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By James H. Nichols

Nichols examines the foremost writings of Alexandre Kojève, and clarifies the nature and brings to gentle the significance of his political philosophy. whereas emphasizing the political measurement of Kojève's inspiration, Nichols treats all his significant released writings and indicates how the remarkably assorted components of Kojève's highbrow recreation move jointly. this is often a necessary overview of Kojève which considers the works that preceded his flip to Hegel, seeks to articulate the nature of his Hegelianism, and displays intimately at the various meanings that the top of heritage had in various classes of his inspiration.

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Extra info for Alexandre Kojeve: Wisdom at the End of History (20th Century Political Thinkers)

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Kojeve argues that Hegel's great discovery is the criterion of circularity to establish the truth of a coherent discourse; that in starting a process of questioning (toward full self-knowledge), one will develop a series of questions and answers that eventually leads one back around to one's starting point. Or in other words, the coherent discourse will show itself to have passed through and so to comprehend all possible alternatives. This circularity, rather than a relation to something eternal, according to Kojeve, is Hegel's newly discovered criterion of comprehensive truth.

Thus, on the one hand, he seems more idealist than Marx. But on the other hand, he seems Marxist rather than Hegelian in seeing the end of history as lying still in the future, rather as Marx himself, although characterizing himself as materialist, described the leading edge of intellectuals as going over as activists to the progressive side of the final revolutionary class-and exhorted them to do so. (For this reason, among others, 32 Chapter Two Kojeve rejects Marx's self-description as materialist and likewise declines to accept that Marx believed in the possibility that anything future can be determined and known in advance rather than being a matter of contingency.

Retrospectively-and only retrospectively -one can understand the rational necessity of the totality of those developments; thus one can eventually understand the truth, including how one comes to understand the truth, because one grasps that that truth is in fact the outcome of one's own doing or making. " Human being, then, is radically free. The human being is not a given nature, fixed once and for all in or by nature; nor is it a merely natural being that happens to have otherwise undetermined choices among alternative natural goods.

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