Está en la página 1de 224

Studes L MARX ad HEGEL

on100 recyc/edaer
b1111b I^ MARX
|e Hyppollte
translated, with an Introduction, Notes,
and Bibliography, by
J11 11111
Harper Row, Publishers
New York, Evanston, San Francisco, London
This book was published in hardcder by Basic Books, Inc. It is here
reprinted by arrangement. Originally published in French under the title
IudcurA0rxcIc_cby Marcel Riviere et Cie in 1955.
b11)b LM WPH7PM ))L
Copyright @1969 by Basic Books, Inc.
All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No part of
this book may be used or reproduced in any manner without written
permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical
articles and reviews. For informataion address Harper &Row, Publishers,
Inc., 10 East 53rd Street, New York, N.Y. 10022. Published simultaneously
in Canada by Fitzhenry &Whiteside Limited, Toronto.
First PH)H LHLLLb edition published 1973.
bPMPH LLb M1W)H` 06-131766-7
to te
Englsh Edtion
Jean Hyppolite
I 1907 te Italian philosopher Benedetto Croce published an
essay entitled "What Is Living and What Is Dead in the Philosophy
of Hegel." Te time had come, it seemed, to make a fal reckon
ing of Hegel'" s inuence (which was considerable" everhere in
Europe except France) and what might survive of his legac.
Croce could not envisage a Hegelian renaissance; he was unable to
foresee tat by a stange paradox Hegel would become associated
with the existentialist curent whose pre<: ursors had been citcs
of the" Hegelian system. Kierkegaard and Marx had both taken
teir stand in oppositon to Hegelianism. Hegel's absolute ideasm
transcended histor, which it judged, and syntesid all past
philosophies in a system which was equally vast and profound.
But in that system te individual tinker and te historca indi
vidual disappeared. They were vanishig moments in a monumen
ta history which represented the progressive reaation of the
Absolute. Te individual goals and concrete projects of man were
not completely ignored; they were recognied as moments, judged
and absorbed by a cunning of reason which made use of them in
order to concrete its own reait. Man's libert, its adventures,
its DK, its failures or its partial successes, were all contibutory
to this theodicy.
But there has appeared in France, mEurope, and even in Amer
ica a philosophical movement, often ackowledging its origins in
Kierkegaard, and sometimes in Ma, which attempts to vinqicate
the rights of existence, the feedom of man in situaton, committed
to -a histor whose meaning is ambigous and without any absolute
V Preface to the English Edition
garantee however te risks are caculated. Te names associated
with t movement in France are tose of Sartre and Merleau
Pont, te movement being no enemy of Marsm. What it kept
fom Marism was only the anaysis of concrete historical situa
tons, refecton upon the economic bases of human existence, and
especialy the necessit of te liberaton of mand through the
proletarian suppression of its own historica alienaton. About this
tme te early works of Hegel and Ma were discovered. The
genesis of the Hegelian system fom te Theological Writings (a
very questonable ttle) to The Phenomenology of Mind, 1807,
and the origns of Ma and Engel's dialectica materialism fom
the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right, trough te Economic
and Philosophical Manuscpts, J44, to the Critique of Political
Economy of 1859 (the germ of Capital) consttuted a genuine
revelation for an entre generation. Before developing his system
Hegel had described an unhappy religious and historical con
sciousness remiscent of temes in Kierkegaard or Feuerbach.
Jean Wa published The Unhappy Consciousness in the Philos
ophy of Hegel, 1929. The present autor translated The Phe
nomenology of Mind into French for the fst tme and attempted
a historical commentaryl upon its puzzing descripton of the saga
of te human mind as a terrestial repetton of Dante's Divine
Comedy. Even tough t work culminates in an absolute kowl
edge which seems to swal ow existence, it remains of value for the
concrete detail and diversions in te jouey of consciousness. I
reveals the relatons between individual consciousness and nature
and especially with oter individual consciousnesses. It provides
a descripton much more than a deduction of the concrete bases
of a history consttuted by te encounter of individuals in a
stgge to te death for recogniton, an absolute war which, as
in Causewitz, is conceived as the exteme limit. Indeed, such a
struggle would bring human history to an impasse; the war would
have to end for want of combatants. Tat is why at frst recogniton
is not reciprocal; there are masters and slaves, but te slave
who works ends by dominatng the master because he actuaes
his negatvit in a product which subsists rather than through the
notingness of death. Te product, instment, tool, machine, i
deed, every means becomes a substantal end. History is the work
Pre/ace to the English Edition

of each and of all; it provides its own spectacle and representaton

in reli
gion, in , and fnally one day in philosophy. But te ele
ment of tragedy does not disappear; it survives in the relaton
between consciousness engaged in action and contemplatve con
sciousness. I this phenomenolog, as Mar understood it, Hegel
often described with great fdelit some of te fundamental char
acteristics of the
human condition, in partcular, those of the
alienaton of man through h conditons of work and existence.
Marx's Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts are noting else
than a commentary on The Phenomenolog of Mind.
A. Kojeve's Introduction to the Reading of Hegel,2 contains
lectues, given in the 1930's, that were extremely iuential at that
te. Going beyond a literal reading, Kojeve spoke of Hegel's
atheism and Hegel's interretation of te Napoleonic Empire which
at that time (1807) he saw as te flent of te French Revo
Te discover of the early writngs of Hegel and Mar has
enabled West European tinkers to understand in ters oter
than tose of the systematic Encclopedia and the schematc dialectic
of Engels what was the meaning of Hegel's Phenomenolog and
Marx's historical materialism. I has enabled us to raise in a fresh
way the problem of the relaton between Hegel and Marx. The
much too simple idea of a dialectcal reversal leading fom the
monism of the Hegelian Spirit to the materialist monism of Marx
has perhaps been revised. It is the theme of aienation and the
conquest of aienation which is now at the center of our attenton.
Actually it had been the inspiration of Marx's early works. But
there is an ebb and fow, and te generation which i succeeding
te existentialist generation is aso takng notice of te great
problems of structure that are domnant in Marx's Capital and
Hegel's Logic. Moreover, on this issue, which i closer to te
interest of East European commentators, it seems tat recent
analyses wil allow us to pose the problem of the relationship
between Hegel and Mar somewhat dif erently than hiterto.
Having discovered the pats followed by the young Hegel and
Marx, we are presenty engaged in refection upon the conse
quences of these exploratory joureys and upon the great works of
their maturity, naely, Hegel's Logic and Mar's Capital (wm
viii Preface to the Englsh Edition
its very important frst phase in Critique of Political Economy,
1859). The tde of existentialism now yields before te rise not
of essentalism (displaced forever) but of structuralism. At te
moment there are only a few instances of t approach to the
stcturalist features of Hegel's Logic and Marx's Capital; so tat
we shal draw upon two essays of Louis Althusser published in La
Pensee,3 which in our opinion state the issue quite clearly. Mar's
concepton of the dialectic is not te same as Hegel's i we con
sider its actual role in his analysis of human society and capital.
It is not a case of the same method applied to a system which is
just the reverse of the other. Hegel is indeed an ideast and a
monist. For him there exists a single principle, an indivisible
genetc totality which experiences self-division and self-oppositon
in order fnally to be reintegrated with itself (a process which
Ln in his notes on Hegel rightly found very obscure). I involves
an absolute subject tat aienates itself and becomes its own phe
nomenon in order to reconquer itself. Te spirit loses itself and
fds itself. Te jourey of absolute spirit is such that it has al
ready retured at the tme it starts out. What we have here is a
theolog, and when East European commentators substtute matter
for Hegel's absolute spirit and reta te dialectic of the One which
negates itself and recovers itself in the negaton of te negation,
like Hegel, they are also theologians. Tey preserve in Hegel what
Marx felt obliged to reject. They entrench themselves in a dogma
tsm simar to theological metaphysics.
What deserves admiration in Hegel and even in m Logic is
his unfaithfulness to tis monism, partcularly in the doctne on
Essence. There he describes structures in which the essential and
unessenta are one another, in which the existential
conditions of a dominant contradicton are an element in the
contadiction itself. In Marx tere is never any queston of
absolute subject, Matter or Spirit, which might follow a con
tinuous dialectical development. Tere are never anything but
concrete pre-existing stctures. There is no indivisible genetc
Totality, but many totalities; for example, human society in the
capitaist phase. Tese totalities are not essences but structures
in which, as L. Althusser has shown, te dominant contradiction,
for example, between the relations and the forces of producton is
Preface to the English Edition
refected in its existentia conditions, which are no longer con
tngent superstctures arbitrarily ted to their infrastcture. Te
dominant contadiction can shift, can
appear in various aspects
(Marx was not insensible to these characteristc features of his
tory, as can easily be seen fom reading what he wrote on the
class stuggles in France and the emergence of Napoleon U
where the explanation is far fom simplistc) . Structure is not the
appearance of a unique subject but an original ensemble, a totalit
of a quite diferent tpe fom Hegel's spiritual principle. It is
within its totalit that development takes place, whether in phases
where antagonism is still only a diference or where it appears as
an overt struggle or as an explosion which involves the Totalit
in a mutaton. U one were to retur to the often remarkable com
menta. by Ln on Hegel's Logc, one could rediscover con
cepts of this order when, for example, he shows the relaton be-
tween a natural development and a spiritual development, or
where, in a tpical image, in connection with the logic of Essence
he insists upon the importance of the position and movement of
every drop in a river.
On turg their attention to these studies of structure-and
of stategy-Wester students are perhaps in closer rapport with
East European commentators on the Hegel-Mar fation. On one
point, however, .they keep their distance. Tey reject Engels'
dialectcal schematism, the monism and determinism that are
more Hegelian than Marian. We may add that these studies of
structure-and strategy-which make a science of Marism, and
undoubtedly correspond to Marx's own thinking, seem to us to
be lacking where they eliminate the youthful impulses and the
existential refecton upon alienation. Indeed, what would be the
meaning of history and the signicance of the revolutionary move
ment i it were not clarifed in existence through the awareness
of alienation and the resolves to surmount it? Jean-Paul Sarte
might ask how the for-itself can emerge fom the in-itself or fom
an existence antecedent to consciousness. Mar, who at te tme
. of the Paris Commune had thought the revolt premature and
inefectual, immediately took its part once it had broken out and
he was able to see in it the basis of a new revolutonary taditon.
Tere is a universal value for us in refection upon the re-
Preface to the Englsh Edion
lationship between. Hegel and Ma. I is not just a histoical
legacy. It involves a problem that can always be re-examed
and which can acquire fesh meaning at any given tme in history.
1 Jean Hyppolite, Genese et structure de la phenomenologie de I'esprit de
Hegel (Paris, 1946) .
2 Alexandre Kojeve, Introduction t o the Reading of Hegel, edited and with
an intoduction by Allan Bloom (New York: Basic Books, 1969).
Louis Athusser, "Contadiction et surdeterminaton," L Pensee (De
cember 1962), pp. 3-22; "Sur la dialectique materialiste (De l'inegalite
des origines)," ibid. (August 1963), pp. 5-46.
4 V. I. Lenin, "Conspectus of Hegel's Science of Logic," Philosophical
Notebooks, Collected Works, Vol. 7 (Moscow: Foreign Lan
guages Publishing House, 1961).
Hegel and Ma on Histor
as Human Histor
John O'Neil
Te rediscovery of the concept of alienation by Marists in search
of a famework for te interpretaton and critque of socialist
realit hs been challenged an attempt to refubish a speculative
Hegelian noton which Marx abandoned for te more precise con
cept of exploitation. Te "historical Mar," that u to say, Mar of
the. Communist Manifesto and Capital, whom Marists temselves
have given to history, is now to be forsaken for a histor made out
of the revolutionary event of Marx's discover of alienaton in the
. proper system and the utopian suggestion that the collectivizaton
of propert would end alienaton and the prehistor of man.1
Tese events might be taken to indicate that here at any rate Mar's
critque of Hegel appears to have backed and that Hegel's, orginal
concept of alienaton as an ontological experience is the more
general concept that Marxists now need for the understanding of
the unhappy socialist consciousness.
I thin it can be argued that what is usually set forth as Mar's
redefniton of the Hegelian concept of alienation is nothing else
ta a progression to be found in The Phenomenolog of Mind.
U this is indeed so, ten the "existentaist" version of Hegel's
concept of alienaton is not wholly tue to Hegel's account of the
relaton between the individual and society and cannot be em-
A discussion paper for te Colloquium on Hegel, Ma ad Contemporary
Philosophy, XVth Iterational Congress of Philosophy, Vienna (Sep
tember 2-9,1968) .
X Introduction
ployed to revise Marx. Te attempt to correct late Marx with early
Mar appears to be a correction in favor of legel only if Hegel
himself is corrected in terms of a readig of te early phenomeno
logical description of the "Unhappy Consciousness." But if this
discussion is followed through to the historica description of self
estangement and culture t.en it becomes clear that in Hegel the
experience of alienaton is neither individual nor social in orig
but the historical mediaton of societ and the individual trough
the process of work as self-expression or culture (Bildung) i
which alienaton is ultmately suspended. Now I admit that tis
more complete account of Hegel's concept of alienation is closer
to that of Ma than perhaps Marx himself understood in the
Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts J44. But if we must
consider Marx's philosophical and economic thought as a unity,2
as I t we must, then our Hegelian tends must do the same for
Hegel. We may then proceed in agreement, as Marx was fond of
saying to Engels.
I 8 deag with the convergence between Hegel and Marx
and I want to show that the "existentialist" version of tis phenom
enon is not properly grounded in either Hegel or Marx. Te con
sequences of tis may be seen in Sartre's struggle i the Critique
de la raison dialectique to unite the ontological alienation involved
i the diaectic of recognition of the other with a concept of
intersubjectivit as the necessary ground of politica action and
Te ultmate goal of self-consciousness is to recover the unit
of the self and the world which it discovers abstractly in the unit
of the mind and its objects. Te recover of the world is mediated
by desire which reveals the world as my praxis. But this is still only
abstactly a word untl my interests are recognized by the other.
The dialectc of recognition appears as a life and death stuggle
because of desire which binds consciousness to the world of things
and simultaneously reveals its transcendence as the negation of
tings and the Other. But the categories of subject and object, nega
tion, self, other and recogniton are not a priori categories of experi
ence. They arise in the course of the self-interpretaton by conscious
ness of its modes of lived experience which involve consciousness in a
dialectc between itentonalit and an irreducible ontologica dif-
Hegel and Max on Histor O Human Histor
ference which generates the word and te recogniton of te Other.
For i consciousness did not encounter the resistance of tgs and
others, it could only know
perceptualy and others by
analogy and it would have no organic or social life. But this means
tat consciousness can never be satisfed
in a desire for objects and
the Oter. For in this it would only
consume itself whereas it
needs a common world in which things and others refect conscious
ness back upon itself. "Selfconsciousness, which is absolutely for
itself, and characteres its object directly as negatve, or is pri
maly desire, wil realy, therefore, fnd through experience this
object's independence."3 Desire then is not the actualit of self
consciousness but only its potentialit for actuag itself in a
common world and intersubjectivit. Hence the stuggle to the
deat which originates in desire is exteriorized in the relaton to
objects established beteen the Master and the Slave which preserves
their independence. in the form of a living. dependency. "I t
experience self-consciousness becomes aware tat life is as essen
tial to it as pure self-consciousness."4
With respect (fear) for life tat is bor fom the stggle to the
death there is initiated a further dialectc in which the Slave's
apprenticeship to things makes possible the practical observation
of the laws of their operation. Tough he works for another, the
Slave leas to work with objects whose independence now sub
mits to his producton tough not to his consumpton. By the same
token. the Master's independence of things mediated by te Slave
becomes his dependence upon the Slave's cultivation.
Labour, on the other hand, is desire restained and checked,
evanescence delayed and postponed; in other words, labour shapes
and fashions the thing. Te negative relation to the object passes
into the form of the object, into somethg that is permanent and
remains; because it W just for the labourer that the object has
Thus fom the recogniton of the value of life and the fear of
death, expressed in submission to tings for the sake of life, the
experience of domination and servitude opens up the cycle of
culture as the objective mediation of self-expression and the world.
It i trough work tat the world i revealed as conscious prais,
as a feld of individual interests which are in UO opened to te
interests of oters and hence to a common measure of good and
evil. As a feld of practica intentons te world is the element of
consciousness, its "original nature" which te activit of conscious
ness molds to its purposes. Hegel i quite explicit tat tere i no
room for the experience of estrangement in te act whereby te
self exteraes itself in the world of objects. I i te very nature
of consciousness to act to exteralize itself in te deed, or work.
The act is something simply determinate, universal, to be grasped as
an abstact, distinctive whole; it is murder, theft, a beneft, a deed of
bravery, and so on, and what it is can be said of it. It is such and such,
and its being is not merely a symbol, it is the fact itself. is this, and
te individual human being is what the act is. In the simple fact that
te act is, the individual is for oters what he really is and with a
certain general nature, and ceases to be merely something that is
"meant" or "presumed" to be U or that. No doubt he is not put
there in the form of mind; but when it is a question of his being qua
being, and the twofold being of bodily shape and act are pitted against
one another, each claimng to be his tue realit, the deed alone is to
be afed as his genuine being-not his fgure or shape, which would
express what he "means" to convey by his acts, or what any one might
"conjecture" he merely could do. In the same way, on the other hand,
when his performance and minner possibility, capacit, or intention
are opposed, te former alone is to be regarded as his tue realit,
even uhe deceives himself on the point and, after he has ted fom
maction into himself, means to be something else in his "inner mind"
than what he is in the act. Individualit, which commits itself to the
objectve element, when it passes over into a deed no doubt puts itself
to the risk of being altered and perverted. But what settles the cha
acter of the act is just this-whether the deed is a real ting that holds
together, or whether it is merely a pretended or "supposed" per
formance, which is in itself null and void and passes away. Objectifica
ton does not alter the act itself; it merely shows what te deed i,
i.e., whether it is or whether it is nothing.6
Only i we abstract te moments of purpose, means, and object
we speak of the transcendence of consciousness over its ac
complished deds or works. But apart fom the process of work,
Hegel and Marx on Histor O Human Histor
consciousness would remain an empt project and its feedom a
pure negatvity witout a wodd. It i in the process of work that
consciousness experiences te identit of freedom
and nature. Te
extemaaton of consciousness i a natural experence through
which an objective culture and history is created which in tum
gives shape to the individual who acquires through it his essental
or generic humanit
It is often remarked tat Hegel spirituaed action where Marx
materiaed it. Marx himself believed this to be the substance of
his critique of
Hegel. But I t there is some evidence
for te
argument tat Hegel ad Marx are engaged in a silar critique of
aenation as estangement fom' acton as expression; and tus
there i a contnuity between Hegel's The Phenomenolog ojMind
. and Marx's Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts.
I his remarks on physiognomy Hegel argues that the .exter
naaton of consciousness is not contingently related to its pur
pose but is essential to consciousness as embodied being. Tus te
human hand and human speech are essentia organs of conscious
expression and it is by means of them that we establish a common
word of arfacts and meanings. It i trough the body that we
give to our immediate surroundgs "a general human shape ad
for, or at least the general character of a climate, of a porton of
te world," just as we fnd regions of te world charactered by
diferent customs and culture. It is trough te expressive organs
of the' hand and speech tat we reae a unit of purose and
object which conveys our presence in te world ad to others.
human body i tus the expressive instument of spit and not its
simple objective alienation; it is the instrument whereby there can
be culture and history which in D shape huma. sensibilit,
tought, and perception.
For u the organs i general proved to be incapable of being taken
as expressions of the inner for the nason that in them the acton
W present as a process, while the action as a deed or (fished)
act W merely exteral, and inner and outer in this way fall apart
and are or can be alien to one another, the organ must, in view of
the peculiarit now considered, be again taken as also a middle
term for both . . . 7
X Introduction
Tus self-consciousness i not estanged by its natural being, for
the human body is an expressive organ tough which meaning i
embodied i speech and the work of human hands which together
artculate the nature of man.
Tat the hand, however, . must exhibit and reveal the inherent
nature of individuality as regards its fate, is easily seen fom the
fact that after the organ of seech it H the hand most of 8 by
which a man actualizes and maniests himself. It is the animated
artcer of m fortune; we may say of the hand it is what a man
does, for in it as the efective organ of m fl ment he is there
present as the animatg soul; and since he is ultimately and
originally his own fate, the hand will thus express this innate in
herent nature.8
The expression of the human spirit is not te abstract confonta
tion of a pure interiorit with a simple exteriorit but the recipro
cation of intentonality, gesture, and the deed trough which joy,
sorrow, and nobit delineate their own meaning in the eyes, te
voice, and the hands of man.
Te growth of human culture is the growt of human sensibil
it. So long as culture is dependent upon the class domination of
Resources or Wealth then the judgment of Good i identied with
the Power to command wealth and Bad with te wealth that always
threatens to be lackng but for power over it. But the universaliza
tion of culture implicit in the expressive actvity of work is pro
gressively made explicit in te power of the spoken word to
express te intellectual, political, and economic ideal of action as
self-expression, of which the supreme prerevolutionary expression
is Diderot's Neveu de Rameau. The liberal identicaton of self
expression with te organization of societ a system of needs
results in a hybrid politcal economy. And it is the critique of
politcal economy begun in Hegel which provides the bridge to
Ma. Te nub of Hegel's critique of liberal society is that it rests
upon a confusion of a law discovered in the workngs of the pas
sions, the invisible law of the market, with law in the ethical
sense of a law embraced by rationa self-consciousness. T
distinction is the basis for Hegel's transiton to his philosophy of
te State which Karl Lowith, for example, considers an apparent
Hegel an Marx on Histor Human Histor
dialectical tansition within liberal societ, or rather only its. "sus
pension through te ideal of the pOliS."9 We might ten understand
Hegel's critque of liberal
society not as a recommendation that the
"State" supersede "Societ," but that the liberal subordination of
law to an empirical law of the passions as a criterion for the
orgaation of societ be superseded in favor of a societ organ
ized about a conception of law based on the sublime need of self
consciousness to achieve self-expression i its objects and activities.
Whatever the nature of the diferences between The Phenome
nology of Mind and the Philosophy of Right, it is perhaps fateful
that Marx began his critique of Hegel with an attack on the
Hegelian concepton of the State. Ma attacks the Hegelian
State as a cultural universal on the ground that it only abstactly
mediates the separaton between the private interests of the bour
geoisie, summarized in the doctine of Natural Rights, and the
nature of Man supposedly outlined in the doctne of Rights. "Here
man. is far fom being conceived as a member of a general class;
rather the life of this class itself, societ, is conceived as a frame
work exteral to the individuals, a restricton upon their original
independence. The only bond holding them together is . . . need
and private interest. "10 Marx concludes that bourgeois societ
cannot b tanscended politically, for the state rests upon and is
nothing else than the legitimation of an individualistic societ. Te
critique of bourgeois society can only be grounded i a re-examina
tion of the process through whicn the totalit of human life and
expression is reduced to a set of needs defned by the impoverish
ment of labor.
It is not necessary to tace Marx's economic and historical
analysis of the institutional preconditions of aenaton.ll This is
the aspect of Marx's work which, thoug not lackng in Hegel,
separates Marx from Hegel. Te diferences, however, seem
smaller once attention is given to Ma's conception of the univer
sal nature of work and the human word and sensibilit which is
its product. I have tried to show earlier that Hegel did not regard
man as pure self-consciousness. H teatent of consciousness
as embodied being in which the organs of hand and speech are the
naturally expressive and creative agencies of a human world should
at least modif the criticism that Hegel's concept of alienation
consed the two processes of extemaaton and estrangement.
Insofar Hegel's conception of Man is that of an embodied
consciousness, ten I t Hegel could well have concurred with
te antropological concept that Marx tought he was opposing
to Hegel in the following remark.
To say that man is a cororeal, living, rea, sensuous, objective
being D of natural vigour is to say that he has real, sensuous
objects 8 the objects of m being or of his life, or that he can only
exress his life in real, sensuous objects. To be objective, natural,
and sensuous, and at the same tme to have object, nature, and
sense outside oneself, or oneself to be object, nature, and sense for
a third part, H one and the same thing.12
Finaly, there are several aspects of Marx's concept of aiena
ton among which there is, I t, a cental noton where agai
Marx and Hegel share a common concepton of acton as self
expression. For Max aienaton is a fact of political economy not
of phenomenology. Tat is to say, in the frst place, under capital
ism man is estanged fom te product of m work which in D
estranges mfom his own nature as a sensuous and social being.
Under such conditions the meanng of work becomes merely a means
of subsistence for the satisfaction of purely anmal needs d loses its
nature a human need which is to work creatvely even in the
absence of phYSical needs. Man and Nature are thus involved in a
cultural matrx in which the natural history of D i interwoven
with the humaniaton of natural history.
Only through the objetively unfolded richness of man;s essential
being H the richness of subjective human sensibility (a musical
ear, an eye for beaut of form-in short, senses capable of human
gatifcations, senses conrming themselves as essential powers of
man) either cultivated or brought into being. For not only the
fve senses but also the so-called mental senses-the practical
senses (will, love, etc.)-in a word, human sense-the humanness of
the senses-omes to be by virtue of its object, by virtue of
humanized nature. Te foming of the fve senses is a labour of
the entire history of the world down to the present.13
Hegel and Marx on Histor O Human Histor X
Te evoluton of human nature proceeds in terms of the interacton
een man and nature and the technology and socia relatons
production which mediate that process. I this sense the poten
tialit of human nature may be regarded a function of the means
and relatons of production.
Because of this simple fact that every succeeding generation fd
itself in possession of the productive forces won by the previous
generation which serve it as the raw material for new production,
a connecton arises in human history, a history of humanity U
shape which has become 8 te more a history of humanity since
the productive forces of man and therefore his social relations
have been extended. Hence it necessarily follows: the social history
of men is never anything but the history of their individual de
velopment, whether they are conscious of it or not.14
Tus, I t, it i possible to conclude that neither Hegel nor
Ma separated Nature fom History and that bot regarded word
history a history of culture in which human needs fursh a
primary stucture open to a multiplicit of cultural forms which in
t shape te existental character of need but directed toward
the tuly human needs of creatvit and sociait.
January JVV
1 J. O'eill, "Aenation, Class Struggle and Marian Ant-Politics," Re
view of Metaphysics, XI , No.3 (March 1964),462-71.
2 J. O'eill, "Te Concept of Estangement in the Early and Later Writ
ings of Karl Marx," Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 7
(September 1964), 64-84.
3 The Phenomenology of Mind, p. 221, tanslated by J. B. Baillie.
4 Ibid.,p. 234.
5 Ibid., p. 238.
6 Ibid., pp. 349-350.
7 Ibid., _. 343.
8 Ibid.
9 Karl LOwiil. From Hegel to Nietzsche, tanslated by David E. Green
(New York: Holt, Rnehart, and Winston, 1964), _. 242.
10 Ibid., _. 245.
11 J. O'Neil, "Marxism and Mythology," Ethics, LXI No. 1 (October
1966), 38-49.
12 Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844 (Moscow: Foreign
Languages Publishing House, 1956), _. 156.
13 Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts, _. 108.
14 Marx to Annenkov, Brussels, December 28, 1846, Selected Correspond
ence, 18461895, translated by Dora Tor (London: Lawrence and
Wishart Ltd., 1934), _. 7.
I3VOO1C3IO Hegel and Marx on Histor S
Human History by John O'Neill
PAR J I Te Concept of Life ad Estence i Hegel
1. _The Concept of Life and Consciousness of Life i
Hegel's Jena Philosophy J
2. Te Concept of Existence i the Hegelian
PAR T n Te Concept of Histo
r i Hegel
J. Te Signifcance of the French Revolution i
Hegel's Phenomenolog
4. Alienaton and Objectcation: Commentary on
G. Lukacs' Th Young Hegel
PAR T m Ma ad Phlosoph
5. Mar and Philosophy
6. Marx's Critique of te Hegelian Concept of te
7. On the Structure and Philosophical Presuppositons
of Ma's Capital
xi Contents
PAR T I Te Problem of te Relaton between 1
and Extence
8. Te Human Situaton i the Hegelian
9. On the Logic of Hegel

