chapter  11
8 Pages

The Philosophical Embrace of Death: Hegel

When Schopenhauer declared that 'without death there would hardly have been any philosophizing' (World, I I .463) he was repeating what was by then a familiar idea, but one which w o u l d , if anything, become even truer of certain influential modern philosophers — especially those who make the relationship of consciousness to death of paramount significance. T w o such (utterly different) philosophers are Schopenhauer himself and Hegel. Schopenhauer regarded his own philosophy as antithetical to Hegel's, which (and whom) he hated, considering him to be (among other things) an obscurantist. Readers coming anew to Hegel may sympathize with this charge, finding themselves perplexed and alienated by his style and complexity. But it is a complexity which must be tackled, since there is no philosopher more influential in modern thought.