EDITOR'S INTRODUCTION

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Queneau's collection of Kojdve's thoughts about Hegel constirutes one of the few important philosophical books of the twentieth cenrury-e book, knowledge of which is requisite to the full awerenessof our situation and to the grasp of the most modern perspective on the eternal questions of philosophy. A hostile critic has given an accurete assessmeint Koidve's influence: of Kojive is the unknown Superior whose dogma is revered, often unawares,by that important subdivisionof the "animal kingdom of the spirit" in the contemporary world-the progressivist intellectuals. In the years preceding the second world war in France, the transmissionwas effected by meansof oral initiation to a group of personswho in turn took the responsibiliry of insuucting others, and so on. It was only in 1947 that by the effors of Raymond Queneau, the classeson the Phenomenology of Spirit taught by Alexandre Kojive * the Ecole des Hautes Etudes from 1933-1939 were published under the title, Introduction to the Reading of Hegel. This teaching was prior to the philosophico-politicalspeculations of J. P. Sartre and M. Merleau-Ponry, ro the publication of les Ternps modernes and the new orientation of. Esprit, reviews which were the most important vehicles for the disseminationof progressivistideology in France after the liberation. From that time on we have breathed Kojdve's teaching with the air of the times. It is known that intellectual progressivism itself admits of a subdivision, since one ought to consider its two species,_Christiag (Esprit) and 4-ttreis! Qes Temps modernes); bur this distinction, for reasons that the initial doctrine enablesone to clarify, does not take on the importance of a schism. . . . M. Kojive is, so far as we know, the first . . . to have attempted ro constirure the intellectual and moral mdnaged trois oI Hegel, Marx and Heidegger which has since that time been such a great success. [Aim6 Patri, "Dialecdque du Maitre et de l'Bclave," Le Contrat Social,V, No. a (July-August 196r), 234.1
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His passionfor clariry is more powerful than his passion for changingthe world.but by showing viii .tccbrt KojEve is the most thoughtful. then. Ueglt n-otby adaptinghim to make him relevant.in large meesure' friends. A cenain senseof the inevitability of this the kind of ebuse---of conversionof philosophy into ideology-is.Eiiltatl Inlr'od.at the root of his distastefor publication. And the core of that work is the careful and scholarly snrdy of Hegel. Koidve is aboveall a philosopher-which. perhaps. at the leest. dissatisfied lMarx's eccount of the human and metaphysicalgrounds of his iteaching. It would. From him one can learn both the implications and the necessary what the presuppositions historicist philosophy. and his originaliry hasconsisteilin his seaichfor the truth in the thought of wise men of the past. For this reason. and creetivity are to have a rational content and be parts of a coherent undersanding.Although he madeno effort at publicizing his reflections. Kojive hasnever sought to be original. meansthat he is primarily interestedin the truth. His interpretadon has made Hegel an important alternativeagaiq and showed how much we hai to learn from him at a timt when he seemedno longer of this revival of interest in Kojdve accomplished living significance. behooveany follower of the new version of the left who wishes to think through the meaning of his own action to mrdy that thinker who is at its origin.anyone who wishesto understand sense that mixture of Marxism and Existentialism the of which characterizes contemporeryradicalismmust turn to Kofdve. Bicausene is a seriousman. the most learned. work.mrned to Hegel as the truly philosophic-source thet of teaching. those of ways distorted atmosphere active commitment. The charm of political solutionsdoesnot accountof the him to forget the needto presentan adequate cause and this removeshim from the alrational basisof thosesolutions. His work has beencommunicated gnly !o beenprivate and has. the superior force of his interpretationsimposedthem willy-nilly on those who heard him. He despises of the contemPorary intellectualswho respond to the demands withof audienceand give thC appearance philosophicseriousness audience which would bore that out raising the kinds of questions or be repugnant to it. However. he elaborates of world must be like if terms such as freedom. the comprehensive truth.the most prowith the thinnes of \found of those Marxists who.

