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RE: [hegel] concrete and abstract (Hegel - the state and civil society - am I correct here?)

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  • stephen theron
    Dear Beat, Thanks for this! I agree that apart from thought in a material context or as related to sense-experience thought and what is thought about, knowing
    Message 1 of 3 , Aug 24, 2010
      Dear Beat,



      Thanks for this!

      I agree that apart from thought in a material context or as related to sense-experience thought and what is thought about, knowing and what is known, are one and the same or absolute. This is an explicit Aristotelian point as Hegel himself points out while himself coming at it as it were anew. This again is the background, or foreground for Aristotle's talk about "separate substances". These are posited, and whether they are, as we say, instantiated or not just doesn't matter, as English happily or unhappily has it. Matter itself, that is, is not the given but posited, even, or especially, if we should wish, like some, to identify it with space as a "form of intuition" etc.



      So for Hegel we deal with Ideas and it is the Idea which "goes forth as Nature" and even "is Nature". Quite why we want to retain these capitals proper only to German it is difficult to say (it is not necessarily to distinguish a category from the ordinary use of a substantive term, as McTaggart stipulates that he will do, though it can be this on occasion).



      Of course "abstract" in Aristotle does not always mean separate in this way, as when he says that the universal exists in thought and in things alio modo, in a different way. Thus "the universal comes to rest in the soul", either through repeated instances or just one indifferently, it seems. This is why epagoge seems translatable sometimes as "induction", sometimes as "abstraction", not in its sense of separation so much as a grasping of the essence in or of a/the particular(s). It is not anyhow Humean induction precisely.

      Under Idealism in general and Absolute idealism in particular these "realist" distinctions rather fall away or fuse. What is abstract is then always a consideration of anything without reference to, i.e. in divorce from (though the Understanding is not always or aware of this), the whole, not in fact a or the whole but the Concept and Spirit. This applies equally, as I implied above, to consideration, its act, itself. The Absolute does not characterise itself as thinking especially, even, and this is its negativity negating all negations. One takes over Hegel's language for one's own apprehension not of Hegel merely but of truth or "true reality", so misapprehension rather fuses with a transferred employment (of the language),a nd this is intrinsic to language's never totally suspended creative function and nature. Here too the distinction between the spirit and the letter applies. This approach is happily reflected in the new American way of referring to my or your "take" on something. This is my take. Of course there remains always the "objective" problem of correctness "to the letter" in interpretation, all the same. Otherwise we would be becoming "abstract" again.



      On the "intermixing" of the Absolute with its other is it not so that there is finally no other outside of the Absolute itself? It includes the Finite as "overlapping", whether in Logic (thinking) or in some other (spurious?) reality. (I think I agree with our Bob Wallace on this point, though he may not quite agree that I agree!). The ideas around us (are they though?) and giving "being" (that is just the question) to all "things" are the "embodiment" or, rather, one with that Possibility which is nothing other than Actuality and Necessity. I am taking this from Hegel (no, it is my own idea as well, but then I should not "abstract" myself from any of the "others"), not from physics though physics now seems in some quarters, to a non-specialist at least, to be exactly mirroring this ("multiverse" etc.). So I think that within the Logic there is a claim to the pan-logical. Otherness, anyhow, arises out of the Absolute itself as necessarily within the Absolute, an inept metaphor illustrating the "allness" of what is Absolute. It is not cut off, ab-solutum, from anything else but is rather cut off from Nothing. That Reality is thus Spirit, Geist, Mind, is, says Hegel, the key or defining doctrine of philosophy, what characterises it.



      I seem to find all this mirrored in what you have written to me and it does not mean that I do not appreciate the "right of contingency" with which you choose to end. How exactly this is so I must just "abstract" from here for the moment. I will just say that I was struck once by reading in a Zen text (Suzuki) that divine or absolute omniscience was "simple" and not a matter of God's knowing all and every contingent thing to which we accord being. The notion I had, and probably "have", is more (rather?) that all and everything (not necessarily distinguished or separated into actual and possible) is "contained" in absolute mind, so that what is contingent Mind thus makes contingent by thus knowing it as contingent, i.e. this is but a "moment" of absolute Logic, ultimately suspended or gone beyond. However, since this dreadful metaphor of containment has to be seen through in terms of identity, that the indivisible Concept, namely, is manifested in any particular, any individual (which is the universal) whatever, one may see one's way to a coincidence with Suzuki's view or insight.

      Sincerely, Stephen.


      To: hegel@yahoogroups.com
      From: greuterb@...
      Date: Tue, 24 Aug 2010 08:49:44 +0000
      Subject: [hegel] concrete and abstract (Hegel - the state and civil society - am I correct here?)






      Stephen Theron writes:

      > Dear Beat,
      > Thanks for yours. I regret using a maybe unfamiliar English idiomatic phrase,
      "Take it or leave it". Even if un-Hegelian taken literally yet Hegel himself, on presenting something to his publisher,
      might well have said, "Take it or leave it", i.e. warts and all (another such phrase),i.e.don't ask me to change
      anything. So let's not discuss that phrase any more. I needn't have used it.
      > Movement and changelessness. That is a
      difficult one. But movement is definitely finite. The Concept has moments, but does it move? ...if, for example,
      "everything is accomplished"? I am talking about reality now, and not about what Hegel does or doesn't say, though I
      think he is with me here.
      > But we all, both, are trying to "give logic the place Hegel gives it" and not only you.
      Though you anyhow agree with me here, when you say "on the one side abstract, on the other side actual in all that
      exists." As a piece of mere text it is certainly abstract (i.e. it is abstracted from any other text). As to what is
      thought under logic, if that is abstract it is certainly for the most part abstract precisely in setting forth a notion
      (!) of the concrete, i.e. of the non-abstract. Of course there is then question of just how this differs,as it must,
      from what is then set forth under Spirit (Part 3), and I admit I don't as yet have a precise answer to that. Is there
      one? Of course there are differences between parts I and III of the written Encyclopaedia, but III remains in a sense a
      "return", would you not say? There are things which are still opaque to me here and I maybe need correction,
      amplification.

      Dear Stephen,

      I do not think that we can take "abstract" characterizing the Logic as "setting forth a
      notion(!) of the concrete, i.e. of the non-abstract". The result would only be abstract thinking as identity of the
      understanding, a dualism between the kind of thinking or knowledge, on the one side, and that what is thought - the
      thing in itself - on the other side. For Hegel "abstract" in the context of his Logic has to be taken as Aristotle's
      "choriston" which means "detached" or independent of others, unintermixed with others, pure. Every true "theory" of the
      concept (metaphysics, ontology, logic) is in this sense "abstract" since it deals with the universal as such, not with
      specific thoughts and things, however, has universal validity claim. Formal logic - for instance - cannot have this
      kind of universal validity claim since for becoming concrete it needs separated special contents whereas a true
      "theory" of the concept has the concreteness (concreteness also taken as universally determined objectivity) within
      itself as the way from less to more concrete concepts. So - for instance - "becoming" is a more concrete concept since
      it unifies in itself "being" and "nothing" as moments which as independent remain abstract. Or, "absolute idea" is the
      most concrete concept since it includes all other concepts as moments within itself without having a meaning beyond
      this unifying of the moments. In this sense the Logic as a whole is more concrete than Nature and Spirit where the
      concept is intermixed with others involving sensual abstractions. But, though the pure concept includes both, thinking
      and what is thought, it is as universal only in pure thought and its necessity. For actualizing real freedom,
      therefore, it has to proceed in its total other, has to become intermixed with others. The way through its total other
      is on the one side - as you say - a return to itself (also in the sense of a disclosure) as well as a historical
      (temporal) actualization (manifestation) of all the "possibilities" being contained in the logical concept and its
      mediating movement (not as a teleological principle but the concept actualizing itsef and, in doing so, giving the
      other its right of contingency).

