19th C: Hegel; Lordship and bondage
- Read 166–67, 174-177
- How inter subjectivity solves the epistemological problem
- Why inter subjectivity is prior to self
- How this answers Kant and Fichte
- Flash forward to how the object changes from things to people, thus explaining th movement of history
- The structure itself
- Emphasise inter subjectivity as mediation once more
- We are not separate individuals who then come to be connected
- We are interconnected prior to any separateness
- This upends our understanding of what it is to be a consciousness
- It destroys the idea of autonomy and self-sufficiency
- It opens the door to thinking about oneself as a consciousness not in terms of unchallenged authority and egoism, but interdependence
- But why do we need all this theory to get there?
- Why not merely recognise the interconnectedness of all things, either naturally or spiritually?
- Because this would not be the recognition of our interdependence as subjects
- Rather, it would merely insist on our unity in a way that negated (abstractly) our own consciousness, reducing it to mere appearance
- In order to understand our interconnectedness in a way that is not reductive, ego-denying, mere unity is not enough: we need mediation
- Without mediation (and determinate negation), the conflict between individuality and collectivity would remain an irresolvable battle
- Think Fichte and idealism vs dogmatism
- Self-consciousness seeks certainty in the self
- In order to be certain, it reduces all exteriority (the things) to a moment of itself
- Makes its apparent separateness merely appearance
- Think Fichte—what consciousness distinguishes from itself is only itself (I=I)
- By encompassing all of being, it can exclude any un-masterable outside thing
- TUA as the principle of unity of the object of consciousness
- This is what Hegel means when he says “Self-consciousness is desire” §167
- It is the desire to reduce exteriority to the same—to possess what is outside it
- “Certain of the nothingness of this other, it explicitly affirms that this nothingness is for it the truth of the other; it destroys the independent object and thereby gives itself the certainty of itself as a true certainty, a certainty which has become explicit for self-consciousness itself in an objective manner.” §174
Revenge of the object
- In the satisfaction itself “experience makes it aware that the object has its own independence.” §175
- This is because the satisfaction that comes from superseding the other requires the other
- “self-certainty comes from superseding this other : in order that this supersession can take place, there must be this other.” §175
- This sounds more like the kantian tii
- The object is produced again, returns again, and desire with it
- The essence of desire is something other than self-consciousness
- “On account of the independence of the object, therefore, it can achieve satisfaction only when the object itself effects the negation within itself” §175
- This means that because desire is desire for the object, its satisfaction can only be acheived on the objects terms—on the terms that the object, through its independence, lays down
- Thus, the object effects its own negation
- It “must be for the other what it is” §175
- Whatever the object of desire is, it is consciousness §175
- For one, Only consciousness is its own self-negation
- Negation is either present:
- in an other
- As a determinateness opposed to another indifferent form
- As the inorganic nature of life?
- “Self-consciousness achieves its satisfaction only in another self-consciousness.” §175
- “Consciousness has for its object one which, of its own self, posits its otherness or difference as a nothingness, and in so doing is independent.” §176
- Only what posits its own otherness can be an object of desire
- §176 find the dialectic of self-consciousness
- “A self-consciousness exists for a self-consciousness. Only so is it in fact self-consciousness ; for only in this way does the unity of itself in its otherness become explicit for it.” §177
- Self-conscious self-certainty is the desire to subsume the object, thus to make the object non-different from itself
- On the other hand, to preserve a part of itself as different from itself as its object
- This is “the unity of itself in its otherness”
- And this difference from self is only possible through another self-consciousness that it is for
- Thus we get intersubjectivity
From desire to the struggle for survival
- Consciousness is only possible in avoiding the extremes of simple identity and simple non-identity
- 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 cannot be the object of consciousness
- Second: 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 (or else it would be unable to cognise it [liek the tii])
- consciousness seeks the identity of identity and non-identity
- The ‘I’ that is ‘We’, the ‘We’ that is ‘I’ 177
- Intersubjectivity, alone, can square this circle
- 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 both persons are persons, consciousnesses
- Self-consciousness exists in and for itself when it exists for another §178
- “It has lost itself, for it finds itself in another being” 179
- It has supereseded the other, not seeing the other as an essential being, but eseeing in the otehr its own self 179
- “Now, this movement ofself-consciousness in relation to another self-consciousness has in this way been represented as the action of one self-consciousness, but this action of the one'has itself the double significance of being both its own action and the action of the other as well. For the other is equally independent and self-contained, and there is nothing in it of which it is not itselfthe origin. The first does not have the object before it merely as it exists primarily for desire, but as something that has an independent existence of its own, which, therefore, it cannot utilize for its own purposes, if that object does not of its own accord do what the first does to it.” 182
- “It is aware that it at once is, and is not, another consciousness, and equally that this other is for itself only when it supersedes itself as being for itself, and is for itself only in the being-for-self of the other. Each is for the other the middle term, through which each mediates itself with itself and unites with itself; and each is for itself, and for the other, an immediate being on its own account, which at the same time is such only through this mediation. They recognize themselves as mutually recognizing one another.” 184
The dialectic as with another moment/aspect of myself
- Can we explain the dialectic as between two moments of the same self?
