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

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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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