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Aristotle on the Dialectic?

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  • greuterb
    ... Bruce, Quite right, however, if you want to decide which doctrine is superior and which is inferior, how do you make this? Is it even possible to decide
    Message 1 of 243 , Feb 5, 2012
      Am 02.02.2012 20:57, Bruce Merrill writes:

      > Thanks for this generous reply, Alan.
      >
      > I may have more to say but, for starters, you align argument with "truth
      > preserving inference," whereas, typically, argument is a matter of
      > rational
      > conflict: giving reasons for the superiority of one doctrine, the
      > inferiority of another. It is carried out by two or more opposed parties.



      Bruce,

      Quite right, however, if you want to decide which doctrine is superior
      and which is inferior, how do you make this? Is it even possible to
      decide rationally? According to Thomas S. Kuhn not since the perspective
      includes the fact and the normative moment, according to Thomas Nagel
      yes since there must be a transcendental rationality beyond perspectives
      which can be grasped (against Kant). If you now want to decide in a
      meta-comparison whether Kuhn or Nagel is right what do you make then? Or
      take another example. In Plato's dialogue 'Menon' Menon can 'only' give
      answers on the question 'what is virtue?' with help of applying
      examples, that is, within a context. But Socrates (and Plato at this
      time of his work, too) wants to know the idea of virtue beyond
      perspectives. About 2400 years later a philosopher named Wittgenstein
      does sustain Menon. Who is right, who is superior? Without speculative
      thinking, that is, without leaving such terms as 'superior' and
      'inferior' behind you never will be able to make rational comparisons
      which always are dialectical movements between the one and the other,
      identity and difference. This is not only true for such philosophical
      questions but also for "common reason that we use in daily life, e.g. as
      we make breakfast" as you refer to in another mail. Of course, common
      reason as such is not yet speculative. But at the moment common reason
      reflects on itself the speculative joins in. And I think you will agree
      with me that 'reflection' is an important moment of reason, even of
      common reason.

      Regards,
      Beat



      > "... we have to be attentive to the continual need to shift
      > perspective when we come to an impasse."
      >
      > How arbitrary is this repeated shift from impasse to the speculative? Is
      > there a rule or pattern that governs moving from a particular impasse to
      > the relevant speculative perspective? It would be easier to grasp if you
      > offered a specific instance of impasse > shift to the speculative. (Again,
      > my apologies if you've already covered this.)
      >
      > Bruce.
    • Stephen
      Wil, I can appreciate a lot of this. I used abstract , ineptly perhaps, to try to characterise a certain narrowness, as I see it, in your take . Much of what
      Message 243 of 243 , Feb 19, 2012
        Wil,

        I can appreciate a lot of this. I used "abstract", ineptly perhaps, to
        try to characterise a certain narrowness, as I see it, in your "take".

        Much of what you attribute exclusively to "philosophy" can be found in
        any number of religious texts, i.e. any number of religious texts are
        philosophical and vice versa, just as some are even artistic and some
        art-products are religious and/or philosophical, i.e. spiritual at an
        "absolute" level. I know you would agree but I was looking at your text.

        I can't really explain why discussing Hegel leads me to mention other
        philosophers and the whole history of philosophy if you don´t see it
        yourself.

        Religion is for thick pèople as well (are we not all a bit thick?)
        but philosophers are, by and large, the most perfectly religious, hence,
        he says, "religion is for all men", not just for non-philosophers.
        Whether it is something added to their philosophy or the two coalesce or
        both we don´t need to make precise just now, except that Hegel
        clearly says that philosophy perfects, "accomplishes" religion, is hence
        a "Gottesdienst". That´s the motive, whether we are "religious" (a
        coarse word really) or not.

        The Bible belt is an irrelevancy here, unless you can find something
        "spiritual" in it (Probably one could). Truth anyhow is our concern, and
        knowing it.

        Stephen.




        --- In hegel@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@... wrote:
        >
        > Stephen,
        >
        > Thank you again.
        >
        > I am not sure what you have in mind by this. How does reading the
        later
        > sections of the PofS, from religion to philosophy and the Absolute
        > amount to being abstract? That's an odd thing to say. And why is, and
        > is every time, with all due respect, any discussion of Hegel turned
        > into one about Paul or Aquinas or anyone else. You already know that
        > these writers hold no stock for me on these issues, and they -- none
        of
        > them -- were Hegelians.
        >
        > Paul and Hegel differ in the one most important thing: Hegel nowhere
        > alleges or opines or suggests that religion describes real things or
        > real events. Hegel never says that Yahweh is a real entity, or even
        > that Jesus was a real person. Nowhere; not even in the enormous
        > collection of Lectures on the subject of religion. Not in all three
        > volumes. Hegel is at least basically agnostic on that and I surmise
        > more than agnostic. (The early theological writings are pretty much
        > dismissive, in fact.)
        >
        > To be perhaps a bit crude about it, and I apologize in advance for
        > this, Hegel's position is basically twofold: 1) that religion is for
        > people that are too dense to understand philosophy, too thick in the
        > head or, to say it plainly, too stupid or otherwise distracted; and 2)
        > that religion is the means for heady persons (presumably us) to "feel"
        > truth with the heart.
        >
        > 1 is false for the simple reason that no church actually talks about
        > the kind of things that Hegel assumes they do. In our own center of
        > religion, here in the "bible belt", religious discourse is about
        > "prosperity (money) through faith" and "prayer in schools", etc., and
        > the culture is rhinestones and too much make-up. And 2 is plainly no
        > longer true, if it ever was. Religion as Hegel understands it just
        does
        > not function that way. It is at best a vestigial leftover from
        Europe's
        > Dark Ages. Nietzsche was spot on with his God is Dead, which means
        that
        > religion is no longer a real institution or source of knowledge. If it
        > is for you, that is just fine. But it is not for me and others here,
        > and I have little patience re-arguing the topic after all of these
        > years. Years!
        >
        > Best,
        > Wil
        >
        >
        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: Stephen stephentheron@...
