Half Hour Hegel: The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit

Video Lectures

Displaying all 150 video lectures.
Lecture 1
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 1)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 1)
In this first video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I discuss the form, nature, and aims of this new series, and then move immediately into reading and commenting on the very first paragraph of the text, from the Preface.







The introductory music for the video is: Solo Violin - BWV 1004 - Partita for Violin No. 2 - Recorded in Brooklyn June 26, 2011 specifically to be dedicated to the Public Domain
Lecture 2
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 2-3)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 2-3)
In this second video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on the second and third paragraph of the text, from the Preface. In these sections, Hegel continues to set out what a genuinely philosophical overview of the kind of philosophical achievement he has produced would require -- and he contrasts this against other, typical ways of situating oneself in relation to the past and present history of philosophy.







The introductory music for the video is: Solo Violin - BWV 1004 - Partita for Violin No. 2 - Recorded in Brooklyn June 26, 2011 specifically to be dedicated to the Public Domain
Lecture 3
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 4-6)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 4-6)
In this third video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on the fourth, fifth, and sixth paragraph of the text, from the Preface. In these sections, Hegel discusses the workings and development of culture. He also elaborates the inherent requirement for philosophy, as science, to be systematically development. Then, he begins his criticism of approaches to philosophy and the Absolute in terms of intuition.







The introductory music for the video is: Solo Violin - BWV 1004 - Partita for Violin No. 2 - Recorded in Brooklyn June 26, 2011 specifically to be dedicated to the Public Domain
Lecture 4
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 7-9)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 7-9)
In this fourth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on the seventh, eight, and ninth paragraph of the text, from the Preface. In these sections, Hegel begins to discuss the present estranged status of Spirit and Consciousness in a new age, and the corresponding danger of lapsing into a philosophy of intuition, which only restores the feeling of the lost unity, not its notion. We finish these chapters by distinguishing between an edifying approach and a scientific approach to Philosophy.







The introductory music for the video is: Solo Violin - BWV 1004 - Partita for Violin No. 2 - Recorded in Brooklyn June 26, 2011 specifically to be dedicated to the Public Domain
Lecture 5
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 10-12)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 10-12)
In this fifth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth paragraphs of the text, from the Preface. In these sections, Hegel continues his criticism of views of philosophy that view it as culminating in intuition, arguing that Spirit requires the articulation associated with the Concept or Notion. He then discusses the present age as one in which a new world is being brought to birth -- and uses the metaphor of a child to illustrate how quantitative growth gives way to an unpredictable, qualitative leap







The introductory music for the video is: Solo Violin - BWV 1004 - Partita for Violin No. 2 - Recorded in Brooklyn June 26, 2011 specifically to be dedicated to the Public Domain
Lecture 6
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 13-14)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 13-14)
In this sixth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on the thirteenth and fourteenth paragraphs of the text, from the Preface. In these sections, Hegel continues discussing the "new world" that is appearing, and why at this point in time, science appears to be something esoteric and elite -- while in its unfolding essence, it reveals itself to necessarily aim at universal comprehension.

Hegel cautions that while, in its beginnings, science -- and the activities and culture which bear it -- seem vulnerable to criticism that it has not attained completeness, or perfection of its articulation, such criticism is off-base. He then begins to work out a "Gordian knot" in which scientific culture -- not yet adequately understanding its own activities -- becomes split into two sides, one side focused on acquiring and displaying content, the other on immediate rationality and intuition of the whole







The introductory music for the video is: Solo Violin - BWV 1004 - Partita for Violin No. 2 - Recorded in Brooklyn June 26, 2011 specifically to be dedicated to the Public Domain
Lecture 7
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 15-17)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 15-17)
In this seventh video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth paragraphs of the text, from the Preface. In these sections, Hegel continues discussing the one-sided approaches to scientific cognition mentioned earlier in paragraph 14 -- including a formalism that, while seemingly addressing a wealth of content, really just repeats the same treatment -- leading to the "night in which all cows are black" line.

Hegel then, in section 17, introduces a new idea -- that the Absolute is not only Substance, but also Subject. . . .







The introductory music for the video is: Solo Violin - BWV 1004 - Partita for Violin No. 2 - Recorded in Brooklyn June 26, 2011 specifically to be dedicated to the Public Domain
Lecture 8
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 18-20)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 18-20)
In this eighth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth paragraphs of the text, from the Preface. In these relatively short paragraphs, Hegel continues exploring the insight that Substance is Subject -- an awareness arrived at historically through thinking in terms of God.

He discusses the living substance as negativity, opposition, and self-restoring sameness. He also insists on the patience and labor of the negative -- the need for effort, development, even suffering in order for the dialectic to proceed. In these paragraphs, he is primarily focused on the Absolute, or God, but some of the same insights will apply to human subjectivity as well.







The introductory music for the video is: Solo Violin - BWV 1004 - Partita for Violin No. 2 - Recorded in Brooklyn June 26, 2011 specifically to be dedicated to the Public Domain
Lecture 9
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 21-23)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 21-23)
In this ninth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on the twenty-first, twenty-second and twenty-third paragraphs of the text, from the Preface. In these sections, Hegel begins to discuss the nature of mediation -- a key concept in his philosophy --and its intrinsic connection with reflection. It turns out that nothing that appears to be simple actually is, since it already involves mediation in relation to itself. Mediation involves the positing and overcoming of antitheses.

Hegel also discusses Reason as purposive activity, reintroducing teleological considerations. He then carries out a set of dialectical analyses focused on God as a subject, and the predicates that are said or thought about God, giving us a foretaste of the dynamicity involved in being a Subject.







The introductory music for the video is: Solo Violin - BWV 1004 - Partita for Violin No. 2 - Recorded in Brooklyn June 26, 2011 specifically to be dedicated to the Public Domain
Lecture 10
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 24-25)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 24-25)
In this tenth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on the twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth paragraphs of the text, from the Preface. In these sections, Hegel discusses the kind of refutation that would be appropriate to basic propositions or principles of philosophy -- dialectically advancing them further, within the context of a developing system.

He then begins to discuss the Absolute as Spirit, and the priority in actuality of Spirit. He also works with the interplay between the "in itself", "for itself," and "for us". Spirit as dialectically developed knows itself through Science -- and keep in mind that Hegel means something more self-reflective and historically aware by "Science" than much of what goes under that name today.







The introductory music for the video is: Solo Violin - BWV 1004 - Partita for Violin No. 2 - Recorded in Brooklyn June 26, 2011 specifically to be dedicated to the Public Domain
Lecture 11
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 26)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 26)
In this eleventh video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on the rather lengthy twenty-sixth paragraph of the text, from the Preface. In this section, Hegel continues drawing out the implications of the previous sections, in particular clarifying the relationship between his conception of Science (Wissenschaft) and the individual human person.

Both the individual and science exist in a relationship of antithesis, as parts of self-conscious Spirit, and need to be integrated with each other -- bringing together the in-itself and the for-itself. As we shall see in subsequent paragraphs, this process is precisely what the Phenomenology of Spirit describes in detail.







The introductory music for the video is: Solo Violin - BWV 1004 - Partita for Violin No. 2 - Recorded in Brooklyn June 26, 2011 specifically to be dedicated to the Public Domain
Lecture 12
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 27-28)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 27-28)
In this twelfth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on the twenty-seventh and twenty-eight paragraph of the text, from the Preface. In these two paragraphs, Hegel explicitly discusses the structure and purpose of the Phenomenology -- providing a description of the coming-to-be of Science (as Hegel understands that concept)

He introduces the idea of shapes or stages of consciousness, which are Spirit at a given point of development, either as universal individual or as concrete individuals. What renders one shape (or a Spirit) more advanced than the other is not just that it is later or further along in the process, but that what was essential in the previous stage has been assimilated or incorporated into the structure of the later stage.

This allows us to understand the process of education as well as one in which what Spirit had worked out with much labor and even conflict at earlier points is now appropriated by consciousness "in outline", in the process of education.

In this video series, I will be working through the entire Phenomenology, paragraph by paragraph -- for each one, first reading the paragraph, and then commenting on what Hegel is doing, referencing, discussing, etc. in that paragraph.





The introductory music for the video is: Solo Violin - BWV 1004 - Partita for Violin No. 2 - Recorded in Brooklyn June 26, 2011 specifically to be dedicated to the Public Domain
Lecture 13
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 29-30)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 29-30)
In this thirteenth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on the twenty-ninth and thirtieth paragraphs of the text, from the Preface. In these two paragraphs, Hegel continues to develop his conception of Philosophy as Science, focusing on the tasks for us, in the present, reading our way through the Phenomenology -- and thereby retracing the steps of the laboriously developed process of development of World Spirit through History.

In these sections, Hegel also discusses some of the challenges and temptations -- in particular, of being impatient as we reappropriate what is essential to past shapes of consciousness, which were worked out and embodied in particular human existences, but which have now become portions of our cultural inheritance.







The introductory music for the video is: Solo Violin - BWV 1004 - Partita for Violin No. 2 - Recorded in Brooklyn June 26, 2011 specifically to be dedicated to the Public Domain
Lecture 14
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 31-32)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 31-32)
In this fourteenth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on the thirty-first and thirty-second paragraphs of the text, from the Preface. In these two paragraphs, Hegel discusses why Philosophy cannot confine itself to the realm of the familiar, the taken-for-granted, which provides only a superficial understanding of matters.

He contrasts this to the work of analysis, which is carried out by the faculty of the Understanding -- and in these passages, Hegel notes how the understanding can, and must grapple with the power of the negative. Tarrying with the negative in what Spirit must do -- and this enables there to be productive, radically new stages in the development of the dialectic, as what was only a moment of a whole becomes an independent existence over and against the whole.







The introductory music for the video is: Solo Violin - BWV 1004 - Partita for Violin No. 2 - Recorded in Brooklyn June 26, 2011 specifically to be dedicated to the Public Domain
Lecture 15
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 33-34)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 33-34)
In this fifteenth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on the thirty-third and thirty-fourth paragraphs of the text, from the Preface. In these two paragraphs, Hegel discusses the situation of contemporary education and culture, by way of contrast to that of antiquity.

Whereas the struggle then was to emerge from the immediacy of sensuous existence, to grasp universals, to provide a fixed structure to thought and to the individual as subject, now the challenge is to render thoughts fluid again, to restore dynamism to thinking and reflection. This is what is required to develop thoughts into Notions (Begriffe), possessing their own integral self-movement. In Hegel's view, grasping these Notions in more and more integrated manners is what Science, understood in its broadest and most adequate sense, involves.







The introductory music for the video is: Solo Violin - BWV 1004 - Partita for Violin No. 2 - Recorded in Brooklyn June 26, 2011 specifically to be dedicated to the Public Domain
Lecture 16
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 35-37)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 35-37)
In this sixteenth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on the thirty-fifth, thirty-sixth, and thirty-seventh paragraphs of the text, from the Preface. In these paragraphs, Hegel addresses some "fixed ideas" which stand in the way of grasping his project and method

He examines the antithesis contained within Spirit, of knowing and objectivity, and notes that this takes determinate forms in the shapes of consciousness, whose progression is the dialectic. This is a process in which Spirit becomes other to itself, and then reintegrates itself into a more developed unity.

This entire process, as noted earlier (see the video on 31-32), involves the negative, which is what permits freedom and movement to be available within the process. As the progression of shapes of consciousness comes to a close, Spirit has made itself -- its existence -- identical with its essence, so that being becomes entire mediated, known and understood as it really is, which brings us to the Logic (Hegel's further work, just referenced here)







The introductory music for the video is: Solo Violin - BWV 1004 - Partita for Violin No. 2 - Recorded in Brooklyn June 26, 2011 specifically to be dedicated to the Public Domain
Lecture 17
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 38-39)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 38-39)
In this seventeenth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on the thirty-eighth, and thirty-ninth paragraphs of the text, from the Preface. In these paragraphs, Hegel returns to the theme of truth, and to the demands of a "science of the True in its true shape".

He cautions against expecting to apprehend this by jumping straight into the result, and avoiding the work involved in examining the process of development of consciousness. One might be tempted to take such a short-cut precisely because of the sense that the previous stages are false or merely negative.

Hegel examines a common but mistaken approach to truth and falsity, one which cannot take account of its own stance and its development, which views the true and the false as mere opposites to each other. Metaphysically, negativity, opposition, and otherness are more basic than falsity, so in order to study the dialectic, we must pay more attention to those than the mere label of falsity.



This is a fairly substantial undertaking -- producing and releasing one or two 25-35 minute videos per week, we project this series will require at least three years of work on my part. The goal is ultimately to provide something like an online lecture course covering every part of the Phenomenology, leaving no portions out, as a resource for students, lifelong learners, and even interested instructors.



The introductory music for the video is: Solo Violin - BWV 1004 - Partita for Violin No. 2 - Recorded in Brooklyn June 26, 2011 specifically to be dedicated to the Public Domain


Gregory B. Sadler is the president and co-founder of ReasonIO. The content of this video is provided here as part of ReasonIO's mission of putting philosophy into practice -- making complex philosophical texts and thinkers accessible for students and lifelong learners. If you'd like to make a contribution to help fund Dr. Sadler's ongoing educational projects, you can click here: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_b...
Lecture 18
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 40-42)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 40-42)
In this eighteenth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on the fortieth, forty-first, and forty-second paragraphs of the text, from the Preface. He begins by briefly exploring what dogmatic thinking consists in, and then examines the status of historical truths, discussing what degree of necessity or scientific perspective historical inquiry can involve.

He then begins what will be a long discussion of the status of mathematical truths, mathematical modes of cognition, and how mathematics -- the discipline and approach held out as the preeminent one in early modernity -- does not really lead us into the heart of the phenomenon, as philosophical cognition does.







The introductory music for the video is: Solo Violin - BWV 1004 - Partita for Violin No. 2 - Recorded in Brooklyn June 26, 2011 specifically to be dedicated to the Public Domain
Lecture 19
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 43-45)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 43-45)
In this nineteenth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on the forty-third, forty-fourth, and forty-fifth paragraphs of the text, from the Preface.

In these sections, Hegel continues his critique of mathematical cognition, and of philosophical approaches which base themselves on this model of cognition. While mathematics does deal with a certain kind of necessity, it is one which remains external or extrinisic to the real things that it would be applied to. And, a philosophy modeled along the lines of mathematics is unable to conceptualize its own inadequacy.







The introductory music for the video is: Solo Violin - BWV 1004 - Partita for Violin No. 2 - Recorded in Brooklyn June 26, 2011 specifically to be dedicated to the Public Domain
Lecture 20
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 46-47)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 46-47)
In this twentieth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on the forty-sixth and forty-seventh paragraphs of the text, from the Preface. In these sections, Hegel continues his critique of mathematical cognition, and of philosophical approaches which base themselves on this model of cognition. Mathematics, which deals in magnitude, treats time under that aspect -- failing to grasp that time is the locus for the development of the existent Notion.

He also discusses the nature of the dialectical process, using a metaphor of the Bacchanalian revel, in which all members are drunk, but which remains in its dynamics a perfect repose.







The introductory music for the video is: Solo Violin - BWV 1004 - Partita for Violin No. 2 - Recorded in Brooklyn June 26, 2011 specifically to be dedicated to the Public Domain
Lecture 21
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 48-49)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 48-49)
In this twenty-first video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on the forty-eighth and forty-ninth paragraphs of the text, from the Preface.

Here, Hegel discusses the relationship between two interconnected approaches -- the observation of the development of consciousness taking place in the Phenomenology -- and the perspective of the finished, entirely articulated System in the Logic.

He also continues his criticism of reliance on modes of presentation in philosophy which model themselves after mathematics (a topic which he treats in both the Phenomenology and the later Science of Logic. Mathematics and its distinctive mode of cognition works with magnitude and "dead space" (quantity and discreteness in the Logic) -- which is fine for that discipline, but inadequate for understanding living entities and truth as self-movement.







