A Spirit of Trust: Reading Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit (2021)

A Twentyfirst Century Semantic Recollection

of Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit


Philosophy 2180—Fall 2021—University of Pittsburgh
Tuesday 1:30pm to 4:00 pm, on Zoom
Course Website at sites.pitt.edu/~rbrandom
Bob Brandom

Syllabus


Week 1. August 31, 2021:
Introduction to the Course: Why Read Hegel Now? And How?
• Read Brandom, "Hermeneutic Practices and Theories of Meaning" (2004).
• Read Marshall, "Implications of Brandom's Inferentialism for Intellectual History" (2013).
• Read Harrelson, "Inferentialist Philosophy of Language and the Historiography of Philosophy" (2014).
Week 1 Materials:
Brandom's Seminar Notes for Week 1
Video of Seminar Meeting Week 1
Audio of Seminar Meeting Week 1
Supplementary:
o "Untimely Review of the Phenomenology, in Topoi (2008).
o "A Semantic Sonata in Kant and Hegel" Brandom's Columbia Woodbridge Lectures.
Video:
"Self-Consciousness and Freedom in Kant and Hegel" Short informal talk at Pitt (April, 2021)
A Semantic Sonata in Kant and Hegel. Lecture 1: Norms, Selves, and Concepts (Pittsburgh 2008)
A Semantic Sonata in Kant and Hegel. Lecture 2: Autonomy, Community, and Freedom (Pittsburgh 2008)
A Semantic Sonata in Kant and Hegel. Lecture 3: History, Reason, and Reality (Pittsburgh 2008)
Fun:
Images of Some Hermeneutic Styles

Week 2. September 7, 2021:
Overview of a Pragmatist, Semantic Reading of the Phenomenology.
• Read A Spirit of Trust Introduction.
• Read Brandom, Precis of A Spirit of Trust (PPR forthcoming).
• Read Brandom, APA Author-Meets-Critics Precis of A Spirit of Trust.
Week 2 Materials:
Handout for Week 2
Brandom's Seminar Notes for Week 2
Video of Seminar Meeting Week 2
Audio of Seminar Meeting Week 2
Supplementary:
o "A Hegelian Model of Legal Concept Determination: The Fine Structure of the Judges' Chain Novel(2013).
o "Heroism and Magnanimity" Aquinas Lecture (2019).
o "From German Idealism to American Pragmatism--and Back" from Perspectives on Pragmatism(2011).
Video:
APA Author Meets Critics Session on A Spirit of Trust (January 2021)
A Hegelian Model of Legal Concept Determination (Amsterdam, 2021)
Magnanimity and Agency in Hegel's Phenomenology (Yale Francke lecture, 2018)
From German Idealism to American Pragmatism--and Back (Dublin, 2015)

Week 3. September 14, 2021:
Hegel's Introduction to the PG. Critique of Representationalism and Sketch of an Alternate Approach.
• Read Phenomenology Introduction.
• Read A Spirit of Trust Chapters 1, 2, 3
Week 3 Materials:
Handout for Week 3
Brandom's Seminar Notes for Week 3
Video of Seminar Meeting Week 3
Audio of Seminar Meeting Week 3
Video:
Humboldt Lecture 1  Conceptual Realism and the Semantic Possibility of Knowledge
Humboldt Lecture 2  Representation and the Experience of Error
Humboldt Lecture 3  Following the Path of Despair to a Bacchanalian Revel
Supplementary Material:
o "Sketch of a Program for a Critical Reading of Hegel" from Wiedererinnerter Idealismus(2015).
Lecture text: Humboldt Lecture 1.
   Handout: Humboldt Lecture 1.
Lecture text: Humboldt Lecture 2.
   Handout: Humboldt Lecture 2.
Lecture text: Humboldt Lecture 3.
   Handout: Humboldt Lecture 3.

Week 4. September 21, 2021:
Consciousness I: Two Varieties of Empiricism: Phenomenalist and Observational.
• Read Phenomenology Chapter 1: Sense Certainty.
• Read Phenomenology Chapter 2: Perception.
• Read A Spirit of Trust Chapters 4, 5.
Week 4 Materials:
Handout on the Structure of the Phenomenology for Week 4
Handout on Sense Certainty chapter for Week 4
Handout on Perception chapter for Week 4
Brandom's Seminar Notes for Week 4
Video of Seminar Meeting Week 4
Audio of Seminar Meeting Week 4
Video:
Humboldt Lecture 4  Immediacy, Generality, and Recollection
"An Introduction to Hegelian Logic and Metaphysics" (Edinburgh University Philosophy Society, 2021)
Supplementary Material:
Lecture text: Humboldt Lecture 4.
   Handout: Humboldt Lecture 4.
Lecture text: Humboldt Lecture 5.
   Handout: Humboldt Lecture 5.

