The Phenomenology of Love in Hegel's Aesthetics

  • Elena Romagnoli Scuola Normale
Keywords: Hegel, Love, Kottman, Aesthetics


This paper focuses on Paul Kottman’s thesis that love, as a practice of self-education that follows a historical-dialectic movement, can be understood as another dimension of absolute spirit, just like art, religion, and philosophy. My aim is to show that this idea matches the description of love provided by Hegel in the Aesthetics. I believe that in Hegel’s reflections on art one can find the most adequate confirmation of Kottman’s thesis.  Following Hegel’s phenomenology of love, I argue that the last moment of the romantic form of art is the most adequate representation of love within art. I also show that love exceeds the sphere of art, being related to the practical senses that Hegel excludes from the artistic domain. This confirms a fundamental aspect of Kottman’s thesis. Love differs from the three forms of absolute spirit because it is connected to how we treat each other in practical life.