Te Concept of Life
and Consciousness of Life in
el's J ena Philoso:hy
Consciousness ad Life
Te chapter on "Self-consciousness" in The Phenomenolog oj
Min consttutes one of the principal moments of the Hegelian
dialectc. Consciousness comes to the discovery that its object
is no longer alien to it. Te "interal stucture" or "essence of
things" ceases to be an "object in-itsel' apart fom all relation
to consciousness.1 I its immediate for self-consciousness i
Desire and the object which it 'ononts is nothing else than the
object of its desire. Consciousness i t case is identical wit
lfe, and the creature moved by desire does not consider the object
of its desire as something essentially alien. As a living creature
he experiences the character of "being other" only as a moment
withi an encounter that is virtually resolved in satisfacton. Te
living creature appropriates the object and assimilates it with his
own substance so that it becomes fesh and blood. In this way he
af s the identt in-itself of the object and - himself. In h
writings at Jena, some years prior to the Phenomenolog, Hegel
repeatedly refers to this relation between te livig creatre and
the inorganic environment: "Te organic is unediated power,
te act which, so to speak, grounds the inorgaic i an organic
fu."2 I another passage Hegel remarks tat "Eatig and drink
ing make of inorganic things what t
ey are in themselves or in
truth ... it is their unconscious conception."3 Here we see how
Hegel understood the act of conception, that is, as the penetra
ton of the object through a mode of kowledge that coincides
wth the development of the object. Ts noton of a consciousness
4 The Concept of Life and Existence in Hegel
identical wit the living experiences of man leads us into Hegel's
earliest meditations. Wle he was at Ber and at Fraurt he
was less interested in philosophical speculation than i n a descrip
tion of the human condition. Indeed, it is hardly possible witout
a kowledge of the early writngs on Abraham or on Love to
attempt an adequate interretation of Hegel's more dif cult re
fectons upon Consciousness and Life.
Tere i, however, an important diference between Hegel's
early works and the mst Jenenser System or the Phenomenology.
I the latter works Hegel intends to conceptualze life whereas
earlier he was content to describe it.4 Tought and life are no
longer to be separate domains, where life always outstips thought
and thought never comprehends life. Te two terms are to be
identied so that lfe i conceptuaed as life and thought breaks
with its taditional forms i order to grasp and express life itself.
Tis conception of life is, of course, a common theme throughout
German romanticism. In Faust, Pa One, Goethe contasts living
thought with moribund speculation:
Instead of living nature.
i which God created man,
you're surrounded by smoke and rot,
animals' skeletons and dead men's bones.5
Schellng broke with te Critique of Judgment in order to conceive
nature as a living whole. I his Jena writings Hegel, basing himself
upon his friend's Philosophy of Nature, organed and systemed
ts conception of life. Nevertheless Hegel's speculations upon life
difer fom those of Schelg. Hegel is less concered with life as
a biological concept than as the life of mind and spirit. Hegel's
concept is less an intuition of nature than of the development of
human consciousness. He is more concered with human desire
than with biological drives. U one were to characterize Hegel's
philosophy as a whole, to express its origin and basic intuition, one
would have to say that it seeks to be the thought of human life.
"To think life, that i the problem," Hegel remarks in an early
fagment, adding that "the consciousness of life in itself would be
the same
as the consciousness of what i man."6
Life and Consciousness of Life in the Jena Philosophy
philosophy of nature is absorbed into Hegel's system
to the extent that it contibutes to a better understanding of the
spit which is te "truth of nature" and which presupposes nature.
In the earliest sections of the Metaphysik Hegel regards nature as
an inferior moment of the Idea and not as a complete manifesta
ton of the Absolute: The spirit of nature is a hidden spirit. "It
does not develop itself in the same form as spirit; it is only spirit
for the spirit who is conscious of it, it is spirit in-itself, but not
for-itself."7 Moreover, "Hegel's philosophy of nature is in no way
a metaphysics of nature but it is ceIainly a metaphysics of natural
science, that is to say, a metaphysics of the whole of man's kowl
edge of nature."8 Hegel, ten, owes to Scheling te concepton of
nature that he worked out in the writings at lena. But the basic
experience upon which he refects is human experence in al its
ranges. Hegel lacks that "cosmic sympaty" which is te original
characteristic of Schellg's tought. On te other hand, the un
derstanding of spiritual relationships lacking in Scheling is present
in Hegel. Numerous passages fom Th Phenomenology of Mind
on it and self-consciousness ilustate the essental role of the
development of the consciousness of life through thought and
refection. The development of consciousness has a creative and
dynamic role in the Hegelian dialectc because, as he says in his
Jena writings, spirit is "that which discovers itself,"9 and nature
is only the scene of the self-discover of spirit.
Lie, bq,Relaton
Te object cononted by self-consciousness ceases to be a
abstact being or the "tng" of percepton viewed partes extra
partes, but a living being considered fom te standpoint of the
totalit of life, so that self-consciousness possesses in its object an
image of itself. In Spinozan terms, self-consciousness discovers
itself in the relationship between life and the living creature, the
genus and te individual, substance and mode. Tis relatonship
forces te understanding to break with its categories. For te
understanding always grasps parts in an exteral relatonship to
one anoter, and when it posits a totalit it conceives it as a
entt apart fom multiplicit. Exteriorit, spataity, and mech-
6 The Concept of Life and Existence in Hegel
anism are the defng characters of te atttude of perception
which is consequently a much more abstact attitude than it
would pretend. "The omnipresence of the simple in a multple
extemalit"IO is a mystery for te understanding. But it is just
. t inseparabilit of te whole and its parts in a vital immanence
which constitutes ity. The conepts of Life and Infnit are
identical. I the enenser Logik Hegel conceives it in terms
of a dialectical relatonship between the One and the Many, but
wm this dialectc one ca discover the concept of Life. Re
ciprocally, life is itself this dialectc and it is life which leads the
spirit or mind to t dialectcally.
One should not, however, believe tat it is this noton of lif,
considered as a totait, tat is te source of what is original in
Hegelian thought. In h volume on Hegel's Realphilosophie, J.
Hofeister has shown clearly that this noton was common to all
German romantic thought. I a famous monologue of Faust
Goethe summons the source of life:
Eteral nature, where shall I grasp you?
Where are you, breasts, you springs of life
on which hang heaven and earth,
toward which the parched heart presses?
You fow, you suckle-must I do without you?ll
Herder, Goethe, and Schelling used Spiozan language to contast
natura naturans with natura naturata, and nature as "ite pro
ductivity" with nature as a "conditioned and limited product."12
I romantic philosophy the concept of Ether is the counterpart
of te world-soul in which spirit, force, and matter are reconciled.
T is, i fact, the supra-sensible substratum of nature which
declared to be unkowable.I3 The concept of the word
soul is the frst form assumed by Schelling's concept of Identt,
tat is to say, "the highest unity fom which everg comes
and to which everything retums,"14 much le Spinoza's Substance.
Te originalit of Hegel's thought, then, does not lie in its
concept of Life but in te philosophical attempt to conceptualize
life by means of a dialectic which permits "fnite deternatons"
to be engulfed in "the indiferent." Tus, as early as 1802, in 8
Life ad Consciousness of Life in the Jena Philosophy 7
study of the categor of Quantit, Hegel criticizes Schelling's
"forces" for failing to discriminate the qualitative features of
being. Schelling sees alfite reaity as simply a deviation fom
the Absolute produced by a number of oscillatons in te vicinit
of "Identit."
Tis mode of thought may very well be adequate
for the intuition of nature, but it is
defcient for conceiving spiritual
life in which the oppositons are essental and qualitative. "Opposi
ton is qualitatve and since there is nothing outside of the Abso
lute, opposition i itself absolute, and it is only because it is abso
lute that it can transcend itself."16 Refection and opposition should
not be conceived outside of the Absolute but within the very
heart of the Absolute. Une Fichte, Hegel does not conceive of
the ite as beyond kowledge. Nor does he U of reducing
the world of oppositions to simple deviations so that diferences
become merely exteral efects, as in Schelg. Hegel's view is
that quanttatve diferences reveal the very nature of the concrete
thing (die Sache selbst) . Te ite, afed as "productvit"
but empted of al concrete opposition, only ofers an abyss in
which al diferences disappear. An intuition of development which
remains a pure intuiton and does not conceive of the obstacle i
al its actualit and as someting interal is not te intuition of
"the spirit that never ceases to negate." U the Absolute i to be
truly productve, it must be conceived as a negative power, an
interal actvit which posits division and opposition within itself
i order to negate it. We have here the mystical image of an
Absolute which divides and tears itself apart in order to be ab
solute. But in Hegel tis mystica noton is tansformed through
a dialectical philosophy which is validated by the intensit of the
intellectual thrust that it brings into beingP Hegel's creativeness
lies not in te mystcal image but in te conceptual tanslation
of it which he efects. Wat strikes one upon reading the Jenenser
Logik is te interrelation between a mystcal intuiton and a sys
tem of thought which grasps the livir:g realit of logical relaton-
Te inite does not lie beyond fnite oppositions; on the con
tar, te latter are conceived as innite. In Hegel's conception
the innite is no less "restless" than the fnite: "Te disintegratve
Bu of the ite only actualizes itself trough the existence
The Concept of Life and Existence in Hegel
which it disintegrates. Te tanscended, for all that, remains an
absolute. It engenders itself in te very process of disintegraton,
for the latter presupposes a being tat destroys itself."18 Despite
its apparent obscurit, tere i an underlying thought i t
passage which i clear enough. As he remaked i 1800, Hegel
was to t trough "the bond beteen relaton and non-rela
ton." Te key concept which enables him to t tough te
relation (Beziehung) and not simply to live it i an unrefected
way is te concept of Infnit. I-i t concept which provides te
foundation of te dialectcal logic of 1802 in which we have te
genetc famework of te Hegelian system.
From Descates to Kant te problem of relaton had been te
cental problem of te theory of kowledge. Te Cartesian cogito
represents a intuiton which grasps in a pure act of mind the most
profound unit of tought and being orginaly questioned by the
Cartesian doubt. Kantian philosophy i a phlosophy of law or of
te relatons between fnite deterinatons. Hegel contnues t
refecton upon the natue of laws in m proof tat al kowledge
of astonomy presupposes a relaton between te and space. He
i not concered simply to refect upon te empirical relatons
between te two quanttes but to show how te concept of tme
presupposes te concept of space and i in t presupposed by the
concept of space. But it is paricularly in te conceptaton
of life tat te need appears for te categories of unit and divi
sion. It i the living principle of relaton, that is, the dialectica
prnciple by which te development of each term of a relation
may be conceived. To take a fnite deterinaton as ite is to
gasp it according to its restless capacit for self-tanscendence or
"becoming oter tan itself :
As such te deterinate pacular
i essentally te absolute restessness of not being what it is.''19
Nevertheless it wl not sufce to posit a transcendent entity
which i forever beyond each particular deteration. Each de
terinaton negates itself through its corelatve but at te same
tme discovers itself i the latter since its correlative negates itself
trough it. Consequently, te Ite, or te totat of this two
fold movement, should in no way be postulated as an unattainable
tanscendent. Te unit expressed in a relaton presupposes the
distincton of te terms tat it relates. For t unit i
the act of
Life and Consciousness of Life in the lena Philosophy
ndence and not a tanscendental entt,"2
in which the dis
tncton of ters disapears. Thus everg is life and movement
through the relaton insofar as it is ite.
Te life of the relation is to be found in the Hegelian dialectic,
which is not to be thought of S a foral technique which can
be applied indiferently to any object. The dialectic is te life of
te object and dialectical thougt is in no way an abstact cate
gorization. Ever living relation has its own particular structure
which must be conceptulized as such. To achieve this it is neces
sar to grasp each of the terms and the relation itself under te
category of it. Infnit is therefore the middle term which
makes it possible to conceptualize life and the living relation and
the means whereby the problem of knowledge and the problem
of life are identifable.21 Hegel's fst treatse of logic is te reply
to a queston he had posed to himself as a young D. What are
the intelligible conditions of human life? However, the dynamism
of the relation only possesses its true signicance once there ap
pears an active consciousness of life. I is only the spiritual relaton
that is a dialectc "for-itself." Tat is why Hegel speaks of nature
S "only a concept in-itself," so that biologica life can ony end
in death or a radical dissolution of te universal and the par
ticular. But in Hegel death is te begin ng of the life of te
Te Diaectc of Life ad the LHAent
How does t innite life tat is the mr or of itself appear
to self-consciousness? I refecting upon life one can equally
well start fom the unit of life (natura nturans) and proceed
to the distinct individual, or one can begin with the separate indi
vidual (natura naturata) for whom the whole is an exteral unit,
and then discover that unit as the immanent nature of the indi
vidual. Te two pr9cedures may indeed be complementa in a
cyclica fashion exemplary of a dialectical relation.22
Let us start fom the point of view of the separate individual,
or what Hegel calls a living form or an individual stucture. Tis
entt detaches itself fom whole and declares itself to be
independent. It is what Spinoza calls a mode. But whereas te
The Concept of Life and Existence in Hegel
Spinozan mode is purely negatve, the Hegelian mode is a nega
tive force in itself or an actvit like the Leibnitzan monad.23 I
constitute itself by separatng from the universal and attaching
itself to being as a "being-for-itself." Hegel's philosophy of life
of the Jena period is the description of t biological dialectic.
Te individual life posits itself as force over its "inorganic world"
or "negation of itself." It is opposed to the whole exteral to
itself inasmuch as it is a "sythesis of multplicit" against which
the individual is a "negatve unit." Te relaton between te
uiverse and the organism, te universal and the individua, is
presented in te biological form of the relation between te
environment and the organism. Here one can hardly suppress
the comparison with Hegel's description, in his early works, of
the experience of Abraham.
Abraham isolates himself as a stanger on te eart. He asserts
himself and thereby conceives a totalit outside of himself since
he makes it the object of his satisfaction. But the negaton is not
efectvely realed, te satisfaction remains in te future, and te
individual lives in a present always directed to a future that is
the negaton of the present. This is the source of an interal conta
dicton which in the very heart of desire is experienced as sorrow.
Sorrow is this contradiction as it is lived. It is the dialectic as a
biological experience. Nevertheless, being-for-itself (Fursichsein)
thrives upon the universal and dominates it . . . "by being in its
own right, or by its being in its determinate shape an ite sub-
. stance, it comes forward in opposition to the universal substance,
disowns this fuent continuity with that substance, and insists
that it is not dissolved in this universal element, but rather on
the contary preserves itself by and through its separation from
t its inorganic nature, and by the fact that it consumes this
inorganic nature."24 As such, being-for-itself identies itself with
te universal or genus. I is a purely negative force and in its
absolute self-assertion it negates its very self. "It consumes itself
. . . transcends its own inorganic nature . . . feeds upon itsel . . .
organes its own identity . . . . It is the very process that occurs
within it. "25
Te individual, as a living being, is himself that fuidity i which
te moments are ceaselessly negated and transcended. His growth
Life and Consciousness of Life in the lena Phiosophy 1 1
i by meas of his own negaton and maturaton. The individual
is life and therefore identcal with temporait which i a peretual
elf-negation.26 Te life of the individual belongs to the category
of acton and not of "thing." Trough acton the individual negates
what is :xed in himself (m intera inorganic nature) and tans
cends himself. T inherent interal contradiction of life is ex
teraed in the development of the species and in the division of
the sexes. Te individual sees h opposite member outside of him
self and identcal with himself. Desire is no longer directed toward
an object but upon anoter self. Tis descripton derives fom
Hegel's early refectons upon love in which "life senses life."27 But
the relation between te sexes i stl a relaton of imediacy and
it lacks the consciousness that would make of it an ite "for
itself." Actualy, in the relaton between te sexes te biologcal
individual disappears as an individual. Te individual dies and
becomes another being through which te cyce of life is repeated.
Te life of the child is the deat of the parent. Tus the cycle
closes upon itself. The endless cycle of life, Hegel says,
"i just as
much a for'ation of independent individua shapes, as it i a way
of cancelg a shape assumed. "28 Te living being in positng
himself negates himself. His development and fl ent are im
plicitly his death, or, considered more positvely, the creaton of
a new individual. Life and death are two indissoluble aspects of
te lived moment or te that shares in both being and non-being.
Te postulaton of a universal consequently appears to the iso
lated individual under two aspects, as a universe exteral to him
self and as a totalit immanent within himself: "We have, then,
here a connected system, where one exteme is te universal life
qua universa or genus, the oter being the same life qua a single
whole or universal individual."29
I the cycle of life te universa and the individual interpenetrate
one another and t phenomenon i taslated into the logical
noton of the power of the principle of negativit. As a totalit
life i identcal wit the actvit of tanscending its diferentatons
and tus its conceptuaation presupposes stuctures tat are
separate and exteral. Conversely, each one of these stuctures i
a living for and therefore contains te power of absolute nega
tvit whereby it may negate itself as a subsistent form, efectng
12 The Concept of Life and Existence in Hegel
a negaton of the negation and a ret to totalit. Here we have
an instance oj the concept oj infnit, though it is as yet not
realized jor itselj in the living vortex and lacks the consciousness
which alone is capable oj the efective realization oj infnit. Te
development of such a consciousness is the source of the dialectic
of Absolute Spirit, which makes its frst appearance in the
Jenenser Metaphysik and is referred to in te following passage:
"For the monad essental being exists only S a tanscendenta
unit. I realit, for us (te philosopher who conceives of spirit
S such) this tanscendent is the immanent realit of te monad."30
Te Consciousness of Life ad Spirit as Histor
I te chapter on self-consciousness and life in te Phenom
enology Hegel writes that "the former i te unit jor which the
absolute unit of df erences exists, te latter, however, is only t
unit itself, so that unit is not at the same tme for itselj."31 The
process of life which scatters and disperses itself in te false
it of the multitude of living beins fails to achieve con
sciousness of its it, of te ite relaton as a "bond be
tween the relaton and the non-relation" except in the case of
self-consciousness. "[ife] is neiter what i expressed to begin
wit, the immediate continuit and concrete solidit of its essen
tal nature; nor the stable, subsisting form, te discrete individual
which exists on its own account; nor the bare process of t
form; nor again is it the simple combinaton of tese moments. I
is none of these; it is the whole which develops itself, resolves its
wn development, and in t movement simply preserves itself."32
However, life can ony be a whole for te consciousness of life.
I the case of biological life t simplicit i only realied through
death. I a conscious being deat i conceived as a positive phe
nomenon. We may then understand Hegel's remarks on death in
te Preface to the Phenomenology. Death i not something before
which we should temble or an idea that we should suppress. Te
tue life of the spit "endures death and in death maintains its
being. . . . This dwelling beside it is the magic power tat con
verts te negatve into being."33 Tese remarks perhaps illumi
nate te famous dialectc of the Logik and remind us tat the con-
Life and Consciousness of Life in the lena Philosophy
1 3
sciousness of life i quite diferent fom life itself. I consttutes
te tut of life, but a truth that ca only be reaed in huma
experence. Te moments of life, when integrated in human con
sciousness, develop in te form of Hisor and human conscious
ness is the Absolute Subject which discovers its identt in te
course of tme.34
"Spirit is tme,"35 Hegel had said i his Jena witngs, and
ilustaton of t enigmatic formula i to be found in the Phe
nomenolog. For it i only in the temporait of a consciousness
that te whole which "develops itself, resolves its ow develop
ment, and i t movement simply preserves itsel' can be present
to itself. Tat i why only the spirit is history, a history, moreover,
that is always oriented toward te future since te spirit i te
absolute principle of negativit. 36 Tis is perhaps a clue to te
general orientation of the Hegelia system. When reason observes
nature it fnds no real middle term beteen life as a totait
and te living individual. Beteen the genus and the individua
tere is, of course, the artculaton of te species. But the species
i not for-itself, and te individual who embodies te species U
modiable by his relaton to te universal individuait, te ea,
te climate, and ite variatons of environment. By contast,
"consciousness taes a te middle term between universa spirit
ad its individuaton or sense-consciousness, the system of shapes
assumed by consciousness, as a orderly self-consttuted whole of
te life of spirit,-the system of forms of conscious life which
U deat wit in t treatise [The Phenomenolog oj Mind, ad
which fnds its objective existental expression as the history of
te word. But organic nature has no history."37 I te biological
individua, as Hegel says, the totait i not tly present "and the
whole -i not there because te whole i not as such here for
itself."3B Te tue it is in the consciousness of te totait
that U te heart of each individual moment. Now history i te
concrete self-development of such cO)sciousness and the reaa
ton of te life of te spirit in a profound unit of te individua
ad te universal. T i a dynamic concepton of unit, not an
intuton, and a unit which expresses te dialectcal concepton of
te ite as set out in te Logik of 1802.
Te concepton of the spirit as history, fom te frst dm
14 The Concept of Life and Existence in Hegel
of te J ena period trough a seres of essays which play upon te
contrast beteen concept and intuiton, receives its. developed
expression in Hegel's The Phenomenology of Min. Throug
this contast between concept and intuition Hegel expresses phil
osophically the contast between life and consciousness of life.
For Hegel te concept is the very act of cognitO?, inseparable
fom its content; it is the intuition which is an axiom of con
sciousness. I the J ena period Hegel grew to a fl awareness of
m philosophical ideal. He bega by opposing Fichte's idealism on
the ground that it was incorrigbly abstract. Fichte's system con
tas only the pure refexive act of wl. Consequently, the ideal
remains forever unattainable and, for al purposes, in conict
with lived realit. Schelling, by contast, copletely idented te
concepts of life and kowledge. His system is gounded in te
"identit" which it discovers at te core of all reait, tat is,
nature as spirit. The identt of kowledge and reality is achieved
through intuiton or "total indiference toward te subjectve and
objectve."39 I his work on the Diferenz des Fichteschen und
Schellingschen Systems,4
Hegel appears to have adopted the
positon of his fiend Schelling. However, we have seen that in te
Logik of 1 802 he develops a dialectc of te ite quite diferent
fom Schelling's conception.
Nevertheless, the System der Sittlichkeit, Hegel's frst dm
of m Philosophie des Geistes, which is contemporary wit te
Logik, gves no indication of the dialectc of the ite. The frst
philosophy of mind lags behind the Logik and Metaphysk, and
t has stuck the commentators all the more as te philosophy
of mind is Hegel's own domain.41 However, tere is an answer
to this problem. I 1 802 Hegel was primaly absorbed in a con
crete philosophy of spirit. He takes sides wit Schelling agast
Fichte and thus he at frst identifes the A bsolute with the life
of a people.42 The various moments in te life of te spirit, such
as labor, te machine, te family, language, and law, which
Hegel studied in depth, consttute the determinate aspects of life
in society. The idea ream and te everyday word are not to be
separated but are to be thought of together in the orgac totait
of the naton in which the concept is subsumed in the intuiton.
For "the intuiton is te indif erence of indeterminables" and dis-
Life and Consciousness of Life in the lena Philosophy I5
covers the totalit as an objective realit. Thus we do not fnd in
tis work of Hegel's the realization of the "Absolute Spirit" which
seemed to be the implicaton
of his Metaphysik written about the
same tme. Te life of a
people does not achieve refection by it
self. Nor does te conscious
life of te spirit
transcend and modif
its living reait. A tue
awakening of
consciousness would into
duce anxiet and instabilit into the heart of tis intuition. But
te intuiton t;scends the concept just as the organic realit of
social life tanscends individual consciousness. For in intuition the
spirit becomes absorbed in its object. Consequently, intuition K
not dynamic, even when it pretends to gasp life itself as such
or as pure productvit. And as early as 1802 Hegel had under
stood te powerlessness of intuiton. The dialectc of the ite
in the Logik i a critque of Schelling's Absolute for the very
reason tat it locks witin itself al oppositions and so fails to
come into contact with real developments.
But fom 1802 to 1806 Hegel worked continuously upon the
development of his philosophy of mind. The System der Sittlichkeit
i followed by an essay on "Natural Law."43 Then we have te
two da of The Philosophy of MindH which precede The Phe
nomenology of Mind. Thus we are in a positon to reconstuct
the development of Hegel's thought or rather his own intellectual
biography. We witness the subordination of intuition to the con
cept, the development of a creative consciousness and the realiza
tion of the spirit solely through the medium of its own history.
Aeady, in the essay on ''Natural Law" Hegel shows tat "the
spirit is superior to nature"45 because it is capable of turg
back upon itself to refect upon itself. But in that essay Hegel
has not yet conceived of the interal power of development in
toduced by t concepton of consciousness. He is obsessed by the
Platonic vision of an organic cit which is the immanent stucture
of every historical cit. He seeks to translate Schelling's aestetc
intuition into moral and social life. By putting the concept before
intuition, Hegel introduces historical development into the center
of the life of the spirit. Thus it will be remarked in the Phenome
nology that the spirit alone i history because the development of
consciousness i at the same time a historical process.
I The Philosophy of Mind (1803-1804) te development of
The Concept of Life and Existence in Hegel
consciousness clearly has precedence over intuition. Hegel
abandons the possibilit of an objectve, inmanent intuition that
does not involve self-refecton. "Intuition is' now posited by con
sciousness."46 I is possible to study sbjective mind independenty
of te study of spirit as social reait. In te draft of 1 805-1 806
Hegel has discovered himself once for al as the philosopher of
the spirit. Spirit is historical and moves in a dialectical progression
fom the ancient cit to modem fors of social orgaation
Word history or the spirit of the world tanscends the spirit of
a people as its moments.47 The task of the philosophy of spirit
as a concrete diaectic is to surpass intuition and to become a
philosophical history of te spirit as a process of self-develop
In The Philosophy of Mind of 1 805-1806 Hegel has a full
fedged concepton of te Absolute Spirit, partaly envisaged in
the Metaphysik of 1 802. Spirit tanscends both nature and te
life of a people and grasps its universait in Art, Religion, and
Philosophy. Crist's religion surpasses te religion of a people
because it is in it tat te spirit achieves self-consciousness.48
From t point Hegel i in possession of his own creatve philoso
phy of the spirit, and in te Preface of te Phenomenology he will
later confont Scheling's philosophy of intuiton with his own
philosophy of the concept, and to a philosophy of te Absolute
as substance he wl oppose a philosophy of the Absolute as
I is clear that Hegel's philosophy is a philosophy of human
life, of the life of consciousness, and not a philosophy of natre like
that of Scheling. On the one hand, the descriptons of life only be
come intelligible through Hegel's early writings, for example, on
Abraam or Love, and, on the other hand, te consciousness of life
i the reaaton of ity, having become truly "for-itself." The
complementarity of these interpretatons is bore out by the de
velopment of Hegel's Jena philosophy of mind. We have aready
remaked that, ater his arrival at Jena, Hegel wanted to develop
a philosophical concept of life and tat he identifed the relaton
(Beziehung) and lfe. In tum, through the concept of infnit
tansfored the relation into a dialectcal relation, in oter words
Life and Consciousness of Life in the lena Philosophy IT
he conceived it as a living relation. H use of every term involves
dynac contast and reconciliation. Thus synthesis and analysis
are simply aspects of a relation which entertans division and
reconciliaton witn itself. But, above al , a dynaic and living
relaton is a spirital relation, tat is to say, a relaton lived by a
consciousness. The dy
m of the
elements witin a totait
is only possible in the instance of a consciousness which overcomes
immediacy and brngs about its mediaton.
From Hegel's early writngs we have tied to show a remark
ably creative attempt to give a philosophical account of spiritual
relatons and to describe te human sitaton, in the course of
which we believe we have found the source of Hege1's dialectca
tought.49 To Hegel what is fundamental in experience is
he ex
perience of spiritual relations and their development: the relation
between man and man, between the individual and societ, God
and man, between master and slave. That is why, in the chapter of
The Phenomenolog o Mind on "Self-consciousness" we fnd the
immediate relaton between living beings tansformed by con
sciousness into a spiritual relaton between two self-conscious
nesses. We refer to the wel-kown dialectic of the master and
slave. 50 I the dialectc of recognition the imediate relation of
domnaton and servitude is tansformed, te master becoming the
instment of his own- enslavement, while the slave, as a producer
of objects, shapes51 his own self and becomes master of the master.
Te enslaved consciousness "does in fact contain within itself
this tt of pure negatvit." I has kown anxiet not for t
or that moment of tme but "for its entre being; it felt the fear of
death, the sovereign master."52 The consciousness that comes to
kow fear and enforced service in this way moves fom the state
of immediacy to a mediated condition which is the foundaton
of a spiritual relatonship. Te awareness of such a relation on
the pat of a consciousness such as Epictetus is the foundation of
the Stoic experience. I te course of its development the spiritual
relatonship becomes a "for-itself," that is to say, the apparently
fxed and independent elements of the relationship are involved
in a real movement in which life and the dialectic coincide. At
this point we have entered human histor, and it was for the
1 8 The Concept of Life and Existence in Hegel
understanding of tat history and of the life of man that Hegel
constcted te diaectc. Finally, it U in the cultural sciences that
te dialectic remains a mmethod.
1 G. W. F. Hegel, The Phenomenology of Mind, tanslated, with an In
toducton and Notes by J. B. Bailie (London: George Allen and Un
win, 1964), p. 218.
2 G. W. F. Hegel, Jenenser Realphilosophie, Vol. I, 1805-1806, edited
by J. Hofeister (Leipzig, 193 1) , p. 118.
3 Ibid., p. 120.
4 Te dif erence between the early work and the frst Jenenser System
appeared as a "mystery" to Ehrenberg, the fst commentator on the
System. Prior to the latter work Hegel had lived the transiton fom
the fte to the ite; he then struggles to conceptualize it. Religon
yields to philosophy. L. Ehrenberg's Preface to Hegels erstes System,
edited by H. Ehrenberg and H. Link (Heidelberg, 1915).
5 Goethe, Faust, Part One, translated by C. F. MacIntre (New York:
New Directions, 1957). [rans.]
6 G. W. F. Hegel, Early Theological Writings, tanslated by T. M. Knox,
with an Introduction. and Fragments tanslated by R. Kroner (Chicago:
Universit of Chicago Press, 1948) , p. 254. A similar conclusion is
drawn i a study of the "fundamental signcance of the future" D
the Hegelian conception of time, by f Koyre, "Hegel lena: A pro
pos de publications rtcentes," Revue d'histoire et de philosophie re
ligieuse de Strasbourg, No. 5 ( 1939) , pp. 420-458.
7 G. W. F. Hegel, Jenenser Logik, Metaphysik und Naturphilosophie,
edited by G. Lasson (Leipzig, 1923) , p. 1 13.
8 J. Hofmeister, Goethe und der deutsche Idealism us: Eine Einfuhrung
zu Hegels Realphilosophie (Leipzig, 1932), p. 65.
9 Jenenser Logik, pp. 184-185.
10 Science of Logic, tanslated by W. H. Johnston and L. G. Stuthers,
Vol. I (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1961), p. 403.
1 1 Faust, Part One, tanslated by C. F. MacIntyre. [rans.]
12 "Einleitung Z dem Entwurf eines Systems der Naturhilosophie,"
Simtliche Werke, edited by K. F. f Schelling, Vol.
I, Part 3 (Stutt
gart and Augsberg: J. G. Cotta, 1856-1861), p. 284.
13 "Schelling is related to Goethe as Kant is to Newton." L. E. Cassirer,
Life and Consciousness of Life in the lena Philosophy' I
The Problem of Knowledge (New Haven, Conn. : Yale Universit Press,
1950), p. 145.
J. Hofeister, Goethe und der deutsche Idealism us, pp. 34-37.
15 Ehrenberg correctly observes that in his discussion of the category of
Quality, Hegel D attacking Fichte, and when he discusses the category
of Quantt, he D criticizing Schelling. Hegel's own system is built upon
the category of Ity which supersedes the other categories. L
]enenser Logik, pp. xiii-xiv.
16 ]
enenser Logik, p. 13. Tat "oppositon H itself absolute" means tha
opposition (Gegensatz) becomes contadiction (Widerspruch) and that
opposition is intera to the Absolute; in other words, the Absolute H
Subject or the actualization of the Self. U should be noted that Hegel
distnguishes diversit, gasped throug an act of refecton exteral to
the things themselves; opposition, which is a relation between two terms
that are corelatives and thus related throug contrast; and contradic
tion, in which oppositon has become interal to each term (each ter
contains its opposite within itself) . Contadiction is thus contradictio
in subjecto, and that is why the subject develops. Te relation is con
sequently no longer the result of a comparison between two pre-exist
ing and independent terms. Te three Hegelian theses become identical:
the Absolute is Subject, Opposition is Absolute, Realit is Development.
We may then understand why Hegel resists the noton of a subject that
pre-exists its predicates. U is the life of the predicates that creates te
subject. f Absolute posited apart fom its development cannot D
anything but an empt intuition.
17 Hegel grasps the movement of thougt engaged in an endless union o
distinct terms and distinctions between ters that are correlatives. I
this process abstraction (the power of negativit) is an essental mo
ment. Relative to the distinction between terms that are correlatves,
union is only an abstraction, and vice versa.
18 ]enenser Logik, pp. 33-34.
19 Ibid., p. 31.
20 Ibid.
21 Hegelian thought is stuctured throug the equivalence of these U0
terms: human life which must be given philosophical expression; te
relation, which is thought itself; and ity, which is the conditon -f
conceptuaing life and the relation or the adequaton of thougt and
22 "[e individualJ exists only inasmuch as the totait of life D divided
into parts, he himself being one part and all the rest the other part;
and again he exists only inasmuch as he D no part at 8 and inasmuch
as nothing D separated fom him." From "Fragent of a Systm" D
Early Theological Writings, p. 310.
The Concept of Life and Existence in Hegel
23 Leibnitz stongy infuenced Hegel in his Jena period. But the Leib
nitzian monad is closed to the outside. Hegel's critcism of the monad
ology is that it is tanscendent in relation to the activit of a singe
24 The Phenomenology of Mind, pp. 222-223.
25 Jenenser Realphilosophie, Vol. I, 1805-1806, p. 1 16.
26 The Phenomenology of Min
, p. 221.
27 "Love," in Early Theological Writings, p. 305. [rans.]
28 The Phenomenology of Mind, p. 224.
29 Ibid., p. 324.
Jenenser Logik, Metaphysik und Naturphilosophie, p. 177. We shall
deal later with the evolution of the Jena philosophy of mind and its
relation to the concept of Absolute Spirit.
31 The Phenomenology of Mind, p. 221.
32 Ibid., p. 224.
33 Ibid., p. 93. [rans.]
34 I the Preface to the Phenomenology Hegel conceives the Absolute as
Subject and not as Substance.
35 Jenenser Realphilosophie, Vol. I, 1803-1804, p. 4.
36 The dialectcal method assumes an ite principle of development, an
endless negativit into the future. But the totalit. is immanent in each
moment and this totality must be conceptualized as a sstem. The sys
tem and the methbd do not have the same conditons.
37 The Phenomenology of Mind, p. 326.
38 Ibid.
39 "Darstellung meines Systems der Philosophie," Simtliche Werke, Vol.
I, Part 4.
40 L. Erste Druckschriften, edited by G. Lasson (Lipzg: Verlag Felix
von Meiner, 1928). [rans.]
41 L. Ehrenberg's intoduction to Hegels erstes System, and J. Hof
meister, Goethe und der deutsche Idealismus, pp. 102-103.
42 Religion is the religion of a people, or of a cit, as in the case of Greek
religion. L. G. W. F. Hegel, Schriften zur PoUtik und Rechtsphiloso
ph ie, edited by G. Lasson (Leipzig, 1923) , p. 466.
43 "Ueber die wissenschaftichen Behandlungsarten des Naturrechts, 1802,"
in Schriften zur Politik und Rechtsphilosophie. [rans.]
44 Jenenser Realphilosophie, Vol. I, 1803-1804; Jenenser Realphilosophie,
Vol. I, 1805-1806. [rans.]
45 Schriften zur Palitik und Rechtsphilasophie, p. 392.
46 J. Hofmeister, Goethe und der deutsche Idealism us, p. 107. Te Mar
idea of class-consciousness has its origin in Hegel inasmuch as D
Life and Consciousness of Life in the lena Philosophy 21
Marx the appearance of cIass-consciousness H a constitutive element D
the development of history.
47 lenenser Realphilosophie, Vol. I, 1805-1806, _. 273.
48 Here Hegel resumes his early study of the evolution of religion fom
folk religion to the religon of Christ, fom the System der Sittlichkeit
to the Absolute Spirit. But D Hegel's later
system the problem remains
of relating world history the history of natons to Absolute Spirit D
the forms of f, Religion, and Phiosophy.
J. Hyppolite, "Les Travaux de jeunesse de Hegel d'apres des ouvrages
fIcents," Revue de metaphysique et de morale, XI (1935), pp. 399-
426 and pp. 549-578.
50 On the Hegelian dialectic, see N. Hartann, Die Philosophie des deut
schen Idealism us, Vol. I (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1960), pp. 324-
51 Hegel H playing upon the word Bildung (culture) . L. The Phenome
nology of Mind, _. 238.
52 Ibid., p. 237. Here we can see te concrte sigcance of the Hegelian
principle of negatvit. Hegel's system, far fom being a logomachy, H
a logic of the life of thougt.
The Concept of Estence
m the He
Te term "existence" was intoduced into philosophy by Kierke
gaard. Kierkegaard critcied Hegel on te ground that in m vast
philosophical system he gave no place to existence. It was a sys
tem tat surveyed the various "world visions" but did not dwell
upon any of tem. Certanly, Hegel aways gives the impression
of intoducing confict into philosophy, but it is always in order
to resolve it in a higher synthesis. Hegel deepens te various con
ficts that are present in life and philosophy, for example, those of
Art and Religion, of the exteral and the interal, of man ad
God, but he tanscends the conficts and reconciles the contrasts.
It i possible to ask whether Hegel had not forgotten his own
existentia nature, for it disappears within m system. But te
system also refects the disappearance of the very noton of exist
ence, whereas Kierkegaard spent his whole life in refecton upon
existence and the paradoxes that it creates. Tus Kierkegaard
does not constuct a system that excludes existence. On the con
tary, his thought is grounded L existence and seeks only to
illuminate its originalit and irreducibiit. Furtermore, a man's
existence is unthinkable as the expression of an essence that is
prior to it. Indeed, it is not tinkable as such but emerges
gradualy in thought through the insurmountable contadictions
witin thought itself.
Te contrast between Kierkegaard and Hegel is too well kown
for us to dwell upon it once more. Moreover, tere is litte doubt
tat in general Kierkegaard i right against Hegel, and it is not
our purose here to enter a defense of te Hegelian system
The Concept of Existence in the Hegelian Phenomenology 23
against Kierkegaard's attack. What interests us is to reveal in
Hegel, as we fd min his early works and in the Phenomenology,
a philosopher much closer to Kierkegaard than might seem credible.
Te concrete and existental character of Hegel's early works
has been admirably demonstated by Jean Wal in his work on
The Unhappy Consciousness
in Hegel's Philosophy.l The early
works all lead up to the chapter of the Phenomenology on the
"Unhappy Consciousness." Before discovering the reconciliation
and synthesis that culminate in the place of ideas in te Encclo
pedia, Hegel was himself conscious of the tagic oppos
ition be
tween the fnite and ite, of man and te absolute; in Judaism
and romanticism he had studied existental fors of this confict.
Te concusions of these studies are to be found in the Phenome
nolog, which Hegel fnished upon the eve of the battle at Jena.
We shall ignore the fact that the Phenomenology, which describes
the itinerary of consciousness, or te cultural adventure of human
consciousness in search of a fnal concord and reconciliaton,
culminates in Absolute Knowledge, that is to say, in a system
which transcends diverse world visions. Instead we shal inquire
whether there is not in t work a conception of existence which is
k to certain contemporary existentialist notons.
Te Phenomenology is the history of human consciousness in
its progression to Absolute Knowledge. This history is much more
a descrption than a constction of the experiences of conscious
ness. Moreover, by the ter "experience" we must understand not
. only theoreticai kowledge, but also human notons of Religion,
Ethics, and . The philosopher in tis instance describes the
entire compass of human experience, and though he never loses
sight of the goal of his work, which is to elaborate a system, he K
nevertheless not afaid to stop at each stage of his experience and
describe it for its own sake. At each stage of tis voyage of
discovery he seeks to grasp the essence of a particular word
vision; occasionally this method of unfolding an essence suggests
modem phenomenological descriptions of essence. When Hegel
speaks of the Renaissance or of the Terror, when he evokes
Antigone or Creon, one feels that his tought grasps their very
nature and that he penetrates to the heart of experience as lived
by man. It is impossible to analyze these experiences one by one.
The Concept of Life and Existence in Hegel
Te Phenomenolog possesses such a weath, and often such an
obscurit, that we must conne ourselves to choosing certain a
pects which illustrate in a special way what one could aeady
describe a a concept of existence.
We shal therefore consider te chapter on self-consciousness
and te conict which Hegel found between self-consciousness
or what we would cal human existence-and lfe in general. I
is in this confict that te "uhappy consciousness" emerges, and
it is the latter which best illustrates te conception which Hegel
had of ma's existence.
I the fnal paragraph of his analysis of self-consciousness
Hegel writes, "Consciousness of life, of its exstence and acton,
is merely pain and sorrow over t existence ad actvit."2 Te
consciousness of himself that man reaes, and which, as we shall
show, is consciousness of life too, results in the unhappy con
sciousness. To become conscious of universa life is necessaily to
oppose oneself to it and at the sae tme to redscover oneself in it.
In man life comes to the kowledge of itself, but this occurs pre
cisely at the moment where man's existence emerges fom life and
seizes in itself the most tragic conict. Consciousness of life is, of
course, no longer a nave life. It is the knowledge of ue Whole of
Life, the negation of all its particular forms, te kowledge of
true life, but it is simultaneously the kowledge of the absence of
"tue lie." Tus in becoming conscious of life man exists
on the margin of naive and determed life. His desire aspires to
a libert tat is not open to a particular modaity; and al his
eforts to conceive himself in Jibert result only in failure.
The emergence of self-consciousness is thus something
other than
life, pure and simple, and human existence, as kowledge of life,
is a new mode of being that we are justifed in caling "existence."
Ideed, what characterizes man's self-consciousness is the break
tat it involves with naive and imediate life and its elevation above
the statc determinatons of being. This existence emerges fom
te womb of the world the perpetua negation of every par
tcular modalit of being. To become conscious of lfe in its to
tait is to refect upon deat, to exst in the face of death, and
tat is how autentic self-consciousness experienced by us.
We shal perhaps improve our understanding of the confict be-
The Concept of Existence in the Hegelian Phenomenolog 25
tween immediate life and consciousness of life i we look back
into Hegel's works, for example, to his study of the Jewish people
and their ancestor, Abraham. For Hegel the Jews are the unhappy
people of history and are to be contasted in t respect with te
Greek people. Whereas
the Greeks
understood how to harmonize
tought and fnite life,
Abraham stives for such a radical con
ception-one might say, a total conception-that he alienates him
sel fom all particular forms of life. He leaves the land of his
faters, he wanders in the desert and seeks to live by himself, but
this thought drives him beyond immediate life: "Abraham no
longer kew how to love." He was incapable of an attachment to
a fite and limited object. Life was refected in him but as a .
totalit, the negation of al its deterinate forms. Tis is why
Abraham conceives God. beyond deterinate living creatures, an
ite God who can fnd no expression in any concrete fgure. Te
Jewish people made representatons of their God (in the form' of
an absolute transcendence) ; they sought to devate themselves to
his level, tough this was an impossibilit, since every deterinate
expression of such a God or Universal represents a form of
idolaty. Here Hegel attaches upon a conict between what we
today would call vital values and intellectual or even spiritual
values. I their refections upon life te Jews only succeeded in
opposing temselves to lfe as someting naive and limited. Tey
did not embrace that limited, thoug spontaneous, entusiasm
which leads historical peoples to attach themselves to a particular
land and to lose themselves in a determinate enterrise. Te Jew
conceives the Universal, te whole of life, but at the same tme
conception removes him fom life. We have here a dislocaton
that Hegel chose to study in his early works, which he reted to
i his J enenser System, and to which he gave a philosophical for
mulation in the chapter of the Phenomenology on "Sel-Conscious
One might add that t self-consciousness of life is characterized
in some way by the tought of death. Tough this may seem a
stange connection, it may easily be justifed if one anayzes further
Hegel's conception of life and of self-consciousness. We should not
forget that each is simultaneously identcal and absoiutely opposed
to the oter, may be seen clearly fom the followg text: "the
The Concept of Life and Existence in Hegel
former [Self-Consciousness], is the unity for which the absoute
unity of df erences exists, the latter [Life], however, i only
unit itself, so tat the unity is not at the same time for itself."3
Hegelianism developed against the background of romantcism.
Like Schelg or H6lderlin, Hegel wished to express in philo
sophical' form te ite life which expresses itself through a
multtude of deterinate living forms. Without doubt, this life is
in sum a unit but its manifestations are diverse. Each particula
living being is indeed wmitself the expression of the totait of
life, the Universal, just as te Spinozan mode is a modality of the
ite substance; but it is only a particular expression of that life,
and tat it is why it dies in giving birth to other living beings. The
movement of universal lie manests itself in this ceaseless and
monotonous "Death and Birth." But the particular living being
when it dies is not yet conscious of t ite life, of the Self, for
it is only a paral realizaton of it. The organism is not aware that
it dies, and yet death is the negation of the determination and the
limitation of feeting lives through which te absolute power of life
achieves it and unit. The ity of life is refected both in
death and reproducton, but tis negation of the negation (the in
fnite negativity, the negation of the negation which tuly announces
te afatve) is ignored by the livg partcular. Organic life is
not existence because it is not consciousness of death.
Te situation is no longer te same when we advance toward
self-consciousness or man. I the animal sickess is the visible
tace of negativit, that is to say, it is te moment in which it
itself insofar as it is a partcular. As Hegel puts it in
passage fom his J enenser System, man is the sick anial; he is
aware of his death and to the degree that he i conscious of it he
becomes for himself what lie is unalterably in itself. We see now
i what sense human existence rises above animal life. Te animal
U unconscious of !he ite totalit of life in its wholeness, '
whereas man becomes the for-itself of that totait and interazes
deat. That is why the basic experience of human self-conscious
ness is inseparable fom the fundamental experience of death.
Human self-consciousness is in the frst place Desire, but this
desire is never satisfed. What it aspires to through the destruction
of every form of dirempton is its own absolute self-command.
The Concept of Existence in the Hegelian Phenomenolog 27
Man begins by desiring to live but life in him appears at once a
something identical and alien to himself. He i alive but his own
life is alien to him, and to
the extent
that he is conscious of it he
contnualy estanges himself from it and in some sense negates it.
Te negation of every mode of diremption is always revived in the
negatve principle of desire. It is what moves desire, although
desire has as its distant limit the state of absolute self-possession.
Te supreme end of desire is to rediscover itself in te heart of life,
that i to say, to fnd itself as the unit of universal life or the
being-for-itself of this life which scatters itself endlessly tough
particular living forms.
Tis goal is only atainable on the condition that the life before
the self confonts it S another self. Te self only fnds its expres
sion in the heart of life where life appears outside of it in the for
of a self. Tus self-consciousness, or man's existence, is possible
only where two self-consciousnesses meet each other. I this
encounter the self gains an objective kowledge of itself trough
the other self, while the other remains itself. I love, for example, the
meag of one's whole life appears in the other who is loved; the
other i the self and the self outside itself. But Hegel does not
idealize the dialectic of love; indeed, he writes in te Phenomenol
og that "The life of God and divine intelligence, then, can, if we
like, be spoken of as love disportng wit itself; but t idea falls .
into edicaton, and even sinks into insipidit, if it lacks the
seriousness, the sufering, the patience, and the labour of te
negative. "4
Tat is why self-consciousness or desire of the self only emerges
fom universal life in the encounter wit anoter self-consciousness.
Life appears to it in the form of this other consciousness, yet to
te exent tat it i an exteral manifestation of itself it must negate
m diremption. Te concepts of being-for-itself and being-for-an
other are current nowadays. It is in the confict between these two
that human self-consciousness arise. On the one hand, it i re
fected in the other in whom it nevertheless sees itself as an exteral
and determined being, a being-for-another. On the other hand, tat
is how it appears to the Other, and this is why consciousness
iptends the death of the Other, which means simply tat it tends
to suppress and negate the estranged mode of existence in which it
. The Concept of Life and Existence in Hegel
appears to itself as Other. What is insupportable i to be bot one
self or pure being-for-itself and at the same tme an Other, a
deterinate for or a living object; and yet tis is te circum
stance in which self-consciousness emerges since it is a pure
self-consciousness incaate in a living form. Iasmuch as it i a
living beig, te self is unavoidably a determnate object for
another in whom it i refected an object. This conditon of
being-for-another is unbearable and yet it is te condition of the
selfs being-in-the-world at al. The conict, which in the case of
te anal's death occurs beneath its awareness, is in man a
negatvity that pervades m existence inasmuch as he too dies but
is at the same time mbeig-for-himself. The fundamental role of
death in anhilating the particular forms of life becomes te prin
ciple of self-consciousness tat drives it to tanscend every di
remption and its characteristic being-in-te-world, once ths being-
in-the-world is its own.
We may now understand how it is that human self-consciousness
emerges in the stuggle beteen self-consciousness. Each seeks te
death of te other because each one wants to suppress his limited
representation for te oter and demands to be recognized by the
other as pure being-for-itself. This struggle to the death is a condi
tion of history, and tough it appears to have its roots i contingent
factors, its true source is the necessit of self-consciousness proving
to te other and to itself that it is not erely a living object, a
simple organsm. Thus being-for-itself, or what we would cal
siply existence, reaes itself through tis stuggle as pure being
for-itself, as absolute negativity. Te followng passage fom Hegel
comparison with contemporary existentialist formulatons:
"And it is solely by risking lie that feedom is obtaned; only thus
is it tied and proved tat the essental nature of self-consciousness
is not bare existence, is not the merely immediate form in which it
at frst makes its appearance, is not its mere absorton in te
expanse of life. Rather it is thereby guaranteed that there i notng
present but what might be taken as a vanishing moment-tat
self-consciousness i merely pure self-existence, being-for-itself."5
Man canot exist except through the negativity of death which
he takes upon himself in order to make of it an act of tanscend:
The Concept of Existence in the Hegelian Phenomenolog 29
ence or supersession of every limited situation. Yet he can never
completely renounce his being-in-the-world, or the mode of di
remption without which he would lack the power of negation i
general and over himself.
Tat is
why the struggle to the death
which is the source and
foundaton of histor can only
result in an impasse. Te renunciation of life in order to prove that
one i a pure being-for-itself simply results in being removed fom
the scene like an animal. It is necessary at once to conserve life and
its dirempton and yet to negate te latter. Another deat than
biological death must be discovered through the interalization of
death. It wlbe recalled how the dialectic of t stuggle is tans
formed into the famous dialectic of tbe mater an slave tat
became the inspiraton of Marxian philosophy. Te slave is the
one who saves himself by preferg life to libert but fnds another
way to express himself as self-consciousness. He becomes the
master of his master in kowing what it is to fear deat, by render
ing a practcal service and shaping himself through labor. Tough
labor, in partcular, he shapes being-as-other, or te objective "
world, i te form of self-consciousness. He makes out of it a
human word, his word, and, conversely, he gives the permanent
negatvit of his own being-for-itself the consistency and stabilit
of being-in-itself. Te conict occasionaly remarked between
being-in-itself and being-for-itself is here resolved by an individu
ality that assumes its being-as-other and reconstitutes it in the
form of being-for-itself.
We shal not indulge te refectons upon a teory of spiritual
individualit that are suggested by this concrete unit of the for
itself and the in-itself in the human product. We shall instead
retur to the theme of the sentiment of death that seizes the slave
and ofers him the possibilit of becoming conscious of the ite
substance of life by detaching him fom any te to a parcular
being. It is through t very consciousness of death, through
anxiet in the face of death, that human existence becomes its own
origin. Let us take a few passages6 fom Hegel himself: "For this
consciousness (of the slave) was not in peril and fear for this
element or that, nor for this or that moment of time, it was afaid
for its entire being; it felt the fear of death, the sovereign master."
The Concept of Life and Existence in Hegel
Death is indeed the principle of negatvt-as such it is not present
i animal life-tat haunts man's being-for-himelf and raises his
limited being to te level of fee being. Te efect of this principle
of negatvit is to dissolve completely te bonds wit animal life.
''It has ben i tat experience melted to its inmost soul, has
tembled troughout its every fbre, and all tat was fxed and
steadfast has quaked witin it." Te signcance that death pos
sesses for biologcal life has its counterpart in te meaning of
being-far-itself i human lie. "Tis complete perturbaton of its
entre substance, t absolute dissoluton of all its stabilit into
fuent contnuit, is, however, te simple, ultimate nature of self
consciousness, absolute negativit."
Tis last text contains the noton of a feedom toward death
which i to be found throughout the Phenomenolog. Tus it is
through the Terror tat a revolutionary populace reconsttutes
itself and is, so to speak, rebor. It is in war, where teir whole
deterate life is at stake, that cites and nations rise to te level
.of spiritual life, or what Hegel cals true Libert, and thereby avoid
wallowg in the unconscious beattude of private economic and
family life. In 1 807 Hegel wrote-as only a German could-"In
order not to let tem get rooted and settled in this isolation and
thus break up te whole into fagments and let the common spirit
evaporate, goverent has fom time to tme to shake tem to te
very cente by War. By t means it confourids the order that has
been established ad arranged, and isolates their right to inde
pendence."7 Only in tis maner can a nation resist the centgal
forces tat work to destroy it fom witin and aspire to Libert.
We have cited a sufGient number of passages to show how, in
becoming self-consciousness in man, universal life becomes a
conscious principle of negatvity. Insofar as man interaes this
negatvit-which reveas itself in life through death-and negates
every deteraton of being wit himself and beyond himself,
human existence is no longer a given, like animal life. However, we
have seen tat Hegel does not stop with this liberty toward death.
Man struggles with himself to assume or take upon himself every
determination, and although he negates tem as death negates
every living particular, he also conserves them and endows them
The Concept of Existence in the Hegelian Phenomenolog 3I
with a new meaing. Thus human existence generates a histor, its
own histor, in which the partial moments are continualy negated
and at the same time always resumed in order to be surpassed. Te
tue life of the spirit is not
only in the
one who recoils fom death,
or becomes conscious of it so as to confont it authentcally, but in
hi who interaes death "it is te magic power that converts the
negatve into beig."8
Te latter power i identical with what Hegel cals the Subject;
tat is, the subject which contains human history in its develop
ment and i not limited to te historicit of a partcular being.
Individual existences are interrelated in the history which tey
make and which as a concrete universaity is what judges them and
tanscends tem. When we consider this uit of tanscendence
and imanence, this God that dies in man whie man raises him
self to the divine through a history tat is his judge, this tanscend
ence of al existences that i the cla of the Phenomenolog
we may well ask whether it is not, as Kierkegaard thought, te
very contary of an existentaist philosophy. But that i not our
task here. We have simply tried to show the relatonShip between
certan Hegelian themes and some contemporary theses by draw
ing attenton to Hege1's descriptons of the conict between lfe and
self-consciousness of life, in oter words, the kowledge of deat,
and his study of being-for-itself as pure negativit and its confict
with being-for-another by whom it cannot but be af ected. But
tis is only one aspect of the Phenomenolog. Numerous oter
aspects of this marvelous work, which is the entance to the nine
teenth century, are even more likely to arouse the interest of con
temporary philosophers.
1 Le Malheur de la conscience dans la philosophie de Hegel (Paris: Presses
Universitares de France, 1951). [rans.]
2 The Phenomenology of Mind, _. 252.
Ibid., _. 221.
4 Ibid., _. 81. [rans.]
5 Ibid., _. 233.
6 Ibid., _. 237. [rans.]
7 Ibid., _. 474.
8 Ibid., _. 93.
The Concept of Life an Existence in Hegel

The Signifcance of
the French Revoluton
in He
el's Ihcncmcnc|c

I the Preface to The Phenomenolog of Mind Hegel chaac

terizes his age as a period of tansiton to a new age. As a supra
individual realit, spirit is, of course, never in a state of rest; rather
"it is here as in the case of the birth of a child; after a long period
of nutriton in silence, the continuit of the gradual growth in
size, of quantitative change, is suddenly cut short by the frst breat
drawn-there is a break in the process, a quaitative change-and
the child i bor. I like manner the spit of te tme, growing
slowly and quietly ripe for the new for it i to assume, disin
tegrates one fagment after another of the stucture of its previous
world. That it i tottering to its fall is indicated only by symptoms
here and there. Frivolit and again ennui, which are spreading
in the established order of things, the undefned foreboding of
someting unkown-all these betoken that there is something
else approaching. T gradual crumbling to pieces, which did
not alter the general look and aspect of the whole, is interrupted
by the sunrise, which, in a fash and at a single stoke, brings to
view the form and stcture of the new world."l From Ttbingen
Hegel had passionately followed the stages leading up to the
French Revolution. Under the inuence of the Platonic vision he
tought he had seen the collapse of the ancient world and enter
taed great hopes for the new spirit tat was to emerge fom the
ruins. That is why he is fercely critcal in the Phenomenolog of
that individuait who "by his act . . . takes mplace in, or rather
as, te general element of existent actualit; and his act is, even
in m own regard, intended to have the vaue of a universal
36 The Concept of Histor in Hegel
ordinance."2 He himself had experienced both systematc dis
paragement fom his opponents (for example, fom his father,
who was a bureaucrat in the Misty of Finance at Wiirttemberg)
. and the naIve enthusiasm of the protagonists of change for the sake
of change, those ultrarevolutionaries to whom he alludes in te
Preface of the Phenomenolog.3
It will be no surprise, then, to fnd how much attenton i given
in the Phenomenolog to the French Revolution and te profound
tansformatons which it brought about. Indeed, in the Phe
nomenolog Hegel undertakes to investigate all te sources of te
culture of his time and to conceptualize them in their original form.
In general the ideas of an age are not consciously present to those
who live by them; they are too familiar for anyone to take the
trouble of analyzing them. Hegel saw the need for rediscovering
the pat by which the human spirit had reached its historical
present and to explain the latter in terms of its earlier development.
Spirit is what it is only through "what it has already come to be,"4
in other words, through its own history
However, it i by no means easy to interret relevant passages
in te Phenomenolog, for tey present an inextricable weaving
of concrete and partcular events along with general or universal
notons. According to one's temperament, Hegel might be critcized
equally for having
onstucted a logomachy in which every event
of history is reduced to a play of logical opposites or for having
contaminated his logic with the accidents of history.5 But either
reproach implies a neglect of what i truly origina in Hegel's
work as one of the greatest attempts to relate the singular and
the universal whch in ordinary consciousness are juxtaposed
without reconciliation. Before proceeding to a textual exegesis
it may be advantageous to consider what we kow directly of
Hegel's atttudes toward the French Revolution.
Hegel's views prior to the Phenomenolog
In a remark fom his Jena writings Hegel speaks of the prac
tice of reading t
e newspapers as "the morg prayer of the
reaist."6 It i fom our information about the world
situation at a
specifc moment that we adopt a given orientaton toward realit.
The French Revolution in Hegel's Phenomenology 3T
Hegel's remark is far from being tat of a mystic but reveals a
mnd deeply concered with events and sensitive to ever idea
and process of change in which it fnds itself.1 T i the great
advatage of studying Hegel's
early thought before entering into
his vast philosophical system. We are
acquainted with a Hegel
who as yet makes no attempt
to force
reaity to ft m own pre
conceptions, whose ideas are experimental and do not presume to
be more than tentatve essays in their feld.
As a theology student at Tibingen, Hegel came into contact
with te religious mind of his age, wit Schiller and Lessig, as
well as with eighteent-centu French thought. He knew te
"immortal"8 writings of Montesquieu. Along wit his fend
HOlderlin he drew inspiraton fom Rousseau who seemed to pro
vide a source for understanding te passage of events i the French
Revolution, which were followed with passionate interest by
H6lderlin, Schelling, and hiself. Te history of te fount of
libert may have been a legend, but it captured the imaginaton
of young Geran minds fustrated by the acialit of politics and
religion i their own societ and who hoped to see te neighbor
ing revolution promote the radical changes whch they believed
necessary in their own county.9
These new ideas began to take root in the conservative cit of
Witemberg. Te jouralist Schubart is a tpical representatve
of the vague enthusiasm for feedom that was then current. He
spoke of a reign of Liber and announced the advent of "great
events." He was also m of praise for the enlightened despotsms
of Frederick the Great and Joseph II.lO Even with his sd
temperament, there is hardly any doubt tat Hegel allowed himself
to be caught up in the popular mood. I the margins of his note
book one fnds scribbled by m fiends such expressions as In
trannos-eath to trants. A few years later, in a letter to
Schelling, Hegel describes the ideal they shared as "Reason and
I Hegel's writings fom the tme when he was in Tiibingen
and Ber we may distnguish two rather df erent conceptons of
feedom. Nowadays, we speak of feedom within the State and
freedom fom the Stte. On te other hand, Hegel exats the
pols in which, as he believed, te citen feely realed m
The Concept of Histor in Hegel
destiny witout seeking beyond it. On te oter hand, he saw
in Chrstanit a private religion which ofered te individual te
possibilit of union wit the Universal and of raising himself
beyond the level of societ. Te contrast may be famed in terms
of the problem of te relaton between Curch and State. ''Hegel
fghts the Church i the name of te State and te State in te
name of the Church."11 But we should avoid any hast formula
tons, for when posed in terms of such antteses te problem as
sumes vast proportons. Indeed, in view of te indecision of the
early Hegel and te ambiguit of some of m propositons, it K
likely tat we shall simply fd to irreconcilable notons of
libert. According to one acton, te individual is tly fee when
he realizes himself i a State which is his own State. I such a
State tere is no tanscendental spirit but what is immanent in te
eartly enterrse. The individual wl is realized i te general
wl of te naton, and of a particular naton because te love
which unites te citzens is incapable of itude witout self
destuction.12 Here man is uniquely a citizen. According to the
oter notion, te State is not te fulest expression of man and te
individual must r,serve for himself a private libert outside of
the State. I the frst case, Religion tends to disappear in the
eartly cit tat is te creation of men who are not "in fight
fom te world" arid do not seek to "save what is private to
tem." I te later case, the State is only a means to te indi
vidual's end and he alone is capable of attaining te Universal.
These two conceptions of Liberty, te one communal, the oter
individualist, are not clearly distinguished i these early Hegelian
wrtings, and it is possibl.e that we shall be open to the critcism
of having read into them problems which belong propery to our
own age. I a well-kown passage fom the period at Ber, when
he was studying the transition fom the ancient to the moder
word, Hegel dwells upon the liber of the ancient citen as a
liber witin the State. "Freedom to obey self-given laws, to
follow self-chosen leaders, to cary out plans i whose formulation
one had one's share."13
Then, the Absolute for the citizen was his terestial cit. By
contast, i te moder world the citizen has become a prvate
individUal, his God is no longer witin te pols, and he displaces
The French Revolution in Hegel's Phenomenology
not only te ancient gods but the ancient State
itself and the
absolute ideal of a "fee
people."14 Yet fom the
period at
Ber, in the Life of
Jesus, 15
not a unique expression of
Hegel's tought at
time, we fnd
a quite diferent conception of
libert. Now it is man who is the measure of the State and who i
h solitude fnds Vm himself the Universal. Man's dignit-a
word used by Schiller and Hegel to translate the French Rights
of Man-consists i "refsing to revere the statutes of the Church
or to obey the laws of the State." Man is "reason whose laws are
interal laws and to whom no other authorit on earth or i
heaven can provide a more rational standard of Justice."16 Hegel's
Christ says, "I do not call you pupils or disciples-the latter folow
te wl of their teacher often without understanding the reasons
for tei actons; you have raised yourelves to independence, tO
te freedom of Will."17 In these early witngs te two conceptions
of libert are not clearly dstnguished and this in part explains
Hegel's ambivalent atttude toward religion. But the practical con
sequences so far as the crticism of the contemporary situaton
were hardly afected. Hegel is a constant defender of the rigts of
man and the citizen.18
Hegel is no revolutonary. By temperament he was primaly a
reformer, tough te reforms that he demanded under the in
fuence of events in France were essentially radical. I a letter to
h fend Schelling, dated Apri 16, 1795, Hegel denounces dow
to the last detail the failings of te small state of Ber where he
was living.19 He goes behind its virtuous faade and examines
critically te socia infa-structure and the injustices in it which
should be swept away by the new ideas. Moder philosophy is a
philosophy of the idea, of what ought to be, by opposing what
ought to be (sollen) to what is, it awakens those minds that have
become tapped i the present: "by revealing how everg
ought to be, it wl sweep away te indolence of those who confer
etert upon everg as it is." :owing how fercely Hegel
wl later criticize the noton of "sollen" and te ideas of the
utopians in general, one cannot be anyting but amazed at Hegel's
radicalism at earlier date. Te same belief i the liberating
power of ideas is eviced in a tanslaton Hegel made of te letters
of te French lawyer Cart.
0 Cart was a Girondin who had been
The Concept of Histor in Hegel
forced to fee fom m county after te victory of the Monta
gnards. Wit great eloquence he denounced the exactions enforced
by the unprincipled oligarchy of the Berese paticians in te
region of Vaud which they had conquered. He describes wit what
cruelt the patriots of Vaud are teated and how teir most ele
mentary feedoms are suppressed. I his passion for the ideal,
Hegel puts at the head of his tanslaton te phrase Disdte justiciam
moniti.21 I additon, Hegel writes a commentary upon tese
letters in order to expose a situation the facts of which were so
thoroughly famliar to him. As Vermeil has observed, "Here
one sees the indignaton of te poor theologica student who sees
around him young people, half-educated, acquirng . efortessly
what no efort of his can gain."22 Hegel's indictent of te
Berese oligarchy appeared too late. The interventon of the
French toops put an end to tese injustices and restored te
libert of the Vaudois.
Certain of Hegel's general comments upon Cart's letters, which
occasionally remind one of phrases fom Montesquieu, are par
ticularly reveaing of Hegel'S politcal thought at this period. He
despises te citiens of Ber for preferring the loss of libert to
the payment of a tax, contrastng their civic sense with that of
Englishmen. "The Englishman is fee, he enjoys the natura rights
of feedom, in short, he maes his own demands upon himself."23
And in connecton with the American Revoluton he has te
following profound comment: "The tax imposed by the English
parliament upon tea imported into America was minimal, but
te belief of the Americans that by acceptg te payment of tat
sum, however insigncant in itself, tey would be yieldng at te
same time their most precious right, made te American Revolu
Te same mood of protest i to be found in te pages left to
us fom Hegel's fst study on Wirttemberg.25 He denounces te
oppression of existng positve law on te ground that its posi
tvism is a dead thig witn a living body. U a violent revolution
of the French sort i to be avoided, then every basic reform must be
insttuted without delay. He sees the people of Wirttemberg tom
between fear and hope. "It i time to end t alteration between
The French Revolution in Hegel's Phenomenolog
expectancy and disillusionment," and to do tis al the injustces
of a worm-eaten constituton must be overtrown. Hegel's mood
is that of Quo usque tandem.26 Men's patence must at last t
to courage and audacit in
order to change their circumstance;
oterwise they will take fight into dreams, the eteral solution
of the German mind.
Te refection that the reforms demanded in the name of reason
were perhaps dreams after al seems to have concered Hegel
fom te end of the Frankurt period and troughout his stay at
J ena. He no longer wants to refor existng conditions but pre
fers to t to understand tem and discover in them a necessary
destiny. Later, in his lectures on the philosophy of history, he
wl remark that "Philosophy escapes fom the wear stife of the
passions that agitate the surface of societ into the ca region
of contemplaton."27 From rather general remark we may
be permitted to disengage a more specifc development whose
historcal causes we must examine. I is not a development pecular
to Hegel. Many German minds who at frst welcomed with en
tusiasm te French Revolution later failed to understand its
course. By the end of 1794, Hegel had aready expressed to
Schelling his disgust with the bloody tranny of Robespiere. Te
wars of the armies of the Republc, and later of the Empire, had
caused second thoughts among the utopians. Hegel saw tat
war at close hand, vlages half in ruins, churches demolished to
te bare walS.28 New thoughts about te French Revoluton began
to appear. I 1793 Gentz tanslated into German Burke's con
servatve Refections on the French Reolution, so important for
its elaboraton of the romantc and organic conception of the
Like others Hegel experienced te wave of reacton, but in
his own way and without changing his atttude to one of con
servatsm. H new positon i best expressed in his essay On "Te
German Consttution. "29 Tere he no longer regards the State as
te product of a contactual association. Te State imposes itself
upon individuals S teir destny. Te unit of te State i the
creation of force and great political geniuses-such as Richelieu
in France- and not of ideologies. Hegel's penetratng and often
The Concept of Hitor in Hegel
prophetc analysis of the condition of te German State, as a
State in tought, incapable of underg a decisive war of the
people, is well kown. Hegel declares in t essay that "Te
thoughts expressed in t essay have no other purpose or a
than to understand what is."30
Whereas a few years earlier Hegel had exalted te "sollen:' he
proposes hencefort "to understand what is as it is" and to discover
Vm it te necessary development of te Idea. However, one
should not be misled. For tere is in tis formula an emphasis
which already cals to mind the revolutonary reaism of m future
student, Karl Ma.
As we see it, Hegel's development prior to te Phenomenolog
is marked by te shift fom a reformist atttude to a atttude of
contemplaton, fom the "sollen" to "te comprehension of what
is." Tat is why in t work of m,which takes up al the temes
of his early witngs, Hegel undertakes to comprehend the process
which led necessarily to te French Revoluton and its conse
quences, which were no less necessary, but which were hidden
fom those who engaged in it.
Te Backound of te Fench Revoluton
I m essay on " Te Positvit of Christian Religon," where
he studies the tansition fom the ancient world to the modem
era, Hegel conceives of "a stll and secret revolution in the spirit
of te age, a revoluton not visible to every eye, especially im
perceptble to contemporaries, and as hard to discer as to de
scrbe in words. "31 He himself had described the outcome of t
profound tansformation of the paga word. Te beaut of the
Greek cit-the ethical rea of the Phenomenolog-survives
only as a memory. Hegel's contemporaries sougt in vain to bring
back to life the Greek past.
Te lad of Helas seekg wit my sou.32
Te collapse of the ancient world is te source of a permanent
division in te modem world. Henceforth consciousness has a
The French Revolution in Hegel's Phenomenolo
double aim. It inabits simultaneously "two worlds" which have
become alien to one another. One
of the two worlds i the realm
of social and political realit in which the spirit alienates itsel in
order to constitute a concrete realit which cononts self-con
sciousness. "Te frst word of spirt i the expanded realm of
spirt's self-dispersing existence and of certaint of self in separate
indivdual shapes and forms. . . . Te second world contains the
generic principle, and is the realm of
te ultmate inherent nature
(Ansichseins) or the essental tut, over against that individual
certaint. "33 Tis reduplicaton i such that "presence" i hence
forth lackng in "essence" and that essence becomes a transcendent
entt beyond te present. Te temporal and spiritual realms ae
divorced and thus the tanscendental world is merely an "es
cape," an asylum of the fatl consciousness tat lifts itself
outside te present. 34
These two worlds, which exist only as correlatves, are subject
to a "silent revolution" such as precedes great upheavals and the
result of these parallel changes i the attempt at unifcaton repre
sented by the French Revolution. Te word of presence is brought
to its downfall and te tanscendental word becomes te source
of a draatc conict witin pure consciousness. Under the pre
text of combatng supersttion, te "Enlightenment," whch i the
eighteenth-century forulaton of pure tought, in efect lays the
ground for te "reconciliaton" of these two worlds of man. By te
end o tese two movements, which we shall describe, "both
words are reconciled and heaven i tansplanted to earth below."3G
Similarly, for the oppressed German peasants and the wretched
town proletariat te Reformaton, which Hegel calls the Geran
Revoluton, was not simply a queston of justcaton by Fait,
but the' realaton of Justce on earth according to te words
of Christ and the Prophets. But Luther's view was rater diferent,
as K well kown; ''Neither injustce nor tranny justif revolt.
. Christ's spiritual kingdom cannot be tansfored into a
exteral and eartly kngdom."
We may well wonder whether, mutatis mutandis, Hegel's own
conclusion is not sufciently like Luther's.
The Concept oj Histor in Hegel
The evolution of the "noble consciousness" from Feudalism
to the Revolution
Te world of presence i te world of concrete realit which
consciousness forms in the process of cultvatng itself. Tis
cultural process (Bidung) must be understood in its most general
sense. Te individual renounces his natural libert to become a
man in a social and political wo
ld which is constituted by this
very act of alienation. But in exchange for tis surrender he ac
quires the power of culture and gains the possibility of mastery
over nature.36 Te two elements of tis word are the "State
Power" and "Wealt."37 Te State Power is at frst essence, but
in the process of its m realaton it i tansformed into its
opposite, Wealt. Te entire meaning of the word of culture
is comprised in the evoluton of these two elements considered as
two types of self-consciousness-the noble consciousness and te
base consciousness-which are the vehicle of this world and in
bringing it to its m development contribute at te same tme
to its dissolution.
Te noble consciousness acquires its self-defnition through
proportioning itself to the social and politcal world and to the
powers that dominate that world: the Power of the State and of
Wealth. Te base consciousness, on the contary, is always in a
state of inequalit. I i te element of revolt and, so to speak, te
revolutonary ferent of te whole development. Te base con
sciousness is, of course, obliged to obey the consttuted authorit.
But i it yields, it is with a secret feeling of interal revolt. It, too,
seekS the wealth which is the source of enjoyment, but it hates te
benefactor. Furtermore, just as te 'slave is the tuth of the master
-or as te master is in fact a slave witout kowing itso the
base consciousness i the tut of the noble consciousness. Here
(as Ma observed) it is impossible to ove
look the revolutonar
character of the Hegelian dialectc.38 Whatever the conservative
implications of his system, the consequences of te dialectic are
revolutionary, wheter or not intended by Hegel.
Let us translate this dialectc into concrete terms : the nobilit,
which i the etical ideal of the ancien regime, always becomes
The French Revolution in Hegel's Phenomenology
something other than what it ought to be. The tuth hidden witn
it is the base consciousness that is its antithesis and which it must
end by discovering within itself. The noble consciousness exists at
frst in the form of the "loyal vassal." He has entirely renounced
any private, particular will and is ready to die in the service of the
State.39 Trough this act of alienaton he gives rise to the frst
form in which "State Power" exists. In exchange, he is held in re
gard less for himself than for his courage and the nobilit of h
ideal. His renunciation is simultaneously te acquisiton of a sense
of personal worth. Hegel calls this the sentent of honor, having
in mind an essay of Montesquieu in which he considers honor the
"essential prnciple" of monarchy. However, in renouncing h
pacular desires the "haught vassal" does not surrender his
"self." Though he is V g to sacrifce himself on behaf of the
State, he is so only when the State is not embodied in a will that
is a particular will: " . . . he is actve in the interests of the state
power, so far as the latter is not a personal will [a monarch] but
merely an essentia will."40 Tis is why honor, or a personal sense
of the Universal, is an ambiguous mixture of pride and virtue.
Should the noble not die in battle, there is notng to disprove te
accusation tat the truth of his nobilit lies in tat amour-propre
of which La Rochefoucauld spoke in the early seventeenth century.
"Individual self-existence, the possession of an individual will
tat is not yet qua will surrendered, is the inner secretly reserved
principle of the various classes and stations, a spirit which keep
for its own behoof what suits itself best, in spite of its words
about the universal best, and tends to make this claptrap about
what is universally the best a substitute for brnging it about."41
Tus the noble consciousness does not difer fom the base con
sciousness which is "always on the point of revolt" and, as Hegel
shows elsewhere,42 it was wit justice that Richelieu reduced te
claims of the nobilit.
However, tere is a new development destned to result in
an absolute monarchy. In the course ' of tis process the State
Power reaches its apex in the for of an individual above al
individuals, a single and decisive Self. This happens because the
noble consciousness forswears its honor and through coury lan
guage alienates its self-respect, exchanging the "heroism of
The Concept of Histor in Hegel
service" for the "heroism of fattery."43 Behind these dialectical
formulas what appears is the reign of Louis X, and Hegel is
here describing what Taine later called te classical spirit.44
Trough t development in which the noble becomes a courtier
there occurs a profound tansformaton of te social structure.
The stucture of the State is overtured and te stage set for
the coming of te French Revolution. "By its name, ten, the
monarch becomes absolutely detached fom everone, exclusive
and solitary, and in virtue of it is unique as an atom that cannot
communicate any part of its essental nature, and has no equal.
. . . Conversely he, this parcular individual, thereby kows him
self, this individual self, to be the universal power, kows that te
nobles not only are ready and prepared for the service of the
state-autorit, but are grouped as an oramental settng around
te throne, and tat they are forever telling him who sits tereon
what he is."45
Once the rule of the Roi Solei! was established, the vitat of
the feudal institutions was sapped so that they survived only as
decor, as a motey of privileges all the more fivolous now tat
organic ties with the State had been uprooted. France is clearly
the country in which this process was caried furthest, compared,
for example, with the states of Nort Gerany. Writing sometme
after Hegel, de Tocqueville comments that "even after it had
ceased to be a political instituton, the feuda system remained
basic to the economic organization of France."46 However, in
alenating its honor, the nobilit received in ret pensions and
material benefts. Te King is the one individual who can allow
himself to be seduced by fattery and when he says, "I is I who
8 the State," he remains unaware that in these words the State
is dissolved and nothing more than an "empt name." The real
power now lies in te hands of Wealth as a further manifestation
of the decomposition of the State. And again the noble conscious
ness allies itself with te base consciousness and "adjusts to its
surroundings"47 in order to get out of the State the only thg it
now considers real, namely, hard cash. Earlier, we alluded to La
Rochefoucauld. Here, we may refer to La Bruyere who observed
tis process toward the end of the seventeenth centuy. "Such
people are neither parents nor fiends, neither citizens' nor C-
The French Revolution in Hegel's Phenomenology
tans, perhaps not even men; tey have money." Te practical
efect of such a tansformaton of the social stucture is the col
lapse of the polarit between the noble consciousness and the
base consciousness.4
Wit their disappearan
ce, a culture has in
fact passed away. "Te base tpe has gained its end, that of sub
ordinatng universal power to self-cented isolation of self."4
The mood of pre-revolutionar societ: the disinte
A living cuture must have a recogned and stable system of
values. Te social order is dependent upon a nearly universal
recogniton of a well-defned concepton of good and evil. But
tere are critcal periods in history when the old order becomes
a shadow and the new order has yet to appear. Tese perods
of tansition, which precede every revoluton, are tmes of spiritual
disintegration. At such times the dialectc appears to consciousness
only i its negatve form and te positive dialectic which under
lies negatvit is not perceived. Tough others have since drawn
attenton to these crises i te social order, Hegel's early percep
ton of these phenomena seems to us to have original merits.
Te ancen regme was founded upon te distincton between
the noble consciousness and the base consciousness. But the
nobilit, which was once consecrated to the service of the State,
alienated its honor in exchange for a more real power, money.
Te State Power, having assumed the form of an asolute
monarchy, lost its universal character and survived only in appear
ance. As a result, wealth became the only worthwhile pursuit, and
tereby the distincton between the noble and base consciousness
was reduced to a formal distncton, without any basis i tuth,
but providing a facade behind which a new order might be pre
pared. Even when wealth had become an essence tere remained
a vast number of diferences i te social order, tose between
te privileged and the non-privileged, between te arrogant rich
and te ignoble fatterers. "The form of utterance which supplies
wealth with the sense of its own essental signicance, and thereby
maes itself master of it, is likewise the language of fattery, but
of ignoble fattery."5o Once wealth-the reference here is not
The Concept of Histor in Hegel
to work or producton in general but to a condition of immediate
satisfacton51-becomes the sole essence, a profound perversion
of the social stucture is involved for the reason tat "what it i
parts, what it gives to others, is self-existence. I does not hand
itself over, however, as a natural self-less object, as the fankly
and feely ofered conditon of uconscious life, but as self-con
scious, as a realit keeping hold of itself."52 The result is tus
widespread depravit i which te soul of the rich man is caught
no less tan that of his client. However, it is in the soul of the
client, in the depts of his disintegration, that tere awakens te
most lucid awareness of the decomposition of societ.
To describe the disintegrated consciousness and te negaton of
the ancient word and its culture Hegel chose an essay fom
Diderot at that tme unkown in France. It had been tanslated
into German by Goethe and sent to Schiller, who wrote about it
tat "it is a dialogue which te (supposed) nephew of Rameau,
the musician, has with Diderot. This nephew is the idea of a
Parasite (Shmarotzer) , but a hero of the class, and as he de
scrbes himself, he makes a biting satre on societ and the world
in which he lives and fourishes."53 Schiller's comment seizes
upon what HegeL saw in the essay, namely, not simply the por
tait of a unique individual, a fne character description, but the
vision of a societ of extremes and the moral disintegraton which
is its consequence.
Te diaogue, as Hegel points out, brings together two quite
diferent personalites : te trut-seeking philosopher and the
Bohemian. Te philosopher seeks to support and preserve a
certan number of fxed values. Te philosopher is shocked by the
dialectical shifts and constant changes of mood in his interocutor
and yet he is obliged to recognize the latter's absolute fankness
and sincerit. "I was confused by such cleveress mixed with such
baseness, by so many ideas at one moment so right and in the
next so wrong, by the perversit in every one of his sentiments,
his total depravity and his extaordinar cador."54 Te philos
opher is unable to adapt his conscience to such an upheaval in
morals and Hegel himself often attempts to escape the conse
quences of his own dialectical logic. But in t case truth is on
te side of te Bohemian, for he describes everything in the social
The French Revolution in Hegel's Phenomenology
world for what it is, that is to say, the opposite of what it appears
to be: "Money i everything, but we should not say SO."55 The
noble consciousness and the base consciousness are i realit the
opposite of what they should be, the good is evil and the evil i
good. 56 The Bohemian lays bare the comedy of a social order
which has lost its foundations in any substantial realit. Te
awareness of such a loss transforms acton into comedy and
intentionality into hypocrisy. The sole tuth in such a context i the
desire and greed for money and the will to power. But at this
point, having candidly exposed "what the world thinks but does
not dare say," Rameau's nephew pulls himself up, proud of his
uimpeachable candor, and raises his self above al this baseness
by the very act of espousing it and thereby achieving identt with
himself in the very depths of m disintegraton. 57 At this point
Hegel's analysis of the disintegrated consciousness brngs to mid
his earlier analysis of the skeptic consciousness or the unhappy
consciousness. But what is original in his description of the dis
integrated consciousness.apart fom its dialectic of insult and
humiliation which one fnds later in Dostoievsk:5
-is that it re
veals the mind of a societ about to perish of an unhappy con
sciousness from the pre-revolutionary period. Thus, by neglecting
the facade of appearances in such a world, Rameau's nephew ca
exclaim, "Vanit, there is no homeland, fom one end to the
other I see only trants and slaves."5
Te language of he who expresses the vanity of the social
world is, Hegel puts it, the madness of the musician who "piled
and mixed up together some t airs, Italian, French, tagic,
comic, of all sorts and kinds."6
By contrast, te honest soul of
the philosopher stuggles to keep witin the harmony of Good
and Ev. "Te honest soul takes each moment a permanent
and essental fact, and is te uncultivated thoughtless condition
that does not think and does not kow that it is likewise doing
the very inverse. The distaught and disintegrated soul is, however,
aware of inversion; it is in fact a consCiousness of absolute inver
sion; the conceptual principle predominates there; brings together
into a single unity the thoughts tat lie far apart in the case of
the honest soul, and the language conveying its meaning i, there
fore, mof esprit and wit (geistreich) ."61
The Concept of Histor in Hegel
Te scintllatng laguage employed by the wit is used not only
by the tagi-comic Bohemian but is the language of an entire
societ tat only preserves any self-respect at al by being able
to denounce fortrightly in chosen surroundings the vanit of its
world. I enjoys the existing order but kows itself to be superior
to it as te object upon which it exercies its "sparkg wit" and
judgment. Yet as Diderot observes: "Tere is no one who does
not t like you and indict the entire social order, only to fnd
that he denounces his own very exitence. "6
Te tue expression of tis cynical avowal of inversion would
involve a ret to the state of nature descri
ed by Rousseau.63
But even Diogenes in his tub was conditioned by the world fom
which he sought to exclude himself. Te retur cannot assume
the form of particularit: "It is a ret of the whole unto itself that
is needed." And thus Hegel is involved in his own interpretaton of
Rousseau's tesis. Te ret can only involve the spirit of cultre
itself "and can only mean that it must qua spirit retur out of its
confusion into itself, and w for itself a stl higher level of con
scious life."64 Tor fom its tanscendental world, consciousness
leads us to absolute tought, or the identity of thought wit
itself m its disintegration. It remains to consider the inverse
evolution, namely, that which proceeds fom te tanscendental
world to te immanent word. Te pivot, or middle term, in
twofold evolution is self-consciousness which, by comprehending
everg within itself, becomes in its universalit "Absolute
The stru
le of the Enli
Te conict between Faith and Enlightenment, which dominated
the eighteenth century, represents a stuggle between self-con
sciousness possessed of an objective kowledge of truth and pure
tought whose claim to objectvit is grounded transcendentaly.
Te two are indeed not dissimlar, but simply fail to recogne
their identt and like brothers on opposite sides in a battle
seem al the more bent upon each oter's destruction, despite the
fact that they share a common origin and spring from the same
source of truth, the Absolute Spirit. Te struggle nevertheless has
The French Revolution in Hegel's Phenomenolog
necessa character, for the reason that it prepares the way for
the ret of the tascendental realm to the level of self-con
sciousness. We shal not pursue the analysis of the maner in
which discursive thought deals wit Faith, illumiating it from
an objectve standpoint, tansforing it into a system of prejudice
and supersttion and tereby rendering it the very opposite of
the ca to truth to which
it pretends.
The tuth it reveals is in
fact the real nature of human rationait. It uncovers in man a
wholly irrational world, a tssue of unfounded absurdities, a savage
nightare which must be driven out of any tly human universe,
i man is to be restored to himself and made the master of his
own destiny.65 We shal limit our discussion to the development
ad social dif sion of the Enightenent. T philosophical
stuggle is an essental stage in the development of the French
Revoluton, for, as Hegel remarks in m Philosophy of Histor,
the French Revolution "resulted fom phiosophy."
We have drawn attention to the similarites between the Hegelian
dialectic (master ad slave, noble and base consciousness) and
the later Maxia dialectic without, however, wishing in ay way
to obscure the diferences that have been observed between Hegel's
idealism ad m student's historica materalism. I Hegel's view,
history is determined by Ideas which become incaate in certan
world-visions. Tese word-visions, such as te Enghtenment,
Utlitariaism, Absolute Libert, are developed in more or less
abstact systems by philosophers. But they orginate in the course
of te historical development of societ. Stcty correlated wit
social reait, or culture, as Hegel defnes it, these world-visions
are.not supra-stuctures but living ideologies that must be grasped
as such. Tey are not to be abstracted from the concrete situaton
-the mode of life and te social system correspondig to it-in
which they ase. I pretending to stand Hegelia philosophy upon
its feet, Marx in fact overtured the entire Hegelian system. I
t reversal, te dialectc of the histor of ideas-the most origial
element in Hegel's thought-for the most part disappears or loses
. its meaing. What better example can one fnd of the actvit of
te Idea than the Revoluton of 1793, the experience of the new
mystque of a Social Contact witn "a naton one and undivided"?
The Enlightenment represents a philosophical strugge with the
The Concept oj Histor in Hegel
kgdom of eror which is founded upon three elements. Te frst
element is the naive consciousness of an inexperienced mass. I
such a consciousness error is simply the absence of any refection
directed toward the Self. I is expressed by Seide in Voltaire's
Mahomet, which Lessing imitated in his Nathan der Weie.
My soul W the willing slave to your command
Enlighten only its obedient ignorance.
Opposed to such naive consciousness is te second element,
namely, te evil purpose of the priests who wish to be "aone
in possession of insight."61 Like Mahomet, tey set temselves up
as the sole representative of God.
Trough my voice listen to his supreme will
Te clergy "conspire, terefore, with despotsm," which is the
third element in this alienated world. In order to stabilie itself
despotism manipuates the naivete of the mass and draws advan
tage fom the dupery of the priests. Such is the kngdom of dark
ness excavated by the Enlightenment, which, indeed, as the re
sult of a dialectcal phenomenon in history justy emphasied by
Hegel, is almost the creation of its explorers. When one side
denounces the other, the efect is to develop in the opponent a
bad consciousness, which, by lg m out of his naive state,
results in a cynical acceptance of mvalues.69
Since te Enlightenment is unable to reform the perverted
consciousness of the despot and the priests, it works directly upon
the tansformation of the mass. Te mass in itself is what self
consciousness is for itself and tis explains why the Enlightenent
spreads without resistance throughout societ. "Te communica
ton of pure insight is on that account comparable to a silent ex
tension, or the expansion say, of a scent in the unresistng atos
phere . . . . Only when the infecton has become widespread is that
consciousness alive to it, which unconceredly yielded to its inu
ence."10 I the same vein, Hegel quotes fom a passage in Diderot:
"Te foreign God gains a humble place on the altar beside the local
idol; gradually, he becomes more secue there; one fne day he gives
The French Revolution in Hegel's Phenomenolog
m neighbour a shove, and crash! bang! the idol fishes on the
foor."71 Hegel continues with a remarkable descripton of this
revolution in the spiritual clmate of the age: "being now an in
visible ad unperceived spirit, it
insinuates its way trough and
trough the noble pats, and soon has got complete hold over all
the vitals ad members of the unconscious idol. "72 Hegel has in
mind a bloodless revolution. "It is ten the memory alone that
stl preserves te dead form of the spirts previous state, as a
vanished history, vanished men kow not how."73 Te new serent
of wisdom has tus painlessly sloughed of its shriveled skn. A
conscious awareness of this revoluton is not achieved util it
is too late and the resistance which the powers that be attempt
is vain. Te ham has aready been done and persecution serves
only to stengthen te power of te new spirit.
Te stuggle was won by the Enlightenment. But ten te
question arose: U every prejudice and superstition has been
erased, what is the nature of the tuth which the Enlightenment
ofers in their place?74 The truth which emerges fom the stugge
i the tut of ''utity,'' as developed in the philosophy of Hel
vetus. Everthing that was intinsic has been destroyed, leavng
. a vacuous, unordered world. "Since in this way it conceives in
general ever characteristic . . . to be a fnite fact, to be a human
entt and a mental presentation, Absolute Being on its view T
out to be a mere vacuum, to which can be atibuted no character
iStcs, no predicates at al. "75 Tis spiritua vacuum is the counter
part of the word of the "human herd" which only subsists as a
herd or societ for the reason that man i regarded as useful to
man. "As everg is useful for man, man is likewise useful
too, and m characteristc functon consists in makng himself a
member of the human herd, of use for the common good, and
serviceable to all. "76 I such a word there is no place for any
absolute tuth other than an absolute fux or utit oscillating
between the in-itself and the for-itself. Utitaianism is precisely
the expression of a consciousness that has not yet integrated its
own moments, but stl has before it an objectvit, like a shalow
image which it stggles to erase, only to see it reappear. "Utit
is stll a predicate of the object, not a subject."77 Consequently,
te fux wl yield to a new order that is to be proclaimed: Nm
The Concept of History in Hegel
is fee will." Thus man is capable of raising himself above te
drab world of social utlit, and, as the tuth at which the world
aims, discovers the absolute in his own "universal self-conscious
ness." Tis. spiritual revoluton engages with the revoluton in !e
socia ream and bursts fort in the new conception of conscious
ness Absolute Freedom, in which the two worlds hitherto
separated are henceforth reconciled.
Absolute Liber
I his eulogy of Rousseau, Lakaal remarks that: "I efect te
Social Contract provides us wit an explanation of the Revolu
ton." Hegel had read Rousseau while at Tiibingen, and he ap
proaches te interpretation of the Social Contract in the light of
the events takng place in France in his own day. The standard of
te new era is none other than the principle of Rousseau and
Kant, namely, the principle of Absolute Libert. Man's essence
is defed by m will-not a partcular wl in pursuit of private
ends, but a general wle "Rationalit of will is nothing else than
maintaning oneself in pure feedom, willing tis and this alone."78
Freedom involves tat each individual citizen rediscover himself
in an indivisible identity with the general will, that is to say, with
the State. Ma subordinates his impulses and appetites to m
self-prescribed obedience to the Law. The people becomes God;
it recognes itself in te unmediated refection of the Law. I
te French Revoluton, Absolute Libert "puts itself on te throne
of the world, without any power being able to ofer efectual
resistance. "79
However, tis unediated encounter of the Universal and
the individual rests upon an abstraction which considers man
only as a citizen and not as a bourgeois, the essentaly private
individual. Now, ever since his early studies in Tiibingen, Hegel
had been refecting upon that organic societ which necessarily
mediates the State and the individual. Because it neglects t
concrete world Rousseau's work is inadequate and results in an
impasse. Te postulaton of an Uediated identity between the
individual and the general will was possible, as Hegel thought, in
te polis,8
but was no longer a modem possibilit. The individua
The French Revolution in Hegel's Phenomenolog 55
has necessarly to alienate his wl and, as Hegel says, "to ob
ject himself," or to become a pacular moment within a To
tait which itely transcends him. The general wl can only
beome a reality by means of this organized Totait divided into
specic, concrete spheres. Self-consciousness has, however, an ab
solute right to partcipate directy and purposefuly in the general
project. Te glory
of French Revolut
on consists in its stugge
against all alienaton of the wil , against every limitaton of self
consciousness. Tere, too, lies its failure. Sant-Just was led to
declare that "the force of events has perhaps led us to conse
quences that we had not imagined." The force of thgs, or as
Hegel puts it, the cunnng of reason, is the actual workng of the
Idea, and it is fom this that the philosopher who studies the
events of history can discover teir signcance. Te French Revo':
luton is, as it were, a great metaphysical event.81
With the Enlightenment self-consciousness appeared to have
achieved a level of critical objectivit. There sti remained socia
insttutions but they could no longer claim to be self-subsistent.
Teir "being-in-itself" is directy teir "being-for-anoter"; in
other words, they serve a functon. The consttutona monarch is
no longer a kng by the gace of God, a kng in himself, but only
as he serves the" body politic. However, this concept of social util
it is subsumed into its ultate truth, namely, in the beig-for
itself of consciousness as absolute and universal human wil.
"There is here no more than an empt semblance of objectvit

