Introduction to the Reading of Hegel: Lectures on the Phenomenology of Spirit [ Alexandre Kojève, Raymond Queneau, Allan Bloom, James H. Nichols] on. among contemporary left Hegelians none has been so influential as. Alexandre Kojeve, whose brilliant Introduction to the Reading of Hegel. ()’ is viewed as . Introduction to the Reading of Hegel: Lectures on the Phenomenology of Spirit is a book about Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel by Alexandre Kojève.

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To show this, as well as to demonstrate that philosophy need not always be written so badly, I will quote Bertrand Russell: The Slave, in transforming the given World by his work, transcends the given and what is given by that given in himself; hence, he goes beyond himself, and also goes beyond the Master who is tied to the given which, not working, he leaves intact.

From Hegel he takes the notion of a universal historical process within which reconciliation unfolds through an intersubjective dialectic, resulting in unity. Hegel, Lectures at Jena offinal speech The courage of truth, faith in the power of Spirit, are the first condition of philosophy.

Therefore, the historical process, the historical becoming of the human being, is the product of the working Slave and not of the warlike Master.

No doubt he has relations, near and remote, with everything in the universe, but he can be spoken of truly without taking them into account, except such as are the direct subject-matter of what is being said. The Real resists Action not Thought. Man is what he is only to the extent that he becomes what he is; his true Being Sein is Becoming WerdenTime, History, and he becomes, he is History only in and by Action that negates the given, the Action of Fighting and of Work— of the Work that finally produces the table on which Hegel writes his Phe- nomenology, and of the Fight that is finally that Battle of Jena whose sounds he hears while writing the Phenomenology.

The End of History and the Last Man.

Kojève, Alexandre | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Therefore, human, historical, self-conscious existence is possible only where there are, or— at least— where there have been, bloody fights, wars for prestige. To give two of many examples: I also want to say that there is a great deal of repetition in this text. And thus it finally attains its end, which is the adequate and complete understanding of itself — i. Heidegger’s Philosophy in France, Hyppolite’s somewhat more studious, and in my opinion more subtle reading of Hegel, seems so far somewhat preferable as an account of Phenomenology of Spirit–particularly as he doesn’t want to suggest that the end of history or the beginning of the end was the Battle of Jena.


The genesis of Christianity, of the “absolute Religion,” starting from the most “primitive” religion, is described in Chapter VII. It is the experience of lack, the twin of the experience of desire, that provides the ontological condition of subject formation; it is only through the lack-desire dyad that a being comes into the awareness of its own separation from the world in which it is, at first, thoroughly immersed.

What it reveals, therefore, is neither the Object taken independently of the Subject, nor the Subject taken independently of the Object, but only the result of the interaction of the two or, if you that interaction itself. Introduction to the Reading of Hegel. But one cannot be befriedigt fully satisfied by what is, by what one is, in and by death. But if this were the case, the realization and the revelation of the human being would be impossible.

Sign in to use this feature. Where there is Work, then, there is necessarily change, progress, historical evolution. Kojeve accomplished this revival of interest in Hegel not by adapting him to make him relevant, but by showing viii Editor’s Introduction that contemporary concerns are best understood in the permanent light of Hegel’s teaching. He forgets himself, he thinks only about the thing being contemplated; he thinks neither about his contemplation, nor — and even less— about himself, his “I,” his Selbst.

So why does Kojeve continue his note? Without the Slave’s Work, the “first” Fight would be reproduced indefinitely: He was, at least, the first to do so voluntarily and with full knowledge of what he was doing.

Teach psychoanalysts how to be. Thus it is that, before realizing Freedom, the Slave imagines a series of ideologies, by which he seeks to justify himself, to justify his slavery, to reconcile the ideal of Freedom with the fact of Introductoin.

One reads Kojeve to discover a living Hegel; most people are content to know that the man and his system are dead. The Master’s freedom, engendered in and by the Fight, is an impasse. However, if you think the end of history talk, fundamental for Hegelian wisdom, is just unrealistic assumption, the whole Hegel’s totality turns into an illusion.


And if Hegelian Science is dialectical or synthetical, it is only because it describes that real dialectic in its totality, as well as the series of consecutive philosophies which corresponds to that dialectical reality.

To desire non-Being is to liberate oneself from Being, to realize one’s autonomy, one’s Freedom. The problem is that he completely misses the point of the ont It makes me really sad this is one of the most influencial lectures on the subject, while at the same time being one of the most distorted readings of Hegel. An encyclopedia of philosophy articles written by professional philosophers. For the truth of his subjective-cer- tainty [of the idea that he has of himself, of the value that he attributes to himself] could have been nothing but the fact that his own Being-for-itself was manifested to him as an autonomous object; or again, to say the same thing: Now, to be able to transform the natural given in relation to a nownatural idea is to possess a technique.

His own teaching is but the distillation of more than six years devoted to nothing but reading a single book, line by line.

Introduction to the Reading of Hegel: Lectures on the Phenomenology of Spirit

In the years preceding the second world war in France, the transmission was effected by means of oral initiation to a group of persons who in turn took the responsibility of instructing others, and so on. And — subjec- tively — absolute Knowledge became possible because a man named Hegel was able to understand the World in which he lived and to understand himself as living in and understanding this World.

There are no more battles to be fought, no more experiments in social engineering to be attempted; the world has arrived at a homogenised state in which the combination of capitalism and koeve democracy will reign supreme, and all other cultural and ideological systems will be consigned irretrievably to the past. I really enjoyed this book a lot.