By Jacco Verburgt
This fine monograph, which is the trade edition of a slightly revised Ph.D. dissertation (Ruhr-Universität Bochum 2014), addresses and assesses important issues and desiderata relating to the Hegel-Derrida debate, not least of which is a rehabilitation of Hegel’s essentially metaphysics-critical approach (cf. e.g. p. 366). Notably, it reconstructs some grave limitations of Derrida’s reading of Hegel and ultimately even uncovers a downright failing (a Scheitern, not only a Fehlen of an actual or full implementation) of the deconstruction strategy when it comes to interpreting Hegel (to be sure, not necessarily in the case of other philosophers or authors), as Derrida himself seems to acknowledge, at least partially or implicitly, according to Schülein (cf. e.g. pp. 297ff.). That is to say, the failing of Derrida’s earlier strategy (roughly from the 1950s and 1960s) of an immanent-deconstructive, delimiting or destabilising, critique of Hegel’s allegedly closed and totalitarian (as well as bourgeois) metaphysical system—in Derrida’s well-known sense of a metaphysics of presence, which is largely inspired by the later Heidegger (cf. esp. pp. 45–62, 67–8 [note 80], and 365), and its so-called onto-theological and phonocentric character—would eventually provoke a turn, especially in Glas (a text from 1974), to what one might call an external-realist confrontation with Hegel (cf. esp. pp. 250, 363 and 369).