elf-consciousness fom actual possession." Tus utli

tarianism yields to the general wil, or to Absolute Libert. Te
people unite in a single and undivided wl witin which each
citizen desires only what is generally willed. For such a people,
"the world is for it absolutely its own wl,"82 and no longer a
brute obstacle. There is no longer any tanscendental entit, or,
at least, there remans only "an exhalaton of stale gas, of the
empt etre supreme."83 The Revolution emerges, then, as a pro
digious efort of Reason to actuae itself in the world and to
discover its refection in this process without it resulting in an
aberration of self-consciousness. As a result of its tansforation
by the Enghtenment, "consciousness qua pure insight is not an
individual self, over against which the object, in the sense of hav-
The Concept of Histor in Hegel
ing a self al its own, could stand, but the pure noton, te gang
of the self into self, the literal and absolute seeing itself doubled."84
Te people do not manifest their will "by giving a silent assent."
Rater, what emerges as the operation of the Totait "is im
mediately and consciously the deed of every single individual."
Tat is why te democrats in the Commune and te J acobis
protested the stict application of the precepts of te social con
tact. They claimed for themselves the right to sancton the Con
sttution and its laws. They demanded the referendum and an
uted mandate: "For in the case where te self is merely
represented and ideally presented (vorgestelt) , tere it i not ac
tual: where it i by prox, it i not."B5
Such unresticted libert was achieved fom 1789 until 1794.
But what became of it in the course of its enjoyment? I i to
the dialectcs of that experience that we must now tum.
Its results were mainly negatve. Rousseau had said: U, then
the general wl i to b tuly expressed; it is essentia tat there
be no subsidiary groups within the State, and that each citzen
voice m own opinion and nothg but his own opinion."B
That is why all the organic divisions witn the social body
gradually disappeared as the rotten elements in the old order of
things were brought to D by ealier developments. What Hegel
refers to as the "spiritua masses," the Nobility, te Tird Estate,
the Clergy, were dissolved into te mass of citizens. "Each indi
vidual consciousness rises out of the sphere assigned to it, fnds
no longer its inmost nature and function in this isolated area, but
grasps itself as the noton of will, grasps all te various spheres
as te essential expression of this wl , and is in consequence only
able to reae itself in a work which is the work of the whole."B7
By the same token, the single and undivided sovereignt no longer
alowed itself to be split into executve, legislative, and judicial
powers. The Committee of Public Safet concentrated all power
witin itself. How scor is Rousseau of "the tricks performed
by our modem men of politics. The body of the Commonwealth
is frst dismembered with an adroitess which would do credit to
a county fair and then reassembled, no one knows how."BB P
that remained was a multtude of disparate individuals, a shower
The French Revolution in Hegel's Phenomenology
of atoms whose bond is the general will.89 Under such conditions
there could be no queston of a positive achievement.
A more positive outcome could only be attaned through a new
form of alienaton, that is,
only i Absolute Libert again objectifed
itself and "made itself an
existng substance." But then "the ac
tvt and being of personalit would, however, fnd itself by tis
process confned to a branch of the whole, to one knd of action
and existence; when placed in the element of existence, personalit
would bear the meaning of a determinate personality; it would cease
to be in realit universal self-consciousness."9o The actvit of this
Totalit, conceived as an individual, cannot operate in the same
fashion. To be capable of acton, a people must assemble as a
single individual and "put an individual consciousness in the fore
font."91 But the goverent, which is what i in question here,
i an individual that excludes all other individuals fom itself.
Nothing guarantees that it will embody the general will. It is
therefore a matter of principle to suspect it. It cannot act, since
any positive acton, inasmuch as it is its own work, excludes from
itself the actvit of others. Its very nature as a goverent renders
it culpable. This same notion is expressed by Hegel, in a study
he made of Fichte's Natural La, prior to the Jena perod. Follow
ing Rousseau's comment, "We shall force it to be fee," Fichte _
conceives of a system of constaints in order to guarantee the
operaton of the general will. As Hegel interprets it, the govered
will be constrained by the goverors and the goverors by the
govered. But ultmately this perpetuum mobile results in a
perpetuum quietum.92 But acton is a necessit. "A Goverent
of some knd, however, is always in existence. Te queston pre
sents itself, then, whence did it emanate."93
Tis i the reason why durg the Conventon the goverent
existed as a "facton in power," which of its very nature was
destned to fall. After the Girondin, Robespierre took power and
with great violence "maintained the State" until "in tum necessit
abandoned him."94 However, in this very process Absolute Libert
was actualed, though in reality it achieved the reverse of what
it sought. Whereas it conceived itself to be a positve force, it was
merely a negative principle which resulted in the destuction of
58 The Concept oj Histor in Hegel
the individuas idented with it. "But just on that account t
wlis in unmediated oneness with self-consciousness, it is te pure
positve because it is the pure negatve; and that meangless deat,
te ul ed, vacuous negatvit of self, in its inner consttutve
principle, turs round into absolute positvity."95 Just as the gov
erent is suspect in virtue of being in power, so individuas are
suspect in the eyes of the goverment, not for their actions, but
for their suspected intentions (the law of suspects) , teir mistust
and reserve wit respect to the power which claims to embody the
genera wil. Vox populi vox Dei, but te people-in-itself and the
general will are revealed to the initiate "in the silence of passion. "96
Once te individual has merged himself wit the citen, tere is
no personal conduct which escapes the contol of a police charged
to enforce the reign of virtue on ea.
Hegel had aready perceived the extreme implications of Fichte's
liberaism. I involves a police state in which practically every
acton of the bourgeois is watched.97 On the side of the sans
culotes te stuggle aganst the inequality of wealth is not mo
tivated by envy and crude jealousy. I is motvated fom the
legitmate apprehension tat the state, or te general wl, might
fal in its destny, overwhelmed by the enjoyment of material
goods and the concer for private interests over the common
good.9s I brief, the great metaphysical event experienced during
the year of 1794 was the complete reaaton of Absolute Liberty
and the creaton of a new relaton between politcs and death. A
tota democracy emerged, but as te very opposite of what it
claimed to be. It became a maifestation of the most literal
totaitaiasm, or anti-liberal democracy, because it completely
absorbed the prvate individual in te citen and reduced a tran
scendental religion to the religion of the State. Robespierre re
sorted to religion for a focus and support for the Republic.99
"Robespierre," says Hegel, "set up the principle of virtue as
supreme, and it may be said tat he was serious about virtue. "1
As to the
outcome of this turmoil, Hegel'S refectons in the
Phenomenolog are hardly unambiguous. After Robespierre there
follows a nae unmentoned as such, but surely we are meant to
read between the lines the name of Napoleon. For it is Napoleon
who restored the State. He therefore prefgures a knd of restora-
The French Revolution in Hegel's Phenomenolog
ton, though he is destned to disappear fom the scene that he
prepares. The great
man, the trant or te
dictator, preserves and
reconsttutes the State. I oppositon to te apparent wl of each
individua, the trant expresses the tue and permanent will, the
destny of all.
He subjugates them and disciplines them to
obedience. Once this is accomplished, though unable to abdicate
himself, the trant must leave the stage. "Te people overtrow
tranny because to them it is an abominaton and an infamy, but
really because it has served its purose.
I a letter to his fiend
Niethammer, written April 28, 1814, in which he comments upon
the historcal events takng place in Europe, partcularly the de
cline of Napoleon, Hegel, i the course of refecting upon the
historical scene in Europe and in partcular the decline of Na
poleon, boasts of "having foreseen reversal in the work which
he had fnished on the eve of the battle of Jena.
Thus the result of the French Revoluton is the Restoration.
However, the Restoration is not simply the re-establishment of
the old order. After having sufered the Terror and dictatorship,
the formless multtude reorgaes itself once again. "Tese individ
uals, who felt te fear of death, their absolute lord and master,
submit to negation and distinction once more, arrange temselves
under 'spheres,' and retur to a restrcted and apportioned task,
but thereby to their substantal reait.
3 The new divisions or
new spiritual masses which become the elements of the moder
societ are, however, quite df erent fom the old ones. To grasp
clearly the nature of the diference involved it is necessary to refer
to Hegel's Philosophy oj Min, 1805-1806, which precedes The
Phenomenology oj Min. Whereas in 1802 Hegel stl conceived
the organic divisions of societ on the model of te aristocratc
structure of norther Germany,
he is now infuenced by Na
poleon's reconstructon. I the consttuton which Napoleon made
for Italy there was a college of "possidenti," of "merchanti," and
of "dotti," in which "we have united the dif erent consttuent eie
ments of a naton.
These elements difer fom those of the old order, the hereditary
nobility, bourgeoisie, and peasantry, and this is the basis of the
remarkably more concrete descripton of 1805-1806 in compari
son with the sketch only a few years earlier in the System der
60 The Concept of Histor in Hegel
Sittlichkeit. Te peasanty are stl weighed down by a life of toil
tat binds them to nature but tey have a collectve stength which
fnds occasional expression in violence. The bourgeoisie, on the
other hand, diferentates and organes itse1f. Hegel draws a d
tncton between the petit bourgeois, who is charactered by the
respect for mhonor and the comfortable position he enjoys in te
town, and the great merchant who lives in an abstract word and
whose dealings are universal in space and time.
The merchant
i accustomed to handle money-the abstact universal-rather
than thgs. He espouses abstact law and te rigor of exchange,
indf erent to their consequences for human beings : "Factories
and mills base their existence upon te misery of a class.
7 Of
course, the State stands above this business world, which is like
a "wld anima,
and surveys it fom a unversal standpoint. But
"its intervention must be hardly visible; one should not want to
save what cannot be saved, but fnd other employment for the
class that endures misery,
in seekg new markets. At te
side of the nobility, which stll retas its place, there appears te
great administrator, whose model Hegel found i Napoleon
adviser to the State. Tese administrators are men with a sense
of dut who, like the philosophers, give expression to "public
We have stressed te treatment of historical events in Hegel,
for the tendency is to overlook this aspect in comparison with te
abstraction of the Phenomenolog. The State, then, is restored after
te Revolution, but it is "refeshed and rejuvenated.
efect of any revoluton, Hegel seems to t, is simply to
stengthen te State. - But there remains a problem or, rather, a
queston which Hegel himse1f asked. It is the queston whether the
revolt against aenaton which resulted in a new alienaton of
Liberty is to be repeated. In this case, the histor of the spirit
would be a cyclical history, each revolution resultng in te in
sttution of a new social order. Thus, just as war "shakes to the
very center
individuals who would oterwise sink into par
tcularit, so it is the function of revolution to renew otherwise
petrifed social orders. From this point of view there might be
some sort of progress involved in the conict between the body
poltc and se1f-consciousness; In each revolution the body politic
The French Revolution in Hegel's Phenomenolog
would be increasingly permeated by the conscious subject. U
tmately perhaps, aienaton, as a hiterto necessary phenomenon,
would disappear and the ream of individua consciousness might
expand to the point where it found
its refection in a COmmon
social enterrise. It would
then be
"able to endure the objectve
reality of universal spit,
a realit, excluding self-consciousness
qu pacular.
Havng raised the possibility, Hegel nevereless seems un
willing to pursue the history 6f te spirit to this conclusion. Much
as Luther considered impossible the reign of God on ea, Hegel,
too, at least in the Phenomenolog, conceives of anoter soluton
tan the unmediated reconciliaton of the two worlds. He seems
to have recorded the failure of the French Revolution as a neces
sa event whereby Absolute Libert "passes over into another
land of self-conscious spirit,
3 namely, Germay, where, instead
of being reaed in deeds, it is interaed in the etical and re
ligious world of Kant, Fichte, and te romantcs. As Hegel puts
it: "Among the Germans this view assumed no other view than
that of tranquil theor, but the French wished to give it practca
Te events in France were passed in judgment by Burke in a
work which became the Bible of alfuture conservatives. He con
tasts English feedom with French liberties and foresees as a
consequence of the latter the tiumph of force and despotsm.
But he fails to rise to the grandeur and universal signicance of
the Revolution. He confnes himself to te contast between the
French mode of reasoning by abstactons, which careful y -levels
everg, "like teir oramenta gardeners,
and the prejudice
for prejudice, or untheoretca empiricism. Altough Hegel may be
compared to Burke, pacularly in his critcisms of the abstract
principles of 1789, the diferences between them cannot be over
looked. We have attempted to illustate te efort which Hegel
made to comprehend the necessary' development of the events
which culminated in the French Revoluton. Despite its paal
failure, Hegel considers the Revoluton a intellectual revoluton
of ite consequence, as may be seen fom the following passage
wrtten toward the end of his life:
The Concept of Histor in Hegel
The conception, the idea of Right asserted its authority all at once,
and te old famework of injustice could ofer no resistance to its
onslaugt. A constitution, therefore, was established in harmony
with the conception of Right, and on U foundation 8 future
legislation was to be based
Never since the sun had stood in the
frmament and the planets revolved around U had it been per
ceived tat man's exstence
centes in his head, i.e., i Thought,
inspired by which he builds up the world of realit. Anaagoras
had been the frst to say that )Qg govers the World; but not un
now had man advanced to the recognition of the principle that
Thought ought to gover spiritual realit. T was accordingy
a glorious mental dawn. 1 tg beings shared in the jubilation
of U epoch. Emotons of a loft character stirred men's minds at
tat time; a spiritual enthusiasm thilled through the world, as uthe
reconciliation between the Divine and the Secular was now frst ac
1 The Phenomenology of Mind, p. 75.
2 Ibid., pp. 393-394.
3 Ibid., p. 116.
4 Ibid., p. 276.
5 These critcisms were first clearly set forth in Rudolf Haym, Hegel und
seine Zeit (Berlin, 1857) , p. 241. But Haym confuses a number of dis
tinct phenomenological levels of analysis.
6 Dokumente Zll Hegels ' Entwicklung, edited by J. Hofmeister (Stt
gart: Frommans Verlag, 1936), p. 360.
7 On this "practical realisn" and the apparent contrast with Hegel's
theoretica works, see R. Haym, op. ci., p. 269; also E. Vermeil, "La
Pensee politique de Hegel," Revue de metaphysique et de morale,
7 ,No. 3 (1931), pp. 441-510.
8 Schriften Zllr Politik Illd Rechtsphilosophie, p .. 406.
9 J. Hyppolite, "Les Travaux de jeunesse de Hegel d'apres des Ouvrages
recents," pp. 399-26 and pp. 549-578.
10 G. Aspelin, Hegels Tubinger Fragmellte, eine psclologisclz-ideen
geschichtliche Untersuchllng (Lund: Ohlssons Buchdruckerei, 1933),
p. 21.
The French Revolution in Hegel's Phenomenolo
g 63
11 F. Rosenzweig, Hegel und der Staat, Vol. I (Munich and Berlin, 1920) ,
p. 29.
12 On the destiny of love, which is so important in Hegel's early works
cf. Early Theological Writings, 246-247.
1 3 Ibid., p. 157.
14 When the ideal of the
State no longer inhabited the individual soul,
then "Death . . . must have become som
ething terrifying, since noth
ing survived D. But the republican's whole soul was in the republic,
and there hovered in hs mind the thought of its immortality." Ibid.
15 I.e., "The Spirit of Christianity and Its Fate," Part V: "The Fate of
Jesus and His Church," in Hegel'S Early Theological Writings. [rans.]
1 6 Herman NoW, Hegels theologische Jugendschriften (Ttbingen, 1907),
p. 89.
17 Ibid., p. 126.
18 Actually, despite the contrast between these two conceptions of the
State, Hegel is even at this time aware of the need to reconcile them.
Thus he conceives a republican State whose goal is to respect the rights
of man, but whose essence is the complete and direct expression of the
ral will of its citizens .
. 19 Briefe von und an Hegel, Vol. I, 1785-1812, edited by J. Hofeister
(Haburg: Verlag von Felix Meiner, 1952), pp. 23-25. [rans.]
20 For Hegel's commentary on these letters, see Dokumente zu Hegels
Entwicklug, pp. 247f.
21 Listen, and lea justice. [ras.]
22 E. Vermeil, op. cit., p. +.
23 Dokumente zu Hegels Entwicklung, p. 249.
24 Ibid., p. 249.
25 "Vber die neuesten innem Verhlltisse Wiirttembergs, besonders tber
die Gebrechen der Magistratsverfassung," in Schriften zur Politik und
Rechtsphilosophie, pp. 150-154.
26 Quo usque tandem abutere, Catalina, patientia nostra? M. TuIli Cice
ronis in L. Catilinam, Oratio, I, 1. "Just how long do you think you
can go on tying our patience, Catiine?" [Trans.]
27 The Philosophy of History, with Prefaces by Charles Hegel and the
Translator, J. Sibree, and a New Introducton by C. J. -Friedrich (New
York: Dover Publications, 1956), p. 457. At frst, Hegel seems to have
thought of the State as a contract, then as a power which expresses the
destiny of the individual. Subsequently, he envisaged a further destiny
for the State itself in which it becomes lost amidst wealth and the
multiplicit of private interests. While the individual reconciles himself
with the State in becoming a citizen, the State fds itself confonted
with the world of economy as its destiny. The reconciliation beteen
The Concept of Histor in Hegel
the State and economic interests is envisaged in Hegel's Jena essay on
Natural Law, Schriften zur Politik wzd Rechlsphilosophie, p. 327.
28 See, for example, "Hegel an Nanette Endel, 25 Mai 1798," Briefe von
und an Hegel, Vol. I, 1785-1812, pp. 57-58.
29 Hegel's Political Writings, tanslated by T. M. Knox, with an Intoduc
tory Essay by Z. A. Pelczynski (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1964).
30 Schriflen zur Polilik und Rechtsphilosophie, p. 5. Hegel adds that our
toubles arise fom not fnding things as they ought to be. But throug
knowledge we fee ouselves fom the contngency of personal desires
and lear to recognize necessit and even the reason which underlies it.
31 Early Theological Writings, p. 152.
32 Iphigenia in Tauris, Act I, Scene I, The Dramatic Works of J. W. von
Goethe, tanslated by Sir Walter Scott, E. H. Bowring, and Anna Swan
wick (London: G. Bell and Sons, 1918) .
33 The Phenomenology of Mind, p. 597.
34 Here we retur to the passage mentoned above in which Hegel con
templates the tansition fom the ancient to the modem world. In the
Phenomenology Hegel distinguishes between Faith, as a fight fom the
world, and Religion, which is the "self-consciousness of absolute
35 The Phenomenology of Mind, p. 598.
36 Ibid., p. 515.
37 The study of U section of the Phenomenology (Culture and its Realm
of Actual Realit) presupposes a study of Hegel's earlier Jena writings,
"Ueber die wissenschaftlichen Behandlungsarten des Naturrechts" and
the "System der Sittlichkeit," in Schriflen zur PoUlik und Rechts
38 It is certainly a revolutionary dialectic, but a dialectic whose character
is psychological or spiritual. Te drama of the opposition between the
noble and the base consciousness is never reducible for Hegel to the
confict between two economic classes. In the world of honor what is
essential is the ambition or desire "to achieve greatness." This desire is
succeeded by the desire for wealth alone, which gives rise to a second
dialectic of a wholly diferent nature.
39 Montesquieu's study of the evolution of monarchy had considerable
infuence upon Hegel. "Honor, therefore, has its supreme principles . . .
frst, it is peritted to value one's fortune, but absolutely forbidden to
value one's life." Montesquieu, "De l'esprit des lois," Vol. 1, Chapter
i, in Oeuvres completes, texte presente et annote par Roger Caillois
(Paris: Bibliotheque de la Pleiade, 1958) ; The Spirit of the Laws, trans
lated by Thomas Nugant (New York: Hafner Library of Classics, 1949),
p. 32.
The French Revolution in Hegel's Phenomenolo
40 The Phenomenology of Mind, p. 528.
41 Ibid., p. 528. It was particularly in Germany that U narrow spirit
substituted itself for a public concer. Hegel observes that as an able
statesman Richelieu had done everg to combat provinciam in
France and to foster it in Germany.
42 "Die Verfassung
Deutschlands," in
Schriften zur PoUtik und Rechts
philosophie, especially pp. 107-108.
L. Hegel's Political Writings, pp.
43 The Phenomenology of Mind, p. 533.
44 Hegel quite rightly emphasizes the importance of "language" for the
creation of U court-culture.
45 The Phenomenology of Mind, pp. 533-534.
46 Alexis de Tocqueville, The Old Regime and the French Revolution,
tanslated by Stuart Gilbert (New York: Doubleday Anchor Books,
1955) , p. 31.
47 Diderot, Le Neveu de Rameau, in Oeuvres, texte etabli et annote par
Billy (Paris: Bibliotheque de la PIeiade, 1951), p. 500.
48 The desire for wealth instead of honor creates a number of changes in
the social stcture but these are only quantitati
e diferences. Te qual
itative diferentiations which are the foundation of the social organm
have lost 8meaning.
49 The Phenomenology of Mind, p. 536. Moreover, we know that the
French Revolution actually began with a "revolt of the nobles," a
vain attempt to deny history, in order to restore the ancient monarchy
and regain political power for the nobilit.
50 Ibid., p. 540.
51 Actually, in this chapter of the Phenomenology there are two distinct
dialectics of wealth. Having read Adam Smith, Hegel follows his con
ception of the new social order which was about to emerge. Te devel
opment of wealth, in the form of work, producton, and consumption,
is a process universal in itself but which does not appear as such t o
self-consciousness . . . "in his own enjoyment each gives enjoyment to
8, in m own labour each works for all as well as for himself . . . . "
Private interests are therefore pretenses and mere appearances. Te
second dialectic, which we are now considering, H the dialectic of the
perversion which follows once the desire for wealth is pursued for its
own sake.
52 The Phenomenology of Mind, p. 539.
53 "Schiller to Korer, Weimar, Apri
25, 1 805," Corespondence oJ
Schiller with Korer, tanslated by Leonard Simpson, Vol. M (London:
Richard Bentley Publisher, 1849), p. 333.
54 Diderot, op. ct., p. 441. L.Rameau's Nephew and D'Alembert's Dream,
The Concept of Histor in Hegel
translated with Introductions by L. W. Tancock (London: Penguin
Books, 1966) . [rans.}
55 Diderot, op. cit., p. 491. "I 8 this there was much that one U
and according to which one behaves but without ever saying so" (ibid.,
p. 492). Compare the following passage which also inspired Hegel D
his description of the disintegrated consciousness which H the efect of
wealth: "What a fiendish economy! There
are some who burst with
everthing while others whose needs are no less imperious, to whom
hunger comes just as often, haven't even crust of bread" (ibid.,
p. 500).
56 The Phenomenolog of Mind, p. 541.
57 As in music, which is the only means of expressing the achievement of
identity through diference. The event in which the Self fnds itself D
an exteral and independent object, money, is the geatest possible loss
of identity. "All identity and concord break up, for what holds sway
is the purest discord and disunion, what was absolutely essential H ab
solutely unessential, what has a being on its own account has its being
outside itself: the pure ego itself is absolutely disintegrated o Qua
self, however, it at the same time ipso facto rises above this contadic
tion; it is absolutely elastic, and again cancels this sublation of itself
. . . " (The Phenomenolog of Mind, p. 538.)
58 Dostoievsky on several occasions quotes Diderot's text: "There has to
be a certain dignity to human nature that nothing can destroy. U can
be aroused over a pair of boots, even a pair of boots" (Diderot, op.
cit., p. 438).
59 Ibid., p. 452.
60 The Phenomenolog of Mind, p. 543. Te quotation H fom Diderot
op. cit., p. 484.
61 The Phenomenolog of Mind, p. 543.
62 Diderot, op. cit., p. 433. Hegel distinguishes two moments, one in which
the critique of social institutions is the prerogative of only a few indi
viduals and another in which it is the right of every individual through
out society. Consciousness "gathers these scattered elements into
universal conception which expresses the thought of everyone," two
moments in which the Philosophical Dictionary follows the Persian
63 Rousseau's work is the most negative product of the century, yet it
prepares the ground for a fresh positive approach.
64 The Phenomenolog of Mind, p. 546. The critique of a civilization
appears to involve a critique of culture in general. J -becomes intel
ligible through the rise of consciousness in which a civilization that is
at frst in a state of immediac rises above this to become "formative
culture." However, the sigifcance of the ret to nature is not a re-
The French Revolution in Hegel's Phenomenolo
D to brutshness but to a new order in which self-consciousness is no
longer alienated.
65 On U subject Hegel inuences, in particular, Feuerbach. Hegel's crit
cisms are aimed solely at the polemical atude of the Eulightenment.
He himself proposes to recover the phiosophical truth underlying the
themes of Fait.
66 Le Fanatisme, ou Mahomet Ie Prophete, Acte M , Scene N, Oeuvres
Completes de Voltaire, Vol. I (Paris, 1876), pp. 435-457.
67 The Phenomenology oJMind, p. 562.
68 Voltaire, op. cit.
69 I the replies which Faith makes to the Enlightenment critique Hegel
ofers an example of this perverse reaction of the subject to the criti
cism of his judges. Thus, Faith agrees to the discussion of the historical
truth of revelation in place of the conception of it as "the witness of
the spirit unto spirit," but in accepting debate on these grounds, it re
veals how much it has in fact incorporated its adversary's position.
70 The Pheomenology oJMind, pp. 563-564.
71 Ibid., pp. 564-565. Hegel actually quotes only part of the passage as it
stands in Diderot, op. cit., pp. 483-484. [Trans.]
72 The Phenomenology oJMind, p. 654.
73 Ibid., p. 565.
74 Ibid., p. 576. We simply note the division within the victorious party .
between the Deists and Materialists. Hegel quite cogently observes that
this division is actually a sham since it in fact testifies to a certain
preservation of the old culture within the new order. Indeed, pure mat
ter without properties and God without attributes are identical.
75 Ibid. [Trans.]
76 Ibid., p. 579. Hegel attempts in these pages to disengage the "new vision
of the world and man" which is the famework of the concept of utity.
77 Ibid., _. 599. The relativity of the fuctuating world of utlity is suc-
ceeded by the Absolute founded upon a universal human will.
78 The Philosophy oJHistor, p. 443.
79 The Phenomenology oJMind, p. 601.
80 On this point see lenenser Realphilosophie, Vol. , 1805-1806, p. 249.
8 1 The Phenomenology oJMind, p. 599.
82 Ibid., p. 600.
83 Ibid., p. 602.
84 Ibid., p. 600.
85 Ibid., p. 604.
86 Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract, translated by Gerard Hop
kins (London: World Classics, Oxford University Press, 1922), p. 275.
The Concept of History in Hegel
87 The Phenomenology of Mind, p. 601.
88 Rousseau, op. cit., p. 272.
89 According to Hegel, the only movement that is possible H the endless
alteration between the individual and general will. All private virtues
must therefore be absorbed into civic virtues.
90 The Phenomenology of Mind
p. 603.
91 Ibid., p. 604.
92 Schriften zur PoUtik und Rechlsphilosophie, p. 365.
93 The Philosophy of Histor, p. 450.
94 lenenser Realphilosoplie, Vol. I, 1805-1806, p. 248.
95 The Phenomenology of Mind, p. 609. I simple terms, the dialectic re
veals that what is absolute in Libert is the negation of Libert, "the
despotism of Liberty" in the name of Libert (Robespierre) .
96 Rousseau's article on Natura Law (Droit naturel) in the Encyclo
pedie, ou Dictiollllaire Raisonne des Sciences, des Arts et des Metiers,
Vol. X (Lausanne and Ber, 1782), pp. 369-372. 'Tis virtue [as in
terpreted by Robespierre] had now to conduct the goverent in oppo
sition to the many, who had been rendered unfaithful to virtue through
their corruption and attachment to old interests, or a liberty that had
degenerated into license, or through the violence of their passions." The
Philosophy of History, p. 450.
97 Erste Druckschriften, edited by G. Lasson (Leipzig: Verlag Felix von
Meiner, 1928) , p. 67.
98 On this point see Hegel's remark about "Sansciilottismus," Dokumente
zu Hegels Entwicklullg, p. 269. Hegel considers wealth and the security
of private property to be the great obstacle to the institution of the
general will. Yet the French Revolution leaves no doubt about the error
of regarding man solely as a citizen.
99 Tis is the view of Novalis.
100 The Philosophy of History, p. 450.
101 lenenser Realphilosophie, Vol. I, 1805-1806, p. 247.
102 Ibid., pp. 247-248.
103 The Phenomenology of Mind, p. 607.
104 Especially in the System der Sittlichkei/.
105 Rosenzweig, Hegel und der Staat, p. 194.
106 lenenser Realphilosoplie, Vol. I, 1805-1806, p. 256.
107 Ibid., p. 257.
108 Ibid., p. 233. Hegel takes m startng point for his description this
new world. 'There emerges the confict between great wealth and
geat poverty" (p. 232) . Of necessity, wealth attracts everything to it
self in a great concentration. "To D who hath shall it be given"
The French Revolution in Hegel's Phenomenolo
(p. 233) . Tis leads to a new split in the social order based on a new
phenomenon of "interal revolt and hate" (p. 233) .
109 Ibid., p. 259.
1 10 The Phenomenology of Mind, p. 607.
1 1 1 Ibid., _.474.
1 12 Ibid., _. 607.
1 13 Ibid., p. 610. We cannot enter here into the difculties which this
transaction involves in the interpretation of the unity of the Phenom
enology. Te State, there can be no doubt, persists, though not as an
Absolute. Of all Hegel's works, the Phenomenology is the least
1 14 The Philosophy of Histor, p. 443.
1 15 Edmund Burke, Refections on the Revolution in France (New York:
Te Liberal Arts Press, 1955), p. 202.
1 16 The Philosophy of Histor, p. 447.
Alienation and Objectifcaton:
Commentar on L. Lukacs'
1hc Icun

