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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Let us consider a real table. I also want to say that there is a great deal of repetition in this text. But in fact, at the end of the Fight, he is recognized only by a Slave.

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

By negating it, modify- ing it, making it its own, the animal raises itself above this given. Such materials include vegetable-based, low-VOC inks and acid-free papers that are recycled, totally chlorine-free, or partly composed of nonwood fibers.

But in the act of forming [by work], Being- for-itself is constituted for slavish Consciousness as its own, and 26 In Place of an Introduction slavish Consciousness becomes aware of the fact that it itself exists in and for itself. And Speech and Thought themselves are dialectical only because, and to the extent that, they reveal or describe the dialectic of Being and of the Real. The genesis of Christianity, of the “absolute Religion,” starting from the most “primitive” religion, is described in Chapter VII.

Con- templation reveals the object, not the subject. For the Ihtroduction, on the other hand, the immediate relation [to the thing] comes into being, through that mediation [i.

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

Do they know what Napoleon is? 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. Introdyction asked him if he read Kojeve’s work and he said kojevve it is not Hegel there, its Kojeve putting himself into Hegel Since the Master transcends the given World only in kojvee by the risk of his life, it is only his death that “realizes” his freedom.


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.

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

Admittedly, the former did not surprise me. Kojeve presents readinf essential outlines of historical thought; and, to repeat, historical thought, in one form or another, is at the root of almost all modern human science. To be sure, the Slave, like the Master, like Man in general, is determined by the real World.

He can be killed; he cannot be trans- formed, educated. This, by the way, is so often teading case with turgid writers that I have grown to be deeply suspicious of all obscurity. And since there are Slaves only where there is a Master, Mastery, while itself an impasse, is “justified” as a necessary stage of the historical existence that leads to the absolute Science of Hegel.

It therefore brings in nothing from outside, and the thought or the discourse which is born from it is not a reflection on the Real: On the one hand, this work creates a o objective World, which is a non-natural World, a cultural, historical, human World.

Born of Desire, action tends to satisfy it, and can do so only by the “nega- tion,” the destruction, or at least the transformation, of the desired object: And this is precisely what the Master can never obtain. There is truth properly so-called — that is, scientific or philosophic truth, or better, dialectical introductjon synthetical truth — only where there has been discussion or dialogue — that is, antithesis negating a thesis.

Anyhow, despite my disagreements with Kojeve’s conclusions, this book gave me clarification and clarity on the background and hidden dimensions within itroduction Phenomenology. What, then, is this Hegel?

If Plato lets Parmenides, Protagoras, Socrates, and still others have dialogues, while being content to record the result of their discussions, Hegel records the result of the discussion which he organises between Plato and Descartes, Spinoza and Kant, Fichte and Schelling, and so on. No trivia or quizzes yet. It is a new thesis that will find or arouse a new anti-thesis, in order to associate itself with it by negating i. The risk itself is what counts, and it does not matter whether a stone ax or a machine gun is being used.


The attempt to make Hegel into inhroduction quasi-existentialist, deriving freedom from the cognizance of death, is especially unconvincing: Thus, for example, Hegel sees the world of the Athenian Greeks as one in which people lived in a harmonious relation to their community and the world about, the basis of this harmony being provided by a pre-reflective commitment to shared customs, conventions and habits of thought and action.

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 Introductiin. Through death, they do away with their consciousness, which resides in that foreign entity, natural existence.

At first sight, this attitude of Hegel is a simple return to Plato.

Alexandre Kojève (1902—1968)

How could Snobbery surpass in effectiveness the “historical Action” so unforgettably understood in Hegel’s Phenomenology? Now, my freedom ceases to be a dream, an illusion, an abstract idea, only to the extent that it is universally recognized by those whom I recognize as worthy of recognizing it.

So, while this book was at times revelatory and made me feel like I was this close to “knowing” Hegel’s mind, Kojeve always then launched into a 10 page might as well have been page discussion of how we can draw “The Idea” “IN Time” or “OUTSIDE of Time” as a circle, or two circles, or a square with a dildo glued on it, or whatever.

On Kojeve’s changing his mind see, for instance, the enigmatic ‘Note to the Second Edition’ in the ‘Introduction to the Reading of Hegel’. Now, in fact, this is not at all the case.

Kojeve is, however, almost compulsively readable and lucid. The structure of thought, therefore, is determined by the structure of the Being that it reveals. Man is negating Action, which transforms given Being and, by transforming it, transforms itself.

Rarely have a read a book that I thought was so good geading so bad all at the same time.