Nahum Brown. Hegel’s Actuality Chapter of the Science of Logic: A Commentary

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Hegel’s modal theory has always drawn the attention of Hegel scholars but only a few works have closely examined what he argues in his treatment of modality. Nahum Brown’s book contributes to this specific field without concerning itself with the global arguments of Hegel’s Logic, and without drawing a global conclusion from Hegel’s local arguments. The book offers readers a detailed guide to Hegel’s modal theory. Hegel’s Logic allows local readings by restricting the category in question to its own logical development in order to reveal the truth of categories. Brown elegantly benefits from this aspect of the Logic, thereby making explicit Hegel’s local arguments for those who are familiar with Hegel’s Logic but not with his discussion of modality, and also for those who are not familiar with Hegel’s Logic but are familiar with modal metaphysics. Brown’s book has the potential to address both Hegelian and non-Hegelian readerships by undertaking the difficult task of regenerating Hegel’s complex arguments under twenty-seven rigid premises. These premises render Hegel’s arguments more approachable for those who are not familiar with Hegel’s vocabulary. Although he is aware that, for some readers, the rigidity of the premises may incur the risk of failing to represent Hegel’s transitional ideas and concepts, Brown defends his position on the grounds that it reveals the mechanics of Hegel’s dialectic in a clear and detailed way (p. xv).


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