So one of the most annoying features (one to which I contributed) of the Strauss-Kojeve panels was this constant comment: I’m not going to address the difficult question of to what extent and in what ways Kojeve agrees and disagrees with the actual Hegel. Although Strauss himself was big on reading Hegel and, I’m told, was planning to write a book on him, he turned our attention to the “dyad” Strauss-Kojeve, which he seemed to present as equivalent to Ancient-Modern and Eternity-Time. Things are more complicated if you turn to Strauss-Heidegger (given how much Strauss learned from Heidegger about, for example, the importance of Foundings) or Strauss-Hegel. So I asked our friend Ivan the K to say a few provocative things about how Hegel differs from Kojeve. Keep in mind Ivan did this quickly and not for publication. Fortunately, BLOGS aren’t really publications:

One way of looking at Kojeve is that he used Hegel to make Marx much more philosophically interesting but that made Hegel a lot less interesting. He had to drop the whole of Hegel’s view of nature and replace it with Heidegger. He also absolutized the end of history thesis, making more strident than what one finds in Hegel. Hegel really wanted the final unity of man, the overcoming of modern diremption, but he wanted it humanly, and the completion of wisdom somehow consonant with future philosophizing. His love of Napoleon isn’t so impressive (“world spirit riding a horse”) but it’s not clear to me he would have embraced stalin.

Divide up into small groups and discuss.

Ivan adds in the thread: “It’s an instructive exaggeration to say that the whole of Hegel’s philosophy springs from a desire to properly resolve Kant’s 3rd antinomy in the Critique of Pure Reason.”

Get back in your group and discuss some more.

Articles by Peter Lawler

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