Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy vol:52 issue:4 pages:311-334
This essay re-examines Hegel's account of Greek culture in the section of the Phenomenology of Spirit devoted to oethical actiono. The thrust of this section cannot be adequately grasped, it is argued, by focusing on Hegel's references to either Sophocles' Antigone or Greek tragedy as a whole. Taking into account Hegel's complex use of literary sources, the essay shows in particular that Hegel draws on Aristophanes' comedies to comprehend the collapse of Greek culture, a collapse he considered to result from the tragic conflict constitutive of Greek culture as a whole. The essay thus aims to shed light on Hegel's abstruse remarks on womanhood and, more generally, to demonstrate that Hegel's peculiar employment of literary sources constitutes an essential element of the method he employs throughout the Phenomenology of Spirit.