• Pussycat
    194
    haha pretty poetic! :)
  • Fooloso4
    995
    So I am saying that Hegel believed, mystic or not, purported himself to be the one to see the whole, "see the whole of the moon", would you agree?Pussycat

    Yes, he does claim to know the whole. He also claims that it is now possible for others to do so as well.

    Has Hegel lost his mind, or does he know what is he talking about?Pussycat

    Knowledge of the whole for Hegel does not mean knowledge of every particular. It is not a claim of omniscience. The Phenomenology describes the movement of thought from consciousness to self-consciousness - knower and known.
  • Pussycat
    194
    Nevertheless, the idea is a bit grandiose, don't you think?
  • Fooloso4
    995
    Nevertheless, the idea is a bit grandiose, don't you think?Pussycat

    Yes, I do. I think Hegel is important because he makes time and change essential to thinking.
  • Pussycat
    194
    Yes, so his philosophy, method or theory has the explanatory power to give an account for all philosophical thoughts throughout history. Meaning for example when Aristotle thought something, Hegel can come up and say why he thought so and what he meant by it, the same for everyone else. Also, it explains itself.
  • Fooloso4
    995
    Yes, so his philosophy, method or theory has the explanatory power to give an account for all philosophical thoughts throughout history. Meaning for example when Aristotle thought something, Hegel can come up and say why he thought so and what he meant by it, the same for everyone else. Also, it explains itself.Pussycat

    I don't think it is a matter of Hegel being able to explain why Aristotle thought as he did but that since Hegel denies that there can be partial knowledge, Aristotle's philosophy, as well as the philosophy of all others before Hegel, is deficient, incomplete.

    I don't think this means that Hegel was able to definitively explain everything that Aristotle said.
  • Pussycat
    194
    Perhaps I wasn't clear, I will post an example. In the Science of Logic, Hegel writes (21.13):

    “In so many respects,” says Aristotle in the same context, “is human nature in bondage; but this science, which is not pursued for any utility, is alone free in and for itself, and for this reason it appears not to be a human possession.” — Hegel

    In the above, Hegel quotes Aristotle, where the latter tries to find and define the "first science", metaphysics or theology as he calls it, what its subject matter is etc.

    http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0052%3Abook%3D1%3Asection%3D982b

    And so, the first science appears to Aristotle to be of divine nature, giving his reasons for it. Hegel gives his own reasons as well for this appearance, but in terms of his own philosophical system, and thus goes further than Aristotle. In the process, he would have to explain why Aristotle didn't think of what he himself did.

    And elsewhere, where for example he examines Plato's Ideas, Hegel does so within his philosophical system, he doesn't just say that Plato was wrong and disposes of his thoughts, but tries to give an account of what Plato thought in hegelian terms. I have no idea how he does this, but I am certain that every thought, no matter what, is put under the microscope in his own system.
  • Fooloso4
    995
    In the process, he would have to explain why Aristotle didn't think of what he himself did.Pussycat

    The explanation has to do with the development of thought in time through history, the dialectical movement from the objective to the subjective.

    And elsewhere, where for example he examines Plato's Ideas, Hegel does so within his philosophical system, he doesn't just say that Plato was wrong and disposes of his thoughts, but tries to give an account of what Plato thought in hegelian terms.Pussycat

    I do not know the details of this but in general this is how Hegel regards all prior philosophers. There is something correct in their view but it is aufheben, sublated. Each proposition followed to its logical end contains its own contradiction.
  • Pussycat
    194
    Yes, sublation, if this is how all things are evolving, then it must also be at the core of the Theory of Evolution, speciation I mean, the way new species are being generated. Thus giving birth to man, the most contradictory being that man knows. But I am mostly interested in Hegel from a physics point of view, as it is reflected in bohmian mechanics, the peculiar interpretation of quantum mechanics that David Bohm developed along with mathematician Basil Hiley.

    Anyway, why did you stop your reading?
  • Fooloso4
    995
    Yes, sublation, if this is how all things are evolving ...Pussycat

    Hegel is talking about the movement of thought or spirit. I don't think this extends to physics or evolution, but I could be wrong.
  • Fooloso4
    995
    Anyway, why did you stop your reading?Pussycat

    It was taking too much time and energy. I was spending many hours working through a single paragraph in some cases.
  • Pussycat
    194
    Hegel is talking about the movement of thought or spirit. I don't think this extends to physics or evolution, but I could be wrong.Fooloso4

    But Hegel's philosophy is about the whole, so how could it leave these things behind?? After all, Hegel provides the scientific foundations, and physics and evolutionary biology are sciences.

    Hegel’s Philosophy of Nature:
    https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/hegel/natindex.htm

    It was taking too much time and energy. I was spending many hours working through a single paragraph in some cases.Fooloso4

    Indeed, these things have leisure as a prerequisite.

