i Notes on the translation and glossary Although Hegel’s Phänomenologie des Geistes is undoubtedly a work of genius and deserves

the high reputation in the history of philosophy it has always had, even Hegel’s staunchest admirers have to admit that it is not a clearly written book. Indeed, even those who defend its “ferocious idiom” (as one contemporary philosopher has described it) surely must acknowledge that whatever other virtues that idiom possesses, its density is almost unrivaled. In translating such an obscurely written book, the translator (especially if he is otherwise favorably disposed to the book’s contents) is thus always under the temptation to make the author more easy-going in the translation than he was in the original. However, in the case of the Phenomenology, giving in to the temptation to make Hegel’s text more easy-going than it is in the original inevitably means that more of the translator’s interpretation of the text will be introduced than is otherwise desirable. To be sure, all translations are interpretations of a sort, but that is still no excuse to transform the normal amount of interpretive give and take into a license of sorts to make the book mean what the translator wants it to mean. Like many of Hegel’s other

translators, I too have often been tempted to take Hegel by the hand and tell him that, no, this is the way he should have said it. I hope that in all instances I will have resisted that temptation. I of course have my own interpretation of this book, but I hope that the current translation will make it easy for all the others who differ on such interpretive matters to be able to use this text to point out where they differ and why they differ without the translation itself making it unnecessarily more difficult for them to make their case.

and that his claims to make philosophy into a “science” (a Wissenschaft. “in itself” and “for itself” to use in his own ontology of subjectivity and freedom in Being and Nothingness. “an sich. A reader of the original German sees certain phrases and key terms appear regularly on the page. has an ordinary German usage where it often means something like “on its own.ii One of the suppositions I have used in undertaking the translation is that Hegel is serious about his terminology. and he thus gave those Hegelian terms a life outside of their more restricted Hegelian context.) Hegel usually uses “für sich” in a fairly technical sense to call attention to type of self-relation. For example. but sometimes he uses it in its more ordinary sense (and sometimes in both senses at once).” on the other hand. that often indicates that there is something like an argument or at least a line of thought that is being developed or that comparisons between this stage of the narration and some other stage are being suggested. “Ding an sich. the English reader should be able to do the same thing and make up his or her own mind about whether there really is a distinct line of thought being put on display or whether Hegel is switching meanings or whether something else altogether is going on. there is Hegel’s usage of “an sich” and “für sich” (“in itself” and “for itself”). The term. As I see it. the job of the Hegel- . the systematic pursuit of knowledge) are fleshed out in his choice of terms.” (Jean-Paul Sartre also famously picked up the Hegelian terms. especially the kind that human agents have to themselves.” “Für sich. As far as possible.” or “apart from.” is of course best known to Anglophone philosophers in Kant’s use of it in the term.” the “thing in itself.” or even “on its own account. and he is almost always playing on both senses even when he employs it in his more technical usage.

I have rendered “für sich” as “for-itself” in almost all cases. thus.” but only to make Hegel’s somewhat technical terms apparent to the reader and. For “an sich. where I have switched the translation to its more colloquial sense of “on its own. for example. if one took that route.” the obvious connections between “on its own” and “for itself” cannot be made entirely clearly in the English.” However.” earlier translators toyed with “inherent” or “implicit” as a translation of “an sich.iii translator is not to resolve the interpretive issues about what Hegel meant by. though.” I have indicated this in a footnote. “für sich. for example. Unfortunately. within the idea of keeping the flow of the original text intact. is the best way to render Hegel’s use of “für sich.” although both could be equally well rendered as “in itself.” and “explicit” as a translation of “für sich. Keeping Hegel’s terminology visible also means that I have to be relatively rigorous in distinguishing Hegel’s uses of “an sich” from “in sich. I have often translated “in sich” as “within itself. think the distinction between “in itself” and “for itself” does not map very well at all into that between “implicit” and “explicit. to let the reader do as much of the interpreting as possible. since neither that distinction between “in” and “within”.” To do so.” Another.” Many interpreters. more colloquial way of rendering “an sich” would be “on its own” (which is roughly how Kant’s Ding an sich is to be taken: the thing on its own apart from the conditions under which we can experience it). then the distinction between “für sich” (on its own) and “an sich” (on its own) would rendered invisible. However. in the case of “für sich.” By leaving “an sich” and “für sich” literally as “in itself” and “for itself. nor the distinction between for itself” and “in itself” are parts of ordinary English conversation (except perhaps among dyed in the wool Hegelians and .” this translation invites the reader to decide for him or herself whether “explicit”.

