• tim wood
    2.9k
    I'm reading #s26, 27 much more simply. I'm reading: The first part as simply a statement that there is such a thing as individual awareness: we're all aware. And we're all aware of our surroundings and the things in it. That is, no Kantian problem of the Noumenon. Kant is answering the problem of what is required to have, to ground, a science. Hegel seems to ignore that question entirely and simply assume that what Kant worked so hard to give, is simply there. Then Hegel asks, and will answer, given this stuff (pace Kant) how do we do science? In Hegel's terms, then, we start with the perceptions of, say, a panther, a strictly "animal' perception. (Perhaps Hegel takes the notion of self for granted as well.)

    For its part, science requires that self-consciousness shall have elevated itself into this ether in order to be able to live with science and to live in science, and, for that matter, to be able to live at all. — Hegel/Pinkard

    Or perhaps there's a dialectic that leads to a developed notion of self-as-being. Maybe the hammer-on-thumb moment that elevates pain from itself to "I hurt," (and maybe if I'm smarter I won't hurt myself next time!).

    In any case, awareness beyond mere animal perception.

    Then there is the juxtaposition of self-consciousness and science, one as the negation of the other:

    or, because immediate self-consciousness is the principle of actuality, by immediate self-consciousness existing for itself outside of science, science takes the form of non-actuality. — Hegel/Pinkard

    To become actual, science has to unite itself with self-consciousness.

    This coming-to-be of science itself, or, of knowing, is what is presented in this phenomenology of spirit as the first part of the system of science. Knowing, as it is at first, or, as immediate spirit, is devoid of spirit, is sensuous consciousness. In order to become genuine knowing, or, in order to beget the element of science which is its pure concept, immediate spirit must laboriously travel down a long path. — Hegel/Pinkard

    The "long path," so far, is going to be the course of recognizing and accounting the continuous process of sublation. That is, a combined asking and answering that in its own process creates its own evolution into its own being. In crude terms, the movement from no questions - and no answers - to elementary and stupid questions, to increasingly refined and even self-reflective questions.

    Even the term "question" is loaded, as most learn in 101. Putting nature, the world, "to the question," means to extract information based on a structured asking - the process of science itself - as opposed to passive observation of what is presented, and conjecture and speculation on why it's presented and what it means.

    Kant starts with immortality, freedom, and God. He'll argue that these present both irresistible - they cannot merely be dismissed - and unresolvable problems, and then argue out a work-around. Of these first issues, Hegel always has them in view, and understands them as needing to be approached as opposed to being immediately accessed. In other words, in simplest terms, Hegel may be understood at first as a reaction to Kant.

    In any case, it is something very different from the inspiration which begins immediately, like a shot from a pistol, with absolute knowledge, and which has already finished with all the other standpoints simply by declaring that it will take no notice of them." — Hegel/Pinkard

    Hegel will take notice of everything. The taking notice itself, as well as the noticing, reflected on itself repeatedly until done, will be his approach to absolute spirit.
  • Valentinus
    498

    I agree with Stewart that Hegel and Kierkegaard collide in many places but that the differences are not a simple matter of thesis versus antithesis.

    I brought up Kierkegaard since he emphasized the centrality of the Single Individual. In the passage I quoted by Hegel, I wonder if the statement can be be seen as a shared point of departure, a moment of agreement before struggling with each other.

    Stewart depicts faith as something like the Romantic's criticism of reason as insufficient. Kierkegaard is better understood as a follower of Pascal who recognized that Christianity was absurd in a fundamental way but who also argued that it is a better model of the human condition than others.

    So, in addition to the specific arguments made in regards to what must exist, there has been introduced a psychological register where some models fit better than others. The "long path" reference in Hegel's text is an acknowledgment that experience is not a simple thing given to anybody.
  • Amity
    606
    I brought up Kierkegaard since he emphasized the centrality of the Single Individual. In the passage I quoted by Hegel, I wonder if the statement can be be seen as a shared point of departure, a moment of agreement before struggling with each other.Valentinus

    Thanks for explanation and point to ponder on our path. It's good to linger a while.

    So, in addition to the specific arguments made in regards to what must exist, there has been introduced a psychological register where some models fit better than others. The "long path" reference in Hegel's text is an acknowledgment that experience is not a simple thing given to anybody.Valentinus

    The idea of the 'path', I think was first introduced in para 12. I look back at the discussion about the prize at the end of a 'winding path' being won through struggle and effort. The prize of the 'beginning of a new spirit' being the final outcome. It seems clearer now. As is 'this path to science is itself already science'.

