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Re: [hegel] Continuation of my mail of yesterday

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  • Beat Greuter
    Dear Stephen, ... I don t think that to say a kind of divine service is opposed to saying that worship for the philosopher is out . In another mail Wil
    Message 1 of 24 , Sep 13, 2010
      Dear Stephen,

      You write:

      >Dear Beat,
      >
      >"A kind of divine service". This seems to go against Wil saying that worship "for the philosopher" is out.
      >

      I don't think that to say "a kind of divine service" is opposed to
      "saying that worship "for the philosopher" is out". In another mail Wil
      wrote: "I read these texts (I am thinking of both the S-L and Phen, and
      the Phil-Religion lectures) to mean the same thing: to wit, that God,
      when comprehended as Idea, cannot be an object of _worship_ by the
      philosopher -- worship is denied us;". I think this is what Hegel means
      when he says that philosophy cannot have a fixed object you think or
      worship on because then you miss the truth in this object and your
      thinking is a mere abstract understanding. This exactly shows the
      transition from the last, the religious consciousness, into pure thought
      or knowing in the PhdG ("absolute" is not a good expression here; see
      also SL, "With What must Science Begin?") - the sublation of religious
      consciousness. The devine service is to be and think in pure thought.
      This means also that Hegel's devine service is always a process.

      >I thought of replying to that that we are not just or always philosophers so that philosophers, i.e. such men or women, are not obliged to be non-religious. What you say though, citing Hegel, seems more satisfactory, that philosophising itself is worship, "divine service". So in the old marriage service the spouse-to-be says to the other, "With my body I thee worship". Worship names a constant of human life.
      >

      Nobody ist "obliged to be non-religious" or religious. However, the
      personal faith of a philosopher cannot be used without hesitation for
      explaining his thought.

      >Among devotees there have always been grades and styles of prayer, e.g. the admonition not to use many phrases, down to attitudes of waiting, of abandonment to providence, to "the cunning of Reason", differences again re what to ask for, Aquinas's prayer before study etc. And always that "God helps those who help themselves". Maybe I pray to myself, a variant upon the Franciscan "It is in loving that we are loved". It would be, in helping myself I am helped, I have self-respect, we say.
      >

      "Love" is an important concept in Hegel's philosphy. But its meaning and
      relevance has changed in the course of Hegel's creative work.

      >It is a task, as you say, finding convergence, as we move in and out of poetry, music, art, religion, philosophy. The aesthetic is indeed prominent. Findlay suggests Hegel's whiole philosophy is an aesthetic. Probably Hegel would say the ideal is to pray as God prays. How does God pray? By being his own manifestation maybe, Nature. "I am myself".
      >

      I think Wil says something similar though perhaps with a slightly other
      meaning: "we can only be aesthetically towards this Absolute with
      gravity, wonder and awe."

      >Thus we generate a new immediacy, you say. Music may first make one philosophise, or those phenomenal experiences Hegel starts off by discussing, or being in love, or great danger. "The poet is compared with the philosopher in that both are concerned with the marvellous" (Aquinas). This might seem un-Hegelian, but this is due to sticking with a false view of "mystery" as impenetrable to reason. Philosophy is itself the greatest motive for wonder, in self-admiration.
      >

      Yes, I think also that "wonder" (astonishment) is the beginning of each
      philosophy, but only the beginning. Later it must "lay aside the title
      'love of knowing' and be actual knowing" in the form of Science (see
      Preface of the PhdG, para 5).


      >"expresses more" in your text seems to be textually flawed. How should it be, if you remember? What then is the dynamic process, the divine service? Is it this wondering, this confrontation with manifestation as, for example, category after category falls away into something less abstract and particular? Difficult to say, maybe. I just think the root idea you express is good, and reconciling. And that it is here made explicit. There is more to say but I'll leave it there for now.
      >
      >Stephen.
      >

      I said above that Hegel's divine service of philosophy is a dynamic
      process in pure thought. But the categories do not merely "fall(s) away
      into something less abstract and particular". This would be merely a
      linear process of the understanding. Hegel's process is not linear but a
      new category is more abstract and unconscious and one-sided first in its
      new immediacy which then is the starting point for further mediations
      with a more concrete result which could not have been achieved directly
      from the previous mediated category (i.e. the transition from the
      concrete concept of Pure Becoming into the one-sided concept of
      Determinate Being in which Pure Becoming is merely sublated and has to
      be made explicitly again into a more concrete level of the concept).
      Each progress requires first a regression. I think that each science
      requires such regressions and simplifications for its development.

      Regards,
      Beat Greuter


      >To: hegel@yahoogroups.com
      >From: greuterb@...
      >Date: Sun, 12 Sep 2010 14:05:25 +0200
      >Subject: Re: [hegel] Continuation of my mail of yesterday
      >
      >Oliver Scholz writes:
      >
      >>................
      >>But that's not all. There is in general something about
      >>debates about god on this list which keeps nagging me. It is
      >>not the god issue per se -- after all I do think that
      >>Hegel's philosophy establishes the possibility of religion
      >>as reasonable. After all I am convinced that atheism is a
      >>Christian phenomenon -- in every ambivalence introduced by
      >>the word phenomenon. I'm not sure whether I would agree with
      >>Alan on all accounts, because Christianity is of utmost
      >>importance within the 'having-become' of spirit and that in
      >>many ways Hegel's philosophy can be regarded as a
      >>philosophical reconstruction of this. And after all I'm
      >>actually very much interested in theology.
      >>
      >>So, that's not it. It's something else. All this here SEEMS
      >>to be religion in disguise of philosophy; but I have the
      >>feeling that it only seems so. When I struggle to grasp
      >>this intuition of mine, the phrase "it's not the real thing"
      >>keeps coming into my mind. It does not feel genuine; this
      >>use of philosophal terms and statements to express
      >>representations that would ACTUALLY belong to the realm of
      >>religion feels like a SUBSTITUTE for genuine religion. I
      >>have to ask myself: maybe it is less the fact that it's
      >>abused philosophy because of which I find it so obnoxious,
      >>maybe it's the fact that it is only surrogate religion.
      >>
      >Hegel's philosophy as every good philosophy is a kind of divine service,
      >as Hegel says. The reason for this is the search for the absolute that
      >brings you into an opposition of the finite and the infinite. To find
      >the convergence and coincidence of these opposites is the task of
      >philosophy, poetry etc. as well as religion and theology. It is a
      >mediating activity in thought and reality that generates a new immediacy
      >which is the result of this activity, however, expresses more. The
      >'more' expressed by the new immediacy leads to a dynamic process which
      >can be called a divine service. Hegel's philosophy (and other
      >philosophies) stands for making this process explicitly which elsewhere
      >is 'only' implicitly.
      >
      >Regards,
      >Beat Greuter
      >


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Paul Healey
      Oliver, your post made me think of God is dead as a psychological problem which our culture has inherited from medieval metaphysics. For in order for the
      Message 2 of 24 , Sep 13, 2010
        Oliver, your post made me think of 'God is dead' as
        a psychological problem which our culture has
        inherited from medieval metaphysics.
        For in order for the discussion to make any progress
        from an Hegelian perspective, there should be some
        agreement on what he is claiming according to the different
        understandings which are identified in his works. Either that,
        or demonstrate why any given proposal on such a mater is in error.
        For instance, it seems just as absurd to propose the truth of such a proposition is based solely on its syntax (as Russell held with his correspondence theory of truth) as it is on its semantics (which Russell
        mistakenly attributes to the Hegelians and
        calls a coherence theory of truth).

        Let me try to explain: given modus ponens is assumed to be one
        form of valid inference: if p then q, p therefore q, you
        can deduce if God then good, God therefore good as well as
        if God then evil, God therefore evil. The same goes for
        God being being mortal or immortal. Therefore God can
        be whatever you like and whenever you like by expanding
        such a rule in a consistent way.

        For the medievals, God died but can be resureccted, so the
        truth of such propositions is solely about what the agent believes.
        Some might call this freedom; the freedom
        to believe in what you want, but by the purely syntactical
        notion of deduction the good and the evil can be the same
        as can the mortal and the immortal, so how can there be any freedom from
        that which is evil, if it is the same as that which is a good?

        Certainly it can't if God has no reason for being either; if the good
        cannot be greater than that which is evil. For if the good dies as God dies
        as evil can die, or both together be immortal or one of each, there is no
        escape. In fact, there would be no reason for the modality of their relations
        to be absolute and yet such is the dogma of this thinking.

        The semantics of the syntactic method for a 'correpondence theory of truth'
        is based on an ambiguity that is assumed to be true. The idea of
        a purely syntactic theory is therefore a false one.
        That is, it can be proved that such an ambuiguity denies
        what is actually true for the range of the understanding
        within the function of the dialectic. This, rests my case
        that Russell unlike Hegel bases his whole idea of logic
        as developed and appropriated from the medievals via Aristotle
        on a contradiction! <Russell didn't do his maths properly,
        while Aristotle didn't even have the maths to show how the logic
        of propositions could be based on it>.

        This, is why I think Hegel argues that the medieval
        use of inference (which is a crutch for its metaphysics)
        belongs to a feeble understanding within the function
        of the dialectic. As such it is even weaker than Hegel's
        understanding of Speculative Logic, or even the Empirical one
        of Hume and the Transcendental one of Kant.

        The problem, is that such a dichotomy between
        syntax and semantics has been drummed into
        us for so long. For this reason, perhaps
        it is likely we will return to barbarism (book
        and flag burning leading to cries for war
        disease and famine)?; I do not hold out much hope that
        there will be a cure for those inffected by
        such thinking, but did Hegel?


        Regards,



        Paul Healey






        Oliver, your post made me think of 'God is dead' as
        a psychological problem which our culture has
        inherited from medieval metaphysics.
        For in order for the discussion to make any progress
        from an Hegelian perspective, there should be some
        agreement on what he is claiming according to the different understandings
        which are identifies in his works. Either that, or demonstrate why any given
        proposal on such a mater is in error. For instance, it seems just
        as absurd to propose the truth of such propositions is based
        solely on their syntax (as Russell held with his correspondence theory
        of truth) as it is on their semantics (which Russell
        mistakenly attributes to the Hegelians and
        calls a coherence theory of truth).
         
        Let me try to explain: given modus ponens is assumed to be one
        form of valid inference: if p then q, p therefore q, you
        can deduce if God then good, God therefore good as well as
        if God then evil, God therefore evil. The same goes for
        God being being mortal or immortal. Therefore God can
        be whatever you like and whenever you like by expanding
        such a rule in a consistent way.
         
        For the medievals, God died but can be resureccted, so the
        truth of such propositions is solely about what the agent believes.
        Some might call this freedom; the freedom
        to believe in what you want, but by the purely syntactical
        notion of deduction the good and the evil can be the same
        as can the mortal and the immortal, so how can there be any freedom from
        that which is evil, if it is the same as that which is a good?
         
        Certainly it can't if God has no reason for being either; if the good
        cannot be greater than that which is evil. For if the good dies as God dies
        as evil can die, or both together be immortal or one of each, there is no
        escape. In fact, there would be no reason for the modality of their relations
        to be absolute and yet such is the dogma of this thinking.
         
        The semantics of the syntactic method for a 'correpondence theory of truth'
        is based on an ambiguity that is assumed to be true. The idea of
        a purely syntactic theory is therefore a false one.
        That is, it can be proved that such an ambuiguity denies
        what is actually true for the range of the understanding
        within the function of the dialectic. This, rests my case
        that Russell unlike Hegel bases his whole idea of logic
        as developed and appropriated from the medievals via Aristotle
        on a contradiction! <Russell didn't do his maths properly,
        while Aristotle didn't even have the maths to show how the logic
        of propositions could be based on it>.
         
        This, is why I think Hegel argues that the medieval
        use of inference (which is a crutch for its metaphysics)
        belongs to a feeble understanding within the function
        of the dialectic. As such it is even weaker than Hegel's
        understanding of Speculative Logic, or even the empirical one
        of Hume and the transcendental one of Kant.

        The problem, is that such a dichotomy between
        syntax and semantics has been drummed into
        us for so long, I do not hold out much hope that
        there will be a cure!
         
         
        Regards,
         
        Paul Healey
         
         
         
        -- On Sun, 12/9/10, Oliver Scholz <alkibiades@...> wrote:


        From: Oliver Scholz <alkibiades@...>
        Subject: Re: [hegel] Continuation of my mail of yesterday
        To: hegel@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Sunday, 12 September, 2010, 9:38


         



        Alan: I think we will just have to agree to disagree.

        Wil: That would be different!

        I start to believe that part of the reason why debates of
        Gretchen's Question on this list are so very cumbersome,
        interminable, dissatisfying and eventually boring is that
        it's not the real thing which we are discussing.

        I've been studying Angelus Silesius lately, a German
        poet/mystic who was influenced by Jakob
        Boehme. (Interestingly, he was brought to my attention
        because Jorge Luis Borges mentions him with adoration in one
        of his poems.) I have to say: I love Angelus Silesius. And
        it is not just the poetic form that enarmours me, it is most
        definitely also the content. Musing about this, I asked
        myself: why did I actually find discussions about god and
        about Hegel's relation to mysticism on this mailing list so
        appalling in the past?

        Well, there is the obvious answers: It's not the same. It's
        not
        even similar. An Angelus Silesius and somebody living
        today uttering the exact same words would be saying quite
        different things.

        But that's not all. There is in general something about
        debates about god on this list which keeps nagging me. It is
        not the god issue per se -- after all I do think that
        Hegel's philosophy establishes the possibility of religion
        as reasonable. After all I am convinced that atheism is a
        Christian phenomenon -- in every ambivalence introduced by
        the word phenomenon. I'm not sure whether I would agree with
        Alan on all accounts, because Christianity is of utmost
        importance within the 'having-become' of spirit and that in
        many ways Hegel's philosophy can be regarded as a
        philosophical reconstruction of this. And after all I'm
        actually very much interested in theology.

        So, that's not it. It's something else. All this here SEEMS
        to be religion in disguise of philosophy; but I
        have the
        feeling that it only seems so. When I struggle to grasp
        this intuition of mine, the phrase "it's not the real thing"
        keeps coming into my mind. It does not feel genuine; this
        use of philosophal terms and statements to express
        representations that would ACTUALLY belong to the realm of
        religion feels like a SUBSTITUTE for genuine religion. I
        have to ask myself: maybe it is less the fact that it's
        abused philosophy because of which I find it so obnoxious,
        maybe it's the fact that it is only surrogate religion.

        I have always kept a gentle nostalgia for genuine religion
        and an actual god that is alive in the believer's
        creed. This nostalgia, this melancholy is, I think, the true
        atheist's counterpart to the true believer's constant
        struggle with his own disbelief. Now, this surrogate
        religion, this "philosophical" god, in other words: this
        dead god, this ungod -- it's if as if somebody
        would
        violently agitate me to start smoking again and it turns
        out: he's talking about chocolate cigarettes.

        Nevertheless, I'm indeed wondering whether this might put
        the finger on the point: what we increasingly encounter
        today, not only here, but also elsewhere, is "God" as a
        surrogate for god.

        The thing about representations (vorstellungen) is that even
        abstract thoughts can become representations if they are
        used as such. I believe, this is the case here. Debates here
        remind me a lot of discussions with somebody diagnosed with
        borderline personality disorder: there's quite some
        intelligence employed on the other side, and nevertheless
        any attempt to come to terms with the matter discussed in a
        reasonable way is ultimately futile, because that which in
        actuality organises the discourse never becomes itself
        thematic in the discourse. Never. Instead, the other does
        have quite a talent to
        infuriate one, even while maintaining
        the semblance of calmness and softness.

        All this has, I believe, something to do with the Death of
        God, understood as a historic event. Every kind of religion
        which we encounter today, every talk of god reacts in some
        way to the Death of God. (Fundamentalism -- Christian or
        otherwise is not only not an example against it, it is an
        example *for* it.) Contemporary theology, at least to the
        small extent that I have made acquaintance with it, actually
        reflects the Death of God, although I suppose that hardly
        any theologian would admit that metaphor -- it is, after
        all, a metaphor -- but they seem to me to reflect that for
        which the metaphor stands. The crucial difference is between
        "reflect on" and "unconsciously being driven by".

        This "philosophical" ungod should, I think, be analysed as a
        specific, though, like Fundamentalism, pathological reaction
        to the Death
        of God. So far, I've only started to think
        about it that way. Any thoughts?

