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Stephen Houlgate

The focus of my current work is Hegel's Science of Logic. I am in the process of completing a comprehensive study of the "doctrine of being" in the Logic, which will examine Hegel's account of quality, quantity and measure. In the course of the book I discuss the project of Hegel's logic and its relation to his phenomenology, as well as to Kant's critical philossophy and pre-Kantian metaphysics. I also provide an extensive discussion of Hegel's account of differential calculus and of Kant's Second Antinomy (in the Critique of Pure Reason). The book also includes an original discussion of Hegel and Frege on the topic of number. The book overlaps in part with my earlier work, The Opening of Hegel's Logic (2006), but it contains new chapters and sections on, among other things, absolute method (at the end of the Logic), Hegel's critique of Kant, and Pippin's interpretation of Hegel. The material from "being-for-self" to the end of the section on measure is also all new (and the material from "being" to "true infinity" has all been revised). This is the book that I started during my Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship (2011-14), and I hope to have it finished by the summer of 2018. The plan then is to start work on a book on the "doctrine of essence" in the Logic.

I have recently completed an essay on Hegel's theory of architecture in his lectures on aesthetics, and my future plans include an essay on Hegel and Deleuze.

My interpretation of Hegel's logic and his philosophy more generally continues to be guided by his claim that speculative thought develops immanently and without systematic presuppositions. I thus contest Heidegger's assertion that Hegel thinks ‘in accordance with a predetermined idea of being’ (an assertion endorsed by Derrida and Deleuze, amongst others). Indeed, part of my work is intended to show that many post-Hegelian philosophers seriously misunderstand the Hegel from which they seek to distance themselves. However, I am also interested in the often overlooked similarities between Hegel, Heidegger and Derrida, in particular regarding the deconstruction of the idea of ‘essence’ or ‘ground’ (a deconstruction carried out by Hegel in the logic of essence). Beyond the Logic, I work on Hegel's political philosophy, aesthetics and philosophy of religion; and beyond Hegel, I am especially interested in the thought of Spinoza, Kant, and Nietzsche, and in the theory of tragedy from Aristotle to the present.

Selected Publications

  • Hegel, Nietzsche and the Criticism of Metaphysics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986)
  • ed. Hegel and the Philosophy of Nature (Albany, NY: SUNY, 1998)
  • ed. The Hegel Reader (Oxford: Blackwell, 1998)
  • An Introduction to Hegel. Freedom, Truth and History, 2nd edition (Oxford: Blackwell, 2005) [includes five new chapters on the Phenomenology, the philosophy of nature and the philosophy of subjective spirit]
  • The Opening of Hegel's Logic. From Being to Infinity (West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press, 2006)
  • ed. Hegel and the Arts (Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2007)
  • ed. G.W.F. Hegel: Outlines of the Philosophy of Right (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008)
  • ed. (with M.Baur), A Companion to Hegel (Oxford: Blackwell, 2011)
  • Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit. A Reader's Guide (London: Bloomsbury, 2013)
  • ‘Kant, Nietzsche and the “Thing in Itself”’, Nietzsche-Studien 22 (1993)
  • ‘Vision, Reflection and Openness: The “Hegemony of Vision” from a Hegelian Point of View’, in Modernity and the Hegemony of Vision, ed. David Levin (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993)
  • ‘Hegel, Kant and the Formal Distinctions of Reflective Understanding’, in Hegel on the Modern World, ed. A. Collins (Albany: SUNY Press, 1994)
  • 'The Unity of Theoretical and Practical Spirit in Hegel's Concept of Freedom', in The Review of Metaphysics 48, 4 (1995)
  • ‘Necessity and Contingency in Hegel’s Science of Logic’, The Owl of Minerva 27:1 (1995)
  • ‘Hegel, Derrida and Restricted Economy: The Case of Mechanical Memory’, Journal of the History of Philosophy 34, 1 (1996)
  • 'Hegel and the "End" of Art', in The Owl of Minerva 29, 1 (1997)
  • ‘Hegel's Critique of Foundationalism in the “Doctrine of Essence”’, in German Philosophy since Kant, ed. A. O'Hear (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999)
  • ‘Schelling's Critique of the Science of Logic’, The Review of Metaphysics 53, 1 (1999)
  • ‘Substance, Causality, and the Question of Method in Hegel's Science of Logic’, in The Reception of Kant's Critical Philosophy: Fichte, Schelling and Hegel, ed. S. Sedgwick (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000)

  • 'Hegel and the Art of Painting', in Hegel and Aesthetics, ed. W. Maker (Albany: SUNY Press, 2000)

  • 'Hegel, Rawls and the Rational State', in Beyond Liberalism and Communitarianism: Studies in Hegel's Philosophy of Right, ed. R. Williams (Albany: SUNY Press, 2001)
  • 'G.W.F. Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit', in The Blackwell Guide to Continental Philosophy, ed. R. Solomon (Oxford: Blackwell, 2003) [essay on desire, recognition and the master/slave dialectic]
  • 'G.W.F. Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit (1807): Thinking Philosophically Without Begging the Question', in The Classics of Western Philosophy, ed. J. Gracia (Oxford: Blackwell, 2003)
  • 'Religion, Morality and Forgiveness in Hegel's Philosophy of Religion', in Philosophy and Religion in German Idealism, eds. E.-O. Onnasch and P. Cruysberghs (Dordrecht: Kluwer, 2004)
  • 'Thought and Experience in Hegel and McDowell', European Journal of Philosophy 14, 2 (2006): 242-61
  • 'Phenomenology and De Re Interpretation: A Critique of Brandom's Reading of Hegel", Bulletin of the Hegel Society of Great Britain 57/58 (2008): 30-47
  • 'Action, Right and Morality in Hegel's Philosophy of Right', in Hegel on Action, eds. A. Laitinen and C. Sandis (Basingtoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010)
  • 'Hegel, Danto and the "End of Art"', in The Impact of Idealism, eds. N. Boyle and L. Disley, 4 vols (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013): vol. 3, ed. C. Jamme
  • 'Is Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit an Essay in Transcendental Argument?', in The Transcendental Turn, eds. S. Gardner and M. Grist (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015)
  • 'Property, Use and Value in Hegel's Philosophy of Right', in Hegel's Elements of the Philosophy of Right. A Critical Guide, ed. D. James (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017)
  • 'The Logic of Measure in Hegel's Science of Logic', International Yearbook of German Idealism, 12 (2014): 115-38 (published 2017)

Hegel Society of America Home Page

Hegel Society of Great Britain Home Page

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (article on Hegel's aesthetics)