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Re: [hegel] B. Helm: Love, Friendship and the Self

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  • Beat Greuter
    ... Even if this is only an enumeration of salient points on love, spirit and God in Hegel s philosophy of religion I cannot allow your formally and
    Message 1 of 8 , Jun 23, 2010
      Paul Trejo writes:

      >
      >
      > Dear Hegel List,
      >
      > Actually, Hegel is very plain - very explicit - about the nature of Love.
      > Love is DIALECTICAL. Hegel's scientific description of Love is offered
      > in his lectures on the philosophy of religion (1818-1831). Some salient
      > point include:
      >
      > (1) Love is dialectical
      > (2) Love is the two that become one; and the one that remains two
      > (3) Love is the sublation of the Negative
      > (4) Spirit is the sublation of the Negative
      > (5) Thus, Love is Spirit, and Spirit is Love
      > (6) Thus, God is Spirit, and God is Love
      > (7) Thus, Love is God
      >

      Even if this is only an enumeration of salient points on love, spirit
      and God in Hegel's philosophy of religion I cannot allow your formally
      and substantially incorrect argumentation to rest. Hegel did certainly
      not propound such sequences in his lectures (or have you a precise
      quotation?). In my opinion we have to be very careful in our
      argumentation and may not use false logical forms of conclusions: if
      love is x and spirit is x then love does not have to be identical to
      spirit. Also, the general term x remains totally abstract and does not
      add anything for explaining what love and spirit really are and what
      their difference may be. In fact, with this you destroy Hegel's subtle
      dialectical thinking.


      > Here is my ultra-brief commentary on Hegel's narrative on Love in his
      > theological lectures:
      >
      > The dialectical (speculative) procedure of the Negative emerging
      > quasi-organically from the Spirit, so that the Other is created from
      > the Spirit, and then separated from the Spirit, and then the Other
      > working its way back to the Spirit, traces the basic activity of the
      > Spirit, which is the dialectic. This is also the basic activity of
      > human history. It is also the basic activity of the individual. We
      > seek Love at a spiritual level because we wish to return to the
      > Original Spirit from which we emerged.
      >
      > Hegel presents his lectures on religion in three phases: the abstract
      > idea of religion; the empirical expression of different religions; the
      > consummation of religion in the dialectical concept of the Trinity.
      > The operative concept of the Trinity is Love.
      >
      > FWIW, it was because of Hegel's dialectic of Divinity that I converted
      > from atheism to Christianity.
      >
      > Best regards,
      > --Paul Trejo, MA
      >

      Such a conversion may be the effect of reading Hegel's philosophy of
      religion. However, Hegel does explicitly exclude such a purpose in the
      Introduction of his Lectures. The only thing he presupposes there is
      that the listener or reader has and idea what or for what religion is
      even if this idea is much foggy. And for Hegel also an atheist or
      nihilist evidently has such an idea since he asks for the absolute. The
      true purpose of his Lectures on religion is however the overcoming of
      the diremption of the infinite of religious world relation, on the one
      side, and all the finite relations having become more and more important
      with the Enlightenment, on the other side, without putting the one or
      the other last. For Hegel such a reconciliation is the very own task of
      philosophy. And this task is regardless of whether the philosopher is a
      Christian or a Moslem or a Jew or a Buddhist or a Hindu or an atheist or
      a nihilist or whatever.

      Regards,
      Beat Greuter



      > --- On Sat, 6/19/10, Beat Greuter <greuterb@...
      > <mailto:greuterb%40bluewin.ch>> wrote:
      >
      > From: Beat Greuter <greuterb@... <mailto:greuterb%40bluewin.ch>>
      > Subject: Re: [hegel] B. Helm: Love, Friendship and the Self
      > To: hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>
      > Date: Saturday, June 19, 2010, 2:45 PM
      >
      >
      >
      > The general meaning of love in Hegel's philosophy can only be grasped
      > speculatively. It is the concept itself as the returning from its other
      > to itself (see the beginning of the Subjective Logic), that is, the
      > reconciliation of oppositions not being merely negated in an
      > indeterminate and abstract identity but being recognized as moments in a
      > further entity or coincidence. However, love in its particular meaning
      > can achieve this reconciliation 'only' in an immediate form and thus its
      > objectivity is most fragile. So, in Hegel's mature concept of the modern
      > ethical life love has a quite specific determination and cannot be made
      > responsible for the cohesion of the whole as it was the case in his
      > early (theological) drafts of a superior ethical life grounded in an
      > idealistic conception of the ancient Greek world.
      >
      > Regards,
      > Beat
      >
      > Bruce Merrill writes:
      >
      > >
      > >
      > > There are also significant endorsements of Jesus' Love in Hegel's
      > > so-called
      > > "Early Theological Writings."
      > >
      > > Bruce M.
      > >
      > > On Fri, Jun 18, 2010 at 8:30 AM, Robert Wallace
      > > <bob@... <mailto:bob%40robertmwallace.com>
      > <mailto:bob%40robertmwallace.com>>wrote:
      > >
      > > > So can you give us a glimpse of what it's about? And can you see any
      > > > relation to Hegel's treatment of love, say in The Science of Logic or
      > > > the Phil of Right?
      > > >
      > > > Best, Bob
      > > >
      > > > On Jun 17, 2010, at 9:00 PM, Eric v.d. Luft, Ph.D., M.L.S. wrote:
      > > >
      > > > > One of the Young Hegelians, Karl Schmidt (1819-1864), wrote a book
      > > > > called Liebesbriefe ohne Liebe (Love Letters Without Love) in 1846.
      > > > > I'm
      > > > > in the final phase of translating it into English. It should be
      > > > > available on Amazon within a few months. I'll announce it here when
      > > > > it's
      > > > > ready: <http://www.gegensatzpress.com/loveletters.html>.
      > > > >
      > > > > Ça ira!
      > > > >
      > > > > Eric v.d. Luft, Ph.D., M.L.S.
      > >
      >
      > >> Hello all,
      > >>
      > >> Are you interested in the nature of love? Hegel certainly is,
      > >> following Plato and Aristotle. In fact Hegel speaks somewhere in a
      > >> Zusatz of love as underlying the State.
      > >>
      > >> I've run across a new book that appears to follow in the footsteps of
      > >> Plato, Aristotle and Hegel on this topic:
      > >>
      > >> Bennett Helm, _Love, Friendship, and the Self: Intimate Identification
      > >> and the Sociality of Persons_ (Oxford U. Press, 2010).
      > >>
      > >> Reading bits of the book that are accessible through its listing on
      > >> Amazon, we find that it describes "a new kind of freedom of action
      > >> that is essentially interpersonal" (p. 303). (Meaning, of course, a
      > >> kind of freedom of action that's not recognized by most familiar
      > >> theories of freedom.)
      > >>
      > >> "The intimate identification at issue in love ought to be understood
      > >> in terms of your having a concern for your beloved's identity that is
      > >> the same in kind as your concern for your own identity" (p. 302).
      > >>
      > >> Helm rejects the theory that love is a "union" of two people into one.
      > >> According to him, lovers continue each to be responsible for their own
      > >> actions. But there is also a shared identity, and a shared
      > >> responsibility. This interests me very much, because (a) I think it
      > >> corresponds to my own experience of love, and also of friendship, and
      > >> (b) it seems to correspond to what Plato, Aristotle and Hegel, and
      > >> especially Hegel, are driving at in their descriptions of how we
      > >> function.
      > >>
      > >> You've probably seen reference to the "sociality" of this and that, in
      > >> interpretations of Hegel. Terry Pinkard uses the word, and Robert
      > >> Brandom believes that according to Hegel's account of "recognition,"
      > >> "to be a self...[is] to be recognized by those one recognizes" (Tales
      > >> of the Mighty Dead, p. 217), and that according to Hegel, "man is not
      > >> _objectively_ free." So what if a person is a solitary slave, in a
      > >> society that denies her any recognition; is she then not a "self"? I
      > >> can't buy this sort of social-constructivist theory, as I said in my
      > >> book (where I gave a very different interpretation of the significance
      > >> that Hegel attaches to "recognition").
      > >>
      > >> But neither am I attracted, on the other hand, to standard social
      > >> atomist or rational egoist theories of human behavior, such as we see
      > >> in Thomas Hobbes and in most theorizing in economics. They have no
      > >> appreciation of the very intimate ways in which we can and do get
      > >> involved with other individuals, in the family and elsewhere--ways
      > >> that have very little resemblance to the "bargaining" that they
      > >> suppose underlies all human relationships. Hegel is the only major
      > >> modern philosopher who focuses on these intimate involvements. So I'm
      > >> particularly interested in Bennett Helm's account because he seems,
      > >> like Hegel, to aim to combine a robust sense of individual
      > >> responsibility with a sophisticated sense of the intimate ways we can
      > >> be involved with one another.
      > >>
      > >> Best, Bob W
      >
      >
      >



