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Recognition And Social Ontology: An Introduction

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Chapter Summary

One of Hegel's big ideas is that creatures with a self-conception are the subjects of developmental processes that exhibit a distinctive structure. Call a creature 'essentially self-conscious' if what it is for itself, its self- conception, is an essential element of what it is in itself. How something that is essentially self-conscious appears to itself is part of what it really is. This chapter shows how the tripartite account of erotic awareness can be used in a natural way to build a notion of recognition that satisfies these twin philosophical constraints on the interpretation of Hegel's notion of self-consciousness in terms of recognition. Doing so it clarifies the nature of the transition from desire to recognition, and explains why reciprocal recognition is the key to self-consciousness.

Keywords:Hegel; recognition; self-conscious; tripartite structure



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