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Phenomenology of Spirit Paperback – Jun 1 1979

3.8 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 630 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; Revised ed. edition (June 1 1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198245971
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198245971
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 3.2 x 13.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #58,069 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From the Back Cover

'Hegel's Phenomenology was written, so the story goes, on the eve of Napoleon's destruction of the Holy Roman Empire and at the beginning of the German 'Wars of Liberation.' The book itself is no less dramatic or revolutionary. It is Hegel's grandest experiment, changing our vision of the world and the very nature of the philosophical enterprise.

About the Author

G.W.F. Hegel (1770-1831) is one of the great figures in the history of Western thought, and the most important philosopher of his time.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Paperback
A very significant book
This book was a turning point for me in my personal quest. Up until this point each philosopher I learned about in class was torn apart by the next philosopher. Hegel approached things differently and made it possible for me to learn what "sublated" means. Those philosophers were not being "torn apart" by their successors. Instead, the history of thought can be seen as the logical interplay of ideas gradually creating better ideas. The previous ideas are incorporated in an ever more mature view. This is how we view history. This is why sociology seems to be the philosophy of our day - the sociality of reason.
But this book is deeply embedded in a historical context itself and makes sense only with a good guide. For an interesting way to do this look at Hans Kung's description of his experience of Hegel in his memoirs. For an excellent guide I recommend Pinkard or Kaufmann. My own thesis is on Hegel's Geist.
No philosopher since has ever torn apart another philosopher in my view even if they try to deconstruct them.
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By A Customer on Jan. 20 2003
Format: Paperback
A professor once told me that nearly every major work of philosophy since the time of the Greeks could be pared down to one small pamphlet. The rest is filler. He said this with the exception of Hegel. I disagreed with him about a few more exceptions but I very much agree about Hegel. His works are long and complex but they are digesting a subject that is in itself long and complicated. The nature of human existence(metaphysics) is one that cannot be trimmed down neatly or explained in the language of a children's book. Hegel is very difficult to read, I understand that very well. Hegel himself said that only one person ever understood what he had to say. The works of Joyce, Faulkner and Woolf are also difficult to digest at times but what a sad state literature would be without them. Anyone who dismisses this work without regard is simply stating that they cannot understand it. And rather than say that, they mask their ignorance by attacking the book. Every major new artistic and philosophical movement was approached this way by those who were in the status quo. I had trouble the first time I read this book, but it was more than worth that trouble. Dialectics is one of the most fascinating and important philosophical movements that has ever come along. Most people skip straight to Marx who took Hegel's philosophy and created his own theories. I would however, highly recommend that you read this first and then move on to Marx. Hegel's solving of classical problems in philosophy is outstanding and this book is a must read for anyone interested in philosophy. Don't listen to those who guise their ignorance with attack at this book. It is well worth the time.
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By A Customer on Sept. 27 2003
Format: Paperback
The book is a historic classic of philosophy: Hegel's style is a pleasure of dialectic-conceptual and almost mystic creation of enigmas. His style is clumsy,-- although enjoyable in an obscure way, a style oneself should always remain a critic of , that style which, in the end, is opposite to the object of all writing forms, that is: to make concepts and notions clear, to express....
It is an overwhelming experience finding that "Hegelianism" still breaths(judging for the quantity of reviews here in Amazon). I wish to type the next map of evolutions contradicting and refuting Hegel's philosophy:
-Hegel's ontological principle: "all real is rational, all rational is real".
In Hegel's symbolism the real does not refer to "empirical data", but rather to that which is relative to the "whole", the "absolute", that is: something becomes logically real when one is able to conceive it as part of a complex unity, an absolute whole. Non-Aristotelian logic developed in the beginning of last xx century would regard this reasoning as a misconception of the identity principle. Hegel's absolute as an identity able to contain would be no other thing than a "conjunct". Giving that Hegel conceived as "complex" his "whole"(absolute), we could say that this "conjunct", this "class", can be an "ordinal" one, or a "cardinal" one. Example: the class A consisting of "five pencils" is a cardinal one, whereas the class named B consisting of the "class of animals who are good, the class of animals who are not-good, and the class of animals who are neither good nor not-good" is a ordinal one. Thus, his semantic conception of the absolute is no other than the possibility of calculating, within any such conjunct, the relation of each part to the whole conjunct or identity.
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