Introduction à la lecture de Hegel: leçons sur la Phénoménologie de l'Esprit professées de 1933-39 à l'École des Hautes Études
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Introduction à la lecture de Hegel: leçons sur la Phénoménologie de l'Esprit professées de 1933-39 à l'École des Hautes Études

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  596 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Le noyau de cet ouvrage est formé par les notes prises de janvier 1933 à mai 1939 au cours que fit Alexandre Kojève à l'Ecole pratique des Hautes Etudes, sous le titre La philosophie religieuse de Hegel, et qui était en réalité une lecture commentée de la Phénoménologie de l'Esprit. Chaque année de cours est complétée par le résumé publié dans l'Annuaire de l'Ecole des Hau...more
Paperback, 602 pages
Published 1980 by Gallimard (first published 1947)
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Jesus H. Deceased Christ. Kojeve makes everything far more difficult than I think it has to be. So, while this book was at times revelatory and made me feel like I was this close to "knowing" Hegel's mind, Kojeve always then launched into a 10 page (might as well have been 1000 page) discussion of how we can draw "The Idea" "IN Time" or "OUTSIDE of Time" as a circle, or two circles, or a square with a dildo glued on it, or whatever. The whole book was like that. Plus, Kojeve doesn't use modern w...more

July 2006

A Brief Note on Tactics

This book, an 'Introduction to the Reading of Hegel', is a collection of transcripts and notes collected and edited by Raymond Queneau, that is the true beginning of the contemporary 'End of History' debate. But can there ever be a final reconciliation between the innumerable factions of human history? "...[H]e [i.e., Hegel] definitely reconciles himself with all that is and has been, by declaring that there will never more be anything new on earth. ('Intro...more
Erik Graff
Nov 01, 2013 Erik Graff rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hegelians, Marxists
Recommended to Erik by: Henri Mottu
Shelves: philosophy
We read this book along with the complete text of Hegel's Phenomenology of the Spirit in a course on the book taught by Henri Mottu, a visiting professor from French Switzerland teaching at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. The class was excellent, the reading of the Phenomenology an excitingly intriguing introduction to years of further study, but Kojeve's interpretation was too tendentiously Marxist (particularly the part on the Master-Slave dialectic) to be taken very seriously. St...more
This was a revelation. Thanks to ooiaur for the rec. When I first read Hegel's Phänomenologie, I got nothing. Now, I do get everything. Thanks Mr. Kojève.
read this not the Hegel original. if you like it, try hegel
If anything, I now feel more confident making jokes about how "I know the Totality."

I was expecting this book to clarify and give summaries of the chapters in the Phenomenology. Instead, it seems to be elaborations on Hegel's thought, which I still found fairly useful. The chapter on the Master-Slave was pretty good, though sort of sketchy due to Kojeve's Stalinist (?) perspective and a literal appeal to the killing and death of the masters. This sort of politic also came out again in the final...more
Dmitry Sokolov
"Introduction to the Reading of Hegel" is the most famous text of Alexandre Kojève, which is, from a purely compositional point of view, transcripts and summaries of lectures given during 1933-1939 in Paris: these lectures, by the way, at various times visited people like Raymond Aron and Maurice Merleau-Ponty - not the last persons in the European philosophy. In his lectures, Kojève explains the first and one of the most famous works of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel - the book "Phenomenology of...more
Kojeve's commentary on Hegel's *Phenomenology* is a brilliant example of what Emerson termed "creative reading"--a skill cultivated by far too few. That said, the book is not for everyone. One reads Kojeve to discover a living Hegel; most people are content to know that the man and his system are dead. As a devotee of Kierkegaard in my youth, I was among those who felt that Hegel's ghost was best avoided. In middle age, I am not so sure. The system I can do without (I remain Kierkegaardian in th...more
Tom McDonald
A classic of 20th-century continental European philosophy, which informs everything that has since gone by the name "continental philosophy".
hands-down the most profound reflections on hegel in the 20th C i have yet read--and from a russian frenchman, no less! which is not to say that kojeve gives us hegel's philosophy. kojeve shows us what can be done with hegel rather than what hegel wished to do/teach. if i were to rate this "book" on the basis of the promise contained in its title, i would have to give kojeve an "F"; this is a *horrible* introduction to the reading of hegel. but i imagine the title was chosen with no small irony....more
I was reading this book for 9 months. It is because there's so much in it... If I could, I would give 10 stars for this one. Hegel + Marx + Heidegger + Existentialism + ... = the finest philosophical version of the Reality. Don't think this leads to Marxism. This is Hegel actualized by Marx, but it's still Hegel with all the consequences. Excellent book which I would recommend to beginners to see what real philosophy is all about. Read just this one book and you'll get everything you have ever w...more
Best appropriation of all time - he gets a bit absurd when he calls Hegel an atheist. I remember talking with a colleague at the American Philosophical Association who worked on Hegel. I asked him if he read Kojeve's work and he said - it is not Hegel there, its Kojeve putting himself into Hegel...and basically I would add, ruining Hegel for the 20th century (Derrida, Foucault, Bataille, Deleuze, all had to rehash this guy to become made men, so did they really understand Hegel at all? - probabl...more
Sep 20, 2012 David marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Is it just me or does Kojeve go on and on and on about Master/Slave stuff? Hyppolite's somewhat more studious, and in my opinion more subtle reading of Hegel, seems (so far) somewhat preferable as an account of Phenomenology of Spirit--particularly as he doesn't want to suggest that the end of history (or the beginning of the end) was the Battle of Jena. Kojeve is, however, almost compulsively readable and lucid.

