Friday, October 30, 2015

Lordship and Bondage Finished!

With lecture number 79, on paragraph 196 of the Phenomenology, we finish up with Lordship and Bondage -- or to use its more often-used title, the "Master-Slave dialectic".  I anticipated working through this section in about six video lectures, but as it turned out, it required a bit more work -- eight lectures in total, or about 4 hours of viewing time.

By the end of this dialectic engagement between two self-consciousnesses -- one of whom originally remains resolute in the face of death and who becomes the Master, the other of whom gives in, valuing temporary, determinate existence, and losing control over it in the process, the one who becomes the Slave -- the dialectical initiative has passed entirely over to the side of the slave.  A reversal has taken place, one that required a number of different conditions to hold.

The big question -- the reason why Hegel didn't just stop with this early section of the work -- is What comes next?  But for the moment, that doesn't need to be addressed.  Instead, we can look back over the path we've traversed -- and here is the last portion of it:

  • Lordship and Bondage, sec. 178-181
  • Lordship and Bondage, sec. 182-184
  • Lordship and Bondage, sec. 185-187
  • Lordship and Bondage, sec. 188-189  
  • Lordship and Bondage, sec. 190
  • Lordship and Bondage, sec. 191-193
  • Lordship and Bondage, sec. 194-195
  • Lordship and Bondage, sec. 196
  • Saturday, October 3, 2015

    First Four Videos of Lordship and Bondage Section

    I've just released the 75th video installation in the series, covering paragraphs 188 and 189 -- and at the very end of the developments taking place in these paragraphs, we finally get to the very beginning of the Master-Slave dialectic proper.

    Hegel introduces the two terms to us -- Herr, which Miller translates as "Lord," but which is more often rendered "Master" -- and Knecht, "Bondsman" or "Slave" -- and identifies the two of them with a dependent and an independent consciousness.

    Here's the video commentary leading us through the first half of this section and to this critical transition point: