Hegel’s Anti-Spinozism

The Transition to Subjective Logic and the End of Classical Metaphysics
  • George di Giovanni


The title of this chapter is deliberately but also dangerously provocative.1 Hegel is famously the philosopher who negates only for the sake of reaffirming at a more elevated level of comprehension whatever is being negated. Anyone who announces the anti-Spinozism of Hegel or, with reference to him, speaks of the end of classical metaphysics, must do so, therefore, at his own risk. This warning applies with special force when, as in the present chapter, the transition from Objective to Subjective Logic is the issue. In the Introduction to Book III of the Greater Logic, Hegel goes out of his way to point out that, although he has called attention at the conclusion of Book II to some imperfections of Spinoza’s system, the recognition of such imperfections is not the same as refuting the system itself. An effective refutation requires that the internal logic of the system and its necessity to the development of Spirit should first be recognized. The need to transcend it should then be demonstrated on the strength of precisely that internal logic. Spinoza’s system is false only because it pretends to be the final system. To refute it only means, really, to transcend it.


Supra Note Modal Category Internal Logic Logical Object Great Logic 
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© George di Giovanni 2005

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  • George di Giovanni

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