the book is suffusedwith the awereness pressing concern to 6nd out preciselywhat such a thinker meent' for he may well know much more than we do about the things is that we needto know. The world known by philosophy must be such that it supportsphilosophy and makesthe philosopherthe highest or { most complete khd of human being. His own teachingis but the distillation t' of more than six years devoted to nothing but reading a single book. that.him. line by line.that is.an explanationof the heavens. Here scholarship in rhe serviceof philosophy.andrespectfor the humble and unfashionable yeeg studying an old book. He has regularly been ignored by academic positivistswho are put off by his languageand are unawereof the problemsinvolved in their own understanding of scienceand the relation of scienceto the world of human con. of Such a careful and comprehensive study which makessense Hegel'svery difficult textswill be of greatvalue in America where. though his influence has been great and is ever greater.ccrn. therefore. knowledge of what the philosopheris and how he can know what he knows.con'stitutes the most authoritative interpretation of Hegel. but in a superficial form adaptedto pleasedilettantesand other seekers after the senscof depth who wish to use him rather than understandhim. or doesnot talk about.very few peopleread.Eilitalc lnbo&rcrbn that contemporaryconcernsare bestunderstoodin the permanent Iight of Hegel's teaching. the philosopheris radically incompletebecauseit cennot eccount for the posibility of its own existence as knowledge. The philosophermust be able of tt_glplg1 lir own doingp. animals. and thc tnrc philosophicendeavor a coherentexplanation all things is of lx . or of nonphilosophicmen which does not leave room for. Koidve presentsHegel's teaching with a force and rigor which should counterpoise both tendencies. Hegel is now becomingpopular in literary and artistic circles. What distinguishes Koidve's treatment of Hegel is the recognition that for Hegel the primary concern is not the knowledge of anything outside himself-be it of nature or history-but knowledgeof himself. Koilve learnedfrom Hegel that the philosopherseeksto know himself or to possess full self-consciousness. and Kojdve givesus a glimpseof the power of great minds of business spending . let alone understand.Kojdve's book is a model of textual inthat it is of tCrpretation. INrnooucrtoN To rHE Rpeowc or Hocei.

philosophy is impossible.Koilve intransigently uies to makeplausibleHegel's claim that he hed achievedabsolute / wisdom. he is the modern Aristotle who respondedto-or. cennot be called a philosopher.He argues wisdom. \that this fact can-beknown.for anyone who that thought is relative to time-that is.but it should be addedthat Kofdve himself leadsthe readerto this question'which is a proper theme of philosophical reflection. such a position seems Iffi easily shows the p"t"do*i""I and wildly implausible.science. history is complet-ed.But Koidve for ineluctablenecessityof this consequence anyone who understandshuman life to be historically determined. Koilve insiststhat Hegel is the only man who succeededin making this proof. utterly i. there can only be knowledge if histhe meaningof this tory et some point stops. that without the possibilityof absolute 1 or all knowledge. Discussionof the retionel $ate is only a corollary of the proof that the world can be known or is rational. To most of us. Hegel is the fulfillment of what Plato and Aristotle could i only pray for. who cannot explain his own doings. For if thought is historical. One might ttJ"en Hegel and Heidegger. for most modern believes '\-' men. it is only at the end of history . The man who seeksany other form of knowledge. Koilve describesthe charecter of wisdom evenlf he doesnot Proveit hasbeenactualized. the most striking feature of Koi€ve's thought is his insistence-fully lustifed-that for Hegel. incorporated-the objectionsmade to Aristotelian philosoIn phy by modern natural rnd human science. According to Kojive. to It may indeedbe doubted whether Koidve is fully persuasive consciousnes.Eilltor\ Iafioilractut that culminetes in the explenation of philosophy.particularly since he fnds himself comthe modern pelled to abandon Hegel's philosophy of nature as indefensible that Heidegger'smeditationon being may provide a and sugEesa substimrc for it. "'\. I better. and his interpretation of the Phenomenology expandsand clarifies Hegel's assertionthat realiry is rational and henceiustifiesrationel discourse about it. Now. the world. and for all followers of that -nothing really new can again ffegel.historicalteachbe e necesaiji Cosmic ask whether Koidve is not really-somewherebeing.Koidve elaborates of the book and attemPts throughout the course logical necessity to indicate how a sensiblemrn could eccePt it and interpret the I . The ablndoned philosophy of nature may well suPPoftfor Hegel's human.

