By Tom Rockmore

Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit, the philosopher's first and possibly maximum paintings, is an important philosophical treatise of the 19th century. during this better half quantity to his basic advent to Hegel, Tom Rockmore bargains a passage-by-passage consultant to the Phenomenology for first-time readers of the booklet and others who're now not Hegel experts. Rockmore demonstrates that Hegel's strategies of spirit, attention, and cause may be handled as parts of a unmarried, coherent concept of data, one who is still strikingly proper for the modern dialogue. He exhibits how the a variety of conceptions of cognition built within the textual content culminate in absolute figuring out, which Rockmore reads, against the widespread non secular readings of Hegel, in a unconditionally secular demeanour. in contrast to commentators who isolate Hegel's textual content from its philosophical origins, Rockmore analyzes the publication within the philosophical context from which it emerged, lucidly discussing notoriously tough passages relating to the information of Aristotle and Descartes, and exceptionally to these of Kant and different German idealists.

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Extra info for Cognition: An Introduction to Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit

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For, under specifiable conditions, the subject can go beyond the appearance to grasp reality, or the essence, if the essence can appear within consciousness. The difficulty is to explain how this is possible. Since in a "constructivist" approach, such as Kant's, we "produce" what we experience and know, it must be that whatever we find when we go behind the curtain of appearance is put there by ourselves. It is manifest that behind the so-called curtain which is supposed to conceal the inner world, there is nothing to be seen unless we go behind it ourselves, as much in order that we may see, as that there may be something behind there which can be seen.

In the space of a few words, he reveals detailed knowledge of stoicism. Its principle is that the individual thinks, and only differences ― 74 ― within thought, not within external reality, are significant. In a concealed reference to Marcus Aurelius, the Roman emperor and philosopher, and to Epictetus, a Roman slave who became a philosopher, he says that "whether on the throne or in chains . . , the Stoic's] aim is to be free, and to maintain that lifeless indifference which steadfastly withdraws from the bustle of existence" (§199, 121).

As a consequence of rejecting the original approach embodied in "the first supersensible world, the ― 55 ― tranquil kingdom of laws, the immediate copy of the perceived world is changed into its opposite" (§157, 96). Behind florid rhetoric that at times approaches impenetrability, Hegel suggests that the critical philosophy, which claims to ground Newtonian physics, must "include" it, as the supersensible world "includes" the normal world. For Plato, as the science of the sciences philosophy grounds, or justifies, its own and all other claims to know.

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