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Re: : [hegel] Horst Althaus question

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  • Beat Greuter
    ... You are highly sophisticated in your argumentation trying to prove your point with help of an inversion of Hegel s argument in the Zusatz of para 182 of
    Message 1 of 24 , Apr 18, 2010
      Stephen Theron wites:

      >Dear Beat,
      >
      >Thank you for qualifications. I agree there is no "in between" really, just as outside is inside. As for "when did Hegel become Hegel", the idiom here (not surely exclusively English) is clearly paradoxical in form, a shorthand figure of speech, that is. Or, it is shorthand merely for "become the Hegel we know" or some such. But then of course we don´t know him unless we know the whole Hegel, you will point out.
      >
      >I want to add to my intervention yesterday: about the syllogism and your surely very "categorical" (no joke intended) remarks, especially as referring to "The Doctrine of the Concept", even though it is true, as you say, that it is there that Syllogism is a moment in the Concept's advance to Objectivity. It seems also to be surely more than that, as is of course true of all such moments as also, Hegel tells us, of past "refuted" philosophers (otherwise Phil´s history would be saddening indeed, he says).
      >
      >For example he distinguishes between the syllogism of the understanding (no claim to be a form of rationality) and the syllogism of reason which, the text of Enc. 182, Zus., makes plain to the unprejudiced reader, has a claim "to be held as the embodiment of all reason." Thus he can even say that "everything is a syllogism", odd if it has "nothing to do" with his philosophy.
      >

      You are highly sophisticated in your argumentation trying to prove your
      point with help of an inversion of Hegel's argument in the Zusatz of
      para 182 of the Encyclopaedia where he writes:

      "On the above mentioned theory of syllogism, as the rational form par
      excellence, reason has been defined as the faculty of syllogising, while
      understanding is defined as the faculty of forming notions. We might
      object to the conception on which this depends, and according to which
      the mind is merely a sum of forces or faculties existing side by side.
      But apart from that objection, we may observe in regard to the
      parallelism of understanding with the notion, as well as of reason with
      syllogism, that the notion is as little a mere category of the
      understanding as the syllogism is without qualification definable as
      rational. For, in the first place, what the formal logic usually
      examines in its theory of syllogism, is really nothing but the mere
      syllogism of understanding, which has no claim to the honour of being
      made a form of rationality, still less to be held as the embodiment of
      all reason. The notion, in the second place, so far from being a form of
      understanding, owed its degradation to such a place entirely to the
      influence of that abstract mode of thought. And it is not unusual to
      draw such a distinction between a notion of understanding and a notion
      of reason. The distinction however does not mean that notions are of two
      kinds. It means that our own action often stops short at the mere
      negative and abstract form of the notion, when we might also have
      proceeded to apprehend the notion in its true nature, as at once
      positive and concrete. It is for example the mere understanding which
      thinks freedom to be the abstract contrary of necessity, whereas the
      adequate rational notion of freedom requires the element of necessity to
      be merged in it. Similarly the definition of God, given by what is
      called Deism, is merely the mode in which the understanding thinks God:
      whereas Christianity, to which he is known as the Trinity, contains the
      rational notion of God."

      You seem to claim that because Hegel writes that "the notion is as
      little a mere category of the understanding as the syllogism is without
      qualification definable as rational" for him (and 'the unprejudiced
      reader') the syllogisms of reason must be in reverse "held as the
      embodiment of all reason". However, I cannot find anything like this in
      Hegel's text, sorry, but perhaps I am not an 'unprejudiced reader'.

      Much more important for me is what Hegel writes in this passage about
      the concept itself, that it is not a mere abstraction. With this we are
      required to look for the movement of the concept which makes it
      concrete. This movement, I said, cannot be taken as triadic, otherwise
      we risk to miss Hegel's philosophical point entirely, though Hegel
      himself misleads his readers to doing this (i.e. the triadic order of
      his tables of contents, Christian Trinity). In contrast, I take Hegel's
      philosopy as dyadic (not dualistic!): In the movement of the concept
      there are analytical and synthetical parts which are constantly related
      to each other in a way that the synthetical part is never fully
      determined by the analytical part but indicates a new beginning having
      included the (critical) results of the previous analytical part. This
      means that the movement of the concept has integrated a non-rational or
      unconsious moment. If you take the movement triadic then you run the
      risk of blurring the non-rational moment and you get a rationliziation
      of the irrational, and from this there is only a short way to suspect
      Hegel's philosophy being pan-logical. I am not sure if I could make
      clear what I mean. However, it is important to distinguish Hegel from
      those philosophers who state extra-conceptual truths or absolutes,
      either as something irrational (Bataille, Derrida etc.) or as something
      rational (Analytical philosophy). Both do attack Hegel: the irrational
      philosophers because he did not think the absolute negation, the
      rational one because he wrote a mystical logic with no formal
      stringency. Both do look for an absolute which they cannot find in
      Hegel's thought.

