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Re: [existlist] Re: under the influence

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  • eupraxis@aol.com
    TC, [The term that bothers me is progress . There are simple natural progressions that one could argue are made in the natural world: progress from
    Message 1 of 70 , Apr 2, 2007
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      TC,

      [The term that bothers me is "progress". There are simple natural
      "progressions" that one could argue are made in the natural world:
      progress from individual to family to community to civilization. Not
      one of these is remarkable as anything other than a natural wonder. If
      you consider the progression in terms of evolution, the first three
      make sense but the last "civilization" seems the least likely to be a
      culmination of the other three in the higher animal that man is. In
      fact the only comparable examples in the biological world are at the
      lowest levels of life.]

      Yeah, the idea has a long history, and one leading most notably right
      back to Hegel himself, whether or not he would have signed off on it.
      'Manifest Destiny', for example, was the brain child of German
      Americans schooled on a popularized version of "Reason in History".
      Part of the blame goes to Hegel, who after all wrote this famous line
      (and others like it): "The destiny of the spiritual World, and — since
      this is the substantial World, while the physical remains subordinate
      to it, or, in the language of speculation, has no truth as against the
      spiritual — the final cause of the World at large, we allege to be the
      consciousness of its own freedom on the part of Spirit, and ipso facto,
      the reality of that freedom."

      Sounds damning, unless the next phrase is attached thereafter, "But ...
      this term “Freedom,” without further qualification, is an indefinite,
      and incalculable ambiguous term; and that while that which it
      represents is the ne plus ultra of attainment, it is liable to an
      infinity of misunderstandings, confusions and errors, and to become the
      occasion for all imaginable excesses... ." Hegel's "further
      qualifications" are notoriously wordy and opaque. That 'consciousness
      of freedom' becomes the contemporary experience of the World, the
      Zeitgeist, that extends its temporalized rationality in the due course
      of its inevitable exigencies. Time one: we shit in the woods; time two:
      we flush toilets. Time one: the King throws you into a dungeon; time
      two: hmmm ...oh yeah ... never mind.

      Of course, Hegel had every reason to be optimistic; we have less of a
      reason to trust "History" as being very reasonable. Hegel caught the
      first real signs of the collapse of crypto-feudalism, lordship and
      bondage, and the Revolt of Reason in the guise of Napoleon, etc. We
      have seen the eclipse of the Enlightenment, the first real signs of a
      Dark Age, in my opinion, and a sense of development as a BAD thing. But
      even I, someone who has worn black for decades and on purpose, have to
      say that 'progress' is something to defend, or even to fight for,
      whether in the guise of something revolutionary or -- and I hate to say
      this -- as an optimism that Reason will always someday prevail in
      behalf of the Demos.

      I am old enough to remember the 60s and early 70s, and remember how
      certain I was in the good political fight. (I still do, but I am more
      serious and somber about it. I am also utterly disappointed in the USA.
      I would never have expected things to have turned out this ...
      moronic.) Was my mood just a mood, or was there some real liberational
      essence to it? I still don't know.

      [One could argue that organizing a civilization is vestigial, and I
      would argue that it cannot fall into a characterization of progress.]

      It may need to fall flat on its ass before becoming progressive again.

      [All of that said, I suffer the same sense of being torn; misanthrope
      or humanist. When I am around scientists, especially biologists, I tend
      towards a hopeful humanism, but put me with anyone else and the
      misanthrope jumps out. Anthropocentric tendencies are utterly
      disastrous outside of hard science.]

      Absolutely, me too. But one can be "beyond good and evil" and still
      have a politics. Philosophy is philosophy, for example, only when it
      contends with its time. Anything else is ideology or worse. That is my
      final obdurate position, even when my existential back is against the
      wall. There is at least that.

      WS

      -----Original Message-----
      From: cruzprdb@...
      To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Mon, 2 Apr 2007 9:48 AM
      Subject: [existlist] Re: under the influence

      Funny how words get tweeked up. Interesting comment. I was
      using
      consciousness in its simplest sense: just being aware of something at
      all. I suppose you could substitute awareness though it has come to
      have some strange connotations as well. I'm sure you understand me
      more correctly than almost anyone here, only because you often peg my
      thought to the right reference. Go with your first impression as I am
      pretty certain we have read a good deal of the same material. I
      personally hate referring to sources for simple ideas. I think
      discourse is more stimulating if one doesn't, also potentially more
      liberating -(you might look to Husserl for that idea). It's not too
      difficult to tell when someone else doesn't know what the hell they
      are talking about.

