The first of ten (alternating) discussions on Hegel's (non-"lesser") "Science of Logic" (covering from):
his "Preface to the First Edition"
through the opening of "Book One: Doctrine of Being; Section One: Determinateness (Quality)."
In my old version (@ 1969 George Allen & Unwin , London),
translated by A.V. Miller and foreword-ed by J.N. Findlay,
this first dose amounts to pp. 25-81.
(If'n y'all would indulge me in some public outlining of my own thoughts about our looming discussions:)
I.) Our here and now (or, at least, soon).
II.) Hegel in general.
III.) Interpretations by others.
IV.) Considerations of approach.
V.) Remaining mindful of our text of choice, Hegel's "Science of Logic," and the confidence to gather its meaning for us through an agreeably shared commitment to it (if only by sometimes merely hoisting it).
I.) For an hospitable invitation to philosophical practice/inquiry (among other things),
I pilfer from others more concise (not to mention credible):
Mr. G.R.G. Mure:
"...philosophy is no more the exclusive business of professionals than is art or religion."
II.) For some inspiring introductions to Hegel's writings in general:
"Hegel will appear as the greatest of European thinkers, engaged in a self-critical enterprise which even he only half understood, whose most obscure, botched utterances are often worth many of the lucidities of modern philosophers."
III.) Because the only thing greater than the scope of Hegel's thinking may very well be the variety of interpretations of it, I self-restrain from spilling forth conclusions by commentators. However, because old habits die hard:
"Hegel was not a philosopher; he was a world, a self-creating world..."
("whose inner trouble it was to realize that, while it could not exist without exteriorizing itself through concepts, it could do not so without spreading far and wide its innermost depth at the very risk of losing it.").
IV.) Any consideration of particular approach (other than our spontaneous own) might enjoy how the variety of established interpretations, based in a variety of approaches, can encourage our own without mis-guiding us (or, heaven forbid, putting one off entirely):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9fZe4mlKSoHegel and Marx - Bryan Magee Series of The Great Philosophers
Here, Bryan Magee accurately introduces (to his audience) Hegel's reputation for being "difficult" and "obscure":
"Hegel is notorious for being difficult to read, for being obscure... often described as the most obscure of all the major philosophers."
(In agreement with his guest, Peter Singer,...)
"The best starting point is the philosophy of history."
Peter Singer clarifies for his audience, if nothing else, the convenience of Hegel's history/"History" as a concrete "way in to" his abstract logic/"Logic":
"Part of the difficulty of Hegel is that he's so abstract, but the history/"History", because it's concrete, is an easy way in to the more abstract parts of his philosophy."
(however un-tempted I am to post the particular link),
Slavoj Zizek :
"If you have an idea that somehow the basic matrix, as it were, of the Hegelian movement of the self-deployment of Hegelian Dialectic is this famous triad: Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis... Forget about it!"
V.) But, lest we get distracted by the 2ndary, let's try, after beginning so, to return to the man himself or, at least, a few of his actual words (as I hope we will throughout).
(from early on in Volume One, Book One, Section One:)
"Being is the indeterminate immediate...
This reflectionless being is being as it is immediately in its own self alone."