Please wait a minute...

Frontiers of Philosophy in China

Front. Philos. China    2018, Vol. 13 Issue (4) : 505-517
Necessity and Memory in Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit: A Reconstruction
Hans-Georg Moeller()
Philosophy and Religious Studies Program, University of Macau, Macau, China
Download: PDF(257 KB)  
Export: BibTeX | EndNote | Reference Manager | ProCite | RefWorks

This paper discusses two core concepts in Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit: necessity (Notwendigkeit) and memory (Erinnerung). The analysis is based on an investigation of the connotations and linguistic components of the two terms as they are used in the German language. Occurrences of the terms in decisive passages in the Phenomenology of Spirit are investigated and seen as a key to an understanding of Hegel’s overall project of constructing a “scientific” (wissenschaftlich) philosophy in the form of a conceptual system. The paper aims at showing that this project can in part be understood as an attempt to transform the contingency of all moments of the path of the self-cultivation, maturation, and growth (Bildung) of spirit (Geist)—understood both in terms of its personal dimension and as “world spirit”—into necessity. It is argued that memory plays a decisive role in this endeavor, not only in the sense of a recalling of the past, but also as a prerequisite for a future that opens up room for further cultivation, maturation, and growth.

Keywords Hegel      Phenomenology of Spirit      necessity      memory      system     
Issue Date: 03 January 2019
 Cite this article:   
Hans-Georg Moeller. Necessity and Memory in Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit: A Reconstruction[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2018, 13(4): 505-517.
E-mail this article
E-mail Alert
Articles by authors
Hans-Georg Moeller
Related articles from Frontiers Journals
[1] Mario Wenning. Tragic Recognition: Revisiting Hegel’s Conception of Ethical Life[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2018, 13(4): 483-504.
[2] ZHANG Liwen. Harmony and Justice[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2015, 10(4): 533-546.
[3] XU Yingjin. What Can Artificial Intelligence Learn from Wittgenstein’s On Certainty?[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2014, 9(3): 441-462.
[4] Thomas M. Robinson. Aristotle, the Intellect, and Cognition[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2014, 9(2): 229-240.
[5] Markus Gabriel. The Meaning of “Existence” and the Contingency of Sense[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2014, 9(1): 109-129.
[6] Nicholas S. Brasovan. Conjunctions and/or Disjunctions: Radical Empiricism in the History of Philosophy[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2014, 9(1): 130-148.
[7] Olof Pettersson. Plato on Necessity and Disorder[J]. Front Phil Chin, 2013, 8(4): 546-565.
[8] WEI Yanxia. Why Logical Revisabilism Is Wrong[J]. Front Phil Chin, 2013, 8(3): 507-517.
[9] LI Shuhua. Natural Philosophy of Zhouyi and Life Practice[J]. Front Phil Chin, 2012, 7(2): 179-190.
[10] XU Cihua, LI Hengwei. Abduction and Metaphor: An Inquiry into Common Cognitive Mechanism[J]. Front Phil Chin, 2011, 6(3): 480-491.
[11] CHEN Xiaoping. Various Concepts of “Supervenience” and Their Relations:A Comment on Kim’s Theory of Supervenience[J]. Front Phil Chin, 2011, 6(2): 316-333.
[12] DING Weixiang. Taking on Proper Appearance and Putting It into Practice: Two Different Systems of Effort in Song and Ming Neo-Confucianism[J]. Front Phil Chin, 2010, 5(3): 326-351.
[13] TIAN Ping, . Narrow memory and wide knowledge: An argument for the compatibility of externalism and self-knowledge[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2009, 4(4): 604-615.
[14] DENG Xiaomang. Heidegger’s distortion of dialectics in “Hegel’s Concept of Experience”[J]. Front Phil Chin, 2009, 4(2): 294-307.
[15] ZOU Chongli . A formal treatment of the causative constructions in Chinese[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2008, 3(2): 307-316.
Full text