Hegel’s Master/Slave Dialectic In the Phenomenology of Spirit

Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit (first published in 1807) is a work in German Idealism that purports to tell the story of the development of the human spirit through a history of consciousness. In the section on “Self-Consciousness” in which the Master/Slave dialectic is found, we find an abstract, universal consciousness bifurcated and faced with another consciousness just like itself. Each face of consciousness wanting recognition of itself as the original and unique form of consciousness, a battle onto death ensues, the result of which are two…