        > To: hegel hegel@yahoogroups.com
        > Sent: Fri, Feb 17, 2012 6:27 am
        > Subject: [hegel] Re: Quotidian experience redux
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Wil, It´s not quite as you see it, in my view, or, rather, you
        hold
        > your own view a bit too abstractly. We don´t need, for example, a
        > "transition from religion to philosophy" to see that "there is no him
        > there". this is achieved within religious discourse itself as part of
        > the process, which I agree is taken as far as anyone takes it by Hegel
        > personally, of "understanding spiritual things spiritually" as urged
        by
        > St. Paul. I myself am quite prepared to call St. Paul a great
        > philosopher, along with Augustine or anyone else similar, but my point
        > is that within the religious tradition, which also merges into
        > philosophy (hence "absolute religion" is a contradiction on
        Hegel´s own
        > terms), that step is made. Thus the prophet stresses the "motherhood"
        > of God. There´s no "her" there either but if you use both you rise
        > above sex/gender without losing the ying/yang effect.
        > These are all points of language merely. It is as if you said that the
        > words Catherine of Siena heard, "I am he who is, you are she who is
        > not" were sexist/Chauvinist, instead of being the sheerist Spinoza and
        > Hegel in one.
        >
        > Like any layman re sermons, clergy etc. Hegel is sometimes low bar,
        > sometimes high bar. But now why do you say God as person is cancelled,
        > as if the Absolute were finite, a computer or something (though
        > computers might possibly be persons, intentional systems or whatever)?
        > Hegel says, "The principle of personality is universality" (where he
        > mentions slavery in EL) and, it appears, universality without limit.
        > Not cancelled then.
        >
        > Stephen.
        >
        > --- In hegel@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@ wrote:
        > >
        > > Will,
        > >
        > > Thank you for the response. First, a small matter: I spell my name
        > with
        > > one 'l', Wil. Now, that said ...
        > >
        > > Will: "I think you may have heard too many sermons. The language of
        > my
        > > statement addresses serious philosophical issues. Even so, an
        > important
        > > point Hegel makes is that even religious feelings or religious
        > > talk/sermons are not devoid of reason. Everything human is imbued
        > with
        > > reason. Even a rock only needs the strength of human reason to
        > > comprehend it.
        > >
        > > Response: One sermon is too many. Hegel does indeed say in so many
        > > words that "even religious feelings or religious talk/sermons are
        not
        > > devoid of reason" (even, indeed), but that is hardly the ringing
        > > endorsement that you seem to assume that it is. That's quite a low
        > bar,
        > > no?
        > > ---
        > > Will: "For Hegelians, there is no question of deconstructing God,
        > > especially if you mean by deconstruction a dismantlement, as in
        > > deconstructing a building so that only the space it occupied is
        left.
        > > This should be considered a foolish or false understanding of Hegel,
        > > because it fails to recognize that he is concerned with negation as
        > > determination, not as annihilation. God as immediate indeterminate
        > > being or being-there is not actually what God is in truth. Knowing
        > God
        > > in His actuality is what Hegel is concerned with; he is least
        > > interested in nullifying God. Your proclaimed opposition to this is
        > > what leads to the "dare" when one understands how it is perceived
        > from
        > > the authentic Hegelian perspective of, not only absolute knowing,
        but
        > > the Absolute Idea."
        > >
        > > Response: I think you have it classically wrong, but this is a good
        > > example of Right Hegelianism. To be brief, the transition from
        > Religion
        > > to Philosophy cancels God as "God". There is no 'Him' there. And
        > > incidentally, Hegel's "Dasein" (being there) is typically rendered
        as
        > > Determinate Being, but perhaps I miss your point.
        > > ---
        > > Will: "As I explain in my reply to Alan, following this one, Hegel
        > > would consider insight into knowing (or God) the mere conceit of
        > > knowing, without actually knowing anything. It is an insufferable
        > > arrogance that is exceeded only by its utter ignorance. God cannot
        be
        > > comprehended [and certainly not eliminated] by sheer insight. Only
        > the
        > > full systematic development of the Absolute Idea can comprehend what
        > > God is in and as truth. It is disappointing that no one on this list
        > > has called you out on this fundamental blunder."
        > >
        > > Response: Blunder, indeed. This says nothing at all. I agree with
        > your
        > > penultimate statement, however ("Only the full systematic
        development
        > > of the Absolute Idea can comprehend what God is in and as truth"),
        > but
        > > as has been argued here for years now, the God of religion, that
        > > person-God, is canceled.
        > > ---
        > > Will: "So far as evangelizing is concerned, there is enough
        atheistic
        > > sermonizing going on in this list to fulfill that undesired
        > instrusion.
        > > Especially the zany Zizek zealotry -- he engages in what seems to
        > have
        > > become a Continental fashion of philosophy that is pure sermonizing,
        > > comparable to the best Southern Baptist ministers, filled with
        > > incongruous insights (with appropriate shock value), lacking the
        > > ability to even put more than a few insights together, what to speak
        > of
        > > a producing a systematic development of Concepts and their Actuality
        > in
        > > the Idea."
        > >
        > > Response: Right. Sure. See Beiser's book, "Hegel". He is hardly a
        > > Zizekian zealot or any kind of Left Hegelian. See his section on
        > > religion.
        > > ---
        > > Will: "And to address your final comment concerning Otherness, you
        > must
        > > not know the same Hegel that I do. Hegel never eliminates the Other,
        > or
        > > annihilates it, or deconstructs it. The Other is as essential to
        > > Hegelian philosophy as the Self. To "live and move and have one's
        > > being" in God or the Absolute, is not to have the Other of one's
        self
        > > abstractly beyond, but to be a concretely and actually Other beyond,
        > > and in so far as that is the case, to consequently and
        simultaneously
        > > have the Other immanently and intrinsically within and even
        identical
        > > to the Self (an identity in difference)."
        > >
        > > Response: I am not sure what you are trying to say here, as it is
        > said
        > > as if it counters something from me. I would be happy to respond, if
        > > you might say what you are specifically addressing or defending.
