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Re: [hegel] The Hermetic Tradition--Zizek

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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 1 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 2 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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