Kings, Yogis, and Oriental Unfreedom

Hegel is perhaps the quintessential theorist of Eurocentrism, a fact that has only made his continued prestige as a philosopher and humanist all the more troubling. Today, we will accompany him on his world-historical journey, beginning with the primordial and unchanging East. More specifically, we will engage with two of Hegel’s most powerful claims: that China had no history, and India had no philosophy. In doing so, we should be able to develop a better grasp of what it really means to speak of “freedom” at all.