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Kant said that logic had not had to take a single step forward since Aristotle, but German Idealists in the following generation made concerted efforts to re-think the logical foundations of philosophy. In this book, Jacob McNulty offers a new interpretation of Hegel's Logic, the key work of his philosophical system. McNulty shows that Hegel is responding to a perennial problem in the history and philosophy of logic: the logocentric predicament. In Hegel, we find an answer to a question so basic that it cannot be posed without risking incoherence: what is the justification for logic? How can one justify logic without already relying upon it? The answer takes the form of re-thinking the role of metaphysics in philosophy, so that logic assumes a new position as derivative rather than primary. This important book will appeal to a wide range of readers in Hegel studies and beyond.


‘Hegel's Logic might be the most obscure major work in the history of Western philosophy. Jacob McNulty's Hegel's Logic and Metaphysics marks a great advance in dispelling the obscurity. McNulty focuses on a deceptively simple question – how does Hegel justify the laws and materials of logic?–and in the course of answering it he offers a clear, well-argued, and original interpretation of the nature of Hegelian metaphysics.'

Mark Vinzenz Alznauer - Northwestern University

‘An important and first-rate contribution—bold, original, well argued, and rich with historical and systematic implications. By drawing attention to the ‘logocentric predicament,’ McNulty clarifies Hegel’s defense of metaphysics against worries like Kant’s.’

James Kreines - Claremont McKenna University

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