Perhaps one of the most revolutionary works of philosophy ever presented, The Phenomenology of Spirit is Hegel’s 1807 work that is in numerous ways extraordinary. It begins with a Preface, created after the rest of the manuscript was completed, that explains the core of his method and what sets it apart from any preceding philosophy. The Introduction, written before the rest of the work, summarizes and completes Kant’s ideas on skepticism by rendering it moot and encouraging idealism and self-realization. The body of the work is divided into six sections of varying length, entitled “Consciousness”, “Self-Consciousness”, “Reason”, “Spirit”, “Religion”, and “Absolute Knowledge”. A myriad of topics are discussed, and explained in such a harmoniously complex way that the method has been termed Hegelian dialectic. Ultimately, the work as a whole is a remarkable study of the mind’s growth from its direct awareness to scientific philosophy, proving to be a difficult yet highly influential and enduring work.
See also: ‘The Phenomenology of Spirit’ by Georg W. F. Hegel (book)