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Document Details :
Title: Begeerte en erkenning
Subtitle: Zelfbewustzijn in Hegels Fenomenologie van de geest
Author(s): VAN STEEN, Bram
Journal: Tijdschrift voor Filosofie
Volume: 81 Issue: 3 Date: 2019
The central claim of this article is that Hegel’s concept of desire is, according to his own terms as laid out in the Phenomenology of Spirit, an inadequate determination of self-consciousness. The argumentation consists of four parts. (1) An analysis of the epistemological problem and the methodological structure of the Phenomenology will offer a conceptual framework that allows for a reconstruction of Hegel’s argument as an attempt to conceptualize the internal unity of freedom and nature. (2) From this framework it follows that ‘desire’ is an inadequate attempt of self-consciousness to realize its own freedom in an immediate relation to nature. As such, it is a contradictory relation that can only be sublated into the relation of 'recognition'. (3) ‘Recognition’ represents the logical structure of 'spirit', and as such a formal solution to the epistemological problem as analyzed in (1). However, as but a formal determination of ‘spirit’, it has not yet incorporated the life of self-consciousness. (4) This omission will be corrected at the level of the lord/bondsman relation. It will be shown that, mediated by the experience of the 'fear of death', the bondsman is able to internalize the lord as his subjective essence, and consequently is able to overcome his contradictory relation to nature at the level of ‘second nature’, in his service of a lord that objectively represents his subjective essence as a free being.