Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit Preface# 13
- Dear Bob,
>After Kant who closed the immediate philosophical way to truth there
> Dear Readers,
> The quoted paragraphs from Hegel’s Phenomenology (in this message it
> is # 13 Preface) will henceforth be placed at the end of my
> commentary. This will enable the reader to more easily read through my
> remarks first and then hopefully attempt to read the challenging
> translated paragraph at the end.
> Hegel makes no bones about pure rational thought being the king.
> Consciousness needs the discipline of the negative and of precise
> thinking. There is much information from the past which consciousness
> must sift through and make exoteric not esoteric. ‘Only what is
> perfectly determinate in form is at the same time exoteric,
> comprehensible, and capable of being learned and possessed by
> everybody.’ This is the key, that is, to get it down to clear thinking
> and to be understandable by all. The unscientific mind may thus enter
> the field of the scientific.
> It is ironic that Hegel’s works, which some consider difficult to read
> and whose texts are dense, especially in their translations, should
> profess, ‘Intelligibility is the form in which science is offered to
> everyone, and is the open road to it made plain for all. To reach
> rational knowledge by our intelligence is the just demand of the mind
> which comes to science.’ Hegel’s philosophy which he considered to be
> a science in itself is not quite ‘plain for all.’ At the risk of
> nagging my readers, they are reminded that Hegel’s use of the term
> Science (Wissenschaft) is much more encompassing than our use of
> Science (physical and biological sciences –scientific method etc)
> today. It means a total philosophical science, that is, a total
> knowledge of things..
> For the novice readers Hegel’s full title of his thesis is System of
> Science: Part One, The Phenomenology of Spirit, The Science of the
> Experience of Consciousness. The second part is his Science of Logic
> and the third part is his Encylcopedia. Hegel’s Phenomenology is an
> introduction to his Science of Logic and to his entire system. It is a
> treatise which offers a substantiation for the Being of God.
> Harris says, “But at the moment when this Preface was written and
> published, the only ‘Science’ that stood uncomprehended before the
> educated general consciousness which needed to understand it was
> Schelling’s Identity Theory, and especially his Philosophy of Nature.
> It was Schelling’s Philosophy of Nature that was being degraded (and
> in a certain way, popularized ) by the new formalists.”
> Hegel wanted to present Schelling’s absolute on a more rational basis
> rather than on an intuitive basis. Schelling’s thesis needed to be
> understood by all rather then the few. Hegel wished to grasp the
> absolute by means of his rational system. Schelling’s identity
> principle was the merging or correspondence of thought with being to
> the point where they were identical. Schelling offered that this could
> be established intuitively. Hegel presented his rational System which
> would be confirmed by his Logic.
> Keeping in tune with what Hegel is professing in this paragraph, my
> goal is to make Hegel’s ideas much more exoteric; that is, not just
> appealing to a few elite in academia, but rather to a much broader
> group, and thus, as Hegel says, ‘enabling the unscientific mind to
> enter the domain of science.’ My further goal is not to use
> philosophical terms, wherever possible, as Hegel himself does the
> same. Such terms as being, existence, appearance, phenomena,
> universal, particular, singular etc. are unavoidable, but will have
> Hegelian explanations when used, as well as any translated terms that
> Hegel uses.
> The reader is referred to Schelling, Friedrich W., “System of
> Transcendental Idealism” (1800)
> Hegel’s Preface paragraph 13 Phenomenology of Spirit (1807)
> <While the new world makes its first appearance merely in general
> outline, merely as a whole lying concealed and hidden within a bare
> abstraction, the wealth of the bygone life, on the other hand, is
> still consciously present in recollection. Consciousness misses in the
> new form the detailed expanse of content; but still more the developed
> expression of form by which distinctions are definitely determined and
> arranged in their precise relations. Without this last feature science
> has no general intelligibility, and has the appearance of being an
> esoteric possession of a few individuals--an esoteric possession,
> because in the first instance it is only the essential principle or
> notion of science, only its inner nature that is to be found; and a
> possession of few individuals, because, at its first appearance, its
> content is not elaborated and expanded in detail, and thus its
> existence is turned into something particular. Only what is perfectly
> in form is at the same time exoteric, comprehensible, and capable of
> being learned and possessed by everybody. Intelligibility is the form
> in which science is offered to everyone, and is the open road to it
> made plain for all. To reach rational knowledge by our intelligence is
> the just demand of the mind which comes to science. For intelligence,
> understanding (Verstand), is thinking, pure activity of the self in
> general; and what is intelligible (Verständige) is something from the
> first familiar and common to the scientific and unscientific mind
> alike, enabling the unscientific mind to enter the domain of science.>
> Regards and Happy New Year to all,
> Bob Fanelli
were three ways open for the deeply shocked philosophers: The feeling
(i.e. Jacobi), the mystical unity (i.e. Schelling) and the sound common
sense (i.e. Fries). Hegel did not choose one of these escapes though
they became special moments in his own philosophy. He chose the way of
science subsequent to Fichte and starting anew from Kant rather than
escaping from him. Science means the intelligible way to knowledge
avoiding the mystical way or the way of feeling which cannot achieve
universal knowledge with the dark inner principle having become
exoteric, that is, generally intelligible. However, this may not be
equate with a philosophy of the sound common sense, a philosophy of the
understanding which is rather the fate of the mystical way or the way of
feeling. The universality of the understanding, the power of
abstraction, is only the element which both, the scientific and
unscientific mind or consciousness, are acquainted with and therefore
could serve as a mediation to philosophical science. Whether it can
fulfill this mediation or not does not depend only on the clearness of
the philosophical system but as well on the understanding itself which
has to abandon its illusion of the identity of the concepts and of the
non-conceptuality of the truth or fact. Not only Hegel's philosophy but
all good philosophy is counterintuitive for the understanding. Or, do
you think that Plato's dialogues are immediately clear without the
mediation of a systematic philosophical thinking?
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- --- In email@example.com, robert fanelli <robertfanelli2001@...> wrote:
> Harris says, "But at the moment when this Preface was written and published, the only "Science" that stood uncomprehended before the educated general consciousness which needed to understand it was Schelling's Identity Theory, and especially his Philosophy of Nature...."
> Hegel wanted to present Schelling's absolute on a more rational basis rather than on an intuitive basis. Schelling's thesis needed to be understood by all rather then the few. Hegel wished to grasp the absolute by means of his rational system. Schelling's identity principle was the merging or correspondence of thought with being to the point where they were identical. Schelling offered that this could be established intuitively. Hegel presented his rational System which would be confirmed by his Logic.....
> The reader is referred to Schelling, Friedrich W., "System of Transcendental Idealism" (1800)
For Fichte the achievement of an identity between thought and being was an infinitely long process. For the most part Schelling's _System of Transcendental Idealism_ is Fichtean.
It concludes, though, following the model of Kant's Critique of Judgment, with a very brief consideration of teleology and then with Schelling's doctrine of the identity of being and thought acheived in aesthetic intuition, in art.
So, then, this final section on art provides the transition to Schelling's Identity Philosophy proper of 1801-1806.
Basically there's production, on the one hand, and the product, on the other. All we can know or intuit is the product. The production is a primal, subconscious process which is the basis of the world in which we live and can't be known or intuited.
Except in art! Here there is a productive intuition. As we produce, we can intuit the production (as opposed to merely intuiting the product). Or something like that...
As Harris points out, Hegel's solution to this problem was quite different--and quite powerful. It took the "conversation" to a whole other level.