Alexandre Kojève (Russian: Александр Владимирович Кожевников, Aleksandr Vladimirovič Koževnikov; April 28, 1902 – June 4, 1968) was a Russian-born French philosopher and statesman whose philosophical seminars had an immense influence on twentieth-century French philosophy, particularly via his reintroduction of Hegelian concepts to continental philosophy.
In 1933-1939 he delivered in Paris a series of lectures on Hegel’s work Phenomenology of Spirit which subsequently inspired numerous thinkers, notably the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan. Hegel’s dialectic of the master and slave allows Lacan to expand on the idea of consciousness, that is, in contrast to an Other (a symbolic one this time) which is inescapably present. Following on this Lacan will also point out the danger that exists when relationships are placed on a dual plane – in other words when taking place in the imaginary order – with death as the ultimate end.
The video presented here explains briefly the main idea behind Hegel’s notion of the Master and Slave dialectic where emerges fundamental notions such as Desire, Recognition, Process, Self-Consciousness; as many ideas that define us as human-beings in a world with others. (If the writing looks too small please use option ‘Full Screen’)
- Kojève’s lectures on Hegel has contributed to some understanding towards my qualitative research using a phenomenological research method, found here
- See a good introduction on Lacan’s ideas here
- Kojève’s Introduction to the Reading of Hegel: Lectures on the “Phenomenology of Spirit” may be found on Amazon here
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