Hegel and the Other

A Study of the Phenomenology of Spirit

By Philip J. Kain

Subjects: Philosophy, Hegel, German Idealism, History Of Philosophy
Series: SUNY series in Hegelian Studies
Paperback : 9780791464748, 332 pages, July 2005
Hardcover : 9780791464731, 332 pages, July 2005

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Table of contents



Introduction: Structure and Method of the Phenomenology

1. Consciousness and the Transcendental Deduction


I. Kant's Transcendental Deduction
II. Sense-Certainty
III. Perception
IV. Force and the Understanding


2. Self-Consciousness and the Other


I. Self-Consciousness
II. Lordship and Bondage
III. Theory and the Object
IV. Theory and Power
V. Stoicism and the Flight from Heteronomy
VI. Scepticism and the Attack on the Transcendental Self
VII. Unhappy Consciousness and the Highest Good


3. Reason in the World

Part A. Theoretical Reason


I. Affirmation of Idealism
II. Inner and Outer
III. Physiognomy and Phrenology


Part B. Practical Reason


IV. Pleasure and Necessity
V. The Law of the Heart
VI. Virtue and the Way of the World


Part C. Individuality that Takes Itself to Be Real In and For Itself


VII. The Spiritual Animal Kingdom and Deceit, or the Fact Itself
VIII. Reason as Lawgiver
IX. Reason as Testing Laws


4. Culture and Reality


I. The Transcendental Deduction and Culture
II. The Ethical Order, Women, and Oppression
III. Legal Status and the Emperor
IV. Culture and Estrangement
V. Enlightenment's Attack on Belief
VI. Reason, Revolution, and Terror
VII. Phenomenology or History?
VIII. Morality and the Final Purpose


5. Culture, Religion, and Absolute Knowing


I. Religion
II. Alienation and Estrangement Overcome
III. The Absolute and Its Deduction
IV. A Culturally Relative Absolute
V. Hegel's Ethnocentrism and Racism
VI. Cultural Relativism and Truth





A new, highly accessible commentary on Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit.


This volume by Philip J. Kain is one of the most accessibly written books on Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit available. Avoiding technical jargon without diluting Hegel's thought, Kain shows the Phenomenology responding to Kant in far more places than are usually recognized. This perspective makes Hegel's text easier to understand. Kain also argues against the traditional understanding of the absolute and touches on Hegel's relation to contemporary feminist and postmodern themes.

Philip J. Kain is Professor of Philosophy at Santa Clara University and is the author of Marx and Modern Political Theory: From Hobbes to Contemporary Feminism.


"…Kain offers a unique interpretation of Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit, thereby providing an interesting inquiry and explanation of both the workings of Hegel's text, and the underlying theory (or theories) that inform it. " — Philosophy in Review

"I admire the simplicity of Kain's style. He is determined to appropriate Hegel's thought, not his cumbersome syntax. There is no fudging on positions here, nor rhetorical camouflage. The reader gets the impression that Hegel can be understood on his own terms and then used to confront contemporary problems. It is a comprehensive interpretation that makes a major contribution to Hegel studies and to socio-cultural studies, raises important questions in the philosophy of religion, and engages recent and significant scholarship. " — Michael G. Vater, coeditor of Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit: New Critical Essays

"With exceptional straightforwardness of style, the author argues not only that a Kantian-type 'presuppositional necessity' is the bedrock of the phenomenological strategy in Hegel, but also that Kantian epistemology is at the center of the issues in the first three chapters of the Phenomenology, a treatment that is quite insightful and compelling. The extent of the connection to Kantian philosophy is unique and provocative and is certain to stimulate much discussion and debate. " — David A. Duquette, editor of Hegel's History of Philosophy: New Interpretations