Introduction to the Reading of Hegel: Lectures on the Phenomenology of Spirit is a book about Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel by Alexandre Kojève. Alexandre Kojève was a Russian-born French philosopher and statesman whose philosophical Some of Kojève’s more important lectures on Hegel have been published in English in the now classic Introduction to the Reading of Hegel. Jan 14, Introhution n rte Reading of Hegel: Lecttres on rle Phenomenology of Spirig . KojEve is the most thoughtful, the most learned, the most pro-.

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By itself, this Desire constitutes only the Sentiment of self.

Introduction to the Reading of Hegel

And the Slave achieves this only through forced and terrified work carried out in the Master’s service. 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.

But one cannot be befriedigt fully satisfied by what is, by what one is, in and by death. And, by using the thought that arises from his Work, he forms the abstract notion of the Freedom that has been realized in him by this same Work.

His “Stalinism” was ironic to the extent Stalin had no political chance to lead the Weltgeist ; yet, he was serious about Stalinism to the extent that he regarded the utopia of the Soviet Union under Stalin, and the willingness to purge unsupportive elements in the population, as evidence of a desire to bring about the end of history, and as a repetition of the Reign of Terror of the French Revolution.

Therefore, I am not only a think- ing being; I am also— and above all— Hegel. But by hegl to satisfy an instinct that is not my own, I am acting in relation kojevf what is not — for me — instinct. And as for the analysis of the historical process itself, it is given in Chapter VI.

Now, as long as the Master lives, he himself is always enslaved by the World of which he is the Master. But in the Slave’s case, to transform existence is, again, to fight against the Master. He cannot go beyond himself, change, progress. They are autonomous con- crete-forms, Consciousnesses submerged in the given-being of animal-life. And, at the same time, the two elements are necessary in a universal way.


This I will not, like the animal “I,” be “identity” or equality to itself, but “negating-negativity. Throughout this period, then, it is Mastery that will reveal its essence by realizing its existential possibilities through Action. The human Action of the Master reduces to risking his life. The man who is “absorbed” by the object that he is contemplating can be “brought back to himself” only by a Desire; by the desire to eat, for example.

To be sure, pure and simple Being Sein does not have a threefold or dialectical structure; but the Logical — real, the Concept or the True — i.

His interpretation of the master—slave dialectic was an important influence on Jacques Lacan ‘s mirror stage theory. Kojeve elaborates the meaning of this logical necessity throughout jegel course of the book and attempts to indicate how a sensible man could accept it and interpret the x Editor’s Introduction world in accordance with it.

Full text of “KOJEVE introduction to the reading of (PDFy mirror)”

The Master is related in a medi- ated way to the Slave, viz. He is seated on a chair, at a table, writing with a pen on paper. But in fact it is as old as philosophy itself. The analysis of the essential character of the Master-Slave oppo- sition—that is, of the motive principle of the historical process- is found in Chapter IV.

Now, it is only conscious satis- faction, Befriedigung, that can complete History, for only the Hebel who knows he is satisfied by what he is no longer strives to go beyond himself, to go beyond what he is and what is, through Action that transforms Nature, through Action that creates His- tory.

Discussion of the rational state is only a corollary of the proof that the world begel be known or is rational. To be human, man must act not for the sake of subjugating a thing, but for the sake of sub- jugating another Desire for the thing.

But this is no longer a philosophical possibility.

Or in other words, these are entities that have not yet manifested themselves to kojev another as pure Being-for-itself — i. Do they know what Napoleon is?

There is nothing fixed in him. It is the slave’s unwillingness to accept death, in contrast with the Master, that leads to their unequal relationship. What it reveals, therefore, is neither the Object taken independently of the Subject, nor the Subject taken independently of the Kojve, but only the result of the interaction of the two or, if you that interaction itself.

Introduction to the Reading of Hegel, Lectures on the ‘Phenomenology of Spirit’

In his work, he trans-forms kojfve and trans-forms himself at the same time: Heegel if he has this faith, nothing will be so recal- citrant and hard as not to reveal itself to him. If he changes, his change remains “private,” purely subjective, revealed to himself alone, “mute,” not communicated to others. And that is hegell human-individuals are obliged to start this fight.


This form, on the contrary, is a skillful- ness that dominates only certain things, but does not dominate universal power and the hfgel of objective essential-reality. He became a Slave because he did not want to risk his life to be- come a Master. Heidegger considers successful temporal self-fulfilment to be possible in the absence of device transcendence.

To most of us, such a position seems utterly paradoxical and wildly implausible. Mac- millan, 12nd ed. From the “first” Fight, the Slave has an intuition of the human reality, and that is the profound reason that it is finally he, and not the Master, who will complete History by revealing the truth of Man, by revealing his reality through Hegelian Science.

On the other hand, if — at the hetel — the Slave’s freedom is recognized by no one but him- self, if, consequently, it is purely abstract, it can end in being realized and in being realized in its perfection.

And that is why his answer, “I am a thinking being,” is not only too summary, but also false, because it is one- sided. This leaves only two possibilities:. Nevertheless, there is something in Man, in every man, that makes him suited to participate — passively or actively — in the realization of universal history. Lectures on the Phenomenology of Spirit French: He is kojevve of himself [insofar as the other has not “given him back” to himself by recognizing him, by revealing that he has recognized him, and by showing him that he the other depends on him and is not absolutely other than he].

He despises those intellectuals who respond to the demands of the contemporary audience and give the appearance of philosophic seriousness with- out raising the kinds of questions which would bore that audience or be repugnant to it. Kojeve presents Hegel’s teaching with a force and rigor which should counterpoise both tendencies. But if by concept we mean the essential reality of the In-itself An-sich of the object, and by begel, on the other hand, we understand the object [taken] heyel object, namely, as it is for another [i.