Friday, September 8, 2017

Hegel Party This Weekend! (Celebrating 200 Videos Completed)

It's time for another online Hegel Party!  This time the occasion is our passing another number milestone - we have produced and released 200 videos in the Half Hour Hegel series!

We'll be holding it through our FreeConferenceCall videoconferencing site - from 2-3 PM (Central Time) this Sunday, September 10.  I'll be toasting with some of our excellent local Milwaukee beer on my side of the screen, and you're welcome to toast the occasion with anything you like on your end (which, of course, you have to supply!)

Everyone is welcome - whether you are an avid reader of Hegel, or just curious about his work and thought!  I imagine the discussion will be fairly open-ended, with some people asking questions about Hegel or the project, others wanting to discuss some key ideas or applications of his philosophy, and some just wanting to listen in.

In my view, this really is something to celebrate!  I've devoted more than 3 1/2 years now to producing this lecture series - a video commentary, line by line, paragraph by paragraph - designed to help people worldwide make sense of one of the more difficult texts in philosophy - Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit.

200 videos means 100 hours of actual video - and who knows how many hours invested in study, planning, shooting, and editing the videos!  We've made it though about 2/3 of the text - the Preface, Introduction, and the Consciousness, Self-Consciousness, and Reason sections.  We're a good ways into the Spirit section as well.

I have to add that I'm immensely grateful for the financial support that people have shown me and the project - a few through paypal donations, and most through my Patreon page.  This entire project is crowdfunded by individuals who view it as providing a valuable public good.  And without their support, I likely wouldn't be able to afford to divert the time, energy, and thought required to see it though (since I earn my living as a philosopher in private practice, rather than as a traditional academic).

So join us to celebrate passing another important milestone in this long laborious path towards completing this innovative digital humanities project - I hope to see you there, toast the 200 video mark, and enjoy some conversation with you over the space of an hour!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Three Videos in the Legal Status Section

The "Legal Right" sub-section of that first part of Spirit - "True Spirit: The Ethical Order" - is relatively short.  Just seven paragraphs, and we got the commentary on it done in just three video installations.

It does provide an important transition point from the much longer earlier sub-sections on "The Ethical World" and "Ethical Action" - where the main dialectical engagements took place between the two ethical powers (the Human Law and the Divine Law), and the individuals who identified themselves with these.

In this section, we see the collapse of those shapes of consciousness and the transition into a new form of social order - one that involves several types of alienation.

Here are those three videos:

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Finishing Up The Ethical Action Section

We're now at the end of the second sub-section of the first big section of the Spirit portion of the Phenomenology. What this effectively brings to a close is the entire dynamic of the two ethical powers - Human Law and Divine Law - and, as always, that means that we are moving into something new.

It also brings to its conclusion Hegel's interpretation of the classical Oedipus cycle (notice, not the Oedipus complex), which plays such a significant role in many of the paragraphs of this section.

Really, what Hegel is doing is moving away from the ethical community as that of the city-state - whether that of ancient Thebes, or Athens, or the Roman Republic - a community in which there is some scope for these two ethical powers or laws, and their human representatives, to work out what the Ethical involves.  And in return - as we'll see in the paragraphs in the next section - we're moving into a different kind of social matrix, and thereby a different kind (and meaning) of individuality.

Here are the three paragraphs that finish up this part of the text.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

August Half Hour Hegel Q&A and Discussion Session

Later on this week, I'll be hosting our monthly Half Hour Hegel Q&A and Discussion session.  This month, it is on Tuesday, August 8, 5-6 PM (Central Time).  If you'd like to participate, you can go to our ReasonIO meeting wall, and follow the link to get into the session.

If you've got an interest in - or are just even puzzled by - Hegel's works and thought, German Idealism, or even philosophy more generally - pop in, and join the conversation (or if you like, just lurk and listen)!

The time I devote to these sessions is underwrittten by the Patreon supporters of the Half Hour Hegel project.  If you're interested in becoming a supporter, or learning more about it, you can do so here.

I'm looking forward to another great conversation later on this week - hope to see some of you readers there!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Four Videos in the Ethical Action Section

Human and Divine Law are far from being finished - though they will be by the end of this second section in this "Ethical Order" part of the Spirit portion of the work - and we have a whole new set of dialectical interactions and developments to chart out now.

For those with a strong interest in classical literature, you're going to see Hegel referencing the Oedipus family and political drama pretty extensively in this section.  Why?  Because those narratives provide him with some exemplary figures representing those committed entirely to - and thus able to provide the concrete instantiation of - these two competing and complementary laws, embodying the "ethical substance"

Here are the first four videos in this section.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

July Public Half Hour Hegel Q&A and Discussion

Later on today - from 5-6 PM Central Time - I'll be hosting our monthly online Half Hour Hegel Q&A and Discussion session.  If you'd like to participate, you can go to our ReasonIO meeting wall, and follow the link to get into the session.

