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Aristotle on the Dialectic

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  • greuterb
    ... Bruce, Neither Kuhn nor Nagel nor me state that the growth of science or knowledge is arbitrary and irrational . Our starting point was giving reasons
    Message 1 of 15 , Feb 8, 2012
      Am 06.02.2012 12:00 am, Bruce Merrill writes:

      > Ciao Beat,
      >
      > Thanks for picking up on my prior post.
      >
      > I confess that I do not understand the meaning of "speculative reason" as
      > endorsed by Hegel, you and Alan, and anything that you can do to help me
      > understand it (using my "mere understanding"? ) would be appreciated.
      >
      > However,
      > I disagree (with you and Kuhn and Nagel) that the growth of science or
      > knowledge is arbitrary and irrational.



      Bruce,

      Neither Kuhn nor Nagel nor me state that "the growth of science or
      knowledge is arbitrary and irrational". Our starting point was "giving
      reasons for the superiority of one doctrine, the inferiority of
      another". Kuhn and Nagel discuss such reasons. But the question is now
      how such reasons can in reality undermine a given doctrine with its own
      perspectives, that is, facts, norms, purposes and successes. For Kuhn
      this happens in a process where one perspective is superseded by another
      and not with help of reasons beyond the doctrines. Nagel replys that
      this is a kind of subjectivity with no objective criteria and that such
      a objectivity is (and therefore has to be) always behind a decision
      between doctrines as the concept of God has the existence within itself
      (Anselm). Now, you have to decide between Kuhn's and Nagel's view. What
      is your procedure? Of course, you can choose one view with your own
      arguments. But another will do the same with his arguments for the other
      doctrine. Or, you do not make a choise at all, but only enumerate the
      differences as I did. In both cases you do not need yet speculative or
      dialectical thinking. But now go further in your reflection and the
      differences become opposites and then contradictions. In this moment you
      will become speculative since you have to find the ground of both
      doctrines (see for this the beginning of Hegel's Logic of the Essence).
      The ground maintains both doctrines as moments, that is, there is indeed
      an essence beyond the prerspectives but only the passing through the
      perspectives will reveal the essence. The same you have with Menon and
      Socrates. There is no idea beyond the context but also there is no
      context without an idea. Wittgenstein is wrong when he states that the
      term 'game' is only explicable within the applying context and has no
      identity for its own.



      > Consider your own situation: Has your knowledge /understanding of Hegel
      > changed over the past 15 years? If it has changed, has this change been
      > arbitrary? Or would you classify it as an improvement? If improved,
      > can you
      > identify the criteria that you might use in claiming that it has improved?
      >
      > Here are some rational criteria:
      > a) broader (you've read more Hegel),
      > b) better integrated, internal to Hegelianism, i.e. more systematic
      > c) better integrated, with philosophers outside of Hegel (e.g. Kuhn,
      > Nagel)
      >
      > Such positive criteria apply to the growth /improvement of ALL knowledge:
      > breadth, internal and external integration. (And there are other criteria,
      > which I have not cited)
      >
      > Not so? Anything goes? Is knowledge change essentially arbitrary?
      >
      > Or is it impossible to not say that "anything goes" unless you ascend to
      > speculation?



      The first question would be from where do you have these criteria? It
      seems that they are posited very incidentally. You say that there are
      other criteria. Which ones, and which are the important ones
      (weighting)? Are there criteria which contradict each other in their
      application? What is your rational procedure to find and choose and
      evaluate such criteria? Is your procedure a procedure of a spurious
      infinity? In this case you will never come to a satisfying result for
      the concept of the growth of knowledge. Hegel has shown the difficiency
      of such a procedure in his Logic of Being. 'Speculation' is not
      something which you pull over an issue but it is the movement of this
      issue itself. And this movement you have to express. So it seems that it
      is your procedure which expresses "knowledge change essentially
      arbitrary" taking criteria from outside this movement whereas Hegel does
      show its necessity.



      > And, similarly, I disagree that the content of virtue is arbitrary. Or
      > all contextual. For starters, is virtue so arbitrary for you that a
      > general
      > policy of cruelty could be construed as virtuous? As opposed to, say,
      > kindness. Is there a context wherein the moral standing of those
      > attributes
      > /behaviors is reversed?
      >
      > Does it take "speculation" to rank kindness over cruelty, in regard to
      > morality?
      >
      > No one who is not speculatively enlightened can enjoy substantial insight
      > into knowledge and virtue?
      >
      > Since I am not speculative (as I confess), I have no insight into such
      > topics?
      > I am therefore incapable of engaging in cognitive and moral rankings?
      > So my above rankings of broad knowledge over narrow knowledge and kindness
      > over cruelty ares.... delusional? Illegitimate?



      I fear that you have a most inadequate idea of what speculative thinking
      is. It is this naive idea with which so many anti-hegelian philosophers
      and other intellectuals have tried all over again to caricature Hegel's
      philosophy: there are two extremes and now Hegel's dialectic will help
      you to find the truth, a truth everybody can recognize himself if he
      only has a minimum of common sense. But the question here alone is 'What
      is virtue?', what is the essence of virtue? This is a philosophical
      question and not yet answered by an enumeration of particular virtues or
      non-virtues. If common reason is not able to answer this question either
      with an adequate idea of what virtue is (Socrates) or with integrating
      virtue into a broader concept in which it is realized (Hegel) then
      common reason does leave the philosophical debates since Plato what of
      course does not by any means depreciate it.

      Regards,
      Beat



      > Thanks always, Beat, for taking the time for our occasional exchanges.
      >
      > Bruce
      >
      >
      > On Sun, Feb 5, 2012 at 2:02 PM, greuterb <greuterb@...
      > <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hegel/post?postID=p4Zr71sAQ8BBfGmuMKHA0Jh-RKO_o-8pN1dI-btzjQT4KjFiLgqCUr1UHy5iyrB0cVO87-mRbLRxeLoGpg>>
      > wrote:
      >
      > > 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.
      > >



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • stephen theron
      Dear Bruce, Beat, Thomas Aquinas said that The first thing (primum) that falls(!) into the Mind is Being. It seems he failed to see that here Being is
      Message 2 of 15 , Feb 8, 2012
        Dear Bruce, Beat, Thomas Aquinas said that "The first thing (primum) that falls(!) into the Mind is Being." It seems he failed to see that here Being is presupposed as first (or was he consciously expressing himself speculatively?). This is so even if we go on, jump, to saying, oh, so Mind is something, is a being. It might not be "a being" (cf. G. Ryle, The Concept of Mind), or be at all (how otherwise is it "in a sense all things" or all things period?). In any case, the step, "then mind is a being" is logically posterior to the thought that being falls into the mind (whether this "be" a being or not a being). Well actually it is logically independent of it, which simply underlines that it is not presupposed a priori.So here the steps are already taken towards Hegel�s dialectical, ultimately speculative (as following us throughout the Logic and beyond) equation of being and non-being. Stephen. It would surely be better to give reasons if one wants to say Wittgenstein is wrong about the term game, without "identity for its own" a central moment in his thinking, the rope where one knot "leads on" to another, as dictated by "forms of life". There is surely no difficulty for just a Hegelian to admit this, that something finite, a game, its concept, the term, equally, sublates itself, contradicts itself beyond a certain point, has no final identity of its own, is there?
        To: hegel@yahoogroups.com
        From: greuterb@...
        Date: Wed, 8 Feb 2012 13:33:48 +0100
        Subject: [hegel] Aristotle on the Dialectic




























        Am 06.02.2012 12:00 am, Bruce Merrill writes:



        > Ciao Beat,

        >

        > Thanks for picking up on my prior post.

        >

        > I confess that I do not understand the meaning of "speculative reason" as

        > endorsed by Hegel, you and Alan, and anything that you can do to help me

        > understand it (using my "mere understanding"? ) would be appreciated.

        >

        > However,

        > I disagree (with you and Kuhn and Nagel) that the growth of science or

        > knowledge is arbitrary and irrational.



        Bruce,



        Neither Kuhn nor Nagel nor me state that "the growth of science or

        knowledge is arbitrary and irrational". Our starting point was "giving

        reasons for the superiority of one doctrine, the inferiority of

        another". Kuhn and Nagel discuss such reasons. But the question is now

        how such reasons can in reality undermine a given doctrine with its own

        perspectives, that is, facts, norms, purposes and successes. For Kuhn

        this happens in a process where one perspective is superseded by another

        and not with help of reasons beyond the doctrines. Nagel replys that

        this is a kind of subjectivity with no objective criteria and that such

        a objectivity is (and therefore has to be) always behind a decision

        between doctrines as the concept of God has the existence within itself

        (Anselm). Now, you have to decide between Kuhn's and Nagel's view. What

        is your procedure? Of course, you can choose one view with your own

        arguments. But another will do the same with his arguments for the other

        doctrine. Or, you do not make a choise at all, but only enumerate the

        differences as I did. In both cases you do not need yet speculative or

        dialectical thinking. But now go further in your reflection and the

        differences become opposites and then contradictions. In this moment you

        will become speculative since you have to find the ground of both

        doctrines (see for this the beginning of Hegel's Logic of the Essence).

        The ground maintains both doctrines as moments, that is, there is indeed

        an essence beyond the prerspectives but only the passing through the

        perspectives will reveal the essence. The same you have with Menon and

        Socrates. There is no idea beyond the context but also there is no

        context without an idea. Wittgenstein is wrong when he states that the

        term 'game' is only explicable within the applying context and has no

        identity for its own.



        > Consider your own situation: Has your knowledge /understanding of Hegel

        > changed over the past 15 years? If it has changed, has this change been

        > arbitrary? Or would you classify it as an improvement? If improved,

        > can you

        > identify the criteria that you might use in claiming that it has improved?

        >

        > Here are some rational criteria:

        > a) broader (you've read more Hegel),

        > b) better integrated, internal to Hegelianism, i.e. more systematic

        > c) better integrated, with philosophers outside of Hegel (e.g. Kuhn,

        > Nagel)

        >

        > Such positive criteria apply to the growth /improvement of ALL knowledge:

        > breadth, internal and external integration. (And there are other criteria,

        > which I have not cited)

        >

        > Not so? Anything goes? Is knowledge change essentially arbitrary?

        >

        > Or is it impossible to not say that "anything goes" unless you ascend to

        > speculation?



        The first question would be from where do you have these criteria? It

        seems that they are posited very incidentally. You say that there are

        other criteria. Which ones, and which are the important ones

        (weighting)? Are there criteria which contradict each other in their

        application? What is your rational procedure to find and choose and

        evaluate such criteria? Is your procedure a procedure of a spurious

        infinity? In this case you will never come to a satisfying result for

        the concept of the growth of knowledge. Hegel has shown the difficiency

        of such a procedure in his Logic of Being. 'Speculation' is not

        something which you pull over an issue but it is the movement of this

        issue itself. And this movement you have to express. So it seems that it

        is your procedure which expresses "knowledge change essentially

        arbitrary" taking criteria from outside this movement whereas Hegel does

        show its necessity.



        > And, similarly, I disagree that the content of virtue is arbitrary. Or

        > all contextual. For starters, is virtue so arbitrary for you that a

        > general

        > policy of cruelty could be construed as virtuous? As opposed to, say,

        > kindness. Is there a context wherein the moral standing of those

        > attributes

        > /behaviors is reversed?

        >

        > Does it take "speculation" to rank kindness over cruelty, in regard to

        > morality?

        >

        > No one who is not speculatively enlightened can enjoy substantial insight

        > into knowledge and virtue?

        >

        > Since I am not speculative (as I confess), I have no insight into such

        > topics?

        > I am therefore incapable of engaging in cognitive and moral rankings?

        > So my above rankings of broad knowledge over narrow knowledge and kindness

        > over cruelty ares.... delusional? Illegitimate?



        I fear that you have a most inadequate idea of what speculative thinking

        is. It is this naive idea with which so many anti-hegelian philosophers

        and other intellectuals have tried all over again to caricature Hegel's

        philosophy: there are two extremes and now Hegel's dialectic will help

        you to find the truth, a truth everybody can recognize himself if he

        only has a minimum of common sense. But the question here alone is 'What

        is virtue?', what is the essence of virtue? This is a philosophical

        question and not yet answered by an enumeration of particular virtues or

        non-virtues. If common reason is not able to answer this question either

        with an adequate idea of what virtue is (Socrates) or with integrating

        virtue into a broader concept in which it is realized (Hegel) then

        common reason does leave the philosophical debates since Plato what of

        course does not by any means depreciate it.



        Regards,

        Beat



        > Thanks always, Beat, for taking the time for our occasional exchanges.

        >

        > Bruce

        >

        >

        > On Sun, Feb 5, 2012 at 2:02 PM, greuterb <greuterb@...

        > <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hegel/post?postID=p4Zr71sAQ8BBfGmuMKHA0Jh-RKO_o-8pN1dI-btzjQT4KjFiLgqCUr1UHy5iyrB0cVO87-mRbLRxeLoGpg>>

        > wrote:

        >

        > > 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.

        > >



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


















        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Bruce Merrill
        Dear Stephen, In regard to another beginning for philosophy, one of Leibniz s beginnings is the question: Why is there Something, instead of Nothing? This is
        Message 3 of 15 , Feb 9, 2012
          Dear Stephen,

          In regard to another beginning for philosophy, one of Leibniz's beginnings
          is the question:
          "Why is there Something, instead of Nothing?" This is a very strange
          question, for me... Yet I can grasp the notion of an indeterminate
          something which *refutes* nothing. But Hegel's beginning with Being is not
          an indeterminate something which refutes nothing, but (quite the opposite?)
          a Being which engenders /is followed by nothing. This kind of beginning
          remains esp. baffling, and (insofar as I can concur with Leibniz) going
          from Being (along the axis of indetermination?) to Nothing is a flat
          non-sequitur.

          I don't say this an any kind of criticism of Hegel. It just confirms that I
          am outside of Hegel. Being does not fall into my mind. (For better? Or for
          worse?) My point has more to do with the hazard of beginning philosophy
          with pregnant pure(?) abstractions: How do we decide whether philosophy
          begins with a Something that refutes Nothing, or a Being that engenders
          Nothing?? I've lost my footing at this point.

