• Amity
    803

    Thanks. I think the meaning of para 2. is clearer to me.
    So, philosophical systems have grown organically. The organic development of thought, if tended well and each part given its due consideration, should lead to a more complete and comprehensive understanding?
    Is that about right ?
  • Fooloso4
    1.1k
    So, philosophical systems have grown organically.Amity

    In a double sense. It is not just that they have grown individually and separately but that they have grown one from the other to form the whole.

    Traditionally, they have been treated only in opposition to each other and arguments made as to which one is right and wrong.
  • tim wood
    3.2k
    I vote Pinkard too. But I have Kaufman and so will just enter Pinkard's numbering into my copy. At the moment I think it's the navigation that's important. At about three pages in I don't think we're hopelessly lost on content yet! And so far, I think Kaufman is notably the easiest of the translations - I'm amazed at how much difference there is between them!
  • tim wood
    3.2k
    Navigation pause:

    The above numbering of paragraphs from 1 - 10 corresponds to Pinkard's numbering up to and through Pinkard's #4.

    Next is Pinkard's #5

    Copied here:

    5. The true shape in which truth exists can only be the scientific system of that truth. To participate in the collaborative effort at bringing philosophy nearer to the form of science – to bring it nearer to the goal
    where it can lay aside the title of love of knowing and be actual knowing –is the task I have set for myself.

    The inner necessity that knowing should be science lies in the nature of knowing, and the satisfactory explanation for this inner necessity is solely the exposition of philosophy itself. However, external necessity, insofar as this is grasped in a universal manner and insofar as personal contingencies and individual motivations are set aside, is the same as the internal necessity which takes on the shape in which time presents the existence of its moments. To demonstrate that it is now time for philosophy to be elevated into science would therefore be the only true justification of any attempt that has this as its aim, because it would demonstrate the necessity of that aim, and, at the same time, it would be the realization of the aim itself."
  • tim wood
    3.2k
    Kaufman, in his own introduction to his own translation, says Hegel's style was then and is now problematic: long sentences and long paragraphs for starters. He, as have other translators, has cleaned it up a bit. His translation has in it a numbering system, that I used. Pinkard's is different, and as Pinkard is readable and online and copy-and-pasteable( Gott sei dank!) I am switching to Pinkard's numbering.
  • tim wood
    3.2k
    I read #5 (Pinkard numbering, from this site):

    https://libcom.org/files/Georg%20Wilhelm%20Friedrich%20Hegel%20-%20The%20Phenomenology%20of%20Spirit%20(Terry%20Pinkard%20Translation).pdf

    as asserting that truth is true when it is the product of a science (the German for "science" hasn't changed then to now, but as to what is exactly understood by the term probably has changed some - perhaps we can get away with not worrying about that). Hegel intends to make philosophy into a science, changing it from a "love of knowing [to] actual knowing."

    The second part of #5 is simply the inner and outer justifications for making philosophy into a science. But it should be read and chewed a while and digested. Hegel is smart and clever - at the least! - and here he has been both. It will be part of his rhetorical style, and his own words are the shortest and best way in. We cannot neglect it; if anyone can briefly limn these his "flourishes" please have at it. At the moment it seems to me there will be parts that just plain have to be read and re-read themselves.
  • Fooloso4
    1.1k
    3. … the subject matter is not exhausted in its aims; rather, it is exhaustively treated when it is worked out. Nor is the result which is reached the actual whole itself; rather, the whole is the result together with the way the result comes to be.

    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.

    … differentiatedness is instead the limit of the thing at stake. It is where the thing which is at stake ceases, or it is what that thing is not.

    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.

    Instead of dwelling on the thing at issue and forgetting itself in it, that sort of knowing is always grasping at something else.

    That is, instead of standing apart one must stand within. The term ‘subject matter’ rather than ‘object matter’ is suggestive.


    5. The true shape in which truth exists can only be the scientific system of that truth.

    The truth exists only in the system of knowledge of the truth.

    To participate in the collaborative effort at bringing philosophy nearer to the form of science – to bring it nearer to the goal where it can lay aside the title of love of knowing and be actual knowing – is the task I have set for myself.

