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Alexandre Kojève (/kˈʒɛv/ koh-ZHEV, French: [alɛksɑ̃dʁ kɔʒɛv]; 28 April 1902 – 4 June 1968) was a Russian-born French philosopher and statesman whose philosophical seminars had an immense influence on 20th-century French philosophy, particularly via his integration of Hegelian concepts into twentieth-century continental philosophy.[3][4] As a statesman in the French government, he was instrumental in the formation of the European Union.

Although not an orthodox Marxist,[6] Kojeve was known as an influential and idiosyncratic interpreter of Hegel, reading him through the lens of both Karl Marx and Martin Heidegger. The well-known end of history thesis advanced the idea that ideological history in a limited sense had ended with the French Revolution and the regime of Napoleon and that there was no longer a need for violent struggle to establish the "rational supremacy of the regime of rights and equal recognition". Kojeve's end of history is different from Francis Fukuyama's later thesis of the same name in that it points as much to a socialist-capitalist synthesis as to a triumph of liberal capitalism.Kojève was born Aleksandr Vladimirovich Kozhevnikov (Russian: Алекса́ндр Влади́мирович Коже́вников, IPA: [ɐlʲɪˈksandr vlɐˈdʲimʲɪrəvʲɪtɕ kɐˈʐɛvnʲɪkəf]) in Russia to a wealthy and influential family. His uncle was the abstract artist Wassily Kandinsky, about whose work he would write an influential essay in 1936. He was educated at the University of Berlin and Heidelberg, Germany. In Heidelberg, he completed in 1926 his PhD thesis on the Russian religious philosopher Vladimir Soloviev's views on the union of God and man in Christ under the direction of Karl Jaspers. The title of his thesis was Die religiöse Philosophie Wladimir Solowjews (The Religious Philosophy of Vladimir Soloviev).

Early influences included the philosopher Martin Heidegger and the historian of science Alexandre Koyré. Kojève spent most of his life in France and from 1933 to 1939 delivered in Paris a series of lectures on Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel's work Phenomenology of Spirit. After World War II, Kojève worked in the French Ministry of Economic Affairs as one of the chief planners of the European Common Market.

Kojève studied and used Sanskrit, Chinese, Tibetan, Latin and Classical Greek. He was also fluent in French, German, Russian and English.[5]

Kojève died in Brussels in 1968, shortly after giving a talk at the European Economic Community (now the European Union) on behalf of the French government.

Philosophy