Starting its semantic life in English .” which for all practical purposes had died out of English usage by the middle of the nineteenth century. I hope. it would often falsify the meaning of the sentence. As Hegel himself notes.iv Sartreans). he most often clearly means “cancel” or “negate. instead of “that which exists in itself” or “what exists in-itself. this makes the text a bit less colloquial than it otherwise would be. I sometimes also use the idiom of “the in-itself. a little more clear. “das An-Sich” (the in-itself). in many cases. For a number of Hegel’s other usages. but it makes Hegel’s line of thought.” which sounds just about as odd in English as it does in German. I have chosen to translate Hegel’s deliberately odd German into deliberately odd English in order to preserve the sense of the text.” To render “aufheben” into English. although in the context in which he usually employs the term. Likewise. Hegel tells his German readers that he intends to use the word in both senses.” To bring out Hegel’s intent.” there simply is no good translation. namely. “sublate. Hegel often speaks of things like.” whereas in other cases he clearly means something more like “preserve. and it has no single counterpart in English. and to translate it consistently by only one of its meanings would not only make the text unnecessarily wooden. Hegel translators in the nineteenth century opted to revive an older term in English. “Aufheben” is an ordinary German word used by Hegel in a technical way. the German term carries two senses in different contexts. such as his use of “aufheben. to translate the word differently in each context in which it is used would make it impossible for the English reader to be able to make out how that term figures in the ongoing argument. “to cancel” (as in canceling one’s insurance policy) and to save or preserve (as in “save a place for me”).

“Xn”. we preserve it in a changed format in our ongoing discussion. “We take your point and deny it. is. and in many contexts. and since there is no ideal way of translating “aufheben” in any reasonably short way. such that even an authority such as Sir William Hamilton used it in the mid-nineteenth century in his writings on logic and knowledge to mean “negate. it has nonetheless stuck. it meant “to remove” or “to take away. not right.” or whether in this or that context he only means “preserve” or whether he consistently means both at once).” This is a typical move in a philosophical argument.” they simply stipulated that it was intended to carry both of its German meanings. but because there is something to it. “Your claim. and there is no other very good alternative.” and it came to be used in discussions of logic. whether in this or that context.v (having been imported from the Latin) in the sixteenth and seventeenth century. it is in fact misleading.” When Hegel’s first translators adopted the older term to translate Hegel’s use of “aufheben. we can preserve the main point of your idea without having to buy into all of its problems. Hegel simply means “negate. I have decided to stick with “sublate” in the text and let the reader use his or her own best judgment as to what other term might in that context be substituted (that is. The most obvious alternative is that of “supersede. but if we reformulate it as. There is also a third sense of .” but that avoids the idea of “preserving”.” There is no single word in English to capture that sense. X. Although many have suspected that their motives for using this term were a little suspect (one cannot avoid the suspicion that they thought it was supposed to indicate just how esoterically profound Hegel really was). as you have phrased it. One way of understanding Hegel’s usage here is to think of “sublation” as figuring in the kind of philosophical conversation in which one might say to an interlocutor. say. and it is roughly equivalent to saying.

I have tried to use versions of “at rest” for all those uses of “Ruhe” and its cognates in order for the reader to see where there is a contrast being drawn between “movement” and being “at rest. Even though it is somewhat awkward. That may be. As any reader of Hegel knows. I even render “Ruhe” as “motionless. Again. the purpose of a translator is not to resolve that issue.) .” No single word is going to translate that term perfectly. others think it is things themselves that are in motion. I have opted to leave it at “essence” in many cases where “being” would be arguably as good a translation.” or “calm” but to contrast it with movement. there is something that is always in “movement” in the Phenomenology and something at rest. and I have indicated in footnotes where the German term is “Wesen.” where it means to “raise up. but Hegel himself only speaks of two meanings of the word in those places where he discusses why he has chosen that term.” Sometimes. Hegel uses “Wesen” to mean both “essence” and in its more ordinary sense of “creature. Likewise.” or “being.” (Some think it is only the “concepts” or “thought” that are moving.vi “aufheben.” but I have rendered it as “creature” or “being.” and many interpreters of Hegel have thought that this simply also had to be at work in Hegel’s usage.” Hegel uses “Ruhe” and its cognates to mean not just “peaceful. Whether the third meaning of “to raise up” is also at work is something the reader will have to decide for him or herself as they run across the various occurrences of “sublate” in the text. Bewegung.

