Philosophy 290-5

Spring 2020

Number Title Instructor Days/time Room
290-5 Seminar: Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit Novakovic W 4-6 Dwinelle 283

This seminar will be a close reading of parts of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit with an emphasis on his concept of experience. As one of the richest and most influential texts in European philosophy, it addresses a vast range of topics from epistemology to social and political philosophy. In this seminar we will begin by looking at key chapters with the following questions in mind: what does Hegel mean by “experience”, what is “learned” through experience, and who is doing this learning? We will then consider how experience so conceived works in the second half of the book, in which Hegel is analyzing what he calls “shapes of spirit” or forms of social organization. This will allow us evaluate whether this second half of the book does indeed follow the path of the first, which Hegel had initially intended to publish on its own under the title Science of the Experience of Consciousness. It will also allow us to evaluate whether Hegel’s concept of experience has a significant role to play in his account of social and political contexts, especially social and political change.