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The Phenomenology of Mind


THE PHENOMENOLOGY OF MIND
aware of its own proper negativity, existence on its own account, as an object, through the fact that it cancels
the actual form confronting it. But this objective negative element is precisely alien, external reality, before
which it trembled. Now, however, it destroys this extraneous alien negative, affirms and sets itself up as a
negative in the element of permanence, and thereby becomes for itself a self−existent being. In the master,
the bondsman feels self−existence to be something external, an objective fact; in fear self−existence is
present within himself; in fashioning the thing, self−existence comes to be felt explicitly as his own proper
being, and he attains the consciousness that he himself exists in its own right and on its own account (an und
fer sich). By the fact that the form is objectified, it does not become something other than the consciousness
moulding the thing through work; for just that form is his pure self existence, which therein becomes truly
realized. Thus precisely in labour where there seemed to be merely some outsider's mind and ideas involved,
the bondsman becomes aware, through this re−discovery of himself by himself, of having and being a "mind
of his own".
For this reflexion of self into self the two moments, fear and service in general, as also that of formative
activity, are necessary: and at the same time both must exist in a universal manner. Without the discipline of
service and obedience, fear remains formal and does not spread over the whole known reality of existence.
Without the formative activity shaping the thing, fear remains inward and mute, and consciousness does not
become objective for itself. Should consciousness shape and form the thing without the initial state of
absolute fear, then it has a merely vain and futile "mind of its own"; for its form or negativity is not negativity
per se, and hence its formative activity cannot furnish the consciousness of itself as essentially real. If it has
endured not absolute fear, but merely some slight anxiety, the negative reality has remained external to it, its
substance has not been through and through infected thereby. Since the entire content of its natural
consciousness has not tottered and shaken, it is still inherently a determinate mode of being; having a "mind
of its own" (der eigene Sinn) is simply stubbornness (Eigensinn), a type of freedom which does not get
beyond the attitude of bondage. As little as the pure form can become its essential nature, so little is that
form, considered as extending over particulars, a universal formative activity, an absolute notion; it is rather a
piece of cleverness which has mastery within a certain range, but not over the universal power nor over the
entire objective reality.
B. FREEDOM OF SELF−CONSCIOUSNESS: STOICISM: SCEPTICISM:
THE UNHAPPY CONSCIOUSNESS
[[Translator's comments: The previous section has established the self as ultimately a free self. But even this
is abstract at first, and hence the attempt to maintain it must pass through different stages. These attempts
have taken historical expression in European civilization, but these are merely instances of an experience that
is strictly found in all mankind. Hegel, however, selects the forms assumed in European history, and has these
in mind throughout the succeeding analysis. The terms Stoicism and Scepticism refer primarily to the forms
which these assumed in Greece and Rome. The last stage of independent and free self−hood he names faute
de mieux, the "unhappy consciousness". The background of historical material for this type of mind is found
in the religious life of the Middle Ages and the mental attitude assumed under the dominion of the Roman
Catholic Church and the Feudal Hierarchy. The social and political dissolution of the Roman Empire has its
counterpart in the mental chaos and dissolution of Scepticism; the craving of free mind for absolute stability
and constancy amid change and uncertainty found expression in an organized attempt on the part of the
Church to establish permanent connection between man's mental insecurity and an Immutable Reality. The
two poles of the antithesis were far removed from each other, and the method or methods adopted to bring
about the union reflect the profound contrast of the opposing elements. It is the inner process of free mind in
this realm of abstract subjective piety which Hegel analyses in the part termed the "unhappy
consciousness"−−"unhappy" because craving complete consciousness of self and never at this stage attaining
it.
B. FREEDOM OF SELF−CONSCIOUSNESS: STOICISM: SCEPTICISM: THE UNHAPPY CONSCIOUSNESS
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