Hegel's Metaphysics: Changing the Debate



There are two general approaches to Hegel's theoretical philosophy which are broadly popular in recent work. Debate between them is often characterized, by both sides, as a dispute between those favoring a more traditional “metaphysical” approach and those favoring a newer “non-metaphysical” approach. But I argue that the most important and compelling points made by both sides are actually independent of the idea of a “non-metaphysical” interpretation of Hegel, which is itself simply unconvincing. The most promising directions for future research, for those on both sides of recent debates, will require recognizing that Hegel's theoretical philosophy includes a metaphysics, and engaging new debates about the specific character of that metaphysics.