Death, Hegel, and Kojève


Stemming from a reading of Hegel’s account of the struggle for recognition in the Phenomenology of Spirit, Kojève argued that death is the central notion of Hegel’s philosophy. I will discuss several themes in relation to this claim of Kojève’s interpretation of Hegel, namely the themes of freedom, individuality, and historicity. I will also discuss Kojève’s reading that Hegel rejects both all conceptions of the afterlife, and too the belief in the afterlife as a manifestation of the “unhappy consciousness”. I will point out flaws of Kojève’s interpretation throughout.


Hegel, Kojève, Death, Freedom, Individuality, Historicity, Afterlife

How to cite:

Inwood, Michael J. “Death, Hegel, and Kojève.” Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture 1, no. 2 (2017): 68–77. https://doi.org/10.26319/2916.


Michael J. Inwood
Faculty of Philosophy, University of Oxford
Radcliffe Observatory Quarter 555, Woodstock Road, Oxford, OX2 6GG, United Kingdom


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