We have a number of longstanding regular participants who pop in, and there's usually some new people as well.  Everybody and anybody who has an interest in Hegel, German Idealism, or even philosophy more generally is welcome to join!

The time I devote to these sessions is underwrittten by the Patreon supporters of the Half Hour Hegel project.  If you're interested in becoming a supporter, or learning more about it, you can do so here.

I'm looking forward to a great conversation later on today - hope to see some of you readers there in digital face-to-face!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Four Videos Finishing Up Human And Divine Law

We're still making some excellent progress through the Phenomenology.  With the four lectures linked here, we finish up the very first substantive sub-section of the Spirit portion of the work - one of the longest parts, rivaled only by the Reason portion we finished up earlier this year!

You might think about this first sub-section as the one in which Hegel is setting up - laying the ground - for the conflict that is going to occur between the two "Laws" - human and divine - in the section that follows.  There is quite a bit more going on in those paragraphs, of course - some very interesting meditations upon family dynamics, the nature of death, and so forth - but that is one of the key aspects of the sub-section as well.

At any rate, here are those four commentary videos, covering eleven paragraphs of that section:

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Coming Up - Webinar and Online Seminars on the Master-Slave Dialectic

For those who are interested, perplexed by, or even obsessed by Hegel's thought, we have several online events coming up later this month focused specifically on one portion of the Phenomenology of Spirit - the Master-Slave Dialectic (or in the more old-timey lingo some purists insist on using, Lordship and Bondage)

The webinar and online seminars on Hegel this month are part of a series of online events we have started this year.  Each month, we focus on a different theme, and usually a different author.

On Tuesday, June 20, we'll be hosting a FREE 45-minute webinar covering some of the basics of Hegel's Master-Slave dialectic, with about 20 minutes of Q&A built in at the end.  That's at 12:00 PM Central Time - and you can register for it here.

Then on Saturday, June 24, at two different times, we'll be hosting a much more intensive 2-hour online seminar going into much greater depth about the Master-Slave dialectic.  You can find out more about that here.  The first session will be at 10:00 AM Central Time, and the second at 4:00 PM Central Time.  You can register for either one of those here.

If you'd like to hear a bit more about it, I've also created a video discussing these events.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Public Hegel Q&A Session Later Today

It's already that time again this month - the day that we hold an online Q&A and discussion session for all things Hegel-related (and quite frankly, we do get off on a lot of digressions, not only about German idealism or even philosophy in general, but also politics, culture, and media!)

We'll be holding the session via videoconference in our ReasonIO Free Conference Call online space - you can reach it here - and everybody is welcome to join in.  It's at the usual time - 5 PM Central Time.  I'll always give priority to people who actually have questions about Hegel's thought - and if you're reading Hegel, you're bound to have questions!

I offer these sessions the general public as a public service to help build awareness and understanding of Hegel's philosophy. The Patreon supporters of the Half Hour Hegel project effectively underwrite this online engagement - so many thanks to them!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Next Four Videos in The Spirit Portion of the Work

The first section of the Spirit portion of the Phenomenology is "The True Spirit - The Ethical Order".  It comprises a pretty substantive portion of the work - paragraphs 444 to 483 - so there will be quite a few videos to get through that entire section.  Even the first sub-section is quite long, ranging over paragraphs 446 to 463.

What Hegel is developing in that first subsection is an eventual conflict between two main manifestations of the "Ethical Substance" - what he will term the Divine Law, with its locus in the Family, and the Human Law, with its locus in the State or Nation.  Making it even more complicated, he will also connect these two sides with gender, placing Woman on the side of the Divine Law and the Family, and Man on the side of Human Law and the larger Community.

Here are those early videos, the first one of which is an introduction to the first section in general.

The next three are the beginning of the section proper

Saturday, May 6, 2017

First Three Videos in the Spirit Portion

We finished up the Reason portion of the work last month, and started moving into the Spirit section - and of course, held a Hegel Party to celebrate that milestone.

Now, we're right at the start of Spirit - which is a very looonnng portion of the work - but we do have the first three commentary videos produced and posted publicly, providing the introduction to the entire Spirit portion.

This part of the work is likely to take quite a long time to get through - probably the next year and a half - but it is one of the most interesting portions of the Phenomenology of Spirit.  And, once it is finished, we're quite close to the end of the work - just Religion and Absolute Knowing still to comment upon.