Oh and I think he and I got different versions of the section on Antigone.
Jacob Stubbs
This book is immensely complex and a very hard read. That being said, Kojeve's brilliance is well-shown throughout this work. I used this for a senior thesis over the Strauss/Kojeve correspondence, and Kojeve's reading of the Master/Slave dialectic is very well thought out and brings a fresh understanding to the animating forces of History. Overall, I'd highly recommend this work to anyone interested in Hegel, Kojeve, Strauss, tyranny, the person, or History.
Oct 17, 2007 David added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: continental philosophy buffs
Shelves: onthebackburner
Here it is! A collection of Kojeve's lectures that influenced so many of the now-famous French thinkers of the mid- to late-20th century. They're really clear, and very interesting, though I wish that some were more detailed (like the overview of the first six chapters of the Phenomenology, especially the part about the universal, and the role of speech in the formation of subjectivity).
No doubt, Kojève is a brilliant thinker. His exposition of Hegel's Phenomenology is clear, consistent and brings thought-provoking questions. However, if you think the end of history talk, fundamental for Hegelian wisdom, is just unrealistic assumption, the whole Hegel's totality turns into an illusion. The never ending attempt of immanentizing the eschaton.
After reading, I feel much closer to understanding the Hegelian dialectic, if not 100%. It's a collection of lectures, so there's some repetition, and the last lecture in the book has pretty much everything that's in the other lectures plus more, so you can just read that one.
Randal Samstag
The most straightforward summary of the Phenomenology giving the materialist interpretation of Hegel. The book is edited by Allan Bloom, the intellectual father of Fukuyama and The End of History.
"Man is negating Action, which transforms given Being and, by transforming it, transforms itself."
basic hegelian philosophy, master-slave dynamic, etc.
worth revisiting/completing...
Angela Rodriguez
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Aug 30, 2014
Hocus marked it as to-read
Aug 30, 2014
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  • Elements of the Philosophy of Right
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  • Less Than Nothing: Hegel and the Shadow of Dialectical Materialism
  • The Concept of the Political
  • Reason and Revolution: Hegel and the Rise of Social Theory
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  • For Marx
  • Totality and Infinity:  An Essay on Exteriority
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  • History and Class Consciousness: Studies in Marxist Dialectics
  • The Accursed Share 1: Consumption
  • Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life
  • Specters of Marx
  • Oneself as Another
  • Cartesian Meditations: An Introduction to Phenomenology
  • Being and Event
Alexandre Kojève was a Russian-born French philosopher and statesman whose philosophical seminars had an immense influence on twentieth-century French philosophy, particularly via his integration of Hegelian concepts into continental philosophy. As a statesman in the French government, he was instrumental in the creation of the European Union. Kojève was a close friend of, and was in lifelong phil...more
More about Alexandre Kojève...
Outline of a Phenomenology of Right La dialectica del amo y del esclavo en hegel Il silenzio della tirannide The Notion of Authority L'ateismo

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“According to Hegel -- to use the Marxist terminology -- Religion is only an ideological superstructure that is born and exists solely in relation to a real substructure. This substructure, which supports both religion and philosophy, is nothing but the totality of human actions realized during the course of universal history, that history in and by which man has created a series of specifically human worlds, essentially different from the natural world. It is these social worlds that are reflected in the religious and philosophical ideologies, and therefore-- to come to the point at once -- absolute knowledge, which reveals the totality of Being, can be realized only at the end of history, in the last world created by man.” 5 likes
“Indeed, we all know that the man who attentively contemplates a thing, who wants to see it as it is without changing anything, is 'absorbed,' so to speak, by this contemplation -- i.e., by this thing. He forgets himself, he thinks only about the thing being contemplates; he thinks neither about his contemplation, nor -- and even less -- about himself, his "I," his Selbst. The more he is conscious of the thing, the less he is conscious of himself. He may perhaps talk about the thing, but he will never talk about himself; in his discourse, the word 'I' will not occur.

For this word to appear, something other than purely passive contemplation, which only reveals Being, must also be present. And this other thing, according to Hegel, is Desire, Begierde....”
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