Translated into English for the first time in this edition, The Jena System, 1804-5: Logic and Metaphysics is an essential text in the study of the development of Hegel's thought. It is the climax of Hegel's efforts to construct a neutral theory of the categories of finite cognition ("logic") as the necessary bridge to the theory of infinite, or philosophical, cognition ("metaphysics").
As he worked on the Jena sytem, Hegel's understanding of the nature of logic and its connection with metaphysics underwent changes crucial to his later system. As a result, logic acquired a new and expanded significance for him. This text is thus the key to an understanding of the works of Hegel's maturity, and to their relation to the major works of Schelling and Fichte that preceded them.
Scholars from the universities of Guelph, Lethbridge, McGill, McMaster, Toronto, Trent, and York have prepared this translation, a work of critical analysis in its own right. The introduction by H.S. Harris adds a concrete dimension to Hegel's abstract categories, showing how, in developing these categories, Hegel was even at ths early date thinking deeply about the structure and life of society.