        > > ---
        > > Will: "I attribute your seeming oblivion to these facts as due to
        > > either or both to your rather incomplete knowledge of Hegel and of
        > the
        > > conception of God comprehended by theology and religion properly
        > > conceived. ..."
        > >
        > > Response: You can attribute as you like. You will anyway.
        > > ---
        > > Will: "... It may also be said that the question of the origin of
        the
        > > Universe is currently of considerable philosophical and scientific
        > > interest. Hegel clearly dealt with this central issue of philosophy.
        > > Perhaps you may not like to deal with it because of its direct
        > bearing
        > > on the question of God, but that only reinforces its relevance here,
        > > and, if you haven't guessed it, that is precisely why it was
        > > introduced. So I hope you will kindly pardon my pressing the issue."
        > >
        > > Response: Quite to the contrary, Hegel does not deal very much with
        > the
        > > creation of the Universe. He famously says very little about it in
        > the
        > > few zusatz in the EL and few places otherwise, passing it off as a
        > > problem of eternity and so on. If I have missed something, I would
        be
        > > in your debt for a citation.
        > >
        > > Yours, and
        > > Der Gott ist Todt
        > > Wil
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > -----Original Message-----
        > > From: Will Mellon willmellon@
        > > To: hegel hegel@yahoogroups.com
        > > Sent: Thu, Feb 16, 2012 3:15 am
        > > Subject: Re: [hegel] Re: Quotidian experience redux
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Will --
        > >
        > > I think you may have heard too many sermons.The language of my
        > > statement addresses serious philosophical issues. Even so, an
        > important
        > > point Hegel makes is that even religious feelings or religious
        > > talk/sermons are not devoid of reason. Everything human is imbued
        with
        > > reason. Even a rock only needs the strength of human reason to
        > > comprehend it.
        > >
        > > For Hegelians, there is no question of deconstructing God,
        especially
        > > if you mean by deconstruction a dismantlement, as in
        deconstructing a
        > > building so that only the space it occupied is left. This should be
        > > considered a foolish or false understanding of Hegel, because it
        fails
        > > to recognize that he is concerned with negation as determination,
        not
        > > as annihilation. God as immediate indeterminate being or
        being-there
        > is
        > > not actually what God is in truth. Knowing God in His actuality is
        > what
        > > Hegel is concerned with; he is least interested in nullifying God.
        > Your
        > > proclaimed opposition to this is what leads to the "dare" when one
        > > understands how it is perceived from the authentic Hegelian
        > perspective
        > > of, not only absolute knowing, but the Absolute Idea.ÂÂ
        > >
        > > As I explain in my reply to Alan, following this one, Hegel would
        > > consider insight into knowing (or God) the mere conceit of knowing,
        > > without actually knowing anything. It is an insufferable arrogance
        > that
        > > is exceeded only by its utter ignorance. God cannot be comprehended
        > > [and certainly not eliminated] by sheer insight. Only the full
        > > systematic development of the Absolute Idea can comprehend what God
        is
        > > in and as truth. It is disappointing that no one on this list has
        > > called you out on this fundamental blunder.
        > >
        > > So far as evangelizing is concerned, there is enough atheistic
        > > sermonizing going on in this list to fulfill that undesired
        > instrusion.
        > > Especially the zany Zizek zealotry -- he engages in what seems to
        have
        > > become a Continental fashion of philosophy that is pure sermonizing,
        > > comparable to the best Southern Baptist ministers, filled with
        > > incongruous insights (with appropriate shock value), lacking the
        > > ability to even put more than a few insights together, what to speak
        > of
        > > a producing a systematic development of Concepts and their Actuality
        > in
        > > the Idea.ÂÂ
        > >
        > > And to address your final comment concerning Otherness, you must not
        > > know the same Hegel that I do. Hegel never eliminates the Other,
        > > or annihilates it, or deconstructs it. The Other is as
        essential to
        > > Hegelian philosophy as the Self. To "live and move and have one's
        > > being" in God or the Absolute, is not to have the Other of one's
        self
        > > abstractly beyond, but to be a concretely and actually Other beyond,
        > > and in so far as that is the case, to consequently and
        simultaneously
        > > have the Other immanently and intrinsically within and even
        identical
        > > to the Self (an identity in difference).ÂÂ
        > >
        > > I attribute your seeming oblivion to these facts as due to either or
        > > both to your rather incomplete knowledge of Hegel and of the
        > conception
        > > of God comprehended by theology and religion properly conceived. It
        > may
        > > also be said that the question of the origin of the Universe is
        > > currently of considerable philosophical and scientific interest.
        Hegel
        > > clearly dealt with this central issue of philosophy. Perhaps you may
        > > not like to deal with it because of its direct bearing on
        > the question
        > > of God, but that only reinforces its relevance here, and, if you
        > > haven't guessed it, that is precisely why it was
        introduced. So I
        > hope
        > > you will kindly pardon my pressing the issue.
        > >
        > > Will
        > >
        > > ________________________________
        > > From: "eupraxis@" eupraxis@
        > > To: hegel@yahoogroups.com
        > > Sent: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 11:15 AM
        > > Subject: Re: [hegel] Re: Quotidian experience redux
        > >
        > >
        > > ÂÂ
        > > Will
        > >
        > > Will wrote: ""In Whose Universe would anyone foolishly dare to
        > proclaim
        > > there is no God?" ¶ No one has yet answered the quandary.
        Although it
        > > was mentioned but then quickly averted, every answer basically
        focused
        > > on the one making the proclamation. But the question is focused on
        "in
        > > Whose universe?" Isn't it? ..."
        > >
        > > Response: Mere evangelizing really isn't appropriate in these
        > > circumstances. First, there is no quandary in your reproving
        question.
