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?