On Hegel: The Sway of the Negative


Hegel is most famous for his view that conflicts between contrary positions are necessarily resolved. Whereas this optimism, inherent in modernity as such, has been challenged from Kierkegaard onward, many critics have misconstrued Hegel’s own intentions.

Focusing on the Science of Logic, this transformative reading of Hegel on the one hand exposes the immense force of Hegel’s conception of tragedy, logic, nature, history, time, language, spirit, politics, and philosophy itself. Drawing out the implications of Hegel’s insight into tragic conflicts, on the other hand, De Boer brings into play a form of negativity that allows us to understand why the entanglement of complementary positions always tends to turn into their conflict, but not necessarily into its resolution.


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