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Re: AW: Re: AW: Re: [hegel] Why still Hegel?

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  • Oliver Scholz
    greuterb@bluewin.ch writes: [...] ... Et tu, Beat? I believe, I have so far been explicit to the point of verbosity in what sense I
    Message 1 of 5 , Sep 13, 2009
      "greuterb@..." <greuterb@...> writes:

      [...]
      > According to my understanding reason in Hegel's Logic and in his
      > real-philosophy includes both, the moment of understanding and the
      > 'mystical' side. However, the two sides are not separated but are
      > revealed in their mutual relationship as the movement of reason, or,
      > as you write "as the dialectics of doubt". This seems to be the
      > difference to Kant's critique where the two moments are separated. So,
      > as you truely write: reason is not the simple other of understanding,
      > however, also the mytical side is not the simple other of reason. I
      > think the first philosopher who has explicitly seen this was the
      > Cusaner though his solution looks more mystical (in the sense of not
      > trusting in the reason) than Hegel's dialectical solution within the
      > true infinity since with the Cusaner the parallels only meet in the
      > bad infinity.

      Et tu, Beat? I believe, I have so far been explicit to the point of
      verbosity in what sense I reject to notion of a connection to Mysticism
      and in what sense I don't.

      It is one thing to acknowledge that the speculative moment (!) of reason
      is related to what in Mysticism is the dominant mode, mystical
      anschauung. It is quite another thing to call Hegel's reasoning
      mystical.

      It is one thing to acknowledge that the content of Hegel's critical
      philosophy -- in its totality -- can be said to encompass, in quite a
      different form, some aspects of the content of mystical consciousness.
      It is quite another thing to call Hegel's philosophy mystical.

      It is one thing to acknowledge that philosophising in the footsteps of
      Hegel is -- from a certain depth onwards -- not just a cold blooded
      reflection on freedom, but an experience of freedom itself and is
      accompanied by feelings that might -- or *might not*, indeed! -- be
      compared to the euphory that comes with -- again, quite a different form
      -- mystical experience. It is quite another thing to say Hegel's
      philosophy would in any actual sense whatsoever involve mystical
      experience.

      I am willing to cut people some slack and let "Hegel is mystical" pass,
      if it is clear from context that it is meant in any sense in which it is
      possible to let it pass, without introducing misunderstandings and
      equivocations. However, in this context, here and now, when it occured
      in discussion, it is clear that there's quite a bit more involved.

      Hegel called it "the speculative" or "the positive reasonable". He
      didn't call it the mystical or "the mystical reasonable". The reference
      to Mysticism, unlike the reference to Skepticism with relation to the
      negative reasonable, does not even occur in the actual text of the
      encyclopedia.

      Incidentally, *what philosophy ever* does not involve a moment of the
      speculative at least implicitly and unknowingly and inconsequently? I
      claim that this is actually unthinkable. And I am consciously including
      e. g. Sextus Empiricus. Without an implicit moment of the speculative
      not even Skeptizism-the-historical-philosophical-school would have been
      possible, for their words wouldn't have had any sense whatsoever. Just
      in the same sense as every philosophy ever has involved a moment of
      skepsis and a moment of understanding at least implicitly and
      unknowingly and inconsequently. Shall we call *every* philosophical
      school mystical now?

      Doesn't the *content* of philosophy in some respects also encompass
      aspects of the content of art? Shall we indeed call Hegel's philosophy
      in an actual sense of the word lyrical? By Hekate! when I am not
      philosophising, I sound, in very private conversations, rather
      Bataillean and Artaudean. (It is not an accident and in fact rather
      telling that, insofar I have sympathies for Mysticism -- which I do,
      when it does not try to usurp philosophy -- the mystics that appeal to
      me are the Iranian poets. --- And Blake.) Am I from now on entitled to
      let my own Bataillean and Artaudean crazy roam freely here? You won't
      like it. And myself, I'd rather not, I'd rather maintain that border,
      since I rather require philosophy as a mode of critical reflection of
      that content. The greatest poet of modernity -- in my opinion, of course
      -- is a deterrent example of what can happen, when that threshold
      becomes even slightly fuzzy: Ezra Pound.

