Translating Hegel’s Logic. Absolute Negativity and the Crisis of Philosophy as an Institution

Di Marcin Pańków

In: Hegel and/in/on Translation XLIX , No. 1-2 ( 2020 )

Sezione Saggi / Articles


The following text is a report on the experience of translating Hegel’s Logic and represents a reflection on the uniqueness of this experience. I discuss the historical context of Hegel’s project putting emphasis on the crisis of philosophy as an institution in the early Romantic era. I try to show how Hegel’s program from 1807 can be treated as a strategy for solving this crisis in the field of confrontation between the idea of scientific philosophy and the new idea of the aesthetic absolute. I will put forward the hypothesis that in the field of this confrontation Hegel should be translated as a modern writer. In the next step, I try to show how this strategy manifests itself in the specific features of Hegel’s discourse in relation to the absolute negativity. Finally, I discuss some characteristic translational difficulties related to the terms from Science of Logic, with a particular emphasis on the central problem of semantic game of the categories of reflection and shine.