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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That is why, when this experience is described verbally, it represents a Truth in the strong sense of the term.

But the radical Skeptic does not interest Hegel, because, by defini- tion, he disappears by committing suicide, he ceases to be, and consequently he ceases to too a human being, an agent of historical evolution. Hegel no longer discusses because he benefits from the discussion of those who preceded him. And yet, as long as it remains a Master’s freedom, the situation cannot be otherwise.

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

This I will not, like the animal “I,” be “identity” or equality to itself, but “negating-negativity. Progress in the realization of Freedom can be carried out only by the Slave, who begins with a wowrealized ideal of Freedom. Now, the negation of Being is Action.

Actually, others recognize the Master as Master only because he has a Slave; and the Master’s life consists in consuming the products of slavish Work, and kpjeve living on and by this Work. If man is nothing but his becoming, if his human existence in space is his existence in time or as time, if the revealed human reality is nothing but universal history, that history must be the history of readint inter- action tbe Mastery and Slavery: This book is really better than I make it sound.

Thus, in the relationship between man and woman, for example, Desire is human only if the one desires, not the body, but the Desire of the other; if he wants “to possess” or “to assimilate” the Desire taken as Desire — that is to say, if he wants to be “desired” or “loved,” or, rather, “recognized” in his human value, in his reality as a human individual.


The system I can do without I remain Kierkegaardian in that sense kojwve but the man, his insights, his intelligence And, in parenthesis, that is why human existence is possible only where there is something called Leben, biological, animal life.

Alexandre Kojève (1902—1968)

Without being predestined to it in any way, the one must fear the other, must give in to the other, must refuse to risk his life for koneve satisfaction of his desire for “recognition. To use Hegel’s terminology, one must suppose that there is a victor who becomes the Master of the vanquished; or, if one prefers a vanquished who becomes the Slave of the victor.

Introduction to the Reading of Hegel. In Plato, the dialectical method is still quite close to its historical origins the sophistic discussions. On the one hand, he does not bind himself to what he is; he wants to transcend himself by negation of his given state.

I found all this to be academically slipshod. Thus the Master’s existence can remain exclusively war- like: And this is what is insufficient – what is tragic – in his situation We can give a first answer to this question by recalling a passage from the Encyclopaedia — more exactly, the Introduction to the First Part of the Encyclopaedia, entitled Logic.

All we can say is that without the primordial free act that creates Mastery and Slavery, history and philosophy could not exist. To be sure] the [Master’s] Desire has reserved for itself the pure act- of -negating the object [by consuming it] and has thereby reserved for itself the unmixed sentiment-of-self-and-of-one’s-dignity [ex- perienced in enjoyment]. Hegel says that Man abandons Stoicism because, as a Stoic, he is bored.


Thought is dialectical only to the extent that it correctly reveals the dialectic of Being that is and of the Real that exists. In Plato and probably already in Socrates all this became conscious.

In the first place, it is the Master that is the essential-reality for Slavery. Enlightenment philosophy, the philosophy of Hegel’s own time, is the latest and most sophisticated attempt to reconcile these divisions through reason alone, to freely find man’s place amongst others and the universe as a whole. Certainly, he must have said to himself, “I am a thinking being.

Hegelian anthropology is formed by this idea that Man is not a Being that is in an eternal identity to itself in Space, but a Nothingness that nihilates as Time in spatial Being, through the negation of this Being— through the negation or trans- formation of the given, starting from an idea or an ideal that does not yet exist, that is still nothingness a “project” — through nega- tion that is called the Action Tat of Fighting and of Work Kampf und Arbeit.

Consequently, the presence of the Battle of Jena in Hegel’s consciousness is of capital importance.

To be anthropogenetic, then, Desire must be directed toward a nonbeing— that is, toward another Desire, another greedy emptiness, another I. Hwgel with him disappears that other Desire toward fo Desire must be directed in order to be a human Desire. But if by concept we mean the essential reality of the In-itself An-sich of the object, and by object, on the other hand, we understand the object [taken] as object, namely, as it is for another [i.

He is boorishly repetitious, persistently vague, and pompously obscure.