      Regards,
      Beat Greuter

      >Now this cannot be divorced from the syllogism´s resting on a law of triple identity which Hegel virtually quotes in his Quantitative syllogism (merging it with "equality", however), which is an Advance towards the self-deconstruction of the syllogism, so to say ("Two results follow... a circle of mediations... the individuality gets... the character of universality", 189). McTaggart and Findlay wrongly, therefore, in my view, regard this Syllogism as an optimal insertion not functioning dialectically. This holds, although we have still the syllogism of Reflection and Necessity ahead of us there.
      >
      >The syllogism of reason, as overcoming the either/or of "abstract thought", belongs with thinking of liberty as merged with necessity and finally too of that surely rather triadic notion (you wrote that Hegel´s philosophy has "nothing to do with" either syllogism or triadism), the Trinity, contrasted with the way Deism "thinks God". "Christianity, to which He is known as the Trinity, contains the rational notion of God." I note of course that he writes "contains" (if the original term means this), which one might see as less categorical, again, than "is", "has" etc., perhaps intentionally, the point being that the Absolute, however we represent it, must necessarily be taken as differentiated.
      >
      >Finally, it is interesting (to me)that he says, (at Enc. 183) that "Of course" the minor, subject term "has other characteristics besides individuality", the major, predicate term "has other characteristics than mere universality". I see here a direct continuity of the teaching of Aquinas, surely not a coincidence, that the subject-term signifies only quasi- materially (matter as principle of individuality), the predicate-term only quasi-formally or as "giving the form". Frege on the other hand, or many Fregeans, seems, at least at first sight ("Concept and Object") to depart from this sound caveat, reaching back to Aristotle, with whom Hegel has clearly a very real continuity, as has Aristotle of course with Plato (cf. 142, Zus.). You say he is Aristotelian, "not a Platonist". So the judgment-form can be used to say anything about anything, even if our positioning gives a material or a universal "tinge" respectively.
      >
      >The syllogism is surely not "the base" of Hegel´s thinking. You are right there. On the other hand I think Quine is quite wrong to describe syllogistic as a small and insignificant part of logic as a whole. The principle of triple identity on which it is based, that two "things" identical with a third are identical with each other, runs through all our thinking, e.g. about causality or the procedures of law, as Hegel himself urges (183, 184, Zusatsen), thinking chiefly of the syllogism of understanding of course, and hidden enthymemes abound. The metaphysics of this type of classical logic (logica docens) sit very deep in Hegel´s logic and, therefore, ontology and metaphysics, and cannot be ignored in, for example merely, any confrontation or accommodation with "analytical" Fregeans.
      >
      >Thank you for stimulating me to this. Best wishes,
      >
      >Stephen Theron.
      >
      >
      >To: hegel@yahoogroups.com
      >From: greuterb@...
      >Date: Thu, 15 Apr 2010 09:18:08 +0200
      >Subject: Re: : [hegel] Horst Althaus question
      >
      >
      >Stephen Theron writes:
      >
      >>Thank you Beat for offering us this passage from Hegel´s Lectures on Hist. Phil.
      >>However I cannot see there any ground for this critical dismissal of an interest in the personal development of and biography of Georg W.F. Hegel as "a fruitless longing", even if one should lay down that the development of the World-Spirit is untouched by such things, which of course implies that everything, the invention of printing, the development of the German or other languages, the Ice Age, in so far as these things were/are real at all, were somehow necessary, and maybe they were/are.
      >>
      >
      >I did not claim that the development of the World-Spitit in pure thought
      >is untouched by the biographies of the thinkers. Quite the reverse. Only
      >the biographies of the individual thinkers do represent the development
      >of the World-Spirit in pure thought. Without those thinkers it would not
      >exist. In this respect Hegel was an Aristotelian, not a Platonist. What
      >I pointed to was the assumed analogical feature of the development of
      >World-Spirit in pure thought (as Hegel describes it in my cited passage
      >from the Lectures of the History of Philosophy) and the development of
      >thought in an individual philosopher, especially Hegel. This analogy
      >gives rise to challenge John's question "How did Hegel became Hegel?"
      >because it implicates that there was a time when Hegel was not Hegel and
      >a time when Hegel was Hegel. At least John's text does suggest this.
      >However, the mole works in the dark and fragmentarily until the adequate
      >shape has been found. With this I do not dismiss the interest and
      >importance of a biography of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, quite the
      >reverse. But, instead of finding the point where Hegel became Hegel such
      >a biography should collect and systematically arrange all the elements
      >which were necessary to achieve the adequate shape of the philosophy of
      >Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.
      >
      >
      >
      >>Besides which, maybe our correspondent has no "longng" at all, he simpler wonders and wonderment is the common root of both philosophy (latching on to the World Spirit) and poetry. So if one lacked that....
      >>
      >
      >I agree, however, what did Kant ask for in his three Critiques?: What
      >can I think, what can I will, what can I hope?
      >
      >
      >
      >>Some of us, that is to say, retain an interest in ordinary phenomenal history, such as I understand Hegel possessed as well. So can't we compare notes on it sometimes, in between the BIG questions?
      >>
      >>Stephen.
      >>
      >
      >The phenomenology belongs to the BIG questions. For Hegel there are no
      >BIG questions without the phenomenology, otherwise for him it would be