        > > In fact, one has to bend most rules of grammar to make sense of the
        > > intonation at all. One could say that no one should make any
        > > proclamations in a foolish manner, which would satisfy the
        > > interrogation perfectly. Secondly, it is clear that anything one
        > > proclaims, regardless of it being foolish or not, would be an act in
        > > this same "Universe". So the question really is, "How dare you
        commit
        > > [my] God to an act of deconstruction!" That is not a philosophical
        > > question.
        > > ---
        > > Will: " ... The unspoken, the unthought thought in which
        > > thought thinking thought inhabits or indwells -- the "in Whom we
        live
        > > and move and have our being" is a Universe that remains an
        unaccounted
        > > for presupposition. Who among finite men will dare claim to be the
        > > origin of the Sun, or trees, or Man, or the galaxies...? Is it not
        > > utter foolishness to talk of thinking and yet ignore the actuality
        of
        > > which such thinking thought makes any sense at all?"
        > >
        > > Response: The metaphor of thinking's ultimate containment in another
        > > meta-thought, or I should say an-other's (an-Other's?) thought is
        > > inappropriate for Hegel's Logic, which I assume you are citing. In
        > > fact, that is whole point. True infinity and all that.
        > >
        > > Your metaphysics expressed above is precisely what Hegel dispatches.
        > He
        > > specifically discusses that kind of simplistic thinking in the
        > > Lectures, and with a wince. But, with all due respect, that
        > penultimate
        > > sentence, "Who among finite men will dare claim to be the origin of
        > the
        > > Sun, or trees, or Man, or the galaxies...?, is just the typical
        > > unthinking rhetoric of your sundry "values voter", intoned as if
        from
        > a
        > > megachurch. It doesn't belong here. Nor does the parson tone.
        > >
        > > I'll leave the comment made explicitly to Alan for him to answer,
        if.
        > >
        > > Wil
        > >
        > > Will
        > >
        > > Will wrote: ""In Whose Universe would anyone foolishly dare to
        > proclaim
        > > there is no God?" ¶ No one has yet answered the quandary.
        Although it
        > > was mentioned but then quickly averted, every answer basically
        focused
        > > on the one making the proclamation. But the question is focused on
        "in
        > > Whose universe?" Isn't it? ..."
        > >
        > > Response: Mere evangelizing really isn't appropriate in these
        > > circumstances. First, there is no quandary in your reproving
        question.
        > > In fact, one has to bend most rules of grammar to make sense of the
        > > intonation at all. One could say that no one should make any
        > > proclamations in a foolish manner, which would satisfy the
        > > interrogation perfectly. Secondly, it is clear that anything one
        > > proclaims, regardless of it being foolish or not, would be an act in
        > > this same "Universe". So the question really is, "How dare you
        commit
        > > [my] God to an act of deconstruction!" That is not a philosophical
        > > question. --- Will: " ... The unspoken, the unthought thought in
        which
        > > thought thinking thought inhabits or indwells -- the "in Whom we
        live
        > > and move and have our being" is a Universe that remains an
        unaccounted
        > > for presupposition. Who among finite men will dare claim to be the
        > > origin of the Sun, or trees, or Man, or the galaxies...? Is it not
        > > utter foolishness to talk of thinking and yet ignore the actuality
        of
        > > which such thinking thought makes any sense at all?"
        > >
        > > Response: The metaphor of thinking's ultimate containment in another
        > > meta-thought, or I should say an-other's (an-Other's?) thought is
        > > inappropriate for Hegel's Logic, which I assume you are citing. In
        > > fact, that is whole point. True infinity and all that.
        > >
        > > Your metaphysics expressed above is precisely what Hegel dispatches.
        > He
        > > specifically discusses that kind of simplistic thinking in the
        > > Lectures, and with a wince. But, with all due respect, that
        > penultimate
        > > sentence, "Who among finite men will dare claim to be the origin of
        > the
        > > Sun, or trees, or Man, or the galaxies...?, is just the typical
        > > unthinking rhetoric of your sundry "values voter", intoned as if
        from
        > a
        > > megachurch. It doesn't belong here. Nor does the parson tone.
        > >
        > > I'll leave the comment made explicitly to Alan for him to answer,
        if.
        > >
        > > Wil
        > >
        > > -----Original Message-----
        > > From: eupraxis eupraxis@
        > > To: hegel hegel@yahoogroups.com
        > > Sent: Wed, Feb 15, 2012 10:12 am
        > > Subject: Re: [hegel] Re: Quotidian experience
        > >
        > > Will
        > >
        > > Will wrote: ""In Whose Universe would anyone foolishly dare to
        > proclaim
        > > there is no God?" ¶ No one has yet answered the quandary.
        Although it
        > > was mentioned but then quickly averted, every answer basically
        focused
        > > on the one making the proclamation. But the question is focused on
        "in
        > > Whose universe?" Isn't it? ..."
        > >
        > > Response: Mere evangelizing really isn't appropriate in these
        > > circumstances. First, there is no quandary in your reproving
        question.
        > > In fact, one has to bend most rules of grammar to make sense of the
        > > intonation at all. One could say that no one should make any
        > > proclamations in a foolish manner, which would satisfy the
        > > interrogation perfectly. Secondly, it is clear that anything one
        > > proclaims, regardless of it being foolish or not, would be an act in
        > > this same "Universe". So the question really is, "How dare you
        commit
        > > [my] God to an act of deconstruction!" That is not a philosophical
        > > question. --- Will: " ... The unspoken, the unthought thought in
        which
        > > thought thinking thought inhabits or indwells -- the "in Whom we
        live
        > > and move and have our being" is a Universe that remains an
        unaccounted
        > > for presupposition. Who among finite men will dare claim to be the
        > > origin of the Sun, or trees, or Man, or the galaxies...? Is it not
        > > utter foolishness to talk of thinking and yet ignore the actuality
        of
        > > which such thinking thought makes any sense at all?"
        > >
        > > Response: The metaphor of thinking's ultimate containment in another
        > > meta-thought, or I should say an-other's (an-Other's?) thought is
        > > inappropriate for Hegel's Logic, which I assume you are citing. In
        > > fact, that is whole point. True infinity and all that.
