Category Archives: 1st Rank – Hegel (1770 – 1831 ce)

Philosophy, History, and Tyranny: Reexamining the Debate between Leo Strauss and Alexandre Kojeve (2016)

Philosophy, History, and Tyranny: Reexamining the Debate between Leo Strauss and Alexandre Kojeveeds. Timothy W. Burns and Bryan-Paul Frost

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“On Tyranny remains a perennial favorite, possessing a timelessness that few philosophical or scholarly debates have ever achieved. On one hand, On Tyranny is the first book-length work in Leo Strauss s extended study of Xenophon, and his Restatement retains a vivacity and directness that is sometimes absent in his later works. On the other, Tyranny and Wisdom is perhaps the most succinct yet fullest articulation of Alexandre Kojeve s overall political thought, and it presents what may be the most uncompromising alternative to Strauss s position as a whole. This volume contains for the first time a comprehensive and critical examination of the debate from scholars well versed in the thought of Strauss, Kojeve, Hegel, Heidegger, and the end of history thesis. Of particular interest will be the appendix, which offers for the first time Kojeve s unabridged response to Strauss.”

War as Paradox: Clausewitz and Hegel on Fighting Doctrines and Ethics (2016)

War as Paradox: Clausewitz and Hegel on Fighting Doctrines and Ethicsby Youri Cormier

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“Two centuries after Carl von Clausewitz wrote On War, it lines the shelves of military colleges around the world and even showed up in an Al Qaeda hideout. Though it has shaped much of the common parlance on the subject, On War is perceived by many as a “metaphysical fog,” widely known but hardly read. In War as Paradox, Youri Cormier lifts the fog on this iconic work by explaining its philosophical underpinnings. Building up a genealogy of dialectical war theory and integrating Hegel with Clausewitz as a co-founders of the method, Cormier uncovers a common logic that shaped the fighting doctrines and ethics of modern war. He explains how Hegel and Clausewitz converged on method, but nonetheless arrived at opposite ethics and military doctrines. Ultimately, Cormier seeks out the limits to dialectical war theory and explores the greater paradoxes the method reveals: can so-called “rational” theories of war hold up under the pressures of irrational propositions, such as lone-wolf attacks, the circular logic of a “war to end all wars,” or the apparent folly of mutually assured destruction? Since the Second World War, commentators have described war as obsolete. War as Paradox argues that dialectical war theory may be the key to understanding why, despite this, it continues.”

Article: Hegel as a Theorist of Secularization


Hegel's philosophy of religion is characterized by what seems to be a deep tension. On the one hand, Hegel claims to be a Christian thinker, viewing religion, and in particular Christianity, as a manifestation of the absolute. On the other hand, however, he seems to view modernity as largely secular, devoid of authoritative claims to transcendence. Modernity is secular in the political sense of requiring the state to be neutral when it comes to matters of religion. However, it is also secular in the sense of there being no recourse to authoritative representations of a transcendent God. Drawing on Charles Taylor's view of secularization, the article focuses on the second strand of his religious thinking, exploring how Hegel can be thought of as a theorist of secularization. It is claimed that his dialectic of religious development describes a process of secularization. Ultimately, Hegel's system offers a view of the absolute as immanent, suggesting that an adequate account of religion will necessarily have to accept secularization as the end-point of spirit's development. This is how the tension between religion and secularization can be resolved.

Supporting Resource: Hegel and the Metaphysics of Absolute Negativity (2013)

by Brady Bowman

From the publisher: "Hegel's doctrines of absolute negativity and 'the Concept' are among his most original contributions to philosophy and they constitute the systematic core of dialectical thought. Brady Bowman explores the interrelations between these doctrines, their implications for Hegel's critical understanding of classical logic and ontology, natural science and mathematics as forms of 'finite cognition', and their role in developing a positive, 'speculative' account of consciousness and its place in nature. As a means to this end, Bowman also re-examines Hegel's relations to Kant and pre-Kantian rationalism, and to key post-Kantian figures such as Jacobi, Fichte and Schelling. His book draws from the breadth of Hegel's writings to affirm a robustly metaphysical reading of the Hegelian project, and will be of great interest to students of Hegel and of German Idealism more generally."

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