      I would not dispute that Hegel was as much a naturalist as his time
      would allow as that was always the general intent of philosophy; I
      would say that a better argument would be that he was humanist in the
      modern sense.

      The term that bothers me is "progress". There are simple natural
      "progressions" that one could argue are made in the natural world:
      progress from individual to family to community to civilization. Not
      one of these is remarkable as anything other than a natural wonder. If
      you consider the progression in terms of evolution, the first three
      make sense but the last "civilization" seems the least likely to be a
      culmination of the other three in the higher animal that man is. In
      fact the only comparable examples in the biological world are at the
      lowest levels of life. One could argue that organizing a civilization
      is vestigial, and I would argue that it cannot fall into a
      characterization of progress. That said, before you throw me in with
      the libertarians like CSW, I would argue that civilization arises from
      primordial memory when there is an overrunning of the life
      environment. I think the need for systemic solutions shows up in the
      human situation simply because the human race intellectually
      misappropriated its nature in much the same manner as an abandoned
      child, only a child with more control over its situation than any
      animal in the history of the planet. I do not think that nature can
      now be changed through discourse. The natural solution has built up in
      the planet, and like Mark Knopfler says "every line on your palm".
      Evolution will always have its way.

      All of that said, I suffer the same sense of being torn; misanthrope
      or humanist. When I am around scientists, especially biologists, I
      tend towards a hopeful humanism, but put me with anyone else and the
      misanthrope jumps out. Anthropocentric tendencies are utterly
      disasterous outside of hard science.

      Anyway: to progress in something one would need to actually be aware
      of the something one was intending to progress in. (CSW) I do not
      think that killing is the result of an intellectual misappropriation,
      but I think war definitely is. Again biologically an arguably
      vestigial character to a human presentation.

      Let's continue this discussion as I am sure you are aware I indeed
      tend toward the Deleuze, Derrida, Lyotard, crowd; but with natural
      exceptions. On that note I will again bring up "cargo" religion in the
      sense that most anyone who gains recognition in philosophy eventually
      gets a bad name because there is no metaphysics. In terms of the
      planet the human animal has become a self-inflicted pandemic.
      Unfortunately the disease is entirely unique in every individual. The
      cure can only be administered one example at a time. A lifetime is not
      long enough to develop six billion vaccines.

