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Alexandre Kojève (). Introduction to the Reading of Hegel. Source: Introduction to the Reading of Hegel, Basic Books, ; the final chapter only. INTRODUCTION TO THE READING OF HEGEL LECTURES ON THE PHENOMENOLOGY OF SPIRIT ALEXANDRE KOJEVE During the years the. among contemporary left Hegelians none has been so influential as. Alexandre Kojeve, whose brilliant Introduction to the Reading of Hegel. ()’ is viewed as .

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The being that acts to satisfy its own instincts, which — as such — are always natural, does not rise above Nature: From Socrates-Plato until Hegel, Dialectic was only a philosophical method without a counterpart in the real.

Introduction to the Reading of Hegel – Wikipedia

In other words, the Slave who works for the Master represses his instincts in relation to an idea, a concept. The other is dependent Consciousness, for which the essential-reality is animal- life, i. Therefore, Mastery is the supreme given value for him, beyond which he can- not go. Man is negating Action, which transforms given Being and, by transforming it, transforms itself.

The mojeve Desire of a being is what constitutes that being as I and reveals it as such by moving it to say “I.

The Master, then, is the catalyst of the historical, anthropogenetic process. The absolute truth or the Science of the Wise Man, of Hegel that is, the adequate and complete revelation of the Real in its Totality — is indeed, therefore, an integral synthesis of all the philosophies presented throughout history. But in that activity of the other is also found the second aspect, namely, the activity by oneself: The others consider themselves obliged to condemn Napoleon, that is, to condemn the historical reality; and their philosophical systems — by that very fact — are all condemned by that reality.


In the technical world transformed by his work, he rules — or, at least, will one day rule — as absolute Master. Many of Kojeve’s translations of Hegelian terms are not the customary ones, but represent his interpretation of their meaning. Therefore, it is by work, and only by work, that man realizes himself objectively as man. This world is, to be sure, “foreign” to him; he must “deny” it, transform it, fight it, in order to realize himself in it.


Alexandre Kojève (1902—1968)

The man who reaing any other form of knowledge, who cannot explain his own doings, cannot be called a philosopher. What is of importance is that in the Truth-there is perfect coincidence of the Begriff and the Gegenstand, and that — in the Truth — Knowledge is purely passive adequation to essential-Reality.

Now, for vulgar science, this real is supposed to be independent of the thought which describes it. And the Slave achieves this only through forced and terrified work carried out in the Master’s service. Except for brief quotations in a review, hhe book, or parts thereof, must not be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the publisher.

Pages to import images to Wikidata Articles containing French-language text. Hence one inroduction be inclined to say that Being is dialectical only to the extent that it is revealed by Thought, that Thought is what gives Being its dialectical character. Man was born and History began with the first Fight that ended in the appearance of a Pf and a Slave.

Because tye is a serious man, Kojeve has never sought to be orig- inal, and his originality has consisted in his search for the truth in the thought of wise men of the past. To be sure, on the one hand this fear Furcht reveals his dependence with respect to Nature and thus justifies his dependence with respect to the Master, who dominates Nature. And Hegel does actually say somewhere that he is only rediscovering the ancient or, rather, Platonic, dialectic.


He postpones the destruction of the thing by first trans-forming it through inrroduction he prepares it for consumption — that is to say, he “forms” it.

Introduction to the Reading of Hegel

Alexandre Kojeve was born in Russia and educated in Berlin. If Kojeve is wrong, if his world does not correspond to the real one, we learn at least that either one must abandon reason — and this includes all science — or one must abandon historicism.

Marx thought that the immiseration of workers under 19 th century capitalism would worsen as the pressure of market competition would lead to ever-more brutal extraction of surplus from workers’ labor, in attempt to offset the falling rate of profit.

It is by work in the Master’s service performed in terror that the Slave frees himself from the terror that enslaved him to the Master. Thus,] the nega- tive-or-negating relation to the object becomes a form of this object and gains permanence, precisely because, for the worker,’ the object has autonomy.

The real conditions of existence would have no importance at all: His own teaching is but the distillation of more than six years devoted to nothing but reading a single book, line by line. But the Slave is for him an animal or a thing. Hegel looks too the Real and describes what he sees, everything that he sees, and nothing but what he sees. Thus this ideology prevents Man from acting: