The author interprets Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit as the description of a voyage, during which the consciousness formulates at each stage a concrete model of its world to understand its present situation. In each of these models, description and a normative demand coexist. Thus, the consciousness devices these models to understand its world, while at the same time they are tentative and partial anticipations of a world the consciousness would want to inhabit. In this sense, the formulation of successive world-models is not a mere theoretical act but as well a standpoint that gradually changes the present world. The path of the Phenomenology of Spirit ends once the consciousness has learnt to formulate, and thus as well created, a world in which it exists as a free agent among other free agents. This world is the reality of the post-Enlightenment modernity. At this stage, the consciousness realizes that the world is not a pre-given objectivity, but a realm enlivened by man’s reflexivity, this reflexivity taking concrete shape in modern institutions whose aim is to promote equality rather than hierarchical relations. Against traditional interpretations of Hegel’s philosophy, the author presents a reading that refuses to interpret absolute knowledge as pure thinking sovereign over objectivity. Quite on the contrary, absolute knowledge is to be interpreted as a refusal of the idea that any individual shape of consciousness could consider itself as absolute. As we read in the very last line of the Phenomenology of Spirit, the infinite “foams forth” from a worldly plurality, not from a sovereign unity of absolute spirit.
Hardback, Published 2020, 2018, 373 pages, ISBN 978-80-7298-379-7.
|ISBN print version: 978-80-7298-379-7|
|book size: 135x205|
|publication year: 2020|