By David Villegas
The Montesquieu Forum presented a lecture on a book titled the “Phenomenology of Spirit” from Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.
Director of the Montesquieu Forum, Stuart D. Warner, who is an Associate Professor in Philosophy at Roosevelt said, “I think it is extremely important. Almost all of the events that we do are linked to courses that we teach in the philosophy program.”
He added, “I’m teaching a course on the subject of philosophy in film and one of the movies that we watched was Zhang Yimou’s ‘Raise the Red Lantern,’ which has to do with the desires of human beings to be recognized and the desire of human beings to take advantages of others and render them subserviently to them. Hagel is a master on this subject in ‘Phenomenology of Spirit.’”
Warner said the lecture was devoted to the students who were in the Philosophy of Film class but it speaks to a broader audience because of the importance of these questions having to do with mastering, slavery and oppression.
Warner explained why he chose passages from Hagel’s book.
“I chose a particular part of it in a reading because I have known it and I have studied it and I taught it previously and it is extremely difficult. I believe it to be of paramount importance to expose students to very difficult books that are recognized to be of world importance and this is one section from it,” Warner said.
The special guest for this lecture was Robert Berman, who is a professor of philosophy at Xavier University at New Orleans, LA.
Herman said he first read Hagel’s book in college studying it thoroughly, paragraph by paragraph.
“I first came to read this book when I was a junior in college and although I was an undergraduate, I convinced the professor teaching the graduate seminar that I should be allowed to attend and I did,” Berman said.
Berman believes the book is important for humanity.
“I think it is one of the four or five most important books in the entire history of philosophy. If we think of Plato’s ‘Republic’, if we think of Aristotle ‘Metaphysics’, if we think of Kant’s ‘Critique of Pure Reason’, I would vote for Hegel’s ‘Phenomenology of Spirit’ the fourth of the four great forewords of philosophy,” Berman said.
Roshni Patel, psychology major, said, “I think a lot of people come to programs like this. I think it’s fun and entertaining even though you are not a Philosophy major.”
She added, “I think it’s something so like it relates to your major because I remember last semester we had a science, something relating to biology so they related to that from one another.”