It is not surprising that a book entitled Hegel's Ethical Thought (hereafter, “HET”) should attract the attention of Hegelians. But I hope the Hegelians who read HET will forgive me for the fact that they were not its intended audience. My principal aim in the book was to contribute to contemporary discussions of the history of ethics and ethical theory by showing the direct relevance of Hegel's thought to issues that still interest moral philosophers.
This aim does not presuppose (as Pinkard would have it) that philosophy consists of a “menu” of positions from which we are to choose arbitrarily. On the other hand, you can't expect a hearing from an audience of non-Hegelians if you arrogantly assume beforehand that Hegel's philosophy encompasses what is true in all others. (HET does include some attempts to argue that Hegel's ethical theory has such advantages, especially over eudaimonistic and Kantian theories. See HET, Chapter 3, §§ 7-8 and Chapters 8-9.) Hegel's thought is now taken more seriously among English speaking philosophers than at any time during my life, but a major obstacle to this welcome change has been the narrowminded sectarian arrogance often found among his admirers.
The same aim also dictated that I not read Hegel's ethical thought so as to make it dependent on his speculative logic. Here Hegelians must descend from the mists of speculation long enough to face up to some cold, hard facts. First, there is no generally accepted interpretation even of what Hegelian logic is about, not to mention matters of finer detail. Second, on no interpretation does Hegelian speculative logic have any credibility at all for philosophers today.