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The Structure Of Desire And Recognition: Self-Consciousness And Self-Constitution

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Chapter Summary

Kant held that what distinguishes an object in our experience from the mere subjective play of representations is rule-governed unity. Hegel's own most famous discussion of the issues is found in the first four chapters of his 1807 Phenomenology of Spirit. This chapter argues that while the general issue of the logic of the relation between independence and dependence is certainly applicable to the relation between spontaneous apperception and the passive empirical self, McDowell's interpretation, however rich in itself, fails to do justice to the radicality of what Hegel actually proposes. It then argues that Hegel means what he says when he says that self-consciousness is desire überhaupt, means that to be relevant to the question of the apperceptive nature of consciousness itself, and that he thereby provides the basis for the claim that self-consciousness attains its satisfaction only in another self- consciousness.

Keywords:Begierde überhaupt; Hegel; Kant; self-consciousness



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