Remnants of Hegel

Remains of Ontology, Religion, and Community

By Félix Duque
Translated by Nicholas Walker

Subjects: Continental Philosophy, Hegel, Philosophy, Philosophy Of Religion, Political Philosophy
Series: SUNY series in Contemporary Continental Philosophy
Hardcover : 9781438471570, 182 pages, November 2018
Paperback : 9781438471587, 182 pages, July 2019

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Table of contents


Part I. Substrate and Subject (Hegel in the Aftermath of Aristotle)
1. Aristotle: A Certain Underlying Nature and the Individual “Thing”

2. Not Substance, But Just as Much Subject

3. The Reflexive Movement of Thinking

4. The Unveiling of Substance as the Genesis of the Concept

5. Begging the Question of Beginning

Part II. Hegel on the Death of Christ
(Ich bin der Kampf selbst)
1. The Infinite Value of Subjectivity

2. The Death of Christ and the Commencement of History

3. The Strange Heart of Reason

4. “I Am the Unity of Fire and Water”

5. Natural Death and the Death of Death

Part III. Death Is a Gulp of Water
(La Terreur in World History)
1. Hegel and the Revolution—After Marxism

2. Living and Thinking One’s Own Time

3. A Literal Reading of Hegel

4. Hegel’s Two “Terrors”

5. Metal and Water: Beheading and Drowning

6. Fanaticism as a Chemical Precipitate

7. An Inverted Allegory of the Cave

8. From Absolute Negativity to the Element of Freedom

Part IV. Person, Freedom, and Community

1. The Entire Remnant of the Idea

2. Person as a Relational Nature

3. Abstract Right and Legal Recognition

4. Ethical Life and Bourgeois Virtues

5. A Strange Sort of Redemption

Part V. The Errancy of Reason (The Perishing of the Community)

1. The Devil, the Good Lord, and Human Blood

2. Man as the Possibility of God: Passio Christi

3. Cultus and Eucharist as Manducatio Spiritualis

4. The Spirit as the Wound of Time

5. The Fullness of Time as the Exhaustion of Time


An original philosophical exploration of the limits of Hegel's thought.


In the preface to the second edition of the Science of Logic, Hegel speaks of an instinctive and unconscious logic whose forms and determinations "always remain imperceptible and incapable of becoming objective even as they emerge in language." In spite of Hegel's ambitions to provide a philosophical system that might transcend messy human nature, Félix Duque argues that human nature remains stubbornly present in precisely this way. In this book, he responds to the "remnants" of Hegel's work not to explicate his philosophy, but instead to explore the limits of his thought. He begins with the tension between singularity and universality, both as a metaphysical issue in terms of substance and subject and as a theological issue in terms of ideas about the human and divine nature of Jesus. Duque argues that the questions these issues bring out require a search for some antecedent authority, for which he turns to Hegel's theory of "second nature" and the idea of nature as reflected in the nation-state. He considers Hegel's evaluation of the French Revolution in the context of political and civil life, and, in a religious context, how Hegel saw considerations of authority and guilt sublimated and purified in the development of Christianity.

Félix Duque is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. Nicholas Walker has translated many books, including Thomas Hobbes (by Otfried Höffe), also published by SUNY Press.


"Duque's undeniable erudition is on full display in Remnants of Hegel. Throughout this book, Duque deftly and subtly shifts between and analogizes metaphysical, political, and religious frames with the ease of a scholar who knows the material deeply and intimately … there is much food for thought within its pages." — Reading Religion

"Félix Duque is arguably the most important living philosopher in the Spanish-speaking world." — Phenomenological Reviews

"This is the work of an important philosopher, with a lifetime of ideas and research to draw on. It is a great book on Hegel and a great book of philosophy in its own right." — Jay Lampert, author of Deleuze and Guattari's Philosophy of History

"As a contribution to the field, this book does the admirable work of bringing to the fore the interrelated problems of religion and death as fundamentally philosophical problems. The author is refreshingly well versed in theological debates surrounding the Eucharist and their philosophical import for Hegel. There is much insight here for scholars, especially of the analytic, anti-metaphysical school of Hegel studies. They may not walk away convinced that Hegel's metaphysics is mediated by religion, but they will certainly see the plausibility of such a reading. For other Hegel scholars, the book is a treasure trove of insightful ways of framing Hegel's project." — Brent Adkins, author of Death and Desire: In Hegel, Heidegger, and Deleuze