G.W. F. Hegel

The Phenomenology of Spirit

Prof. Eric Steinhart (C) 1998

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This site presents my introduction to Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit. The Phenomenology is an extremely difficult book to read, much less to understand. The goal of this site is to provide a clear, straightforward introduction to Hegel's work.

My approach is Platonic: I treat Hegel's philosophy as a kind of dynamical Platonism. I use Plato's Divided Line and Myth of the Cave to structure my approach to the Phenomenology. Of course, this risks over-platonizing Hegel. But Plato's Line and Cave are easy to understand, and they are good ways to get into the Phenomenology. Once you're into the Phenomenology, you'll need to turn to more advanced commentaries and interpretations.

G. W. F. Hegel

General help with the Phenomenology:

Commentaries on the Phenomenology:


I am not offering a scholarly interpretation of the Phenomenology or of Hegel's philosophy. My sole purpose here is to provide an accessible introduction. Although I have made every effort to attend to both the spirit and letter of Hegel's thought, fine scholarly accuracy always takes a back seat to pedagogical clarity. It's a matter of priorities.

I have used and cited A. V. Miller's translation of The Phenomenology of Spirit. All references to this text are by paragraph number. I believe all uses of this text are educational fair use.

William Paterson University Philosophy Department