Hegel on the Method and Shape of Philosophical Truth
Preliminaries: the difficulty and significance of Hegel's Preface
The text will provide a model of truth as something that is complete and ultimate. As a
preliminary to this, you can see how the phenomenology figures in the history of
philosophy. Tries to reconcile kantian idealism. the other important thing about this text
is that it does exhibit the tendency in continental philosophy to reflect itself as a text,
much as is the case with Kant's what is enlightenment.
Preface or postscript
Hegel spends a good of time in the preface explaining why a preface to a philosophical
work cannot be written. He even explicitly belittles prefaces generally. Whatever that
might be suitable to say in a preface, for instance to give some historical background,
etc, etc, none of these cannot give preface to a philosophical truth. Philosophy cannot
be made easy so that there is a simple common sense result so that everyone can have
access to it without much work. This is not philosophy because it is not just the reporting
of bare results. You cannot summarize a four hundred page philosophical paper into one
sentence, philosophy itself is inseparable from the philosophical approach or tools used.
Very terms are explained in the preface, and many ideas are not explained. In this
sense it is almost like a postscript. The preface itself is impossible but at the same time
possible because of its preparatory nature.
Why read Hegel's preface or why read anything else by Hegel?
Besides this preparatory function, the preface would not be for someone who had not
already understood the rest of Hegel's philosophical project. It is like a ladder that
reaches a plateau that presupposes that you are already on the plateau. On the other
hand, there is another view that seems to be held, if you understand Hegel's preface,
then you can understand the rest of his work. Either way, the preface itself is
preparatory, and we will understand why this is so in section five of the text. What does
this claim mean in section five of the text? To turn the love of wisdom, knowledge as
possible, into actual knowledge, showing all the steps that science has to take for
completion. This is what is at stake in the text.
What a preface to a philosophical system can tell