• Amity
    606
    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.Fooloso4

    Agree. If we take it 'absolute' as 'all encompassing', it would be the outer circle.
    I think, according to Hegel, it is the universality of philosophical science or knowing ?
    It would seem like the end point of his conceptual system.

    Perhaps what Hegel is getting at is the movement from absolute otherness to its sublation, its negation.Fooloso4

    Perhaps indeed.
    Isn't this what he says in para 26 ? It is the ground. The beginning of the circle or spiral upwards.
    "Pure self-knowing in absolute otherness, this ether as such, is the very ground and soil of science, or, knowing in its universality" - Hegel.

    Given the eternal thinking process, and the dialectic, it is the beginning of new concepts and ideas.
    Perhaps some other philosopher, post-Hegel, takes one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.
    Quantitative evolutionary steps up a ladder.
    Followed by qualitative revolutionary leaps in thought ?
    We blow thought bubbles, then burst them or they are burst, sometimes they join up...
    And so it goes...
  • Fooloso4
    960


    Another thing might be that each thing must be other than all other things. Is the whole other than itself? In one sense since there is nothing other than the whole of what is then there would be nothing other than the whole. But self-knowing requires the self to treat itself as is object of knowledge.
  • Amity
    606
    Another thing might be that each thing must be other than all other things. Is the whole other than itself? In one sense since there is nothing other than the whole of what is then there would be nothing other than the whole. But self-knowing requires the self to treat itself as is object of knowledge.Fooloso4

    OK. Yes, in one sense, each thing or person is other than the rest, but there are similarities as well as differences. As we all know.

    If we take the 'whole' as meaning the whole of 'what is', we cannot know that that is all there is. There could easily be more than the whole of what we currently know. But that pertains to scientific knowledge, doesn't it, not philosophical knowledge such as it is. Given that both take place within a changing world, neither can be complete or whole.

    'Self knowing' if that is the same as self consciousness requires a self-regarding as an object. To be able to detach and be objective. And that can never be complete either. It is an ongoing process.

    However, a union can obtain between individual knowledge of the self/subject, that is 'subjective' and philosophical knowledge - the knowing of reason (objective). They are not distinct entities. It takes two to tango. Ain't that the tangled truth ?

    I linked to 'the Outlines of Hegel's Phenomenology' earlier. I find it helpful as an aid in understanding.
    In particular this part seemed relevant.

    THIRD PHASE.
    Reason.

    40. Reason is the highest union of consciousness and self-consciousness, or of the knowing of an object and of the knowing of itself. It is the certitude that its determinations are just as much objective, i.e. determinations of the essence of things, as they are subjective thoughts. It (Reason) is just as well the certitude of itself (subjectivity) as being (or objectivity), and this, too, in one and the same thinking activity.

    41. Or what we see through the insight of Reason, is: (1) a content which subsists not in our mere subjective notions or thoughts which we make for ourselves, but which contains the in-and-for-itself-existing essence of objects and possesses objective reality; and (2) which is for the Ego no alien somewhat, no somewhat given from without, but throughout penetrated and assimilated by the Ego, and therefore to all intents produced by the Ego.

    42. The knowing of Reason is therefore not the mere subjective certitude, but also TRUTH, because Truth consists in the harmony, or rather unity, of certitude and Being, or of certitude and objectivity.

    https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/hegel/works/ol/ol_phen.htm
  • Valentinus
    498

    I will try but I will be slow in responding. I need to review some other parts of Hegel that is influencing my perspective.
  • tim wood
    2.9k
    Hi. Then be easy. If you get it I'll be interested, but let's stay with the main part of this. Your call.
  • tim wood
    2.9k
    Pinkard #s 31, 32

    31.
    What is familiar and well known as such is not really known for the very reason that it is familiar and well known.

    In the case of cognition, the most common form of self-deception and deception of others is when one presupposes something as well known and then makes one’s peace with it. In that kind of back-and-forth chatter about various pros and cons, such knowing, without knowing how it happens to it, never really gets anywhere. Subject and object, God, nature, understanding, sensibility, etc., are, as is well known, all unquestioningly laid as foundation stones which constitute fixed points from which to start and to which to return.

    The movement proceeds here and there between those points, which themselves remain unmoved, and it thereby operates only upon the surface. Thus, for a person to grasp and to examine matters consists only in seeing whether he finds everything said by everybody else to match up with his own idea about the matter, or with whether it seems that way to him and whether or not it is something with which he is familiar.