      >only abstract thinking.
      >
      >Regards,
      >Beat Greuter
      >
      >
      >
      >>To: hegel@yahoogroups.com
      >>From: greuterb@...
      >>Date: Tue, 13 Apr 2010 22:12:19 +0200
      >>Subject: Re: : [hegel] Horst Althaus question
      >>
      >>John writes:
      >>
      >>>-- In hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>,
      >>>eupraxis@... wrote:
      >>>
      >>>>What were you hoping for?
      >>>>
      >>>>Wil
      >>>>
      >>>hate to say, Will. But to put it in very general terms, I was hoping
      >>>to find out how Hegel became Hegel. Kaufmann, who said many ridicuous
      >>>things about Hegel, said one thing that I think is true. Early on at
      >>>Jena Hegel became Hegel. Before that...
      >>>
      >>>In content there is a very real continuity. The pre-Jena Hegel was
      >>>interested in religion and political thought. He believed this was
      >>>what he particularly had to add to what Schelling was doing. His time
      >>>in Jena was largely spent with trying to get up to speed on what we
      >>>call science. And, of course, all this content is reflected in the
      >>>Phenomenology.
      >>>
      >>>But in particular, the pre-Jena Hegel had only a very "external"
      >>>appreciation of Christianity. I haven't read the Difference essay yet,
      >>>or the other essay. I think his mature appreciation is already
      >>>reflected in one or both of these works. But it is certainly there in
      >>>the Phenomenology. His Christian theology takes its form here. In the
      >>>third volume of the Lectures on Religion, he just expands and
      >>>articulates what he already says in the Phenomenology. So what
      >>>happened? How did he suddenly arrive at a good understanding of
      >>>Christianity?(--not that this question will necessarily offend you.
      >>>After all Zizek has a very good understanding of and appreciation of
      >>>Hegel's mature Christian theology.)
      >>>
      >>>Then there's also what might be called Hegel's syllogistic
      >>>thinking--or just quite simply his triadic thinking. This is something
      >>>I particularly identify with the so-called Hermetic Tradition. This is
      >>>fully explicit in the Phenomenology--and then developed at great
      >>>length in the SL. But I don't think it particularly characterized his
      >>>earlier thinking on religion and social thought. So what happened? How
      >>>did Hegel become Hegel?
      >>>
      >>>John
      >>>
      >>our question "how Hegel became Hegel" is a fruitless longing. You look
      >>for a true beginning. But there is no such beginning as there is no
      >>foundation in philosophy but only the movement of the concept. Please,
      >>read the following passage from the Lectures on the History of
      >>Philosophy. What Hegel does say here about philosophy as such is also
      >>true for the development of an individual philosopher:
      >>
      >>"To this point the World-spirit has come, and each stage has its own
      >>form in the true system of Philosophy; nothing is lost, all principles
      >>are preserved, since Philosophy in its final aspect is the totality of
      >>forms. This concrete idea is the result of the strivings of spirit
      >>during almost twenty-five centuries of earnest work to become objective
      >>to itself, to know itself:
      >>
      >>Tantæ molis erat, se ipsam cognoscere mentem.
      >>
      >>All this time was required to produce the philosophy of our day; so
      >>tardily and slowly did the World-spirit work to reach this goal. What we
      >>pass in rapid review when we recall it, stretched itself out in reality
      >>to this great length of time. For in this lengthened period, the Notion
      >>of Spirit, invested with its entire concrete development, its external
      >>subsistence, its wealth, is striving to bring spirit to perfection, to
      >>make progress itself and to develop from spirit. It goes ever on and on,
      >>because spirit is progress alone. Spirit often seems to have forgotten
      >>and lost itself, but inwardly opposed to itself, it is inwardly working
      >>ever forward as when Hamlet says of the ghost of his father, "Well said,
      >>old mole! canst work i' the ground so fast" until grown strong in itself
      >>it bursts asunder the crust of earth which divided it from the sun, its
      >>Notion, so that the earth crumbles away. At such a time, when the
      >>encircling crust, like a soulless decaying tenement, crumbles away, and
      >>spirit displays itself arrayed in new youth, the seven league boots are
      >>at length adopted. This work of the spirit to know itself, this activity
      >>to find itself, is the life of the spirit and the spirit itself. Its
      >>result is the Notion which it takes up of itself; the history of
      >>philosophy is a revelation of what has been the aim of spirit throughout
      >>its history; it is therefore the world's history in its innermost
      >>signification. This work of the human spirit in the recesses of thought
      >>is parallel with all the stages of reality; and therefore no philosophy
      >>oversteps its own time. The importance which the determinations of
      >>thought possessed is another matter, which does not belong to the
      >>history of Philosophy. These Notions are the simplest revelation of the
      >>World spirit: in their more concrete form they are history."
      >>
      >>(Lectures on the History of Philosophy, III Modern Philosophy, Third
      >>Section: Recent German Philosophy, E. Final Result, translated by E S
      >>Haldane)
      >>
      >>You also seem to claim that the syllogistic or triadic thinking is the
      >>base of Hegel's philosophical thinking. But he himself did once
      >>vehemently reject this (unfortunately at the moment I cannot remember
      >>the exact passage), also against Aristotles' analytic philosophy.
      >>Hegel's dialectic thinking has nothing to do with syllogistic or triadic
      >>thinking though of course it is a moment of the movement of the concept
      >>to objectivity (see "The Doctrine of the Concept" in the Logic).
      >>
      >>Regards,
      >>Beat Greuter
      >>
      >
      >
      >