in fact. “cognition” as the translation (although not always even in those cases). but only when “Erkennen” (and “Erkenntnis”) are used as nouns have I used the cumbersome term. very few of them) use . In German.” This is one example where I have chosen not always to mark the different occurrences of “Wissen” and its cognates and “Erkennen” and its cognates by different terms.” but if one renders it as “reality.” There is also the problem of rendering “Erkennen” and “Wissen. What is actual. one has no good way of distinguishing Hegel’s use of Wirklichkeit/reality from his use of Realität/reality.” then one runs into two difficulties: First. I have always rendered “Wissen” (and its cognates) as “knowledge.” “reality” and the like would make the text flow better.” “knowing” and so on. The term is ordinary German for “reality. and he uses it in a way that is supposed to bring to mind what is usually rendered in English as “actuality” when translating Aristotle. “unreal.vii One of the ongoing difficulties over which Hegel interpreters like to differ is how to translate Hegel’s use of “Wirklichkeit” and its cognates.” I have nonetheless rendered it here as “actual” in order to keep that link to Aristotelian thought (and to previous translations of Hegel). even though in many places the more ordinary “real. one might say.” to have an effect. second. there is nothing esoteric about the use of either term. Hegel uses “Wirklichkeit” in a technical sense that plays on its supposed etymology from “wirken. is what is at work in reality. That decision unfortunately also means that I have to resort to the rather clumsy “non-actual” to render “unwirklich” rather than the more easy-going. but few people except philosophy professors (and. a sense captured nicely by Jean Hyppolite’s decision to translate Wirklichkeit in French as “Effectivité.” both of which mean (in English) “knowledge.

“emptying” even though in more ordinary German.viii “cognition” and “cognize” in their ordinary conversation. the act of God “humbling” himself (as the King James translators had it) or of “emptying” himself (as some more modern translators have rendered it). Even so. (8) er erniedrigte sich selbst und ward gehorsam bis zum Tode. The term. Rather than use “externalize. Nonetheless. in choosing to use Entäußerung.” or “alienate” (three popular translations of that term). marking even some of the noun uses of “Erkennen” as “cognition” is itself a compromise. there have been interpreters of Hegel who insist on marking the distinction with “knowledge” and “cognition” who will be unhappy with this decision. In Luther’s 1545 Bible. require special mention. hielt er’s nicht für einen Raub.” 1 See Philippians 2. it goes: “…welcher.” which is the use of “anerkennen”). ja zum Tode am Kreuz. and I hope that even that small compromise does not detract much from the flow of what is otherwise an obscure text in the first place. Entäußerung and its cognates.” I have tried to note all the occurrence where “erkennen” and its relatives are translated as something other than “cognition” with footnotes. ob er wohl in göttlicher Gestalt war. I have sometimes translated “erkennen” as “discern. 6-8 for the passage. Gott gleich sein. ward gleich wie ein andrer Mensch und an Gebärden als ein Mensch erfunden. so that. To avoid the possible confusions between “recognize” and “recognize” (between “erkennen” and “anerkennen”). I have opted for the more theologically evocative. This was the term that Luther used for his translation of Kenosis.” “ to divest. Hegel is relying on his readers’ knowledge of Luther’s translation of the bible. not a solution. (7) sondern entäußerte sich selbst und nahm Knechtsgestalt an. In many places. for Christians. Entäußerung means “to renounce. God became flesh1.” . “erkennen” means “recognize” in the sense of “identify” (and not in the sense of “bestow some kind of status.” “realize.

