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Hegel: A Very Short Introduction (Unabridged)
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Hegel: A Very Short Introduction (Unabridged) [Audio Download]

by Peter Singer (Author), Christine Williams (Narrator)
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
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Product details

  • Audio Download
  • Listening Length: 3 hours and 30 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Audible Studios
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date: 5 Nov 2013
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00GGAOH84
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
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Product Description

Hegel is regarded as one of the most influential figures on modern political and intellectual development. After painting Hegel's life and times in broad strokes, Peter Singer goes on to tackle some of the more challenging aspects of Hegel's philosophy. Offering a broad discussion of Hegel's ideas and an account of his major works, Singer explains what have often been considered abstruse and obscure ideas in a clear and inviting manner.

©1983 Peter Singer ; (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By T. West
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Singer's contribution to this series is a deft piece of exposition, especially given the complexity of the subject matter. Hegel is often said to be the most obscure philosopher in the Western canon, but this guide elucidates his main ideas and is not even too difficult for the philosophical tyro, and as such is an exceptionally accessible read. Some of the other guides in this series take less complex subjects but do not give a clear outline of the main points - the VSI to Existentialism being the one that springs to mind. Here we have a logical presentation of Hegel's oeuvre, starting with a bit of background history, with biographical details and relationship to other philosophers, notably the reaction of Hegel and Schiller to Kant. Then we are introduced to the conception of history as the narrative towards human freedom, in the Philosophy of History, before moving to the more complex domain of the Phenomenology of Spirit, the concept of Geist and finally a brief outline of the Science of Logic, which is as fine a summation of the dialectical process as I have read. The Logic is not featured in great detail because it is, to Singer, too complex a work to be appreciated in a short volume, and the author recommends familiarising oneself with the earlier Hegel before anything as abstract as the Logic can be understood.
I would recommend this as essential to students of the humanities in general - let alone philosophy - given Hegel's influence on Marx, and those interested in the western philosophical tradition. Hegel is up there with Kant and Descartes in his influence, and should be regarded as an indispensable contributor to European thought.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Illucidation of the complex 4 Feb 2008
This most difficult of Philosphers is here made readable by Singer, probably one of the best interpreters of Hegel's work alive today. The complex language and even more complex philosophical substance of Hegel's work is accessible in this short introduction. Nevertheless, the language and ideas within still remain very complex and their meanings illusive even within this simplified book. I first came across this book whilst studying at University and was amazed just how much Hegel's philosophy influenced Marx and at least for that reason alone Hegel remains important today.

Perhaps less well known than some of the other major philosophers in history, Hegel's work "the Philosophy of History" and "Elements of the Philosophy of Right" remain influential works and are well abbreviated in this book.

It is difficult to foresee how the mammoth and complex language of Hegel could ever be made more accessible than it is by Singer in this book whilst retaining academic relevance.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting approach 26 Oct 2007
By cdh
Singers book approaches Hegel slightly differently than other guides, in that he tries to explain Hegels political and historical ideas ("History with a purpose" and "Freedom and community") separately from his main metaphysical concept of Geist ("The odyssey of mind") to make them easier for the reader to understand.

While this is largely successful, it then becomes increasingly difficult to understand why his political ideas must follow on from his Idealist philosophy. For this reason, I would recommend using Singers book in conjunction with another book (I am studying the Philosophy of Right therefore am also using the Routledge guidebook written by Dudley Knowles)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An old graduate 22 Jan 2012
I wrote several university essays on philosophy. These little books always gave a fantastic overview of a philosopher's work and indeed you can get a better understanding by ready these in full rather than skim reading a full version of their work.
Afterwards, you can always read further if necessary. These helped me get a 1st.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Introduction to Hegel 28 July 2004
By A. I. Mackenzie VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Singer writes really clearly and splits up the topics nicely for the beginner. Given how dreadful the original material is to read, this is a real advantage. It's quite possible to read Hegel backwards and not notice (for me anyway!).
He's also fairly sensible about Hegel's Philosophy which is unfashionably mystical to modern eyes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Singer's introduction to Hegel 20 Jan 2013
By Liam
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The 'very short introduction' series is an authoritative and lively series, introducing readers to important concepts. This is exemplified in Singer's very short introduction, which captures everything that the introduction ought to be.
The philosophy of G W F Hegel is notoriously tricky and any introduction to it is naturally going to face many problems; yet to read Singer's introduction you would not think so. There is a great deal of clarity in this introduction, more so than in the works it addresses, and it is invaluable to those who have neither the attention span or motivation to read Hegel's own dense works. The sections are well organised, summarising Hegel's points effectively and laying out a complete plan of his work. Furthermore, the less-than-formal presentation is refreshing and provides an entertaining read.
Some have criticised Singer's failure to include important aspects of Hegelian philosophy, including his Encyclopedia of logic, as well as his aesthetics. However, this is to miss the point of the very short introduction; this would hinder the readability of this wonderful 200-page introduction, not benefit it.
Overall, I would recommend this work to those who wish to gain an insight into Hegel as either a starting point for his philosophy or for those who wish for only a more basic knowledge.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars a clear and general overview to Hegel's work
As a first-year philosophy student, and basically a complete newbie with regards to Hegel, I was looking for an introductory book to get a brief overview of his work. Read more
Published 7 months ago by wugazi
5.0 out of 5 stars Detailed and well explained
This book is very well explained and presents the basics of Hegel's arguments in an accessible and easy to understand way. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Laura
4.0 out of 5 stars All you need to know about Hegel
I needed to research Hegel for a tutorial. Bought this. Read it in a student afternoon (that two hours between lunch and a quick snack before dinner): knew all about Hegel. Read more
Published on 14 Feb 2012 by Mr. A. P. Lloyd
3.0 out of 5 stars Hegel In A Nut Shell
For all those Hegel students who need commentaries bear in mind the following conclusions of this great hoaxer's "philosophy". Read more
Published on 8 Nov 2011 by A. Page
4.0 out of 5 stars Holiday Reading
I wanted to have a bit of light reading on my recent holiday in Amsterdam, so I thought I'd pack this book and see if I could get my head round this difficult philosopher's ideas... Read more
Published on 12 Aug 2011 by L. Davidson
4.0 out of 5 stars Nicely done
Nice little introduction. I guess everybody knows what to expect from these Very Short Introductions: short, to the point, not very elaborate but truthful anyway. Read more
Published on 5 Oct 2006 by Stijn Debrouwere
5.0 out of 5 stars Hegel: a very short introduction.
Singer brilliantly explains the opaque philosophy of G W F Hegel; a definate must have for all new students of Hegel.
Published on 8 Dec 2005
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