    I think it perfectly understandable that it is life's journey itself, with all its experiences, that can help move us. In different ways at different times. There is no single appropriate fit or model.
    I don't know where the image of the spiral staircase to the Absolute is referenced. Anyone ?
    I don't think it helpful. Again, it smacks of religiosity. A glorious path ascending to Perfection.

    This idea of reaching, or grasping at, a perfect ideal might be fine for a few philosophers.
    It might be the case that philosophy is an essential part of the whole but it isn't everything.
    Our knowledge/understanding of the human condition is gained via many sources.
    Not so much a ghost but a host of many coloured disciplines.
    It is this almost religious sense of the importance of Western, European or German philosophy in our historical development or culture that I take exception to. So very narrow...and it is not available to all, even if it were so desired.

    But perhaps I have it all wrong...
  • Valentinus
    498

    It is this almost religious sense of the importance of Western, European or German philosophy in our historical development or culture that I take exception to. So very narrow...and it is not available to all, even if it were so desired.Amity

    Your statement has been articulated in many ways. Hegel, himself, said many things that compared his "culture" in a better light than others.

    But, as a matter of intellectual inheritance, his work paved the way for you to express your objection.

    Irony abounds.
  • Amity
    606
    Your statement has been articulated in many ways. Hegel, himself, said many things that compared his "culture" in a better light than others.Valentinus

    Yes. Such criticism ( and more ) is supported by others more articulate than whot I am.
    For example, 'In the Spirt of Hegel' by Robert Solomon.
    https://www.scribd.com/document/321486406/SOLOMON-Robert-In-the-Spirit-of-Hegel-pdf

    Also, Bertrand Russell offers a critical analysis of Hegel in his 'History of Western Philosophy'.
    https://archive.org/details/RUSSELLHEGEL1946

    This is counterbalanced by John Cottingham's 'Western Philosophy - an Anthology'.
    And so it goes.

    But, as a matter of intellectual inheritance, his work paved the way for you to express your objection.Valentinus

    'Intellectual inheritance' - sounds good but what does it mean ?
    If it is about the history of philosophy then I agree Hegel played his part.
    However, it is a strong claim to make that his work paved the way for me to express my objection.
    This is not about intellectual inheritance but intellectual or cognitive development.
    I don't need to read a 'Who's Who' in Western Philosophy to reach an understanding of individual progress to self-realisation or wellbeingness, holistically.

    Irony abounds.Valentinus
    Yes it does. Sarcasm too. Especially when there are difficulties in communicating ideas from one brain to another in writing. And through the lens of bias.

    The "long path" reference in Hegel's text is an acknowledgment that experience is not a simple thing given to anybody.Valentinus

    What kind of experience are you referring to ?
  • Amity
    606
    Is it science in Hegel's sense of the term, that is, knowledge of the whole?
    — Fooloso4

    I don't know. I doubt it is exactly Hegel's approach. Goethe wasn't such a brilliant, mad philosopher.
    It would be interesting to see how they compare.
    Amity

    Exchange of letters between Hegel and Goethe. Did Hegel appropriate Goethe's idea ?
    https://ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/works/on-hegel.htm
    No 43 Goethe, Hegel and Marx
    ( 19 page downloadable pdf )
  • Valentinus
    498
    Yes it does. Sarcasm too. Especially when there are difficulties in communicating ideas from one brain to another in writing. And through the lens of bias.Amity

    I meant no offense. The irony applies to my own efforts to criticize Hegel.

    I had a teacher who once asked me how I could separate using tools made by others from one's I forged myself. I used to think the question was about authenticity versus imitation. An Hegelian point of view says to me that the new is both.

    If I use something made before for my purposes, that is a new "determination." If I organize elements in a way that gets other people to start talking in a new way, that too, is a kind of new "determination."

    The "Concept" beyond the boundaries of an individual are developed by both kinds of change. It introduces a Z axis where previously there was only X and Y.
  • tim wood
    2.9k
    Pinkard 28

    28.
    "However, the task of leading the individual from his culturally immature standpoint up to and into science had to be taken in its universal sense, and the universal individual, the world spirit, had to be examined in the development of its cultural education. – With regard to the relationship between these two, each moment, as it achieves concrete form and its own figuration, appears in the universal individual.

