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Stephen Houlgate's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Stephen Houlgate recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Stephen Houlgate's favorite book recommendations of all time.



Lectures on Fine Art 2

This is the second of two volumes of the only English edition of Hegel's Aesthetics, the work in which he gives full expression to his seminal theory of art. The substantial Introduction is his best exposition of his general philosophy of art. In Part I he considers the general nature of art as a spiritual experience, distinguishes the beauty of art and the beauty of nature, and examines artistic genius and originality. Part II surveys the history of art from the ancient world through to the end of the eighteenth century, probing the meaning and significance of major works. Part III... more
Recommended by Stephen Houlgate, and 1 others.

Stephen HoulgateI would say that a great way of getting into Hegel is through the Aesthetics.  For a start, it contains lots of examples of artworks, unlike Kant’s aesthetics. Hegel comments on paintings, poems, plays, works of sculpture, etc., all of which you can look up on the internet or go and see in galleries. And that is really helpful, since you can see Hegel’s thinking at work in specific cases. (Source)

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This is the most important book on Hegel to have appeared in the past ten years. The author offers a completely new interpretation of Hegel's idealism that focuses on Hegel's appropriation and development of Kant's theoretical project. Hegel is presented neither as a pre-critical metaphysician nor as a social theorist, but as a critical philosopher whose disagreements with Kant, especially on the issue of intuitions, enrich the idealist arguments against empiricism, realism, and naturalism. In the face of the dismissal of absolute idealism as either unintelligible or implausible, Pippin... more
Recommended by Stephen Houlgate, and 1 others.

Stephen HoulgatePippin’s work has made Hegel respectable among Kant scholars and other people who wouldn’t otherwise read Hegel. (Source)

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Written with graduate students in mind, or anyone struggling to make sense of Hegel's cryptic prose, On Hegel's Logic throws light on many basic features of his conceptual thinking, and shows that Hegel's Logic could also be used as a philosophy of contemporary symbolic logic. less
Recommended by Stephen Houlgate, and 1 others.

Stephen HoulgateHe opened up the Logic to an English-speaking audience and showed it to be a work of serious, rigorous philosophy rather than obscure, impenetrable metaphysics. (Source)

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Science of Logic

Most of the major schools of contemporary philosophy, from Marxism to Existentialism, are reactions to Hegelianism and all, if they are to be understood, require some understanding of Hegel's Science of Logic. less
Recommended by Stephen Houlgate, and 1 others.

Stephen HoulgateHegel’s Logic is exhilarating to study and extraordinarily rich. It is abstract, there’s no doubt about that, and there are few examples. But the work is important even if you don’t end up being a Hegelian because of the fine and significant distinctions. (Source)

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Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit

Perhaps one of the most revolutionary works of philosophy ever presented, The Phenomenology of Spirit is Hegel's 1807 work that is in numerous ways extraordinary. It begins with a Preface, created after the rest of the manuscript was completed, that explains the core of his method and what sets it apart from any preceding philosophy. The Introduction, written before the rest of the work, summarizes and completes Kant's ideas on skepticism by rendering it moot and encouraging idealism and self-realization. The body of the work is divided into six sections of varying length, entitled... more
Recommended by Peter Singer, Stephen Houlgate, and 2 others.

Peter SingerIn order to understand Marx, you really do need to know something about Hegel. It’s a mistake to think you could read Marx as a scientist or an economist without understanding the Hegelian framework of his thought. That’s why I chose to begin with Hegel. (Source)

Stephen HoulgateIt’s a process of breaking down certain assumptions that ordinary consciousness has, and in so doing leading consciousness to philosophy. However, in Hegel’s case, the process of breaking down assumptions is immanent: it’s carried out by consciousness itself. (Source)

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