Week 5. September 28, 2021:
Consciousness II: Theoretical Entities and Conceptual Holism
• Read Phenomenology Chapter 3: Force and Understanding.
• Read A Spirit of Trust Chapters 6, 7.
Week 5 Materials:
Handout for Week 5
Brandom's Seminar Notes for Week 5
Video of Seminar Meeting Week 5
Audio of Seminar Meeting Week 5
Video:
Humboldt Lecture 6  Force and Understanding--The Ontological Status of Theoretical Entities
Humboldt Lecture 7  Infinity, Conceptual Idealism and the Transition to Self-Consciousness
Supplementary Material:
"Holism and Idealism" (from Tales of the Mighty Dead, 2000)
"Modal Expressivism and Modal Realism" (from From Empiricism to Expressivism, 2015)
Lecture text: Humboldt Lecture 6.
   Handout: Humboldt Lecture 6.
Lecture text: Humboldt Lecture 7.
   Handout: Humboldt Lecture 7.
Fun:
The Battle of Jena

Week 6. October 5, 2021:
Self-Consciousness From Autonomy to Recognition.
• Read Phenomenology Chapter 4:
   The Independence and Dependence of Self-Consciousness: Lordship and Bondage.
• Read A Spirit of Trust Chapters 8, 9, 10.
Week 6 Materials:
Handout for Week 6
Brandom's Seminar Notes for Week 6
Video of Seminar Meeting Week 6
Audio of Seminar Meeting Week 6
Video:
Humboldt Lecture 8  The Structure of Desire and Recognition
Humboldt Lecture 10  The Fine Structure of Autonomy and Recognition
Humboldt Lecture 11  The Allegory of Mastery: Pragmatic and Semantic Lessons
Supplementary Material:
Lecture text: Humboldt Lecture 8.
   Handout: Humboldt Lecture 8.
Lecture text: Humboldt Lecture 10
   Handout: Humboldt Lecture 10.
Lecture text: Humboldt Lecture 11
   Handout: Humboldt Lecture 11.
The MISSING HISTORICAL CHAPTER, left out of the final draft of A Spirit of Trust:
PreHegelian Stages in the History of Normativity
Lecture text: Humboldt Lecture 9 (on the missing chapter).
   Handout: Humboldt Lecture 9.
Diverting Detail:
Alexandre Kojève

Week 7. October 12, 2021:
Reason: Practical Agency
• Read Phenomenology Chapter 5 B: The Actualization of Rational Self-Consciousness through its own Activity.
• Read Phenomenology Chapter 5 C: Individuality which Takes Itself to be Real In and For Itself.
• Read A Spirit of Trust Chapters 11, 12.
Week 7 Materials:
Handout for Week 7
Brandom's Seminar Notes for Week 7
Video of Seminar Meeting Week 7
Audio of Seminar Meeting Week 7
Video:
Humboldt Lecture 12  Some Post-Davidsonian Elements of Hegel’s Theory of Agency
Humboldt Lecture 13  Agency, Intention, and the Expressive Determination of Content
Supplementary Material:
Lecture text: Humboldt Lecture 12.
   Handout: Humboldt Lecture 12.
Lecture text: Humboldt Lecture 13.
   Handout: Humboldt Lecture 13.

No Class October 19, 2021

Week 8. October 26, 2021:
From Traditional to Modern Geist.
• Read Phenomenology Chapter 6 A: The True Spirit. The Sittlich Order..
• Read A Spirit of Trust Chapter 13.
Week 8 Materials:
Handout for Week 8
Brandom's Seminar Notes for Week 8
Video of Seminar Meeting Week 8
Audio of Seminar Meeting Week 8
Video:
Humboldt Lecture 15  Epochs of Geist: Traditional Normativity as Immediate Sittlichkeit
Supplementary Material:
Lecture text: Humboldt Lecture 15.
   Handout: Humboldt Lecture 15.
Sophocles' Antigone. Paul Woodruff translation.

Week 9. November 2, 2021:
Language, Alienation, and Modern Geist.
• Read Phenomenology Chapter 6 B: Self-Alienated Spirit. Culture.
• Read A Spirit of Trust Chapter 14.
Video:
Humboldt Lecture 16  Modernity, Alienation, and Language
Supplementary Material:
Lecture text: Humboldt Lecture 16.
   Handout: Humboldt Lecture 16.

Week 10. November 9, 2021:
Transition to Post-Modernity: Confession, Forgiveness, and Trust.
• Read Phenomenology Chapter 6 C: Spirit that is Certain of Itself. Morality..
• Read A Spirit of Trust Chapter 15, 16.
Video:
Magnanimity and Agency. Francke Lecture, Yale (2018).
Humboldt Lecture 17  Genealogy and Magnanimity: The Allegory of the Valet
Humboldt Lecture 18 Confession and Forgiveness, Recollection and Trust
Supplementary Material:
Heroism and Magnanimity--Aquinas Lecture, Marquette (2018).
Lecture text: Humboldt Lecture 17.
   Handout: Humboldt Lecture 17.
Lecture text: Humboldt Lecture 18.
   Handout: Humboldt Lecture 18.

Week 11. November 16, 2021:
Substance as Subject and Absolute Knowing
• Read Phenomenology Preface.
• Read Phenomenology Chapter 8: Absolute Knowing.
• Read A Spirit of Trust Conclusion.

No Class November 23, 2021:
Thanksgiving Holiday Break

Week 12. November 30, 2021:
From the Phenomenology to the Science of Logic.
• Read The Science of Logic: Begriffslogik. The Idea.
• Read A Spirit of Trust Conclusion.

Week 13. December 7, 2021:
Conclusion: Hegel in the Twentyfirst Century.
• Read A Spirit of Trust Conclusion.

Some Further Resources:
* Course website for Brandom's 2017 seminar on Hegel's Phenomenology, with audio of all sessions.
* Thomas Carlyle's Sartor Resartus
Video of All 18 Humboldt Lectures At Once (!)