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  • Cited by 7
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
July 2020
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Book description

Recent attempts to revitalize Hegel's social and political philosophy have tended to be doubly constrained: firstly, by their focus on Hegel's Philosophy of Right; and secondly, by their broadly liberal interpretive framework. Challenging that trend, Arash Abazari shows that the locus of Hegel's genuine critical social theory is to be sought in his ontology – specifically in the 'logic of essence' of the Science of Logic. Mobilizing ideas from Marx and Adorno, Abazari unveils the hidden critical import of Hegel's logic. He argues that social domination in capitalism obtains by virtue of the illusion of equality and freedom; shows how relations of opposition underlie the seeming pluralism in capitalism; and elaborates on the deepest ground of domination, i.e. the totality of capitalist social relations. Overall, his book demonstrates that Hegel's logic can and should be read politically.


‘This is a highly welcome and innovative study of Hegel's theory of society. Arash Abazari elegantly succeeds in explaining the critical potential of Hegel's logic as social theory. In going beyond the claims of the Philosophy of Right, his book adroitly sets out sophisticated new accounts of Hegel's contribution to the ideas of power and social totality. And it effectively challenges the communitarian-pragmatist interpretations that have largely dominated the field of Hegel studies over recent decades.'

Brian O'Connor - University College Dublin

‘This book is a penetrating and highly original attempt to think with Hegel, against Hegel. Arash Abazari argues that Hegel’s most profound contribution to social theory lies not in his conception of institutionally mediated freedom, but in 'the logic of essence', out of which Abazari extracts a theory of power and social totality which he then uses to shed new light on later radical social theories such as those of Marx and Adorno. A fascinating and trenchantly argued work.’

Todd Hedrick - Michigan State University

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