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The Ethics of AuthorshipCommunication, Seduction, and Death in Hegel and Kierkegaard$
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Daniel Berthold

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780823233946

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823233946.001.0001

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4. Hegel's Seductions

4. Hegel's Seductions

(p.85) 4. Hegel's Seductions
The Ethics of Authorship

Daniel Berthold

Fordham University Press

This chapter presents the case for seeing Hegel's authorship as engaged in the project of seduction. It argues that Hegel employs his own version of seduction. It shows that seduction is embedded even at the level of Hegel's grammar, through his development of an alternative to “the ordinary grammar of the proposition.” In Hegel's unconventional grammar, the reader is left without any assertions to hold on to and hence is not spoken at but invited in to the text to invest herself in the process of the discovery of meaning. Hegel's project of seduction is present in his adoption of the stance of “observer” or “spectator” of the narrative of his texts—a stance that is not so different in purpose from that of Kierkegaard, who refers to himself as “only a reader” of his own work. Hegel's spectatorship reflects an ethic of listening rather than “intrud[ing] into the immanent rhythm” of his text by appealing to “the vanity of his own knowing”.

Keywords:   G. W. F. Hegel, authorship, grammar, spectatorship

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