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The Owl of Minerva

Volume 49, Issue 1/2, 2017/2018

Simon Lumsden
Pages 83-105
DOI: 10.5840/owl2017/18491/25

The Satisfaction of Absolute Spirit

Robert R. Williams, in Hegel on the Proofs and the Personhood of God, offers an important examination of the notion of absolute spirit, a central but under-examined notion in Hegel’s thought. Williams argues that absolute spirit, along with Hegel’s other core notions such as the concept and the absolute idea, is best conceived as an organic whole. This approach, he claims, best captures the self-determination and dynamism of the whole. What absolute spirit seeks to describe is how spirit can both produce itself and legitimate itself. I argue that the model of the organism, and any onto-theological claim for absolute spirit, misses the post-critical aspiration of this notion.