    'It was only', says Aristotle, 'after almost everything necessary and everything requisite for human comfort and intercourse was available, that man began to concern himself with philosophical knowledge' 'In Egypt', he had previously remarked, 'there was an early development of the mathematical sciences because there the priestly caste at an early stage were in a position to have leisure'. — science of logic
  • Fooloso4
    995
    But Hegel's philosophy is about the whole, so how could it leave these things behind?? After all, Hegel provides the scientific foundations, and physics and evolutionary biology are sciences.Pussycat

    The question is not whether he leaves these things behind but whether the process of nature is the same as the process of the development of spirit, specifically, whether the development is a process of aufheben. For example, in the link to Hegel's philosophy of nature he says:

    § 210. Gravitation is the true and determinate concept of material corporeality ...

    This would indicate that the processes are not the same, but I have not read the text, although one leads to the other.
  • Valentinus
    504
    I have no idea how he does this, but I am certain that every thought, no matter what, is put under the microscope in his own system.Pussycat

    Hegel does not consider a lot of things. His "system" is built upon certain principles. The method makes some things more important than others. The selection relates to what he considers the issue in his idea of development. To say that means he could have an opinion about anything that anybody said is to abandon his project and just treat the work as another opinion among others.

    Whether he succeeded or not in reaching the goals he set out for himself is one thing. Referring to those goals as a given is another.
  • Pussycat
    194
    The question is not whether he leaves these things behind but whether the process of nature is the same as the process of the development of spirit, specifically, whether the development is a process of aufheben. For example, in the link to Hegel's philosophy of nature he says:Fooloso4

    The link I posted is only a brief description/outline. For more details, you should see Hegel's philosophy of nature, the long version. There he starts with the concept of Space, showing how it negates into Time:

    Negativity, as point, relates itself to space, in which it develops its determinations as line and plane; but in the sphere of self-externality, negativity is equally for itself and so are its determinations; but, at the same time, these are posited in the sphere of self-externality, and negativity, in so doing, appears as indifferent to the inert side-by-sideness of space. Negativity, thus posited for itself, is Time. — hegel

    From there he goes on to speak of bodies and matter, and eventually gravity.

    The truth of space is time, and thus space becomes time; the transition to time is not made subjectively by us, but made by space itself. In pictorial thought, space and time are taken to be quite separate: we have space and also time; philosophy fights against this 'also'. — hegel

    Well, philosophy fought against the separation of space and time, combining them into spacetime. But this is nevertheless a mathematical construct, what it means philosophically, I think it still escapes the scientists.
  • Pussycat
    194
    Whether he succeeded or not in reaching the goals he set out for himself is one thing. Referring to those goals as a given is another.Valentinus

    Speaking for my part, I take these goals as a given in order to understand what on earth he was on about. We shall see.
  • Pussycat
    194
    § 210. Gravitation is the true and determinate concept of material corporeality ...

    This would indicate that the processes are not the same, but I have not read the text, although one leads to the other.
    Fooloso4

    Regarding gravity, at the time of Hegel, gravity was thought as an external force acting upon the bodies. Hegel says this is not correct reasoning, but that gravity is a manifestation of the bodies themselves. He therefore criticizes Newton for speaking of a dubious "force" of gravity, acting at a distance, and praises Kepler for showing the same "law of gravity" only geometrically, relating motion with time and space:

    Dimensionless time achieves therefore only a formal identity with itself; space, on the other hand, as positive being outside of itself achieves the dimension of the concept. The Keplerian law is thus the relation of the cubes of the distances to the squares of the times;-a law which is so great because it simply and directly depicts the reason of the thing. The Newtonian formula, however, which transforms it into a law for the force of gravity, exhibits only the perversion and inversion of reflection which has stopped halfway. — hegel

    And of course, this is how general relativity treats the concept of gravity, any force is fictitious and superfluous. Spacetime is not some container where matter happens to exist and move, but it is indistinguishable from matter:

    Einstein believed that the hole argument implies that the only meaningful definition of location and time is through matter. A point in spacetime is meaningless in itself, because the label which one gives to such a point is undetermined. Spacetime points only acquire their physical significance because matter is moving through them. In his words:

    "All our space-time verifications invariably amount to a determination of space-time coincidences. If, for example, events consisted merely in the motion of material points, then ultimately nothing would be observable but the meeting of two or more of these points."[7]

    He considered this the deepest insight of general relativity.
    — wiki

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hole_argument
  • Pussycat
    194
    Supposedly, one could understand all of the above and most possibly discover or rather re-discover the whole of Hegel's philosophy and maybe even more, if one could understand the "Phenomenology of Spirit", which makes this book the starting point of the investigation into the matter.
  • Fooloso4
    995
    Supposedly, one could understand all of the above and most possibly discover or rather re-discover the whole of Hegel's philosophy and maybe even more, if one could understand the "Phenomenology of Spirit", which makes this book the starting point of the investigation into the matter.Pussycat

    So, what are your thoughts on the preface to the Phenomenology as it has been discussed so far in this topic?
  • Pussycat
    194
    So, what are your thoughts on the preface to the Phenomenology as it has been discussed so far in this topic?Fooloso4

    I haven't really meticulously gone through everything that you discussed, but, from what I read, I think that you came to a standstill with the Phenomenology, as have I of course, which happens every time I occupy myself with Hegel. :groan: So I don't have a lot to say. Just two things.

