Terry P. Pinkard (born c. 1950) is an American philosopher, and Professor at Georgetown University, known for his work on 18th and 19th century German philosophy, and particularly on Hegel and Hegel's Dialectic. He obtained his Phd from Stony Brook University in 1974/75 with the thesis, entitled "The Foundations of Transcendental Idealism: Kant, Hegel, Husserl."
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Hegel: A Biography (2000)
- Hegel is one of those thinkers just about all educated people think they know something about. His philosophy was the forerunner to Karl Marx's theory of history, but unlike Marx, who was a materialist, Hegel was an idealist in the sense that he thought that reality was ultimately spiritual, and that it developed according to the process of thesis/ antithesis/ synthesis. Hegel also glorified the Prussian state, claiming that it was God's work, was perfect, and was the culmination of all human history. All citizens of Prussia owed unconditional allegiance to that state, and it could do with them as it pleased. Hegel played a large role in the growth of German nationalism, authoritarianism, and militarism with his quasi-mystical celebrations of what he pretentiously called the Absolute.
Just about everything in the first paragraph is false except for the first sentence.
What is even more striking is that it is all clearly and demonstrably wrong, has been known to be wrong in scholarly circles for a long time now, and it still appears in almost all short histories of thought or brief encyclopedia entries about Hegel.
- Terry Pinkard at Georgetown University