System der Wissenschaft. Erster Theil, die Phänomenologie des Geistes.Bamberg and Würzburg, Joseph Anton Goebhardt, 1807 Stock Code: 132061
NotesFirst edition, first issue of Hegel's first major and best-known work, known in English as "The Phenomenology of Spirit", the only part published, in which he develops the idea of Geist realizing itself in the intellectual development of mankind. "It begins with a dialectical discussion of sense perception in which it is argued that knowledge of physical things presupposes the view that the physical world consists of forces interacting according to laws. Hegel maintained that knowledge of such a world is really a type of self-knowledge, since in penetrating to the forces behind phenomena we become aware of what we ourselves have devised and put there. 'Behind the so-called curtain which is to hide the internal constitution of things, there is nothing to be seen unless we ourselves go behind'. The physical world of scientific theory presupposes self-conscious beings. When he analyzed self-consciousness, Hegel argued that it presupposes a plurality of living and desiring beings each of whom seeks to subdue the world to his own wishes, to make it part of himself" (Edwards, Encyclopedia of Philosophy III, p. 438).
This copy in the first issue, with leaf A1, the sub-title, reading "Erster Theil. Wissenschaft der Erfahrung des Bewusstseyns". At Hegel's request, this leaf was substituted with a cancel, reading "I. Wissenschaft der Phänomenologie des Geistes."
Octavo (191 x 115 mm). Contemporary publisher's interim marbled boards, paper spine label at head (unlettered), red edges. Housed in a dark brown flat-back cloth box by the Chelsea Bindery.
Complete with the final advertisement leaf.
Spine ends, joints and corners worn, vertical crack to centre of spine, splitting at foot but still sound; light spotting throughout, with a pale dampmark to the gutter and lower margin of the final 20 leaves; withal a very good copy.
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