    However, the particular individual is an incomplete spirit, a concrete shape whose entire existence falls into one determinateness and in which the other features are only present as intermingled traits.

    In any spirit that stands higher than another, the lower concrete existence has descended to the status of an insignificant moment; what was formerly at stake is now only a trace; its shape has been covered over and has become a simple shading of itself.

    The individual whose substance is spirit standing at the higher level runs through these past forms in the way that a person who takes up a higher science goes through those preparatory studies which he has long ago internalized in order to make their content current before him; he calls them to mind without having his interest linger upon them. In that way, each individual spirit also runs through the culturally formative stages of the universal spirit, but it runs through them as shapes which spirit has already laid aside, as stages on a path that has been worked out and leveled out in the same way that we see fragments of knowing, which in earlier ages occupied men of mature minds, now sink to the level of exercises, and even to that of games for children.

    In this pedagogical progression, we recognize the history of the cultural formation of the world sketched in silhouette. This past existence has already become an acquired possession of the universal spirit; it constitutes the substance of the individual, or, his inorganic nature. – In this respect, the cultural formation of the individual regarded from his own point of view consists in his acquiring all of this which is available, in his living off that inorganic nature and in his taking possession of it for himself. Likewise, this is nothing but the universal spirit itself, or, substance giving itself its self-consciousness, or, its coming-to-be and its reflective turn into itself.
    — Hegel/Pinkard
  • Amity
    606
    I had a teacher who once asked me how I could separate using tools made by others from one's I forged myself. I used to think the question was about authenticity versus imitation. An Hegelian point of view says to me that the new is both.

    If I use something made before for my purposes, that is a new "determination." If I organize elements in a way that gets other people to start talking in a new way, that too, is a kind of new "determination."

    The "Concept" beyond the boundaries of an individual are developed by both kinds of change. It introduces a Z axis where previously there was only X and Y.
    Valentinus

    Interesting story. If I understand correctly, then I agree.
    The tools you forged yourself could be a direct copy, an imitation of the original product - X.

    However, I think there would be differences even if same materials were used. Humans are not robots who churn out identikits.
    If handmade then differences in skills, experience and ability would result in something unique to you; even if not original. That reproduction would be new but not significantly different - Y.

    If you then use some imagination ( ? a movement of spirit - inspiration ) to create or invent a new product by tweaking the old and adding a new element, then - Z.
    You are a design genius.

    Same with concepts.
    I am not sure what you mean by 'beyond the boundaries of the individual'.
    As individuals, don't we in the main have an inherent drive - an inner necessity- to progress either to benefit self or with others.
    Are you talking about the consciousness which moves us to a heightened awareness of the possible ?
  • Fooloso4
    960
    26:

    Pure self-knowing in absolute otherness, this ether as such, is the very ground and soil of science, or, knowing in its universality.

    All knowing takes place in unconditioned otherness, that is, in what is other than self. As its ground and soil, the otherness to self cannot be separate from self-knowing. Pure self-knowing is purity from otherness.

    The beginning of philosophy presupposes or demands that consciousness is situated in this element.

    Both Plato and Aristotle say that philosophy begins in wonder (‘thaumazein’) (Theaetetus 155c-d; Metaphysics 982b). There can be no wonder without a sense of the otherness of what engenders wonder. It is what lies beyond or outside of what can be understood or taken within consciousness, what remains a mystery.

    However, this element itself has its culmination and its transparency only through the movement of its coming-to-be. It is pure spirituality, or, the universal in the mode of simple immediacy. It is pure spirituality, or, the universal in the mode of simple immediacy.

    The coming to be of otherness is not the coming to be of the object in and for itself but of its coming to be for us, that is, as an object of consciousness. It is pure spirituality in that it is for us in its immediacy, in its otherness, its mystery, understood universally rather than as a particular object of consciousness.

    Because it is the immediacy of spirit, because it is the substance of spirit, it is transfigured essentiality, reflection that is itself simple, or, is immediacy; it is being that is a reflective turn into itself.

    The substance of spirit is the union of consciousness and what is for consciousness. Otherness is transfigured from what is other than or independent of consciousness to what is for consciousness in its immediacy. Being becomes conscious of itself.

    For its part, science requires that self-consciousness shall have elevated itself into this ether in order to be able to live with science and to live in science, and, for that matter, to be able to live at all.