    1. When Hegel compares his own work with a work on anatomy, what he means to say is that in the latter, this work separates itself from the subject, as it is something external to it, like force is assumed, or at least was, to be something external to a body. In that, there is a very clear separation between the subject matter in hand - the anatomical body - and the theory that attempts to explain it - anatomy. Anatomy could never and in fact never participates in its subject, the body, how could it anyway? But in the case of philosophy that deals with the whole, a philosophical work must also include itself, even if at the beginning of the exposé it seems that the subject-matter is something external to it, or some particular, like anatomy is to the body. Eventually, and if it is successful, it should be found out and be evident that the work was speaking about itself all along, or the universal, so the relation that a philosophical work has with its subject-matter is internal, and not external. This is very difficult to do of course, and I think only philosophy does this, I can't think of any other. I mean, if there is such a science, like philosophy, that examines everything there is and the reason why these every-things exist, then sooner or later the philosopher and examiner will start wondering about philosophy herself and her own reason, making it so to fall back on herself, and then what would we have to say if philosophy's subject-matter turns out to be herself? Well, it seems that we would have to say things like Hegel did. I guess that this shouldn't come up as a surprise, but it does.

    I think this is what you meant when you wrote:

    The whole of the subject matter includes not just the result of what has been worked out but the working out itself, which is to say, the working itself out.

    The thing at stake, the subject matter, die Sache selbst, is not a thing-in-itself, Ding an sich. In other words, it is not something to be treated as a subject does an object that stands apart.

    That is, instead of standing apart one must stand within. The term ‘subject matter’ rather than ‘object matter’ is suggestive.
    — Fooloso4
  • Pussycat
    194
    2. Hegel admits somewhere, either in the Phenomenology or in the Science of Logic, or you all might have said it yourselves, that the order of how true philosophy is exposed does not matter, the parts. I am guessing that he was at odds with himself with how he would present his findings. Eventually he settled with something, since anyway he couldn't have done otherwise. But we should bear in mind that from the point of view of someone that has seen the whole, it is not easy to bring this into the minds of people that have seen only parts, if any. After all, we are all different, and what appeared to Hegel as the correct method - if there is such - to present his system, might not agree with everyone. So what I said earlier:

    Supposedly, one could understand all of the above and most possibly discover or rather re-discover the whole of Hegel's philosophy and maybe even more, if one could understand the "Phenomenology of Spirit", which makes this book the starting point of the investigation into the matter.

    is plain wrong. I don't think there is a "right" method or order, which means that we can be at liberty to tackle the problem anyway we feel like, bringing things out of order, or seeking help elsewhere, it is not a linear development I mean, but nevertheless not to lose track of the end result, which is to understand Hegel's philosophy.

    It's gonna be a long road, for sure, but maybe we can come back with a story to say.

  • Fooloso4
    995
    I think that you came to a standstill with the PhenomenologyPussycat

    My original intention was to put the question of absolute otherness aside for the time being. It is often the case that what I cannot understand at one moment becomes clearer later. I decided not to go further with reading the text now not because of a standstill but because of other demands, including the demand to not spend whole days with one text or with sitting, reading, and writing.

    Eventually, and if it is successful, it should be found out and be evident that the work was speaking about itself all along, or the universal, so the relation that a philosophical work has with its subject-matter is internal, and not external.Pussycat

    While I do think that the subject must be taken into consideration with regard to the object, I don't think that the subject-matter of knowledge can be reduced to the internal, that is, the subject. Perhaps here we must confront absolute otherness. The object of knowledge in general is not the subject, although with regard to knowledge of it there are the poles of knower and known.

    A related problem is the identification of the subject. The subject should not be thought of as the solitary individual. The individual is culturally and historically situated in time. There is a sense in which the subject is 'we' rather than 'I'.

    if there is such a science, like philosophy, that examines everything there is and the reason why these every-things exist ...Pussycat

    Does Hegel address the question of why things exist, why there is something rather than nothing?

