Hegel and Egypt’s African Element

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Abstract

Contrary to the widespread view that Hegel excluded Africa from what he called world history proper, the specifically African element of Egypt was indispensable to his account of the pivotal dialectical moment that saw spirit’s release from its immersion in nature. Hegel’s racist caricature of Africans in the early part of the lectures was not gratuitous, something that commentators can leave to one side. It was integral to his dialectical account of world history because it served to generate the contradiction that saw the Persian Empire give way to Greece. This understanding is confirmed by the newly completed four-volume edition of Hegel’s Lectures on the Philosophy of World History in the Gesammelte Werke. These new volumes also enable us to gain critical insight into how the editors of the first two published versions of the lectures, Eduard Gans and Karl Hegel, sought in their different ways to shape the reception of Hegel’s lectures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-22
Number of pages17
JournalHegel Bulletin
Volume45
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 5 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy

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