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Phenomenology of Spirit

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  9,724 ratings  ·  166 reviews
This brilliant study of the stages in the mind's necessary progress from immediate sense-consciousness to the position of a scientific philosophy includes an introductory essay and a paragraph-by-paragraph analysis of the text to help the reader understand this most difficult and most influential of Hegel's works.
Paperback, 640 pages
Published November 30th 1976 by Oxford University Press (first published 1806)
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Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich NietzscheThe Republic by PlatoCritique of Pure Reason by Immanuel KantMeditations by Marcus AureliusBeing and Time by Martin Heidegger
Best Philosophy Book
13th out of 620 books — 753 voters
Finnegans Wake by James JoyceUlysses by James JoycePhenomenology of Spirit by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich HegelCritique of Pure Reason by Immanuel KantGravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
REALLY, REALLY DIFFICULT BOOKS
3rd out of 199 books — 224 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Seth
Jan 18, 2008 Seth rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Immanuel Kant
Recommended to Seth by: Jacques Derrida
In this debut novel, the multi-talented Georg Hegel gives an edge-of-your-seat, no-holds-barred, rip-roaring ride through the dark and mysterious caverns of the criminal mind. This romp-em-stop-em tale traces the journey of a strapping, curious, yet fickle young man named Spirit (Geist in the original German) as his godlike intelligence leads him from the rough-and-tumble, animalistic mean streets of an unknown Caribbean island, through the French Revolution, to the clean and well-ordered cities ...more
Ian Klappenskoff
Nov 18, 2014 Ian Klappenskoff rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Atheists and PC'ers and other opinion-mongers
Recommended to Ian by: The Keepers of the Holier [Than Thou] Books
THE TRIBULATIONS OF A PROTO-POST-HEGELIAN PAGAN HEGEL-BASHER

For the purposes of this undertaking, my accomplice DJ Ian and I (I and I) faked our way through reading DC Hegel in English and German (English translation courtesy of Terry Pinkard) with the aid of diverse comic strips, annotations, opinionators and unreliable narrators:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSdHo...

The Professor: "If you don't read 'Phenomenology of Spirit' in German, you will never understand Hegel, let alone Zizek."

DJ Ian
...more
Manny
Jan 28, 2015 Manny marked it as to-read
GoslingHegel3
Benjamin
This should really be getting both a 1 and a 5.
James
I've given up for the time being on the idea of actually writing a worthy review of this book. There is too much in it, and one must dedicate years of their life to understand even half of it. (If you breeze through this thing in a month or two, in a class, reading group or whatever, you will not get much of anything out of it, trust me!!!) I have read probably a dozen books on the Phenomenology and all of them helped, and by the end I was actually taking issue with Hegel on certain points. (Def ...more
Katelyn
I actually read almost all of this. I would like a cookie.
Thea
Sep 27, 2007 Thea rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who think everything happens for a reason
My friend Ching-In who made me join Goodreads said that I should honestly list my books, which is why this one is on my shelf. I normally don't talk about it in public for fear that people will think I'm a snot. But I really loved this book. I've never identified so much with a writer before, and also, even though this book is essentially impossible to read, my friend Georg really is a super genius.

The thing that fascinated me most about this book is how much Hegel wanted to believe that everyt
...more
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
Jan 27, 2015 Nathan "N.R." Gaddis is currently reading it
Shelves: hegel

Terry Pinkard has newly translated the Phenomenology and is apparently looking for a publisher. Meanwhile he's provided his translation HERE, including a bilingual download option, for public use. Thank you, Professor.
John
G.W.F. Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit is one of the densest, most profound, and influential works in Western philosophy. It is also, at points, one of the most incomprehensible books I have ever read. About half way through this nearly 600-page book, I thought to myself, "There is no way that I am going to be able to finish reading this!" I did finish it, however, and it was well worth while.