Thereafter. if there is no-tg1lgl![lgnt intelligible world. to realize the state grounded on these can principlesall over the world.to repeet. should be he the satisfaction all reasonable r free. he paints a powerful perspectiveKoj€ve interprets our situation.In so doing. is that this hasindeed the enunciationof the universal. gods to revere. living in a universal. If Hegel is right that history fulfills of the demands reason. this which containswithin thesis. in one foim or another.states found. It is preciselyMam's failure to thinki world in accordence the meaning of his own historical thought that_provesI through his philosophicalinadequacyand cornpelsus to turn to the Pro. then. no antithesis underminethis synIn itself all the valid possibilities.uctbn with it. viable principles of the state. but less intrensigent writers would not More common-sensical the essential outlines of teach us nearly so much. Koidve presents historicalthought. Koidve gives an exampleof what it means to follow out the necesiry of one's position manfully and philosophically. and.realiry must have become rational.I founder Hegel. et most. rational being. and religion. discover.his honesty and clarity lead him As to posethe difficulty himself. state where there is vimral egreementon all the homogeneous \ politics. It is concerningthe characterization man at the end of history of that one of the most inuigui"g C$ggl$s in Kojdve's teaching arises. accepted Koiive. the acterizes life of the man who is free. vr'elearn at leastthat either one must abandonreason -and this includesall science-or one must abandonhistoricism. i If concreie historical reality is all that the human mind can know.the citizen of the finel state should enloy of human aspirations. if his world doesnot correspondto the real one.or truths to \# h .rational princi-l and that happened plesof the rights of man in the French Revolution marked the be-l g"nni"g of thi end of history.thesearethe only accept-l able. who hasno work. is only to be expected.The dtgnity of man has been and all men are understoodto participatein it. all that recognized. by The Hegeliarsolution.historicalthought. remainsto do is. who has '' to no worlds to conquer. content with his situation and exercising all o( xi .is at the root of almostall modern human science.Edlar's Introd. He charfundamenta!principles of science. for there to be philosophy or-science. picture of our problemses thoseof post-historicalman with none of the classictasks of history to perform.If Koldve is wrong.

rrg. After reading it. But looking around us. like every other pcnetrating observer. It is the speciel merit of Koilve to bc one of the very few srre guides to the contempladon of the fundamental alternatives.We are led to a confrontation berweenHegel end Nieusche and perhaps. and whether Hegel's historicismdoes not by an inevitable -*orc ''dialectic force us to a somber and more radical historicism which reiects rcason. 1968. seesthar thc completion of the human task may very wcll coincidewith the decayof humaniry. one wonders whether the citizcn of the \univenal homogeneousstate is not identicel to Nietzsche's Last lMan. ALLIIN BLOOM Itbaca.1 . toward a reconsideration of the classicdphilosophy of Plato and Arl*otle.the rebarbarizrtion or even reanimalizationof man.l*ly I 16z).utYotk [Shonly after the completion of this $atement I learncd that Alcxandrc Koilve had died in Bmsels in May. Ne. He addresses problcm pefticuthis in the note on Japanaddedto the secondedition (pp. who rciectcd historicism before the fact and whom Hegel believed he had zurpased.even funher. Koidvc.Eilltor't llndrudgctton of his powerq emencipatedfrom thc bonds of prciudicc md opprcssion.