Hegel on Self-Consciousness: Desire and Death in the Phenomenology of Spirit

Overview

In the most influential chapter of his most important philosophical work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, Hegel makes the central and disarming assertions that "self-consciousness is desire itself" and that it attains its "satisfaction" only in another self-consciousness. Hegel on Self-Consciousness presents a groundbreaking new interpretation of these revolutionary claims, tracing their roots to Kant's philosophy and demonstrating their continued relevance for contemporary ...

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Hegel on Self-Consciousness: Desire and Death in the Phenomenology of Spirit

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Overview

In the most influential chapter of his most important philosophical work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, Hegel makes the central and disarming assertions that "self-consciousness is desire itself" and that it attains its "satisfaction" only in another self-consciousness. Hegel on Self-Consciousness presents a groundbreaking new interpretation of these revolutionary claims, tracing their roots to Kant's philosophy and demonstrating their continued relevance for contemporary thought.

As Robert Pippin shows, Hegel argues that we must understand Kant's account of the self-conscious nature of consciousness as a claim in practical philosophy, and that therefore we need radically different views of human sentience, the conditions of our knowledge of the world, and the social nature of subjectivity and normativity. Pippin explains why this chapter of Hegel's Phenomenology should be seen as the basis of much later continental philosophy and the Marxist, neo-Marxist, and critical-theory traditions. He also contrasts his own interpretation of Hegel's assertions with influential interpretations of the chapter put forward by philosophers John McDowell and Robert Brandom.

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Editorial Reviews

Choice
Pippin, one of the finest contemporary scholars on Kant and post-Kantian German idealism, presents here two essays that focus on two of Hegel's claims—that self-consciousness is desire itself, and that it finds its satisfaction only in others. . . . Pippin's essays provide a skillful interpretation of one of the most important parts of Hegel's corpus, and illuminate Phenomenology of Spirit as well as historical and contemporary interpretations of Hegel's account of self-consciousness.
Philosophy in Review
This book should appeal to readers interested in the Phenomenology of Spirit, especially graduate students and researches who wish to understand the contemporary significance of Hegel's account of self-consciousness for McDowell and Brandom. Pippin has provided a lucid reading of these very dense passages. Regardless of whether one agrees with Pippin's reading, it will prove difficult for Hegel scholars to ignore.
— Corey McCall
Philosophy in Review - Corey McCall
This book should appeal to readers interested in the Phenomenology of Spirit, especially graduate students and researches who wish to understand the contemporary significance of Hegel's account of self-consciousness for McDowell and Brandom. Pippin has provided a lucid reading of these very dense passages. Regardless of whether one agrees with Pippin's reading, it will prove difficult for Hegel scholars to ignore.
From the Publisher

"Pippin, one of the finest contemporary scholars on Kant and post-Kantian German idealism, presents here two essays that focus on two of Hegel's claims--that self-consciousness is desire itself, and that it finds its satisfaction only in others. . . . Pippin's essays provide a skillful interpretation of one of the most important parts of Hegel's corpus, and illuminate Phenomenology of Spirit as well as historical and contemporary interpretations of Hegel's account of self-consciousness."--Choice

"This book should appeal to readers interested in the Phenomenology of Spirit, especially graduate students and researches who wish to understand the contemporary significance of Hegel's account of self-consciousness for McDowell and Brandom. Pippin has provided a lucid reading of these very dense passages. Regardless of whether one agrees with Pippin's reading, it will prove difficult for Hegel scholars to ignore."--Corey McCall, Philosophy in Review

"Pippin's overall interpretation is clear, insightful, and an important contribution to both Hegel scholarship and philosophical understandings of self-consciousness in general. It will be an important book for those interested in Hegel or self-consciousness."--Joseph Arel, European Legacy

Choice

Pippin, one of the finest contemporary scholars on Kant and post-Kantian German idealism, presents here two essays that focus on two of Hegel's claims--that self-consciousness is desire itself, and that it finds its satisfaction only in others. . . . Pippin's essays provide a skillful interpretation of one of the most important parts of Hegel's corpus, and illuminate Phenomenology of Spirit as well as historical and contemporary interpretations of Hegel's account of self-consciousness.
Philosophy in Review

This book should appeal to readers interested in the Phenomenology of Spirit, especially graduate students and researches who wish to understand the contemporary significance of Hegel's account of self-consciousness for McDowell and Brandom. Pippin has provided a lucid reading of these very dense passages. Regardless of whether one agrees with Pippin's reading, it will prove difficult for Hegel scholars to ignore.
— Corey McCall
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691148519
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 12/6/2010
  • Series: Princeton Monographs in Philosophy Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 120
  • Sales rank: 1,440,911
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author


Robert B. Pippin is the Evelyn Stefansson Nef Distinguished Service Professor in the John U. Nef Committee on Social Thought and in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Chicago. His books include "Hegel's Practical Philosophy: Rational Agency as Ethical Life" and "Henry James and Modern Moral Life".
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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments vii
Introductory Remarks 1
Chapter One: On Hegel's Claim That Self-Consciousness Is "Desire Itself" (Begierde überhaupt) 6
Chapter Two: On Hegel's Claim That "Self-Consciousness Finds Its Satisfaction Only in Another Self-Consciousness" 54
Concluding Remarks 88
Index 99
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