selections from Phenomenology of Spirit

What according to Hegel is the property of self-consciousness? (it exists only in being acknowledged by another, 630) What is meant by recognition?

What does the self-conscious being see in the other? (its own self, 630) What is meant by saying that “it supersedes this being of itself in the other and thus lets the other again go free” (631)? Why is reciprocity necessary? (631)

What does it mean to say that, “Each is for the other the middle term, through which each mediates itself with itself and unites with itself . . . They recognize themselves as mutually recognizing one another”? (631, exist within a role)

In what context is it true that the relationship of two self-conscious individuals “is such that they prove themselves and each other through a life-and-death struggle? (632)

Why does Hegel say that “it is only through staking one’s life that freedom is won”? (632) That the individual must seek the death of the other?

Why is it a quality of life to split into extremes with opposite characteristics, and if so, what happens to the middle term? (633)

What happens when consciousness is split into the lord/bondsman dialectic? (633) How is the lord related to the bondsman, and to the “thing”? (633, he is free to enjoy the latter)

What is the different relationship of the bondsman to the “thing”? (633-34, labors with it, cannot destroy it) Which one experiences desire? (“The aspect of independence he leaves to the bondsman, who works on it,” 634).

How does the lord achieve consciousness? (634) What effect does his existence have on the bondsman’s action? (“Thus he is the pure, essential action in this relationship while the action of the bondsman is pure and unessential.”)

In what sense is the servile consciousness of the bondsman “the truth of the independent consciousness?” (634) How will servitude come to reverse itself? What is its present state of consciousness? (634)

What does it mean to say that the bondsman experiences the melting away of everything stable, and that this creates consciousness? (634-35)

What is the effect of work on the bondsman? (635) What are some implications of this idea? Would everyone share it?

What is the relationship between the individual and the object s/he creates? (635, sees its own independence in the independent being of the object)

What part does fear play in the process, according to Hegel? (635) What seems to be meant by “fear”?

Can you see political implications in Hegel’s views? How may he anticipate ideas enunciated by Marx?

How may Hegel have influenced the formulation of exisentialism? Modern theology? Are there any other aspects of 19th or 20th century culture which you see as Hegelian?

from Lectures on Fine Art

Can we learn how to create an artwork through learning the rules of artistic production? What would be the result of an art created by applying directions? (636, too mechanical, lacks spiritual activity of artist)

What does Hegel think of the view that art is created by a specially gifted person in a state of inspiration? (636) Which aspects of the process does he believe are omitted in this description?

Which forms of art does he believe require the most practical or technical knowledge? The least? (637, poetry)

What distinguishes a work of art from the materials of which it is constructed? (638, belongs to territory of the spirit)

What are some of the ways in which art may be said to be superior to nature? Are these contrasts convincing? (638, art embodies spirit, the work of art persists whereas the individual is transient)

How does Hegel answer the argument that since God created Nature, it is a higher form of object that human artistic creations? (God is spirit, and so the spirit infused in art is of a higher order than nature, which is external or unconscious, 639)

In what sense may it be said that humans need to create art? (art seems to proceed from a higher impulse and to satisfy higher needs,--at times the highest and absolute needs since it is bound up with the most universal views of life and the religious interests of whole epochs and people, 639)

What is the purpose on motive of art? (to put one’s consciousness before oneself, to represent oneself) In what ways is this accomplished? (theoretically and practically, 639)

What does Hegel see as the motive for human adornment? Which cultures are able to represent themselves in a way consistent with “spiritual development” (640) What assumptions about different cultures underlies these remarks?

What does Hegel mean by the “free rationality of man,” and how is this expressed? (640)

What does Hegel propose as the three stages of artistic development? Are these historical constructions, or synchronic modes of classifying or interpreting art? (640-42)

How may they be said to embody a dialectic?

What are the limitations of each stage? What is the intention of the symbolic? What physical form does the classical art take, and why? To what extent does “classical” art embody the Idea? (642)

Why is the romantic stage superior, in Hegel’s view? Would much 19th and 20th century art be “romantic” according to his definition?

What distinction does Hegel seek to make between animals and humans? (643)

What is meant by the claim that the subject matter of art in the romantic stage is “free concrete spirituality”? (644) What is imagination’s relationship to the material world? (can reshape it, summon it when absent, project and identify with it, 644)

Which of these categories suggests the qualities of John Ruskin’s “Gothic”?

What are the implications of the claim that the imagination can find itself in the external world, even in “chance, . . . in all misortune and grief, and indeed even in crime”? (644)

Does romantic art achieve “a adequate union with the external,” and if not, of what is this imperfection a sign? (644)

What parallels do you see between Hegelian and Kantian aesthetics?

Which aspects of Hegelian aesthetics do you think have been most influential? Which have been most subject to criticism?

(page numbers from the Norton Athology of Theory and Criticism, 2001 ed.)