Saturday, November 1, 2014

And with Lecture 31 (71-72), We Finish the Preface!

I've just released lecture 31 -- Preface, sec. 71 and 72 -- on YouTube.  With this one, we've now got over 15 hours of Hegel commentary footage produced, uploaded, and freely offered to the public.

This actually has me so excited and happy that I'm not going to do my usual resume of the lecture, and those sections of Hegel's text -- instead, I'm going to indulge a bit in speculating about this project and this particular milestone -- but first, here's the video!

So. . .  I started this new series back in February, after thinking for a good month or so about how I might respond to my viewers' and subscribers' requests for more Hegel material.  The big problem, in my view -- and this is one reason I've actually written and published so little on Hegel -- is that I find it very difficult to simply summarize and condense what's going on in the text of the Phenomenology (not to mention the Logic - and which Logic, you ask?  Science of course!)

So, what's the other possibility?  Actually pay attention to each part, each portion, each paragraph of the work.  Perhaps with some, there's really nothing that needs looking at there -- but I can't say, looking back on the times I've worked through the Phenomenology, that I recall ever coming across any such passages. . . . 

Would it really be possible to go through the whole work, paragraph by paragraph?  Well, why not?  Although there's never been a video series of that sort, it's not as if some of the great Hegel commentators who I look up to didn't engage in that sort of painstaking, close reading labor themselves. At the very least, translators like Hippolyte (and more recently, Pinkard) have done so -- so, although I'm certainly not saying that I regard myself as being anywhere near their level of expertise, it ought to be at least feasible for me to plow through the 800-or-so paragraphs.

In executing a task like that, it's much like mountain-climbing or at the very least excursions in high places, except shifted ninety degrees.  Instead of the advice:  "don't look down," it's:  "don't look at what's ahead -- or you might find yourself falling prey to vertigo! 

In any case, I'm concentrating on what follows next -- for the Phenomenology, the much shorter, and in some way more straightforward Introduction -- sections 73-89 -- a mere 17 paragraphs.  I'll likely get through those lectures and be ready to move into the work in earnest before the start of 2015!

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