Hegel's Idea Of A 'struggle For Recognition': The Phenomenology Of Spirit

History of Political Thought 24 (2):262-281 (2003)

This article makes a case for intersubjective recognition in Hegel by examining the idea of a 'struggle for recognition' in the Phenomenology of Spirit. Challenging the argument by several scholars that Hegel eventually came to compromise his initial interest in intersubjectivity, it argues instead that Hegel allots a central place to the idea of a 'struggle for recognition' at least in the Phenomenology of 1807. To substantiate this thesis, Hegel's phenomenological exegesis of 'Conscience. The 'beautiful soul', evil and its forgiveness' is reconstructed in terms of a 'struggle for recognition'. The final section questions the further claim of some of these critics that Hegel's thought came to rest on a metaphysical concept of an Absolute Spirit, which ultimately undermines interpersonal relationships.
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