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Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  13,616 ratings  ·  274 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 1807)
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3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  13,616 ratings  ·  274 reviews

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Sep 01, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Roy Lotz
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel is easily the most controversial of the canonical philosophers. Alternately revered and reviled, worshiped or scorned, he is a thinker whose conclusions are almost universally rejected and yet whose influence is impossible to escape. Like Herodotus, he is either considered to be the Father of History or the Father of Lies. Depending on who you ask, Hegel is the capstone of the grand Western attempt to explain the world through reason, or the commencement of a misgui ...more
Ian "Marvin" Graye
Apr 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  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

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:

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

DJ Ian
Jun 18, 2007 rated it really liked it
I actually read almost all of this. I would like a cookie.
Jun 14, 2007 rated it liked it
This should really be getting both a 1 and a 5.
David M
12/28/2016 - this books has been weighing heavy on me for a long time. This past week I ended up forcing my way through the last 300+ pages with, I fear, more haste than wisdom. I'm anxious to be done with Hegel for the sake of moving on to Marx.

Do I have much insight? No, not really. Rumors of the book's barbaric syntax and inhospitable decor turn out to be 100% justified. I normally get a lot of pleasure from reading philosophy, but can't say I found much here.

Of course personal enjoyment is
Jan 10, 2012 rated it did not like it
Jun 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
Feb 25, 2012 marked it as partial-credit
Shelves: hegel
Writing a Review of Hegel's Phenomenology is a fool's errand......

Here's a famous passage you should always hold in mind when you get to thinking that Hegel's all dry=humourless (spiritless?[!!]) dry-as-bone abstraction.
[Miller's page 210] [....] the same conjunction of the high and the low which, in the living being, Nature naively expresses when it combines the organ of its highest fulfilment, the organ of generation, with the organ of urination [Organs des Pissens]. The infinite judgement, q
Sep 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Karl Hallbjörnsson
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've been reading this book for almost three years now, extremely slowly and meticulously, and I have to say that for all its painful dialectical twists and turns it is grossly incandescent, to say the least. To read this whole thing is almost an education unto itself. It's tought me a lot — first and foremost, to quote Ariana Grande, love, patience and pain. It literally retaught me how to read. It's a painstaking process. It's hard. But it's rewarding, so very rewarding. This isn't a journey y ...more
Mar 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There is absolutely no way I can review this work in any meaningful way without writing a book on this book.

In this regard, I'm stuck in Hegel's own back yard, trying to observe a thing, understanding that I cannot fully understand the thing, but postulating anyway, only to revise after new information comes to light, and postulating again, revising again, postulating again, and revising again until I approach the Truth of what he's saying while never quite arriving at the Truth.

So much of what
Fug o' Slavia
Feb 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Jun 03, 2007 rated it did not like it
Shelves: philosophy
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
Aug 03, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: nobody
What does this Hegel guy think he is? Some kind of philosopher or something?
I had started this book some time ago and put it down and didn't pick it back up until recently. I decided to start it over from the beginning since it had been a while since I had picked it up. Also, since I had just gone through most of the primary works of Fichte and Schelling, I thought I would be in a better position to gauge the merits of the work in the greater context of German Idealism.
This book was supposed to be an introduction to Hegel's system as a whole, and as such, it is often d
Gary  Beauregard Bottomley
Dec 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I have never have read a better written book then this one. Hegel's style of writing reflects the way I process and think. It was one of the few books where I could only listen to for only half of my daily two hour bike ride. I would get overwhelmed with what was being said and would have to switch my mind off and listen to something else on my return ride.

The 'how', the method the author uses to explicate, is the reason why I love this book as much as I do. He relates an abstract to a notion t
Nov 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Jacob Hurley
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thorough summary of human history. Favorite parts were his evaluation of philosophic history from Stoicism to rationalism, his account of the beautiful soul, and the section about religious art.
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
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
She finished it. Witnesses are silently gathering around. The book is slowly moving into the read-shelf.
Jun 09, 2018 rated it liked it
What concerns me is not that I do not understand Hegel; it is, rather, that Hegel does not understand himself. (I shall keep the double negative here. I have a feeling Hegel would appreciate it.)

"The content of what Spirit says about itself is thus the perversion of every Notion and reality, the universal deception of itself and others; and the shamelessness which gives utterance to this deception is just for that reason the greatest truth. "
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Terry Pinkard's new translation is the best yet.
Jun 11, 2011 rated it it was ok
srsly. love letter to napoleon here really fucks up to the extent that the incorporeal anima is not reasonably subject to sense perception and accordingly has no proper phenomena, and, really, should be subject to apprehension by pure reason alone as noumenal reality, i.e., the text that should have been written is the noumenology of spirit, but perhaps kant already wrote that. publish or perish, yo.
Jun 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jul 08, 2009 rated it liked it
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.
Megan Fritts
Feb 20, 2011 rated it it was ok
Apr 25, 2013 rated it did not like it
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
Barnaby Thieme
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: abandoned, philosophy
I have read a great many books dealing with dialectical philosophy, poised at the edge of thought's capacity to render an intelligible account of the intersecting spheres of time and eternity, but I don't believe I've ever found one so entirely inadequate and unsatisfactory in its methodology and its style. I'm reminded of Pound's comment upon abandoning Finnegans Wake - only the beatific vision itself would be worth the effort.

I don't presume to say I fully grasp Hegel's incoherent mass of log
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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
“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.” 75 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.” 51 likes
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