      Regards,
      Beat

      > It seems strange to me to speak of "the mediating work of the
      concept". Isn't it everything, absolutely viewed? Isn't that the whole point of it? States and even our own temporal
      lives vanish away. Mind remains (and we in our relation to that, identity or something less, corporately, en masse, or
      "individually" as "having all things" and thus, syllogistically, identical with one another: whether or not this, i.e.
      this my parenthesis, is "Hegelian" is a separate enquiry).
      > "recast its form... transmute it into a universal... this
      has nothing to do..." I didn't actually say that God is everything here but that one cannot talk meaningfully of a God
      that is not everything. That would not be "what we call God". It would be like talking of a footballer without feet. As
      Sartre once said, "Either God exists or man does" and he rejected God on that ground. And, as I said, it was you who
      brought in God there. I was talking about absolute Mind or Reason, which I am in fact inclined to identify with what is
      called in religion, an imperfect form of the common Content, God. Again, as you say, "the crucial feature of thinking,
      the universal", i.e. all, everything. We are not speaking of the universal as a restricted, abstract thing, but as all-
      inclusive. But maybe that is just what you wish to deny. Is that Hegelian though? "The individual is the universal" I
      cannot resist quoting. "Nothing to do with..."?
      > Of course freedom "is not merely an independence" (my stress). I said
      it "is not truly spoken of as a dependence". It is a question, isn't it, of the type of necessity entailing the
      absolute's being "embedded" in "objective spirit". Yet you yourself speak here of its "products". So it, the question
      here, is not simple. An analogy is the medieval dispute about whether the Incarnation was necessary for God quite apart
      from the human predicament (sin) or not. And this is easily applied to creation as well. A necessity of "love" (or in
      general from within) is not an extrinsic bond. Only finite necessity is binding. I would be surprised to find that in
      the end for Hegel the Absolute is not ab-solute. Yet I do not deny that it was "bound to" (as we say in English)
      actualise itself, create etc. I would look for the solution in continuity with the old doctrine of the divine ideas,
      which even the latest physics seems to push us towards, the multiverse in which every possibility is ne
      > cessarily
      realised (logical necessity? physical?), though I am against just importing such stuff unreflectedly into philosophy.
      Aquinas says the same of an endless time. My point would be though that the ideas cannot lack existence, being, each of
      them would be identical with the Absolute (Aquinas says identical with the divine essence but has previously
      established that such essence is one with the divine being, i.e. is not merely essence at all). Don't now dismiss me
      just because I mention Aquinas. It is what he says, not who says it. I think Hegel is continuous with that, mutatis
      mutandis (a catch-all phrase, I admit). So we are all in the absolute, as moments - i,e, not merely as parts of a
      composite whole but as identified there in our true status, however we go on to specify that.
      > I would say, not that
      freedom has to be actualised historically specifically so much as that freedom has to be actualised in the way that it
      actually has been actualised. That is, the decisions of the absolute, qua absolute, are not contingent, but are thereby
      all the more free, as the Absolute is in itself Freedom itself. In that way I think Boehme's picture of it as an
      absolute undetermined will at the very "beginning" of things is thus far correct, as picture. The Absolute is not
      separable from its "choices" (which are of course not choices purely and simply). The end-result is that
      objectification in the sense of self-manifestation is necessary without binding, as, indeed, bonum est diffusivum sui.
      This is no skin off the nose of the Good, no bond or limitation but testimony to its amplitude rather, without limit,
      not even the limit of just remaining itself.
      > History changes, within a historical and phenomenal perspective.
      Absolute Spirit does not. That would be mere duplication (whatever Hegel says here or there, but I don't think he
      does).
      > Thought thinking itself, everything else is "error and confusion". That is Hegel (WL, end), and Aristotle,
      whatever you may find in the Preface to the Philosophy of Right. What is "time-bound", it stands to reason, is thereby
      less free. Eternity, again, is not conceptually compatible with some notion of lack, of abstractness. To call it
      abstract is just to reject eternity, its conceptual possibility. I can accept that as not self-contradiction, for a
      Hegelian, provided only we accept the Absolute as standing for whatever is ultimate, irrespective of its nature. But I
      am not sure that that, this very open concept, is Hegel's own understanding of it.
      > Sincerely, Stephen.

