The Phenomenology of Spirit
Phänomenologie des Geistes (1807) is Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel's most important and widely discussed philosophical work. Hegel's first book, it describes the three-stage dialectical life of Spirit. The title can be translated as either The Phenomenology of Spirit or The Phenomenology of Mind, because the German word Geist has both meanings. The book's working title, which also appeared in the first edition, was Science of the Experience of Consciousness. On its initial publication (see cover image on right), it was identified as Part One of a projected ""System of Science"", of which the Science of Logic was the second part. A smaller work, titled Philosophy of Spirit (also translated as ""Philosophy of Mind""), appears in Hegel's Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences, and recounts in briefer and somewhat altered form the major themes of the original Phenomenology.Phenomenology was the basis of Hegel's later philosophy and marked a significant development in German idealism after Kant. Focusing on topics in metaphysics, epistemology, physics, ethics, history, religion, perception, consciousness, and political philosophy, The Phenomenology is where Hegel develops his concepts of dialectic (including the Master-slave dialectic), absolute idealism, ethical life, and Aufhebung. The book had a profound effect in Western philosophy, and ""has been praised and blamed for the development of existentialism, communism, fascism, death of God theology, and historicist nihilism.""