For such a decisive figure in philosophy and culture more generally, the reception of Hegel's thought is too often reduced to little more than a caricature. This course will seek to counter this with a detailed exploration of a range of his work. We will aim to assess their original message and contemporary relevance and seek to work through the stakes of any attempt to finally move beyond or past the ideas of one of the true giants of philosophy.

The course will aim to provide an overview of Hegel's staggeringly ambitious project, while also paying close critical attention to the way in which this is overall project is advanced in particular texts. Rather than focus exhaustively on one particular text, we will look to range across his writings, but areas for particular focus will be the Phenomenology of Spirit, selections from the Science of Logic as well as some areas of the Philosophy of Right and the Philosophy of History. The aim is to see how Hegel's social and historical writings are not only often grotesquely caricatured in much of the reception of his work, but also the way in which they are also informed by his distinctive approach to metaphysics and ontology. There is no doubt that Hegel can often be very difficult to read, and we will aim to strike a balance between getting use to the peculiar rigours of his text and looking to put these texts into the broader context which makes them such exciting and, still, original exercises in philosophical thinking.

By the end of the course, you should be able to:

- Explain a range of key concepts in Hegel's work (e.g. negation, sublation, dialectic, geist, being-in-itself, being for itself, in its own truth, etc)
- Explain and evaluate debates as to how Hegel's conception of the Absolute should be understood
- Assess the significance of dialectical thinking for philosophy and other areas of discourse