        Oliver
      • stephen theron
        Dear Beat, Thanks for the tips here. I appreciate them. I only meant, that I suppose that the philosopher as a man might go to church, say, without betraying
        Message 3 of 24 , Sep 13, 2010
          Dear Beat,



          Thanks for the tips here. I appreciate them. I only meant, that I suppose that the philosopher as a man might go to church, say, without betraying himself, like Hegel in fact. Anyhow, I can see worship, like your "divine service", as an intrinsically analogical or focal concept including the spousal attitude I mentioned or indeed our stance before truth. Of course worshipping normally posits an external object and that idea has to be overcome, as it is implicitly in "the absolute religion" itself, however we interpret this description of Hegel's. All the church-going etc. was never more than a concession, the whole theology of the Temple implies.

          "the sublation of religious consciousness" - that is an exciting phrase. As I once asked, expecting a "no", "Is God religious?" It means though, we adore (in the mediated sense referred to above) to the point of losing ourselves. Reality, infinity, that is, is necessarily maximal as form and content become fused. Only thus do we make room for the remarks about blessedness etc. Or, in becoming what we worship we no longer worship, or we worship "in spirit and in truth". It is the same, plenty of texts seem to indicate, if we didn't know it already. But I may seem to be jumping ahead there. "The divine service is to be and think in pure thought", "always a process" you write. Well, I made some comments on that recently. I think Hegel gives no support to "process theology" etc. The Notion itself is ultimately all of consciousness, in which alone "we" have our true being as "the very total which the notion is", "indissolubly one with it", indissolubly. No process there. But of course the word may be used here and there. But in so far as thought is the Notion, not the Judgment or the Syllogism, it is not discursive.

          I agree that the personal faith of a philosopher cannot be used for explaining his thought. I hope I do not do that. Indeed I have said nothing about faith here. I find it a rather problematic concept. I do not think Hegel does that, though he refers often enough to ideas broached by Christians. But we do not abstract from our own individuality either, which is fulfilled in the universal.

          The meaning of love has changed yes, as with Francis (the very point of my quote). By which I do not mean either to assert or deny that Francis was a philosopher.

          Yes, Wil does say that, I was pleased to see. Yes I am familiar with this laying aside of the first title and progressing ("processing", but from shadows to reality, to our our own eternal reality, i.e. it is not a "real" but a dialectical process) to actual knowing. Some people find this an obstacle as indicative of Hegel's supposed "rationalism" (in the sense of being rationalist rather than rational), but what would be the point of loving knowing if we never could actually know. Of course only the Absolute knows the Absolute. This is indisputable I think. Therefore we must take seriously the various identities Hegel propounds, as of an absolute subject, "members one of another" (I cite this phrase as apposite, not as any declaration of "a personal faith". It pinpoints the sublation of Whole and Parts).

          "Each progress requires first a regression". this is true I think more of the earlier dialectic than of the later, where a sheer Advance becomes more and more characteristic. McTaggart makes this point forcefully in his "Studies in the H. Dialectic" and elsewhere. I don't know if you would agree. I suspect not, as being "linear". It corresponds to my reading quite well. But yes, they do not merely fall away, you are right there.

          Thank you again for these openings and fruits of your scholarship.

          Stephen.


          To: hegel@yahoogroups.com
          From: greuterb@...
          Date: Mon, 13 Sep 2010 12:07:51 +0200
          Subject: Re: [hegel] Continuation of my mail of yesterday






          Dear Stephen,

          You write:

          >Dear Beat,
          >
          >"A kind of divine service". This seems to go against Wil saying that worship "for the philosopher" is out.
          >

          I don't think that to say "a kind of divine service" is opposed to
          "saying that worship "for the philosopher" is out". In another mail Wil
          wrote: "I read these texts (I am thinking of both the S-L and Phen, and
          the Phil-Religion lectures) to mean the same thing: to wit, that God,
          when comprehended as Idea, cannot be an object of _worship_ by the
          philosopher -- worship is denied us;". I think this is what Hegel means
          when he says that philosophy cannot have a fixed object you think or
          worship on because then you miss the truth in this object and your
          thinking is a mere abstract understanding. This exactly shows the
          transition from the last, the religious consciousness, into pure thought
          or knowing in the PhdG ("absolute" is not a good expression here; see
          also SL, "With What must Science Begin?") - the sublation of religious
          consciousness. The devine service is to be and think in pure thought.
          This means also that Hegel's devine service is always a process.

          >I thought of replying to that that we are not just or always philosophers so that philosophers, i.e. such men or women, are not obliged to be non-religious. What you say though, citing Hegel, seems more satisfactory, that philosophising itself is worship, "divine service". So in the old marriage service the spouse-to-be says to the other, "With my body I thee worship". Worship names a constant of human life.
          >

          Nobody ist "obliged to be non-religious" or religious. However, the
          personal faith of a philosopher cannot be used without hesitation for
          explaining his thought.

          >Among devotees there have always been grades and styles of prayer, e.g. the admonition not to use many phrases, down to attitudes of waiting, of abandonment to providence, to "the cunning of Reason", differences again re what to ask for, Aquinas's prayer before study etc. And always that "God helps those who help themselves". Maybe I pray to myself, a variant upon the Franciscan "It is in loving that we are loved". It would be, in helping myself I am helped, I have self-respect, we say.
          >

          "Love" is an important concept in Hegel's philosphy. But its meaning and
          relevance has changed in the course of Hegel's creative work.

          >It is a task, as you say, finding convergence, as we move in and out of poetry, music, art, religion, philosophy. The aesthetic is indeed prominent. Findlay suggests Hegel's whiole philosophy is an aesthetic. Probably Hegel would say the ideal is to pray as God prays. How does God pray? By being his own manifestation maybe, Nature. "I am myself".
          >

          I think Wil says something similar though perhaps with a slightly other
          meaning: "we can only be aesthetically towards this Absolute with
          gravity, wonder and awe."

          >Thus we generate a new immediacy, you say. Music may first make one philosophise, or those phenomenal experiences Hegel starts off by discussing, or being in love, or great danger. "The poet is compared with the philosopher in that both are concerned with the marvellous" (Aquinas). This might seem un-Hegelian, but this is due to sticking with a false view of "mystery" as impenetrable to reason. Philosophy is itself the greatest motive for wonder, in self-admiration.
          >

          Yes, I think also that "wonder" (astonishment) is the beginning of each
          philosophy, but only the beginning. Later it must "lay aside the title
          'love of knowing' and be actual knowing" in the form of Science (see
          Preface of the PhdG, para 5).


          >"expresses more" in your text seems to be textually flawed. How should it be, if you remember? What then is the dynamic process, the divine service? Is it this wondering, this confrontation with manifestation as, for example, category after category falls away into something less abstract and particular? Difficult to say, maybe. I just think the root idea you express is good, and reconciling. And that it is here made explicit. There is more to say but I'll leave it there for now.
          >
          >Stephen.
          >

          I said above that Hegel's divine service of philosophy is a dynamic
          process in pure thought. But the categories do not merely "fall(s) away
          into something less abstract and particular". This would be merely a
          linear process of the understanding. Hegel's process is not linear but a
          new category is more abstract and unconscious and one-sided first in its
          new immediacy which then is the starting point for further mediations
          with a more concrete result which could not have been achieved directly
          from the previous mediated category (i.e. the transition from the
          concrete concept of Pure Becoming into the one-sided concept of
          Determinate Being in which Pure Becoming is merely sublated and has to
          be made explicitly again into a more concrete level of the concept).
          Each progress requires first a regression. I think that each science
          requires such regressions and simplifications for its development.

          Regards,
          Beat Greuter

          >To: hegel@yahoogroups.com
          >From: greuterb@...
          >Date: Sun, 12 Sep 2010 14:05:25 +0200
          >Subject: Re: [hegel] Continuation of my mail of yesterday
          >
          >Oliver Scholz writes:
          >
          >>................
          >>But that's not all. There is in general something about
          >>debates about god on this list which keeps nagging me. It is
          >>not the god issue per se -- after all I do think that
          >>Hegel's philosophy establishes the possibility of religion
          >>as reasonable. After all I am convinced that atheism is a
          >>Christian phenomenon -- in every ambivalence introduced by
          >>the word phenomenon. I'm not sure whether I would agree with
          >>Alan on all accounts, because Christianity is of utmost
          >>importance within the 'having-become' of spirit and that in
          >>many ways Hegel's philosophy can be regarded as a
          >>philosophical reconstruction of this. And after all I'm
          >>actually very much interested in theology.
          >>
          >>So, that's not it. It's something else. All this here SEEMS
          >>to be religion in disguise of philosophy; but I have the
          >>feeling that it only seems so. When I struggle to grasp
          >>this intuition of mine, the phrase "it's not the real thing"
          >>keeps coming into my mind. It does not feel genuine; this
          >>use of philosophal terms and statements to express
          >>representations that would ACTUALLY belong to the realm of
          >>religion feels like a SUBSTITUTE for genuine religion. I
          >>have to ask myself: maybe it is less the fact that it's
          >>abused philosophy because of which I find it so obnoxious,
          >>maybe it's the fact that it is only surrogate religion.
          >>
          >Hegel's philosophy as every good philosophy is a kind of divine service,
          >as Hegel says. The reason for this is the search for the absolute that
          >brings you into an opposition of the finite and the infinite. To find
          >the convergence and coincidence of these opposites is the task of
          >philosophy, poetry etc. as well as religion and theology. It is a
          >mediating activity in thought and reality that generates a new immediacy
          >which is the result of this activity, however, expresses more. The
          >'more' expressed by the new immediacy leads to a dynamic process which
          >can be called a divine service. Hegel's philosophy (and other
          >philosophies) stands for making this process explicitly which elsewhere
          >is 'only' implicitly.
          >
          >Regards,
          >Beat Greuter
          >

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






          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • eupraxis@aol.com
          Stephen wrote, ... only the Absolute knows the Absolute. I have been looking at this phrase for a few minutes now. While I understand the gist the intent,
          Message 4 of 24 , Sep 13, 2010
            Stephen wrote, " ... only the Absolute knows the Absolute."

            I have been looking at this phrase for a few minutes now. While I understand the gist the intent, if one pardons that presumption, I have to take issue with it insofar as the transitive nature of the verb "knows" implies that which the Absolute, in its utter in-and-for-itself transparency, has transcended. I am not sure if it is proper, ultimately, to say that the Absolute knows anything -- or, indeed, 'does' anything -- _qua_ Absolute.

            If we say that the Absolute 'thinks' (struggles, meanders, discovers, etc.), this is only as a dialectical process, and as such it is always particularized, abstracted. The Absolute is attained in the activity and gesture of (conceptual) knowing; the 'known' being for it the freedom of Reason toward its end. (The finality of the process always appears (in the texts) oddly devoid of its content, bringing to mind Aristotle's 'thought thinking itself'.)

            Wil






            -----Original Message-----
            From: stephen theron <stephentheron@...>
            To: hegel hegel <hegel@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Mon, Sep 13, 2010 9:36 am
            Subject: RE: [hegel] Continuation of my mail of yesterday



            Dear Beat,



            Thanks for the tips here. I appreciate them. I only meant, that I suppose that
            the philosopher as a man might go to church, say, without betraying himself,
            like Hegel in fact. Anyhow, I can see worship, like your "divine service", as an
            intrinsically analogical or focal concept including the spousal attitude I
            mentioned or indeed our stance before truth. Of course worshipping normally
            posits an external object and that idea has to be overcome, as it is implicitly
            in "the absolute religion" itself, however we interpret this description of
            Hegel's. All the church-going etc. was never more than a concession, the whole
            theology of the Temple implies.

            "the sublation of religious consciousness" - that is an exciting phrase. As I
            once asked, expecting a "no", "Is God religious?" It means though, we adore (in
            the mediated sense referred to above) to the point of losing ourselves. Reality,
            infinity, that is, is necessarily maximal as form and content become fused. Only
            thus do we make room for the remarks about blessedness etc. Or, in becoming what
            we worship we no longer worship, or we worship "in spirit and in truth". It is
            the same, plenty of texts seem to indicate, if we didn't know it already. But I
            may seem to be jumping ahead there. "The divine service is to be and think in
            pure thought", "always a process" you write. Well, I made some comments on that
            recently. I think Hegel gives no support to "process theology" etc. The Notion
            itself is ultimately all of consciousness, in which alone "we" have our true
            being as "the very total which the notion is", "indissolubly one with it",
            indissolubly. No process there. But of co
            urse the word may be used here and there. But in so far as thought is the
            Notion, not the Judgment or the Syllogism, it is not discursive.

            I agree that the personal faith of a philosopher cannot be used for explaining
            his thought. I hope I do not do that. Indeed I have said nothing about faith
            here. I find it a rather problematic concept. I do not think Hegel does that,
            though he refers often enough to ideas broached by Christians. But we do not
            abstract from our own individuality either, which is fulfilled in the universal.

            The meaning of love has changed yes, as with Francis (the very point of my
            quote). By which I do not mean either to assert or deny that Francis was a
            philosopher.

            Yes, Wil does say that, I was pleased to see. Yes I am familiar with this laying
            aside of the first title and progressing ("processing", but from shadows to
            reality, to our our own eternal reality, i.e. it is not a "real" but a
            dialectical process) to actual knowing. Some people find this an obstacle as
            indicative of Hegel's supposed "rationalism" (in the sense of being rationalist
            rather than rational), but what would be the point of loving knowing if we never
            could actually know. Of course only the Absolute knows the Absolute. This is
            indisputable I think. Therefore we must take seriously the various identities
            Hegel propounds, as of an absolute subject, "members one of another" (I cite
            this phrase as apposite, not as any declaration of "a personal faith". It
            pinpoints the sublation of Whole and Parts).

            "Each progress requires first a regression". this is true I think more of the
            earlier dialectic than of the later, where a sheer Advance becomes more and more
            characteristic. McTaggart makes this point forcefully in his "Studies in the H.
            Dialectic" and elsewhere. I don't know if you would agree. I suspect not, as
            being "linear". It corresponds to my reading quite well. But yes, they do not
            merely fall away, you are right there.

            Thank you again for these openings and fruits of your scholarship.

            Stephen.


            To: hegel@yahoogroups.com
            From: greuterb@...
            Date: Mon, 13 Sep 2010 12:07:51 +0200
            Subject: Re: [hegel] Continuation of my mail of yesterday






            Dear Stephen,

            You write:

            >Dear Beat,
            >
            >"A kind of divine service". This seems to go against Wil saying that worship
            "for the philosopher" is out.
            >

            I don't think that to say "a kind of divine service" is opposed to
            "saying that worship "for the philosopher" is out". In another mail Wil
            wrote: "I read these texts (I am thinking of both the S-L and Phen, and
            the Phil-Religion lectures) to mean the same thing: to wit, that God,
            when comprehended as Idea, cannot be an object of _worship_ by the
            philosopher -- worship is denied us;". I think this is what Hegel means
            when he says that philosophy cannot have a fixed object you think or
            worship on because then you miss the truth in this object and your
            thinking is a mere abstract understanding. This exactly shows the
            transition from the last, the religious consciousness, into pure thought
            or knowing in the PhdG ("absolute" is not a good expression here; see
            also SL, "With What must Science Begin?") - the sublation of religious
            consciousness. The devine service is to be and think in pure thought.
            This means also that Hegel's devine service is always a process.

            >I thought of replying to that that we are not just or always philosophers so
            that philosophers, i.e. such men or women, are not obliged to be non-religious.
            What you say though, citing Hegel, seems more satisfactory, that philosophising
            itself is worship, "divine service". So in the old marriage service the
            spouse-to-be says to the other, "With my body I thee worship". Worship names a
            constant of human life.
            >

            Nobody ist "obliged to be non-religious" or religious. However, the
            personal faith of a philosopher cannot be used without hesitation for
            explaining his thought.

            >Among devotees there have always been grades and styles of prayer, e.g. the
            admonition not to use many phrases, down to attitudes of waiting, of abandonment
            to providence, to "the cunning of Reason", differences again re what to ask for,
            Aquinas's prayer before study etc. And always that "God helps those who help
            themselves". Maybe I pray to myself, a variant upon the Franciscan "It is in
            loving that we are loved". It would be, in helping myself I am helped, I have
            self-respect, we say.
            >

            "Love" is an important concept in Hegel's philosphy. But its meaning and
            relevance has changed in the course of Hegel's creative work.

            >It is a task, as you say, finding convergence, as we move in and out of poetry,
            music, art, religion, philosophy. The aesthetic is indeed prominent. Findlay
            suggests Hegel's whiole philosophy is an aesthetic. Probably Hegel would say the
            ideal is to pray as God prays. How does God pray? By being his own manifestation
            maybe, Nature. "I am myself".
            >

            I think Wil says something similar though perhaps with a slightly other
            meaning: "we can only be aesthetically towards this Absolute with
            gravity, wonder and awe."