The introductory music for the video is: Solo Violin - BWV 1004 - Partita for Violin No. 2 - Recorded in Brooklyn June 26, 2011 specifically to be dedicated to the Public Domain
Lecture 22
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 50-51)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 50-51)
In this twenty-second video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on the fiftieth and fifty-first paragraphs of the text, from the Preface.

In these sections, Hegel discusses whether employing the triadic form is enough for the dialectical approach he will develop in the Phenomenology. While it can be quite powerful, when it is turned into a mere schema it gives merely an appearance of science, but does not embody its labor and reality.

He criticizes the "formalism" of this sort of philosophy, a philosophy of the Understanding, and towards the end of section 51, sets out a brilliant painting metaphor satirizing those kinds of superficial approaches.







The introductory music for the video is: Solo Violin - BWV 1004 - Partita for Violin No. 2 - Recorded in Brooklyn June 26, 2011 specifically to be dedicated to the Public Domain
Lecture 23
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 52-53)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 52-53)
In this twenty-third video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on the fifty-second and fifty-third paragraphs of the text, from the Preface.

In these sections, Hegel discusses the perspective embodied by his dialectical approach of scientific cognition, and its difference from a schematizing approach oriented by the Understanding.

A genuinely scientific approach gives itself entirely over to the dynamic life of the object, developing an understanding of its own particular necessities and its self-development through bcoming-other and then reappropriating that otherness -- allowing the concrete thing to become a moment in the greater whole, rather than just a part or element of it.







The introductory music for the video is: Solo Violin - BWV 1004 - Partita for Violin No. 2 - Recorded in Brooklyn June 26, 2011 specifically to be dedicated to the Public Domain
Lecture 24
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 54-55)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 54-55)
In this twenty-fourth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on the fifty-fourth and fifty-fifth paragraphs of the text, from the Preface.

In these sections, Hegel explicitly introduces the Idealist standpoint, and situates his own philosophy within a historical progress in understanding the relationship between Being and Thought. For Hegel, Being is Thought -- but not the way previous Idealists have construed it. In order to grasp Being, we cannot simply superimpose our own thought upon it, but must ourselves thoughtfully attend to the content and its development in determinate, concrete existence.

Hegel situates these insights within a historical progression, from Anaxagoras, who understood that Mind (Nous) is the essence of reality. . . to Plato, who introduces a more determinate notion under Idea or Form (Eidos). . . to Aristotle, who goes still further with determinate Universality, Species or Kind.







The introductory music for the video is: Solo Violin - BWV 1004 - Partita for Violin No. 2 - Recorded in Brooklyn June 26, 2011 specifically to be dedicated to the Public Domain
Lecture 25
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 56-58)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 56-58)
[intro slide is wrong -- but this indeed paragraphs 56-58]
In this twenty-fifth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on the fifty-sixth, fifty-seventh and fifty-eighth paragraphs of the text, from the Preface.

Hegel begins by noting that "logical necessity" is revealed to the investigator in the process of investigating the content. Self-moving contents develop their own logical form -- the form by which they can be grasped in their universality -- and thus to simply impose logical form upon them from the outside guarantees not grasping them as they are.

What is required instead is the "strenuous effort of the notion", that is attention to the developing concrete content carried out in light of attention to similar development in metaphysical notions. It requires the investigating human subject to be willing to learn from the object of investigation.

Hegel also contrasts the conceptual-dialectical mode of philosophical work against several other more common modes of thinking -- appeal to intuition, commonsense and conventional ideas, picture-thinking (Vorstellung), and argumentative thinking (Rasonieren).







The introductory music for the video is: Solo Violin - BWV 1004 - Partita for Violin No. 2 - Recorded in Brooklyn June 26, 2011 specifically to be dedicated to the Public Domain
Lecture 26
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 59-60)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 59-60)
In this twenty-sixth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on the fifty-ninth and sixtieth paragraphs of the text, from the Preface.

In these two paragraphs, Hegel is contrasting the speculative or dialectical approach with the "argumentative" or "ratiocinative" approach. Both of them work with negativity, but the negativity of the argumentative mode of thought is merely negative and lapses into a stance of vanity or futility. The dialectical approach, working with the concept or notion (Begriff), incorporates the negative within the content, making it also positive, and leads to the determinate negative or determinate negation.

Hegel discusses how this works for both approaches in terms of the traditional terms of logic and communication -- Subject, Predicate, and Accident. In speculative thinking, the Subject is not passive, but enters into its own determinations (i.e. predicates and accidents) thereby becoming concrete, becoming a self-moving Substance (or essence or Notion) for the observing human Subject.







The introductory music for the video is: Solo Violin - BWV 1004 - Partita for Violin No. 2 - Recorded in Brooklyn June 26, 2011 specifically to be dedicated to the Public Domain
Lecture 27
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 61-63)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 61-63)
In this twenty-seventh video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on the sixty-first, sixty-second, and sixty-third paragraphs of the text, from the Preface.

Hegel continues contrasting the speculative or dialectical approach with the "argumentative" or "ratiocinative" approach. The speculative approach radically reframes the relationship between Subject and Predicate, and Hegel uses a musical or poetic analogy -- of the relationship between meter and accent in rhythm -- to illustrate this relationship.

He also examines two examples of propositions, "God is Being", and "The Actual is the Universal", showing how these are handled in the mode of speculative philosophy. Part of the dialectical process is that the Subject disappears or finds its full meaning or essence in the Predicate, which in its turn becomes something like a subject in itself. Hegel points out that the inevitability of doing speculative philosophy in natural language, explains a complaint often made about philosophy, that it requires rereading in order to be understood.







The introductory music for the video is: Solo Violin - BWV 1004 - Partita for Violin No. 2 - Recorded in Brooklyn June 26, 2011 specifically to be dedicated to the Public Domain
Lecture 28
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 64-66)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 64-66)
In this twenty-eighth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on the sixty-fourth, sixty-fifth, and sixty-sixth paragraphs of the text, from the Preface.

In these paragraphs, Hegel discusses some of the issues involved with speculative philosophy and language. Speculative philosophy involves a different use and approach to language, one which cannot be grasped adequately from the perspective of the argumentative/ratiocinative mode.

At the same time, he affirms that non-speculative uses of language have their scope of legitimacy, and he points out that even speculative philosophy is stuck using the same language as all other modes of thought and expression. He then gives us an interesting example of a subject not to begin with: "God."







The introductory music for the video is: Solo Violin - BWV 1004 - Partita for Violin No. 2 - Recorded in Brooklyn June 26, 2011 specifically to be dedicated to the Public Domain
Lecture 29
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 67-68)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 67-68)
In this twenty-ninth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on the sixty-seventh and sixty-eight paragraphs of the text, from the Preface.

In these paragraphs, Hegel addresses some common misconceptions about philosophy -- namely that, by contrast to every other discipline, art, or inquiry, which require training and practice, philosophy can be easily acquired and done by anyone.

Instead, what is required is a long, laborious, but intrinsically worthwhile process of culture -- not appeals to intuitive revelations or good old "common sense". Least of all is "genius" something that we ought to look to for guidance in philosophy







The introductory music for the video is: Solo Violin - BWV 1004 - Partita for Violin No. 2 - Recorded in Brooklyn June 26, 2011 specifically to be dedicated to the Public Domain
Lecture 30
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 69-70)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 69-70)
In this thirtieth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on the sixty-ninth and seventieth paragraphs of the text, from the Preface.

In these paragraphs, Hegel makes some serious, and occasionally sarcastic criticisms of a pseudo-philosophical approach that grounds itself upon "sound common sense" -- really a type of conformism and sentimentalism.

Genuine philosophy -- and a true humanism -- must strive towards making the interior or inner external and explicit. It proceeds not by taking agreement as a given in communication, but rather in striving towards it, and towards a goal of a community of rational beings.







The introductory music for the video is: Solo Violin - BWV 1004 - Partita for Violin No. 2 - Recorded in Brooklyn June 26, 2011 specifically to be dedicated to the Public Domain
Lecture 31
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 71-72)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface, sec 71-72)
In this thirty-first video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on the seventy-first and seventy-second paragraphs of the text, finishing the Preface.

We bring the study of the Preface to a close -- and prepare to start the Introduction to the work -- by looking at Hegel's predictions and explanations for what he takes to be the likely reception for his work. He also reflects on the nature of timeliness and historical progress -- arguing that the time has come at last in modernity for Philosophy to become truly scientific, and meet a public ready to carry out the work to understand it.







The introductory music for the video is: Solo Violin - BWV 1004 - Partita for Violin No. 2 - Recorded in Brooklyn June 26, 2011 specifically to be dedicated to the Public Domain
Lecture 32
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Introduction, sec 73-74)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Introduction, sec 73-74)
In this thirty-second video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on the seventy-third and seventy-fourth paragraphs of the text, beginning the Introduction.

Hegel begins his introduction by examining the standpoint of modern through, which frames its relation to reality in large part through Epistemology, and through epistemological concerns. He points out that skeptical worries about whether cognition can actually relate us to the Absolute depend upon mistaken assumptions, many of which stem from presuming that cognition functions like an instrument, or that it is a passive medium.

Both of these views about cognition or knowledge lead us into impasses -- a sign that we need to adopt, or work out, a different, more adequate perspective, rather than allowing fear of error to lead us into a mistrust of philosophical activity.







The introductory music for the video is: Johann Sebastian Bach, Partita in D minor for solo violin, is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org.
Lecture 33
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Introduction, sec. 75-76)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Introduction, sec. 75-76)
In this thirty-third video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on the seventy-fifth and seventy-sixth paragraphs of the text, continuing our study of the Introduction.

Hegel begins by observing that the Absolute alone is true -- or that truth is absolute -- which requires us to do some rethinking of our conception of what truth is, and what its relationship is to Science Wissenschaft).

He suggests that the way of approaching the relationship between the Absolute and cognition -- worrying first about constructing an account of knowledge as either instrument or medium -- is misguided. We need instead to examine the Notions (Begriff) of the matters involved.

He then discusses the implications of Science coming on the scene as Appearance -- in a context that already includes other disciplines purporting to provide knowledge. These lead into several problematics -- and this leads to the necessity of providing an account of how knowledge makes its appearance.







The introductory music for the video is: Johann Sebastian Bach, Partita in D minor for solo violin, is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org.
Lecture 34
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Introduction, sec. 77-78)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Introduction, sec. 77-78)
In this thirty-fourth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on the seventy-seventh and seventy-eighth paragraphs of the text, continuing our study of the Introduction.

Hegel addresses the matter of the development of the dialectic in these paragraphs, discussing the stages -- Gestalten -- that consciousness must pass through on its way to knowledge, or the life of the Spirit.

He also addresses again the question of skepticism -- an ever-present possibility for any given consciousness, but a cul-de-sac on the way of dialectical development. Skepticism does, however, play a vital role in placing consciousness into a despair from which it must emerge, getting it past natural consciousness, reliance upon authority, and assertion of the perspective of the self







The introductory music for the video is: Johann Sebastian Bach, Partita in D minor for solo violin, is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org.
Lecture 35
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Introduction, sec. 79-80)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Introduction, sec. 79-80)
In this thirty-fifth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on the seventy-ninth and eightieth paragraphs of the text, continuing our study of the Introduction.

Hegel starts by discussing the dialectical development of the forms of consciousness in human history. The "natural" consciousness at each stage regards the process as a negative one, and skepticism remains a perennial but sterile possibility. What occurs, however, at each stage is a determinate negation.

He also outlines what the end-state will be like: object will correspond to notion, and notion to object. Until the process is completed, however, there will be a non-coincidence between object and notion, consciousness and knowledge. This is because consciousness itself involves a breaching of limits, even limits which it imposes upon itself. Hegel also considers several unproductive responses to this ongoing negativity -- stubbornness, sentimentality, and skepticism -- and why they also reveal their own limitations.





The introductory music for the video is: Johann Sebastian Bach, Partita in D minor for solo violin, is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org.
Lecture 36
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Introduction, sec. 81-83)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Introduction, sec. 81-83)
In this thirty-sixth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on the eighty-first, eighty-second, and eighty-third paragraphs of the text, continuing our study of the Introduction.

In these three paragraphs, Hegel begins by examining the need for some type of standard or criterion that will be used in the course of the investigation. What sort of criterion could be applicable when the Science is one in the process of being worked out?

Attention to the nature and development of consciousness clarifies this matter, since consciousness relates itself through knowing to objects, making them for-consciousness, but also positing that they retain something of being in-itself beyond consciousness.

And yet, the investigation is not only extends to the in-itself of objects, but also examines knowledge as it is in-itself, the being or truth of knowing. This also reveals that knowledge is for-us, for consciousness, and so the criterion we were seeking is not only within the object, the in-itself. It also resides within consciousness.







The introductory music for the video is: Johann Sebastian Bach, Partita in D minor for solo violin, is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org.
Lecture 37
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Introduction, sec. 84-86)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Introduction, sec. 84-86)
In this thirty-seventh video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on the eighty-fourth, eighty-fifth, and eighty-sixth paragraphs of the text, continuing our study of the Introduction.

In these three paragraphs, Hegel plays out a dialectic that turns out to occur within consciousness, without consciousness at first being aware of this -- elaborating his idealistic standpoint. What was supposedly in-itself, i.e. outside of consciousness is actually an in-itself for-consciousness, i.e. within the scope of consciousness.

It is possible for us to approach either side of the dialectical relationship between Notion and Object -- using one as the standard for the other, and then switching to the alternative viewpoint.

Hegel draws out the implications of this interplay within consciousness. We do not need to make a contribution of our own at this point. In fact to do so would be deleterious. Rather, we ought to observe, to look on and watch the long developing process unfold itself. We are engaged in the study of the Experience of consciousness, a historical process that antedates us as individuals in the present.







The introductory music for the video is: Johann Sebastian Bach, Partita in D minor for solo violin, is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org.
Lecture 38
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Introduction, sec. 87-89)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Introduction, sec. 87-89)
In this thirty-eight video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on the eighty-seventh, eighty-eightth, and eighty-ninth paragraphs of the text, finishing our study of the Introduction.

Hegel now considers an objection that could be raised about the nature of experience. In our ordinary life, it does not appear that our own consciousnesses work out their relations with the objects of knowledge in the dialectical manner outlined in the previous paragraphs. Instead of simply having one Object worked upon and revealed to be an object in-itself and also an object in-itself-and-for-consciousness, it seems that experience really involves running across second objects that are revealed to us contingently, by chance, externally to whatever dialectical process is occurring.

This is only an appearance, however, and according to Hegel, what transpires is really a reversal of consciousness, in which the new, second, seemingly unrelated or contingent object is taken up into the dialectic. In fact, this has been occurring throughout human history, and we are now at the point where we are able to observe these new developments of consciousness -- but from the vantage point of the finished process.

That is indeed what the Phenomenology of Spirit is supposed to provide us with, a systematic scientific perspective upon the totality, the All, which is thoroughly permeated with human consciousness. Accordingly the dialectical path to Science turns out to be Science itself.







The introductory music for the video is: Johann Sebastian Bach, Partita in D minor for solo violin, is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org.
Lecture 39
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Sense Certainty, sec. 90-93)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Sense Certainty, sec. 90-93)
In this thirty-ninth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on the ninetieth, ninety-first, ninety-second, and ninety-third paragraphs of the text, beginning our study of the first portion of the section "Consciousness," i.e "Sense Certainty".

Hegel begins the Phenomenology proper in this section, beginning from what seems at first to be the most immediate, most concrete, and truest kind of knowledge -- Sense Certainty, which purports to give us an unmediated consciousness of objects.

As it turns out, matters are more complicated than this. Sense Certainty turns out to provide an abstract truth in relation to the object, reducing it to a "This", and likewise treating consciousness as a pure "I," a second "This." In fact, what we take to be the essence of Sense Certainty reveals itself as being just an example or instance of it. Sense Certainty turns out to be mediated, precisely through the "I" that at first seemed inessential.







