Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Michael Morris, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Alex Levine, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Joshua Rayman, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Mor Segev, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Joseph P. Lawrence, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Bruce Matthews, Ph.D.


Dialectical Materialism, Entäußerung, Science of Logic, Weltalter


In this dissertation, I argue that, all appearances to the contrary, Hegel does not attempt to achieve a complete systematization of reason in a self-reflexive sense in his system of philosophy. Quite the opposite, I maintain that the absolute Idea is the actuality of the self-transcendence of the divine. Along these lines, I argue (in agreement with Slavoj Žižek) that the absolute “Idea” is non-total and incomplete; in this sense, Hegel is neither a modern thinker nor a post-modern thinker, but rather he presents a version of thinking that is both modern and post-modern, while neither merely one nor the other considered alone.

Subsequently, I argue that both Hegel’s (of his Science of Logic) and Schelling’s (of his Weltalter) positions on the beginning are metaphysically consistent. I demonstrate the deep connections between the two works by delving into the beginning of Hegel’s Science of Logic and how it compares to the beginning of Schelling’s Weltalter. In these two works, both thinkers overcome a strict dichotomy between materialism and idealism.

Finally, I argue that both Hegel and Schelling state that philosophy begins as the self-transcendence of the Absolute, which they understand as the actuality of divine freedom. I agree with Žižek’s contention that Hegel and Schelling both posit similar contours with regard to the overall metaphysical movement (the two thinkers both contend that Absolute Spirit commits itself to self-sacrifice, for instance). However, my argument is novel insofar as I argue that Schelling’s account is more comprehensive, since he provides a direct (and explicit) response to the question of why the movement occurs in the first place: for the purpose of the divine’s revelation of itself as love qua freedom.