Sunday, January 8, 2017

First Three Videos on Virtue and the Way of the World

Before the end of last year, we started "Virtue and the Way of the World" - the last portion of the "Actualization of Rational Self-Consciousness Through Its Own Activity, which is the second big part of the Reason section of the Phenomenology.

With this dialectical development - one that, like the two preceding it, still bears many implications for people in our contemporary world - we work through another common way in which human beings strive after some shape of happiness.  In this case, at least at the start of the development, the individual commits him or herself to something bigger, something that appears transcendent to projected of concealed individual desires and their satisfactions.

Virtue in this modern sense - for Hegel clearly distinguishes what he is examining from earlier, ancient and medieval conceptions of virtue - presents itself by way of opposition to a "way of the world", a generalized environment of ultimately self-centered individuals and the actions, practices, and institutions they engage in.  How does this conflict end up?  It seems at first that virtue ought to be the natural winner - that there isn't even really a contest.  But that's not what actually turns out to be the case.

Here are the first three video lectures from that portion of the text.

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