The introductory music for the video is: Johann Sebastian Bach, Partita No. 1 in Bm, BWV 1002, is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org.
Lecture 40
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Sense Certainty, sec. 94-97)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Sense Certainty, sec. 94-97)
In this fortieth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on the ninety-fourth, ninety-fifth, ninety-sixth, and ninety-seventh paragraphs of the text, beginning our study of the first portion of the section "Consciousness," i.e "Sense Certainty".

The examination of what purports to be an immediate form of knowledge of things through sense-perception continues -- looking to see whether Sense Certainty is in truth how it purports itself to be (or as we purport it to be). Such an examination requires focusing on the raw "This", which can be distinguished along temporal and spatial lines into a "Now" and a "Here".

Both "Now" and "Here" in actual sense perception are made more specific -- the Now, e.g. as noon (or day) and as night. This reveals that in the apparently immediate, we already have mediation, and negation involved. The "This" is really a universal -- which is and is not the particulars. This allows us to utter or express the sensible particular which we are encountering in sensibility.







The introductory music for the video is: Johann Sebastian Bach, Partita No. 1 in Bm, BWV 1002, is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org.
Lecture 41
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Sense Certainty, sec. 98-101)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Sense Certainty, sec. 98-101)
In this forty-first video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on the ninety-eight, ninety-ninth, hundredth, and hundred-and-first paragraphs of the text, beginning our study of the first portion of the section "Consciousness," i.e "Sense Certainty".

Hegel now turns to discuss the "Here," i.e. spatiality of sense-objects. It turns out again that mediation and negation are involved, and that the Here is a universal. Sense-certainty thus reveals that its essence is pure being, or abstraction.

It turns out that the object of sense is not what is essential, nor is it even the universal as such, but the universal as grasped by the "I", the knowing and sensing subject. We then have to look how the "I" functions in sense-certainty, and again a splitting or duality emerges -- there are multiple "I"s involved.







The introductory music for the video is: Johann Sebastian Bach, Partita No. 1 in Bm, BWV 1002, is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org.
Lecture 42
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Sense Certainty, sec. 102-105)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Sense Certainty, sec. 102-105)
In this forty-second video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on paragraphs 102, 103, 104, and 105 of the text, continuing our study of the first portion of the section "Consciousness," i.e "Sense Certainty".

In these sections, Hegel now turns to the previously overlooked role and centrality of the perceiving "I" in sense certainty, focusing on the "I" itself as a universal. He also discusses the difficulties that arise when attempting to express linguistically single items as such.

It turns out that the essence of sense certainty cannot be found in the object or the "I" -- the essence of it lies in the totality of sense certainty, which then brings us into a new immediacy. We seem to be back at the moment and object of immediate sense perception. But we find again that singular -- whether on the side of object or on the side of the perceiver -- the this does not retain its truth or significance as sense certainty.







The introductory music for the video is: Johann Sebastian Bach, Partita No. 1 in Bm, BWV 1002, is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org.
Lecture 43
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Sense Certainty, sec. 106-108)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Sense Certainty, sec. 106-108)
In this forty-third video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on paragraphs 106, 107, and 108 of the text, nearing the end of our study of the first portion of the section "Consciousness," i.e "Sense Certainty".

It turns out that in attempting to signify the Now of sense-certainty, we fail to do so, because in the very time of signifying or uttering it, it has passed and been replaced by another Now. A dialectic comes to light between the Now as having been as as being, in the course of which a determinate negation (a negation of negation) occurs, in which the This contains its own otherness. We realize then that Now, as a universal, is actually a plurality of Nows.

A similar dialectic holds for and applies to spatiality, i.e. to the Here, which turns out to likewise be a complex plurality of many Heres, each providing a frame of reference, but not encompassing the totality of space. It is through language and the universal, through consciousness, that we can grasp the Here as also a universal.







The introductory music for the video is: Johann Sebastian Bach, Partita No. 1 in Bm, BWV 1002, is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org.
Lecture 44
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Sense Certainty, sec. 109-110)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Sense Certainty, sec. 109-110)
In this forty-fourth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on paragraphs 109 and 110 of the text, finishing our study of the first portion of the section "Consciousness," i.e "Sense Certainty".

We have learned now through the dialectical investigation into what sense certainty is that it does not possess immediacy, but rather involves a whole complex of mediations that have progressively come to light, ultimately highlighting the role of the universal. Turning to the practical sphere, we find that the objects of sense-certainty did not provide us with the truth or the essence we originally sought, but rather sensuous things exhibit their own nothingness.

In trying to speak about singular, individual things as what is most real, consciousness would up in paradoxes, since everything is an individual thing, which means individual thing is itself an abstract universal. We must turn instead to the complex universal -- and to the perceiving subject, which provides the content of the next section of the Phenomenology







The introductory music for the video is: Johann Sebastian Bach, Partita No. 1 in Bm, BWV 1002, is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org.
Lecture 45
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Perception, sec. 111-113)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Perception, sec. 111-113)
In this forty-fifth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on paragraphs 111, 112, and 113 of the text, beginning our study of the second portion of the section "Consciousness," i.e "Perception: Or the Thing and Deception".

We start from the point of view of what has been worked out in the previous section, in which it turned out that Sense Certainty was not an immediate grasp of truth by consciousness, but rather revealed its essence to reside in universals, including the universal of the "I," the subject. Perception now takes over this point of view, and examines the relationship between perceiving subject and perceived object.

The object must be understood as both something sensual and determinate, and as a universal in its own right -- but a different sort of universal, a medium, or the Thing, which possesses properties. These properties are themselves sensible and universals for perception. They co-exist in the thing, in which they are both differentiated from each other, and interpenetrate each other -- and the relation between them is the Also.










The introductory music for the video is: Johann Sebastian Bach, Flute Sonata in Eb, BWV 1031 (Trumpet arr.), is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org.
Lecture 46
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Perception, sec. 114-116)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Perception, sec. 114-116)
In this forty-sixth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on paragraphs 114, 115, and 116 of the text, continuing our study of the second portion of the section "Consciousness," i.e "Perception: Or the Thing and Deception".

In these sections Hegel turns the focus on the properties of the Thing, i.e. the object of perception, unfolding the implications of their determinacy. These properties are determinate not only as "sensuous universals", but also by opposing themselves to the other properties, both within the Thing and in other Things.

This leads to more fully understanding what it is to be a Thing perceived -- it is not simply a medium in which the properties can coexist together, an Also, but rather a One, a unity that excludes its other. After having set out these developments, Hegel then turns to the relation between the perceiving subject and the object of perception. Truth here lies on the side of the object, and is conceived of as self-sameness or self-identity, and any difference from this on the side of the subject then becomes untruth, or deception.







The introductory music for the video is: Johann Sebastian Bach, Flute Sonata in Eb, BWV 1031 (Trumpet arr.), is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org.
Lecture 47
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Perception, sec. 117-118)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Perception, sec. 117-118)
In this forty-seventh video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on paragraphs 117 and 118 of the text, continuing our study of the second portion of the section "Consciousness," i.e "Perception: Or the Thing and Deception".

In these sections, Hegel explicitly unfolds the contradictions that emerge from the object when attending to the role of consciousness in perception. The object, the Thing is at the same time a unity, a One, and also the community of its properties, differentiated against each other. These properties also admit of contradiction within themselves, for they exist on their own, but are determinate only by their opposition to others. Each property in perception is a "sensuous universality."

In tracing out the dialectic of perception, consciousness becomes aware that the truth of the object - which is for consciousness - implies that any untruth lies on the side of the perceiving subject. but this allows it to get beyond and incorporate this untruth, to correct it within the scope of consciousness.







The introductory music for the video is: Johann Sebastian Bach, Flute Sonata in Eb, BWV 1031 (Trumpet arr.), is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org.
Lecture 48
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Perception, sec. 119-121)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Perception, sec. 119-121)
In this forty-eighth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on paragraphs 119, 120, and 121 of the text, continuing our study of the second portion of the section "Consciousness," i.e "Perception: Or the Thing and Deception".

In these sections, while still focusing on the Thing and its properties, Hegel is now turning explicitly to consciousness' role in perception. The "indifferent medium", in which the properties of the thing coexist, turns out to involve our sensory organs, and the perceiving subject. It is consciousness that makes it possible for the Thing to assume its multiple aspects and to remain a unity.







The introductory music for the video is: Johann Sebastian Bach, Flute Sonata in Eb, BWV 1031 (Trumpet arr.), is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org.
Lecture 49
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Perception, sec. 122-124)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Perception, sec. 122-124)
In this forty-ninth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on paragraphs 122, 123, and 124 of the text, continuing our study of the second portion of the section "Consciousness," i.e "Perception: Or the Thing and Deception".

Hegel now turns back from Consciousness to the Thing, revealing a twofold structure existing and working itself through within the thing just as much as within consciousness. The Thing is a unity, a One, but it is also the indifferent medium, within which properties are determinate by their opposition to each other -- so it is both of these aspects.

But the Thing is a unity precisely by its opposition to and difference from its Other -- another Thing (or other Things), for which it itself is an an other. It's being in-itself and being-for-itself thus involves its being-for-another, and its being so for consciousness.







The introductory music for the video is: Johann Sebastian Bach, Flute Sonata in Eb, BWV 1031 (Trumpet arr.), is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org.
Lecture 50
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Perception, sec. 125-128)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Perception, sec. 125-128)
In this fiftieth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on paragraphs 125, 126, 127, and 128 of the text, continuing our study of the second portion of the section "Consciousness," i.e "Perception: Or the Thing and Deception".

The Thing of perception now is grasped either on its own, or in relation to others, in which case, it loses its own independence. There is thus a negation involved in the very being as a Thing, i.e. a negation of its own negation of all otherness. The thing has its being in another Thing.

Regarded in another way, the object for consciousness reveals itself as inessential in what seemed to be its very essence. It is a One or a unity only insofar as it is also involved in being-for-another, as related to an other.







The introductory music for the video is: Johann Sebastian Bach, Flute Sonata in Eb, BWV 1031 (Trumpet arr.), is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org.
Lecture 51
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Perception, sec. 129-131)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Perception, sec. 129-131)
In this fifty-first video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on paragraphs 129, 130, and 131 of the text, concluding our study of the second portion of the section "Consciousness," i.e "Perception: Or the Thing and Deception".

Hegel now brings the section to a close, noting that the interplay between sense-perception and the universal have revealed opposition within the very object of consciousness itself, a split between the unified One and the Also of relation with others. Perception now grasps the object as it is in itself, as a universal, but as for-something, for the Understanding or Intellect.

Perception lapses into a kind of sophistry when it attempts to do away with the opposition within the object of perception, focusing on the different aspects without acknowledging their contradiction. This sophistry itself gives way to a "sound common sense" which remains unable to grasp more than essences as abstractions. While common sense and sophistry reveal themselves, when pushed to their limits, as engaging with untruth, Philosophy deals with the concrete determinate content, aiming at grasping their truth in their dynamic relations with consciousness.







The introductory music for the video is: Johann Sebastian Bach, Flute Sonata in Eb, BWV 1031 (Trumpet arr.), is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org.
Lecture 52
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 132-135)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 132-135)
In this fifty-second video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on paragraphs 132, 133, 134, and 135 of the text, beginning our study of the third portion of the section "Consciousness," i.e "Force and the Understanding: Appearance and the Supersensible World".

Hegel begins this new section by turning attention to the "unconditioned universal" -- what has been lying implicit the entire time behind the developments in the previous two sections, "Sense Certainty" and "Perception". The goal now is to grasp what is the True in terms of its Concept (Begriff), which requires that consciousness develop the Concept by realizing that the conscious subject is involved in the very development or unfolding of the Concept.

Within the unconditioned universal that is now the main object of study, previous distinctions -- such as being for self and being for another -- assume their places, but now there is an attentiveness to Content and Form.
Lecture 53
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 136)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 136)
In this fifty-third video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on paragraph 136 of the text, continuing our study of the third portion of the section "Consciousness," i.e "Force and the Understanding: Appearance and the Supersensible World".

In this long and dense paragraph, Hegel introduces the conception of Force, framing it at first as the movement uniting the different, seemingly opposed aspects that have been studied up until this point. Force, as it applies to a plurality, exhibits itself in its expression, but it is equally Force as a unity, i.e. Force as driven back into itself.

At this point, he also distinguishes between the Notion of Force, as it is for thought, and the reality of Force, as it is in itself -- but these are connected with each other since Force is the unconditioned universal we have been seeking, which means that it incorporates difference within itself, even difference from itself. Both sides of the Force -- expression and return into self -- are moments of the fuller unity involved in it.
Lecture 54
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 137-139)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 137-139)
In this fifty-forth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on paragraphs 137, 138, and 139 of the text, continuing our study of the third portion of the section "Consciousness," i.e "Force and the Understanding: Appearance and the Supersensible World".

Hegel is now working through the Concept of Force, examining how it plays itself out for Consciousness -- particularly the interplay between Force in its expression, Force as driven back or reflected into itself, and Force as a unity of both of these. It turns out that where we originally thought there to be just one Force, there is a duality of Forces, and these exist in a dynamic relationship of "soliciting" and providing a medium with respect to each other.
Lecture 55
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 140-142)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 140-142)
In this fifty-fifth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on paragraph 140, 141, and 142 of the text, continuing our study of the third portion of the section "Consciousness," i.e "Force and the Understanding: Appearance and the Supersensible World".

Hegel continues to explore the interplay between Force, now split into two Forces, in terms of a distinction between Form and Content. From the perspective of Form, each Force requires the other Force for its existence and its operation -- or in other terms, each is for the other, and through the other.

There is also a distinction within the heart of the Concept or Notion of Force as well, between how Force is for the Understanding, or for thought, on the one side, and what Force is in itself. As this distinction is explored, Force unfolds itself as the inner being of things.
Lecture 56
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 143--144)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 143--144)
In this fifty-sixth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on paragraph 143 and 144 of the text, continuing our study of the third portion of the section "Consciousness," i.e "Force and the Understanding: Appearance and the Supersensible World".

In these paragraphs, Hegel now reexamines the relationship between Consciousness, as the Understanding, and the inner being of things, focusing on how the play of Forces mediates between these, as Appearance. The inner being of things can be grasped by the Understanding through Appearance, which is not reducible to what Sense Certainty or Perception provided. This opens up a distinction between two "worlds", a sensuous world of appearance and a supersensible world, the relation between which now has to be examined.
Lecture 57
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 145-147)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 145-147)
In this fifty-seventh video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on paragraph 145, 146, and 147 of the text, continuing our study of the third portion of the section "Consciousness," i.e "Force and the Understanding: Appearance and the Supersensible World".

[full description will be added in a few days, when I'm back from summer Research Residency]
Lecture 58
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 148-150)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 148-150)
In this fifty-eight video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on paragraph 148, 149, and 150 of the text, continuing our study of the third portion of the section "Consciousness," i.e "Force and the Understanding: Appearance and the Supersensible World".

In these paragraphs, Hegel continues his dialectical examination of the notion of Law, Force, and the faculty of the Understanding. The play of Forces that exist in a reciprocal relation, now ends up yielding to an absolute flux in the world of appearance. Law then bears upon this world of appearance, which is now revealed as in flux and as a manifold of differences. The law is "the stable image of unstable appearance," and the supersensible world is the realm of these laws, the truth grasped by the understanding.

Reflecting upon this, however, indicates that the world of appearance is not entirely incorporated into the realm of law, or rather laws in the plural. We see a dialectic similar to that which played itself out in earlier sections now apply to law. In so far as the law has a determinate content, it is no longer law in general, but a law, applying to specific matters. So, what the Understanding has grasped is not law as such, but only the Notion of law, still to be further worked out.
Lecture 59
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 151-152)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 151-152)
In this fifty-ninth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on paragraph 151 and 152 of the text, continuing our study of the third portion of the section "Consciousness," i.e "Force and the Understanding: Appearance and the Supersensible World".

[more description to be added later]
Lecture 60
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 153-154)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 153-154)
In this sixtieth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on paragraph 153 and 154 of the text, continuing our study of the third portion of the section "Consciousness," i.e "Force and the Understanding: Appearance and the Supersensible World".

[further description to be added in the near future]
Lecture 61
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 155-157)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 155-157)
In this sixty-first video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on paragraph 155, 156, and 157 of the text, continuing our study of the third portion of the section "Consciousness," i.e "Force and the Understanding: Appearance and the Supersensible World".

[further description to be added in the near future]
Lecture 62
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 158-159)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 158-159)
In this sixty-second video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on paragraphs 158 and 159 of the text, continuing our study of the third portion of the section "Consciousness," i.e "Force and the Understanding: Appearance and the Supersensible World".

[further description to be added in the near future]
Lecture 63
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 160-161)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 160-161)
In this sixty-third video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on paragraphs 160 and 161 of the text, continuing our study of the third portion of the section "Consciousness," i.e "Force and the Understanding: Appearance and the Supersensible World".

Hegel now examines the relations between the supersensible, inverted world and the world of appearance, and within the inverted world itself by further examining what is involved in inversion. He turns to fundamental metaphysical determinations, exploring the implications of pure change, antithesis or opposition, and contradiction.

By contrast to other accounts of opposition, which view opposition as an extrinsic relation between things already existing in-themselves, Hegel construes opposition as a relation, in which both sides actually possess and produce opposition -- and their other -- within themselves.

The examination of law and force earlier on in this section get summarized as a progression, in which first the self-same splits or sunders itself. The parts or moments are assumed to represent stable existences which can be taken for granted, but which possess no necessary relation of opposition to each other. Through the notion of inner difference, the indifferent moments are revealed as having their being only in a unity surpassing them, within which genuine opposition arises.
Lecture 64
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 162-163)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 162-163)
In this sixty-fourth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on paragraphs 162 and 163 of the text, nearing the end of our study of the third portion of the section "Consciousness," i.e "Force and the Understanding: Appearance and the Supersensible World".

[content to be added here in the near future]
Lecture 65
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 164-165)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 164-165)
In this sixty-fifth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on paragraphs 164 and 165 of the text, finishing our study of the third portion of the section "Consciousness," i.e "Force and the Understanding: Appearance and the Supersensible World".

[content to be added here in the near future]
Lecture 66
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Self-Consciousness sec. 166)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Self-Consciousness sec. 166)
In this sixty-sixth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we now commence study of the section "Self-Consciousness". I read and comment on paragraphs 166 of the text here.

In this portion of the text, Hegel introduces the distinction between closely related Certainty and Truth. What presented itself as modes of certainty in the previous sections of Consciousness now needs to be brought to truth, and this can be done fully only by turning to Self-Consciousness -- in which case we deal with a certainty identical in some manner with its truth.

He also discusses two complementary ways to understand the object and the notion -- both of which self-consciousness works its way through here, making itself into its own object.







The introductory music for the video is Johann Sebastian Bach,
Violin Sonata in Gm, BWV 1001 No.1, G minor - I. Adagio, is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org at: https://musopen.org/music/1249/johann-sebastian-bach/violin-...
Lecture 67
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Self-Consciousness sec. 167)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Self-Consciousness sec. 167)
In this sixty-seventh video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we now commence study of the section "Self-Consciousness". I read and comment on paragraph 167 of the text here.

In this paragraph, Hegel continues discussing the transition from Consciousness -- and its modes of meaning, perception, and understanding -- to explicit Self-Consciousness, which is a new shape (Gestalt) of consciousness in the dialectic. Consciousness turns out to have implicitly involved self-consciousness all the while, and consciousness is by its very essence a relation to otherness.

Self-Consciousness involves this relation to an Other, but also encompasses this relation itself, since self-consciousness is, by virtue of the "self-", related to itself, creating differences and superseding them within itself. Self-consciousness is also a lack of integration -- the opposite of the tautological purely self-referential "I am I" -- that is, it is Desire (Begierde) as such.







The introductory music for the video is Johann Sebastian Bach,
Violin Sonata in Gm, BWV 1001 No.1, G minor - I. Adagio, is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org at: https://musopen.org/music/1249/johann-sebastian-bach/violin-...
Lecture 68
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Self-Consciousness sec. 168-169)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Self-Consciousness sec. 168-169)
In this sixty-eighth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we continue our study of the section "Self-Consciousness". I read and comment on paragraphs 168-169 of the text here.

Hegel continues his examination of self-consciousness by focusing now on the relation to its object of immediate desire, that is, Life, or the living thing. Life, like self-consciousness, possesses an internal relation to itself, taking us beyond the previous shapes of consciousness.

Life can be understood at this point in the study in terms of its overall unity -- its essence as a supersession (Aufgehobensein) of distinctions or differences -- but also in terms of its individual, related moments, which possess some lasting or enduring existence, in their sequentiality.







The introductory music for the video is Johann Sebastian Bach,
Violin Sonata in Gm, BWV 1001 No.1, G minor - I. Adagio, is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org at: https://musopen.org/music/1249/johann-sebastian-bach/violin-...
Lecture 69
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Self-Consciousness sec. 170-171)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Self-Consciousness sec. 170-171)
In this sixty-ninth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we continue our study of the section "Self-Consciousness". I read and comment on paragraphs 170-171 of the text here.

As Hegel examines the conception of Life, he notes the relations between the unity and its composing members or parts, i.e. determinate shapes of life, i.e. living things. A key question is whether these independent shapes -- Gestalten -- possess an enduring existence or reality on their own, or only as moments of a whole.

As living things, these shapes assert themselves in opposition to the universal substance or medium of Life -- and further preserve their own unity by not only separating themselves from universal Life, but by consuming it as well, sublating it in the process. This transforms Life as a medium into Life as a process -- or more concretely, Life as a living thing.

At the same time, as the living thing distinguishes itself apart from the Life which it consumes, thereby sublating it, on its side, Life produces the determinate living shapes -- taking concrete actuality in them. These two sides -- individual and universal -- collapse into each other, or rather are both aspects of a larger self-developing whole of Life.








The introductory music for the video is Johann Sebastian Bach,
Violin Sonata in Gm, BWV 1001 No.1, G minor - I. Adagio, is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org at: https://musopen.org/music/1249/johann-sebastian-bach/violin-...
Lecture 70
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Self-Consciousness sec. 172-175)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Self-Consciousness sec. 172-175)
In this seventieth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we continue our study of the section "Self-Consciousness". I read and comment on paragraphs 172-175 of the text here.

Examining the condition of the unity now after the process of dialectical development, we see that Life which was originally grasped as mere being has now become a universal unity, a genus -- which points beyond mere Life to consciousness. This is in fact self-consciousness, present originally as a simple essence, or pure "I", whose determinacy has to be unfolded through experience.

In the course of that experience, self-consciousness discovers what it is through superseding its other -- or looked at in another way, it is Desire, which can be satisfied only through the negation of the other. This leads into a paradox, however, since the other can be effectively superseded only if it possesses independent being, and once the being of the other has been brought to nothingness, there is no satisfaction of desire still possible. This leads then either to a reproduction of the other and of the desire or to finding an object that can in its independence negate itself for self-consciosuness. But, this is only possible for another self-consciousness.







The introductory music for the video is Johann Sebastian Bach,
Violin Sonata in Gm, BWV 1001 No.1, G minor - I. Adagio, is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org at: https://musopen.org/music/1249/johann-sebastian-bach/violin-...
Lecture 71
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Self-Consciousness sec. 176-177)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Self-Consciousness sec. 176-177)
In this seventy-first video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we finish our study of the first portion of the section "Self-Consciousness". I read and comment on paragraphs 176-177 of the text here.

Hegel provides an overview of three moments of the development of self-consciousness in the previous sections. Beginning from the pure "I", we move to self-consciousness as drawn by Desire towards its satisfaction in the Object -- the Other. This leads into a seeming paradox since the only object that can be both independent and also be negated for self-consciousness is an object that can negate itself. But this means that it is another self-consciousness.

Further examining the implications of this, it becomes clear that self-consciousness exists only for -- and in relation to -- another self-consciousness. Self-consciousness differs from mere consciousness in very important ways, including that it is both on object for itself and for the other, and that it is also at the same time an "I" -- as the Other is as well. What this hints at is the reality of Spirit, towards which we are headed through the rest of the work, oriented towards a condition in which self-consciousnesses will enjoy perfect freedom and independence.







The introductory music for the video is Johann Sebastian Bach,
Violin Sonata in Gm, BWV 1001 No.1, G minor - I. Adagio, is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org at: https://musopen.org/music/1249/johann-sebastian-bach/violin-...
Lecture 72
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Lordship and Bondage, sec. 178-181)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Lordship and Bondage, sec. 178-181)
In this seventy-second video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we begin our study of the second portion of the section "Self-Consciousness", i.e. "Lordship and Bondage", or the "Master-Slave Dialectic". I read and comment on paragraphs 178-181 of the text here.

Hegel now follows out the development of self-consciousness as it necessarily encounters and exists in relation to another self-consciousness. Each self-consciousness seeks Recognition from the other self-consciousness. The Notion of Recognition seems simple enough from the start, but as we will see involves a complex dynamic that must develop.

An interplay of perspective occurs between seeing the other as the now-essential being, and superseding the other, making oneself the essential being -- all of this occurring because one sees oneself, or the essential structure of self-consciousness there in the other. There are some ambiguities -- doubleings of meanings -- involved in this interplay and process, culminating in self-consciousness now confronting the other as an independent, free being.







The introductory music for the video is Georg Philipp Telemann, Trio Sonata for Flutes and Piano, in A minor - III. Affettuoso, is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org at: https://musopen.org/music/532/georg-philipp-telemann/trio-so...
Lecture 73
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Lordship and Bondage, sec. 182-184)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Lordship and Bondage, sec. 182-184)
In this seventy-third video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we continue our study of the second portion of the section "Self-Consciousness", i.e. "Lordship and Bondage", or the "Master-Slave Dialectic". I read and comment on paragraphs 182-184 of the text here.

Self-consciousness, because it exists as such in relation to another self-consciousness, finds its own action mirrored or duplicated in the action of the other. An inescapable reciprocity unites the two of them with each other.

Hegel points out a similarity between the interplay between the two self-consciousnesses and the play of forces earlier in Force and the Understanding. Each self-consciousness provides the mediation for other, or put in another way, self-consciousness relates itself to itself, or is for-itself, through the mediation of the Other. The processes of recognition is thus reflective and involves a recognition of the other as recognizing.







The introductory music for the video is Georg Philipp Telemann, Trio Sonata for Flutes and Piano, in A minor - III. Affettuoso, is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org at: https://musopen.org/music/532/georg-philipp-telemann/trio-so...
Lecture 74
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Lordship and Bondage, sec. 185-187)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Lordship and Bondage, sec. 185-187)
In this seventy-fourth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we continue our study of the second portion of the section "Self-Consciousness", i.e. "Lordship and Bondage", or the "Master-Slave Dialectic". I read and comment on paragraphs 185-187 of the text here.

The duplication or reciprocal attitude and action of self-consciousness does not at first result in a two-sided recognition of one self-consciousness by the other, and vice versa. Instead, both confront each other, as another, living individual. And each seeks in the other the certainty, or rather the truth of its own self-certainty, it has now lost and wants to regain.

In confronting the other self-consciousness, each self-consciousness shows that its being is not reducible to its mere life, that it is willing to risk its own life and to threaten the life of the other -- and realizes that the other is doing precisely the same as well. This brings the self-consciousnesses into a struggle to the death, in which each is not only seeking the death of the other, but the meaning of his or her own existence.







The introductory music for the video is Georg Philipp Telemann, Trio Sonata for Flutes and Piano, in A minor - III. Affettuoso, is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org at: https://musopen.org/music/532/georg-philipp-telemann/trio-so...
Lecture 75
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Lordship and Bondage, sec. 188-189)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Lordship and Bondage, sec. 188-189)
In this seventy-fifth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we continue our study of the second portion of the section "Self-Consciousness", i.e. "Lordship and Bondage", or the "Master-Slave Dialectic". I read and comment on paragraphs 188-189 of the text here.

Hegel explores the outcome and implications of the "trial by death" which both of the self-consciousnesses faced, as they confronted each other. The recognition from the other that was being sought in risking one's own life and negating one's own natural existence, does not appear as expected.

Instead, the two self-consciousnesses part ways in their development even as they remain related to each other. One of the self-consciousnesses remains tied to its immediate, thingly, living status, and shows itself thus as dependent. The other by its willingness to negate its status as a living, determinate being -- that is, to entirely risk death -- thereby achieves the status of an independent consciousness.

With this, we arrive at the relation between the independent consciousness, the Lord or Master (Herr), and the dependent consciousness, the Bondsman or Slave (Knecht)





The introductory music for the video is Georg Philipp Telemann, Trio Sonata for Flutes and Piano, in A minor - III. Affettuoso, is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org at: https://musopen.org/music/532/georg-philipp-telemann/trio-so...
Lecture 76
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Lordship and Bondage, sec. 190)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Lordship and Bondage, sec. 190)
In this seventy-sixth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we continue our study of the second portion of the section "Self-Consciousness", i.e. "Lordship and Bondage", or the "Master-Slave Dialectic". I read and comment on paragraph 190 of the text here.

Hegel now unfolds the dialectical relationship between Master (Herr) -- an independent self-consciousness -- and Slave (Knecht) -- a dependent self-consciousness. At first, it appears as if the Master has succeeded in gaining the recognition desired. He relates both to the Slave and to the world of Objects, and relates to them through each other, mediately, in a manner that allows his desires to be fulfilled.

The Slave works upon the domain of independent objects, taking away their independence in the process, but the dependent aspect of the thing worked-upon is provided to the Master, who enjoys it.





The introductory music for the video is Georg Philipp Telemann, Trio Sonata for Flutes and Piano, in A minor - III. Affettuoso, is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org at: https://musopen.org/music/532/georg-philipp-telemann/trio-so...
Lecture 77
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Lordship and Bondage, sec. 191-193)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Lordship and Bondage, sec. 191-193)
In this seventy-seventh video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we continue our study of the second portion of the section "Self-Consciousness", i.e. "Lordship and Bondage", or the "Master-Slave Dialectic". I read and comment on paragraphs 191-193 of the text here.

The recognition the Master aimed to derive from the Slave and from the object of the Slave's work, the Thing, ends up becoming hollow and unsatisfying, since it is only a dependent self-consciousness from whom he gets recognition - not the fully independent self-consciousness, which the Slave will later become.

In Hegel's terms, the Master obtains self-certainty, but this certainty lacks truth. The truth of self-consciousness turns out now to fall upon the side of the Slave, who does not grasp this at first as truth.





The introductory music for the video is Georg Philipp Telemann, Trio Sonata for Flutes and Piano, in A minor - III. Affettuoso, is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org at: https://musopen.org/music/532/georg-philipp-telemann/trio-so...
Lecture 78
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Lordship and Bondage, sec. 194-195)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Lordship and Bondage, sec. 194-195)
In this seventy-eight video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we continue our study of the second portion of the section "Self-Consciousness", i.e. "Lordship and Bondage", or the "Master-Slave Dialectic". I read and comment on paragraphs 194-195 of the text here.

Hegel now turns to considering the Slave and the servile consciousness, no longer simply in relation to the Master, but for its own sake. Truth lies on the side of the Slave, but this is at first only implicit, and has to be worked out and through.

One key moment of this occurs in the Fear that the Slave is made to feel, a fear which shakes the very foundations of his consciousness, and which thereby allows the servile consciousness to be transformed, or rather to be engaged in the process of self-transformation. This occurs primarily through Service and through Work.