            >Thus we generate a new immediacy, you say. Music may first make one
            philosophise, or those phenomenal experiences Hegel starts off by discussing, or
            being in love, or great danger. "The poet is compared with the philosopher in
            that both are concerned with the marvellous" (Aquinas). This might seem
            un-Hegelian, but this is due to sticking with a false view of "mystery" as
            impenetrable to reason. Philosophy is itself the greatest motive for wonder, in
            self-admiration.
            >

            Yes, I think also that "wonder" (astonishment) is the beginning of each
            philosophy, but only the beginning. Later it must "lay aside the title
            'love of knowing' and be actual knowing" in the form of Science (see
            Preface of the PhdG, para 5).


            >"expresses more" in your text seems to be textually flawed. How should it be,
            if you remember? What then is the dynamic process, the divine service? Is it
            this wondering, this confrontation with manifestation as, for example, category
            after category falls away into something less abstract and particular? Difficult
            to say, maybe. I just think the root idea you express is good, and reconciling.
            And that it is here made explicit. There is more to say but I'll leave it there
            for now.
            >
            >Stephen.
            >

            I said above that Hegel's divine service of philosophy is a dynamic
            process in pure thought. But the categories do not merely "fall(s) away
            into something less abstract and particular". This would be merely a
            linear process of the understanding. Hegel's process is not linear but a
            new category is more abstract and unconscious and one-sided first in its
            new immediacy which then is the starting point for further mediations
            with a more concrete result which could not have been achieved directly
            from the previous mediated category (i.e. the transition from the
            concrete concept of Pure Becoming into the one-sided concept of
            Determinate Being in which Pure Becoming is merely sublated and has to
            be made explicitly again into a more concrete level of the concept).
            Each progress requires first a regression. I think that each science
            requires such regressions and simplifications for its development.

            Regards,
            Beat Greuter

            >To: hegel@yahoogroups.com
            >From: greuterb@...
            >Date: Sun, 12 Sep 2010 14:05:25 +0200
            >Subject: Re: [hegel] Continuation of my mail of yesterday
            >
            >Oliver Scholz writes:
            >
            >>................
            >>But that's not all. There is in general something about
            >>debates about god on this list which keeps nagging me. It is
            >>not the god issue per se -- after all I do think that
            >>Hegel's philosophy establishes the possibility of religion
            >>as reasonable. After all I am convinced that atheism is a
            >>Christian phenomenon -- in every ambivalence introduced by
            >>the word phenomenon. I'm not sure whether I would agree with
            >>Alan on all accounts, because Christianity is of utmost
            >>importance within the 'having-become' of spirit and that in
            >>many ways Hegel's philosophy can be regarded as a
            >>philosophical reconstruction of this. And after all I'm
            >>actually very much interested in theology.
            >>
            >>So, that's not it. It's something else. All this here SEEMS
            >>to be religion in disguise of philosophy; but I have the
            >>feeling that it only seems so. When I struggle to grasp
            >>this intuition of mine, the phrase "it's not the real thing"
            >>keeps coming into my mind. It does not feel genuine; this
            >>use of philosophal terms and statements to express
            >>representations that would ACTUALLY belong to the realm of
            >>religion feels like a SUBSTITUTE for genuine religion. I
            >>have to ask myself: maybe it is less the fact that it's
            >>abused philosophy because of which I find it so obnoxious,
            >>maybe it's the fact that it is only surrogate religion.
            >>
            >Hegel's philosophy as every good philosophy is a kind of divine service,
            >as Hegel says. The reason for this is the search for the absolute that
            >brings you into an opposition of the finite and the infinite. To find
            >the convergence and coincidence of these opposites is the task of
            >philosophy, poetry etc. as well as religion and theology. It is a
            >mediating activity in thought and reality that generates a new immediacy
            >which is the result of this activity, however, expresses more. The
            >'more' expressed by the new immediacy leads to a dynamic process which
            >can be called a divine service. Hegel's philosophy (and other
            >philosophies) stands for making this process explicitly which elsewhere
            >is 'only' implicitly.
            >
            >Regards,
            >Beat Greuter
            >

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






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



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          • stephen theron
            Wil, I appreciate this. But, as you say, transparency... It is probably not ultimately proper. Is Hegelian cognition, in the Logic at least, univocal with our
            Message 5 of 24 , Sep 13, 2010
              Wil,



              I appreciate this. But, as you say, transparency... It is probably not ultimately proper.

              Is Hegelian cognition, in the Logic at least, univocal with our ordinary term "knowledge", which always or necessarily "objectivizes" (intentionality etc.)?

              So I at least wanted to exclude that anything else knows it, some other I or "we" for example, considered as external to it. It would then be finite, as I am seeing this, less than entirely act or active, as Hegel characterises (he has to) the Notion.



              Stephen.



              To: hegel@yahoogroups.com
              From: eupraxis@...
              Date: Mon, 13 Sep 2010 11:26:37 -0400
              Subject: Re: [hegel] Continuation of my mail of yesterday






              Stephen wrote, " ... only the Absolute knows the Absolute."

              I have been looking at this phrase for a few minutes now. While I understand the gist the intent, if one pardons that presumption, I have to take issue with it insofar as the transitive nature of the verb "knows" implies that which the Absolute, in its utter in-and-for-itself transparency, has transcended. I am not sure if it is proper, ultimately, to say that the Absolute knows anything -- or, indeed, 'does' anything -- _qua_ Absolute.

              If we say that the Absolute 'thinks' (struggles, meanders, discovers, etc.), this is only as a dialectical process, and as such it is always particularized, abstracted. The Absolute is attained in the activity and gesture of (conceptual) knowing; the 'known' being for it the freedom of Reason toward its end. (The finality of the process always appears (in the texts) oddly devoid of its content, bringing to mind Aristotle's 'thought thinking itself'.)

              Wil

              -----Original Message-----
              From: stephen theron <stephentheron@...>
              To: hegel hegel <hegel@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Mon, Sep 13, 2010 9:36 am
              Subject: RE: [hegel] Continuation of my mail of yesterday

              Dear Beat,

              Thanks for the tips here. I appreciate them. I only meant, that I suppose that
              the philosopher as a man might go to church, say, without betraying himself,
              like Hegel in fact. Anyhow, I can see worship, like your "divine service", as an
              intrinsically analogical or focal concept including the spousal attitude I
              mentioned or indeed our stance before truth. Of course worshipping normally
              posits an external object and that idea has to be overcome, as it is implicitly
              in "the absolute religion" itself, however we interpret this description of
              Hegel's. All the church-going etc. was never more than a concession, the whole
              theology of the Temple implies.

              "the sublation of religious consciousness" - that is an exciting phrase. As I
              once asked, expecting a "no", "Is God religious?" It means though, we adore (in
              the mediated sense referred to above) to the point of losing ourselves. Reality,
              infinity, that is, is necessarily maximal as form and content become fused. Only
              thus do we make room for the remarks about blessedness etc. Or, in becoming what
              we worship we no longer worship, or we worship "in spirit and in truth". It is
              the same, plenty of texts seem to indicate, if we didn't know it already. But I
              may seem to be jumping ahead there. "The divine service is to be and think in
              pure thought", "always a process" you write. Well, I made some comments on that
              recently. I think Hegel gives no support to "process theology" etc. The Notion
              itself is ultimately all of consciousness, in which alone "we" have our true
              being as "the very total which the notion is", "indissolubly one with it",
              indissolubly. No process there. But of co
              urse the word may be used here and there. But in so far as thought is the
              Notion, not the Judgment or the Syllogism, it is not discursive.

              I agree that the personal faith of a philosopher cannot be used for explaining
              his thought. I hope I do not do that. Indeed I have said nothing about faith
              here. I find it a rather problematic concept. I do not think Hegel does that,
              though he refers often enough to ideas broached by Christians. But we do not
              abstract from our own individuality either, which is fulfilled in the universal.

              The meaning of love has changed yes, as with Francis (the very point of my
              quote). By which I do not mean either to assert or deny that Francis was a
              philosopher.

              Yes, Wil does say that, I was pleased to see. Yes I am familiar with this laying
              aside of the first title and progressing ("processing", but from shadows to
              reality, to our our own eternal reality, i.e. it is not a "real" but a
              dialectical process) to actual knowing. Some people find this an obstacle as
              indicative of Hegel's supposed "rationalism" (in the sense of being rationalist
              rather than rational), but what would be the point of loving knowing if we never
              could actually know. Of course only the Absolute knows the Absolute. This is
              indisputable I think. Therefore we must take seriously the various identities
              Hegel propounds, as of an absolute subject, "members one of another" (I cite
              this phrase as apposite, not as any declaration of "a personal faith". It
              pinpoints the sublation of Whole and Parts).

              "Each progress requires first a regression". this is true I think more of the
              earlier dialectic than of the later, where a sheer Advance becomes more and more
              characteristic. McTaggart makes this point forcefully in his "Studies in the H.
              Dialectic" and elsewhere. I don't know if you would agree. I suspect not, as
              being "linear". It corresponds to my reading quite well. But yes, they do not
              merely fall away, you are right there.

              Thank you again for these openings and fruits of your scholarship.

              Stephen.

              To: hegel@yahoogroups.com
              From: greuterb@...
              Date: Mon, 13 Sep 2010 12:07:51 +0200
              Subject: Re: [hegel] Continuation of my mail of yesterday

              Dear Stephen,

              You write:

              >Dear Beat,
              >
              >"A kind of divine service". This seems to go against Wil saying that worship
              "for the philosopher" is out.
              >

              I don't think that to say "a kind of divine service" is opposed to
              "saying that worship "for the philosopher" is out". In another mail Wil
              wrote: "I read these texts (I am thinking of both the S-L and Phen, and
              the Phil-Religion lectures) to mean the same thing: to wit, that God,
              when comprehended as Idea, cannot be an object of _worship_ by the
              philosopher -- worship is denied us;". I think this is what Hegel means
              when he says that philosophy cannot have a fixed object you think or
              worship on because then you miss the truth in this object and your
              thinking is a mere abstract understanding. This exactly shows the
              transition from the last, the religious consciousness, into pure thought
              or knowing in the PhdG ("absolute" is not a good expression here; see
              also SL, "With What must Science Begin?") - the sublation of religious
              consciousness. The devine service is to be and think in pure thought.
              This means also that Hegel's devine service is always a process.

              >I thought of replying to that that we are not just or always philosophers so
              that philosophers, i.e. such men or women, are not obliged to be non-religious.
              What you say though, citing Hegel, seems more satisfactory, that philosophising
              itself is worship, "divine service". So in the old marriage service the
              spouse-to-be says to the other, "With my body I thee worship". Worship names a
              constant of human life.
              >

              Nobody ist "obliged to be non-religious" or religious. However, the
              personal faith of a philosopher cannot be used without hesitation for
              explaining his thought.

              >Among devotees there have always been grades and styles of prayer, e.g. the
              admonition not to use many phrases, down to attitudes of waiting, of abandonment
              to providence, to "the cunning of Reason", differences again re what to ask for,
              Aquinas's prayer before study etc. And always that "God helps those who help
              themselves". Maybe I pray to myself, a variant upon the Franciscan "It is in
              loving that we are loved". It would be, in helping myself I am helped, I have
              self-respect, we say.
              >

              "Love" is an important concept in Hegel's philosphy. But its meaning and
              relevance has changed in the course of Hegel's creative work.

              >It is a task, as you say, finding convergence, as we move in and out of poetry,
              music, art, religion, philosophy. The aesthetic is indeed prominent. Findlay
              suggests Hegel's whiole philosophy is an aesthetic. Probably Hegel would say the
              ideal is to pray as God prays. How does God pray? By being his own manifestation
              maybe, Nature. "I am myself".
              >

              I think Wil says something similar though perhaps with a slightly other
              meaning: "we can only be aesthetically towards this Absolute with
              gravity, wonder and awe."

              >Thus we generate a new immediacy, you say. Music may first make one
              philosophise, or those phenomenal experiences Hegel starts off by discussing, or
              being in love, or great danger. "The poet is compared with the philosopher in
              that both are concerned with the marvellous" (Aquinas). This might seem
              un-Hegelian, but this is due to sticking with a false view of "mystery" as
              impenetrable to reason. Philosophy is itself the greatest motive for wonder, in
              self-admiration.
              >

              Yes, I think also that "wonder" (astonishment) is the beginning of each
              philosophy, but only the beginning. Later it must "lay aside the title
              'love of knowing' and be actual knowing" in the form of Science (see
              Preface of the PhdG, para 5).

              >"expresses more" in your text seems to be textually flawed. How should it be,
              if you remember? What then is the dynamic process, the divine service? Is it
              this wondering, this confrontation with manifestation as, for example, category
              after category falls away into something less abstract and particular? Difficult
              to say, maybe. I just think the root idea you express is good, and reconciling.
              And that it is here made explicit. There is more to say but I'll leave it there
              for now.
              >
              >Stephen.
              >

              I said above that Hegel's divine service of philosophy is a dynamic
              process in pure thought. But the categories do not merely "fall(s) away
              into something less abstract and particular". This would be merely a
              linear process of the understanding. Hegel's process is not linear but a
              new category is more abstract and unconscious and one-sided first in its
              new immediacy which then is the starting point for further mediations
              with a more concrete result which could not have been achieved directly
              from the previous mediated category (i.e. the transition from the
              concrete concept of Pure Becoming into the one-sided concept of
              Determinate Being in which Pure Becoming is merely sublated and has to
              be made explicitly again into a more concrete level of the concept).
              Each progress requires first a regression. I think that each science
              requires such regressions and simplifications for its development.

              Regards,
              Beat Greuter

              >To: hegel@yahoogroups.com
              >From: greuterb@...
              >Date: Sun, 12 Sep 2010 14:05:25 +0200
              >Subject: Re: [hegel] Continuation of my mail of yesterday
              >
              >Oliver Scholz writes:
              >
              >>................
              >>But that's not all. There is in general something about
              >>debates about god on this list which keeps nagging me. It is
              >>not the god issue per se -- after all I do think that
              >>Hegel's philosophy establishes the possibility of religion
              >>as reasonable. After all I am convinced that atheism is a
              >>Christian phenomenon -- in every ambivalence introduced by
              >>the word phenomenon. I'm not sure whether I would agree with
              >>Alan on all accounts, because Christianity is of utmost
              >>importance within the 'having-become' of spirit and that in
              >>many ways Hegel's philosophy can be regarded as a
              >>philosophical reconstruction of this. And after all I'm
              >>actually very much interested in theology.
              >>
              >>So, that's not it. It's something else. All this here SEEMS
              >>to be religion in disguise of philosophy; but I have the
              >>feeling that it only seems so. When I struggle to grasp
              >>this intuition of mine, the phrase "it's not the real thing"
              >>keeps coming into my mind. It does not feel genuine; this
              >>use of philosophal terms and statements to express
              >>representations that would ACTUALLY belong to the realm of
              >>religion feels like a SUBSTITUTE for genuine religion. I
              >>have to ask myself: maybe it is less the fact that it's
              >>abused philosophy because of which I find it so obnoxious,
              >>maybe it's the fact that it is only surrogate religion.
              >>
              >Hegel's philosophy as every good philosophy is a kind of divine service,
              >as Hegel says. The reason for this is the search for the absolute that
              >brings you into an opposition of the finite and the infinite. To find
              >the convergence and coincidence of these opposites is the task of
              >philosophy, poetry etc. as well as religion and theology. It is a
              >mediating activity in thought and reality that generates a new immediacy
              >which is the result of this activity, however, expresses more. The
              >'more' expressed by the new immediacy leads to a dynamic process which
              >can be called a divine service. Hegel's philosophy (and other
              >philosophies) stands for making this process explicitly which elsewhere
              >is 'only' implicitly.
              >
              >Regards,
              >Beat Greuter
              >

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



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

              ------------------------------------

              Homepage: http://hegel.net
              Hegel mailing lists: http://Hegel.net/en/ml.htm
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              Group policy:
              slightly moderated, only plain Text (no HTML/RTF), no attachments,
              only Hegel related mails, scientific level intended.

              Particpants are expected to show a respectfull and scientific attitude both to
              Hegel and to each other. The usual "netiquette" as well as scientific standards
              apply.