Here are the first three videos on the Spirit section:

Monday, April 17, 2017

Finishing The Entire Reason Portion of the Phenomenology!

Earlier today, I released the last of the four videos covering the nine paragraphs in the "Reason as Testing Laws" section.  That brings the commentary on the entire 200+ paragraph Reason portion of the work to a close!

That means that we are ready to start a new - and equally lengthy - portion of the work: Spirit!  I've already started shooting footage for the commentary videos early on in the Spirit portion - the very introductory materials.  The first of those will be coming out either tomorrow - for my Patreon supporters, who get a sneak peek at the new material - or on Sunday, before the Hegel Party - for everyone else.

In any case, here are the final four videos in Reason - the entirety of "Reason as Testing Laws":

Finishing Up With Reason As Lawgiver

We finish up with the second to last section of the Reason portion of the Phenomenology - "Reason as Lawgiver" - with these two videos:

Lecture 171 - paragraphs 425
Lecture 172 - paragraphs 426-428

Now, we are ready to move into the very last section of Reason - "Reason as Testing Laws"!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Save The Date - Online Hegel Party!

By the midpoint of this month, we will have entirely finished up with our video commentary on the Reason portion of Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit.  After that dense, 200+ paragraph portion, we move on to the even longer Spirit portion - and then after that, it's just the shorter Religion and Absolute Knowing portions to finish it up.

So that deserves a celebration - to mark this milestone in the Half Hour Hegel project - and I'm inviting all of you to join me on Sunday, April 23 in our ReasonIO FreeConferenceCall space to raise a glass on your end, and toast the achievement!

It has been a lot of work - more than three years in at this point - to create the 175+ videos we've produced so far.  I'm very grateful for the continued support that my Patreon backers have shown me over that time, making it feasible to devote the time, thought, and energy to this demanding project!

Already in its unfinished state, this video commentary has become a helpful resource for thousands of learners worldwide.  Just looking at the stats in YouTube today, we have had nearly 270,000 total views of the videos.  Even more staggering, something like 2.7 million minutes - or if you like, 1875 total days, or a bit over 5 years - of videocommentary have been watched by viewers worldwide!

So clearly the videos are getting some traction - and this is just three years into what will likely be a five-year project - and who knows how long the finished videocommentary will be around (hopefully decades or even centuries)!

As a side-note, if you're not a Patreon supporter, you might be wondering how it is that we're far enough in the series to schedule this Hegel Party for the 23rd.  Is that the case? There's a simple answer - in addition to their other perks, Patreon supporters get to see the videos a week or so in advance of their release to the general public.

If you're interested in supporting this project - even just $1 a video makes a difference over time - check out the Patreon site, and consider becoming a supporter!  Even if you're not interested in that, though, I heartily invite you to join us for the Hegel Party!

Monday, April 3, 2017

First Three Lectures in Reason as Lawgiver

We're now halfway through the new section, "Reason As Lawgiver" - at least as far as the publicly released videos go (Patreon supporters get to see the new materials a few weeks in advance).

This is a very short section, only ten paragraphs, and it is followed by another equally short section, so before you know it. we'll have finished up with the entire Reason portion of the Phenomenology, and be ready to start the next massive portion, Spirit!

So, can rational self-consciousness make sense of its own project, the "heart of the matter" that it has discovered to be that "ethical substance" it has been seeking since the start of the second part of the Reason portion?  Has it at last arrived at something it can confidently hold in its grip and be entirely sure about?

That's an interesting "big picture" question.  You'll notice that Hegel resolves it in part by focusing in on some useful examples - that's what the entirety of paragraph 424 consists in, consideration of the ethical law: everyone should speak the truth.  Here are the first three videos in this new section:



Friday, March 24, 2017

Finishing With the Spiritual Animal Kingdom and Deceit

March has been an extraordinarily busy month for me, and I've fallen a bit behind in posting here in the Half Hour Hegel blog.  In addition to giving a number of talks, and picking up quite a few new tutorial and philosophical counseling clients, I've also managed to get somewhat ahead on the video production.

My Patreon supporters - this is one of their big perks - have already viewed most of the next section, Reason As Lawgiver.  (And I've actually released one video on that new section for the general public already as well).  I did manage to release all of the remaining videos for the "Spiritual Animal Kingdom and Deceit" section over the course of March.

That's a rather longish section compared to the two that follow - and that finish up the entire Reason portion of the work - and although I enjoyed creating the commentary, I'm happy to have it behind me!  Here are the final five videos from that section:

Monday, March 6, 2017

Public Q&A Session for March!

