19th C: Hegel; Lordship and bondage


Important ideas


Revenge of the object

From desire to the struggle for survival


The dialectic as with another moment/aspect of myself

The dialectic as with an empirical other

Battle to the death

Master-slave dialectic

Relenting and triumph



Recognition and equality

From Gardner:


First think Fichte

Self-consciousness seeks to reduce the outside the object the thing to moment of itself

So that it’s separateness is merely an appearance.

Thus the certainty and all of being will be in self-consciousness alone.

Therefore the point of the master slave dialectic is to show how self-consciousness requires intersubjectivity. that is to say how the self certainty requires the outside and the other as constitutional and fundamental

This is the revenge of exteriority and non-identity and otherNess and the outside against the I

Notes fr Bernstein

The anxiety is consciousness: that our perceptions of the world do not guarantee that we are in touch with the world

So for Kant we are resigned to appearances, and transcendental idealism

A scepticism (tii) tii the problem of the origin

Jacobi’s complaint: could be representation of nothing at all

From consciousness to self-consciousness

To recognition

To answer the problem of consciousness

Self-knowledge is only possible through mutual recognition, mediation by another

Thus no longer a privileged realm of subjectivity— even in my self-knowledge I am already posited outside myself, already in touch with an independent other and world outside

This opens up a whole new problem of the relation to the other. However it solves the problem of scepticism and consciousness.

The move to self-consciousness itself does not solve the problem (Fichte). Only gives its most demanding form. This theoretical self-consciousness remains a form of consciousness.

We need to avoid The extremes of simple identity and support non-identity that desire left stop.

First: an object that is truly non-identical with the ego, that the ego cannot consume, real objectivity that is truly independent of the ego

Second: we need the satisfaction of the principle of identity from the same object. The ego needs to see its identity in the object, so that the object is not completely alien to it. Otherwise the ego would lose its independence and depend on something completely outside

These two conditions must be joined. consciousness seeks the identity of identity and non-identity.

This is satisfied by another self consciousness which while remaining independent can negate its otherness from the first.

Mutual recognition satisfies the condition of non-identity because both persons are independent, autonomous and free.

It also satisfies the condition of identity because the self is self-conscious only in the other.

Robert Williams and Paul redding (?) get it bang on, Lacan and kojeve no

Desire to be, to encompass all reality. So desire must kill the other. In the battle emerges a structure of recognition.

If Bodhi recognises Utah’s intention to kill him, It cannot be Utah’s particular unique intention that he recognises.

We recognise that we share an intention, but those shared intentions are completely opposed. So, a common intentional content (universal) with opposed indexicality/subjectivity

I must have opposed subjective and objective indexicalities recognised

Univocal intentional content with opposed intentional structure

Simultaneous recognition of two points of view

I am decentered

Same structure in CM5 and in keyhole?

Th I as a we, the we as an I. Neither atomistic nor wholist, neither external relations nor internal relations

External relations: Leibniz, all one-place predicates. The basic building blocks are atomistic substances. Comparisons need to be reduced to self-sufficient terms

Internal relations: Kant; space and time

Recognition can’t be an external relation or you wouldn’t need the other. But the other mediates my relation to myself constitutively

Recognition can’t be internal relations or there would be no separation from the other

Must be a synthesis. Recognition is infinite separateness from the other and infinite connectedness to the other

Death represents absolute separateness

Love represents absolute connectedness

The entwinement of love and death. Love is of something that will die

Understanding can’t get it, because it only gets internal or external relations

Philosophy of right §158

"the first moment in love is that I do not wish to be an independent person in my own right and that if I were I would feel deficient and incomplete. The second moment is that I find myself with another person, that I gain recognition in this person who in turn gains recognition in me. Love is therefore the most immense contradiction. The understanding cannot resolve it.”

So the argument here is that the we does not result from the combination of totally separate existences. Because then they would be complete in themselves prior to the relationship. Nor is the we conceivable in which the I’s are merely derivative parts of an all encompassing whole.

Opposed perspectives on our own action

The battle is the right example because it is non-ambiguous

self-consciousness is desire and desire to destroy the object because self-certainty is incomplete as long as there is an independent thing out there competing with and qualifying the self

In search of the identity of identity and non-identity

Because Whenever I am conscious of something...

Self-knowledge is subject-object identity

Knowledge of others is s-o non-identity

Self-consciousness is desire

Striving for an object, desire of an object

The object of desire is outside the desiring (non-identity)

Recurring and in principle non-satisfiable (non-identity)

If it is satisfied then the desired object is incorporated returned to identity with self (identity)