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International Philosophical Quarterly

Volume 53, Issue 3, September 2013

Eric v. d. Luft
Pages 309-324
DOI: 10.5840/ipq201353332

From Self-Consciousness to Reason in Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit
Aporia Overcome, Aporia Sidestepped, or Organic Transition?

The transition from self-consciousness as the unhappy consciousness to reason as the critique of idealism is among the most important in Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit. Yet this transition is implicit and not readily discernible. This paper investigates (1) whether we can discover and describe any roadblock that the unhappy consciousness is able to knock down, or despite which it is able to maneuver, and so become reason; or (2) whether the unhappy consciousness arrives at an impassable dead end and either manages to create a detour around it or just begins again, unexplained and unexplainably, almost ex nihilo, as reason; or (3) whether, despite its implicitness, there exists a continuous, tenable, and unimpeded path from self-consciousness to reason.

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