By Karin de Boer

Targeting the technological know-how of good judgment , this wide-ranging and cutting edge analyzing exposes the strength in addition to the restrict of Hegel's philosophy. Drawing on Hegel's early account of tragic conflicts, De Boer brings into play a kind of negativity that demanding situations the optimism inherent in modernity and Hegelian dialectics alike.

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Extra resources for On Hegel: The Sway of the Negative

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15 I will use the term ‘ontology’ to refer to the mode of philosophy that is concerned with such concepts. 16 Each in its own way investigates the ontological perspectives that ground our actual knowledge of objects, regardless of whether they are used to determine empirical representations, ideas of reason, or reality as such. 17 Indiscriminately referring to these concepts as pure essentialities, pure thoughts, categories, and determinations of thought,18 Hegel considered his logical science to replace Kant’s transcendental investigation.

19 An ethical act resulting from such a one-sided identification, Hegel notes, contains the moment of crime, because it does not sublate the natural allocation of the two laws to the two sexes, but rather . . remains within the sphere of natural immediacy. 20 According to Hegel, a conflict between contrary ethical paradigms only truly unfolds when individuals are impelled to act, for any acting presupposes the identification with a one-sided determination of what is good in itself (304/279). The Antigone represents this moment by the contrary ways in which Antigone and Creon react to the death of a kin.

This may have been another reason for Hegel to suggest that the contrary determinations of justice cannot be reconciled by Antigone and Creon themselves. However, when Hegel a few pages later discusses the relation between the state and the family in general terms, he conceives of their conflict in a quite different way. Echoing his earlier interpretation of The Eumenides, he now maintains that the human law, represented by the government, maintains itself by absorbing into itself [in sich aufzehrt] .

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