    32.
    As it used to be carried out, the analysis of a representation was indeed nothing but the sublation of the form of its familiarity. To break up a representation into its original elements is to return to its moments, which at least do not have the form of a representation which one has simply stumbled across, but which instead constitute the immediate possession of the self.

    To be sure, this analysis would only arrive at thoughts which are themselves familiar and fixed, or it would arrive at motionless determinations. However, what is separated, the non-actual itself, is itself an essential moment, for the concrete is self-moving only because it divides itself and turns itself into the non-actual.

    The activity of separating is the force and labor of the understanding, the most astonishing and the greatest of all the powers, or rather, which is the absolute power.

    The circle, which, enclosed within itself, is at rest and which, as substance, sustains its moments, is the immediate and is, for that reason, an unsurprising relationship. However, the accidental, separated from its surroundings, attains an isolated freedom and its own proper existence only in its being bound to other actualities and only as existing in their context; as such, it is the tremendous power of the negative; it is the energy of thinking, of the pure I.

    Death, if that is what we wish to call that non-actuality, is the most fearful thing of all, and to keep and hold fast to what is dead requires only the greatest force. Powerless beauty detests the understanding because the understanding expects of her what she cannot do.

    However, the life of spirit is not a life that is fearing death and austerely saving itself from ruin; rather, it bears death calmly, and in death, it sustains itself. Spirit only wins its truth by finding its feet in its absolute disruption. Spirit is not this power which, as the positive, avoids looking at the negative, as is the case when we say of something that it is nothing, or that it is false, and then, being done with it, go off on our own way on to something else. No, spirit is this power only by looking the negative in the face and lingering with it. This lingering is the magical power that converts it into being.

    – This power is the same as what in the preceding was called the subject, which, by giving existence to determinateness in its own element, sublates abstract immediacy, or, is only existing immediacy, and, as a result, is itself the true substance, is being, or, is the immediacy which does not have mediation external to itself but is itself this mediation.
    — Hegel/Pinkard
  • Amity
    606
    I need to review some other parts of Hegel that is influencing my perspective.Valentinus

    I think it is wise to take time to review difficult aspects of Hegel. All the better to clarify and hopefully reach a better understanding. This 'to and fro' is an important part of our discussion. I appreciate all thought provoking questions and responses.

    Then be easy. If you get it I'll be interested, but let's stay with the main part of this. Your call.tim wood

    'Be easy!' - a favourite quote of yours from the Three Musketeers.

    Perhaps more pertinent here is their: 'The merit of all things lies in their difficulty.'

    To achieve a deeper understanding of the difficult Preface requires several things. At the risk of repeating myself...

    For some, this includes:
    Careful reading with continual review.
    A bit of a breather. To help get your head out of the single, successive paragraphs to gain perspective.
    Seeking help from other resources.

    You need to heed your own advice. Be easy. This swift copy and pasting of paragraphs might be what you need to do to reach the end. To keep control of the thread.
    But at what cost to cohesive, clear comprehension ?
  • tim wood
    2.9k
    This swift copy and pasting of paragraphs might be what you need to do to reach the end. To keep control of the thread.Amity

    I'm happy to slow down. Interested persons post here what they think a good rate is. My approach has been to "reload" when the discussion on the earlier post seemed done.
  • Amity
    606
    I'm happy to slow down. Interested persons post here what they think a good rate is. My approach has been to "reload" when the discussion on the earlier post seemed done.tim wood

    Given that I have made similar comments before to no great effect, I welcome this response.
    In the main, the pace of posting paragraphs has been such that catching up has not been a huge problem. And I have enjoyed some fruitful sidetracks.

    However, you have changed your initial approach. Contrary to what you have said, you do not in fact wait until the earlier post has been discussed or 'seemed done'. Indeed, para 28 was not even commented on, far less 'explicated'.

    Para 26 proved more difficult to understand and so, has just finished being discussed by 2 of us.
    I realise and totally understand that not everyone wants to spend so much time on a single paragraph or to tease out the meaning of a difficult concept. But 2 is approximately half the current group.

    So, opinions as to what 'a good rate' might be will be as varied as motivations and reading pace.
    The trouble is that there are non too many 'interested persons' around. Some have left or decided not to join, for various reasons.

