The Academic Animal is Just an Analogy
Against the Restrictive Account of Hegel's "Spiritual Animal Kingdom"
The “Spiritual Animal Kingdom” is an often misunderstood section of G.F.W. Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit. Many scholars interpret the ‘Spiritual Animal Kingdom’ as being analogous to intellectual life. While the intellectual life analogy is useful, the restrictive account takes it to be the sole content of this section. In this essay, I argue that the restrictive account misidentifies what Hegel means by die Sache selbst (in English, “the matter in hand”). Such a mistake will affect the ability of consciousness to progress to absolute knowing, the ultimate project for Hegel’s Phenomenology.
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