and to let the readers decide for themselves. “Entäußerung.) There are of course disputes about just how much Hegel meant for this term to be used in its religious sense at all. “moresness”. which can be rendered as the “mores” of a time.” then one has no way of making what is for a Hegel a crucial distinction between that and Moralität (morality). but that seems to me to carry all the wrong connotations at this point in time. for example. Instead. Hegel’s use of the ordinary German term. that is completely unadvisable. have translated this theological talk as God’s “divesting himself” in becoming flesh. Needless to say.” This particular decision about translation will perhaps irritate at least some readers. and that might suggest that one adopt a new usage in English. The term. Sittlichkeit. “verzichten”) are kept separate from the occurrences of the more theologically freighted. If one renders it “morality.ix or “to give up” but does not mean “to empty.” One reason for doing this is so that the other uses of “renounce” in the text (where it translates. of course. who will wonder why in the world one would translate a term as “emptying” when even the translator himself freely admits that in German it simply does not mean “emptying. what its background associations are. the translator’s goal cannot be to settle that dispute but only to make it as clear as possible where the term occurs. (One might. Sitte.” which could be easily be rendered as “Morals” or “Morality” (as Kant’ translators usually render Kant’s use of the same term) presents another conundrum.” The justification is to bring Hegel’s German usage of Entäußerung in line with English usage about how to render Kenosis. draws heavily on the term. “Sittlichkeit. I have .

I have always indicated that in a footnote.” I have tended to render it “representation” and in many cases as “representational thought” where I think Hegel is trying to contrast “representational thought” with “conceptual thought”.” namely. where it has been rendered in first Critique translations as “representation” (following Kant’s own Latin rendition of it as “repraesentatio”). “ethical life. Kant claimed that there were two types of “representations.” but since I think that this might be a matter of possible dispute. intuitions and concepts. Moreover.” There is another issue all too familiar to interpreters of Hegel: How to translate “Vorstellung.x chosen the term of art. he typically uses “Vorstellung” for the word that English readers are familiar in that context as “idea” or “conception. in his practical philosophy. when Kant talks about freedom consisting of acting in terms of our conception (or idea) of law. However.” which has been used by other translators of Hegel to render “Sittlichkeit. whereas in the first Critique. I have on the whole rendered “Anschauung” as “intuition” to keep the similarities and differences between Hegel’s use of this word and. Likewise. It makes its appearance in German Idealism in Kant’s use of it. to Anglophone readers. In a few places I have rendered it as “imagine. Hegel typically contrasts “representation” (Vorstellung) with “concept” (Begriff). . I also think that it makes Hegel’s text flow more easily (although “flowing easily” is clearly a relative term when it applies to any part of the Phenomenology).” The term colloquially means “idea. Kant’s use of the word (where Kant uses it to distinguish that type of “representation” from that of “concepts”).” and in some contexts it even means something like “imagine”.

” “self-consciousness. Much hinges on the distinctions he makes between “consciousness. and I have occasionally used that and indicated in a footnote that it translates “Verstand. I have therefore often translated those phrases more literally than they would otherwise be rendered as “coming to consciousness” and “with consciousness.” the classic translation of what Kant regarded as one of the basic faculties of the mind.” That makes the text a bit more awkward than it would otherwise be.” A related problem has to do with Hegel’s use of Bewußtsein (“consciousness”). “going-into-oneself” or “going-into-the-self. . “intellect” would be a better rendering of this phrase.” It also makes the rigorous distinction between “an sich” and “in sich” as that between “in itself” and “within itself” break down a bit. I have rendered it as “inwardly-turned-being. but then so does “In-sich-sein.” and “spirit.” I realize that this sounds a bit odd. In some ways. he is often trying to make a point about what is going on in light of those distinctions.” But when he uses very ordinary German terms such as “zum Bewußtsein kommen”.” That raises a problem: What to do with “In-sich-sein”? To keep the link between the two.xi To keep the relation to the Kantian vocabulary. or “mit Bewußtsein.” which would ordinary simply be translated as “aware of” or “consciously). I have also translated “der Verstand” as “the understanding. I have rendered in-sich-gehen as “taking-the-inward-turn” instead of the more literal and wooden. but it at least lets the reader note those types of occurrences. There is also the problem of In-sich-gehen and In-sich-sein: Hegel uses these terms a lot near the end of the book.

There is no such numbering system (or anything like it) in the original German text. Miller in his translation. significance need spiritual animation comprehend.xii Likewise.” I have usually indicated its presence in a footnote. Miller added and subtracted paragraphs in his English version that were not there in the German edition. is slightly different from the older Miller translation. recognition intuition in itself being in itself labor apprehend. sublation development. Anschauung An sich Ansichsein Arbeit auffassen. Hegel goes so far as to claim that freedom itself consists in being “bei sich in an other. Unfortunately. but the system has proven itself to be useful for marking the place in the text for class discussions.” The term is crucial since in other works. Auffassung aufheben. training meaning. apprehension sublate. in general otherness recognize. so my numbering scheme. I have decided to keep the independent paragraph numbering that was introduced by A. at one with itself in its own sphere . but I have rendered it as “being at one with oneself.V.” The term carries lots of different connotations. which follows the paragraph markings of the critical edition in German. Glossary allgemein Anderssein anerkennen anschauen. and thus I have retained it. one of Hegel’s key terms is that of consciousness or self-consciousness being “bei sich. Aufhebung Ausbildung Bedeutung Bedürfnis Begeistung begreifen Begreifen Begriff bei sich universal. conceptually comprehend comprehension concept in one’s own sphere.

