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The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 10, 2007

Ancient and Modern Philosophy

Marina Bykova
Pages 147-153
DOI: 10.5840/wcp21200710125

The Philosophy of Subjectivity from Descartes to Hegel

In the modern Continental tradition the word "subjectivity" is used to denote all that refers to a subject, its psychological-physical integrity represented by its mind, all that determines the unique mentality, mental state, and reactions of this subject. Subjectivity in this perspective has become on the Continent the central principle of philosophy. Modern Continental philosophy not only maintains the value of the subject and awakens an interest in genuine subjectivity. It evolves from the subject and subjective self-consciousness as Jundamento inconcusso. Thus modern Continental philosophy should be understood and discussed as a philosophy of subjectivity. This paper deals, on the one hand, with the philosophical-historical reconstruction of modern philosophy of subjectivity from Descartes to Hegel, and, on the other hand, with an analysis and evaluation of Hegel's systematic approach to subjectivity in terms of philosophical tradition, especially from the viewpoint of the realization of the idealistic program of selfconsciousness represented by German idealists. Focusing on the major lines of development of the theory of subjectivity in Continental philosophy from Descartes to Hegel, 1(1) discuss the quandaries of early modern philosophers concerning subject and subjectivity and their attempts to resolve these quandaries by developing the fundamentally new (in contrast to previous tradition) understanding of subjectivity; (2) show that the issue of subjectivity was the basic topic of transcendental idealism; and (3) introduce Hegel's approach to subjectivity and briefly define its novel character.

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