      > Stephen
      Theron writes:
      >> Beat, thank you for this reply.
      >> Well, you don't agree, or....? To start at the end, I meant
      myself to say that I do not go beyond Hegel in this "interpretation", so you do agree. So why do you then say "Take and
      leave"? On that point at least? Of course i appreciate what you say about your "take and leave", as a qualified
      response to what soomeone writes.
      >
      > What point? Your "take or leave" refers to your entire "little
      > contribution",
      I think. "Take or leave" is a mere opposition and
      > therefore quite unhegelian. "Take and leave", by contrast, gives
      quite
      > well the gist of "aufheben" (to sublate): to pick up - to negate (as an
      > independent or absolute) - to
      preserve (as a moment). If you insist on
      > "take or leave" then next time I shall leave.
      >> There is a lot in 50. I
      picked out just one thing, which in fact recurs all the time in the dialectic.
      >
      > Dialectic as "take or leave",
      God or the world?
      >> Well I am positing the timeless as the reality, the Absolute in which there is no change. I think
      any other conception of it is a non-starter and I also think one finds this in Hegel. I accept that you maybe disagree.
      I do not see it as remaining at anything partial but as rising above the phenomenal again or, in Hegel's words,
      annulling the world. Of course this gets qualified, as superseding, aufheben, overlapping etc., but I think annulling
      is the bottom line. Annulling that is of anything seen apart from or in abstraction from the Absolute. This seems to me
      the meaning of the Notion as "defined" at the beginning of that third section (i.e. after Being and Essence).
      >
      >
      Yes, however, the absolute is only in the movement of the concept and
      > not in its changelessness.
      >> I think Logic has
      a less restricted place in the System than you would give it.
      >
      > I give Logic the place Hegel gives it: on the one
      side, it is the
      > movement in the pure concept and therefore remains as such abstract, on
      > the other side, it is
      actual in all that exists. For Hegel, there is no
      > specific being, existence, actuality and objectivity without the
      >
      mediating work of the concept.
      >> You mention God, as I did not. No harm in that of course. But there can be no God
      that is not everything (the opposite of pantheism), or to "remain" at which could be something less than total and
      infinite (not the bad or quasi-finite infinite).
      >
      > In para 50 of the ENC Logic Hegel writes quite clearly that
      the thinking
      > observation of the world is the elevation to God who can only be thought
      > and is not found in the
      immediate sensual world. What this does mean
      > Hegel mentions some lines later:
      > "To think the phenomenal world rather
      means to recast its form, and
      > transmute it into a universal. (ENC Logic, para 50, translated by
      > William Wallace).
      >
      This has nothing to do with "God that is ... everything" or not "less
      > than total and infinite" unless "infinite" is
      taken as the crucial
      > feature of thinking, of the universal.
      >> But you concede that absolute spirit "sublates mere
      objective spirit." I am really puzzled as to where we are disagreeing. Could you specify that a bit more, in collegial
      spirit? I would appreciate that, as wishing to understand you.
      >> I take your point that "absolute spirit depends on
      objective spirit since it can only grasp and sublate what is", with maybe some reservation (better than "taking and
      leaving"). I think the necessity for spirit to manifest (in these finite forms, ultimately categories of Thought)
      itself is not truly spoken of as a dependence. As a necessity of Love or something like it it is rather an
      independence, a freedom.
      >
      > For Hegel freedom is not merely an independence. This would be an
      > abstract freedom.
      Absolute spirit (art, religion, philosophy) is always
      > embedded in objective spirit otherwise its products are pipe
      dreams.
      > And, freedom has also to be actualized historically in the objective
      > spirit (see Phil of Right and
      Philosophy of World History). This
      > development is influenced also by absolute spirit as absolute spirit
      > again will
      change according to the historically actualized step of
      > objective spirit. Your freedom is an eternal freedom of pure
      thinking,
      > of pure spirit - God. For Hegel this is the freedom of philosophy which
      > for him is only one form of
      freedom and also time-bound (see Preface of
      > the Phil of Right).
      >> One can add to this that in sublating what is it
      shows it after all to be what is not (the annulling precisely), but to develop this here would be to provoke and
      distract. Thought, anyhow, transcends ex-istence, a category in Essence and a very stubborn prejudice. All this says
      nothing more, and here I am developing after all and even mentioning God, than the statement that "in God we live and
      move and have our being". This is the unity of thought, if God names Reason or whatever is ultimate. It is all in the
      figurative term "in".
      >> Stephen.
      >
      > Yes, the unity of thought. So we can also say: "in thought we live and
      > move
      and have our being". No objection, but don't take thought only as
      > philosophical thought!
      > Regards,
      > Beat
      >> To:
      hegel@yahoogroups.com
      >> From: greuterb@...
      >> Date: Sat, 14 Aug 2010 23:36:34 +0200
      >> Subject: Re: [hegel] Re:
      Hegel - the state and civil society - am I correct here?
      >> Stephen Theron writes:
      >>> I would like to say (well I
      suppose I can come into other people's discussions here just as Beat does), since you have stimulated me, that there is
      no "kingdom on earth" to look forward to in Hegelean terms since the earth is phenomenal.
      >> Of course, you can.
      Everybody can participate. There are no mere
      >> dialogues here. In this case at the beginning there was a question by

      >> Rosie Longley and everybody is invited to give answers.
      >> The question is not merely that "the earth is phenomenal"
      but how the
      >> relation between reason and the phenomenal world is taken.
      >>> It remains that everything is to be
      looked forward to as, all the same, presently actual. Everyone here knows the texts. We live "under an illusion"
      (although Bob Wallace doesn't like me using that word chosen by his namesake translator) of an unaccomplished Good, and
      for those squeamish of Zus�tze (special pleading really) we have the statement that thinking, of which he takes the
      Ontological Argument as the type, as proving Reason itself (Enc. 50), "annuls the world". The Kingdom is not in the
      future but "out of time", as the Swedes say.
      >> In para 50 of the ENC Logic Hegel does criticize both, thinking

      >> beginning with the pre-supposition of being (Logic of Being) and
      >> abstract thinking taking being only as semblance
      (Logic of the Essence).
      >> True or concrete thinking (though the other two are necessary steps for
      >> reaching this
      concrete thinking) is the movement of the mutual relation
      >> and sublation of the two sides. Of course, logic as the
      science of pure
      >> thinking is "out of time". This is also true for formal logic. But to
      >> remain on such a kingdom of
      thought - God - is to lose it because there
      >> will be a dualism.
      >>> This leaves the Philosophy of Objective Spirit,
      or Objective Spirit itself, exactly as it is, and yet, absolutely, it is not. Of course one can discuss the rather
      "simply managed" transition from Objective to Absolute Spirit, a nuance here, a nuance there.
      >> For Hegel
      absolute spirit (art, religion, philosophy) is the highest
      >> grasp of spirit of itself. With this it sublates mere
      objective spirit.
      >> On the other side absolute spirit depends on objective spirit since it
      >> can only grasp and
      sublate what is.
      >>> If one goes beyond Hegel here, as I do not believe, then one thus goes in virtue of Hegelian
      Volition as crowning cognition and, again, annihilating any "independent" object.
      >> For Hegel there is no
      'object' without the subjective side. With this
      >> you do not go beyond Hegel.
      >>> So, here's a little
      contribution, to take or leave.
      >> to take AND leave!
      >>> Stephen.
      >> Regards,
      >> Beat
      >>> To:
      hegel@yahoogroups.com
      >>> From: greuterb@...
      >>> Date: Sat, 14 Aug 2010 12:40:24 +0200
      >>> Subject: Re: [hegel]
      Re: Hegel - the state and civil society - am I correct here?
      >>> Paul Trejo writes:
      >>>> In response to the Fri20Jul10
      post by Rosie Longley:
      >>>>> Hi,
      >>>>> I'm reading a text in Arabic relating to Hegel and found him
      >>>>>
      interesting. I just wanted to check I had the correct meaning
      >>>>> - if any experts could correct me, I'd be grateful.
      Would I be
      >>>>> correct in thinking that Hegel regarded the state implementing
      >>>>> "individual ethics" then
      collective ethics, with a goal of
      >>>>> freedom achieved by the top.
      >>>> Hegel has been criticized for
      providing no book dedicated to Ethics,
      >>>> yet actually his PHILOSOPHY OF RIGHT (i.e. Rights) contains a section
      >>>>
      devoted to Ethics, that is, Individual Ethics (paragraphs 105 to 157).
      >>>> Here are my informal remarks on that
      section. As you noted, Rosie,
      >>>> Individual Ethics are not, for Hegel, an attainment of the Absolute
      >>>> form of
      Ethics. (There is a 'top' for Ethics in Hegel's systematic
      >>>> hierarchy -- he usually calls it 'the Absolute,' though
      he
      >>>> sometimes calls it 'Spirit' and sometimes 'God'.)
      >>>>> Therefore, the study of the state is deemed ethical,
      where the
      >>>>> state is not apparent in "abstract morals", yet is not compelled
      >>>>> to be apparent because it
      requires conditions and elements only
      >>>>> available in true "social ethics", where "in that alone is
      >>>>>
      rationality for mankind."
      >>>> For Hegel, the State was closer to the attainment of the Absolute
      >>>> Right
      than Individual Ethics can be -- and yet we have no other choice
      >>>> than to begin with our Individual Ethics. We will
      *always* act on our
      >>>> Individual Ethics, so it's a good thing that they can CHANGE.
      >>>> This very CHANGE forms the
      substance of Hegel's discussion of the
      >>>> development of Individual Ethics in its transition to Community,
      >>>> that
      is, Objective Ethics.
      >>>> The change from a merely Subjective Ethics to a merely Objective
      >>>> Ethics is the
      dialectic of Ethics - the clash of opposites. The
      >>>> resolution, theoretically and ultimately, will be the synthesis