definite. individual. singular individuality.xiii Besonder(s)(e) Besonderheit bestehen Bestehen bestimmen bestimmt Bestimmtheit Bestimmung Bewußtsein Beziehung Bildung Böse darstellen Darstellung Dasein Ding eigentlich eigentümlich Einheit Einteilung einzeln Einzelne Einzelnheit Entäußerung Entwicklung Entzweiung erfassen erkennen Erkennen erscheinen Erscheinung Existenz Extreme für sich Fürsichsein gebildet gediegen Gefühl Gegensatz Gegenstand Gegenständlich Gegenteil Gehalt Geist geistig particular particularity consist durable existence determine. account. destiny consciousness relation cultural maturation. genuinely distinctive. account. singularity emptying development estrangement grasp take cognizance. peculiar to. specify determinate. display existence (also existenz) thing really. unity division. present. classification. solid(ity). determinateness determination. discern cognition. cognize. show exposition. culturally formed unalloyed. display. singular the individual. meaning(ful) spirit spiritual . cognizance appear appearance existence (also dasein) extreme term (in a syllogism) for itself being for itself culturally mature. authentically. turns out (to be). cultural education evil exhibit. unmixed feeling opposition object objective contrary. opposite content.

law-giving disposition shape shape. valid religious community polity law legislation. at rest subject matter. ungleich Grundsatz gültig handeln Handlung Herz Ich Idee Individualität individuell Individuum Inhalt Innerlichkeit in sich In-sich-gehen Insichsein Kennen. right motionless.xiv gelten Gemeinde (Gemeine) Gemeinwesen Gesetz Gesetzgebung Gesinnung Gestalt Gestaltung Gewissen Gewißheit Gleich. what is salient. ruhend Sache validly in force. what matters. Moralität Objekt objektiv Person Prinzip Räsonieren. merely clever argumentation reality law. morality object (see Gegenstand) objective (see gegenständlich) person. proposition valid act action heart I Idea (capitalized) individuality (also Einzelheit and Einzelnheit) individual individual content inwardness within itself taking the inward turn inwardly turned being acquaint. Kenntnis Kraft Lehre Macht Masse Materie Moment Moral. Räsonnement Realität Recht Ruhe. thing. shaping conscience certainty parity/disparity principle. thing . legal person principle merely clever argument. acquaintance force doctrine power social spheres matter moment moral. salient subject matter.

the intellect to understand actualize actualization represent. not selfless posit. the thing at issue seeming to be. what exists self-sufficient self-sufficiency self-feeling. semblance seem to be being existent. place being that is essentially a self ethos. imagine representation. sets of relations mediate inversion. relate relation relations. becoming essence. inverted mediation reason the understanding. doing to do independent immediate(ly) distinguish distinction conduct. idea truth come-to-be. coming-to-be. mores ethical ethical life ought estate estates substantial substance deed activity (see tun) activity. being Schein scheinen Sein Seiende selbständig Selbständigkeit Selbstgefühl selbstlos setzen Selbstwesen Sitte Sittlich Sittlichkeit Sollen Stand Stände substantiell Substanz Tat Tätigkeit (das) Tun tun unabhängig unmittelbar Unterscheiden Unterschied Verhalten Verhältnis Verhältnisse vermitteln Verkehrung verkehrt Vermittlung Vernunft Verstand verstehen verwirklichen Verwirklichung vorstellen Vorstellung Wahrheit Werden Wesen .xv at stake. item. selfassurance self-less. the salient thing. topsy-turvy inversion topsy-turvy. feeling for its own self.

aim purposive.xvi Wille Willkür wirklich Wirkliches Wirklichkeit Wirksamkeit wissen Wissenschaft zufällig Zweck zweckmäßig the will arbitrary. useful . arbitrary free choice actual the actual actuality effectiveness know science contingent purpose. end.

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