              The copyright policy for mails sent to this list is same as for Hegel.Net, that
              is the copyright of the mails belongs to the author and hegel.net. Permission is
              granted to copy, distribute and/or modify the mails of this list under the terms
              of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version,
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              Creative Commons License and under the Creative Commons Developing Nations
              license (see footer of http://hegel.net/en/e0.htm ) Yahoo! Groups Links

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






              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • paulmsrf@btinternet.com
              Wil, I think you raised some interesting points;but instead of only the absolute knows the absolute , why not: only the agent that can comprehend what it
              Message 6 of 24 , Sep 15, 2010
                Wil, I think you raised some interesting points;but instead of 'only the absolute knows the absolute', why not: only the agent that can comprehend what it means for the understanding to have an identity in-its-difference can know the absolute?; is this not closer to Hegel's concept of it?

                Paul Healey

                -original message-
                Subject: Re: [hegel] Continuation of my mail of yesterday
                From: eupraxis@...
                Date: 13/09/2010 4:27 pm

                Stephen wrote, " ... only the Absolute knows the Absolute."

                I have been looking at this phrase for a few minutes now. While I understand the gist the intent, if one pardons that presumption, I have to take issue with it insofar as the transitive nature of the verb "knows" implies that which the Absolute, in its utter in-and-for-itself transparency, has transcended. I am not sure if it is proper, ultimately, to say that the Absolute knows anything -- or, indeed, 'does' anything -- _qua_ Absolute.

                If we say that the Absolute 'thinks' (struggles, meanders, discovers, etc.), this is only as a dialectical process, and as such it is always particularized, abstracted. The Absolute is attained in the activity and gesture of (conceptual) knowing; the 'known' being for it the freedom of Reason toward its end. (The finality of the process always appears (in the texts) oddly devoid of its content, bringing to mind Aristotle's 'thought thinking itself'.)

                Wil






                -----Original Message-----
                From: stephen theron <stephentheron@...>
                To: hegel hegel <hegel@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Mon, Sep 13, 2010 9:36 am
                Subject: RE: [hegel] Continuation of my mail of yesterday



                Dear Beat,



                Thanks for the tips here. I appreciate them. I only meant, that I suppose that
                the philosopher as a man might go to church, say, without betraying himself,
                like Hegel in fact. Anyhow, I can see worship, like your "divine service", as an
                intrinsically analogical or focal concept including the spousal attitude I
                mentioned or indeed our stance before truth. Of course worshipping normally
                posits an external object and that idea has to be overcome, as it is implicitly
                in "the absolute religion" itself, however we interpret this description of
                Hegel's. All the church-going etc. was never more than a concession, the whole
                theology of the Temple implies.

                "the sublation of religious consciousness" - that is an exciting phrase. As I
                once asked, expecting a "no", "Is God religious?" It means though, we adore (in
                the mediated sense referred to above) to the point of losing ourselves. Reality,
                infinity, that is, is necessarily maximal as form and content become fused. Only
                thus do we make room for the remarks about blessedness etc. Or, in becoming what
                we worship we no longer worship, or we worship "in spirit and in truth". It is
                the same, plenty of texts seem to indicate, if we didn't know it already. But I
                may seem to be jumping ahead there. "The divine service is to be and think in
                pure thought", "always a process" you write. Well, I made some comments on that
                recently. I think Hegel gives no support to "process theology" etc. The Notion
                itself is ultimately all of consciousness, in which alone "we" have our true
                being as "the very total which the notion is", "indissolubly one with it",
                indissolubly. No process there. But of co
                urse the word may be used here and there. But in so far as thought is the
                Notion, not the Judgment or the Syllogism, it is not discursive.

                I agree that the personal faith of a philosopher cannot be used for explaining
                his thought. I hope I do not do that. Indeed I have said nothing about faith
                here. I find it a rather problematic concept. I do not think Hegel does that,
                though he refers often enough to ideas broached by Christians. But we do not
                abstract from our own individuality either, which is fulfilled in the universal.

                The meaning of love has changed yes, as with Francis (the very point of my
                quote). By which I do not mean either to assert or deny that Francis was a
                philosopher.

                Yes, Wil does say that, I was pleased to see. Yes I am familiar with this laying
                aside of the first title and progressing ("processing", but from shadows to
                reality, to our our own eternal reality, i.e. it is not a "real" but a
                dialectical process) to actual knowing. Some people find this an obstacle as
                indicative of Hegel's supposed "rationalism" (in the sense of being rationalist
                rather than rational), but what would be the point of loving knowing if we never
                could actually know. Of course only the Absolute knows the Absolute. This is
                indisputable I think. Therefore we must take seriously the various identities
                Hegel propounds, as of an absolute subject, "members one of another" (I cite
                this phrase as apposite, not as any declaration of "a personal faith". It
                pinpoints the sublation of Whole and Parts).

                "Each progress requires first a regression". this is true I think more of the
                earlier dialectic than of the later, where a sheer Advance becomes more and more
                characteristic. McTaggart makes this point forcefully in his "Studies in the H.
                Dialectic" and elsewhere. I don't know if you would agree. I suspect not, as
                being "linear". It corresponds to my reading quite well. But yes, they do not
                merely fall away, you are right there.

                Thank you again for these openings and fruits of your scholarship.

                Stephen.


                To: hegel@yahoogroups.com
                From: greuterb@...
                Date: Mon, 13 Sep 2010 12:07:51 +0200
                Subject: Re: [hegel] ContinuaStephen wrote, " ... only the Absolute knows the Absolute."

                I have been looking at this phrase for a few minutes now. While I understand the gist the intent, if one pardons that presumption, I have to take issue with it insofar as the transitive nature of the verb "knows" implies that which the Absolute, in its utter in-and-for-itself transparency, has transcended. I am not sure if it is proper, ultimately, to say that the Absolute knows anything -- or, indeed, 'does' anything -- _qua_ Absolute.

                If we say that the Absolute 'thinks' (struggles, meanders, discovers, etc.), this is only as a dialectical process, and as such it is always particularized, abstracted. The Absolute is attained in the activity and gesture of (conceptual) knowing; the 'known' being for it the freedom of Reason toward its end. (The finality of the process always appears (in the texts) oddly devoid of its content, bringing to mind Aristotle's 'thought thinking itself'.)

                Wil






                -----Original Message-----
                From: stephen theron <stephentheron@...>
                To: hegel hegel <hegel@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Mon, Sep 13, 2010 9:36 am
                Subject: RE: [hegel] Continuation of my mail of yesterday



                Dear Beat,



                Thanks for the tips here. I appreciate them. I only meant, that I suppose that
                the philosopher as a man might go to church, say, without betraying himself,
                like Hegel in fact. Anyhow, I can see worship, like your "divine service", as an
                intrinsically analogical or focal concept including the spousal attitude I
                mentioned or indeed our stance before truth. Of course worshipping normally
                posits an external object and that idea has to be overcome, as it is implicitly
                in "the absolute religion" itself, however we interpret this description of
                Hegel's. All the church-going etc. was never more than a concession, the whole
                theology of the Temple implies.

                "the sublation of religious consciousness" - that is an exciting phrase. As I
                once asked, expecting a "no", "Is God religious?" It means though, we adore (in
                the mediated sense referred to above) to the point of losing ourselves. Reality,
                infinity, that is, is necessarily maximal as form and content become fused. Only
                thus do we make room for the remarks about blessedness etc. Or, in becoming what
                we worship we no longer worship, or we worship "in spirit and in truth". It is
                the same, plenty of texts seem to indicate, if we didn't know it already. But I
                may seem to be jumping ahead there. "The divine service is to be and think in
                pure thought", "always a process" you write. Well, I made some comments on that
                recently. I think Hegel gives no support to "process theology" etc. The Notion
                itself is ultimately all of consciousness, in which alone "we" have our true
                being as "the very total which the notion is", "indissolubly one with it",
                indissolubly. No process there. But of co
                urse the word may be used here and there. But in so far as thought is the
                Notion, not the Judgment or the Syllogism, it is not discursive.

                I agree that the personal faith of a philosopher cannot be used for explaining
                his thought. I hope I do not do that. Indeed I have said nothing about faith
                here. I find it a rather problematic concept. I do not think Hegel does that,
                though he refers often enough to ideas broached by Christians. But we do not
                abstract from our own individuality either, which is fulfilled in the universal.

                The meaning of love has changed yes, as with Francis (the very point of my
                quote). By which I do not mean either to assert or deny that Francis was a
                philosopher.

                Yes, Wil does say that, I was pleased to see. Yes I am familiar with this laying
                aside of the first title and progressing ("processing", but from shadows to
                reality, to our our own eternal reality, i.e. it is not a "real" but a
                dialectical process) to actual knowing. Some people find this an obstacle as
                indicative of Hegel's supposed "rationalism" (in the sense of being rationalist
                rather than rational), but what would be the point of loving knowing if we never
                could actually know. Of course only the Absolute knows the Absolute. This is
                indisputable I think. Therefore we must take seriously the various identities
                Hegel propounds, as of an absolute subject, "members one of another" (I cite
                this phrase as apposite, not as any declaration of "a personal faith". It
                pinpoints the sublation of Whole and Parts).

                "Each progress requires first a regression". this is true I think more of the
                earlier dialectic than of the later, where a sheer Advance becomes more and more
                characteristic. McTaggart makes this point forcefully in his "Studies in the H.
                Dialectic" and elsewhere. I don't know if you would agree. I suspect not, as
                being "linear". It corresponds to my reading quite well. But yes, they do not
                merely fall away, you are right there.

                Thank you again for these openings and fruits of your scholarship.

                Stephen.


                To: hegel@yahoogroups.com
                From: greuterb@...
                Date: Mon, 13 Sep 2010 12:07:51 +0200
                Subject: Re: [hegel] Continua
              • stephen theron
                Paul, If I may come in here. One might want to say. Everything in its proper existence is a constituent of the Absolute in the sense in which it is therefore
                Message 7 of 24 , Sep 15, 2010
                  Paul, If I may come in here.


                  One might want to say. Everything in its proper existence is a constituent of the Absolute in the sense in which it is therefore one with it. (The Absolute Idea is the Absolute, says Hegel)

                  But anything that does not know is not one with the Absolute, since the Absolute knows or more than knows itself, simply as infinite.

                  Therefore only knowers (and hence persons, though some query this) exist (in the sense, at least, of Dennett's "intentional systems").

                  Further, those knowers who do not "yet" (I speak as a fool) know the Absolute ("comprehend what it means for the understanding to have an identity in-its-difference") are as "yet" neither knowers nor existents. They are but shadows of their former, future or abiding selves (to play upon a popular saying).

                  For most of "us" the I is but a construction (cf. Peter G�rdenfors, Prof. of cognition-theory, Lund, on this, some stuff in English; also work by the idealist Axel Randrup, internet).

                  We know the Absolute as one with the Absolute, the only way for a finite being, otherwise "evil" (sic Hegel), to be.



                  Having said all that, your suggestion opens for me a fresh way of understanding: of the Absolute as the infinite total of coincident possibilities which are just as such actual. There is no need for a tedious enumeration of them (Hegel's point), which would indeed be an endless tedium. Of course we seem at first to be faced here with an abstract, maybe Proclus-type Absolute, which would be inert, not active, not knowing. But this is impossible, since not infinite. The active and conscious has to come in; not "personal" as limited and finite, but including it, such that when I think "personal" I think "absolute". We, thus, are either not persons or somehow the Absolute, incarnations so to say, transcendently "personal", intentional etc. Therefore, if the System which is Absolute is not personal this is only because we are restricting this term to the finite (as we are free to do), in which case, I have been arguing here, this Absolute is entirely constituted by persons, as argued above. But there again, this (McTaggart's suggestion), does not seem to give us an Infinite, Act, with all that rational cunning Hegel comes repeatedly back to, just for one thing... But of course one may claim this is just a prejudice in favour of personality, to make it always self-transcendent. Why not say we just don't know the mode (there can actually be no mode) of the Absolute. Why is it "idea" then? etc. etc.



                  Stephen.


                  To: eupraxis@...
                  CC: hegel@yahoogroups.com
                  From: paulmsrf@...
                  Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2010 14:20:37 +0000
                  Subject: Re: [hegel] Continuation of my mail of yesterday






                  Wil, I think you raised some interesting points;but instead of 'only the absolute knows the absolute', why not: only the agent that can comprehend what it means for the understanding to have an identity in-its-difference can know the absolute?; is this not closer to Hegel's concept of it?

                  Paul Healey

                  -original message-
                  Subject: Re: [hegel] Continuation of my mail of yesterday
                  From: eupraxis@...
                  Date: 13/09/2010 4:27 pm

                  Stephen wrote, " ... only the Absolute knows the Absolute."

                  I have been looking at this phrase for a few minutes now. While I understand the gist the intent, if one pardons that presumption, I have to take issue with it insofar as the transitive nature of the verb "knows" implies that which the Absolute, in its utter in-and-for-itself transparency, has transcended. I am not sure if it is proper, ultimately, to say that the Absolute knows anything -- or, indeed, 'does' anything -- _qua_ Absolute.

                  If we say that the Absolute 'thinks' (struggles, meanders, discovers, etc.), this is only as a dialectical process, and as such it is always particularized, abstracted. The Absolute is attained in the activity and gesture of (conceptual) knowing; the 'known' being for it the freedom of Reason toward its end. (The finality of the process always appears (in the texts) oddly devoid of its content, bringing to mind Aristotle's 'thought thinking itself'.)

                  Wil

                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: stephen theron <stephentheron@...>
                  To: hegel hegel <hegel@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Mon, Sep 13, 2010 9:36 am
                  Subject: RE: [hegel] Continuation of my mail of yesterday

                  Dear Beat,

                  Thanks for the tips here. I appreciate them. I only meant, that I suppose that
                  the philosopher as a man might go to church, say, without betraying himself,
                  like Hegel in fact. Anyhow, I can see worship, like your "divine service", as an
                  intrinsically analogical or focal concept including the spousal attitude I
                  mentioned or indeed our stance before truth. Of course worshipping normally
                  posits an external object and that idea has to be overcome, as it is implicitly
                  in "the absolute religion" itself, however we interpret this description of
                  Hegel's. All the church-going etc. was never more than a concession, the whole
                  theology of the Temple implies.

                  "the sublation of religious consciousness" - that is an exciting phrase. As I
                  once asked, expecting a "no", "Is God religious?" It means though, we adore (in
                  the mediated sense referred to above) to the point of losing ourselves. Reality,
                  infinity, that is, is necessarily maximal as form and content become fused. Only
                  thus do we make room for the remarks about blessedness etc. Or, in becoming what
                  we worship we no longer worship, or we worship "in spirit and in truth". It is
                  the same, plenty of texts seem to indicate, if we didn't know it already. But I
                  may seem to be jumping ahead there. "The divine service is to be and think in
                  pure thought", "always a process" you write. Well, I made some comments on that
                  recently. I think Hegel gives no support to "process theology" etc. The Notion
                  itself is ultimately all of consciousness, in which alone "we" have our true
                  being as "the very total which the notion is", "indissolubly one with it",
                  indissolubly. No process there. But of co
                  urse the word may be used here and there. But in so far as thought is the
                  Notion, not the Judgment or the Syllogism, it is not discursive.

                  I agree that the personal faith of a philosopher cannot be used for explaining
                  his thought. I hope I do not do that. Indeed I have said nothing about faith
                  here. I find it a rather problematic concept. I do not think Hegel does that,
                  though he refers often enough to ideas broached by Christians. But we do not
                  abstract from our own individuality either, which is fulfilled in the universal.

                  The meaning of love has changed yes, as with Francis (the very point of my
                  quote). By which I do not mean either to assert or deny that Francis was a
                  philosopher.

                  Yes, Wil does say that, I was pleased to see. Yes I am familiar with this laying
                  aside of the first title and progressing ("processing", but from shadows to
                  reality, to our our own eternal reality, i.e. it is not a "real" but a
                  dialectical process) to actual knowing. Some people find this an obstacle as
                  indicative of Hegel's supposed "rationalism" (in the sense of being rationalist
                  rather than rational), but what would be the point of loving knowing if we never
                  could actually know. Of course only the Absolute knows the Absolute. This is
                  indisputable I think. Therefore we must take seriously the various identities
                  Hegel propounds, as of an absolute subject, "members one of another" (I cite
                  this phrase as apposite, not as any declaration of "a personal faith". It
                  pinpoints the sublation of Whole and Parts).

                  "Each progress requires first a regression". this is true I think more of the
                  earlier dialectic than of the later, where a sheer Advance becomes more and more
                  characteristic. McTaggart makes this point forcefully in his "Studies in the H.
                  Dialectic" and elsewhere. I don't know if you would agree. I suspect not, as
                  being "linear". It corresponds to my reading quite well. But yes, they do not
                  merely fall away, you are right there.

                  Thank you again for these openings and fruits of your scholarship.

                  Stephen.