      >>>> of these two opposites in the Subjective-Objective Ethics of Duty,
      >>>> where what I *want* to do is identical
      with what I *should* do.
      >>>> This factor of Duty is not actual, in Hegel's system, until it has
      >>>> been fully
      Subjective. It is not a Duty if it is Compulsory --
      >>>> that is something else. True Duty is Self-willed, Self-
      acknowledged,
      >>>> and Self-directed. True Duty is finding the courage to do what I
      >>>> truly NEED to do. There is
      liberation in that courage, as well as
      >>>> a lot of challenge. But *this* is the proper attainment of the
      >>>>
      Individual -- not the mere satisfaction of private animal desires,
      >>>> but a Social awareness that is guided by Social
      Ethics.
      >>>> Yet how do we measure Social Ethics? Hegel's response may be
      >>>> surprising. There is a triad: Virtue,
      Propriety and Custom.
      >>>> Contrary to common sense, Hegel regards Virtue as the lowest
      >>>> form of Social Ethics -
      Propriety as the middling form - and
      >>>> Custom as the highest form of Social Ethics.
      >>>> Hegel argues as follows:
      Virtue is any accidental gift we acquire
      >>>> at birth, so free will is lacking in it. That is why it is the
      >>>>
      lowest form of Ethics. Propriety is a grudging conformity with
      >>>> the majority; and that is why it is the middling
      form for Hegel.
      >>>> Custom is the highest form - it is learned, so free will plays
      >>>> an early role, and it takes
      many years to develop the habits,
      >>>> so it requires stamina. After the habit is formed, Customs enable
      >>>> Societies
      to operate smoothly in larger and larger numbers - including
      >>>> millions and hundreds of millions of people. So,
      >>>>
      Custom is the highest form of Ethics in Hegel's system.
      >>>>> Therefore, whilst establishing civil society with the
      mandate to
      >>>>> support and maintain the state, the state returns to form the
      >>>>> guardian and protector of civil
      society, and for this Hegel
      >>>>> believed that the state is the first, and society is in second
      >>>>> place, because
      only in the bosom of the state can the family
      >>>>> change into civil society, and the idea of the state itself is

      >>>>> integral to these two elements.
      >>>>> Any thoughts welcome. Thanks in advance.
      >>>>> Rosie
      >>>> Yes -
      even after we attain our awareness of Duty and our habits of
      >>>> Custom, there is still a long ladder to climb to
      attain the Absolute
      >>>> in the sphere of Rights. The State in which we are born gives us
      >>>> whatever Rights we enjoy
      - and these Rights form our very lives.
      >>>> Therefore, we owe our lives to our State, no matter what it is.
      >>>> That
      is why every State has the Right to demand military service
      >>> >from us - which can be fatal. If it has that
      Right, then it also
      >>>> has the Right to demand taxes from us.
      >>>> The actual conflict of Right in history has to do
      with International
      >>>> Rights. Although Kant could dream of a smooth resolution of this,
      >>>> Hegel did not claim to
      foresee any smooth resolution for this
      >>>> conflict in any foreseeable future. Every State is an Individual,
      >>>> for
      Hegel - and these Individuals must, like early human tribes,
      >>>> fight fiercely for their Rights.
      >>>> Society has a
      long, long, long journey yet, before it can attain
      >>>> the Ethics of the Absolute - the kingdom of God on
      earth.
      >>> And then the state is no longer necessary, and, as Marx tried to make us
      >>> believe, resolves
      itself? Or, is this kingdom only a Kantian idea and as
      >>> such is not allowed to be taken as objective but only as a
      subjective
      >>> guideline? Both assumptions seem to be quite unhegelian. What do you think?
      >>>> So we struggle.
      >>>>
      Best regards,
      >>>> --Paul Trejo, MA
      >>> Regards,
      >>> Beat





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • stephen theron
      To Beat and anyone interested, I would like to continue my earlier letter (hardly a message) as it seems to have been continuing itself during my walk this
      Message 2 of 3 , Aug 25, 2010
        To Beat and anyone interested, I would like to continue my earlier letter (hardly a message) as it seems to have been continuing itself during my walk this morning.

        One might say that idealism fuses de dicto and de re necessity at the highest or absolute level. This is the significance of the determining or free active character of divine or absolute knowledge, reflected in Hegel's situating the character of Will as perfecting Cognition within Cognition. As he points out, there is no virtue but quite the reverse in continuing to assert the reality of the Everyday against the insights of metaphysics, of logic and philosophy, in "vehement reluctance to surrender its dearest conviction, that this aggregate of finitude, which it calls a world, has actual reality..." (EL50).

        So the Logical is lifted to the ultimate, the mind of God as principle, says Hegel. Word, thought, Spirit. That is to say, reality, the ultimately wirklich, is raised to an utterance, a manifestation, what is said. This common coin in religion, is also so in philosophy. It was really implicit in the Aristotelian forma dat esse. From this though we might learn that Form is not immediately or, rather, not necessarily itself esse. We might have in the first or bottom-line instance a purely formal universe, and this is the real significance of the anti-ontological (or anti-ontologist) prejudice evinced in much "analytical" philosophy, embarrassed by the question "on what there is".

        We can see this as rationalist or as "mystical". The two are ultimately one, when not viewed "abstractly". Words are already "signs". Here what we had been taking as the "things themselves" themselves become signs, actually the "method" also of Scripture, where signs however become equated with "wonders" in popular reception. It is also called typology. But there is for that within philosophy itself these days a discipline called Sistology (e.g. as in Richard Sylvan) which consists in considering things without regard to the prejudice of existence (Meinongian).

        The Absolute Idea of course is beyond this, in pure negativity. Everything "stands for" it but it is not itself anything particular. It simply is, says Augustine, but is it even that? It is, Hegel endorses Aristotle, "thought thinking itself". The actus essendi is the actus cognoscendi as proper to spirit, as spirit's act.

        Not forgetting though the wider conflation of knowing and being known (where all is spirit, as is the ultimate conclusion). The object and the intellect correspond, it was said, and then the realists hasten to point out that the mind does not become the stone it knows, though it identifies with a stone-form, say. No, the stone in fact "becomes" mind, it was never anything else but this Idea, belonging to nature non materialiter spectata. This is the seeing the world in a grain of sand the poet celebrates, perfectly reflected in the Doctrine of the Notion. One does not distort Hegel in thus interpreting him in the light of the earlier doctrine of ideae divinae, of Aristotle, of Plato.

        There is no object. The "intention" is just that. Objectification (N. Berdyaev) is the systematic distortion inherent in finite knowing. Hence Hegel considers predication itself, which is to say judgment (S is P), unsuitable for the representation (one can hardly say the "stating") of truth which the Concept is. I.e. it is not the mere representation of it, it is it, spiritual reality, reflected in our ideas of knowing. For to apply Cognition to the Idea is already an anthropomorphic extrapolation. It yields to the "Idea", a term chosen for this ultimate meta-category and not, inversely, an identification of that with any particular idea whatever.

