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14428Phenomenology of Spirit Preface # 39

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  • greuterb
    Feb 7, 2013
      Posted by Robert Fanelli, Feb 3, 2013:
      > Dear Group,
      >
      > Preface # 39
      >
      > The black and the white of truth are set against each other with no
      > interaction
      > between them. Traditional truth is like a 'stamped coin' ready made
      > and easy to
      > understand and accept. Hegel equates falseness with otherness. My
      > consciousness is against all other things placed or posited against
      > it. If I
      > can transcend this I may be able to get to the truth of things.
      > Falsity is 'the
      > negative aspect of substance' and substance is 'the content of
      > knowledge.'
      > Knowledge must be on equal terms with substance. What are these
      > terms? It is
      > this very moment of dissimilarity that we begin to gain the truth of
      > things,
      > which is the identity of concepts with things, which are the other.
      > Once we
      > find the differences we gain likeness, a paradox indeed. Hegel
      > stresses that it
      > is the nature of difference, if we guide it correctly, that brings us
      > to the
      > truth of things. The moment of otherness is what we seek. For if we can
      > recognize this otherness
      > precisely then we may gather the truth of things. These are the terms
      > in which
      > knowledge is 'on equal terms with substance.' Hegel gives us the
      > clich├ęs 'of
      > unity of subject and object,' of 'finite and infinite', of 'being and
      > thought',
      > and insists that subject and object must be taken only as within their
      > unity,
      > and there is the nexus again popping up in one's head. Hegel is
      > intimating that
      > substance is the total reality of things, and that it is the full
      > content of
      > knowledge of things. We must distinguish things in general and bring
      > up their
      > identity, and thus get to the truth of things. Hegel does not
      > separate fact
      > from truth as Leibniz and Vico did. For Hegel fact and truth are one.
      >
      > Regards,
      >
      > Bob Fanelli


      From your text I derive that you ascribe to Hegel (1) a kind of primary
      (basic) representational relation to truth and therefore a
      correspondence theory of truth to things and (2) that the correspondence
      is a result of a synthetical activity of the transcendental subject
      beyond the empirical subject. Both is most unhegelian. What Hegel says
      in para 39 of the PhdG is that thought is a substantial (within the
      content) process where another thought or concept (otherness) introduces
      an explication or justification producing thereby a new mediating unity
      (truth) with the two (or more) preceding thoughts as moments. For Hegel
      this is a process of "experience as an inferential activity" (see
      Brandom, R.: 'Making it Explicit', Chapter 2.3.4), that is, a process of
      philosophical knowledge where (1) the true reference (representational
      relation) is the result of the inferential process and does not precede
      the process as with the empiricists and (2) the transcendental is not
      separated from the empirical as with the rationalists (including Kant).

      Beat Greuter
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