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* [[Phenomenology]]
 
* [[Phenomenology]]
  
== About this text ==
+
== Introduction ==
This text was first written by Kai Froeb for the Hegel-Intro list.
+
This text was first written by Kai Froeb for the Hegel-Intro list in December 2005.
He explained his motivation for thsi text like this:
+
He explained his motivation for this text like this:
  
Given the relative weight the Phenomenology is given in the
+
Given the relative weight Hegel's 1806/07 book "Phänomenolgie des Geistes" (in english: "Phenomenology of Spirit" or "Phenomenology of Mind" (in German, "Geist" means both spirit and mind), in the following text usualy abbriviated as "Phenomenology") is given in the Anglo-American and French reception of Hegel, my vote is indeed for lowering the relative importance of the "Phenomenology"
anglo-american and french reception of Hegel, my vote is indeed for
+
in favour of the works of the post-Jena period (which especialy include the "Science of Logic" and the "Encyclopedia of Philosophical Science", but also the complete mature system, including the various lectures).
lowering the relative importance of the Phenomenology towards the
 
works of the post-Jena period (which especially include the "Science
 
of Logic" and the Encyclopedia, but also the complete system
 
including the various lectures).
 
  
The Phenomenology of Spirit is a "ladder". Its main reason of being  
+
The "Phenomenology of Spirit" is a "ladder". Its main reason of being is a critical one: Philosophy does not start out of the blue,  
is a critical one: Philosophy does not start out of the blue,  
+
but instead has a given world as its starting point, with given world views. So one needs to start with these and examine and
but instead has a given world as its starting point, with
 
given world views. So one needs to start with these and examine and
 
 
criticize them.
 
criticize them.
  
Therefore, you will also find that later in his books and lectures,
+
Therefore, you will find that also later in his books and lectures, Hegel devotes the significant part of his forwords to sorting out misconceptions about his subject before he begins his subject (because such misconception can very effectively block your
Hegel devotes a significant part of his forwords to sorting out
+
understanding).
misconceptions about his subject before he begins his subject
 
(because such misconception can very effectively block your
 
reception).
 
  
So instead of going thru the complete Phenomenology, Hegel choose to
+
So instead of going thru the complete "Phenomenology", Hegel later chose to give a shortened (and often more specific to his respective subjects) critique as starting point of his lectures and books.
give a shortened (and often more specific to his respective
 
subjects) critique as starting point of his lectures and books.
 
  
This is insofar appropriate as the contents of his books and
+
This is insofar appropriate as the contents of his books and lectures are already in themselve an implicit and often also an explicit critique of alternate conceptions and on top, you otherwise would never come to the "real meat", because you would always be occupied with the foreword.
lectures is already in itself an implicit and often also explicit
 
critique of alternate conceptions and also, you otherwise would
 
never come to the real meat, because you are always occupied with
 
the foreword.
 
  
So when people read thru the Phenomenology of spirit as a foreword
+
So when people read thru the "Phenomenology of Spirit" as a foreword to the later system, as a tool to free their mind from misconceptions, as a precondition to a scientific approach to the complete system, this is very usefull.
to the system in order to free their mind as precondition to a
 
scientific approach to the complete system, this is very usefull.
 
  
When instead people take the Phenomenology for the real thing, use
+
However, when instead people take the Phenomenology for "the real thing", use it instead of the later system (or even interpret the later system thru the perspective of the "Phenomenology") or get stuck in the "Phenomenology" and /or devote so much time to the "Phenomenology", that they can not spare the adequate multiple time for the rest of the system (I know of many approaches to Hegel
it instead of the later system (or even interpret the later system
+
thru reading his "Phenomenology", both at university and in the web, which got stuck somewhere in the "Phenomenology", often even in its foreword) I think a serious reevaluation of the significance of the "Phenomenology" is more than appropriate.
thru the looking glass of the Phenomenology) or get stuck in the
 
Phenomenology, devote more time to the Phenomenology that they can
 
not spare the adequate multiple time for the rest of the system (I
 
know of many approaches to Hegel both at university and in the web
 
which got stuck somewhere in the phenomenology, often even in its
 
foreword) I think a serious reevaluation of the significance of the
 
Phenomenology is more than appropriate.
 
  
 
== Distinguishment between Phenomenology and its Foreword ==
 
== Distinguishment between Phenomenology and its Foreword ==
  
 
When we talk about the Phenomenology, we need to distinguish between
 
When we talk about the Phenomenology, we need to distinguish between
its foreword and the phenomenology (the "ladder") itself.
+
its foreword and the Phenomenology (the "ladder") itself.
 
 
In the folowing text, I will discuss the role of the Phenomenology
 
without its foreword.
 
  
 
The foreword of the Phenomenology was written by Hegel
 
The foreword of the Phenomenology was written by Hegel
1807, after the completion of the Phenomenology, and was intended
+
1807, after the completion of the rest of the Phenomenology in 1806,  
to be not only the foreword of the Phenomenology, but of his complete
+
and was intended to be not only the foreword of the Phenomenology,  
system. So it has another status than the Phenomenology.
+
but of his complete system. So it has another status than the Phenomenology.
  
So when I talk about the phenomenology in this exchange, I usualy
+
So when I talk about the Phenomenology in this following text,  
mean only the Phenomenology without the foreword, except when
+
I usualy mean only the Phenomenology without its foreword, except  
the context shows that I mean it otherwise, e.g. when I talk
+
when the context shows that I mean it otherwise (e.g. when I later
of publication dates etc).
+
in this acrticle address the differences between Hegel's conceptions
 +
of his Jena time and his more mature conceptions in his Heidelberg and
 +
Berlin time, which of course apply both to the foreword and to
 +
the rest of the book).
  
 
== Is the Phenomenology required? Philosophy before Hegel ==
 
== Is the Phenomenology required? Philosophy before Hegel ==
  
 
Just from looking at the practice of either previous philosophers,
 
Just from looking at the practice of either previous philosophers,
Hegel himself when coming to his conmclusions and Hegel and
+
Hegel himself, at the time he developed his conclusions, and Hegel and
his scholars when teaching his Philosophy, there is an overwhelming
+
his school teaching Hegel's Philosophy, there is an overwhelming
 
trace of the contrary:
 
trace of the contrary:
  
 
First of all, of course all Philosophers before Hegel (including his
 
First of all, of course all Philosophers before Hegel (including his
 
recent precessors, Kant, Fichte and Schelling) did not use the Phenomenology,  
 
recent precessors, Kant, Fichte and Schelling) did not use the Phenomenology,  
neither to come to their conclusions not to teach them.
+
neither to come to their conclusions, not to teach them.
  
 
This is of course trivial, but it means, that at least Philosophy
 
This is of course trivial, but it means, that at least Philosophy
 
before Hegel had means to come to results and teach Philosophy  
 
before Hegel had means to come to results and teach Philosophy  
without the Phenomenology.
+
without the "Phenomenology".
 +
 
 +
Of course, you could argue that the Hegel in general and
 +
especialy his "Phenomenology" is such a revolution in philosophy,
 +
that indeed they break with such a tradition.
  
Of course, you could argue that the Hegel in generaly and
+
However, Hegel did not see himself as someone, who did a radical break  
especialy his Phenomenology is such a revolutiona in philosophy,  
+
with all tradition, but as someone who systematicaly
that indeed they consist of a break with such tradition.
+
included ("sublated") all reasonable from all philosophy before him.
  
However, Hegel for himself did not see himself as someone who
+
See his famous foreword of his "Lectures about the History of Philosophy",
did a radical break with all tradition, but as someone who systematicaly
 
included / sublated all reasonable from all philosophy before him.
 
See his famous foreword of his lectures of History of Philosophy,
 
 
for a famous example. You can also see it from the fact that
 
for a famous example. You can also see it from the fact that
 
Hegel included a treatment of the history of thoughts in many of
 
Hegel included a treatment of the history of thoughts in many of
his works, including the Philosophy of History, Lectures on Aestetics,
+
his works, including the "Philosophy of History", "Lectures on Aestetics",
Lectures on Philosophy of Religion and the mentioned Lectures on History
+
"Lectures about the Philosophy of Religion" and the mentioned "Lectures  
of Philosophy. He also included such remarks in his Encyclopedia (in
+
about the History of Philosophy". He also included such remarks in his  
his three aproaches to objectivity) and it is well known that his
+
"Encyclopedia" (in his "Three Approaches to Objectivity") and  
Science of Logic is also implicit and explicit refering to the
+
it is well known, that his "Science of Logic" is also implicit  
History of Philosophy. And of course, the Phenomenology as such,
+
and explicit refering to the "Lectures about the History of Philosophy".  
is in most of its parts in itself discussing the various state
+
And of course, the "Phenomenology of Spirit" as such,  
of mindes/spirits before the publication of the Phenomenology
+
is in most of its parts in itself discussing the various state of minds /
(so people have come to these states of mind without the Phenomenology).
+
spirits before the publication of the "Phenomenology"
 +
(so people obviously have come to these states of mind without  
 +
the "Phenomenology").
  
So what Hegel does in his Phenomenoloy and his various other
+
So what Hegel does in his "Phenomenoloy" and his various other
 
discussions of historical developments of philosophical insights
 
discussions of historical developments of philosophical insights
 
is to make this process more explicit and more systematical,
 
is to make this process more explicit and more systematical,
but the process itself also happens without Hegel's help.
+
but the process itself happened without Hegel's help.
  
I argued already that this is no wonder, because what Hegel,
+
This is no wonder, because what Hegel, the philosophers before him  
the philosophers before him and his students after him
+
and his students after him (and all mankind) share,  
(and all mankind) share, is the longing for truth,
+
is the longing for truth, which is the foundation of all these processes
which is the foundation of all these processes
 
 
(of philosophy all over the time, of Hegel's exposition
 
(of philosophy all over the time, of Hegel's exposition
of it as well as of those true students who come to learn
+
of it, as well as of those true students who come to learn
 
from Hegel or other Philosophers before and after him).
 
from Hegel or other Philosophers before and after him).
  
 
So one can say, that one valid way to come to Hegel is
 
So one can say, that one valid way to come to Hegel is
 
of course to study systematicaly the Philosophy before Hegel,
 
of course to study systematicaly the Philosophy before Hegel,
via Hegel's Phenomenology, via Hegel's Lecture on the History
+
via Hegel's "Phenomenology", via Hegel's "Lecture about the History
of Philosophy or by studying these older Philosophers directly.
+
of Philosophy" or by studying these older Philosophers directly
 
(at least this later approach will be no substitue for studying Hegel
 
(at least this later approach will be no substitue for studying Hegel
 
himself, but as Hegel wants to be the sublation of the philosophers
 
himself, but as Hegel wants to be the sublation of the philosophers
 
before him, such study is a good preparation for him and we are
 
before him, such study is a good preparation for him and we are
only talking about preparations, ways aproaching Hegel here.
+
only talking of preparations, of ways approaching Hegel here.
Also, this later aproach is obviously the one Hegel took himself.
+
Also, this later approach is obviously the one Hegel took himself).
  
 
See also the answer to the next question.
 
See also the answer to the next question.
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creative spirit/approach, not just to reproduce his works).
 
creative spirit/approach, not just to reproduce his works).
  
So Hegel himself needs to have another aproach than
+
So Hegel himself needs to have another approach than
the Phenomenology for himself to come to his results.
+
the "Phenomenology" for himself to come to his results.
  
 
Of course, here you could argue that the process of
 
Of course, here you could argue that the process of
writing the Phenomenology was this aproach for Hegel.
+
writing the "Phenomenology of Spirit" was this aproach for Hegel.
  
 
So in this case, we are driven to the next questions:
 
So in this case, we are driven to the next questions:
* Did Hegel write anything substantial before writing the Phenomenology?
+
* Did Hegel write anything substantial before writing the "Phenomenology"?
* Was Hegel finished with his basic insights after he wrote the Phenomenology?
+
* Was Hegel finished with his basic insights after he wrote the "Phenomenology"?
  
== Is the phenomenology required? Hegel's works before the Phenomenology ==
+
== Is the "Phenomenology" required? Hegel's works before the "Phenomenology" ==
  
From Hegel's major works, Hegel's Phenomenology is his first
+
From Hegel's major works, Hegel's "Phenomenology of Spirit" is his first
book published. So this creates the illusion that the Phenomenology
+
book published. So this creates the illusion, that the "Phenomenology"
is not only the entrance of Hegel's system for his pupil, but was also
+
is not only the entrance of Hegel's system for his pupils, but was also
 
this entrance for Hegel himself.
 
this entrance for Hegel himself.
  
 
However, even if you limit yourself to the works of the 6 years
 
However, even if you limit yourself to the works of the 6 years
(1801-1806) of Hegel's Jena period (and there are good reasosn
+
(1801-1806) of Hegel's Jena period (and there are good reasons
 
to do so, as these works are of different charachter than the
 
to do so, as these works are of different charachter than the
 
works before and the works of this Jena period are plenty
 
works before and the works of this Jena period are plenty
 
enough in themselves), we first find Hegel's dissertation (containing
 
enough in themselves), we first find Hegel's dissertation (containing
a long critique of the Newton scholars of his time) and his
+
a long critique of the Newton scholars of his time) and the
 
many articles he wrote in the "Kritisches Journal der Philosophie"
 
many articles he wrote in the "Kritisches Journal der Philosophie"
(Critical Journal of Philosophy he edited and wrote together with Schelling
+
("Critical Journal of Philosophy"), which he edited and wrote together with Schelling
(containing famous works like 'the difference between the philosophical
+
(containing famous works of Hegel like "The Difference between the philosophical
systems of Fichte and Schelling' (1801, translated by H.S. Harris and W.
+
Systems of Fichte and Schelling" (1801, translated by H.S. Harris and W.
 
Cerf 1977), "Glauben und Wissen" (July 1802, translated as "Faith and Knowledge"
 
Cerf 1977), "Glauben und Wissen" (July 1802, translated as "Faith and Knowledge"
 
by W. Cerf and H.S. Harris 1977), wich is a critique of Kant, Jacobi
 
by W. Cerf and H.S. Harris 1977), wich is a critique of Kant, Jacobi
Line 171: Line 149:
 
and so are included in all major compilations of Hegel's works (and should,
 
and so are included in all major compilations of Hegel's works (and should,
 
as indicated by the translations given above, also be well known to the
 
as indicated by the translations given above, also be well known to the
english speaking public of tosday).
+
English speaking public of today).
  
But for the sake of the discussion here, much more important is that
+
But for the sake of the discussion here, even more important is that
we find in this period (before Hegel began to write the Phenomenology)
+
we find in this period (before Hegel began to write the "Phenomenology")
from Hegel at least 3 big drafts for a system (the 1st and 3rd is only  
+
from Hegel at least 3 big drafts of a System (the 1st and 3rd are only  
about Philosophy of Nature and Philosophy of Spirit, the 2nd one only  
+
covering the topics named "Philosophy of Nature" and "Philosophy of Spirit"
about Logic and Philosophy of Nature).
+
in Hegel's later system, the 2nd one is only discussing Logic and  
 +
"Philosophy of Nature").
  
There also exist much more manuscripts of Hegel for this time (among
+
There also exist many more manuscripts of Hegel from this time (among
them his famous "System of ethical life", which roughly covers
+
them his famous "System der Sittlichkeit" ("System of Ethical Life"),  
Hegel's later philosophy of Right/Objective Spirit) which he used
+
which roughly covers the topics of Hegel's later "Philosophy of Right"
also to prepare his Lectures in Jena. In Jena, he gave Lectures
+
/v"Objective Spirit"), which he also used to prepare his Lectures in Jena.  
about his complete System of Philosophy, about Logic and various
+
In Jena, he gave Lectures about his complete System of Philosophy,  
other subjects (it is not completely clear for today's research which
+
about Logic and various other subjects (it is not completely clear for  
Lectures in the anouncements of the university Hegel realy held and
+
today's research which of Hegel's many lectures, anounced in the anouncements  
which were only anounced but not held). There also exist some
+
of the university, Hegel realy held and which were only anounced, but not held).  
more or less extensive student notes of some of these lectures.
+
There also exist some more or less extensive student notes of some of these lectures.
  
 
(All this stuff can be read, with extensive philological remarks,
 
(All this stuff can be read, with extensive philological remarks,
Line 193: Line 172:
 
of the Bochum Hegel Archiv, published at Meiner Verlag, Hamburg)
 
of the Bochum Hegel Archiv, published at Meiner Verlag, Hamburg)
  
When one looks at this material all together, we see it cover most
+
When one looks at this material (Hegel's Jena manuscripts, lectures and
of the content of the Phenomenology already (which also explains
+
publications before the publication of the "Phenomenology") all together,  
how Hegel could write most of the parts of the Phenomenology rather
+
we see it cover most of the content of the "Phenomenology" already  
fast) and also find many topics of the later System in them.
+
(which also explains how Hegel could write most of the parts of the  
 +
"Phenomenology" rather fast) and also find many topics of the later  
 +
System in them as well.
  
 
One well known philological Hegel expert even noted that,
 
One well known philological Hegel expert even noted that,
would Hegel not have written his Phenomenology, but only
+
would Hegel not have written his "Phenomenology", but only
what he wrote before the Phenomenology and that what he
+
what he wrote before the "Phenomenology" and that what he
wrote after the Phenomenology, we would hardly note any omission.
+
wrote after the "Phenomenology", we would hardly note any omission.
  
 
== Parallels between content of the Phenomenology and Hegel's later works ==
 
== Parallels between content of the Phenomenology and Hegel's later works ==
It would be fun to try to parallel the various chapters of the Phenomenology best with his later works and Lectures. One would find that nearly all chapters can be indeed found in a later version somewhere in the system. Sections A upto CC (AA) could be found in much abreviated versions in the Phenomenology section of the Subjective Spirit/Mind.
+
It would be fun to try to parallel the various chapters of the Phenomenology best with his later works and Lectures. One would find that nearly all chapters can be indeed found somewhere in the later system.  
 +
 
 +
This later system, as written down in draft form in Hegel's "Encyclopedia" (1st edition, 1817 in Heidelberg, much expanded and reworked 2nd edition in Hegel's later years in Berlin, 3rd, again a bit reworked and expanded version 1830), contains a part discussing the "Subjective Spirit/Mind" (which itself is the first part of the 3rd part of the "Encyclopedia"). This contains in its middle a chapter named "Phenomenology", where we can find, as one would expect from its name, an abbreviated version of the "Phenomenology of Spirit" (its first sections A upto CC (AA), to be exact).
  
However, we could also find more:  
+
However, we could also rediscover more parts of the "Phenomenology" in the later system:  
 
* A II is the topic of the Logic of Essence in the Science of Logic
 
* A II is the topic of the Logic of Essence in the Science of Logic
 
* A III can be partly found in the Logic, and partly in the Philosophy of Nature
 
* A III can be partly found in the Logic, and partly in the Philosophy of Nature
* C (BB) - VI - B (the alienated spirit", part II - on enlightment- and III - on the french revolution - could be found in the Lectures on Philosophy of History (and the History of Philosophy)
+
* C (BB) - VI - B (the alienated spirit"), part II - on enlightment- and III - on the French revolution - could be found in Hegel's "Lectures on Philosophy of History" (and his "Lectures on the History of Philosophy")
* C includes much of the chapter of Morality in Hegel's Philosopphy of Right / Objective spirit,  
+
* C includes much of the chapter on Morality in Hegel's "Philosophy of Right" / "Objective Spirit", but also includes topics discussed in conjunction with Kant and Schiller in Hegel's "Lectures on the History of Philosophy"
but also topics discussed in conjunction with Kant and Schiller in Hegel's Lectures on History of Philosophy
+
* CC / VII Religion is of course covered (in much more details) in Hegel's "Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion" etc.
* CC / VII Religion is of course covered (in much more details) in Hegel's Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion etc.
 
  
 
This leads to several interesting observations:
 
This leads to several interesting observations:
  
* most of the topics from the Phenomenology are covered in Hegel's later works and Lectures, and usualy in greater details and more precise. However, some of Hegel's descriptions in his Phenomenology are more vivid/fresh/poetic (e.g. compare how he describes the enlightment in the Phenomenology and in later works).
+
* most of the topics from the "Phenomenology" are covered in Hegel's later works and Lectures, and usualy in greater details and more precise. However, some of Hegel's descriptions in his "Phenomenology" are more vivid/fresh/poetic (e.g. compare how he describes the enlightment in the "Phenomenology" and in later works).
  
* the sequence of topics in the Phenomenology roughly follows the table of content of the "Philosophy of Spirit/Mind" (the 3rd volume of Hegel's later Encyclopedia) but it has some places where the sequences are different (however, to be fair, one would need to compare not the Encyclopedia version of the Philosophy of Spirit/Mind, but the Jena versions of his system).
+
* the sequence of topics in the "Phenomenology" roughly follows the table of content of the "Philosophy of Spirit/Mind" (the 3rd volume of Hegel's later "Encyclopedia"), but it has some places where the sequence is different (however, to be fair, one would need to compare not the Encyclopedia version of the Philosophy of Spirit/Mind, but the Jena versions of his system).
  
* some few topics (like the critique of Phrenomenology) can not be found anywhere in the later works, but could mostly be deduced from the later works (when one thinks from the point of view of these later works, how Hegel would have judged such a topic).
+
* some few topics (like the critique of "Phenomenology") can not be found anywhere in the later works, but could mostly be deduced from the later works (when one thinks from the point of view of these later works, how Hegel would have judged such a topic).
 +
 
 +
* On the other hand, many topics which Hegel covers in his later works, even in his "Philosophy of Spirit", is missing in the "Phenomenology" e.g. in the 1st part of the "Philosophy of Spirit", the "Subjective Spirit", the topics discussed in its first part ("Anthropology") and its 3rd part ("Psychology") are more or less missing in the "Phenomenology". Another example are Hegel's Lectures (on World History, Aesthetics, Religion and Philosophy), where the "Phenomenology" covers only a fraction of their content, not only because these Lectures consist in print 9 volumes compared to the one volume of the "Phenomenology", so that these could cover much more details, but also because many parts of these Lectures were not relevant to Hegel's "Phenomenology" and because several topics discussed in the Lectures were only added to Hegl's System after he had written the Phenomenology, see the next section).
  
 
== Changes in Hegel's System and Logic after he wrote the Phenomenology ==
 
== Changes in Hegel's System and Logic after he wrote the Phenomenology ==
  
OTOH, by reading what Hegel wrote in his Nuernberg period, and his
+
OTOH, by reading what Hegel wrote in his Nürnberg period, and his Heidelberg and Berlin period and comparing it with the Phenomenology, we see many substantial changes in Hegel's conception of his System as such, of his Logic as well and in many details:
Heidelberg and Berlin period and comparing it with the Phenomenology,  
+
 
we see many substantial changes in Hegel's conception of his System as such,  
+
* Hegel's philosophy was constantly evolving, even in his late Berlin years, as comparisons of his Berlin Lectures of different years have shown (as an easy accessible example, also in english translation, see Walter Jaeschke's collection of different Lectures on the Subject of Philosophy of Religion, btw a subject that only emerged as such in Berlin).
of his Logic as well and in many details:
+
 
 +
:The foundation of Hegel's system, its method and architecture is in his "Science of Logic". So only after writing down his "Science of Logic" Hegel had the foundation for a more stable System (even during his Nürnberg years his concepts of Logic evolved, and, as we see from comparing of the 1st and the 2nd edition of the "Science of Logic", or from comparing the Encylopedia Logics of 1827/1830 and the "Science of Logic", even in this foundamental area Hegel kept developing his system until his death). If the "Science of Logic" is the abstract blueprint of the system, the "Encyclopedia" is the real blueprint, and this was only finished 1817 in Heidelberg (and again even this one was changed significantly in Berlin in 1827). So only with the publictation of the "Science of Logic" and the "Encyclopedia" Hegel's system became kind of stable.
 +
 
 +
So many concepts changed after Hegel's "Phenomenology" was published:
  
* Hegel's philosophy was constantly evolving, even in his late Berlin years, as comparisons of his Berlin Lectures of different years have shown (as an easy accessible example, also in english translation, see Jaeschke's collection of different Lectures on the Subject of Philosophy of Religion, btw a subject that only emerged as such in Berlin).
+
* Many concepts of his Logic evolved only after Hegel's Jena years (it seems that many basic aspects, like the Measurement (3rd part of being), most part of the Logic of Essence (2nd part of Hegel's Logic) and also some general architectural aspects of Hegel's Logic of Concept (3rd part of Hegel's Logic) as well as the overall architecture of the "Science of Logic" were not ready  or at least not of the same order and content than the later System, when we judge from Hegel's Jena and early Nürnberg Notes. This also includes that the Jena Hegel (and the early Nürnberg Hegel as well) seems still to have maintained the separation of Logic and Metaphysics.
  
: The foundation of Hegel's system, its method and architecture is in his "Science of Logic". So only after writing down his Science of Logic Hegel had the foundation for a more stable System (even during
+
* Hegel's knowledge of cultures outside Europe, indluding China, India, Persia and Egypt (other than from the Bible) mainly evolved during his Berlin years, giving his lectures a broad geographical, (inter)cultural and historical depth.
his Nuernberg years his concepts of Logic evolved, and, as we see from comparing of the 1st and the 2nd edition of the Science of Logic, or from the Encclopedia Logics of 1827/1830 and of the
 
Science of Logic, even in this foundamental area Hegel kept developing his system). If the Science of Logic is the abstract blueprint of the system, the Encyclopedia is the real blueprint, and this was only finished 1817 in Heidelberg (and again even this one was changed significantly in Berlin in 1827). So only with the publictaion of the Science of Logic and the Encyclopedia Hegel's system became kind of stable.
 
  
So many concepts changed after Hegel's Phenomenology was published:
+
* His concept of Philosophy of History also changed due to the encounter with Carl Ritter, together with Humboldt one of the founders of modern Geography and Hegel's collegue in Berlin as worldwide first professor of Geography.
  
* Many concepts of his Logic evolved only after Hegel's Jena years (it seems that many basic aspects, like the Measurement (3rd part of being), most part of the Logic of Essence and also some general architectural aspects of Hegel's Logic of Concept as well as the overall architecture of the Science of Logic were not ready  or at least not of the same order and content than the later System, when we judge from Hegel's Jena and early Nuernberg Notes. This also includes that the Jena Hegel (and the early Nuernberg Hegel as well) seems still to have maintained the separation of Logic and Metaphysics.
+
* Many of Hegel's concepts of Art were changed and broadend due to contact with many artists, art collectors and performers in his Heidelberg and Berlin years, visits to artworks in Holland, Vienna and France, etc. This also included new insights in the romantic art, not present in his Jena years.  
  
Hegel's knowledge of China, India, Persia and Egypt (other than from the Bible) mainly evolved during his Berlin years, giving his lectures a broad geographical, (inter)cultural and historical depth.
+
* Hegel's views on Religion changed due to more encounter with many modern jews in Berlin and the competition with Schleiermacher. Among others, his understanding for the rational in the Christian religion grew deeper, as grew his insight in the various other religions. etcpp.
  
His concept of Philosophy of History also changed due to the encounter with Ritter, his collegue in Geography in Berlin. Many concepts of Art were changed and broadend due to contact with many artists, art collectors and performers in his Heidelberg and Berlin years, visits to artworks in Holland, Vienna and France, etc. This included also new insights in the romantic art not present in his
+
* While the concept of a systematic blueprint of his system can be found already in the 3 system drafts of his Jena period, the concept of his system of an Encyclopedia, as a Cycle of Cycle, seems to have emerged only in his Nürnberg period.
Jena years.  
 
  
His views on Religion changed due to more encounter with many modern jews in Berlin and the competition with Schleiermacher. Among others, his understanding for the rational in the christian
+
Of course, one does not need to exegerate these differences, many basic concepts of Hegel can indeed be traced at least to his Jena period or even to earlier periods of his life. When one knows what to look for, when one knows the old Hegel, one can explain Hegel's development starting from his youth and how many important ideas emerged in him at early stages.  
religion grew deeper as grew his insight in the various other religions. etcpp.
 
  
While the concept of a systematic blueprint of his system can be found already in the 3 system drafts of his Jena period, the concept of his System of an Encyclopedia, as a Cycle of Cycle, seems to have
+
But it is also undeniable that many discoveries of Hegel, including basic discoveries in his "Science of Logic", important to Hegel at later stage, were still undiscovered when he wrote the "Phenomenology".  
emerged only in his Nuernberg period.
 
  
Of course, one does not need to exegerate these differences, many basic concepts of Hegel can inded be traced at least to his Jena period or to earlier periods of his life. When one knows what to look for, when one knows the old Hegel, one can easily show his development from his youth and how many important ideas emerged in him at early stages. But it is also undeniable that many discoveries of Hegel, including basic discoveries in his Science of Logic, important to him at later stage, were still uncovered when he wrote the Phenomenology. So one needs to be very prudent not to confuse the
+
So one needs to be very prudent not to confuse the Hegel of the "Phenomenology" with the later Hegel (while there is, as mentioned, also lot of common ground).
Hegel of the Phenomenology with the later Hegel (while there are, as mentioned, also lot of common ground).
 
  
However, we are therfor save to say that the Phenomenology is not perfectly fitting with his later system. It is of course most fitting to the version of his system as it was 1806/07 (this is the cause of some of the slight disservice Hegel's Phenomenology does, when one takes it 1:1 as an introduction to the mature system of Hegel's later Berlin years).
+
However, we are therfor save to judge that the "Phenomenology" is ''not'' perfectly fitting with his later system. It is of course most fitting to the version of his system as it was 1806/07 (this is the cause of some of the slight disservice Hegel's "Phenomenology" does, when one takes it 1:1 as an introduction to the mature system of Hegel's later Berlin years).
  
(That to me is also one of the reasons of Hegel's later Berlin remarks on the Phenomenology, where he noted for himself something like: this is a pecular work of an early period of mine, lets not change
+
(That to me is also one of the reasons of Hegel's later Berlin remarks on the "Phenomenology", where he noted for himself something like: "this is a pecular work of an early period of mine, lets not change it beside some minor corrections".
it beside some minor corrections.
 
  
In my interpretations, the reason why Hegel wrote this is that his philosophy had changed so much in these years that making it completely compatible with his later philosophy would mean a complete
+
In my interpretations, the reason why Hegel wrote this is, that his philosophy had changed so much in these years that making his old work ("Phenomenology of Spirit") completely compatible with his later philosophy would mean a complete rewrite. So Hegel only decided for a reproduction of this historical work, with very slight minor corrections, as everything else would have meant too much work and too much distractions from Hegel's other projects.
rerwrite. So Hegel only decided for a reproduction of this historical work, with very slight minor corections, as everything else would have meant too much work and too much distractions form his other projects.
 
  
Of course this interpretation is hotly debatted, but at this stage it is enough to say that many scholars do share this interpretations - as well as many arguing against it).
+
Of course, this interpretation is hotly debatted, but at this stage it is enough to say that many scholars do share this interpretations - as well as many arguing against it).
  
 
== Is the Phenomenology required? Hegel's practice of teaching his Philosophy ==
 
== Is the Phenomenology required? Hegel's practice of teaching his Philosophy ==
Line 268: Line 247:
 
for all his students, one would expect him to lecture about this
 
for all his students, one would expect him to lecture about this
 
important topic at least once a year in his university years  
 
important topic at least once a year in his university years  
(or, in case he thinks it is too easy for him, to let his later pupils  
+
(or, in case he thought it was too easy for him, to let his later pupils  
 
and repetitors teach it for him) and to mention this work as precondition  
 
and repetitors teach it for him) and to mention this work as precondition  
 
for following his other lectures.
 
for following his other lectures.
Line 281: Line 260:
 
be worth a post of its own to show that one could indeed successfully
 
be worth a post of its own to show that one could indeed successfully
 
argue with Hegel for that role of the Logic). Of course, Hegel had
 
argue with Hegel for that role of the Logic). Of course, Hegel had
no Phenomenology at that time, so it seems kind of unfair to expect
+
no "Phenomenology" at that time, so it seems kind of unfair to expect
him to teach the Phenomenology before he wrote it.  
+
him to teach the "Phenomenology" before he wrote it.  
  
 
And indeed, in his last year at Jena, 1806, when he was in the process  
 
And indeed, in his last year at Jena, 1806, when he was in the process  
of writing and printing the Phenomenology (the Phenomenology was written  
+
of writing and printing the "Phenomenology" (the "Phenomenology" was written  
 
and printed in parts, so the first parts were already available 1806  
 
and printed in parts, so the first parts were already available 1806  
befor Hegel had finished the later parts and the foreword, that is  
+
before Hegel had finished the later parts and the foreword, that is  
 
also one reaon why people give 1806/07 as publishing date for the  
 
also one reaon why people give 1806/07 as publishing date for the  
Phenomenology instead of just one year), he gave a lecture on  
+
"Phenomenology" instead of just one year), he gave a lecture on  
the Phenomenology, where he combined the Phenomenology and the Logic  
+
the "Phenomenology", where he combined the "Phenomenology" and the Logic  
 
in the classical way one would expect it from Hegel's few remarks  
 
in the classical way one would expect it from Hegel's few remarks  
on the conection of the Phenomenology and his Science of Logic  
+
on the conection of the "Phenomenology" and his "Science of Logic"
 
in his later works.  
 
in his later works.  
  
 
(However, from the spare reports on this lecture, we do not know how much  
 
(However, from the spare reports on this lecture, we do not know how much  
of the Phenomenology was coverd in that lecture. Some ascpects, like  
+
of the "Phenomenology" was coverd in that lecture. Some ascpects, like  
the availibility only of the start of the Phenomenology in print at that time  
+
the availibility only of the start of the "Phenomenology" in print at that time  
 
and the huge amount of material to cover in that one lecture, make it  
 
and the huge amount of material to cover in that one lecture, make it  
most reasonable to believe that Hegel only taught a much abreviated version  
+
most reasonable to believe that Hegel only taught a much abbreviated version  
of his Phenomenology, may be only the fist 3-4 chapters and may be an  
+
of his "Phenomenology", may be only the fist 3-4 chapters and may be an  
abreviated version of the last chapter, so that he only tought  
+
abbreviated version of the last chapter, so that he only tought  
about A I,II,II and DD and omitted most of the rest).
+
about A I,II,III and DD and omitted most of the rest).
  
In his Nuernberg years, Hegel came in his teachings (as a professor/teacher  
+
In his Nürnberg years, Hegel came in his teachings (as a professor/teacher  
 
in the local Gymnasium, which included teaching Philosophy) two times close
 
in the local Gymnasium, which included teaching Philosophy) two times close
to the topics of his Phenomenology (in his later Nuernberg years), however  
+
to the topics of his Phenomenology (in his later Nürnberg years), however  
they seem to cover more the stuff of the later Phenomenology of the  
+
they seem to cover more the stuff of the later chapter called "Phenomenology"
Encyclopedia, not the complete Phenomenology of 1806/07.
+
in the "Encyclopedia", not the complete "Phenomenology" of 1806/07.
  
 
During his folowing professorship in Heidelberg, Hegel did not teach  
 
During his folowing professorship in Heidelberg, Hegel did not teach  
his Phenomenology (see Documents on Hegel's Life, #99, in Hegel'S letters,  
+
his "Phenomenology" (see Documents on Hegel's Life, #99, in Hegel's letters,  
 
Meiner Verlag Hamburg 1977, vol IV/1, p. 110-11), nor did he in Berlin  
 
Meiner Verlag Hamburg 1977, vol IV/1, p. 110-11), nor did he in Berlin  
 
(see in the same book/volume the document # 103 on page 110-125, btw,  
 
(see in the same book/volume the document # 103 on page 110-125, btw,  
 
this document also includes the lectures and repititions of Hegel's  
 
this document also includes the lectures and repititions of Hegel's  
assistant von Henning)
+
assistant von Henning, who also did not teach the "Phenomenology" according
 +
to this document)
  
Instead, as mentioned in my other mail, Hegel gave a more or less long
+
Instead Hegel gave a more or less long introduction at the begining of every of his lectures, where he would sort out basic misconceptions and give a certain overview on his subject and about methological questions. Out of this (and on zillions remarks all along his texts) it also becomes clear, that he usualy refered to his "Science of Logic" as the foundation that is to master in order to gain a scientific understanding of his teachings (when you look at the first footnote in the first foreword of the "Science of Logic", you will even find such a remark concerning the "Phenomenology" itself, where he writes that the insight in the method happens in the "Science of Logic").
introduction at the begining of every of his lectures, where he would
 
sort out basic misconceptions and give a certain overview on his subject
 
and about methological questions. Out of this (and on zillions remarks all
 
along his texts) it also becomes clear that he usualy refered to his
 
Science of Logic as the foundation that is to master in order to gain
 
a scientific understanding of his teachings (when you look at the first
 
footnote in the first foreword of the Science of Logic, you will even
 
find such a remark concerning the Phenomenology itself, where he writes
 
that the insight in the method happens in the science of Logic).
 
  
== references Hegel gives to the Phenomenology in his later works and lectures ==
+
== References Hegel gives to the "Phenomenology" in his later works and lectures ==
When you look at the references Hegel gives to the Phenomenology in
+
When you look at the references Hegel gives to the "Phenomenology" in
 
his later works and lectures, you need to first be aware of these
 
his later works and lectures, you need to first be aware of these
change between his Nuernberg years (when he wrote the Science of Logic)
+
change between his Nürnberg years (when he wrote the "Science of Logic")
 
and his later years. I may go into further details dicsussing all these
 
and his later years. I may go into further details dicsussing all these
reefrences in a later article. For now it is enough to say that Hegel
+
references in a later article. For now it is enough to say that Hegel
 
indeed uses references to his Phenomenology all over his work, but there
 
indeed uses references to his Phenomenology all over his work, but there
 
are very few indications, especialy in his later works, which indicate
 
are very few indications, especialy in his later works, which indicate
that the study of his Phenomenologhy is a must for the study of Hegel's
+
that the study of his Phenomenology is a must for the study of Hegel's
Philosophy
+
Philosophy.

Latest revision as of 17:26, 1 December 2007

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Introduction

This text was first written by Kai Froeb for the Hegel-Intro list in December 2005. He explained his motivation for this text like this:

Given the relative weight Hegel's 1806/07 book "Phänomenolgie des Geistes" (in english: "Phenomenology of Spirit" or "Phenomenology of Mind" (in German, "Geist" means both spirit and mind), in the following text usualy abbriviated as "Phenomenology") is given in the Anglo-American and French reception of Hegel, my vote is indeed for lowering the relative importance of the "Phenomenology" in favour of the works of the post-Jena period (which especialy include the "Science of Logic" and the "Encyclopedia of Philosophical Science", but also the complete mature system, including the various lectures).

The "Phenomenology of Spirit" is a "ladder". Its main reason of being is a critical one: Philosophy does not start out of the blue, but instead has a given world as its starting point, with given world views. So one needs to start with these and examine and criticize them.

Therefore, you will find that also later in his books and lectures, Hegel devotes the significant part of his forwords to sorting out misconceptions about his subject before he begins his subject (because such misconception can very effectively block your understanding).

So instead of going thru the complete "Phenomenology", Hegel later chose to give a shortened (and often more specific to his respective subjects) critique as starting point of his lectures and books.

This is insofar appropriate as the contents of his books and lectures are already in themselve an implicit and often also an explicit critique of alternate conceptions and on top, you otherwise would never come to the "real meat", because you would always be occupied with the foreword.

So when people read thru the "Phenomenology of Spirit" as a foreword to the later system, as a tool to free their mind from misconceptions, as a precondition to a scientific approach to the complete system, this is very usefull.

However, when instead people take the Phenomenology for "the real thing", use it instead of the later system (or even interpret the later system thru the perspective of the "Phenomenology") or get stuck in the "Phenomenology" and /or devote so much time to the "Phenomenology", that they can not spare the adequate multiple time for the rest of the system (I know of many approaches to Hegel thru reading his "Phenomenology", both at university and in the web, which got stuck somewhere in the "Phenomenology", often even in its foreword) I think a serious reevaluation of the significance of the "Phenomenology" is more than appropriate.

Distinguishment between Phenomenology and its Foreword

When we talk about the Phenomenology, we need to distinguish between its foreword and the Phenomenology (the "ladder") itself.

The foreword of the Phenomenology was written by Hegel 1807, after the completion of the rest of the Phenomenology in 1806, and was intended to be not only the foreword of the Phenomenology, but of his complete system. So it has another status than the Phenomenology.

So when I talk about the Phenomenology in this following text, I usualy mean only the Phenomenology without its foreword, except when the context shows that I mean it otherwise (e.g. when I later in this acrticle address the differences between Hegel's conceptions of his Jena time and his more mature conceptions in his Heidelberg and Berlin time, which of course apply both to the foreword and to the rest of the book).

Is the Phenomenology required? Philosophy before Hegel

Just from looking at the practice of either previous philosophers, Hegel himself, at the time he developed his conclusions, and Hegel and his school teaching Hegel's Philosophy, there is an overwhelming trace of the contrary:

First of all, of course all Philosophers before Hegel (including his recent precessors, Kant, Fichte and Schelling) did not use the Phenomenology, neither to come to their conclusions, not to teach them.

This is of course trivial, but it means, that at least Philosophy before Hegel had means to come to results and teach Philosophy without the "Phenomenology".

Of course, you could argue that the Hegel in general and especialy his "Phenomenology" is such a revolution in philosophy, that indeed they break with such a tradition.

However, Hegel did not see himself as someone, who did a radical break with all tradition, but as someone who systematicaly included ("sublated") all reasonable from all philosophy before him.

See his famous foreword of his "Lectures about the History of Philosophy", for a famous example. You can also see it from the fact that Hegel included a treatment of the history of thoughts in many of his works, including the "Philosophy of History", "Lectures on Aestetics", "Lectures about the Philosophy of Religion" and the mentioned "Lectures about the History of Philosophy". He also included such remarks in his "Encyclopedia" (in his "Three Approaches to Objectivity") and it is well known, that his "Science of Logic" is also implicit and explicit refering to the "Lectures about the History of Philosophy". And of course, the "Phenomenology of Spirit" as such, is in most of its parts in itself discussing the various state of minds / spirits before the publication of the "Phenomenology" (so people obviously have come to these states of mind without the "Phenomenology").

So what Hegel does in his "Phenomenoloy" and his various other discussions of historical developments of philosophical insights is to make this process more explicit and more systematical, but the process itself happened without Hegel's help.

This is no wonder, because what Hegel, the philosophers before him and his students after him (and all mankind) share, is the longing for truth, which is the foundation of all these processes (of philosophy all over the time, of Hegel's exposition of it, as well as of those true students who come to learn from Hegel or other Philosophers before and after him).

So one can say, that one valid way to come to Hegel is of course to study systematicaly the Philosophy before Hegel, via Hegel's "Phenomenology", via Hegel's "Lecture about the History of Philosophy" or by studying these older Philosophers directly (at least this later approach will be no substitue for studying Hegel himself, but as Hegel wants to be the sublation of the philosophers before him, such study is a good preparation for him and we are only talking of preparations, of ways approaching Hegel here. Also, this later approach is obviously the one Hegel took himself).

See also the answer to the next question.

Is the Phenomenology required? Hegel writing the Phenomenology

Also, without allowing such a different approach (beside the Phenomenology), you would have a problem to explain how Hegel himself could write the Phenomenology in the first place (remember that what we want here is to recreate Hegel's own creative spirit/approach, not just to reproduce his works).

So Hegel himself needs to have another approach than the "Phenomenology" for himself to come to his results.

Of course, here you could argue that the process of writing the "Phenomenology of Spirit" was this aproach for Hegel.

So in this case, we are driven to the next questions:

  • Did Hegel write anything substantial before writing the "Phenomenology"?
  • Was Hegel finished with his basic insights after he wrote the "Phenomenology"?

Is the "Phenomenology" required? Hegel's works before the "Phenomenology"

From Hegel's major works, Hegel's "Phenomenology of Spirit" is his first book published. So this creates the illusion, that the "Phenomenology" is not only the entrance of Hegel's system for his pupils, but was also this entrance for Hegel himself.

However, even if you limit yourself to the works of the 6 years (1801-1806) of Hegel's Jena period (and there are good reasons to do so, as these works are of different charachter than the works before and the works of this Jena period are plenty enough in themselves), we first find Hegel's dissertation (containing a long critique of the Newton scholars of his time) and the many articles he wrote in the "Kritisches Journal der Philosophie" ("Critical Journal of Philosophy"), which he edited and wrote together with Schelling (containing famous works of Hegel like "The Difference between the philosophical Systems of Fichte and Schelling" (1801, translated by H.S. Harris and W. Cerf 1977), "Glauben und Wissen" (July 1802, translated as "Faith and Knowledge" by W. Cerf and H.S. Harris 1977), wich is a critique of Kant, Jacobi and Fichte, and Hegel's article "Über die wissenschaftliche Behandlungsarten des Naturrechtes [...]" (November 1802, translated as "Natural Law" by T.M. Knox 1975).

These articles should be well known and were published even at Hegel's time and so are included in all major compilations of Hegel's works (and should, as indicated by the translations given above, also be well known to the English speaking public of today).

But for the sake of the discussion here, even more important is that we find in this period (before Hegel began to write the "Phenomenology") from Hegel at least 3 big drafts of a System (the 1st and 3rd are only covering the topics named "Philosophy of Nature" and "Philosophy of Spirit" in Hegel's later system, the 2nd one is only discussing Logic and "Philosophy of Nature").

There also exist many more manuscripts of Hegel from this time (among them his famous "System der Sittlichkeit" ("System of Ethical Life"), which roughly covers the topics of Hegel's later "Philosophy of Right" /v"Objective Spirit"), which he also used to prepare his Lectures in Jena. In Jena, he gave Lectures about his complete System of Philosophy, about Logic and various other subjects (it is not completely clear for today's research which of Hegel's many lectures, anounced in the anouncements of the university, Hegel realy held and which were only anounced, but not held). There also exist some more or less extensive student notes of some of these lectures.

(All this stuff can be read, with extensive philological remarks, in the volumes 5-9, covering Hegel's Jena years, of the "Hegel Werke" of the Bochum Hegel Archiv, published at Meiner Verlag, Hamburg)

When one looks at this material (Hegel's Jena manuscripts, lectures and publications before the publication of the "Phenomenology") all together, we see it cover most of the content of the "Phenomenology" already (which also explains how Hegel could write most of the parts of the "Phenomenology" rather fast) and also find many topics of the later System in them as well.

One well known philological Hegel expert even noted that, would Hegel not have written his "Phenomenology", but only what he wrote before the "Phenomenology" and that what he wrote after the "Phenomenology", we would hardly note any omission.

Parallels between content of the Phenomenology and Hegel's later works

It would be fun to try to parallel the various chapters of the Phenomenology best with his later works and Lectures. One would find that nearly all chapters can be indeed found somewhere in the later system.

This later system, as written down in draft form in Hegel's "Encyclopedia" (1st edition, 1817 in Heidelberg, much expanded and reworked 2nd edition in Hegel's later years in Berlin, 3rd, again a bit reworked and expanded version 1830), contains a part discussing the "Subjective Spirit/Mind" (which itself is the first part of the 3rd part of the "Encyclopedia"). This contains in its middle a chapter named "Phenomenology", where we can find, as one would expect from its name, an abbreviated version of the "Phenomenology of Spirit" (its first sections A upto CC (AA), to be exact).

However, we could also rediscover more parts of the "Phenomenology" in the later system:

  • A II is the topic of the Logic of Essence in the Science of Logic
  • A III can be partly found in the Logic, and partly in the Philosophy of Nature
  • C (BB) - VI - B (the alienated spirit"), part II - on enlightment- and III - on the French revolution - could be found in Hegel's "Lectures on Philosophy of History" (and his "Lectures on the History of Philosophy")
  • C includes much of the chapter on Morality in Hegel's "Philosophy of Right" / "Objective Spirit", but also includes topics discussed in conjunction with Kant and Schiller in Hegel's "Lectures on the History of Philosophy"
  • CC / VII Religion is of course covered (in much more details) in Hegel's "Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion" etc.

This leads to several interesting observations:

  • most of the topics from the "Phenomenology" are covered in Hegel's later works and Lectures, and usualy in greater details and more precise. However, some of Hegel's descriptions in his "Phenomenology" are more vivid/fresh/poetic (e.g. compare how he describes the enlightment in the "Phenomenology" and in later works).
  • the sequence of topics in the "Phenomenology" roughly follows the table of content of the "Philosophy of Spirit/Mind" (the 3rd volume of Hegel's later "Encyclopedia"), but it has some places where the sequence is different (however, to be fair, one would need to compare not the Encyclopedia version of the Philosophy of Spirit/Mind, but the Jena versions of his system).
  • some few topics (like the critique of "Phenomenology") can not be found anywhere in the later works, but could mostly be deduced from the later works (when one thinks from the point of view of these later works, how Hegel would have judged such a topic).
  • On the other hand, many topics which Hegel covers in his later works, even in his "Philosophy of Spirit", is missing in the "Phenomenology" e.g. in the 1st part of the "Philosophy of Spirit", the "Subjective Spirit", the topics discussed in its first part ("Anthropology") and its 3rd part ("Psychology") are more or less missing in the "Phenomenology". Another example are Hegel's Lectures (on World History, Aesthetics, Religion and Philosophy), where the "Phenomenology" covers only a fraction of their content, not only because these Lectures consist in print 9 volumes compared to the one volume of the "Phenomenology", so that these could cover much more details, but also because many parts of these Lectures were not relevant to Hegel's "Phenomenology" and because several topics discussed in the Lectures were only added to Hegl's System after he had written the Phenomenology, see the next section).

Changes in Hegel's System and Logic after he wrote the Phenomenology

OTOH, by reading what Hegel wrote in his Nürnberg period, and his Heidelberg and Berlin period and comparing it with the Phenomenology, we see many substantial changes in Hegel's conception of his System as such, of his Logic as well and in many details:

  • Hegel's philosophy was constantly evolving, even in his late Berlin years, as comparisons of his Berlin Lectures of different years have shown (as an easy accessible example, also in english translation, see Walter Jaeschke's collection of different Lectures on the Subject of Philosophy of Religion, btw a subject that only emerged as such in Berlin).
The foundation of Hegel's system, its method and architecture is in his "Science of Logic". So only after writing down his "Science of Logic" Hegel had the foundation for a more stable System (even during his Nürnberg years his concepts of Logic evolved, and, as we see from comparing of the 1st and the 2nd edition of the "Science of Logic", or from comparing the Encylopedia Logics of 1827/1830 and the "Science of Logic", even in this foundamental area Hegel kept developing his system until his death). If the "Science of Logic" is the abstract blueprint of the system, the "Encyclopedia" is the real blueprint, and this was only finished 1817 in Heidelberg (and again even this one was changed significantly in Berlin in 1827). So only with the publictation of the "Science of Logic" and the "Encyclopedia" Hegel's system became kind of stable.

So many concepts changed after Hegel's "Phenomenology" was published:

  • Many concepts of his Logic evolved only after Hegel's Jena years (it seems that many basic aspects, like the Measurement (3rd part of being), most part of the Logic of Essence (2nd part of Hegel's Logic) and also some general architectural aspects of Hegel's Logic of Concept (3rd part of Hegel's Logic) as well as the overall architecture of the "Science of Logic" were not ready or at least not of the same order and content than the later System, when we judge from Hegel's Jena and early Nürnberg Notes. This also includes that the Jena Hegel (and the early Nürnberg Hegel as well) seems still to have maintained the separation of Logic and Metaphysics.
  • Hegel's knowledge of cultures outside Europe, indluding China, India, Persia and Egypt (other than from the Bible) mainly evolved during his Berlin years, giving his lectures a broad geographical, (inter)cultural and historical depth.
  • His concept of Philosophy of History also changed due to the encounter with Carl Ritter, together with Humboldt one of the founders of modern Geography and Hegel's collegue in Berlin as worldwide first professor of Geography.
  • Many of Hegel's concepts of Art were changed and broadend due to contact with many artists, art collectors and performers in his Heidelberg and Berlin years, visits to artworks in Holland, Vienna and France, etc. This also included new insights in the romantic art, not present in his Jena years.
  • Hegel's views on Religion changed due to more encounter with many modern jews in Berlin and the competition with Schleiermacher. Among others, his understanding for the rational in the Christian religion grew deeper, as grew his insight in the various other religions. etcpp.
  • While the concept of a systematic blueprint of his system can be found already in the 3 system drafts of his Jena period, the concept of his system of an Encyclopedia, as a Cycle of Cycle, seems to have emerged only in his Nürnberg period.

Of course, one does not need to exegerate these differences, many basic concepts of Hegel can indeed be traced at least to his Jena period or even to earlier periods of his life. When one knows what to look for, when one knows the old Hegel, one can explain Hegel's development starting from his youth and how many important ideas emerged in him at early stages.

But it is also undeniable that many discoveries of Hegel, including basic discoveries in his "Science of Logic", important to Hegel at later stage, were still undiscovered when he wrote the "Phenomenology".

So one needs to be very prudent not to confuse the Hegel of the "Phenomenology" with the later Hegel (while there is, as mentioned, also lot of common ground).

However, we are therfor save to judge that the "Phenomenology" is not perfectly fitting with his later system. It is of course most fitting to the version of his system as it was 1806/07 (this is the cause of some of the slight disservice Hegel's "Phenomenology" does, when one takes it 1:1 as an introduction to the mature system of Hegel's later Berlin years).

(That to me is also one of the reasons of Hegel's later Berlin remarks on the "Phenomenology", where he noted for himself something like: "this is a pecular work of an early period of mine, lets not change it beside some minor corrections".

In my interpretations, the reason why Hegel wrote this is, that his philosophy had changed so much in these years that making his old work ("Phenomenology of Spirit") completely compatible with his later philosophy would mean a complete rewrite. So Hegel only decided for a reproduction of this historical work, with very slight minor corrections, as everything else would have meant too much work and too much distractions from Hegel's other projects.

Of course, this interpretation is hotly debatted, but at this stage it is enough to say that many scholars do share this interpretations - as well as many arguing against it).

Is the Phenomenology required? Hegel's practice of teaching his Philosophy

If Hegel would be convinced that his Phenomenology is absolutely needed for all his students, one would expect him to lecture about this important topic at least once a year in his university years (or, in case he thought it was too easy for him, to let his later pupils and repetitors teach it for him) and to mention this work as precondition for following his other lectures.

Interesting enough, this expectation is not met by what really happend.

In Jena, Hegel held two times lectures that came close to an introduction to (his) Philosophy.

The first one, at the begining of his career, was meant to give the introduction by teaching Logic itself (and it would be worth a post of its own to show that one could indeed successfully argue with Hegel for that role of the Logic). Of course, Hegel had no "Phenomenology" at that time, so it seems kind of unfair to expect him to teach the "Phenomenology" before he wrote it.

And indeed, in his last year at Jena, 1806, when he was in the process of writing and printing the "Phenomenology" (the "Phenomenology" was written and printed in parts, so the first parts were already available 1806 before Hegel had finished the later parts and the foreword, that is also one reaon why people give 1806/07 as publishing date for the "Phenomenology" instead of just one year), he gave a lecture on the "Phenomenology", where he combined the "Phenomenology" and the Logic in the classical way one would expect it from Hegel's few remarks on the conection of the "Phenomenology" and his "Science of Logic" in his later works.

(However, from the spare reports on this lecture, we do not know how much of the "Phenomenology" was coverd in that lecture. Some ascpects, like the availibility only of the start of the "Phenomenology" in print at that time and the huge amount of material to cover in that one lecture, make it most reasonable to believe that Hegel only taught a much abbreviated version of his "Phenomenology", may be only the fist 3-4 chapters and may be an abbreviated version of the last chapter, so that he only tought about A I,II,III and DD and omitted most of the rest).

In his Nürnberg years, Hegel came in his teachings (as a professor/teacher in the local Gymnasium, which included teaching Philosophy) two times close to the topics of his Phenomenology (in his later Nürnberg years), however they seem to cover more the stuff of the later chapter called "Phenomenology" in the "Encyclopedia", not the complete "Phenomenology" of 1806/07.

During his folowing professorship in Heidelberg, Hegel did not teach his "Phenomenology" (see Documents on Hegel's Life, #99, in Hegel's letters, Meiner Verlag Hamburg 1977, vol IV/1, p. 110-11), nor did he in Berlin (see in the same book/volume the document # 103 on page 110-125, btw, this document also includes the lectures and repititions of Hegel's assistant von Henning, who also did not teach the "Phenomenology" according to this document)

Instead Hegel gave a more or less long introduction at the begining of every of his lectures, where he would sort out basic misconceptions and give a certain overview on his subject and about methological questions. Out of this (and on zillions remarks all along his texts) it also becomes clear, that he usualy refered to his "Science of Logic" as the foundation that is to master in order to gain a scientific understanding of his teachings (when you look at the first footnote in the first foreword of the "Science of Logic", you will even find such a remark concerning the "Phenomenology" itself, where he writes that the insight in the method happens in the "Science of Logic").

References Hegel gives to the "Phenomenology" in his later works and lectures

When you look at the references Hegel gives to the "Phenomenology" in his later works and lectures, you need to first be aware of these change between his Nürnberg years (when he wrote the "Science of Logic") and his later years. I may go into further details dicsussing all these references in a later article. For now it is enough to say that Hegel indeed uses references to his Phenomenology all over his work, but there are very few indications, especialy in his later works, which indicate that the study of his Phenomenology is a must for the study of Hegel's Philosophy.