        "God has spoken only one Word," Not only that but the Father, Mind as set forth in the Logic (by intention), is nothing other than utterer of this word (called by transference "begetter"). The de dicto stands above the de re. But that being so there is no call for the de re, because no res, only logos. Logos after all is in absolute terms its own utterance, as Possibility is Actuality. The surface evokes the whole, as does the ultimate difference the substance. In the beginning was the Word. It was with Mind and it was/is Mind, the All in its manifestation. This (Johannine) meaning is prior to the later story, even if valid, of two (eventually three) "persons" in one nature. This is the bonum diffusivum sui. That's what it is. It is not first something "in itself" and then a diffusion of that something. It is self-diffusion, pure donum in theological idiom (a/the name for Spirit or "the Holy Spirit"). That's why "it is in giving that we receive" (Francis), not a pious paradox but an instance of aufhebend contradiction. Later this becomes, in this famous "prayer", "It is in loving that we are loved". More generally, action is passion and vice versa, as "contemplation (theoria) is the highest praxis". I make here a variant upon Hegel's Real Possibility as one with Activity, developed to Necessity (EL147). The ground rested upon is the same.



        Re the objection that this is "lifted" from positive religion, anyhow an imperfect form of Spirit, one notes that for Hegel as for Wittgenstein it is misunderstanding to rest religious truth upon historical occurrences or any contingent thing, even granted that the religious themselves, as captive to narrative rather than necessity, first present things in that way. That means that here too the possibility, the achieved positing is just that, achieved. These notions, ideas, belong to our cultural goods as actually traversed by Spirit and can be precisely located dialectically, as, for example, universalising the idea of a "nation of philosophers" (the Jews, sic Porphyry), later to blossom into universal democracy and, indeed, the Philosophy of Right (I don't mean just Hegel's text of that name). Only for example; for they are also an amplification of Platonic Aristotelian metaphysics besides a blossom of the prophetic tradition in its own right, showing, as I believe, that that tradition is ultimately philosophical. This is hidden, for example, in the primitively narrative account of Elijah, wherever we date it, disheartened, listening for the voice or trace of the Lord and not finding it in earthquake or wind, viz. the external, but in the "still small voice", viz. the internal. Here is anticipated the Self which is Other, universal Subjectivity or I as "universal of universals", the great definitions of an Eckhart, a Cusanus, a Hegel.



        So, necessity de dicto is not ultimately a restriction upon Necessity, nor is Logic restricted by Nature and Spirit, the Logic I mean into which traditional "formal" logic issues and must issue, as logica utens evoked logica docens. We always knew how to reason and it is only reason itself that judges it; we have to see, that is, the truth of any canon we follow. So Mind, consciousness, ultimately self-consciousness, not necessarily in our everyday sense but transparent to itself (as, say, a roulette wheel is not, one supposes), is supreme.



