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Self-Consciousness Leads to Recognition in Hegel's Phenomenology
  • Khanh Trinh
Khanh Trinh

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The concept of recognition holds significant prominence within contemporary philosophy. The concept typically refers to the condition of being acknowledged, wherein one subject assumes the role of the recognizer and another subject serves as the recognized object. However, what is the nature of the relationship between the subject and the object? This paper aims to analyze Hegel’s response to the aforementioned inquiry within his renowned work, Phenomenology of Spirit. In this context, the emergence of self-consciousness is contingent upon the presence of another self-consciousness that is separate and distinct. Self-consciousness is able to attain a state of self-assurance and an authentic understanding of one’s own identity by establishing connections with others. The state of self-consciousness becomes non-existent when it is detached from external influences, as it is unable to manifest in isolation. The presence of self-consciousness necessitates the acknowledgment of the other and vice versa. The recognition in question is not unidirectional, but rather reciprocal in nature. In this analysis, the allegorical framework of the lordship and bondage relationship will be employed to argue that Hegel posits the impossibility of unequal or one-sided recognition in both the lord and bondsman positions. This will be achieved by examining the significance of recognition from both perspectives. Mutual recognition is a prerequisite for the existence of both entities, as neither can sustain itself in isolation. The sole solution lies in the reciprocal recognition between two individuals.
10 Nov 2023Submitted to Advance
27 Mar 2024Published in Advance