Wednesday, April 04, 2007

One of the Perks of Teaching

This is an image of a thinker I have neglected and whom I am beginning to appreciate more and more: Hegel.

I undervalued him because my grasp of his Philosophy of History in college was tenuous and my understanding of The Phenomenology of Spirit obscure. I was left with the impression that he oversimplified world history and used abstractions only to confuse me. I now have the growing sense, though, that Hegel actually makes "world history" thinkable and is in fact one of the most concrete thinkers I have encountered.

I owe the increase in my estimation of Hegel to my work at Veritas Preparatory Academy. I am currently teaching the introduction to the Philosophy of History to my seniors. I was worried that the book would fail to generate discussion. Hegel, though, has given us some of the liveliest discussions of the year. I count him as a genuinely profound thinker because his thought clarifies thoughts we (and 12th graders) actually have but, left to ourselves, tend to leave unclarified.

Teaching: the salary may be low, but I can't complain. Do you have a job that helps you appreciate Hegel?

1 comment:

mccaleb said...

This is entirely irrelevant, but what's new? I bought The Place of the Lion yesterday, and I'm about halfway through, and it's magnificent. IT'S LIKE PLATONIC HEAVEN. I see why you said that I had to read Plato first when you reccomended the book to me in tenth grade. And basically, I'm unnaturally happy right now. Plato. And forms. And I'M SPENDING MY WEEKEND READING ABOUT THE IDEAS WALKING ABOUT ON THE EARTH!!! I'll go away now. Though I'm sure I'll arrive with another verbal ambush once I finish. So much for frantically preparing for thesis defense...