Search our site
Search our site

Hegel and his Legacy

  • Module code: PH7802
  • Year: 2018/9
  • Level: Year 7
  • Credits: 30.00
  • Pre-requisites: None
  • Co-requisites: None

Summary

Through our reading of the Phenomenology of Spirit, we will focus on the issue of understanding, more specifically of philosophical understanding. In the Preface, Hegel states that "philosophical writings" "have to be read over and over before they can be understood" (§63). Which specific mental, cognitive and affective operations does such a rereading imply? According to Hegel, our understanding (Verstand) is not, as a faculty, able to give us access to the "concept" (Begriff). What is it that our understanding does not understand? Through despair, doubt, skepticism and pain produced by the resistance of the philosophical statement, something appears — spirit. "Spirit that appears", such is the meaning of the title Phenomenology of Spirit, such is also the name of the proper philosophical understanding: revelation.

Aims

The aims of this module are to:

  • Introduce students to the main Hegelian concepts, essentially: substance, subject, absolute, in itself, for itself, consciousness, system, negativity.
  • Provide a theoretical and practical understanding of dialectics and dialectical thinking.
  • Enable students to assess contemporary critical interpretations of dialectics (mainly by Heidegger and Derrida).

Learning outcomes

 Upon successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  • Understand the main features of Hegel's thought, as well as the main critical arguments levelled against it by its legacy.
  • Understand the structure of the Phenomenology and read a book that has no proper beginning nor end, but in which beginning and end are at one with one another. Undertake the work of close textual analysis of demanding such a text.
  • Comprehend, reconstruct and interpret philosophical arguments, and situate these arguments in the context of the history of philosophy.

Curriculum content

The module includes:

Reading of selected chapters from the Phenomenology:

  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • In "Consciousness":
    • Chapter I"Sense Certainty"
    • Chapter II : "Perception : Or The Thing And Deception"
    • Chapter III: Force and Understanding
  • In "Self-Consciousness":
    • Chapter IV A : "Independence and Dependence of Self-Consciousness : Lordship and Bondage"
  • In "Reason":
    • Chapter V A: Observing Reason
  • In "Spirit":
    • Chapter 7 C The Revealed Religion
  • Conclusion: Absolute Knowing

Analysis of the critical development of the book.

Analysis of the implications of the Hegelian concept of revelation.

Teaching and learning strategy

This module will be taught by means of a mix of lectures and seminars, supplemented by individual tutorials and private study. Emphasis is placed on seminar-based discussion.

Breakdown of Teaching and Learning Hours

Definitive KIS Category Indicative Description Hours
Scheduled learning and teaching Seminars/lectures Total: 10 taught sessions (2.5 hours each) 25 hours
Scheduled learning and teaching Group and individual tutorials (two hours scheduled plus office hours) 2 hours.
Scheduled learning and teaching Directed and Independent Learning 273
Total (number of credits x 10) 300

Assessment strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to test a student's ability to meet the module's learning outcomes. Summative assessment involves two pieces of written work:

  • A 1,500-word exercise, submitted at or before the mid-way point of the module, worth 20% of the final mark. This exercise provides early written feedback, and is generally concerned with comprehension and interpretation of central concepts or problems at issue in the module's primary text.
  • A 3,500 to 4,000 word essay, submitted several weeks after the end of the module, worth 80% of the final mark.

The skills required to prepare these assessed elements will be developed in a variety of formative activities throughout the module, notably through class discussion, feedback on in-class presentations, and individual tutorials. Preparation of the final essay includes at least one scheduled tutorial with the module tutor.

Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy (Indicative)

Learning Outcome Assessment Strategy
Understand the main features of Hegel's thought, as well as the main critical arguments levelled against them by its legacy. Assessed formatively through class discussion, presentations and tutorials, and summatively through the two pieces of individual written work.
Understand the structure of the Phenomenology and read a book that has no proper beginning nor end, but in which beginning and end are at one with one another. Undertake the work of close textual analysis of demanding such a text. Assessed formatively through class discussion, presentations and tutorials, and summatively through the two pieces of individual written work.
Enable students to assess contemporary critical interpretations of dialectics (mainly by Heidegger and Derrida). Assessed formatively through class discussion, presentations and tutorials, and summatively through the two pieces of individual written work.