                  To: hegel@yahoogroups.com
                  From: greuterb@...
                  Date: Mon, 13 Sep 2010 12:07:51 +0200
                  Subject: Re: [hegel] ContinuaStephen wrote, " ... only the Absolute knows the Absolute."

                  I have been looking at this phrase for a few minutes now. While I understand the gist the intent, if one pardons that presumption, I have to take issue with it insofar as the transitive nature of the verb "knows" implies that which the Absolute, in its utter in-and-for-itself transparency, has transcended. I am not sure if it is proper, ultimately, to say that the Absolute knows anything -- or, indeed, 'does' anything -- _qua_ Absolute.

                  If we say that the Absolute 'thinks' (struggles, meanders, discovers, etc.), this is only as a dialectical process, and as such it is always particularized, abstracted. The Absolute is attained in the activity and gesture of (conceptual) knowing; the 'known' being for it the freedom of Reason toward its end. (The finality of the process always appears (in the texts) oddly devoid of its content, bringing to mind Aristotle's 'thought thinking itself'.)

                  Wil

                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: stephen theron <stephentheron@...>
                  To: hegel hegel <hegel@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Mon, Sep 13, 2010 9:36 am
                  Subject: RE: [hegel] Continuation of my mail of yesterday

                  Dear Beat,

                  Thanks for the tips here. I appreciate them. I only meant, that I suppose that
                  the philosopher as a man might go to church, say, without betraying himself,
                  like Hegel in fact. Anyhow, I can see worship, like your "divine service", as an
                  intrinsically analogical or focal concept including the spousal attitude I
                  mentioned or indeed our stance before truth. Of course worshipping normally
                  posits an external object and that idea has to be overcome, as it is implicitly
                  in "the absolute religion" itself, however we interpret this description of
                  Hegel's. All the church-going etc. was never more than a concession, the whole
                  theology of the Temple implies.

                  "the sublation of religious consciousness" - that is an exciting phrase. As I
                  once asked, expecting a "no", "Is God religious?" It means though, we adore (in
                  the mediated sense referred to above) to the point of losing ourselves. Reality,
                  infinity, that is, is necessarily maximal as form and content become fused. Only
                  thus do we make room for the remarks about blessedness etc. Or, in becoming what
                  we worship we no longer worship, or we worship "in spirit and in truth". It is
                  the same, plenty of texts seem to indicate, if we didn't know it already. But I
                  may seem to be jumping ahead there. "The divine service is to be and think in
                  pure thought", "always a process" you write. Well, I made some comments on that
                  recently. I think Hegel gives no support to "process theology" etc. The Notion
                  itself is ultimately all of consciousness, in which alone "we" have our true
                  being as "the very total which the notion is", "indissolubly one with it",
                  indissolubly. No process there. But of co
                  urse the word may be used here and there. But in so far as thought is the
                  Notion, not the Judgment or the Syllogism, it is not discursive.

                  I agree that the personal faith of a philosopher cannot be used for explaining
                  his thought. I hope I do not do that. Indeed I have said nothing about faith
                  here. I find it a rather problematic concept. I do not think Hegel does that,
                  though he refers often enough to ideas broached by Christians. But we do not
                  abstract from our own individuality either, which is fulfilled in the universal.

                  The meaning of love has changed yes, as with Francis (the very point of my
                  quote). By which I do not mean either to assert or deny that Francis was a
                  philosopher.

                  Yes, Wil does say that, I was pleased to see. Yes I am familiar with this laying
                  aside of the first title and progressing ("processing", but from shadows to
                  reality, to our our own eternal reality, i.e. it is not a "real" but a
                  dialectical process) to actual knowing. Some people find this an obstacle as
                  indicative of Hegel's supposed "rationalism" (in the sense of being rationalist
                  rather than rational), but what would be the point of loving knowing if we never
                  could actually know. Of course only the Absolute knows the Absolute. This is
                  indisputable I think. Therefore we must take seriously the various identities
                  Hegel propounds, as of an absolute subject, "members one of another" (I cite
                  this phrase as apposite, not as any declaration of "a personal faith". It
                  pinpoints the sublation of Whole and Parts).

                  "Each progress requires first a regression". this is true I think more of the
                  earlier dialectic than of the later, where a sheer Advance becomes more and more
                  characteristic. McTaggart makes this point forcefully in his "Studies in the H.
                  Dialectic" and elsewhere. I don't know if you would agree. I suspect not, as
                  being "linear". It corresponds to my reading quite well. But yes, they do not
                  merely fall away, you are right there.

                  Thank you again for these openings and fruits of your scholarship.

                  Stephen.

                  To: hegel@yahoogroups.com
                  From: greuterb@...
                  Date: Mon, 13 Sep 2010 12:07:51 +0200
                  Subject: Re: [hegel] Continua






                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Paul Trejo
                  ...   I agree with your characterization of Hegel s logical method, Beat. Nevertheless, it appears that the clash between Philosophy and Religion remains
                  Message 8 of 24 , Sep 22, 2010
                    In response to the 9/13/2010 post by Beat Greuter:

                    > ...I said above that Hegel's divine service of philosophy is a
                    > dynamic process in pure thought. But the categories do not
                    > merely "fall away into something less abstract and particular".
                    > This would be merely a  linear process of the understanding.
                    > Hegel's process is not linear but a  new category is more
                    > abstract and unconscious and one-sided first in its new
                    > immediacy which then is the starting point for further mediations 
                    > with a more concrete result which could not have been achieved
                    > directly from the previous mediated category (i.e. the transition
                    > from the concrete concept of Pure Becoming into the one-sided
                    > concept of Determinate Being in which Pure Becoming is merely
                    > sublated and has to be made explicitly again into a more concrete
                    > level of the concept).  Each progress requires first a regression.
                    > I think that each science requires such regressions and
                    > simplifications for its development.

                    > Regards,
                    > Beat Greuter
                     
                    I agree with your characterization of Hegel's logical method, Beat.
                    Nevertheless, it appears that the clash between Philosophy and
                    Religion remains unaffected by your narrative.
                     
                    Let's look again at Hegel's texts where he says that Philosophy
                    is itself the "service of God."  Hegel says:
                     
                         "But each of them, Religion as well as
                          Philosophy, is the service of God in a
                          way peculiar to it.  They differ in the
                          peculiar character of their concern with
                          God.  This is where the difficulties lie
                          that impede Philosophy's grasp of Religion,
                          and it often appears impossible for the
                          two of them to be united.  The apprehensive
                          attitude of Religion toward Philosophy and 
                          the hostile stance of each toward the other
                          arise from this."  (Hegel, LECTURES OF 1827
                          ON THE PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION, ed. Hodgson,
                          1988, p. 79)
                     
                    Religion sees the world from the moral and ethical viewpoint almost
                    exclusively.  It's a question of the Law, of what is Permitted and
                    what is Forbidden from a Cosmic perspective -- that's the focus of
                    Religion.  Furthermore, Theology, to be Theology, will almost never
                    broach the question of whether God exists (just as Psychology
                    will almost never broach the questoin of whether the psyche exists).
                     
                    Philosophy, on the other hand, is handily characterized by its ancient
                    debate over the Existence of God.  There have been famous thinkers
                    on both sides of that debate, and the question is still unresolved to
                    this very day.  Hegel hoped to resolve the question with his dialectical
                    reworking of Anselm's Ontological Argument, but as Fate would have
                    it (or perhaps as God would have it), Hegel died while working on that
                    very project.
                     
                    So, Religion takes God for granted, and Philosophy refuses to take
                    God for granted.  That is a legitimate difference -- yet that doesn't
                    prove they are incompatible.
                     
                    There is another great difference between Religion and Philosophy
                    according to Hegel, namely, that "Religion is for Everybody -- it is
                    not Philosophy, which is not for Everybody."  (Hegel, LPR, vol I) 
                    One may object that Hegel is being elitist here - but he is really
                    only describing the naked fact under our noses -- less than 1% of
                    humanity reads academic Philosophical Journals.
                     
                    Still - Hegel was one of those Philosophers who developed a new
                    approach to logic - and in his conclusions he decided that Religion
                    has a legitimate and useful contribution to make to human thought
                    and to the human condition generally.   Hegel's theology may be
                    unorthodox, but it remains genuinely Christian (just as the theology
                    of Jesus of Galilee was unorthodox, but remained genuinely Jewish).
                     
                    Therefore, Hegel makes an interesting conclusion to his Lectures
                    on Religion.  Hegel says:

                         "Two positions are opposed to Philosophy.
                          Firstly, there is the vanity of the [Pure]
                          Understanding, which is displeased by the
                          fact that Philosophy still exhibits the
                          truth in Religion and demonstrates that
                          Reason still resides within it.    =*=
                          This 'Enlightenment' wants to have nothing
                          further to do with the Content, and therefore
                          is highly displeased that Philosophy, as
                          conscious, methodical thinking, curbs the
                          fancies, the caprice, the contingency of
                          thinking.                                 =*=
                          Secondly, immature religiosity is opposed to
                          Philosophy."  (Hegel, LECTURES OF 1827
                          ON THE PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION,
                          ed. Hodgson, 1988, p. 489)
                     
                    Hegel had a somewhat lower opinion of those 'Enlightenment'
                    thinkers who failed to see the value in Religion.
                     
                    Best regards,
                    --Paul Trejo, MA
                     

                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Beat Greuter
                    ... Thanks for your reply. I think it is not the task of THEOLOGY to consider the question of whether God exists or not. Its task is to provide the objective
                    Message 9 of 24 , Sep 23, 2010
                      Paul Trejo writes:

                      >
                      >
                      > In response to the 9/13/2010 post by Beat Greuter:
                      >
                      > > ...I said above that Hegel's divine service of philosophy is a
                      > > dynamic process in pure thought. But the categories do not
                      > > merely "fall away into something less abstract and particular".
                      > > This would be merely a linear process of the understanding.
                      > > Hegel's process is not linear but a new category is more
                      > > abstract and unconscious and one-sided first in its new
                      > > immediacy which then is the starting point for further mediations
                      > > with a more concrete result which could not have been achieved
                      > > directly from the previous mediated category (i.e. the transition
                      > > from the concrete concept of Pure Becoming into the one-sided
                      > > concept of Determinate Being in which Pure Becoming is merely
                      > > sublated and has to be made explicitly again into a more concrete
                      > > level of the concept). Each progress requires first a regression.
                      > > I think that each science requires such regressions and
                      > > simplifications for its development.
                      > >
                      > > Regards,
                      > > Beat Greuter
                      >
                      > I agree with your characterization of Hegel's logical method, Beat.
                      > Nevertheless, it appears that the clash between Philosophy and
                      > Religion remains unaffected by your narrative.
                      >
                      > Let's look again at Hegel's texts where he says that Philosophy
                      > is itself the "service of God." Hegel says:
                      >
                      > "But each of them, Religion as well as
                      > Philosophy, is the service of God in a
                      > way peculiar to it. They differ in the
                      > peculiar character of their concern with
                      > God. This is where the difficulties lie
                      > that impede Philosophy's grasp of Religion,
                      > and it often appears impossible for the
                      > two of them to be united. The apprehensive
                      > attitude of Religion toward Philosophy and
                      > the hostile stance of each toward the other
                      > arise from this." (Hegel, LECTURES OF 1827
                      > ON THE PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION, ed. Hodgson,
                      > 1988, p. 79)
                      >
                      > Religion sees the world from the moral and ethical viewpoint almost
                      > exclusively. It's a question of the Law, of what is Permitted and
                      > what is Forbidden from a Cosmic perspective -- that's the focus of
                      > Religion. Furthermore, Theology, to be Theology, will almost never
                      > broach the question of whether God exists (just as Psychology
                      > will almost never broach the questoin of whether the psyche exists).
                      >


                      Thanks for your reply.

                      I think it is not the task of THEOLOGY to consider the question of
                      whether God exists or not. Its task is to provide the objective basis
                      for the faith (which is not merely a subjective phenomenon but provides
                      social cohesion) and to develop this basis and embodiment in the course
                      of social and religious changes which could threaten the faith. Therfore
                      it has always an internal view and differs in this respect from the
                      SCIENCE of religion which has a mere external view. Good PHILOSOPHIES of
                      religion, however, unite these two views: on the one side they have to
                      keep an internal view otherwise they would be merely abstract thinking
                      and could not reconcile reason and religion. On the other side they have
                      to be critical and therefore historical. I think in this respect Hegel
                      did a good job: his philosophy in general and his philosophy of religion
                      in particular have these two views combined within themselves. Today
                      also Analytical Philosophy deals with the philosophy of religion
                      (theism, reformed epistemology, pragmatism), partly also based on the
                      philosophy of Wittgenstein. I am not sure if a critical philosophy of
                      language can hold these two views together therefore I take now a
                      lecture on this subject matter.

                      Regards,
                      Beat Greuter



                      >
                      > Philosophy, on the other hand, is handily characterized by its ancient
                      > debate over the Existence of God. There have been famous thinkers
                      > on both sides of that debate, and the question is still unresolved to
                      > this very day. Hegel hoped to resolve the question with his dialectical
                      > reworking of Anselm's Ontological Argument, but as Fate would have
                      > it (or perhaps as God would have it), Hegel died while working on that
                      > very project.
                      >
                      > So, Religion takes God for granted, and Philosophy refuses to take
                      > God for granted. That is a legitimate difference -- yet that doesn't
                      > prove they are incompatible.
                      >
                      > There is another great difference between Religion and Philosophy
                      > according to Hegel, namely, that "Religion is for Everybody -- it is
                      > not Philosophy, which is not for Everybody." (Hegel, LPR, vol I)
                      > One may object that Hegel is being elitist here - but he is really
                      > only describing the naked fact under our noses -- less than 1% of
                      > humanity reads academic Philosophical Journals.
                      >
                      > Still - Hegel was one of those Philosophers who developed a new
                      > approach to logic - and in his conclusions he decided that Religion
                      > has a legitimate and useful contribution to make to human thought
                      > and to the human condition generally. Hegel's theology may be
                      > unorthodox, but it remains genuinely Christian (just as the theology
                      > of Jesus of Galilee was unorthodox, but remained genuinely Jewish).
                      >
                      > Therefore, Hegel makes an interesting conclusion to his Lectures
                      > on Religion. Hegel says:
                      >
                      > "Two positions are opposed to Philosophy.
                      > Firstly, there is the vanity of the [Pure]
                      > Understanding, which is displeased by the
                      > fact that Philosophy still exhibits the
                      > truth in Religion and demonstrates that
                      > Reason still resides within it. =*=
                      > This 'Enlightenment' wants to have nothing
                      > further to do with the Content, and therefore
                      > is highly displeased that Philosophy, as
                      > conscious, methodical thinking, curbs the
                      > fancies, the caprice, the contingency of
                      > thinking. =*=
                      > Secondly, immature religiosity is opposed to
                      > Philosophy." (Hegel, LECTURES OF 1827
                      > ON THE PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION,
                      > ed. Hodgson, 1988, p. 489)
                      >
                      > Hegel had a somewhat lower opinion of those 'Enlightenment'
                      > thinkers who failed to see the value in Religion.
                      >
                      > Best regards,
                      > --Paul Trejo, MA
                      >
                      >


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • stephen theron
                      Dear Beat, May I say that I find your summary re philosophy and religion here extremely sure-footed. The internal/external dilemma and the need to surmount it
                      Message 10 of 24 , Sep 23, 2010
                        Dear Beat,



                        May I say that I find your summary re philosophy and religion here extremely sure-footed.

                        The internal/external dilemma and the need to surmount it is very clear. The tendency today is for theology, as purely internal, to give way to philosophy of religion of this "good" sort. I rather think myself that the history of academic theology reflects this triad of differentiating theology from philosophy and then sublating this difference. The differentiation resulted from the Christian idea of a regula fidei, developed from around Augustine's time I would think (or when Justinian closed the Academy). Hegel shows, however, how even this can be treated philosophically (making the outside inside, in a transferred sense to yours here), as a possible notion of or approach to religion, and one might view this as implicit in the Pauline notion of "wisdom from above", i.e. it is still wisdom. Similarly, some have tried to show how even Greek philosophy, Platonism in particular, was exercised in awareness of an overarching maybe sacred tradition taken "internally" if you like (cf.J. Pieper, �ber die platonischen Mythen). This view, however, often goes together with setting the internal (faith) above the external(philosophy), i.e. of making philosophy subservient, which is a contradiction. I have understood that this is not Hegel's way and my having said that God is the Hegelian Absolute should be taken in the light of that understanding. Of course nothing can be above God, conceptually, i.e. even if he should not exist.


