David Kolb

Understanding Hegel

Hegel’s Architecture

A survey of Hegel’s ideas about the nature of architecture and its place in the development of the human spirit and art. “The first of the particular arts. is architecture” (VA 1:116/A 1:83).1 For Hegel, architecture stands at several beginnings. It is the art closest to raw nature. It is also the initial art in a progressive spiritualization that will culminate in poetry and music.

Exposing an English Speculative Word

Hegel congratulated himself on noticing that the German verb aufheben embodied a speculative dialectic in the interrelation of its multiple meanings. Translators have been hard put to find an equivalent English word. I think I have found a similar word in English, which, if not exactly a translation, still shows a similar interaction among the contrasting motions of its different meanings. “Expose” and related words fit Hegel’s criteria for words that encompass and express dialectical relations.

Four Questions and a Funeral: Hegel on Spirit’s Self-Division and New Life

Introductory remarks and a series of questions that were raised for a discussion about what Hegel is doing in paragraphs 669-71 of the Phenomenology of Spirit, with reference back to paragraphs 444 and 650-5. Broadly speaking, the issues concern the place and the nature of that self-consciousness that Hegel describes as the universal and mediating element in which spirit comes to itself. I also ask about the applicability of his dialectic of forgiveness to a particular situation today.

The Logic of Language Change

How do Hegel’s dialectical transitions among logical categories relate to ordinary empirical language changes?

The Paths of Essence

This talk has two parts, the first historical and the second philosophical. I will be suggesting that the philosophical explains the historical. Many readings of Hegel’s project claim that wants to show the unique necessary development of a scientific chain of pure thought. There are differences among the versions of His logic; this might be expected since the task is difficult. Or it might cause doubts about the task, some of which I mention. In this paper, I am interested in the way the differences are small in the logic of being and of the concept but extensive in the logic of essence. Why is that? What is there about the logic of essence that makes it more open to rearrangement?

The Necessities of Hegel’s Logics

I question this idea of a pure presuppositions self-developing sequence of logical categories. This is part of a larger investigation of the inherence of Hegel’s thought in historical language. Concerning the necessary self-development of thought, I have three objections to propose. The first concerns the difficulty of recognizing a uniquely correct sequence of categories, when the various versions all express positive insights. The second concerns the very idea of a unified sequence. The third concerns the goal of pure self-development.

The Final Name of God: Hegel on Determinate Religion

Hegel’s system aims at thought encompassing self-relation. There are many ways of interpreting just what Hegel is trying to achieve in that self-relation and what kind of closure, if any, it demands. It is also difficult to be sure how Hegel intends that self-relation to include the myriad detail of the world. In this essay, I look at two models of how that self-relation might come to grips with the detail of the history of religions. I argue that Hegel prefers the stronger of the two models, but that there are serious difficulties in carrying it out.