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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
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. Of course, as a beginner to Hegel I cannot comment on whether Singer well represents or misrepresents Hegel's philosophy, but given the notoriously impenetrable reputation of his work, I found this...
Published 15 months ago by wugazi

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9 of 20 people found the following review helpful
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". The "Aesthetics" ends with Philosophy being seen as the highest evolutionary point of mankind's artistic achievement. The "Philosophy of History" ends with the Germanic races being declared as the highest evolutionary point in mankind's cultural...
Published on 8 Nov 2011 by A. Page


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a clear and general overview to Hegel's work, 7 Sep 2013
This review is from: Hegel: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
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. Of course, as a beginner to Hegel I cannot comment on whether Singer well represents or misrepresents Hegel's philosophy, but given the notoriously impenetrable reputation of his work, I found this introduction to be super easy to read, without sacrificing a total lack of depth.

Singer accepts at the outset that he cannot do justice to Hegel's complete oeuvre and guides the reader through what he believes are Hegel's most important texts, in terms of historical significance and contemporary relevance. These include the Philosophy of History and the Phenomenology of Spirit/Mind, and the notion of history as the progress of freedom, and freedom as rational self-consciousness are explored. Also explored is Hegel's relationship to Kant and other German idealists, as well as a bit of background information about Hegel's life and times.

I would fully recommend this as the first introductory book to get to grips with a general idea of Hegel's philosophy, but you will need a longer and more detailed introductory book if you want anymore than this.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting approach, 26 Oct 2007
This review is from: Hegel: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lucidly written introduction to a complex philosopher, 15 Jan 2012
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T. West (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hegel: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
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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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Illucidation of the complex, 4 Feb 2008
This review is from: Hegel: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An old graduate, 22 Jan 2012
This review is from: Hegel: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
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 "alimack" (Glasgow, Scotland.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hegel: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
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
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This review is from: Hegel: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Detailed and well explained, 11 Aug 2012
This review is from: Hegel: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
This book is very well explained and presents the basics of Hegel's arguments in an accessible and easy to understand way. I am specifically interested in Hegel's philosophy of history, and so this book was ideal for me.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nicely done, 5 Oct 2006
This review is from: Hegel: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
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. I especially liked the attention that was paid to Hegel's epistemology and ethics - most brief accounts seem to be swamped by dull treatments of his dialectic logic.

My purpose in reading this book was to get to know why such an obscure writer could have such an influence as he had. Not only on his direct followers but, for example, on someone like Dewey as well (something that isn't treated, though). And now I do understand.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars All you need to know about Hegel, 14 Feb 2012
By 
Mr. A. P. Lloyd "efctony" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hegel: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
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. In particular I knew not to bother going further. (Except for Popper's chapter in "The Open Society...", that's laugh-out-loud funny.)

Well written, accessible, clear and comprehensive (though, to be realistic, you could comprehensively summarise Hegel on one sheet of paper with one rude word)
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Hegel: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
Hegel: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) by Peter Singer (Paperback - 23 Aug 2001)
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