        > To: hegel@yahoogroups.comat> From: stephentheron@...
        > Date: Wed, 25 Aug 2010 07:14:38 +0200
        > Subject: RE: [hegel] concrete and abstract (Hegel - the state and civil society - am I correct here?)
        >
        >
        > Dear Beat,
        >
        >
        >
        > Thanks for this!
        >
        > I agree that apart from thought in a material context or as related to sense-experience thought and what is thought about, knowing and what is known, are one and the same or absolute. This is an explicit Aristotelian point as Hegel himself points out while himself coming at it as it were anew. This again is the background, or foreground for Aristotle's talk about "separate substances". These are posited, and whether they are, as we say, instantiated or not just doesn't matter, as English happily or unhappily has it. Matter itself, that is, is not the given but posited, even, or especially, if we should wish, like some, to identify it with space as a "form of intuition" etc.
        >
        >
        >
        > So for Hegel we deal with Ideas and it is the Idea which "goes forth as Nature" and even "is Nature". Quite why we want to retain these capitals proper only to German it is difficult to say (it is not necessarily to distinguish a category from the ordinary use of a substantive term, as McTaggart stipulates that he will do, though it can be this on occasion).
        >
        >
        >
        > Of course "abstract" in Aristotle does not always mean separate in this way, as when he says that the universal exists in thought and in things alio modo, in a different way. Thus "the universal comes to rest in the soul", either through repeated instances or just one indifferently, it seems. This is why epagoge seems translatable sometimes as "induction", sometimes as "abstraction", not in its sense of separation so much as a grasping of the essence in or of a/the particular(s). It is not anyhow Humean induction precisely.
        >
        > Under Idealism in general and Absolute idealism in particular these "realist" distinctions rather fall away or fuse. What is abstract is then always a consideration of anything without reference to, i.e. in divorce from (though the Understanding is not always or aware of this), the whole, not in fact a or the whole but the Concept and Spirit. This applies equally, as I implied above, to consideration, its act, itself. The Absolute does not characterise itself as thinking especially, even, and this is its negativity negating all negations. One takes over Hegel's language for one's own apprehension not of Hegel merely but of truth or "true reality", so misapprehension rather fuses with a transferred employment (of the language),a nd this is intrinsic to language's never totally suspended creative function and nature. Here too the distinction between the spirit and the letter applies. This approach is happily reflected in the new American way of referring to my or your "take" on something. This is my take. Of course there remains always the "objective" problem of correctness "to the letter" in interpretation, all the same. Otherwise we would be becoming "abstract" again.
        >
        >
        >
        > On the "intermixing" of the Absolute with its other is it not so that there is finally no other outside of the Absolute itself? It includes the Finite as "overlapping", whether in Logic (thinking) or in some other (spurious?) reality. (I think I agree with our Bob Wallace on this point, though he may not quite agree that I agree!). The ideas around us (are they though?) and giving "being" (that is just the question) to all "things" are the "embodiment" or, rather, one with that Possibility which is nothing other than Actuality and Necessity. I am taking this from Hegel (no, it is my own idea as well, but then I should not "abstract" myself from any of the "others"), not from physics though physics now seems in some quarters, to a non-specialist at least, to be exactly mirroring this ("multiverse" etc.). So I think that within the Logic there is a claim to the pan-logical. Otherness, anyhow, arises out of the Absolute itself as necessarily within the Absolute, an inept metaphor illustrating the "allness" of what is Absolute. It is not cut off, ab-solutum, from anything else but is rather cut off from Nothing. That Reality is thus Spirit, Geist, Mind, is, says Hegel, the key or defining doctrine of philosophy, what characterises it.
        >
        >
        >
        > I seem to find all this mirrored in what you have written to me and it does not mean that I do not appreciate the "right of contingency" with which you choose to end. How exactly this is so I must just "abstract" from here for the moment. I will just say that I was struck once by reading in a Zen text (Suzuki) that divine or absolute omniscience was "simple" and not a matter of God's knowing all and every contingent thing to which we accord being. The notion I had, and probably "have", is more (rather?) that all and everything (not necessarily distinguished or separated into actual and possible) is "contained" in absolute mind, so that what is contingent Mind thus makes contingent by thus knowing it as contingent, i.e. this is but a "moment" of absolute Logic, ultimately suspended or gone beyond. However, since this dreadful metaphor of containment has to be seen through in terms of identity, that the indivisible Concept, namely, is manifested in any particular, any individual (which is the universal) whatever, one may see one's way to a coincidence with Suzuki's view or insight.
        >
        > Sincerely, Stephen.
        >
        >
        > To: hegel@yahoogroups.com
        > From: greuterb@...
        > Date: Tue, 24 Aug 2010 08:49:44 +0000
        > Subject: [hegel] concrete and abstract (Hegel - the state and civil society - am I correct here?)
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Stephen Theron writes:
        >
        > > Dear Beat,
        > > Thanks for yours. I regret using a maybe unfamiliar English idiomatic phrase,
        > "Take it or leave it". Even if un-Hegelian taken literally yet Hegel himself, on presenting something to his publisher,
        > might well have said, "Take it or leave it", i.e. warts and all (another such phrase),i.e.don't ask me to change
        > anything. So let's not discuss that phrase any more. I needn't have used it.
        > > Movement and changelessness. That is a
        > difficult one. But movement is definitely finite. The Concept has moments, but does it move? ...if, for example,
        > "everything is accomplished"? I am talking about reality now, and not about what Hegel does or doesn't say, though I
        > think he is with me here.
        > > But we all, both, are trying to "give logic the place Hegel gives it" and not only you.
        > Though you anyhow agree with me here, when you say "on the one side abstract, on the other side actual in all that
        > exists." As a piece of mere text it is certainly abstract (i.e. it is abstracted from any other text). As to what is
        > thought under logic, if that is abstract it is certainly for the most part abstract precisely in setting forth a notion
        > (!) of the concrete, i.e. of the non-abstract. Of course there is then question of just how this differs,as it must,
        > from what is then set forth under Spirit (Part 3), and I admit I don't as yet have a precise answer to that. Is there
        > one? Of course there are differences between parts I and III of the written Encyclopaedia, but III remains in a sense a
        > "return", would you not say? There are things which are still opaque to me here and I maybe need correction,
        > amplification.
        >
        > Dear Stephen,
        >
        > I do not think that we can take "abstract" characterizing the Logic as "setting forth a
        > notion(!) of the concrete, i.e. of the non-abstract". The result would only be abstract thinking as identity of the
        > understanding, a dualism between the kind of thinking or knowledge, on the one side, and that what is thought - the
        > thing in itself - on the other side. For Hegel "abstract" in the context of his Logic has to be taken as Aristotle's
        > "choriston" which means "detached" or independent of others, unintermixed with others, pure. Every true "theory" of the
        > concept (metaphysics, ontology, logic) is in this sense "abstract" since it deals with the universal as such, not with
        > specific thoughts and things, however, has universal validity claim. Formal logic - for instance - cannot have this
        > kind of universal validity claim since for becoming concrete it needs separated special contents whereas a true
        > "theory" of the concept has the concreteness (concreteness also taken as universally determined objectivity) within
        > itself as the way from less to more concrete concepts. So - for instance - "becoming" is a more concrete concept since
        > it unifies in itself "being" and "nothing" as moments which as independent remain abstract. Or, "absolute idea" is the
        > most concrete concept since it includes all other concepts as moments within itself without having a meaning beyond
        > this unifying of the moments. In this sense the Logic as a whole is more concrete than Nature and Spirit where the
        > concept is intermixed with others involving sensual abstractions. But, though the pure concept includes both, thinking
        > and what is thought, it is as universal only in pure thought and its necessity. For actualizing real freedom,
        > therefore, it has to proceed in its total other, has to become intermixed with others. The way through its total other
        > is on the one side - as you say - a return to itself (also in the sense of a disclosure) as well as a historical
        > (temporal) actualization (manifestation) of all the "possibilities" being contained in the logical concept and its
        > mediating movement (not as a teleological principle but the concept actualizing itsef and, in doing so, giving the
        > other its right of contingency).
        >
        > Regards,
        > Beat
        >
        > > It seems strange to me to speak of "the mediating work of the
        > concept". Isn't it everything, absolutely viewed? Isn't that the whole point of it? States and even our own temporal
        > lives vanish away. Mind remains (and we in our relation to that, identity or something less, corporately, en masse, or
        > "individually" as "having all things" and thus, syllogistically, identical with one another: whether or not this, i.e.
        > this my parenthesis, is "Hegelian" is a separate enquiry).
        > > "recast its form... transmute it into a universal... this