    Hegel sees himself as a participant in a collaborative effort with those who are lovers of knowledge, that is, the philosophers who preceded him, of whom it can be said that they are not actual knowers. To the extent he succeeds he will be the first to actually know.

    The inner necessity that knowing should be science lies in the nature of knowing, and the satisfactory explanation for this inner necessity is solely the exposition of philosophy itself.

    Hegel’s task is the exposition of the inner necessity of knowing, that knowing is the system of science.

    However, external necessity, insofar as this is grasped in a universal manner and insofar as personal contingencies and individual motivations are set aside, is the same as the internal necessity which takes on the shape in which time presents the existence of its moments. To demonstrate that it is now time for philosophy to be elevated into science would therefore be the only true justification of any attempt that has this as its aim, because it would demonstrate the necessity of that aim, and, at the same time, it would be the realization of the aim itself.

    The exposition of the inner necessity is externally realized in time, and Hegel will demonstrate that now is with his philosophy the time for philosophy to become actual knowing.
  • tim wood
    3.2k
    Pinkard #6

    "6. In positing that the true shape of truth lies in its scientific rigor – or, what is the same thing, in asserting that truth has the element of its existence solely in concepts – I do know that this seems to contradict an idea (along with all that follows from it), whose pretentiousness is matched only by its pervasiveness in the convictions of the present age.

    It thus does not seem completely gratuitous to offer an explanation of this contradiction even though at this stage such an explanation can amount to little more than the same kind of dogmatic assurance which it opposes. However much, that is to say, the true exists only in what, or rather exists only as what, is at one time called intuition and at another time called either the immediate knowing of the absolute, or religion, or being – not at the center of the divine love, but the being of divine love itself – still, if that is taken as the point of departure, what is at the same time demanded in the exposition of philosophy is going to be instead the very opposite of the form of the concept.

    The absolute is not supposed to be conceptually grasped but rather to be felt and intuited. It is not the concept but the feeling and intuition of the absolute which are supposed to govern what is said of it."
  • Fooloso4
    1.1k
    #6:

    Hegel is opposing his claim that:

    ... truth has the element of its existence solely in concepts

    with the claim that it is not the concept but the feeling and intuition or immediate knowing of the absolute which are supposed to govern what is said of it.
  • tim wood
    3.2k
    Hegel is opposing his claim that:

    ... truth has the element of its existence solely in concepts

    with the claim that it is not the concept but the feeling and intuition or immediate knowing of the absolute which are supposed to govern what is said of it.
    Fooloso4

    Kaufman notes here that the German word for concept is "Begriff,.. closely related to begreifen (to comprehend),,, - and Hegel considers it the task of philosophy to comprehend and not merely to feel and rhapsodize."

    In my opinion we ought to note and keep in mind that Hegel's are fighting words of steel and iron, notwithstanding the baroque and ironic style of the era that for us obscures the force of them and his ideas. His ideas are substantial, and radical. And in a way this is good for us readers in a different language and 210 years removed. If we lose the path, we need only look for plain, clear matters of substance to put us right.
  • tim wood
    3.2k
    Pinkard #7

    "7. If such a requirement is grasped in its more general context, and if its appearance is viewed from the stage at which self-conscious spirit is presently located, then spirit has gone beyond the substantial life which it had otherwise been leading in the element of thought – it has gone beyond this immediacy of faith, beyond the satisfaction and security of the certainty that consciousness had about its reconciliation with the essence, and it has gone beyond the universal present, or, the inner as well as the outer of that essence.

    Spirit has not only gone beyond that to the opposite extreme of a reflection of itself into itself which is utterly devoid of substance; it has gone beyond that extreme too. Not only has its essential life been lost to it, it is conscious of this, and of the finitude that is its content. Turning itself away from such left-over dregs, spirit, while both confessing to being mired in wickedness and reviling itself for being so, now demands from philosophy not knowledge of what spirit is; rather, it demands that it again attain the substantiality and the solidity of what is, and that it is through philosophy that it attain this.