                        Philosophy of religion in Analytical Philosophy has also been an interest of mine. Frege speaks of "the Reason that is in the world", "What is the world without the reason? "I suspect that the eagerness with which Anglo-American analysts, such as M. Dummett, present Frege as philosophy's timely escape from the error of idealism may be itself an error. They are bemused by the reaction of Russell and Moore against their colleague McTaggart and against British Hegelianism (of which McTaggart was not typical). Work by Hans Sluga has helped me here (esp. two articles in Inquiry). I mention this since it is from the viewpoint of Absolute Idealism that one sees the religious roots (or windowon religion) of philosophy best. Marx is very religious, or at least Messianic. But there is also a lot of interesting stuff on the Ontological Argument, so central for Hegel, in G�del and other writers, especially maybe the Polish analytical philosophers from between the wars and after. Forgive me for listing stuff you probably know better than I. Your plans to read up on this, if I understand your last sentence rightly, remind me of my late mentor and friend in Germany, Fernando Inciarte, who wrote profoundly on Aristotelian philosophy and its link with German idealism (what's that?). He, namely, had a nervous breakdown as a result of too intensive Aristotelian studies. He spent his convalescence "taking a lecture" on, reading up on, "analytical philosophy" and his last postumous work was a heavy tome on first logical principles (the "excluded third"), substance and action).I helped with the English version. Myself, I'm a bit tired of analytical philosophy, but I suppose I have profited from having to work in and with it.

                        Sincerely,

                        Stephen.


                        To: hegel@yahoogroups.com
                        From: greuterb@...
                        Date: Thu, 23 Sep 2010 10:32:19 +0200
                        Subject: Re: [hegel] Hegel versus Atheism






                        Paul Trejo writes:

                        >
                        >
                        > In response to the 9/13/2010 post by Beat Greuter:
                        >
                        > > ...I said above that Hegel's divine service of philosophy is a
                        > > dynamic process in pure thought. But the categories do not
                        > > merely "fall away into something less abstract and particular".
                        > > This would be merely a linear process of the understanding.
                        > > Hegel's process is not linear but a new category is more
                        > > abstract and unconscious and one-sided first in its new
                        > > immediacy which then is the starting point for further mediations
                        > > with a more concrete result which could not have been achieved
                        > > directly from the previous mediated category (i.e. the transition
                        > > from the concrete concept of Pure Becoming into the one-sided
                        > > concept of Determinate Being in which Pure Becoming is merely
                        > > sublated and has to be made explicitly again into a more concrete
                        > > level of the concept). Each progress requires first a regression.
                        > > I think that each science requires such regressions and
                        > > simplifications for its development.
                        > >
                        > > Regards,
                        > > Beat Greuter
                        >
                        > I agree with your characterization of Hegel's logical method, Beat.
                        > Nevertheless, it appears that the clash between Philosophy and
                        > Religion remains unaffected by your narrative.
                        >
                        > Let's look again at Hegel's texts where he says that Philosophy
                        > is itself the "service of God." Hegel says:
                        >
                        > "But each of them, Religion as well as
                        > Philosophy, is the service of God in a
                        > way peculiar to it. They differ in the
                        > peculiar character of their concern with
                        > God. This is where the difficulties lie
                        > that impede Philosophy's grasp of Religion,
                        > and it often appears impossible for the
                        > two of them to be united. The apprehensive
                        > attitude of Religion toward Philosophy and
                        > the hostile stance of each toward the other
                        > arise from this." (Hegel, LECTURES OF 1827
                        > ON THE PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION, ed. Hodgson,
                        > 1988, p. 79)
                        >
                        > Religion sees the world from the moral and ethical viewpoint almost
                        > exclusively. It's a question of the Law, of what is Permitted and
                        > what is Forbidden from a Cosmic perspective -- that's the focus of
                        > Religion. Furthermore, Theology, to be Theology, will almost never
                        > broach the question of whether God exists (just as Psychology
                        > will almost never broach the questoin of whether the psyche exists).
                        >

                        Thanks for your reply.

                        I think it is not the task of THEOLOGY to consider the question of
                        whether God exists or not. Its task is to provide the objective basis
                        for the faith (which is not merely a subjective phenomenon but provides
                        social cohesion) and to develop this basis and embodiment in the course
                        of social and religious changes which could threaten the faith. Therfore
                        it has always an internal view and differs in this respect from the
                        SCIENCE of religion which has a mere external view. Good PHILOSOPHIES of
                        religion, however, unite these two views: on the one side they have to
                        keep an internal view otherwise they would be merely abstract thinking
                        and could not reconcile reason and religion. On the other side they have
                        to be critical and therefore historical. I think in this respect Hegel
                        did a good job: his philosophy in general and his philosophy of religion
                        in particular have these two views combined within themselves. Today
                        also Analytical Philosophy deals with the philosophy of religion
                        (theism, reformed epistemology, pragmatism), partly also based on the
                        philosophy of Wittgenstein. I am not sure if a critical philosophy of
                        language can hold these two views together therefore I take now a
                        lecture on this subject matter.

                        Regards,
                        Beat Greuter

                        >
                        > Philosophy, on the other hand, is handily characterized by its ancient
                        > debate over the Existence of God. There have been famous thinkers
                        > on both sides of that debate, and the question is still unresolved to
                        > this very day. Hegel hoped to resolve the question with his dialectical
                        > reworking of Anselm's Ontological Argument, but as Fate would have
                        > it (or perhaps as God would have it), Hegel died while working on that
                        > very project.
                        >
                        > So, Religion takes God for granted, and Philosophy refuses to take
                        > God for granted. That is a legitimate difference -- yet that doesn't
                        > prove they are incompatible.
                        >
                        > There is another great difference between Religion and Philosophy
                        > according to Hegel, namely, that "Religion is for Everybody -- it is
                        > not Philosophy, which is not for Everybody." (Hegel, LPR, vol I)
                        > One may object that Hegel is being elitist here - but he is really
                        > only describing the naked fact under our noses -- less than 1% of
                        > humanity reads academic Philosophical Journals.
                        >
                        > Still - Hegel was one of those Philosophers who developed a new
                        > approach to logic - and in his conclusions he decided that Religion
                        > has a legitimate and useful contribution to make to human thought
                        > and to the human condition generally. Hegel's theology may be
                        > unorthodox, but it remains genuinely Christian (just as the theology
                        > of Jesus of Galilee was unorthodox, but remained genuinely Jewish).
                        >
                        > Therefore, Hegel makes an interesting conclusion to his Lectures
                        > on Religion. Hegel says:
                        >
                        > "Two positions are opposed to Philosophy.
                        > Firstly, there is the vanity of the [Pure]
                        > Understanding, which is displeased by the
                        > fact that Philosophy still exhibits the
                        > truth in Religion and demonstrates that
                        > Reason still resides within it. =*=
                        > This 'Enlightenment' wants to have nothing
                        > further to do with the Content, and therefore
                        > is highly displeased that Philosophy, as
                        > conscious, methodical thinking, curbs the
                        > fancies, the caprice, the contingency of
                        > thinking. =*=
                        > Secondly, immature religiosity is opposed to
                        > Philosophy." (Hegel, LECTURES OF 1827
                        > ON THE PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION,
                        > ed. Hodgson, 1988, p. 489)
                        >
                        > Hegel had a somewhat lower opinion of those 'Enlightenment'
                        > thinkers who failed to see the value in Religion.
                        >
                        > Best regards,
                        > --Paul Trejo, MA
                        >
                        >

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






                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Beat Greuter
                        Dear Stephen, ... You say that ..... setting the internal (faith) above the external (philosophy), i.e. [of] making philosophy subservient, which is a
                        Message 11 of 24 , Oct 3, 2010
                          Dear Stephen,

                          You write:

                          >Dear Beat,
                          >
                          >May I say that I find your summary re philosophy and religion here extremely sure-footed.
                          >
                          >The internal/external dilemma and the need to surmount it is very clear. The tendency today is for theology, as purely internal, to give way to philosophy of religion of this "good" sort. I rather think myself that the history of academic theology reflects this triad of differentiating theology from philosophy and then sublating this difference. The differentiation resulted from the Christian idea of a regula fidei, developed from around Augustine's time I would think (or when Justinian closed the Academy). Hegel shows, however, how even this can be treated philosophically (making the outside inside, in a transferred sense to yours here), as a possible notion of or approach to religion, and one might view this as implicit in the Pauline notion of "wisdom from above", i.e. it is still wisdom. Similarly, some have tried to show how even Greek philosophy, Platonism in particular, was exercised in awareness of an overarching maybe sacred tradition taken "internally" if you like (cf.J. Pieper, Über die platonischen Mythen). This view, however, often goes together with setting the internal (faith) above the external(philosophy), i.e. of making philosophy subservient, which is a contradiction. I have understood that this is not Hegel's way and my having said that God is the Hegelian Absolute should be taken in the light of that understanding. Of course nothing can be above God, conceptually, i.e. even if he should not exist.
                          >

                          You say that "..... setting the internal (faith) above the external
                          (philosophy), i.e. [of] making philosophy subservient, which is a
                          contradiction". Why a contradiction? Is it not rather one solution for
                          overcoming the contradiction between faith and thought, also
                          historically? I agree mostly with what you say in your text above.
                          However, the last proposition makes me perplex: "nothing can be above
                          God, conceptually, i.e. even if he should not exist". What does this
                          mean?. I am afraid that you do not accede Hegel's last step in the PhdG
                          from religion to pure (absolute) knowing. For you there is still
                          'something' beyond or above the concept? The beginning of the activity
                          of pure knowing later in the Logic, however, is one of the most brutal
                          philosophical 'presupposition' in the history of philosophy. There is no
                          presupposition at all - there is at the beginning no 'object' which
                          philosophical thinking can adhere to. The 'object' arises together with
                          thinking. Hegel does not begin his pure philosophy with God and he does
                          neither end it with God. God is 'only' the process of pure thought in
                          its circle. Now, if you state that "nothing can be above God,
                          conceptually, i.e. even if he should not exist" then I wonder if you
                          have to invent God since you need Him for your thinking as Kant needs
                          God for making his practical philosophy working?


                          >Philosophy of religion in Analytical Philosophy has also been an interest of mine. Frege speaks of "the Reason that is in the world", "What is the world without the reason? "I suspect that the eagerness with which Anglo-American analysts, such as M. Dummett, present Frege as philosophy's timely escape from the error of idealism may be itself an error. They are bemused by the reaction of Russell and Moore against their colleague McTaggart and against British Hegelianism (of which McTaggart was not typical). Work by Hans Sluga has helped me here (esp. two articles in Inquiry). I mention this since it is from the viewpoint of Absolute Idealism that one sees the religious roots (or windowon religion) of philosophy best. Marx is very religious, or at least Messianic. But there is also a lot of interesting stuff on the Ontological Argument, so central for Hegel, in Gödel and other writers, especially maybe the Polish analytical philosophers from between the wars and after. Forgive me for listing stuff you probably know better than I. Your plans to read up on this, if I understand your last sentence rightly, remind me of my late mentor and friend in Germany, Fernando Inciarte, who wrote profoundly on Aristotelian philosophy and its link with German idealism (what's that?). He, namely, had a nervous breakdown as a result of too intensive Aristotelian studies. He spent his convalescence "taking a lecture" on, reading up on, "analytical philosophy" and his last postumous work was a heavy tome on first logical principles (the "excluded third"), substance and action).I helped with the English version. Myself, I'm a bit tired of analytical philosophy, but I suppose I have profited from having to work in and with it.
                          >
                          >Sincerely,
                          >
                          >Stephen.
                          >

                          I think that Analytical Philosophy has become trapped in its
                          self-created metaphysical riddles. This is the fate of thought Hegel
                          demonstrates in his dialectic.With this Analytical Philosophy has
                          actualized Hegel's thought as dialectical and therefore calls now for
                          him for becoming clear what she has done historically.

                          Regards,
                          Beat Greuter


                          >To: hegel@yahoogroups.com
                          >From: greuterb@...
                          >Date: Thu, 23 Sep 2010 10:32:19 +0200
                          >Subject: Re: [hegel] Hegel versus Atheism
                          >
                          >
                          >Paul Trejo writes:
                          >
                          >>In response to the 9/13/2010 post by Beat Greuter:
                          >>
                          >>
                          >>>...I said above that Hegel's divine service of philosophy is a
                          >>>dynamic process in pure thought. But the categories do not
                          >>>merely "fall away into something less abstract and particular".
                          >>>This would be merely a linear process of the understanding.
                          >>>Hegel's process is not linear but a new category is more
                          >>>abstract and unconscious and one-sided first in its new
                          >>>immediacy which then is the starting point for further mediations
                          >>>with a more concrete result which could not have been achieved
                          >>>directly from the previous mediated category (i.e. the transition
                          >>>from the concrete concept of Pure Becoming into the one-sided
                          >>>concept of Determinate Being in which Pure Becoming is merely
                          >>>sublated and has to be made explicitly again into a more concrete
                          >>>level of the concept). Each progress requires first a regression.
                          >>>I think that each science requires such regressions and
                          >>>simplifications for its development.
                          >>>
                          >>>Regards,
                          >>>Beat Greuter
                          >>>
                          >>>
                          >>I agree with your characterization of Hegel's logical method, Beat.
                          >>Nevertheless, it appears that the clash between Philosophy and
                          >>Religion remains unaffected by your narrative.
                          >>
                          >>Let's look again at Hegel's texts where he says that Philosophy
                          >>is itself the "service of God." Hegel says:
                          >>
                          >>"But each of them, Religion as well as
                          >>Philosophy, is the service of God in a
                          >>way peculiar to it. They differ in the
                          >>peculiar character of their concern with
                          >>God. This is where the difficulties lie
                          >>that impede Philosophy's grasp of Religion,
                          >>and it often appears impossible for the
                          >>two of them to be united. The apprehensive
                          >>attitude of Religion toward Philosophy and
                          >>the hostile stance of each toward the other
                          >>arise from this." (Hegel, LECTURES OF 1827
                          >>ON THE PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION, ed. Hodgson,
                          >>1988, p. 79)
                          >>
                          >>Religion sees the world from the moral and ethical viewpoint almost
                          >>exclusively. It's a question of the Law, of what is Permitted and
                          >>what is Forbidden from a Cosmic perspective -- that's the focus of
                          >>Religion. Furthermore, Theology, to be Theology, will almost never
                          >>broach the question of whether God exists (just as Psychology
                          >>will almost never broach the questoin of whether the psyche exists).
                          >>
                          >Thanks for your reply.
                          >
                          >I think it is not the task of THEOLOGY to consider the question of
                          >whether God exists or not. Its task is to provide the objective basis
                          >for the faith (which is not merely a subjective phenomenon but provides
                          >social cohesion) and to develop this basis and embodiment in the course
                          >of social and religious changes which could threaten the faith. Therfore
                          >it has always an internal view and differs in this respect from the
                          >SCIENCE of religion which has a mere external view. Good PHILOSOPHIES of
                          >religion, however, unite these two views: on the one side they have to
                          >keep an internal view otherwise they would be merely abstract thinking
                          >and could not reconcile reason and religion. On the other side they have
                          >to be critical and therefore historical. I think in this respect Hegel
                          >did a good job: his philosophy in general and his philosophy of religion
                          >in particular have these two views combined within themselves. Today
                          >also Analytical Philosophy deals with the philosophy of religion
                          >(theism, reformed epistemology, pragmatism), partly also based on the
                          >philosophy of Wittgenstein. I am not sure if a critical philosophy of
                          >language can hold these two views together therefore I take now a
                          >lecture on this subject matter.
                          >
                          >Regards,
                          >Beat Greuter
                          >
                          >>hilosophy, on the other hand, is handily characterized by its ancient
                          >>debate over the Existence of God. There have been famous thinkers
                          >>on both sides of that debate, and the question is still unresolved to
                          >>this very day. Hegel hoped to resolve the question with his dialectical
                          >>reworking of Anselm's Ontological Argument, but as Fate would have
                          >>it (or perhaps as God would have it), Hegel died while working on that
                          >>very project.
                          >>
                          >>So, Religion takes God for granted, and Philosophy refuses to take
                          >>God for granted. That is a legitimate difference -- yet that doesn't
                          >>prove they are incompatible.
                          >>
                          >>There is another great difference between Religion and Philosophy
                          >>according to Hegel, namely, that "Religion is for Everybody -- it is
                          >>not Philosophy, which is not for Everybody." (Hegel, LPR, vol I)
                          >>One may object that Hegel is being elitist here - but he is really
                          >>only describing the naked fact under our noses -- less than 1% of
                          >>humanity reads academic Philosophical Journals.
                          >>
                          >>Still - Hegel was one of those Philosophers who developed a new
                          >>approach to logic - and in his conclusions he decided that Religion
                          >>has a legitimate and useful contribution to make to human thought
                          >>and to the human condition generally. Hegel's theology may be
                          >>unorthodox, but it remains genuinely Christian (just as the theology
                          >>of Jesus of Galilee was unorthodox, but remained genuinely Jewish).
                          >>
                          >>Therefore, Hegel makes an interesting conclusion to his Lectures
                          >>on Religion. Hegel says:
                          >>
                          >>"Two positions are opposed to Philosophy.
                          >>Firstly, there is the vanity of the [Pure]
                          >>Understanding, which is displeased by the
                          >>fact that Philosophy still exhibits the
                          >>truth in Religion and demonstrates that
                          >>Reason still resides within it. =*=
                          >>This 'Enlightenment' wants to have nothing
                          >>further to do with the Content, and therefore
                          >>is highly displeased that Philosophy, as
                          >>conscious, methodical thinking, curbs the
                          >>fancies, the caprice, the contingency of
                          >>thinking. =*=
                          >>Secondly, immature religiosity is opposed to
                          >>Philosophy." (Hegel, LECTURES OF 1827
                          >>ON THE PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION,
                          >>ed. Hodgson, 1988, p. 489)
                          >>
                          >>Hegel had a somewhat lower opinion of those 'Enlightenment'
                          >>thinkers who failed to see the value in Religion.
                          >>
                          >>Best regards,
                          >>--Paul Trejo, MA
                          >>


                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • stephen theron
                          Dear Beat, Thanks for yours. Why a contradiction, you ask? I mean simply it (philosophy as subservient to faith ) is a position in which one cannot rest,
                          Message 12 of 24 , Oct 3, 2010
                            Dear Beat,



                            Thanks for yours.



