Robert Pippin received his PhD in Philosophy in 1974 and was Professor of Philosophy at the University of California at San Diego until he moved to Chicago in 1992, where he now holds the position of Raymond W. and Martha Hilpert Gruner Distinguished Service Professor in the Committee on Social Thought, the Department of Philosophy, and the College. He has received a great number of awards, among which a Humboldtfellowship and, in 2001, the prestigious Andrew M. Mellon Foundation's "Distinguished Achievement Award". In 2003/4 he was a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin.
Robert Pippin has published widely on issues in German Idealism, political philosophy, theories of self-consiousness and theories of freedom. He is the author of several books, among them Kant'sTheory of Form (1982), Hegel's Idealism: The Satisfactions of Self-Consciousness (1989), Modernism as a Philosophical Problem: On the Dissatisfactions of European High Culture (1991), and, most recently, Hegels Practical Philosophy: Rational Agency as Ethical Life (2008). With his many books and articles on problems in German Idealism, and, more broadly, problems in Modernity, Pippin has given more impetus for far-reaching debates, conferences, and additional anthologies on Hegelian themes than any American philosopher before him.
In his Spinoza Lectures on Hegels' Concept of Self-Consciousness, Robert Pippin gives us a whole new reading of the decisive chapters of Hegel's Phenomenology. Following on from his book on Hegel's practical philosophy, he develops an interpretation of Hegel's concept of self-consciousness as, ultimately, a "practical phenomenon", a relation not between the self and any kind of object, but rather as an "achievement"; and he thereby also gives a new foundation for an interpretation of Hegel's theory of human freedom not as a metaphysical or other sort of property of the human as such, but as a historical and social achievement.