          In contrast, I prefer to begin philosophy the pregnant and focal concept of
          rationality. But in regard to rationality, we can ask the initial question:
          How/Why did rationality evolve to become the defining attribute of our
          kind? Thus, rationality (and philosophy) emerge from a context of nature,
          of life, and enjoy a useful conceptual determination, thereby.

          (I speak only for myself, of course, and from the standpoint of seeking
          insight, and not consummate self-begetting wisdom.)

          Bruce

          On Wed, Feb 8, 2012 at 8:10 AM, stephen theron <stephentheron@...>wrote:

          >
          > Dear Bruce, Beat, Thomas Aquinas said that "The first thing (primum) that
          > falls(!) into the Mind is Being." It seems he failed to see that here Being
          > is presupposed as first (or was he consciously expressing himself
          > speculatively?). This is so even if we go on, jump, to saying, oh, so Mind
          > is something, is a being. It might not be "a being" (cf. G. Ryle, The
          > Concept of Mind), or be at all (how otherwise is it "in a sense all things"
          > or all things period?). In any case, the step, "then mind is a being" is
          > logically posterior to the thought that being falls into the mind (whether
          > this "be" a being or not a being). Well actually it is logically
          > independent of it, which simply underlines that it is not presupposed a
          > priori.So here the steps are already taken towards Hegel´s dialectical,
          > ultimately speculative (as following us throughout the Logic and beyond)
          > equation of being and non-being. Stephen. It would surely be better to give
          > reasons if one wants to say Wittgenstein is wrong about the term game,
          > without "identity for its own" a central moment in his thinking, the rope
          > where one knot "leads on" to another, as dictated by "forms of life". There
          > is surely no difficulty for just a Hegelian to admit this, that something
          > finite, a game, its concept, the term, equally, sublates itself,
          > contradicts itself beyond a certain point, has no final identity of its
          > own, is there?
          > To: hegel@yahoogroups.com
          > From: greuterb@...
          > Date: Wed, 8 Feb 2012 13:33:48 +0100
          > Subject: [hegel] Aristotle on the Dialectic
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Am 06.02.2012 12:00 am, Bruce Merrill writes:
          >
          >
          >
          > > Ciao Beat,
          >
          > >
          >
          > > Thanks for picking up on my prior post.
          >
          > >
          >
          > > I confess that I do not understand the meaning of "speculative reason" as
          >
          > > endorsed by Hegel, you and Alan, and anything that you can do to help me
          >
          > > understand it (using my "mere understanding"? ) would be appreciated.
          >
          > >
          >
          > > However,
          >
          > > I disagree (with you and Kuhn and Nagel) that the growth of science or
          >
          > > knowledge is arbitrary and irrational.
          >
          >
          >
          > Bruce,
          >
          >
          >
          > Neither Kuhn nor Nagel nor me state that "the growth of science or
          >
          > knowledge is arbitrary and irrational". Our starting point was "giving
          >
          > reasons for the superiority of one doctrine, the inferiority of
          >
          > another". Kuhn and Nagel discuss such reasons. But the question is now
          >
          > how such reasons can in reality undermine a given doctrine with its own
          >
          > perspectives, that is, facts, norms, purposes and successes. For Kuhn
          >
          > this happens in a process where one perspective is superseded by another
          >
          > and not with help of reasons beyond the doctrines. Nagel replys that
          >
          > this is a kind of subjectivity with no objective criteria and that such
          >
          > a objectivity is (and therefore has to be) always behind a decision
          >
          > between doctrines as the concept of God has the existence within itself
          >
          > (Anselm). Now, you have to decide between Kuhn's and Nagel's view. What
          >
          > is your procedure? Of course, you can choose one view with your own
          >
          > arguments. But another will do the same with his arguments for the other
          >
          > doctrine. Or, you do not make a choise at all, but only enumerate the
          >
          > differences as I did. In both cases you do not need yet speculative or
          >
          > dialectical thinking. But now go further in your reflection and the
          >
          > differences become opposites and then contradictions. In this moment you
          >
          > will become speculative since you have to find the ground of both
          >
          > doctrines (see for this the beginning of Hegel's Logic of the Essence).
          >
          > The ground maintains both doctrines as moments, that is, there is indeed
          >
          > an essence beyond the prerspectives but only the passing through the
          >
          > perspectives will reveal the essence. The same you have with Menon and
          >
          > Socrates. There is no idea beyond the context but also there is no
          >
          > context without an idea. Wittgenstein is wrong when he states that the
          >
          > term 'game' is only explicable within the applying context and has no
          >
          > identity for its own.
          >
          >
          >
          > > Consider your own situation: Has your knowledge /understanding of Hegel
          >
          > > changed over the past 15 years? If it has changed, has this change been
          >
          > > arbitrary? Or would you classify it as an improvement? If improved,
          >
          > > can you
          >
          > > identify the criteria that you might use in claiming that it has
          > improved?
          >
          > >
          >
          > > Here are some rational criteria:
          >
          > > a) broader (you've read more Hegel),
          >
          > > b) better integrated, internal to Hegelianism, i.e. more systematic
          >
          > > c) better integrated, with philosophers outside of Hegel (e.g. Kuhn,
          >
          > > Nagel)
          >
          > >
          >
          > > Such positive criteria apply to the growth /improvement of ALL knowledge:
          >
          > > breadth, internal and external integration. (And there are other
          > criteria,
          >
          > > which I have not cited)
          >
          > >
          >
          > > Not so? Anything goes? Is knowledge change essentially arbitrary?
          >
          > >
          >
          > > Or is it impossible to not say that "anything goes" unless you ascend to
          >
          > > speculation?
          >
          >
          >
          > The first question would be from where do you have these criteria? It
          >
          > seems that they are posited very incidentally. You say that there are
          >
          > other criteria. Which ones, and which are the important ones
          >
          > (weighting)? Are there criteria which contradict each other in their
          >
          > application? What is your rational procedure to find and choose and
          >
          > evaluate such criteria? Is your procedure a procedure of a spurious
          >
          > infinity? In this case you will never come to a satisfying result for
          >
          > the concept of the growth of knowledge. Hegel has shown the difficiency
          >
          > of such a procedure in his Logic of Being. 'Speculation' is not
          >
          > something which you pull over an issue but it is the movement of this
          >
          > issue itself. And this movement you have to express. So it seems that it
          >
          > is your procedure which expresses "knowledge change essentially
          >
          > arbitrary" taking criteria from outside this movement whereas Hegel does
          >
          > show its necessity.
          >
          >
          >
          > > And, similarly, I disagree that the content of virtue is arbitrary. Or
          >
          > > all contextual. For starters, is virtue so arbitrary for you that a
          >
          > > general
          >
          > > policy of cruelty could be construed as virtuous? As opposed to, say,
          >
          > > kindness. Is there a context wherein the moral standing of those
          >
          > > attributes
          >
          > > /behaviors is reversed?
          >
          > >
          >
          > > Does it take "speculation" to rank kindness over cruelty, in regard to
          >
          > > morality?
          >
          > >
          >
          > > No one who is not speculatively enlightened can enjoy substantial insight
          >
          > > into knowledge and virtue?
          >
          > >
          >
          > > Since I am not speculative (as I confess), I have no insight into such
          >
          > > topics?
          >
          > > I am therefore incapable of engaging in cognitive and moral rankings?
          >
          > > So my above rankings of broad knowledge over narrow knowledge and
          > kindness
          >
          > > over cruelty ares.... delusional? Illegitimate?
          >
          >
          >
          > I fear that you have a most inadequate idea of what speculative thinking
          >
          > is. It is this naive idea with which so many anti-hegelian philosophers
          >
          > and other intellectuals have tried all over again to caricature Hegel's
          >
          > philosophy: there are two extremes and now Hegel's dialectic will help
          >
          > you to find the truth, a truth everybody can recognize himself if he
          >
          > only has a minimum of common sense. But the question here alone is 'What
          >
          > is virtue?', what is the essence of virtue? This is a philosophical
          >
          > question and not yet answered by an enumeration of particular virtues or
          >
          > non-virtues. If common reason is not able to answer this question either
          >
          > with an adequate idea of what virtue is (Socrates) or with integrating
          >
          > virtue into a broader concept in which it is realized (Hegel) then
          >
          > common reason does leave the philosophical debates since Plato what of
          >
          > course does not by any means depreciate it.
          >
          >
          >
          > Regards,
          >
          > Beat
          >
          >
          >
          > > Thanks always, Beat, for taking the time for our occasional exchanges.
          >
          > >
          >
          > > Bruce
          >
          > >
          >
          > >
          >
          > > On Sun, Feb 5, 2012 at 2:02 PM, greuterb <greuterb@...
          >
          > > <
          > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hegel/post?postID=p4Zr71sAQ8BBfGmuMKHA0Jh-RKO_o-8pN1dI-btzjQT4KjFiLgqCUr1UHy5iyrB0cVO87-mRbLRxeLoGpg
          > >>
          >
          > > wrote:
          >
          > >
          >
          > > > 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.
          >
          > > >
          >
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
          >
          >
          > ------------------------------------
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          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Stephen
          Dear Bruce, Thanks. On line 2 I meant to write that Thomas failed to see that MIND (not being ) was presupposed. A bad mistake on my part. So I meant to say
          Message 4 of 15 , Feb 9, 2012
            Dear Bruce,



            Thanks. On line 2 I meant to write that Thomas failed to see that MIND
            (not "being") was presupposed. A bad mistake on my part.

            So I meant to say we start or seem to with Mind, as that at which Hegel
            arrives at the end, "thought thinking itself".

            If wisdom were not self-begetting it would be finite, just lying there
            like a bomb or something. (But still, how does self-begetting, own
            result, create Necessity?). But a finite without explanation is the
            greatest miracle of all and we are trying to overcome miracle, let´s
            say. This seems all right to say if we are sure that wisdom must be one
            with an absolute freedom and if it weren´t, why bother about it?

            So why, or how, does Hegel start with Being? I have made a meticulous
            and long commentary on the WL German text on this for my own
            satisfaction, but don´t have it at my fingertips right now. I believe
            he never leaves Being behind, the final Reason, the Concept, is thus
            being-beyond-being. This of course is not much more than something we
            have to say, in virtue of our system of predication, which, all the
            same, is not and cannot be unrelated to the actual (if we are agreed in
            rejecting an in principle unknowable Ding-an-sich, the veil of
            perception, of knowledge).

            In fact Hegel equates being with the beginning, with "begin",
            dyslectically you might suspect if he had written in English. This is
            exactly how Augustine interpreted "In the beginning God created",
            applying it to the angels, as cooperating maybe, as they are, in
            concept, discussed in Hegel´s Phenomenology under the rubric of Good
            and Evil largely. They seem to be neither one nor many. As coming before
            "heaven and earth" they can only be that "in the beginning", a beginning
            prior to existence, to "heaven" even, the ideas themselves in which our
            world has being, or being is ("What is the world without the Reason?"
            Frege asked).

            What he finally says, I think, is that you cannot come to a beginning.
            Philosophy has no beginning, "eternally returns" we might now want to
            say, if we like seeing or making connections. So how does he answer the
            reproach that he still starts with being? I don´t remember. But you
            can't get in on it unless you are in on it already, i.e. you never can.

            So why is there something and not nothing? Heidegger found this
            important too didn´t he. Not that we... But why say "indeterminate" I
            wonder. Being and Nothing are the same. This is the final character of
            Mind grasped in advance. If it is "all things" (Aristotle) then it is
            nothing, the Sartrian hole, freedom (e.g. of judgment). Hegel will say
            all judgments are false, because the duality contradicts the identity
            postulated in copulation. This copulation however is itself a form of
            being, not an equivocation on "is". That is, Being is not to be equated
            with Existence as treated of in the Doctrine of Essence as a finite, en
            passant category, still less with "The Thing".

            There is an aperture, a way of expression, that can wrap all of this up,
            but it eludes me just now.

            If being is nothing but the beginning then it will be equatable with
            nothing, as giving way to beginning. Thus the Logic is in a sense the
            whole of the System, in a sense, as the child is father to the man
            maybe.

            Please don´t feel I am not taking your letter seriously. I just
            don´t find another kind of response just now. My commentary "Making a
            Beginning" or something similar may be among the files posted, I
            don´t remember. But what value it may have for anyone to consult it I
            can´t say.

            Stephen.



            --- In hegel@yahoogroups.com, Bruce Merrill <merrillbp@...> wrote:
            >
            > Dear Stephen,
            >
            > In regard to another beginning for philosophy, one of Leibniz's
            beginnings
            > is the question:
            > "Why is there Something, instead of Nothing?" This is a very strange
            > question, for me... Yet I can grasp the notion of an indeterminate
            > something which *refutes* nothing. But Hegel's beginning with Being is
            not
            > an indeterminate something which refutes nothing, but (quite the
            opposite?)
            > a Being which engenders /is followed by nothing. This kind of
            beginning
            > remains esp. baffling, and (insofar as I can concur with Leibniz)
            going
            > from Being (along the axis of indetermination?) to Nothing is a flat
            > non-sequitur.
            >
            > I don't say this an any kind of criticism of Hegel. It just confirms
            that I
            > am outside of Hegel. Being does not fall into my mind. (For better? Or
            for
            > worse?) My point has more to do with the hazard of beginning
            philosophy
            > with pregnant pure(?) abstractions: How do we decide whether
            philosophy
            > begins with a Something that refutes Nothing, or a Being that
            engenders
            > Nothing?? I've lost my footing at this point.
            >
            > In contrast, I prefer to begin philosophy the pregnant and focal
            concept of
            > rationality. But in regard to rationality, we can ask the initial
            question:
            > How/Why did rationality evolve to become the defining attribute of our
            > kind? Thus, rationality (and philosophy) emerge from a context of
            nature,
            > of life, and enjoy a useful conceptual determination, thereby.
            >
            > (I speak only for myself, of course, and from the standpoint of
            seeking
            > insight, and not consummate self-begetting wisdom.)
            >
            > Bruce
            >
            > On Wed, Feb 8, 2012 at 8:10 AM, stephen theron stephentheron@...wrote:
            >
            > >
            > > Dear Bruce, Beat, Thomas Aquinas said that "The first thing (primum)
            that
            > > falls(!) into the Mind is Being." It seems he failed to see that
            here Being
            > > is presupposed as first (or was he consciously expressing himself
            > > speculatively?). This is so even if we go on, jump, to saying, oh,
            so Mind
            > > is something, is a being. It might not be "a being" (cf. G. Ryle,
            The
            > > Concept of Mind), or be at all (how otherwise is it "in a sense all
            things"
            > > or all things period?). In any case, the step, "then mind is a
            being" is
            > > logically posterior to the thought that being falls into the mind
            (whether
            > > this "be" a being or not a being). Well actually it is logically
            > > independent of it, which simply underlines that it is not
            presupposed a
            > > priori.So here the steps are already taken towards Hegel´s
            dialectical,
            > > ultimately speculative (as following us throughout the Logic and
            beyond)
            > > equation of being and non-being. Stephen. It would surely be better
            to give
            > > reasons if one wants to say Wittgenstein is wrong about the term
            game,
            > > without "identity for its own" a central moment in his thinking, the
            rope
            > > where one knot "leads on" to another, as dictated by "forms of
            life". There
            > > is surely no difficulty for just a Hegelian to admit this, that
            something
            > > finite, a game, its concept, the term, equally, sublates itself,
            > > contradicts itself beyond a certain point, has no final identity of
            its
            > > own, is there?
            > > To: hegel@yahoogroups.com
            > > From: greuterb@...
            > > Date: Wed, 8 Feb 2012 13:33:48 +0100
            > > Subject: [hegel] Aristotle on the Dialectic
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > Am 06.02.2012 12:00 am, Bruce Merrill writes:
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > > Ciao Beat,
            > >
            > > >
            > >
            > > > Thanks for picking up on my prior post.
            > >
            > > >
            > >
            > > > I confess that I do not understand the meaning of "speculative
            reason" as
            > >
            > > > endorsed by Hegel, you and Alan, and anything that you can do to
            help me
            > >
            > > > understand it (using my "mere understanding"? ) would be
            appreciated.
            > >
            > > >
            > >
            > > > However,
            > >
            > > > I disagree (with you and Kuhn and Nagel) that the growth of
            science or
            > >
            > > > knowledge is arbitrary and irrational.
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > Bruce,
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > Neither Kuhn nor Nagel nor me state that "the growth of science or
            > >
            > > knowledge is arbitrary and irrational". Our starting point was
            "giving
            > >
            > > reasons for the superiority of one doctrine, the inferiority of
            > >
            > > another". Kuhn and Nagel discuss such reasons. But the question is
            now
            > >
            > > how such reasons can in reality undermine a given doctrine with its
            own
            > >
            > > perspectives, that is, facts, norms, purposes and successes. For
            Kuhn
            > >
            > > this happens in a process where one perspective is superseded by
            another
            > >
            > > and not with help of reasons beyond the doctrines. Nagel replys that
            > >
            > > this is a kind of subjectivity with no objective criteria and that
            such
            > >
            > > a objectivity is (and therefore has to be) always behind a decision
            > >
            > > between doctrines as the concept of God has the existence within
            itself
            > >
            > > (Anselm). Now, you have to decide between Kuhn's and Nagel's view.
            What
            > >
            > > is your procedure? Of course, you can choose one view with your own
            > >
            > > arguments. But another will do the same with his arguments for the
            other
            > >
            > > doctrine. Or, you do not make a choise at all, but only enumerate
            the
            > >
            > > differences as I did. In both cases you do not need yet speculative
            or
            > >
            > > dialectical thinking. But now go further in your reflection and the
            > >
            > > differences become opposites and then contradictions. In this moment
            you
            > >
            > > will become speculative since you have to find the ground of both
            > >
            > > doctrines (see for this the beginning of Hegel's Logic of the
            Essence).
            > >
            > > The ground maintains both doctrines as moments, that is, there is
            indeed
            > >
            > > an essence beyond the prerspectives but only the passing through the
            > >
            > > perspectives will reveal the essence. The same you have with Menon
            and
            > >
            > > Socrates. There is no idea beyond the context but also there is no
            > >
            > > context without an idea. Wittgenstein is wrong when he states that
            the
            > >
            > > term 'game' is only explicable within the applying context and has
            no
            > >
            > > identity for its own.
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > > Consider your own situation: Has your knowledge /understanding of
            Hegel
            > >
            > > > changed over the past 15 years? If it has changed, has this change
            been
            > >
            > > > arbitrary? Or would you classify it as an improvement? If
            improved,
            > >
            > > > can you
            > >
            > > > identify the criteria that you might use in claiming that it has
            > > improved?
            > >
            > > >
            > >
            > > > Here are some rational criteria:
            > >
            > > > a) broader (you've read more Hegel),
            > >
            > > > b) better integrated, internal to Hegelianism, i.e. more
            systematic
            > >
            > > > c) better integrated, with philosophers outside of Hegel (e.g.
            Kuhn,
            > >
            > > > Nagel)
            > >
            > > >
            > >
            > > > Such positive criteria apply to the growth /improvement of ALL
            knowledge:
            > >
            > > > breadth, internal and external integration. (And there are other
            > > criteria,
            > >
            > > > which I have not cited)
            > >
            > > >
            > >
            > > > Not so? Anything goes? Is knowledge change essentially arbitrary?
            > >
            > > >
            > >
            > > > Or is it impossible to not say that "anything goes" unless you
            ascend to
            > >
            > > > speculation?
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > The first question would be from where do you have these criteria?
            It
            > >
            > > seems that they are posited very incidentally. You say that there
            are
            > >
            > > other criteria. Which ones, and which are the important ones
            > >
            > > (weighting)? Are there criteria which contradict each other in their
            > >
            > > application? What is your rational procedure to find and choose and
            > >
            > > evaluate such criteria? Is your procedure a procedure of a spurious
            > >
            > > infinity? In this case you will never come to a satisfying result
            for
            > >
            > > the concept of the growth of knowledge. Hegel has shown the
            difficiency
            > >
            > > of such a procedure in his Logic of Being. 'Speculation' is not
            > >
            > > something which you pull over an issue but it is the movement of
            this
            > >
            > > issue itself. And this movement you have to express. So it seems
            that it
            > >
            > > is your procedure which expresses "knowledge change essentially
            > >
            > > arbitrary" taking criteria from outside this movement whereas Hegel
            does
            > >
            > > show its necessity.
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > > And, similarly, I disagree that the content of virtue is
            arbitrary. Or
            > >
            > > > all contextual. For starters, is virtue so arbitrary for you that
            a
            > >
            > > > general
            > >
            > > > policy of cruelty could be construed as virtuous? As opposed to,
            say,
            > >
            > > > kindness. Is there a context wherein the moral standing of those
            > >
            > > > attributes
            > >
            > > > /behaviors is reversed?
            > >
            > > >
            > >
            > > > Does it take "speculation" to rank kindness over cruelty, in
            regard to
            > >
            > > > morality?
            > >
            > > >
            > >
            > > > No one who is not speculatively enlightened can enjoy substantial
            insight
            > >
            > > > into knowledge and virtue?
            > >
            > > >
            > >
            > > > Since I am not speculative (as I confess), I have no insight into
            such
            > >
            > > > topics?
            > >
            > > > I am therefore incapable of engaging in cognitive and moral
            rankings?
            > >
            > > > So my above rankings of broad knowledge over narrow knowledge and
            > > kindness
            > >
            > > > over cruelty ares.... delusional? Illegitimate?
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > I fear that you have a most inadequate idea of what speculative
            thinking
            > >
            > > is. It is this naive idea with which so many anti-hegelian
            philosophers
            > >
            > > and other intellectuals have tried all over again to caricature
            Hegel's
            > >
            > > philosophy: there are two extremes and now Hegel's dialectic will
            help
            > >
            > > you to find the truth, a truth everybody can recognize himself if he
            > >
            > > only has a minimum of common sense. But the question here alone is
            'What
            > >
            > > is virtue?', what is the essence of virtue? This is a philosophical
            > >
            > > question and not yet answered by an enumeration of particular
            virtues or
            > >
            > > non-virtues. If common reason is not able to answer this question
            either
            > >
            > > with an adequate idea of what virtue is (Socrates) or with
            integrating
            > >
            > > virtue into a broader concept in which it is realized (Hegel) then
            > >
            > > common reason does leave the philosophical debates since Plato what
            of
            > >
            > > course does not by any means depreciate it.
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > Regards,
            > >
            > > Beat
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > > Thanks always, Beat, for taking the time for our occasional
            exchanges.
            > >
            > > >
            > >
            > > > Bruce
            > >
            > > >
            > >
            > > >
            > >
            > > > On Sun, Feb 5, 2012 at 2:02 PM, greuterb greuterb@...
            > >
            > > > <
            > >
            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hegel/post?postID=p4Zr71sAQ8BBfGmuMKHA0Jh-\
            RKO_o-8pN1dI-btzjQT4KjFiLgqCUr1UHy5iyrB0cVO87-mRbLRxeLoGpg
            > > >>
            > >
            > > > wrote:
            > >
            > > >
            > >
            > > > > 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.
            > >
            > > > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > ------------------------------------
            > >
            > > Homepage: http://hegel.net
            > > Hegel mailing lists: http://Hegel.net/en/ml.htm
            > > Listowners Homepage: http://kai.in
            > > Group policy:
            > > slightly moderated, only plain Text (no HTML/RTF), no attachments,
            > > only Hegel related mails, scientific level intended.
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            > > both to Hegel and to each other. The usual "netiquette" as well as
            > > scientific standards apply.
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            > > that is the copyright of the mails belongs to the author and
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            > > list under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version
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            > > any later version, published by the Free Software Foundation. The
            mails are
            > > also licensed under a Creative Commons License and under the
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            > > Commons Developing Nations license (see footer of
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            > >
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >




            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Stephen
            Bruce, It´s there, as With What Must Science Begin? , warts and all. S. ... beginnings ... not ... opposite?) ... beginning ... going ... that I ... for ...
            Message 5 of 15 , Feb 9, 2012
              Bruce, It´s there, as "With What Must Science Begin?", warts and all.
              S.



              --- In hegel@yahoogroups.com, Bruce Merrill <merrillbp@...> wrote:
              >
              > Dear Stephen,
              >
              > In regard to another beginning for philosophy, one of Leibniz's
              beginnings
              > is the question:
              > "Why is there Something, instead of Nothing?" This is a very strange
              > question, for me... Yet I can grasp the notion of an indeterminate
              > something which *refutes* nothing. But Hegel's beginning with Being is
              not
              > an indeterminate something which refutes nothing, but (quite the
              opposite?)
              > a Being which engenders /is followed by nothing. This kind of
              beginning
              > remains esp. baffling, and (insofar as I can concur with Leibniz)
              going
              > from Being (along the axis of indetermination?) to Nothing is a flat
              > non-sequitur.
              >
              > I don't say this an any kind of criticism of Hegel. It just confirms
              that I
              > am outside of Hegel. Being does not fall into my mind. (For better? Or
              for
              > worse?) My point has more to do with the hazard of beginning
              philosophy
              > with pregnant pure(?) abstractions: How do we decide whether
              philosophy
              > begins with a Something that refutes Nothing, or a Being that
              engenders
              > Nothing?? I've lost my footing at this point.
              >
              > In contrast, I prefer to begin philosophy the pregnant and focal
              concept of
              > rationality. But in regard to rationality, we can ask the initial
              question:
              > How/Why did rationality evolve to become the defining attribute of our
              > kind? Thus, rationality (and philosophy) emerge from a context of
              nature,
              > of life, and enjoy a useful conceptual determination, thereby.
              >
              > (I speak only for myself, of course, and from the standpoint of
              seeking
              > insight, and not consummate self-begetting wisdom.)
              >
              > Bruce
              >
              > On Wed, Feb 8, 2012 at 8:10 AM, stephen theron stephentheron@...wrote:
              >
              > >
              > > Dear Bruce, Beat, Thomas Aquinas said that "The first thing (primum)
              that
              > > falls(!) into the Mind is Being." It seems he failed to see that
              here Being
              > > is presupposed as first (or was he consciously expressing himself
              > > speculatively?). This is so even if we go on, jump, to saying, oh,
              so Mind
              > > is something, is a being. It might not be "a being" (cf. G. Ryle,
              The
              > > Concept of Mind), or be at all (how otherwise is it "in a sense all
              things"
              > > or all things period?). In any case, the step, "then mind is a
              being" is
              > > logically posterior to the thought that being falls into the mind
              (whether
              > > this "be" a being or not a being). Well actually it is logically
              > > independent of it, which simply underlines that it is not
              presupposed a
              > > priori.So here the steps are already taken towards Hegel´s
              dialectical,
              > > ultimately speculative (as following us throughout the Logic and
              beyond)
              > > equation of being and non-being. Stephen. It would surely be better
              to give
              > > reasons if one wants to say Wittgenstein is wrong about the term
              game,
              > > without "identity for its own" a central moment in his thinking, the
              rope
              > > where one knot "leads on" to another, as dictated by "forms of
              life". There
              > > is surely no difficulty for just a Hegelian to admit this, that
              something
              > > finite, a game, its concept, the term, equally, sublates itself,
              > > contradicts itself beyond a certain point, has no final identity of
              its
              > > own, is there?
              > > To: hegel@yahoogroups.com
              > > From: greuterb@...
              > > Date: Wed, 8 Feb 2012 13:33:48 +0100
              > > Subject: [hegel] Aristotle on the Dialectic
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > Am 06.02.2012 12:00 am, Bruce Merrill writes:
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > > Ciao Beat,
              > >
              > > >
              > >
              > > > Thanks for picking up on my prior post.
              > >
              > > >
              > >
              > > > I confess that I do not understand the meaning of "speculative
              reason" as
              > >
              > > > endorsed by Hegel, you and Alan, and anything that you can do to
              help me
              > >
              > > > understand it (using my "mere understanding"? ) would be
              appreciated.
              > >
              > > >
              > >
              > > > However,
              > >
              > > > I disagree (with you and Kuhn and Nagel) that the growth of
              science or
              > >
              > > > knowledge is arbitrary and irrational.
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > Bruce,
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > Neither Kuhn nor Nagel nor me state that "the growth of science or
              > >
              > > knowledge is arbitrary and irrational". Our starting point was
              "giving
              > >
              > > reasons for the superiority of one doctrine, the inferiority of
              > >
              > > another". Kuhn and Nagel discuss such reasons. But the question is
              now
              > >
              > > how such reasons can in reality undermine a given doctrine with its
              own
              > >
              > > perspectives, that is, facts, norms, purposes and successes. For
              Kuhn
              > >
              > > this happens in a process where one perspective is superseded by
              another
              > >
              > > and not with help of reasons beyond the doctrines. Nagel replys that
              > >
              > > this is a kind of subjectivity with no objective criteria and that
              such
              > >
              > > a objectivity is (and therefore has to be) always behind a decision
              > >
              > > between doctrines as the concept of God has the existence within
              itself
              > >
              > > (Anselm). Now, you have to decide between Kuhn's and Nagel's view.
              What
              > >
              > > is your procedure? Of course, you can choose one view with your own
              > >
              > > arguments. But another will do the same with his arguments for the
              other
              > >
              > > doctrine. Or, you do not make a choise at all, but only enumerate
              the
              > >
              > > differences as I did. In both cases you do not need yet speculative
              or
              > >
              > > dialectical thinking. But now go further in your reflection and the
              > >
              > > differences become opposites and then contradictions. In this moment
              you
              > >
              > > will become speculative since you have to find the ground of both
              > >
              > > doctrines (see for this the beginning of Hegel's Logic of the
              Essence).
              > >
              > > The ground maintains both doctrines as moments, that is, there is
              indeed
              > >
              > > an essence beyond the prerspectives but only the passing through the
              > >
              > > perspectives will reveal the essence. The same you have with Menon
              and
              > >
              > > Socrates. There is no idea beyond the context but also there is no
              > >
              > > context without an idea. Wittgenstein is wrong when he states that
              the
              > >
              > > term 'game' is only explicable within the applying context and has
              no
              > >
              > > identity for its own.
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > > Consider your own situation: Has your knowledge /understanding of
              Hegel
              > >
              > > > changed over the past 15 years? If it has changed, has this change
              been
              > >
              > > > arbitrary? Or would you classify it as an improvement? If
              improved,
              > >
              > > > can you
              > >
              > > > identify the criteria that you might use in claiming that it has
              > > improved?
              > >
              > > >
              > >
              > > > Here are some rational criteria:
              > >
              > > > a) broader (you've read more Hegel),
              > >
              > > > b) better integrated, internal to Hegelianism, i.e. more
              systematic
              > >
              > > > c) better integrated, with philosophers outside of Hegel (e.g.
              Kuhn,
              > >
              > > > Nagel)
              > >
              > > >
              > >
              > > > Such positive criteria apply to the growth /improvement of ALL
              knowledge:
              > >
              > > > breadth, internal and external integration. (And there are other
              > > criteria,
              > >
              > > > which I have not cited)
              > >
              > > >
              > >
              > > > Not so? Anything goes? Is knowledge change essentially arbitrary?
              > >
              > > >
              > >
              > > > Or is it impossible to not say that "anything goes" unless you
              ascend to
              > >
              > > > speculation?
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > The first question would be from where do you have these criteria?
              It
              > >
              > > seems that they are posited very incidentally. You say that there
              are
              > >
              > > other criteria. Which ones, and which are the important ones
              > >
              > > (weighting)? Are there criteria which contradict each other in their
              > >
              > > application? What is your rational procedure to find and choose and
              > >
              > > evaluate such criteria? Is your procedure a procedure of a spurious
              > >
              > > infinity? In this case you will never come to a satisfying result
              for
              > >
              > > the concept of the growth of knowledge. Hegel has shown the
              difficiency
              > >
              > > of such a procedure in his Logic of Being. 'Speculation' is not
              > >
              > > something which you pull over an issue but it is the movement of
              this
              > >
              > > issue itself. And this movement you have to express. So it seems
              that it
              > >
              > > is your procedure which expresses "knowledge change essentially
              > >
              > > arbitrary" taking criteria from outside this movement whereas Hegel
              does
              > >
              > > show its necessity.
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > > And, similarly, I disagree that the content of virtue is
              arbitrary. Or
              > >
              > > > all contextual. For starters, is virtue so arbitrary for you that
              a
              > >
              > > > general
              > >
              > > > policy of cruelty could be construed as virtuous? As opposed to,
              say,
              > >
              > > > kindness. Is there a context wherein the moral standing of those
              > >
              > > > attributes
              > >
              > > > /behaviors is reversed?
              > >
              > > >
              > >
              > > > Does it take "speculation" to rank kindness over cruelty, in
              regard to
              > >
              > > > morality?
              > >
              > > >
              > >
              > > > No one who is not speculatively enlightened can enjoy substantial
              insight
              > >
              > > > into knowledge and virtue?
              > >
              > > >
              > >
              > > > Since I am not speculative (as I confess), I have no insight into
              such
              > >
              > > > topics?
              > >
              > > > I am therefore incapable of engaging in cognitive and moral
              rankings?
              > >
              > > > So my above rankings of broad knowledge over narrow knowledge and
              > > kindness
              > >
              > > > over cruelty ares.... delusional? Illegitimate?
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > I fear that you have a most inadequate idea of what speculative
              thinking
              > >
              > > is. It is this naive idea with which so many anti-hegelian
              philosophers
              > >
              > > and other intellectuals have tried all over again to caricature
              Hegel's
              > >
              > > philosophy: there are two extremes and now Hegel's dialectic will
              help
              > >
              > > you to find the truth, a truth everybody can recognize himself if he
              > >
              > > only has a minimum of common sense. But the question here alone is
              'What
              > >
              > > is virtue?', what is the essence of virtue? This is a philosophical
              > >
              > > question and not yet answered by an enumeration of particular
              virtues or
              > >
              > > non-virtues. If common reason is not able to answer this question
              either
              > >
              > > with an adequate idea of what virtue is (Socrates) or with
              integrating
              > >
              > > virtue into a broader concept in which it is realized (Hegel) then
              > >
              > > common reason does leave the philosophical debates since Plato what
              of
              > >
              > > course does not by any means depreciate it.
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > Regards,
              > >
              > > Beat
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > > Thanks always, Beat, for taking the time for our occasional
              exchanges.
              > >
              > > >
              > >
              > > > Bruce
              > >
              > > >
              > >
              > > >
              > >
              > > > On Sun, Feb 5, 2012 at 2:02 PM, greuterb greuterb@...
              > >
              > > > <
              > >
              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hegel/post?postID=p4Zr71sAQ8BBfGmuMKHA0Jh-\
              RKO_o-8pN1dI-btzjQT4KjFiLgqCUr1UHy5iyrB0cVO87-mRbLRxeLoGpg
              > > >>
              > >
              > > > wrote:
              > >
              > > >
              > >
              > > > > 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.
              > >
              > > > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > ------------------------------------
              > >
              > > Homepage: http://hegel.net
              > > Hegel mailing lists: http://Hegel.net/en/ml.htm
              > > Listowners Homepage: http://kai.in
              > > Group policy:
              > > slightly moderated, only plain Text (no HTML/RTF), no attachments,
              > > only Hegel related mails, scientific level intended.
              > >
              > > Particpants are expected to show a respectfull and scientific
              attitude
              > > both to Hegel and to each other. The usual "netiquette" as well as
              > > scientific standards apply.
              > >
              > > The copyright policy for mails sent to this list is same as for
              Hegel.Net,
              > > that is the copyright of the mails belongs to the author and
              hegel.net.
              > > Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify the mails of
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              > > list under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version
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              > > any later version, published by the Free Software Foundation. The
              mails are
              > > also licensed under a Creative Commons License and under the
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              > > Commons Developing Nations license (see footer of
              > > http://hegel.net/en/e0.htm ) Yahoo! Groups Links
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
            • Alan Ponikvar
              I would just like to remark that your being baffled by the beginning of the Logic should be the reaction of most every reader when they first come to the
              Message 6 of 15 , Feb 9, 2012
                I would just like to remark that your being baffled by the beginning of the
                Logic should be the reaction of most every reader when they first come to
                the Logic. I would submit that even for most Hegelians there remains a
                certain discomfort about this beginning.

                Hegel speaks about how the beginning is indeterminate and immediate. He
                slips in being at this point one might almost say as a homage to the
                tradition for which pure being is the tag given to an indeterminate thought.
                Of course, in the tradition this thought is 'the transcendent wondrous'. It
                is mysterious and yet vital. Hegel means to deconstruct this traditional
                conception.

                His beginning in my view has us inhabiting what the tradition posits as the
                ultimate beyond. Why he has us inhabiting the beginning is what I believe
                the Phenomenology means to establish. But once the indeterminate is
                inhabited the dialectical interplay ensues between thought as immediate and
                as it comes to be mediated. This interplay is what happens when thinking
                occurs within the element of thought and is not a thinking about thought for
                which the divide between the thinker and thinking is inviable.

                I do not want to pretend that these brief remarks are sufficient. I think as
                a nonHegelian you should always push Hegelians to explain themselves. There
                still remains this curious divide between Hegelians in their own private
                universe and others who look on wondering what these folks think they are
                doing.

                - Alan



                From: Bruce Merrill <merrillbp@...>
                Reply-To: <hegel@yahoogroups.com>
                Date: Thu, 9 Feb 2012 08:01:51 -0500
                To: <hegel@yahoogroups.com>
                Subject: Re: [hegel] Aristotle on the Dialectic






                Dear Stephen,

                In regard to another beginning for philosophy, one of Leibniz's beginnings
                is the question:
                "Why is there Something, instead of Nothing?" This is a very strange
                question, for me... Yet I can grasp the notion of an indeterminate
                something which *refutes* nothing. But Hegel's beginning with Being is not
                an indeterminate something which refutes nothing, but (quite the opposite?)
                a Being which engenders /is followed by nothing. This kind of beginning
                remains esp. baffling, and (insofar as I can concur with Leibniz) going
                from Being (along the axis of indetermination?) to Nothing is a flat
                non-sequitur.

                I don't say this an any kind of criticism of Hegel. It just confirms that I
                am outside of Hegel. Being does not fall into my mind. (For better? Or for
                worse?) My point has more to do with the hazard of beginning philosophy
                with pregnant pure(?) abstractions: How do we decide whether philosophy
                begins with a Something that refutes Nothing, or a Being that engenders
                Nothing?? I've lost my footing at this point.

                In contrast, I prefer to begin philosophy the pregnant and focal concept of
                rationality. But in regard to rationality, we can ask the initial question:
                How/Why did rationality evolve to become the defining attribute of our
                kind? Thus, rationality (and philosophy) emerge from a context of nature,
                of life, and enjoy a useful conceptual determination, thereby.

                (I speak only for myself, of course, and from the standpoint of seeking
                insight, and not consummate self-begetting wisdom.)

                Bruce

                On Wed, Feb 8, 2012 at 8:10 AM, stephen theron <stephentheron@...
                <mailto:stephentheron%40hotmail.es> >wrote:

                >
                > Dear Bruce, Beat, Thomas Aquinas said that "The first thing (primum) that
                > falls(!) into the Mind is Being." It seems he failed to see that here Being
                > is presupposed as first (or was he consciously expressing himself
                > speculatively?). This is so even if we go on, jump, to saying, oh, so Mind
                > is something, is a being. It might not be "a being" (cf. G. Ryle, The
                > Concept of Mind), or be at all (how otherwise is it "in a sense all things"
                > or all things period?). In any case, the step, "then mind is a being" is
                > logically posterior to the thought that being falls into the mind (whether
                > this "be" a being or not a being). Well actually it is logically
                > independent of it, which simply underlines that it is not presupposed a
                > priori.So here the steps are already taken towards Hegel´s dialectical,
                > ultimately speculative (as following us throughout the Logic and beyond)
                > equation of being and non-being. Stephen. It would surely be better to give
                > reasons if one wants to say Wittgenstein is wrong about the term game,
                > without "identity for its own" a central moment in his thinking, the rope
                > where one knot "leads on" to another, as dictated by "forms of life". There
                > is surely no difficulty for just a Hegelian to admit this, that something
                > finite, a game, its concept, the term, equally, sublates itself,
                > contradicts itself beyond a certain point, has no final identity of its
                > own, is there?
                > To: hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>
                > From: greuterb@... <mailto:greuterb%40bluewin.ch>
                > Date: Wed, 8 Feb 2012 13:33:48 +0100
                > Subject: [hegel] Aristotle on the Dialectic
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > Am 06.02.2012 12:00 am, Bruce Merrill writes:
                >
                >
                >
                > > Ciao Beat,
                >
                > >
                >
                > > Thanks for picking up on my prior post.
                >
                > >
                >
                > > I confess that I do not understand the meaning of "speculative reason" as
                >
                > > endorsed by Hegel, you and Alan, and anything that you can do to help me
                >
                > > understand it (using my "mere understanding"? ) would be appreciated.
                >
                > >
                >
                > > However,
                >
                > > I disagree (with you and Kuhn and Nagel) that the growth of science or
                >
                > > knowledge is arbitrary and irrational.
                >
                >
                >
                > Bruce,
                >
                >
                >
                > Neither Kuhn nor Nagel nor me state that "the growth of science or
                >
                > knowledge is arbitrary and irrational". Our starting point was "giving
                >
                > reasons for the superiority of one doctrine, the inferiority of
                >
                > another". Kuhn and Nagel discuss such reasons. But the question is now
                >
                > how such reasons can in reality undermine a given doctrine with its own
                >
                > perspectives, that is, facts, norms, purposes and successes. For Kuhn
                >
                > this happens in a process where one perspective is superseded by another
                >
                > and not with help of reasons beyond the doctrines. Nagel replys that
                >
                > this is a kind of subjectivity with no objective criteria and that such
                >
                > a objectivity is (and therefore has to be) always behind a decision
                >
                > between doctrines as the concept of God has the existence within itself
                >
                > (Anselm). Now, you have to decide between Kuhn's and Nagel's view. What
                >
                > is your procedure? Of course, you can choose one view with your own
                >
                > arguments. But another will do the same with his arguments for the other
                >
                > doctrine. Or, you do not make a choise at all, but only enumerate the
                >
                > differences as I did. In both cases you do not need yet speculative or
                >
                > dialectical thinking. But now go further in your reflection and the
                >
                > differences become opposites and then contradictions. In this moment you
                >
                > will become speculative since you have to find the ground of both
                >
                > doctrines (see for this the beginning of Hegel's Logic of the Essence).
                >
                > The ground maintains both doctrines as moments, that is, there is indeed
                >
                > an essence beyond the prerspectives but only the passing through the
                >
                > perspectives will reveal the essence. The same you have with Menon and
                >
                > Socrates. There is no idea beyond the context but also there is no
                >
                > context without an idea. Wittgenstein is wrong when he states that the
                >
                > term 'game' is only explicable within the applying context and has no
                >
                > identity for its own.
                >
                >
                >
                > > Consider your own situation: Has your knowledge /understanding of Hegel
                >
                > > changed over the past 15 years? If it has changed, has this change been
                >
                > > arbitrary? Or would you classify it as an improvement? If improved,
                >
                > > can you
                >
                > > identify the criteria that you might use in claiming that it has
                > improved?
                >
                > >
                >
                > > Here are some rational criteria:
                >
                > > a) broader (you've read more Hegel),
                >
                > > b) better integrated, internal to Hegelianism, i.e. more systematic
                >
                > > c) better integrated, with philosophers outside of Hegel (e.g. Kuhn,
                >
                > > Nagel)
                >
                > >
                >
                > > Such positive criteria apply to the growth /improvement of ALL knowledge:
                >
                > > breadth, internal and external integration. (And there are other
                > criteria,
                >
                > > which I have not cited)
                >
                > >
                >
                > > Not so? Anything goes? Is knowledge change essentially arbitrary?
                >
                > >
                >
                > > Or is it impossible to not say that "anything goes" unless you ascend to
                >
                > > speculation?
                >
                >
                >
                > The first question would be from where do you have these criteria? It
                >
                > seems that they are posited very incidentally. You say that there are
                >
                > other criteria. Which ones, and which are the important ones
                >
                > (weighting)? Are there criteria which contradict each other in their
                >
                > application? What is your rational procedure to find and choose and
                >
                > evaluate such criteria? Is your procedure a procedure of a spurious
                >
                > infinity? In this case you will never come to a satisfying result for
                >
                > the concept of the growth of knowledge. Hegel has shown the difficiency
                >
                > of such a procedure in his Logic of Being. 'Speculation' is not
                >
                > something which you pull over an issue but it is the movement of this
                >
                > issue itself. And this movement you have to express. So it seems that it
                >
                > is your procedure which expresses "knowledge change essentially
                >
                > arbitrary" taking criteria from outside this movement whereas Hegel does
                >
                > show its necessity.
                >
                >
                >
                > > And, similarly, I disagree that the content of virtue is arbitrary. Or
                >
                > > all contextual. For starters, is virtue so arbitrary for you that a
                >
                > > general
                >
                > > policy of cruelty could be construed as virtuous? As opposed to, say,
                >
                > > kindness. Is there a context wherein the moral standing of those
                >
                > > attributes
                >
                > > /behaviors is reversed?
                >
                > >
                >
                > > Does it take "speculation" to rank kindness over cruelty, in regard to
                >
                > > morality?
                >
                > >
                >
                > > No one who is not speculatively enlightened can enjoy substantial insight
                >
                > > into knowledge and virtue?
                >
                > >
                >
                > > Since I am not speculative (as I confess), I have no insight into such
                >
                > > topics?
                >
                > > I am therefore incapable of engaging in cognitive and moral rankings?
                >
                > > So my above rankings of broad knowledge over narrow knowledge and
                > kindness
                >
                > > over cruelty ares.... delusional? Illegitimate?
                >
                >
                >
                > I fear that you have a most inadequate idea of what speculative thinking
                >
                > is. It is this naive idea with which so many anti-hegelian philosophers
                >
                > and other intellectuals have tried all over again to caricature Hegel's
                >
                > philosophy: there are two extremes and now Hegel's dialectic will help
                >
                > you to find the truth, a truth everybody can recognize himself if he
                >
                > only has a minimum of common sense. But the question here alone is 'What
                >
                > is virtue?', what is the essence of virtue? This is a philosophical
                >
                > question and not yet answered by an enumeration of particular virtues or
                >
                > non-virtues. If common reason is not able to answer this question either
                >
                > with an adequate idea of what virtue is (Socrates) or with integrating
                >
                > virtue into a broader concept in which it is realized (Hegel) then
                >
                > common reason does leave the philosophical debates since Plato what of
                >
                > course does not by any means depreciate it.
                >
                >
                >
                > Regards,
                >
                > Beat
                >
                >
                >
                > > Thanks always, Beat, for taking the time for our occasional exchanges.
                >
                > >
                >
                > > Bruce
                >
                > >
                >
                > >
                >
                > > On Sun, Feb 5, 2012 at 2:02 PM, greuterb <greuterb@...
                <mailto:greuterb%40bluewin.ch>
                >
                > > <
                >
                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hegel/post?postID=p4Zr71sAQ8BBfGmuMKHA0Jh-RKO_o-8p
                N1dI-btzjQT4KjFiLgqCUr1UHy5iyrB0cVO87-mRbLRxeLoGpg
                > >>
                >
                > > wrote:
                >
                > >
                >
                > > > 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.
                >
                > > >
                >
                >
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
                >
                >
                > ------------------------------------
                >
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                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Bruce Merrill
                Alan, Thanks for this! Yes, I do find Hegelians puzzling, and for a number reasons. And if I may go on, (in agreement with you, perhaps) I find that Hegelians
                Message 7 of 15 , Feb 10, 2012
                  Alan,

                  Thanks for this! Yes, I do find Hegelians puzzling, and for a number
                  reasons.

                  And if I may go on, (in agreement with you, perhaps) I find that Hegelians
                  seem to have an especially hard time grasping what lies outside of Hegel,
                  i.e. why Hegel might be implausible, or uncongenial. Of course, all
                  philosophers (and one could say persons) tend to stay inside, where they
                  are "at home" and it's all warm and cozy, and have a hard time grasping
                  what lies outside. But Hegelians are especially entrenched. (And I've been
                  around many different groupings.) I think that much of this problem come
                  from the supposition that Hegel, in his consummate totality, has covered
                  all the bases, everything has been replied to, &/or absorbed, ALL variant
                  positions have been subsumed. Thus, there is nothing outside of Hegel.

                  But there is.

                  The "transcendent wondrous" is not an experience that I participate it, and
                  perhaps that is why I will never enter through those Hegelian portals.
                  Which means, I take it, that I'm simply not religious. There's wonder out
                  there in the universe at large-- Why is there something instead of
                  nothing...?-- but no wonder here, on this planet, in a blade of grass.
                  Nature is complex and beautiful, staggering even, but she is natural, not
                  holy or charged with the agency of Spirit. Not for me.

                  And so much of human history is a ghastly nightmare... not a site of benign
                  Reason. The awfulness of our kind is even more baffling (wondrous?) than
                  nature is. (In the BBC news today: whole families being tortured, then
                  slaughtered with machetes, in Syria. For the crime of wanting democracy...)

                  But even if I don't participate, I ought to be able to arrive at some
                  insight into Being & Speculation, etc. I'm not a Comtean, but ought to be
                  able to get a grip on his beloved historical stages, etc.

                  Bruce



                  On Thu, Feb 9, 2012 at 3:16 PM, Alan Ponikvar <ponikvaraj@...> wrote:

                  > **
                  >
                  >
                  > I would just like to remark that your being baffled by the beginning of the
                  > Logic should be the reaction of most every reader when they first come to
                  > the Logic. I would submit that even for most Hegelians there remains a
                  > certain discomfort about this beginning.
                  >
                  > Hegel speaks about how the beginning is indeterminate and immediate. He
                  > slips in being at this point one might almost say as a homage to the
                  > tradition for which pure being is the tag given to an indeterminate
                  > thought.
                  > Of course, in the tradition this thought is 'the transcendent wondrous'. It
                  > is mysterious and yet vital. Hegel means to deconstruct this traditional
                  > conception.
                  >
                  > His beginning in my view has us inhabiting what the tradition posits as the
                  > ultimate beyond. Why he has us inhabiting the beginning is what I believe
                  > the Phenomenology means to establish. But once the indeterminate is
                  > inhabited the dialectical interplay ensues between thought as immediate and
                  > as it comes to be mediated. This interplay is what happens when thinking
                  > occurs within the element of thought and is not a thinking about thought
                  > for
                  > which the divide between the thinker and thinking is inviable.
                  >
                  > I do not want to pretend that these brief remarks are sufficient. I think
                  > as
                  > a nonHegelian you should always push Hegelians to explain themselves. There
                  > still remains this curious divide between Hegelians in their own private
                  > universe and others who look on wondering what these folks think they are
                  > doing.
                  >
                  > - Alan
                  >
                  > From: Bruce Merrill <merrillbp@...>
                  > Reply-To: <hegel@yahoogroups.com>
                  > Date: Thu, 9 Feb 2012 08:01:51 -0500
                  > To: <hegel@yahoogroups.com>
                  > Subject: Re: [hegel] Aristotle on the Dialectic
                  >
                  >
                  > Dear Stephen,
                  >
                  > In regard to another beginning for philosophy, one of Leibniz's beginnings
                  > is the question:
                  > "Why is there Something, instead of Nothing?" This is a very strange
                  > question, for me... Yet I can grasp the notion of an indeterminate
                  > something which *refutes* nothing. But Hegel's beginning with Being is not
                  > an indeterminate something which refutes nothing, but (quite the opposite?)
                  > a Being which engenders /is followed by nothing. This kind of beginning
                  > remains esp. baffling, and (insofar as I can concur with Leibniz) going
                  > from Being (along the axis of indetermination?) to Nothing is a flat
                  > non-sequitur.
                  >
                  > I don't say this an any kind of criticism of Hegel. It just confirms that I
                  > am outside of Hegel. Being does not fall into my mind. (For better? Or for
                  > worse?) My point has more to do with the hazard of beginning philosophy
                  > with pregnant pure(?) abstractions: How do we decide whether philosophy
                  > begins with a Something that refutes Nothing, or a Being that engenders
                  > Nothing?? I've lost my footing at this point.
                  >
                  > In contrast, I prefer to begin philosophy the pregnant and focal concept of
                  > rationality. But in regard to rationality, we can ask the initial question:
                  > How/Why did rationality evolve to become the defining attribute of our
                  > kind? Thus, rationality (and philosophy) emerge from a context of nature,
                  > of life, and enjoy a useful conceptual determination, thereby.
                  >
                  > (I speak only for myself, of course, and from the standpoint of seeking
                  > insight, and not consummate self-begetting wisdom.)
                  >
                  > Bruce
                  >
                  > On Wed, Feb 8, 2012 at 8:10 AM, stephen theron <stephentheron@...
                  > <mailto:stephentheron%40hotmail.es> >wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  > >
                  > > Dear Bruce, Beat, Thomas Aquinas said that "The first thing (primum) that
                  > > falls(!) into the Mind is Being." It seems he failed to see that here
                  > Being
                  > > is presupposed as first (or was he consciously expressing himself
                  > > speculatively?). This is so even if we go on, jump, to saying, oh, so
                  > Mind
                  > > is something, is a being. It might not be "a being" (cf. G. Ryle, The
                  > > Concept of Mind), or be at all (how otherwise is it "in a sense all
                  > things"
                  > > or all things period?). In any case, the step, "then mind is a being" is
                  > > logically posterior to the thought that being falls into the mind
                  > (whether
                  > > this "be" a being or not a being). Well actually it is logically
                  > > independent of it, which simply underlines that it is not presupposed a
                  > > priori.So here the steps are already taken towards Hegel´s dialectical,
                  > > ultimately speculative (as following us throughout the Logic and beyond)
                  > > equation of being and non-being. Stephen. It would surely be better to
                  > give
                  > > reasons if one wants to say Wittgenstein is wrong about the term game,
                  > > without "identity for its own" a central moment in his thinking, the rope
                  > > where one knot "leads on" to another, as dictated by "forms of life".
                  > There
                  > > is surely no difficulty for just a Hegelian to admit this, that something
                  > > finite, a game, its concept, the term, equally, sublates itself,
                  > > contradicts itself beyond a certain point, has no final identity of its
                  > > own, is there?
                  >


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • stephen theron
                  Bruce, I think you should live and let live a bit more. Not all Hegelians are religious , a large, even larger, percentage are out and out atheists, though as
                  Message 8 of 15 , Feb 10, 2012
                    Bruce,

                    I think you should live and let live a bit more. Not all Hegelians are "religious", a large, even larger, percentage are out and out atheists, though as you may have seen I do not insist on an either/or here.
                    There may be something outside of Hegel but Hegel himself demonstrates that the Outside is the Inside. Gotcha!

                    How do you know what portals (sic) you will enter through? Have you taken a vow?

                    Spirit means Mind or Thought and Nature is that same whatever "in self-alienation". That�s Hegel�s view anyhow and it could be explained simply as that nature stands awaiting our systematic interiorising knowledge of it, which then in turn of course requires an account. So for me, just as an example, a prime merit of Hegel�s thought is his supersession of the natural/supernatural, nature/grace, rationally accessible/ revealed divide, whatever you want to call it. This need not be achieved by reduction specifically, that�s his achievement, showing this, it seems to me. Others here maybe disagree. Well, you will say that is all you are doing so what am I objecting to? Nothing really, just suggesting you could absorb Hegel without harm to your integrity or whatever it is.

                    But I agree, Hegelians are puzzling.

                    Reason benign? I won�t deny it, but look at Hegel on Good and Evil in the Phen.M. You have of course. Reason can countenance its own death, he says in effect. So your letter is a participation, whatever you say, and I have enjoyed reacting to it.

                    Stephen.



                    To: hegel@yahoogroups.com
                    From: merrillbp@...
                    Date: Fri, 10 Feb 2012 07:17:46 -0500
                    Subject: Re: [hegel] Aristotle on the Dialectic






                    Alan,

                    Thanks for this! Yes, I do find Hegelians puzzling, and for a number
                    reasons.

                    And if I may go on, (in agreement with you, perhaps) I find that Hegelians
                    seem to have an especially hard time grasping what lies outside of Hegel,
                    i.e. why Hegel might be implausible, or uncongenial. Of course, all
                    philosophers (and one could say persons) tend to stay inside, where they
                    are "at home" and it's all warm and cozy, and have a hard time grasping
                    what lies outside. But Hegelians are especially entrenched. (And I've been
                    around many different groupings.) I think that much of this problem come
                    from the supposition that Hegel, in his consummate totality, has covered
                    all the bases, everything has been replied to, &/or absorbed, ALL variant
                    positions have been subsumed. Thus, there is nothing outside of Hegel.

                    But there is.

                    The "transcendent wondrous" is not an experience that I participate it, and
                    perhaps that is why I will never enter through those Hegelian portals.
                    Which means, I take it, that I'm simply not religious. There's wonder out
                    there in the universe at large-- Why is there something instead of
                    nothing...?-- but no wonder here, on this planet, in a blade of grass.
                    Nature is complex and beautiful, staggering even, but she is natural, not
                    holy or charged with the agency of Spirit. Not for me.

                    And so much of human history is a ghastly nightmare... not a site of benign
                    Reason. The awfulness of our kind is even more baffling (wondrous?) than
                    nature is. (In the BBC news today: whole families being tortured, then
                    slaughtered with machetes, in Syria. For the crime of wanting democracy...)

                    But even if I don't participate, I ought to be able to arrive at some
                    insight into Being & Speculation, etc. I'm not a Comtean, but ought to be
                    able to get a grip on his beloved historical stages, etc.

                    Bruce

                    On Thu, Feb 9, 2012 at 3:16 PM, Alan Ponikvar <ponikvaraj@...> wrote:

                    > **
                    >
                    >
                    > I would just like to remark that your being baffled by the beginning of the
                    > Logic should be the reaction of most every reader when they first come to
                    > the Logic. I would submit that even for most Hegelians there remains a
                    > certain discomfort about this beginning.
                    >
                    > Hegel speaks about how the beginning is indeterminate and immediate. He
                    > slips in being at this point one might almost say as a homage to the
                    > tradition for which pure being is the tag given to an indeterminate
                    > thought.
                    > Of course, in the tradition this thought is 'the transcendent wondrous'. It
                    > is mysterious and yet vital. Hegel means to deconstruct this traditional
                    > conception.
                    >
                    > His beginning in my view has us inhabiting what the tradition posits as the
                    > ultimate beyond. Why he has us inhabiting the beginning is what I believe
                    > the Phenomenology means to establish. But once the indeterminate is
                    > inhabited the dialectical interplay ensues between thought as immediate and
                    > as it comes to be mediated. This interplay is what happens when thinking
                    > occurs within the element of thought and is not a thinking about thought
                    > for
                    > which the divide between the thinker and thinking is inviable.
                    >
                    > I do not want to pretend that these brief remarks are sufficient. I think
                    > as
                    > a nonHegelian you should always push Hegelians to explain themselves. There
                    > still remains this curious divide between Hegelians in their own private
                    > universe and others who look on wondering what these folks think they are
                    > doing.
                    >
                    > - Alan
                    >
                    > From: Bruce Merrill <merrillbp@...>
                    > Reply-To: <hegel@yahoogroups.com>
                    > Date: Thu, 9 Feb 2012 08:01:51 -0500
                    > To: <hegel@yahoogroups.com>
                    > Subject: Re: [hegel] Aristotle on the Dialectic
                    >
                    >
                    > Dear Stephen,
                    >
                    > In regard to another beginning for philosophy, one of Leibniz's beginnings
                    > is the question:
                    > "Why is there Something, instead of Nothing?" This is a very strange
                    > question, for me... Yet I can grasp the notion of an indeterminate
                    > something which *refutes* nothing. But Hegel's beginning with Being is not
                    > an indeterminate something which refutes nothing, but (quite the opposite?)
                    > a Being which engenders /is followed by nothing. This kind of beginning
                    > remains esp. baffling, and (insofar as I can concur with Leibniz) going
                    > from Being (along the axis of indetermination?) to Nothing is a flat
                    > non-sequitur.
                    >
                    > I don't say this an any kind of criticism of Hegel. It just confirms that I
                    > am outside of Hegel. Being does not fall into my mind. (For better? Or for
                    > worse?) My point has more to do with the hazard of beginning philosophy
                    > with pregnant pure(?) abstractions: How do we decide whether philosophy
                    > begins with a Something that refutes Nothing, or a Being that engenders
                    > Nothing?? I've lost my footing at this point.
                    >
                    > In contrast, I prefer to begin philosophy the pregnant and focal concept of
                    > rationality. But in regard to rationality, we can ask the initial question:
                    > How/Why did rationality evolve to become the defining attribute of our
                    > kind? Thus, rationality (and philosophy) emerge from a context of nature,
                    > of life, and enjoy a useful conceptual determination, thereby.
                    >
                    > (I speak only for myself, of course, and from the standpoint of seeking
                    > insight, and not consummate self-begetting wisdom.)
                    >
                    > Bruce
                    >
                    > On Wed, Feb 8, 2012 at 8:10 AM, stephen theron <stephentheron@...
                    > <mailto:stephentheron%40hotmail.es> >wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    > >
                    > > Dear Bruce, Beat, Thomas Aquinas said that "The first thing (primum) that
                    > > falls(!) into the Mind is Being." It seems he failed to see that here
                    > Being
                    > > is presupposed as first (or was he consciously expressing himself
                    > > speculatively?). This is so even if we go on, jump, to saying, oh, so
                    > Mind
                    > > is something, is a being. It might not be "a being" (cf. G. Ryle, The
                    > > Concept of Mind), or be at all (how otherwise is it "in a sense all
                    > things"
                    > > or all things period?). In any case, the step, "then mind is a being" is
                    > > logically posterior to the thought that being falls into the mind
                    > (whether
                    > > this "be" a being or not a being). Well actually it is logically
                    > > independent of it, which simply underlines that it is not presupposed a
                    > > priori.So here the steps are already taken towards Hegel�s dialectical,
                    > > ultimately speculative (as following us throughout the Logic and beyond)
                    > > equation of being and non-being. Stephen. It would surely be better to
                    > give
                    > > reasons if one wants to say Wittgenstein is wrong about the term game,
                    > > without "identity for its own" a central moment in his thinking, the rope
                    > > where one knot "leads on" to another, as dictated by "forms of life".
                    > There
                    > > is surely no difficulty for just a Hegelian to admit this, that something
                    > > finite, a game, its concept, the term, equally, sublates itself,
                    > > contradicts itself beyond a certain point, has no final identity of its
                    > > own, is there?
                    >

                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • vascojoao2003
                    Hi Bruce, You might (and others) find interesting, if you don t know it already, a lecture by Zizek on The limits of Hegel . I hope it s ok to leave the link
                    Message 9 of 15 , Feb 10, 2012
                      Hi Bruce,

                      You might (and others) find interesting, if you don't know it already, a lecture by Zizek on "The limits of Hegel". I hope it's ok to leave the link to it here:

                      http://backdoorbroadcasting.net/2011/03/slavoj-zizek-the-limits-of-hegel/

                      Regards,
                      João.

                      --- In hegel@yahoogroups.com, Bruce Merrill <merrillbp@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Alan,
                      >
                      > Thanks for this! Yes, I do find Hegelians puzzling, and for a number
                      > reasons.
                      >
                      > And if I may go on, (in agreement with you, perhaps) I find that Hegelians
                      > seem to have an especially hard time grasping what lies outside of Hegel,
                      > i.e. why Hegel might be implausible, or uncongenial. Of course, all
                      > philosophers (and one could say persons) tend to stay inside, where they
                      > are "at home" and it's all warm and cozy, and have a hard time grasping
                      > what lies outside. But Hegelians are especially entrenched. (And I've been
                      > around many different groupings.) I think that much of this problem come
                      > from the supposition that Hegel, in his consummate totality, has covered
                      > all the bases, everything has been replied to, &/or absorbed, ALL variant
                      > positions have been subsumed. Thus, there is nothing outside of Hegel.
                      >
                      > But there is.
                      >
                      > The "transcendent wondrous" is not an experience that I participate it, and
                      > perhaps that is why I will never enter through those Hegelian portals.
                      > Which means, I take it, that I'm simply not religious. There's wonder out
                      > there in the universe at large-- Why is there something instead of
                      > nothing...?-- but no wonder here, on this planet, in a blade of grass.
                      > Nature is complex and beautiful, staggering even, but she is natural, not
                      > holy or charged with the agency of Spirit. Not for me.
                      >
                      > And so much of human history is a ghastly nightmare... not a site of benign
                      > Reason. The awfulness of our kind is even more baffling (wondrous?) than
                      > nature is. (In the BBC news today: whole families being tortured, then
                      > slaughtered with machetes, in Syria. For the crime of wanting democracy...)
                      >
                      > But even if I don't participate, I ought to be able to arrive at some
                      > insight into Being & Speculation, etc. I'm not a Comtean, but ought to be
                      > able to get a grip on his beloved historical stages, etc.
                      >
                      > Bruce
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > On Thu, Feb 9, 2012 at 3:16 PM, Alan Ponikvar <ponikvaraj@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > > **
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > I would just like to remark that your being baffled by the beginning of the
                      > > Logic should be the reaction of most every reader when they first come to
                      > > the Logic. I would submit that even for most Hegelians there remains a
                      > > certain discomfort about this beginning.
                      > >
                      > > Hegel speaks about how the beginning is indeterminate and immediate. He
                      > > slips in being at this point one might almost say as a homage to the
                      > > tradition for which pure being is the tag given to an indeterminate
                      > > thought.
                      > > Of course, in the tradition this thought is 'the transcendent wondrous'. It
                      > > is mysterious and yet vital. Hegel means to deconstruct this traditional
                      > > conception.
                      > >
                      > > His beginning in my view has us inhabiting what the tradition posits as the
                      > > ultimate beyond. Why he has us inhabiting the beginning is what I believe
                      > > the Phenomenology means to establish. But once the indeterminate is
                      > > inhabited the dialectical interplay ensues between thought as immediate and
                      > > as it comes to be mediated. This interplay is what happens when thinking
                      > > occurs within the element of thought and is not a thinking about thought
                      > > for
                      > > which the divide between the thinker and thinking is inviable.
                      > >
                      > > I do not want to pretend that these brief remarks are sufficient. I think
                      > > as
                      > > a nonHegelian you should always push Hegelians to explain themselves. There
                      > > still remains this curious divide between Hegelians in their own private
                      > > universe and others who look on wondering what these folks think they are
                      > > doing.
                      > >
                      > > - Alan
                      > >
                      > > From: Bruce Merrill <merrillbp@...>
                      > > Reply-To: <hegel@yahoogroups.com>
                      > > Date: Thu, 9 Feb 2012 08:01:51 -0500
                      > > To: <hegel@yahoogroups.com>
                      > > Subject: Re: [hegel] Aristotle on the Dialectic
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > Dear Stephen,
                      > >
                      > > In regard to another beginning for philosophy, one of Leibniz's beginnings
                      > > is the question:
                      > > "Why is there Something, instead of Nothing?" This is a very strange
                      > > question, for me... Yet I can grasp the notion of an indeterminate
                      > > something which *refutes* nothing. But Hegel's beginning with Being is not
                      > > an indeterminate something which refutes nothing, but (quite the opposite?)
                      > > a Being which engenders /is followed by nothing. This kind of beginning
                      > > remains esp. baffling, and (insofar as I can concur with Leibniz) going
                      > > from Being (along the axis of indetermination?) to Nothing is a flat
                      > > non-sequitur.
                      > >
                      > > I don't say this an any kind of criticism of Hegel. It just confirms that I
                      > > am outside of Hegel. Being does not fall into my mind. (For better? Or for
                      > > worse?) My point has more to do with the hazard of beginning philosophy
                      > > with pregnant pure(?) abstractions: How do we decide whether philosophy
                      > > begins with a Something that refutes Nothing, or a Being that engenders
                      > > Nothing?? I've lost my footing at this point.
                      > >
                      > > In contrast, I prefer to begin philosophy the pregnant and focal concept of
                      > > rationality. But in regard to rationality, we can ask the initial question:
                      > > How/Why did rationality evolve to become the defining attribute of our
                      > > kind? Thus, rationality (and philosophy) emerge from a context of nature,
                      > > of life, and enjoy a useful conceptual determination, thereby.
                      > >
                      > > (I speak only for myself, of course, and from the standpoint of seeking
                      > > insight, and not consummate self-begetting wisdom.)
                      > >
                      > > Bruce
                      > >
                      > > On Wed, Feb 8, 2012 at 8:10 AM, stephen theron <stephentheron@...
                      > > <mailto:stephentheron%40hotmail.es> >wrote:
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > >
                      > > > Dear Bruce, Beat, Thomas Aquinas said that "The first thing (primum) that
                      > > > falls(!) into the Mind is Being." It seems he failed to see that here
                      > > Being
                      > > > is presupposed as first (or was he consciously expressing himself
                      > > > speculatively?). This is so even if we go on, jump, to saying, oh, so
                      > > Mind
                      > > > is something, is a being. It might not be "a being" (cf. G. Ryle, The
                      > > > Concept of Mind), or be at all (how otherwise is it "in a sense all
                      > > things"
                      > > > or all things period?). In any case, the step, "then mind is a being" is
                      > > > logically posterior to the thought that being falls into the mind
                      > > (whether
                      > > > this "be" a being or not a being). Well actually it is logically
                      > > > independent of it, which simply underlines that it is not presupposed a
                      > > > priori.So here the steps are already taken towards Hegel´s dialectical,
                      > > > ultimately speculative (as following us throughout the Logic and beyond)
                      > > > equation of being and non-being. Stephen. It would surely be better to
                      > > give
                      > > > reasons if one wants to say Wittgenstein is wrong about the term game,
                      > > > without "identity for its own" a central moment in his thinking, the rope
                      > > > where one knot "leads on" to another, as dictated by "forms of life".
                      > > There
                      > > > is surely no difficulty for just a Hegelian to admit this, that something
                      > > > finite, a game, its concept, the term, equally, sublates itself,
                      > > > contradicts itself beyond a certain point, has no final identity of its
                      > > > own, is there?
                      > >
                      >
                      >
                      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      >
                    • Bruce Merrill
                      Thank for the link, Joao. Is this a video file? Alas I have to use dial-up, since I am a primitive country mouse, & not in any institution, so video files can
                      Message 10 of 15 , Feb 10, 2012
                        Thank for the link, Joao. Is this a video file? Alas I have to use dial-up,
                        since I am a primitive country mouse, & not in any institution, so video
                        files can take ages to download.

                        I'm not so interested in "the limits of Hegel" which I think I have a
                        pretty good grip on (not that anyone else would agree here!), but on the
                        challenge of understanding Hegel from the outside, w/o entering the portals
                        (sic).

                        Bruce

                        On Fri, Feb 10, 2012 at 9:25 AM, vascojoao2003 <vascojoao2003@...>wrote:

                        > **
                        >
                        >
                        > Hi Bruce,
                        >
                        > You might (and others) find interesting, if you don't know it already, a
                        > lecture by Zizek on "The limits of Hegel". I hope it's ok to leave the link
                        > to it here:
                        >
                        > http://backdoorbroadcasting.net/2011/03/slavoj-zizek-the-limits-of-hegel/
                        >
                        > Regards,
                        > João.
                        >


                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Mary
                        Many who have entered these portals will experience the satisfaction of understanding how thought moves, especially their own, but also the sad frustration of
                        Message 11 of 15 , Feb 10, 2012
                          Many who have entered these portals will experience the satisfaction of understanding how thought moves, especially their own, but also the sad frustration of knowing that brutal, horrific thinkers aren't at all interested. The audio link Joao provides is yet another wonderful example of a philosopher able to grasp the limitations of many other philosophers and shape them, as well as their strengths, into something meaningful, not only for himself but those willing to hear. I won't pretend I'm not often lost here within, but not to enter is not to know.

                          Mary

                          --- In hegel@yahoogroups.com, Bruce Merrill <merrillbp@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Alan,
                          >
                          > Thanks for this! Yes, I do find Hegelians puzzling, and for a number
                          > reasons.
                          >
                          > And if I may go on, (in agreement with you, perhaps) I find that Hegelians
                          > seem to have an especially hard time grasping what lies outside of Hegel,
                          > i.e. why Hegel might be implausible, or uncongenial. Of course, all
                          > philosophers (and one could say persons) tend to stay inside, where they
                          > are "at home" and it's all warm and cozy, and have a hard time grasping
                          > what lies outside. But Hegelians are especially entrenched. (And I've been
                          > around many different groupings.) I think that much of this problem come
                          > from the supposition that Hegel, in his consummate totality, has covered
                          > all the bases, everything has been replied to, &/or absorbed, ALL variant
                          > positions have been subsumed. Thus, there is nothing outside of Hegel.
                          >
                          > But there is.
                          >
                          > The "transcendent wondrous" is not an experience that I participate it, and
                          > perhaps that is why I will never enter through those Hegelian portals.
                          > Which means, I take it, that I'm simply not religious. There's wonder out
                          > there in the universe at large-- Why is there something instead of
                          > nothing...?-- but no wonder here, on this planet, in a blade of grass.
                          > Nature is complex and beautiful, staggering even, but she is natural, not
                          > holy or charged with the agency of Spirit. Not for me.
                          >
                          > And so much of human history is a ghastly nightmare... not a site of benign
                          > Reason. The awfulness of our kind is even more baffling (wondrous?) than
                          > nature is. (In the BBC news today: whole families being tortured, then
                          > slaughtered with machetes, in Syria. For the crime of wanting democracy...)
                          >
                          > But even if I don't participate, I ought to be able to arrive at some
                          > insight into Being & Speculation, etc. I'm not a Comtean, but ought to be
                          > able to get a grip on his beloved historical stages, etc.
                          >
                          > Bruce
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > On Thu, Feb 9, 2012 at 3:16 PM, Alan Ponikvar <ponikvaraj@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > > **
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > I would just like to remark that your being baffled by the beginning of the
                          > > Logic should be the reaction of most every reader when they first come to
                          > > the Logic. I would submit that even for most Hegelians there remains a
                          > > certain discomfort about this beginning.
                          > >
                          > > Hegel speaks about how the beginning is indeterminate and immediate. He
                          > > slips in being at this point one might almost say as a homage to the
                          > > tradition for which pure being is the tag given to an indeterminate
                          > > thought.
                          > > Of course, in the tradition this thought is 'the transcendent wondrous'. It
                          > > is mysterious and yet vital. Hegel means to deconstruct this traditional
                          > > conception.
                          > >
                          > > His beginning in my view has us inhabiting what the tradition posits as the
                          > > ultimate beyond. Why he has us inhabiting the beginning is what I believe
                          > > the Phenomenology means to establish. But once the indeterminate is
                          > > inhabited the dialectical interplay ensues between thought as immediate and
                          > > as it comes to be mediated. This interplay is what happens when thinking
                          > > occurs within the element of thought and is not a thinking about thought
                          > > for
                          > > which the divide between the thinker and thinking is inviable.
                          > >
                          > > I do not want to pretend that these brief remarks are sufficient. I think
                          > > as
                          > > a nonHegelian you should always push Hegelians to explain themselves. There
                          > > still remains this curious divide between Hegelians in their own private
                          > > universe and others who look on wondering what these folks think they are
                          > > doing.
                          > >
                          > > - Alan
                          > >
                          > > From: Bruce Merrill <merrillbp@...>
                          > > Reply-To: <hegel@yahoogroups.com>
                          > > Date: Thu, 9 Feb 2012 08:01:51 -0500
                          > > To: <hegel@yahoogroups.com>
                          > > Subject: Re: [hegel] Aristotle on the Dialectic
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > Dear Stephen,
                          > >
                          > > In regard to another beginning for philosophy, one of Leibniz's beginnings
                          > > is the question:
                          > > "Why is there Something, instead of Nothing?" This is a very strange
                          > > question, for me... Yet I can grasp the notion of an indeterminate
                          > > something which *refutes* nothing. But Hegel's beginning with Being is not
                          > > an indeterminate something which refutes nothing, but (quite the opposite?)
                          > > a Being which engenders /is followed by nothing. This kind of beginning
                          > > remains esp. baffling, and (insofar as I can concur with Leibniz) going
                          > > from Being (along the axis of indetermination?) to Nothing is a flat
                          > > non-sequitur.
                          > >
                          > > I don't say this an any kind of criticism of Hegel. It just confirms that I
                          > > am outside of Hegel. Being does not fall into my mind. (For better? Or for
                          > > worse?) My point has more to do with the hazard of beginning philosophy
                          > > with pregnant pure(?) abstractions: How do we decide whether philosophy
                          > > begins with a Something that refutes Nothing, or a Being that engenders
                          > > Nothing?? I've lost my footing at this point.
                          > >
                          > > In contrast, I prefer to begin philosophy the pregnant and focal concept of
                          > > rationality. But in regard to rationality, we can ask the initial question:
                          > > How/Why did rationality evolve to become the defining attribute of our
                          > > kind? Thus, rationality (and philosophy) emerge from a context of nature,
                          > > of life, and enjoy a useful conceptual determination, thereby.
                          > >
                          > > (I speak only for myself, of course, and from the standpoint of seeking
                          > > insight, and not consummate self-begetting wisdom.)
                          > >
                          > > Bruce
                          > >
                          > > On Wed, Feb 8, 2012 at 8:10 AM, stephen theron <stephentheron@...
                          > > <mailto:stephentheron%40hotmail.es> >wrote:
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > >
                          > > > Dear Bruce, Beat, Thomas Aquinas said that "The first thing (primum) that
                          > > > falls(!) into the Mind is Being." It seems he failed to see that here
                          > > Being
                          > > > is presupposed as first (or was he consciously expressing himself
                          > > > speculatively?). This is so even if we go on, jump, to saying, oh, so
                          > > Mind
                          > > > is something, is a being. It might not be "a being" (cf. G. Ryle, The
                          > > > Concept of Mind), or be at all (how otherwise is it "in a sense all
                          > > things"
                          > > > or all things period?). In any case, the step, "then mind is a being" is
                          > > > logically posterior to the thought that being falls into the mind
                          > > (whether
                          > > > this "be" a being or not a being). Well actually it is logically
                          > > > independent of it, which simply underlines that it is not presupposed a
                          > > > priori.So here the steps are already taken towards Hegel´s dialectical,
                          > > > ultimately speculative (as following us throughout the Logic and beyond)
                          > > > equation of being and non-being. Stephen. It would surely be better to
                          > > give
                          > > > reasons if one wants to say Wittgenstein is wrong about the term game,
                          > > > without "identity for its own" a central moment in his thinking, the rope
                          > > > where one knot "leads on" to another, as dictated by "forms of life".
                          > > There
                          > > > is surely no difficulty for just a Hegelian to admit this, that something
                          > > > finite, a game, its concept, the term, equally, sublates itself,
                          > > > contradicts itself beyond a certain point, has no final identity of its
                          > > > own, is there?
                          > >
                          >
                          >
                          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          >
                        • vascojoao2003
                          Hi Bruce, It s an audio file. In a sense the idea of understanding Hegel from the outside, I think, still refers to the hegelian dynamic of being-for-self in
                          Message 12 of 15 , Feb 10, 2012
                            Hi Bruce,

                            It's an audio file.

                            In a sense the idea of understanding Hegel from the outside, I think, still refers to the hegelian dynamic of being-for-self in otherness, meaning, the test you mention, as I understand it, is to see how Hegel's approach can or not remain, posing new problems or conceptions. This is some of what moves the PS from shape to shape.

                            Regards,
                            João.

                            --- In hegel@yahoogroups.com, Bruce Merrill <merrillbp@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Thank for the link, Joao. Is this a video file? Alas I have to use dial-up,
                            > since I am a primitive country mouse, & not in any institution, so video
                            > files can take ages to download.
                            >
                            > I'm not so interested in "the limits of Hegel" which I think I have a
                            > pretty good grip on (not that anyone else would agree here!), but on the
                            > challenge of understanding Hegel from the outside, w/o entering the portals
                            > (sic).
                            >
                            > Bruce
                            >
                            > On Fri, Feb 10, 2012 at 9:25 AM, vascojoao2003 <vascojoao2003@...>wrote:
                            >
                            > > **
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > Hi Bruce,
                            > >
                            > > You might (and others) find interesting, if you don't know it already, a
                            > > lecture by Zizek on "The limits of Hegel". I hope it's ok to leave the link
                            > > to it here:
                            > >
                            > > http://backdoorbroadcasting.net/2011/03/slavoj-zizek-the-limits-of-hegel/
                            > >
                            > > Regards,
                            > > João.
                            > >
                            >
                            >
                            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            >
                          • Mary
                            And, I admit the word Spirit and the religious language formerly kept me away, as well as virtually no philosophical background, except some Existentialism.
                            Message 13 of 15 , Feb 10, 2012
                              And, I admit the word Spirit and the religious language formerly kept me away, as well as virtually no philosophical background, except some Existentialism. But, not finding an answers for the terrors in the world cannot be separated from not finding solutions to the joys either. If Zizek is able to bring philosophy including Hegel to the public, it might help resolve some impasses by framing the right questions, which is what Zizek contends philosophy does.

