Hegel is one of the most important modern philosophers, whose thought influenced the development of existentialism, Marxism, pragmatism, hermeneutics and deconstruction. Yet Hegel's central text, the monumental ""Science of Logic"", still remains for most philosophers (both figuratively and literally) a firmly closed book. The purpose of this title is to dispel the myths that surround the ""Logic"" and to show that Hegel's unjustly neglected text is a work of extraordinary subtlety and insight. Part one argues that the ""Logic"" provides a rigorous derivation of the fundamental categories of thought and contrasts Hegel's approach to the categories with that of Kant. It goes on to examine the historical and linguistic presuppositions of Hegel's self-critical, ""presuppositionless"" logic and, in the process, considers several significant criticisms of such logic advanced by Schelling, Feuerbach, Gadamer and Kierkegaard. Separate chapters are devoted to the relation between logic and ontology in Hegel's ""Logic"" and to the relation between the ""Logic"" itself and the ""Phenomenology"". Part two contains the text - in German and English - of the first two chapters of Hegel's ""Logic"". Part three then provides a clear and accessible commentary on these two chapters that both examines Hegel's arguments in detail and relates his insights to those of other philosophers.
Stephen Houlgate is a professor of philosophy at the University of Warwick. His books include The Opening of Hegel's Logic: From Being to Infinity (Purdue, 2006), and An Introduction to Hegel: Freedom, Truth and History (Blackwell, 2005).