This short text is quoted from Kojève, Alexandre: Introduction to the Reading of Hegel. Basic Books, New York, 1969. Beginning and End. Man is Self-Consciousness. He is conscious of himself, conscious of his human reality and dignity; and it is in this that he is essentially different from animals, which do not go beyond the […]

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Alexandre Kojève (1902-1968) was born in Russia and educated in Berlin. Kojeve gave his influential lectures on Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes from 1933-1939 in Paris, which were collected and edited by the poet Raymond Quesneau as Introduction to the Reading of Hegel (1947). After the Second World War Kojeve […]

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“Let us consider a gold ring. There is a hole and this hole is just as essential to the ring as the gold is; without the gold, the hole (which, moreover, would not exist) would not be a ring, but without the hole, the gold (which would none the less exist) would not be a ring either. But if one has found atoms in the gold, it is not at all necessary to look for them in the hole. And nothing indicates that the gold and the hole are in one and the same manner (of course, what is involved is the hole as ‘hole’ and not the air which is ‘in the hole’). The hole is a nothingness that subsists (as the presence of an absence) thanks to the gold which surrounds it. Likewise, Man who is Action could be a nothingness that ‘nihilates’ in being, thanks to the being which it ‘negates’.” From: Kojève, Alexandre

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This excerpt from Kojève, Alexandre: Introduction to the Reading of Hegel. Basic Books, New York, 1969, discusses the question “What is dialectic?” I am quoting from Chapter 1, and from the conclusion. The Dialectic of the Real and the Phenomenological Method in Hegel What is Dialectic, according to Hegel? We can give a first answer […]

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