|09-01-2007, 08:16 PM||#1|
Join Date: May 2007
Location: South Wales, UK
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Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich: Phenomenology of Mind, v1, 02 Sept 2007.
Another philosophical classic, dating from 1807.
This is an account of the evolution of consciousness, from its beginnings until the culmination of the process, when the Absolute Spirit becomes conscious of itself (i.e. when Hegel completed the book).
It may appeal to Marxists (because Marx stole many of Hegel’s ideas); to process theologians (because Hegel invented process theology); and to those who enjoy philosophical classics.
Roughly taking the form of a Bildungsroman, it explores the nature and development of its protagonist--mind/spirit--showing how it evolves through a process of internal contradiction and development from the most primitive aspect of sense-perception through all of the forms of subjective and objective mind, including art, religion, and philosophy, to absolute knowledge that comprehends this entire developmental process as part of itself. Thus it also lays out an entire system of metaphysics, ethics, and political philosophy.
Oddly enough, Schopenhauer thought that the book was amusing:
If I were to say that the so-called philosophy of this fellow Hegel is a colossal piece of mystification which will yet provide posterity with an inexhaustible theme for laughter at our times, that it is a pseudo-philosophy paralyzing all mental powers, stifling all real thinking, and, by the most outrageous misuse of language, putting in its place the hollowest, most senseless, thoughtless, and, as is confirmed by its success, most stupefying verbiage, I should be quite right. Further, if I were to say that this summus philosophus [...] scribbled nonsense quite unlike any mortal before him, so that whoever could read his most eulogized work, the so-called Phenomenology of the Mind, without feeling as if he were in a madhouse, would qualify as an inmate for Bedlam, I should be no less right.
– Arthur Schopenhauer, On the Basis of Morality, pp 15-16
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