G. Lukacs' work on Hegel's early studies, fom his "republican
period at Tibingen and Ber" t6 the publication of The Phe
nomenolog of Mind in 1 807, is an essay in historical philosophy
written in the spirit and method of Maism. At the start, it should
be said tat any Marxian history of philosophy is doomed to
failure i it rigidly insists upon reducing every philosophy to an
ideolog explicable in terms of social and economic factors. Wat
was a defect of the Hegelian history of philosophy-its ca to
arrange al of philosophy in a logica and chronological order
so tat every later philosophy is more ' progressive by reason of
encompassing and tanscending its antecedent-is al the more
defective in a narrowly Marxian schema. With these reservatons
aSide, we are better able to concentate upon Lukacs' extemely
interestng thesis that te understanding of Hegel, and the variet
of interretatons of his philosophy, force upon us a conontation
with Marxism.
I has to be recognized that Marx is one of te best commenta
tors upon
Hegel; he completely digested The Phenomenolog
Mind in his early work, Economic and Philosophical Man
he borrowed the Hegelian method i the expositon of Capital, B
work whose stucture and plan is inconceivable apart fom its
relaton to Hegelianism, even to te detail of partcular chapters
fom the Phenomenolog. But these reasons, though sufcient in
temselves, and in any case often pointed to, are not the only
grounds for a conontaton of Hegelianism and Marxism. One
must go furter and raise the question to what extent the entre
Commentar on G. Lukacs' Te Young Hegel
Hegelian system more than any other philosophical system derives
fom the social and politcal events of the day. For the philosopher
who wrote that "te reading of the
daily newspaper is the mor
ing-prayer of modem man" (it en
ables us to take a
stand i the
word and become conscious of the historical situaton) is not
as much of a teologian as one might be led to believe. Lukacs i
perhaps not entirely wrong (
he tends to take the opposite
extreme) in teating the theme of Hegel's theological period as a
reactonary legend. Hegel may well use the language of theology.
But it should not be overooked that, fom his earliest refections,
he considered religion as a representaton of human life, individual
life, but above all of collective life, a sort of projection on the
symbolic level of concrete human problems. Hegel's occasionally
mystcal language should not obscure his early positive pre
occupaton and concer wit politcal, social, and even economic
It is precisely in the analysis of Hegel's view of the economic
problem tat Lukacs makes an original contibuton to the under
standing of a philosopher to whom nothing human, no event in
human history, was alien.
Te attempt to constuct a Marxian explanation of Hegelianism
may have outstanding vaue provided that, on te one hand, we
remain aware of the importance Hegel attached, fom m frst
refectons at Bern, Frankurt, and J ena, to politcal economy,
work, and the infuence of wealth in the life of a people, and, on
the other hand, i we see in Marism a tanspositon of the Hegelian
dialectc, which nevertheless has its basis in Hegel's own work and
certain of its directons. Despite certain standard references to
Ln and even to Stalin (quite beside the point) , Lukacs' book
shows a sympathetc unde.standing of Hegel. I partcular, m
account of the development of te bourgeoisie as described by
Hegel and Goete combies a fne sweep wit delicate nuances.
Consequenty, Lukacs' work on te young Hegel escapes being
a partsan work that forces into a rigid system a philosophy in
compatble with such a fate.
It i impossible for us to follow, as Lukacs does in detail, te
evoluton of Hegel's thought fom the years in the seminar at
Ti bingen, m youthful republican enthusiasm, through to 1hc
The Concept of Histor in Hegel
Phenomenolog of Mind and te justifcation of Napoleon as the
soul of te world. We shal direct our attenton to the relatons
observed by Lukacs between Hegel's economic tought and m
philosophica tought and to Lukacs' rather interestng defense
of Marx's critque of Hegel which puts in doubt the entre Hegelian
approach to the phenomena of "aienation and objectcaton."
Phiosophy ad Poltca Economy
The ttle of one of the earliest works of Ma, Economic and
Philosophical Manuscripts, initates a vast project. I contas the
seed of the later thesis of historical materialism. Ma shows what
progress has been made in economics fom te Physiocrats to
Adam Smith. The science of the wealth of nations, of te pro
ducton, exchage, and consumpton of gOds, had gradualy
worked out te noton of the value of human labor. The Physio
crats st attrbuted to nature what Adam Smith accorded to human
labor aone, the status of being the sole source of vaue. T
labor i social labor. I i what maes intelligible te tasforma
tons that man efects in nature and those that, by consequence,
are produced in man himself and the orgaaton of collectve
lfe. Ada Smith's An Inquir into the Nature and Causes of the
Wealth of Nations, published in London in 1776, was translated
into German by Gare between 1794 and 1796 ad considerably
inuenced Hegel, who cites it on severa occasions, partcularly in
the enenser system2 which precedes The Phenomenolog of Mind.
I an extemely cogent maner, Max shows the relaton between
the science of economics ad idealist philosophy fom Kant to
Hegel. Te task is to integrate te human science of politca
economy wit Hegel's Phenomenolog, with its concept of nega
tion, the transforaton of nature by human labor that humanes
nature and as its counterpart raises the individual to the state of
universa ma with an understanding of the colectve relations and
objectivity of being. It i such a unit that Marx seeks for
philosophy and economics-a unit that would lead to a new con
ception of ma ad te huma future, to a prais that reconciles
speculative knowledge and human life as a historical development.
I Max's opinion, philosophy reaches an impasse in the form of
. Commentar on G. Lukacs Te Young Hegel
speculative idealism. By restrictng itself to te comprehension
of what is, as Hegel did, philosophy ends in an insurountable
contadiction. However, the relation of the two disciplines allows
politcal economy, on the one hand, to expand to include th!
entre problem of man and te relaton of man to nature, and
philosophy, on the other
hand, to
tanscend itself as speculatve
kowledge and to reae itself in an acton that is te efectve
emancipation of man rather than merely speculatve wisdom.
We reviewed briefy the signcance of this early work of
Ma in order to grasp more fully the import of Lukacs' work. For
Lukacs' subject is the study of the relatons between political
economy and philosophy, and he draws insights fom Marx's
earlier study. More specifcally, he compares three elements: the
politcal, economic, and social backgound of te period; economic
theory; and the Hegelian philosophy. His a is to show that, in
so far as it is a general interretaton of life ad the human con
diton, Hegelian philosophy always mupon a specic economc
viewpoint, broadly conceived. Yet at the same time he attempts
to show how the inadequate development of te productve forces
in Hegel's Germany hindered m fom achieving a philosophical
soluton to the problems he raised. Hegel was writg at a tme
when capitalism was in its early stages in Englad and France and
feudalism, though stl rooted everywhere in Germany, was col
lapsing elsewhere as the bourgeoisie rose to power. I is, in fact,
this world of te victorious, self-condent bourgeoisie and the
world-vision characteristc of the rising bourgeoisie that Hegel
describes, as Goethe was doing about the same tme. However,
wit a penetraton peculiar to his dialectcal genius, Hegel also
perceives al the contradictons of word in its mature form,
al the crises that it cares witin it, .as te couds carry a storm.
Tus, as early as 1 807, Hegel raised himself above his tme.
Altough unable to resolve the crises and tanscend te limits
of m period in his answers, as Marx was to later, Hegel neverthe
less perceived te decline of the bourgeoisie in te very moment
of its acendace. For want of the corresponding development in
the productve forces, there is no queston of Hegel being a Mar
m. Yet m- extemely searchg reading of Adam Smith leads m
philosophical y beyond Smith to foreshadow Ricardo. Transcend-
The Concept of Histor in Hegel
ing the stct lmits of liberal economics, Hegel elaborates a phi
losophy of human lfe which, i it culminates in a tagic vision, ofers
noneteless a positve and non-tagic soluton to the problems it
merely poses-a soluton that fnds its place in Marx, once te
time is ripe for a genuine revoluton. "Hegel begat Feuerbach,
who begat Marx." Tus one may understad the meang of
Lukacs' study and h use of the Marxia metod in tacking a
problem in the history of philosophy. One need only add that he
poses in a general way the problem of the reltion between po
litica economy an philosophy, developing an earlier study of
Marx that we have mentioned and ofering invauable guidance
i the directon of studies stl to be undertaken.
I the past tere has been no lack of studies of te relaton
between philosophy and science. Tere is an abundance of works
on the relations beteen the metaphysical Meditations and te
mechanism of Caresian science or on the relatons between te
Newtonian philosophy of nature ad the philosophies of Kant
and Hume. Tere are fewer works on te relations between biol
ogy and philosophy fom Aristote to Bergson. But there is prac
tcaly noting on the relatons between te economics and philoso
phy of a given period. Yet i one wated to understand, for
example, Hume's ethics ad his genera views of huma nature,
it would surely be materal to keep in mind te relations between
Hume and Adam Smith and Hume's importat essays on interest,
commerce, and so on. Imediately, Hume's philosophy is related
to a certain form of economy. Just as historians have attempted
to analyze philosophica systems by relatng tem to the natura
sciences of tei age, so an atempt should be made to display
te relation between philosophica theories and te science of
politcal economy, the science of ma in societ workng upon
nature and consumng te products of his labor. Attenton has been
given to Aristotle's economic wrtngs, but only to juxtapose m
economic thought to his philosophical thought; silarly with
Hobbes, Berkeley, Hume, and even Hegel. What is needed-ad
should be an exercise for Marians-is to comprehend te
relation between the economic thought of a gven period and its
philosophica tought. T is the value of Lukacs' study of
Hegel's ealy period.
Commentar on G. Lukacs' Te Young Hegel
Hegel always tied to understand human life as the life of a
people and, in tum, the life of a people as a moment in the
genera history of peoples. From his earliest works, stang, as he
says, fom the lowliest exigencies of human consciousness, he
sought a comprehensive vision that would integrate what in the
life of a people we would cal psychology, or the science of
individual and collectve needs, and te science of labor and tech
nology. Hegel's frst version of te phiosophy of mind, te
System der Sittlichkeit, was drafted in 1803 at Jena. It resembles
very much what, since Auguste Comte, we cal Sociology, ad it
combies in its vision of societ bot the most elementary forms
of human behavior and the highest fors of speculatve thougt,
P, Religion, and Philosophy.
Tese higher forms are the representatons tat a people
creates out of its concrete life. These representatons, however,
are integral with te msses g societ, mc nobilit, te bour
geoisie, the peasanty, ad each of tese in its t formulates a
certan relaton between man and nature. The elementary forms
of huma behavior, need, labor, te use of tools and the machine
are moments Vm a totait, ad the psycholog of the individual
ma is in tum merely a categor that fades ito the compre
hensive social categor. The concept of the socia system as a
whole tat dominates its pas has its origins in the geat teatse
of Adam Smith and in numerous other works of te age oi human
nature, as well as, for example, Montesquieu and Rousseau. But
te Hegelian noton of a totalit that somehow pre-exts its parts
as teir soul and their meaning aeady surpasses the liberaism
of Adam Smith and antcipates te vewoint of Ma.
Beyond what Lukacs himself has to say, it seems to us tat
te Hegelian dialectic has its origins in a dif erent sense in te
work of Adam Smith. Tis dialectic, which i so df cult to defne,
i not only a dialectc in the sense tat philosophers have intended
fom Plato to Kant but a method for the comprehension of human
life in its concrete aspects. Te Hegelia dialectc aspires to be
both a philosophical and a concrete diaectc, and i as much as
it i a concrete diaectic, it is fequently inspired by Ada Smith's
works. Adam Smith's liberaism assumes in practice that the fee
play of individual interests results in the optma reaaton of
The Concept of Histor in Hegel
te collectve interest. On this assumption, he never tres of show
ing how individua projects are transformed in collectve life, how
tey become something more in the very process of their realiza
ton. "As every individual, therefore, endeavours as much as he
can to employ m capita . . . that its produce may be of the
greatest vaue; every individual necessarily labors to render the
annual revenue of the societ as great as he can . . . he intends
only m own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by
an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his
intention. "3
There are numerous passages similar to this one in Adam
Smith. The division of labor and the play of exchange are at frst
individual aims that are reaed through a group and become a
new goal, full of signifcance, yet not wished for as such by an
individual. I was this knd of fality that earlier led Hegel to te
idea of the cunning of reason, a dialectic that opposes the ais
that the individua sets for himself and the ends that he achieves.
I was in te course of tacing t concrete dialectic throug the
whole of human life, and then translating it onto a logica plane,
tat Hegel stuggled to reconstuct the very noton of dialectc,
reconciling the lfe of thought an the thought of lfe.
Hegel's use of this concrete dialectic appears to have led m
to a threfold result, which Lukacs greatly clarifes.
First, there is Hegel's remarkable description of the rise of
capitalist societ. Drawing especially upon Adam Smith, he de
scribes the social division of labor, the development of technology,
the cooperation of individuals in the production, exchange, and
consumption of wealth.
Second, there is Hegel's prophetic vision of the contradictons
in tis societ and of the fata alienation of man in a society where
production for producton's sake-one might say power for the
sake of power-has no reason for its moderation.
Third, there is the impossibilit, given Hegel's historca po
siton, of resolving the contradictions in capitalist societ which
he perceived in such a profound manner. He could not resolve
them because, as Lukacs points out, capitaist societ was not ma
ture enough, the forces of production-at t time in Germany
less than elsewhere- were not yet developed enough.
Commentar on G. Lukacs' Te Young Hegel
A closer examination of these tree points may permt a better
understanding of the social and politcal aspects of Hegel's sys
tem, as well as of Lukacs' book, which lays stress upon them. I
connection wit the fst point (the descripton of the economy
and societ at that time) , there are numerous signcant texts in
Hegel, both in the Jenenser Realphilosophie and the Phenomenol
og, of which we venture to cite a sample. I the Phenomenolog
Hegel describes te social life or the etical word of a people and
already distinguishes the two moments, power and wealth. H
description of the dialectc of wealth refects Adam Smit's liberal
enjoyment each individualit no doubt becomes aware of self
existence, aware of itself as single; but this enjoyment is itself the
result of universal action, just as, reciprocally, wealth calls forth
universal labor, and produces enjoyment for all. . . . :ach indi
vidual doubtless thinks he is acting in his own interests. . . . Yet
looked at even in exteral fashion, it becomes manifest that in
own enjoyment each gives enjoyment to all, in his own labor each
works for all as well 8 for himself, and all for him.4
J passage catches te essence of economic liberaism, of the
harony that establishes itself beteen individua needs and labor,
beteen egoistic interests and te collectve purose manifest in
the total life of societ. But Hegel goes on to draw the conclu
sion fom what Adam Smith is content simply to describe. Egoism
is 8 mere pretense and disinterested vire (or what claims to b
such) is merely impotence. Te course of the world is the outcome
of the interacton between individuas which consttutes a unive
sa individualit. I m actons and practcal conduct ever
individualit who believes himself to be an egoist in fact tran
scends himself and refuses to recogne himself in t word of
universal individualit. Neverheless, it is te indivdualit who
posits and reaes t world. "But te individual gans an aware
ness of himself, he is enhanced as a universalit and purges himsel
of singulart." Tis conduct, which is not only a moral purpose
or intenton but the stance of the individual within being, is the
tut of the partcular individualit, a tth which has a universa
The Concept of Histor in Hegel
character. Here one can see how Hegel's dept analysis of the
modem economic word described by Adam Smith arves at a
philosophy of huma conduct which surasses both te con
templatve philosophers of nature and purely ethica philosophies
of the spirit, such as Kat and Fichte's ethica vision of the world.
Lukacs rigtly draws atenton to t transcendence gnaturalism
ad ethical idealism in order to show how te evoluton of philo so-
w phy fom Kant to Hegel is contnued in Ma.
After the iipid ratonalism of the Enlightenment, Hegel cal
for te dissolution of ethical-merely ethical-ideasm i a geat
article on the philosophy of mday, "Glauben und Wissen," which
he wrote at Jena. However, to grasp te relaton between t
critcal artcle and its economic and social background, one must
read with it te writngs fom te same . priod on naural k
and te sstem of social morality, which, as we have said, con
sttute within the frst draft of the Philosophy of Mind5 a veritable
However, Hegel is not content to reproduce the economic word
of Adam Smith by enriching it with a philosophy of practca
conduct. He refects upon the alienaton of te sigular individual
who becomes a universal in the course of this word's fenzed
dialectic: "Consciousness becomes an enigma to itself, the con
sequences of its behavior no longer appear to be its own acto.n."
By exteraing itself, as Hegel says, and becoming an object in
the world-the word of te Oter and of others, the sole meas
of reaching nature, for the least material instment implies the
other, as is doubtless suggested by the noton of nature in itself
-the singular consciousness alienates itself, makes itself Oter;
objectifcaion in the worl and alienation of the self, tese are
te two geat moments of the Hegelian dialectc.
Tis alienaton-which on the logical plae becomes the con
tadicton of te self with itself-in the modem word assumes
the for of economic contadictions that clearly contast with the
haronies of liberalism. Hegel's vision is al the more astonishing
when one remembers tat German societ as he observed it
around 1800 did not yet foreshadow the contadictons of the
modem word. It is true that Adam Smith laid the foundations
of this analysis. Yet it should be remarked tat Hegel does not
Commentar on G. Lukacs The Young Hegel
follow the reactonary romantcs, preaching te retur to a new
medieval age; he rather antcipates the anaysis of te economists
and socialist to appear in the future.
The result of the division of labor is tat, while the indivdual
no longer depends on nature, he becomes dependent, by contast,
on societ, which acts upon him like a blind force. Te socia
environment takes the place of the natural environment. Tis
noton is one of the basic temes of Hegelian thought and is de
veloped later by Auguste Comte, who assigns prmacy to sociology
over psychology. "To te individual societ is m nature, upon
whose blind and elementary development he is dependent for
both te maintenance and te suppression or his physical and
spiritual growth." This societ is however, a commua efort, a
tansacton of each and al , the object itself; but in t object the
individual becomes alien to himself. This alienaton, which Hegel
identes with objectcaton or the exteraaton of man through
m labor, is a new concept which, when substtuted for the notons
of positvit (in the perod at Ber) and destny (in the period at
Fra) , enables Hegel to. raise the human problem in al its
complexit. Te term . alienaton is also employed by Marx to
advance te Hegelian dialectc.
The individual "can work more," but, as Hegel notes, "te
value of his work begins to dih." Nevertheless he is pushed
to lengten his hours of work, or to increase the intensit of m
labor, in order to produce more, to be able to produce te means
of subsistence. Afer a variable lapse of time, this progress is
canceled and the individual is thrown back to his previous level
of life. "Labor is ten a commodit .that is worth less." Here one
sees how Hegel goes beyond Adam Smit, announcing the iron
law of wages and in a sense antcipatng Marx's analysis. He per
ceives al the consequences of te division of labor. "Because of
te abstract nature of labor, it becomes more and more mechani
,more and more absurd." Of course, the stick is replaced by the
tool and the tool yields to the machine, which is man's crat over
nature, bendg its blind forces to human puroses. It reveals
the in-itself of nature trough te for-itself of man. 1 m study
of work and the machine, Hegel develops a new concepton of
fnalit and of teology in general. But man's cleveress with
The Concept of Histor in Hegel
regard to nature has repercussions for the individual man: in
practce, it tansfors intelligent and integral labor into a stupef
ing and partial labor, "foral and inhuma." The humanization
of nature results in the dehumazation of te laborer. Finaly,
te movement of producton and distributon as a system leads to
"the restess search for machines and new markets, without any
lit." We may say that as early as 1803 Hegel had envisaged the
process of production for producton's sake of which Ricardo
spoke and which Ma described as the expansion of vaue that
animates te entire system of capitaist producton. Altough
Ma had no koledge of these writings that we present fom
the J ena period, they nevertheless foreshadow him. "1 societ
the individual's skl is te means by which he keeps himself in
existence. The latter is entrely exposed to the confusion of the
contngent nature of the whole. There i thus an ever increasing
mass of men who are condemned to unhealthy labor, witout
securit, to the "absurd labor of the factories and the mine . . . "
and Hegel adds: "This entire mass is condemned to irremediable
poverty . = . . I is then that the confict between great weath and great
povert emerges on te word scene-uffritt."6 By formulatng
in a vague way what was later caled te law of concentraton,
Hegel undertook to show that the confict between rich m poor,
which replaces that between the noble and the villein, is te result
of an inevitable social diaectc. Wealth attracts everhing to itself,
and in virtue of an immanent necessity develops itself onesidely,
while povert increases on its side. He adds that "To him who
hath shall it be given."
Te State, as universal providence, can only intervene at a dis
tance. Although it is in the State rather than through money, te
objectcation of the universal collective, tat te citizen is able
to conceive of his generic and fee nature, the State is suspended
above the play of his feedoms maintained by bourgeois societ.
"Te libert of bourgeois societ is unique, but it merely buries
the individual i indviduaism; he can only save himself trough
the State and Religion." The individual is left to live in two worlds,
each aien to te other, each a refecton of the other. 1s fate is
like that of the man who lives by the law of the heart which when
Commentary on G. Lukacs' The Young Hegel
acted upon produces a split between the way of te word and the
heart whose life was in the law:
A man should be sincere; and i all honor
He shouldn't say a word his heart disclaims. . . .7
Unfortunately, its actons alienate the heart fom its deeds.
Similarly with language, as well as work and money, man is always
alienated. The nature of this alienation, its source and resolution
defne the problem of the future Phenomenolog.
Aienation, Exteralaton, ad Objectcaton
Lukacs demonstates the infuence of social and economic con
cepts upon Hegel's thought and rightly draws attenton to a
feature neglected by previous historians. However, his remarks on
the infuence of Napoleon and the French Revoluton are better
kown. He focuses the theme of energy and heroism in Hegel
and notes its lack of harmony with certain bourgeois conceptions.
Nevertheless this i important theme in the "Hegelian word
view," at any rate, in his period at Frankrt and in the Phe
nomenolog. We may recall the element of pantragedy in Hegel,
according to which "the tragic expresses the absolute state,"
whereas the comic merely announces the collapse of fors for
the individual alone and only fnds its true signifcance in a new
tagedy, that of modem man who believes in the permanence of
fite things, money, health, contracts, and sees tem gradually
disappear, without understanding the reasons for their disappear
But the most interesting part of Lukacs' work is where he ana
lyes in detail Mar's early critque of Hegel. I is here that the
heart of the discussion lies. According to Marx, Hegel confused
objettifcation (or the extemaaton of man in nature and soci:
et) and alienation. J confusion serves to explain both the in
adequacy of Hegel's social analysis, its inabilit to solve the
problems it raises, or at least to do so efectively, and the myst
fcaton of his philosophical thought, Which, instead of resulting in
The Concept of Histor in Hegel
positve acton, fl s itself in a speculatve ideaism that fails to
keep its own promises. A Kierkegaard said later, Hegel b U
up to a speculatve heaven but leaves us to live in te hovels of
reait. Hegel's celebrated noton, te Idea, is nothing but myst
fcaton when it pretends to overcome al aienaton throug the
philosopher's Absolute Knowledge. Marx's critca analysi of the
concepts of objectifcation and alienatio is so important and sug
gestve tat it must be teated furter and in more detail.
Marx's view, then, is that Hegel confounded objectifcation, or
te process by which man makes himself an object and expresses
or exteraes himself in nature through labor and work, and
alienation, or the process in which man, once he has exteraed
himself, fnds himself aien to himself, and sees himself in his
work as "other than himself," or, rather, fails to fnd himself or
recoge himself. This lost recogniton or loss of self-identit in
the exteraation of the self is the great misfortune of man, bot
on the level of objects and the social or intersubjectve level. The
individua is unable to recogne himself in either his work or
another person. Man is overwhelmed by his product, thus he is
unable to see himself refected in anoter's soul; he cannot con
ceive of himself as a generc element in the collectve enterrise,
but only as a lost individual crushed by what he has built with
m own hands. Such is the experience of te unhappy conscious
ness for which Hegel merely ofers the prescripton of philosophy
-a poor remedy, in Marx's opinion.
Ma's own view is that objectifcation is not i itself an evil.
On the contary, it is the sole mea of integratng man and
nature. Man transfors nature and maes of it an expression of
his humanit, and in the course of this taforation, natura
man, confed by the partcularit of biological need, becomes
more universa in outlook; he educates himself and cultvates his
true generic nature (as Hegel saw in part) . Every need that he
has, fom the need for food to te need for sex, ceases to be a
pacular need and becomes a huma need, mediated through te
natural recogniton of his felow men and the intersubjectivt that
is necessay for him to become a man through whom reason has
its existence. This process consttutes the foundation of what has
justly been caled socialist humanism.
Commentar on G. Lukacs' Te Young Hegel 83
Why, therefore, i man, once exteraed, stl an unhappy
consciousness, a consciousness lost and alien to its work? Why
does societ appear not as the very expression of- his will but as
an alien will? It is on this question that Max and Hegel difer.
Hegel's philosophical answer is unlike the practica and historical
response from Marx. Mar
this calamit in terms of his
tor. He denounces te process of producton and believes that it
is possible to show tat objectcation only becomes alienaton as
a result of certain historcal circumstances tat have a historical
origin and are destned to disappear in history. Objecticaton,
though not in itself a form of alienaton, becomes such in fact.
Te descrpton of capitalism-as Marx later presents it in Capital
-i the monumental descriton of the total alienaton of human
labor necessitated at a certain moment of history in order to rase
the total productve forces of man to the highest level.
Te consequences of Marx's distncton between objectifcation
and aliention are evident, as are the reasons why Hegel; who was
trapped U a pacular moment of history that he could not tuly
tanscend, confounded the two phenomena essentaly, whereas
they were only indistguishable in virtue of a particular historical
contingenc. Te result i that, despite its ca to dominate his
tor, Hegelian philosophy fals back into history and is itself
explained historically. Hegelian Idealism i simply the elaboration
of basic confusion. 1 his early Economic and Philosophical
Manuscripts, Marx develops Hegel by reveaing the tue character
of man's objectifcaton in labor. "It i just in his work upon te .
objectve word that man realy proves himself as a species-being.
Tis producton i his active species-life. By means of it natue
appears as his work and his realit. Te object of labor i, tere
fore, the objectifcation of ma's species-lfe; for he no longer
reproduces himself merely intellectually, as in consciousness, but
actvely and in a real sense, and he sees his own refecton in a
world which he has constucted."8 However, he is not a happy
consciousness, but an unhappy consciousness, not, as Hegel
thought, because consciousness has not yet been conceived in te
tue philosophy, but because it i alienated fom its labor in the
capitalist system which i a phase of history.
"Te alienation of the worker in his product means not only
The Concept of Histor in Hegel
that m labor becomes an object, assumes a external existence,
but that it exists independently, outside himself, and alien to m
and that it stands opposed to m as an autonomous power.
In the capitalist system the worker is fstrated by his product,
he is dispossessed and alienated. Thus objectifcation appears in
realit. as the loss of self, ' as servitude to the object, and the
appropriaton of the object is manifested as alienaton and dis
possession. Te realiaton of labor becomes a non-realiaton to
te point where the laborer is robbed of his own realit in te
way of being starved to death. Objectifcation becomes te loss
of the object to a degree that the laborer is deprived both of the
necessary things of life and of the means of labor. Moreover, work
itself becomes an object which the worker can only get hold of
with great efort and with very irregular stoppages. I is a crush
ing system that dominates both the capitalist, who is caught i
his own chains, and te proletarian, whom it reduces to a new
knd of slavery. I is a system made by man to crush man. Thus
frustration is experienced not only in relaton to the object but
within the self: "Just as in religion the spontaneous actvit of
huma fantasy, of the human brain and heart, reacts independ
ently as an alien activit of gods or devils upon the individual, so
the actvity' of the worker is not his own spontaneous activit. I
is another's actvit and a loss of his own spontaneity.
Despite m abilit to perceive the tragic character of human
existence and the rise of the bourgeois economy, Hegel was un
able to explain them in terms of a historical alienation, the con
sequence of private property and capitalism . . This is why he
interrets every objectcaton of man as alienaton and every
alienaton as objectcation, a confusion which pervades his entre
philosophical system.
1 the frst place, Hegel fails to provide a practcal solution for
alienaton. The Phenomenolog is only a caricature of what is
ofered by communism. Each confonts the same task of overcom
ing the aienaton that is the misfortune of man. But what is the
prescription in the Phenomenolog? Absolute Knowledge, that is,
te tiumph of intellectual self-consciousness. Alienaton is over
come i thought but not in deed. Religion and the beyond that it
proposes are conquered by the philosophical conception of man
Commentar on G. Lukacs' The Young Hegel
refecting upon himself and the alienation of his being, but in
practice nothing is changed. Pure speculaton is unable to resolve
a particular historical problem which requires nothg else tan
a historcal revolution. The same is not true of communism, for it
alone can lead to an end of history.
Communism is the positive abolition of private property, of
human self-alienation, and thus the real appropriation of human
nature throug and for man. It is, therefore, the retu of man
himself as a social, i.e., really human, being, a complete and con
scious ret which assimilates the wealth of previous develop
ment. Communism as a fully developed naturalism is humanism.
It is the defnitive resolution of the antagonism between man and
nature, and between man and man. is the tue solution of the
conict between existence and essence, between objectication and
self-afation, between feedom and necessit, between individual
and species. H the solution of the riddle of histor and knows
itself to be this solution.ll
From the precedng remark tere arises a second queston.
Apart fom the identcation of alienation and objectifcaton and
his belief tat alienation could be overcome philosophically, Hegel
also believed that it was possible U transcend nature. Hegelian
Idealism adopts the strage position that "nature i only te al
ienation of the spirit." I i here, according to Ma, tat Hegel i
amiss; he stands te universe on its head, and for this is rightly
attacked by Feuerbach's materialism, or, rather, natualism. Hegel's
basic confusion leads him to consider every objectication-in par
ticular, brute nature and the word of objects, man's exteral word
-as a species of alienaton. One may recal the passage in the Phe
nomenology where self-consciousness contemplates itself in a bare
object, a Sk.12 It may well be tue that money i an alienation of
man's productve labor, but it i surely a verba argument to make
of nature, while untouched by man, .an alienaton of the spirit.
T i a prime example of Idealst mystifcation. Hegel does not
succeed in. tanscendng historical aienation through philosophy
(though he might have by transcending philosophy in a historcal
act ) . Far less is he able to tanscend philosophical y an insur
mountable objectivit, namely, nature fom which man orginates
The Concept of Histor in Hegel
and to which he must ret. The whole of Hegelian Idealism rests
upon this mystcaton of an Absolute Spirit whose objective na
ture constitutes alienation.
Finally, Hegel retains te notion of aenaton even witin m
conception of the Absolute. I is only in appearance that the Ab
solute tascends contradicton, that i, the movement of alienaton.
Tere is no synthesis for the Absolute apart fom the presence
of a permanent interal antthesis. Indeed, it is natural to
tat Absolute Kowledge stl contas alienaton, along with a
movement to tascend it. Tis contadicton i revealed in te
three moments of the system: Logos, Nature, Spirit. The Spirit i
te identit of Logos and Nature, though the opposition between
these two moments is always present within it, even i contnuously
transcended. In Language, te expression of this noton of the
Absolute is the Hegelian Aufhebung. For Marx, on the other
hand, there i in history a defitive synthesis that excludes te
permanence of te anttesis: "Communism solves the mystery of
Lukacs' critical anaysis i entrely devoted to the conontation
of Hegel and Marx without perhaps grasping al its implicatons
(in particular, the rather toublesome noton of an end of his
tory) . But while he employs Marx to refute Hegel, his argument
yields a historical justcation of Hegel, inasmuch as it explains
why he could only eteralize a contradiction, the alienation that
he found in his own age, without at the same tme discovering the
technical and historical conditons for the resolution of that con
tadicton. Tus the Hegelian system remains an expression of its
age, and its defects come fom the impossibility of entirely tran
scending one's historica horizon.
Aenaton and the End of Hto
To close critca study, we should perhaps raise the question
whether Lukacs has not deliberately oversimpled the problem
tat occupied Hegel. The autor of the Phenomenology, the En
cyclopaedia, and the Philosophy of History cannot have consed
the historical alienaton of the human spirit with objectifcation
Commenta on G. Lukacs Te Youg Hegel 87
witout some valid reasons, oter tan tose one might fnd in
the economic stcture of te perod and te stage reached by the
capitalist system. By objectg him
self in culture, the State, and
human labor in genera, man at the same tme alienates himself,
becomes oter than himself, and discovers in tis objectcation
an insurmountable degeneration which he must nevertheless ty to
overcome. Tis is a tension inseparable fom existence, and it K
Hegel's merit to have drawn attenton to it and to have preserved
it in the very center of human self-consciousness. On te oter
hand, one of the great difculties of Marxism i its ca to over
come this tension in the more or less near future and hastly to
attribute it to a partcular phase of histor. It is surely an over
simplifcation to imagine tat this tension can be reduced to a
super-stuctre of the economic word. It is undeniable that the
capitalist system represents a form of human alienaton, but it can
hardly be the only one. Is there not in love, in human relatons,
in the mutual recognition of men, in technology by means of
which man creates and builds his word, and in te politica ad
ministaton of the State, even where sociaist, a representaton of
te self exteral to itself, a recogniton of the self tough the
Other which presupposes a kind of separation or alienaton which
one may contnually seek to displace but which forever subsists
and is consequenty part of the very noton of the Absolute tat
i open to man?
Tis does not mean that te proletaa stggle for its libert
i a useless fght. I is never useless to stggle to overcome an
alienation tat is insupportable once one i conscious of it, and,
indeed, tis very rse of consciousness is a fundamenta conditon
of a new order. Hegel opens up a problem which Mar for his
own puroses narrowed to precise limits. Tat is why Hegel ca
not distinguish the notions of objectcaton and alienaton. Be
tween natre and human self-consciousness there is a basic tension
observed by Rousseau. Man i no longer a living creatre like
others; m refecting upon his life he immediately fnds himself on
the margin of this life, he grasps it as a rsk, as the necessit of
death. He confounds himself with natre from which he emerged
and yet from which he is separate; the life instct and the deat
The Concept of Histor in Hegel
instnct are, as it were, the poles of an irresolvable duaism. J
is the source of alienaton and the origin of the problem of huma
Te lits of an essay demand a rater genera critcism of
Lukacs' interretaton of Hegelian philosophy. Our primary in
tenton was to emphasie the signicance of te concept of aliena
ton which follows upon the concepts of positvit and destny and
occupies a cental place in Hegel's system. A such, this noton
does not seem to be reducible solely to the concept of the aiena
ton of man under capitasm, as Ma understands it. Te latter
is only a pacular case of a more universa problem of human
self-consciousness which, being unable to conceive itself as an
isolated cogito, can only recogne itself in a world which it con
stucts, in the other selves which it recognizes and by whom it is
occasiqnally disowned. But this maner of self-discovery trough
te Oter, tis objectcaton, is aways more or less an aenaton,
a loss of self and a simultaneous self-discover. Tus objectca
ton ad aenation are insepaable, and their union is simply te
expression of a dialectcal tension observed in the very movement
of history.
Tis is by no means to say tat Hegel ignores in history the
monumental objectication and aienaton of man. I was Hegel
who before Ma said that "the history of te world is te
world."13 I was he who sought in objectve success the guarantee
of success and in man the only worthwhle success. His entre
system is an efort to reconcile aienated man with his destiny
which is history. No one more than Hegel insisted upon an in
teral life that remaned such without exteraation, upon a
law of the heart that would reman a law of the heart without te
necessity of taslaton into an objective socia law. Neverteless
al these moments of the Hegelian dialectc are tantamount to his
tory inside out, a negatve libert tat is a philosophy of failure
by the standard of epic victory. But this failure is not the symbol
of another world consecrated by theology; it is only the dissolu
tion and nothngness tat are a permanent possibilit. Thus the
noble soul who, at the end of the Phenomenolog, refusing to for
give te man of acton and to make peace with m

can only
fade away "like a shapeless vapour dissolving into m a." The
Commentar on G. Lukacs' Te Young Hegel
human self is obliged by an ineluctable necessit to exterae
itself, to engage in action in te word, without which self-con
sciousness would be an impossibilit, because for man refection
can only be refection upon the self in the world, upon another
self whom he loves or hates (Love 'or Self-Hated) , before it can
exist as the isolated
refecton in the metaphysica meditatons of a
Descartes. Objectcaton and, with it, alienaton are, terefore,
a matter of necessit. What is lackng in the noble consciousness
tat fom a desire to preserve its innocence rejects the impurit
of action? "I lacks force to exterae itself, the power to make
itself a ting, and endure existence."1 What becomes of it as a
consequence of this refusa which can be nothing else than te
refusal of communication and the fight into an inner silence?
"Its actvit consists in yeag, which merely loses itself in
becomg an unsubstantial shadowy object . . . it becomes a
sorrow-laden 'beautl soul,' it is caled: its light dms and
dies within it, and it vanishes a shapeless vapour dissolving
into thin

Hegel never tres of stessing te necessit of man's exteraa

ton. Yet in te reconciliation he always fnds an inevitable species
of aienation, 8 destiny to be bore and cononted by man. Thus
the Hegelian conception of alienaton, unlike the Marxian, is not
confounded with a complete loss of te self in a new nature. There
is a philosophical problem of alienaton, inseparable fom the
problem of human alienation, which is not resolved with a certain
tansformaton of history. Hegel's analysis in te Phenomenology
of Le Neveu de Rameau ofers an example of the extent to which the
dialectic of ofense and humiliation, of man's revolt against a
culture in which he feels at a loss, is indebted to a certain socia
period, to a prerevolutonar mentalit, and how fat it is an ex
pression valid beyond this historical period a more profound
problem without limits in a particular moment of histor. Conse
quently, te strict Marxian account of Hegel's confusion of
objectifcation, as the glory and fnal end of man in a redscovered
nature, with self-alienaton, as merely a development witin 8
partcular phase of histor, in our opinion fails to do justice to
Hegel's philosophical analysis and interpretation of these notions.
Perhaps tis analysis dangerously oversimplifes a system ,in 8
The Concept of Histor in Hegel
way quite compatble with action but in other respects unresolved
concerg certain philosophica problems arising out of acton
which it could only touch upon. At the sae tme, the Marxan
. account assumes a certain rigidit that makes it philosophically
unacceptable, whatever te validity of other aspects of its analysis.
1 G. Lukacs, Der Junge Hegel: tJber die Beziehungen von Dialektik und
Oekonomie (Zurich and Vienna, 1948) .
2 Jenenser Logik, Metaphysik und Naturphilosophie ( 1802) and Jenenser
Realphilosophie (1803-1806) .
3 Adam Smith, An Inquir into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of
Nations (New York: Te Modem Library, 1937), p. 423. [rans.]
4 The Phenomenology of Mind, p. 520. [rans.]
5 "Jenenser Philosophie des Geistes, 1805-1806" i Jenenser Realphiloso
phie, Vol. M, 1805-1806. [rans.]
6 Jenenser Realphilosophie, Vol. M, 1805-1806, p. 232. [rans.]
7 Le Misanthrope, Act I, Scene I, lines 35-36, i Eight Plas by Moliere,
tanslated with an Introducton by Morris Bishop (New York: Mod
er Library, 1957). [rans.]
8 Karl Marx, Early Writings, tanslated and edited by T. B. Bottomore
(London: C. A. Watts, 1963) , p. 128. [rans.]
9 Ibid., pp. 122-123. [rans.]
10 Ibid., _. 125. [rans.]
1 1 Ibid., p. 155. [rans.]
12 The Phenomenology of Mind, pp. 358 f. [rans.]
13 Die Weltgeschichte weltgerichte. [rans.]
14 The Phenomenology of Mind, p. 666. [rans.]
15 Ibid. [rans.]

Mar and Phiosophy
On November 10, 1 837, Karl Marx, at that tme a student in
Berlin, wrote to his father to brng him up to date on his intel
lectual development and to tell m of his study plans. From the
stle of te letter and certain of Mar's phrases, one readily
recognies the iuence of his recent reading of Hegel. Quite
natually, one is reminded of the Preface which Hegel added to
his masterwork, The Phenomenolog oj Mind, completed in 1 807,
about the tme of te batte of J ena. At tis time, perhaps not
yet having altogeter forsaken his early ambiton and desire to
act directly upon events, Hegel stl considered that the world
spirit" was bringing about a revoluton. Tere was to be the
birth of a new word, the seeds of which lay in the French Revolu
tion, German philosophy, and romantcism, beginnings which the
deeds of Napoleon were brnging to maturit. 1 1 837 Mar
wrote to his fater in phrases remiiscent of Hegel: "There are
moments in life which like a fontier mark of a period passed
through but at te same tme clearly point out a new directon . . . .
P the more does universal histor love to survey the past and
the present wit te eagle-eye of tought to attain an awareness
of our actual position."
J letter fom Mar is a philosophical act oj conscience, and
like every such instance with Marx, has a creative signifcance.
Already, Mar partally envisages his task in te years to follow:
to bring down the Hegelian Idea to the level oj things, in oter
words, to replace specultive idealis with a philosophy of action
which reconciles life and philosophy in an authentc way-the
Marxism and Philosophy
desire of thers in every age, but one generaly never satsfed
and to employ for this puose te dialectic, a marvelous tool
forged by Hegel, who did not, however, understand its m import.
1 te same letter Mar comments that "Above all, the char
. acteristic ideaist contast between realit and what ought to be
proves extemely litng."! Here in the confict between the ideal
and the actul we have te subject of Marx's early philosophica
meditatons between 1 840 and 1 848, fom his frst works on
Hegel's Philosophy of Right to the publicaton of the Communist
Manifesto, which, after a period durng which his philosophica
thought matured, opens te way for an authentc intervention
in universal history. We shal have to discover the scope and
meang of tese writings as well as teir signifcance not only
for the understanding of te Communist Maifesto, and what is
caled historical materialism, but also for the derivation of te
theme and structure of the major work, Capital.
But Marx's letter to his father gives a more detailed descripton
of the philosophical tool which he intends to use, namely, the
Hegelian dialectic. The allusion to Hegel's Phenomenology is
clear. In the Preface to the Phenomenology Hegel contrasts the
mathematcian's method with the philosopher's dialectic.2 Te
matematcian refects upon his object, and the steps i his
demonstration are distinct fom the object itself. Te philosophica
dialectic, by contrast, is not a method of reasoning exteral to
its object, namely, history. It expresses te very development of
its subject. The task of the philosopher is to trace a historical
development, to display its interal movement, exposing the con
tradictions which appear in it and showing how these tend to be
resolved. Hegel says, "Truth is the whole. Te whole, however,
is merely the essential nature reaching its completeness through
the process of its own deveJopment,"3 and Marx taes this up,
citng the same illustratons :
The triangle permits the mathematcian his constructions and
demonstations but for all that remains a spatial image and does
not become something more than that . . . but i the concrete ex
pression of the everyday ideal world, in the Law, the State, the
science of Nature and all of Philosophy, it is necessary by contrast
Marx and Philosophy
to intercept the object in the process of development: it wil not do
t o intoduce into it arbitar distinctions; the demonstration of the
object should, insofar 8 it is contradictor in itself, establish the
principle of its development and discover its unit W itself.4
It is ver difcult Vm the short space of an essay to show
how Marx fl ed the program he had outined in frst letter.
Te essence of it, however, i his creatve tansformaton of te
problem of the contast between the idea and te actua, which
he early interpreted in terms of te contrast between philosophy
and the human conition, thereby makng novel use of te Hegelian
dialectc. Tus we shall confne ourself to exag how young
Marx viewed te contast between phosophy and reait he
found it in the speculative system of Hegel and i what maner
te solution which Mar attempts consttutes an improvement
upon Hegel. I is hoped that the brief observatons which follow
wl throw light upon the real signifcance of the problem of the
relaton between philosophy and the human condition as Ma.. -
saw it.
Te Iportance of Mar's Early Development for
the Understandi of H Later System
Te evoluton or stucture of Marx's thought between 1 840 and
1 847 may be approached i two diferent ways. 1 one case we
might tae the view that, after having been more or less a
Hegelian, havg played a part i the left wing of Hegelianism,
Marx completely abandoned m youthful escapades. Tus his
development culminates in historical materilism, and the forula
ton of doctine i to be considered quite independently of m
early works. Tere i indeed a body of doctrne which stands by
itself and reqUires no interretaton in terms of the development
of te ealier studies. On view, the economic basis of Societ,
or the forces of producton and the' economic stucture, consti
tutes an infa-stucture, while te super-stuctures are the product
of objective developments in the economic basis. Tere is more
or less explicit recogniton. of te reacton of the secondary stuc
tures upon teir foundaton, but the part played in te social
Marxism an Philosophy
dialectic by the rise of consciousness, which we consider essental,
is not suf cienty understood. illtmately, on t view one can
hardly avoid interpreting dialectical materialism-an exression
of Marx and Engels which seems to us quite obscure and in a
sense even self-contradictory-on te model of an unqualied
materiasm or scientifc objectivism. But Marx would have re
garded such an objectvist interpretation as one of te most ex
teme forms of the alienaton of man as a living and actve being.
1 our own opiion, the current debate over Mar's concep
tion of materialism would be claried i one were to ret to
the philosophica wtngs prior to the Communist Manifesto and
Capital. Indeed, it might be granted-and t is te alteratve
approach to Mar-that he cannot be understood unless one
starts fom his philosophical works.5 1partcular, to read Capital,
without previously having read -the Contribution to the Critique of
Hegel's Philosophy q Right and the Economic and Philosophical
Manuscripts, indeed, without having read through Hegel's Phe
nomenology, inevitably leads to a series of misinterretatons.
Neither the economist who ignores the dialectc of alienation, de
veloped by Hegel and Feuerbach, nor the philosopher who over
looks the economic studies of Engels, which had such considerable
inuence on Marx, can understand either te dynamic or te
dialectc which i the heart of Capital or te noton of value as
socially necessar work which can have no meaning for either te
economist or philosopher who remains within te a of m
disciplne. The exploration of te conjuncton of te two disciplines
is characteristc of Marx and is admirably expressed in the study
mentioned above, whose title, Econmic and Philosophical Manu
scripts, formulates a whole program of future investgaton.
Te Problem of te Aenaton of %
1 te following, we shall assume a kowledge of Coru's in
dispensable work on Marx's early period.6 Not tat we are en
tirely in agreement with the partcular philosophical interpretaton
that Coru advances. For m thesis seems to us to border on a
view that we have rejected, namely, that Marx progressively re-
Marx and Phiosophy 97
nounced the earlier stages in his development. However, Coru's
work has the indisputable mert of a complete historica descrip
tion of Marx's development prior to te publicaton of the Com
munist Manifesto, with a summation of its prcipal elements. I
is, therefore, an essental tool for any serous study of Marian
What was Ma's view of philosophy? Tis question un
avoidably ts into the question: What did Mar think of
Hegeliansm? For Marx, as, indeed, for Kierkegaard, with whom
comparison is not realy so strange as it might seem at frst,
philosophy was idented fst and foremost with Hegel, whose
system is to us what Aristotle's was to the ancients. Hegel had
given philosophical thought its fnal form. He is "the last of the
philosophers" whose speculative thought distls the ver essence
of philosophy. After Hegel, it is no longer possible to do phi
losophy in eaest. To refute Hegel is, therefore, to refute all phi
losophy. The Crsis of Hegelianism is the turning-point of philoso
phy. Tus the thoroughly detailed critcism which Marx makes of
Hegel's philosophy, particularly his Philosophy of Right, has far-
. reaching consequences. Takng up the work of Feuerbach, who
had from Hegel's own suggestions elaborated the Hegelian critique
of religion, Marx poses the problem of philosophy in terms of the
negation or suppression of philosophy. He attempts to demonstrate
the inadequacies of a philosophical system which continually af s
the necessity of reintegrating Life without ever efectvely doing so
and which sets out to overcome every alienation of "self-conscious
ness," but only achieves it in idea, leaving a yawning abyss between
te idea and reality.
Max was completely abreast of the full sweep of Hegelian
philosophy. He addressed himself directly to the fundamental work
.n the Phenomenology, i which Hegel shows tat Self-Conscious
ness of Man, but man still conceived abstractly as the bare thought
of himself, alienates himself in things. Though stange at frst sight,
text shows how self-consciousness according to objective kowl
edge can discover itself as a mere thing, as in te most abstract
materialism. Tus, in his observaton of the physica world, man
can perceive himself as a part of matter, a skull, for example, or,
Marxism and Philosophy
in the social word, see himself in terms of money-te abstact
universa. Money is not self-consciousness in it humaed form
but te alienation of self-consciousness in an objective form.
Hegel had developed tis conception of the aienation of man
through the medium of money in the course of the Phenome
nolog, and Marx, drawing upon te introducton to economics
which he received fom Engels, took over Hegel's entre analysis
and even m terinolog. Tis appears clearly i one compares
Hegel's chapter inspired by Le Neveu de Rameau, entted "Spirt
in Self-Estrangement-The Discipline of Culture," with the chap
ter of Mar on the alienation of man by weat,7 where he says:
"Money, in virtue of its power to buy everg and to appropri
ate every object, is tus the object par excellence."
Iasmuch as Marx criticies the aienation of man's vital ad
creatve quaites through money, he is equaly opposed to the
aienaton of man troug an objectvist scientsm which fails to
perceive science as the creation of man who, as he says, "produces
man and makes himself." Whereas scientsm explains man in
terms of nature, Marx, following Feuerbach, agues that nature
insofar as it is for man cannot be detached fom its human sig
nifcance. There does not exst a nature, witout human signif
cance, and then man. There is only nature at the human level,
neither objective nor subjectve-nature produced by ma, that is
to say, seen, touched, tasted, worked upon, and tansformed by a
lving being.
Evidenty, fom te observations left in te Manuscripts and
his study on the Germn Ideolog, Marx did not have tme to de
velop t theme. These are nonetheless invauable sources. Max
says expressly tat it is essentialy a question of te reconciliaton
of "ideaism and materialism in a higher syntesis" which would
no longer be philosophy but acton and, insofa as it is a critque
of reait, be simultaneously the reaation of the critque and of
reason. Tus a (subjectve) critque i no longer te va irony
of a self-consciousness supercial y confontng every obstacle,
but the creatve engagement of consciousness with a reait which
in this very process discloses its contadictons ad fshes the
real basis of its owi tansformaton.
I the Phenomenolog Hegel had aso shown that self-con
Marx and Philosophy 99
sciousness was no less alienated in the bourgeois society which
took root in the eighteenth century and expressed itself through
the noton of utility. Man's nature, which is essentially generic or
social, is exteralized through te system of economic relatons
and is lost in this exteralization which transcends man. The blind
development, as Hegel puts it, of wealth, which becomes increas
ingly concentrated, ends by dominatng al humanized self-con
sciousness. Te whole of U dialectca analysis is later discov
ered by Mar. For he had no kowledge of the unpublished works
of Hegel's J ena periodS in which the philosopher had perceived
with extreme accuracy the world of economic alienation produced
by the social division of labor and had foreseen what Marx later
called the h of concentration and the increasing proletarianiza
tion of society. Finaly, Hegel in these same works had shown, in
connection with Kant's moral vision of the world, tat self
consciousness was alienated in a God beond man yet posited
by man.
I was to this latter phenomenon that the frst Hegelians
tured their attenton. Tey began with a critque of man's al
ienaton through religion, broached by Hegel and completed by
Feuerbach. 1 actual fact, this critique has its origins in the vital
Christian doctrine according to which God the Father, or te
tanscendntal in-itself, is made fesh, and man as the mystcal
body of Christ, as Humant-Church, becomes divine. One may
see in Cistanity, as it is interpreted in Hegelian philosophy, the
source of everg in Marxian humanism.
We must, however, retur to what we refered to as Mar's
critque of philosophy, a critque which i simultaneously the au
tentc realization of philosophy in human praxis. Te entire He
gelian system may be seen as an endeavor to overcome the
alienation of (human?) self-consciousness. Hegel udertook to
show how in the object, in socia relatons, in the State as ob
jective will, and in the God of religion, te inalenable self-con
sciousness of man is exteralized and fnally estanged. I might
appear that we are using contadictory notons in speakng of an
inalienable self-consciousness and of the alienation of that con
sciousness. But it is precisely this contadicton which is the dy
namic principle of the entire Hegelian system, certainly, of the
Marxism and Philosophy
Phenomenology, and it is this in turn which provides te impulse
of Mar's revolutionary dialectic. The diference is that Marx, like
Kierkegaard, contends that Hegel only suppresses aienation in
thought while the contradiction reappears between man's actual
state and philosophy as a sstem of ideas. Kierkegaard writes that
"the philosopher has built out of ideas a palace but he lives in a
hovel." Marx comments tat "Certainly, it was Hegel who revealed
the nature of labour as the activit through which man produces
himself," but "as he only grasped tis labour in idea, in abstract
thought, he could only suppress alienation in thought." Hegel had
tus, so to speak, reduced the word to a world philosophy, and
though he had succeeded in showing that in his own speculatve
system of the Idea the world might be constucted as a palace of
ideas, he had left standing the hovels of the everyday word. The
new dialectic which was to replace Hegel's speculative version is
formulated rather cryptcally in the following phrase of Marx:
"Te future-philosophy of the world must immediately become
the world-future of philosophy. " What Mar is saying i that, hav
ing raised itself through Hegel to a world conception, Germany
should become the battlefeld of the proletariat through whom the
idea of the inalienable social nature of man might become a re
ality, the consttutive principle of its own world. The reaation
of this concepton of man as a social being-as the generic con
sciousness of the unit of man in a union with all men-is the
task not only of a philosophical consciousness, which in embrac
ing this task denies itself as philosophy and becomes absorbed into
a thought which is simultaneously action; it is also the task of
actual history which, inasmuch as it i the outcome of the aliena
tion of man, must for that reason culminate in the conquest of
that alienation. The instrument or lever employed by history to ac
complish its task is, according to Mar, the proletariat, or, rather,
the self-consciousness gained by the proletaria. For the prole
tariat is the last of the revolutonary classes-the one in which
alienation, being at its very worst, must bring about its own
dialectical aienation, in view of the fact that revolutionary en
thusiasm does not exceed the bounds of class interest; witess the
revolutonary bourgeoisie of France. Thus history, considered as
the progressive realization of human development through a con-
Marx and Phiosophy 101
tnuous alienation of man's social being, contains within it the
Idea or the power to make the Idea an actualit; the Idea, on
the other hand, fnds this agency of its actalation in the prole
tariat insofar as it becomes conscious of its fundamental need or
absolute want by the standard of authentic man.9 Critical actvit
or subjectvity, in a word, the act of consciousness, is never lost,
of in the clouds. It is an awareness that is at the same tme the
realation of the truly authentic man. Stg from te Chsta
teaching which gathers Humanit in the living God, Hegel had
sketched a philosophy which in efect fnaly reduced nature, re
ligion, and the State, respectively, to te philosophy of nature,
the philosophy of religion, and the philosophy of Right. Kierke
gaard and Ma, each in his own way, showed te existential
emptiness of tis contemplatve reducton. But where te one went
back upon philosophy to religion, to existential concept of re
ligious man, the other pushed the critque of religion on into the
critique of the social foundations of religion and of philosophy
itself, which Ma called a "spoof of idealism." Elsewhere, Ma
adds, "Ever form and creation of consciousness may be reduced
not only in the way that spirtual critcism reduces everg to
self-consciousness or transforms them into phantoms and visions
but in a unique way through the practical reversal of the actua
social situaton in which these idealist spoofs originate." Again,
however, the sense of this practcal reversal or revolution must be
corectly understood: it is by no means a theoretical revolution.
I is only possible through a profound consciousness of the human
condition, an act of consciousness which is open only to 'the pro
letariat. Te transition fom the critque of religion to the critque
of law and thence to the socia revoluton is well described in te
following remark: "This state, this societ, produce religion, an
inverted world conscousness, because tey are an inverted world
g . . the stuggle against religion is, therefore, indirectly a stuggle
against that wold whose spiritual aroma is religion."l0 Whenever
man, aienates himself, he projects his own realit beyond himself,
and reducing himself to nothing, he becomes unto himself te
creature of m own projecton. Thus man recognies his maer in
the tanscendental God of religion by the same act in which he
nul es himself. Siilarly, though the State is his own work, man
Maxism an Philosophy
i unable to recognize himself i it. Thus the discovery of t
alienation and contadicton, once it becomes self-conscious, should
become the same thing as working to end it once for all.
Te Soci ad Economc Aenaton of Ma i the Stte
There is in the Hegelian State, as Mar showed at lengt, a
myster which is in fact a mystifcation.
The Idea which becomes concrete in Hegel's State i actually
juxtaposed to an empirical realit easily recognized as the Prussian
bureaucratc regime. Marx revealed how, in the name of the Idea,
Hegel had deduced the experience of his own age, just as Hegel
himself had demonstrated' that the Platonic Republic was really
the fullent of the polis at the moment of its demise. Moreover,
it i not unlikely that Hegel was sufciently aware of t mystca
tion, the philosopher beirig unable, as he would say, to transcend
his age, to bridge heaven and earth. Pushing further m own line
of crtcism, Marx saw in Hegel's concepton of the organismic
State the formal expression of bourgeois or civi societ, the kind
of societ which Hegel in his youth had considered a obstacle
to democracy.ll Marx concluded that the alienaton of man's
generic nature in God has its counterpart i his alienation in a
State which proclaims the rights of man, these being merely
formal rights, since they overlook the actual conditon of man as
it develops trough labor and the production of wealth. Tat i
why Marx sought in the study of political economy and the ex
perience of conditions in England, which he drew fom Engels,
a more profound grasp of man in his everday bc, i the idivisible
union of his body and soul. It is man so conceived who is alienated
bodily and spiritually in history, whose alienaton i te drama
of all history. Political struggle no less than the philosophical
struggle against the gods merely shifs onto another plane te
movement of social classes and the development of the awakening
of human consciousness. Perhaps it is at ths point that Marx's
otherwise extemely penetrating insight has led m critcal facit
to overstep itself. Is it at all possible that politics, or the State, can
be completely absorbed into te category of the social; can the
antagonism between men, which Hegel had stressed so, no less
Marx and Phiosophy
than conict between natons, be resolved completely by the
resoluton of economic confict? T queston remains a funda
mental one to our mind, although we do not intend to develop
it fuer.
However, i our interpretaton of the philosophical writngs of
Mar is at all correct, we should fnd support for it in te monu
mental stucture of Marx's master work Capita.
Clearly, te latter work cannot be thoroughly understood by
anyone ignorant of Hegel's Phenomenolog, for it is te living
image of it. Whereas, in the Phenomenolog, it is the absolute
spirit, once it has become its own object, tat raises itself to self
consciousness, in Capital, it is man's alienated social being, te
gross product or, rather, the communal labor of men, namely,
Capital, which, so to speak, objectifes itself and cononts te
consciousness of te proletariat. 1 his earlier works, parcularly
on politcal economy, Marx had shown how man's social nature
U alienated trough histor and fnally takes the form of Capital.
1 Capital, however, this development is looked at fom the other
side; te prduct, which is the result of the alienaton of man's
social nature, itself results in the production of man. As a pro
letarian, man becomes the product of his own product; he i re
duced to the status of a cog in a huge machine which overwhelms
m ad whose functon Marx stuggled to grasp in al its aspects.
Capital is self-productve, or rather reproduces itself and accumu
late. U U capital which deteres the conditions under which
men reproduce, what they eat, and their mode of group life.
However, there comes a time when this alienation becomes a liv
ing contradiction. Tis i the tme of the proletariat. 1 the prole
tariat, and above all in the general proletarianaton of societ,
man i nothing more than the inert product of his on product.
However, man's consciousness is, in Hegel's phrase, "elastcit
absolute." U cannot be reconciled to acceptng itself as a mere
object. Tus its lowest point of inerta i the very conditon of its
recovery. Tat i the reason why human consciousness is restored
in te proletariat and in a societ which is proletariaed. Th
class-consciousness i simultaneously consciousness of humanit,
a consciousness creative of a new order. Here, as Marx conceives
it comiunism i simply a stage which wl be superseded. It U
Marxism and Philosophy
te actve negaton of its own negaton, capitalism, yet U nega
ton of the negaton is authentcally positive. I is the Idea in
actualit, the divation of man, authentic man, fully aware that
he is the one who makes his own histor. There is here a concrete
humanism in which philosophy as merely speculatve thought
disappears. We may wonder what are the implicit philosophica
asslmptons which make this accomplishment possible and to
what extent the vagaries of history support Marx. Tese are
questons which we shall not pose. It has merely been our in
tention to initate once again a discussion of Marx's philosophica
positon which at the present tme may have m conse
1 "Brief an den Vater aus dem Jahre 1 837," in Karl Marx, Frihe Schrif-
ten, edited by H. J. Lieber and P. Furth (Stuttgart, 1962), p. 9.
2 The Phenomenology of Mind, _. 101. [rans.]
3 Ibid., p. 81. [Trans.]
4 Mar, Frihe Schriften, p. 9.
5 Karl Marx, Early Writings.
6 Auguste Coru, La Jelnesse de Karl Marx (Paris: Presses Universi
taires de France, 1934) . This work is out of print, but see Coru, Les
Annees d'enfance et de jelnesse, la gauche hegelienne, 1818118201844,
Vol. I of Karl Marx et Friedrich Engels, leur vie et leur oeuvre (Paris:
Presses Universitaires de France, 1955) .
7 Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts, Second Manuscript (XI),
"Money," in Karl Marx, Early Writings. [rans.]
8 These works, which were written while Hegel was at Jena, are ex
tremely interesting, given that they date f
m 1805-1806 and were stil
not published by Marx's time. [Trans.]
9 Mar develops the relation between the Idea and its realizaton by the
proletariat in the Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy
of Right, mKarl Marx, Early Writings.
10 Karl Marx, Early Writings, p. 43.
11 Here we are sUag the entire evolution of Hegel's thought. I
his youth Hegel had supported the French Revolution; he later exam
ined the reasons for its failure and the causes of the Terror. Though
Marx and Philosophy
in a diferent sense, Ma was to be concered with the same develop
12 Of course, the systematc functioning of U process of alienation
capital-contains multple interal contradictions not analyzed here.
Our intention was solely to emphasize one fundamental , point: the
proletariat which is unavoidably created by capital is the focus of an
untenable contradiction, the existence of a consciousness which is
human yet completely alienated from its huat.
Marx's Critique of
the He
elian Concept
of the State
I the years 1 842 and 1843, Marx studied Hegel's Philosophy of
Right. In Marx's lifetime only the introduction to t study wa pub
lished in the Franco-German Annals. However, U introduction
reveas a major development in Marx's thought. I consttutes an
early "Communist Manifesto," making explicit what is stll only
implicit in the rest of the critique of the Hegelian State.1 P the
same, it i interestng to look into Marx's more detailed study of
the Hegelian conception of the State. In t way we may elaborate
upon Marx's own tg and at the same tme clarif the re
laton between Marxism and Hegelianism.
I his long, paragraph-by-paragraph analysis of the Hegelian
philosophy of the State, Marx not only seeks to reveal the
philosophical presupposition of Hegelian politcs, but also aims
at brnging out the historical content to which Hegel perhaps
arbitarily bound his philosophical system. What relaton i there
between the form of t system and the content which may be
deduced fom it? Te soluton of tis problem determines
attitude which Ma adopts toward Hegelianism. I can ten be
understood how Marx i led both to a crtque of Hegel's philosoph
ical idealism, for its failure to legitmate its partcular historical
content, and to a historical critque of the inadequacy of its con
tent in relaton to the Idea. I i tils disequilibrium between te
Idea and historica realit which emerges as te fst result of
Marx's study. Clearly set fort i the acle i the Franco
German Annl, t concept of disequilibrium leads Marx in t
to seek for the root of the Idea in a historica realit-te pro-
Marx's Critique of the Hegelian Concept of the State
letariat-whose dynamic content Hegel had tried arbitrarily to
limit and fxate, although its orgins in a revolutonar dialectic
mght well be attributed to Hegel's concepton of the original
movement of te rise oj consciousness, which is the soul of the
whole Hegelian Phenomenology.
Marx's study is extemely noteworthy, both for its philosophical
interest and its historical value. Marx did not have kowledge of
the early works of Hegel, made familiar to us thanks to Heran
Nohl, Johannes Hofeister, and oters. Presenty, the course of
Hegel's development is being reconstructed more accurately.
One sees behind the crabbed forulas of the Berlin professor
a system of thought which demanded a continuous elaboration
that is no mer dialetcal play but has its source in Hegel's
empirically grode
refectons upon the great events of his
age, the French:Revoluton, the Terror, Napoleon's reforms and
. Ya
the Restoraton, and so on.2 Indeed, one cannot over