    Science requires that self-consciousness be situated in the ether of absolute otherness. It must become other in and for itself, its own object.

    Conversely, the individual has the right to demand that science provide him at least with the ladder to reach this standpoint. The individual’s right is based on his absolute self-sufficiency, which he knows he possesses in every shape of his knowing, for in every shape, whether recognized by science or not, and no matter what the content might be, the individual is at the same time the absolute form, or, he has immediate self-certainty; and, if one were to prefer this expression, he thereby has an unconditioned being.

    The individual in his conscious awareness is not aware of his awareness but of what is given immediately in awareness. His absolute self-sufficiency, his being unconditioned, his immediate self-certainty of being, requires for its self-sufficiency self-knowledge. He must be both knower and known.

    However much the standpoint of consciousness, which is to say, the standpoint of knowing objective things to be opposed to itself and knowing itself to be opposed to them, counts as the other to science – the other, in which consciousness is at one with itself, counts instead as the loss of spirit – still, in comparison, the element of science possesses for consciousness an other-worldly remoteness in which consciousness is no longer in possession of itself.

    The standpoint of consciousness is its awareness of things as other than itself. This standpoint, the opposition of subject and object, is the other of science. Science is self-consciousness, the unity of consciousness with itself, is the loss of spirit because it is the loss of consciousness of the world.

    Each of these two parts seems to the other to be an inversion of the truth.

    The one part is consciousness as knowing objective things, the other consciousness knowing itself. Each taken by itself is an inversion of the truth because each by itself leads away from the truth, that is, away from the concept of the whole in which both parts are united, identity in difference.

    For the natural consciousness to entrust itself immediately to science would be to make an attempt, induced by it knows not what, to walk upside down all of a sudden. The compulsion to accept this unaccustomed attitude and to transport oneself in that way would be, so it would seem, a violence imposed on it with neither any advance preparation nor with any necessity.

    The natural consciousness is consciousness of objects and is thus not sufficient to move immediately to science. It is one sided, undeveloped, not yet prepared to be knowledge of the whole, that is, of the identity in difference between subject and substance, knower and known.

    Science may be in its own self what it will, but in its relationship to immediate self-consciousness, it presents itself as an inversion of the latter, or, because immediate self-consciousness is the principle of actuality, by immediate self-consciousness existing for itself outside of science, science takes the form of non-actuality.

    Self-consciousness is immediacy. Science is mediated, the conception of or thinking about rather than the immediacy of self-consciousness.

    Accordingly, science has to unite that element with itself or instead to show both that such an element belongs to itself and how it belongs to it. Lacking actuality, science is the in-itself, the purpose, which at the start is still something inner, at first not as spirit but only as spiritual substance. It has to express itself and become for itself, and this means nothing else than that it has to posit self-consciousness as being at one with itself.

    Science is the in-itself but must become for itself, that is, it must move from self-consciousness as being something inner, by which substance is other or object to self-consciousness, to self-consciousness being for itself, the whole as the union of substance and subject. Here spirit is no longer substance, that is, object of consciousness but the actualization of spirit, as in itself and for itself; not something that is mine or particular, or even as universal, but as absolute, the identity of difference, one with itself.
  • Amity
    606
    Excerpt, para 26:
    Conversely, the individual has the right to demand that science provide him at least with the ladder to reach this standpoint. The individual’s right is based on his absolute self-sufficiency, which he knows he possesses in every shape of his knowing, for in every shape, whether recognized by science or not, and no matter what the content might be, the individual is at the same time the absolute form, or, he has immediate self-certainty; and, if one were to prefer this expression, he thereby has an unconditioned being — Hegel/Pinkard

    Response:
    The individual in his conscious awareness is not aware of his awareness but of what is given immediately in awareness. His absolute self-sufficiency, his being unconditioned, his immediate self-certainty of being, requires for its self-sufficiency self-knowledge. He must be both knower and known.Fooloso4

    Discussion:
    That makes sense to me.
    In that the claim is that it is philosophy alone which is supposed to lead to increased understanding of self via others.
    If this is the case, then it should provide the means, the ladder - the structure of reason - to facilitate this process. The path to knowledge or science.
    The starting point is the individual, the subject who is aware of his limitations and is curious to know more about the awesome world out there. As you point out:

    Both Plato and Aristotle say that philosophy begins in wonder (‘thaumazein’) (Theaetetus 155c-d; Metaphysics 982b). There can be no wonder without a sense of the otherness of what engenders wonder. It is what lies beyond or outside of what can be understood or taken within consciousness, what remains a mystery.Fooloso4

    The image of the ladder reminds me of the Wittgenstein thread you participated in.
    In that case, wasn't the ladder kicked away ? Do you think that it might be a different kind of ladder ?
    I can't remember the details.

