25 May 2019
Room RHB 144
Richard Hoggart Building
In The Dash—The Other Side of Absolute Knowing (MIT Press, 2018), Rebecca Comay and Frank Ruda present a reading of Hegel’s most reviled concept, absolute knowing. Their 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.” Comay and Ruda invert 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?
Rebecca Comay is a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto
Frank Ruda is a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Dundee
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