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Paul Trejo
      Beat,   Actually, my statements were correct representations of Hegel s own statements, although, as I said, I *very* briefly summarized their formulation.  
      Message 2 of 8 , Jul 2, 2010
        Beat,
         
        Actually, my statements were correct representations of Hegel's
        own statements, although, as I said, I *very* briefly summarized
        their formulation.
         
        To prove that Hegel himself also arrived at the same conclusions,
        here are some direction quotations from Hegel:
         
        First - a direct equation of God as Spirit; Hegel says:
         
        "The definition of God is that God
        is the Absolute Idea -- i.e. that
        God is Spirit." (Hegel, LPR, 1827,
        ed. Hodgson, vol. 3, p. 66)
         
        And also,
         
        "God is *as* Spirit *for* Spirit.
        Spirit is essentially a being for
        Spirit, and Spirit *is* Spirit only
        insofar as Spirit is *for* Spirit."
        (Hegel, LPR, vol. 1, p. 383)
         
        And here is only one place where, Hegel identifies God, Spirit
        and Love:
         
        "The Concept is what is alive, is what
        mediates itself with itself. One of its
        determinations is also being...This is
        the Concept as such, the Concept of
        God, the Absolute Concept; this is just
        what God is. As Spirit or as Love, God
        is this Self-particularizing." (Hegel,
        vol. 1, LPR, p. 436)
         
        As for Hegel's explanation of his equation, here is Hegel's
        own logical set-up:
         
        "To the extent that God is grasped as
        an Essence of the Understanding, God
        is not grasped as Spirit. To the extent
        that God is grasped as Spirit, however,
        this concept includes the Subjective
        side within it. The Subjective side is
        introduced into this concept when it
        is defined as Religion." (Hegel, LPR,
        ed. Hodgson, vol. 1, p. 116)
         
        And here is Hegel's delivery:
         
        "God is thus grasped as what God is
        God within God. God makes God an
        object for God, then, in this object,
        God remains the undivided essence
        within the differentiation of God
        within God, and in this differentiation
        of God loves God, i.e. remains identical
        with God. This is God as Spirit."
        (Hegel, LPR, vol. 1, p. 126)
         
        This quotation offers additional support to Hegel's logical
        formulation of his dialectical grasp of Spirit and God:
         
        "Human Reason, human spiritual
        consciousness or consciousness of
        its own Essence, *is* Reason generally,
        *is* the Divine within humanity.
        Spirit, insofar as it is called Divine
        Spirit, is not a spirit beyond the stars
        or beyond the world, for God is Present,
        is Omnipresent, and strictly *as* Spirit
        is God present in Spirit. Religion is
        a begetting of the Divine Spirit, not
        an invention of human beings." (Hegel,
        LPR, vol. 1, p. 130)
         
        There are many, many other quotes from Hegel that I can
        share on this topic, Beat.  
         
        For example, in his lectures on the Philosophy of Religion
        (1818-1831) that Hegel gave more than any other lectures,
        he explicitly names Jesus Christ as the Son of Man and the
        Son of God.  You seem to have overlooked that vital fact.
         