phasie Hegel's realism. To read the newspaper is, he says,

modem man's morg-prayer: it enables us to fnd our bear
ings in the historical world.
| m J ena writngs Hegel thought that the great man of acton
was more capable of catching the signifcance of a historical
development than the pale theorist of reason or the routne
empiricist. He is able to rise above contadictions through . a
global intuiton, surpassing tem like a speculatve philosopher
whose dialectcal thought cuts through te foralism and rgid
distnctons of discursive reason. But what the man of acton
grasps in an intuition which surasses more limited perspectives
te speculatve philosopher should, according to Hegel, conceive
as an Idea. Hegel expresses this noton i his Philosophy oj
Rght in the following words: "Te rational consideration of a
topic, the consciousness of the Idea, i concrete, and to that ex
tent coincides wit a genuine practca sense. Such a sense is itself
nothing but te sense of'ratdhait or te Idea, tough it is not
to be confused wt mere business route or the horizon of a
resticted sphere."3
Hegel considered tat in The Republic Plato had not con
stucted a utopian cit. He had only elaborated upon te realit
of te ancient cit, seized its Idea, i the ver moment it was
Marxism and Philosophy
about to decIine and disappear. He had attempted to eIiminate
hom the ancient ciqthe unrest ofindividuaIism which destroyed
itfrom wIthin and which couId not fad to bring about its down-
f . No phiIosophy can transcend its own age, or jump over
Rhodes, as HegeI puts it. Wen, in tcrn, Marx criticues HegeI
for havIng opposed bourgeois or civiI socieq to the State, for
having arrived by deduction at the constituuon monarchy and
Prcssian bureaucracy, giving them an aspect of the etenaI, he is
simpIyreveaIing anessentitendency ofHegeIian thought, which
is to Iegitimate existing reaIiq by conceiving it phiIosophicaIIy.
Despite this, HegeIian thought is aIso dialectical and its move-
mentis opposedtothiskmd ofxauon. 1his earIy work-where
he uses the term Life In pIace of the termIdea HegeI aIways

conuasts the deadIy positivism of reIigion o Iith the move-
ment of IIfe whIch continuaIIy negates such gsitvism. Tis ex-
pIains why Marx exposes the conhict between the He
method, which he himseIf adopted, and the Inadequate res
NevertheIess, Marx's criticism isnotIImItedtothIs very generm
exposure. Itenters deepIy into the form and content of HegeIian
thought and is vaIuabIe for its detaiIed criucaI anaIysis, aII the
more suggestive because the antagonists, HegeI and Marx, are
both rst-rate phiIosophers and historians who conceive history
as genesis. T1Is is why Marx has no dimcuIq in refcung HegeI
withthe heIpofHegeI, usIng actcaI remarks ofHegeI. It expIains
why we ourseIves, either m the Iight of contemporary events or
throughthekowIedgeofHegeI's historicaI reecuons with whIch
Marx was unacqunted, are abIe to do justice to HegeI and oc-
casionaIIy understand how he might be defended agaInst Marx.
Te He
el State
Before proceeding to the detaiIs cf1arx'scritique, it may be
worthwhIIe to take an over view oftheHegeIIan phIIosophy of
me State as deveIoped m the Philosophy of Right, 1 821. HegeI
disunguishes three eIements in a concrete and objective ethIcaI
system or State. the Family, which is the State in its unmediated
form, Bourgeois Societ, which is the State created by necessiq
Marx's Critique of the Hegelian Concept of the State
theory,inwhichIifeis private andthe 8tateis sti!Ino mcrethan
a means tc individu ends pursued in isoIancn, and fnaIIy me
State, prcperIy speaking, which represents the crganic unity of
poIiticaI Iife. HegeI
conceives ]e


eIments such that the





e pr







e shusmee Phencmencu
the 8tate. J appears to ce me Idea,but is actuaIIy cnIy
themediated appearancewmchthe Idea takes cnbefore itposits
itseIfin independence beycnd the appearance, which isIeft as a
subsistentmcment cftheIdeathatmust aIways besurpassed. In
bourgeois scciep, mdea isnctyet an actuaIip, ]oritsel]. It is
notaseIf-ccnscicusunipbutanunccnsciousunipthatis reaIized
inthe interacncnofindividus through a knd cftrickery. 1hus
HegeIgives IiberaIism its pIace-In bcurgecis scciep-but he is
convinced that me WhoIe is pnor to its Pa," that the parts
onIy exist so that the whcIe may posit itseIf as such. 1e truIy
poIincaI 8tate is anemergent cver and above the everydayIife cf
individuaIs,itistheiruty, theirraticnaIe,within mis unip aIone
are they what they ought tc be, nameIy, ccnscicus cf themseIves
asthegeneraIwiIIwhich hasrecedenceinIawcver aIIparticuIar
desires, justas theprincipIeofunipinancrganismispriortothe
organs in which it is embcdied and thrcugh which it maintains
1eoppcsinonbetweenbourgeois crcivil socieg and political
b]e has a Iong history in HegeIianism. It is the expressicn of a
aIismthatHegeIIcngedtc cverccme, buttheexigency cfwhich
he was obIiged tc reccgnize in the Iight cf the histcricaI events


me bourgecis rivate iuasunk in th auIari o his

, c c in6e the ccm-

- . -

mcnwiII It epasasHegeI md his ccntempc-

ranes pmIcscphized upcn it-that man Iived as a citizen. His Iife
was in harmcny wim me Iife cf the cip, his wl was directly a
generaI wiII. But such immediate identifcancn is umown to
1 10
Marxism an Philosophy
modcm mm. Jus tbc Itcncb cvo!uton !ai!cd bccausc t was
unab!cctbct to suQQtcss tbc boutgcos and mcQtvatc ndvdua,
Ottoabsotb tbcm comQ!ctc!y nto a bu!y Qo!uca! statc.
. I a Qassagc om bs cat!y Qctod Hcgc! dcsctbcs a basc
!otm o! tbc a


n tbs vcty magc o! mc

scQatauon o! t s t


md cvc !!c, o!
"conccm !ot tb ciIard`ncc o at is gcncta."
1n tbc !ast days tc!bc u v u scQatatcd
bmsc!! om tbc cq and wtbdtcw nto bmsc!!, O Qnvatc
QtoQctq, bs Qtvatc !abot, bs ownntc ad !mtcd doman. 1c
camc to consdct tbc Statc as an cXtcma !otcc- fonn g
alenaton, as,Hcgc! andNatX!atct cxQcscd t. }c countctQatt
to tbs cXQctcncc o! Qo!uca abcn!O_

on o! tc!gous
acnauon bccausc mc Qtvatc mdvdua!, bg!ost mcmcmng
o!!!c n tbc pols, cou!d on!y dcc om m own !mtcd conccQ-
uon o! !!c to takc tc!ugc n an ctcma natutc Qtojcctcd bcyond
bmsc!!. Io!uca! and tc!gous a!cnaton atc U dcvc!oQmcnts,
botb o! wbcb tbc Itcncb cvo!uuon, as Hcgc! sccs t, badat-
tcmQtcd to tcmovc by motougb!y tc!otmng tbc Qtvatc ndvdua
n tbcnac o! tbcccn, and announcngbcavcnoncatm.But
mstcmova! Qtovcd mQossb!c andtbcmodcmStatc must consc-
gucndysbowtsc!!sttongcnougb to a!ow ts own "Qbcnomcnon,"
namc!y, !bcta!ismaQQcang as a momcnt o! tbc 1dca, to subsst
wtbnt. On mc otbct band, as sc!!-conscousncss, tbc 1dca must
Qosttsc!!!ottsc!! as aQatucu!attcaq n tbc Consttuuon aud
tbc Nonatcb. 1n tbc Qbcnomcna! wot!d, tbcsc two momcnts arc
scQatatc; n ttuc ca!q t s tbc 1dca tsc!! wbcb scQatatcs tscH
and octs tsc!! to tsc!! n otdct to tcconc!c tsc!! unto tsc!f
ctcma! mcdauon. I tbc Hcgc!an Qb!osoQby o! tbc St,
|owcvct, t mcdauon s cXbcmc!y obscutc; t s cXQtcsscd
tbrougb ub

!at o! 0 assocauous m
tc t g utcaucottb as Lucb t comcs

~ `



mdctbcav aIIacomNm. onmgbtgutt a

. ,

~ , , . - _ .


mconttast to c cnt Statc tbc mO tat

ftct 1cgc
s Qowct!u! cnogb' toQc Q Vto wOtk
tsc!! out to tbc !Jmt o! autonomous ndvdua! Qctsonawbc
at tbc samc umc bnngng tbc !attct Vm a substanua! unq aud
Mars Critique of the Hegelian Concept of the State
1 1 1
uereby to estabIIsh uat umq Vm the very prIncIpIc of sub-

ToputItsImpIy, HegeIoersherewhatheconsIders asoIuuo

to a probIem whIch aB of us conuuue to ponder, nameIy, the
reconcIIIatIou of IIberaIIsm and socIaIIsm, of IndIvIduaI IIberq
and the unIq of the generaI wiII.
Dut, as Marx shows beyoud
doubt, HegeI does not xeaIIy resoIve the probIem through

medIauous whIch he consuucts out of the hIstorIcaI eveuu of
m day. Is Man's soIutIon any better7 We may wonderwhether
Man succeeds In resoIving the probIem as such by Iocamg

n the d

w be au end to u sm dIvIuaI e
cImen, each sumsed Iu the other, atrst under communim and
Iater In anarchy? At Ieast, It shouId not be forgotten that at one
poInt HegeI was aImost a MarxIan before Marx and that he
abandoned the possIbiIiq of a compIete conguest of aIIenauon,
not onIy because he was or became more conservauve, but for
reasons inspIred by events whIch he wItnessed and others more
profound whIch are IntegraI to hIs system. Though we c ot
dIscussthesefeatureshere,they concemHegeI's concepuonofthe
reIauons between men and nauons whIch c ot be reduced to
Te Ma Crtqe
We have seen uat HegeI's concepuon of the State had pre-
supposed uedIsuncuoubetween the State and bourgeoIs socIeq.
Marx now proposes to resoIve uis duaIIsuc conuadIctIon-ne
wmch i not mereIy a feature of HegeI's thought but aIso the
eecuve expressIon of a momentoI hIsto

uonof ue tJpe e so

s IndIIaiom T reaIIq
of man's IIfe and r ressIon In the
State so that ue Iatter Ioses Its character as a uanscendentaI
enuq. Te reaI nature of man shouId have an eecuve poIItIcaI
1 12
Marxism and Philosophy
cXQrcsson, no !ongcr Qurc!y !orma! or n thc modc o! sc!!-acna-
ton. 1atcr, NarX !ormu!atcs this crtcism n morc sQccihc cco-
nomctcms by dcmonstrating that i bourgcois soccq thc a!cn-
atcd 5tatc i n rca!iq thc nstrumcnt o! thc dominauon o! onc
c!ass ovcr thc othcr c!ass n that soccty. By cmQ!oying ths n-
smcnt on ts own bcha! thc othcr c!ass wi!! cvcntua!!y succccd
na thoroughcongucsto! a!cnauon. Butin 1 842 and 1843, Nm
docsnotguitcsccso!ar, hc c!aims on!yto standHcgc!on m !cct
b cXQ!anng thc 1dca o!thc 5tatc throughbourgcois socicq-mc
on!y concrctc tcrm-nstcad o! rcadng thc !attcr as Hcgc! dd,
NarX`s cnurc crtguc o! Hcgc!u dcasm s contancd nc

_ , . .

q _`; `,
rcvcrs a! o! ts nvcrtcccoo ta. Jhc tru!y concrtc

~ .. r `

subcct, thcbcarcr o! cc, s man as/social being, who bc-

!ongstowhatHcgc! ca!cdbOurgcos soccq, andthc5tatc, whch
Hcgc! mstaKcn!y tooK !or thc 5ubjcct, as 1dca, s n !act a Qrcdi-
catc o! man`s socia! naturc. Tc 1dca-n rca!iq, thc Qroduct o!
man`s soca acuvq-aQQcars n Hcgc! as thc authcntic subjcct
whch rcsu!ts n "amystcry whch dcgcncratcs nto mystihcauon,"
as NarX Quts t. Jhis 1dca-5ubjcct which Qosits tsc!! andbccomcs
thc Qhcnomcnon" withn bourgcos soccq, n thc constituuona
monarchy, thc burcaucracy, and thc two chambcrs, s substtutcd
!or thc acuvq o! mcn n maKng history. cduccd to ts own
!cvc!, as mc 1dca n !ogc, t can on!ycXQ!
mysgt. Jc rcsu!t i that thcrc is in thc gc!ian Qh!osoQhy
o!thc5tatcajuXtaQoston o!Qurc!ogcwthcmQirica! obscrvaton
whch NarX rght!y rcjccts by Qonting out thc transtons n
Hcgc!`s thought!rom thc dcvc!oQmcnt o! thc Qurc1dca, a conccQt
va!d n hs Logic, to an cXstng cnuq whch might cguaIIy wc!!
bc taKcn !or a Qurc!y bio!ogca! organsm as !or thc constituuona!
organ o! thcbodyQo!uc.
At most cgc s that thc 5tatc shou!d havc organc !ca-
turcs. But cn rocccds toshow yat sort o! organsm t s
orwhatsQcchc!orm mc 5tatc shou!d havc, hc utroduccs a con-
tcnt !orcgn to its conccQt; hc ua!s tOconccQtua!Zc t adc-
guatc!y and nstcad mcrc!y juXtaQoscs to it hs !ogca! noton
whosc schcma hc rcQroduccs with cnd!css monotony. 1n NarX`s
cXcc!!cnt Qhrasc, Hcgc! substtutcs thc objcct o! !ogic !or thc
Marx's Critique of the Hegelian Concept of the State 1 1 3
!ogic o! ob]cct." 1nstcad o! a!!owing himsc!! to bcguidcd, as hc
o!tcn docs in tbcPhenomenolog, bythc dialectic of experience,
whicbcmbtaccsthc contouts o!tca!ityand!o!!owsits actua!movc-
mcnts, Hcgc! in this casc !a!!s victim to thc !otma!ization o! his
sgccu!ativc tbought. By an itony o! !atc, Hcgc! makcs thc vcty
mistakc !ot which hc tcgtoachcd 5chc!!ing in tbc Vtc!acc o! thc
Phenomenology: hc did not adcguatc!y conccgtua!izc his matctia!,
but bottowcd it and !otccd it into a tcady-madc uamcwotk.
1t is i notto misundtstand c sigpmcancc o! Mar's


c . I8 at ofi!c

` . "

a! suo

o-andthc who!cgtob!cm !ics in

kowing ]utwhat c ca! sub]cct-ttansccnds itsc!! im-
mancnt!y. a at btst conccivcs !his notion o! an cxistcnua!
ttansccndcncc that i thc authcnuc bcnt o! gcnctic man
(!ikc Icuctbacb, tms is Max's dcsctigtion !Ot thc tca! sub]cct o!
histoty) as a tca! dcmotacy, in conuast to a gutc!y !otma!
dcmoctacy whicb sgccu!auv iqca!ism on!y tcsu!ts in tbc
a!icnauon o!manintca!!i!c by a hcavcn!ygo!iucs as !attcmovcd
Howcvct, uom a know!cdgc o!Hcgc!'s cat!ict wotks, wckow
that as aghi!osoghctinBct!inhcstattcd!toma tomanticvita!ism,
that, in his own wotds, hc sct out uom "thc !ow!icst cxigcncics o!
human !i!c. " 1t is in tctms o! thc conccgt o! Ii!c that hc tst
dcsctibcd thc gcncta! constitution o!thcciq. Hc uscs thcvocabu-
la o! Ii!c to conttast thc condition o! thc haggy ciq witb thc
sickcsscs o! thc socia! body that conunua!!y thtcatcn to dcsuoy
tbc uniq o!thc city otto tcducc it to a motibund !otm mat must
bc s!oughcd o, though it incvitab!y nvo!vcs a sctics o! cnscs.
P thc samc, it cannot bc dcnicd that whi!c thc Hcgc!ian 1dca
may sti!! bcat within it1c mcmoty, as it wctc, o! thc dtama o!
this dia!cctic, it ncvct|hc!css !cavcs itsc!! ogcn, ntbc Philosophy
of Right, to a! Matx's ctiucisms. Matx tight!y gouts scom ugon
Hcgc!'s dcductions, cxgosng bow Iitt!c thc cmgitica! contcnt o!
mosc dcductions i img!icd by thc !ogica! !otm uscd to attivcat
tbcm.EvcnmoughHcgc!btings an cmgitica! matctia!, and a nch
onc atthat, to thc "idca m ," onc bas to admit that hc nds in
it what suits his dcducuons, consuicung cmgitica! cvcnts in thc
1 14
Marxism and Philosophy
!omu!as O! tbc da!cctc. Yct, as NatX admts, s combnauon s
nOt cnutc!y !!cgtimatc: t s ]ust at wbcn an ac!ua! stuauon
at|cmQts to !cgtimzc tsc!I t bccomcs cvdcnt tbat t !ai!s, wbat-
cvct ts c!am to bc tbc cOnscgucncc o! an Idca tbat s motc tban
1c mystcry o! tbc Idca s, tbctc!otc, an outrgbt mysticaton
onc tbat s transQatcnt, !ot cXamQ!c, in tbc dcducuon O! tbc
consututona! sOvctcgn, c butcauctacy, tbc twO cbambcts, and
bctcst.Indccd,wbnbcdcsttoystbc monatcb, Hcg

! avos tbc
tcassuc: ' Jbc cot o!
- .

. . -`-
Uc QcoQ!c, gust''a!ing to tbc 1dca,
Hcgc! cvadcs comonmgc ssu sy. s
bat tO somc cXtcnt sovctcq bc!ngs tbc nat as a wbO!c
-to tbc QcoQ!c-but bavng madc c QcOQ!c mc!y a mcdatcd
aQQcatancc O! tbc Idca, bc s ob!igcd to inttoducc tbc Idca in ts
ownrgbt as tbc ncgauon o! tbs tst aQQcatancc; tbus bc comcs
tO a strangc conc!usOn, namc!y, tbat c Idca sbou!d bc Qtcscnt
as an ndvdua!, bcncc c monarch.

1dca sbou!d bc tca!izcd
wtboutmcdiatonas a!acto!natc, !otntbcmass o!indvdua!s
t bas Omy a mcdiatcd Qtcscncc, bcncc hereditar mOnarcby.
Jua!!y, tbc mOnatcb sbOu!d bc tbc living law sncc cacb O! tbc
momcnts o! tbc Idca sbou!d conta wn t tbc otbct momcnts,
csngu!ar, tbcunvcrsa!, andsoon.
Vc do not wsb to sQcnd tOo !ong on tbc dcta!s o! NarX's
crucisms, tbOugbcy atc o!tcnbtiug. Ict us kccQ tO c csscncc
o! wbat NarX bas to say, taking rst tbc sub]cct o! Democracy.
J bs tcvcw o! tbc !amous tbrcc !oms o! govcmcnt Hcgc!
Obsctvcs tbat tbougb dcmoctacy may bavc bccn comQaub!c wtb
!bc anccnt cq, ts no !Ongct sutcd to tbc modcm wOnd, wbctc
c Qtvacy o! tbc ndvdua! bas so !atgc a Q!acc and wbctc tbc
uuq O! tbc btatc must bc cmbodcd co0onung tbs Qrvatc !i!c.
Jbc mOnatcby s ntcndcd tO bc "tbc consttutOn o! tcason
U cd." But, says NatX, i tbc QcoQ!c, as Hcgc! bas t, bcing
gcncta!!yso!atcd!romcmOnatcb and sovctcgn, is ou!y a !Orm-
!css mass (Hcgc!'s actua! wotds arc: "Jbc Nany, as mts-a
congcua! intcrQtctatOn o! 'QcoQ!c,' arc o! coutsc somctbng con-
ncctcd, but tbcy atc cO0cctcd on!y as an aggtcgatc, a !otm!css
mass wbosc commouon aud actvq ou!d tbctc!Otc omy bc
Marx's Critique of the Hegelian Concept of the State I I5
eIementary, IrrauonaI,barbarousandghtfuI") , 7 thisu onIytrue
to the degreethatonepresupposes,Inthe 6rstpIace, the existence
of monarchy. Te questIon, otherwIse, Is precIseIy whether the
peopIe need necessanIy be conceIved as a formIess mass. Mar
goes onto say: 'Temocracy Is the uuth of monarchy, but mon-
archyIsnottheuuthofdemocracy.Democracy, unmemonarchy,
Is InteIIIgibIeInItseIf. Democracy u the genus ofmeconsutuuon,
whereas monarchyIs a specIes, a degenerate specIes. Democrac
is thefoundatIon and the fom. MonarchyshouId onIybe a form
Marx's com arIson Is a sIcant one and Imortfor


uanIqIsmereIIgIon medI




Is es-
tuse of Ion

there Is dIerence, an It e tI constutes me great
advance of MarIsm over me pureIy poIItIcaI meones ot me
State: as the Csti reIIgIon can onIy be a formaI auon
not pervadIng the entire IIfe of men, so poIiuc democracy c
suIIonIybeoneemergentamongotherpossIbIefoms.Mar sas
that It couId happen, as In AmerIca, for exampIe, that "the e-
pubIIc wouId not be a mere poIIucaI form IBe our own mon-
ndaonormatthefoundauon~socIeq's actuaImode ofIIfe-

erto mepoIiucconsutauonhasbeen areIIgIous ream, me
reIigon of popuIar IIIe, the heaven of its universalit In conuast
wIth the reaIIq of Its e e(nce." 1ust as me Csuan
reIigIonposIts the trum ofmanbeyondman, sothe State In the
abstractform of meRepubIIc posItsthe uuIy socIed m be-
HegeI was profoundIy aware of this dIssocIauon ad Ma
gaIses m forItbecause It u e presenument of a demIte ms
torIcaI sItuauon. But i HegeI escapes crIucIsm, "because he
descrIbes the nature of the moden State as It K,` he mustbe
1 1 6
Marxism and Philosophy
censured whcn hc grogoscs "as thc csscncc o thc Statc what it
is."To say that thcrationa!is what is actua! "isgrccisc!y in con-
uadiction with thc irrationa! actua!iq which is cvcrywhcrc thc
contrary o what it cxgrcsscs and cxgrcsscs thc oggositc o what
itis."Hcrcin !ics thc mystication o Hcgc!ianism both as to a
orm (sgccu!auvcidca!ism) and its contcnt ( asgccmc and xatcd
historica! situation grasgcd agart rom its undamcnta! dis-
Yc can now scc thc grcsuggositions o Marxian thought
conuast with thosc o thc 1cgc!ian systcm. Marx conccivcs
possibi!ig o an aumcnuc cxistcncc o man, comaub!c with

gucccs o gossibi , H0m

to nrshycatur man has not bccn rca!ucd
cxistcnuay. Mrx causcs o~it in thc t gg!c
ccc scaIt on
within th can


thc socia! naturc o cxistcnua! co
rcso!vcd, it shou!d disaggcar in reality and not mcrc!y in idea,
as in rc!igion or thc ghiIosoghica! mcdiations o Hcgc!, which arc
simg!y intc!!cctua! acrobatics. Thc Hcgc!ian dia!cctic stiI! grc-
scrvcs thc tcnsion o comict at thc vcry corc o thc mcdiation,
whcrcas Marx's rcaI dia!cctic works or thc comg!ctc suggrcssion
o thattcnsion. It aims at achicving this within reality itself.
Wcrc onc to imagincHcgc!'s ob]ccuon to this criticism, onc c

hard!y bc!icvc that hc wou!d asscnt to thc gossibiIiq that th

might bc an cnd to "thc drama o thc human situauon."
drama is not onIy a mattcr o cconomic conicts which
somc day or othcr bcrcso!vcd. Itconccms thc vcry dcvc!ogmcnt
o Lic or o thc Idca som curious rcvcrsa! o
gcrsgccuvc, which bccomcsintc!!igib!c i onc grants mat at 8
givcn momcnt in his dcvc!ogmcnt Hcgc!, !ikc Marx, imagincd
ccctivc cndto mc aIicnation o man but droggcd thc thought
rcccuon ovcr ccrtain historica cvcnts, it is Hcgc! who m
casc sccms to bc invo!vcd in an endless dialectical develop,
ment in which thcIdcawouIdbc rccctcd, whcrcas Marx!ookc
fotwardtoanend of histor.
Marx's Critique of the Hegelian Concept of the State
Onone point inparticuIar the two approaches that we have
distinguished emerge cIeany. HegeI remarks that the uniq that
is the supreme pnncipIe of the State is onIy mIy reabed in
moments of int

aI stress or externaI danger." It is then that

the Idea, as thga of the wo, cmerges, when histoq
thIs the Idea. Thus terror, revoIutions, and ws
between nations are inevitabIe moments of wod history,
thesemoments are aIways remg because in these phenomena
ofthe "disappearance of the disappearance" is manifest absoIute
Lfe or, as HegeI caIIs it, the Idea. Marx comments on this in
an ironic remark about HegeIian IdeaIism. 'T IdeaIism onIy
nds its uuereaIiq in the event of disuess or war, so that its
naturen expressedqthe state of warordisuess of theStae
its peacefuI state is simpIy the struggIe and disrress of
ganism."I otherwords,HegeIIocatedtheIdeainanexistentl
drama ofhistory, whereas Marxnds me reaI counterpartof the
HegeIian Idea inthe end of this historicaI drama, in its eective
reconciIiauonorpositive snthesis.
But thIs is muchtoo important a probIem for U to take up
en passant. ItwouIdIeadus into mecontrastbetweentwo dier-
ent "worId-views" and send us back to the originaI source of
theirdivergence, nameIy, in the struggle for life and death, which
to HegeI isthe very root ofhistory, and the exploitation of man
by man, wbich Marx took as his starting point, each considering
theposiuon oftheothera secondaconsequence ofhis own. Per-
haps the contemporary conict between existentiaIist pbiIosophy
andMarxismwouId becomemore uactabIe i meprobIem wmch
we havemereIy touched upou here were tackIed directIy. Never-
theIess it shouId be noted tJat Hg moves away hom an ex-
isttisuonto adopt a|aroo conservauve attitude to the



w ..-- ae of

Marx is
atm best inopposing "the

Man, ofcourse, rejectstheHegeIian mediations which do not
in reality resoIve the couuadicuonsVm anyhistoricaI situation.


whichanswersto the
1 1 8
Marxism and Philosophy
vc!oQmcnt o! boutgcos soccq n ts !atcst !otm. Js soccq s
ndvdua!st. Cncc mc o!d mcdcva! cstatcs (Sine) btoKc uQ,
tbctc cmctgcdtbc ndusttaoHd cbatactctzcd by mc conct o!
Qtvatc ntctcsts, tbc sttugg!c o! cacb agan

t a, and at tbc samc

umc mctc aQQcau modcm5tc a c c o!
q n U soccq o! Qtvatc mcn. 1t s a
mctca!csscncco!mans scI!-a!cnatcd.
Wc bavc Qtcvous!y obsctvcd m acnauon L c monatcb,
and c sba!! cncountct t motc cXQ!cdy a bat HcgcI cs mc
"govcmg Qoct" man!cstna ovctcXQadcd butcauctacy at
Ma subjccts to a Qcncttadng attacK, motc dcvastadng, QctbaQs,
manbc n !act ntcndcd. 1 bs otKs o! tbc J cnaQctod, HcgcI
bad sougbtto dcnc a socaI statc tbatou!dc botb aatucuIat
5tutc andoncbcbmgbtcmbodyandtccct tbc gcnctantctcst.
Hcmst ougbt atms as bat bc bad !ound a tbc accnt
bctcdtaty nob!q mcb !ad dow ts !!c !ot tbc good o! c
5tatc. Butundct c nucncc o! IaQoIcon andIatct o! Vtussa
tc!omsts, bc gavc tbc to!c o! mc anccnt nobbq a tbc 5tatc
to c modcm butcauctacy: a cotQs o! bgb-IcvcI !unctonatcs,
tcctutcd om tbc mdd!c c!ass, o!tcn by mcaLs o! cXamnauon,
and cbatgcdtb tbc conccQton o! tbc unq o! c 5tatc and c
cXccuuon o! ts common Ltctcst. Jbs butcauctacy s cccuvc!y
t soul o! tbc 5tatc, ts !uLcuona guatantcc. 1ts otdct and bct-
atcby Qctvadc tbc soca body om toQ to bottom; t s to c
5tatcbat tbcunvctsa!ko!cdgc o!tbc Qb!osoQbct s to ko-
Hocvct, Ma oncc agan tcvctscs tbc Hcgc!an da!ccuC.
Jcsc !uncuonatcs, wbosc "Qatdc!at !uncuon s a unvctsa
fuLcuon," tcacb a stac wc tbcymaKctbct unvctsa !uncton
Lto "tbct Q
tdcu!at busncss," ct gtvatctoQctQ cs



s c tcaot cot!tad as no uoubIc song

matHcgcI atbs casc submts as omcnt o!tbc 1dca "a cm-
QtcaI dcsctQuon o! butcauctacy, a Qatt as t actua!y s and i
tt as t sccs tscI!." HcgcI aays statts om tbc assumQuon
o! a scQmauon bctwccn c 5tatc andboutgcos soccq, bctwccn
QatdcuIatntctcsts andtbcnct,csbod cXst(ts ow
., -._

Marxs Critique of the Hegelian Concept of the State 119

rght, n and !or tscI!; and ts ndccd uQon ths scQaraton at
Jc burcaucracy contrbutcd to thc !omauon o! thc modcm
5tatc by ughbng on thc sdc o! thc rsng monarchy aganst thc
scQaratsmo!thc corQorations and cstatcs. Uutt continucs to rc!y
uQon ths scQarauon !or ts own QcrQctuauon, thus crcaung what
t dcsuoys. U thc coQoratons rcQrcscntcd thc materialism of
soccq, burcaucracy cmbodcs ts spiritualsm. Jhcsc conuarcs,
bowcvcr, QrcsuQQosc cach othcr da!ccuca!!y and cacb rcvcrts

o thcothcr. "Jhc sQnt of burcaucracy s thc !otma! sQuto!c

tatc. Jhus t consuucts out o! thc !oma! sQrt o! thc 5tatc or

c !ack o! sQrt n tbc 5tatc a categorical imperative."16 1 othcr
words, burcaucracy simQ!y ms n a void; t s sc!!-QcrQctuamg
bccomcs a socaI tumor; nsttutcd to so!vc Qrob!cms, t n-
stcad crcatcs Qrob!cms n ordcr to so!vc thcm. 1 a burcaucracy,
c goaIs o! thc 5tatc bccomc oQQoscd to any dcmtc contcnt.
1cncc ts !orma! ucatmcnt o! QarticuIar aairs, its hicrarchy, ts
amosQhcrc o! mystc, its incvitab!c tcndcncy to makc "thc
cmQq QuQosc o! burcaucracy thc QurQosc o! thc 5tatcts.'
5ucb abstractsQintua!sm cnds by havng a sing!c contcnt,
tbc tcndcncy o! burcaucracy toward sc!!-mantcnancc. "Jus ts
sQrtua!sm bccomcs a sordd matcra!sm, thc mcchansm o! a
hatcd!otma!ism, o! rgd QrincQ!cs, dcas, and uaduons. As !or
thc burcaucrats takcn ndvdua!y, thcy makc thc QuQosc o! c
5tatc thcr own Qnvatc cnd, thc racc !or Qromouon and gctung
\n!ortmatc!y, NarX's ccrcctivc criticism docs not
n sc. It s a

c rcconsututp c rcanaturc o! manw|icb sc>scnua!!y
~ -
st r,''ays a, oc!amc an cnd to c
dstincuonbctwccn thc !ayan and thc Qricst," so c ncw socaI
ordcr Umsccnds thc dsmcton bcccn thc 5tatc !unctonmy
and c Qrvatc man. C! coursc, cvcry !ayman might bccomc a
Qrcst, and thus n thc ncw soccq cvcry Qrvatc man mght bc-
comc a !mctionary o! thc 5tatc by mcans o! an cXamauon or
comQctuon, n othcr words, through a kind o! baQtism or nua-
uon nto thc rc!igion o! Qo!tics, but thc scQarauon bctwccn c
Marxism and Philosophy
cII OndcttObat cXtcnt a gcnctacdstabsm Ot a sOccg !uIy
cguatcd tb tbc 5tatc cOuId dssOIvc sucb a butcauctacy. Indccd,
dOcs t nOt ctcatc t, i nOt ntcntOnaIIy, tbcn n Qtacbcc7 Jc
gucsbOntcmans: can tbc QOItcaI and sOcaI duaIsm bcb 1cgcI
18IcdtOtcsOIvcbctcsOIvcdOncc !Ot aII, as MabcIcvcd7
Outbc subjcct O! tbc IcgsIatvc QOct and 1cgcI`s dcducbOu"
O! c tO cbambcts, cacb cbatgcd by vatOus ttIcs tb tbc
cstabIsbmcnt O! a mediation bctccn tbc unorganized mas aud
tbc goverment power, MadcmOnsUatcs tbat, n tbc tst QIacc,

1cgcI s dcsctbng an atcbac bstOtcaI stuabOu cbatactctsbc

O! a Lctmany tbat bad nOt yct bccn tbtOugb ts QO!bcaI tcvOI
tOn mc 1tancc, and tbat, sccOudIy, bs vcs bOttO Om tbc
dcaIs O! tbc 1tcncb cvOIubOn. 1cncc a basc cOnttadcb
u tbc 1cgcIa systcm bcb dctvcs Om tbc Iag bcUccu tc
Idca and tbc actua cOndtOu O! Lctmany at tbs bmc. But tbctc
atscs a mOtc QtO!Ound cOnttadctOn bcb dctvcs !tOm Lct
many`s advanccd dcOIOgcaI statc n cOnUast tO ts bstOtcaI
bacKatdncss. 1bc Lctmans bavc n mnd bat Otbct QcOQIcs
Bc accOmQIsbcd," aud tbcy suQass tbcm OnIy in thought. 1bs
s by, a ycat Iatct, Ma tcacbcs tbc cOncIusOn tbat a tadcaI
tcvOIutOncanOnIybctcaIIy btOugbt abOut n Lctmany, Oncc tbc
QtOIctatat absOtbs tbc Idca nstcad O! Icavng t tO !ctmcnt n
tbc sOIQssbcmndO!QbIOsOQbcts.
1bcjuXtaQOsbOn O!dcOIOgy and an atcbac stuabOns cIcatIy
Qtcscnt n tbc cXstcncc O! tbc cbambct tbat tcQtcscn!stbc cstatcs
(Stinde) O! bOutgcOs sOccQ, dcstc tc 1act at tbcsc cstatcs
bavc ccascd IO cXst as


madc V[

aIcnabIc bOIdngs O tO Qass O t tQctty tO t
sOn ( asystcm nbcb man, nstcad O! OwPng tbc Iand, s Ocd
bytbcIand) . 5ucb a scaOId O!mcdatOus Om tbc bOttOm tO tbc
tOQ O! tbc Qytamd s a van attcmQt tO ctcatc tbc IIusOu O! a
tcIabvcIy stabIc cguIbtabOn O! tbc 1dca, but s n !act mctcIy
tbc cXQtcssOn O! tbc unstabIc cguIbtum O! a UanstOty mOmcut
O! bstOty. 1bc 5tatc bcb 1cgcI ttcs tO ctcmaIzc and gtasQ
tbtOugb mIdcasOnIya cctng statc, an ntcmaIIy cOnttadctOty
Marx's Critique of the Hegelian Concept of the State 121
momcnt,whichinrca!itymustpass awayundcrmincd bomwithin.
Marx, on thc othcr hand, catchcs thc rca! naturc of !cgis!auvc
powcr whcn hc writcs: "Icgis!ativc powcr is thc conuadicuon


uctatc au its

cstcncc." Icgi

o toc pc! cc, cc thc vcry
hcart of po!iucs, it is "thc rcvo!t U making." U ca!ing for uni-
vcrsaI suagc, thc privatc man ofbourgcois orcivi!socictymcans
to rccongucr thc Statc and to rcappropriatc it. BasicaIy, Hcgc!
on!y consuucts m that inuicatc scao!ding of mcdiauons that
Marxmakcs apIayoftoavoidthc!atcntincvitab!cconctbctwccn
absuact powcr and concrctc socicq, though hc docs not succccd.
Oncmightcvcngofurthcr and sccIn Hcgc!'s defance wthrcgard
to thc !cgis!aturc and his confdence in rcspcct of govcmcnt mc
pccu!iar!y conscrvauvc naturc oHcgc!'s sc!f, thc poor rcprcscnta-
uvc ofthc purc

MJx ana!y

cs Hcgc!'s psychc thus. "

has on!y to ob!igc thc rcprcscntauvcs of thc cstatcs to submt to
examination bcforc thc honorab!cgovcmmcnt.HcrcHcgc! rcachcs
thc !mit of scrvI!Iq. Onc can scc that hc is thorough!y con-
tamInatcd with thc wrctchcd arrogancc of Irussian omcia!Ism
which in its nrrow burcaucratic spirit dcprccatcs mc sc!f-con-
dcncc of (subjcctivc}
gpb!c ogiuon. I cvcry casc for Hcgc! thc

Mar's ana!ysis is comp!ctc. P thc samc, it rcmains stimu-

!aung to anyonc nowadays who rcads it wthout prcjudicc. Onc
can hard!y disagrcc with Marx whcn hc uncovcrs thc prccisc his-
torca! situauon bchnd eHcgc!ian Idca. Yct at thc samc umc
ms tactIc is tosomc cx g it rcvca!s hIs
. .
cvc ccss, it ccar dat Hcgc!'s
diations ot comp!ctc!y rcso!vc tc

homcna tcnsion
thatcmcrgcs wm Idca. As8 ofcs hcmayvcry
wc!Ihavcimagmcd thJs mcdt]ons accommodatcdthis tcnsion.
U war, for cxamg!c, i

thc dramatIc manicstauon of thc Idca,

thcn any profcssor of phI!osophy who managcs to transposc that
drama mto his !ccturcs may spcak about it comfortab!y. Hc is
capab!c of wnting that "War has thc highcr signIcancc that by
its agcncy . . . thc cthica! hca!m of pcop!cs is prcscrvcd . . . just
S thc b!owIng of thc winds prcscrvcs thc sca from thc fou!ncss
which wou!d bc thc rcsu!t of a pro!ongcd ca!m . . . "; or again,
Marxism and Philosophy
'' . peopIes unwIIIing or abaId to toIerate sovereIgnq at home
have been subjugated from abroad . . . their beedom has dIed
bom ue fear of dying." Tese opInIons, whIch are suI! to be
found In the Philosophy of Right, eve b

m cob


HegeI's youI rcanuc vItasm, LIs mtur c p

theevents of ueTerror In 1793, andthewarsofueRevoIutIon.
Man Is hosuIe to an IdeaIIsm that becomes contempIauve. He
beIIeves In a pracuca! soIutIon of these conuadIcuons, In an ef-
fecuve synuesIs ofIdea and reaIIq In the here and now.
ForMarx, HegeIIanIdeaIIsmIssimpIyamystIcatIon. InsettIng
HegeI's Inverted system upon Its feet, Marx Intended to ground
ue Idea deep in reIty and to make of It a pemanent reaIIq.
Te dIerence betweenue wo thInkers strIkes one ImmedIateIy.
HegeI, for hIs part, remarks uat "a peopIe has the consutuuon
whIch corresponds to the conscIousness whIch the worId spInt
. .

reaes In that peopIe." Dut such a conscIcusness may be uan-
scended, "so that," as Marx says, "the RevoIutIon i necessary
and It must be made." AgaIn, accordg to HegeI, the IegIsIauve
power doesnouingbutappIythe consutuuon,yetmt appIIcatIon
resuIts In a modIcauon of ue very consututIon. Why, then, not
say cIearIy that uIs power Is nou oue;p that of man as a
socIa! agent "who gIves rIse to ue consututIon"7 T IegIsIauv
power Is ItseIf a part of e constItuuon. Dut the constitution It-
seIfi notmade Inavacuum. TeIaws whIcL accordIng toHegeI
demand a transcendent deveIopment must nevertheIess be worked
out . . . ue conjunctIon Is cIear. ue IegIsIative power Is both a
consututIon oeanda constItuuve ower. er Is Indeed a
contradIctIonhere, i! the
peopIe-and not stract Idea~uat Is th )g source of

From hIs IntensIve study O- the JgeIphIIosophy of ue
State,Marxconstructs arstrevoIuuonarymamestowhIchforms
ue IntroductIon to the 1844 Critique and Is In tum ue germ of
ue Communist Manifesto. HavIng perceIved ue contradIcuons
natIve to Germany, nameIy, Its backardness reIauve to Westem
Lurope, combined wIu a pLIIosophIca deveIopment beyond ue
IeveI of German poIitIcs, Indeed, even of ue generaI Luropean
poIItIca! sItuauon, Marx proceeds to show that thIs comIct be-
Marx's Critique of the Hegelian Concept of the State
tween phiIosophy (orthe Idea) and the actu sItuatIon necessI
tates a radIcaI revoIutIon and cannot be contned wU the
sophIsms of HegeI's IogIc. The Idea must become compIeteIy In-
caate, whIch It can o

Iy achIeve i bourgeois socIeq In tum

emancIpates ItseIf compIeteIy and approprIates e a5suact State
ta HegeI constructs over and beyond It. However, the contra-
dIcuon beween e State and bourgeoIs socIeq Is ItseIf sImpIy
the expressIon of conuadIcuons wU bourgeoIs socIeq-the
conuadIctIons between social classes (a new concept whIch re-
pIaces that of states)

1 the counuIes surrounding Ge many each of these socI

cIasses had managed at Ieast for a moment to take upon ItseII
the emancIpauon of the whoIe socIeq and Is was the mak
of re_. 'It Is omy In e name of the unIvers rIgbts oI
socIeqthat acuIar

upremac us
ItfIs to another cIass o representthe stondage and the
perversIonofsocIeq." 1Irance, thebourgeoIsIe,precIseIyspeak-
Ing, wasin 1789 IdentiedwIth e Idea ofthe compIete emancI-

ereas the nobiIIq embodIed the crImes of so-




sume a
se onsne,noentcncounters





made nocont I)y overwbIcttmay
In t exercIse Its oessIon" sIt1s IpossIbIy one-
sIded deveIopme Ge many and an archaIc sItuauon whIch

ra e

e medIatIons
a g

tate and






such decomoItIosIgeoIuuon one
atwl endoucer

_ dug s oJSocIeqandtbeState,

fBeaIIq and eIdea.

