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Hegel's Science of Logic (PH923)

The purpose of this module is to undertake a close reading of the first part of Hegel’s Science of Logic, (on quality). Hegel exercised an enormous influence on 19th- and 20th-century thinkers, from Marx and Kierkegaard to Sartre and Gadamer, and his Logic is the most important text for anyone seeking to understand what is distinctive about his thought. It is the place where Hegel gives his most detailed account of dialectical method and provides his most extensive critique of the categories of traditional metaphysics. It is thus through studying the Logic that one comes to appreciate most fully the subtle and manifold ways in which Hegel’s thought builds on and transforms that of his philosophical forebears, (such as Parmenides, Plato, Spinoza and Kant), and points forward to, indeed outstrips, that of his post-metaphysical heirs, (such as Heidegger and Derrida).

Warwick is one of the few places in the world at which MA and PhD students can study Hegel’s Logic in detail. In the module we will begin by examining Hegel’s critique of Kant’s derivation of the categories of thought, (from the basic forms of judgement), and we will then turn to consider Hegel’s own “presuppositionless” derivation of the categories. We will look closely at Hegel’s account of the initial categories of being, nothing and becoming, and then trace his derivation of the further categories of quality, including something, limit, finitude, infinity, and the one and the many. In the course of our study we will examine why Hegel thinks any “something” must always be related to another “something”, why true infinity does not transcend but is immanent in finitude, why the one multiplies itself into many ones, and why quality as a whole makes quantity necessary. These are distinctive and challenging philosophical claims and our aim in this module will be to understand and evaluate them.


Module Director:

Stephen Houlgate


This module is worth 20 or 30 CATS depending on your programme of study.