Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Voogt, A.
Spirituality in Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit: An analysis in the wake of Foucault (2021) Metaphilosophy

DOI: 10.1111/meta.12523

Ancient philosophy is often distinguished from modern philosophy regarding its affinity to spirituality. In antiquity, philosophy meant a way of life rather than a body of knowledge. Yet according to Michel Foucault, Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit constitutes an important exception to modern philosophy’s break with spirituality, as it integrates structures of spirituality into modern forms and ideals of philosophy. This article builds on Foucault’s analysis by revealing the structures of spirituality that are present within the Phenomenology of Spirit. It argues that in Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit the exercise of reason is itself understood as a spiritual exercise. The case of Hegel shows that modern philosophy is not as a whole opposed to the conception of philosophy as a way of life but contains strands that are in line with the ancient tradition.

Author Keywords
Foucault; Hegel; Phenomenology of Spirit; philosophy as a way of life; spiritual exercise; spirituality

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