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • stephen theron
      I can see that I might be wrong about this particular text though I think he does go on to claim effectively that the (rational) syllogism is the embodiment
      Message 2 of 24 , Apr 18, 2010
        I can see that I might be wrong about this particular text though I think he does go on to claim effectively that the (rational) syllogism "is the embodiment of all reason", that everything is a syllogism as it is also rational (and as the rational is everything, the real etc.), that the syllogism returns us from the division which is judgment to the unity which is the notion, but now grounded or medi-ated.

        My point was that in view of this and related texts it seems odd, mystifying, to say the syllogism "has nothing to do with his philosophy". One can refer to Bob Wallace�s explanation of the role of syllogism in chapter 5 (5.7-9 I think) of his book, of course as a moment in the dialectic as you say, but that is true of everything. Hegel says the forms of logic, and these are pre-eminently the syllogism, are the very stuff of reality, equivalently (in the Encyclopaedia text, as you probably recall).

        But I can see you are wanting to make a larger point, re dyadic and triadic. This is rather lost on me so far, i regret to say, as I would wish to understand you better. What would be an example of an extra-conceptual truth stated as something rational, for instance? Couldn�t Hegel�s thought have both dyadic and triadic aspects?

        Well, there is clearly something triple about the syllogism (I am not going in for any quasi-mystical triadicity here, even if some others here maybe do this), triple identity, and one can hardly avoid seeing that Hegel at least associates this with a Trinitarian notion of God as more "rational". Oof course he might mean this more as an unspecified instance of differentiation (of the Absolute) in general rather than stressing threeness specifically, but then why relate it to the syllogism, as in the paragraph you quote at its full length, apparently all in order to neutralise my not so very powerful point about the "still less"?

        This is an immediate rejoinder "out of the top of my head".

        Regards, Stephen.





        To: hegel@yahoogroups.com
        From: greuterb@...
        Date: Sun, 18 Apr 2010 12:07:26 +0200
        Subject: Re: : [hegel] Horst Althaus question






        Stephen Theron wites:

        >Dear Beat,
        >
        >Thank you for qualifications. I agree there is no "in between" really, just as outside is inside. As for "when did Hegel become Hegel", the idiom here (not surely exclusively English) is clearly paradoxical in form, a shorthand figure of speech, that is. Or, it is shorthand merely for "become the Hegel we know" or some such. But then of course we don�t know him unless we know the whole Hegel, you will point out.
        >
        >I want to add to my intervention yesterday: about the syllogism and your surely very "categorical" (no joke intended) remarks, especially as referring to "The Doctrine of the Concept", even though it is true, as you say, that it is there that Syllogism is a moment in the Concept's advance to Objectivity. It seems also to be surely more than that, as is of course true of all such moments as also, Hegel tells us, of past "refuted" philosophers (otherwise Phil�s history would be saddening indeed, he says).
        >
        >For example he distinguishes between the syllogism of the understanding (no claim to be a form of rationality) and the syllogism of reason which, the text of Enc. 182, Zus., makes plain to the unprejudiced reader, has a claim "to be held as the embodiment of all reason." Thus he can even say that "everything is a syllogism", odd if it has "nothing to do" with his philosophy.
        >

        You are highly sophisticated in your argumentation trying to prove your
        point with help of an inversion of Hegel's argument in the Zusatz of
        para 182 of the Encyclopaedia where he writes:

        "On the above mentioned theory of syllogism, as the rational form par
        excellence, reason has been defined as the faculty of syllogising, while
        understanding is defined as the faculty of forming notions. We might
        object to the conception on which this depends, and according to which
        the mind is merely a sum of forces or faculties existing side by side.
        But apart from that objection, we may observe in regard to the
        parallelism of understanding with the notion, as well as of reason with
        syllogism, that the notion is as little a mere category of the
        understanding as the syllogism is without qualification definable as
        rational. For, in the first place, what the formal logic usually
        examines in its theory of syllogism, is really nothing but the mere
        syllogism of understanding, which has no claim to the honour of being
        made a form of rationality, still less to be held as the embodiment of
        all reason. The notion, in the second place, so far from being a form of
        understanding, owed its degradation to such a place entirely to the
        influence of that abstract mode of thought. And it is not unusual to
        draw such a distinction between a notion of understanding and a notion
        of reason. The distinction however does not mean that notions are of two
        kinds. It means that our own action often stops short at the mere
        negative and abstract form of the notion, when we might also have
        proceeded to apprehend the notion in its true nature, as at once
        positive and concrete. It is for example the mere understanding which
        thinks freedom to be the abstract contrary of necessity, whereas the
        adequate rational notion of freedom requires the element of necessity to
        be merged in it. Similarly the definition of God, given by what is
        called Deism, is merely the mode in which the understanding thinks God:
        whereas Christianity, to which he is known as the Trinity, contains the
        rational notion of God."

        You seem to claim that because Hegel writes that "the notion is as
        little a mere category of the understanding as the syllogism is without
        qualification definable as rational" for him (and 'the unprejudiced
        reader') the syllogisms of reason must be in reverse "held as the
        embodiment of all reason". However, I cannot find anything like this in
        Hegel's text, sorry, but perhaps I am not an 'unprejudiced reader'.