    I would welcome a return to your initial approach which meant taking the time to give an explication on each paragraph at the point of copy and paste. Then others can respond accordingly. But that's just me and no doubt you will have good reasons why that is not possible.

    Thanks.
  • Amity
    606
    Returning to the question of Hegel's God. And para 23.

    Some read Hegel as anti-religious and others as religious. At this point perhaps it is prudent to just suggest that Hegel sublates religion.Fooloso4

    Perhaps Goethe shares Hegel's view of continuous development. It is not simply what was said or done at the beginning, but the continued active doing. From what you presented it also seems that Goethe shares Hegel's rejection of a transcendent God who acts upon the world.Fooloso4

    23:

    "The need to represent the absolute as subject has helped itself to such propositions as “God is the eternal,” or “God is the moral order of the world,” or “God is love,” etc." - Hegel.

    Does Hegel intend for us to draw a connection between “God is love”, “The life of God and divine cognition ... as a game love plays with itself” (19),and the goal of philosophy as moving “nearer to the goal where it can lay aside the title of love of knowing and be actual knowing (5)?
    Fooloso4

    Thank you, Fooloso4, for helping me along the way. Your questions have stayed with me.
    @Fooloso4 - if you, or anyone else, are still interested and have the time, I would appreciate your thoughts on the PN article. Even if briefly.

    Previously, I raised concerns about Hegel's apparent religiosity - the ascending staircase to the Absolute, a glorious path leading to Perfection.
    Today I read this PN article which helped me better understand Hegel's position:
    https://philosophynow.org/issues/86/Hegels_God

    Putting these two points together, Hegel arrives at a substitute for the conventional conception of God that he criticized. If there is a higher degree of reality that goes with being self-determining (and thus real as oneself), and if we ourselves do in fact achieve greater self-determination at some times than we achieve at other times, then it seems that we’re familiar in our own experience with some of the higher degree of reality that we associate with God. Perhaps we aren’t often aware of the highest degree of this reality, or the sum of all of this reality, which would be God himself (herself, etc.). But we are aware of some of it – as the way in which we ourselves seem to be more fully present, more fully real, when instead of just letting ourselves be driven by whatever desires we currently feel, we ask ourselves what would be best overall. We’re more fully real, in such a case, because we ourselves are playing a more active role, through thought, than we play when we simply let ourselves be driven by our current desires...

    ...Hegel’s conception explains and preserves two other famous features of Abrahamic religions as well. The God that Hegel describes as emerging from the world of finite things, gives to them the greatest reality of which they’re capable. In this way, Hegel’s God performs something very similar to what’s traditionally called ‘creating’. However, because this Hegelian ‘creating’ takes place throughout time, rather than only ‘in the beginning’, it doesn’t conflict with what astrophysics and biology tell us about the history of the universe.

    The other feature of the Abrahamic religions that Hegel preserves is that their God in some way takes care of or ‘saves’ his creatures. The God who is free love and boundless blessedness does exactly this, though in a perhaps unfamiliar way. Hegel’s God doesn’t ‘intervene’ in the world, or in something that comes ‘after’ it; rather, Hegel’s God is omnipresent in the world, giving each of us the full reality and thus the blessedness of which we’re capable.
    Robert Wallace
  • Amity
    606
    I'm happy to slow down.tim wood

    It's OK whatever you decide to do. I will either continue in my own sweet way, or I won't :smile:
    It will still involve clarifying or questioning the text and Hegel's thoughts - hopefully.
  • Amity
    606
    Returning again to this:

    I was struck by this phrase in #6:

    " If, namely, the True exists only in what, or better as what, is sometimes called intuition, sometimes immediate knowledge of the Absolute, religion or being - not at the centre of divine love but the being of the divine love itself - then what is required in the exposition of philosophy is, from this viewpoint, rather the opposite of the form of the Notion. For the Absolute is not supposed to be comprehended, it is to be felt and intuited; not the Notion of the Absolute, but the feeling and intuition of it, must govern what is said, and must be expressed by it" - Hegel.

    The bolded sentence seems obviously mystical to me; it seems suggestive of Eckhardt.
    Wayfarer

    @Wayfarer, your post intrigued me at the time and I think I did try to respond to it but inadequately.
    I understand that you didn't have the time to participate in the reading or group discussion.
    However, I would be interested to hear your views on Hegel and his position on God.
    What he means by the Absolute. It seems to change from something mystical to the more concrete.
    Perhaps from the real feel to the theoretical ?

