Hegel’s Lectures on the History of Philosophy. The Lectures of 1825-26 Volume III: Medieval and Modern Philosophy


Hegel’s interpretation of the history of philosophy not only played a central role in the shaping of his own thought, but also has had a great influence on the development of historical thinking. In his own view the study of the history of philosophy is the study of philosophy itself. This explains why such a large proportion of his lectures, from 1805 to 1831, the year of his death, were about history of philosophy.

The text of these lectures, presented here in the first authoritative English edition, is therefore a document of the greatest importance in the development of Western thought: they constitute the very first comprehensive history of philosophy that treats philosophy itself as undergoing genuine historical development. And they are crucial for understanding Hegel’s own systematic works such as the Phenomenology, the Logic, and the Encyclopedia, for central to his thought is the theme of spirit as engaged in self-realization through the processes of historical change. Furthermore, they played a crucial role in one of the determining events of modern intellectual history: the rise of a new consciousness of human life, culture, and intellect as historical in nature. This third volume of the lectures covers the medieval and modern periods, and includes fascinating discussion of scholastic, Renaissance, and Reformation philosophy, and of such great modern thinkers as Descartes, Locke, Leibniz, and especially Kant.

This new translation from Oxford University Press is the first critical edition of Hegel’s Lectures on the History of Philosophy available in English. It supersedes in many respects the previous translation. The merit and value of the new translation can be best appreciated by comparing it with the older, less expensive version. Haldane’s and Simson’s work is not bad as a translation, but it is more than 100 years old, and its irremediable defect is that it is a translation of the second German edition, the least desirable edition of Hegel’s History of Philosophy Lectures… (Read more about this at Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews)


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