Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit

Organized by Mariana Teixeira and Silvia Locatelli

Working language: English
When: Fridays from 16h to 18h (according to the program below)
Format: hybrid
Where: Room B112.H (Library Building of the Faculdade de Letras – Universidade de Lisboa) and online (meeting link will be shared via email)
Please register via email: praxis.reading.group.hegel@gmail.com


Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit is one of the most important – and difficult – texts in the history of philosophy, with its original mode of narrative that focuses on the development of human consciousness and spirit over time, introducing the idea of dialectical progression where ideas and concepts evolve through contradiction.

Since its first publication in 1806-1807, it has captivated generations of philosophers and social theorists, having influenced many schools of thought, such as Marxism, existentialism, feminism and contemporary critical theory. But its importance can also be attested by the passionate responses it provoked among its critics, from Kierkegaard, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche to more recent approaches such as post-structuralism.

Through the collective reading of the integral text of the Phenomenology, we will attempt in this Reading Group to understand how action and knowledge develop in the course of the search for truth: of oneself and of the world, and in relation with otherness. We will follow the journey of consciousness through the many figures it encounters – including, for instance, the much discussed figures of the master-slave dialectics, the struggle for recognition, the unhappy consciousness, Antigone, and the beautiful soul – in order to grasp the role of experience in the consciousness’s path towards absolute knowing.


24/11/2023 – Presentation of the Reading Group

15/12/2023 – Preface, part 1 (until “To what extent is the Phenomenology of Spirit negative, or how is the false contained in it?”)

12/01/2024 – Preface, part 2 (from “Historical and mathematical truth” to the end)

26/01/2024 – Introduction

09/02/2024 – Chapter I, Consciousness: Sense-certainty

23/02/2024 – Chapter II, Consciousness: Perception

08/03/2024 – Chapter III, Consciousness: Force and understanding

22/03/2024 – Chapter IV.A, Self-Consciousness: The truth of self-certainty: Lordship and bondage

12/04/2024 – Chapter IV.B, Self-Consciousness: The truth of self-certainty: Stoicism, Skepticism and Unhappy consciousness

19/04/2024 – Chapter V.A.a, Reason: Observing reason: Observation of nature

03/05/2024 – Chapter V.A.b and c, Reason: Observing reason: Observation of self-consciousness: Logical and psychological laws; Physiognomy and Phrenology

17/05/2024 – Chapter V.B, Reason: Actualization of rational self-consciousness

07/06/2024 – Chapter V.C, Reason: Individuality

21/06/2024 – Chapter VI.A, Spirit: The true spirit – Ethical order