Date of Award

Spring 4-20-2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Sebastian Rand

Second Advisor

Jessica Berry

Third Advisor

Andrew Altman

Fourth Advisor

Vincent Lloyd


Hegel's view of poetry clarifies the overall role of language in his system and allows him to makes sense of a difficult linguistic issue: how to distinguish between poetry and prose. For Hegel, this distinction is crucial because it illuminates the different ways poetry and prose allow us to understand ourselves as members of an ethical community. In this paper, I argue, using Hegel, that the distinction between poetry and prose can only properly be understood in terms of their fundamentally different kinds of content instead of in terms of any formal differences between the two. Then, I address an objection to Hegel by Paul de Man which uses Hegel's concept of memory to collapse the distinction between poetry and philosophical prose. Finally, I argue that Hegel can respond to this objection by showing how de Man misunderstands how philosophical thought conceptually develops from memory.


Included in

Philosophy Commons