    From Gardner's glossary:

    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'.
    Amity
  • Noah Te Stroete
    2.1k
    Did y’all get to the thesis-antithesis-synthesis part of Hegel yet? Because the way I see it, according to Hegel, historical reality is progressing to a type of perfection. Perhaps truth apprehended through intuition results in historical thesis, giving rise to historical antithesis, further resulting in synthesis. Collectively we who grasp this through intuition arrives at perfection ultimately at some future point in history? So, God grasped through intuition results in the ultimate truth of perfection at the end of history? Correct me if I’m confused.
  • Amity
    606
    Correct me if I’m confused.Noah Te Stroete

    If you are confused, then join the club. I am the last person to be correcting anyone.
    Have you read the Preface ? Have you read the thread ? Have you perused any particular paragraph ?
    It's easy to drop in by with some insight or opinion without any previous signs of commitment.
    I think that is what Tim was guarding against at the beginning. There are rules !
  • Noah Te Stroete
    2.1k


    I’m sorry. Will you forgive my transgression? I will either read from the beginning or I won’t. I probably won’t intrude again, but I really don’t care about angering Tim.
  • Wayfarer
    8k
    I would be interested to hear your views on Hegel and his position on God.
    What he means by the Absolute. It seems to change from something mystical to the more concrete.
    Perhaps from the real feel to the theoretical ?
    Amity

    There's a strong element of mysticism in German idealism, particularly Hegel, Schelling and Fichte, and to a lesser extent Kant and Schopenhauer. Now, the very word 'mysticism' is a pejorative to a lot of people, it's seen as the opposite of rigorous philosophy. But the true mystics are actually very rigorous in their own way. And that particular phrase of Hegel's is highly reminiscent of what is called 'Rhineland mysticism' of which the most illustrious exponent was the famous Meister Eckhardt. Then there's also a figure called Jacob Boehme (spelt various ways) nearer in time to Hegel, another mystical sage. I've read that he also had some affinity with hermeticism, which is a kind of underground current in a lot of Western philosophy and science.

    In any case the origin of the mystical tradition in Western philosophy is (neo)Platonism and its successors, whose doctrines were fused into early Christianity by the Greek-speaking theologians, including Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and later Pseudo-Dionysius and John Scotus Eriugena. The intuition of 'the One' which is the ground/source of all being through the domain of the forms/ideas is central to that tradition. Although it should be said the marriage of Hebrew prophetic religion with Greek rationalism was often a rather fraught one, and that (in my view) the mystical elements became almost completely subordinated to the literalistic tendencies in Protestantism. But there's a huge amount of study involved in all of those issues, and I've only skimmed the surface. But I think it is possible to identify aspects the Hegelian 'absolute' with both the 'first mover' of Aristotle, and also with the One of neo-platonism (feasibly a kind of 'world soul').

    Actually there's a passage that comes to mind from the SEP entry on Schopenhauer, to wit:

    It is a perennial philosophical reflection that if one looks deeply enough into oneself, one will discover not only one’s own essence, but also the essence of the universe. For as one is a part of the universe as is everything else, the basic energies of the universe flow through oneself, as they flow through everything else. For that reason it is thought that one can come into contact with the nature of the universe if one comes into substantial contact with one’s ultimate inner being.

    Among the most frequently-identified principles that are introspectively brought forth — and one that was the standard for German Idealist philosophers such as Fichte, Schelling and Hegel who were philosophizing within the Cartesian tradition — is the principle of self-consciousness. With the belief that acts of self-consciousness exemplify a self-creative process akin to divine creation, and developing a logic that reflects the structure of self-consciousness, namely, the dialectical logic of position, opposition and reconciliation (sometimes described as the logic of thesis, antithesis and synthesis), the German Idealists maintained that dialectical logic mirrors the structure not only of human productions, both individual and social, but the structure of reality as a whole, conceived of as a thinking substance or conceptually-structured-and-constituted entity.

    Also have a glance at this article

    https://philosophynow.org/issues/86/Hegels_God

    Also been meaning to dig into Dermot Moran on Eiriugena and German philosophy.
  • Wayfarer
    8k
    Actually I want to comment on one phrase from the SEP quote I provide:

    For as one is a part of the universe as is everything else, the basic energies of the universe flow through oneself, as they flow through everything else.