Phenomenology of Spirit is notoriously difficult for a number of reasons. This book was, first of all wr
...more
Richard
Aug 03, 2007 Richard rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: nobody
What does this Hegel guy think he is? Some kind of philosopher or something?
Cassandra Kay Silva
I spent a lot of time with this book. When I say a lot. I mean an inordinate amount of time. I just felt like when I really dove into each paragraph and broke it apart and went bit by bit that I was going to find some greater truth hidden underneath it all. Unfortunately for me this was not so. Some paragraphs when broken down extensively I admit I still did not get. Actually in other paragraphs I would figure out what his "point" was and be like ok well duh thank you for not contributing anythi ...more
Fug o' Slavia
Absolutelyunbelievable banter from start to finish, Hegel's inimitable wit and heart of gold really shine through here! You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll do both at the same time!
Erik Graff
Jul 05, 2015 Erik Graff rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Erik by: Henri Mottu
Shelves: philosophy
Henri Mottu was a visiting French-Swiss professor of philosophy at Union Theological Seminary who taught a course on Hegel which I took owing to my interest in Kant and Marx and the word on campus that he knew Kojeve. The class was small, the readings consisting primarily of the Phenomenology and Kojeve's Introduction to the Reading of Hegel. It was very well taught, the discussions were exciting and I was inspired to go on an read a lot more by and about Hegel.
Hegel's contribution to Kantian
...more
Ian
If you manage to read this and understand even 25% of it you will have both vindicated your own intelligence and dedication to academia and also possibly broken your own brain. Annotations/critical texts/targeted passages are practically a necessity.
Bradley
It would take a lifetime to really absorb the full impact of this majestic work. Hegel was brilliant and I believe this is his best contribution to metaphysics. His basic argument is that instead of thinking about human existence as somehow reduced down to pure physicality; or material form of say the body, we can begin to see how human existence moves progressively towards "pure spirit" or essentially absolute mind. History moves in a teleological, purely progressivist fashion, steadily becomin ...more
Jesse
Before you get overawed by his reputation, its worth remembering that a healthy portion of philosophers, especially in the English speaking world, think that Hegel wrote a lot of nonsense, and its historical influence, in my opinion, is not overwhelmingly positive. I've been suspicious of it ever sense I wrote what I thought was a fairly dubious paper on its first section and yet still got an A on it. A lot of the prose reads like some sort of Burroughs-esque prank. Most contemporary analytic ph ...more
Phil
My rating for this book is both more and less than it deserves. To start, Hegel is probably the most difficult of all philosophers to read/understand. I’ve had professors say that Hegel’s Phenomenology is like a phone book from Mars. His influence though as one of the last Western metaphysicians is not to be overlooked, for philosophy is moving in what I would call a backwards progression today. Metaphysics is seeing a resurgence, which is often the result of epistemological dead-lock, and so He ...more
Pierre
I had to read this out loud while walking in circles. But the universals he's talking about, once I noted them and found a way to simplify them for my mind, are about as useful as anything. There's an antsy calm contained within. Definitely changed my life.
Inna Shpitzberg
Oh, yes! I did it!
Rhonda
It is difficult to assess just how wonderful I think that Hegel is as a whole, but The Phenomenology of Spirit (sometimes somewhat inexplicably translated mind in older translations)contains all the elements of the later Hegel.
While this statement may be baffling to some (and treasonous to the rest) in saying this I do not mean to say that Hegel had his system completely figured at this point. I do believe that if one studies The Phenomenology carefully, one may glean, in knotted form, all the
...more
Jesse
The Buddha, a figure incomparably more moral, because more rational, than Jesus, once said, "Those who think the unreal is, and think the Real is not, they shall never reach the Truth, lost in the path of wrong thought." If you like to get "lost in wrong thought", this book is your overgrown, smelly, garish "path"; it is, to me, the closest perhaps one can get to applying barbed wire to your brain - Jesus' crown of thorns literally directed inwards. What Aquinas did for the Catholics, Hegel, her ...more
Joe
Comment:

This is the edition I grew up on; J. B. Baillie translator & introduction, also with the George Lichtheim Introduction to the paperback edition. Underlining, notes, but in surpriingly sturdy condition.