The introductory music for the video is Georg Philipp Telemann, Trio Sonata for Flutes and Piano, in A minor - III. Affettuoso, is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org at: https://musopen.org/music/532/georg-philipp-telemann/trio-so...
Lecture 79
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Lordship and Bondage, sec. 196)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Lordship and Bondage, sec. 196)
In this seventy-ninth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we finish our study of the second portion of the section "Self-Consciousness", i.e. "Lordship and Bondage", or the "Master-Slave Dialectic". I read and comment on paragraph 196 of the text here.

Hegel now brings this section, and the dialectical development discussed within it, to an end. The self-transformation of the servile consciousness has occurred through the Fear which the Slave has undergone, fear in relation to the Master and to Death - but also through the formative activity engaged with the non-human objects of the world of Work, the objects upon which the Slave has labored in his Service to the Master.

These moments make possible the Slave's realization of himself as an independent being in his own right, since he can now see himself externalized in the very labor and the work he contributes. Hegel also discusses ways in which this development can fail to take place, in which one of the moments is missing.






The introductory music for the video is Georg Philipp Telemann, Trio Sonata for Flutes and Piano, in A minor - III. Affettuoso, is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org at: https://musopen.org/music/532/georg-philipp-telemann/trio-so...
Lecture 80
Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 197)
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Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 197)
In this eightieth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we begin our study of the third portion of the section "Self-Consciousness", i.e. "The Freedom of Self-Consciousness - Stoicism, Skepticism, and the Unhappy Consciousness." I read and comment on paragraphs 197 of the text here.

The independent self-consciousness that resulted from the Master-Slave dialectic must now determine what its independence consists in, and will do so through the successive shapes of consciousness involved in Stoicism, Skepticism, and the Unhappy Consciousness.

The beginning of this new development takes place through the human being realizing that he or she is essentially a thinking being. The freedom of human being is revealed through the activity of thinking -- and thinking ultimately not in the mode of picture-thoughts (Vorstellungen), but rather through the concept or notion (Begriff).

This offers the possibility for the human being, the self-consciousness, to become a unity of being-in-itself and being-for-itself, but this will require the the relationship with the Other be worked through in the following paragraphs. . .





The intro music for this video is J.S. Bach, Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011, available at musopen.org
Lecture 81
Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 198-199)
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Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 198-199)
In this eighty-first video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we begin our study of the third portion of the section "Self-Consciousness", i.e. "The Freedom of Self-Consciousness". I read and comment on paragraphs 198 and 199 of the text here.

Hegel now explicitly identifies the new shape of consciousness with the historically existing philosophical school and movement of Stoicism. In his interpretation of Stoicism, the Stoic identifies human being with thought and the content of thought.

Turning towards the manifold of Life, the Stoic reduces its diversity and complexity by focusing upon how its many modes appear to thought and in the thought of the thinking being. This is an expression of human freedom, now developed to a higher degree, precisely by withdrawing from concrete existence into the simplicity and essentiality of thought.





The intro music for this video is J.S. Bach, Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011, available at musopen.org
Lecture 82
Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 200-201)
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Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 200-201)
In this eighty-second video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we begin our study of the third portion of the section "Self-Consciousness", i.e. "The Freedom of Self-Consciousness". I read and comment on paragraphs 200 and 201 of the text here.

Stoicism does represent an advance, a new shape of consciousness, but in these paragraphs, Hegel exhibits the limitations of Stoicism as part of a larger system of development of consciousness. Its weakness lies in the very fact that Stoicism works by a withdrawl into abstract thought. This is indeed an expression of an essential possibility for human being -- a kind of freedom.

But the challenge lies in being able to also grapple with the concrete, the particular, the arbitrary that has been pushed away -- individuality, which is equally real. Stoicism finds itself unable to adequately address the multiplicity of things (Life) and the contingent, conditioned side of the thinking person (Individuality). This is reflected in the use Stoicism makes of the criterion of the Good and the True, which turn out to either be contentless, and thus useless, or to be conditioned, and then seemingly not essential





The intro music for this video is J.S. Bach, Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011, available at musopen.org
Lecture 83
Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 202)
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Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 202)
In this eighty-third video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we begin our study of the third portion of the section "Self-Consciousness", i.e. "The Freedom of Self-Consciousness". I read and comment on paragraph 202 of the text here.

Hegel begins his analysis of Skepticism as a philosophical development and movement by noting that it carries further the direction of thought Stoicism engaged in -- the development of the fuller scope of human freedom. The human being is able to bring to bear the negativity involved in thinking upon everything - including the skeptic's subjectivity as well. The manifold diversity of the world - of Life - is thus negated, and in this the subject is freed of them.





The intro music for this video is J.S. Bach, Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011, available at musopen.org
Lecture 84
Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 203-204)
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Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 203-204)
In this eighty-fourth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we begin our study of the third portion of the section "Self-Consciousness", i.e. "The Freedom of Self-Consciousness". I read and comment on paragraphs 203 and 204 of the text here.

In the attitude of Skepticism, as Hegel examines it, we see each of the previous dialectical developments -- those in the Consciousness section, and those in the Self-Consciousness section -- reappropropriated as dialectical. With skepticism, the dialectic shows its corrosive aspect -- anything that deems determinate can be, and is, called into question.

It also reflects the power of the subject -- whereas it might appear that dialectic has consciousness at its mercy, the entire movement is actually a movement of consciousness, towards which the subject remains free. It is really the freedom of the conscious subject from determinate existence -- external or internal to it -- that is the truth revealed through skepticism. The question then remains: what is left of determinate existence?





The intro music for this video is J.S. Bach, Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011, available at musopen.org
Lecture 85
Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 205)
Play Video
Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 205)
In this eighty-fifth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we begin our study of the third portion of the section "Self-Consciousness", i.e. "The Freedom of Self-Consciousness". I read and comment on paragraph 205 of the text here.

In this very long paragraph, Hegel works out some of the implications of the Skeptic's position for the skeptical consciousness, and for the viability of skepticism as a philosophical and cultural stance. Skepticism remains an ever-present possibility revealed as such in consciousness, precisely because consciousness itself is revealed as a dialectical mess -- the disorder and confusion are not outside of it, but also within it.

There turns out to be a split going on within consciousness then -- into a contingent and empirical side of determinate, but seemingly meaningless existence -- and an essential, universal side, self-identical, eternal. Consciousness is both of these, and can also dialectically go against either one of these -- and does so in alternation, unable to find itself fully at either pole.

Skepticism is thus revealed as contradictory, even incoherent - not abstractly so, but only performatively, as a dynamic.



The intro music for this video is J.S. Bach, Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011, available at musopen.org
Lecture 86
Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 206-208)
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Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 206-208)
In this eighty-sixth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we begin our study of the third portion of the section "Self-Consciousness", i.e. "The Freedom of Self-Consciousness". I read and comment on paragraphs 206, 207, and 208 of the text here.

After working through Stoicism and Skepticism as paths down which Self-Consciousness travels in its historical development, Hegel now begins to shift to the last main subject of this section -- the Unhappy Consciousness. Consciousness has arrived at the point where it experiences itself as internally self-contradictory, and it has also generated a split within itself into two poles -- the contingent, empirical self, and the eternal, universal self which is regarded as Other.

What will follow now is a set of attempts to overcome the alienation within the self itself, to arrive at a single undivided consciousness. This will not however, be a path the individual walks alone upon, but also one that takes form through society, culture, and religion, developing and articulating the notion of Spirit. In terms of content, this movement will take the general form of an oscillation between the two poles of the Unhappy Consciousness, carried out largely from the side of the contingent, individual consciousness.





The intro music for this video is J.S. Bach, Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011, available at musopen.org
Lecture 87
Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 209-210)
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Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 209-210)
In this eighty-seventh video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we continue our study of the third portion of the section "Self-Consciousness", i.e. "The Freedom of Self-Consciousness". I read and comment on paragraphs 209 and 210 of the text here.

The split, or estrangement, within the Unhappy Consciousness - between the contingent individual and the unchangeable, eternal, universal both presents itself within consciousness, and will eventually be overcome or reconciled. The contingent individual comes to realize individuality within the very heart of the unchangeable in two ways.

The unchangeable universal itself becomes attains a fuller presence through becoming itself individual, or individuality in general. The contingent individual can also realize itself within the unchangeable, as Spirit





The intro music for this video is J.S. Bach, Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011, available at musopen.org
Lecture 88
Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 211-212)
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Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 211-212)
In this eighty-eighth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we continue our study of the third portion of the section "Self-Consciousness", i.e. "The Freedom of Self-Consciousness". I read and comment on paragraphs 211 and 212 of the text here.

Hegel now focuses on the experience (Erfahrung) which the Unhappy Consciousness passes through as it attempts to move away from an abstract Unchangeable through relating to the Unchangeable that now involves individuality within it.

At first, this new advance and development appears to be something merely contingent, and the individual consciousness does not realize that its own opposedness to the universal Unchangeable both involves a deeper necessity, and is the doing of consciousness itself. The hope of attaining a full unity between individual and universal is raised, but not fulfilled at this point in the dialectic.





The intro music for this video is J.S. Bach, Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011, available at musopen.org
Lecture 89
Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 213-216)
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Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 213-216)
In this eighty-ninth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we continue our study of the third portion of the section "Self-Consciousness", i.e. "The Freedom of Self-Consciousness". I read and comment on paragraphs 213, 214, 215, and 216 of the text here.

After having attempted to set aside its own particularity or contingent individuality and to become the unchangeable consciousness, the divided consciousness realizes it needs to try a different approach, one to an incarnate, embodied universal or unchangeable.

Hegel again outlines the three successive relations between consciousness and the unchangeable, focusing now on the second relation. He points out that the movement seems to have to come from the side of the embodied unchangeable, so that the Unhappy Consciousness does not yet have the enjoyment of a certainty of self. Still, this represents an advance, when compared to Stoicism or Skepticism, since it is a unity of pure thinking and individuality. What it does not yet grasp is that the Unchangeable is not something still separated from it, but rather is the individuality of consciounsness.





The intro music for this video is J.S. Bach, Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011, available at musopen.org
Lecture 90
Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 217)
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Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 217)
In this ninetieth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we continue our study of the third portion of the section "Self-Consciousness", i.e. "The Freedom of Self-Consciousness". I read and comment on paragraph 217 of the text here.

Hegel now focuses on the first mode by which consciousness works out its relation with the Unchangeable - that of Devotion (Andacht) - a relation that at this point is not thinking, but rather feeling. Feeling allows consciousness to in a way take hold upon its object, but not to grasp it in an adequate, conceptual form.

This takes determinate shape in the metaphor of the "pure heart", a divided subjectivity that feels itself. It extends itself into the Beyond, into the Unchangeable , but also falls back into its own contingent consciousness, discovering itself to have only laid hold on the unessential. This is not a purely negative movement, however, ending in the "grave" of its being, but rather a positive movement, allowing consciousness to move to the next relation by abandoning the first.





The intro music for this video is J.S. Bach, Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011, available at musopen.org
Lecture 91
Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 218-220)
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Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 218-220)
In this ninety-first video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we continue our study of the third portion of the section "Self-Consciousness", i.e. "The Freedom of Self-Consciousness". I read and comment on paragraph 218, 219, and 220 of the text here.

The feeling heart and the state of devotion cannot be the end-point for the Unhappy Consciousness, and so the return into self brings with it an awareness of existing on its own account as feeling. Then, as desiring and working, it finds itself engaged with seemingly independent beings and overcoming them.

It can only partially do so, however. The contingent aspect of the world of things it desires and works upon, it can reduce to nothing, or to dependence, but it finds itself unable to do this with the unchangeable and universal aspect of these, the sanctified world.

The Unchangeable now takes the initiative, surrendering its embodied form (Gestalt) for consciousness, which both actively works upon the world, changing it, and enjoys a gift from the Unchangeable, the faculties and powers which are given to consciousness to make use of.





The intro music for this video is J.S. Bach, Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011, available at musopen.org
Lecture 92
Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 221-222)
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Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 221-222)
In this ninety-second video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we continue our study of the third portion of the section "Self-Consciousness", i.e. "The Freedom of Self-Consciousness". I read and comment on paragraph 221 and 222 of the text here.

Hegel continues exploring the Unhappy Consciousness as a relation between two estranged extremes, but now as an actively present side and a passive actuality side. The interplay between these recalls the dialectic of Force and the Understanding, but is unable to attain a resolution at this point.

He also introduces a new faculty or mode of human existence, adding it to the desiring/willing, working/acting, and enjoying/consuming, namely gratitude or giving thanks. In giving thanks, the Unhappy Consciousness appears to nullify its own being as independent, and as in these three other modes. But at the same time, giving thanks leads it to a heightened awareness of its own independent existence as a concrete individuality, as well as of individuality in general.





The intro music for this video is J.S. Bach, Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011, available at musopen.org
Lecture 93
Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 223-226)
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Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 223-226)
In this ninety-third video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we continue our study of the third portion of the section "Self-Consciousness", i.e. "The Freedom of Self-Consciousness". I read and comment on paragraph 223, 224, 225 and 226 of the text here.

We now move to the third main relationship involved in the progress of the Unhappy Consciousness, the return to itself in a self-certainty of its independence. This involves a struggle, however, against an "enemy", which tempts consciousness into self-forgetting, and then introduces it into a dialectic between its own nothingness and the full being of the universal.

The consciousness becomes acutely unhappy as its action and enjoyment become bereft of universal meaning or significance, and it finds itself moored to the world only through its animal, bodily functions, which now prove to be sources of shame and occasions of being trapped in the trivial.

Yet at the same time, in the awareness of its unhappiness and resourcelessness, there is consciousness of unity with the Unchangeable, since consciousness thinks universally of its own particular condition through the Unchangeable





The intro music for this video is J.S. Bach, Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011, available at musopen.org
Lecture 94
Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 227-229)
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Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 227-229)
In this ninety-fourth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we continue our study of the third portion of the section "Self-Consciousness", i.e. "The Freedom of Self-Consciousness". I read and comment on paragraph 227, 228 and 229 of the text here.

In these near-final paragraphs of the section, Hegel first asserts that the Mediator functions as a middle term in a syllogism connecting together the two extremes of the individual consciousness and the Unchangeable. The middle term in this case is a consciousness different from the individual consciousness.

The individual consciousness places itself in a complex relationship with the mediator, treating the mediator as if the agency came from its side (and thus from the Unchangeable), surrendering to it the will, action, and enjoyment of the individual consciousness. And yet, it is the willing and action of the individual consciousness that is indeed responsible for this.





The intro music for this video is J.S. Bach, Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011, available at musopen.org
Lecture 95
Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 230)
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Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 230)
In this ninety-fifth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we finish our study of the third portion of the section "Self-Consciousness", i.e. "The Freedom of Self-Consciousness". I read and comment on paragraph 230 of the text here.

In this final paragraph, Hegel asserts that the Unhappy Consciousness has in principle (an sich) - though not in full actuality - progressed through its unhappiness. This has taken place through a dialectic again reminiscent of that of the two forces in Force and the Understanding, but now complicated by the function of the Mediator.

The individual consciousness surrenders or gives over its particular will to that of the Mediator, and gives up possessions and enjoyment as well. In both cases a universal is thereby generated or acknowledged, one which stands over against the individual.

There is therefore a resolution of its unhappiness and poverty only in principle, or in the other, the Mediator, not yet fully grasped as such by the contingent consciousness for itself. And yet, it is that consciousness that can will to give up its own will. It is that particular consciousness that can indeed act, since the very nature of action is to be particular. At this point, out of this experience, arises the notion or concept of Reason.





The intro music for this video is J.S. Bach, Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011, available at musopen.org
Lecture 96
Phenomenology of Spirit (Reason, sec. 231-232)
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Phenomenology of Spirit (Reason, sec. 231-232)
In this ninety-sixth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we begin our study of a new major section of the work, "Reason". I read and comment on paragraph 231 and 232 of the text here.

I begin this video by providing a brief overview of the more-than-200-paragraph section on "Reason" we are now entering, in this study. Then, we focus on the two paragraphs themselves.

Hegel now has brought us to the point where the individual consciousness no longer really requires the Mediator that the Unhappy Consciousness both needed and developed. As Reason, the individual consciousness is also the Unchangeable or the Universal. In fact, it is all being, or at least is related to all being.

