Hegel: Master and Servant

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In feudalism there was a separation of classes, such as the peasants from the kings and the noblemen from the middle class. “Each individual has his position; he knows, on the whole what a lawful and honorable course of conduct it is.” (Baird 76). Shown by this quote, there is still an ethical statute of status in society one must have. How Hegel would put why people would be segregated into different classes is because conformity is part of universal reason in which humans are human agents of universal spirit. Absolute reason and spirit is free movement and self defined, but in relation to other objects. The universal spirit gets to know itself by manifesting itself into other human beings and thus creates self development through the human. In the 19th century there is still a division of class between the “masters” who have superiority over the “servant”. this has been created by absolute spirit to recognize itself further in a historical sense. All though there are different stages of the master than the servant in which comes to recognize one’s self and the other.
At the start of the relationship between the master and servant they are at two different conciousnesses. The master is for-itself. This would mean, in a Hegelian sense, that the master is self conscious of one’s self while trying to get to their own telos. The servant, on the other hand, is in-itself. This means that the servant takes what his externalities are. Thus, his consciousness is external. So, the servant doesn’t really think of what he is feeling only what others matters and affairs are to appease the master. Because of these two different starting points, the master sees the servant not having a consciousness, so the master can use the servant to the full effects of his very own needs and wants. The servant as stated before, doesn’t recognize itself, but recognizes the needs and wants of the master. Even though both master and servant may reject being objects for one another, absolute

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