    I think it would be rather better to paraphrase it like this: that as all originates from a common source, then every being reflects or is an aspect of that source. The analogy of ‘basic energies’ is rather materialist for my liking. I also think my paraphrase is nearer in meaning to Hegel.
  • Amity
    606
    But there's a huge amount of study involved in all of those issues, and I've only skimmed the surface. But I think it is possible to identify aspects the Hegelian 'absolute' with both the 'first mover' of Aristotle, and also with the One of neo-platonism (feasibly a kind of 'world soul').Wayfarer

    Thanks for this. It is just what I was looking for. A way to understand Hegel and his spirit.

    There's a strong element of mysticism in German idealism, particularly Hegel, Schelling and Fichte, and to a lesser extent Kant and Schopenhauer. Now, the very word 'mysticism' is a pejorative to a lot of people, it's seen as the opposite of rigorous philosophy. But the true mystics are actually very rigorous in their own way.Wayfarer

    I am quite attracted to this way of looking at the world. I mentioned Goethe earlier. He is not a philosopher as such but a worthy nevertheless.

    I will read the SEP entry later but this part seems to capture the process well:
    With the belief that acts of self-consciousness exemplify a self-creative process akin to divine creation, and developing a logic that reflects the structure of self-consciousness, namely, the dialectical logic of position, opposition and reconciliation (sometimes described as the logic of thesis, antithesis and synthesis),

    Also have a glance at this article
    https://philosophynow.org/issues/86/Hegels_God
    Wayfarer


    Have done :smile: See earlier post. I found it helpful.
  • Wayfarer
    8k
    :yikes: Didn’t notice you’d already referenced Wallace! Only responded to the post above my reply.
  • Amity
    606
    Didn’t notice you’d already referenced Wallace! Only responded to the post above my reply.Wayfarer

    No worries.
    My turn to confess :yikes:
    I only found the article by following your previous link to it elsewhere. I should have acknowledged that.
    From: https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/2384/page/p1
    "There's an article by Robert M. Wallace, Hegel's God, although some of it is pretty murky, in my opinion. But it is introduced with the statement that ' 'Large numbers of people both within traditional religions and outside them are looking for non-dogmatic ways of thinking about transcendent reality', of which Hegel's philosophy of religion is given as an example".— Wayfarer
  • Amity
    606
    Actually I want to comment on one phrase from the SEP quote I provide:

    "For as one is a part of the universe as is everything else, the basic energies of the universe flow through oneself, as they flow through everything else."

    I think it would be rather better to paraphrase it like this: that as all originates from a common source, then every being reflects or is an aspect of that source. The analogy of ‘basic energies’ is rather materialist for my liking. I also think my paraphrase is nearer in meaning to Hegel.
    Wayfarer

    I think this fascinating. Yet again, I am tempted beyond the Preface. I won't pursue this in great detail here...but important to bear in mind as I progress my understanding of Hegel. Thanks.

    Before returning to the Preface mountainside...

    Just one question - why do you think your paraphrase is nearer in meaning to Hegel ?
    I don't understand your objection to 'basic energies'.
    Have you read this ?

    Another parallel between Hermeticism and Hegel is the doctrine of internal relations. For the Hermeticists, the cosmos is not a loosely connected, or to use Hegelian language, externally related set of particulars. Rather, everything in the cosmos is internally related, bound up with everything else. Even though the cosmos may be hierarchically arranged, there are forces that cut across and unify all the levels. Divine powers understood variously as “energy” or “light” pervade the whole. Glenn Magee

    Hegel's Preface :
    Magee starts off with this astonishing claim:

    Hegel is not a philosopher. He is no lover or seeker of wisdom — he believes he has found it. Hegel writes in the preface to the Phenomenology of Spirit, “To help bring philosophy closer to the form of Science, to the goal where it can lay aside the title of ‘love of knowing’ and be actual knowledge — that is what I have set before me” (Miller, 3; PC, 3). By the end of the Phenomenology, Hegel claims to have arrived at Absolute Knowledge, which he identifies with wisdom. — Glenn Magee
  • Wayfarer
    8k
    Rather, everything in the cosmos is internally related, bound up with everything else. Even though the cosmos may be hierarchically arranged, there are forces that cut across and unify all the levels. Divine powers understood variously as “energy” or “light” pervade the whole.Glenn Magee

    This is close to the idea of the perennial philosophy. (It's also highly reminiscent of Hua Yen Buddhism.) They are marvellous ideas, but how characteristic they really are of Hegel, I can't tell, having not read Magee's book - perhaps I should give it a look.