        > >
        > > Your metaphysics expressed above is precisely what Hegel dispatches.
        > He
        > > specifically discusses that kind of simplistic thinking in the
        > > Lectures, and with a wince. But, with all due respect, that
        > penultimate
        > > sentence, "Who among finite men will dare claim to be the origin of
        > the
        > > Sun, or trees, or Man, or the galaxies...?, is just the typical
        > > unthinking rhetoric of your sundry "values voter", intoned as if
        from
        > a
        > > megachurch. It doesn't belong here. Nor does the parson tone.
        > >
        > > I'll leave the comment made explicitly to Alan for him to answer,
        if.
        > >
        > > Wil
        > >
        > > -----Original Message-----
        > > From: Will Mellon willmellon@
        > > To: hegel hegel@yahoogroups.com
        > > Sent: Wed, Feb 15, 2012 8:05 am
        > > Subject: Re: [hegel] Re: Quotidian experience
        > >
        > > "In Whose Universe would anyone foolishly dare to proclaim there is
        no
        > > God?"
        > >
        > > No one has yet answered the quandary. Although it was
        mentioned but
        > > then quickly averted, every answer basically focused on the one
        making
        > > the proclamation. But the question is focused on "in Whose
        universe?"
        > > Isn't it? The unspoken, the unthought thought in which thought
        > thinking
        > > thought inhabits or indwells -- the "in Whom we live and move and
        have
        > > our being" is a Universe that remains an unaccounted for
        > > presupposition. Who among finite men will dare claim to be the
        origin
        > > of the Sun, or trees, or Man, or the galaxies...? Is it not utter
        > > foolishness to talk of thinking and yet ignore the actuality of
        which
        > > such thinking thought makes any sense at all?
        > >
        > > Yes, Alan. You have asked the right question about the question:
        > "Where
        > > is this coming from?" It all centers around that very
        question. But
        > > whilst you ask the question,  instead of thinking the answer
        through,
        > > you unthinkingly give your ready to hand answer: there is no God;
        the
        > > fool is one who even dares think the question.  For a mind
        that has
        > > already decided the answer before any question could even be
        thought,
        > > it can only engage in foolish question begging and think it is
        engaged
        > > in philosophy.ÂÂ
        > >
        > > So, in this context, it seems the quandary may be better stated:
        From
        > > Where/Whom does it all come? It seems to me that we can't decide
        > either
        > > where/whom until we, at least, give up foolish unthinking and think
        > the
        > > question, and think through the answer.  This is where this
        question
        > is
        > > coming from.
        > >
        > > Will
        > > ÂÂ
        > >
        > > ________________________________
        > > From: Alan Ponikvar ponikvaraj@
        > > To: hegel@yahoogroups.com
        > > Sent: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 3:20 PM
        > > Subject: Re: [hegel] Re: Quotidian experience
        > >
        > > ÂÂ
        > > Where is this coming from?
        > >
        > > There is no dare about it. We live in a secular world where the fool
        > is
        > > the
        > > one who still blathers on about god.
        > >
        > > - Alan
        > >
        > > From: Will Mellon willmellon@
        > > Reply-To: hegel@yahoogroups.com
        > > Date: Tue, 14 Feb 2012 05:11:29 -0800 (PST)
        > > To: "hegel@yahoogroups.com" hegel@yahoogroups.com
        > > Subject: Re: [hegel] Re: Quotidian experience
        > >
        > > In Whose Universe would anyone foolishly dare to proclaim there is
        no
        > > God?
        > >
        > > Will
        > >
        > > ________________________________
        > > From: Alan Ponikvar ponikvaraj@
        > > <mailto:ponikvaraj%40gmail.com>;;;; >
        > > To: hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>;;;;
        > > Sent: Monday, February 13, 2012 3:50 PM
        > > Subject: Re: [hegel] Re: Quotidian experience
        > >
        > > I can see that you reject the nothing but.
        > >
        > > But this is because you already believe you know what god is.
        > >
        > > I am more interested in what god becomes when he names the Hegelian
        > > absolute.
        > >
        > > In other words, we start from Hegel's conception and then learn what
        > > god is.
        > > God has no prior standing. We do not bring into the discussion
        > religious
        > > opinion.
        > >
        > > The nothing but does not imply some larger collection. This is not
        > about
        > > whether 'god' is inclusive. It is about an insight into god's
        absolute
        > > essence.
        > >
        > > God means to be nothing but an essential lack. God is the hole in
        > > reality or
        > > god is pure difference. So when Hegel says god is the absolute he is
        > > being
        > > quite precise. He has something strangely Hegelian in mind.
        > >
        > > - Alan
        > >
        > > From: Stephen stephentheron@
        > > <mailto:stephentheron%40hotmail.es>;;;;
        > > >
        > > Reply-To: hegel@yahoogroups.com
        > <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>;;;; >
        > > Date: Mon, 13 Feb 2012 20:25:28 -0000
        > > To: hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>;;;; >
        > > Subject: [hegel] Re: Quotidian experience
        > >
        > > Alan, This is not really good enough, though one can see you are
        > trying.
        > > God qua God cannot be "nothing but" if this implies selecting from
        > some
        > > larger collection. He can however be "nothing other than", but then
        > your
        > > point loses force.
        > >
        > > Why can't God be a part? Like, why can´t a squirrel be a
        piano? Of
        > > course he can be a part if some or any part is taken to be identical
        > > with the whole, as in Hegel´s account of the Concept, i.e. of
        > > precisely the whole, reality. But this again is no surprise (cp.
        Hegel
        > > on Krishna).
        > >
        > > God is the Infinite (and now we have learned this new word, too, the
        > > Absolute - though we might have proceeded, always, in the opposite
        > > direction, agreed).
        > >
        > > It is no use appealing now to ordinary language, if it exists. It
        > maybe
        > > doesn't. Does anyone see God as a part, if pressed, like Socrates
        > > pressed the slaveboy?
