Hegel's Grand Synthesis

A Study of Being, Thought, and History

By Daniel Berthold-Bond

Subjects: Hegel
Series: SUNY series in Hegelian Studies
Paperback : 9780887069567, 233 pages, July 1989
Hardcover : 9780887069550, 233 pages, July 1989

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Table of contents


Chapter One: Introduction

Chapter Two: Hegel's Theory of Truth

1. Truth as a Temporal, Historical Event

a. Hegel and Frege: Truth and Thought

b. The Principle of Development

c. The Principle of Concretion

d. The Question of Relativism

2. The "Agency" of Truth

a. Hegel and Heidegger: The Anthropocentric Interpretation of Truth

b. Hegel's Panlogistic Interpretation of Truth

c. Hegel's Attempted Synthesis of Anthropomorphism and Panlogism

3. The Criterion of Truth: Hegel's Twist on the Correspondence Theory

Chapter Three: The "Riddle and Problem" of Knowledge

1. The Problem Itself

2. Hegel's Solution to the Problem

a. Criticisms of Kant

i. The Kantian Critical Philosophy as Scepticism

ii. The Basic Issue: Is Alteration a Distortion?

iii. The Ding an sich as Caput Mortuum

b. Hegel's Positive Solution

i. "Removing the Curtain"

ii. Hegel's Epistemological Criteriology

3. Hegel's Idealism

a. Kant's "Critical Idealism" and Fichte's "Subjective Idealism"

b. The "Overlapping" of Realism and Idealism

Chapter Four: Becoming and Dialectic

1. Hegel's Notion of Substance

a. The Influence of Aristotle

b. The Influence of Leibniz

c. The Influence of Heraclitus

2. The Nature of Becoming

a. "Mere Logical Becoming"

b. The Deeper Significance of Becoming

3. The Nature of Dialectic

a. Dialectic as Negativity

b. Dialectic as a Mode of Thought

Chapter Five: Hegel's Philosophic Method: The "Self-Construction of Reason"

1. Introductory Remarks on Method

2. Method and Reason

3. Method as Dialectic

a. Dialectic and the Dynamic Character of Thought

b. Dialectic and the Grand Synthesis: The Dovetailing of Categories of hought and Being

4. Method as Teleology

a. Teleology and System

b. Teleology and Circularity

Chapter Six: The Question of Completion: Hegel and Christian Eschatology

1. The Ambiguity

2. The Book of Revelation

3. Revelation and Reason

4. Hegel's Christian Eschatology and the Apocalyptic Vision of a "New World"

a. Suffering

b. The Curse

c. The "Tabernacle of God"

d. The "New World"

5. The Ambiguity Deepens

Chapte Seven: The Question of Completion: Hegel's Philosophic Eschatology

1. The "New World" Revisited

2. Evidence for the Epochal Reading of Hegel's Eschatology: Placing the New World" in Context

3. Pro and Con

4. Other Views

a. The Literal (Absolutist) Interpretation

b. Epochal Interpretations, Hesitant and Otherwise

c. Attempts at a Synthetic Interpretation

5. Conclusion



Subject Index

Name Index


This book offers the first genuinely systematic treatment of Hegel's eschatology in the literature. It is an investigation into Hegel's project to demonstrate the ultimate unity of thought and being (consciousness and reality, self and world). The author traces the project through Hegel's epistemology, metaphysics, and philosophy of history.

The grand synthesis creates a basic tension, an ambivalence, that reaches its most acute formulation in Hegel's eschatological language of a final completion or fulfillment of history. This conflicts with his dialectic and Heracletian metaphysics of becoming. Berthold-Bond concludes that a substantially new approach to Hegel's eschatology is needed.

Daniel Berthold-Bond is Professor of Philosophy at Bard College and author of Hegel's Theory of Madness, also published by SUNY Press.