The Phenomenology of Spirit
The Online Study of Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit was started in 1997 with the help and able guidance of Robbert A. Veen and is being continued by Mike Marchetti. We also acknowledge a significant contribution by Beat Greuter. Many others have also kindly provided their support and input over the years.
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The Phenomenology is one of Hegel's most important books and provides an essential basis for properly understanding his later works. The dialectical method that he develops in the Phenomenology is used throughout his later system. It is much easier to discern that method in the more familiar context of consciousness that we find in the Phenomenology than in the later more abstract Logic. It is also necessary to first climb the "ladder" to the absolute "ether of Science" and out of the atmosphere of nescience before the Encyclopedia can be properly comprehended. The pure ether of Science lies beyond the finite, provincal egotism that characterizes the relative perspective of the empirical sciences. Science deals with the universality of pure thought although the finite, differentiated element is also preserved within that universality as its detrerminatness. However, the latter is understood in relation to the infinite and not abstractly or independently of it as we find in the ordinary conception of the finite. Hegel specifically points out that such a conception simply reduces the infinite, itself, to another finitude. This important point is made very definitively in the text of the Phenomenology and is often overlooked by those who go directly to the Encyclopedia without passing through the various stages of the development of consciousness found in the Phenomenology.
Above all, the most important task of the Phenomenology is to show that the Concept is the true self-developing object of Science. Truth is objective and thus there is an actual Science of Philosophy - where Philosophy is the Sciecne that has Truth as its object.