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Phenomenology of Spirit 1st Edition

71 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0198245971
ISBN-10: 0198245971
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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, German (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

G.W.F. Hegel (1770-1831) is one of the great figures in the history of Western thought, and the most important philosopher of his time.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 595 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198245971
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198245971
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.2 x 5.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,612 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Reader From Aurora on July 30, 2008
Format: Paperback
The following comments pertain to the Miller translation of Hegel's Phenomenology of the Spirit published by Oxford University Press. Arguably the Phenomenology is one of the most significant works in modern philosophy, certainly in German idealism. While clearly an important work, even by the arcane standards of German idealism it is a difficult read for the non-Hegelian. And, can be nearly impenetrable if approached without the assistance of a skilled guide (or two). The following comments are limited to the respective quality of the Oxford University Press edition, and, to offer some potential resources that may be helpful for readers new to Hegel.

First. In addition to the text of the Phenomenology a foreword and para by para commentary by Findlay is also included. Though he is a capable thinker, Findlay's commentary is rather terse and may be of limited help to first time readers. From a physical stand point, while the font is of an adequate size, the margins are relatively small and not conducive to copious note making.

Second. With regard to additional resources, Robert Stern's commentary in the Routledge Philosophy Guidebook series is quite good as a starting. It is readable, short, and clear - not overly laden with technical jargon and its citations are referenced to the Miller translation. A modest drawback to Stern is the lack of a glossary. Hegelian terminology can be difficult and some assistance in this regard would be useful. More advanced students may wish to augment Stern with a more detailed commentary from the likes of Harris, Hyppolite or Lauer.

Third. J. Bernstein has a wonderful yearlong graduate-level course discussing the Phenomenology available on-line for no cost at Kudos to the folks who have made this available it is an outstanding resource.

Overall, this is a solid version of the Phenomenology that offers good value to the purchaser.
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95 of 106 people found the following review helpful By John Russon on December 26, 2003
Format: Paperback
It doesn't make any sense to rate this work at anything less than 5 stars, since it's one of the most influential works of the last 200 years. It was written in 1806, and it is Hegel's attempt to demonstrate the systematic way in which human experience develops, from its simplest roots in sensory life to its highest fulfilment in scientific, political and religious experience. This was a work that took Kant's revolutionary insights and produced a new philosophy of the human person that prefigured the developments of Marx, Freud, existentialism, deconstruction and so on. Human experience is here understood in a rigorously anti-reductive way: Hegel will not allow meaningful dimensions of human experience to be ignored in the way that they typically are in too-facile theories of experience (like sense-data empiricism, physicalist reductionism, possessive individualism, etc.). Experience is also understood dynamically: because of its own internal reason, experience develops into progressively more complex forms. It is a masterful work, and it takes years of serious study to master this book. It is a very difficult book to work with, because it is written in a very daunting manner, which means it is not realistic to imagine reading it outside of a university course in which someone can lead you into the reading of Hegel's phenomenology. This translation by Miller is also imperfect. This translation was meant as an improvement to the older Baillie translation but, while this one is marginally more "literal," it does not do as good a job as Baillie at communicating the sense of what's being said. If you can only have one translation, this is probably the better choice, but if you are studying the book seriously, I highly recommend hunting down a copy of Baillie's translation as well.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A. Rodriguez on December 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
This work by Hegel is a masterpiece but the Miller translation is awful. The rendition by Bailee (a 19th century British interpreter of Hegel) is far superior. Why you ask? Well, the Bailee translation captures the lyrical flavor of Hegel's highly belabored prose while Miller is content to chop and pulvrerize and parse into totally incomprehensible short-range English sentences Hegel's adventurous and self-involved prose.

Don't get me wrong. When I was much younger (circa 1980) I welcomed Miller's translation (I like his rendition of Hegel's 'larger' Science of Logic, with a co-translator). But the Phenomenology by Miller is simply completely unintelligible. (Even with the end-notes--opacity raised to the 3rd power!). Hegel's Phenomenology is a work of allusion, or if you like 'description,'not epistemological clarification, or explication, like Kant's Critique. So, don't be fooled by a newer translation. Good luck!

However, should you decide to focus only on the famous Preface do obtain W. Kaufmann's excellent translation.
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96 of 117 people found the following review helpful By on January 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
For over 180 years students have complained that Hegel's best-known book of philosophy, the PHENOMENOLOGY OF MIND (alias PHENOMENOLOGY OF SPIRIT), is too difficult to read. A few have tried to summarize Hegel's book, and often their summaries were longer than the original, and just as difficult to read.
The PHENOMENOLOGY OF MIND is a study of appearances, images and illusions throughout the history of human consciousness. More specifically, Hegel presents the evolution of consciousness. Hegel traces the evolution of consciousness from savage and barbaric forms. Hegel's aim was to set forth a philosophical system so comprehensive that it would encompass the ideas of his predecessors and create a conceptual framework in terms of which both the past and future could be philosophically understood. Such an aim would require nothing short of a full account of reality itself. Thus, Hegel conceived the subject matter of philosophy to be reality as a whole. This reality, or the total developmental process of everything that is, he referred to as the Absolute, or Absolute Spirit. According to Hegel, the task of philosophy is to chart the development of Absolute Spirit. This involves (1) making clear the internal rational structure of the Absolute; (2) demonstrating the manner in which the Absolute manifests itself in nature and human history; and (3) explicating the teleological nature of the Absolute, that is, showing the end or purpose toward which the Absolute is directed. The logic that governs this developmental process is dialectic. The dialectical method involves the notion that movement, or process, or progress, is the result of the conflict of opposites.
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