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Conference on Hegel’s Metaphysics

Thanks to all who organised and participated in the Hegel Society of Great Britain annual conference in Oxford.

This year’s conference was on Hegel’s Metaphysics

I learnt a lot – and naturally many questions were raised. Events like this do all kinds of things:

  • firstly you get a good brain workout and meet lots of interesting people – strengthen networks and revive your intellectual spirits
  • secondly, you learn a lot about the topic – but also how things are being used and interpreted in the current context

But what does this ‘learning’ consist of? Well quite a few different elements spring to mind (but I am sure there are more):

  • foremost in the mind might be – applying certain arguments, tools and perspectives to stuff that I am working on
  • deeper considerations which cannot be immediately gone into immediately – of stuff to get hold of to help with bigger or more complex issues
  • potential links with other’s research agendas and identification of new ways to pursue your own work

Whilst some of my friends think this kind of thing a bit of a nerdy indulgence…..actually this kind of activity is really pretty essential.

Specific things that this event brought to mind were:

  • thinking about ways to bring human universality and difference into a positive relationship through different histories – the need to acknowledge and enable voicing these histories as a part of moving towards a fuller recognition (and practice of ) common humanity. Pretty important when you consider that we need to find frameworks for helping us share the planet. This cannot be done without recognition of the past. Thinking about the job that post – and current – colonial societies have in this regard.
  • the generative nature of being and non-being in the metaphysics of Hegel – not really translatable as anything so logicist as ‘contradiction’. ……

A lot more stuff to wonder about …..

So thanks once again to the organisers – keep the flame of philosophy alive!


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