    To meet these needs, philosophy is not supposed so much to unlock substance’s secret and elevate this to self-consciousness – not so much to bring chaotic consciousness back both to a well-thought-out order and to the simplicity of the concept, but, instead, to take what thought has torn asunder and then to stir it all together into a smooth mélange, to suppress the concept that makes those distinctions, and then to fabricate the feeling of the essence. What it wants from philosophy is not so much insight as edification. The beautiful, the holy, the eternal, religion, and love itself are all the bait required to awaken the craving to bite.

    What is supposed to sustain and extend the wealth of that substance is not the concept, but ecstasy, not the cold forward march of the necessity of the subject matter, but instead a kind of inflamed inspiration."
  • Fooloso4
    1.1k
    Kaufman notes here that the German word for concept is "Begriff,.. closely related to begreifen (to comprehend),,,tim wood

    Yes, but this needs to be understood within the whole, that is, it is comprehensive in the double sense of comprehend and inclusive of the subject matter as both subject and object together. See my comments about on #3.
  • Fooloso4
    1.1k


    So what is your take on this? Just quoting the whole of paragraph does not seem productive since the text is readily available.
  • tim wood
    3.2k
    I don't claim to have thought it through. Having the text up seems convenient. Nor do I feel it appropriate to hog the "commentary." I'm hoping more folks will jump in. At the same time, if taken in small bites, it may turn out to be not-so-mysterious. And anyone can add more of the paragraphs. I hope if they do, they'll try to maintain the format.

    I'm getting a feeling that by the time we get to the end and have cut away all the rhetoric and straw-man arguments, that the whole thing will not be quite so obscure. And indeed that's the claim of many who read Hegel, that if you can cut through the language, it's not so difficult. But I still get caught n the language. And, to be sure, I'm on at odd moments as time available. Let's see how it goes.
  • Fooloso4
    1.1k
    Nor do I feel it appropriate to hog the "commentary."tim wood

    To avoid the risk of doing the same I will hold off.
  • Amity
    803
    To understand any book or text requires first that it be read - and understood. That's the task of this thread, and that is the only task of this thread! Opinions and arguments are not welcome! Exception: given a reading, if someone can add light or improve on - or correct - the explication given, then they're very welcome. Or if anyone wants to add their own parallel "reading," also welcome.tim wood

    Fooloso4 asks a reasonable and relevant question given your approach as stated in OP.

    So what is your take on this? Just quoting the whole of paragraph does not seem productive since the text is readily available.Fooloso4

    It seemed clear that you hoped to give an explication of the Preface, paragraph by paragraph.
    Then others were welcome to join in. This included anyone who wished to add a parallel 'reading'.
    Just putting a paragraph out there, as a full quote, is not what was expected. A simple reference is enough so that people can follow your explication.

    Explication:
    'The idea and practice of explicate or explication is rooted in the verb to explicate, which concerns the process of "unfolding" and of "making clear" the meaning of things, so as to make the implicit explicit. The expression of "explication" is used in both analytic philosophy and literary theory'. Wikipedia

    What is a philosophical explication ? Why is It carried out ?

    To explicate means literally to "fold out." The task is to unfold the meaning of the passage in context and to come to some assessment of its importance and its truth

    To encourage the student to read actively. At its best, active reading is a process of critical appropriation, that is, a process of making the text 'properly one's own' by investigating its meaning and truth, ultimately with a view to how the position articulated in the text accords with or differs from, challenges or confirms, the constellation of your own fundamental philosophical beliefs and assumptions.

    https://sites.ualberta.ca/~rburch/PhilosphicalText.html#short
    — Robert Burch
  • emancipate
    118
    I think it would be preferable, to avoid cluttering up screen space, in simply referencing sections, rather than quoting whole chunks of text at a time. It is a format that has worked well before and will continue as long as we all use the same numbering system. I speak about clutter and screen space as one who browses solely via mobil, so perhaps it is a non-issue for most other members.

