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The Lessons of Hegel's Science of Experience
Infinite Phenomenology builds on John Russon’s earlier book, Reading Hegel’s Phenomenology, to offer a second reading of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit. Here again, Russon writes in a lucid, engaging style and, through careful attention to the text and a subtle attunement to the existential questions that haunt human life, he demonstrates how powerfully Hegel’s philosophy can speak to the basic questions of philosophy. In addition to original studies of all the major sections of the Phenomenology, Russon discusses complementary texts by Hegel, namely, the Philosophy of Spirit, the Philosophy of Right, and the Science of Logic. He concludes with an appendix that discusses the reception and appropriation of Hegel’s Phenomenology in twentieth-century French philosophy. As with Russon’s earlier work, Infinite Phenomenology will remain essential reading for those looking to engage Hegel’s essential, yet difficult, text.
“Infinite Phenomenology is an entirely welcome original piece of scholarship on Hegel’s text and contribution to phenomenology. . . . [Russon] presents careful accounts of the primary text without losing sight of the distinctive philosophical interest that animates it. He presents Hegel’s arguments in terms of familiar experiences without leveling off the vital significances he wants to show that they express. And his account of Hegel’s phenomenology is ultimately justified by his own success in making explicit continuities and discontinuities between the text and subsequent developments in European philosophy. Infinite Phenomenology should prove to be equally a helpful guide to those reading Hegel’s text for the first time, and a lively interlocutor for more advanced students of Hegel, German idealism, and European philosophy.” —Timothy L. Brownlee, Xavier University
"Infinite Phenomenology emphasizes not the historical text but the pedagogy one might draw from serious consideration of Hegel’s description of the individual, social, and institutional structures of self-consciousness. It is particularly welcome, in this time where circumstances seem to exacerbate differences among cultures, classes, ethnicities, political arrangements and religions. . . . The book’s language is fluid and jargon-free; the Hegelian experiential lessons it expounds would be useful in both higher-level undergraduate and graduate courses. They are supported by an exoskeleton of textual scholarship, including German citations and a brief history of twentieth-century Francophone Hegel interpretation. I find the book engaging, deep, and useful.” —Michael Vater, Marquette University