                            Why a contradiction, you ask? I mean simply it (philosophy as subservient to "faith") is a position in which one cannot rest, requiring dialectical supersession. This is implied I find in the Pauline epistles as well as in the so-called Alexandrian Fathers particularly, but also Augustine, "Credo ut intelligam", taken over by Anselm.

                            So, in Boethius (alias, very probably, the Mantuan martyr, still venerated there, San Severino), the lady Philosophia represents the final appearance, manifestation,of the light of faith itself. So I take it and it is an at least possible reading, demystifying, so to say, "wisdom from above". I also think that in Old Testament tradition it becomes progressively clear that any other view of "God", any name in fact, amounts to idolatry (or the direct converse of Yahwism/Judaism).

                            So much on religion. I mean then that this overcoming the contradiction between faith and thought, historical, itself contains contradiction (as I expect future ages will find in Hegel or have maybe already begun to do, thinking of aspects of the philosophy of language, its intrinsic metaphorical quality etc., though one might counter that he is already aware of this himself). On the other hand I do not quite see the contradiction between faith and thought on Thomistic principles. What I said was contradiction was the characterising of philosophy as subservient, which I see no need for doing in the dogmatic system as such.



                            "nothing can be above God conceptually, even if he does not exist". Well, I understand "God" as superior to the category, in Essence, of Existence. I think Hegel makes the same point in several ways. He deprecates the religious term "God" as containing figurative elements, e.g. as suggesting that God is a substance among substances, though one might say the same of at least the grammatical form of "the Absolute". Hence he uses the term "God" fairly often without needing to feel he contradicts himself (in the Logic).



                            For me this is quite compatible with his position that the Absolute is one with the Method. There is no need to conceive Method abstractly, or as in common life. It is ultimately Absolute Knowledge which is not knowledge, or method, of anything else or other, though this needs to be made more precise I realise.



                            I think you need not fear, as you say, that I do not follow Hegel in this last step, from religion to absolute knowledge. "God", the purified religious concept, is simply the or a name for the "last step", whatever it is. For some this may mean the "death of God" absolutely, though this is of course a pictorial presentation itself related to the death believed divine on the Cross and hence a real death. When Hegel speaks of the death of God I take him to refer to just the dark night and perplexity of the understanding well known in mystical tradition and negative theology generally, though he maybe goes further (or not so far, if one thinks of, say, the 6th century Dionysius or Wittgenstein, enjoining absolute silence).



                            There is nothing "beyond or above" the Concept and that is why, to reverse things, the Concept is itself God, absolute knowing (of self). That is, there is nothing "beside" the concept either, the world is "annulled" (Hegel's term).



                            Well, God, or Hegel, doesn't end philosophy with God because God is process, Method, you seem to say. It seems to me I agree. Something like historical Trinitarianism is implied (a "development" or even simply "manifestation" of it, I rather think).



                            I need God for my thinking and have to invent him, you suggest. No, not a merely "practical postulate", though maybe Kant does violence to his own view by that construction.

                            Voltaire's dictum is implicitly dialectical, I find, and even finally Anselmian. It means that God cannot but be real or actual, since this is what "God" names, and that alone is why I said "even if he should not exist". (That atheism is a form of theism is implied by dialectical principles, as these too, I would want to argue, are implied by the ancient condemnation of idolatry). The word simply names that above which there can be nothing, names the "above", the "last step" which generates the whole. But of course I agree that use of this name implies that Hegel's philosophy might be false, or merely a "model". It would be false if God in fact were "above the concept". So I think the concept, absolute knowledge, includes and must include all that we mean by love, beauty, unity, truth or even, why not, absolute being. Similarly I think it includes, is one with, prayer, to recall your reference to "Gottesdienst" recently.



                            Hegel often takes this line or one like it, e.g. when saying that religion does not depend upon any contingent truths. I connect this with the high place he gives to Volition as perfecting Cognition, i.e. I don't see this as straight antithesis to Knowing proper which the Idea synthesises. Synthesis implies composition, whereas knowledge is here identified with will, though "superseding" it. This has to be if it is absolute and so not externally determined. Similarly the freedom of this will is itself what we call necessity. So I want to suggest that the model of thesis-antithesis-synthesis does not so much yield place to as become more and more compatible (identical?) with a straight Advance, such has been admitted as latent (Advance, namely) all through the dialectic, albeit as indirect (like a sailing ship against the wind). This indirectness or zig-zag is necessitated by the dialectic's being an emergence "from shadows to reality", i.e. it must find its own foundation at the end of the progress/process only. Even Aristotle spoke of metaphysics beginning with "confused masses".



                            This view of Hegel's seems to remove the contradiction you mention from faith in regard to Reason or thought. In fact the religious is not a hermetically sealed milieu, but belongs with thought's manifestation in history, I would want to say. But thought is manifested in history as that which finally annuls or "puts by" history. History was the groping after thought, Mind, by the shadows themselves and this is the final "order" (Anaxagoras) in which Mind itself "sets" them, these so-called "all things", being thus "all in all", though this too is dialectical. It should be "all" period.



                            I hope this goes some way to meeting your first set of stimulating comments? Maybe I have missed the "brutality"? Or I am brutal myself. Ignorance and cocksureness, of course, is brutal and I would want to avoid those.



                            Stephen.


                            To: hegel@yahoogroups.com
                            From: greuterb@...
                            Date: Sun, 3 Oct 2010 18:03:16 +0200
                            Subject: Re: [hegel] Hegel versus Atheism






                            Dear Stephen,

                            You write:

                            >Dear Beat,
                            >
                            >May I say that I find your summary re philosophy and religion here extremely sure-footed.
                            >
                            >The internal/external dilemma and the need to surmount it is very clear. The tendency today is for theology, as purely internal, to give way to philosophy of religion of this "good" sort. I rather think myself that the history of academic theology reflects this triad of differentiating theology from philosophy and then sublating this difference. The differentiation resulted from the Christian idea of a regula fidei, developed from around Augustine's time I would think (or when Justinian closed the Academy). Hegel shows, however, how even this can be treated philosophically (making the outside inside, in a transferred sense to yours here), as a possible notion of or approach to religion, and one might view this as implicit in the Pauline notion of "wisdom from above", i.e. it is still wisdom. Similarly, some have tried to show how even Greek philosophy, Platonism in particular, was exercised in awareness of an overarching maybe sacred tradition taken "internally" if you like (cf.J. Pieper, �ber die platonischen Mythen). This view, however, often goes together with setting the internal (faith) above the external(philosophy), i.e. of making philosophy subservient, which is a contradiction. I have understood that this is not Hegel's way and my having said that God is the Hegelian Absolute should be taken in the light of that understanding. Of course nothing can be above God, conceptually, i.e. even if he should not exist.

                            You say that "..... setting the internal (faith) above the external
                            (philosophy), i.e. [of] making philosophy subservient, which is a
                            contradiction". Why a contradiction? Is it not rather one solution for
                            overcoming the contradiction between faith and thought, also
                            historically? I agree mostly with what you say in your text above.
                            However, the last proposition makes me perplex: "nothing can be above
                            God, conceptually, i.e. even if he should not exist". What does this
                            mean?. I am afraid that you do not accede Hegel's last step in the PhdG
                            from religion to pure (absolute) knowing. For you there is still
                            'something' beyond or above the concept? The beginning of the activity
                            of pure knowing later in the Logic, however, is one of the most brutal
                            philosophical 'presupposition' in the history of philosophy. There is no
                            presupposition at all - there is at the beginning no 'object' which
                            philosophical thinking can adhere to. The 'object' arises together with
                            thinking. Hegel does not begin his pure philosophy with God and he does
                            neither end it with God. God is 'only' the process of pure thought in
                            its circle. Now, if you state that "nothing can be above God,
                            conceptually, i.e. even if he should not exist" then I wonder if you
                            have to invent God since you need Him for your thinking as Kant needs
                            God for making his practical philosophy working?

                            >Philosophy of religion in Analytical Philosophy has also been an interest of mine. Frege speaks of "the Reason that is in the world", "What is the world without the reason? "I suspect that the eagerness with which Anglo-American analysts, such as M. Dummett, present Frege as philosophy's timely escape from the error of idealism may be itself an error. They are bemused by the reaction of Russell and Moore against their colleague McTaggart and against British Hegelianism (of which McTaggart was not typical). Work by Hans Sluga has helped me here (esp. two articles in Inquiry). I mention this since it is from the viewpoint of Absolute Idealism that one sees the religious roots (or windowon religion) of philosophy best. Marx is very religious, or at least Messianic. But there is also a lot of interesting stuff on the Ontological Argument, so central for Hegel, in G�del and other writers, especially maybe the Polish analytical philosophers from between the wars and after. Forgive me for listing stuff you probably know better than I. Your plans to read up on this, if I understand your last sentence rightly, remind me of my late mentor and friend in Germany, Fernando Inciarte, who wrote profoundly on Aristotelian philosophy and its link with German idealism (what's that?). He, namely, had a nervous breakdown as a result of too intensive Aristotelian studies. He spent his convalescence "taking a lecture" on, reading up on, "analytical philosophy" and his last postumous work was a heavy tome on first logical principles (the "excluded third"), substance and action).I helped with the English version. Myself, I'm a bit tired of analytical philosophy, but I suppose I have profited from having to work in and with it.
                            >
                            >Sincerely,
                            >
                            >Stephen.
                            >

                            I think that Analytical Philosophy has become trapped in its
                            self-created metaphysical riddles. This is the fate of thought Hegel
                            demonstrates in his dialectic.With this Analytical Philosophy has
                            actualized Hegel's thought as dialectical and therefore calls now for
                            him for becoming clear what she has done historically.

                            Regards,
                            Beat Greuter

                            >To: hegel@yahoogroups.com
                            >From: greuterb@...
                            >Date: Thu, 23 Sep 2010 10:32:19 +0200
                            >Subject: Re: [hegel] Hegel versus Atheism
                            >
                            >
                            >Paul Trejo writes:
                            >
                            >>In response to the 9/13/2010 post by Beat Greuter:
                            >>
                            >>
                            >>>...I said above that Hegel's divine service of philosophy is a
                            >>>dynamic process in pure thought. But the categories do not
                            >>>merely "fall away into something less abstract and particular".
                            >>>This would be merely a linear process of the understanding.
                            >>>Hegel's process is not linear but a new category is more
                            >>>abstract and unconscious and one-sided first in its new
                            >>>immediacy which then is the starting point for further mediations
                            >>>with a more concrete result which could not have been achieved
                            >>>directly from the previous mediated category (i.e. the transition
                            >>>from the concrete concept of Pure Becoming into the one-sided
                            >>>concept of Determinate Being in which Pure Becoming is merely
                            >>>sublated and has to be made explicitly again into a more concrete
                            >>>level of the concept). Each progress requires first a regression.
                            >>>I think that each science requires such regressions and
                            >>>simplifications for its development.
                            >>>
                            >>>Regards,
                            >>>Beat Greuter
                            >>>
                            >>>
                            >>I agree with your characterization of Hegel's logical method, Beat.
                            >>Nevertheless, it appears that the clash between Philosophy and
                            >>Religion remains unaffected by your narrative.
                            >>
                            >>Let's look again at Hegel's texts where he says that Philosophy
                            >>is itself the "service of God." Hegel says:
                            >>
                            >>"But each of them, Religion as well as
                            >>Philosophy, is the service of God in a
                            >>way peculiar to it. They differ in the
                            >>peculiar character of their concern with
                            >>God. This is where the difficulties lie
                            >>that impede Philosophy's grasp of Religion,
                            >>and it often appears impossible for the
                            >>two of them to be united. The apprehensive
                            >>attitude of Religion toward Philosophy and
                            >>the hostile stance of each toward the other
                            >>arise from this." (Hegel, LECTURES OF 1827
                            >>ON THE PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION, ed. Hodgson,
                            >>1988, p. 79)
                            >>
                            >>Religion sees the world from the moral and ethical viewpoint almost
                            >>exclusively. It's a question of the Law, of what is Permitted and
                            >>what is Forbidden from a Cosmic perspective -- that's the focus of
                            >>Religion. Furthermore, Theology, to be Theology, will almost never
                            >>broach the question of whether God exists (just as Psychology
                            >>will almost never broach the questoin of whether the psyche exists).
                            >>
                            >Thanks for your reply.
                            >
                            >I think it is not the task of THEOLOGY to consider the question of
                            >whether God exists or not. Its task is to provide the objective basis
                            >for the faith (which is not merely a subjective phenomenon but provides
                            >social cohesion) and to develop this basis and embodiment in the course
                            >of social and religious changes which could threaten the faith. Therfore
                            >it has always an internal view and differs in this respect from the
                            >SCIENCE of religion which has a mere external view. Good PHILOSOPHIES of
                            >religion, however, unite these two views: on the one side they have to
                            >keep an internal view otherwise they would be merely abstract thinking
                            >and could not reconcile reason and religion. On the other side they have
                            >to be critical and therefore historical. I think in this respect Hegel
                            >did a good job: his philosophy in general and his philosophy of religion
                            >in particular have these two views combined within themselves. Today
                            >also Analytical Philosophy deals with the philosophy of religion
                            >(theism, reformed epistemology, pragmatism), partly also based on the
                            >philosophy of Wittgenstein. I am not sure if a critical philosophy of
                            >language can hold these two views together therefore I take now a
                            >lecture on this subject matter.
                            >
                            >Regards,
                            >Beat Greuter
                            >
                            >>hilosophy, on the other hand, is handily characterized by its ancient
                            >>debate over the Existence of God. There have been famous thinkers
                            >>on both sides of that debate, and the question is still unresolved to
                            >>this very day. Hegel hoped to resolve the question with his dialectical
                            >>reworking of Anselm's Ontological Argument, but as Fate would have
                            >>it (or perhaps as God would have it), Hegel died while working on that
                            >>very project.
                            >>
                            >>So, Religion takes God for granted, and Philosophy refuses to take
                            >>God for granted. That is a legitimate difference -- yet that doesn't
                            >>prove they are incompatible.
                            >>
                            >>There is another great difference between Religion and Philosophy
                            >>according to Hegel, namely, that "Religion is for Everybody -- it is
                            >>not Philosophy, which is not for Everybody." (Hegel, LPR, vol I)
                            >>One may object that Hegel is being elitist here - but he is really
                            >>only describing the naked fact under our noses -- less than 1% of
                            >>humanity reads academic Philosophical Journals.
                            >>
                            >>Still - Hegel was one of those Philosophers who developed a new
                            >>approach to logic - and in his conclusions he decided that Religion
                            >>has a legitimate and useful contribution to make to human thought
                            >>and to the human condition generally. Hegel's theology may be
                            >>unorthodox, but it remains genuinely Christian (just as the theology
                            >>of Jesus of Galilee was unorthodox, but remained genuinely Jewish).
                            >>
                            >>Therefore, Hegel makes an interesting conclusion to his Lectures
                            >>on Religion. Hegel says:
                            >>
                            >>"Two positions are opposed to Philosophy.
                            >>Firstly, there is the vanity of the [Pure]
                            >>Understanding, which is displeased by the
                            >>fact that Philosophy still exhibits the
                            >>truth in Religion and demonstrates that
                            >>Reason still resides within it. =*=
                            >>This 'Enlightenment' wants to have nothing
                            >>further to do with the Content, and therefore
                            >>is highly displeased that Philosophy, as
                            >>conscious, methodical thinking, curbs the
                            >>fancies, the caprice, the contingency of
                            >>thinking. =*=
                            >>Secondly, immature religiosity is opposed to
                            >>Philosophy." (Hegel, LECTURES OF 1827
                            >>ON THE PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION,
                            >>ed. Hodgson, 1988, p. 489)
                            >>
                            >>Hegel had a somewhat lower opinion of those 'Enlightenment'
                            >>thinkers who failed to see the value in Religion.
                            >>
                            >>Best regards,
                            >>--Paul Trejo, MA
                            >>

