Thursday, November 10, 2005

Jeeves of the Absolute Idea

Sometimes when reading secondary works on Hegel, I suspect the author may be describing the "world in front of the text" more than anything else. For example, Michael Forster sees evidence of eliminative materialism in Hegel's Phenomenology! Many such contemporary readings of the opaque author are either brilliantly perspicacious as interpretations or brilliantly creative as fictions. I just ran across Anthony Quinton's description of Schlomo Avineri's work on Hegel which captures the essence of my suspicion.
Avineri is the Jeeves of the Absolute Idea. To Hegelian equivalents of such Woosterisms as "dash it all, a conk on the noggin is a bit of a facer" he responds with something like "I agree, Sir, that a sharp blow on the head is a cause for concern."


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