      Trinidad

      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@... wrote:
      >
      > TC,
      >
      > Thanks again. I have put your comments in brackets.
      >
      > [Does he [Hegel] really consider that human history is the progress
      of
      > the consciousness of freedom?]
      >
      > Hegel has gotten a couple of centuries of bad press; first from the
      > right-wing Hegelians who bent him into a Junker goose stepper; then
      > from left-wing Hegelians who accused him of being Platonic dreamer;
      > then from the positivists who had no idea what he was talking about;
      > then by the English who cannot understand the least complex idea;
      then
      > by Yale; then by the Deleuze-Derrida-Lyotard gang.
      >
      > Hegel actually attempted to understand the human being as a natural,
      > rather than supernatural, being. He was the first philosopher of his
      > stature to do so, looking forward to the likes of Darwin, in fact. I
      > realize that that goes against everything you have ever heard about
      > Hegel, but there is it is. Hegel posits freedom in precisely the
      same
      > way that contemporary physics posits the "laws of nature" as what
      > entails when there is nothing extrinsic to the process. If there
      were
      > something extrinsic, be it God or some other power of entelechy, we
      > would have a magic universe and rationality would be lost in the
      > occult. Freedom is precisely the absolute negative as infinite, in
      its
      > qualitative appearance. It isn't a terminus ad quem, or an ideal
      > essence or a realm of ends, but is rather that without which there
      is
      > nothing at all in nothingness, which is clearly not what we see. (I
      can
      > be more forthcoming later in another posting, if you like.)
      >
      > Anyway, to answer the question, consciousness has little to do with
      > history. Hegel sees blind rationality, or Reason, as the
      "progressive"
      > push in history. Mere necessity. There isn't anything that attends
      in
      > time to be "conscious" of it, in that sense. To the extent that we
      work
      > and live in the Real or Actual, we succeed to the extent that live
      in
      > rational accord with it. If we do not, then we do not.
      >
      > [Freedom was spit out by the cosmos in our species at some
      primordial
      > point, but what history we have, ten or twelve thousand years worth
      > clearly argues that our consciousness of freedom has hardly changed
      at
      > all.]
      >
      > Hegel doubts that anyone in history has done much more than have
      mere
      > consciousness, like any other bug. Thinking, on the other hand,
      happens
      > rarely, and then only as a break in things. Again, this is not yer
      > father's Hegel.
      >
      > [Actually I simply do not think that it is the progress of our
      > consciousness of freedom that has wrought our present situation; on
      the
      > contrary it is our animal reaction to an ordinary natural
      circumstance
      > that has subjectively annihilated its objective presentation. In the
      > end, the list of mistakes made in the name of "rationality" will
      likely
      > prove to be longer than human rationality can cope with. It is my
      view
      > that there is nothing more common to our species than a free
      > individual, and at the same time nothing less likely. We have surely
      > tipped what balance there was now. There you have it.]
      >
      > Agreed. But "consciousness" is a quirky term and I rarely use it,
      > except in a restricted sense. But even in that restricted sense,
      > consciousness is a rare thing. Most people seem to live in a fantasy
      > world. Why else haven't they burned the place down? If they ever do
      > wake up -- and that would be way too late and without any real
      > theoretical sophistication -- just run the other way!
      >
      > [We don't have politics here anymore. Totalitarian populism. Just a
      > transition from Kings to Kongs.]
      >
      > Plato may have been right about the mob's 'democracy' after all. If
      you
      > can tolerate his dense writing, check out Zizek's Parallax View. And
      > Badiou.
      >
      > WS
      >
      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: cruzprdb@...
      > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Sun, 1 Apr 2007 9:01 PM
      > Subject: [existlist] Re: under the influence
      >
      > Sorry Wil, didn't mean to propose a discussion and then
      > disappear.
      > Company arrived for a Sunday chat and I was drawn away. I always look
      > at Hegel in the sense of most strongarm philosophy: that is a
      > proposition that ends up in contradiction because of construction.
      > There is an optimism but it is a delusion so not particularly
      > arguable. I do often wonder how many of these fellows were actually
      > serious. Does he really consider that human history is the progress
      of
      > the consciousness of freedom? In light of evolution, though Dennett
      > may not go so far, I would say such a claim is utterly unlikely.
      > Freedom was spit out by the cosmos in our species at some primordial
      > point, but what history we have, ten or twelve thousand years worth
      > clearly argues that our consciousness of freedom has hardly changed
      at
      > all. I would sooner argue the better position that it has been
      > deteriorating toward utter compromise, at least in philosophical
      > priority. If we further comtemplate the idea of a future impending
      > rational bliss, I would argue that such an obviation of irrationality
      > must be irrational as well (just teasing you with this old one).
      > Actually I simply do not think that it is the progress of our
      > consciousness of freedom that has wrought our present situation; on
      > the contrary it is our animal reaction to an ordinary natural
      > circumstance that has subjectively annihilated its objective
      > presentation. In the end, the list of mistakes made in the name of
      > "rationality" will likely prove to be longer than human rationality
      > can cope with. It is my view that there is nothing more common to our
      > species than a free individual, and at the same time nothing less
      > likely. We have surely tipped what balance there was now. There you
      > have it.
      >
      > We don't have politics here anymore. Totalitarian populism. Just a
      > transition from Kings to Kongs.
      >
      > I'm sure this material is more immediate to you than me. Your
      > elaboration has proved to be reliably a good reference for this list.
      > If no one else likes it, I do, so they can just bite me.
      >
      > By the way, "nimrod" is one of my favorite words, so sometime in the
      > future, curiously, we'll have to deal with Lacan.
      >
      > Trinidad
      >
      > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@ wrote:
      > >
      > > TC,
      > >
      > > Thanks. I hope that what follows makes some sense.
      > >
      > > I am very torn over all of this, I assure you. Philosophically
      > > speaking, and maybe just plain intellectually speaking, all bets
      are
