Glenn Alexander Magee's pathbreaking book argues that Hegel was decisively influenced by the Hermetic tradition, a body of thought with roots in Greco-Roman Egypt. Magee traces the influence on Hegel of such Hermetic thinkers as Baader, Böhme, Bruno, and Paracelsus, and fascination with occult and paranormal phenomena. Hegel and the Hermetic Tradition covers Hegel's philosophical corpus and shows that his engagement with Hermeticism lasted throughout his career and intensified during his final years in Berlin. Viewing Hegel as a Hermetic thinker has implications for a more complete understanding of the modern philosophical tradition, and German idealism in particular.
"Magee's splendid book marshals all the available evidence for the Hermetic background and interests of Hegel. This is no small achievement. It involves mastering a side of intellectual history that is frequently referenced but rarely comprehended and an exhaustive account of its application to the formidable philosophical apparatus of Hegel. The result deserves to become the standard reference work for this dimension, not only of Hegel but also of the entire idealist context."--Review of Metaphysics
"The organization of the text is first class, the reading of Hegel's texts sensitive and perspicacious, and the writing poised, even elegant. This would be a fine book for a scholar at any stage of his or her career. For a first book it is absolutely exceptional."--Owl of Minerva
"This excellent book performs a significant service by its uninhibited exposure of Hegel's dark side."--International Philosophical Quarterly