This novel, which claims to be the Last Novel, continues to fascinate all philosophy and most especially those of us bewitched by philosophy. But one wonders exactly what lies beneath the sorcery. Or, to use a Nietzschean distinction, if religion is philosophy for the people, as even He
...more
Paul
Yeah I read the whole thing. No, I didn't understand it. This work is way more interesting given the context of how much it influenced European thought (especially Marx) than it is in and of itself.
Aldo Ojeda
La mayoría de los que critican negativamente a la Fenomenología del Espíritu es por su difícil lectura y no por su contenido. Ciertamente, leer a Hegel es difícil, en especial este libro, mucho más de lo necesario. Personalmente, batallé por cada párrafo (que como consecuencia hizo que sintiera al terminarla una emoción tal que no he sentido con ninguna otra obra) y lo que encontré, más allá de las complicaciones estilísticas, es un trabajo de gran hermosura. Aunque no coincido en varios puntos ...more
Jesse
Tentative conclusions (To be updated over time)

1. I have always been struck by the seeming similarity of Derrida's movements of 'deconstruction' and Hegel's dialectic. Derrida himself says that he works in an almost 'absolute proximity' to Hegel. And yet Derrida claims to 'subvert' or destabilize Hegel right at the moment of Aufheben or sublation. In other words, Derrida seeks to retain a radical and irreducible difference that he claims Hegel attempts to reduce to identity. However, I think De
...more
Ralowe Ampu
i have given hegel's phenomenology of the spirit one star because i don't desire to be in a struggle to the death with reality. don't look at me crazy. one-starring might come off a tad punitive, or retributive, whatever, since hegel is probably technically rather light in the enlightenment game, or some would wanna try to insist that he was controversial, i don't give a fuck, he quacks like an enlightenment philosopher, you gotta pay the piper. that text pretty much epitomizes enlightenment tho ...more
Taede Smedes
G.W.F. Hegel (1770-1831) wordt over het algemeen beschouwd als één van de moeilijkste denkers in de filosofiegeschiedenis. Zijn denken is metafysisch en buitengewoon abstract en heeft aanleiding gegeven tot felle controverses en verschillende scholen. In het Duits staat de "Phänomenologie" bol van de lange zinnen die nauwgezet uitgeplozen moeten worden voordat de betekenis ervan geduid kan worden.

Deze Nederlandse vertaling, door Willem Visser (die eerder al de hoofdwerken van Kant vertaalde), i
...more
Benjamin
wtf, Hegel. You just alienated a consciousness who spent two days reading you because it desires reading-in-itself and reading-for-itself, or philosophy-in-itself-and-for-itself, which is merely reading understood as subject, or self-conscious reading. Spirit can get so dizzy reading you that it gets turned around on itself and inverts its own dialectic. Take this consciousness, for instance, who went back to picture-thinking in picture-books with my two-year-old daughter after reading you. (I g ...more
Murph
Phenomenology of Spirit was quite frustrating.I feel like I can't even properly rate this book because I only have a vague understanding of what it said; and I might only understand that much because I read "The Accessible Hegel" beforehand. This book is extremely dense and hard to follow. I would be very surprised if someone could read this once and understand it. I did get a few things out of the book though, one being that knowledge is an evolutionary process of sorts and I think what that me ...more
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  • Introduction to the Reading of Hegel: Lectures on the Phenomenology of Spirit
  • Basic Writings: Ten Key Essays, plus the Introduction to Being and Time
  • Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics
  • Phenomenology of Perception
  • Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments
  • Truth and Method
  • The World as Will and Representation, Vol 1
  • Of Grammatology
  • Philosophical Essays
  • Philosophical Fragments (Writings, Vol 7)
  • Cartesian Meditations: An Introduction to Phenomenology
  • Untimely Meditations
  • The Enneads
  • A Treatise of Human Nature
  • Theological-Political Treatise
  • Difference and Repetition
  • Matter and Memory
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German philosopher and one of the founding figures of German Idealism. Influenced by Kant's transcendental idealism and Rousseau's politics, Hegel formulated an elaborate system of historical development of ethics, government, and religion through the dialectical unfolding of the Absolute. Hegel was one of the most well-known historicist philosopher, and his thought presaged continental philosophy ...more
More about Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel...
The Philosophy of History Elements of the Philosophy of Right Introduction to the Philosophy of History: With Selections from The Philosophy of Right Introductory Lectures on Aesthetics Science of Logic

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“It is solely by risking life that freedom is obtained; . . . the individual who has not staked his or her life may, no doubt, be recognized as a Person; but he or she has not attained the truth of this recognition as an independent self-consciousness.” 39 likes
“The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant’s existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. The ceaseless activity of their own inherent nature makes these stages moments of an organic unity, where they not merely do not contradict one another, but where one is as necessary as the other; and constitutes thereby the life of the whole.” 15 likes
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