      > > off in America, mainly because of the out-of-control rise of free
      > > market 'burgher'-ism and the confused crypto-narcissism that it
      > holds
      > > out as a false carrot (-- I reclaim the term 'burgher' from
      > "bourgeois"
      > > for the moment in order restore the crass nature of both). Some say
      > > politics is dead; I say it has pretty much moved in.
      > >
      > > This culture has no awareness of what Marx (yes Marx) realized in
      > > "Kapital" and related texts: to wit, running anything, much less a
      > > country, "like a business" reduces humanity to a 'means to an end'
      > that
      > > excludes it. Folks here work like dogs, only to wind up foreclosed
      > and
      > > tossed out -- in America they feel that all is deserved, condign
      and
      > > ethically neutral. Wealth becomes truth; but economic justice
      > becomes,
      > > by the very same token, its anathema.
      > >
      > > Once that becomes the idee fixe of the culture at large, as it is
      > here,
      > > all institutions necessarily reduce themselves to it, as if it were
      > > more "real" to do so than to oppose it. Even Christianity in the
      > South,
      > > which at least had a deep suspicion of the dehumanizing effects of
      > > Mammon's reach, has become the latter's cheerleader of late, with
      > its
      > > Wal-Mart-like commercial Jesus depots and corporate-style
      > programming.
      > > Very little can withstand that kind of totalization, as we are,
      > > fundamentally, stupid and cowardly apes who feel exposed and
      > vulnerable
      > > at being 'Other'.
      > >
      > > And as I look at my bookcase of philosophical texts, I, too, feel
      > their
      > > weight shift and in some cases vanish altogether. I see Husserl,
      > say,
      > > but who reads Husserl anymore, and who reads all of those guys that
      > > read Husserl for us any longer? So as I read him, the comforting
      and
      > > imagined-gaze of "our crowd" no longer being there has surprisingly
      > > allowed me to read as if never before. I realize that I am do
      > > philosophy, because philosophy is an act, and a real act is never
      > > imitating the gray-back ape anyway. Everything is now a challenge
      > and a
      > > danger, and maybe there is the awful consequence that I am wasting
      > my
      > > time. Tick, tick, tick. I swallow hard. What's it all about then?
      > >
      > > Counter-thought (which for me means thought) is now entirely
      > disparaged
      > > in the culture at large. Marcuse's "one-dimensionality" has reduced
      > > further to an inconceivable singularity. In the end,
      deconstruction
      > did
      > > us no good, being the mere warp of the otherwise reactionary woof,
      > and
      > > being fairly inane much of the time, at that.
      > >
      > > So, I tell you, my friend, reading Hegel and Nietzsche, as well as
      > > Badiou and some others is the first step, for me at least, in
      > > fulfilling my 'ethical duty' to wave my metaphorical middle finger
      > in
      > > the air.
      > >
      > > Otherwise, run for your life.
      > > Wil
      > >
      > > -----Original Message-----
      > > From: cruzprdb@
      > > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      > > Sent: Sun, 1 Apr 2007 11:05 AM
      > > Subject: [existlist] Re: under the influence
      > >
      > > I dunno Wil. Bygones don't have to be let go to be bygones
      > > anymore. It
      > > is a subject you and I could review for the dabblers here, but you
      > > have to wonder to what effect. No one is balanced anymore. This is
      > the
      > > "outcome" age in philosophy, not the "input". As I have said
      before:
      > > education has become a "cargo" religion. Gone is gone in that
      > > paradigm. Sorters not seeders. I say plant weeds with thorns if you
      > > can. Harder to get rid of.
      > >
      > > tc
      > >
      > > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@ wrote:
      > > >
      > > > JD,
      > > >
      > > > Thanks.
      > > >
      > > > It has been a good long while since I read Derrida, and that
      after
      > > the
      > > > good long while required to read him, even though one of his
      > > > translators is a good friend and mentor of mine. These years
      > hence,
      > > I
      > > > must confess, I have been more closely 'allied' to the opposing
      > camp
      > > > (speaking of the May '68 schism). I am more interested in Lacan,
      > > Badiou
      > > > and Foucault, for example. However, that said, "Disseminations"
      is
      > > > still a favorite of mine.
      > > >
      > > > My disenchantment with that style of "postmodernism" is probably
      > > due,
      > > > in part, to my increasing love for Hegel, who was always the
      > bugbear
      > > > for those guys. I find Derrida's writings on Hegel to be, well,
      > > > dishonest and self-serving, frankly. (I can say the same about
      > > > Heidegger, but with less compassion, but his story is VERY
      > > different,
      > > > anyway.) That was always my problem with Levinas, as well,
      > actually.
      > > > Hegel hating has been something of a career maker for a long
      time.
      > > >
      > > > But the Paris 1968 thing was not my fight, and I never had the
      > > > animosity towards Hegel (or any of the Kraut philosophers) that
      > > seems
      > > > to have been an obsession for most of those guys.
      > > >
      > > > WS
      > > >
      > > > -----Original Message-----
      > > > From: jaime.denada@
      > > > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      > > > Sent: Sat, 31 Mar 2007 4:39 PM
      > > > Subject: [existlist] Re: jester under the chair
      > > >
      > > > When we get to this tale, Derrida will be there. He deeply
      > > > respected
      > > > Levinas but realized alterity vs. ethics can't be resolved
      without
      > > > skepticism towards language. In turn, many recognize and respect
      > his
      > > > efforts toward "hospitality" as amelioration.
      > > >
      > > > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@ wrote:
      > > > >
      > > > > In the end, I am not afraid of the propensity for humans to
      err,
      > > but
      > > > I am suspicious of their honesty. So, it isn't so much a
      question
      > of
      > > > truth and error, but of truth versus lie, as Nietzsche has put
      it.
      > > And
      > > > therein lies a tale for another time.
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > __________________________________________________________
      > > > AOL now offers free email to everyone. Find out more about what's
      > > free
      > > > from AOL at AOL.com.
      > > > =0
      > > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > __________________________________________________________
      > > AOL now offers free email to everyone. Find out more about what's
      > free
      > > from AOL at AOL.com.
      > > =0
      > >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > __________________________________________________________
      > AOL now offers free email to everyone. Find out more about what's
      free
      > from AOL at AOL.com.
      > =0
      >






