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Lectures on the History of Moral and Political Philosophy$
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Jonathan Wolff and G. A. Cohen

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691149004

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691149004.001.0001

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Hegel: Minds, Masters, and Slaves

Hegel: Minds, Masters, and Slaves

(p.183) Chapter 6 Hegel: Minds, Masters, and Slaves
Lectures on the History of Moral and Political Philosophy

G. A. Cohen

, Jonathan Wolff
Princeton University Press

This chapter examines G. W. F. Hegel's dialectic of the master and the slave which he articulated in his book Phenomenology of Spirit and how it is related to his general philosophy. Hegel thought that everything the mind, any mind, experiences is in some sense a product of mind itself. One way of explaining how he arrived at this strange idea is by describing how he responded to the thought of Immanuel Kant. Kantian philosophy features a set of dualities or oppositions, such as those between freedom and necessity, between the sensibility and the understanding, between the analytic and the synthetic, and between the infinite and the finite. Whereas Kant loved dichotomies, Hegel abhorred ultimate dichotomies in the scheme of things. The chapter considers some tenets of Absolute Idealism in order to elucidate some of the more general philosophical questions with which Hegel was concerned in the course of his master/slave discussion.

Keywords:   master, slave, G. W. F. Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit, philosophy, mind, Immanuel Kant, Absolute Idealism

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