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This is a new translation, with running commentary, of what is perhaps the most important short piece of Hegel's writing. The Preface to Hegel's first major work, the "Phenomenology of Spirit," lays the groundwork for all his other writing by explaining what is most innovative about Hegel's philosophy.
This new translation combines readability with maximum precision, breaking Hegel's long sentences and simplifying their often complex structure. At the same time, it is more faithful to the original than any previous translation.
The heart of the book is the detailed commentary, supported by an introductory essay. Together they offer a lucid and elegant explanation of the text and elucidate difficult issues in Hegel, making his claims and intentions intelligible to the beginner while offering interesting and original insights to the scholar and advanced student. The commentary often goes beyond the particular phrase in the text to provide systematic context and explain related topics in Hegel and his predecessors (including Kant, Spinoza, and Aristotle, as well as Fichte, Schelling, Holderlin, and others).
The commentator refrains from playing down (as many interpreters do today) those aspects of Hegel's thought that are less acceptable in our time, and abstains from mixing his own philosophical preferences with his reading of Hegel's text. His approach is faithful to the historical Hegel while reconstructing Hegel's ideas within their own context."
The appearance of this translation is a major event in English-language Hegel studies, for it is more than simply a replacement for Wallace's translation cum paraphrase. Hegel's Prefaces to each of the three editions of the Enzyklopadie are translated for the first time into English. There is a very detailed Introduction translating Hegel's German, which serves not only as a guide to the translator's usage but also to Hegel's. Also included are a detailed bilingual annotated glossary, very extensive bibliographic and interpretive notes to Hegel's text (28 pp.), an Index of References for works cited in the notes, a select Bibliography of recent works on Hegel's logic, and a detailed Index (16 pp.). The translation is guided by the (correct) principle that rendering Hegel's logical thought clearly and consistently requires rendering his technical terms logically. . . . This ought immediately to become the standard translation of this important work. --Kenneth R. Westphal, in Review of Metaphysics
"Hegel's Geschichte der Philosophie was one of the grand products of the renaissance in historical learning that took place in early nineteenth-century Germany. . . . Hegel remains relevant today for his recognition that any self-critical philosophy must include a knowledge of its own history. A self-aware philosopher, Hegel firmly believed, knew where his ideas came from and their social and cultural context. . . . This is still the only available translation of all three volumes of Hegel's history."-Frederick C. Beiser. "The main reason why Hegel will remain worthy of study lies in his incomparable gathering together of the whole range of human experience into vital connection with what is best in that experience. . . . He is, without doubt, the Aristotle of our post-Renaissance world."-J. N. Findlay, Hegel: A Re-examination. G. W. F. Hegel (1770-1831), the influential German philosopher, believed that human history was advancing spiritually and morally according to God's purpose. At the beginning of this masterwork, Hegel writes: "What the history of Philosophy shows us is a succession of noble minds, a gallery of heroes of thought, who, by the power of Reason, have penetrated into the being of things, of nature and of spirit, into the Being of God, and have won for us by their labours the highest treasure, the treasure of reasoned knowledge." In his introduction to this Bison Book edition, Frederick C. Beiser notes the complex and controversial history of Hegel's text. He makes a case that this English-language translation by E. S. Haldane and Frances H. Simson is still the most reliable one. A professor of philosophy at Indiana University, Beiser is the author of The Fate of Reason: German Philosophy from Kante to Fichte.
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