- Eliminating teh difference is what SC wants (179)
The dialectic as with an empirical other
- But the other cannot be recognised except as another consciousness
Battle to the death
- §187: “the pure abstraction of self-consciousness consists in showing itself as the pure negation of its objective mode, or in showing that it is not attached to any specific existence, not to the individuality com mon to existence as such, that it is not attached to life”
- Presentation of itself as pure abstraction is a twofold action, on the part of the other and on its own part
- Each seeks the death of the other, staking its own life
- §187: “They must engage in this struggle, for they must raise their certainty of being for themselves to truth”
- Each person desires to be, to encompass all reality. So it must kill the other, which claims to be in its own right, independently.
- “its essential being is present to it in the form ofan 'other', it is outside of itself and must rid itself of its self-externality”
- In the battle a structure of recognition emerges
- If Bodhi recognises Utah’s intention to kill him, It cannot be Utah’s particular unique intention that he recognises.
- Rather, he recognises something shared by both of them, but in opposed ways
- We recognise that we share an intention, but those shared intentions are completely opposed.
- a common intentional content (universal) with opposed indexicality/subjectivity
- Simultaneous recognition of two points of view
Relenting and triumph
- One or the other consciousness, realising that if it loses its life, it must also lose its pure self-consciousness §188
- “Death is the natural negation of consciousness”
- It relents
- “through this there is posited a pure self-consciousness, and a consciousness which is not purely for itself but for another, i.e. is a merely immediate consciousness, or consciousness in the form of thinghood” §189
- We are back in the situation of one part of self-consciousness presenting itself as the conscious part, and the other part as the object part
- The one that relented is the consciousness that is merely for the other, the object recognised by the first—the slave or bondsman
- The one that triumphed is the independent consciousness whose essential nature is to be for itself—the master or lord
- Labour: §190: a thing holds the bondsman in bondage
- It is independent
- It is the object of desire
- It is the essential characteristic of the bondsman consciousness
- The bondsman labours on the thing, with which he is identical
- The lord can finally achieve satisfaction, since he merely gets the nutrients from what the bondsman has digested
- “What desire· failed to achieve, he succeeds in doing, viz. to have done with the thing altogether, and to achieve satisfaction in the enjoyment of it. Desire failed to do this because of the thing's independence ; but the lord, who has interposed the bondsman between it and himself, takes to himself only the dependent aspect of the thing and has the pure enjoyment of it. The aspect of its independence he leaves to the bondsman, who works on it.” §190
- “In both ofthese moments the lord achieves his recogni tion through another consciousness ; for in them, that other con sciousness is expressly something unessential, both by its work ing on the thing, and by its dependence on a specific existence.” §191
- The lord attains self-certainty, finally, by requiring another to recognise him
- Any other will do, as a lord can call on any bondsman, though they all just have the one lord
- “what the bondsman does is really the action of the lord”— he is just following orders
- “The latter's essential nature is to exist only for himself; he is the sheer negative power for whom the thing is nothing. Thus he is the pure, essen tial action in this relationship, while the action of the bondsman is impure and unessential.” 191
- The truth of his certainty of himself is the lord—the self-consciousness requires the conscious self to be the object of consciousness
Recognition and equality
- “What now really confronts him is not an independent consciousness, but a dependent one. He is, therefore, not certain of being-for-self as the truth of himself.” 192
- Since recognition could only be achieved through another consciousness, the denial of the independence of the bondsman eliminates that
- 4. Second moment: One self-consciousness will be prepared to stake its life and the other will not, because it has learnt that 'life is as essential to it as pure self-consciousness'. One becomes master, the other slave.
- 5. In the course of time, the master loses his self-certainty.
- The master realises it relies on the slave in order to recognise himself in the slave’s recognition of him
- 6. The slave in labour: 'in fashioning the thing, he becomes aware that being-for-self belongs to him, that he himself exists essentially and actually in his own right ... Through this rediscovery of himself by himself, the slave realizes that it is precisely in his work, wherein he seemed [formerly] to have only an alienated existence, that he acquires a mind of his own.' (§196)
- Not just a metaphor: what is power but the recognition of others who lack power?
- The myth of sovereignty is the idea of a person who has authority over himself, and exists independently of the existence or authority of others
- Therefore, the lord is dependent on the recognition of the bondsman’s recognition of him and his sovereignty, which includes both his sovereignty and his independence
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 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)