Mercedes Corredor '15, right, with Professor Marianne Janack.
Mercedes Corredor '15, right, with Professor Marianne Janack.

Mercy Corredor ’15, a philosophy major, is working on an Emerson research project, “Absolute Spirit, Logic, and Contemporary Philosophy: Returning to Hegelian Thought” with Professor of Philosophy Marianne Janack. Corredor is reading Phenomenology of Spirit, to examine Hegel’s view on metaphysics, “the study of what and how things exist,” she explained.

“The difficulty of Hegel’s writing is both structural and conceptual,” Corredor asserted. Therefore, she is thankful to have taken “History of Modern Western Philosophy” with Assistant Professor of Philosophy Russell Marcus last semester, stating that it “helped set the stage for the work Hegel does and gave [her] a background that has proven invaluable.”

Corredor also completed an independent study with John Stewart Kennedy Professor of Philosophy Richard Werner last fall. The course focused on Marx, whose early work was heavily influenced by Hegel, “although I was able to appreciate a great deal of Marx’s philosophy, I always felt like I was missing an important part of the story,” Corredor confessed.

After she is done reading the hundreds of pages in Phenomenology of Spirit, and accompanying critiques of his work, Corredor revealed that “[she plans] on turning to contemporary critiques of Hegel to really grasp why this aspect of his work has been either ignored or dismissed by many philosophers [of the 20th and 21st centuries].” 

“[Hegel’s] style is bizarre and intimidating at first,” Corredor admitted. “Much of the difficulty in this project resides in the fact that Hegel develops his own language to discuss and explore very particular moments of the human condition in its several stages of becoming,” she continued, “so as to make philosophy a science. In other words, Hegel believes that he can work philosophy to its end.”

Corredor is excited to continue her study of philosophy, and hopes for build one or two more independent study courses before graduating in the spring. After graduation, she plans to apply both to law schools and Ph.D. programs in philosophy, explaining that “a joint JD and Ph.D program would be ideal.”

Mercy Corredor is a graduate of the Gulliver Preparatory School in Coral Gables, Fla.

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