      You wrote:

      > So, in my original comment "euphoric" did not (or only critically)
      > refer to Hegel's picture-thinkig but to the movement of reason itself.
      [...]

      And so it did in mine.


      Oliver
      --
      27 Fructidor an 217 de la Révolution
      Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité!
    • Beat Greuter
      ... In a way I agree with you. My use of the term mystical includes an equivocation and this could be called as well mystical. So, perhaps it would be better
      Message 2 of 5 , Sep 17, 2009
        Oliver Scholz writes:

        > "greuterb@... <mailto:greuterb%40bluewin.ch>"
        > <greuterb@... <mailto:greuterb%40bluewin.ch>> writes:
        >
        > [...]
        > > According to my understanding reason in Hegel's Logic and in his
        > > real-philosophy includes both, the moment of understanding and the
        > > 'mystical' side. However, the two sides are not separated but are
        > > revealed in their mutual relationship as the movement of reason, or,
        > > as you write "as the dialectics of doubt". This seems to be the
        > > difference to Kant's critique where the two moments are separated. So,
        > > as you truely write: reason is not the simple other of understanding,
        > > however, also the mytical side is not the simple other of reason. I
        > > think the first philosopher who has explicitly seen this was the
        > > Cusaner though his solution looks more mystical (in the sense of not
        > > trusting in the reason) than Hegel's dialectical solution within the
        > > true infinity since with the Cusaner the parallels only meet in the
        > > bad infinity.
        >
        > ...............
        > I am willing to cut people some slack and let "Hegel is mystical" pass,
        > if it is clear from context that it is meant in any sense in which it is
        > possible to let it pass, without introducing misunderstandings and
        > equivocations. However, in this context, here and now, when it occured
        > in discussion, it is clear that there's quite a bit more involved.
        >
        > Hegel called it "the speculative" or "the positive reasonable". He
        > didn't call it the mystical or "the mystical reasonable". The reference
        > to Mysticism, unlike the reference to Skepticism with relation to the
        > negative reasonable, does not even occur in the actual text of the
        > encyclopedia.
        >
        > Incidentally, *what philosophy ever* does not involve a moment of the
        > speculative at least implicitly and unknowingly and inconsequently? I
        > claim that this is actually unthinkable. And I am consciously including
        > e. g. Sextus Empiricus. Without an implicit moment of the speculative
        > not even Skeptizism-the-
        >
        > historical-philosophical-school would have been
        > possible, for their words wouldn't have had any sense whatsoever. Just
        > in the same sense as every philosophy ever has involved a moment of
        > skepsis and a moment of understanding at least implicitly and
        > unknowingly and inconsequently. Shall we call *every* philosophical
        > school mystical now?
        >
        > ...............
        >
        > Oliver
        >

        In a way I agree with you. My use of the term 'mystical' includes an
        equivocation and this could be called as well mystical. So, perhaps it
        would be better to use other terms as for instance 'synthesis' or
        'immediacy' or 'mentally' ('inwardly') or as you propose 'speculative'
        what sounds more scientific and therefore more rational. I think,
        however, this cannot be really the solution. For Hegel 'rational' is
        always something determinate, something which has actuality. An inner
        rationality is not or not yet rational. It has first to become actual,
        to manifest or prove itself as (in) an outer reality. Hegel is not a
        philosopher of the Existence as for instance Kierkegaard or late
        Schelling. On the other side, according to the concept the not yet
        determinate inwardness is a presupposition of the rationality. Without
        it the outer reality as well is not rational but alienated. Also, what
        is merely inward is also merely outward. Both, separated from each
        other, are irrational. But both are moments of the rational. In this
        sense reason always has the mystical as its own other.

