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Absolutely Yours, Hegel

In response to:

Spreading Hegel's Wings—II from the June 12, 1975 issue

To the Editors:

Thank you for Anthony Quinton’s sympathetic and timely essay on the current “Hegel revival.” He is surely right that this new interest was originally spurred by the need for a new and more philosophical Marx. What needs to be explained, however, is the fact that so much current Hegel scholarship and student interest is not at all political but metaphysical and straight-forwardly philosophical. As evidenced by most of the books Mr. Quinton mentions, the current “revival” is also a revival of a long-dormant set of philosophical ideals: the idea that philosophy is not an isolated “professional” enterprise; the idea that philosophy must have “practical” import, not only political consequence but influence on lifestyles and an ability to comprehend and personally reconcile us to crises of international proportions; the idea of a philosopher as visionary and synthesizer as well as critic and analyst. Mr. Quinton has done us all a service by pointing to this new interest and giving Hegel a public hearing which he has not yet received in this country.

Robert C. Solomon

Philosophy Department

University of Texas, Austin

Anthony Quinton replies:

I apologize for saying of Heidegger’s Hegel’s Concept of Experience that it prints Hegel’s introduction to the Phenomenology and Heidegger’s commentary on it en face when in fact Heidegger’s remarks follow Hegel’s text. By the time I wrote the review I did not have all the books at hand, only my notes on them. On the other point raised by Mr. Gram and others who have written, that of the identity of the translator, the name of Albert Hofstadter was supplied by the staff of The New York Review on information given by the publisher.

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