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    • Herman B. Triplegood
      Well, I have to admit that I am more of a right-winger than a left one. But, don t get me wrong. About the believer thing, for me, the belief is more the cart,
      Message 70 of 70 , Apr 11, 2007
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        Well, I have to admit that I am more of a right-winger than a left
        one. But, don't get me wrong. About the believer thing, for me, the
        belief is more the cart, than it is the horse. I am comfortable with
        my belief being my conclusion, and a hypothetical, even a
        speculative, conclusion, at that, not a presupposition. I am open to
        the possibility that, in my spirituality, my transcendentalism, I
        might ultimately be misguided, or even gulity of wishful thinking.

        I really did not know what to expect from Hegel when I started
        reading him some months back. He has inspired and challenged me in a
        lot of different areas, and he has caused me to step back and to
        reassess my own thoughts on matters like Sprit, divinity, and God.

        The thing about the stages of the Hegelian dialectic, as far as I
        understand it, is that each stage is essential, and cannot be
        dispensed with. Yes, philosophy is the pinnacle, as far as the
        consciousness of the Absolute is concerned, for Hegel. But the
        movement, beginning in art, and going through religion, to get to the
        philosophical, is a necessary dialectic, and each stage is an
        essential moment of the whole process. The thing is that we cannot
        skip any one of these stages on our way to the philosophical
        comprehension of the Absolute. If we try to leap to the highest
        synthesis, philosophy, without going through the preceeding stages of
        art, and religion, our comprehension will end up being one-sided, and
        therefore, distorted. At least, this is what Hegel says about it.

        I do not see how Hegel's system can be read as anything other than a
        philosophy of Spirit, with the theological assertions that such a
        reading would necessarily involve. I am baffled, therefore, by the so-
        called left wing interpretations of Hegel that, as far as I
        understand them, pretty much try to secularize him.

        However, I can understand how such a left wing interpretation can
        really be its own position, more or less independently of Hegel. One
        could always say, I guess, that Hegel was somewhat right, but that he
        went too far, and he leaped, and he shouldn't have. One could say
        that going beyond secularism, and humanism, flat out, don't make no
        sense. Now, that might not be a valid interpretation of what Hegel
        said. But, it might be true, whether it is Hegelian or not. I really
        don't thnk so. I take the opposite point of view. I say, stopping at
        secularism and humanism, without doing the leap, that is what don't
        make no sense. Why? Because we are natural born leapers (no, not
        leppers!). That's why.