        > >
        > > On the other hand this Infinite might well be the lack of a
        so-called
        > > real and so on, as essence is the negative, Hegel seems to claim, of
        > > appearance. God, the Infinite, might be , nothing. But then nothing
        is
        > > (infinite).
        > >
        > > The infinite could be without contradiction the transcendent father
        > > figure, as in "Our Father", whether on Hegel´s account of the
        > > Concept, whole in each part, or on his account, which dovetails in,
        of
        > > religious language as "representational".
        > >
        > > No one is denying we have work to do.
        > >
        > > Stephen.
        > >
        > > --- In hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>;;;;
        > > <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>;;;; , Alan
        > > Ponikvar <ponikvaraj@> wrote:
        > > >
        > > > I wonder what would have happened if instead of saying god is the
        > > absolute
        > > > Hegel had said that god is nothing but the absolute? It would have
        > > alerted
        > > > the reader that there is a problem here for the common
        > understanding.
        > > We
        > > > cannot just put together two warm and fuzzy thoughts to get the
        > grand
        > > fuzzy
        > > > thought we desire.
        > > >
        > > > A simple "Of course!" is disturbed by the 'nothing but'. "Why this
        > > nothing
        > > > but? Are you trying to play tricks?"
        > > >
        > > > "No. Why the difficulty? Are we not in agreement? Have I not said
        > what
        > > you
        > > > said only with emphasis? Have I not been more precise? God is
        > nothing
        > > but
        > > > the lack of the Real."
        > > >
        > > > "I did not mean that!"
        > > >
        > > > "But why don't you mean that? We are talking about Hegel's
        > philosophy
        > > aren't
        > > > we?"
        > > >
        > > > "I know what 'god' means and I know what 'the absolute' means. So
        it
        > > is an
        > > > easy matter to comprehend Hegel's claim."
        > > >
        > > > "I see. So when we see 'absolute' in Hegel he is inviting us to
        > think
        > > god.
        > > > But isn't that what I said? We are invited to think the lack or
        the
        > > cut that
        > > > is god. I mean we all agree that Hegel's god is not the
        transcendent
        > > father
        > > > figure. So if he is not that, what is he?"
        > > >
        > > > "God is self-actualizing spirit."
        > > >
        > > > "Fine. But do we all agree to what this means? Is this not just
        > > another
        > > > reminder that we have work to do?"
        > > >
        > > > "So you want me to think beyond what I already comfortably know.
        You
        > > think I
        > > > need an education. This is quite insulting."
        > > >
        > > > - Alan
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > From: Oliver Scholz epameinondas@
        > > > Reply-To: hegel@yahoogroups.com
        <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>;;;;
        > > <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>;;;;
        > > > Date: Mon, 13 Feb 2012 13:53:02 +0100
        > > > To: hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>;;;;
        > > <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>;;;;
        > > > Subject: Re: [hegel] Re: Quotidian experience
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Bruce Merrill merrillbp@ <mailto:merrillbp%40gmail.com>;;;; >
        > > writes:
        > > >
        > > > > Hola Oliver!
        > > > >
        > > > > Thank you for your Gotcha!!
        > > > > Finally!
        > > > >
        > > > > I really am outside of Hegelianism. And in fact very far
        > > > > away, not like those Kantian neighbors you are always
        > > > > squabbling with.
        > > > >
        > > > > And happily so-- which may be ever harder for Hegelians to
        > > > > grasp than the case that there is an outside...
        > > > >
        > > > > I assume/hope that's the "gotcha" you got.
        > > >
        > > > The "gotcha!" refers to your implicit transcendent
        > > > perspective. If truth is not given to *our kind*, to whom is
        > > > it given? Who has the god's eye perspective, where truth is
        > > > on one side and our -- in this scenario: always insufficient
        > > > -- knowledge of it on the other?
        > > >
        > > > To elaborate on Alan's example: "What is black and white,
        > > > and red/read all over?" -- The kids are discussing on the
        > > > playground, they went through all things they know and found
        > > > none of them to be both black & white and red at the same
        > > > time. "Oh no! We can never find the answer to this riddle!"
        > > > But the Hegelian kid says: "Wait a minute! We are looking at
        > > > it in the wrong way: it's *logically* impossible that
        > > > something is both black&white and red. We have to ..." --
        > > > "That's right! We can never solve this riddle! The truth is
        > > > not given to our kind!" -- "Dude, chill! If you look at it,
        > > > the riddle is actually quite easy to solve ..." -- "That is
        > > > hubris! We can never know the answer, at best we can find
        > > > things that are partly black & white and partly red." And
        > > > another kid says: "No! I mean: hubris, yes, but these
        > > > Hegelian kids are stinky anyways. The answer has to be
        > > > something where the white parts are somewhat pink-ish." --
        > > > "But that's not a solution, either!" -- "Right, but it's a
        > > > practical approximation, would you rather go with the
        > > > Hegelian meanie-beanie?" -- "'course not!" -- "Oh, for
        > > > Ernie's sake! Would you comedians please look at the riddle
        > > > itself for a moment?!" -- "Huh? I don't get it." -- "Yeah,
        > > > you quite lost me there. Anyways, back to the solution: we
        > > > were saying ..."
        > > >
        > > > What this playground example cannot capture -- every
        > > > metaphor has its limitations -- is, *why* those kids are not
        > > > willing to change their perspective. It's not that they
        > > > could claim a lack of intellectual capacities, that would be
        > > > mere coquetry. It's that they have strong, although probably
        > > > unconscious, subjective reasons to not want an answer to the
        > > > riddle.
        > > >
        > > > The word "hubris" is actually quite appropriate: "excessive
        > > > pride towards or defiance of the gods, leading to nemesis."
        > > > (OED)
        > > >
        > > > It's also quite appropriate that the word hubris came up,
        > > > when I insisted on the task of giving our comprehension the
        > > > form of necessity, against the leisure of being content with
        > > > mere arbitrariness. If truth is transcendentally guaranteed,
        > > > then it's alright that our human convictions are merely
        > > > arbitrary. Better than alright: that arbitrariness
        > > > guarantees that we are not meddling with the affairs of the
        > > > divine. Better than that even: it guarantees that we assume
        > > > the correct place in the transcendental order, since this
        > > > arbitrariness is the fate that has been allotted to us.
