Alexandre Kojeve

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kojeve, Alexandre


(Russian surname: Kozhevnikov). Born 1902, in Moscow; died May 1968, in Paris. French idealist philosopher; representative of neo-Hegelianism.

Kojeve studied in Germany under K. Jaspers. In 1933 he became a professor at the Sorbonne. His lectures during the 1930’s on Hegel’s Phenomenology of Mind greatly promoted the dissemination of the ideas of G. Hegel in France and the interpretation of these ideas in the spirit of existentialism (particularly Kojeve’s conception of the dialectic as a method belonging exclusively in the sphere of “human existence”). His students included J.-P. Sartre, M. Merleau-Ponty, J. Hippolyte, G. Fessard, and the sociologist R. Aron.


Introduction à la lecture de Hegel. Paris, 1947.
“Tyrannie et sagesse.” In L. Strauss, De la Tyrannie, 3rd ed. Paris, 1954.
Essai d’une histoire raisonnée de la philosophie païenne, vol. 1. Paris, 1968.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Abstract: Departing from the question of 'absence as given' (or the 'non-given' as 'presence' to conscious experience), the work of Russian-French philosopher Alexandre Kojeve opened up Western ontology of being ('of which one speaks' [l'etre dont on parle]) to the foundational premises of 'Oriental wisdom'.
In order to discuss and evaluate such a topic, Agamben calls into question the philosophy of Kojeve.
Te Open reads like just such a curio cabinet in which Agamben takes us through a tour of curiosities, beginning with obscure thirteenth century images of human/animal hybrids, then moving on to selected marginalia from Bataille and Kojeve, apes as human mirrors, ticks that lie dormant for eighteen years, and winding up with an early lecture course of Heidegger's about boredom and animals.
With frequent appeals to Shakespeare's European contemporaries (especially but not exclusively Cervantes and Montaigne) as well as continental philosophers (including but not limited to Agamben, Badiou, Derrida, Hegel, Heidegger, Kojeve, and Nietzsche), Heffernan effectively radicalizes the ideas of Harold Bloom, to whom the book is dedicated.
Em sua classica Introducao a leitura de Hegel, Alexandre Kojeve afirma que apenas uma categoria de tempo interessava ao autor da Fenomenologia do Espirito: "o tempo da acao consciente e voluntaria que realiza no presente um projeto para o futuro".