        I think it is grotesque to hold up Hegel as a philosopher who would
        be a defense for what we know as fundamentalism. Hegel, it seems to
        me, is too rich to be so neatly pigeonholed. To my mind, Hegel is
        definitely a mystical thinker. He is not an orthodox Christian
        theologian. However, Hegel's system has, it seems to me, important
        theological implications that cannot be easily discounted.

        No doubt, I am going to have to revisit Hegel at some later date,
        better sooner, than later. I feel like I have, so far, probably
        missed more than I got. The "Science of Logic" was so massive, so
        complicated, so densely packed, that I am sure I missed whole
        chapters there. Nevertheless, I think I am getting enough from my
        first reading of Hegel's major works to make my further reading,
        ahead, more interesting, and also more fruitful. I look forward, over
        the next six to twelve months, to reading Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard,
        Nietzsche, and James. Later on, when I finally get there, whenever
        that will be, Husserl, Heidegger, and Sartre. It will be interesting
        to look back at Hegel, shoulder to shoulder with some of these
        philosophers, and then, later on, when I can revisit Hegel, I think a
        lot more will be clear to me by then.

        One of the things I would be interested in talking about, and getting
        some more insight into, here, is Hegel's relation to existentialism.
        What aspects of Hegel's thought inspired, either positively or
        negatively, the development of existentialism?

        Well, here I am, a forty nine year old technician, a kind of pseudo-
        computer geek, really, who works the night shift for a phone company.
        In my spare time, I read philosophy and history. I ask myself, when I
        look at how crazy this world, my world, has gotten, is, how did we
        get into this mess? I know how I got into it. I happened to be born
        into it, in 1958.

        The answer about the whole mess, is kind of like detective work. It
        involves some history. It also involves some history of ideas too.

        My reading, my little detective thing, my curiosity about the mess
        and how it happened, has brought a few general topics into some focus
        for me: science, technology (and the militarism that technology makes
        possible), the Enlightenment, Romanticism, transcendentalism (mainly
        Kant, and Hegel, and that whole gang of idealists), and
        existentialism.

        The way I see it, these are just the broad strokes of the brush as
        far as the history of ideas goes, the main things that have
        contributed to a changed world and a pretty uncertain future, for me,
        and for a whole bunch of us.

        So, I guess, this is the real reason why I am here, on this list, and
        on some others, and this is the real reason why I have been reading
        all of those books, not just philosophy ones, but more general ones
        that paint those broad strokes of the brush for me. I am just trying
        to figure out this crazy, mixed up, topsy turvy, technologized, life
        in the fast lane, weird world, that I happened to be born into almost
        fifty years ago before the Alzheimer's gets me.

        I need to know: Should I leap? or should I just stay put?