        > > >
        > > > This sounds as if I were ascribing a theological position to
        > > > you. I'm not. I'm merely trying to describe a structure. In
        > > > fact, I believe that an explicit theological position would
        > > > be an improvement compared to the muteness of this
        > > > structure.
        > > >
        > > > The Lacanians love to re-tell a joke: A man believes he is a
        > > > grain of seed. He goes to a mental institution and after
        > > > weeks of therapy he is healed. Two minutes after he has
        > > > left, he comes running back with an expression of
        > > > horror. "There's a chicken on the other side of the street!"
        > > > -- "Good man! You know very well by now that you're not a
        > > > grain of seed, you have nothing to fear." -- "Of course, *I*
        > > > know I'm not a grain of seed. But does the chicken?"
        > > >
        > > > You might or might not know quite well that there is no
        > > > transcendent spectator beholding the distance between our
        > > > convictions about truth and the 'true truth'. -- I can't
        > > > know what's in your consciousness and it doesn't actually
        > > > matter. -- But when you're talking about "hubris" and that
        > > > the truth is "not given to our kind", then this mode of
        > > > speech implies the worry that the transcendent spectator
        > > > doesn't know that it doesn't exist.
        > > >
        > > > Except that it's not a worry, it's an unconscious
        > > > agenda. The Lacanians claim that our representations -- or
        > > > as they'd say: the imaginary and symbolic order -- are
        > > > structured in a way as to imply a "big other", the silent
        > > > addressee of meaning, the hidden spectator before whose gaze
        > > > we stage our lives. They further claim that a particularity
        > > > of modern consciousness is that it tries to keep this fact
        > > > hidden from itself, going to great length in this, when
        > > > necessary. Otherwise this Big Other would come to realise
        > > > its own inexistence (we're talking about a structure of the
        > > > unconscious).
        > > >
        > > > In this light, I am convinced that a majority of forms of
        > > > alleged atheism turn out to be a form of pervert (in the
        > > > psychoanalytical sense) disavowal: if I rigorously deny the
        > > > existence of the Big Other (under the name "god"), then the
        > > > Big Other's place and power in my unconscious is all the
        > > > more secure.
        > > >
        > > > The hilarious comedy with regard to Hegel is now this: many
        > > > people take issue with what appears as theological and
        > > > teleological parlance in Hegel's philosophy: the absolute
        > > > being both substance and subject, the various references to
        > > > god and religion, the various forms in which purpose and
        > > > agency are ascribed to spirit etc. It is quite wrong to try
        > > > to brush this aside as mere poetical modes of speech, a
        > > > little 18th century sugar in expression. On the contrary, it
        > > > is meant quite literally. The punchline -- and this is why
        > > > as Hegelians we have to insist on the literal meaning -- the
        > > > punchline is that this parlance is mandated by a radical
        > > > deconstruction of "god", "agency", "subjectivity" -- a
        > > > radicality that makes Foucault look like a timid
        > > > pre-Kantian.
        > > >
        > > > The scandal in this is not that this is *too*
        > > > theological. The scandal for most readers is that it is by
        > > > far *not theological enough*.
        > > >
        > > > Granted, simple misunderstandings do exist; I, too, felt
        > > > uneasy about these expressions several years ago. It's not
        > > > exactly an easily understood philosophy and its covered up
        > > > by two hundred years of slander. However, misunderstandings
        > > > can be clarified, and philological research about Hegel's
        > > > philosophy has achieved a lot in this regard in the last,
        > > > say, twenty years. But when people insistently repeat
        > > > "misunderstandings" despite clarification, then the category
        > > > of 'misunderstanding' becomes useless and it's time to take
        > > > out the category of 'symptom'. In that view, as symptom, it
        > > > also turns out that these two hundred years of slander were
        > > > not a 'mistake'.
        > > >
        > > > Because ... the scandal is that in Hegel's philosophy the
        > > > Big Other finally and irrevocably comes to realise its own
        > > > inexistence.
        > > >
        > > > This is your actual obstacle.
        > > >
        > > > (As an aside: in the past, I used to claim that Hegel is
        > > > neither a theist nor an atheist. In the light of Zizeks
        > > > elaborations on the essence of Christianity, I have to
        > > > retract this. Hegel is an atheist. Just that. The gag is,
        > > > though, that in historical Christianity -- not in every
        > > > aspect of its reality, but in its actuality -- god himself
        > > > is an atheist. The essence of Christianity is that it is the
        > > > representation of how god is the Big Other who realises (in
        > > > the double sense of the word) his own inexistence.)
        > > >
        > > > It's the same with naturalism. The scandal is not that
        > > > Hegel's philosophy wouldn't be compatible with naturalism --
        > > > because it -- quite trivially, in fact -- is. The scandal is
        > > > that it is *too* compatible with it. Common sense is quite
        > > > comfortable with telling to itself a rather simplistic
        > > > naturalist tale and delegating the questions of personhood
        > > > and freedom etc. to "neurosciences", *because* this leaves
        > > > the actual quotidian experience of spirit (personhood,
        > > > freedom, subjectivity) essentially untouched. This very
        > > > displacement allows common sense to be all the more
        > > > fundamentalist in its spiritualism. While common sense
        > > > listens, nodding thoughtfully, to the sermon of some
        > > > neuroscience quack, its actual consciousness of spirit is
        > > > pushed away into some unspoken, unspeakable transcendent
        > > > Beyond, where it is safe from any reflection and any
        > > > critique. There it turns like a prayer wheel, while the mind
        > > > is occupied with its naive variant of naturalism. The
        > > > scandal of Hegelian philosophy is that it disturbs this
        > > > serenity. It spills the beans about personhood, freedom,
        > > > subjectivity, while mediating it -- BUT WITHOUT ANY FORM OF
        > > > TRANSCENDENT BEYOND AS MEDIATOR -- with the fact that we are
        > > > at the very same time apes, the closest relatives of the
        > > > Bonobos. So where common ... ideology says: "(I know very
        > > > well that I'm a free subject, but I'm not admitting this to
        > > > either you or myself, so nevertheless, I say:) we are only
        > > > apes." -- there Hegelian philosophy says: "We are *not even*
        > > > apes. We are apes with a lack. And this lack is the
        > > > negativity through which our very apeness retroactively
        > > > appears as a moment of spirit."
