It doesn't make any sense to rate this work at anything less than 5 stars, since it's one of the most influential works of the last 200 years. It was written in 1806, and it is Hegel's attempt to demonstrate the systematic way in which human experience develops, from its simplest roots in sensory life to its highest fulfilment in scientific, political and religious experience. This was a work that took Kant's revolutionary insights and produced a new philosophy of the human person that prefigured the developments of Marx, Freud, existentialism, deconstruction and so on. Human experience is here understood in a rigorously anti-reductive way: Hegel will not allow meaningful dimensions of human experience to be ignored in the way that they typically are in too-facile theories of experience (like sense-data empiricism, physicalist reductionism, possessive individualism, etc.). Experience is also understood dynamically: because of its own internal reason, experience develops into progressively more complex forms. It is a masterful work, and it takes years of serious study to master this book. It is a very difficult book to work with, because it is written in a very daunting manner, which means it is not realistic to imagine reading it outside of a university course in which someone can lead you into the reading of Hegel's phenomenology. This translation by Miller is also imperfect. This translation was meant as an improvement to the older Baillie translation but, while this one is marginally more "literal," it does not do as good a job as Baillie at communicating the sense of what's being said. If you can only have one translation, this is probably the better choice, but if you are studying the book seriously, I highly recommend hunting down a copy of Baillie's translation as well.