Abstract and Keywords
In the first three decades of the nineteenth century, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel attempted to construct an idealist philosophy of breath-taking ambition. With its accounts of nature, society, history, art, religion, and philosophy itself, it was meant to provide its audience with a complete account of the universe and its place in it. Yet how to regard this project is still in dispute. While at first glance it looks like a reversion to the kind of dogmatic metaphysics that Kant had urged his readers to abandon only a few decades before, some argue that Hegel’s project is to be understood in the spirit of Kant’s own. What philosophy is can only be understood in the light of a “phenomenological” examination of consciousness—a project that, like Kant’s “critique,” was meant to free readers from illusions pervading their own initial assumptions about reason and knowledge.
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