We're holding the next Half Hour Hegel public Q&A session a bit later on this week - Wednesday from 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM Central Time.

This is a public service that I offer as a way of giving back to the online intellectual community.  It's effectively underwritten by my Patreon supporters (and I do offer a second, exclusive session later on in the month for them).

If you've got any Hegel-related questions - and if you're reading Hegel, you likely do! - then by all means, join in and ask your questions, and I'll do my best to answer them.  You can access the online session at our ReasonIO meeting site.  Hopefully, I'll see you there!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Continuing On Through the Spiritual Animal Kingdom

We're continuing on through this sub-portion of the final portion of the massive (200+ paragraph) Reason section of the Phenomenology.  What's particularly interesting about this part, I would say, is the analysis that Hegel gives to human action, to the practical as centrally important for self-consciousness.

Can a person discover who - or what - he or she is through their action, through losing and finding him or herself in a "matter in hand" (Sache selbst)?  That's what this part of the work is working away at.

Here are the next three videos in the Spiritual Animal Kingdom section

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Starting The Third Sub-Section Of Reason


We're now starting a new - and final - portion of the quite-long Reason section of the Phenomenology, "Individuality Which Takes Itself To Be Real In and For Itself".  We're picking up where rational self-consciousness left off at the end of the second portion.

Here is the video for the introductory three paragraphs of Individuality Real In and For Itself:
Here are the first three paragraphs of the Spiritual Animal Kingdom portion:

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Two Videos of Interest

Some time back, I created a video that walked viewers through the process of creating the videos in the Half Hour Hegel series.  Much more recently, I shot another Hegel-related video in a different series, in which I talk about my own philosophical developments, commitments, and interests.

Both of those might be of interest to readers of this blog and to people interested in the Half Hour Hegel series specifically.  So, for those who would like to view them, here are those two videos:

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Last Three Videos on Virtue and the Way of the World

Earlier today, I publicly posted the 155th video in the Half Hour Hegel series, finishing up the video commentary on the "Virtue and the Way of the World" portion of the text.  This also marks the end of the second main portion of this massive Reason section of the Phenomenology.

As with the earlier two dialectical developments in this part - "Pleasure and Necessity" and "The Law of the Heart and The Frenzy of Self-Conceit" - what we see is a shift of initiative away from the first term and towards the second term.  Virtue - and by this Hegel clarifies that he means a modern conception of virtue - definitely takes a drubbing from the Way of the World.

I'll do a bit of writing here about what goes on in these three shapes of consciousness, hopefully later this month (if not, then in early February).  For now, here are those last three videos:

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Our First Online Q&A Session Of 2017

We have been holding online Q&A sessions for the general public for roughly the last two years or so.  Each month, we meet for an hour to address any questions - as best as I can (sometimes drawing upon the expertise of some of the other attendees) - and engage in discussion about Hegel's thought and works and the application of his philosophy.  (I have to admit that we often do stray into other territory, though!)

Up to the session that we will be holding tomorrow - at 5 PM Central Time - we have been using Google Hangouts as our meeting place.  Well, it's a new year, and we're switching to a new, better platform for the meeting sessions, one we've used for our online courses and seminars - FreeConferenceCall.com.

Now, if you're interested in joining the Public Q&A session, you don't have to wait for me to open up a hangout and post the link to it.  Here's the link for the session space tomorrow right here.

I should mention that these sessions - and the ongoing production of the video series - are effectively underwritten by my Patreon supporters.  If you find that you benefit from the Half Hour Hegel series, and you aren't already a supporter, you might consider - in this new year - becoming one.  If not, make sure to express any gratitude you feel towards my Patreon supporters who make this ongoing work possible!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

First Three Videos on Virtue and the Way of the World

Before the end of last year, we started "Virtue and the Way of the World" - the last portion of the "Actualization of Rational Self-Consciousness Through Its Own Activity, which is the second big part of the Reason section of the Phenomenology.

With this dialectical development - one that, like the two preceding it, still bears many implications for people in our contemporary world - we work through another common way in which human beings strive after some shape of happiness.  In this case, at least at the start of the development, the individual commits him or herself to something bigger, something that appears transcendent to projected of concealed individual desires and their satisfactions.

Virtue in this modern sense - for Hegel clearly distinguishes what he is examining from earlier, ancient and medieval conceptions of virtue - presents itself by way of opposition to a "way of the world", a generalized environment of ultimately self-centered individuals and the actions, practices, and institutions they engage in.  How does this conflict end up?  It seems at first that virtue ought to be the natural winner - that there isn't even really a contest.  But that's not what actually turns out to be the case.

Here are the first three video lectures from that portion of the text.