What, then, Is to be e Instrument of the reaatIon of thIs

conception-the socIaI man whom Ma, to repeat, does notfuIIy
descnbe-thatIsnaIIy to end human aIIenauon? Ma gives thIs
Instrument a distinct name, that ofthe proletariat. The proIetarIat
Marxism and Pilosophy
i not a particuIar cIass among the other cIasses of bourgeois
socieq. I is ue cIass which arises hom the decomposiuon of
bourgeois society. It is the product of its deepest conuadicuons,
"a sphere of society which has a universa! character because its
suengs areuniversaI, andwhich doesnotcIaIm aparticular re
dress because ue wrong which is done to it is not a particular
wrong, but wrong in general . . . a sphere ofsocieqwich cIms
no traditional status but omy a human status . . . a sphere, f
naIy, which cnot emancipate itseIf hom the other spheres
ofsocieq,without,therefore,emancipating aIItheseotherspheres.
. . . " Marx discovers the Instrument necess for ue "non-
aIienation" ofmaninthe proIetariat whose conict expresses ue
conadIction ofall bourgeois socieq. Tus it i by means of ue
proIetariat that the Idea becomes an actuaity. Marx, t


humansubject. 1 pIace of
egeI's transcendent Idea, Marx sub-
sututes ue revoIutionary diaectic of the proIetariat. There is a
fher feature for whichMarx appears to us



, ua

. .



e di


_The awakeng
of consciousness ae ection of some state of
aaIrs. It is that which aIone can embody diaIectica contra-
dicuon and at

the sam timeem Jts ct.i

- .
which ue proIei


a rea! one an s




ga anmienabIe
subjectfor whomItis Imp seIf as a mere
object. ForMarx the proIetariatis the subject that experiences to
the extreme the contradiction of the human condiuon and is
thereby capabIe of resoIving it forever. But is such a resoIuuon
ofaI! uanscendencepossibIe onthe historicaI pIane and not ]ust
Marx's Critique of the Hegelian Concept of the State 25
attheIeveI of thought? Does the human condiuon as a probIem
carry Vm it the soIuuon toItsprobIem?
1 Contribution to the Critique oj Hegel's Philosophy oj Right, Intoduc
tion, in Karl Marx, Early Writings, pp. 43-59.
2 See the author's introduction to Principes de la Philosophie du Droit,
French tanslaton by Andre Kaan (Paris: Gallimard, 1940), especially
pp. 7-19.
3 Hegel's Philosophy oj Right, translated with notes by T. M. Knox
(Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1942), paragraph 308, p. 200 .
. 4 Die Birgerliche Gesellschajt.
5 The Phenomenology oj Mmp. 601.
6 Philosophy oj Right, p. 161.
7 Ibid., p. 198.
8 "mdes Hegelschen Staatsrechts," Frihe Schrijtell, p. 292.
9 Ibid., p. 295.
10 Ibid.
1 1 Ibid., pp. 3
12 Ibid., p. 372. " . . . it is :a"society which D i
s heart and soul H warlike,
but too afraid of bruises to actually go to war e
13 Ibid., p. 282; cf. Philosophy oj Right, pp. 179-208.
14 The Philosophy oHistory, p. 457.
15 Ma, Frihe Schrijten, p.314.
16 Ibid., p. 316. Notice the allusi9 to Kantian legalism.
17 Ibid., p. 372.
18 Ibid., pp. 422-423.
19 Philosophy oj Right, p. 210.
First of , in orderto understand Capital it is absoIuteIy neces-
sary to consuItMarx's phIIosophicaI works prior to his economic
studies.Marx'sworkpresupposes anundeyIng phiIosophy whose
various eIements are not easiIy reconsmted. There is ue pro-
found iuuence of
egeI, whom Marx studied In great depu
(parucuIarIy the Phenomenology and the Logic) . There is aIso
ue inuence of Da and a bioIogicaI phIIosophy which occa-
sionaIIy modmesueHegeIJanphIIosophyinaninterestIng way.
Second,thereistheideaofalienation, hich, uqghHegeIand
Feuerbach, provides the source ofMarxshIIosophicaI thought.
1 uePhenomenology
HegeIpresemJe ofthe individu in
aprocessthatesuanges m homIife.Thisconceptof LIfe, how-
ever, is not smpIy bioIogicaI, it u human me as history. The
impIicatIon of thesis in HegeI and Marx uat the strugge
agaInstsuchaenauon denesuliberation oj man. But absoIute
kowIedge and phIIosohy cann brm

s emancipauon.
Teyconstitute anew form of ienation,ameIy, specuIauve aI-
ienation.Marx's attitudetowardpmIosophyhas certainpropheuc
eIements. 1 pIace of nations, which in HegeI are the incate
momentsoftheIdea, Marxputssocial classes, and ueIatter roIe
devoIves upon the proletariat. In Marx, attenuon must be given
totheideaorpractIchistory oftheawakemngof consciousness.
FInm y, itisimpossibIe to Interpret Marxism interms ofa sIpIe
Jd, wemust examine the structureofCapital aside from
phIIosophicaI basis. Its foundation is the theory of value, or so-
On the Structure and Presuppositions of Marx's Capital I2T
cially necessary work. Tis theor is as much a philosophical and
sociological teory as it is economic in te stict sense. Man pro
duces, reproduces, and enlarges his own life and the conditions
of such a life trough te collectve labor of humanit. Tis labor
is te manifest value of its phenomenal forms (merchandise, ex
change, money) . I is necessary to discover, behind tese gener
ally quanttatve phenomenal appearances, te Essence (labor
value) of the Phenomenon (market) . This involves a comparison
wit the Hegelian Lgic and Phenomenology.
Fourth, Marx raises the queston of what made possible the
complete alienation of man manifest in the conditon of te
nineteenth-centuy English proletariat. U one combines the theory
of value wit te theory of surplus-value (te misbegotten exploi
taton of man by man) , one can then understand the dialectcal
and historical genesis of capital, which is te greatest alienaton
of man in history. Capita, which is man's product, in t pro
duces man. Marx stdies the workings of system, unveiling
its essence i te tree major parts of his work (capital produc
ton, circulaton, producton and ciculaton as a whole) . Startng
fom the essence, Marx ties to rejoin te appearance and histori
ca phenomenon which; i viewed in isolaton fom their essence,
appear a mystcaton. Marx shows how capital functon so
to involve its own breakdown.
Fi, the queston arises wheter Mar's explanaton involves
the interventon of factors tat are not purely economic, in par
tcular, a certain will to power, which one can hardly imagine wl
disappear with te dis,pearance of capital. Tere is a contast
here between Hegel and Mar. However, it is possible that fom
an objectve study of Marx himself one might go beyond hi own
. Today, an .objectve study and detailed commentary on Mar's
Capital woud seem indispensable to .the philosopher who is to
understand contemporary history and to defne the role of phi
losophy i it. Possibly, it would contbute benefcialy to framing
te problem of our tme-that of te philosophy of history: What
are te conditons of such a philosophy? What would be the
signicance of such a philosophy of history today?
Marxism and Philosophy
Early Phosophcal Iuences: He
el and Da
The frst queston concerg the eary inuences upon Marx,
partcularly tat of Hegel, may be dealt with briefy here, since
it will be taken up later m the chapter. Hegel's iuence was
considerable and it is not possible to understand Marx's basic
work, Capital, without a kowledge of the principa works which
contbuted to the formation and development of his tought, The
Phenomenology of Mind, the Logic, and the Philosophy of Right.
It is quite certain that Marx read these works closely and devel
oped his thought fom them, at times inspired by ideaism and at
others rejectg it. Contrary to what others have claimed, Marx
in fact had a detailed kowledge of The Phenomenology of Mind.
No oter commentator upon this difculJ work was at that time
as sufciently removed fom it as Marx to penetrate its meang
and discover its overall signicance. To be convinced of this one
has only to look at Marx's study, Economic and Philosophical
Manuscripts, which was to have appeared in te Franco-German
Annal. This study is one of the most remarkable works of Mar.
I perhaps contains te meaning and foundaton of his entre phi
losophy, reveaing the double inuence of the classical economists
and Hegelian philosophy. For it resumes and rets the entre
Hegelian Phenomenology, fom sensible consciousness though to
Absolute Knowledge. 1 it are reproduced the most obscure pas
sages fom Hegel, with an attempt to determie their exact sig
ncance. If attempts to demonstrate te originalit and value of
the Hegelian system. It proposes an end t(, the aienaton of man
in history and examines the reasous for Hegel's inadequate solu
ton, its inabilit to resolve a problem that it had set itself merely
in thought. Hegel's Phenomenology is no less basic to te founda
tons of Marx's great synthesis, Capital, than are the teoretcal
economists and Engel's empirical studies. Marx's thorough kowl
edge of the Phenomenology is evident fom the allusions to a
secton of it on ascetcism and te unhappy consciousness in his
German Ideology.l Any reading of Capital is sufcient to con
vince one of the inuence of Hegel's Logic. One realies-as
Ln observed-that one must master the Logic to follow Marx's
On the Structure and Presuppositions of Marx's Capita! 129
cxposition and argumcnts (bis usc o tbc catcgorics o gua!iq,
guanuq, and mcasurc is wc!! kown). As or Hcgc!'s Philosophy
of Right (andtbcpossib!c uansccndcncc o its pbi!osopby) , Marx
!ct a mastcru! critiguc o it in bs Contribution to the Critique
of Hegel's Philosophy of Right, wbicb wc bavc discusscd in thc
prcvious cbaptcr.
Ungucstionab!y, Marx workcd out bis own systcm against thc
background o Hcgc!'s spccu!auvc pbi!osopby. Jis is vc wc!!
sbown by Comu in bis ndispcnsab!c worI on Mfrx's Early Pe
riod. Howcvcr, it is our vicw tbat Comu gocs too ar in Ug
tbat Marprogrcssivc!y abandoncd his origina! tbcscs and na!!y
dcvc!opcd a bstonca! matcria!ism guitc massociatcd wth bis
car!y tbougbt. On tbc conua, wc bc!cvc tbat Marx's origina!
tbcscs arc to bc ound in Capital and providc tbc bcst mcans o
undcrstanding tbc u!! sigmcancc o tbc tbcory o va!uc.
O coursc, Hcgc! was not tbc on!y onc tonLucncc Mar. I
rcadg Capital, onc nds an astonisbingwca!th o cconomc, bis-
torica!, and pbI!osopbica! documcntation. Marx is as !c!y to
rccr to Aristot!c's Economics, on wbcb bc is an cxcc!!cnt com-
mcntator, as to tbc ng!sb and Ircacbcconomists o bs day. I
wou!d bc ncccssary to makc an cxbausuvc study o tbcsc sourccs
i oncwcrctocommcntupon and intcgrct Capital. I is possib!c
tbatoncwou!ddscovcrtbatits sourccs arc not a!ways compaub!c
and tbat, as a rcsu!t, tbcrc is in Marx's tbougbt, as it comcs
tbrougb Hcgc! and Oarwin, a ccrtain ambiguiq. U tbis is indccd
so, tbcnpcrbaps tbc c!arcauon and rcso!ution o tbcsc contra-
dicuons mqwc!! bc!pto!!uminatc contcmpora bstorica! prob-
!cms. Mar, orcxamp!c, t !kc aHcgc!ian and yctbc adopts
bom Oarwn a guitc dicrcnt pb!osopby o !c and naturc man
Hcgc!'s own. In tbc sccton o Capital wbcrc bc dcas wth tcch
no!ogy and tbc uansormauon o man's orccs and rc!ations o
production,bc spcaks abouttbcnvcnuon otoo!s,macbncry, and
macbinc-too!s!ikc a Oaan. Hc considcrs tbcsc invcnuons an
cxuapo!auon o a natura tccbno!ogy. Howcvcr, bc !css n
tcrms o adaptauon tban oma's.domnauon onaturc, andtbc
ambiguous conccpt o tbc will to live or tbc will to power-al
tbough thcsc arc not cxp!icit!y Marxian conccpts-is mxcd wim
conccpts o a guitc dicrcnt naturc. It was rcmarkcd tbat Marx
Marxim and Phiosophy
docs not, to our Know!cdgc, usc thc cXQrcsson w to Qowcr."
But hc ccHy has n mnd a w!! to Qowcr whcn hc dcscnbcs
thc hstorca! ro!c o! caQta!st soccq, ts nccd to domnatc, cX-
Qrcsscd n thc value set on value that insQrcs thc caQtast and
wthout whch Qrogrcss s inconccvab!c. Onc mcrc!y wondcrs
whcthcrthsw to Qowcrw ccascwm thcc!ass suugg!c. Tcsc
and othcr Qrob!cms arsc om a c!osc rcadng o! Capital wtb
attcnuon to thc hctcrogcncq and wca!m o! mucnccs that NaC
cXQcrcnccd (nottomcnuon!tcrarynducnccs such Baac, !or
cXamQ!c, whosc soca!da!ccuchc!ound n The Peasants) . Norc-
ovcr, wc shou!d not ovcr!ooK mc mucncc o! !hc cconomsts and
soca! rc!ormcrs. But our Qnmary tasK s to t through mc
orgns o! thc NaCan synmcss n Hcgc!an Qhi!osoQhy, as a
!undamcnta! aQQroach to mc undcrstandng o! ts suucturc.
Te Concept of Aenaton
Vc tum now to mc sccond gucston whch wc out!ncd at thc
bcgm ng o! thc chaQtcr. Jhc orgna! dca, and, as t wcrc, mc
sccd o! alNaC`s thought, s thc dca o! alienation, whch hc tooK
omHcgc! and1cucrbach. U onctaKcsths nouon as thc starbng
Qont, dcnng human emancipation man`s acuvc hstonca!
suugg!caganstcvcrymodc o! a!cnatono!m natutc, oncs mcn
bcst cguQQcd to sct out thc NarXan Qhi!osoQhca! systcm and to
acbcvc a structuta!undcrstandng o!NarX`s major worK, Capital.
To dctcrmnc mc mcanng or varous mcanings o! thc tcrm al
ienation and what s mdcrstood by ts corrc!atvc tcrm, human
cqancQauon, onc must, !Kc NarX bmsc!! n thc Economic an
Philosophical Manuscripts J44, go bacK to Hcgc!`s Phenome
nolog and to1cucrbach`s ntcrQrctauons o! acnauon.
I mc chaQtcr o! mc Phenomenolog cnut!cd "5c!!-Lonscous
ncss" (conscousHcss o! sc!! and o! !i!c, thc strugg!c to thc dcath
for man`s rccognuon o! man, domnaton and scrvtudc) , Hcgc!
dcscrbcs out !i!c a Qhcnomcnon cstrangcd om us. 5c!!-con-
scousncss s a human conscousncss o! life. Vhat I am most
Qro!ound!y and nmatc!y, my sc!!, and my !!c, aQQcars to mc
omcr man mysc!!. I scc mysc!!, so to sQcaK, outsdc o! my sc!!,
and t s ths cXtcmaq o! thc sc!! wth rcsQcct to tsc!! that
On the Structure and Presuppositions of Marx's Capita 1 31
consttutes the movement of seIf-consciousness. The frst moment
of this seIf-consciousness i Desire, the desire to live, in conta
diction with itseIf, since I am that life. But this life is not only
mine O a particular individual. I i life in general, life as the
genus (genos) . It is universal life, and its development, at frst
i nature then in history, confonts (human) seIf-consciousness as
sometng exteral. I is, as Hegel puts it, "the universa power,
or objectve essence as a totalit," the struggle of the individual
for recogniton and dominaton in te face of the partcularit of
the phenomenon of death.
Ma comments several times on this passage from Hegel, te
frst tme in the Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts and a
second tme in The German Ideolog.2 For example, he says of
death: "Death seems to be a harsh victory of te species over
the individual and to contradict their unity; but the particular
individual is only a determinate generic being and as such is mor
ta."3 Consciousness in man cannot be anything else than this
apprehension of the species which implies the death of partcula
individuait. Finally, in The German Ideology, where he argues
with Ma Ster, Ma shows that the general conditions of life,
i the biological sense of the term, have become foreign to us. We
fnd them crystaled outside ourselves in harsh objective forms.
The seIf-alienaton that is the essence of the individua is not sim
ply an exteraation of the seIf; it reveas itseI with a certain
. hostile character since it is the particular individual who experi
ences death and who, though he canot be anything other than
subjective, fnds himseIf under the sway of a harsh objective re
alit. However, in Hegel life has a certain physiognomy (Gestalt):
it is frst of al the other ego who, as a loved one, is both myseIf
and alter; it is then the other fellow in general who appears to me
simultaneously as myseIf and as other than myseIf; fom this
there ensues the stggle to the death for recognition of the self
and the relation of domination and servitude which results fom
it. It u not necessa to pursue this dialectc any further since
it is well known how it inspired Ma. Te outcome i that (u
man) seIf-consciousness can only be consciousness of the other
man, of my human environment, as Ma says, . or agan, con
sciousness no longer of nature, but of histor. It is i the histor
132 Marxism and Philosophy .
of societ that the individual acquires consciousness of himself as
generic man. Te interdependence of individuals, the domination
of nature and its humanization trough labor and the strugge of
individuals for recogniton and domination provide the feld of
contemplation for self-consciousness. But self-consciousness does
more than contemplate these phenomena since, in virtue of its
actve nature, its basic project i to overcome this alienaton
through an object which is contradictory wit the very (subjec
tve) nature of self-consciousness.
It is in history that man produces his life; he produces it by
reproducing it on an ever larger scale, in a form which contnually
approximates a generic universalit. Tis self-producton of the
self, which as a philosophy of man replaces the perpetual creation
of classical philosophy, results, nonetheless, in an alienation. For
the self-producton of the self, which Marx also traces in the
theories of politcal economy, extractng fom them the noton of
abstract labor, appears-fom the individual standpoint of the self
lookg upon it as a macro-process-to be a harsh objectve
realit, a stange and even hoste power to which the self is sub
the same way [Marx writes] societ itself produces man as
man, so it is produced by him. Activity and mind are social in
their content as well as i their origin; they are social activity and
social mind. The human signifcance of nature only exists for socia
man, because only in this case is nature a bond with other men, the
basis of his existence for others and of their existence for him. Only
then is nature the basis of his own human experience and a vital ele
ment of human reality. The natural existence of man has here be
come his human existence and nature itself has become human for
U. Thus society is the accomplished union of man with nature,
the veritable resurrection of nature, the realized naturalism of
man and the realized humanism of nature.4
We could dwell on tis text and show fom its constuction that
it expresses a secularized version of the Christan notion of the
mystical body. Marx presents a substtute kingdom of God on
earth which is the complete reconciliation of man and nature
emancipated fom every form of alienation, a state where man as
On the Structure and Presuppositions of Marrs Capital 133
the efective producer of his own life has appropriated his universal
nature which in the early history of societ appeared alien to hi.
We shall avoid the dif cult problem of the end of hisor and
itead call attention to other forms of alienaton which result
fom the basic experience and, so to speak, tanslate onto another
plane the rea absence of any reconciliation between man and him
self in history. Such, for example, is the aenation in Religion, in
the beyond, that Feuerbach attacked, clearly, under the inspira
ton of Hegel (in partcular, Hegel's chapter on the "Unhappy
Consciousness," or the one on "The Struggle of the Enlightenment
with Supersttion") .
Man expresses the self-alienaton that we have spoken of
trough the notion of transcendence. God is the master and man
is the slave. Aform of alienation that reduces man to an existential
nothingness results in a humiliaton of man which, as Feuerbach
noted, might have serous moral consequences. But Feuerbach
believed that ts form of alienaton demanded a speculative crit
icism that would reveal that it is generic man whom man perceives
in the transcendent which he has mistakenly projected beyond
himself. Marx, however, considered such speculatve criticism
totally inadequate and quite incapable of suppressing alienation.
Without realizng that he was harkng back to an idea previously
developed in Hegel's early writngs, Marx sought the orign of
religious alienaton in man's socia and politica alienaton.
Te basis of irreligious criticism is tis: man makes religion,
religion does not make man. Religion is indeed man's self-con
sciousness and self-awareness so long as he has not found himself
or has lost himself again. But man is not an abstact being, squatting
outside the world. Man is the human world, the state, societ.
Tis state, this societ, produce religion which is an inverted world
consciousness, because they are an inverted world. Religion is the
general theory of this world, its encyclopedic compendium, its
logic in popular form, its spiritual point d'honneur, its enthusiasm,
its moral sanction, its solemn complement, its general basis of
consolaton and justifcaton. It is the fantatic realization of the
human being inasmuch as the human being possesses no tue realit.
Te stuggle against religion is, therefore, indirectly a stuggle
against that world whose spiritual aroma H religion.5
Marxism and Philosophy
1bc Qtcccdng Qassagc cOntans tbc csscntaI dcQattutc O!NatX-
an tbOugbt and ts mctbOd. 1bc cOngucst O! buman aIcnabOn s
nOt acbcvcd sOIcIy bydcnOuncng t, Ot anaIyzng t sQccuIabvcIy.
I s ncccssaty tO gO !uttbct and tO gbt aganst tbc circumstances
at ma!c t QOssbIc and QctQctuatc t. IbIOsOQby dOcs nOt tc-
sOIvc tcIgOus aIcnabOn, !Ot t OnIy subsbtutcs a sQccuIabvc
bcavcn !Ot tbc bcavcn O! tcIgOn. 5ucb s NaC`s OQnOn O!
1cgcIandcaIsm. Intbc Economic a1 Philosophical Manuscripts
bc sbOs at Icngtb bat bc ta!cs tO bc at !auIt n 1cgcI and by
ts ncccssatytO tcvctsc bs dcaIsm and Qut nts QIacc tbc acbvc
suggIc O! man aganst tbc sQccmc causcs O! aIcnabOn. 1cgcI`s
On sQccuIatvc mctbOd mctcIy subsbtutcs !Ot tcIgOn, cXQct-
cnccd naIvcIy by cOnscOusncss, tbc Idea O! tcIgOn, n tbc !Otm
O! tbc QbIOsOQby O! tcIgOn; , tOO, s tcQIaccd by tbc QbIOs-
OQbyO!, andtbctcatcsmIat subsbtutOns . . . . scI!-cOnscOus
ncss us bccOmcs cOnscOus O! tscI! tbtOugb ts Objcct and Qtc-
tcnds tbat i tbs ay t bas tcduccd tbc Objcct tO tscI!." But tbs
i a sQccuIabvc IIusOn. In tcaIg, tbc Objcct s aIays tbctc,
unUansccndcd, and t s OnIy tbc QbIOsOQbct bO magncs tbat
by tbnKng tbc Objcct bc dOmnatcs t. 1bc bOvcIs O! tbc tcaI
Ot!d," as Kct!cgaatd says, cOnbnuc tO cXst dcsQtc tbc sQcc-
uIatvc QaIacc DuIt by tbc QbIOsOQbct." 1bc ncgatOn bcb
tcmans sQccuIabvc dOcs nOt Icad tO any tcaI Uans!OtmabOn O!
tbc Objcct. 1cgcI`s Philosophy of Right s cOnscgucntIy an accept
ance and cvcn a justifcation O! tbc QOItcaI OtId and tbc cOn-
tcmQOtaty statc; tbat t s a tcuOsQccbvc justcabOn O!IaQOIcOn
OtO!tbc Itussanstatcma!cs IttIc dctcncc. 1bc cOmQtcbcnsOn
O!tbc actuaIas tabOnaIandtbcdscOvcty O! tbc tOsc i tbc LtOss
O! tbc Qtcscnt" atc ccttanIy mOtc vadtban tbc QutcIy subjccbvc
cttcsms O! B. Bauct and N. 5tmct, bcb mctcIy tcsuIt i a
cOmcdy O! IbctatOn and ncccssatIy cncOuntct tbc Uagc !atc O!
(subjcctvc) cOmcdy, 1cgcI aItcady Obsctvcd. But 1cgcI`s
tbOugbts ncvcttbcIcss cOnsttutc anOtbct !Otm O! aIcnatOn, spec
ulative alienation. 5ucb s tbc sOutcc O! tbc ttansccndcncc O! tbc
Idca and c !atasm i 1cgcI, cttcucd by NatX. Thus it is
necessar to transcend philosophy O well O religion. But tbc
uansccndcncc O! QbIOsOQby s nOt ts ncgabOn. On tbc cOnttaty,
t s tbc cccbvc tcaabOn O! QbIOsOQby, assumng tbat QbIOs-
On the Structure and Presuppositions oj Marx's Capital 135
ophy is assimated with the Idea. It i both the future-world of
philosophy and the future-philosophy of the world. Te Idea of
liberation dominates all of human history; it i contained in what
Mar called the enthusias of every social class that undertakes a
revoluton, but due to the presence of another class does not
exceed the bounds of its own limited class interest. Hegel re
nounces any personal interventon in history when he writes:
"Philosophy escapes fom te weary stife of passions that agitate
the surface of societ into the cam region of contemplaton; that
interests it is the recogniton of the process of development
which the Idea has passed trough i reag itself-i.e., the Idea
of Freedom, whose realit i the consciousness of Freedom and
nothing short of it."6 Mar, on the contrary, i incapable of adopt
ing a positon outside of a history tat is to be made at the same time
as it is to be thought. "Untl now te philosophers have only inter
preted the world; now it must be changed." 1 a letter to his
father, written in 1 837, Marx sets out m lifete progam, the
reconciliaton of life and speculaton, of action and kowledge, a
unit of which Hegel in his youth may have dreamed but which
he was to abandon for the sake of refections upon history which
remain refectons. 1 1 844 Marx believed that he had at last
found a solution to his problem, in his thesis of the unity in his
tor of the idea and the proletariat and his notion of the awaken
ing of a truly authentic consciousness of history and the human
situation achieved by the proletariat. Tis is an indispensable
awakening of consciousness, arising in a universal proletariat,
guided i its stuggle, of course, by its most conscious elements,
but as a universal class forever re-creating its ow foundations.
This awakening of consciousness difers fom all others because
for historical reasons it can no longer be limited and thus illusory.
Tus man becomes capable of tg and reag the absolute
truth of his being. Today it i well worthwhile to recall that love
of tuth, that universalism-rooted in the historical conditions of
its realizaton-which animate all Mar's thought and which he
demands that histor make possible.
I is evident that one can discover a certain idealism in Mar
ia thougt. Certainly, we regard the theory of labor value as a
fundamental ethical testament. Such an ethical testaent is con-
Marxism and Philosophy
ccvab!c on!y i t nds n tbc actua cvcnts o! bstoty botb c
soutcc o! ts cXQtcsson and tbc mcans o! ts tcaaton, and s
i tbc soutcc o! tbc syntbcss o! dca!sm and tca!sm tbat cbatac-
tctOcs c NatXan da!cctc. NatX bc!cvcd at by substituting
social class tor the Hegelian nation bc bad dscovctcd tbc syncss
n tbc proletaiat. Jbc QtoIctatat s not a cboscn tacc, an c!cct
QcoQ!c dcstincd to dominatc oct taccs andQcoQ!cs. It s tbc !ast
Qtoduct o! buman a!cnaton and as sucb t a!onc s caQab!c o!
comQ!ctc!ytcagtbcIdca, sncc man cannot bctcduccd to c
status o! amctc ob]cct, to a bonc otsku!!, asHcgc!Quts t n c
Phenomenology, butQosscsscstbattccXvcncss o! sc!!-conscous-
ncss wbcb cnab!cs bim to tccoi! !tom tbc most cXttcmc statc o!
acnauon. Htbcttotbc tcaauon o!tbcIdcawas imQcdcd by c
!imtcd ctcumstanccs o! soca! c!asscs tbat wctc mutua!!y oQQoscd
and bad a!ways todc!cnd tbcmsc!vcs aganst octs. "This is our
reply," says NatX Qosing c gucsuon o! buman cmancQauon,
A class must be formed which has radical chains, a class in civil
societ which is not a class of civil societ, a sphere of societ
which has a universal character because its suferings are universal,
and which does not claim
a particular redress because the wrong
which is done to it is not a particular wrong but wrong in general.
Tere must be formed a sphere of society which claims no tradi
tional status but only a human status . . . a sphere, fnally, which
cannot emancipate itself fom all the other spheres of societ,
without, therefore, emancipating all these other spheres, which is,
in short, a total loss of humanit and which can only redeem itself
by a total redemption of humanity.7
I scasyto sccwbatwcbavcnmindwbcn wc tcmatkuQon a
ccttain prophetic c!cmcnt n NatX. Hs conccQuon o! sccncc i
not on!y o! a sccncc o! soca! tcaq, but onc tbat conttbutcs, as
t bccomcs conscous o! t, to tbc tca!uaton o! tbat vcty soca!
tca!g, ot at !cast modmcs t Qto!ound!y. It s tbs atttudc wbcb
s tcmisccnt o! tbc QtoQbcts. Jina!!y, onc can scc \bat wc must
dsQcnsc wtb any Qutc!y objectivist intctQtctauon o! NatX. Lct-
tan!y, t s tca!ty tbat Qtovdcs tbc oQQottunty !ot a !ibctatng
sUa! c!ass. But tbc !attct must bccomc conscous o! tsc!! and ts
On the Structure and Presuppositions of Marx's Capital 13
universal role i the course of its struggle. Without this creative
awakening of consciousness the historical emancipation of man
would not be possible.
I view of the changes that have occurred in the conditions of
production that Marx was unaware of, and that have led to a
specializaton and diversicaton of te so-called universal class,
it is questonable to what extent the proletariat has or will
accomplish the mission assigned to it by Marx. Finally, one
wonders whether that phenomenon of a will to power tat Ma
perceived in the origins of capitaism and generally in the strugge
between classes would disappear with the proletariat. To our mind
these are essental questions and it seems likely that a commentary
on Marx's work, along with an analysis of events posteror to it
i pacular, a certain persistence of the phenomenon of national
ism i a strange combinaton with the class struggle-would help
us fame questons more adequately, i not to solve them.
Te Philosophical ad Sociological Nature of the
Labor Teor of Value
On the basis of the preceding philosophical and historical
presuppositions we may now attempt to elicit the structure of
Mar's work on capital, as well as its logic and phenomenology,
in the Hegelian sense. Whereas Hegel starts fom Phenomenolog
-a theory of appearances-and leads us up to his Logic-a theory
of the universal nature of all appearances-Marx proceeds in the
opposite manner in Capital. Marx claims to capture te historical
phenomenon, of which Engels and himself were the informed
witesses, by proceeding, as he says, fom the abstact to the
concrete, fom the underlying essence (labor-value) to the appear
ance, which witout kowledge of the essence is merely a delusion,
a mysticaton with which the bourgeois economist fools himself,
clinging to it out of a certain bad faith. U one does not start from
the essence, but like the bourgeois 'economist deals with the
phenomenon, one is unable to understand the vertable origin (at
once diaectcal and genetic) of capitaism viewed as a system. It
may' be possible to formulate empirical generalizations, but one
will misunderstand its total working. I wl not be understood as
Marxism and Philosophy
a totalit (one of Marx's own discoveries) . Tus te confusion,
handed down fom Adam Smith, beteen the pars, Constant
capital/Variable-capital, and Fixed-capital/Circulating-capital, may
at frst sight appear insignicat, but it contributes to misun
derstanding and eventually to an amost wil obscuring of
the origi of surplus-value. Te distinction between Constant
capital and Vaable-capital presupposes the entire thesis of
labor-value. It is based upon the empirical postulate underlying
the whole Marxian edice, namely, te concepton of ma's
producton of his own life through the process of labor. On the
oter hand, te distncton between Fixed-capital and Circulatg
capital is based solely on the process of circulation which, relative
to te feld of production, is merely the feld of appearance.
Marx starts with te descripton of te essence of his subject,
drawing upon Hegel and even refering to Aristotle's anaysis. He
tes to revea those truly qualitatve distictons that are hidden
by the homogeneit of quantitatve formulations (often leaving
te reader of Capital with a feeling of useless, overdrawn se
quences) . A a matter of fact, the empirical documentaton of te
quaitatve essences that underlie the homogeneous quanttatve
forulae, the compilaton of historical examples corresponding to
tese essenta moments, make one of te most attactve features
of te frst volume of Capital (the only one to which Marx put
his fnishing touch) . Unlike tose of Aristotle, these studies are
not static. Tey possess a diaectical sweep which stips away te
quanttatve inadequacy formulae and relocates the data in a
totalit that tanscends them. Tus we approach the concrete
historical phenomenon (the market and the proletariat in the
England of Mar's day, described in the trd part of Capital) .
Perhaps the best way to illustate Marx's procedure is to do so
in his own words:
the frst volume we analyzed the phenomena presented by the
process of capitalist production, considered by itself 8 a mere
productive process without regard to any secondary inuences of
conditions outside of it. But this process of production, i the
stict meaning of the term, does not exhaust the life cycle of capital.
It H supplemented i the actual world by the process of circulation,
On the Structure and Presuppositions of Marx's Capital 1 39
which was the object of analysis in our second volume. We found
in the course of this last-named analysis, especially in part III, in
which we studied the intervention in the process of social repro
duction, that the capitalist process of producton, considered as a
whole, is a combination of the processes of producton and circu
lation. It cannot be the ob
ect of this third volume to indulge in
general refections relative to U combination. We are rather in
terested in locatng the concrete forms growing out of the move
ments of capitalist production a whole and setting them forth.
actua realit the capitals move and meet in such concrete forms
that the form of the capital in the process of production and that of
the capital i the process of circulaton impress one only as special
aspects of those concrete forms. Te conformation of the capitals
evolved in this third volume approach step by step that form which
they assume on the surface of society, in their mutual interactions,
in competition, and in the ordinary consciousness of the human
agencies in U process.
Here Marx provides U with a remarkable expositon of mmetod
and te stucture of his work (what earlier we caled te move
ment fom te essence to the appearance, te distibuton of te
gross product which consttutes a mystcation in which everyone
is deceived) and te appearances tat are to be saved; What we
call te essence is labor-value, te origin of surplus-value, te
process of producton itself; te appearance is te market, te law
of supply ad demand, te competton of capital and revenues
(U) . Te interediary i te process of circulaton, the turover
of individual and social capital, and te functon of te tme factor
(B) . It seems to us tat it is te falure to understand philo
sophical, genetc method tat has led a number of economists to
te belief that tere i a contadicton between te ft and tird
volumes of Capital. Tere may well be oter contadictons in
Mar's economic philosophy, but tis is certainly not one tat
survives a consideration of Ma's genetc and dialectcal exposi
ton whose ais not simply to enunciate a law but to comprehen
(in te most profound sense of the ter, i.e., as only a conscious
proletariat can comprehend it) te origin of te entire capitaist
system ad te mystery of its workng. Vico, whom Max loved
to quote, says tat te diference beteen human history ad
Marxism and Philosophy
natural history is that we have not made the latter but the former
we have made. As early as 1 837; in the letter to m father
previously referred to, Marx reveas m method, takng up a
passage fom te Preface of Hegel's Phenomenology: I df ers
fom the matematcian's method which i exteral to its object.
the concrete expression of the living ideal world, in Law, the
State, Nature and of philosophy, it H necessary, by contast,
to intercept the object in its development and one cannot intoduce
into it arbitary distinctions; the demonstation of the object should
inasmuch it embodies a contadiction, develop its movement and
fnd its principle of unit W itself. Truth, as Hegel said, H the
vehicle of its own realiation.
Te frst part of Capital contains the basic principles (
empirica and ethical postuate reminiscent of Fichte's thetc
principle) of the Marxian system, namely, the labor theory of
value which te classical economists had slowly worked out. We
have established (as a philosophica postulate at the start of tis
essay) that man produces, reproduces, an reproduces on an
ever-expanding scale his own life and the conditions of life in
general. Value in the absolute sense is constituted by this collective
labor (viewed as a totalit) of humanit producing and reproducing
its collectve livelihood. Te noton of value, which Marx, refer
ring to Hegel (pacularly the secton on "Clture" in the
Phenomenology) , also calls substance, must be distinguished fom
the forms that it assumes when divided in the .exchange of com
modities, in the equivalence ratos throug which a partCUlar
commodit fnds its value refected in another, and, fnaly, in the
objective reaation of its vaue in the for of a universa equiv
alent, money, that is no longer a commodit but a hypostatization
of exchange-value in the form of an object, an objective aienation,
as it were, of absolute value. Such a realization of substance
makes possible the man's aienation in the course of making
himself in hstory. It enables the creative power of human labor
to become incaate in an object which i te Ting itself (die
Sache selbst) . I alows the human w to power, which always
encounters a liit in the quantitatve order, since a given quantt
On the Structure and Presuppositions of Marx's Capital 141
can always be exceeded by another quantit, to exercise itself
even before te capitalist form of production emerges in history.
its qualitative aspect, or formally considered, money has no
bounds to its efcacy, i.e., it is the universal representative of ma
teria wealth, because it is directly convertible into any other com
modity. But, at the same time, every actual sum of money is limited
in amount, and therefore, as a means of purchasing, has only a
limited efcacy. This antagonism between the quantitatve limits of
money and its qualitative boundlessness, contnually acts as a spur
to the hoarder i his Sisyphus-like labor of accumulating.9
For historical reasons the hoarder and the usurer precede the te
capitist, whom they make possible and whom in some sense tey
foreshadow in history. Tis antcipaton has a-ignicance. He
who exchanges for money solely mters of the formula "M-C-M"
and not to gain a living trough the exchange "'C-M-C-" i seeking
power. But this wl to power, the value set on value, that u the
source of te unbridled exploitaton of man by man throughout
history, is simply posited by Marx witout any indicaton wheter
it will stl be found at the end of histor i forms that he had
denounced earlier as a young man (for example, in his critique of
the govering bureaucracy in Hegel's philosophy of the Prussian
State) . U the secton on "Culture" in the Phenomenolog, which
it would be interestng to compare with Capital, Hegel defnes the
social substance in ters of two components, the Power of the
State and Wealth, and shows how te wl to power i the individ
ual is deterned by his ambition and avarice and how the two
element combine to produce a social cleavage. Marx retains only
one of the movements, namely, "te vaue set on value" and
considers te frst merely a sort of epiphenomenon; tough con
temporary historcal events perhaps just Hegel's view.
But we shall leave such considerat.ons aside and ret to te
stucture of Capital. I a process similar to that in Hegel's Phe
nomenolog, the producer is alienated trough the commodit and .
mone, and this monumental alienaton is the foundaton of
capital, which, as virtual y the prcipal agent in Marx's work,
athough produced by .man, eventually comes to dominate R n
Marxim an Phiosophy
histor, ad to reduce m to a simple factor in its working.
Cery, behind te capitaist formula "M-C-M" there i hidden
te exploitaton of one class by anoter ad the whole source of
the surplus-value that makes it possible for Ml to be greater tan
M; but this is nothng else tan te alienaton of the proletaiat.
I te end, the capitaist in m own way i as aienated as the
Except as personifed capital, the capitalist has no historical value,
and no right to that historical existence, which, to use an expression
of the witt Lichnowsk "hasn't got no date." And so far only u te
necessit for his own tansitory existence implied in the tansitory
necessit for the capitalist mode of production. But, so far as he
is personifed capital, it is not values in use and the enjoyment
of them, but exchange-value and its augmentaton, that spur minto
acton. [ere we not correct in speaking of a primordial W to
power in Ma?] Fantastically bent on making value exand itself,
he ruthlessly forces the human race to produce for production's
sake; he thus forces the development of the productive powers of
societ, and creates those material conditions, which alone can
form the real basis of a higher form of societ, a societ in which
the m and fee development of every individual forms the ruling
principle. [t is worthwhile emphasizing this ethical formula.] Only
as personifed capital is the capitalist respectable. 1 such, he
shares with the miser the passion for wealth as wealth. But that
which in the miser is a mere idiosyncrasy, is, in the capitalist, the
efect of the social mechanism of which he is but one of te
I a short study we can hardy think of exag te whole
intent of Marx's theory of value-te creatve substance hypos
tasized in money. Pwe can do i to emphasize its philosophica
and sociologca character in additon to its economic aspect. Te
noton of vaue, taken fom the philosophy of Hegel as much 8
fom the classical economists, is interreted as socially necessa
labor. Trough this concept Marx wishes to convey, in the frst
place, tat the products of labor consttute, as it were, a vast
collective product in relaton to which, though unconsciously, m
individual producers have a certain solidarit; what counts i not
teir individua workng tme but teir socia workng time. Sec-
On the Structure and Presuppositions of Max's Capital
ondly, Mar wants to say that tis labor should corespond to the
social needs of a period, to a social distribution of those needs.
Ever commodit must contain the necessary quantit of labor,
and at the same time only the proportional quantit of the total
social labor time m
have been spent on the various groups. For
the use-value of a thing remainS the prerequisite. Te use-value of
the individual commodities depends on the particular need which
each satisfes. But the use-value of the social mass of products de
pends on the extent to which it satsfes in quantit a defnite social
need for every partcular kind of product in an adequate manner,
so that labor is proportionately distributed among the diferent
spheres in keeping with these socia needs, which are defiite in
quantt. (T point u to be noted in the distibution of capital
to the various spheres of production.) Te social need, that H the
use-value on a social scale, appears here a deterg factor for
the amount of social labor which is to be supplied by the various
particular spheres.
Wit te crises of capitasm in mind and his teor of the
breakdown of the system, Marx adds: T point has any bearng
upon the proportion between necessary and slus-Iabor only in
so far as a violaton of tis proporton makes it impoSSible to
realize te vaue of the commodites and te surplus-value con
tained in it.
Witout surplus-value the ente system collapses.
Te social character of this teory of value and its implications
are evident. It appears both in its essental form expressed in the
solidarit of te productive laborers and in the specic form of te
social needs of a given historical period.
Te important ting is to be sure to distnguish absolute value
(man's self-producton and reproducton) fom te partcular
form which it must assume under capitalism, where production is
not in prnciple regulated by use but . by te race for proft and
the "expansion of value" tat is rooted
n the exploitaton of man
by man. 1te societ of the future, te classless societ, to which
Nrarely alludes in Capital, a knd of immanent plan will
regulate and harmorize producton and consumpton with a view
to the libert of man now the master of his fate.
M(rxim and Phiosophy
fact, the realm of feedom does not commence until the point
u passed where labor under the compulsion of necessit and of
exteral utilit is required. the very nature of things it lies be
yond the sphere of material production in the stict meanng of the
term. Just as the savage must wrestle with nature, in order to
satisf his waits, in order to maintain his life and reproduce it, so
civiled man has to do it, and he must do it in all forms of society
and under all possible modes of production. With his development
the ream of natural necessity expands, because his wants increase;
but at the same time the forces of producton increase, by which
these wants are satisfed. The feedom in tis field cannot consist
of anything else but of the fact that socialed man, the associated
producers, regulate their interchange with nature rationally, bring
it under their common contol, instead of being ruled by it as by
some blind power; that they accomplish their tk with the least
expenditure of energy and under conditions most adequate to their
human nature and most worthy of it. But it always remains a realm
of necessit. Beyond it begs that development of human power,
which u its own end, the tue realm of feedom, which, however,
can flourish only upon that realm of necessit as its basis. The
shortening of the workng day is its fundamental premise.1
Finaly, we wish to retur to te basic features of te Marian
metod: the progression fom the concept of essence, or produc
tion, to the appearance, or te market, and the conict between
essence and appearance in the capitaist system. The distributon
of income-interest, entrepreneurial profts, rent, wages-ulti
mately conceals fom te bourgeois economst the great human
and philosophical problem that Ma posed. The essential nature
of the distibuton problem in terms of humn labor disappears
when teated by means of homogeneous quanttative formulae.
Herein lies the deepest form of human alienaton. Capitaism is a
mindless machne that runs by itself and in which men are merely
cogs. I is the tk of te proletariat, a universa class, according to
Ma, to t out the tue source of te machine's energy, and
by gettng at te roots of the matter through a radical revoluton,
to comprehend the essence of te phenomenon and to equate it to
U essence.
On the Structure and Presuppositions of Marx's Capital 145
Te Htorcal Nature of the Teor of Surlus-Value
So far we have not dwelt partcularly upon the Marxian theory
of surplus-value, partly because it u well kown and so it may
sufce simply to cal it to mind, and partly because by reserving
any menton of it untl this point we may be in a position to c
the essential historical character of the Marxian dialectc which
so far we have not sufciently emphasized. Capitaism and te
proletarat which it eng
nders as its destoyer ar
each categories
(whose logical development we have examined) , but tey are
historical categores.
Te outines of the theory of surlus-value are well kown. Te
possession of money, or of the means
f production, enables the
capitalist to purchase labor-power, which should not be consed
with the productive power of labor and the social productive
capacit. As we have seen, this labor-power is the only source of
value. I is the subject that is alienated in the ente process. Tis
process of the objectication of the creatve subject, as Mar says
explicitly, is te key to the system.
Te way in which surplus-value is transformed into proft via the
rate of proft is but a continued development of the perversion
subject and object takg place in the process of production. We
have already seen that all subjective forces of labor in that process
appeared as productive forces of capital. On the one hand, the
value of past labor, which dominates living labor, is incarnated i
the capitalist. On the other hand, the laborer appears as materialied
labor-power, as a commodit.13
But this mode of alienation obscures te theor of sulus-value.
I practce, the capitalist only succeeds in increasing his capital
according to the formula "M-C-Ml" (Ml `M) because he has
the luck to fnd in the market "a .comodit whose use-value
possesses the peculiar propert of being a source of value, whose
actual consumpton, terefore, is itself an embodiment of labor,
and, consequently, a creaton of value. Te possessor of money
does fnd on the market such a specia commodit in capacit for
labor or labor-power."14 I a societ which is apparently fee, he
Marxim and Philosophy
obtains tis power throug an exchage which resembles every
other commodit exchange. But what is te standard of this ex
change, what is the labor-value of labor-power? Tis human
labor-power is reproduced and expanded as a product of certain
amount of te means of subsistence. Consequently, the law of
wages determines te price of labot in terms of te subsistence
necessary for the maintenance and preservaton of labor-power.
Tere is a certain ambiguit here as to whether te quantt and
quat of te necessary subsistence is determined once for all, or
wheter it is a variable functon of the historical change in social
needs. We should not forget that Marx argued fom the conditon
of a partcular proletariat, tat he generalized fom the case of te
English proletariat of the nineteenth century.
Tis exchange between wages and labor-power has an appear
ance of legalit; in fact, it is the locus of te sharpest exploitaton
of man by man, since ths labor-power actualy produces more
than it costs and the conditons of the exchange inevitably re
produce a state of afairs in which the worker is condemned to
work and the capitalist is committed to maintain and increase his
dominaton (the individua worker and capitalist are thus elements
of social classes that as a whole can only be opposed) .
But i "the capitalist is a shrewd fellow compared to the miser,"
i he fnds a way of getting more for his money than he puts in,
it is because certain historical conditions have been created and
developed to make possible the sale of labor; and this labor
market is a fact of the same order as the existence of slaver in
antquit. Here Marx's logic impregnates the histor which it
claes. Te basic queston which Marx raises is: What made
possible te English proletaiat, te tpe of al future of pro
letaiats? (De te fabula narratur.) Kant had posed te queston:
How is experience possible? And he answered it by means of te
eteral categories. Marx asks : What has made possible the event
or historical phenomenon of capitalism and the proletariat? And
he replies with a logic which in tum can only be solida with
history, a history aready made and a history yet to make. How
ever, fom a similar perspective, an absolute tanscendence is an
impossibilit, and today revisions might be made that Marx never
On the Structure and Presuppositions of Maxs Capital
Ma proceeds fom historica experience, the phenomenon,
to te essence
of te phenomenon (producton) :
Accompanied by , Moneybags and by the possessor of labour
power, we therefore take leave for a tme of this noisy sphere,
where everg takes place on the suace and in view of all
men, and follow them both into the hidden abode of production,
on whose threshold there stares us in the face "No admittance
except on business." Here we shall see, not only how capital pro
duces, but how capital u produced. We shall at last force the
secret of proft making.
This sphere that we are deserting, within whose boundaries the sale
and purchase of labour-power goes on, is in fact a very Eden of
the innate rights of man. Tere alone rule Freedom, Equalit,
Popert and Bentham. Freedom, because both buyer and seller
of a commodit, say of labour-power, are constrained only by their
own free will. Tey contact fee agents, and the agreement
they come to is but the form in which they give legal expression
to their comon will. Equalit, because each enters into relation
with the other, as with a simple owner of commodites, and they
exchange equivalent for equivalent. Propert, becaue each dis
poses only of what is m own. And Bentham, because each looks
only to himself. The only force that brings them together and
puts them in relation with each other, is the selshness, the gain
and the private interests of each. Each looks to himself only, and
no one toubles himself about the rest, and just because they do
so, do they all, in accordance with the pre-established harmony of
things, or under the auspices of an all-shrewd providence, work
together to their mutual advantage, for the common weal and in the
interest of all.
On leaving U sphere of simple circulation or of exchange of
commodities, which fshes the "Free-tader Vulgaris" with m
views and ideas, and with the standard by which he judges a so
ciet based on capital and wages, we we can perceive a
change in the physiognomy of our dramats personae. He, who
before was the money owner, now stides, in font as capitalist;
te possessor of labour-power follows as m labourer. Te one with
an air of importance, smirking, intent on business; the other, timid
and holding back, like one who is bringing his own hide to market
and has nothing to expect but-a hiding.15
Marxism and Philosophy
Such a particular analysis of te essence of the producton of
surplus-value i no way conceals the universal character of the
whole process. I practice, the capitaist class as a whole is united
in te distribution of surplus-value and the tendenc to a falling
rate of proft which results fom te increase in the rato of con
stat-capital to variable-capita. It is the capitalist class that
becomes conscious of itself as a class under te pressure to defend
itself aganst the proletaiat, once the operaton of the system
becomes historicaly impoSSible (the teory of crises and break
down) .
But it is te proletaat, in a conditon of exteme alienaton
produced by te capitaist system, tat embodies as a universal
clas the idea of human emancipaton and trough this act of
consciousness i able to negate its alienation and create a new
history. Tus we ret m circle to our starng point i Ma's
phlosophical studies of alienaton and the historical role of the
proletaiat. Unfortunately, Capital ends at this very point where
Marx intended a deeper anaysis of social class as a result of his
foregoing study of the capitaist system.
Capitl ad te Philosophy of Hstor
I te last part of tis essay we intended to show how te
stucture of Capital was rooted in historical phenomena (the crses
of capitalism, the historica origins of capitaism, te nineteenth
century English proletaat) . I the earlier section, however, we
drew attenton to certain philosophical presuppositions of Maxian
thought (te theory of man's aienaton in history, the w to
power expressed in man's drive to expand value, te notion of a
universal class necessary to embody and reae te idea of human
emancipaton) . Ma's philosophy of history cannot be under
stood apat fom the Hegelia philosophy which so stongly iu
enced it. Whereas Hegel's refections upon history had culminated
in completely tanscending it, Marx remans Vm history, seek
ing to tansform it; the result is the ambiguity of a phlosophy of
history that is simultaneously a historical event and te present
necessit, in view of events succeeding Capital, of a fesh analysis
of Ma's achievement.
On the Structure and Presuppositions oj Marx's Capital 149
Tere is need for research into al the sources and the entre
philosophical background of Marx's work, and for an extemely
detailed commentar upon Capital followed by an analysis in the
light of such a commentar of events that have followed. Our ow
essay is intended to invite such a serious study. We believe tat
tere is a contemporar need for a reckoning with Marsm and
that there is in Mar's intentons and his work a model for a
philosophy of history that we must attempt to realie. At al
events, it W not be possible to supersede Marxism until there
has been a serious exanaton of te philosophical presuppositions
and structure of te Marian edice.
1 The German Ideology, Parts I and M , edited with an itroduction by
R. Pascal (New York: Iterational Publishers, 1947), pp. 16-27.
2 Ibid. [rans.]
3 Krl Marx, Early Writings, pp. 158-159. [rans.]
4 Ibid., p. 157. [rans.]
5 Ibid., p. 43. [rans.]
6 The Philosophy of Histor, p. 457. [rans.]
7 Karl Marx, Erly Wrtings, p. 58. [ras.]
8 Karl Mar, Capital, tanslated by Samuel Moore and Edward Aveling,
Vol. M (Chicago: Charles H. Ker and Co., 1932), pp. 37-38. [rans.]
9 Ibid., Vol. )pp. 149-150. [rans.]
10 Ibid., Vol. I, pp. 648-649. Hyppolite's parenthetical remarks. [rans.]
1 1 Ibid., Vol. M , p. 745. [rans.]
12 Ibid., Vol. M ,p. 954. [rans.]
13 Ibid., Vol. M , p. 58. [rans.]
14 Ibid., Vol. I, p. 186. [rans.]
15 Ibid., Vol. I, pp. 195-196. [rans.]