        Much more important for me is what Hegel writes in this passage about
        the concept itself, that it is not a mere abstraction. With this we are
        required to look for the movement of the concept which makes it
        concrete. This movement, I said, cannot be taken as triadic, otherwise
        we risk to miss Hegel's philosophical point entirely, though Hegel
        himself misleads his readers to doing this (i.e. the triadic order of
        his tables of contents, Christian Trinity). In contrast, I take Hegel's
        philosopy as dyadic (not dualistic!): In the movement of the concept
        there are analytical and synthetical parts which are constantly related
        to each other in a way that the synthetical part is never fully
        determined by the analytical part but indicates a new beginning having
        included the (critical) results of the previous analytical part. This
        means that the movement of the concept has integrated a non-rational or
        unconsious moment. If you take the movement triadic then you run the
        risk of blurring the non-rational moment and you get a rationliziation
        of the irrational, and from this there is only a short way to suspect
        Hegel's philosophy being pan-logical. I am not sure if I could make
        clear what I mean. However, it is important to distinguish Hegel from
        those philosophers who state extra-conceptual truths or absolutes,
        either as something irrational (Bataille, Derrida etc.) or as something
        rational (Analytical philosophy). Both do attack Hegel: the irrational
        philosophers because he did not think the absolute negation, the
        rational one because he wrote a mystical logic with no formal
        stringency. Both do look for an absolute which they cannot find in
        Hegel's thought.

