Thursday, 04 September, 2014
Professor Andrew Cole, most recently the author of THE BIRTH OF THEORY (University of Chicago Press, 2014), will give the inaugural lecture of the Committee on Social Theory. Cole contends that modern theory needs a history lesson: contrary to common assumptions, neither Marx nor Nietzsche should be credited with giving us theory, but G. W. F. Hegel. In Cole's account of the origins and legacy of Hegel's dialectic as theory, he explains how Hegel adopted medieval dialectical habits of thought to fashion his own dialectic. While his contemporaries rejected premodern dialectic as outdated dogma, Hegel embraced both its emphasis on language as thought and its fascination with the categories of identity and difference, creating what we now recognize as theory, as compared to systematic philosophy. In this lecture, Andrew Cole will present his current work in progress, focusing on "Elements of Historical Materialism in Hegel and Marx." The event is being be co-sponsored by the Departments of English, Sociology, and Philosophy, the Humanities Center, and the Marco Institute.