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unhappy consciousness

Subject Philosophy

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405106795.2004.x


E pistemologt, philosophy of history, philosophy of mind Hegel 's term for a consciousness that desires complete knowledge of itself but cannot obtain it. Hegel believed that self-consciousness proceeded in history from pre-history (the struggle for recognition) to Greece and Rome (Stoicism and skepticism ) and medieval Christianity (unhappy consciousness). At the stage of skepticism, consciousness claims that all knowledge is relative to the subjective point of view. However, to make this claim meaningful, it must be assured that there is a universal point of view to see that all knowledge is thus relative. As a result, a skeptic has to admit that he is unable to justify these beliefs outside of his own contingently held point of view. He has a divided form of consciousness, with a tension between its subjective and objective points of view. Here skepticism gave way to the stage of unhappy consciousness. Such a consciousness is internally divided, for it has to assume both points of view. It is the consciousness of separation between man and nature and between man and man. Christianity's message is a call to men to restore the lost unity of consciousness by bringing their subjective points of view into line with the impersonal eye of God. In general, the unhappy consciousness describes a form of life in which people's conceptions of themselves and of what ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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