Breakdown of Major Categories of Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment Name Assessment Weighting
CWK Exercises 1500 words 20
CWK Essay 3500 to 4000 words 80
Total (to equal 100%) 100%

Achieving a pass

It IS NOT a requirement that any major assessment category is passed separately in order to achieve an overall pass for the module

Bibliography core texts

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit,  tr. by A. V. Miller (Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1977).

Jacques Derrida, "From Restricted to General Economy", in Writing and Difference, tr. by Alan Bass (Chicago : The University of Chicago Press, 1978).

Martin Heidegger, Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit, tr. Parvis Emad, Kenneth Maly (New York: SUNY, 1994).

Bibliography recommended reading

Judith  Butler, The Psychic Life of Power. Theories in Subjection(Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1997).

Jacques Derrida, Glas, trans. John P. Leavey, Jr. & Richard Rand (Lincoln & London: University of Nebraska Press, 1986.

 —"The Pit and the Pyramid : Introduction to Hegel's Semiology", in Margins of Philosophy, tr. Alan Bass, Chicago: The Chicago University Press, University Press, 1982).

Martin Heidegger, Being and Time, tr. Joan Stambaugh, (SUNY series in Contemporary Continental Philosophy, 1996).

Stephen Houlgate, The Hegel Reader, (Blackwell Publisher, 1998).

Alexandre Kojève, Introduction to the Reading of Hegel, trans. Allan Bloom (Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 1969).

Terry Pinkard, Hegel's Phenomenology, The Sociality of Reason, (Cambridge University Press, 1996).

H.S. Harris. Hegel's Development. Volume 1: Towards the Sunlight 1770-1801; Volume 2: Night Thoughts (Jena, 1801–1806),Oxford University Press, 1972 & 1983.

H.S. Harris.‘Hegel's Intellectual Development to 1807', in F. Beiser ed., The Cambridge Companion to Hegel (CUP,1993).

Terry Pinkard. Hegel: A Biography,Cambridge University Press, 2000.

General Introductory texts

Frederick Beiser. Hegel, Routledge, 2005.

Stephen Houlgate. An Introduction to Hegel: Freedom, Truth and History [1991], Blackwell, 2005.

Michael Inwood. A Hegel Dictionary, Blackwell, 1992.

Herbert Marcuse. Reason and Revolution: Hegel and the Rise of Social Theory [1941], Routledge, 1977.

Terry Pinkard. German Philosophy 1760-1860: The Legacy of Idealism, Cambridge University Press, 2002.

Robert Sinnerbrink. Understanding Hegelianism, Acumen, 2007.

Charles Taylor. Hegel, Cambridge University Press, 1975.

Commentaries on the Phenomenology

Michael N. Forster. Hegel's Idea of a Phenomenology of Spirit, University of Chicago Press, 1998.

H.S. Harris. Hegel's Ladder: The Pilgrimage of Reason; The Odyssey of Spirit, 2 vols., Hackett, 1997.

Jean Hyppolite. Genesis and Structure of Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit [1946], Northwestern University Press, 1974.

Quentin Lauer. A Reading of Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit, Fordham University Press, 1976.

Richard Norman. Hegel's Phenomenology: A Philosophical Introduction, Harvester, 1976.

Leo Rauch and David Sherman, Hegel's Phenomenology of Self-Consciousness: Text and Commentary [on Phenomenology ch. 4], SUNY, 1999.

Merold Westphal. History and Truth in Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit, Humanities Press, 1979.

Robert R Williams. Recognition: Fichte and Hegel on the Other, SUNY, 1992, part 3.

Find a course

Course finder

>
Postgraduate study
Site menu