I had not heard of this book before finding it at Barnes & Noble today. Apparently the German version was only published in 2001; the manuscript was in a private collection until a few decades ago. The book contains Carl Hegel's lecture notes from Hegel's 1830 course on Logic. Hegel was lecturing off of the Encyclopedia Logic, and the notes are keyed to its subsections (by the editors). The general structure of the two is the same. But in comparing what I've read of Lectures on Logic to the Zusatze in the Geraets/Suchtig/Harris Encyclopedia Logic, there's surprisingly little overlap. So far I've only had time to read the introduction and "Quality" (and half of "Determinate Being (Dasein)"), but the differences are pretty striking -- not in matters of philosophical substance, but in how Hegel presents his system. The variance between the Lectures and the Encyclopedia isn't as high as it is in the Realphilosophie (especially the "Philosophy of Religion" lectures), but it's still higher than I expected.
"Becoming" features much more prominently in Lectures on Logic than in the Encyclopedia text. Heraclitus is one of Hegel's heroes, and he's front & center here. Hegel structures most of his discussion of "being" and "nothing" by looking at them as two moments of "becoming". There's a large amount of text between the introduction of "becoming" and "determinate being", and very little between the start of "Quality" and "becoming". Hegel even suggests that we might say we start the Logic with becoming:
We could begin the progression by saying that we have analyzed the beginning. We could then say that being is contained in this beginning. But what is only beginning to be at once is not yet. We might cursorily say in such an analysis that we want to start with becoming, and then proceed to see what it is. [He then contrasts "becoming" to "alteration", "something", "determination", etc.](Note: When he says that "we have analyzed the beginning", he's not referring to something earlier in the text, where he analyzed something. He's saying that one way to answer the "With What Should Science Begin" question is to say that "analysis" of "the beginning" gives us an answer: being, or maybe becoming, is where we start. Because we haven't gotten to anything more interesting yet, so that must be what's left. It's a joke.)
Hegel's discussion of "beginnings" in this book is downright playful; he says that we can't begin with the beginning, because the beginning is only "the beginning" once you've progressed past it, and that still needs doing, so the beginning can't be where we begin. He ends up saying that "we must begin with Eleatic thought" (which says a lot about how to take Hegel's "must"s). He anticipates the objection that Parmenidean aphorisms need a foundation in some anterior reasonings before they can be intelligibly looked at:
Through philosophy, the retreat into an abstract Eleatic foundation does come to be founded. It is founded in the result of the science of logic as the self-concept* of this very science. This self-concept of the science of logic, the result, is the true foundation of the logic [in its beginning -- translator's addition].Given that I keep returning to the question of the "starting point" of the Logic, I found this passage pretty interesting. The only justification given for starting with "being" is: the result of the whole system will vindicate it. The true foundation of the Logic is its result.
Hegel goes on about the "abstract" and "indeterminate" nature of "being" in these lectures, as expected, but these claims are separate from his discussions of where to begin the Logic; they don't give the appearance of justifying Hegel's choice of a starting-point, like they do in Science of Logic and the Encyclopedia "Quality". That being is "entirely abstract and indeterminate" isn't why Hegel starts with it, but is what Hegel has to say about it once he's already started -- it's how he segues into the identity of "being" and "nothing", and then on to the rest. If this analysis of "being" was supposed to be part of how we came to decide on a starting-point for the system, then we'd never stop until the system was already complete -- at which point we don't need to start it.
But what follows the above passage is more interesting, and is why I made this post:
The Phenomenology of Spirit teaches us to contemplate the onward movement of consciousness. The last truth reached in the Phenomenology is pure knowing, pure thinking, conceptually comprehending knowing. It is this last truth in the Phenomenology that makes its start within the Logic as being in general. The last truth in the Phenomenology, absolute knowing, thus grounds the beginning in the Logic. But this grounding of the beginning of the Logic is found once again in the subsequent progression of the Logic [in the philosophy of spirit -- translator's addition].
So, here's Hegel still claiming that the Phenomenology's endpoint is the start of the Logic, in 1830. But he also claims that this "grounding of the beginning" shows up later on -- this is not what one would expect if the Phenomenology was supposed to be a necessary propaedeutic to the Encyclopedia system, if it was "presupposed" or was supposed to be the way the reader of Hegel is initiated into Speculative Thought. And "absolute knowing" is identified with "pure thinking", which is how Hegel describes the Logic in general. If these are the same thing, then the various introductions to Hegel's Logics seem to be a rather shorter route to them than the Phenomenology's way of sorrows. So, I'm inclined to think that this passage doesn't support the notion that the Phenomenology is a part of the mature system, though it can certainly be included if one pleases, since it's largely there already, in another ordering.
But, it did surprise me to see that Hegel appears to have regarded his earlier statements about the relation of the Phenomenology to his full system to still be correct near the end of his life. I have perhaps been overhasty in deciding that I'd figured out the answer to a question I had about Hegel; I suspect I may not figure out how the beginnings fit together until I figure out all the rest of it. Which is how it should be. I think.
*"Self-concept" is der Begriff, and "science of"/"of logic" is often added by the translator (to "logic" and "science", respectively) without noting the addition, to try to meliorate Hegel's now-embarrassing use of "science" and "logic" for his peculiar project. Some of the translation choices seem like they're different just to be different, which Hegel would've frowned upon, and so do I -- the strangest one is translating "an sich" as "upon itself", except when used with reference to Kant, when it is translated as "in itself" (with scare-quotes!). In the introduction, the translator notes that he hopes this book will "make Hegel's logic teachable". Certainly the style is smoother than that of Science of Logic or the Encyclopedia Logic, but I would've liked more translation notes, in the style of the G/S/H Encyclopedia Logic, and a translation which didn't vary from existing standards without better reasons than those given. But it is a very nice read so far, and I wish I could spare the forty bucks to take it home.