotidian thought and its concepts. In the essay "Who Thinks Abstractly?", he said that it is not the philosopher who thinks abstractly, but the layman, who uses concepts as givens that are immutable, without context. It is the philosopher who thinks concretely, because he transcends the limits of quotidian concepts, in order to understand their broader context. This makes philosophical thought and language appear obscure, esoteric, and mysterious to the layman.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Micah Perry

    Instrumental in my evolution from oil painting to... I would reference this book throughout grad school and I read it as an undergrad. What I specifically like about this book among the other Hegel books is Pinkard's way of translating the unintelligible gobbeldy-gook into something I can digest. Hegel is the last platform from which the contemporary artist takes that leap into her own right while leaving the past behind. Real art is the making, not the made. Instrumental in my evolution from oil painting to... I would reference this book throughout grad school and I read it as an undergrad. What I specifically like about this book among the other Hegel books is Pinkard's way of translating the unintelligible gobbeldy-gook into something I can digest. Hegel is the last platform from which the contemporary artist takes that leap into her own right while leaving the past behind. Real art is the making, not the made.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Willem van der Scheun

    It was everything it promised to be, a thorough overview of Hegel's life and a clear overview of his thoughts, work and influence. I found it inspiring and helping to overcome to bridge to go and read Hegel himself. I already made a start in his Philosophy of Right, which I hope is going to be the subject of my bachelor thesis. It was everything it promised to be, a thorough overview of Hegel's life and a clear overview of his thoughts, work and influence. I found it inspiring and helping to overcome to bridge to go and read Hegel himself. I already made a start in his Philosophy of Right, which I hope is going to be the subject of my bachelor thesis.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Atila Demirkasımoğlu

    Terry Pinkard'ın İş Bankası yayınlarından çıkan Hegel biyografisini okumayı bitirdim. Kitabı beğendim. Kant biyografisinden daha başarılı. Olanla anlatılan farkı hep vardır ama bu kitap bu farkı az tuttuğu kanısını uyandırdı bende. Bir de özellikle yaşantılara daha ılımlı ve taraftarlıktan uzak bakmak gereğini hissetmeme yol açtı. Okumam iyi oldu diyeyim. Terry Pinkard'ın İş Bankası yayınlarından çıkan Hegel biyografisini okumayı bitirdim. Kitabı beğendim. Kant biyografisinden daha başarılı. Olanla anlatılan farkı hep vardır ama bu kitap bu farkı az tuttuğu kanısını uyandırdı bende. Bir de özellikle yaşantılara daha ılımlı ve taraftarlıktan uzak bakmak gereğini hissetmeme yol açtı. Okumam iyi oldu diyeyim.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Raully

    An amazing work of scholarship that comes from a philosopher's point of view and yet ably weaves in the historical and biographical background. Highly recommended, but at its heft its not for the casual reader. An amazing work of scholarship that comes from a philosopher's point of view and yet ably weaves in the historical and biographical background. Highly recommended, but at its heft its not for the casual reader.

  23. 4 out of 5

    diana mendez

    working on it....

  24. 4 out of 5

    Güis Guerrero-Enterría

    Interesante biografía que intenta además dar una explicación clara de muchos de los conceptos básicos de la obra de Hegel . Bien escrita.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Padraig Mcgrath

    A great biography, and lots of good insightful commentary on Hegel's most important work. Beautifully written. A great biography, and lots of good insightful commentary on Hegel's most important work. Beautifully written.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nicoletta

  27. 5 out of 5

    Hyperion

  28. 4 out of 5

    Alparle

  29. 4 out of 5

    Bill ross

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Samuelson

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