    I am guessing that he was at odds with himself with how he would present his findings.Pussycat

    Part of the problem is that the whole cannot be presented as a whole all at once.
    So what I said earlier:

    Supposedly, one could understand all of the above and most possibly discover or rather re-discover the whole of Hegel's philosophy and maybe even more, if one could understand the "Phenomenology of Spirit", which makes this book the starting point of the investigation into the matter.

    is plain wrong.
    Pussycat

    Well, one must start somewhere. A phenomenological account is a good place to start since it addresses both subject and object, but one might get to the same place starting elsewhere.

    ...we can be at liberty to tackle the problem anyway we feel like...Pussycat

    If one's goal is to understand Hegel, and by this I mean regard him as a teacher of philosophy with something to teach us, then I think it best to follow his lead.
  • Pussycat
    194
    My original intention was to put the question of absolute otherness aside for the time being. It is often the case that what I cannot understand at one moment becomes clearer later. I decided not to go further with reading the text now not because of a standstill but because of other demands, including the demand to not spend whole days with one text or with sitting, reading, and writing.Fooloso4

    Yes, I got what you said the first time, "taking too much time and energy", as it happens to be the case for me too. But when I asked "why did you stop your reading?", I was not referring to you, or at least not just you personally, but to the reading group, huh, as a whole. The same for the "you" in the "standstill".

    While I do think that the subject must be taken into consideration with regard to the object, I don't think that the subject-matter of knowledge can be reduced to the internal, that is, the subject. Perhaps here we must confront absolute otherness. The object of knowledge in general is not the subject, although with regard to knowledge of it there are the poles of knower and known.Fooloso4

    I am not sure I understand what you mean by "I don't think that the subject-matter of knowledge can be reduced to the internal, that is, the subject". In any case, I was referring to the relation that philosophy has to its subject-matter. I will rephrase it in another way. If we say that philosophy is a collection of thoughts, then, if we are talking about the totality of thoughts, philosophy should also include itself in this collection, because the collection of all thoughts is also a thought. This differs from anatomy, or other sciences, since the anatomical thoughts or propositions regarding the animal or human body do not refer to or include the science - anatomy - that examines them. In the same way as with philosophy, a work on logic that attempts to find the laws of logic, must include itself, since it is through logic that the logical laws are to be found. So it is evident that it must be something circular, like for example a feedback loop, positive or negative or both, the loop being stressed in time.

    Does Hegel address the question of why things exist, why there is something rather than nothing?Fooloso4

    From what I know, no, he does not address this question, do you think he had his reasons for not doing so, or the thought didn't just cross his mind? Heidegger, I believe, following in Hegel's footsteps, attempted to answer this question, but I don't know what he presented as answer. But when I wrote "the reason why these every-things exist", I wasn't thinking of this question in terms of existence, but as to their purpose, what do they serve?

    If one's goal is to understand Hegel, and by this I mean regard him as a teacher of philosophy with something to teach us, then I think it best to follow his lead.Fooloso4

    But what lead is that? Never satisfied with himself, as can be seen from his re-workings and the renewed prefaces, he kept changing it. At some point he asked for patience and indulgence. Well no more!! haha Anyway, we will see.
  • Fooloso4
    995
    But when I asked "why did you stop your reading?", I was not referring to you, or at least not just you personally, but to the reading group, huh, as a whole.Pussycat

    Having given my reasons I will leave it to others to say.

    I am not sure I understand what you mean by "I don't think that the subject-matter of knowledge can be reduced to the internal, that is, the subject".Pussycat

    The subject matter of knowledge includes things in the world - objects, events, processes, and so on. Knowledge of anatomy has to do with the structure of bodies that are other than the subject who desires to know.


    I was referring to the relation that philosophy has to its subject-matter.Pussycat

    Philosophy is self-reflexive. Its subject matter is the whole.

    So it is evident that it must be something circular, like for example a feedback loop, positive or negative or both, the loop being stressed in time.Pussycat

    Yes, it is circular. But not in the sense of closing off, rather it is all inclusive.

    do you think he had his reasons for not doing so, or the thought didn't just cross his mind?Pussycat

    Although I don't know if he ever addressed the question either directly or indirectly, given his familiarity with the history of philosophy I think he was aware of the question. Nothing is fundamental to Hegel's logic. That there is something has something to do with nothing.

    But when I wrote "the reason why these every-things exist", I wasn't thinking of this question in terms of existence, but as to their purpose, what do they serve?Pussycat

    I touched on the question of purpose, or more precisely purposive doing in my response to paragraph 22 (page 9 of this discussion). Purposive doing is not for some external purpose, that is, it is not about serving a purpose.

    But what lead is that?Pussycat

    While I agree with you that we are at liberty to tackle the problem anyway we feel like, in my opinion, with any philosopher we hope to learn from, we must attempt to think along with them, follow their thoughts where they lead us. This is, of course, not the end of the matter. We might also learn from them by challenging them, but to challenge need not be to reject. We may, however, decide to reject them, but this may be a rejection of our own misunderstanding of them.
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