Thursday, April 17, 2008
deVries, Willem. "Review of Paul Redding's ANALYTIC PHILOSOPHY AND THE RETURN OF HEGELIAN THOUGHT." NDPR April 18, 2008.
Redding, Paul. Analytic Philosophy and the Return of Hegelian Thought. Cambridge: CUP, 2007. Analytic philosophy [AP] began, the stories tell us, in a reaction against "Hegelian thought," specifically, the neo-Hegelianism of late 19th century Britain. Russell and Moore overthrew the doctrines of internal relations, of the falsehood of the partial and the truth only of the whole, and of the fundamentally spiritual nature of the world. Most important, they brought into philosophy the new logic that had revolutionized a discipline that hadn't changed significantly since Aristotle invented it. Russell (particularly) promulgated a 'shadow Hegel,' a distorted, even mythical image that justified his philosophical patricide, and he sold it effectively for the rest of his life. After the Cambridge Two slew the Hegelian father and liberated philosophy from his oppressive regime, Hegel and Absolute Idealism became taboo, mentionable only with disgust, scorn, and ritualistic excoriation. Though AP is regularly accused of being not just ahistorical, but anti-historical, there is an identifiable canon of historical philosophers that (most) analysts think it is profitable and good (though perhaps not necessary) to read and ponder. Indeed, there has been some very good history of philosophy done by analytically trained scholars working on Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Kant, etc. But Hegel is not in the canon, and is still widely stigmatized in analytic circles. For the last 30 years (since Charles Taylor's 1975 Hegel), there has been talk of a rapprochement between AP and Hegelian thought. But Hegel's entry into the Anglo-American canon made only halting progress. In Analytic Philosophy and the Return of Hegelian Thought Paul Redding spells out the latest case for thinking that (at last) the barriers that put Hegel beyond the analytic pale are breaking down. . . . Read the whole review here: http://ndpr.nd.edu/review.cfm?id=12925.