Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Starting Observing Reason - Observation of Nature

After the four videos (covering paragraphs 231-239) working through the very beginning of the Reason section, and the one video (paragraphs 240-243) for the first bit of Observing Reason, we are now moving right into the first substantive subsection - Observation of Nature.

That subsection is going to take quite a few videos, since it extends all the way to paragraph 297.  We're making good progress this March, however - halfway to our goal of six commentary videos per month - and if we keep up this pace, it feasible that we'll move into the next section sometime in May.

In any case, here are the three videos in this section thus far:

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Hegel's Views on Stoicism (part 1)

Last fall - October to be precise - after finishing up the Master-Slave dialectic, we transitioned over into the last section of Self-Consciousness, the fascinating sequence of Stoicism, Skepticism, and the Unhappy Consciousness.  Not all that long after we started making our way through the Stoicism material, I took a pause for international Stoic Week, releasing my customary seven videos (focusing that year mainly on Cicero).  Then, shortly afterwards, I taught an online 4-week course on the great Stoic philosopher, Epictetus.

I kicked around the idea in some of our Q&A hangouts of writing a bit on Hegel's own views on Stoicism.  I was getting some queries about that, asking some important questions - What is Hegel's take on Stoicism?  Why does he view it the way he does?  Why does it comes at that point in the Phenomenology?  Is his interpretation fair to the Stoics or not?  I suppose that some of my regular viewers and readers were likely wondering how I could be rather enthusiastically interpreting both Hegelian philosophy and Stoic philosophy at the same time! (That might be a good topic to discuss in a different time and place. . . )

Long having wanted to do some writing about Hegel's views on Stoicism, and never quite finding the time for it, I decided to clear enough to at least get started on an initial entry, in hopes of writing a follow-up next month when (at least by my calendar) I'm not quite so busied by other matters.  So, here it is. . . or at least the first portion of it.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

March Public Q&A Hangout

Later today - from 5 PM to 6 PM Central Standard Time - I'll be conducting the Public Half Hour Hegel Q&A Hangout for the month of March.

This is a free service I offer to the general public as part of the Half Hour Hegel Project, underwritten by my Patreon crowdfunding backers.

I'll be posting the link to the hangout - once its opened - on my Facebook author page, on my Google+ page, and on my Twitter, so if you want to get in, you'll want to watch for it at one of those virtual locations.  You'll also need to have the Hangouts software on your computer or app on your phone (it takes a bit of time to get set up, so you'll want to do it in advance!)

Anyone is welcome to participate -- that's the whole point of having a public Q&A session, and I'll be giving priority to those who have actual questions to ask me.

Google at present only allows 10 people at a time to be fully present in the Hangout (i.e. through their own video), but anyone can watch and use the text box to ask questions or make comments.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Half Hour Hegel In Wikipedia

I'm very happy to be able to report that the Half Hour Hegel series is now included as a recommended scholarly resource in the Wikipedia page for the Phenomenology of Spirit!

True, they have it listed (along with Bernstein's lectures) as "detailed audio commentary by an academic", which could give people the impression that it's a podcast if they're not paying close attention, but it also does say "YouTube" right next to the link - and if anyone clicks it, they go straight to the playlist.  In any case, since it's the infinitely revisable Wikipedia, I'm sure that dow the line they'll give it a fuller description.

What I find particularly gratifying about this inclusion is that it paves the way for further inclusions across the internet of this series as a resource for learners who want to do some serious, intensive study of Hegel's work.  Wikipedia has come a long, long way from its early days when many academics of my generation - and the older generations as well - formed a rather negative impression of its veracity and usefulness (this comic sketch manages to convey the gist of many of the complaints from back then), and we often recommended students not to rely upon it.

Wikipedia has become an integral part not only of the internet landscape, but even more importantly, an initial guide for learners engaging in research and inquiry.  So, if it sends people to the Half Hour Hegel series - whose entire purpose is making it possible for people worldwide to grapple with a major work of Western philosophy - that strikes me as a very good thing.