‘Philosophy of Subjective Spirit’ by Georg W. F. Hegel | Volume One: Introductions

Published by Springer Netherlands in 1978.

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The first volume of the English-German bilingual parallel text edition of the Philosophy of Subjective Spirit / Philosophie des subjektiven Geistes by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.

The Philosophy of Subjective Spirit is the first section of the third part of Hegel’s Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences. First published in 1817, Hegel published two additional editions of the Encyclopedia in his lifetime, one in 1827 and the third in 1830, just a year before his untimely death. That devoted his efforts to revising, expanding, and republishing the Encyclopedia provides a clear indication of the importance Hegel attached to it. Notwithstanding, the Philosophy of Subjective Spirit has remained a rather unfamiliar and not well understood area in Hegel’s thought.

Hegel lectured on the philosophy of spirit to his undergraduates five times between 1820 and 1830. There are five transcripts based on three of the lecture courses available. Three of the transcripts—by Hotho from 1822 and Griesheim and Kehler from 1825—were reissued and translated into English, edited and annotated here by Michael John Petry.

In 1994 two transcripts lost during World War II were rediscovered in Polish libraries. The publication of these transcripts by Franz Hespe and Burhard Tuschling constituted a major addition to the resources for understanding Hegel’s Philosophy of Subjective Spirit, constituting the first publication of a complete transcript of one of Hegel’s lecture courses from 1827 through 1828. That transcript has been translated into English by Robert Williams, with a very useful introduction.

These supplementary materials enhance the intelligibility of the materials published by Hegel in the Encyclopedia, which was intended by him to serve as an outline for his lecture courses.

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