        Hb3g

        --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@... wrote:
        >
        > You're right about the richness of those texts. Bon appetite!
        >
        > I would remind you, though, of the severe split between so-called
        > right-wing and left-wing Hegelianism. I am very much in the latter
        > category, if I am an "Hegelian", at all. But there are many who
        take
        > Hegel as positive on the God question. They are usually believers
        > themselves, which I am certainly not.
        >
        > While it is true that Hegel, probably for reasons of propriety, is
        a
        > bit vague on his position on that in the later works, in his
        brasher
        > youthful days, he is absolutely clear on his contempt for the
        actual
        > belief in Jesus as a God. I can refer you to the text of Early
        > Theological Writings readily available at Amazon.com. Religion, for
        > Hegel, is a 'step' that he sees humanity must wade through before
        > attaining philosophy. Feuerbach's Essence of Christianity is still
        one
        > of the best "applied Hegel" texts on the subject, and a great book.
        >
        > But, being a member of a few Hegel associations, I can tell you
        that
        > there is a growing rabid element in those circles between born-
        again
        > creationist-types and those not, and it gets very divisive. As I
        said
        > earlier -- a contagion!
        >
        > Wil
        >
        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: hb3g@...
        > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
        > Sent: Tue, 10 Apr 2007 2:44 AM
        > Subject: [existlist] Reading List
        >
        > Here is one I am really looking forward to reading:
        > "Philosophy of
        > Being: A Reconstructive Essay in Metaphysics," by Oliva Blanchette
        of
        > Boston College. The book came out through Catholic University Press
        > in 2003. I had to wait a couple of months and have only been able
        to
        > browse the beginning pages so far.
        >
        > Blanchette maintains that metaphysics is in need of a complete
        > reconstruction, and then, he proceeds to attempt at least the
        > beginnings of such a reconstruction in this interesting looking
        book.
        > He spends quite a bit of time discussing, and critiquing Hegel's
        > attempted reconsgruction of metaphysics and Heidegger's
        > deconstruction of metaphysics.
        >
        > Blanchette is a theologian. So, if you take this one on, be
        prepared
        > for a sympathetic treatment of the supernatural. This is the topic
        > with which he finishes this book.
        >
        > Hegel has had my complete attention since the beginning of
        December.
        > I read the "Phenomenology" early last fall, then, beginning in
        > December, took on his "Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences,"
        > the "Science of Logic," the lectures on the philosophy of history,
        > and the "Philosophy of Right."
        >
        > I am finishing up the first of two volumes, about twelve hundred
        > pages, of Hegel's lectures on aesthetics, right now, and have,
        ahead
        > of me, over the next two or three months, the lectures on religion
        > and on the history of philosophy.
        >
        > The "Science of Logic" was a very difficult read, but, profoundly
        > insightful gthroughout those passages that were more easily
        > accessible to me. A brand new commentary, just released in March,
        > written by David Gray Carlson, a philosopher of jurisprudence,
        > mainly, looks to be about the best commentary on the "Science of
        > Logic," so far. I now have it, and, looking it over, it is very
        > thorough, much more thorough than any previous commentary with
        which
        > I am familiar. Hyppolite's "Logic and Existence," it seems, just
        > skims the surface, and McTaggart's well known commentary on
        > the "Science of Logic" is, to me, practically useless, and,
        entirely
        > too brief to do justice to Hegel's work.
        >
        > Another good general commentary, "Hegel and Aristotle," written by
        > Alfredo Ferrarin, and published in 2001, does a pretty good job of
        > showing Hegel's foundation in Aristotelian metaphysics. Hegel is
        > often interpreted as an extension of, and amplification of, ideas
        > that originated, mainly with Kant, but also Fichte. Ferrarin
        argues,
        > however, that it makes much more sense to interpret Hegel as an
        > Aristotelian.
        >
        > I think this is fundamentally correct. It certainly fits with the
        > content and style of Hegel's writing in his "Philosophy of Nature."
        > The sheer scope, and the detail, in Hegel's knowledge of the
        science
        > of his time, is truly impressive. He had studied Newton for
        decades.
        > His commentaries on Kepler's "Harmony of the World" and
        > Euclid's "Elements" are like nothing I have seen, yet, in twentieth
        > century commentaries on these classics.
        >
        > Hegel is often assessed in terms of what followed him --
        > existentialism, historicism, the various revolts against idealism.
        > But, I think it is important to place Hegel in terms of what
        preceded
        > him, and most deeply influenced him -- Aristotle, Plotinus,
        hermetic
        > philosophy, and the philosophy of nature.
        >
        > Hegel is a good old fashioned metaphysician, deeply sympathetic
        > toward theology, and the long speculative tradition in metaphysics
        > and theology, in which he was so thoroughly schooled. Yes, he knew
        > his Kant, and he knew his Fichte, and many other close
        > contemporaries, like Schelling, Schiller, Jacobi, and Holderlin.
        But,
        > Hegel knew his ancient philosophy, especially Aristotle, better
        than
        > he knew his own contemporaries, and, I daresay, better that those
        > contemporaries knew Aristotle.
        >
        > Hb3g
        >
        > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "C. S. Wyatt" <existlist1@>
        > wrote:
        > >
        > > I appreciate the discussion, even if I don't have nearly enough
        > time to look at my own sources
        > > for much of this. I spent the last two months reading Levinas and
        > Habermas, so my brain is
        > > not up to untangling anything Heidegger, Sartre, or even Derrida
        > (especially Derrida) wrote
        > > and/or said.
        > >
        > > I can only think of one minor point: Nietzsche is the closest to
        my
        > own views, which should
        > > probably worry me. I know his philology was often weak, with more
        > appeal to the masses
        > > than academics, but the core of his thought appeals more to me
        each
        > year.
        > >
        > > Any time a book is mentioned (thank Wil) I try to add it to my
        > Amazon Wish List. I'm still
        > > getting books that probably won't be digested until next year at
        > this rate. I've been putting
        > > the titles in my database, at least.
        > >
        > > - CSW
        > >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
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