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Hegel's Master-Slave Dialectic: From Unconscious to Conscious Freedom

$189 Limited inc GST / $170
Hegel's Master-Slave Dialectic: From Unconscious to Conscious Freedom

<p>Few passages in philosophy have influenced the history of the western thought as much as the master-slave dialectic that appears in G.W.F. Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit (1807). Marxism, post

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Few passages in philosophy have influenced the history of the western thought as much as the master-slave dialectic that appears in G.W.F. Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit (1807). Marxism, post colonialism, theology and the existentialist feminism of Simone de Beauvoir. In Hegel’s account, the master gains his freedom by owning a slave as he would otherwise not have leisure. By owning a slave he can define himself as free as opposed to the unfree slave. However, when the slave rebels the master discovers his freedom was an illusion as he depended on slave for his identity, while in the act of freedom the slave establishes a new kind of freedom, one between equals. The course will map the full importance of this idea.


SUGGESTED READING


COURSE OUTLINE

  • Who was Hegel: This lesson will introduce Hegel and his key ideas such as Dialectic, Geist and the Negative.
  • Context for Hegel and the master slave dialectic. This lesson will discuss Hegel’s aims in The Phenomenology of Spirit and what is even meant by the term phenomenology of spirit. We will also look at what was happening at the historical time period and how Hegel was influenced by the ideas of his time. After framing Hegel’s own political sympathies with the French revolution we will then turn to the dense ten pages in which Hegel ambiguously describes the master–slave dialectic.
  • Close passage reading of the first five pages. This lesson will be spent carefully reading Hegel’s description. As the ten pages are philosophically complex, this reading will not be completed in one lesson.
  • Close Passage reading continued: In this lesson we will continue to unpack the master-slave relationship, reading the rest of Hegel’s description.
  • Various interpretations: This lesson we will examine the various interpretations and whether they are correct of the master—slave dialectic. We will examine whether Hegel was talking about historical events or whether he was analysing humanity’s relationship to God, or both, and whether the dialectic configures to the old view that Hegel believed in a thesis, followed by an antithesis and concluded with a synthesis. Such a position is no longer widely held by Hegel scholars but there are still some who insist this is Hegel’s framework.
  • Hegel’s influence. In this lesson we will discuss how Hegel went on to influence differnet political and philosophical movements.


PLANNED LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Understand different interpretations of Hegel.
  2. Have read key passages of Hegel’s most influential work, The Phenomenology of Spirit.
  3. Have been introduced to key terms of Hegel.
  4. Have understood something of Hegel’s ideas and motivations in relation to the master–slave dialectic.
  5. Understand the importance of the dialectic to political and social movements and academic modes of analysis.