Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit: A Reader’s Guide

Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit is probably his most famous work. First published in 1807, it has exercised considerable influence on subsequent thinkers from Feuerbach and Marx to Heidegger, Kojève, Adorno and Derrida.

The book contains many memorable analyses of, for example, the master-slave dialectic, the unhappy consciousness, Sophocles’ Antigone and the French Revolution and is one of the most important works in the Western philosophical tradition. It is, however, a difficult and challenging book and needs to be studied together with a clear and accessible secondary text.

Stephen Houlgate’s Reader’s Guide offers guidance on:

  • Philosophical and historical context
  • Key themes
  • Reading the text
  • Reception and influence
  • Further reading

Table of Contents

1 Context
Speculative logic and Kantian critique
The role of phenomenology
Phenomenology, immanence and scepticism
Logic in phenomenology

2 Overview of themes
Consciousness and its immanent criterion
The experience of consciousness
The object of experience
The role of the ‘we’
The end and the beginning of phenomenology

3 Reading the text
Force and understanding
Desire and recognition
The life and death struggle and master–slave relation
Stoicism, scepticism and the unhappy consciousness
Observing reason
Active, self-conscious reason
Individuality that is actual in and through itself
True spirit
Self-alienated spirit
Self-certain spirit
Natural religion
The religion of art
Manifest religion
Absolute knowing

4 Reception and influence

DOWNLOAD: (.pdf & .epub)


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