        Best regards,
        --Paul Trejo, MA


        --- On Wed, 6/23/10, Beat Greuter <greuterb@...> wrote:


        From: Beat Greuter <greuterb@...>
        Subject: Re: [hegel] B. Helm: Love, Friendship and the Self
        To: hegel@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Wednesday, June 23, 2010, 9:46 AM


         



        Paul Trejo writes:

        >
        >
        > Dear Hegel List,
        >
        > Actually, Hegel is very plain - very explicit - about the nature of Love.
        > Love is DIALECTICAL. Hegel's scientific description of Love is offered
        > in his lectures on the philosophy of religion (1818-1831). Some salient
        > point include:
        >
        > (1) Love is dialectical
        > (2) Love is the two that become one; and the one that remains two
        > (3) Love is the sublation of the Negative
        > (4) Spirit is the sublation of the Negative
        > (5) Thus, Love is Spirit, and Spirit is Love
        > (6) Thus, God is Spirit, and God is Love
        > (7) Thus, Love is God
        >

        Even if this is only an enumeration of salient points on love, spirit
        and God in Hegel's philosophy of religion I cannot allow your formally
        and substantially incorrect argumentation to rest. Hegel did certainly
        not propound such sequences in his lectures (or have you a precise
        quotation?). In my opinion we have to be very careful in our
        argumentation and may not use false logical forms of conclusions: if
        love is x and spirit is x then love does not have to be identical to
        spirit. Also, the general term x remains totally abstract and does not
        add anything for explaining what love and spirit really are and what
        their difference may be. In fact, with this you destroy Hegel's subtle
        dialectical thinking.

        > Here is my ultra-brief commentary on Hegel's narrative on Love in his
        > theological lectures:
        >
        > The dialectical (speculative) procedure of the Negative emerging
        > quasi-organically from the Spirit, so that the Other is created from
        > the Spirit, and then separated from the Spirit, and then the Other
        > working its way back to the Spirit, traces the basic activity of the
        > Spirit, which is the dialectic. This is also the basic activity of
        > human history. It is also the basic activity of the individual. We
        > seek Love at a spiritual level because we wish to return to the
        > Original Spirit from which we emerged.
        >
        > Hegel presents his lectures on religion in three phases: the abstract
        > idea of religion; the empirical expression of different religions; the
        > consummation of religion in the dialectical concept of the Trinity.
        > The operative concept of the Trinity is Love.
        >
        > FWIW, it was because of Hegel's dialectic of Divinity that I converted
        > from atheism to Christianity.
        >
        > Best regards,
        > --Paul Trejo, MA
        >

        Such a conversion may be the effect of reading Hegel's philosophy of
        religion. However, Hegel does explicitly exclude such a purpose in the
        Introduction of his Lectures. The only thing he presupposes there is
        that the listener or reader has and idea what or for what religion is
        even if this idea is much foggy. And for Hegel also an atheist or
        nihilist evidently has such an idea since he asks for the absolute. The
        true purpose of his Lectures on religion is however the overcoming of
        the diremption of the infinite of religious world relation, on the one
        side, and all the finite relations having become more and more important
        with the Enlightenment, on the other side, without putting the one or
        the other last. For Hegel such a reconciliation is the very own task of
        philosophy. And this task is regardless of whether the philosopher is a
        Christian or a Moslem or a Jew or a Buddhist or a Hindu or an atheist or
        a nihilist or whatever.

