Response to Critics of Hegel's Ontology of Power

Hegel Bulletin 43 (2):320-343 (2022)
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Abstract

I am much indebted to Jacob McNulty, Allegra de Laurentiis and Tony Smith for their generous attention to my book and their insightful remarks. Since I could not possibly do justice to all their concerns, I have unfortunately had to be selective. The issues discussed in this response are organized thematically. In the first section, I discuss why Hegel's logic of essence has to be understood historically; which is to say that the logic of essence provides an ontology that is specific to capitalism. Then, in the second section, I discuss the nature of holism in the logic of essence, and correspondingly, the nature of social holism specific to capitalism. Finally, in the third section, I answer the question: if both Marx's critique of political economy and Hegel's own economic theory in the Philosophy of Right are based on the same logic of essence, why they are so divergent from, and indeed incompatible with, each other.

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