Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy

Volume 16, Issue 2, Spring 2012

Robert E. Wood
Pages 337-349

From Misunderstanding to the Beginning of Understanding

Misunderstandings of Hegel have several roots: one is the intrinsic difficulty of his highly technical and interrelated conceptual sets, another is ideological opponents who consequently take statements out of context, and a third is following those of high stature who pass on the misunderstandings. Typical misunderstandings concern freedom and necessity, slavery, that status of the individual, God and the State, facts measuring up to concepts, the relation of rationality and actuality, the status of passion, and, above all, the nature of absolute knowing. Resituating these notions within the whole of the System shows the one-sidedness of typical misunderstandings and opens the way toward appropriation.