        Regards,
        Beat Greuter

        > --- On Sat, 6/19/10, Beat Greuter <greuterb@...
        > <mailto:greuterb%40bluewin.ch>> wrote:
        >
        > From: Beat Greuter <greuterb@... <mailto:greuterb%40bluewin.ch>>
        > Subject: Re: [hegel] B. Helm: Love, Friendship and the Self
        > To: hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>
        > Date: Saturday, June 19, 2010, 2:45 PM
        >
        >
        >
        > The general meaning of love in Hegel's philosophy can only be grasped
        > speculatively. It is the concept itself as the returning from its other
        > to itself (see the beginning of the Subjective Logic), that is, the
        > reconciliation of oppositions not being merely negated in an
        > indeterminate and abstract identity but being recognized as moments in a
        > further entity or coincidence. However, love in its particular meaning
        > can achieve this reconciliation 'only' in an immediate form and thus its
        > objectivity is most fragile. So, in Hegel's mature concept of the modern
        > ethical life love has a quite specific determination and cannot be made
        > responsible for the cohesion of the whole as it was the case in his
        > early (theological) drafts of a superior ethical life grounded in an
        > idealistic conception of the ancient Greek world.
        >
        > Regards,
        > Beat
        >
        > Bruce Merrill writes:
        >
        > >
        > >
        > > There are also significant endorsements of Jesus' Love in Hegel's
        > > so-called
        > > "Early Theological Writings."
        > >
        > > Bruce M.
        > >
        > > On Fri, Jun 18, 2010 at 8:30 AM, Robert Wallace
        > > <bob@... <mailto:bob%40robertmwallace.com>
        > <mailto:bob%40robertmwallace.com>>wrote:
        > >
        > > > So can you give us a glimpse of what it's about? And can you see any
        > > > relation to Hegel's treatment of love, say in The Science of Logic or
        > > > the Phil of Right?
        > > >
        > > > Best, Bob
        > > >
        > > > On Jun 17, 2010, at 9:00 PM, Eric v.d. Luft, Ph.D., M.L.S. wrote:
        > > >
        > > > > One of the Young Hegelians, Karl Schmidt (1819-1864), wrote a book
        > > > > called Liebesbriefe ohne Liebe (Love Letters Without Love) in 1846.
        > > > > I'm
        > > > > in the final phase of translating it into English. It should be
        > > > > available on Amazon within a few months. I'll announce it here when
        > > > > it's
        > > > > ready: <http://www.gegensatzpress.com/loveletters.html>.
        > > > >
        > > > > Ça ira!
        > > > >
        > > > > Eric v.d. Luft, Ph.D., M.L.S.
        > >
        >
        > >> Hello all,
        > >>
        > >> Are you interested in the nature of love? Hegel certainly is,
        > >> following Plato and Aristotle. In fact Hegel speaks somewhere in a
        > >> Zusatz of love as underlying the State.
        > >>
        > >> I've run across a new book that appears to follow in the footsteps of
        > >> Plato, Aristotle and Hegel on this topic:
        > >>
        > >> Bennett Helm, _Love, Friendship, and the Self: Intimate Identification
        > >> and the Sociality of Persons_ (Oxford U. Press, 2010).
        > >>
        > >> Reading bits of the book that are accessible through its listing on
        > >> Amazon, we find that it describes "a new kind of freedom of action
        > >> that is essentially interpersonal" (p. 303). (Meaning, of course, a
        > >> kind of freedom of action that's not recognized by most familiar
        > >> theories of freedom.)
        > >>
        > >> "The intimate identification at issue in love ought to be understood
        > >> in terms of your having a concern for your beloved's identity that is
        > >> the same in kind as your concern for your own identity" (p. 302).
        > >>
        > >> Helm rejects the theory that love is a "union" of two people into one.
        > >> According to him, lovers continue each to be responsible for their own
        > >> actions. But there is also a shared identity, and a shared
        > >> responsibility. This interests me very much, because (a) I think it
        > >> corresponds to my own experience of love, and also of friendship, and
        > >> (b) it seems to correspond to what Plato, Aristotle and Hegel, and
        > >> especially Hegel, are driving at in their descriptions of how we
        > >> function.
        > >>
        > >> You've probably seen reference to the "sociality" of this and that, in
        > >> interpretations of Hegel. Terry Pinkard uses the word, and Robert
        > >> Brandom believes that according to Hegel's account of "recognition,"
        > >> "to be a self...[is] to be recognized by those one recognizes" (Tales
        > >> of the Mighty Dead, p. 217), and that according to Hegel, "man is not
        > >> _objectively_ free." So what if a person is a solitary slave, in a
        > >> society that denies her any recognition; is she then not a "self"? I
        > >> can't buy this sort of social-constructivist theory, as I said in my
        > >> book (where I gave a very different interpretation of the significance
        > >> that Hegel attaches to "recognition").
        > >>
        > >> But neither am I attracted, on the other hand, to standard social
        > >> atomist or rational egoist theories of human behavior, such as we see
        > >> in Thomas Hobbes and in most theorizing in economics. They have no
        > >> appreciation of the very intimate ways in which we can and do get
        > >> involved with other individuals, in the family and elsewhere--ways
        > >> that have very little resemblance to the "bargaining" that they
        > >> suppose underlies all human relationships. Hegel is the only major
        > >> modern philosopher who focuses on these intimate involvements. So I'm
        > >> particularly interested in Bennett Helm's account because he seems,
        > >> like Hegel, to aim to combine a robust sense of individual
        > >> responsibility with a sophisticated sense of the intimate ways we can
        > >> be involved with one another.
        > >>
        > >> Best, Bob W
        >
        >
        >

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








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