        Regards,
        Beat Greuter

        >Now this cannot be divorced from the syllogism�s resting on a law of triple identity which Hegel virtually quotes in his Quantitative syllogism (merging it with "equality", however), which is an Advance towards the self-deconstruction of the syllogism, so to say ("Two results follow... a circle of mediations... the individuality gets... the character of universality", 189). McTaggart and Findlay wrongly, therefore, in my view, regard this Syllogism as an optimal insertion not functioning dialectically. This holds, although we have still the syllogism of Reflection and Necessity ahead of us there.
        >
        >The syllogism of reason, as overcoming the either/or of "abstract thought", belongs with thinking of liberty as merged with necessity and finally too of that surely rather triadic notion (you wrote that Hegel�s philosophy has "nothing to do with" either syllogism or triadism), the Trinity, contrasted with the way Deism "thinks God". "Christianity, to which He is known as the Trinity, contains the rational notion of God." I note of course that he writes "contains" (if the original term means this), which one might see as less categorical, again, than "is", "has" etc., perhaps intentionally, the point being that the Absolute, however we represent it, must necessarily be taken as differentiated.
        >
        >Finally, it is interesting (to me)that he says, (at Enc. 183) that "Of course" the minor, subject term "has other characteristics besides individuality", the major, predicate term "has other characteristics than mere universality". I see here a direct continuity of the teaching of Aquinas, surely not a coincidence, that the subject-term signifies only quasi- materially (matter as principle of individuality), the predicate-term only quasi-formally or as "giving the form". Frege on the other hand, or many Fregeans, seems, at least at first sight ("Concept and Object") to depart from this sound caveat, reaching back to Aristotle, with whom Hegel has clearly a very real continuity, as has Aristotle of course with Plato (cf. 142, Zus.). You say he is Aristotelian, "not a Platonist". So the judgment-form can be used to say anything about anything, even if our positioning gives a material or a universal "tinge" respectively.
        >
        >The syllogism is surely not "the base" of Hegel�s thinking. You are right there. On the other hand I think Quine is quite wrong to describe syllogistic as a small and insignificant part of logic as a whole. The principle of triple identity on which it is based, that two "things" identical with a third are identical with each other, runs through all our thinking, e.g. about causality or the procedures of law, as Hegel himself urges (183, 184, Zusatsen), thinking chiefly of the syllogism of understanding of course, and hidden enthymemes abound. The metaphysics of this type of classical logic (logica docens) sit very deep in Hegel�s logic and, therefore, ontology and metaphysics, and cannot be ignored in, for example merely, any confrontation or accommodation with "analytical" Fregeans.
        >
        >Thank you for stimulating me to this. Best wishes,
        >
        >Stephen Theron.
        >
        >
        >To: hegel@yahoogroups.com
        >From: greuterb@...
        >Date: Thu, 15 Apr 2010 09:18:08 +0200
        >Subject: Re: : [hegel] Horst Althaus question
        >
        >
        >Stephen Theron writes:
        >
        >>Thank you Beat for offering us this passage from Hegel�s Lectures on Hist. Phil.
        >>However I cannot see there any ground for this critical dismissal of an interest in the personal development of and biography of Georg W.F. Hegel as "a fruitless longing", even if one should lay down that the development of the World-Spirit is untouched by such things, which of course implies that everything, the invention of printing, the development of the German or other languages, the Ice Age, in so far as these things were/are real at all, were somehow necessary, and maybe they were/are.
        >>
        >
        >I did not claim that the development of the World-Spitit in pure thought
        >is untouched by the biographies of the thinkers. Quite the reverse. Only
        >the biographies of the individual thinkers do represent the development
        >of the World-Spirit in pure thought. Without those thinkers it would not
        >exist. In this respect Hegel was an Aristotelian, not a Platonist. What
        >I pointed to was the assumed analogical feature of the development of
        >World-Spirit in pure thought (as Hegel describes it in my cited passage
        >from the Lectures of the History of Philosophy) and the development of
        >thought in an individual philosopher, especially Hegel. This analogy
        >gives rise to challenge John's question "How did Hegel became Hegel?"
        >because it implicates that there was a time when Hegel was not Hegel and
        >a time when Hegel was Hegel. At least John's text does suggest this.
        >However, the mole works in the dark and fragmentarily until the adequate
        >shape has been found. With this I do not dismiss the interest and
        >importance of a biography of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, quite the
        >reverse. But, instead of finding the point where Hegel became Hegel such
        >a biography should collect and systematically arrange all the elements
        >which were necessary to achieve the adequate shape of the philosophy of
        >Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.
        >
        >
        >
        >>Besides which, maybe our correspondent has no "longng" at all, he simpler wonders and wonderment is the common root of both philosophy (latching on to the World Spirit) and poetry. So if one lacked that....
        >>
        >
        >I agree, however, what did Kant ask for in his three Critiques?: What
        >can I think, what can I will, what can I hope?
        >
        >
        >
        >>Some of us, that is to say, retain an interest in ordinary phenomenal history, such as I understand Hegel possessed as well. So can't we compare notes on it sometimes, in between the BIG questions?
        >>
        >>Stephen.
        >>
        >
        >The phenomenology belongs to the BIG questions. For Hegel there are no
        >BIG questions without the phenomenology, otherwise for him it would be
        >only abstract thinking.
        >
        >Regards,
        >Beat Greuter
        >
        >
        >
        >>To: hegel@yahoogroups.com
        >>From: greuterb@...
        >>Date: Tue, 13 Apr 2010 22:12:19 +0200
        >>Subject: Re: : [hegel] Horst Althaus question
        >>
        >>John writes:
        >>
        >>>-- In hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>,
        >>>eupraxis@... wrote:
        >>>
        >>>>What were you hoping for?
        >>>>
        >>>>Wil
        >>>>
        >>>hate to say, Will. But to put it in very general terms, I was hoping
        >>>to find out how Hegel became Hegel. Kaufmann, who said many ridicuous
        >>>things about Hegel, said one thing that I think is true. Early on at
        >>>Jena Hegel became Hegel. Before that...
        >>>
        >>>In content there is a very real continuity. The pre-Jena Hegel was
        >>>interested in religion and political thought. He believed this was
        >>>what he particularly had to add to what Schelling was doing. His time
        >>>in Jena was largely spent with trying to get up to speed on what we
        >>>call science. And, of course, all this content is reflected in the
        >>>Phenomenology.
        >>>
        >>>But in particular, the pre-Jena Hegel had only a very "external"
        >>>appreciation of Christianity. I haven't read the Difference essay yet,
        >>>or the other essay. I think his mature appreciation is already
        >>>reflected in one or both of these works. But it is certainly there in
        >>>the Phenomenology. His Christian theology takes its form here. In the
        >>>third volume of the Lectures on Religion, he just expands and
        >>>articulates what he already says in the Phenomenology. So what
        >>>happened? How did he suddenly arrive at a good understanding of
        >>>Christianity?(--not that this question will necessarily offend you.
        >>>After all Zizek has a very good understanding of and appreciation of
        >>>Hegel's mature Christian theology.)
        >>>
        >>>Then there's also what might be called Hegel's syllogistic
        >>>thinking--or just quite simply his triadic thinking. This is something
        >>>I particularly identify with the so-called Hermetic Tradition. This is
        >>>fully explicit in the Phenomenology--and then developed at great
        >>>length in the SL. But I don't think it particularly characterized his
        >>>earlier thinking on religion and social thought. So what happened? How
        >>>did Hegel become Hegel?
        >>>
        >>>John
        >>>
        >>our question "how Hegel became Hegel" is a fruitless longing. You look
        >>for a true beginning. But there is no such beginning as there is no
        >>foundation in philosophy but only the movement of the concept. Please,
        >>read the following passage from the Lectures on the History of
        >>Philosophy. What Hegel does say here about philosophy as such is also
        >>true for the development of an individual philosopher:
        >>
        >>"To this point the World-spirit has come, and each stage has its own
        >>form in the true system of Philosophy; nothing is lost, all principles
        >>are preserved, since Philosophy in its final aspect is the totality of
        >>forms. This concrete idea is the result of the strivings of spirit
        >>during almost twenty-five centuries of earnest work to become objective
        >>to itself, to know itself:
        >>
        >>Tant� molis erat, se ipsam cognoscere mentem.
        >>
        >>All this time was required to produce the philosophy of our day; so
        >>tardily and slowly did the World-spirit work to reach this goal. What we
        >>pass in rapid review when we recall it, stretched itself out in reality
        >>to this great length of time. For in this lengthened period, the Notion
        >>of Spirit, invested with its entire concrete development, its external
        >>subsistence, its wealth, is striving to bring spirit to perfection, to
        >>make progress itself and to develop from spirit. It goes ever on and on,
        >>because spirit is progress alone. Spirit often seems to have forgotten
        >>and lost itself, but inwardly opposed to itself, it is inwardly working
        >>ever forward as when Hamlet says of the ghost of his father, "Well said,
        >>old mole! canst work i' the ground so fast" until grown strong in itself
        >>it bursts asunder the crust of earth which divided it from the sun, its
        >>Notion, so that the earth crumbles away. At such a time, when the
        >>encircling crust, like a soulless decaying tenement, crumbles away, and
        >>spirit displays itself arrayed in new youth, the seven league boots are
        >>at length adopted. This work of the spirit to know itself, this activity
        >>to find itself, is the life of the spirit and the spirit itself. Its
        >>result is the Notion which it takes up of itself; the history of
        >>philosophy is a revelation of what has been the aim of spirit throughout
        >>its history; it is therefore the world's history in its innermost
        >>signification. This work of the human spirit in the recesses of thought
        >>is parallel with all the stages of reality; and therefore no philosophy
        >>oversteps its own time. The importance which the determinations of
        >>thought possessed is another matter, which does not belong to the
        >>history of Philosophy. These Notions are the simplest revelation of the
        >>World spirit: in their more concrete form they are history."
        >>
        >>(Lectures on the History of Philosophy, III Modern Philosophy, Third
        >>Section: Recent German Philosophy, E. Final Result, translated by E S
        >>Haldane)
        >>
        >>You also seem to claim that the syllogistic or triadic thinking is the
        >>base of Hegel's philosophical thinking. But he himself did once
        >>vehemently reject this (unfortunately at the moment I cannot remember
        >>the exact passage), also against Aristotles' analytic philosophy.
        >>Hegel's dialectic thinking has nothing to do with syllogistic or triadic
        >>thinking though of course it is a moment of the movement of the concept
        >>to objectivity (see "The Doctrine of the Concept" in the Logic).
        >>
        >>Regards,
        >>Beat Greuter
        >>
        >
        >
        >