    Anyway, as always, Fooloso4, thanks for the in--depth analysis, requiring time and effort.
    Most helpful.
  • Fooloso4
    960
    In that the claim is that it is philosophy alone which is supposed to lead to increased understanding of self via others.Amity

    Standard disclaimer: in trying to work out what Hegel says I am forced to frequently revise what I think he is saying. What follows is no exception.

    I think that absolute otherness as discussed here does not refer to others but to pure self-knowing, that is, knowing that has itself as its object, which is to say, that treats itself as other. What is absolute is not relative to or conditioned by anything else. The otherness of objects in the world as well as other people are other relative to me, and so, cannot be absolute otherness. The otherness of myself is not relative to anything other than myself. But absolute otherness cannot be the otherness of myself to myself either, because that would make it dependent on me. Knowing in its universality means what is common to all knowing, the unification of subject and object, identity in difference. All knowledge is self-knowledge. Absolute otherness must be the otherness of the whole within itself as the condition for the whole's self-knowledge. The circle of self-knowledge plays out on the levels of the individual, the culture, and the whole. The first two are limited wholes, the last the whole of wholes.

    If this is the case, then it should provide the means, the ladder - the structure of reason - to facilitate this process. The path to knowledge or science.Amity

    Others do come into play but here we are led to the same question as in the ascent from Plato's cave. If one is led up and out, then who led out those who can lead us out? Is there first one individual who did not require others? In line with the metaphor of the ladder, the rungs may have been put in place by the work of those who came before, but each new step requires going further than what culture and education provided. There must still be someone whose step goes beyond what was already provided. But now with Hegel all the rungs are in place.

    Hegel goes on to claim that the individual has immediate self-certainty, an unconditioned being. I think that what he is getting at here is the certainly of our being. Descartes' self-certainty was his Archimedean point, from which he could move the Earth. Perhaps Hegel is suggesting that Descartes science was incomplete because he failed to otherness into account.

    ... curious to know more ...Amity

    I think it is more than curiosity. It is desire, eros, love. And here again we are reminded of Hegel's claim that the title of love of knowing can be set aside and replaced by actual knowing (5).

    The image of the ladder reminds me of the Wittgenstein thread you participated in.
    In that case, wasn't the ladder kicked away ? Do you think that it might be a different kind of ladder ?
    I can't remember the details.
    Amity

    There are some similarities but the image of the ladder is an old one. There is, for example, Jacob's ladder (Genesis 28:10-17). Hegel's ladder is to reach the standpoint of absolute otherness, the ground and soil of science. Wittgenstein's ladder is leads to what is beyond the limits of science.
  • Fooloso4
    960


    I think you are right about the importance of others for self-consciousness, but what I am still struggling with the concept of absolute otherness. It seems to be a contradiction in terms. What is other is so relative to something, but if relative then it is not absolute.

    [Added: I might put this question aside for now.]
  • Amity
    606
    [Added: I might put this question aside for now.]Fooloso4

    Yes, you and me both.
    Ciao :cool:
  • tim wood
    2.9k
    Pinkard #s 29, 30

    29.
    Science of this culturally educative movement is the detail and the necessity of its shaping, as what has been diminished into a moment and a possession of spirit. The aim is spirit’s insight into what knowing is.

    Impatience demands the impossible, which is to say, to achieve the end without the means. On the one hand, the length of the path has to be endured, for each moment is necessary – but on the other hand, one must linger at every stage on the way, for each stage is itself an entire individual shape, and it is viewed absolutely only insofar as its determinateness is viewed as a whole, or, as concrete, or, insofar as the whole is viewed in terms of the distinctiveness of this determination. – Both because the substance of the individual, the world spirit, has possessed the patience to pass through these forms over a long stretch of time and to take upon itself the prodigious labor of world history, and because it could not have reached consciousness about itself in any lesser way, the individual spirit itself cannot comprehend its own substance with anything less.

