If the transition from Kant to Hegel is the move from philosophy to theory, as Cole has argued elsewhere, then it’s worth finding out what, if anything, in Kant makes this transition possible in the positive sense—what in the three critiques and other Kantian writings enables the kind of exposition we find in Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit? Cole will suggest that Kant is, strangely enough, the best argument for dialectics today.
Andrew Cole is Professor of English at Princeton University and the Director of the Gauss Seminars in Criticism. He is the author of The Birth of Theory, about which PMLA recently devoted a special section, and has had recent essays appearing in Artforum, October, minnesota review, and Problemi. In addition to various publications in medieval studies, he has also edited a volume, The Legitimacy of the Middle Ages: On the Unwritten History of Theory, with an afterword by Fredric Jameson. Professor Cole is currently at work on a new book, from which this lecture is drawn, titled The Elements of Theory.
Presented by the Department of English. Co-sponsored by The Program in Critical Theory, Townsend Center for the Humanities, and the Clyde and Evelyn Slusser Chair in English Literature Before the Twentieth Century.