Hegel’s philosophy has had a great influence on much of what has happened in the world since his time (1770 – 1831) and is crucial to understanding much of modern social thought and philosophy as well as to understanding Marxism and the socialist tradition in its varied aspects.
We have been reading the Science of Logic this current year, fullling the project of completing the final section during August of this year. The work has been divided into three sections: this past Fall of 2014 we covered part one, “The Doctrine of Being”, and during the this Spring we will complete the second section, “The Doctrine of Essence”.
During the Summer of 2015 course, we will read, get a handle on, and discuss the entire third section of the Science of Logic which is called “The Doctrine of the Concept”. We will discuss in detail what Hegel is trying to do as well as how what he is doing fits into the general project of Hegel’s whole philosophical “system”. We will start the course with a review of what has already gone on in the work up to this third section so nobody will be lost even if they were not able to take the previous courses.
We will also be discussing how Hegel’s views here made it possible for Hegel to come to the socially reactionary conclusions that he ultimately drew, while at the same time they were inspirational for so many radical and progressive thinkers as well, including Marx and Engels. We will give special attention to and treatment of the fact that Hegel had white-supremacist, racist views, and played an important role in the development of the pseudo-science of biological race theory. We will look at how these views relate to his abstract theories of logic, metaphysics, and nature as well as what this means for the tradition of thought that stems from Hegel, which includes some of the greatest thinkers of African descent in the twentieth century, such as W.E.B. DuBois, C. L. R. James, Frantz Fanon and others.
We will be reading the edition of Hegel’s Science of Logic translated by A. V. Miller, and published by Humanity Books. (Arrangements will be made for students who cannot afford to buy a copy of this book which costs about $33 new online.)
Russell Dale is an activist and a philosopher. He teaches philosophy at Lehman College, CUNY. He taught classes on Hegel and various other topics at the now-no-more Brecht Forum for the last five years of that institution’s existence. Russell is also on the Manuscript Collective and Editorial Board of the Marxist journal Science & Society, as well as on the Local Station Board of radio station WBAI, 99.5 FM (wbai.org)