    At the same time, it has less trouble in doing so because in the meantime it has accomplished this in itself – the content is already actuality erased to possibility, immediacy which has been mastered. That content, which is already what has been thought, is the possession of individuality. It is no longer existence which is to be converted into being-in-itself. Rather, it is just the in-itself which is to be converted into the form of being-for-itself. The way this is done is now to be more precisely determined.

    30.
    In this movement, although the individual is spared the sublation of existence, what still remains is the representation of and the familiarity with the forms.

    The existence taken back into the substance is through that first negation at first only immediately transferred into the element of self. The element thus still has the same character of uncomprehended immediacy, or, of unmoved indifference as existence itself, or, it has only passed over into representational thought. -As a result, it is at the same time familiar to us, or, it is the sort of thing that spirit has finished with, in which spirit has no more activity, and, as a result, in which spirit has no further interest. However much the activity, which is finished with existence, is itself the immediate, or, however much it is the existing mediation and thereby the movement only of the particular spirit which is not comprehending itself, still in contrast knowing is directed against the representational thought which has come about through this immediacy, is directed against this familiarity, and it is thus the doing of the universal self and the interest of thinking
    — Hegel/Pinkard
  • Valentinus
    498

    With these paragraphs, Hegel draws in sharp relief the comparison of individual experience to what makes that possible. This "universal self" is central to what is being presented but is very hard for me to understand.
  • tim wood
    2.9k
    I find in #s 29 and 30 what I have found throughout so far, a sense of running away from Kant's noumenon as fast as possible. Kant found metaphysics in a muddle and resolved it through his synthesis of perception, the thing perceived, and the understanding, which organizes the perception. The cost being that the thing perceived is otherwise inaccessible. (Although entirely knowable as a matter of practical knowledge.)

    Kant's "knowledge," then, is based in perception. Hegel places it in reason; he seems to take perception uncritically and for granted. That is, there is what we know and how we know it - which for Hegel seems to happen after perception, while for Kant it's all in one batter, baked together.

    For Hegel, perception is given, then reason works on it, through aufheben/sublation - this latter a term of art that is deliberately and explicitly left general and non-specific. The process reaches an end - then we know, but at that point, spirit moves on.
  • Valentinus
    498

    Then the difference between Kant and Hegel is about how this stuff is happening in time or not.
    Kant describes time as a component of individual experience.
    If this "Spirit" is the shape of history, then Kant is wrong.
  • tim wood
    2.9k
    However much the activity, which is finished with existence,is itself the immediate, or, however much it is the existing mediation and thereby the movement only of the particular spirit which is not comprehending itself, still in contrast knowing is directed against the representational thought which has come about through this immediacy, is directed against this familiarity, and it is thus the doing of the universal self and the interest of thinking — Hegel/Pinkard

    Hmm.
    Notwithstanding "the activity," knowing is "directed against" 1) the thought that is the activity in representation, and 2) "this familiarity" with this thought. I read this as thought can come to an intermediate stand in a person, group, culture, but that is not the end of thought as the possibility for thinking. Does that scan?
  • tim wood
    2.9k
    component of individual experience.Valentinus
    Experience or knowledge? My preference and instinct is to not wrestle with this aspect at the moment, but to see what comes.

    And that it has got to be possible to re-say Hegel in more accessible language - to be striven for. And gained, though perhaps through successive approximations. Fancy language for approaching and thereby getting closer to. Not to be confused with actually arriving at - yet.
  • Valentinus
    498

    Kant's "knowledge," then, is based in perception. Hegel places it in reason; he seems to take perception uncritically and for granted. That is, there is what we know and how we know it - which for Hegel seems to happen after perception, while for Kant it's all in one batter, baked together.tim wood

    Good observation.
    I am not sure how to read that against the background of negation and exclusion being the default position and something other than that being an advance or at least something different.
  • tim wood
    2.9k
    background of negation and exclusion being the defaultValentinus

    Exclusion? Hegel isn't about exclusion - am I missing something? Feel free to not reply if this is a minor point subject to quibble; I'm low on quibble; I don't think my cat will give me any.
  • Valentinus
    498

    Well, the logic of both the stuff in time combined with the idea of a dialectic as producing results through a process suggests that "exclusion" is a very important activity in what Hegel has in mind.
    The inclusion part only gets recognition after the conflict is over.

