Alexandre Kojève (). Introduction to the Reading of Hegel. Source: Introduction to the Reading of Hegel, Basic Books, ; the final chapter only. INTRODUCTION TO THE READING OF HEGEL LECTURES ON THE PHENOMENOLOGY OF SPIRIT ALEXANDRE KOJEVE During the years the. among contemporary left Hegelians none has been so influential as. Alexandre Kojeve, whose brilliant Introduction to the Reading of Hegel. ()’ is viewed as .

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Without this service, terror could not transform existence, and existence, therefore, could never go beyond its initial state of terror. 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.

Or again, to present the same problem in its Cartesian aspect: Now, this latter must eventually perceive the contradiction implied in his existence. And that is what Hegel says in the Introduction to the Phenomenology:. For this reason, anyone who wishes to understand the sense of that mixture of Marxism and Existentialism which characterizes contemporary radicalism must turn to Kojeve.

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.

An encyclopedia of philosophy articles written by professional philosophers. Now, if all men are ‘thinking tthe I alone— at least for the mo- ment—possess this Knowledge. And he does this — in the final analysis — in order to make the other recog- nize his superiority over the other. Throughout this period, then, it is Mastery that will reveal its essence by realizing its existential possibilities through Action. The negativity of being, manifest as desire, makes possible man’s self-making, the process of ‘becoming’.

Alexandre Kojève (1902—1968)

Such a careful and comprehensive study which makes sense of Hegel’s very difficult texts will be of great value in America where, hegeo his influence has been great and is ever greater, very few people read, let alone understand, him. Lectures on the Phenomenology of Spirit.

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The In Place of an Introduction supreme value for an animal is its animal life. The Master’s attitude, therefore, is an existential impasse.

Kojeve elaborates the meaning of this logical necessity throughout the 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.

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. Find inttroduction on Scholar. The enslaving side of this satisfaction has passed to the Slave: And the enjoyment that one obtains without making any effort is Lust, Pleasure. And, generally speaking, the awareness of a contradiction is what moves human, historical evolution. For the Master, on the other hand, the immediate relation [to the thing] comes into being, through that mediation [i.

Man became a Slave because he feared death.

Now, in fact, this is not at all the case. And only because it reflects this real dialectic does it finally achieve, in the person of Hegel, the truth or the complete and adequate revelation of the Real. If the fear of death, incarnated for the Slave in the person of the warlike Master, is the sine qua non of historical progress, it is solely the Slave’s work that realizes and perfects it. This given-being rewding his chain, from which he could not abstract in the fight, in inttoduction fight he was revealed — because of that fact — as dependent, as having his autonomy in thingness.

It is a new thesis that will find or arouse a new anti-thesis, in order to associate itself with it by negating i. Hegelian experience is a different story: On the one hand, he follows Marx by seeing in idyllic terms the post-historical world, one of universal freedom, emancipation from war and want, leaving space for “art, love, play, and so forth; in short, everything that makes Man happy”. And Hegel says that the being that is incapa- ble of putting its life in danger in order to attain ends that are not immediately vital— i.

To realize it, he must make it recognized by a Slave, he must transform whoever is to recognize it into a Slave. Consequently, the human reality can be formed and maintained only within a biological reality, an animal life.


Introduction to the Reading of Hegel by Alexandre Kojeve

It is concerning the characterization of man at the end of history that one of the most intriguing difficulties in Kojeve’s teaching arises. To be sure, this work by itself does not free him. It is precisely Marx’s failure to think j through the meaning kojebe his own historical thought that proves his philosophical inadequacy and compels us to turn to the pro-: And yet, as long as it remains a Master’s freedom, the situation cannot be otherwise.

Yo, by working for another, the Slave too surmounts his instincts, and— by thereby raising himself to thought, to science, to technique, by transforming Nature in relation to an idea— he too succeeds in dominating Nature and his “Nature”— that is, the tye Nature that dominated him at the moment of the Fight itroduction made him the Slave of the Master.

But, just as Mastery showed that its essential-reality is the reverse or perversion of what it wants to be, so much the more will Slavery, in its fulfillment, probably become the opposite of hegwl it is immediately; as repressed Con- sciousness it will go within itself and reverse and transform itself into true autonomy.

Desire is the permanent and universal feature of human existence, and when transformed into action it is the basis of all historical agency. For in some sense the reverse is true for Hegel: To be sure, without the Master, there would have been no History; but only because without him there would have been no Slave and hence no Work.

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

Paul Redding – unknown. Views Read Edit View history. Hence it would be better to say: