The paper shows that Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit, is a discourse in which, the author has tried to achieve the in-achievable by attempting to break and transcend the limits of human reason. Though Hegel is well-aware of this existential limitation, still he has chased the dream of crossing that limit and succeeded though partially. …
This is why the basic concept used by Hegel for his analysis of self-consciousness is based around the idea, “the true is the whole”, an idea which marries the process with the end product (11). So it is a moment by moment analysis, a continuum, an ongoing flux. This can be further explained in Hegel’s words, just like an embryo that “has made itself into what it is in itself”, the absolute makes “itself into what it is in itself” (12). It has to be remembered that this is a process rather than a one-time act. From this point, Hegel has concluded that absolute is not “subject”, but is “self-movement” (13). Now I need to elaborate a little on the nature of this self-moving, self-reflecting, consciousness in relation with the process of studying it, as Hegel did. It is this self-moving absolute that Hegel has called, the “spirit”, which can make ‘science’ possible (14). Hegel has put his science as a whole approach to understanding reality as compared to the perceivably (for him) faulty science practiced in zoology, mathematics and so on. So Hegel has described his book as one that describes the “coming-to-be of Science as such or of knowledge” (15). By pointing to the problems of assuming something as “familiar” (whether it be “God”, “Nature” or “sensibility”), Hegel has argued that this assumption would render the real understanding of the same, impossible (18). So he (Hegel) has called for stripping the subject or object concerned “of the form in which it had become familiar” so that it can be understood (18). Through this method, Hegel wanted to prove that the need of the hour lied not in deporting the “immediate” from the experience of the individual...
The book “Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit” analyses history and evolution of human consciousness not in a systematic chronological order but through exploring selected phases and moments from it. Drawing from Budhha, Hegel has attempted to delineate the step by step evolution of human mind as a growth from a lower state to a higher one. In the preface, it is stated that “the self-conscious spirit”, in other words, human self-awareness that is pregnant with the awareness about the world, has never been static and that it has evolved a path in which it shed its substantial life behind and entered a state where “an insubstantial reflection of itself into itself ” had happened. The consequent “lost sense of solid and substantial being” suffered by self-conscious spirit, is what according to Hegel, has to provoke the philosophy of his times to interfere with a new range of explanations. And this is what Hegel saw as the relevance of his book. All the same, Hegel has alerted that such attempts should stay away from the act of “edifying” as it would lead to dreaming rather than understanding the whole truth. Hegel has been caught in the quagmire of his own argument. Hegel has refuted all the absolutist, epistemological and formalist paths of philosophical exploration through this discourse, and instead has introduced a method of looking at the self and the world from a perceivably holistic point of view that gives equal emphasize to the means and the end, the substance and essence. ...
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