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date: 10 December 2018

Abstract and Keywords

The Hegelian background to W. E. B. Du Bois's discussion can be located in the development of self-consciousness for Hegel. The process of becoming self-conscious entails a split within the individual; there is a distance between the consciousness that is aware and that of which it is aware. This consciousness experiences itself as alienated from itself and the world. In the master and slave dialectic, we discover that the “splitting” of self-consciousness results in the master's “essence” being found outside the master in the slave, and vice versa. The goal is to overcome this alienation of self in the other. This will occur only in a society in which mutual recognition is present.

Keywords: W. E. B. Du Bois, double-consciousness, self-consciousness, master–slave dialectic, alienation of self, mutual recognition

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