        You could object that it is Hegel's form of the dialectics (or the
        speculative) which makes the whole rational and no longer mystical.
        However, then you make implicitly a separation between content and form
        and therefore a rationalization of the mystical: the (subjective) reason
        comes from the outside as with the enlighteners. This also can be seen
        within the Logic itself. Take for instance the transition from Becoming
        to Determinate Being, from indeterminateness to determinateness. Hegel's
        Logic is not a mathematical or deductive logical system with a mere
        formal consistency.

        You also could object saying that at the end when the whole has revealed
        the mystical has disappeared, however, this for me sounds like a kind of
        salvation, be it religious or materialistic.

        You could also object that I make again an equivocation, now of the
        irrational and the mystical. You are right but in my opinion it is so
        important not to exclude the irrational from the rational in Hegel's
        philosophy, otherwise you logically cannot speak of an absolute any more.

        Best wishes,
        Beat Greuter



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • john
        ... in my opinion it is so ... This reminds me of something I read in Zizek the other day: When Hegel determines madness as withdrawal from the actual world,
        Message 3 of 5 , Sep 19, 2009
          --- In hegel@yahoogroups.com, Beat Greuter <greuterb@...> wrote:
          >

          >
          in my opinion it is so
          > important not to exclude the irrational from the rational in Hegel's
          > philosophy, otherwise you logically cannot speak of an absolute any more.
          >


          This reminds me of something I read in Zizek the other day:

          "When Hegel determines madness as withdrawal from the actual world, the closing of the soul into itself, its 'contraction', the cutting-off of its links with external reality, he all too quickly conceives this withdrawal as a 'regression' to the level of the 'animal soul' still embeded in its natural environs and determined by the rhythm of nature (night and day, etc.). Does this withdrawal, on the contrary, not designate the severing of the links with the Umwelt, the end of the subject's immersion in its immediate natural surroundings, and is it as such not the founding gesture of 'humanization'?

          "Was this withdrawal into self not accomplished by Descartes in his universal doubt and reduction to cognito, which, as Derrida pointed out in his 'Cogito and the History of Madness', also involves a passage through the moment of radical madness?

          "Are we thus not back at the well-known passage from the Jenaer Realphilosophie, where Hegel characterizes the experience of pure Self qua 'abstract negativity', the 'eclipse of (constituted) reality', the contraction into self of the subject, as the 'night of the world':

          "'The human being is this night, this empty nothing, that contains everything in its simplicity--an unending wealth of many representations, images, of which none happens to him--or which are not present. This night, the inner of nature, that exists here--pure self--in phantasmagorical presentations, is night all around it, in which here shoots a bloody head--there another white shape, suddenly here before it, and just so disappears. One catches sight of this night when one looks human beings in the eye--into a night that becomes awful.'

          "And the symbolic order, the universe of the Word, logos, can only emerge from the experience of this abyss. As Hegel puts it [also from the Jenaer Realphilosophie], this inwardness of the pure self 'must enter also into existence, become an object, oppose itself to this innerness to be external; return to being. This is language as name-giving power...Through the name the object as individual entity is born out of the I.'

          "What we must be careful not to miss here is how Hegel's break with the Enlightenment tradition can be discerned in the reversal of the very metaphor for the subject: the subject is no longer the Light of Reason opposed to the nontransparent, impenetrable Stuff (of Nature, Tradition...); his very kernel, the gesture that opens up the space for the Light of Logos, is absolute negativity qua 'night of the world', the point of utter madness in which fantasmatic apparitions of 'partial objects' wander around.

          "Consequently, there is no subjectivity without this gesture of withdrawal, which is why Hegel is fully justified in inverting the standard question of how the fall-regression into madness is possible: the true question is rather how the subject is able to climb out of madness and to reach 'normalcy'.

          "That is to say, the withdrawal into self, the cutting off of the links to the Umwelt, is followed by the construction of a symbolic universe that the subject projects onto reality as a kind of substitute-formation [virtual reality] destined to recompense us for the loss of the immediate presymbolic real...

