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Committing the Future to MemoryHistory, Experience, Trauma$
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Sarah Clift

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780823254200

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823254200.001.0001

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Speculating on the Past, the Impact of the Present

Speculating on the Past, the Impact of the Present

Hegel and His Time(s)

Chapter:
(p.132) Chapter Four Speculating on the Past, the Impact of the Present
Source:
Committing the Future to Memory
Author(s):

Sarah Clift

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823254200.003.0005

This chapter addresses issues related to the future and to necessity and contingency in Hegel’s speculative philosophy. It focuses on the Philosophy of History but also engages relevant sections of Hegel’s Logic and the Phenomenology of Spirit. Working from the contention made famous by Friedrich Nietzsche and Martin Heidegger, namely, that Hegel had no time for the future, the chapter generates a close reading of Hegel’s articulation of time as historical succession (Heidegger’s so-called “vulgar time”) and registers a multiplicity of times in history. This multiplicity is dictated by the jostling of different epochs in relation to each other-each of which is available to the present as philosophical knowledge-but it is also not reducible to historical succession. In order to provide an account for this temporality in excess of temporal succession, the chapter considers the relation between necessity and contingency. By complicating interpretations that subject contingency to necessity’s sublation (Charles Taylor, for instance, or Stanley Rosen), and seeking recourse to seminal commentaries by John Burbidge and Catherine Malabou, the chapter captures the sense in which necessity and contingency are not in a relation of precedence, anteriority, or hierarchy but that the two are inseparably linked.

Keywords:   G. W. F. Hegel, Philosophy of Spirit, Necessity and contingency, Historical time, Future, Martin Heidegger

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