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The Rise of the Non-Metaphysical Hegel



There has been a resurgence of interest in Hegel's thought by Anglo-American philosophers in the last 25 years. That expansion of interest was initiated with the publication of Charles Taylor's Hegel (1975). That work stills stands as one of7 the important branches of Hegel interpretation. However the dominance of the strongly metaphysical interpretation of Hegel, which dominated the understanding of Hegel until the 1980s, and of which Taylor's work represents the culmination, has now, at least among the major interpreters of Hegel, given way to what has come to be known as the non-metaphysical reading of Hegel. This article charts the emergence and development of the non-metaphysical Hegel, which takes his thought to be a continuation of the Kantian project of critically examining the presuppositions of any normative claim. This article provides an overview of the latest developments in Hegel research, primarily focusing on the English-language literature. Recent research has placed Hegel's concerns at the centre of contemporary debates in analytic philosophy, particularly concerning the status of norms, the ‘space of reasons’ and the ‘myth of the given’. This research has in turn been influential on the two most important figures in English-language Hegel scholarship (Robert Pippin and Terry Pinkard). The article will position this new wave of Hegel scholarship and its influence in relation to the metaphysical interpretation of Hegel and will also provide a brief overview of Hegel's reception in French post-structuralism, which has largely accepted and promoted a view of Hegel as a metaphysician.