          "In short, the ontological necessity of 'madness' resides in the fact that it is not possible to pass directly from the purely 'animal soul' immersed in its natural life-world to 'normal' subjectivity dwelling in its symbolic universe--the vanishing mediator between the two is the 'mad' gesture of radical withdrawal from reality that opens up the space for its symbolic (re)constitution." ["The Abyss of Freedom", pages 8f]
        • Beat Greuter
          ... Thanks for the Zizek quotation [ The Abyss of Freedom , pages 8f]. The following passages from the quotation are certainly remarkable having ... Zizek uses
          Message 4 of 5 , Sep 20, 2009
            John writes:

            > --- In hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>, Beat
            > Greuter <greuterb@..
            >
            > wrote:
            >
            > >
            > in my opinion it is so
            > > important not to exclude the irrational from the rational in Hegel's
            > > philosophy, otherwise you logically cannot speak of an absolute any
            > more.
            > >
            >
            > This reminds me of something I read in Zizek the other day:
            >
            > "When Hegel determines madness as withdrawal from the actual world,
            > the closing of the soul into itself, its 'contraction', the
            > cutting-off of its links with external reality, he all too quickly
            > conceives this withdrawal as a 'regression' to the level of the
            > 'animal soul' still embeded in its natural environs and determined by
            > the rhythm of nature (night and day, etc.). Does this withdrawal, on
            > the contrary, not designate the severing of the links with the Umwelt,
            > the end of the subject's immersion in its immediate natural
            > surroundings, and is it as such not the founding gesture of
            > 'humanization'?
            >
            > "Was this withdrawal into self not accomplished by Descartes in his
            > universal doubt and reduction to cognito, which, as Derrida pointed
            > out in his 'Cogito and the History of Madness', also involves a
            > passage through the moment of radical madness?
            >
            > "Are we thus not back at the well-known passage from the Jenaer
            > Realphilosophie, where Hegel characterizes the experience of pure Self
            > qua 'abstract negativity', the 'eclipse of (constituted) reality', the
            > contraction into self of the subject, as the 'night of the world':
            >
            > "'The human being is this night, this empty nothing, that contains
            > everything in its simplicity--an unending wealth of many
            > representations, images, of which none happens to him--or which are
            > not present. This night, the inner of nature, that exists here--pure
            > self--in phantasmagorical presentations, is night all around it, in
            > which here shoots a bloody head--there another white shape, suddenly
            > here before it, and just so disappears. One catches sight of this
            > night when one looks human beings in the eye--into a night that
            > becomes awful.'
            >
            > "And the symbolic order, the universe of the Word, logos, can only
            > emerge from the experience of this abyss. As Hegel puts it [also from
            > the Jenaer Realphilosophie], this inwardness of the pure self 'must
            > enter also into existence, become an object, oppose itself to this
            > innerness to be external; return to being. This is language as
            > name-giving power...Through the name the object as individual entity
            > is born out of the I.'
            >
            > "What we must be careful not to miss here is how Hegel's break with
            > the Enlightenment tradition can be discerned in the reversal of the
            > very metaphor for the subject: the subject is no longer the Light of
            > Reason opposed to the nontransparent, impenetrable Stuff (of Nature,
            > Tradition...); his very kernel, the gesture that opens up the space
            > for the Light of Logos, is absolute negativity qua 'night of the
            > world', the point of utter madness in which fantasmatic apparitions of
            > 'partial objects' wander around.
            >
            > "Consequently, there is no subjectivity without this gesture of
            > withdrawal, which is why Hegel is fully justified in inverting the
            > standard question of how the fall-regression into madness is possible:
            > the true question is rather how the subject is able to climb out of
            > madness and to reach 'normalcy'.
            >
            > "That is to say, the withdrawal into self, the cutting off of the
            > links to the Umwelt, is followed by the construction of a symbolic
            > universe that the subject projects onto reality as a kind of
            > substitute-formation [virtual reality] destined to recompense us for
            > the loss of the immediate presymbolic real...
            >
            > "In short, the ontological necessity of 'madness' resides in the fact
            > that it is not possible to pass directly from the purely 'animal soul'
            > immersed in its natural life-world to 'normal' subjectivity dwelling
            > in its symbolic universe--the vanishing mediator between the two is
            > the 'mad' gesture of radical withdrawal from reality that opens up the
            > space for its symbolic (re)constitution." ["The Abyss of Freedom",
            > pages 8f]
            >