                              Mary

                              --- In hegel@yahoogroups.com, "Mary" <josephson45r@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Many who have entered these portals will experience the satisfaction of understanding how thought moves, especially their own, but also the sad frustration of knowing that brutal, horrific thinkers aren't at all interested. The audio link Joao provides is yet another wonderful example of a philosopher able to grasp the limitations of many other philosophers and shape them, as well as their strengths, into something meaningful, not only for himself but those willing to hear. I won't pretend I'm not often lost here within, but not to enter is not to know.
                              >
                              > Mary
                              >
                              > --- In hegel@yahoogroups.com, Bruce Merrill <merrillbp@> wrote:
                              > >
                              > > Alan,
                              > >
                              > > Thanks for this! Yes, I do find Hegelians puzzling, and for a number
                              > > reasons.
                              > >
                              > > And if I may go on, (in agreement with you, perhaps) I find that Hegelians
                              > > seem to have an especially hard time grasping what lies outside of Hegel,
                              > > i.e. why Hegel might be implausible, or uncongenial. Of course, all
                              > > philosophers (and one could say persons) tend to stay inside, where they
                              > > are "at home" and it's all warm and cozy, and have a hard time grasping
                              > > what lies outside. But Hegelians are especially entrenched. (And I've been
                              > > around many different groupings.) I think that much of this problem come
                              > > from the supposition that Hegel, in his consummate totality, has covered
                              > > all the bases, everything has been replied to, &/or absorbed, ALL variant
                              > > positions have been subsumed. Thus, there is nothing outside of Hegel.
                              > >
                              > > But there is.
                              > >
                              > > The "transcendent wondrous" is not an experience that I participate it, and
                              > > perhaps that is why I will never enter through those Hegelian portals.
                              > > Which means, I take it, that I'm simply not religious. There's wonder out
                              > > there in the universe at large-- Why is there something instead of
                              > > nothing...?-- but no wonder here, on this planet, in a blade of grass.
                              > > Nature is complex and beautiful, staggering even, but she is natural, not
                              > > holy or charged with the agency of Spirit. Not for me.
                              > >
                              > > And so much of human history is a ghastly nightmare... not a site of benign
                              > > Reason. The awfulness of our kind is even more baffling (wondrous?) than
                              > > nature is. (In the BBC news today: whole families being tortured, then
                              > > slaughtered with machetes, in Syria. For the crime of wanting democracy...)
                              > >
                              > > But even if I don't participate, I ought to be able to arrive at some
                              > > insight into Being & Speculation, etc. I'm not a Comtean, but ought to be
                              > > able to get a grip on his beloved historical stages, etc.
                              > >
                              > > Bruce
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > On Thu, Feb 9, 2012 at 3:16 PM, Alan Ponikvar <ponikvaraj@> wrote:
                              > >
                              > > > **
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > > > I would just like to remark that your being baffled by the beginning of the
                              > > > Logic should be the reaction of most every reader when they first come to
                              > > > the Logic. I would submit that even for most Hegelians there remains a
                              > > > certain discomfort about this beginning.
                              > > >
                              > > > Hegel speaks about how the beginning is indeterminate and immediate. He
                              > > > slips in being at this point one might almost say as a homage to the
                              > > > tradition for which pure being is the tag given to an indeterminate
                              > > > thought.
                              > > > Of course, in the tradition this thought is 'the transcendent wondrous'. It
                              > > > is mysterious and yet vital. Hegel means to deconstruct this traditional
                              > > > conception.
                              > > >
                              > > > His beginning in my view has us inhabiting what the tradition posits as the
                              > > > ultimate beyond. Why he has us inhabiting the beginning is what I believe
                              > > > the Phenomenology means to establish. But once the indeterminate is
                              > > > inhabited the dialectical interplay ensues between thought as immediate and
                              > > > as it comes to be mediated. This interplay is what happens when thinking
                              > > > occurs within the element of thought and is not a thinking about thought
                              > > > for
                              > > > which the divide between the thinker and thinking is inviable.
                              > > >
                              > > > I do not want to pretend that these brief remarks are sufficient. I think
                              > > > as
                              > > > a nonHegelian you should always push Hegelians to explain themselves. There
                              > > > still remains this curious divide between Hegelians in their own private
                              > > > universe and others who look on wondering what these folks think they are
                              > > > doing.
                              > > >
                              > > > - Alan
                              > > >
                              > > > From: Bruce Merrill <merrillbp@>
                              > > > Reply-To: <hegel@yahoogroups.com>
                              > > > Date: Thu, 9 Feb 2012 08:01:51 -0500
                              > > > To: <hegel@yahoogroups.com>
                              > > > Subject: Re: [hegel] Aristotle on the Dialectic
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > > > Dear Stephen,
                              > > >
                              > > > In regard to another beginning for philosophy, one of Leibniz's beginnings
                              > > > is the question:
                              > > > "Why is there Something, instead of Nothing?" This is a very strange
                              > > > question, for me... Yet I can grasp the notion of an indeterminate
                              > > > something which *refutes* nothing. But Hegel's beginning with Being is not
                              > > > an indeterminate something which refutes nothing, but (quite the opposite?)
                              > > > a Being which engenders /is followed by nothing. This kind of beginning
                              > > > remains esp. baffling, and (insofar as I can concur with Leibniz) going
                              > > > from Being (along the axis of indetermination?) to Nothing is a flat
                              > > > non-sequitur.
                              > > >
                              > > > I don't say this an any kind of criticism of Hegel. It just confirms that I
                              > > > am outside of Hegel. Being does not fall into my mind. (For better? Or for
                              > > > worse?) My point has more to do with the hazard of beginning philosophy
                              > > > with pregnant pure(?) abstractions: How do we decide whether philosophy
                              > > > begins with a Something that refutes Nothing, or a Being that engenders
                              > > > Nothing?? I've lost my footing at this point.
                              > > >
                              > > > In contrast, I prefer to begin philosophy the pregnant and focal concept of
                              > > > rationality. But in regard to rationality, we can ask the initial question:
                              > > > How/Why did rationality evolve to become the defining attribute of our
                              > > > kind? Thus, rationality (and philosophy) emerge from a context of nature,
                              > > > of life, and enjoy a useful conceptual determination, thereby.
                              > > >
                              > > > (I speak only for myself, of course, and from the standpoint of seeking
                              > > > insight, and not consummate self-begetting wisdom.)
                              > > >
                              > > > Bruce
                              > > >
                              > > > On Wed, Feb 8, 2012 at 8:10 AM, stephen theron <stephentheron@
                              > > > <mailto:stephentheron%40hotmail.es> >wrote:
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > > > >
                              > > > > Dear Bruce, Beat, Thomas Aquinas said that "The first thing (primum) that
                              > > > > falls(!) into the Mind is Being." It seems he failed to see that here
                              > > > Being
                              > > > > is presupposed as first (or was he consciously expressing himself
                              > > > > speculatively?). This is so even if we go on, jump, to saying, oh, so
                              > > > Mind
                              > > > > is something, is a being. It might not be "a being" (cf. G. Ryle, The
                              > > > > Concept of Mind), or be at all (how otherwise is it "in a sense all
                              > > > things"
                              > > > > or all things period?). In any case, the step, "then mind is a being" is
                              > > > > logically posterior to the thought that being falls into the mind
                              > > > (whether
                              > > > > this "be" a being or not a being). Well actually it is logically
                              > > > > independent of it, which simply underlines that it is not presupposed a
                              > > > > priori.So here the steps are already taken towards Hegel´s dialectical,
                              > > > > ultimately speculative (as following us throughout the Logic and beyond)
                              > > > > equation of being and non-being. Stephen. It would surely be better to
                              > > > give
                              > > > > reasons if one wants to say Wittgenstein is wrong about the term game,
                              > > > > without "identity for its own" a central moment in his thinking, the rope
                              > > > > where one knot "leads on" to another, as dictated by "forms of life".
                              > > > There
                              > > > > is surely no difficulty for just a Hegelian to admit this, that something
                              > > > > finite, a game, its concept, the term, equally, sublates itself,
                              > > > > contradicts itself beyond a certain point, has no final identity of its
                              > > > > own, is there?
                              > > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              > >
                              >
                            • vascojoao2003
                              ... Hi Mary, I think Zizek as driven himself to the same essential point Marx was driven in his work. While Marx saw the proletariat as the excess of
                              Message 14 of 15 , Feb 10, 2012
                                --- In hegel@yahoogroups.com, "Mary" <josephson45r@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > And, I admit the word Spirit and the religious language formerly kept me away, as well as virtually no philosophical background, except some Existentialism. But, not finding an answers for the terrors in the world cannot be separated from not finding solutions to the joys either. If Zizek is able to bring philosophy including Hegel to the public, it might help resolve some impasses by framing the right questions, which is what Zizek contends philosophy does.

                                Hi Mary,

                                I think Zizek as driven himself to the same essential point Marx was driven in his work. While Marx saw the proletariat as the excess of capitalism from which a new idea could be actualized, Zizek sees this excess in what he calls the rabble - the contemporary excess of capitalism. His question then becomes what should be done to actualize the rabble in a shape which will not redund or fall in the self-reproduction of capitalism - this was the same question Marx posed a propos the proletariat. We see then in Zizek, I think, the same inner divide we can see in Marx, that is, on the one hand the recollection of the contradictions of capitalism and on the other hand a "deduction" from this contradiction of the shape of its sublation: the divide being then between speculative and programatic work.

                                This divide is probably the "bone" of the issue of what Zizek suggests to be the crises in left wing, that is, the more left wing thought poses the problems of capitalism the more capitalism can reorganize itself from those problems. Left wing thought, paradoxally then works in favour of the reproduction of capitalism by pointing out its weak spots - it's almost as if radical left wing thought - I mean radical in the sense conceptual thought, not of activist slogans - should be kept a secret as in secret societies. :)

                                Regards,
                                João.
                                >
                                > Mary
                                >
                                >
                              • Alan Ponikvar
                                Presently, there is a fair amount of interest in Hegel in relation to x, where x is anything from feminism to analytic philosophy. I tend to be more interest
                                Message 15 of 15 , Feb 10, 2012
                                  Presently, there is a fair amount of interest in Hegel in relation to x,
                                  where x is anything from feminism to analytic philosophy. I tend to be more
                                  interest in taking Hegel by himself and taking everything else on its own
                                  terms.

                                  - Alan

                                  From: Bruce Merrill <merrillbp@...>
                                  Reply-To: <hegel@yahoogroups.com>
                                  Date: Fri, 10 Feb 2012 07:17:46 -0500
                                  To: <hegel@yahoogroups.com>
                                  Subject: Re: [hegel] Aristotle on the Dialectic






                                  Alan,

                                  Thanks for this! Yes, I do find Hegelians puzzling, and for a number
                                  reasons.

                                  And if I may go on, (in agreement with you, perhaps) I find that Hegelians
                                  seem to have an especially hard time grasping what lies outside of Hegel,
                                  i.e. why Hegel might be implausible, or uncongenial. Of course, all
                                  philosophers (and one could say persons) tend to stay inside, where they
                                  are "at home" and it's all warm and cozy, and have a hard time grasping
                                  what lies outside. But Hegelians are especially entrenched. (And I've been
                                  around many different groupings.) I think that much of this problem come
                                  from the supposition that Hegel, in his consummate totality, has covered
                                  all the bases, everything has been replied to, &/or absorbed, ALL variant
                                  positions have been subsumed. Thus, there is nothing outside of Hegel.

                                  But there is.

                                  The "transcendent wondrous" is not an experience that I participate it, and
                                  perhaps that is why I will never enter through those Hegelian portals.
                                  Which means, I take it, that I'm simply not religious. There's wonder out
                                  there in the universe at large-- Why is there something instead of
                                  nothing...?-- but no wonder here, on this planet, in a blade of grass.
                                  Nature is complex and beautiful, staggering even, but she is natural, not
                                  holy or charged with the agency of Spirit. Not for me.

                                  And so much of human history is a ghastly nightmare... not a site of benign
                                  Reason. The awfulness of our kind is even more baffling (wondrous?) than
                                  nature is. (In the BBC news today: whole families being tortured, then
                                  slaughtered with machetes, in Syria. For the crime of wanting democracy...)

                                  But even if I don't participate, I ought to be able to arrive at some
                                  insight into Being & Speculation, etc. I'm not a Comtean, but ought to be
                                  able to get a grip on his beloved historical stages, etc.

                                  Bruce

                                  On Thu, Feb 9, 2012 at 3:16 PM, Alan Ponikvar <ponikvaraj@...
                                  <mailto:ponikvaraj%40gmail.com> > wrote:

                                  > **
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > I would just like to remark that your being baffled by the beginning of the
                                  > Logic should be the reaction of most every reader when they first come to
                                  > the Logic. I would submit that even for most Hegelians there remains a
                                  > certain discomfort about this beginning.
                                  >
                                  > Hegel speaks about how the beginning is indeterminate and immediate. He
                                  > slips in being at this point one might almost say as a homage to the
                                  > tradition for which pure being is the tag given to an indeterminate
                                  > thought.
                                  > Of course, in the tradition this thought is 'the transcendent wondrous'. It
                                  > is mysterious and yet vital. Hegel means to deconstruct this traditional
                                  > conception.
                                  >
                                  > His beginning in my view has us inhabiting what the tradition posits as the
                                  > ultimate beyond. Why he has us inhabiting the beginning is what I believe
                                  > the Phenomenology means to establish. But once the indeterminate is
                                  > inhabited the dialectical interplay ensues between thought as immediate and
                                  > as it comes to be mediated. This interplay is what happens when thinking
                                  > occurs within the element of thought and is not a thinking about thought
                                  > for
                                  > which the divide between the thinker and thinking is inviable.
                                  >
                                  > I do not want to pretend that these brief remarks are sufficient. I think
                                  > as
                                  > a nonHegelian you should always push Hegelians to explain themselves. There
                                  > still remains this curious divide between Hegelians in their own private
                                  > universe and others who look on wondering what these folks think they are
                                  > doing.
                                  >
                                  > - Alan
                                  >
                                  > From: Bruce Merrill <merrillbp@... <mailto:merrillbp%40gmail.com> >
                                  > Reply-To: <hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com> >
                                  > Date: Thu, 9 Feb 2012 08:01:51 -0500
                                  > To: <hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com> >
                                  > Subject: Re: [hegel] Aristotle on the Dialectic
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Dear Stephen,
                                  >
                                  > In regard to another beginning for philosophy, one of Leibniz's beginnings
                                  > is the question:
                                  > "Why is there Something, instead of Nothing?" This is a very strange
                                  > question, for me... Yet I can grasp the notion of an indeterminate
                                  > something which *refutes* nothing. But Hegel's beginning with Being is not
                                  > an indeterminate something which refutes nothing, but (quite the opposite?)
                                  > a Being which engenders /is followed by nothing. This kind of beginning
                                  > remains esp. baffling, and (insofar as I can concur with Leibniz) going
                                  > from Being (along the axis of indetermination?) to Nothing is a flat
                                  > non-sequitur.
                                  >
                                  > I don't say this an any kind of criticism of Hegel. It just confirms that I
                                  > am outside of Hegel. Being does not fall into my mind. (For better? Or for
                                  > worse?) My point has more to do with the hazard of beginning philosophy
                                  > with pregnant pure(?) abstractions: How do we decide whether philosophy
                                  > begins with a Something that refutes Nothing, or a Being that engenders
                                  > Nothing?? I've lost my footing at this point.
                                  >
                                  > In contrast, I prefer to begin philosophy the pregnant and focal concept of
                                  > rationality. But in regard to rationality, we can ask the initial question:
                                  > How/Why did rationality evolve to become the defining attribute of our
                                  > kind? Thus, rationality (and philosophy) emerge from a context of nature,
                                  > of life, and enjoy a useful conceptual determination, thereby.
                                  >
                                  > (I speak only for myself, of course, and from the standpoint of seeking
                                  > insight, and not consummate self-begetting wisdom.)
                                  >
                                  > Bruce
                                  >
                                  > On Wed, Feb 8, 2012 at 8:10 AM, stephen theron <stephentheron@...
                                  <mailto:stephentheron%40hotmail.es>
                                  > <mailto:stephentheron%40hotmail.es> >wrote:
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > >
                                  > > Dear Bruce, Beat, Thomas Aquinas said that "The first thing (primum) that
                                  > > falls(!) into the Mind is Being." It seems he failed to see that here
                                  > Being
                                  > > is presupposed as first (or was he consciously expressing himself
                                  > > speculatively?). This is so even if we go on, jump, to saying, oh, so
                                  > Mind
                                  > > is something, is a being. It might not be "a being" (cf. G. Ryle, The
                                  > > Concept of Mind), or be at all (how otherwise is it "in a sense all
                                  > things"
                                  > > or all things period?). In any case, the step, "then mind is a being" is
                                  > > logically posterior to the thought that being falls into the mind
                                  > (whether
                                  > > this "be" a being or not a being). Well actually it is logically
                                  > > independent of it, which simply underlines that it is not presupposed a
                                  > > priori.So here the steps are already taken towards Hegel´s dialectical,
                                  > > ultimately speculative (as following us throughout the Logic and beyond)
                                  > > equation of being and non-being. Stephen. It would surely be better to
                                  > give
                                  > > reasons if one wants to say Wittgenstein is wrong about the term game,
                                  > > without "identity for its own" a central moment in his thinking, the rope
                                  > > where one knot "leads on" to another, as dictated by "forms of life".
                                  > There
                                  > > is surely no difficulty for just a Hegelian to admit this, that something
                                  > > finite, a game, its concept, the term, equally, sublates itself,
                                  > > contradicts itself beyond a certain point, has no final identity of its
                                  > > own, is there?
                                  >

                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]









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