Power as Control and the Therapeutic Effects of Hegel’s Logic

Hegel Bulletin 36 (1):33-52 (2015)
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Rather than approaching the question of the constructive or therapeutic character of Hegel’s Logic through a global consideration of its argument and its relation to the rest of Hegel’s system, I want to come at the question by considering a specific thread that runs through the argument of the Logic, namely the question of the proper understanding of power or control. What I want to try to show is that there is a close connection between therapeutic and constructive elements in Hegel’s treatment of power. To do so I will make use of two deep criticisms of Hegel’s treatment from Michael Theunissen. First comes Theunissen’s claim that in Hegel’s logical scheme, reality is necessarily dominated by the concept rather than truly reciprocally related to it. Then I will consider Theunissen’s structurally analogous claim that for Hegel, the power of the concept is the management of the suppression of the other. Both of these claims are essentially claims about the way in which elements of the logic of reflection are modified and yet continue to play a role in the logic of the concept.

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Christopher Yeomans
Purdue University


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