From this vantage point, the individual consciousness is secure enough to be able to see the world as such, in a way that it has not hitherto perceived it. It is also able to become more integrated as a self, no longer having to reject its own contingent actuality. This is indeed the perspective of Idealism, which the subsequent paragraphs will now examine.





The intro music for this video is Modest Mussorgsky, Pictures at an Exhibition - Promenade - Allegro giusto, nel modo russico senza allegrezza, available at: https://musopen.org/music/107/modest-mussorgsky/pictures-at-...
Lecture 97
Phenomenology of Spirit (Reason, sec. 233-234)
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Phenomenology of Spirit (Reason, sec. 233-234)
In this ninety-seventh video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we continue our study of a new major section of the work, "Reason". I read and comment on paragraph 233 and 234 of the text here.

Idealism, as Reason initially represents it, asserts that the "I" is all reality, in that everything exists for (self-)consciousness. It has, however, to demonstrate itself to be such, which it does (or already implicitly has done) along the paths of the previous dialectical developments articulated in the earlier sections of the text.

The path that has been traversed can be forgotten, and in that case, Reason presents itself as immediately coming onto the scene. Idealism that doesn't retrace this path of development, or at least maintain it in consciousness, degenerates into a mere assertion that it is all reality. This poses a problem, not least since not only can one consciousness assert this, any other consciousness can likewise do so.

Hegel ends with some reflections upon the dialectical process, noting that consciousness' relationship with otherness will be determined by the stage of development of World-Spirit it find itself at.





The intro music for this video is Modest Mussorgsky, Pictures at an Exhibition - Promenade - Allegro giusto, nel modo russico senza allegrezza, available at: https://musopen.org/music/107/modest-mussorgsky/pictures-at-...
Lecture 98
Phenomenology of Spirit (Reason, sec. 235-236)
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Phenomenology of Spirit (Reason, sec. 235-236)
In this ninety-eighth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we continue our study of a new major section of the work, "Reason". I read and comment on paragraph 235 and 236 of the text here.

Hegel continues to explore the implications of Idealism, i.e. that Reason is in some way all reality. Now he frames the matter in terms of the category and categories. A unity of the category gives way to a plurality of categories, and this poses several problems for a Reasons that would indeed be scientific in the Hegelian sense.

What allows for the seeming contradiction between the unity of category and the plurality of multiple categories to be overcome is the realization that we have yet another, new category, that of the singular individual.





The intro music for this video is Modest Mussorgsky, Pictures at an Exhibition - Promenade - Allegro giusto, nel modo russico senza allegrezza, available at: https://musopen.org/music/107/modest-mussorgsky/pictures-at-...
Lecture 99
Phenomenology of Spirit (Reason, sec. 237-239)
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Phenomenology of Spirit (Reason, sec. 237-239)
In this ninety-ninth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we continue our study of a new major section of the work, "Reason". I read and comment on paragraph 237, 238, and 239 of the text here.

Consciousness presents itself both as a restless movement through its moments, and as the unity of those moments. It constantly seeks out the essential, but also can understand itself as essence in the entire process, as an individual who appropriates objects. In this, consciousness expresses itself as Reason, but the key question is the status of the Idealism that expresses Reason's insight that all reality belongs to it.

An Idealism that grasps reason only as it first appears on the scene, not taking account of the previous developments preparing its way, becomes abstract. It also shifts over to a stance of empiricism as well, since it takes in the multiplicity of sensation and ideas. This idealism, unable at this stage to be entirely coherent, analogously to the earlier development in Skepticism, reveals its own untruth, but at this point, finds itself unable to move past it





The intro music for this video is Modest Mussorgsky, Pictures at an Exhibition - Promenade - Allegro giusto, nel modo russico senza allegrezza, available at: https://musopen.org/music/107/modest-mussorgsky/pictures-at-...
Lecture 100
Phenomenology of Spirit (Reason, Observing Reason sec. 240-243)
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Phenomenology of Spirit (Reason, Observing Reason sec. 240-243)
In this one hundredth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we continue our study of a new major section of the work, "Reason". I read and comment on paragraph 240, 241, 242, and 243 of the text here.

In its first concrete line of development, Reason focuses upon observation, turning to objects other than itself, seeking its other in its manifold manifestations in its world. In doing so, it appropriates the world for itself as "mine". But it also has a deeper drive and motive of coming to understand itself in this process of knowing.

In observation, consciousness attempts to learn not only about things as phenomena, but even more so in their essentiality. At this point, however, Reason does not understand that it is really seeking itself in the things of the world, seeking itself within the world. So, it approaches them as an "I" that seems to stand apart from that very world of sensuous things which it attempts to grasp and transform intellectually into Notions





The intro music for this video is Modest Mussorgsky, Pictures at an Exhibition - Promenade - Allegro giusto, nel modo russico senza allegrezza, available at: https://musopen.org/music/107/modest-mussorgsky/pictures-at-...
Lecture 101
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Perception, sec. 129-131)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Perception, sec. 129-131)
In this fifty-first video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on paragraphs 129, 130, and 131 of the text, concluding our study of the second portion of the section "Consciousness," i.e "Perception: Or the Thing and Deception".

Hegel now brings the section to a close, noting that the interplay between sense-perception and the universal have revealed opposition within the very object of consciousness itself, a split between the unified One and the Also of relation with others. Perception now grasps the object as it is in itself, as a universal, but as for-something, for the Understanding or Intellect.

Perception lapses into a kind of sophistry when it attempts to do away with the opposition within the object of perception, focusing on the different aspects without acknowledging their contradiction. This sophistry itself gives way to a "sound common sense" which remains unable to grasp more than essences as abstractions. While common sense and sophistry reveal themselves, when pushed to their limits, as engaging with untruth, Philosophy deals with the concrete determinate content, aiming at grasping their truth in their dynamic relations with consciousness.







The introductory music for the video is: Johann Sebastian Bach, Flute Sonata in Eb, BWV 1031 (Trumpet arr.), is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org.
Lecture 102
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 132-135)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 132-135)
In this fifty-second video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on paragraphs 132, 133, 134, and 135 of the text, beginning our study of the third portion of the section "Consciousness," i.e "Force and the Understanding: Appearance and the Supersensible World".

Hegel begins this new section by turning attention to the "unconditioned universal" -- what has been lying implicit the entire time behind the developments in the previous two sections, "Sense Certainty" and "Perception". The goal now is to grasp what is the True in terms of its Concept (Begriff), which requires that consciousness develop the Concept by realizing that the conscious subject is involved in the very development or unfolding of the Concept.

Within the unconditioned universal that is now the main object of study, previous distinctions -- such as being for self and being for another -- assume their places, but now there is an attentiveness to Content and Form.
Lecture 103
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 136)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 136)
In this fifty-third video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on paragraph 136 of the text, continuing our study of the third portion of the section "Consciousness," i.e "Force and the Understanding: Appearance and the Supersensible World".

In this long and dense paragraph, Hegel introduces the conception of Force, framing it at first as the movement uniting the different, seemingly opposed aspects that have been studied up until this point. Force, as it applies to a plurality, exhibits itself in its expression, but it is equally Force as a unity, i.e. Force as driven back into itself.

At this point, he also distinguishes between the Notion of Force, as it is for thought, and the reality of Force, as it is in itself -- but these are connected with each other since Force is the unconditioned universal we have been seeking, which means that it incorporates difference within itself, even difference from itself. Both sides of the Force -- expression and return into self -- are moments of the fuller unity involved in it.
Lecture 104
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 137-139)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 137-139)
In this fifty-forth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on paragraphs 137, 138, and 139 of the text, continuing our study of the third portion of the section "Consciousness," i.e "Force and the Understanding: Appearance and the Supersensible World".

Hegel is now working through the Concept of Force, examining how it plays itself out for Consciousness -- particularly the interplay between Force in its expression, Force as driven back or reflected into itself, and Force as a unity of both of these. It turns out that where we originally thought there to be just one Force, there is a duality of Forces, and these exist in a dynamic relationship of "soliciting" and providing a medium with respect to each other.
Lecture 105
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 140-142)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 140-142)
In this fifty-fifth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on paragraph 140, 141, and 142 of the text, continuing our study of the third portion of the section "Consciousness," i.e "Force and the Understanding: Appearance and the Supersensible World".

Hegel continues to explore the interplay between Force, now split into two Forces, in terms of a distinction between Form and Content. From the perspective of Form, each Force requires the other Force for its existence and its operation -- or in other terms, each is for the other, and through the other.

There is also a distinction within the heart of the Concept or Notion of Force as well, between how Force is for the Understanding, or for thought, on the one side, and what Force is in itself. As this distinction is explored, Force unfolds itself as the inner being of things.
Lecture 106
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 143--144)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 143--144)
In this fifty-sixth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on paragraph 143 and 144 of the text, continuing our study of the third portion of the section "Consciousness," i.e "Force and the Understanding: Appearance and the Supersensible World".

In these paragraphs, Hegel now reexamines the relationship between Consciousness, as the Understanding, and the inner being of things, focusing on how the play of Forces mediates between these, as Appearance. The inner being of things can be grasped by the Understanding through Appearance, which is not reducible to what Sense Certainty or Perception provided. This opens up a distinction between two "worlds", a sensuous world of appearance and a supersensible world, the relation between which now has to be examined.
Lecture 107
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 145-147)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 145-147)
In this fifty-seventh video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on paragraph 145, 146, and 147 of the text, continuing our study of the third portion of the section "Consciousness," i.e "Force and the Understanding: Appearance and the Supersensible World".

[full description will be added in a few days, when I'm back from summer Research Residency]
Lecture 108
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 148-150)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 148-150)
In this fifty-eight video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on paragraph 148, 149, and 150 of the text, continuing our study of the third portion of the section "Consciousness," i.e "Force and the Understanding: Appearance and the Supersensible World".

In these paragraphs, Hegel continues his dialectical examination of the notion of Law, Force, and the faculty of the Understanding. The play of Forces that exist in a reciprocal relation, now ends up yielding to an absolute flux in the world of appearance. Law then bears upon this world of appearance, which is now revealed as in flux and as a manifold of differences. The law is "the stable image of unstable appearance," and the supersensible world is the realm of these laws, the truth grasped by the understanding.

Reflecting upon this, however, indicates that the world of appearance is not entirely incorporated into the realm of law, or rather laws in the plural. We see a dialectic similar to that which played itself out in earlier sections now apply to law. In so far as the law has a determinate content, it is no longer law in general, but a law, applying to specific matters. So, what the Understanding has grasped is not law as such, but only the Notion of law, still to be further worked out.
Lecture 109
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 151-152)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 151-152)
In this fifty-ninth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on paragraph 151 and 152 of the text, continuing our study of the third portion of the section "Consciousness," i.e "Force and the Understanding: Appearance and the Supersensible World".

[more description to be added later]
Lecture 110
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 153-154)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 153-154)
In this sixtieth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on paragraph 153 and 154 of the text, continuing our study of the third portion of the section "Consciousness," i.e "Force and the Understanding: Appearance and the Supersensible World".

[further description to be added in the near future]
Lecture 111
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 155-157)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 155-157)
In this sixty-first video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on paragraph 155, 156, and 157 of the text, continuing our study of the third portion of the section "Consciousness," i.e "Force and the Understanding: Appearance and the Supersensible World".

[further description to be added in the near future]
Lecture 112
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 158-159)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 158-159)
In this sixty-second video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on paragraphs 158 and 159 of the text, continuing our study of the third portion of the section "Consciousness," i.e "Force and the Understanding: Appearance and the Supersensible World".

[further description to be added in the near future]
Lecture 113
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 160-161)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 160-161)
In this sixty-third video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on paragraphs 160 and 161 of the text, continuing our study of the third portion of the section "Consciousness," i.e "Force and the Understanding: Appearance and the Supersensible World".

Hegel now examines the relations between the supersensible, inverted world and the world of appearance, and within the inverted world itself by further examining what is involved in inversion. He turns to fundamental metaphysical determinations, exploring the implications of pure change, antithesis or opposition, and contradiction.

By contrast to other accounts of opposition, which view opposition as an extrinsic relation between things already existing in-themselves, Hegel construes opposition as a relation, in which both sides actually possess and produce opposition -- and their other -- within themselves.

The examination of law and force earlier on in this section get summarized as a progression, in which first the self-same splits or sunders itself. The parts or moments are assumed to represent stable existences which can be taken for granted, but which possess no necessary relation of opposition to each other. Through the notion of inner difference, the indifferent moments are revealed as having their being only in a unity surpassing them, within which genuine opposition arises.
Lecture 114
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 162-163)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 162-163)
In this sixty-fourth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on paragraphs 162 and 163 of the text, nearing the end of our study of the third portion of the section "Consciousness," i.e "Force and the Understanding: Appearance and the Supersensible World".

[content to be added here in the near future]
Lecture 115
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 164-165)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Force and the Understanding, sec. 164-165)
In this sixty-fifth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, I read and comment on paragraphs 164 and 165 of the text, finishing our study of the third portion of the section "Consciousness," i.e "Force and the Understanding: Appearance and the Supersensible World".

[content to be added here in the near future]
Lecture 116
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Self-Consciousness sec. 166)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Self-Consciousness sec. 166)
In this sixty-sixth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we now commence study of the section "Self-Consciousness". I read and comment on paragraphs 166 of the text here.

In this portion of the text, Hegel introduces the distinction between closely related Certainty and Truth. What presented itself as modes of certainty in the previous sections of Consciousness now needs to be brought to truth, and this can be done fully only by turning to Self-Consciousness -- in which case we deal with a certainty identical in some manner with its truth.

He also discusses two complementary ways to understand the object and the notion -- both of which self-consciousness works its way through here, making itself into its own object.







The introductory music for the video is Johann Sebastian Bach,
Violin Sonata in Gm, BWV 1001 No.1, G minor - I. Adagio, is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org at: https://musopen.org/music/1249/johann-sebastian-bach/violin-...
Lecture 117
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Self-Consciousness sec. 167)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Self-Consciousness sec. 167)
In this sixty-seventh video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we now commence study of the section "Self-Consciousness". I read and comment on paragraph 167 of the text here.

In this paragraph, Hegel continues discussing the transition from Consciousness -- and its modes of meaning, perception, and understanding -- to explicit Self-Consciousness, which is a new shape (Gestalt) of consciousness in the dialectic. Consciousness turns out to have implicitly involved self-consciousness all the while, and consciousness is by its very essence a relation to otherness.

Self-Consciousness involves this relation to an Other, but also encompasses this relation itself, since self-consciousness is, by virtue of the "self-", related to itself, creating differences and superseding them within itself. Self-consciousness is also a lack of integration -- the opposite of the tautological purely self-referential "I am I" -- that is, it is Desire (Begierde) as such.







The introductory music for the video is Johann Sebastian Bach,
Violin Sonata in Gm, BWV 1001 No.1, G minor - I. Adagio, is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org at: https://musopen.org/music/1249/johann-sebastian-bach/violin-...
Lecture 118
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Self-Consciousness sec. 168-169)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Self-Consciousness sec. 168-169)
In this sixty-eighth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we continue our study of the section "Self-Consciousness". I read and comment on paragraphs 168-169 of the text here.

Hegel continues his examination of self-consciousness by focusing now on the relation to its object of immediate desire, that is, Life, or the living thing. Life, like self-consciousness, possesses an internal relation to itself, taking us beyond the previous shapes of consciousness.

Life can be understood at this point in the study in terms of its overall unity -- its essence as a supersession (Aufgehobensein) of distinctions or differences -- but also in terms of its individual, related moments, which possess some lasting or enduring existence, in their sequentiality.







The introductory music for the video is Johann Sebastian Bach,
Violin Sonata in Gm, BWV 1001 No.1, G minor - I. Adagio, is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org at: https://musopen.org/music/1249/johann-sebastian-bach/violin-...
Lecture 119
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Self-Consciousness sec. 170-171)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Self-Consciousness sec. 170-171)
In this sixty-ninth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we continue our study of the section "Self-Consciousness". I read and comment on paragraphs 170-171 of the text here.

