The Birth of Theory: Hegel’s Actuality

Saturday, 16 June 2018, 7.30 pm, diffrakt| centre for theoretical periphery

Conversation with
Andrew Cole | Samo Tomšič

Marx and Engels once said that “[i]t has not occurred to any one of these philosophers to inquire into the connection of German philosophy with German reality, the relation of their criticism to their own material surroundings.” The problem with this animadversion is that they forgot to exempt Hegel from it. Call Hegel an idealist, a materialist, a dialectical materialist, a big headache, or what have you, there’s no doubt that he formulated his philosophy in view of his contemporary surroundings. There’s no need to dress up the word “surroundings” into something more academic and acceptable, though terms such as “context” may help some of us think more clearly about Hegel’s so-called “actuality,” as existence taken into and shaped by reflection—in other words, Hegel’s dialectical “theory.”