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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I am the bearer of an absolute Knowledge. If Kojeve is wrong, if his world does not correspond to the real one, we learn at least that either one must abandon reason — and this includes all science — or one must abandon historicism. In becoming conscious of this fact, therefore, he becomes conscious of his free- dom Freiheithis autonomy Selbstandigkeit. I want him to “recognize” my value as his value. Now, readung this is to occur, one must suppose that one of the adversaries gives in to the other and submits to him, recognizing him without being recognized by him.
Alexandre Kojève (1902—1968)
He continued to write philosophy over these years, including works on the pre-Socratics, Kant, the concept of right, the temporal dimensions of philosophical wisdom, the relationship between Christianity and both Western science and communism, and the development of capitalism.
History is what judges men, their actions and their opinions, and lastly their philosophical opinions as well. But this is impossible, since — by definition — the Master prefers death to slavish recognition of another’s superiority. By itself, this Desire constitutes only the Sentiment of self.
Introduction to the Reading of Hegel
But the Slave is for him an animal or a thing. This is obvious in the case of the death of both adversaries, since the human reality — being essentially Desire and action in terms of Desire — can be born and maintained only within an animal life.
And it is only this Work 42 Summary of the First Six Chapters of the Phenomenology of Spirit that could finally produce the table on which Hegel wrote his Phenomenology and which was a part of the content of the I that he analyzed in answering his question, “What am I?
Consumerism and the commodity form, for Fukayama, present the means by which recognition is mediated. Let us begin with the Master. Only after producing an artificial object is man himself really and objectively more than and different from a natural being; and only in this real and objective product does he become truly conscious of his sub- jective human reality. The pure form [imposed on the readinh by this work] cannot come into being for that Consciousness, as essential- reality.
Introduction to the Reading of Hegel, Lectures on the ‘Phenomenology of Spirit’
Existential Marxism in Postwar France: In the Spirit of Hegel: Of course, it is supposed to be in agreement with the given real. In other words, he must introduvtion him.
To realize it, he must make it recognized by a Slave, he must transform whoever is to recognize it reeading a Slave. That is why it is not an idea in the proper sense of the word: A questioning ‘I’ emerges, one that experiences itself as distinct and apart from other beings, from customary rules, and from a natural ijtroduction that becomes an ‘object’ for it.
For Hegel, the historical movement of thought is a ‘dialectical’ process wherein these divisions are put through processes of reconciliation, producing in turn new divisions, which thought in turn attempts to reconcile. Consequently, the human reality can be formed and maintained only within a biological reality, an animal life.
And all “negating-negativity” with re- spect to the given is necessarily active. The man who is “absorbed” by the object that he is contemplating can be “brought back to himself” only by a Desire; by the desire to eat, for example. In his writings we are dealing with genuine dialogues, in which the thesis and the antithesis are presented by different persons Socrates generally incarnates the antithesis of all theses asserted by his interlocutors or expressed successively by one of them.
One must suppose that the Fight ends in such a way that both adversaries remain alive.
The absolute truth or the Science of the Wise Man, of Hegel that is, the adequate and complete revelation of the Real in its Totality — is indeed, therefore, an integral synthesis of all the philosophies presented throughout history.
In the beginning, as long as he is not yet actually recognized by the other, it is the other that is the end of his action; it is on this other, it is on recognition by this other, that his human value and reality depend; it is in this other that the meaning of his life is condensed.
But one could try to deduce all human understanding from Work. The Slave transforms the given conditions of existence so as to make them conform to the Master’s demands.
And according to Hegel, only action carried out in another’s service is Work Arbeit in the proper sense of the word: His lectures exerted a profound influence both direct and indirect over many leading French philosophers and intellectuals – amongst them Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Lacan, Bataille, Althusser, Queneau, Aron, and Breton.
And this Mastery that kjoeve from work, from the progressive transformation of the given World and of man given in this World, will be an entirely different thing from the “immediate” Mastery of the Master. Retrieved from ” https: That is to say that Man— at rewding origin— is always either Master or Slave; and that true Man can exist only where there is a Master and a Slave. This superiority, at first purely ideal, which consists in the mental fact of being recognized and of knowing that he is recognized as Master by the Slave, is realized and materialized through the Slave’s Work.
This objection— or explanation— is simplistic only at first sight. Now, this artificial product is at the same time just as “autonomous,” just as kpjeve, just as introductioh of man, as is the natural thing. To be sure] the [Master’s] Desire has reserved for itself the imtroduction act- of -negating the object [by consuming heegel and has thereby reserved for itself the unmixed sentiment-of-self-and-of-one’s-dignity [ex- perienced in enjoyment].
Therefore, to desire the Desire of another is in the final analysis to desire that the value that I am or that I “represent” be the value desired by the other: In other words, man’s humanity “comes to light” only if he risks his animal life for the sake of his human Desire.
Introduction to the Reading of Hegel by Alexandre Kojeve
Kojeve presents the 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. And universal history, the history of the interaction between men and of their interaction with Nature, is the history of the interaction between warlike Masters and work- ing Slaves.
What is other for it exists as an object without essential-reality, as an object marked with the character of a negative-entity. Karl Marx [Man is Self -Consciousness. As is only to be expected, his honesty and clarity lead him to pose the difficulty himself.
But looking around us, Kojeve, like every other pene- trating observer, sees that the completion of the human task may very well coincide with the decay of humanity, the rebarbarization or even reanimalization of man. In other words, only by the risk of life does it come to light that Self -Consciousness is nothing but pure Being-for-itself. Therefore, man can free himself from the given World that does not satisfy him only if this World, in its totality, belongs properly to a real or “sub- limated” Master.
And, at the same time, the two elements are necessary in a universal way.