As Hegel examines the conception of Life, he notes the relations between the unity and its composing members or parts, i.e. determinate shapes of life, i.e. living things. A key question is whether these independent shapes -- Gestalten -- possess an enduring existence or reality on their own, or only as moments of a whole.

As living things, these shapes assert themselves in opposition to the universal substance or medium of Life -- and further preserve their own unity by not only separating themselves from universal Life, but by consuming it as well, sublating it in the process. This transforms Life as a medium into Life as a process -- or more concretely, Life as a living thing.

At the same time, as the living thing distinguishes itself apart from the Life which it consumes, thereby sublating it, on its side, Life produces the determinate living shapes -- taking concrete actuality in them. These two sides -- individual and universal -- collapse into each other, or rather are both aspects of a larger self-developing whole of Life.








The introductory music for the video is Johann Sebastian Bach,
Violin Sonata in Gm, BWV 1001 No.1, G minor - I. Adagio, is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org at: https://musopen.org/music/1249/johann-sebastian-bach/violin-...
Lecture 120
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Self-Consciousness sec. 172-175)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Self-Consciousness sec. 172-175)
In this seventieth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we continue our study of the section "Self-Consciousness". I read and comment on paragraphs 172-175 of the text here.

Examining the condition of the unity now after the process of dialectical development, we see that Life which was originally grasped as mere being has now become a universal unity, a genus -- which points beyond mere Life to consciousness. This is in fact self-consciousness, present originally as a simple essence, or pure "I", whose determinacy has to be unfolded through experience.

In the course of that experience, self-consciousness discovers what it is through superseding its other -- or looked at in another way, it is Desire, which can be satisfied only through the negation of the other. This leads into a paradox, however, since the other can be effectively superseded only if it possesses independent being, and once the being of the other has been brought to nothingness, there is no satisfaction of desire still possible. This leads then either to a reproduction of the other and of the desire or to finding an object that can in its independence negate itself for self-consciosuness. But, this is only possible for another self-consciousness.







The introductory music for the video is Johann Sebastian Bach,
Violin Sonata in Gm, BWV 1001 No.1, G minor - I. Adagio, is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org at: https://musopen.org/music/1249/johann-sebastian-bach/violin-...
Lecture 121
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Self-Consciousness sec. 176-177)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Self-Consciousness sec. 176-177)
In this seventy-first video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we finish our study of the first portion of the section "Self-Consciousness". I read and comment on paragraphs 176-177 of the text here.

Hegel provides an overview of three moments of the development of self-consciousness in the previous sections. Beginning from the pure "I", we move to self-consciousness as drawn by Desire towards its satisfaction in the Object -- the Other. This leads into a seeming paradox since the only object that can be both independent and also be negated for self-consciousness is an object that can negate itself. But this means that it is another self-consciousness.

Further examining the implications of this, it becomes clear that self-consciousness exists only for -- and in relation to -- another self-consciousness. Self-consciousness differs from mere consciousness in very important ways, including that it is both on object for itself and for the other, and that it is also at the same time an "I" -- as the Other is as well. What this hints at is the reality of Spirit, towards which we are headed through the rest of the work, oriented towards a condition in which self-consciousnesses will enjoy perfect freedom and independence.







The introductory music for the video is Johann Sebastian Bach,
Violin Sonata in Gm, BWV 1001 No.1, G minor - I. Adagio, is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org at: https://musopen.org/music/1249/johann-sebastian-bach/violin-...
Lecture 122
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Lordship and Bondage, sec. 178-181)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Lordship and Bondage, sec. 178-181)
In this seventy-second video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we begin our study of the second portion of the section "Self-Consciousness", i.e. "Lordship and Bondage", or the "Master-Slave Dialectic". I read and comment on paragraphs 178-181 of the text here.

Hegel now follows out the development of self-consciousness as it necessarily encounters and exists in relation to another self-consciousness. Each self-consciousness seeks Recognition from the other self-consciousness. The Notion of Recognition seems simple enough from the start, but as we will see involves a complex dynamic that must develop.

An interplay of perspective occurs between seeing the other as the now-essential being, and superseding the other, making oneself the essential being -- all of this occurring because one sees oneself, or the essential structure of self-consciousness there in the other. There are some ambiguities -- doubleings of meanings -- involved in this interplay and process, culminating in self-consciousness now confronting the other as an independent, free being.







The introductory music for the video is Georg Philipp Telemann, Trio Sonata for Flutes and Piano, in A minor - III. Affettuoso, is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org at: https://musopen.org/music/532/georg-philipp-telemann/trio-so...
Lecture 123
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Lordship and Bondage, sec. 182-184)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Lordship and Bondage, sec. 182-184)
In this seventy-third video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we continue our study of the second portion of the section "Self-Consciousness", i.e. "Lordship and Bondage", or the "Master-Slave Dialectic". I read and comment on paragraphs 182-184 of the text here.

Self-consciousness, because it exists as such in relation to another self-consciousness, finds its own action mirrored or duplicated in the action of the other. An inescapable reciprocity unites the two of them with each other.

Hegel points out a similarity between the interplay between the two self-consciousnesses and the play of forces earlier in Force and the Understanding. Each self-consciousness provides the mediation for other, or put in another way, self-consciousness relates itself to itself, or is for-itself, through the mediation of the Other. The processes of recognition is thus reflective and involves a recognition of the other as recognizing.







The introductory music for the video is Georg Philipp Telemann, Trio Sonata for Flutes and Piano, in A minor - III. Affettuoso, is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org at: https://musopen.org/music/532/georg-philipp-telemann/trio-so...
Lecture 124
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Lordship and Bondage, sec. 185-187)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Lordship and Bondage, sec. 185-187)
In this seventy-fourth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we continue our study of the second portion of the section "Self-Consciousness", i.e. "Lordship and Bondage", or the "Master-Slave Dialectic". I read and comment on paragraphs 185-187 of the text here.

The duplication or reciprocal attitude and action of self-consciousness does not at first result in a two-sided recognition of one self-consciousness by the other, and vice versa. Instead, both confront each other, as another, living individual. And each seeks in the other the certainty, or rather the truth of its own self-certainty, it has now lost and wants to regain.

In confronting the other self-consciousness, each self-consciousness shows that its being is not reducible to its mere life, that it is willing to risk its own life and to threaten the life of the other -- and realizes that the other is doing precisely the same as well. This brings the self-consciousnesses into a struggle to the death, in which each is not only seeking the death of the other, but the meaning of his or her own existence.







The introductory music for the video is Georg Philipp Telemann, Trio Sonata for Flutes and Piano, in A minor - III. Affettuoso, is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org at: https://musopen.org/music/532/georg-philipp-telemann/trio-so...
Lecture 125
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Lordship and Bondage, sec. 188-189)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Lordship and Bondage, sec. 188-189)
In this seventy-fifth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we continue our study of the second portion of the section "Self-Consciousness", i.e. "Lordship and Bondage", or the "Master-Slave Dialectic". I read and comment on paragraphs 188-189 of the text here.

Hegel explores the outcome and implications of the "trial by death" which both of the self-consciousnesses faced, as they confronted each other. The recognition from the other that was being sought in risking one's own life and negating one's own natural existence, does not appear as expected.

Instead, the two self-consciousnesses part ways in their development even as they remain related to each other. One of the self-consciousnesses remains tied to its immediate, thingly, living status, and shows itself thus as dependent. The other by its willingness to negate its status as a living, determinate being -- that is, to entirely risk death -- thereby achieves the status of an independent consciousness.

With this, we arrive at the relation between the independent consciousness, the Lord or Master (Herr), and the dependent consciousness, the Bondsman or Slave (Knecht)





The introductory music for the video is Georg Philipp Telemann, Trio Sonata for Flutes and Piano, in A minor - III. Affettuoso, is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org at: https://musopen.org/music/532/georg-philipp-telemann/trio-so...
Lecture 126
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Lordship and Bondage, sec. 190)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Lordship and Bondage, sec. 190)
In this seventy-sixth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we continue our study of the second portion of the section "Self-Consciousness", i.e. "Lordship and Bondage", or the "Master-Slave Dialectic". I read and comment on paragraph 190 of the text here.

Hegel now unfolds the dialectical relationship between Master (Herr) -- an independent self-consciousness -- and Slave (Knecht) -- a dependent self-consciousness. At first, it appears as if the Master has succeeded in gaining the recognition desired. He relates both to the Slave and to the world of Objects, and relates to them through each other, mediately, in a manner that allows his desires to be fulfilled.

The Slave works upon the domain of independent objects, taking away their independence in the process, but the dependent aspect of the thing worked-upon is provided to the Master, who enjoys it.





The introductory music for the video is Georg Philipp Telemann, Trio Sonata for Flutes and Piano, in A minor - III. Affettuoso, is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org at: https://musopen.org/music/532/georg-philipp-telemann/trio-so...
Lecture 127
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Lordship and Bondage, sec. 191-193)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Lordship and Bondage, sec. 191-193)
In this seventy-seventh video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we continue our study of the second portion of the section "Self-Consciousness", i.e. "Lordship and Bondage", or the "Master-Slave Dialectic". I read and comment on paragraphs 191-193 of the text here.

The recognition the Master aimed to derive from the Slave and from the object of the Slave's work, the Thing, ends up becoming hollow and unsatisfying, since it is only a dependent self-consciousness from whom he gets recognition - not the fully independent self-consciousness, which the Slave will later become.

In Hegel's terms, the Master obtains self-certainty, but this certainty lacks truth. The truth of self-consciousness turns out now to fall upon the side of the Slave, who does not grasp this at first as truth.





The introductory music for the video is Georg Philipp Telemann, Trio Sonata for Flutes and Piano, in A minor - III. Affettuoso, is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org at: https://musopen.org/music/532/georg-philipp-telemann/trio-so...
Lecture 128
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Lordship and Bondage, sec. 194-195)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Lordship and Bondage, sec. 194-195)
In this seventy-eight video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we continue our study of the second portion of the section "Self-Consciousness", i.e. "Lordship and Bondage", or the "Master-Slave Dialectic". I read and comment on paragraphs 194-195 of the text here.

Hegel now turns to considering the Slave and the servile consciousness, no longer simply in relation to the Master, but for its own sake. Truth lies on the side of the Slave, but this is at first only implicit, and has to be worked out and through.

One key moment of this occurs in the Fear that the Slave is made to feel, a fear which shakes the very foundations of his consciousness, and which thereby allows the servile consciousness to be transformed, or rather to be engaged in the process of self-transformation. This occurs primarily through Service and through Work.





The introductory music for the video is Georg Philipp Telemann, Trio Sonata for Flutes and Piano, in A minor - III. Affettuoso, is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org at: https://musopen.org/music/532/georg-philipp-telemann/trio-so...
Lecture 129
The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Lordship and Bondage, sec. 196)
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The Complete Phenomenology of Spirit (Lordship and Bondage, sec. 196)
In this seventy-ninth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we finish our study of the second portion of the section "Self-Consciousness", i.e. "Lordship and Bondage", or the "Master-Slave Dialectic". I read and comment on paragraph 196 of the text here.

Hegel now brings this section, and the dialectical development discussed within it, to an end. The self-transformation of the servile consciousness has occurred through the Fear which the Slave has undergone, fear in relation to the Master and to Death - but also through the formative activity engaged with the non-human objects of the world of Work, the objects upon which the Slave has labored in his Service to the Master.

These moments make possible the Slave's realization of himself as an independent being in his own right, since he can now see himself externalized in the very labor and the work he contributes. Hegel also discusses ways in which this development can fail to take place, in which one of the moments is missing.






The introductory music for the video is Georg Philipp Telemann, Trio Sonata for Flutes and Piano, in A minor - III. Affettuoso, is available in the public domain, and can be found at musopen.org at: https://musopen.org/music/532/georg-philipp-telemann/trio-so...
Lecture 130
Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 197)
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Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 197)
In this eightieth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we begin our study of the third portion of the section "Self-Consciousness", i.e. "The Freedom of Self-Consciousness - Stoicism, Skepticism, and the Unhappy Consciousness." I read and comment on paragraphs 197 of the text here.

The independent self-consciousness that resulted from the Master-Slave dialectic must now determine what its independence consists in, and will do so through the successive shapes of consciousness involved in Stoicism, Skepticism, and the Unhappy Consciousness.

The beginning of this new development takes place through the human being realizing that he or she is essentially a thinking being. The freedom of human being is revealed through the activity of thinking -- and thinking ultimately not in the mode of picture-thoughts (Vorstellungen), but rather through the concept or notion (Begriff).

This offers the possibility for the human being, the self-consciousness, to become a unity of being-in-itself and being-for-itself, but this will require the the relationship with the Other be worked through in the following paragraphs. . .





The intro music for this video is J.S. Bach, Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011, available at musopen.org
Lecture 131
Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 198-199)
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Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 198-199)
In this eighty-first video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we begin our study of the third portion of the section "Self-Consciousness", i.e. "The Freedom of Self-Consciousness". I read and comment on paragraphs 198 and 199 of the text here.

Hegel now explicitly identifies the new shape of consciousness with the historically existing philosophical school and movement of Stoicism. In his interpretation of Stoicism, the Stoic identifies human being with thought and the content of thought.

Turning towards the manifold of Life, the Stoic reduces its diversity and complexity by focusing upon how its many modes appear to thought and in the thought of the thinking being. This is an expression of human freedom, now developed to a higher degree, precisely by withdrawing from concrete existence into the simplicity and essentiality of thought.





The intro music for this video is J.S. Bach, Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011, available at musopen.org
Lecture 132
Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 200-201)
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Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 200-201)
In this eighty-second video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we begin our study of the third portion of the section "Self-Consciousness", i.e. "The Freedom of Self-Consciousness". I read and comment on paragraphs 200 and 201 of the text here.

Stoicism does represent an advance, a new shape of consciousness, but in these paragraphs, Hegel exhibits the limitations of Stoicism as part of a larger system of development of consciousness. Its weakness lies in the very fact that Stoicism works by a withdrawl into abstract thought. This is indeed an expression of an essential possibility for human being -- a kind of freedom.

But the challenge lies in being able to also grapple with the concrete, the particular, the arbitrary that has been pushed away -- individuality, which is equally real. Stoicism finds itself unable to adequately address the multiplicity of things (Life) and the contingent, conditioned side of the thinking person (Individuality). This is reflected in the use Stoicism makes of the criterion of the Good and the True, which turn out to either be contentless, and thus useless, or to be conditioned, and then seemingly not essential





The intro music for this video is J.S. Bach, Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011, available at musopen.org
Lecture 133
Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 202)
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Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 202)
In this eighty-third video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we begin our study of the third portion of the section "Self-Consciousness", i.e. "The Freedom of Self-Consciousness". I read and comment on paragraph 202 of the text here.

Hegel begins his analysis of Skepticism as a philosophical development and movement by noting that it carries further the direction of thought Stoicism engaged in -- the development of the fuller scope of human freedom. The human being is able to bring to bear the negativity involved in thinking upon everything - including the skeptic's subjectivity as well. The manifold diversity of the world - of Life - is thus negated, and in this the subject is freed of them.





The intro music for this video is J.S. Bach, Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011, available at musopen.org
Lecture 134
Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 203-204)
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Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 203-204)
In this eighty-fourth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we begin our study of the third portion of the section "Self-Consciousness", i.e. "The Freedom of Self-Consciousness". I read and comment on paragraphs 203 and 204 of the text here.

In the attitude of Skepticism, as Hegel examines it, we see each of the previous dialectical developments -- those in the Consciousness section, and those in the Self-Consciousness section -- reappropropriated as dialectical. With skepticism, the dialectic shows its corrosive aspect -- anything that deems determinate can be, and is, called into question.

