Friday, July 18, 2014

On Hegel: "He is confusing and complicated when he should be clear and direct."

The Great Philosophers 6: Hegel

Hegel via Wikipedia
Hegel has had a terrible influence on philosophy. He writes horribly. He is confusing and complicated when he should be clear and direct. He tapped into a weakness of human nature: to be trustful of grave-sounding, incomprehensible prose. He made it seem as if the mark of reading deep thought is that one cannot quite understand what is going on. This has made philosophy much weaker in the world than it should be. And the world has paid another heavy price for Hegel’s problems with communication. It has made it much harder to hear the valuable things he has to say to us.
He's got to be a translator's worst nightmare. To get Hegel into English, you have to be thoroughly versed in scores of philosophers and schools of thought, prominent and obscure, and be able to apply that knowledge to what he did to German, then be wizard at transmuting German to English. If Hegel boggles the mind, being a translator of Hegel must leave wreak havoc on the ol' coconut.

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