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      • Beat Greuter
        ... This is very interesting. There are different interpretations of Kant s thing in itself. One interpretation is that it is the affecting initial cause for
        Message 3 of 24 , Apr 19, 2010
          John writes:

          >
          >
          > --- In hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>, Beat
          > Greuter <greuterb@...> wrote:
          > >
          >
          > >
          > > You also seem to claim that the syllogistic or triadic thinking is the
          > > base of Hegel's philosophical thinking. But he himself did once
          > > vehemently reject this (unfortunately at the moment I cannot remember
          > > the exact passage), also against Aristotles' analytic philosophy.
          > > Hegel's dialectic thinking has nothing to do with syllogistic or
          > triadic
          > > thinking though of course it is a moment of the movement of the concept
          > > to objectivity (see "The Doctrine of the Concept" in the Logic).
          > >
          >
          > Dear Beat,
          >
          > I belive The Hegelian syllogism and the Hegelian dialectic are two
          > separate things--both of equal importance.
          >
          > The situation is similar in the so-called Hermetic tradition where
          > there are two basic laws: the Law of Three and the Law of Seven.
          >
          > Hegel states the Law of Three very well when he says that everything
          > is a syllogism.
          >
          > But really there are no things, only processes. According to the Law
          > of Seven every process is an octave. What particularly characterizes
          > the octave--and I apologize to those who know something about music,
          > as what I'm about to say may or may not be musically
          > intelligible--but, anyway, what characterizes the octave is that there
          > is a "gap" between the notes Mi and Fa. So you have:
          >
          > Do-Re-Mi "gap" Fa-Sol-La-Si.
          >
          > Without going further into details, just as there's a vast literature
          > on the Law of Three, there's also a vast literature on the octave, and
          > especially concerning this "gap" that constitutes all reality
          > including even God Himself.
          >
          > In regard to Hegel, Zizek especially emphasizes this side of the
          > matter. In his book, _Zizek's Ontology_ (2008), Adrian Johnston writes:
          >
          > "_The Ticklish Subject_ (1999) contains one of the most lucid
          > instances of the general manner in which Zizek outlines the basic
          > import of the shift from Kant to Hegel:
          >
          > 'All Hegel does is, in a way, to supplement Kant's well-known motto of
          > the transcendental constitution of reality ("the conditions of
          > possibility of our knowledge are at the same time the conditions of
          > possibility of the object of our knowledge") by its negative--the
          > limitation of our knowledge (its failure to grasp the Whole of Being,
          > the way our knowledge gets inexorably entangled in contradictions and
          > inconsistencies) is simultaneously the limitation of the very object
          > of our knowledge--that is, the gaps and voids in our knowledge of
          > reality are simultaneously the gaps and voids in the "real"
          > ontological edifice itself.' (page 63)
          >
          > "A few pages later, Zizek describes this gesture as 'Hegel's
          > breathtaking achievement':
          >
          > 'Far from regressing from Kant's criticism to pre-critical metaphysics
          > expressing the rational structure of the cosmos, Hegel fully accepts
          > (and draws the consequences from) the result of Kantian cosmological
          > antinomies--there IS no "cosmos", the very notion of cosmos as the
          > ontologically fully constituted positive totality is inconsistent.'
          > (page 69)
          >
          > "Interestingly, Zizek chooses to italicize "is" (rather than "no")
          > when he proclaims that, with Hegel's ontologization of Kant
          > (specifically, the projection of the rational contradictions
          > delineated in Kant's "Dialectic of Pure Being" into being itself),
          > "there IS no cosmos". This is no accident, since Zizekian ontology (as
          > elanborated via Kant, Schelling, Hegel, and Lacan) portrays the Real
          > of being as a groundless ground shot through with tensions and
          > scissions. Being 'is' this very acosmos, this unstable absence of a
          > cohesive, unifying One-All...
          >
          > "Kant clings to the assumption that, beyond the contradiction-ridden
          > confines of the experiential reality in which the subject is
          > imprisoned, there subsists an inaccessible substratum of being
          > unperturbed by these contradictions:
          >
          > 'We fail to grasp the Absolute precisely in so far as we continue to
          > presuppose that, above and beyond the domain of our finite reflected
          > reasoning, there is an Absolute to be grasped--we actually overcome
          > the limitation of external reflection by simply becoming aware of how
          > this external reflection is inherent to the Absolute itself. This is
          > Hegel's fundamental criticism of Kant: not that Kant fails to overcome
          > the external reflection of Understanding, but that he still thinks
          > there is some Beyond which eludes its grasp. What Kant does not see is
          > that his Critique of Pure Reason, as the critical "prolegomena" to a
          > future metaphysics, already is the only possible metaphysics.' (page 96)
          >
          > "According to Zizekian Hegelianism, the Absolute is the absolutely
          > finite. Reaching the vantage point of the Absolute amounts to
          > realizing that there is no seamless transcendent Elsewhere in which
          > the snags and tears in the fabric of experiential reality are
          > magically mended."
          >
          > (pages 130-132)
          >

