Img 1576 A Very Short Introduction to Hegel s Phenomenology Kojeve
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A Very Short Introduction to Hegel’s Phenomenology (Kojeve)

Estimated reading time: 10 minute(s)


6 דק’
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The Only Introduction One Needs For Hegel’s Phenomenology (an introduction to the trick or rather “power” of the Phenomenology as an Introduction in itself): the principal advantage of the Introduction that is phenomenologcal (in the Hegelian and non-Husserlian sense, that is, in fact the Platonic sense of the term) consists in the fact that it causes to disappear progressively and, in a way, under the reader’s eyes the particular “point of view” of “Reflection” that is indispensable in every philosophic Intrduction whatsoever to the extent that it is distinguished from the System of Knowledge that it is supposed to introduce. At the beginning and during all the discursive development of the Phenomenology, a We” reflects” from one and the same “point of view” upon a series of “phenomena” where men of different types say “I” in diverse “existential situations” or “attitudes.” These “phenomena” follow one another in an order of which the “reflecting” We can give an account in its own eyes, showing how or, if you please, de-monstrating why one of these “situations” results from another (which it presupposes in denying it). At the outset, the reader does not know what the We that “reflects” is, and he cannot say what its “point of view” is. But this “point of view” becomes clear as the sequence of “phenomena” is developed upon cach of which the We “reflects” in “justifying” it (after the event) in its out eyes (as “dialectically-overcome” ((supprimé-dialectiquement)), that is, trans-formed by an active or effective negation that conserves it while sublimating it in and through the “phenomenon” that follows it). And at the end, the We of the beginning is completely and perfectly determined by its coincidence with the I of the “situation” revealed as final “phenomenon,” which conserves, in sublimating them, all the other since it is the total negation of them. In thus finding itself in the “situation” instead of reflecting upon it, the We finally demonstrates to that the “point of view” that it had from the beginning was not among [[the others]], since this alleged “point of view” is the integral or integrating negation of all points of view possible or imaginable by the We that is itself nothing other than an “imagining” of “possible” points of view or situations.

Now, it is precisely the We become I at the end of the Phenomenology, or, what is the same thing, the I become the We of the beginning through the evolution described in that book, that fully and finally achieves self-consciousness (and is perfectly satisfied by this attaining of consciousness) in discursively developing the (“coherent,” that is, not “contra-dictory” and thus “irrefutable”) “content” of that of which it attains consciousness, that discursive development being published by Hegel under the name System of Knowledge. Thus, the reader of the Phenomenology who began by believing he “put his trust” in the author in adopting the latter’s “point of view,” ends by perceiving that in reality he has “put trust” only in himself. For in the course of his reading he will have found the I and the “point of view” that are his and have been witness to the trans-formation, “justified in his own eyes,” of this I into the We that has no exclusive “point of view” that is peculiar to it. The reader then will have either to renounce every “situation” capable of being discursively “justified” (in a “coherent” manner) or else to recognize that he finds himself in the “situation” whose (“existential” and “logical”) “meaning” is discursively developed as that System of Knowledge that Hegel wanted to introduce through his Phenomenology.

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