Humanities Moments

Humanities Moments

We’ve all had “humanities moments” — when our lives were made richer, more poignant, and meaningful because of the insights the humanities provide.

Solving the “Very Complicated Puzzle” of How Humanity Lives

Contributed by Nancy J. Hirschmann, University of Pennsylvania
G.W.F. Hegel

Description

As a 21-year-old senior in college, Nancy Hirschmann encountered—and was forever changed by—German philosopher Hegel’s notoriously difficult passages in The Phenomenology of Spirit. Suddenly, she “broke through the wall” of the concept of the “master-slave dialectic” and its notion of consciousness and recognition. The act of reading a text, deciphering it, and understanding how it translates into a significant meaning kindled Hirschmann’s engagement with political theory.

For Hirschmann, grappling with Hegel’s work was like “solving a very complicated puzzle.” The formative experience of writing her college term paper (one of her proudest written accomplishments) led her to pursue an academic career as a political theorist.

Share This Moment

About this Moment

Title

Solving the “Very Complicated Puzzle” of How Humanity Lives

Description

As a 21-year-old senior in college, Nancy Hirschmann encountered—and was forever changed by—German philosopher Hegel’s notoriously difficult passages in The Phenomenology of Spirit. Suddenly, she “broke through the wall” of the concept of the “master-slave dialectic” and its notion of consciousness and recognition. The act of reading a text, deciphering it, and understanding how it translates into a significant meaning kindled Hirschmann’s engagement with political theory.

For Hirschmann, grappling with Hegel’s work was like “solving a very complicated puzzle.” The formative experience of writing her college term paper (one of her proudest written accomplishments) led her to pursue an academic career as a political theorist.

Contributor

Nancy J. Hirschmann, University of Pennsylvania

Identifier

hirschmann-very-complicated-puzzle

Player

Collection

Search