Glenn Alexander Magee
Long Island University (LIU)
Department of Philosophy

If there is a unifying theme to his scholarship and his teaching, it is this: he is interested in the relationship of philosophy to "the irrational." Mysticism claims to provide wisdom in a non-discursive form and typically rejects philosophy's insistence that all truths must be established by reason. However, as his scholarly work demonstrates, throughout history philosophers have in fact been influenced by the mystics, and there are points in their work where the line between philosophy and mysticism and myth and poetry becomes blurred. His first book, Hegel and the Hermetic Tradition, was published by Cornell University Press in 2001. (A revised, paperback edition was brought out by Cornell in 2008.) The thesis of the book is that Hegel was influenced by the Hermetic “counter-tradition” in intellectual history, which has its roots in the “Corpus Hermeticum”, a collection of anonymous philosophical and mystical texts originating in Alexandrian Egypt. Over the course of the centuries, and especially in the Renaissance, Hermeticism became fused with such "esoteric" currents of thought as alchemy, Kabbalism, magic, millenarianism, Rosicrucianism, Freemasonry and Christian mysticism. He has since developed my ideas in a number of articles and conference presentations. Perhaps the best short summation of his research is his article Hegel and Mysticism in “The Cambridge Companion to Hegel and Nineteenth-Century Philosophy”, edited by Frederick Beiser. He has also pursued his interest in mysticism and German philosophy along separate tracks. In early 2011 his book The Hegel Dictionary was published by Continuum. It is a lexicon of Hegelian terminology aimed at undergraduate philosophy majors. He is currently editing The Cambridge Handbook of Western Mysticism and Esotericism. This volume is encyclopedic in scope and will consist of 35 articles, most of them by major scholars.
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