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Hegel Reading Group Info.

Hello everyone!

I will be running the first session of the reading group which I will pretend began yesterday, Friday May 21st, and will last two weeks. I invite everyone to read Hegel's Introduction to the Phenomenology during this period (§73-89, p. 46-57).

I plan to break this section into two, so that around next Friday May 28, I will post about §73-80 (p. 46-52) and at the end of the session, around Friday June 4, I will post about §81-89 (p. 52-57).

At that point (Friday June 4), I will hand the group over to mercuryxrises for the following two weeks.


P.S. If anyone would like to invite others to join us or post about this somewhere to that end, feel free, and now would probably be the best time!
19th-May-2010 06:07 pm - Hegel Reading Group Update

There has been a lull due to decreased interest, but after discussion we have decided to go ahead with the group and see if we can't make it a profitable exercise. I'll reiterate the format here.


Facilitator: Myself. Responsibility for the project and decision making will be handled as a group, but I will take responsibility for general issues of organization and resolution.

Session Leaders: Myself, mercuryxrises, yechezkiel. We will alternate session leader roles in sequence, in two week periods. We will begin the session by assigning a reading from the text. Readings will generally be expected to be in sequence (skipping the Preface), and commensurate to the given period and casual commitment of the project, though ultimately choice and length are up to the leader. At least once during the period, the session leader will post an initial commentary on the assigned reading. This can be done immediately, in the middle of the period, or at the end; multiple commentaries can be posted either by theme or by breaking up the reading into sections... however the leader feels like doing it. The session leader is expected to get discussion going but we as a group are responsible for the discussion as a whole.

Participants:. Open. Participants take responsibility for the success of the project and engage in the discussions begun by the session leaders, or are also free to make their own posts on the assigned readings and issues arising from them.

Texts and Resources:

The primary text will be Hegel's Phenomenology of the Spirit in the Miller translation. Those wishing to follow that do not have access to this text may wish to consult the online version at the Marxists.Org Hegel page. NB though that this is a different translation. This webpage in general has a lot of helpful resources on Hegel.

Participants are also encouraged to consult Stern's commentary on the text. There is also a helpful glossary at the Marxists site.

Other Notes:

Roles and other rules are open to change. Some others have expressed trying out session leader roles on a non-usual basis, and others may wish to join in if there is increased interest. Anyone interested in suggesting changes to the format or leading a session could contact me or bring the suggestions to the attention of the group here.

I will lead the first session and make a post to get that started by the end of the week. Pending any changes, the three of us will then alternate in the order listed above.

Thanks everyone for their support so far.


The Miller translation is (incompletely) available online through Google Books.

And there is an English translation with parallel German text by Pinkard available online here.

The full Miller translation and other works are available through Intelex Past Masters for those with access through their school.
9th-May-2010 07:15 pm(no subject)
Reminder -- we are still looking for volunteers to lead bi-weekly sessions reading Hegel's Phenomenology together. We currently have three volunteers for session leaders and will run the group like that, though more interested would be preferable. Please see the latest posts in this community for more info.
2nd-May-2010 08:58 am - More Hegel Proposal
If we're going to go with a procedure for the reading group like the one described, we'll need to assemble a list of people willing to work as session leaders.

So far it seems we have myself, yechezkiel, and mercuryxrises. Would anyone else like to volunteer?

Also... mercuryxrises has recommended Stern's commentary for anyone looking for a secondary source to accompany them.
28th-Apr-2010 03:04 pm - Proposal for Hegel Reading Group

Consider this a proposal in the literal sense that I hope that others will offer their comments and suggested amendments, or offer their own proposal if their suggestions vary greatly from these. Where I sound overly formal, read my intention as for brevity!

My Role:

I am happy to take on the role of 'facilitator' with the goal of organizing the group, however I think it's important to see this as our group and to take communal responsibility for its direction and success. Thus we have to distinguish such a facilitator role from a 'group leader' role which is not really present here.


The text I propose we use is Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit as translated by Miller. This is widely available with the forward by Findlay. Those who do not have and do not want to get a copy of this text will be able to follow along via the free online translation here, though NB that it is a different translation.


I propose we proceed with either weekly or bi-weekly sessions organized under a 'session leader' role which alternates in series. We can perhaps have two levels of participation, with one being those included in the selection of session leaders and others welcome to participation but not so included.

The format will be as follows, that the session leader at the beginning of their session posts to the community an assigned reading from the text, and at the end of their session or at some intermediate date makes to the community a first discussion post on this reading. Thus for example at the beginning of week one the first leader posts an assignment, at the end of week one they post a discussion piece and the next leader posts an assignment.


This format leaves the session-by-session workload somewhat up to the individual session leaders. However, my proposal would be to work through the book in order, skipping Miller's Forward and Hegel's Preface, i.e. beginning with Hegel's Introduction and then the section on Consciousness. The text is divided into sections which make it easily assignable, with one section being, on one hand, trivially easy in terms of mere reading time, while on the other hand, containing more than enough philosophical meat for discussion. Thus the session leader can determine according to their interest to assign a shorter reading and focus more intensively on it or else assign some number of such passages. I don't think that, proceeding in this way, reading workload would get out of hand, but we can certainly address it if it does.

Discussion Format:

The session leader takes responsibility for beginning discussion, while the scope and topics are open according to people's interest. Generally I suppose that introductory remarks would be aimed at the basic questions of What is Hegel saying here? and What situation does this have in the structure of the text? while more general topics could address the relevance of the work in the history of philosophy, to science, politics, art, etc., as our interests carry us. While group members other than the member don't have formal responsibilities during the session, we all of course have and share responsibility for getting something out of the project, and the presumption is thus that others will engage in the discussion the session leader has started, or suggest some discussion points of their own.

If people are still interested in trying this, I would like to settle on a format over the next few days so that we can begin in the first week of May. I look forward to your suggestions!
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