This paper explores Hegel’s speculative identity thesis as presented in the Differenzschrift , the Phenomenology of Spirit , and the Science of Logic . I argue that speculative identity refers to the identity and non-identity of life and self-conscious cognition, a relation that establishes the constitutive importance of life for conceptual activity. Speculative identity thus entails that both self-consciousness and the Concept (der Begriff) are doubly constituted. I present this argument in three stages: first, through Hegel’s early critique of Fichte and his defense of the “objective subject-object” in the Differenzschrift; second, through the concept of experience (Erfahrung) developed in the Phenomenology; and finally, through a brief consideration of the Concept as presented in the Logic . Although there are significant developments that take place between Hegel’s early and mature presentations of speculative identity, I argue that there is a common thread that persists throughout, namely, the constitutive importance of life for the purposive self-determination of thought.