The Human Situation
m the He
Acton ad te Rtonat of te Act
Haym, one of the prncipal commentators on Hegel's Phe
nomenolog, remaks that: "It i a histor distorted by tran
scendental psychology and a transcendental psychology distorted by
history." Auninformed reader might well be puzed by the nature
of its development. He is likely to wonder why self-consciousness
emerges against the background of universa life and what par
tcular relation consttutes te foundaton of life and self-con
sciousness. The conjuncture beteen life and self-consciousness
invites questions about the role of te struggle for life and deat
in which each consciousness seeks the death of the other and
risks his ow life in the course of forcing others into the same
confict. Have we here an event of human history that must be
given a historical locaton, or a myth for the interpretaton of
a quasi-permanent relaton between self-conscious individuals?
Readers interested in Hegel's fequently dramatc presentaton,
afectng a certain naivete, occasionaly ask what becomes of the
master, once the slave becomes master of his master, or what be
comes of the slave, once he is in tum master. Heel's account
breaks of at this point and passes on without any clear tansition
to the Stoic who preserves his libert. "on the throne as when in
chans." The images of Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius are evoked
sUarily, and the reader over-fond of novels is left languishing
for the fna outcome of the adventure of master and slave.
Te problem of the logical connectons between the tansitions
and te symphonic development of themes in the Phenoenolog
54 The Problem of the Relation between Truth and Exitence
immediately cononts anyone who attempts to grasp te sign
cance of this work, unique in the whole of philosophical literature.
It is a philosophical novel, and, i so, is it stll philosophy, or is it
a serious phosophical work in which each element is logcally
ted to te oter? Lucien Herr has remarked: "1Hegel te transi
tons are always guided by sentment." However, we can hardly
accept tis judgment, i we are to understand the alegaton of
sentment in its usual sense. Lucien Herr was right to insist upon
the creatve power of the Hegelian dialectc at a tme when too
many Hegelians interpreted Hegelian phlosophy simply as a
panlogic. But this is no longer the case, and we must now attempt
to understand what were in fact Hegel's intentons. We shal limit
our endeavor to a stdy of the chapter on "Self-Consciousness"
the most profound and signcant chapter of te entire Phe
nomerlogy of Minin the hope that we may show that it has
nothing to do with either a history or a tanscendenta psychology,
and stl less wit an analysis of essence. Briefy, Hegel wanted
to analyze the very foundation of historical acton. He inquired
into the general conditons of human existence tat constitute the
possibilit of te human act as such. As we now understand it,
man is always in a specic historical situaton tat nevertheless
presupposes certain general conditons which it is important to
distinguish since they are more or less constant for every human
situaton as such. Te queston arises to the nature of the
method of abstactng tese conditons. We remarked above that
the expression, "analysis of essence," will not serve to describe
what we have in md. It would leave the impression that there
exists a human nature or an essence of man, such as Spinoza and
even Hume supposed. But Hegel has no intenton of discovering
such an essence in which he seems to have no belief and whose
concepton he critcizes in his early works. For Hegel man i
spirit, that is to say, history and collectve development; the tuth
to which he may aspire appears in and through that history. Te
queston which Hegel set himself, we believe, is the problem of how
to ground human history and a possible tut, or reason, witin
te development of history so conceived. To grasp te originait
of Hegel's startng point it may sufce to compare him with either
his predecessors or successors. Kant, for example, raised a ques-
The Human Situation in the Hegelian Phenomenology
uonwbcb aQQcats sm!at to tbat o!Hcgc!. Hc askcd wbat wctc
mc condtons o! buman know!cdgc n so !at as t s cmQtca
know!cdgc. But bc conncd bmsc!! to tbc Qtob!cm o! know!cdgc
and dd not consdct, at !cast n bs man wotk, tbc gucsuon o!
tbcbstotca!conduon o! manscckng Kow!cdgc. Js s QctbaQs
wby bc !a!cd to so!vc m Qtob!cm. Bccausc tcason tsc!! bas
bstotca! Qtcconduons, tbc human act Qossb!y Qtcccdcs, de jure
and de facto, tbc notion of reason; 1t s no accdcnt tbat, i tbc
dcvc!oQmcnt o! tbc Phenomenolog, reason aQQcats n a ncw
cbaQtct, !o!!owng tbc onc wbcb dca!s wtbtbc recognition wbcb
oncscI!-conscousncss dcmandsomanotbct.
Wc t now to onc o! Hcgc!'s gtcat succcssots, namc!y, NatX.
Qutc tgbt!y, NatX commcnts mat tbc Phenomenolog Hcgc
occasona!y dcsctbcs "tbc uuc !catutcs o! tbc buman conduon.`
But NatX bmsc!! dd not mdctstand mc ncccssq o!Qcncttaung
to tbc gtound o! tbc bstotca! cvcnt and o! tbc buman act tsc!!.
Hc was so stccQcd n Hcgc!-n bs doctota! dsscttauon bc bad
ntctQtctcd tbc tc!auons bctwccn tbc atoms o! Ocmocttus and
LQcutus ntctms o! tbc Hcgc!an da!cctc o! sc!!conscousncss
tbat bc ncg!cctcd to dca!wtbtbc Qtob!cm at ts vcQ soutcc. Jc
tcsu!t s tbat bc sccms to statt om ccttan facts wbcb, bowcvct
ut!u! tbcy may bc, atc nonctbc!css mctc!y!acts to wbcb otbcts
mgbt bc oQQoscd. Hc takcs uQ tbc c!ass sttugg!c n bstoty as an
csscnta! Qbcnomcnon; o! coutsc, bc tc!atcs t to tbc noton o!
!abot, and !abot tsc!! to a Qtmaty tc!aton bctwccn man and
natutc, but bc docs not oct any cXQ!ct ttcamcnt o! ms bass
o! bs da!ccuc. Lonttaty to Kant, NatX octs !acts wbctc tbctc
was tcason. Itom tbs tbctc tcsu!ts an ambguq n bs mougbt
wbcb can on!y bc c!athcd by tcsotmg to tbc Hcgc!an Phe
nomenolog om wbcb bc c!cat!y dtcw nsQtauon. Sncc ms-
toty Qctvadcs tbc cnttc tca!m o! tbougbt and buman acuon, onc
must Qcncuatc to mc toot o! bstoty, and ask, as Hcgc! dd n
tbc Phenomenolog, wbat atctbc condtons o! sc!!-conscousncss
ot o! tbc vcty cXstcncc o! man. O! coutsc, as s n !act c!cat!y
ndcatcd by tbc tctm sc!!-conscousncss, wbcb ony Hcgc! uscs,
wc atcnotbctc conccmcd wtb an antbzoQo!ogca ana!yss n tbc
sttct scnsc. I u not a gucston o! man consdctcd as a bO!ogca!
sQcccs, but o! tbc cmctgcncc n tbc vcty bcatt o! !!c o! a bcng
56 The Problem oj the Relaton beteen Truth and Exitence
who becomes conscious of life the conditon of his exist
ence and trough rise of consciousness creates amost a new
dimension of being, generatng a history in which conscious being
makes and reveals a ratonal tuth.
Te Hoa Sitaton i Relaton to Natue
"The desert," says Balzac, "is God without man"; Hegel took
a similar view of pure nature, while it remains an in-itself not
having found in man that whereby it may be given a meaing.
''ature is a hidden spirt." Universa life, which is the tue ob
ject, the conditon of self-consciousness, does not exst such
in te indefnite multplicit of living individuals; "it is the whole
which develops itself, resolves its own development, and i t
movement simply preserves itself," yet does not exist as such,
a possible totit, except for (human) self-consciousness which
refects on life. "It is the simple genus, which in the movement
of life itself does not exist in tis simplicit for itself; but in t
result points life towards what is oter than itself, namely, towards
Consciousness for which life exists as t unit or genus."l
These remarks drawn fom Hegel summarize te relatons be
tween self-consciousness and life. They show how self-conscious
ness emerges the necessary rise of the consciousness of universal
life, of "te soul of the world, the universal life-blood, which courses
everywhere, and whose fow is neither disturbed nor .checked by
any obstuctng distncton."2 This Absolute of the romantics,
whose inhumanit reminds one of the God of Spinoza, is also
te "universal ineradicable substance, the fuent self-identical
essential realt"3 upon which are exerted man's desire and labor,
"labor and the patence of the negation," in order to domate it.
Admittedly, ts principle of negation is already present in the
living forms which succeed each oter in cosmic time, or are
juxtaposed in space. But this is simply a partcular manifestaton,
a fnite modalit which within the process of lfe suppresses itself
and dies in givg birth to a new living form. This death is not yet
interalized and surpassed; it remains exteral to the particular
creature which it nevertheless animates. This "dying and becom
ing" is without an echo in tat silent nature which waits for its
The Human Situation in the Hegelian Phenomenology 157
expression in the "logos of man." But self-consciousness must
emerge against the background of this universal life because te
latter is already in itself what self-consciousness must become for
itself; and this reduplication of the "self same" is here a dialectica
necessit which m te preceding chapters of The Phenomenolog
of Mind have prepared. The object which at frst confonts con
sciousness is now determined as being universal life; what self
consciousness fnds confontng it as a totalit is the life that i
its own life which it discovers as something at once identical with
itself and other than itself. Consciousness observes itself outside
of itself in this living uiverse to which it belongs because it i
also "a partcular living form," a determinate organic body. I
so far as it is self-consciousness of life it is the contadicton of
being the universal genus, "which does not exist as such in anima
life," and a particular, determinate existent. Tis contadicton lies
at the heart of the uhappy consciousness, but its resolution con
sttutes te reason and tuth of human history . .
I his early works Hegel had conceived tis dualism necessary
to consciousness in the form of love; but love is only a "retur to
the original and sombre innocence." He had completely ignored
any philosophy of nature. However, fom the Jena period he begins
to follow his former student fiend, Schelling, and refects upon
organic life and the general dialectc of living creatures. He then
comes to understand how self-consciousness of organic life can
raise itself above life and, while refectng. it, yet oppose itself to
life. Tis refecton, which is simultaneously an act of negation, or
a creative awakening of consciousness that "raises te omnipotence
of Non-Being to the level of Being," generates a new dimension of
being. Self-consciousness of life becomes something other than
life in te course of displaying its tuth, by becomg capable of
being the trutF of life. The df cult is in understanding how self
consciousness of life is able, precisely through this act of refec
tion, to neg
te te life of which it is only a refecton, or how it
can generate a new form of being while not cong itself to being
solely the contemplaton of what already exsts. To repeat WU
itself the cosmic process of life which makes it possible, and to
create through repetiton a history distnct fom this life-histor
-because spit is higher than nature since it is the refecton of
158 The Problem of the Relation between Truth ad Existence
it-such te enigma of the epergence of consciousness as an
authentc creaton. But enigma is notng else tan te exist
ence of man, or rater of men. For in repeatng te cosmic move
ment of life Hegel brings to light the conditons of self -conscious
ness and, witn te later, te mutual relations between one
self-consciousness and anoter in te process of recognition. We
must follow tis essentia development fom the moment where
self-consciousness defnes itself as desire (of life) trough to the
moment where it posits itself as the need for a recognition tat,
i creating te element of universait, and consequently of reason,
maes possible history, an "Ego that i 'we,' a plurait of Egos,
and 'we' tat i a single Ego."
Desie: Spioz mdHe
I gving an account of te philosophy of life fom which
Hegel started it may be useful to employ Spinoza's vocabuary
and to follow Hegel in comparng his phlosophy of life with tat
of Spinoza. Universal life is a substance that is considered te
ite source of all partcular living beings, each of which i a
fnite mode, a singular individualit, whch emerges fom
universa life. Each one expresses substance in a vita process of
dyg and coming into being. Life works itself out in some way
troug each and witout any of them; it appears as sometng
beyond, an exteral accident tat is aen to . teir characteristic
"positive partcular essence." For its own part, individualit can
only persevere in its mode of being; it does not contain witin it
self te conict essental to life. Every essence is positve. Propo
siton V in Book U of te Ethics excludes the possibilit of con
fict witn te same individuait. "I so far as one thing i able
to destroy anoter are tey of contrary natures, tat is to say, tey
cannot exist in te same subject." Spinoza, according to Hegel,
failed to understand te nature of individuait in itself which en
ables it to express authentcaly the it of substance; he did
not conceive negation as somethng determined by the operaton
of negatvit. H (ihuman) phlosophy may very well account
for te lfe of nature (Deus sive natura) which never surpasses
itself. But it does not hold for human existence which, in so far
The Human Situation in the Hegelian Phenomenolog 159
as it is consciousness of life, reveals the for-itself of this in-itself.
We may consider what the individual perceives in the in-itself
of this nature. Each living agent is alive only through coming into
being; at a partcular moment, when he arrives on the world scene,
he confonts universal life, and in this process of oppositon to
what i oter (Spinoza here makes a unwarranted tansiton
fom the standpoint of essence to the oppositon of exteriorit) ,
he determines himself completely and fls himself in the course
of negatng himself as a partqular exstent. T negaton of te
negaton i the movement of the genus. Tus it appears death
and reproducton in such a way that we see the living succeed
each oter like waves "in a silent food." Each pacular only
realizes the universa in so far it dies and its deat is te cor
relatve of the birt of another partcular being which i m tum
quite distct fom that which engendered it. But the distnctveness
or separaton which characterizes positve being, or nature difsed
trough space and tme, is such tat the process of universa life
never succeeds in coming to itself but fals short just when it might
discover itself. Not even for itself is it "that pure restlessness of the
concept," i the fow of tme for self-consciousness. I can only
be for man who becomes conscious of death in order to sur
pass it. Thus the slave who has kown the fear of death, te
absolute master, raises himself above the master, who has only
kown, as master, what it i to risk mphysical life. But immediate
risk amounts to less tan the efort .of the slave who, having
experienced the fear of death, kows how to free himself fom it
witin m life.
Even at te level of living nature, individualit is always haunted
by a latent confict; it needs to complement itself in another
individualit. "Te idea of organic individualit is in itself a genus,
universalit," . . . "Individualit by itself is ite, it is tus
oter than itself, appears outside itself in 'its other.' ''4 It exists
in the separaton of sexes in which each contains the idea of the
whole but "in relatng to itself to an other, recognizes its
beig-other itself and consequently suppresses tis oppositon."
But the suppression of this dirempton at the level of anima life
does not result in the explicit emergence of the Idea such,
but only in anoter idividualit which in D repeats U process.
160 The Problem ot the Relation beteen Truth and Existence
Neverteless, in itself "te individual is te Idea, and it exists
only as Idea. Terefore there exists within the individual the con
tadicton between being te Idea and being oter tan the Idea."
T is why te individua is the "absolute impulse," rather than
merely the tendency of being to remain in a given state, and it is
t in virtue of an interal contadicton. The Spinozan philosophy
of nature is displaced by a dialectical philosophy in which te
dialectc is only for itself in the case of man, for "organic nature
has no history."5
It was seen that in nature the cycle of te Idea is only cosed
through a repetiton of the same process. The child is indeed te
quest for unit, but he in tum is a partcular exstent "who de
prives those who are opposed of their essence fom becoming
Idea." The growt of children is te deat of parents. "Te savages
in North America k their parents and we do the same." How
ever, even at the animal level tere is a moment which fore
shadows consciousness, namely, in sickness. In sickess the or
ganism is divided against itself interally. Life which becomes
lodged in a partcular being is in conict with life in genera.
This conict beteen te moment of partcularit in relaton to
universal life consttutes, as in a sick organism, the positvit and
destiny of history. Hegel had studied schism witin man and
human history in his early works. By perceiving in organic ilness
a prefguraton of te consciousness which is always interaly
divided within itself, and is an unhappy consciousness in so far
as it is the consciousness of "te positivit of life as te unhappi
ness of life," Hegel alters the meang of his comparison. Human
self-consciousness is able to tiumph just where te organism
fails. It is quite tue tat "te sickess of te anma is te orign
of spirit" and that tere is some tuth, though not the whole
tuth, in Nietzsche's teme of man the sick animal.6 But man is
essentally te being who can tansgress te limit by interag
it and who can bestow a spiritual meaning upon death by means
of his yntre history, thus makng something positve out of a
negatve. "It is life which bears deat and preserves itself trough
death that is the life of te spirit." Again, the master who risks
his life, but without a tought for deat, because he never for a
moment finches before it, does not brg himself to the level of
The Human Situation in the Hegelian Phenomenolog 161
the slave who has "trembled to the very roots of m being." U he
were not to rise above this anxiet over death, the slave would
indeed be merely a sick animal, having realy interaed a sick
ness. But by tanscending it, once he has recognied it, he opens
up new perspectives and makes the life of spirit a creative life
which continually surpasses its destiny.
We have dwelt at some length on Hegel's account of unversal
life because it seemed necessary for an understanding of man's
situation at te center of tis life. It is a descripton of the signi
cance that life has for us, although this signifcace is profoundly
hidden fom individuas by themselves. I is (human) self-con
sciousness to which organic life must. refer for clarcation.
I The Phenomenolog of Mind, Hegel presents self-conscious
ness as generalied desire. A such it is simply the tautology, "I
am 1,"7 or te movement which produces tis unit, and which
must reproduce for itself te process we have discovered in uni
versal life. I Hegel's language, self-consciousness is mediation,
ad it is which expresses the relation beteen desire and its
object. The latter is at frst the world around it, just as the world
of te partcular living creature is its "Umwelt." In the next state,
it is life itself, envisaged as a totalit, and desire is directed essen
tially "towards life itself." To desire and to desire life are at frst
one and the same ting; except that life then appears as someting
external to the self and alien to it. The life of the self becomes an
object to it, spread before it in the exteral world. Desire, or the
absolute impulse that we recognied in the life of an individualit,
can only be for itself by discovering itself i an exteral word.
Hegel's analysis of tis phenomenon is much too brief to alow
U5 to extapolate its sense so far as to see in it a phenomeno
logica descripton comparable to what it is usual to fnd i modem
philosophers. Stctly speakng, tere is no object which is simply
an object, nor any subject that is only a subject, one without
and te oter witn. My interal life does not exist as such;
rather it exists through my exchange with the word, or i my
projects which alone confer a meaning upon what is outside.
Hegel returs to this point in connecton with te nature of
human individualit, of its own body, the world which is its word
and is such tat one cannot be understood apart fom te oter.
162 The Problem of the Relation beteen Truth and Exitence
"Probably te chief gain fom phenomenology8 i to have unted
exteme subjectivism and extreme objectvism i its notion of te
word or of ratonaity."
1 relating to this word, desire must rediscover itself, but
it i unable to recognize itself without passing through the meda
ton of this world. Thus the self appears to itself as an immediate
datum of the exteral world, even at te bare level of life. Similarly,
my organic life forms the object of the self's desire, and trough
the resistance which it ofers or opposes to its negation the self
leas te meaning of its independence. However, self-conscious
ness must fnd its satsfacton and fl itself i this dirempton.
But it can only achieve this i it appears i te form of an other
Self, another living self-consciousness. "Self-consciousness attains
its satisfaction only in another self-consciousness."9 The existence
of the Other is an ontological condition of my own existence.
Just as the life of an individuality can only be fl ed by fnding
itself i another individuaity, so the desire that consttutes te
self can only exist i it i for itself an object of another desire.
Tus the desire of life becomes the desire of another desire, or
rather, in view of the necessary reciprocit of the phenomenon,
human desire is always desire of the desre of anther. Thus, i
human love, desire appears to the self as the desire of te desire
of another. Te self needs to be beheld by the Oter. For the self
i essental y desire. Tus what the self expects to fnd in the Other
i desire of its desire. I is only the animal that satates itself i
abstact negaton or an indulgence that is a kind of death. But the
self's desire must peretuate itself and tis it ca only accomplish
i its object i also desire, a desire at once identcal with its ow
desire and aien to it. Thus the self appears i the Oter and the
Other appears as te self. Each exists only trough tis reciproca
recognition: "they recognize themselves mutually recogg
one another."lO
However, the recognition which appears to be immediately
forthcoming i love is open to the danger of foundering agai
upon the lifeless in-itself. This i why Hegel gives a somewhat
diferent account of the process of mutual recogniton between
one self-consciousness and anoter. 1 order to exist, each sel
consciousness must be recognized by another; consequently each
The Human Situation in the Hegelian Phenomenolog 163
demands fom the oter te recogniton witout which it could
not exist, except perhaps as a living tg, but not as consciousness
of universal life, or absolute desire. The consequence u the fa
miiar struggle for life and deat, a stuggle for prestge i which
man confonts man to gain recogiton as a man. For witout
tis recogniton in successful struggle each would be uable to
"prove temselves and each oter."
But te consequences of stfe are deceiving and lead to
an impasse. The tuth which should result fom it disappears
into pure nature wit te deat of te combatants. The moment
of nature is always present, forever intmately interwoven with
te reciprocit between one self-consciousness and anoter; it is
te source of teir diremption and it remains essental. Te role
of moment of nature is even more evident in te unilatera
recogniton of te master by the slave. The slave is only truly
a slave of universa life fom which he has recoiled tough the
fear of death. But trough te fundamental process of labor he
becomes capable of subjugatg tis "indestuctble substance"
more efectively tan was ever possible for te master. We shall
see later how labor in general, togeter wit te efective recog
niton of work by te oter, u able to lead human existence to its
trut. For the moment, it u important to notce tat Hegel poses
tis struggle to the death and te phenomenon of labor and uni
latera recogniton, not as te basic facts of history, but as te very
conditons of self-consciousness; they goun history whle mang
it possible. Silarly, te Stoic's abstact recogniton that makes
it possible to tanscend slaver, althoug already contaned in
te pure reciprocit of self-consciousness, u neverteless insuf
cient, for it results in a merely abstact feedom, a foral equalit
of te very knd tat Ma later denounces in te fction of
equat of rghts which suppresses slaver but countenaces te
P te conditons of human exstence or, as Hegel puts it, of
self-consciousness of life, are contained in te need of desire for
recognton in another desire, or in intersubjecvit which u the
sole means by which consciousness of life may become sometng
oter tan a refecton of tis life. 1 u trough necessary
intersubjectvit and the relaton with nature or universal life
164 The Problem of the Relation between Truth and Existence
tat Humanit and History, or, in Hegel's terminology, Spirt,
are founded; "What consciousness has fuher to become aware of,
is the experience of what mind is-this absolute substance, which
is the unity of the diferent self-related and self-existent self-con
sciousnesses in the perfect feedom and independence of their op
positon as component elements of tat substance: Ego tat is 'we,'
a plurait of Egos, and 'we' that is a single Ego."
Tt ad Extence
What Hegel calls Necessit is a necessit of meaning which
progressively unfolds itself; "it is hidden in the events that happen
and only appears in the end." Tus universal life refers back to
consciousness of life, for only the latter is capable of clg
the blind necessit in which it is grounded. Silarly, self-con
sciousness of life repeats the movement of living creatures. But
here meaning aready exists as such in the interweaving of desires
which are expressed by the mediatng acton of recognition which
grounds te universality of self-consciousness. T universality is
essental to the absolute impulse and must be realed through the
mediating progression of the spirit. Perhaps it is possible to see a
way of gettng the better of Lucien Herr's comment that "the
tansition is always guided by sentment" witout, however, fal ing
into the errors of a panlogica interretation, by avoiding alto
geter the use of the term deducton which is m suited because the
dialectc has both creative and descriptive features and is at te
same time conceptual (in Hegel's sense of the term) . It is the
Concept itself which becomes explicit through the three essental
moments which are at te root of human history, namely, self
consciousness, the other self-consciousness, and universal life, or
nature as an independent subsistence. For the rest, Hegel was per
fecty clear about the concrete character of this necessit; he
does not contrast it to description or to the u posteriori: "I is the
concept which aienates itself and is the development of necessit
O a datum of intuition, yet at the same tme, through this neces
sary intuiton, it is self-subsistent and kows it conceptually." To
fnd its counterpart, we should have to approach the Hegelian
The Human Situation in the Hegelian Phenomenology 165
concept of necessIq In terms of the contemporary method of
PerhapsweshouIdhavegIvenmore attenuonto the roIepIayed
It the struggIe between seIf-conscIousnesses wouId resuIt In their
pure and simpIe dissoIution. Death and PIeasure are uniqueIy
"states of dIssoIution," for they Iack an objective aspect or sub
sistence. "Labor, on the other hand, Is desIre restrained and
checked, evanescence deIayed and postponed, In other words,
Iabor shapes and fashIons the thing. The negauve reIauon to me
object passes Into the form ofthe object, Into something that Is
permanent and remains,becauseItIs justformeIaboreruatthe
object has independence." T quotauon contains the essence
ofwhatwewIshtodemonsuate.U we addthat thought i int
de6nedby HegeI as the IaborhIch extracts the form of nature,
andIs as such the uuth ofIabor which reveaIs that "bythe Jact
that the form i objecmed,
t does not become somethIng other
thanme conscIousness mouIdingthe thIngthroughwork, for just
that fom Is his pure seIfexistence, whIch therein becomes truIy
reaIIzed," we may begin to understand how a rationaIiq or a
uuthmaybegenerated atthIsIeveIbythedIaIecuc. Whatweare
deaIIng wIth here are the very condIuons of reason, provided
thatIti uue matthe necessIq of Its emergence Is IdenucaI wm
Itscontent. Thusreasoni ItseIfgroundedasahumanevent,andso,
too,spirit, whichIsthehstoryofthatevent.
Labor has a doubIe funcuon. FIrst of aII, Iabor humanizes
nature, gIvIng It the form of seIf-conscIousness. Jt manifests ex-
tenaIIy what It i In ItseIf, appearIng thus as a work, a human
Object (die Sache selbst) andnoIongeramerethIng (Ding) asIt
was attheIeveI ofpercepuon. Nature ceases tobe a power over
whIch man has no conuoI and before which he trembIes (God
without man) . In-itself, In Its cosmIc sIgnmcance, nature was
aIready seIf-conscIousness, It now becomes such for-itself. Man
dIscovers hImseIf through Iabor and i reconciIed to nature.
Iabor no Iess than me warnor who uanscends IIfe by nskng It.
TesIave does notreaIIzeIt, buttheStoIcachIeves this onhIsbe
66 The Problem of the Relation between Truth and Existence
ba!!. Hc undctstands tbcccdom o! man and tbs Ltst utb W
comc to !gbt bcn al mcn atccc and tccognzcd n tbcmsc!vc8
and !ot tbcmsc!vcs n an mmcdatc um mat as oncc mctc!y
5ccond!y, !abotconvcys a tca! cobctcncc andunvctsa!quQoa
buman cXstcncc. Js sccond !catutc u no !css mQot|ant tbaa
tbc Ltst bccauc t a!onc autbcnucatcs, a!mou@ tbc s!avc s sm!
gnotant o! t, mat ncccssaty tccognuon ot unvctsa!q bcb
mc s!avc aQQcatcd tobavc !otsaKcnbcnbctccogzcdmcmastct
tbout dcmandng tccognton !ot bmsc!!. But tccognuon om
somconc bom onc docs not oncsc!! tccognzc, ot to tccogmc
wtbout tccognton n D, atc botb !a!sc mcdauons bcb
tcvctsc tbcmsc!vcs. 1 tbus bccomcs ncccssaty !ot otK to bc
tccognzcd !ottsc!!. I i n otK-ndcQcndcnt and acvct|bc!css
8 tcccuon o! bcng-!ot-tsc!!-tbat sc!!-conscousncss bccomcs
tccognzab!c by omcts. Iuctmotc, t must bc tccognzcd a
Qtactcc and tbs u tbc soutcc o! a nc suugg!c bctwccn mcn. It
u not any !ongcttbcsmgg!c tomc dcatb bcb nuatcd tbc Lt8t
movcmcnt o! tccognuon, but t s st! a comct, bccausc otK
bas no mcanng cXccQt as collective work. \!umatc!y, t u mc
cndtc human species n mcfl tangc o!ts ntcma! conct and
unq bcb must Lnd cXQtcsson and make itself n U otK
bcb, conscgucnt!y, i no !ongct a Qattcu!at tasK but antcQatcs
mc!m!ncsso!ts sgnmcancc.
I tbc Phenomenology, Hcgc! tcms to mc tbcmc o! buman
otK as tbc acuvq o! cacb and al and tbc !oundauon o! bstoty
to tbc cXtcnt tbat t s at al oQcn to tatona ntctQtctaton. I
tbs connccton t i csscnta! to tcadtbc mQottant cbaQtct on tbc
"Jng" (die Sahe selbst) bcbsmc!oundauono!tbc gcnctaI
conduons o! buman bstoty and o! a living truth bcb Lnds cX-
Qtcsson ot, sbou!d c say, ctcatcs tsc!! n tbc coutsc o! tbat
bstoty. C! coutsc, tbc Qatucu!at cott, nasmucb as t u Qm-
ucu!at, dsaQQcats, but bat docs not dsaQQcat, but i Lna!Iy
acko!cdgcd, i tbc disappearance of the disappearance, bcb
i nodg cIsc man "tbc Cbjcct tsc!!." 1t s smu!tancous!y mc
Qtoducto!cacb and o!al. 1ti bom!ot-tbc-otbcts, nso !at ast
u objccucd, and!ot-tbc-sc!!, as ts aliented mcamng but ncvct-
mc!cssts own mcanng. At !cvc! a meaning o! buman bstoty
The Human Situation in the Hegelan Phenomenolog I6?
becomes a possibilit, as a knd of true value; this meaning appears
to be at once the projecton of the nature of human self-conscious
ness and something open to ratonaaton and justcaton trough
mutual recognition at te level of created being. We shal under
stand that the Hegelian problem, which is our own, concers the
relation between Truth and Existence i we add the observaton
that the human object fom which The Phenomenology q Mind
develops as a history senso strctu is what Hegel calls the Trut,
"the essental spiritual substance . . . in which the certaint con
sciousness has regarding itself i a 'fact'-a rea object before
consciousness, an object bor of self-consciousness as its own,
without ceasig to be a fee independent object in the proper
sense";16 for the truth of te universal predicate becomes the
subject, the living tuth which creates itself and i its own guaran
tee. We may ask how a tut can be the work of men, raised at
the ver heart of existence through the mediation of existence
which it simultaneously tanscends: the humanit-god simul
taneously vindicated by the God-man. Hegel does not resolve this
problem in a clear fashion; but i tat possible? 1 i te same
problem tat today faces existentiaism, Maism, and Chris
tianit. At all events, te mert of the Phenomenology i to have
raised the founations of the human task and its possible ration
alit, to have ofered a means of access to these foundatons at a
tme when the classical dogma of eteral tuth and the notion of
tanscendental consciousness were totterng under the events of
1 The Phenomenolog of Mind, _. 224.
2 Ibid., _.208. [rans.]
3 Ibid., _. 227.
4 Jenenser Realphilosophie, Vol. I, 1803-1804, _. 130.
5 The Phenomenolog of Mind, _. 326.
6 F. Nietzsche, The Genealog of Morals, translated by Horace B.
Samuels (New York: Russell and Russell Inc., 1964), _. 155. [ras.]
168 The Problem of the Relation between Truth ad Exitence
7 The Phenomenolog of Mind, p. 219. [rans.]
8 Na
ely, tat of Husserl and Heidegger; cf. M. Merleau-Ponty,
Phenomenolog of Perception, tanslated by C. Smit (London: Rout
ledge and Kegan Paul, 1962), Preface, p. x.
9 The Phenomenolog of Mind, p. 226. [rans.]
10 Ibid., p. 231.
11 Ibid., p. 227.
12 Ibid., p. 238. Hyppolite's itic.
13 Ibid., p. 239. [rans.]
14 "Percepton, Tng, and Deceptiveness," ibid., pp. 161-178. [rans.]
15 Ibid., p. 430.
1 6 Ibid., p. 431.
On mcIc

u of Mc

Te Gener Concepton of te Logc .
"What I call a," writes Pd Malraux, "is the expression of
hitherto unkown yet evident relatonships between creatures or
beteen creatures and objects." Everg tanspires as though
tere were an immediate lived-experience that must be given ex
pression, an expression which would be 8 discovery both in te
sense of a revelaton and an inventon. Te most general for of
expression, which alone deserves the description since all others
refer to it in some way, human language, which might be called
te logos of lived-experience or the logos of Being, its universal
revelaton. To express Being would seem to be the proper enter
prise of man. I i the tue sigcance of the consciousness which
in this D er becomes a universal self-consciousness of Being,
or logos of Being, and consttutes the very essence of the Hegelian
Logic. In te stct sense of the term, the Logic is a rigorous
poetc of Being which unfolds through the agency and mediaton
of man. It is the manifestaton of a universal self-consciousness
in the singular consciousness of the philosopher. It i the Idea
which is manifest in human judgient and i not simply its arbitrary
or subjectve creaton.
A description of philosophy conceived as a logic in the sense
above seems paradoxical and immediately invites a variet of
objectons. Indeed, Hegel was so conscious of the paradox of te
concept of Absolute Knowledge, in which Being is immediately
refected and in which tought i immediately Being, that he found
it necessary to write a weighty introducton to m Logic, namely,
170 The Problem of the Relation between Truth and Existence
The Phenomenolog of Mind. The latter answers to the con
victon of consciousness as thought that "being is other tan
itself," and that its subjectve certaint is distnct fom the ob
jectve truth to which it aspires.
It is not easy to abandon te representation of experience as
a milieu through which tuth is ofered to us or as an instrument
by means of which we grasp tuth.1 But the instument and milieu
ake separate us peranently fom te Absolute or fom te
Being that we wish to refect upon. Te result produced by t
conception is inevitably and ineradicable skeptcism, or a critcal
philosophy which distinguishes on te one hand an objectve tut
relatve to human understanding and on te oter an absolute,
inaccessible in-itself which can only be te object of fait, or a
radical transcendentalism. Hegelian philosophy rejects any notion
of tanscendence; it is a rigorous philosophical attempt to remain
on the ground of immanence and not leave it. There is no queston
of anoter world; there is no thing-in-itself, no transcendence.
And yet fnite human thought is not tapped in its own fitude; it
surpasses itself and what it reveals or manifests is Being itself. Thus
it is not a case of man expressing Being more or less adequately;
it is Being itself which fnds exression and testament in man.
Philosophy, as Absolute Knowledge, is t very expression, and
te philosophy of philosophy is simply the consciousness of the
functon of philosophy to express Being.
U The Phenomenolog of Mind Hegel starts fom the concep
ton of naIve consciousness which fom the beginning draws a
distncton between the subjective and the objective, certaint
and truth, but against the background of a
primordial unity. Tis
distncton presupposes an original identt, a neutal experience,
which is neither that of a subject nor tat of an object. But
consciousness develOps only to the extent that it introduces such
a distnction and refects upon lived-experience tough the schema
of subject-object, certaint-tuth. The Phenomenolog is the de
scripton of the itnerary of fte or human consciousness in te
course of tanscending the distncton fom which it arses and
which is the source of its development and, as it were, its modus
operandi. A a fnite and singular consciousness I experience
Being, I see it, I posit it as tut to be attained, and I seek to
On the Logc of Hegel 171
kow it, that is to say, to give an exact formulaton of what is
given to me i immediacy. But this determinaton implies meaning
or the foundation of some such congruency.
Wat can be the nature of the relationShip between the Concept
which is the logos of Being and Being as it is experienced by the
ego? Subjectve certaint and objective tuth are mutual opposites
i so far as one i the Concept (inseparable fom language) and
the oter the Object. Or rather, as Hegel observes, it makes no
diference to call either one Concept or Object. For it is a queston
of the one providing te measure of the other, a phenomenon which
constitutes the foundaton of all human experience in so far as
it develops through ups ad downs in the course of which what
was at fst posited as an Absolute independent of the ego even
tually appears relative and provisional. This distncton always
reproduces itself at te ver moment where consciousness tan
scends itself through reunion with its point of origin in the dis
covery (a historical discover, the revelaton of Absolute Knowl
edge itself) that the object is itself a concept and the concept an
object, or that Being itself is Meaning as Meaning is Being. I is
in the moment where humaty achieves consciousness that the
Hegelian Logic becomes possible and the distincton beteen
certainty and tuth, subject and object, is validated against the
background of a more profound unity, namely, that of a
thoroughly naive knowledge, which presupposes a primar iden
tty, and most profound Absolute Knowledge which, as the tran
scendence of distinctions, reunites with and validates the original
Being enters thought and fnds expression, which is to say that
it is thought and expressed through man who is its interreter,
although man is unaware of himself as the interpreter of Being
untl he has transcended in the course of his history (a practcal
history) the stages in the alenation of consciousness. Indeed,
finite consciousness posits (this is te meaning of the Phenome
nolog) an absolute truth which tanscends it, as it also posits the
interretation of Being, prior to Being itself, as a divine under
standing fom which human understanding can only be ' a fall.
Consequently, certaint is always somewhere below the level
of truth, which is at a level beyond, and in order to gound
172 The Problem of the Relation between Truth and Existence
ccttmu[, Uutb s ucccssmy asO a cOuccQt, IOgOs, but a dvuc,
ttausccudcutIOgOsbcbas sucbaIayscscaQcsbcu Ouc s abOut
tO sczc t. 1utc cOuscOusucss bcb bcIcvcs tbat t cau gtasQ
ttutb tbtOugb ts !vcd-cXQctcucc aIays sccs t tcccdc, Ot tb-
dta utO tscI! utO a utb !Ottsc!1 but uOt !Ot cOuscOusucss.
I s tbus !uudmcutaIy au unhappy conciousness bcb QtOjccts
OutO a ttausccudcutaI aud aays dstaut LOd tbc !uudamcutaI
dcut[ O! ccttauty aud ttutb, O! tbc LOuccQt aud Bcug.
The Phenomenology of Mind, bcb, as ts btIc udcatcs, cOu-
sdcts OuIytbc QbcuOmcua asQcct O! cOuscOusucss, dcsctbcs tbc
bstOtcaI ttausccudcucc O! tbc uubaQQy cOuscOusucss. Nau bas
cOmc tO tbc KOIcdgc tbat tbc dstaut aud ttausccudcutaI LOd
s ccctvcIy dcad. Jbctc s a bstOty O! tbc mud u tbc scusc
tbat bumau cOuscOusucss OvctcOmcs ts acuatOu aud cOmQtc-
bcuds c sgumcaucc O! tbat scQatatOu bcb tcsuIts u tbc cOu-
OutatOu O! cOuscOusucss tb mmcdatc Bcug bcb t must
tcvcaI aud cXQtcss. Pttbc bcgm ug, as attbccud O! tbs bstOty,
Ouc suIuds u tbcmmcdatc tbc identity of Being and Meaning.
IaIvc cOuscOusucss s tsc!! tbc Bcug Om bcb t bcgus by
dstugusbug tscI! u Otdct tO cXQtcss Bcug. \uvctsaI scI!-
cOuscOusucss, PbsOIutc KuOIcdgc, s tbc vcty Bcug bcb
acbcvcs cXQtcssOu aud s cudOcd tb mcauug, bccausc tbc
KOIcdgc bcb aQQcats u cOuscOusucss as c dua!ty O! sub-
jcct-Objcct aQQcats u Bcug tsc!! as au mmaucut KOIcdgc O!
Bcng tscI!, O! Bcug bcb bccOmcs aQQcataucc aud tacs Ou
Ncmug aud bccOmcs utcgbIc tOtscI! astmacs tsc!1. Jbat
i by The Phenomenology of Mind aud 1cgcI's Logic atc cacb
Iu tbc Phenomenology 1cgcI Uaccs bumau cXpctcucc U sO !at
as tbat cXQctcucc dcvcIOQs by mcas O! ts Ou tcIabv[ aud,
astctc, utbc dmcusOuO!subjcctv[. Jbctcs aummcdacy,
a Qtmaty OtguaI dcub[ bcb scQatatcs bccausc u tbc ds
buctOutbat tmQ!cs t| s tbc ccttauty O!bat s mmcdatc Ot
s scusc-cOuscOusucss~tbc bcgm ug !tOm bcb c stattcd."
But t s tbc acbcvcmcut O! tbc cOuscOusucss O! tbs dcubg
tOugb tbc tccXvc dctcutabOu O! cXQctcucc tbat cOusttutcs
tbc gOaI O! tbc Phenomenology. Jbus bat scusc-aatcucss cOuId
OuIy cuvsagc s uO acbcvcd. Jbc mmcusc tcbucss bcb s
On the Logc of H egeZ
given in immediacy is now revealed and given expression; those
relationships or essences
of experience,
unown yet evident,
are now discovered and have become appearances in the develop
ment of human experience. But they have appeared in the mode of
subjectivit, moments of partcularit, without anyone grasping
their relationship to the totalit of Being. They have appeared
in a phenomenology, that is to say, as phenomena more or less
tom out of Being. Undoubtedly, tey were at frst taken as ab
solutes by the consciousness that discovered them, but it afterwards
relatvized and tanscended them and failed to see the tut which
inhabited them. It ignored the tuth in them both because the
peculiar character of phenomenological analysis-whch is com
parable to a knd of critcal philosophy-is precisely the distnc
ton between the in-itself and the for-us, between an absolute
objective and a subjectve, and because ts distnction necessarily
relatvizes al experence. But at the same tme tat these rela
tonships revea themselves, human consciousness is in the process
of tanscending the latter distncton, which ultmately becomes a
distnction between a transcendental God and a fnite conscious
ness eterally subordinate to 1. Consciousness discovers tat
te transcendent is nothing else than the original unit, or prmary
immediacy. Tus it ret this primacy immediacy, as it were,
to te second power which trough consciousness then becomes
Absolute Knowledge, the postulated identt of certaint and tut,
of the Concept and Being. The entre process has the form of a
cycle-a cycle that is essental to the Hegelan system inasmuch
it is a philosophy of integral immanence-in which, once te goal
of Absolute Knowledge is achieved, it validates the point of depar
ture independently of the mediatons of critcal refecton. The
latter, however, far fom being superuous, is in fact essental
because it reveals that the immediacy which was only envisaged,
or proposed for knowledge, is implicitly kowledge, self-interre
taton, and mediaton. Hencefort, Absolute Knowledge is no
longer the knowledge of consciousness, but the knowledge of im
mediacy itself, its interal interretaton, and its mediation through
human thought (the Being which is kowledge of itsel) .3 Mean
ing is no longer subjectve meaning opposed to objective Being,
but the very meaning of Being. Uit is possible any more to speak
174 The Problem of the Relation between Truth and Exitence
of subjectvit, it must be to refer to a subjectvit which is Be
ing itself, or what Hegel has i mind when he says that the whole
of his philosophy "depends on grasping and expressing the ult
mate truth not as Substance but as Subject as well."4
Hegel's presentaton is extremely rigorous and difcult and it
might be well to express its intention in a more simple statement.
In the Phenomenolog Hegel presents both a revelaton (which
through expression is also a creative discovery) of what today we
call essences, in the Husserlian sense, and an itnerary for man
whereby he may transcend the relativit of human kowledge
which derives either fom an inefable substance or from a ta
scendental God. In the Phenomenolog, we have a study in the
unveiling of these essences which has been te a of artits and
philosophers. But these interpretations are distinguished fom Be
ing itself and remai human, or more or less evident or subjectve
interpretations that are not grounded ontologically and ca no
intrinsic necessit. The result of a phenomenology that refuses to
become Absolute Knowledge after the logic of Hegel is something
like a philosophy of culture which, indeed, constucts an inven
tory of the whole wealth of experience and its modes of expres
sion, but does not go beyond humanism or man's interretaton
of Being.
I such an endeavor, the phantom of the thing-in-itself never
fails to arise and to send humanism back to a faith beyond al
knowledge. In an important essay from the Jena period on "Fat
and Knowledge,"l Hegel in fact argues that Humanism and Fat
depend upon an inaccessible tanscendence. Now contemporary
philosophy is most often to be found oscillatg between these
two poles always tying to come to rest at one or the other. Athe
same, it remains a philosophy of consciousness, but one which
develops much further the task undertaken by Hegel in the Phe
nomenolog. Contemporary phenomenology aims at the descrp
tion, by abstraction from the lived-experience of a particular con
sciousness, of the structural essences of all human experience
which, in so far as they are given expression and enter the domai
of logos, translate the Singular into the Universal. However, the '
tanslation of the lived-singlar into the universal must be in ac
cordance with its own possibility, just the essences must be
On the Logc of Hegel
shown to be truly the essential structures of Being; otherwise they
are open to the dangers of absolute subjectivit. Tat is why a
phenomenological philosophy culnates in the renunciation of
philosophy such-as a strct science-and becomes, i you w ,
an anthropology or humanism, but not stctly philosophy. Per
haps one should speak of the descent of philosophy into literature,
provided one notes also that literature itself rises to te search for
those unkown yet evident relatonships and aspires to become
philosophy, though it can never achieve that. The philosophy of
consciousness inevitably ends in this subjectvization, even when
it professes a concept of the tanscendental ego. Its fate is ex
pressed in the following comment from a contemporary philoso
pher: "Its development is material or Vm singular essences and
its impulse comes fom the necessit to tanscend each one of
tem. It u not a phiosophy of consciousness but only a philoso
phy of te concept which can yield a theory of knowledge. Cre
ative necessit does not lie in the necessit of acton but in a
dialectcal necessit."
It is clear that the Hegelian Phenomenolog is not intended to
remain at te level of phenomenology, but to go beyond it and
to arrive at an ideal genesis of the essences hidden in experence
and at tmes in the contingency of history-in order to demon
state tat these essences are related through a dialectical neces
sit grounded in te absolute identit of thought and Being which
reveals itself open to tought and understanding. The logos of
Being u Being refecting upon itself. In tum, Absolute Knowl
edge, or logic ontologized, is realzed through its validation of the
phenomenology. It proves, in efect, tat te Absolute is Subject,
refects upon itself and is self-inteligible, and that in its highest
manifestaton its signicanc, is evident in human consciousness. It
u most important not to lose sight of the correspondence between
te Phenomenolog and the Logic. Tey are the same essences
which, in te former, are revealed through human experence (and
there is notng that i not part of human experience) and, in
the latter, are manifest i te tought of Being itself as a uni
versal self-consciousness which expresses the absolute meaning of
Being and is simultaneously its revelaton. "Conversely, again,
there corresponds to every abstact moment of Absolute Knowl-
176 The Problem oj the Relation between Truth ad Existence
edge a mode in which mind as a whole makes its appearance. As
the mind tat actually exists is not rcher than it [Absolute Knowl
edge], so, too, mind in its actual content is not poorer."6 Thus
the Hegelian Logic constructs the dialectic of those essences re
vealed in experence and, as Beig refectg upon itself independ
ently of human consciousness, provides teir validaton. I is not
man who creates philosophy; philosophy creates itself trough
man and te philosophy of phosophy is founded upon the con
sciousness of a corresponding ideal genesis, te attempt to ground
metaphysics as a logic of philosophy.
Te General Schema of the Logc
Hegel's Logic, as Benedetto Croce has expressed it, is a logic
of philosophy. For Hegel thought is never formal. It is always
thought of Being, thought of the "tng itself." There is, therefore,
no question of forulatg te general laws of analytic thought,
apart fom all content or meaning. On te contrary, the concept,
judgment, and reason are considered in relaton to the develop
ment of meanng and not as tools of logic. Te guidg noton
te concept of form in which meang is consttuted by the content
of thought, namely, the Absolute. Hegel's Logic, as the logic of
philosophy, i the expression of absolute Being in so far as it
open to expression and given voice in the varety of philosophies
tat have arsen in human history. Each of te philosophies of
the past has expressed the Absolute fom a certain standpoint,
just as the Leibnitzan monad expresses the entre universe fom
its point of view. U a work fom his Jena period Hegel wrote,
concerg the great philosophical systems, tat "Every phloso
phy is perfect in itself and, like an authentc work of art, con
tains Vm itself a totait."7 U each philosophical system te
Absolute i thought and fnds its expression. The comparison wt
a work of art refects Schelling's iuence in the Jena perod. But
in his lectues on aesthetcs Hegel shows equally how poety-in
its most genera sense-borders upon philosophy in so far as it
employs a language which consttutes the existence of unversa
self-consciousness because it perts the translaton of the li
and paculart of singular experence onto the plane of the
On the Logic of Hegel
universal. I is language which creates the individuaton of the
Universal, or the manfestation of the existential unit of the Sin
gular and the Universal. Language announces simultaneously
the object of which one is speakng and the subject who_ speaks;
language is te voice that "the moment it speaks, recognzes itself
as no longer a voice without a self."
Hegel's Logic develops Kant's discovery in te Transcendental
Logic of the identit of te conditions of the objects of experience
with the very conditions of the knowledge of experience. Kant,
however, refused to tum the Transcendental Logic into a logic of
philosophy and left the phantom of the tg-in-itself foatng be
yond possible experence. But Hegel pushes to the limit Kant's
conception of the identit of nature and the thought of nature, and
seizes upon the categories not just as schematzed concepts of
phenomena but as expressions of the Absolute. Tere is notng
beyond the categories trough which the Absolute is expressed
at once an object and the thought of the object. Each category is
a particular moment oj that primar identit and i enched and
developed in a partcular philosophical system, although its refu
taton is the result of its inadequacy due to the partcularit or
partalit 6f its standpoint. However, it is this very partalit which
makes possible history in the strict sense.8 Each category is the
Whole, or the Absolute, and tough it i a partcular and inade
quate expression, it is nevertheless a necessary expression, con
sidered as a stage in a developmenta process.
Tere i thus a certain correspondence between te actual
genesis of te history of philosophy and the ideal genesis of the
categories in Hegel's Logic. But the parallel i not a perfect one.
For history is subject to temporal vicissitudes and partcular situ
atons. As long as there i meaning which has not found expres
sion--or is alienated-there w be, indeed, perhaps tere must
be, misunderstanding. The Hegelian attempt to locate the cate
gories in a rearrangement that would demonstate their interal
patter suggests a comparison wit the mathematician who might
struggle to retnk systematically the various concepts of mathe
matcs that have appeared in history. But the comparison falters
because the mathematcian can abstact fom the existenta rela
tonships behind m concepts. By contrast, the logic of philoso-
178 The Problem of the Relation between Truth and Existence
phy, though not resticted to an actua genesis, which is te
conditon of the appearance in human experience of the categories
of the Absolute, must present an ideal genesis and explicate the
dialectc which binds the categories one to anoter due to their
mutual inadequacies and the necessit of tanscendence which i
the interal dynamic of teir development. As a logic of philoso
phy, Hegel's Logic presupposes all the systems of philosophy to
which he makes contnual reference in the comments appended to
te Logic.9 But at te same tme the Logic attempts to substtute
in place of the actual history of these systems an ideal genesis
which would revea the connecton between al the categories. The
latter are no longer seen as historical moments but as moments
of the logos, of a refecton of Being at once intuitive, since it i
always the thought of an immediate totait which includes Beig
and itself, and discursive, since it presents in mediated thought the
latter totalit in each of its aspects, stopping at each one, appear
ing to dwell upon and to enrich it as though it were the only
aspect, fnal y to discover its inadequacy and the necessit of
transcending it. 'U reait there exists no essential hard and fast
distincton drawn between what appears to be the concepts and
the development that pervades them."
Everthing happens as though the one and only category, the
Absolute, were assuming specic fors and developing itself to
the point where it has exhausted its riches, while remaining ex
teraly the same categor, the sae absolute refection of Being
which develops and fors itself to the point where it can vadate
its own point of origin. This thought is necessarly cyclical. I
fhes its own proof through its own development and in tum
t proof, or dialectc, ,far from being an instrument employed
exterally upon Being, is in fact an interal development which
integrates Being. The proof or dialectc is not exteral to its ob
ject, the Absolute; it is its own movement. Nor is it the instu
ment of a knowledge aien to its object. I is the Absolute itself
which posits itself in this manner. Indeed, it is Absolute precisely
on account of this mode of positing itself, that is to say, becomng
only in the end what it pretends to be i the beginning. Te
Absolute exists only through positing itself. "Of the Absolute it
must be said that it is essentially a result."lO Thus we may under-
On the Logc of Hegel
stand the development of Hegel's Logic, as starting fom Being
and progressing toward the Concept, or
Meaning, while in t
very movement positng Meaning as Being, in order to retur to
its starting point and there perhaps to initate a new cycle. Indeed,
the cyclical form of the Logic i expressed in the phrase: "Being
is Meaning and Meaning is Being." Te startg point i immedi
acy, or Being-in-itself which pretends to be an absolute origin, and
which, in so far as it develops, assumes its proper expression as
Meaning. But i tum Meaning becomes Being, reverts to ime
diacy, and is absorbed as the past of what was a future. I is
remarkable to note how in m early works, where he uses te
ideas of positvit and destny, Hegel had given a concrete ex
pression to what in the Logic he would formulate with such uni
versalit. The absolute Idea with which the Logic terminates, the
identit of Being and Meaning, leads back to an original immedi
acy, but in this restored form this immediacy presents itself as
nature. Nature is the Absolute Idea as it exists in immediacy,
such that there is an unmediated identt between Nature and the
Logos, a posited identt which, once it has become for-itself, is
mind, in which nature again refects upon itself as logos.
Let us consider further that identit of Meaning m Being, the
demonstration of which is the substance of the Logic. The mo
ment which mediates the categories of Being and the Concept or
Meaning i the moment of Essence. Te uderstanding of Hegel's
Logic lies in the unfolding of the categories in respect of these
fundamental aspects : the logic of Being or Immediacy, the logic
of Essence or Refection, the logic of the Concept or Meang. The
frst is the eteral present of Being; the second is the eteral past
of Being: "Wesen ist was gewesen ist."11 The third is the eteral
future of Being which continuously becomes present, so that tem
poralit is the very etert of the Concept, or the Meaning which
is the subjectvity of Being and which confounds itself with and
loses itself in Being. Being, and the ame i tue of Nature, is a
lost meang yet a meang that exists only as Being. It is not an
ought-to-be, 8 solen which would be the expression of a false
it of the future, just as the idea of an origin, of an absolute
immediacy, i the expression of a false it of the past. The
signcance of the Absolute as Subject lies in its being the con-
180 The Problem of the Relation between Truth and Existence
crete identt of immediacy and mediation, of intuiton and dis
cursive reason. Mediation is not to be understood as an inter
mediary but as a concrete totaty. I the Phenomenolo
, when
speag of the Christian religion, Hegel enunciates the eteral
retu of Meaning to Being as the law of teir reciprocit. Chris
tianity is always tempted to retur to an absolute origin, to re
discover the authentic message of the ma-god, and the varous
schools and churches have sought purifcaton in the ret to tis
absolute: "Tis reversion to te primitve is based on the instinct
to get at the concept, the ultmate principle; but it confuses the
origin, in the sense of the immediate existence of the frst histori
cal appearance, with te simplicit of the concept.
This con
fusion is a constant one, for the search for an origin, or the quest
of immediacy, aways haunts our mind. But te opposite is equaly
tue, that we are haunted by a meaning which can only be a dis
tant future and which stands in radical oppositon to te imme
diacy of Being. Between the to optons, te thought which
separates appearance, or existence, fom essence, or the condi-'
tons of the intelligibilit of existence, results in te concepton of
two worlds, one of which is the reason for the oter. The con
sciousness which can represent to itself imediacy raises this es
sential mediaton to the Absolute in a form which is appropriate
to it by using the categories of Space and Time to represent te
mediaton itself in the mode of the immediate: "The conditons
'past' and 'distance' are, however, merely the imperfect form i
which the immediateness gets mediated or made universal.
Thus the logos of Being expresses primarily the immediacy of
Being through the development of te categories for te descrip
ton of immediacy which are then presupposed i any descripton
of Sense-awareness. Mediaton is, of course, necessary but as 8
Protean capacit for assuming diferent forms. Altough thought
is always the tota and integal tougt of Being, an intuitve
thought, it nevertheless abstacts fom its own wealt and devel
opment and posits itself originaly as Being and Non-Being, or as
te peranent oscilaton fom te one to the other, an osclaton
which interaes contradicton. Being is Non-Being since it comes
ito being; it is a contnual nihilaton and yet it always is, since
On the Logic of Hegel
Itnever ceases tocome Into beIng. Concrete thought Is the dIs-
equIIIbrIum of medIatIon whIch proceeds om one term to the
other, unabIe ever to thInk themthrough Interms of each other.
The categorIes of QuaIIq and Quanuty express theImmedIacyof
BeIng and Its dIsequIhbrIum. WIth the appearance of one cate-
go, the otherdIsappears andthe movement of medIauon Ispre-
cIseIy thIs conjuncuon and dIsjuncuon of categorIes whIch deny
each otherandyetnecessItate eachother. ConuadIctIonIspresent
In ImmedIacy In the most crIucaI form. U connecuon wt these
categorIes, It Is weII kown how HegeI reU to some of the
cIassIcs of me hIstory of phIIosophy, ParmenIdes and HeracIItus,
weII as the AtomIsts. By means of me category of Measure,
the concrete unIq of quaIItauve and quanutauve beIng, HegeI
sought to express the most profound nouon of Greek thought
whIch was the Insuument for the uansIuon to the categorIes of
ssence, asInPIato.
Te categones of ssence manIfest not onIy the immediate
opposIuon between BeIng and Non-BeIng, but aIso the refection
ofBeIngwhIchhasIntenaIIzedNon-BeIng.U U case medIauon
K noIonger anImmedIate process butIs reectIonom one tem
to another. Ve brIey, one mIght say mat the contradIcuon
invoIved here Is the opposItIon between InteIIIgIbIe essence and
appearance. BeingnoIongerpasses overIntoNon-BeIng, instead,
Itappears (notonIyto conscIousness, the Lamword videtur has
the doubIe sense of "to be seen" and "to seem"), but to ItseIf.
BeIng redupIIcates ItseIfIn such a way that appearance Is just as
necessa to essence as essence Is to appearance, and these two
reaIms sImuItaneousIy demand andconuadIct one another, each
reecung theother. ThepostuIauon of U dIsuncuonIs the IogI
c foundauon of the datum of hIstory. PhIIosophers such as
SpInoza and LeIbnItzhave attempted to get at the very roots of
me InteIIIgIbiIIq of BeIng, but Itu a quesuon of the Idenuq of
inteIIIgIbIIIqwIthappearances, of substance w Its modes.
1ust, as In the Phenomenolog, man aIIenates hIs own seIf-
conscIousness and makes out of It a God mrough whom he ex-
pIaIns hImseIf, so BeIng aIIenates ItseIfomItseIf (reects upon
ItseIf) and posIts the AbsoIute beyond appearance or Phe-
182 The Problem of the Relation between Truth and Existence
nomena. This refection of Being becomes another Being, Essence,
through which the intelligibility of Being is reaed, distnct fom
te henomenon, although the entire development of the category
of Essence is to overcome that distncton through the complete
identty of Essence and Appearance. The intelligibility of Essence
is wholly present in Appearance, which i its efectve realit, as
Hegel cals it. As te latter it is the reat which actuaes itself,
in which necessit is not distinct fom te contngency of appear
ance. It is the reality that is an intelligible realit whose develop
ment is nothing else than the process of its own comprehension.
Hegel shows that realt i not the manifestaton of an Absolute
that never ceases to be distinct fom it. Realit is the manifesta
tion that does not a beyond itself; it is not dependent but
sufcient in its own self-manifestation. Realit is not the presen
tation of absolute content to whch appearance is related as
its form, for its form is identical with its content: "The Absolute
inasmuch as it is a process of explanation which i self-sufcient,
as a mode which is absolutely identcal with itself, is not the
manifestation of interior opposed to something exteral but an
absolute manifestation in-and-for-itself. For this reason it is not
ing less than Reait." The concrete procedure of naIve thought
which clings to the level of immediacy has raised it to the level
of the intelligible sources of what it grasps as appearances, and
thus it has refected upon itself. But it returs to its naIve state, tis
tme, however, at a more intense level, and it is here that the
necessity that has been refected upon reveals itself immediately.
Essence is no longer the conditon of realit but becomes its
meaning and is identcal with realit in so far as it is self-com
prehension and no longer simply that which is understood.
U the third part of the Logic which Hegel entitles "Subjectve
Logic" the Concept occupies the stage i place of essence and the
Logic becomes, properly speaking, a logic of meaning, where
i idented with a reality in process, or Being itself,
the original Being that had revealed itself as meaning. Te Ab
solute Idea in which the Logic culminates is tis meaning as
Being, te retur to immediacy which is the very realit of medi
aton. The logic of the immediate, or Being, is the counterpart to
the descripton of Sense-awareness, the frst great metaphysics of
On the Logc of Hegel
Being. Te logic of Essence i in tur the complement to the
thought of the intelligibility of Sense-awareness, te metaphysics
of essence. But the logic of the Concept,
through which the Abso
lute reveals itself as Subject, not only a being-for-understanding,
but as a self-understanding being that creates itself and, as it were,
becomes identcal with its concrete reaaton of its own demon
stration, is the counterpart of those philosophical systems which
since Kant have strggled to replace the thought of essence with
te thought of meaning. But in Hegel the distnction between
Being and Concept dissolves through mediaton, Being as Concept
and Concept Being, and the unending shi fom one to the
other which consttutes self-refecton. Te tansition fom Being
to Essence (that i to say, to refection) and the retur of refec
ton to the immediate as meaing, through the refecton of re
fecton, is remiscent of contemporary phenomenological thought.
Te historian of philosophy might distnguish two lines of
thought in Hegelianism. First of al, he might point to a philosophy
of history which culminates in what may be called humanism (the
most usual consequence of Hegelianism) . He might then describe
the noton of Absolute Knowledge which, the exteral refection
upon te philosophies of the past, consttutes no less an interal
philosophy of complete immanence in which thought abstacts
fom Time everything but the exteral temporalit of mediaton
and thus tanscends history. Is it possible to reconcile the Hegelian
philosophy of history (which is stictly a philosophy of human
history) with the noton of Absolute Knowledge in the Logic?
Perhaps we should adopt the

