The Owl of Minerva

Volume 44, Issue 1/2, 2012/2013

Kevin J. Harrelson
Pages 1-35

Hegel and the Modern Canon

This essay traces the relationship between Hegel and some common portrayals of modern philosophy in the nineteenth century. I explain much of the rationale behind the neo-Kantian narrative of modern philosophy, and argue that the common division of modern philosophers into rationalists and empiricists executed a principally anti-Hegelian agenda. I then trace some failed attempts by anglophone philosophers to reconcile Hegel with the neo-Kantian history, in the interest of explaining Hegel’s subsequent unpopularity in England and America. Finally, I argue that recent attempts to read Hegel in Kantian terms often rest on a misguided appropriation of an anti-Hegelian historical narrative.