• Rocío Zambrana is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oregon. She specializes in nineteenth- and twentieth-century continental philosophy, with a focus on German idealism and Frankfurt School critical theory. Her publications include “Hegel's Hyperbolic Formalism” (Bulletin of the Hegel Society of Great Britain, 2010), Hegel's Logic of Finitude,” (Continental Philosophy Review, 2012), and “Love in Hegel's Logic” (forthcoming in Love in the Philosophy of Hegel, Brill). She is currently writing a book on Hegel's Science of Logic entitled Hegel's Theory of Determinacy.


Answering the challenge of G. W. F. Hegel's idealism and its perceived logocentrism has arguably been a defining feature of nineteenth- and twentieth-century continental philosophy. Today, in the midst of a Hegel renaissance, Hegel's legacy within continental philosophy is far more ambivalent. In this essay, I cut across debates about the status of Hegel's idealism in order to offer a reflection on the legacy of Hegel by reconstructing a Hegelian notion of legacy. I develop this notion in response to Jacques Derrida's discussion of inheritance in Specters of Marx (1993). Both Hegel and Derrida articulate the structure of legacy, inheritance, and history on the basis of the strictures of gathering. For both, gathering is an act of memory that determines a legacy as a legacy, a history as a history. Gathering determines an event, norm, idea, or institution as something to be passed on for a future to come. While Derrida concludes that inheritance implies decision, Hegel's recollection provides the basis for what I will call a critical history, which contributes to any such decision in crucial ways.