Monday, August 08, 2011


Hegel, G. W. F.  Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences in Basic Outline, Part I: Science of Logic.  Ed. and trans. Klaus Brinkmann and Daniel O. Dahlstrom.  Cambridge: CUP, 2010.

This new translation of what is commonly known as the Encyclopedia Logic is the third volume in the series of Cambridge Hegel Translations under the general editorship of Michael Bauer. It is a readable, accurate and sometimes surprisingly elegant translation with a minimum of editorial apparatus that presents the work as the "basic outline" that it is.

As the full title suggests, the Encyclopedia Logic is the first part of Hegel's systematic but condensed presentation of his mature philosophy, which is followed by two additional parts covering the philosophies of nature and spirit (Geist). Mostly the Encyclopedia Logic covers the same ground as his earlier (and much larger) Science of Logic, though in a much more schematic form and sometimes in a slightly different order. But it also includes an extensive section -- almost 90 pages in this edition -- entitled the "Preliminary Conception", in which Hegel provides a historical introduction to his philosophy beginning with ancient Greek philosophy and continuing on through empiricism and Kant. This is the best introduction to his thought that Hegel himself wrote, both because of its relative brevity and the clarity of the historical references as compared to his official introduction, the 1807 Phenomenology of Spirit. It also includes the best short discussion of Hegel's understanding of the dialectical nature of reason (§§80-2). The Encyclopedia is very much an outline, with condensed presentations of the crucial steps that were intended to provide a framework for Hegel's students on which they could weave the examples, allusions, and arguments of his lectures. As compared to the Science of Logic, the Encyclopedia Logic often appears to present what animators call the extremes without the in-between frames that show how they are connected. This volume includes selections from the notes of Hegel's students (the Additions or Zusätze) that provide very helpful examples and connections to other elements of Hegel's system. The Encyclopedia went through three different versions under Hegel's own revisions, and this translation is from the last edition of 1830.

The present volume may very naturally be compared with two other (relatively) recent translations, the translation of the Encyclopedia Logic by Geraets, Suchting and Harris (hereinafter "GSH"), and George di Giovanni's translation of the Science of Logic that precedes the present volume in the Cambridge series. . . .

No comments:

Post a Comment