It also reflects the power of the subject -- whereas it might appear that dialectic has consciousness at its mercy, the entire movement is actually a movement of consciousness, towards which the subject remains free. It is really the freedom of the conscious subject from determinate existence -- external or internal to it -- that is the truth revealed through skepticism. The question then remains: what is left of determinate existence?





The intro music for this video is J.S. Bach, Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011, available at musopen.org
Lecture 135
Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 205)
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Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 205)
In this eighty-fifth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we begin our study of the third portion of the section "Self-Consciousness", i.e. "The Freedom of Self-Consciousness". I read and comment on paragraph 205 of the text here.

In this very long paragraph, Hegel works out some of the implications of the Skeptic's position for the skeptical consciousness, and for the viability of skepticism as a philosophical and cultural stance. Skepticism remains an ever-present possibility revealed as such in consciousness, precisely because consciousness itself is revealed as a dialectical mess -- the disorder and confusion are not outside of it, but also within it.

There turns out to be a split going on within consciousness then -- into a contingent and empirical side of determinate, but seemingly meaningless existence -- and an essential, universal side, self-identical, eternal. Consciousness is both of these, and can also dialectically go against either one of these -- and does so in alternation, unable to find itself fully at either pole.

Skepticism is thus revealed as contradictory, even incoherent - not abstractly so, but only performatively, as a dynamic.



The intro music for this video is J.S. Bach, Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011, available at musopen.org
Lecture 136
Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 206-208)
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Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 206-208)
In this eighty-sixth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we begin our study of the third portion of the section "Self-Consciousness", i.e. "The Freedom of Self-Consciousness". I read and comment on paragraphs 206, 207, and 208 of the text here.

After working through Stoicism and Skepticism as paths down which Self-Consciousness travels in its historical development, Hegel now begins to shift to the last main subject of this section -- the Unhappy Consciousness. Consciousness has arrived at the point where it experiences itself as internally self-contradictory, and it has also generated a split within itself into two poles -- the contingent, empirical self, and the eternal, universal self which is regarded as Other.

What will follow now is a set of attempts to overcome the alienation within the self itself, to arrive at a single undivided consciousness. This will not however, be a path the individual walks alone upon, but also one that takes form through society, culture, and religion, developing and articulating the notion of Spirit. In terms of content, this movement will take the general form of an oscillation between the two poles of the Unhappy Consciousness, carried out largely from the side of the contingent, individual consciousness.





The intro music for this video is J.S. Bach, Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011, available at musopen.org
Lecture 137
Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 209-210)
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Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 209-210)
In this eighty-seventh video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we continue our study of the third portion of the section "Self-Consciousness", i.e. "The Freedom of Self-Consciousness". I read and comment on paragraphs 209 and 210 of the text here.

The split, or estrangement, within the Unhappy Consciousness - between the contingent individual and the unchangeable, eternal, universal both presents itself within consciousness, and will eventually be overcome or reconciled. The contingent individual comes to realize individuality within the very heart of the unchangeable in two ways.

The unchangeable universal itself becomes attains a fuller presence through becoming itself individual, or individuality in general. The contingent individual can also realize itself within the unchangeable, as Spirit





The intro music for this video is J.S. Bach, Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011, available at musopen.org
Lecture 138
Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 211-212)
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Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 211-212)
In this eighty-eighth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we continue our study of the third portion of the section "Self-Consciousness", i.e. "The Freedom of Self-Consciousness". I read and comment on paragraphs 211 and 212 of the text here.

Hegel now focuses on the experience (Erfahrung) which the Unhappy Consciousness passes through as it attempts to move away from an abstract Unchangeable through relating to the Unchangeable that now involves individuality within it.

At first, this new advance and development appears to be something merely contingent, and the individual consciousness does not realize that its own opposedness to the universal Unchangeable both involves a deeper necessity, and is the doing of consciousness itself. The hope of attaining a full unity between individual and universal is raised, but not fulfilled at this point in the dialectic.





The intro music for this video is J.S. Bach, Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011, available at musopen.org
Lecture 139
Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 213-216)
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Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 213-216)
In this eighty-ninth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we continue our study of the third portion of the section "Self-Consciousness", i.e. "The Freedom of Self-Consciousness". I read and comment on paragraphs 213, 214, 215, and 216 of the text here.

After having attempted to set aside its own particularity or contingent individuality and to become the unchangeable consciousness, the divided consciousness realizes it needs to try a different approach, one to an incarnate, embodied universal or unchangeable.

Hegel again outlines the three successive relations between consciousness and the unchangeable, focusing now on the second relation. He points out that the movement seems to have to come from the side of the embodied unchangeable, so that the Unhappy Consciousness does not yet have the enjoyment of a certainty of self. Still, this represents an advance, when compared to Stoicism or Skepticism, since it is a unity of pure thinking and individuality. What it does not yet grasp is that the Unchangeable is not something still separated from it, but rather is the individuality of consciounsness.





The intro music for this video is J.S. Bach, Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011, available at musopen.org
Lecture 140
Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 217)
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Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 217)
In this ninetieth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we continue our study of the third portion of the section "Self-Consciousness", i.e. "The Freedom of Self-Consciousness". I read and comment on paragraph 217 of the text here.

Hegel now focuses on the first mode by which consciousness works out its relation with the Unchangeable - that of Devotion (Andacht) - a relation that at this point is not thinking, but rather feeling. Feeling allows consciousness to in a way take hold upon its object, but not to grasp it in an adequate, conceptual form.

This takes determinate shape in the metaphor of the "pure heart", a divided subjectivity that feels itself. It extends itself into the Beyond, into the Unchangeable , but also falls back into its own contingent consciousness, discovering itself to have only laid hold on the unessential. This is not a purely negative movement, however, ending in the "grave" of its being, but rather a positive movement, allowing consciousness to move to the next relation by abandoning the first.





The intro music for this video is J.S. Bach, Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011, available at musopen.org
Lecture 141
Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 218-220)
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Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 218-220)
In this ninety-first video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we continue our study of the third portion of the section "Self-Consciousness", i.e. "The Freedom of Self-Consciousness". I read and comment on paragraph 218, 219, and 220 of the text here.

The feeling heart and the state of devotion cannot be the end-point for the Unhappy Consciousness, and so the return into self brings with it an awareness of existing on its own account as feeling. Then, as desiring and working, it finds itself engaged with seemingly independent beings and overcoming them.

It can only partially do so, however. The contingent aspect of the world of things it desires and works upon, it can reduce to nothing, or to dependence, but it finds itself unable to do this with the unchangeable and universal aspect of these, the sanctified world.

The Unchangeable now takes the initiative, surrendering its embodied form (Gestalt) for consciousness, which both actively works upon the world, changing it, and enjoys a gift from the Unchangeable, the faculties and powers which are given to consciousness to make use of.





The intro music for this video is J.S. Bach, Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011, available at musopen.org
Lecture 142
Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 221-222)
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Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 221-222)
In this ninety-second video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we continue our study of the third portion of the section "Self-Consciousness", i.e. "The Freedom of Self-Consciousness". I read and comment on paragraph 221 and 222 of the text here.

Hegel continues exploring the Unhappy Consciousness as a relation between two estranged extremes, but now as an actively present side and a passive actuality side. The interplay between these recalls the dialectic of Force and the Understanding, but is unable to attain a resolution at this point.

He also introduces a new faculty or mode of human existence, adding it to the desiring/willing, working/acting, and enjoying/consuming, namely gratitude or giving thanks. In giving thanks, the Unhappy Consciousness appears to nullify its own being as independent, and as in these three other modes. But at the same time, giving thanks leads it to a heightened awareness of its own independent existence as a concrete individuality, as well as of individuality in general.





The intro music for this video is J.S. Bach, Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011, available at musopen.org
Lecture 143
Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 223-226)
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Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 223-226)
In this ninety-third video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we continue our study of the third portion of the section "Self-Consciousness", i.e. "The Freedom of Self-Consciousness". I read and comment on paragraph 223, 224, 225 and 226 of the text here.

We now move to the third main relationship involved in the progress of the Unhappy Consciousness, the return to itself in a self-certainty of its independence. This involves a struggle, however, against an "enemy", which tempts consciousness into self-forgetting, and then introduces it into a dialectic between its own nothingness and the full being of the universal.

The consciousness becomes acutely unhappy as its action and enjoyment become bereft of universal meaning or significance, and it finds itself moored to the world only through its animal, bodily functions, which now prove to be sources of shame and occasions of being trapped in the trivial.

Yet at the same time, in the awareness of its unhappiness and resourcelessness, there is consciousness of unity with the Unchangeable, since consciousness thinks universally of its own particular condition through the Unchangeable





The intro music for this video is J.S. Bach, Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011, available at musopen.org
Lecture 144
Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 227-229)
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Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 227-229)
In this ninety-fourth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we continue our study of the third portion of the section "Self-Consciousness", i.e. "The Freedom of Self-Consciousness". I read and comment on paragraph 227, 228 and 229 of the text here.

In these near-final paragraphs of the section, Hegel first asserts that the Mediator functions as a middle term in a syllogism connecting together the two extremes of the individual consciousness and the Unchangeable. The middle term in this case is a consciousness different from the individual consciousness.

The individual consciousness places itself in a complex relationship with the mediator, treating the mediator as if the agency came from its side (and thus from the Unchangeable), surrendering to it the will, action, and enjoyment of the individual consciousness. And yet, it is the willing and action of the individual consciousness that is indeed responsible for this.





The intro music for this video is J.S. Bach, Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011, available at musopen.org
Lecture 145
Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 230)
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Phenomenology of Spirit (Stoicism, Skepticism, Unhappy Consciousness, sec. 230)
In this ninety-fifth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we finish our study of the third portion of the section "Self-Consciousness", i.e. "The Freedom of Self-Consciousness". I read and comment on paragraph 230 of the text here.

In this final paragraph, Hegel asserts that the Unhappy Consciousness has in principle (an sich) - though not in full actuality - progressed through its unhappiness. This has taken place through a dialectic again reminiscent of that of the two forces in Force and the Understanding, but now complicated by the function of the Mediator.

The individual consciousness surrenders or gives over its particular will to that of the Mediator, and gives up possessions and enjoyment as well. In both cases a universal is thereby generated or acknowledged, one which stands over against the individual.

There is therefore a resolution of its unhappiness and poverty only in principle, or in the other, the Mediator, not yet fully grasped as such by the contingent consciousness for itself. And yet, it is that consciousness that can will to give up its own will. It is that particular consciousness that can indeed act, since the very nature of action is to be particular. At this point, out of this experience, arises the notion or concept of Reason.





The intro music for this video is J.S. Bach, Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011, available at musopen.org
Lecture 146
Phenomenology of Spirit (Reason, sec. 231-232)
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Phenomenology of Spirit (Reason, sec. 231-232)
In this ninety-sixth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we begin our study of a new major section of the work, "Reason". I read and comment on paragraph 231 and 232 of the text here.

I begin this video by providing a brief overview of the more-than-200-paragraph section on "Reason" we are now entering, in this study. Then, we focus on the two paragraphs themselves.

Hegel now has brought us to the point where the individual consciousness no longer really requires the Mediator that the Unhappy Consciousness both needed and developed. As Reason, the individual consciousness is also the Unchangeable or the Universal. In fact, it is all being, or at least is related to all being.

From this vantage point, the individual consciousness is secure enough to be able to see the world as such, in a way that it has not hitherto perceived it. It is also able to become more integrated as a self, no longer having to reject its own contingent actuality. This is indeed the perspective of Idealism, which the subsequent paragraphs will now examine.





The intro music for this video is Modest Mussorgsky, Pictures at an Exhibition - Promenade - Allegro giusto, nel modo russico senza allegrezza, available at: https://musopen.org/music/107/modest-mussorgsky/pictures-at-...
Lecture 147
Phenomenology of Spirit (Reason, sec. 233-234)
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Phenomenology of Spirit (Reason, sec. 233-234)
In this ninety-seventh video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we continue our study of a new major section of the work, "Reason". I read and comment on paragraph 233 and 234 of the text here.

Idealism, as Reason initially represents it, asserts that the "I" is all reality, in that everything exists for (self-)consciousness. It has, however, to demonstrate itself to be such, which it does (or already implicitly has done) along the paths of the previous dialectical developments articulated in the earlier sections of the text.

The path that has been traversed can be forgotten, and in that case, Reason presents itself as immediately coming onto the scene. Idealism that doesn't retrace this path of development, or at least maintain it in consciousness, degenerates into a mere assertion that it is all reality. This poses a problem, not least since not only can one consciousness assert this, any other consciousness can likewise do so.

Hegel ends with some reflections upon the dialectical process, noting that consciousness' relationship with otherness will be determined by the stage of development of World-Spirit it find itself at.





The intro music for this video is Modest Mussorgsky, Pictures at an Exhibition - Promenade - Allegro giusto, nel modo russico senza allegrezza, available at: https://musopen.org/music/107/modest-mussorgsky/pictures-at-...
Lecture 148
Phenomenology of Spirit (Reason, sec. 235-236)
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Phenomenology of Spirit (Reason, sec. 235-236)
In this ninety-eighth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we continue our study of a new major section of the work, "Reason". I read and comment on paragraph 235 and 236 of the text here.

Hegel continues to explore the implications of Idealism, i.e. that Reason is in some way all reality. Now he frames the matter in terms of the category and categories. A unity of the category gives way to a plurality of categories, and this poses several problems for a Reasons that would indeed be scientific in the Hegelian sense.

What allows for the seeming contradiction between the unity of category and the plurality of multiple categories to be overcome is the realization that we have yet another, new category, that of the singular individual.





The intro music for this video is Modest Mussorgsky, Pictures at an Exhibition - Promenade - Allegro giusto, nel modo russico senza allegrezza, available at: https://musopen.org/music/107/modest-mussorgsky/pictures-at-...
Lecture 149
Phenomenology of Spirit (Reason, sec. 237-239)
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Phenomenology of Spirit (Reason, sec. 237-239)
In this ninety-ninth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we continue our study of a new major section of the work, "Reason". I read and comment on paragraph 237, 238, and 239 of the text here.

Consciousness presents itself both as a restless movement through its moments, and as the unity of those moments. It constantly seeks out the essential, but also can understand itself as essence in the entire process, as an individual who appropriates objects. In this, consciousness expresses itself as Reason, but the key question is the status of the Idealism that expresses Reason's insight that all reality belongs to it.

An Idealism that grasps reason only as it first appears on the scene, not taking account of the previous developments preparing its way, becomes abstract. It also shifts over to a stance of empiricism as well, since it takes in the multiplicity of sensation and ideas. This idealism, unable at this stage to be entirely coherent, analogously to the earlier development in Skepticism, reveals its own untruth, but at this point, finds itself unable to move past it





The intro music for this video is Modest Mussorgsky, Pictures at an Exhibition - Promenade - Allegro giusto, nel modo russico senza allegrezza, available at: https://musopen.org/music/107/modest-mussorgsky/pictures-at-...
Lecture 150
Phenomenology of Spirit (Reason, Observing Reason sec. 240-243)
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Phenomenology of Spirit (Reason, Observing Reason sec. 240-243)
In this one hundredth video in the new series on G.W.F. Hegel's great early work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, we continue our study of a new major section of the work, "Reason". I read and comment on paragraph 240, 241, 242, and 243 of the text here.

In its first concrete line of development, Reason focuses upon observation, turning to objects other than itself, seeking its other in its manifold manifestations in its world. In doing so, it appropriates the world for itself as "mine". But it also has a deeper drive and motive of coming to understand itself in this process of knowing.

In observation, consciousness attempts to learn not only about things as phenomena, but even more so in their essentiality. At this point, however, Reason does not understand that it is really seeking itself in the things of the world, seeking itself within the world. So, it approaches them as an "I" that seems to stand apart from that very world of sensuous things which it attempts to grasp and transform intellectually into Notions





The intro music for this video is Modest Mussorgsky, Pictures at an Exhibition - Promenade - Allegro giusto, nel modo russico senza allegrezza, available at: https://musopen.org/music/107/modest-mussorgsky/pictures-at-...