    As to whether Hegel was a sage - I think I would have to demur. I think his work is in many respects very much a product of its time and place, particularly in its emphasis on nationalism. He did touch on universal themes but I don't know if I agree with that glowing assessment of him overall. I do sometimes feel as though Hegel and his ilk were the last representatives of the 'grand tradition' of Western philosophy. But they're so verbose! To much going on in the word processing department. I prefer the directness of Zen.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    5.9k
    But I think it is possible to identify aspects the Hegelian 'absolute' with both the 'first mover' of Aristotle, and also with the One of neo-platonism (feasibly a kind of 'world soul').Wayfarer

    In my experience Hegelians generally dismiss this enterprise of relating Hegel's thought to that of the ancients, insisting on Hegel's originality. I find that this enforces the representation of Hegel as mystic, because mysticism focuses in on the originality of the individual. We approach the meaning of One (in the sense of the unity of all), through understanding "one" in the sense of one individual, oneself.

    This classes all phenomenology as mysticism. This mystical method takes the approach that the only true access we have to the unity of being, which is the source of the particular, the object, is internally. Presupposing the existence of things, as objects, is rejected, because there is no principle of unity to justify that assumption. The subject, oneself, can be the only true object, because only by looking at oneself can one come into contact with the source of unity, which is necessary for the existence of an object.
  • Fooloso4
    960
    I would appreciate your thoughts on the PN article.Amity

    The problem I have with Wallace's article is the lack of reference. How much of what he claims can be found in the texts? I am reminded of Nietzsche's inversion of a famous saying: "Seek and you will find". Is Wallace finding all this in Hegel because it is there to be found or does he find it because that is what he wants to find?

    As to the question of whether Hegel was a mystic, we must first ask what a mystic is. Is it someone who has experiences or someone who has been initiated formally or informally into secret teachings or someone who yearns for immediacy or someone who attempts to attain altered states of consciousness via particular practices or ...?
  • Amity
    606
    How much of what he claims can be found in the texts?Fooloso4

    Indeed. And that is a timely reminder to return to the Preface.
    The alternative perspectives and interpretations are fascinating.
    To be followed up outwith this thread, I think.
    Thanks to all.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    5.9k
    As to the question of whether Hegel was a mystic, we must first ask what a mystic is. Is it someone who has experiences or someone who has been initiated formally or informally into secret teachings or someone who yearns for immediacy or someone who attempts to attain altered states of consciousness via particular practices or ...?Fooloso4

    Mysticism is philosophy centred around the mystical experience. I believe that in it's most simple form, the mystical experience is the experience which makes one aware of one's own spirituality. Recognizing your spirituality, and acknowledging this as experience, makes you a mystic.
  • Amity
    606

    Trying to avoid a total sidetrack here, I had thought to start a new thread entitled ' Hegel is not a philosopher !' ( using Magee's quote ) *
    However, I note this has been discussed before:
    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/517/mysticism/p1

    This is a passage from Hegel which I think is particularly relevant, quoted in the book I am reading, Hegel and the Hermetic Tradition. Magee thinks Hegel uses mytho-poetic language to "encircle" or "circle around" his subjects with concrete images to gain speculative knowledge of them, rather than trying to think them in the determinate language of abstract conceptualization. So we get a picture, but no definitive propositional-type claims are made about the subject and there always remains mystery.

    I hope this can be opened; I didn't have time to type it out; I'm pretty pressed at the moment.

    Attachment
    Hegel Passage(344K)
    — Janus

    * Done.
    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/6430/hegel-is-not-a-philosopher-thoughts-
  • tim wood
    2.9k
    Pinkard #33

    33.
    That what is represented becomes a possession of pure selfconsciousness, namely, this elevation to universality itself, is only one aspect of cultural formation and is not yet fully perfected cultural formation.

    – The course of studies of the ancient world is distinct from that of modern times in that the ancient course of studies consisted in a thoroughgoing cultivation of natural consciousness. Experimenting particularly with each part of its existence and philosophizing about everything it came across, the
    ancient course of studies fashioned itself into an altogether active universality.