          This is very interesting. There are different interpretations of Kant's
          thing in itself. One interpretation is that it is the affecting initial
          cause for our feeling and thinking which by contrast are autonomous in
          their reaction. So, the thing in itself is only the gap. With this
          Kant's view is near Leibniz's monadology without its psychological
          burden and therefore a rescue attempt of autonomy against Hume's mere
          outer causality. If this is true then Kant's and Hegel's approach are
          near together. The most important difference between the two is that
          with Hegel the conceptual moment belongs always to and is developed
          within experience and cannot be put independent of experience though it
          can be sifted out in its pure shape (form and content).


          > And this is a big deal for Lacan as well. For instance there's the
          > barred subject. The sign for the subject is S. The barred subject is
          > an S with a line crossed through it resembling a dollar sign. So
          > there's a "gap" at the heart of the subject. And there's the barred
          > Real, etc., etc...
          >
          > John
          >

          For me this is difficult to understand.

          Regards,
          Beat Greuter



          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • john
          ... Dear Wil, I wish I knew something about music! But maybe it really is a lack of gap . The great cosmic octave that comes from the Middle Ages is
          Message 4 of 24 , Apr 20, 2010
            --- In hegel@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@... wrote:
            >
            >
            > John,
            >
            > This is an interesting post which deserves a second reading from me. In the meantime, though, when you say "gap" (between do-re-mi and fa-sol-la-ti), don't you really want to say a lack of gap? Each of the tones of the scale (I use a C major scale here) have a note between them (c [c#] d [d#] e ...), except for the third and fourth step (the mi and fa, or e and f) and seventh and octave (ti and do, or b and c).
            >


            Dear Wil,

            I wish I knew something about music!

            But maybe it really is a "lack of gap". The great cosmic octave that comes from the Middle Ages is (unfortunately I don't know Latin either--but something like:)

            Do - Dominus
            Si - Sidreal (all stars)
            La - Lacta (Milky Way)
            Sol -Sol (the sun)
            Fa - Fata (the planets)
            ["lack of gap"]
            Mi - microcosmos (the earth)
            Re - Regina (the queen of heaven, or the moon)
            Do - Dominus

            And really the earth is a planet. So there is a lack of gap there. But the earth is very different from the moon or the sun, etc.

            Or the sort of thing they do might be the octave of reading, for instance, Adorno. The Do is to somehow or another become interested in reading Adorno. The stronger the Do, the better chance the octave has to succeed. The Re is getting started--so one might get some books by and about Adorno, and one might start a yahoogroup or whatever. The Mi is the realiztion of difficulties. So one starts reading and finds it absolutely incomprehensible. So then you hit the "lack of gap". But if you can get past this "lack of gap" then you have fairly smooth sailing for quite a while (Fa, Sol, La, Si). In other words, once you get into Adorno he turns out to be pretty interesting. So there really is something like a "lack of gap" here, in that there's only a small difference between reading Adorno and finding him incomprehensible, and reading Adorno and finding him interesting. But then there is the next gap, as you mention.

            As to whether this has anything to do with what its like to play the guitar, I certainly don't know.

            But, anyway, for them, getting past this "lack of gap" is pretty much what makes the world go round.

            How ever you call it, there's the idea that there's an ontological, and not just an epistemological, F*ck up (excuse my language) in everything--very similar to what Zizek was saying.

            And there's a whole lot more about all this. In reading Hegel I'm always trying to find evidence that he might have some scheme like this in mind as the model providing the structure. So far I've found a few pretty interesting possibilities, but no "smoking gun".

            John
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