From Self-Consciousness to Reason in Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit

International Philosophical Quarterly 53 (3):309-324 (2013)
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Abstract

The transition from self-consciousness as the unhappy consciousness to reason as the critique of idealism is among the most important in Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit. Yet this transition is implicit and not readily discernible. This paper investigates (1) whether we can discover and describe any roadblock that the unhappy consciousness is able to knock down, or despite which it is able to maneuver, and so become reason; or (2) whether the unhappy consciousness arrives at an impassable dead end and either manages to create a detour around it or just begins again, unexplained and unexplainably, almost ex nihilo, as reason; or (3) whether, despite its implicitness, there exists a continuous, tenable, and unimpeded path from self-consciousness to reason.

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Eric v.d. Luft
Bryn Mawr College (PhD)

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