Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit

Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit : Not Missing the Trees for the Forest

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In most commentaries on Hegel's Phenomenology, the emphasis has been on presenting the totality as a chain of phenomenological developments leading up inexorably to the final chapter on "absolute knowledge." In other words, the mission of the commentator has been to make sure that the reader does not miss the forest for the trees, as the saying goes-getting so wrapped up in individual moments that he or she misses the all-important dialectical movement of the work.
The present work is a reflection on some of the "trees" that are of interest in their own right, and keys to the ongoing appreciation of this classical work-for example, why language (die Sprache) performs an indispensable function in Hegel's concept of phenomenological development; how the groundbreaking theme of intersubjectivity emerges in this work; why character-types like Hegel's "Unhappy Consciousness" and "Knight of Virtue" have a contemporary relevance; what influence the Phenomenology had on Kierkegaard; why what appear to be mere summaries and recapitulations in the Phenomenology are much more than that; why the literary aspects of this philosophical work should not be overlooked; and why Hegel's "absolute knowledge" is not absolute in any of the usual senses of the word.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 133 pages
  • 158 x 232 x 14mm | 322.05g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739125850
  • 9780739125854
  • 1,824,202

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Preface Chapter 2 1. The Phenomenon of Language in Hegel's Phenomenology Chapter 3 2. Character Types in the Phenomenology Chapter 4 3. Phenomenological Themes Chapter 5 4. Kierkegaard and the Phenomenology Chapter 6 5. Hegel's Unsystematic Systematization Chapter 7 6. The Phenomenology and Literature Chapter 8 7. "Absolute Knowledge" and the History of Modern Philosophy
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Review quote

Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit: Not Missing the Trees for the Forest is the work of a well-known Hegel scholar who has already published many books on Hegel. [Kainz's] approach allows us to see the figures in Hegel's Phenomenology not only as steps towards the Absolute, but also as subjective positions in the sense of Melanie Klein and thus of psychoanalysis. Not only people interested in Hegel, but also people interested in understanding the psychic structure of regularly appearing characters will find in this work a goldmine. -- Wilfried Ver Eecke, Georgetown University Kainz provides an entertaining study of the ideas of one of the nineteenth century's most influential philosophers. Book News, Inc., August 2008 Howard Kainz, the most important specialist and commentator of Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit, presents here in clear English not only all of Hegel's central concepts in that pivotal book of 1807, but also their dialectical evolvement out of self-negating contradictions within thought and reality in a way that discloses their objective truth. Virtually all concepts within the Phenomenology and hence within the modern objective scientific and cultural world come to life in this book: from the cause of the Zerissenheit, the distraughtfulness of the modern world and its apprehension, to the emergence of a new, subjectively seated and hence relative morality, together with the necessarily inadequate spirit of tolerance, to the reconciliation of the daseienden Geist, the existent spirit, which is God appearing in and through externalized forms as reconciled self- and other-recognition and affirmation. -- Rolf Ahlers, the Sage Colleges
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About Howard P. Kainz

Howard P. Kainz is professor of philosophy at Marquette University.
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