            Thanks for the Zizek quotation ["The Abyss of Freedom", pages 8f]. The
            following passages from the quotation are certainly remarkable having
            Hegel in mind:

            > "And the symbolic order, the universe of the Word, logos, can only
            > emerge from the experience of this abyss. As Hegel puts it [also from
            > the Jenaer Realphilosophie], this inwardness of the pure self 'must
            > enter also into existence, become an object, oppose itself to this
            > innerness to be external; return to being. This is language as
            > name-giving power...Through the name the object as individual entity
            > is born out of the I.'
            >
            > "What we must be careful not to miss here is how Hegel's break with
            > the Enlightenment tradition can be discerned in the reversal of the
            > very metaphor for the subject: the subject is no longer the Light of
            > Reason opposed to the nontransparent, impenetrable Stuff (of Nature,
            > Tradition...); his very kernel, the gesture that opens up the space
            > for the Light of Logos, is absolute negativity qua 'night of the
            > world', the point of utter madness in which fantasmatic apparitions of
            > 'partial objects' wander around.
            >
            > "Consequently, there is no subjectivity without this gesture of
            > withdrawal, which is why Hegel is fully justified in inverting the
            > standard question of how the fall-regression into madness is possible:
            > the true question is rather how the subject is able to climb out of
            > madness and to reach 'normalcy'.
            >
            > "That is to say, the withdrawal into self, the cutting off of the
            > links to the Umwelt, is followed by the construction of a symbolic
            > universe that the subject projects onto reality as a kind of
            > substitute-formation [virtual reality] destined to recompense us for
            > the loss of the immediate presymbolic real...
            >

            Zizek uses terms as 'abyss' and 'madness'. This seems to originate from
            Lacan's psychology and its hole in the symbolic order. It is true that
            Hegel shows the way from the immediate intuition to the mediating
            activity of representation and thinking. On this way the immediate
            figurative sense [Bedeutung] is gradually sublated by the sense of the
            universal symbolic order. One section on this way Hegel describes in §
            461 of the Encyclopaedia:

            "Under the shape of memory the course of intelligence passes through the
            same inwardizing (recollecting) functions, as regards the intuition of
            the word, as representation in general does in dealing with the first
            immediate intuition (§ 451ff.). - (1) Making its own the synthesis
            achieved in the sign, intelligence, by this inwardizing (memorizing)
            elevates the single synthesis to a universal, i.e. permanent, synthesis,
            in which name and meaning are for it objectively united, and renders the
            intuition (which the name originally is) a representation. Thus the
            import (connotation) and sign, being identified, form one
            representation: the representation in its inwardness is rendered
            concrete and gets existence for its import: all this being the work of
            memory which retains names (retentive Memory)." (translated by William
            Wallace)

            With Hegel it is important to follow this repeating movement from
            inwardness to outwardness and conversely, the subject achieving thereby
            more and more objectivity, that is, universality. With this Hegel
            overcomes Kant's presupposed dichotomy and subjective fundamentalism. It
            seems that Lacan (and Zizek?) emphasize the dichotomy and fundamentalism
            as well though Zizek points to Hegel's "true question ...... how the
            subject is able to climb out of madness and to reach 'normalcy' ", that
            is, to the necessary actualization of reason (intelligence) being at the
            beginning only in itself and therefore as such pure (absolute)
            inwardness not analyzable. However, if this is true it would give a good
            reason for rejecting psychology.

            Best wishes,
            Beat Greuter



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