    In contrast, in modern times, the individual finds the abstract form ready-made. The strenuous effort to grasp it and make it his own is more of an unmediated drive to bring the inner to the light of day; it is the truncated creation of the universal rather than the emergence of the universal from out of the concrete, from out of the diversity found in existence. Nowadays the task before us consists not so much in purifying the individual of the sensuously immediate and in making him into a thinking substance which has itself been subjected to thought; it consists instead in doing the very opposite. It consists in actualizing and spiritually animating the universal through the sublation of fixed and determinate thoughts.

    However, it is much more difficult to set fixed thoughts into fluid motion than it is to bring sensuous existence into such fluidity. The reason for this lies in what was said before. The former determinations have the I, the power of the negative, or, pure actuality, as their substance and as the element of their existence, whereas sensuous determinations have their substance only in impotent abstract immediacy, or in being as such.

    Thoughts become fluid by pure thinking, this inner immediacy, recognizing itself as a moment, or, by pure self-certainty abstracting itself from itself – it does not consist in only omitting itself, or, setting itself off to one side. Rather, it consists in giving up the fixity of its self-positing as well as the fixity of the purely concrete, which is the I itself in opposition to the differences of its content – as the fixity of differences which, posited as existing in the element of pure thinking, share that unconditionality of the I. Through this movement, pure thoughts become concepts, and are for the first time what they are in truth: self-moving movements, circles, which are what their substance is; namely, spiritual essentialities.
    — Hegel/Pinkard
  • Valentinus
    498
    I said this:
    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

    tim wood said this:
    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?
    tim wood

    I will try to answer in reverse order. The factor Kant is leaving out of his analysis is a motive to go forward. The briefest account I can find comes from Hegel's Logic, translated by William Wallace:

    This thought, which is proposed as the instrument of philosophic knowledge, itself calls for further explanation. We must understand in what way it possesses necessity or cogency: and when it claims to be equal to the task of apprehending the absolute objects (God, Spirit, Freedom), that claim must be substantiated. Such an explanation, however, is itself a lesson in philosophy, and properly falls within the scope of the science itself. A preliminary attempt to make matters plain would only be unphilosophical, and consist of a tissue of assumptions, assertions, and inferential pros and cons, i.e. of dogmatism without cogency, as against which there would be an equal right of counter-dogmatism.

    A main line of argument in the Critical Philosophy bids us pause before proceeding to inquire into God or into the true being of things, and tells us first of all to examine the faculty of cognition and see whether it is equal to such an effort. We ought, says Kant, to become acquainted with the instrument, before we undertake the work for which it is to be employed; for if the instrument be insufficient, all our trouble will be spent in vain. The plausibility of this suggestion has won for it general assent and admiration; the result of which has been to withdraw cognition from an interest in its objects and absorption in the study of them, and to direct it back upon itself; and so turn it to a question of form. Unless we wish to be deceived by words, it is easy to see what this amounts to. In the case of other instruments, we can try and criticize them in other ways than by setting about the special work for which they are destined. But the examination of knowledge can only be carried out by an act of knowledge. To examine this so-called instrument is the same thing as to know it. But to seek to know before we know is as absurd as the wise resolution of Scholasticus, not to venture into the water until he had learned to swim. Reinhold saw the confusion with which this style of commencement is chargeable, and tried to get out of the difficulty by starting with a hypothetical and problematical stage of philosophizing. In this way he supposed that it would be possible, nobody can tell how, to get along, until we found ourselves, further on, arrived at the primary truth of truths. His method, when closely looked into, will be seen to be identical with a very common practice. It starts from a substratum of experiential fact, or from a provisional assumption which has been brought into a definition; and then proceeds to analyse this starting-point.

    We can detect in Reinhold’s argument a perception of the truth, that the usual course which proceeds by assumptions and anticipations is no better than a hypothetical and problematical mode of procedure. But his perceiving this does not alter the character of this method; it only makes clear its imperfections.
    Hegel, Logic, paragragh 10

    So, negation is important because there is no motion forward without it. The Notion is not an explanation but an activity. It is not "automatic" as a process. If it was, then it would already be appropriated like a Category of Reason. The previous discussion of necessity in Logic is focused upon this point. If we knew what we know, why bother with any further discussion?
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