    (I'm interested in this reading group and look forward to participating. Atm I'm in the French alps though and cannot keep pace until my vacance finishes).
  • Amity
    803
    I don't claim to have thought it through. Having the text up seems convenient. Nor do I feel it appropriate to hog the "commentary." I'm hoping more folks will jump in. At the same time, if taken in small bites, it may turn out to be not-so-mysterious. And anyone can add more of the paragraphs. I hope if they do, they'll try to maintain the format.tim wood

    It would perhaps be wise to slow down. Take the time, as group leader, to read and think carefully before using the para as the basis for a group discussion,

    This is not about 'hogging the commentary'.
  • Amity
    803
    To avoid the risk of doing the same I will hold off.Fooloso4

    I hope you will continue to give your understanding of selected text.
    I don't expect that a full explication is what is required for a forum discussion ?
    I appreciated our discussion re para 2.
    Thank you.
  • Amity
    803

    I would be interested to know if it is 'geist' that is translated as 'spirit', and also if the 'science' that Hegel is referring to, could be understood as the German term Geisteswissenschaften, usually translated as 'sciences of the spirit' (a set of human sciences such as philosophy, history, philology, musicology, linguistics, theater studies, literary studies, media studies, and sometimes even theology and jurisprudence, that are traditional in German universities.)Wayfarer

    Good question but, as yet, unanswered. I wonder why that would be the case? I think it important that we ask that kind of question. This text warrants such attention. So...

    Are there particular questions we should have in mind as we read the Preface? What process, if any, do you use in an attempt to understand ?
    I am wondering about noting key words or phrases which might hold the key to the sense of the paragraph.
    What difference would it make if a translation uses 'general' as opposed to 'universal' ?
    And is the word being used in a technical v ordinary language sense ?
    Which words or phrases are important to Hegel's whole philosophy ?
    Does he give any explicit definitions of key terms and their relationship to each other ?

    Part of the reading process is about such identification.
    https://sites.ualberta.ca/~rburch/PhilosphicalText.html#long

    Wayfarer, are you still reading the Preface ?
  • Amity
    803
    Hegel index of terms pdf can be downloaded straight from Google search.
    There are only 4 pages which I have printed off.


    Hegel: Glossary (from Sebastian Gardner) It is extremely useful to...

    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. The Phenomenology was originally to be titled 'Science of the Experience of Consciousness'.


    Also, a free downloadable dictionary: by Glenn Alexander Magee

    www.scribd.com/doc/69965769/Hegel-Dictionary

    Edit to add:
    Pinkard has a Glossary of Translated Terms
    German to English
    English to German
    In book - p475
    In pdf - p522
  • Wayfarer
    8.6k
    Wayfarer, are you still reading the Preface?Amity

    Actually I am going to bow out.
  • Amity
    803
    Actually I am going to bow out.Wayfarer

    Any particular reason?
    I felt the same way yesterday.
  • Wayfarer
    8.6k
    I have many other things I want to study plus am starting a new job Monday. And this particular text deserves undivided attention.
  • Amity
    803

    Yes. If done well, it is time consuming and other things take priority. I think some will have read the Preface before and so have a major head start. I will see how things go...

    Good Luck with the new job :smile:
  • I like sushi
    1.4k
    Cut to the meaning:

    27. It is this coming-to-be of science as such or of knowledge, that is described in this Phenomenology of Spirit. Knowledge in its first phase, or immediate Spirit, is the non-spiritual, i.e. sense-consciousness.

    - from Miller trans.

    The above is important to stave of the prying noses of the religious zealots whom prefer to take “Spirit” as something akin to philosophical justification for an ‘immortal soul’. Note: “non-spiritual”.

    Next the only paragraph I’ve marked ‘nice’ :

    31. Quite generally, the familiar, just because it is familiar, is not cognitively understood. The commonest way in which we deceive either ourselves or others about understanding is by assuming something as familiar, and accepting it on that account; with all it’s pros and cons, such knowing never gets anywhere, and it knows not why. Subject and object, God, Nature, Understanding, sensibility, and so on, are uncritically taken for granted as familiar, established as valid, and made into fixed points for starting and stopping. While these remain unmoved, the knowing activity goes back and forth between them, thus moving only on their surface. Apprehending and testing likewise consist in seeing whether everybody’s impression of the matter coincides with what is asserted about these fixed points, whether it seems that way to him or not.

