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The Dash — The Other Side of Absolute Knowing

Rebecca Comay, University of Toronto

April 24, 2019 · 12:00 pm1:30 pm EDT · 16 Joseph Henry House

Program in European Cultural Studies

Rebecca Comay, Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto, will discuss a chapter from her recent book, co-authored with Frank Ruda, The Dash — The Other Side of Absolute Knowing (MIT Press, 2018), which presents a reading of Hegel’s most reviled concept, absolute knowing. The book sets out from a counterintuitive premise: the “mystical shell” of Hegel’s system proves to be its most “rational kernel.” Hegel’s radicalism is located precisely at the point where his thought seems to regress most. Most current readings try to update Hegel’s thought by pruning back his grandiose claims to “absolute knowing,” but The Dash — The Other Side of Absolute Knowing inverts this deflationary gesture by inflating what seems to be most trivial: the truth of the absolute is grasped only in the minutiae of its most mundane appearances. What if everything turns out to hinge on the most inconspicuous and trivial detail—a punctuation mark?

Lunch will be served.

RSVP by April 19 to sp7@princeton.edu to reserve a place and receive the reading for the Workshop.

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