    Or put another way, there is factor in play that Kant was not able to locate. And Hegel tried to.
  • Amity
    606
    I am not sure how to read that against the background of negation and exclusion being the default positionValentinus

    the logic of both the stuff in time combined with the idea of a dialectic as producing results through a process suggests that "exclusion" is a very important activity in what Hegel has in mind.Valentinus

    The inclusion part only gets recognition after the conflict is over.Valentinus

    I find this excerpt from para 28 helpful:

    The individual whose substance is spirit standing at the higher level runs through these past forms in the way that a person who takes up a higher science goes through those preparatory studies which he has long ago internalized in order to make their content current before him; he calls them to mind without having his interest linger upon them. In that way, each individual spirit also runs through the culturally formative stages of the universal spirit, but it runs through them as shapes which spirit has already laid aside, as stages on a path that has been worked out and leveled out in the same way that we see fragments of knowing, which in earlier ages occupied men of mature minds, now sink to the level of exercises, and even to that of games for children. — Hegel/Pinkard

    So, knowledge for the particular individual is internalised as he progresses through life and learning via study and experience. All of this happens within a universal culture.
    We proceed by laying aside ( a kind of exclusion ) previous baby steps in learning, but they are necessarily incorporated into our whole (inclusion).
    The spirit grows. Rung by rung.

    Rockmore has this to say:

    Hegel now relates human beings to the process of knowledge. The individual, who participates in the knowing process, does so from both individual and universal perspectives. What was earlier central, as the current view of knowledge, afterward subsists as a mere trace (Spur), like Jacques Derrida's own view of the trace (la trace ).18 We cannot separate prior from present views of knowledge. The process of education consists in making our own what was already known by our predecessors, "a past existence" now described as "the already acquired property of universal Spirit which constitutes the substance of the individual" (§28, 16). Human history records the immense efforts of human beings over a period of many centuries to know the world and themselves through the elaboration of a satisfactory view of knowledge. "The goal is Spirit's insight into what knowing is" (§29 , 17).

    In the course of human history, mere existence is transformed into a series of shapes. To transform experience into knowledge, we must consider the movement of shapes preserved in memory, which must be represented and with which we must become acquainted. Through representation, we arrive at what is familiar to us, but which, to become scientific knowledge, requires the more refined cognitive "activity of the universal self, the concern of thinking" (§30, 18). 
    — Tom Rockmore

    https://publishing.cdlib.org/ucpressebooks/view?docId=ft7d5nb4r8;brand=ucpress
  • Amity
    606
    With these paragraphs, Hegel draws in sharp relief the comparison of individual experience to what makes that possible.Valentinus

    How so ?

    This "universal self" is central to what is being presented but is very hard for me to understand.Valentinus

    I don't fully understand it either. I think I remember discussing it earlier - but it never quite sinks even with all the repetition. It is linked to mediation and sublation.
    We need others to become more. To connect. To be global. Universal.
    We keep our sense of self as we progress and are lifted up into a higher Self.
    Or something along these lines...

    I don't know if this will help.
    From an Outline of Hegel's Phenomenology:

    Universality of Self-Consciousness.

    38. The universal self-consciousness is the intuition of itself, not as a special existence distinct from others, but an intuition of the self-existent universal self. Thus it recognises itself and the other self-consciousness in itself, and is in turn recognised by them.

    39. Self-consciousness is, according to this its essential universality, only real in so far as it knows its echo (and reflection) in another (I know that another knows me as itself), and as pure spiritual universality (belonging to the family, the native land, &c.) knows itself as essential self. (This self-consciousness is the basis of all virtues, of love, honour, friendship, bravery, all self-sacrifice, all fame, &c.)

    https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/hegel/works/ol/ol_phen.htm
  • Amity
    606
    Experience or knowledge? My preference and instinct is to not wrestle with this aspect at the moment, but to see what comes.

    And that it has got to be possible to re-say Hegel in more accessible language - to be striven for. And gained, though perhaps through successive approximations.
    tim wood

    To even try 'to re-say Hegel' we need to know what he is saying in the first place. To focus on the text. This means careful reading - not a swift, superficial skipping over of paragraphs 'to see what comes'. And yes, even then, approximations are the most we can hope to achieve.
    I think, as a group, we are doing quite well. Getting there...

    All of this, requires understanding important philosophical terminology, related to Hegel.