suggestion in the Phenomenolog
that we consider history simply the preparation of Absolute
Knowledge, or, i other words, a refexive logic of philosophy.
But that would imply some sort of end to history we know it,
or at least te appearance of an absolutely new phase of human
history. Absolute Knowledge would at the same time transcend
humanism, since self-consciousness
nly expresses the adventure
of Being, and, a philosophy of the Absolute, it would itself
tanscend al history. The identit postulated between Mea
and Being (or the death of
od) would inaugurate a new de
parre to which the noton of history would no longer be proper.
184 The Problem of the Relation .between Truth and Existence
1 Intoduction, The Phenomenology of Mind, p. 133.
2 Ibid., p. 806.
3 Ibid., p. S6.
4 Ibid., p. 80. [Trans.]
5 "Glauben und Wissen," in Erste Drukschriften.
6 The Phenomenology of Mind, p. 806.
7 "Diferenz des Fichteschen und SchelIingschen Systems" D Erste Druck
8 C. The alienaton of knowledge, not only in consciousness, but also D
nature and history, The Phenomenology of Mind, p. 806; and the re
mark from an earlier fagment on Absolute Knowledge: "Philosophy
must alienate itself."
9 Science of Logic, translated by W. H. Johston and L. G. Stuthers
(London: George Allen and Unwin, 1961).
10 The Phenomenology of Mind, p. 82. [rans.]
11 "We may note that in the German auxiliary verb 'sein' the past tense is
expressed by the term for Essence (Wesen) : we designate past being
gewesen." The Logic of Hegel, tanslated by W. Walace, fom the
Encclopaedia of the Philosophical Sciences (London: Oxford Uni
versity Press, 1959) , Chapter viii, section 112. [rans.]
12 The Phenomenology of Milld, p. 764.
13 Ibid., p. 763.
The translator wishes gratefully to acknowledge the following:
George Allen & Unwin Ltd. for permission to quote fom G. W. F. Hegel,
The Phenomenology of the Mind.
The Clarendon Press for permission to quote from G. W. F. Hegel, Philos
ophy of Right, translated by T. M. Knox.
Dover Publications, Inc., for permission to quote from G. W. F. Hegel,
The PHilosophy of History.
C. A. Watts & Co. Ltd. for permission to quote fom T. B. Bottomore,
Karl Marx: Early Writings.
The following bibliography is selected primarily with reference to the
themes of the present book. is restcted to English language publica
tions. There are, however, two excellent volumes which contain foreig
language bibliogaphies relevant to te present studies:
Annali, Anno Settimo 1964/65, govane Marx e il nosto tempo.
Milano: Feltinelli Editore, 1965.
Lachs, John. Marxist Philosophy, A Bibliographical Guide. Chapel
1! Universit of North Carolina Press, 1967.
Acton, H. B. The Illusion oj the Epoch: Marxism-Leninism a Phil
osophical Creed. London: Cohen and West, 1955. 278p.
Acton, H. B. "The Materialist Conception of History," Proceedings c]
the Aristotelian Society, LI ( 1 951-1952) , 207-224.
Addis, Laird. "Freedom and the Marxist Philosophy of History," Phi
losophy oj Science, 7 ( 1 966), 101-117.
BaI, Albert G. A. The Value Doctrine oj Karl Marx. New York:
King's Crown Press, 1 943. 49p.
Bell; D. "The Rediscover of Alienation," The Joural oj Philosophy,
LVI, No. 24 (November 1959) , 933-952.
Berlin, Isaiah. Historical Inevitability. New York: Oxford University
Press, 1955. 79p.
Berlin, Isaiah. Karl Marx. London: Oxford University Press, 1 948.
Bloom, Solomon F. "The 'Withering Away' of the State," The Joural
oj the Histor oj Ideas, ( 1946), 1 1 3-121.
Bober, Mandell M. Karl Marx's Interpretation oj Histor. Cambridge,
Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1948. 445p.
Bottomore, T. B., and Maen Rubel, eds. Karl Marx: Selected
Writings in Sociology and Social Philosophy. London: Watts,
1 956. 268p.
Braybrooke, D. "Diagnosis and Remedy in Marx's Doctrine of Aliena
tion," Social Research, XV, No. 3 (Autumn 1958), 325-345.
1 87
1 88
Bukharin, Nikolai I. Historical Materialism: a System of Sociology.
New York: International Publishers, 1 925. 31 8p.
Chero, M. Ludwig Feuerbach and the Intellectual Basis of Nineteenth
Century Radicalism. Stanford Universit, Calif., Ph.D. Tesis,
1955. 193p.
Cooper, Rebecca. The Logical Infuence of Hegel on Marx. Universit
of Washington Publications in the Social Sciences, Vol. I. Seattle:
University of Washington Press, 1925. 1 82p.
Coru, Auguste. "German Utopianism: 'True Socialism,' " Science and
Society, 7 ,No. 1 (Winter 1948) , 97-1 1 2.
Cornu, Auguste. "Hegel, Marx and Engels." R. W. Sellars et 8.,
Philosophy for the Future: the Quest of Moder Materialism.
New York: Macmillan, 1949, pp. 41-60.
Coru, Auguste. The Origins of Marxian Thought. Springfeld, M.
Charles C Thomas, 1957. 1 28p.
Croce, Benedetto. Historical Materialism and the Economics of Karl
Marx. New York: Macmillan, 1914. 1 88p.
Danielou, Jean S. J. "Marxist History and Sacred History," The Review
of Politics, 7 (1951 ) , 503-513.
Daniels, R. V. "Fate and Will i n Marx," The Journal of the Histor of
Ideas, X, No. 4 ( 1960) , 538-552.
Dobb, Maurice H. On Economic Theory and Socialism. New York:
International Publishers, 1955. 293p.
Dunayevskaya, Raia. Marxism and Freedom. New York: Bookman
Associates, 1 958. 384p.
Easton, L. D. "Alienation and History in Early Marx," Philosophy and
Phenomenological Research, 7, No. 2 (December 1961 ) ,
Erikson, Eric. Marx, Marxism, and the Earliest German Left: the
Evolution of Dialectical Materialism. Stanford University, M.A.
Thesis, 1950. 145p.
Eyck, F. G. "English and French Infuences on German Liberalism be
fore 1 848," The Journal of the Histor of Ideas, XVI ( 1957) ,
313-341 .
Feuer, Lewis. "What is Alienation? The Career of a Concept," New
Politics, I, No. 3 (Spring 1962) , 1 1 6-134.
FrankIin, Mitchell. "On Hegel's Theory of Alienation and Its Historic
Force," Tulane Studies in Philosophy, 1 ( 1960) , 50-100.
Fromm, Erich. Beyond the Chains of Illusion. New York: Simon and
Schuster, 1962. 1 82p.
Fromm, Erich, ed. Marx's Concept of Man. New York: Ungar, 1961.
Fulton, R. B. Original Marxism-Estranged Ofspring. Boston: Christo
pher Publishing House, 1960. 167p.
Gaines, D. I. Young Gustav Mevissen and His Times: A Study in the
Rhenish Social Ethics of the 1840's. Columbia Universit, Ph.D.
Thesis, 1952. 180p.
Garaghan, Gilbert J. "Te Materialistic Interpretation of History,"
Thought, 7 ( 1939) , 94-1 12.
Gladstone, M. D. The Genesis of Hitorical Materialism, A Study of
the Early Writings of Karl Marx. Universit of Califora,
Berkeley, M.A. Thesis, 1957. 183p.
Gregor, A. J. "Philosophy and the Young Kal Ma," Studies on the
Left, I, No. 3 ( 1962) , 95-102.
Guthrie, E. F. ''Historical Materiaism and its Sociological Critics,"
Social Forces, 7 (1941 ) , 172-184.
Hamerow, T. S. Restoration, Revolution, Reaction: Economics and
Politics in Germany, 1815-1871. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton Uni
versit Press, 1958. 347p.
H en, O. J. "Economic and Socia Factors in the Prussian Rhineland
in 1848," American Historical Review, LI, No. 4 (July 1949),
Hammen, O. J. "The Specte of Communism in the 1840's," The
Joural of the History of Idea, 7 ( 1953) , 404-420.
Harrington, M. "Ma versus Ma," New Politics, I, No. 1 (Fall 1961 ) ,
1 12-123.
Harris, Abra L. "Te Social Philosophy of Kal Marx," Ethics, LVl
( 1947-1948) , 1-2.
Harris, Abram. "Utopian Elements in Ma's Tought," Ethics, ,
No. 2 (January 1950) , 79-99.
Harris, S. C. A Conceptual Analysis of Alienation. Columbia Univer
sit, M.A. Tesis, 1956. 102p.
Heian, Eduard. "Maism: 1848 and 1948," The Joural of Politics,
7 ( 1949), 523-531.
Hodges, Donald C. "Te Dual Character of Maian Social Science,"
Philosophy of Science, 7 ( 1962), 333-349.
Hook, Sidney. "Dialectic in Social and Historical Inquiry," The Journal
of Philosophy, 7 ( 1939) , 365-378.
Hook, Sidney. From Hegel to Marx: Studies in the Intellectual Develop
ment of Karl Marx. New York: Humanities Press, 1958, 2d ed.
Hook, Sidney. Reaon, Social Myths, and Democracy. New York:
Jo1n Day, 1940. 302p.
Hook, Sidney. Towards the Understanding of Karl Marx. New York:
John Day, 1933. 347p.
Hook, Sidney. ''What is Dialectic?" The Joural of Philosophy, 7
( 1929) , 85-99, 1 13-123 . .
Hook, Sidney. "What is Living and What uDead in Marxism," South
er Review, VI ( 1940), 293-31 6.
Horowitz, Irving L. "On Alienation and the Social Order," Philosophy
and Phenomenological Research, 7 ( 1966), 230-237.
Horowitz, Irving L. "A Symposium on the Young Karl Marx," Sci
ence and Society, , No. 3 (Summer 1963) , 283-326. Con
tains articles by F. Bartlett and J. Shodell, "Fromm, Marx and Al
ienation"; G. L. Chamberlain, "The Man Marx Made"; D. J.
St, "Marx's Economic-Philosophical Manuscripts."
Hyman, Stanley E. The Tangled Bank. New York: Atheneum, 1962.
Kamenka, Eugene. "Te Baptism of Karl Marx," The Hibbert Journal,
LVI ( 1958) , 340-351.
Kamenka, Eugene. The Ethical Foundations of Marxism. New York:
Praeger, 1962. 208p.
Kolakowski, L., ''Karl Marx and the Classical Defnition of Truth," U
L. Labedz, ed., Revisionism, Essays on the History of Marxist
Ideas. New York: Praeger, 1962, pp. 179-187.
Krieger, L. The German Idea of Freedom. Boston: Beacon Press,
1957. 540p.
Krieger, L. "Marx and Engels as Historians," The Journal of the
History of Ideas, 7 ( 1953) , 381-03.
Kieger, L. "Uses of Marx for History," Political Science Quarterly,
LX V ( 1960) , 355-378.
Lamb, H. B., and N. S. Lehrman. ''On Alienation," Science and Soci
ety, 7, No. 3 (Summer 1961) 260-269.
Langslet, Lars R. "Young Marx and Alienation in Wester Debate,"
Inquiry, VI ( 1963) , 3-17.
Lauer, Quentin. "Marxism: Philosophy of Freedom," Thought,
7 ^ ( 1963) , 22-38.
Lef, Gordon. The Tyranny of Concepts: A Critique of Marxism. Lon
don: Merlin Press, 1961. 203p.
Lenhardt, C. K. The Idea of Nature in Marx's Social Theor. Univer
sit of Califoria, Berkeley, M.A. Thesis, 1960. 126p.
Lichtheim, George. "Te Concept of Ideology," Histor and Theor,
( 1965), 1 6-195.
Lichtheim, George. Marxism: An Historical and Critical Study. New
York: Praeger, 1961. 412p.
Lindsay, Alexander D. Karl Marx's Capita: An Introductory Essa.
London: Oxford University Press, 1937. 128p.
Lowith, K. "Man's Self-Alienation in the Early Writings of Ma,"
Social Research, 7, No. 2 (Summer 1954), 204-230.
McCoy, Charles N. R. "Logica and the Real in Political Teory:
Plato, Aistotle, and Marx," American Political Science Review,
XN ( 1954), 1058-1066.
McGill, V. J. ''Notes on Teory and Practice in Maist Philosophy,"
Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, V, (1944-1945),
McMurty, G. L. The Millennial Glow: Myth and Magic in the Marx
ist Ethic. Universit of Califoria, Berkeley, M.A. Tesis, 1954.
Marcuse, Herbert. Reason and Revolution: Hegel and the Rise of SQ
cial Theor. With a new preface. A Note on Dialectics by the
author. Boston: Beacon Press, 1960. 431p.
Mayer, A. G. Marxism: The Unity of Theor and Practice. Cambridge,
Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1954. 1 81p.
Mayo, Henry B. "Marxism as a Philosophy of History," The Canadia
Historical Review, 7 ( 1953) , 1-17.
Mins, H. F. "Marx's Doctoral Dissertation," Science and Societ, X,
No. 1 (Winter 1948) , 157-169.
Olafson, Frederick A. "Existentiaism, Marxism and Historical Justi
fcation," Ethics, LX (1954-1955), 126-134.
O'Neill, John. "Alienation, Clas Stuggle and Marxian Anti-politics,"
The Review of Metaphysics, 7 , No. 3 (March 1964) , 462-
471 .
O'Neill, John. "Te Concept of Estangement in the Early and Later
Writings of Karl Marx," Philosophy and Phenomenological Re
search, 7 ( 1964), 64-84.
O'Neill John. "Marxism and Mythology," Ethics, ( 1966),
Pannekoek, Anton. Marxism and Darwinism. Chicago: Kerr, 1912.
Pappenheim, F. The Alienation of Modern Man: an Interpretation
Based on.Marx and Tinnies. New York: Monthly Review Press,
1959. 189p.
Pascal, Roy, and Fania Pascal. ''Hegel's Philosophy of Right and It
Importance for Marx," Labour Monthly, XV ( 1943) , 285-288.
Plaine, Henry L., ed. Darwin, Marx, and Wagner: A Symposium. Co
lumbus : Ohio State University Press, 1962. 165p.
Popper, Karl. "What is Dialectc?", Mind, XO ( 1940) , 403-426.
Rosenberg, Harold. "Marxism: Criticism and/or Acton," Dissent,
( 1956) , 366-375.
Rosenberg, Harold. "Te Pathos of the Proletariat," The Kenyon Re
view, I ( 1949) , 595-629.
Rosenberg, Harold. "Te Resurrected Romans," The Kenyon Review,
X ( 1948) , 602-620.
Rotensteich, Nathan. Basic Problems of Marx's Philosophy. New
York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1965. 168p.
Rotensteich, Nathan. "On the Ecstatic Sources of the Concept of
Alienation," The Review of Metaphysics, XVI, No. 3 (March
1963) , 550-555.
Rubel, M. ''Notes on Mar's Conception of Democracy," New Poli
tics, I, No. 2 (Winter 1962) , 78-90.
Schaf, Adam. "Marist Dialectics and the Principle of Contadiction,"
The Joural of Philosophy, LVII (1960) , 241-250.
Schaf , Adam. A Philosophy of Man. New York: Monthly Review
Press, 1963. 139p.
Schaf, Adam. "Studies of the Young Marx: A Rejoinder (to L.
Kolakowski) ," mL. Labedz, ed., Revisionism, Esas on the His
tor of Marxist Ideas. New York: Praeger, 1962, pp. 1 1 8-194.
Schumpeter, Joseph A., "The Communist Manifesto in Sociology and
Economics." The Joural of Political Economy, LVI ( 1949) ,
Shur, E. "The Theory of the Concept, the Judgment, and the Inference
in Formal and Dialectic Logic," Philosophy and Phenomenologi
cal Research, V ( 1944-1945) , 199-216.
Sowell, Thomas. "Karl Marx and the Freedom of the Individual,"
Ethics, 1 ( 1963) , 119-125.
Sprigge, C. J. S. Karl Marx. New York: Collier Books, 1962. 125p.
, K. W. "Individualism in the Mid-Nineteenth Century ( 1826-
1860) ," The Joural of the History of Idea, 7 , No. 1 (Janu
ary-March 1962) , 77-90.
Tinder, G. "Human Estangement and the Failure of Political Imagi
nation," The Review of Politics, 7, No. 4 (October 1959) ,
Tucker, Robert C. "The Cunning of Reason i Hegel and Marx," The
Review oj Politics, XVIII ( 1956) , 269-295.
Tucker, Robert C. Philosophy and Myth in Karl Marx. Cambridge,
Eng. : Cambridge Universit Press, 1961. 263p.
Tucker, Robert C. "Symbolism of History i Hegel and Marx," The
Joural oj Philosophy, LIV ( 1957), 144-145.
VIam, Adam. "Socialism and Utopia," Daedalus, XCIV ( 1965) , 382-
Venable, Veron. Human Nature: the Marxian View. New York:
lnopL 1945. 213p.
Voeglin, Eric. "Foration of the Marxian Revolutionary Idea," The
Review oj Politics, 7 ( 1950) , 275-302.

Abraham, 10, 25
absolute, v, 5, 7, 14, 15, 16, 3
86, 87, 171, 176, 177, 181; gene
sis of, 178179; and reait,
182; romantc, 156; as subject,
vi , 13, 175, 179-180, 183
absolute being, 53, 176
absolute feedom, 54
absolute idea, and nature, 179
absolute impulse, and spirit, 164
absolute knowledg, 23, 82, 84, 86,
126, 128, 183; vs. action, 135;
and being, 169, 170, 171, 172,
174, 175; of immediacy, 173
absolute libert, 50, 51, 52; and
Germany, 61
absolute monarchy, see monarchy
absolute negativit, 28
absolute spirit, vi , 12, 15, 50-51,
absolute tuth, 53, 135
absolute value, 143
act, human, and reason, 153-156
action, xVi; vs. knowledge, 135;
philosophy and, 93, 98, 100
alienation, D, 57, 61, 85; conquest
of, vii, 123-124, 134; of con
sciousness, 171, 172, 181; eco
nomic, vii, xviii, 76, 77-80, 83,
97-98, 99, 102-104, 127, 140-
142, 144, 145-146; and end of
history, 86-90, 116; as estrange
ment xiv, x, xviii, 126, 130-
131, 148; vs. exploitation, X-XJ
and exteralization, 79, 81-86,
131; and human emancipaton,
126, 130-137, 148; institutonal
preconditions, xvii; vs. object
fcaton, 79, 81-90; ontological,
X, X , 164-167; political, 102-
104, 110, 112, 118, 122; and
proletariat, vi, 127; religous, 97,
99, 101, 110, 133, 134; social,
45, 102-104, 133; speculative,
126, 134
Althusser, Louis, viii
American Revolution, 40
analysis, intentonal, 165
anarchy, 111
ancien regime, 47
animal: vs. man, 26; and negation,
. 162; and self-consciousness, 157;
and sickness, 160
appearance, and essence, 173, 180-
Aristotle, 129, 138
authentic man, see ma
Balzac, Honore de, quoted, 156
Bauer, Bruno, 134
being, 178; absolute, 53, 176; and
absolute knowledge, 169-172,
174, 175; alienated, 181; and
concept, 171, 173, 179, 183;
and consciousness, 169-176; and
essence, 183; logic of, 179; and
being (cont'd)
logos, 180; and meaning, 171,
172, 179-180, 183; and non
being, 157, 180-181; philosophy
of, 169-176; reduplication of,
181; refected, 181-182; and sense
awareness, 182-183
being-for-another, 27, 28, 55
being-for-itself, D, 10, 27-3 1, 55,
79, 159, 165, 166
being-in-itself, D, 29, 55, 79, 158-
159, 165, 179
birth, 26; and death, 159
body, human, xv-xvi
Bohemian, vs. philosopher, 48-50
bourgeois society, xvii, 54, 58-60,
1 16; and petit bourgeois, 60; vs.
political life, 109-110; and pro
letariat, 123-125; and self-con
sciousness, 97-98; and state, 80,
102, 108-109, 1 1 1, 112, 1 17-
1 18, 122-123; and universal suf
fage, 121; and utlit, 99
bourgeoisie, 73
bureaucracy, 110, 1 14, 141; and
state, 118-120
Burke, Edmund, 60
Capital, vi, vii, vi , D, 70, 83,
96, 126-130, 137-145, 147-149
capital, 103-104; as alienation,
141-142; and alienation of man,
127; constant/variable, 138, 148;
fxed/circulating, 138, 139; pro
duction of, 127; and revenue,
capitalism, xviii, 73, 76, 80, 87,
130, 137, 145, 146; as alienation,
144; and alienation of prole
tariat, 148; and distibution of
surlus value, 148; and labor
value, 143; and objectifcation of
worker, 83, 84
capitalist, vs. hoarder and usurer,
categorical imperative, and bu
reaucracy, 119
categories, philosophical, X , 177-
178, 180-181
certaint, vs. tuth, 171-172, 173
chambers, legislative, 120-121
Christanit, 1 6, 101, 167, 1 80;
and democracy, 1 15; and Marx
ian humanism, 99; and mystical
body, 132-133
church, vs. state, 37-39
circulaton, of capital, 139
citen, see man
cit, 113
civil s.ciety, see bourgeois society
class interest, 135
class stuggle, D, 1 11, 116, 130,
comedy, vs. tagedy, 81
communism, 103-104, 111; and
end of history, 84-85, 86
Communist Manifesto, xi, 94, 96,
Compte, Auguste, 75, 79
concept, 15-16, 182-183; alien
ated, 164-165; and being, 171,
173, 179, 183; logic of, 179
conceptualiation, of life, 4, 5, 6,
confict, 1 16
consciousness, vi, 7 ~7 xiv, xv,
xvii, 107; and absolute knowl
edge, 23; alienation of, 171-172,
181; awakening of, 124-125, 126,
135, 157; bad, 52; and being,
169-176; development of, 170;
disintegrated, 47-50; enslaved,
17; of history, 131-132; and life,
3-5, 12-18, 22-31; naIve, 52;
noble vs. base, 44-47, 49, 51;
and self, 55-56; sensible, 128;
tanscendental, 167; and "two
worlds," 42-43, 180; unhappy, vi,
xii, 23, 24, 49, 82, 110, 128,
133, 157, 172; unhappy socialist,
xi; and universal life, 156-158,
164; see also self-consciousness
constitution, and the state, 122
consttutional monarchy, see mon
contadiction, viii, D; and imme
diacy, 181; and unhappy con
sciousness, 157
Contributions to the Critique of
Hegel's Philosophy of Right, vi,
xii, 94, 96, 108, 122, 129
Coru, Auguste, 46, 97, 129
Critique of Judgment, 4
Critique of Political . Economy, vi,
Critique de la raison dialectique, xii
Coce, Benedetto, v; quoted, 176
Darwn, Charles Robert, 126, 129
death, vi, 12-13, 26, 28-31, 153,
156, 165; and birth, 159; vs. life,
30, 117; and recognition, 166;
species vs. individual, 131; and
spiritual meaning, 160
death instinct, 87-88
democracy, 113; vs. monarchy,
1 14-115; and state, 115-116;
total, and Frenc Revolution, 58
Descartes, Rene, 8, 89
desire, xii, xiii; in Hegelianism vs.
Spinozsm, 158-164; and labor,
165-166; for life, 131; and self
consciousness, 26-27, 161-164
desotism, 52-53
dialectic: of experience, 113; Hegel
ian, orign of, 75-76; of the in
fnite, 14, 15; of life, 9-12;
Marxian, 51; social, 80; of wealth,
dialectcal materialism, 96
dialectica tension, 88
dialectic tuth, 165
Diderot, Denis, X, 48; quoted,
48-50, 52-53
Diferenz des Fichteschen und
Schellingschen Systems, 14
disappearance, of the disappearance,
domination, vs. servitude, 131, 132
Dostoievsk, Fedor, 49
Early Theological Writings, vi, 4
Economic and Philosophical Manu
scripts of 1844, v, V, x x,
xi 70, 72, 96, 98, 128, 130,
131, 134
Economics, 129
Encyclopedia of the Philosophical
Sciences, vii, 23
end of history, 133; and alienation,
86-90, 116; and communism, 84-
85, 86; see also history
Engels, Friedrich, vi, W xi ,
96, 98, 102, 128, 137
England, 102, 138, 146, 148; fee
dom in, 40
Enlightenment, 43, 55, 78; vs. faith,
environment, social vs. natural, 79
essence, V , D, 23, 174-176; and
appearance, 173, 180-182; and
being, 183; categories of, 181;
economic, 127, 137, 147; eco
nomic, vs. appearance, 144; .
existence, 180; logic of, 179; of
man, 154; moment of, 179
existence, 22-31; vs. essence, 180;
and tuth, 164-167
existental transcendence, 1 13
existentialism, vi, vii, viii, xi, X ,
23, 28, 101, 167; vs. Marxism,
existentalist drama, of history, 1 17
experience, dialectic of, 113
exploitaton, 117, 141, 142, 146;
vs. alienaton, X-X
exteralism, in economic relatons,
exteraaton, of man, X , 79,
81-86, 89-90
faith, vs. Enlightenment 50-54;
vs. knowledge, 174; and state,
Faust, 4, 6
Feuerbach, Ludwig, v, 74, 85, 96-
99, 113, 126, 130
Fichte, Johann Gottlieb, 14, 17, 57,
58, 61, 78, 133
feedom, absolute, 54; and church
vs. state, 37-39; and death, 30;
of te English, 40; idea of, 135;
and the state, 54; see also libert
French Revolution, vii, 35, 36, 40,
41, 81, 93, 107, 110, 120, 122,
. 123; and absolute h'bert, 54-62;
background of, 42-54; efects of,
60-62; and Enligtenment, 50-
54; and Restoraton, 59
general will, 54-55, 111; and gov-
erent, 57
genesis, of te absolute, 178-179
"Geran Consttuton," 41
German Ideology, 98, 128, 131
Germany, 37, 42, 59, 61, 76, 100,
118, 120, ' 122, 133, 134, 141
God, death of, 172, 183; tanscen
dental, 173
God-man, and humanit-god, 167
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von, 48,
73; quoted, 4, 6
Greek people, 25
had, human, x-xi
Hegel, Georg; on absolute lib
ert, 50, 51. 54-62; on acton,
153-156; on alenation, 70-90,
1 16; on consciousness, 3-5, 12-
18, 44-50; dialectc of life, 9-12;
dialectic, origin of 75-76; on
desire, 158-164; early radicalism
of, 39-41, 71; and end of history,
86-90, 116; on Enlighteument,
50-54; on existence, 22-31,
164-167; on exteraism, 81-86;
formatve years of, 36-42; and
father, 36; on history, spirit of,
12-18; inuence of Adam Smith
on, 72, 75-76, 78; influence of
French Revolution on, 42-62;
and Kierkegaard, 22-23; the "last
philosopher," 97; on life, it,
and relation, 5-9; , on logic, 169-
183; on nature and the human
situation, 156-158; on objecti
fcation, 70-90, 81-86; on phe
nomenology, 22-31; on philoso
phy and political economy, 72-
81; religion, attitude toward, 39;
on state, idea of, 105-111; on
tuth, 164-167
Helvetius,' Claude Adrien, 53
Herder, Johann Gottied von, 6
Herr, Lucien, 164; quoted, 154
historical materialism, v 72, 94,
history, v, V, 13-14, 15-16, 113,
, 116,
177; and capitalism, 146;
and communism, 86; and con
sciousness, 131-132; and idea,
51, 117; and life, 126; meaning
of, 166-167; and nature, x; and
negaton, 30-31; as outcome of
alienation, 100; philosophy of,
127, 148-149, 183; and phio
sophical dialectc, 94-95; and
reason, 154-155; and spirit, 13-
14; and tuth, 166; and war, 117;
ad work, 166; see also end of
hoarder, 141, 146
Hofeister, Johannes, 6, 107
Holderlin, Friedrich, 26, 37
human condition, and phiosophy,
human emancipaton, 126; and
alienaton, 130-137, 148
human nature, essence of, 154
humanism, 183; and knowledge, 174
humanity-god, and God-man, 167
Hume, DavId, 74, 154
idea 5, 55, 82; absolute, and nature,
179; of freedom, 135; Hegelian,
93, 100; and history, 51, 117;
and human emancipation, 136-
137; and individual, 159-160; of
liberation, 135; and life, 107,
108; and natons, 126; and phi
losophy, 134-135; vs. reat, 97;
of religion, 134; and revolution,
122-123; and social classes, 126;
and state, 102, 109, 110, 112-
114, 118-119; and war, 121-122
idealism, 14, 78, 82, 98, 136; He
gelian, v, 85-86, 109, 112, 117,
122, 128, 134; secnlative, 93,
113, 115
identity, 6, 7
immediacy, 173, 179, 181
individual, 10-1 1; and idea, 159-
160; vs. species, 131
individualistc atomism, 111
individualit, universal, 77-78; and
universal lie, 158-160, 161, 162
ite, 7-9
it, 8, 9, 11
infa-stucture, D, 95; social, 39
intentional analysis, 165
intersubjectivit, xii, X, 163-164
Introduction to the Study of Hegel,
intuition, 14-16
Italy, 59
Jenenser Logik, 6, 7, 12, 14, 15
Jenenser Metaphysik, 5, 12, 14, 15,
Jenenser Realphilosophie, 6, 12-13,
15, 16, 77
Jenenser System, 4, 26
Jews, and the universal, 25
Kant, Imanuel, 6, 8, 54, 61, 72,
74, 78, 99, 146, 154, 155, 177,
Karl Marx, Early Writings, 85, 93,
132, 133, 134
Kierkegaard, Soren, v, vi, 31, 82,
97, 101, 134; and Hegel, 22-23;
quoted, 100
knowledge, see absolute knowledge
Kojeve, Alexandre, V
labor, X , 155, 163; dehumaniza
ton of, 80; desire, 165-166;
and human existence, 166; and
humanzation of nature, 165;
man's objectifcation in, 83; sale
of, and sl9yery, 146; vaue of,
72, 79
labor power, and labor value, 145-
labor theory of value, 137-144
labor-value, 127; and constant/var
iable capital, 138; ethical con
cept, 135-136; and sUlus value,
139, 143, 148
La Bruyere, Jean de, 46
language, xvi; and individuation of
universal, 177; as logos of be
ing, 169
Rochefoucauld, 46; quoted, 45
law of concentration, 99
legislative power, 120-121, 122
Leibnitz, Gottfied Wilhelm, 10
Lenin, Vladimir lyich, viii, D,
71, 128
Lessing, Gotthold, 37; quoted, 52
liberal society, xvi-xvii
liberalism, 58, 75, 78, 109, 110;
vs. socialism, 1 1 1
liberation, idea of, 135
libert, v, 30, 37, 60; absolute, 50,
51, 54-62; communal vs. indi
vidualistic, 38, 11 1
life, 5-9, 154; aa, 157; and
the city, 113; consciousness of,
3-5, 12-18, 23-31; vs. death,
30, 117; dialectic of, 9-12;
history, 126; and idea, 107,
108; and negativity, 30; and self
consciousness, 24, 25, 130-132,
153-156, 164; vs. speculation,
135; truth of, 157; universal,
156-158, 164; universal, and in
dividualit, 158-160, 161, 162;
whole .of, 24
life instinct, 87-88
living agent, 9-12
Logic (Hegel) see Science of
logic, 176-183; tanscendental, 177
logos, 86; of being 180; and man,
157; and nature, 86, 179
love, 27, 157, 162
L5with, Karl, quoted, xvi-xvii
Lukacs, Georg, 70-78, 81, 86, 88
Luther, Martn, 61; quoted, 43
Malraux, Andre, quoted, 169
man, and absolute tuth, 135;
alienated, 87, 97-98, 113, 116,
118, 140, 148; authentic, 101,
104, 1 16, 132; citzen, 38, 39,
54, 58, 109-110, 111, 1 19-120,
122; essence of, 154; and labor,
165; and logos; 157; and nature,
X -X, 97-98; and self-con
scious recogtion, 158; sick
animal, 26; as species-being, 83
market, 127, 138, 139, 145; vs. pro
duction, 144
Mar, Karl : and alienation, con
cept of, 130-137; and aliena
tion of man, 96-102; and alien
ation, political, 102-104; early
development, 93-96; on Hegel
ian idea of state, 105-125; in
fuence of Da, 126-130; in
fuence of Hegel, 126-130; and
labor theory of value, 137-144;
letter to his father, 1837, 93-
95; and philosophy of history,
148-149; and sUplus value, theory
of, 145-148
Maian dialectic, see dialectic
Marism, vs. existentialism, 117
Marx's Early Period, 96, 97, 129
master, vs. slave, V , X , 17-18,
29, 44, 51, 133, 153, 159, 160,
163, 166
materialism, 97, 98; dialectical, 96;
historical, vii, 72, 94, 95
materialistic monism, vii
matter, vi
meaning, and being, 171, 172, 179-
180, 183; concept of, 179, of
human history, 166-167; and
recognition, 164
measure, category, 181
mediation, 180, 181
monarchy, absolute, 45, 46; con
stitutional, 55, 108, 1 14-115;
hereditary, 114-115
money, 142, 145; abstact uni
versal, 98; as alienation, 140
Montesquieu, Charles Louis de
Secondat, 37, 40, 45, 75
mystifcation, 82, 86, 102, 112, 114,
116, 17, 137, 139; and Hegel
idealism, 85, 122
Napoleon I, vii, 58-60, 72, 81, 93,
107, 118, 134, 160
Napoleon H D
naton, vs. social class, 136
natonalism, 137
naturalism, 78
Natural Lw, 15, 57
natural rigts, X
natural science, 5
nature, vi; absolute idea, 179;
alienation, 85; and history,
x; humanization of, 80, 82, 98,
132; vs. idea, 5; and logos, 86,
179; and man, xii -x, 97-98;
moment of, 163; philosophy of,
86, 101, 157; and recognition,
165; vs. societ, 79; Spinozan
view of, 160; and universal life,
necessit, 164-165, 182
negation, X , 72, 157; and animal,
162; determined by negativit,
158; principle of, 156
negative, power of, 7; principle of,
negatvit, vi, 30, 158; absolute, 28
Neveu de Rameau, xvi, 48, 89, 98
Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm, 160
noble consciousness, 44-47, 49, 51
Nohl, Herman, 107
non-being, and being, 157, 180-181
objectcation, 78; vs. alienaton,
79, 81-90; of labor power, 145;
of work, 84
objectivism, 126
opposition, 7, 86
other, X , X , 87, 88
pantagedy, 81
peasantry, 60
phenomenon, economic, 127
phenomenology, V, 22-31, 153-
167; contemporary, 174-175
Phenomenology of Mind, vi, vii, D,
X -X , 3-5, 12-17, 23, 24, 30,
31, 35, 36, 42, 59-61, 70, 72,
77, 81, 84, 86, 89, 93, 94, V
100, 103, 107, 113, 124, 126-
128, 130, 137, 14.0, 141, 153-
155, 157, 161, 166, 167, 170,
172, 174, 175, 180, 181, 183
philosopher, 134; vs. Bohemian, 48-
philosophical categories, xi , 177-
178, 180-181
Philosophie des Geistes, 14
philosophy, vs. acton, 93, 98, 100;
of 134; of being, 169-170;
of history, 127, 148-149, 183; and
human condition, 94-95; and
idea, 134-135; of nature, 86, 101,
157; of philosophy, 170, 176; and
political economy, 72-81; of reli
gon, 101, 134; and revolution,
122-123; and science, 74
Philosophy of Histor, 51, 86
Philosophy of Mind, 15-16, 59, 78
Philosophy of Right, 94, 108, 113,
122, 128, 129, 134; see also
Contributions to the Critique of
Hegel's Philosophy of Right
Plato, 102, 106, 107, 181
pleasure, 165
political economy, and philosophy,
"Positivity of Christian Religion,"
povert, vs. wealt, 80
power, 77
predicate, universal, and subject,
priest, 52-53
production, economc, 7, 139, 146;
vs. market, 144
proft, tendency to falling rate of,
proletarianizaton of societ, 99,
proletariat, 87, 120, 138, 139, 145,
146; and alienation, vi, 127; and
end of alienaton, 123-124; - and
human emancipation, 135, 136-
137; self-consciousness of, 100-
102, 103; as universal class, 144,
qualit, as category, 181
quantit, as category, 7, 181
realism, 136
realit, and absolute, 182
reason, 37, 39, 55, 82; and history,
recognition, vi, X , and death, 166;
and meaning, 164; and self-con
sciousness, 28, 158, 162-163; and
nature, 165
reflection, logic of, 179
Refections on the French Revolu
tion, 41
relation, 8-9, 16-17
religion, 23-80; Marxian critique of,
101; philosophy of, 101, 134; see
also Christianit
Republic, 102, 106
Restoration, 59
revolution, and philosophy, 122-
123; see also American Revolu
tion, French Revolution
Ricardo, David, 73, 80
Robespierre, Maen Marie Isi
dore de, 57, 58
romantic vitalism, 1 13
romanticism, 26, 79, 93; German,
4, 6
Rousseau, Jean Jacques, 37, 50, 54,
75, 87; quoted, 56, 57
Saint-Just,_ Louis de, quoted,
Sarte, Jean-Paul, v, D, X
Schelling, Friedrich, 4-7, 14-16,
26, 37, 39, 41, 113, 157, 176
Schiller, Johann von, 37, 39, 48
Science of Logic, vii, viii, 126-128,
169, 172, 175-179, 182
scientifc objectivism, 96
scientsm, 98
self-consciousness, X , X, X , 3,
9, 12, 17, 50, 51; aienated, 181;
in bourgeois societ, 97-98; and
concept, 164-165; and desire, 26-
27, 161-164; and human body,
xv-xvi; intellectual, 84; inalien
able/alienated, 99-102; and life,
24, 25, 130-132, 153-156, 164;
and love, 27-28; and nature, 156
158; and other-self, 28, 162; of
proletariat, 100-102, 103; reci
procity of, 163; and recognition,
28, 158, 162-163; and tension,
87; universal, 164, 172; and
work, 166
servitude, vs. domination, 131; see
also master, slave
sexes: relation between, 11; separa
ton of, 159
slave, vs. master, vi, xiii, 17-18, 29,
44, 51, 133, 153, 159, 161, 163,
165, 166
slavery, and labor market, 146
Smit, Adam, 72, 73, 77-79, 138;
and Hegelian dialectic, 75-76
social class, 136, 148; and revolu-
tion, 122-123
Social Contract, 54
social contact 51, 56
social dialectic, 80
socialism, vs. liberaism, 111
socialist humanism, 82
societ: economic basis of, 95; vs.
nature, 79; proletarianization of,
99, -103; and state, Xu, 111-112
sociology, 75, 79
sovereignt, 114
speech, human, X-X, XD
Spinoza, Baruch, 5, 6, 9, 10, 26,
154, 156, 158, 159; on desire,
158-164; on nature, 160
sirit: absolute, vii, 12, 15, 50-51,
85; and absolute impulse, 164
ad event, 165; history, 13-14;
and man, 154; and tme, 13; of
times, 35-36
state, xvi-xvi, 54; and bourgeois
societ, 80, 102, 108-109, 1 11,
1 12, 1 17-1 18, 122-123; and bu
reaucracy, 118-120; and business
world, 60; vs. church, 37-39; and
constitution, 122; and democracy,
1 15-116; and idea, 102; and legis
lative power, 120-121, 122; man's
aienation in, 102-104; power of,
448, 141; and societ, X , 1 1 1-
1 12; qua state, 109
Ster, Ma, 131, 134
stucturaism, viii
stucture, D
subject, X , 31; and absolute, V, 13,
175, 179-180, 183; and universa
predicate, 167
super-stucture, i 95; of economic
world, 87
supply and demand, 139
supra-strl.cture, 51, 1 1 1
surplus value, 127, 142, 143; and
capital, 138, 148; and labor value,
139, 143; theory of, 145-148
System der Sittlichkeit, 14, 15, 26, 75
tension: in class confct, 1 16; dia
lectical, 88; and self-consciousness,
theolog, viii
thing-in-itself, 174, 176, 177
time, 183; and spirit, 13
Tocqueville, Alexis de, quoted, 46
totalitarianism, 58
totality, viii, D, 55, 56, 57, 75; and
self-consciousness, 156
tagedy, vs. comedy, 81
transcendence, 146; concept of, 133;
of philosophy, 134-135; of reli-
gon, 134
tanscendental consciousness, 167
transcendental entity, 8
tanscendentalism, 170
tanscendental logc, 177
tanscendental psychology, 153, 154
tuth, 94; absolute, 53, 135; vs. cer-
taint, 171-172, 173; dialectc
165; eteral, 167; and existence,
164-167; and history, 166; of life,
157; and moment of nature, 163'
two worlds, 42-3, 180
unhappy consciousnes, see con
Unhappy Consciousness in the Phi
losophy of Hegel, V, 23
universal: 25, 26, 39, 45, 54; and
individuality, 77-78; and language,
and life, 156-162, 164; predicate
and subject, 167; and self-con
sciousness, 164, 172
usurer, 141
utlitarianism, 51, 53-54, 55
utility, in bourgeois soiety, 99
vaue, 47, 148; absolute, 143; and
labor, 72, 79, 142-143, 146; labor
theory of, 137-i44; and money,
140; surplus, 127, 142, 143, 145-
148; theory of, 126-127; of value,
130, 141
Voltaire, Fran90is de, 52
wages, and labor power, 146; law of,
, Jean, vi, 23
war, 30, 60; and idea, 121-122
wealth, 44, 46, 47-48, 49, 141; and
culture, X, diaectic of, 77; vs.
poverty, 80
whole; I2, >4, I77;of life, 24
will, general, 54-55, 57, 1 1 1
will-to-power, 49, 127, 129-130,
137, 140-141
work, X , xiv, y xviii; collectve;
166; objectification of, 84
Young Hegel, The, 70-90
( ( I2 I I IU V d
b 4 Z