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Continental Philosophy Group Talk (John Russon, Guelph)
Friday March 8, 2019, 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
One of five departmental research interest groups, the Continental Philosophy Group works in the traditions of textual interpretation of human consciousness, phenomenology, and post-structuralist critical theory, among other related traditions of thought.
The group welcomes John Russon, an alumnus of our department (PhD, 1990), now professor of philosophy at the University of Guelph. A specialist in continental philosophy, Professor Russon’s recent work had dealt with the formation of personal identity and with the issues that structure our meaningful involvement in everyday life. He has also published on Hegel, phenomenology (especially on Merleau-Ponty, Heidegger and Derrida) and ancient philosophy (especially Plato and Aristotle).
Hegel on Romantic Art and Modernity
One of the most powerful aspects of Hegel’s work is his very careful and precise study of art, religion, and philosophy and his rigorous articulation of the distinctive nature of each. Probably the most pivotal presumption that Hegel’s analysis challenges is our assumption that art, religion, and philosophy are clearly distinguishable realities. I will explore in particular Hegel’s argument that it is precisely the historical reality of the Christian religion and its attendant interpretation of art that makes possible the emergence of the modern secular world. More specifically, I will investigate how the Christian religion for the first time makes it both possible and necessary to distinguish clearly between art and religion; in other words, it is in the art of Christian religion—what Hegel calls “Romantic” art—that art as such truly becomes fully autonomous as a field of human experience. We will then see that philosophy—and the sense of the rational autonomy of the individual subject, the hallmark of modern secularity—is itself the direct result of this development within the history of art and religion.