Sketch of a comparative reading between Hegel and Erwin Straus


  • Remy Rizzo Université de Liège



Hegel, Straus, phenomenology


The guiding issue of this study is to sketch the outline of a critical confrontation between two theories of feeling, that of Hegel on the one hand, and that of Straus on the other. In both cases, these two protagonists describe the genetic-sensory process of the emergence of consciousness. First of all, in order to lay the groundwork for this comparison, we will construct a historical problematic which will be rooted in an examination of the main, essentially Cartesian, presuppositions of objective psychology as presented by Straus. At the outset, it should be noted that in his history of psychology Straus does not mention the Hegelian theory of feeling, even though Straus knows, to quote him , the work of the Stuttgart philosopher. However, in his Anthropology (First Moment of the Subjective Mind) Hegel reveals elements worthy of interest as regards a rapprochement with Straus' theory of feeling. This problematic will therefore be followed by a philosophical problematic which, starting from the Straussian and Hegelian theories, will question the sensitive ontogeny of consciousness. We will seek to know to what extent Hegel, who in Anthropology has the idea of a new empirical science, a psychic physiology, anticipates Straus' criticism of contemporary psychology. After which Straus' theory of feeling will be considered, which will also reveal Hegel's extreme topicality on this issue. Finally, we will conclude by addressing the reasons why both Hegelian anthropology and Straus' phenomenology are fundamentally different from any kind of phenomenology based strictly on the primacy of intentionality and burdened with a I think constituent, but not constituted. 


BENVENISTE E. (1966). Problèmes de linguistique générale - 1, Paris: Gallimard.

DESCARTES R. (1992). Méditations métaphysiques, présentation par M. et J.-M. Beyssade, Paris: GF Flammarion.

DESCARTES R. (2010). Les passions de l’âme, Édition de G. Rode-Lewis, Avant-propos par D. Kambouchner, Paris: Vrin.

HEGEL G.W.F. (GW 9). Phänomenologie des Geistes, in HEGEL G.W.F., Gesammelte Werke 9, Hrsg. von W. Bonsiepen u. R. Heede, Hamburg: Meiner (1980).

HEGEL G.W.F. (GW 20). Enzyklopädie der philosophischen Wissenschaften im Grundrisse (1830) [Enz.], in HEGEL G.W.F., Gesammelte Werke 20, Hrsg. von W. Bonsiepen u. H.- C. Lucas, Hamburg: Meiner (1992).

HEGEL G.W.F. (TW 9). Enzyklopädie der philosophischen Wissenschaften, II, Hrsg. E. Moldenhauer und K.M. Michel, Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, Werke 9 (1986).

HEGEL G.W.F. (TW 10). Enzyklopädie der philosophischen Wissenschaften, III, Hrsg. E. Moldenhauer u. K.M. Michel, Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, Werke 10 (1986).

HEGEL G.W.F. (2006). Encyclopédie des sciences philosophiques, 3 : Philosophie de l’esprit, trad. fr. B. Bourgeois, Paris: Vrin.

KANT I. (1956). Kritik der reinen Vernunft, Hamburg: Felix Meiner.

MERLEAU-PONTY M. (1964). Le visible et l’invisible, Paris: Gallimard.

SARTRE J.-P. (1990). « Une idée fondamentale de la phénoménologie de Husserl : l’intentionnalité », in Situations philosophiques, Paris: Tel, Gallimard.

SIMHON A. (2003). La Préface de la Phénoménologie de l’esprit de Hegel, Bruxelles: Ousia.

STRAUS E. (1978). Vom Sinn der Sinne, Ein Beitrag zur Grundlegung der Psychologie (zweite Auflage), Berlin-Heidelberg-New-York: Springer Verlag.

STRAUS E. (2000). Du sens des sens, Contribution à l’étude des fondements de la psychologique, trad. fr. G. Thinès et J.-P. Legrand, Grenoble: Millon.



How to Cite

Rizzo, R. (2020). Sketch of a comparative reading between Hegel and Erwin Straus. Characteristica Universalis Journal, 1(1), 160–181.