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"The desire of self consciousness of the phenomenology of spirit"

Author: ZhangYunKai
Tutor: ZhangShuangLi
School: Fudan University
Course: Foreign Philosophy
Keywords: Hegel desire self-consciousness life infinity
CLC: B516.35
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2012
Downloads: 98
Quote: 0
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Abstract


This paper mainly concerns about the problems of self-conscious desire which are generated from Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit. There are three interconnected questions guided my elaboration. The first one is on what ground could Hegel make the assertion "the unity of self-consciousness with itself must become essential to self-consciousness, which is to say, self-consciousness is desire itself." Secondly, what are the inner contradictions of self-conscious desire? Thirdly, how desire is sublated in the process of Hegel’s dialectical demonstration? To answer the first question, I will resort to the concept of infinity, which is both the structure of self-consciousness and life. On the one hand I will clarify the infinite structure of self-consciousness which inherently contained the practical dimension. On the other hand, the clarification of the infinite structure of life and the precise interpretation of the dialectical movement of life will enable us to understand the relationship between self-consciousness and life. Placing self-consciousness into the horizon of life will shed light on Hegel’s quite bizarre assertion--self-consciousness is desire itself. However, the demonstration of the inner-contradiction of desire offered by Hegel is both obscure and succinct. This paper will give a reconstruction on the inner contradiction of the self-conscious desire through its structure of infinity. The inner-contradiction cannot be tamed unless the self-consciousness could find a different kind of object-another self-consciousness. The third question is that how desire is sublated in the dialectical movement. Instead of giving a full and detailed account of the entire movement of mutual recognition, this paper focuses on the two key points in this movement. The first key point is that the natural desire is delimited in the process of pursuing recognition of another self-consciousness through the life and death struggle. The second key point is the bondsman regained self-consciousness through work which can be characterized as a kind of determinate negation. Based on the interpretation and reconstruction several following conclusions can be made:Firstly, Hegel’s self-consciousness is inherently practical consciousness. It had the merit of historical dimension when compared with formal, abstracted self-consciousness concept shared by the transcendental approach. Secondly, Hegel certainly not had the concept of ontological desire; on the contrary, he treated it as one moment of the dialectical movement of self-consciousness.

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CLC: > Philosophy, religion > European philosophy > European Philosophy > German philosophy > The early philosophy of the 18th century to the nineteenth century > Hegel ( Hegel, Under- G.W.F.1770 1831 )
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