    From Sebastian Gardner's glossary:

    EXPERIENCE ( Erfahrung). In the Phenomenology, experience refers to the experience of consciousness on its way to Science. It does not have the usual implication of restriction to the sensory but rather hinges on thought; so it does not mean for Hegel what it means for the emliricists or for Kant. Hegel originally planned to give Phenomenology the title 'Science of the Experience of Consciousness'. — Gardner

    CONSCIOUSNESS ( Bewusstsein). Note that Hegel sometimes uses consciousness as a generic term for cognitive awareness, of which self-consciousness is one species; and sometimes as a species of consciousness in the generic sense, where it contrasts with self-consciousness. — Gardner

    SCIENCE (Wissenschaft). In Hegel, Science refers not to natural science but to philosophical knowledge, which must be in a systematic, articulate form. Thus it refers to his own philosophy. — Gardner
  • Amity
    606


    Returning to our previous question about 'absolute otherness'...

    Science is the in-itself but must become for itself, that is, it must move from self-consciousness as being something inner, by which substance is other or object to self-consciousness, to self-consciousness being for itself, the whole as the union of substance and subject. Here spirit is no longer substance, that is, object of consciousness but the actualization of spirit, as in itself and for itself; not something that is mine or particular, or even as universal, but as absolute, the identity of difference, one with itself.Fooloso4

    what I am still struggling with the concept of absolute otherness. It seems to be a contradiction in terms. What is other is so relative to something, but if relative then it is not absolute.Fooloso4

    I am going to refer to Gardner's glossary in an effort to understand the above.

    ABSOLUTE adj.,n. (absolute, das Absolute). Complete, self-contained, all-encompassing. Per Inwood, the Absolute 'is not something underlying the phenomenal world, but the conceptual system embedded in it'.

    FOR ITSELF (fur sich). Reflective, explicit, self-comprehending, fully developed. Contrasts with: in itself, in-and-for-itself.

    IN ITSELF (an sich). Merely potential or implicit...Something is 'in itself' when it is considered separately from other things, and ( in the case of a form of consciousness) when it is unreflective. That is why, for Hegel, the in itself is mere potentiality: actuality requires determination, negation, relations with other things. Note that a thing may be 'in itself for us'...an expression Hegel uses often: this just means that we are considering it as it is separate from other things. Contrasts with: for itself, and in-and-for-itself.

    IN-AND-FOR-ITSELF (an und fur sich). Completely developed; both at home with itself, and finding itself in the other. It contrasts with mere being in itself and being for itself. Being in-and-for-itself is the condition of the Absolute, God, Spirit actualised.
    — Gardner

    So, what can be meant by 'absolute otherness', as per para 26.

    "Pure self-knowing in absolute otherness, this ether as such, is the very ground and soil of science, or, knowing in its universality" - Hegel.

    Taking absolute as an adjective: all-encompassing. There is a sense of a complete or whole otherness wherein we as individuals find ourselves.
    We move from our separate, individual potential ( in itself) to actual, full self-realisation in a personal and global sense ( in-and-for-itself) via socio-cultural relationships and being actively reflective ( for itself).

    That is, we are relative within an absolute whole.
    That's my current understanding. Open to review.
  • Amity
    606
    Absolute otherness must be the otherness of the whole within itself as the condition for the whole's self-knowledge. The circle of self-knowledge plays out on the levels of the individual, the culture, and the whole. The first two are limited wholes, the last the whole of wholes.Fooloso4


    Just noticed this part I bolded. I think you answered your own question. Where is your struggle ? There is no contradiction in terms, is there ?
  • Fooloso4
    960


    If we were to draw the circles of wholes where would absolute otherness be? If it is complete otherness it would be a circle that is not encompassed in some larger whole, otherwise it would not be absolute otherness.

    Perhaps what Hegel is getting at is the movement from absolute otherness to its sublation, its negation.
  • tim wood
    2.9k
    Well, the logic of both the stuff in time combined with the idea of a dialectic as producing results through a process suggests that "exclusion" is a very important activity in what Hegel has in mind.
    The inclusion part only gets recognition after the conflict is over.

    Or put another way, there is factor in play that Kant was not able to locate. And Hegel tried to.
    Valentinus

    Any chance of adding light here in not too many sentences?

    1) Taking the process as a black box that produces a result (or like a recipe that produces a cake), I'm thinking that in the result are all the components that were input to the black box. For this present purpose I'm not looking inside the black box, wherein indeed there may be a sorting process as part of the process.

    2) What factor?
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