        > has nothing to do..." I didn't actually say that God is everything here but that one cannot talk meaningfully of a God
        > that is not everything. That would not be "what we call God". It would be like talking of a footballer without feet. As
        > Sartre once said, "Either God exists or man does" and he rejected God on that ground. And, as I said, it was you who
        > brought in God there. I was talking about absolute Mind or Reason, which I am in fact inclined to identify with what is
        > called in religion, an imperfect form of the common Content, God. Again, as you say, "the crucial feature of thinking,
        > the universal", i.e. all, everything. We are not speaking of the universal as a restricted, abstract thing, but as all-
        > inclusive. But maybe that is just what you wish to deny. Is that Hegelian though? "The individual is the universal" I
        > cannot resist quoting. "Nothing to do with..."?
        > > Of course freedom "is not merely an independence" (my stress). I said
        > it "is not truly spoken of as a dependence". It is a question, isn't it, of the type of necessity entailing the
        > absolute's being "embedded" in "objective spirit". Yet you yourself speak here of its "products". So it, the question
        > here, is not simple. An analogy is the medieval dispute about whether the Incarnation was necessary for God quite apart
        > from the human predicament (sin) or not. And this is easily applied to creation as well. A necessity of "love" (or in
        > general from within) is not an extrinsic bond. Only finite necessity is binding. I would be surprised to find that in
        > the end for Hegel the Absolute is not ab-solute. Yet I do not deny that it was "bound to" (as we say in English)
        > actualise itself, create etc. I would look for the solution in continuity with the old doctrine of the divine ideas,
        > which even the latest physics seems to push us towards, the multiverse in which every possibility is ne
        > > cessarily
        > realised (logical necessity? physical?), though I am against just importing such stuff unreflectedly into philosophy.
        > Aquinas says the same of an endless time. My point would be though that the ideas cannot lack existence, being, each of
        > them would be identical with the Absolute (Aquinas says identical with the divine essence but has previously
        > established that such essence is one with the divine being, i.e. is not merely essence at all). Don't now dismiss me
        > just because I mention Aquinas. It is what he says, not who says it. I think Hegel is continuous with that, mutatis
        > mutandis (a catch-all phrase, I admit). So we are all in the absolute, as moments - i,e, not merely as parts of a
        > composite whole but as identified there in our true status, however we go on to specify that.
        > > I would say, not that
        > freedom has to be actualised historically specifically so much as that freedom has to be actualised in the way that it
        > actually has been actualised. That is, the decisions of the absolute, qua absolute, are not contingent, but are thereby
        > all the more free, as the Absolute is in itself Freedom itself. In that way I think Boehme's picture of it as an
        > absolute undetermined will at the very "beginning" of things is thus far correct, as picture. The Absolute is not
        > separable from its "choices" (which are of course not choices purely and simply). The end-result is that
        > objectification in the sense of self-manifestation is necessary without binding, as, indeed, bonum est diffusivum sui.
        > This is no skin off the nose of the Good, no bond or limitation but testimony to its amplitude rather, without limit,
        > not even the limit of just remaining itself.
        > > History changes, within a historical and phenomenal perspective.
        > Absolute Spirit does not. That would be mere duplication (whatever Hegel says here or there, but I don't think he
        > does).
        > > Thought thinking itself, everything else is "error and confusion". That is Hegel (WL, end), and Aristotle,
        > whatever you may find in the Preface to the Philosophy of Right. What is "time-bound", it stands to reason, is thereby
        > less free. Eternity, again, is not conceptually compatible with some notion of lack, of abstractness. To call it
        > abstract is just to reject eternity, its conceptual possibility. I can accept that as not self-contradiction, for a
        > Hegelian, provided only we accept the Absolute as standing for whatever is ultimate, irrespective of its nature. But I
        > am not sure that that, this very open concept, is Hegel's own understanding of it.
        > > Sincerely, Stephen.
        >
        > > Stephen
        > Theron writes:
        > >> Beat, thank you for this reply.
        > >> Well, you don't agree, or....? To start at the end, I meant
        > myself to say that I do not go beyond Hegel in this "interpretation", so you do agree. So why do you then say "Take and
        > leave"? On that point at least? Of course i appreciate what you say about your "take and leave", as a qualified
        > response to what soomeone writes.
        > >
        > > What point? Your "take or leave" refers to your entire "little
        > > contribution",
        > I think. "Take or leave" is a mere opposition and
        > > therefore quite unhegelian. "Take and leave", by contrast, gives
        > quite
        > > well the gist of "aufheben" (to sublate): to pick up - to negate (as an
        > > independent or absolute) - to
        > preserve (as a moment). If you insist on
        > > "take or leave" then next time I shall leave.
        > >> There is a lot in 50. I
        > picked out just one thing, which in fact recurs all the time in the dialectic.
        > >
        > > Dialectic as "take or leave",
        > God or the world?
        > >> Well I am positing the timeless as the reality, the Absolute in which there is no change. I think
        > any other conception of it is a non-starter and I also think one finds this in Hegel. I accept that you maybe disagree.
        > I do not see it as remaining at anything partial but as rising above the phenomenal again or, in Hegel's words,
        > annulling the world. Of course this gets qualified, as superseding, aufheben, overlapping etc., but I think annulling
        > is the bottom line. Annulling that is of anything seen apart from or in abstraction from the Absolute. This seems to me
        > the meaning of the Notion as "defined" at the beginning of that third section (i.e. after Being and Essence).
        > >
        > >
        > Yes, however, the absolute is only in the movement of the concept and
        > > not in its changelessness.
        > >> I think Logic has
        > a less restricted place in the System than you would give it.
        > >
        > > I give Logic the place Hegel gives it: on the one
        > side, it is the
        > > movement in the pure concept and therefore remains as such abstract, on
        > > the other side, it is
        > actual in all that exists. For Hegel, there is no
        > > specific being, existence, actuality and objectivity without the
        > >
        > mediating work of the concept.
        > >> You mention God, as I did not. No harm in that of course. But there can be no God
        > that is not everything (the opposite of pantheism), or to "remain" at which could be something less than total and
        > infinite (not the bad or quasi-finite infinite).
        > >
        > > In para 50 of the ENC Logic Hegel writes quite clearly that
        > the thinking
        > > observation of the world is the elevation to God who can only be thought
        > > and is not found in the
        > immediate sensual world. What this does mean
        > > Hegel mentions some lines later:
        > > "To think the phenomenal world rather
        > means to recast its form, and
        > > transmute it into a universal. (ENC Logic, para 50, translated by
        > > William Wallace).
        > >
        > This has nothing to do with "God that is ... everything" or not "less
        > > than total and infinite" unless "infinite" is
        > taken as the crucial
        > > feature of thinking, of the universal.
        > >> But you concede that absolute spirit "sublates mere
        > objective spirit." I am really puzzled as to where we are disagreeing. Could you specify that a bit more, in collegial
        > spirit? I would appreciate that, as wishing to understand you.
        > >> I take your point that "absolute spirit depends on
        > objective spirit since it can only grasp and sublate what is", with maybe some reservation (better than "taking and
        > leaving"). I think the necessity for spirit to manifest (in these finite forms, ultimately categories of Thought)
        > itself is not truly spoken of as a dependence. As a necessity of Love or something like it it is rather an
        > independence, a freedom.
        > >
        > > For Hegel freedom is not merely an independence. This would be an
        > > abstract freedom.
        > Absolute spirit (art, religion, philosophy) is always
        > > embedded in objective spirit otherwise its products are pipe
        > dreams.
        > > And, freedom has also to be actualized historically in the objective
        > > spirit (see Phil of Right and
        > Philosophy of World History). This
        > > development is influenced also by absolute spirit as absolute spirit
        > > again will
        > change according to the historically actualized step of
        > > objective spirit. Your freedom is an eternal freedom of pure
        > thinking,
        > > of pure spirit - God. For Hegel this is the freedom of philosophy which
        > > for him is only one form of
        > freedom and also time-bound (see Preface of
        > > the Phil of Right).
        > >> One can add to this that in sublating what is it
        > shows it after all to be what is not (the annulling precisely), but to develop this here would be to provoke and
        > distract. Thought, anyhow, transcends ex-istence, a category in Essence and a very stubborn prejudice. All this says
        > nothing more, and here I am developing after all and even mentioning God, than the statement that "in God we live and
        > move and have our being". This is the unity of thought, if God names Reason or whatever is ultimate. It is all in the
        > figurative term "in".
        > >> Stephen.
        > >
        > > Yes, the unity of thought. So we can also say: "in thought we live and
        > > move
        > and have our being". No objection, but don't take thought only as