    Also, the term Notion is worth addressing next:

    33. (at the end of section) ... Through this movement the pure thoughts become Notions, and are only now what they are in truth, self-movements, circles, spiritual essences, which is what their substance is.

    Next a brief look at Hegel’s approach to ‘negation’ and such:

    36. The immediate existence of Spirit, consciousness, contains the two moments of knowing and the objectivity negative to knowing. Since it is in this element [of consciousness] that Spirit develops itself and explicates its moments, these moments contain antithesis, and they appear as shapes of consciousness.

    ... But Spirit becomes object because it is just this movement of becoming an other to itself, i.e. becoming an object to itself, and of suspending this otherness.

    Note: You don’t want ‘opinion” here, but I would feel a little disingenuous if I didn’t remark that this comment is trying to unknot “knowing” as we commonly hold the term in colloquial use and frame “knowing” more or less as the common term ‘notion’. Also, the very next section calls back to attention the meaning of ‘knowing’ and how to reconcile such a take on ‘knowing’ with ‘truth’ ...

    37. ... When it has shown this completely, Spirit has made its existence identical with its essence; it has itself for its object just as it is, and the abstract element of immediacy, and of the separation of knowing and truth, is overcome. ...

    Context of the above is necessary, but I’m typing this by hand so look for yourself! :) In brief, negation is brought into play to explicate. I’ve also neglected to address the use of the term ‘essence’ which sprung up much earlier in the preface!

    Forgive the backtracking ...

    20. The True is the while. But the whole is nothing other than the essence consummating itself through its development. ...

    Note: a favourite term of mine may be useful here in place of ‘development’ (Nascent). I’m justified by stating this given the following lines of the text (go look).

    Hegel then brings into focus, in the same section, the nebulous nature of some terms and how - harking back to section 31 - they are familiar, and thus paid dubious attention. This section being the set up for the later section (31).
  • Amity
    803
    Forgive the backtracking ...I like sushi

    Actually, I don't think this unusual in any reading.
    I am thinking of starting at the end :wink:
  • Amity
    803
    Kaufman notes here that the German word for concept is "Begriff,.. closely related to begreifen (to comprehend),,,
    — tim wood

    Yes, but this needs to be understood within the whole, that is, it is comprehensive in the double sense of comprehend and inclusive of the subject matter as both subject and object together. See my comments about on #3.
    Fooloso4

    The Hegel Glossary from Sebastian Gardner is useful here. Gives different translations and thoughts from Miller, Inwood, Solomon, Geraets et al, Kainz.

    Excerpt from CONCEPT ( Begriff)
    ...
    ,..When Hegel speaks of the Concept, he sometimes just means concepts in general, but he also uses it to mean, per Solomon, the most adequate conception of the world as a whole...
    Solomon...the Concept...has the force of 'our conception of concepts'...may also refer to the process of conceptual change...since for Hegel the identity of concepts is bound up with dialectical movement...
    — Sebastian Gardner
  • I like sushi
    1.4k
    Is this the snail’s pace you folks are working with?

    Is it okay if I post regardless? I’ll probably be done with this sometime before you lot unless I take a large break.

    The preface is about one tenth of the book so if you go at that pace you’ll be done by late 2020. If you were at university you’d be expected to sum it up the main points AND have a depth of understanding (usually parroting what others have said).

    Reading from the end makes more sense with these kinds of texts. I’m assuming you weren’t joking? Once I’m done with the introduction I’m going straight to the last page.
  • Amity
    803
    The preface is about one tenth of the book so if you go at that pace you’ll be done by late 2020. If you were at university you’d be expected to sum it up the main points AND have a depth of understanding (usually parroting what others have said).I like sushi

    The thread is only about the Preface.
    So, we are following Tim as leader of a group discussion.
    As usual, readers are at various stages, levels of ability, and go at a pace which suits them.
    Tim has set the general pace. It is his thread. So, people can either catch up, keep up, or keep ahead and comment at appropriate point.

    As such, it isn't really helpful 'to cut to the meaning' by starting in the middle.
    But hey, setting rules or guidelines, means some like to revolt and break 'em...
    It makes for haphazard and incomplete understanding. Not usually the aim of a university course.
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