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Hegel's Theory of Quality

167 Pages Posted: 3 Oct 2000  

David Gray Carlson

Yeshiva University - Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law

Date Written: August 2000


This article assesses the opening three chapters of Hegel's monumental "Science of Logic," a work largely unknown in the United States but recognized in Europe as the foundation of Hegel's impressive philosophical edifice. Hegel's task was to develop a foundation-free philosophy, in which the inherent contradictions in concepts caused the self-destruction of the concept and the generation of a new, improved concept. Hegel begins his work by examining the concept of Pure Being. Being itself shows to be finite, however. Being repeals itself and propels itself into thought. "Reality" therefore gives way to "ideality." Upon entering the realm of the Ideal, Being eventually becomes quantity--content-free being. The opening chapters of the Science of Logic are controversial. Carlson, however, defends Hegel against the various objections that have been raised Hegel's opening moves.

Suggested Citation

Carlson, David Gray, Hegel's Theory of Quality (August 2000). Cardozo Law School, Public Law Research Paper No. 17. Available at SSRN: or

David Gray Carlson (Contact Author)

Yeshiva University - Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law ( email )

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