        > > >
        > > > For this reason, I find accusations of idealism
        > > > hilarious. Hegel is an idealist in precisely the same sense,
        > > > *his* sense, in which he is an empiricist. Once one can be
        > > > sure that the accuser has been exposed to Hegelian discourse
        > > > long enough that it can't be attributed to the category of
        > > > 'misunderstanding' anymore, it's quite, quite obvious,
        > > > obscenely, nakedly obvious, *comically* obvious that what's
        > > > actually at work is a cryptotheological conviction. Under
        > > > what guise ever: many forms of atheism, and all forms of
        > > > "agnosticism", are much worse than explicit theism.
        > > >
        > > > Where the Hegelian kid from the playground above errs,
        > > > though, is in that he can *convince* the other kids by
        > > > *arguing* and philosophical reasoning. In this, he's himself
        > > > still affected by the very fantasy on which the others
        > > > thrive. The real obstactles are ingrained into the
        > > > collective structure of the unconsciousness of our times.
        > > > And also, there's something inane in *desiring* to convince
        > > > somebody else of a philosophical position. As if that would
        > > > matter! In arguing, our Hegelian kid from above is still
        > > > striving to convince himself that his fantasy of a position
        > > > of mastership is real.
        > > >
        > > > With a few (rather trivial) conceptual corrections, Marx
        > > > would be quite right in demanding the transition from
        > > > philosophical critique to a critique of the circumstances
        > > > from which this structure arises. This is also were I see
        > > > Zizek being right: his discourse is, as far as my current
        > > > reflection goes, the discourse of the analytic with Hegel's
        > > > philosophical discourse as its backdrop. Or in a funnier
        > > > image: Zizek putting himself, as a representative of our
        > > > culture, on Hegel's couch. (Which would, by the way, also
        > > > explain and justify a lot about Zizek's repetitiveness.)
        > > >
        > > > So, sorry, Bruce. No philosophical argument can,
        > > > structurally, convince you. There's no harm in an exchange
        > > > or even the occasional quibble, though. On the contrary,
        > > > there can be a lot of good in this. Just don't expect me to
        > > > try to hard to explain and convince.
        > > >
        > > > ***
        > > >
        > > > Oh, and as for 'Being', that's quite simple:
        > > >
        > > > "In our quotidian consciousness, thoughts are appropriated
        > > > with and united with sensual and spiritual familiar
        > > > matters. Deliberating, reflecting and considering, we
        > > > commingle feelings, intuitions/perceptions [Anschauungen]
        > > > and representations with thoughts. (With every sentence of
        > > > quite sensual content: "this leaf is green", already
        > > > categories: Being, Singularity, are intermingled.) It is
        > > > something quite different, though, to take on the thoughts
        > > > themselves, quite unalloyed, as subject matter." (Enc. §3,
        > > > ann., my translation).
        > > >
        > > > I have a hard time believing that customers in an American
        > > > Aldi are unable to see that their plastic bags *are* orange
        > > > and blue.
        > > >
        > > > (Wait a minute! There's Aldi in the U.S.??? ... I cannot
        > > > cope with the cognitive dissonance this causes to me, right
        > > > now ... I'm aware it's silly, but this feels like somebody
        > > > telling me that the Brandenburg Gate is Dallas.)
        > > >
        > > > Hell! If I'd have told you that nature matters in quotidian
        > > > experience, you wouldn't have answered "Yeah,
        > > > rrrrright. Customers at Aldi musing on equations of quantum
        > > > physics. Heh!", would you? From its specific role in
        > > > reflection and science, one should expect that philosophy is
        > > > *more* difficult to comprehend than quantum physics. Why is
        > > > it commonly acceptable to expect it to be infinitely more
        > > > simplistic? This does not make any sense.
        > > >
        > > > Oliver
        > > >
        > > > German original:
        > > >
        > > > "In unserem gewöhnlichen Bewußtsein sind die
        Gedanken mit
        > > > sinnlichem und geistigem geläufigen Stoffe angetan und
        > > > vereinigt, und im Nachdenken, [45] Reflektieren und
        > > > Räsonieren vermischen wir die Gefühle, Anschauungen,
        > > > Vorstellungen mit Gedanken (in jedem Satze von ganz
        > > > sinnlichem Inhalte: »dies Blatt ist grün«,
        sind schon
        > > > Kategorien, Sein, Einzelheit eingemischt). Ein anderes aber
        > > > ist, die Gedanken selbst unvermischt zum Gegenstande zu
        > > > machen." (Enz. §3, Anm.)
        > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > Bruce
        > > > >
        > > > > On Sat, Feb 11, 2012 at 5:48 AM, Oliver Scholz epameinondas@
        > > > <mailto:epameinondas%40gmx.de>;;;; > wrote:
        > > > >
        > > > >> **
        > > > >>
        > > > >>
        > > > >> Hi, Bruce!
        > > > >>
        > > > >> I just saw this now:
        > > > >>
        > > > >>
        > > > >> Bruce Merrill merrillbp@ <mailto:merrillbp%40gmail.com>;;;; >
        > > writes:
        > > > >>
        > > > >> [...]
        > > > >> > And maybe never.
        > > > >> > The truth is not given to our kind.
        > > > >>
        > > > >> Hah! Gotcha! There it is, the absolutely transcendent outside
        > view.
        > > > >>
        > > > >> Oliver
        > > > >>
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        > > >
        > >
        > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        > >
        > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        > >
        > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        > >
        > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        > >
        > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        > >
        > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        > >
        >
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