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Once More . . . for the First Time: Aristotle and Hegel in the Logic of History

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image of Research in Phenomenology

The paper begins by taking seriously Heidegger's provocative claims concerning Hegel's relationship to the Greeks. Most notably, the enigmatic assertion that Hegel, as the "last Greek," brings Greek philosophy to its completion through a historical thinking is considered in terms of the strange sense of repetition it opens up: the Hegelian presentation of Greek philosophy must both present that philosophy, repeat its movement, but also, in the repetition, present the truth of that movement for the first time. It thus must remain undecided whether Hegel's presentation only opens up a necessity already at work in Greek philosophical history or whether that presentation, in fact, first grants such necessity to that history. The singularity of Hegel's relation to the Greeks is then explored through an examination of Hegel's own statements concerning the singularity of Aristotle. In this way, it becomes apparent that Hegel's own thought, in its entirety, asserts itself as nothing other that a decisive repetition of the Aristotelian speculative thought of actuality. This exceptional position of Aristotle in Hegel's logic of history suggests that there is a need for another sense of history's movement, in which that movement does not simply progress but unfolds as the sin- gular dialogue between one Greek and one German.


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