        > > philosophical thought!
        > > Regards,
        > > Beat
        > >> To:
        > hegel@yahoogroups.com
        > >> From: greuterb@...
        > >> Date: Sat, 14 Aug 2010 23:36:34 +0200
        > >> Subject: Re: [hegel] Re:
        > Hegel - the state and civil society - am I correct here?
        > >> Stephen Theron writes:
        > >>> I would like to say (well I
        > suppose I can come into other people's discussions here just as Beat does), since you have stimulated me, that there is
        > no "kingdom on earth" to look forward to in Hegelean terms since the earth is phenomenal.
        > >> Of course, you can.
        > Everybody can participate. There are no mere
        > >> dialogues here. In this case at the beginning there was a question by
        >
        > >> Rosie Longley and everybody is invited to give answers.
        > >> The question is not merely that "the earth is phenomenal"
        > but how the
        > >> relation between reason and the phenomenal world is taken.
        > >>> It remains that everything is to be
        > looked forward to as, all the same, presently actual. Everyone here knows the texts. We live "under an illusion"
        > (although Bob Wallace doesn't like me using that word chosen by his namesake translator) of an unaccomplished Good, and
        > for those squeamish of Zusätze (special pleading really) we have the statement that thinking, of which he takes the
        > Ontological Argument as the type, as proving Reason itself (Enc. 50), "annuls the world". The Kingdom is not in the
        > future but "out of time", as the Swedes say.
        > >> In para 50 of the ENC Logic Hegel does criticize both, thinking
        >
        > >> beginning with the pre-supposition of being (Logic of Being) and
        > >> abstract thinking taking being only as semblance
        > (Logic of the Essence).
        > >> True or concrete thinking (though the other two are necessary steps for
        > >> reaching this
        > concrete thinking) is the movement of the mutual relation
        > >> and sublation of the two sides. Of course, logic as the
        > science of pure
        > >> thinking is "out of time". This is also true for formal logic. But to
        > >> remain on such a kingdom of
        > thought - God - is to lose it because there
        > >> will be a dualism.
        > >>> This leaves the Philosophy of Objective Spirit,
        > or Objective Spirit itself, exactly as it is, and yet, absolutely, it is not. Of course one can discuss the rather
        > "simply managed" transition from Objective to Absolute Spirit, a nuance here, a nuance there.
        > >> For Hegel
        > absolute spirit (art, religion, philosophy) is the highest
        > >> grasp of spirit of itself. With this it sublates mere
        > objective spirit.
        > >> On the other side absolute spirit depends on objective spirit since it
        > >> can only grasp and
        > sublate what is.
        > >>> If one goes beyond Hegel here, as I do not believe, then one thus goes in virtue of Hegelian
        > Volition as crowning cognition and, again, annihilating any "independent" object.
        > >> For Hegel there is no
        > 'object' without the subjective side. With this
        > >> you do not go beyond Hegel.
        > >>> So, here's a little
        > contribution, to take or leave.
        > >> to take AND leave!
        > >>> Stephen.
        > >> Regards,
        > >> Beat
        > >>> To:
        > hegel@yahoogroups.com
        > >>> From: greuterb@...
        > >>> Date: Sat, 14 Aug 2010 12:40:24 +0200
        > >>> Subject: Re: [hegel]
        > Re: Hegel - the state and civil society - am I correct here?
        > >>> Paul Trejo writes:
        > >>>> In response to the Fri20Jul10
        > post by Rosie Longley:
        > >>>>> Hi,
        > >>>>> I'm reading a text in Arabic relating to Hegel and found him
        > >>>>>
        > interesting. I just wanted to check I had the correct meaning
        > >>>>> - if any experts could correct me, I'd be grateful.
        > Would I be
        > >>>>> correct in thinking that Hegel regarded the state implementing
        > >>>>> "individual ethics" then
        > collective ethics, with a goal of
        > >>>>> freedom achieved by the top.
        > >>>> Hegel has been criticized for
        > providing no book dedicated to Ethics,
        > >>>> yet actually his PHILOSOPHY OF RIGHT (i.e. Rights) contains a section
        > >>>>
        > devoted to Ethics, that is, Individual Ethics (paragraphs 105 to 157).
        > >>>> Here are my informal remarks on that
        > section. As you noted, Rosie,
        > >>>> Individual Ethics are not, for Hegel, an attainment of the Absolute
        > >>>> form of
        > Ethics. (There is a 'top' for Ethics in Hegel's systematic
        > >>>> hierarchy -- he usually calls it 'the Absolute,' though
        > he
        > >>>> sometimes calls it 'Spirit' and sometimes 'God'.)
        > >>>>> Therefore, the study of the state is deemed ethical,
        > where the
        > >>>>> state is not apparent in "abstract morals", yet is not compelled
        > >>>>> to be apparent because it
        > requires conditions and elements only
        > >>>>> available in true "social ethics", where "in that alone is
        > >>>>>
        > rationality for mankind."
        > >>>> For Hegel, the State was closer to the attainment of the Absolute
        > >>>> Right
        > than Individual Ethics can be -- and yet we have no other choice
        > >>>> than to begin with our Individual Ethics. We will
        > *always* act on our
        > >>>> Individual Ethics, so it's a good thing that they can CHANGE.
        > >>>> This very CHANGE forms the
        > substance of Hegel's discussion of the
        > >>>> development of Individual Ethics in its transition to Community,
        > >>>> that
        > is, Objective Ethics.
        > >>>> The change from a merely Subjective Ethics to a merely Objective
        > >>>> Ethics is the
        > dialectic of Ethics - the clash of opposites. The
        > >>>> resolution, theoretically and ultimately, will be the synthesis
        >
        > >>>> of these two opposites in the Subjective-Objective Ethics of Duty,
        > >>>> where what I *want* to do is identical
        > with what I *should* do.
        > >>>> This factor of Duty is not actual, in Hegel's system, until it has
        > >>>> been fully
        > Subjective. It is not a Duty if it is Compulsory --
        > >>>> that is something else. True Duty is Self-willed, Self-
        > acknowledged,
        > >>>> and Self-directed. True Duty is finding the courage to do what I
        > >>>> truly NEED to do. There is
        > liberation in that courage, as well as
        > >>>> a lot of challenge. But *this* is the proper attainment of the
        > >>>>
        > Individual -- not the mere satisfaction of private animal desires,
        > >>>> but a Social awareness that is guided by Social
        > Ethics.
        > >>>> Yet how do we measure Social Ethics? Hegel's response may be
        > >>>> surprising. There is a triad: Virtue,
        > Propriety and Custom.
        > >>>> Contrary to common sense, Hegel regards Virtue as the lowest
        > >>>> form of Social Ethics -
        > Propriety as the middling form - and
        > >>>> Custom as the highest form of Social Ethics.
        > >>>> Hegel argues as follows:
        > Virtue is any accidental gift we acquire
        > >>>> at birth, so free will is lacking in it. That is why it is the
        > >>>>
        > lowest form of Ethics. Propriety is a grudging conformity with
        > >>>> the majority; and that is why it is the middling
        > form for Hegel.
        > >>>> Custom is the highest form - it is learned, so free will plays
        > >>>> an early role, and it takes
        > many years to develop the habits,
        > >>>> so it requires stamina. After the habit is formed, Customs enable
        > >>>> Societies
        > to operate smoothly in larger and larger numbers - including
        > >>>> millions and hundreds of millions of people. So,
        > >>>>
        > Custom is the highest form of Ethics in Hegel's system.
        > >>>>> Therefore, whilst establishing civil society with the
        > mandate to
        > >>>>> support and maintain the state, the state returns to form the
        > >>>>> guardian and protector of civil
        > society, and for this Hegel
        > >>>>> believed that the state is the first, and society is in second
        > >>>>> place, because
        > only in the bosom of the state can the family
        > >>>>> change into civil society, and the idea of the state itself is
        >
        > >>>>> integral to these two elements.
        > >>>>> Any thoughts welcome. Thanks in advance.
        > >>>>> Rosie
        > >>>> Yes -
        > even after we attain our awareness of Duty and our habits of
        > >>>> Custom, there is still a long ladder to climb to
        > attain the Absolute
        > >>>> in the sphere of Rights. The State in which we are born gives us
        > >>>> whatever Rights we enjoy
        > - and these Rights form our very lives.
        > >>>> Therefore, we owe our lives to our State, no matter what it is.
        > >>>> That
        > is why every State has the Right to demand military service
        > >>> >from us - which can be fatal. If it has that
        > Right, then it also
        > >>>> has the Right to demand taxes from us.
        > >>>> The actual conflict of Right in history has to do
        > with International
        > >>>> Rights. Although Kant could dream of a smooth resolution of this,
        > >>>> Hegel did not claim to
        > foresee any smooth resolution for this
        > >>>> conflict in any foreseeable future. Every State is an Individual,
        > >>>> for
        > Hegel - and these Individuals must, like early human tribes,
        > >>>> fight fiercely for their Rights.
        > >>>> Society has a
        > long, long, long journey yet, before it can attain
        > >>>> the Ethics of the Absolute - the kingdom of God on
        > earth.
        > >>> And then the state is no longer necessary, and, as Marx tried to make us
        > >>> believe, resolves
        > itself? Or, is this kingdom only a Kantian idea and as
        > >>> such is not allowed to be taken as objective but only as a
        > subjective
        > >>> guideline? Both assumptions seem to be quite unhegelian. What do you think?
        > >>>> So we struggle.
        > >>>>
        > Best regards,
        > >>>> --Paul Trejo, MA
        > >>> Regards,
        > >>> Beat
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        >
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