Fichte's role in Hegel's phenomenology of spirit, chapter 4

Abstract

Prior to Kojève's well-known account in his Introduction to the Reading of Hegel there seems to have been relatively little interest in Hegel's concept of recognition— Anerkennung.1 After Kojève, however, a popular view of Hegel's philosophy emerged within which the idea of recognition plays a central role: what distinguishes us as selfconscious beings from the rest of nature is that we are driven by a peculiar type of desire, the desire for recognition leading to struggle's over recognition. While Kojève directed attention to the importance of Hegel's use of notion of recognition in the famous dialectic of "lord and bondsman" in chapter 4 of the Phenomenology of Spirit,2 his reading, inspired equally by Marx and Heidegger, was nevertheless difficult to reconcile not only with the more systematic features of Hegel's philosophy, but also with what Hegel had to say on the topic of recognition within chapter 4, but especially, elsewhere in the Phenomenology.

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Paul Redding
University of Sydney

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