The Logic of Hegel’s ‘Logic’
An Introduction
  • Publication Date: March 28, 2006
  • ISBN: 9781551116334 / 1551116332
  • 168 pages; 6" x 9"

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The Logic of Hegel’s ‘Logic’

An Introduction

  • Publication Date: March 28, 2006
  • ISBN: 9781551116334 / 1551116332
  • 168 pages; 6" x 9"

George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel has seldom been considered a major figure in the history of logic. His two texts on logic, both called The Science of Logic, both written in Hegel’s characteristically dense and obscure language, are often considered more as works of metaphysics than logic.

But in this highly readable book, John Burbidge sets out to reclaim Hegel’s Science of Logic as logic and to get right at the heart of Hegel’s thought. Burbidge examines the way Hegel moves from concept to concept through every chapter of his work, and traces the origins of Hegel’s effort to “think through the way thought thinks” to Plato, Kant, and Fichte. Having established the framework of Hegel’s logical thought, Burbidge demonstrates how Hegel organized the rest of his system, including the Philosophy of Nature, Philosophy of Spirit and his Lectures on World History, Art, Religion and Philosophy. A final section discusses English-language interpretations of Hegel’s logic from the nineteenth through twentieth centuries.

Burbidge’s The Logic of Hegel’s ‘Logic’ is written with an eye to the reader of general interests, avoiding as much as possible the use of Hegel’s technical vocabulary. It is an excellent introduction to an otherwise very difficult text, and has recently appeared in an Iranian translation.


“The Logic of Hegel’s ‘Logic’ is a compact, readable and largely non-technical introduction to Hegel’s logic. It will come as a pleasant surprise to readers who think that logic is precisely what Hegel’s systematic thinking lacks, or that, if it exists at all, it is a logic that lies trapped in the obscurity of Hegel’s writing. In correcting these misconceptions, John Burbidge has made a welcome contribution to our understanding of Hegel’s philosophy, and to the history of logic as well.” — John Woods, University of British Columbia

“John Burbidge has accomplished something quite incredible with this book: he has digested both the core and the details of Hegel’s Science of Logic (one of the most difficult texts to understand within the entirety of our philosophical heritage), and presented them to the reader powerfully, concisely and in simple prose, while at the same time not sacrificing accuracy. This is a feat almost without parallel in literature on Hegel. Burbidge’s Logic of Hegel’s ‘Logic’ is an excellent and extremely valuable book that I believe is capable of revolutionizing scholarly interpretations of Hegel’s philosophy.” — John Russon, University of Guelph

A Note on Sources and References

Part I: Prolegomena

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Hegel’s Life
Chapter 3: The Background to Hegel’s Logic
Chapter 4: Metaphysics and Hegel’s Phenomenology

Part II: The Doctrine of Being

Chapter 5: Being and Immediate Inference
Chapter 6: Quality
Chapter 7: Quantity
Chapter 8: Measure

Part III: The Doctrine of Essence

Chapter 9: The Essence of Self-Reflection
Chapter 10: Appearance
Chapter 11: Actuality

Part IV: The Doctrine of the Concept

Chapter 12: Concept and Judgement
Chapter 13: Syllogism
Chapter 14: Objectivity
Chapter 15: The Idea

Part V: The Encyclopaedia Logic

Chapter 16: The Encyclopaedia Logic and the Science of Logic
Chapter 17: How Hegel Changed His Mind
Chapter 18: Lectures on the Logic

Part VI: Logic and the System

Chapter 19: The Philosophy of Nature
Chapter 20: The Philosophy of Spirit and Philosophy of Right
Chapter 21: Logic and the Lectures on History, Art, Religion, and Philosophy
Chapter 22: Absolute Spirit

Part VII: Afterthought

Chapter 23: After Hegel
Chapter 24: Conclusion

Further Reading


John W. Burbidge is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Trent University. His other books include Hegel on Logic and Religion (SUNY Press, 1992) and Hegel in His Time (Broadview Press, 1987).