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Old July 2nd, 2017, 11:56 PM   #1

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How to understand Hegel?


Is it possible for someone who has no academic background in philosophy to understand Hegel's works and philosophical system? Lately, I have been very interested in his political and philosophical writings due to the widespread influence they have exercised over the social sciences. I started with his essay The German Constitution and Lectures on the Philosophy of History, both of which were relatively easy to understand, but as soon as I moved on to the central texts of his philosophy such as Elements of the Philosophy of Right, On the Scientific Ways of Treating Natural Law, etc., I found myself completely lost after a few pages. I can make little sense of the incredibly dense and technical language he employs. So I'm wondering what kind of an effort is it going to take to actually get an idea of what he writes and how should I go about it. If anyone here has read Hegel in the past successfully, I'd be very thankful if they could provide some suggestions as to how I should approach Hegelian works.
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Old July 3rd, 2017, 03:46 PM   #2

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Some reading of Kant is helpful and their are introductory books to Hegel's work but I definitely think Hegel appears rigorous to most people including myself. This is a funny and somewhat informative take on it-

The Beginner?s Guide to Hegel | HTMLGIANT
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Old July 3rd, 2017, 07:30 PM   #3
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I don't think Hegel understood Hegel.
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Old July 4th, 2017, 03:31 AM   #4
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The best think is to go on youtube. There are British shows from 80's, university class lectures, explaining the ideas in detail very well.
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Old July 17th, 2017, 06:17 AM   #5
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The problem is that they're not English writers and there really isn't a native English translation that does Hegel justice. Most people don't read Hegel or Kant, or Heidegger or Foucault or other philosophers in context they quote them selectively as nescessary. It's really not nescessary to understand everything out there, even if you wanted to, you would spend a lot of time and still get yourself not very far. It's about whether you can transfer an idea in context.
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