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






                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • Beat Greuter
                            ... Dear Stephen I think I can agree with what you say in the above section of your text, however, I do not understand it fully. You say that the dialectic s
                            Message 13 of 24 , Oct 13, 2010
                              Stephen Ttheron writes:

                              >Dear Beat,
                              >
                              >Thanks for yours.
                              >
                              >Why a contradiction, you ask? I mean simply it (philosophy as subservient to "faith") is a position in which one cannot rest, requiring dialectical supersession. This is implied I find in the Pauline epistles as well as in the so-called Alexandrian Fathers particularly, but also Augustine, "Credo ut intelligam", taken over by Anselm.
                              >
                              >So, in Boethius (alias, very probably, the Mantuan martyr, still venerated there, San Severino), the lady Philosophia represents the final appearance, manifestation,of the light of faith itself. So I take it and it is an at least possible reading, demystifying, so to say, "wisdom from above". I also think that in Old Testament tradition it becomes progressively clear that any other view of "God", any name in fact, amounts to idolatry (or the direct converse of Yahwism/Judaism).
                              >
                              >So much on religion. I mean then that this overcoming the contradiction between faith and thought, historical, itself contains contradiction (as I expect future ages will find in Hegel or have maybe already begun to do, thinking of aspects of the philosophy of language, its intrinsic metaphorical quality etc., though one might counter that he is already aware of this himself). On the other hand I do not quite see the contradiction between faith and thought on Thomistic principles. What I said was contradiction was the characterising of philosophy as subservient, which I see no need for doing in the dogmatic system as such.
                              >
                              >"nothing can be above God conceptually, even if he does not exist". Well, I understand "God" as superior to the category, in Essence, of Existence. I think Hegel makes the same point in several ways. He deprecates the religious term "God" as containing figurative elements, e.g. as suggesting that God is a substance among substances, though one might say the same of at least the grammatical form of "the Absolute". Hence he uses the term "God" fairly often without needing to feel he contradicts himself (in the Logic).
                              >
                              >For me this is quite compatible with his position that the Absolute is one with the Method. There is no need to conceive Method abstractly, or as in common life. It is ultimately Absolute Knowledge which is not knowledge, or method, of anything else or other, though this needs to be made more precise I realise.
                              >
                              >I think you need not fear, as you say, that I do not follow Hegel in this last step, from religion to absolute knowledge. "God", the purified religious concept, is simply the or a name for the "last step", whatever it is. For some this may mean the "death of God" absolutely, though this is of course a pictorial presentation itself related to the death believed divine on the Cross and hence a real death. When Hegel speaks of the death of God I take him to refer to just the dark night and perplexity of the understanding well known in mystical tradition and negative theology generally, though he maybe goes further (or not so far, if one thinks of, say, the 6th century Dionysius or Wittgenstein, enjoining absolute silence).
                              >
                              >There is nothing "beyond or above" the Concept and that is why, to reverse things, the Concept is itself God, absolute knowing (of self). That is, there is nothing "beside" the concept either, the world is "annulled" (Hegel's term).
                              >
                              >Well, God, or Hegel, doesn't end philosophy with God because God is process, Method, you seem to say. It seems to me I agree. Something like historical Trinitarianism is implied (a "development" or even simply "manifestation" of it, I rather think).
                              >
                              >I need God for my thinking and have to invent him, you suggest. No, not a merely "practical postulate", though maybe Kant does violence to his own view by that construction.
                              >
                              >Voltaire's dictum is implicitly dialectical, I find, and even finally Anselmian. It means that God cannot but be real or actual, since this is what "God" names, and that alone is why I said "even if he should not exist". (That atheism is a form of theism is implied by dialectical principles, as these too, I would want to argue, are implied by the ancient condemnation of idolatry). The word simply names that above which there can be nothing, names the "above", the "last step" which generates the whole. But of course I agree that use of this name implies that Hegel's philosophy might be false, or merely a "model". It would be false if God in fact were "above the concept". So I think the concept, absolute knowledge, includes and must include all that we mean by love, beauty, unity, truth or even, why not, absolute being. Similarly I think it includes, is one with, prayer, to recall your reference to "Gottesdienst" recently.
                              >
                              >Hegel often takes this line or one like it, e.g. when saying that religion does not depend upon any contingent truths. I connect this with the high place he gives to Volition as perfecting Cognition, i.e. I don't see this as straight antithesis to Knowing proper which the Idea synthesises. Synthesis implies composition, whereas knowledge is here identified with will, though "superseding" it. This has to be if it is absolute and so not externally determined. Similarly the freedom of this will is itself what we call necessity. So I want to suggest that the model of thesis-antithesis-synthesis does not so much yield place to as become more and more compatible (identical?) with a straight Advance, such has been admitted as latent (Advance, namely) all through the dialectic, albeit as indirect (like a sailing ship against the wind). This indirectness or zig-zag is necessitated by the dialectic's being an emergence "from shadows to reality", i.e. it must find its own foundation at the end of the progress/process only. Even Aristotle spoke of metaphysics beginning with "confused masses".
                              >


                              Dear Stephen

                              I think I can agree with what you say in the above section of your text,
                              however, I do not understand it fully. You say that "the dialectic's
                              ....... must find its own foundation at the end of the
                              progress/process only". It seems that you mean this for the real world.
                              So, you mention Aristotle and his beginning with "confused masses" or
                              you say that "dialectics being an emergence 'from shadows to reality' ".
                              However, even Aristotle admit (after a long discussion in the
                              Metaphysics) that Matter cannot be the Subjacent (das Zugrundeliegende)
                              and then he looks for an other 'feature' which could be the Subjacent.
                              As distinct from this for Hegel two points have to be noted:

                              - There is no Subjacent which is already something
                              - The dialectical progress/process is an ongoing foundation or mediation
                              in pure thought with its other in itself. For Hegel the whole of this
                              mediation is the Subjacent which, coming into its total other, into
                              'reality', is exposed to contingency. Therefore for Hegel there is no
                              teleological end, no foundation at the end of the progress/process as
                              far as this process is actualized in the real world.

                              This means also that for him there is no explanation of the real
                              beginning and ending of the process, neither a theological nor a
                              scientific explantion. All attempts to do so are condemned to failure
                              and (or) are mere games of thought (which can be very illuminating). I
                              think this is the meaning of the brutal beginning in the Logic with
                              Being and Nothing: the two are in a mere identity or, what at the
                              beginnning is the same, in a mere opposition. More cannot be said. You
                              cannot even speak of a "shadow" which is already something.

                              Regards,
                              Beat Greuter


                              >This view of Hegel's seems to remove the contradiction you mention from faith in regard to Reason or thought. In fact the religious is not a hermetically sealed milieu, but belongs with thought's manifestation in history, I would want to say. But thought is manifested in history as that which finally annuls or "puts by" history. History was the groping after thought, Mind, by the shadows themselves and this is the final "order" (Anaxagoras) in which Mind itself "sets" them, these so-called "all things", being thus "all in all", though this too is dialectical. It should be "all" period.
                              >
                              >I hope this goes some way to meeting your first set of stimulating comments? Maybe I have missed the "brutality"? Or I am brutal myself. Ignorance and cocksureness, of course, is brutal and I would want to avoid those.
                              >
                              >
                              >Stephen.
                              >
                              >
                              >To: hegel@yahoogroups.com
                              >From: greuterb@...
                              >Date: Sun, 3 Oct 2010 18:03:16 +0200
                              >Subject: Re: [hegel] Hegel versus Atheism
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >Dear Stephen,
                              >
                              >You write:
                              >
                              >>Dear Beat,
                              >>
                              >>May I say that I find your summary re philosophy and religion here extremely sure-footed.
                              >>
                              >>The internal/external dilemma and the need to surmount it is very clear. The tendency today is for theology, as purely internal, to give way to philosophy of religion of this "good" sort. I rather think myself that the history of academic theology reflects this triad of differentiating theology from philosophy and then sublating this difference. The differentiation resulted from the Christian idea of a regula fidei, developed from around Augustine's time I would think (or when Justinian closed the Academy). Hegel shows, however, how even this can be treated philosophically (making the outside inside, in a transferred sense to yours here), as a possible notion of or approach to religion, and one might view this as implicit in the Pauline notion of "wisdom from above", i.e. it is still wisdom. Similarly, some have tried to show how even Greek philosophy, Platonism in particular, was exercised in awareness of an overarching maybe sacred tradition taken "internally" if you like (cf.J. Pieper, Über die platonischen Mythen). This view, however, often goes together with setting the internal (faith) above the external(philosophy), i.e. of making philosophy subservient, which is a contradiction. I have understood that this is not Hegel's way and my having said that God is the Hegelian Absolute should be taken in the light of that understanding. Of course nothing can be above God, conceptually, i.e. even if he should not exist.
                              >>
                              >>
                              >
                              >You say that "..... setting the internal (faith) above the external
                              >(philosophy), i.e. [of] making philosophy subservient, which is a
                              >contradiction". Why a contradiction? Is it not rather one solution for
                              >overcoming the contradiction between faith and thought, also
                              >historically? I agree mostly with what you say in your text above.
                              >However, the last proposition makes me perplex: "nothing can be above
                              >God, conceptually, i.e. even if he should not exist". What does this
                              >mean?. I am afraid that you do not accede Hegel's last step in the PhdG
                              >from religion to pure (absolute) knowing. For you there is still
                              >'something' beyond or above the concept? The beginning of the activity
                              >of pure knowing later in the Logic, however, is one of the most brutal
                              >philosophical 'presupposition' in the history of philosophy. There is no
                              >presupposition at all - there is at the beginning no 'object' which
                              >philosophical thinking can adhere to. The 'object' arises together with
                              >thinking. Hegel does not begin his pure philosophy with God and he does
                              >neither end it with God. God is 'only' the process of pure thought in
                              >its circle. Now, if you state that "nothing can be above God,
                              >conceptually, i.e. even if he should not exist" then I wonder if you
                              >have to invent God since you need Him for your thinking as Kant needs
                              >God for making his practical philosophy working?
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >>Philosophy of religion in Analytical Philosophy has also been an interest of mine. Frege speaks of "the Reason that is in the world", "What is the world without the reason? "I suspect that the eagerness with which Anglo-American analysts, such as M. Dummett, present Frege as philosophy's timely escape from the error of idealism may be itself an error. They are bemused by the reaction of Russell and Moore against their colleague McTaggart and against British Hegelianism (of which McTaggart was not typical). Work by Hans Sluga has helped me here (esp. two articles in Inquiry). I mention this since it is from the viewpoint of Absolute Idealism that one sees the religious roots (or windowon religion) of philosophy best. Marx is very religious, or at least Messianic. But there is also a lot of interesting stuff on the Ontological Argument, so central for Hegel, in Gödel and other writers, especially maybe the Polish analytical philosophers from between the wars and after. Forgive me for listing stuff you probably know better than I. Your plans to read up on this, if I understand your last sentence rightly, remind me of my late mentor and friend in Germany, Fernando Inciarte, who wrote profoundly on Aristotelian philosophy and its link with German idealism (what's that?). He, namely, had a nervous breakdown as a result of too intensive Aristotelian studies. He spent his convalescence "taking a lecture" on, reading up on, "analytical philosophy" and his last postumous work was a heavy tome on first logical principles (the "excluded third"), substance and action).I helped with the English version. Myself, I'm a bit tired of analytical philosophy, but I suppose I have profited from having to work in and with it.
                              >>
                              >>Sincerely,
                              >>
                              >>Stephen.
                              >>
                              >>
                              >>
                              >
                              >I think that Analytical Philosophy has become trapped in its
                              >self-created metaphysical riddles. This is the fate of thought Hegel
                              >demonstrates in his dialectic.With this Analytical Philosophy has
                              >actualized Hegel's thought as dialectical and therefore calls now for
                              >him for becoming clear what she has done historically.
                              >
                              >Regards,
                              >Beat Greuter
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >>To: hegel@yahoogroups.com
                              >>From: greuterb@...
                              >>Date: Thu, 23 Sep 2010 10:32:19 +0200
                              >>Subject: Re: [hegel] Hegel versus Atheism
                              >>
                              >>
                              >>Paul Trejo writes:
                              >>
                              >>
                              >>
                              >>>In response to the 9/13/2010 post by Beat Greuter:
                              >>>
                              >>>
                              >>>
                              >>>
                              >>>>...I said above that Hegel's divine service of philosophy is a
                              >>>>dynamic process in pure thought. But the categories do not
                              >>>>merely "fall away into something less abstract and particular".
                              >>>>This would be merely a linear process of the understanding.
                              >>>>Hegel's process is not linear but a new category is more
                              >>>>abstract and unconscious and one-sided first in its new
                              >>>>immediacy which then is the starting point for further mediations
                              >>>>with a more concrete result which could not have been achieved
                              >>>>directly from the previous mediated category (i.e. the transition
                              >>>>
                              >>>>
                              >>>>from the concrete concept of Pure Becoming into the one-sided
                              >>>
                              >>>
                              >>>>concept of Determinate Being in which Pure Becoming is merely
                              >>>>sublated and has to be made explicitly again into a more concrete
                              >>>>level of the concept). Each progress requires first a regression.
                              >>>>I think that each science requires such regressions and
                              >>>>simplifications for its development.
                              >>>>
                              >>>>Regards,
                              >>>>Beat Greuter
                              >>>>
                              >>>>
                              >>>>
                              >>>>
                              >>>I agree with your characterization of Hegel's logical method, Beat.
                              >>>Nevertheless, it appears that the clash between Philosophy and
                              >>>Religion remains unaffected by your narrative.
                              >>>
                              >>>Let's look again at Hegel's texts where he says that Philosophy
                              >>>is itself the "service of God." Hegel says:
                              >>>
                              >>>"But each of them, Religion as well as
                              >>>Philosophy, is the service of God in a
                              >>>way peculiar to it. They differ in the
                              >>>peculiar character of their concern with
                              >>>God. This is where the difficulties lie
                              >>>that impede Philosophy's grasp of Religion,
                              >>>and it often appears impossible for the
                              >>>two of them to be united. The apprehensive
                              >>>attitude of Religion toward Philosophy and
                              >>>the hostile stance of each toward the other
                              >>>arise from this." (Hegel, LECTURES OF 1827
                              >>>ON THE PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION, ed. Hodgson,
                              >>>1988, p. 79)
                              >>>
                              >>>Religion sees the world from the moral and ethical viewpoint almost
                              >>>exclusively. It's a question of the Law, of what is Permitted and
                              >>>what is Forbidden from a Cosmic perspective -- that's the focus of
                              >>>Religion. Furthermore, Theology, to be Theology, will almost never
                              >>>broach the question of whether God exists (just as Psychology
                              >>>will almost never broach the questoin of whether the psyche exists).
                              >>>
                              >>>
                              >>>
                              >>Thanks for your reply.
                              >>
                              >>I think it is not the task of THEOLOGY to consider the question of
                              >>whether God exists or not. Its task is to provide the objective basis
                              >>for the faith (which is not merely a subjective phenomenon but provides
                              >>social cohesion) and to develop this basis and embodiment in the course
                              >>of social and religious changes which could threaten the faith. Therfore
                              >>it has always an internal view and differs in this respect from the
                              >>SCIENCE of religion which has a mere external view. Good PHILOSOPHIES of
                              >>religion, however, unite these two views: on the one side they have to
                              >>keep an internal view otherwise they would be merely abstract thinking
                              >>and could not reconcile reason and religion. On the other side they have
                              >>to be critical and therefore historical. I think in this respect Hegel
                              >>did a good job: his philosophy in general and his philosophy of religion
                              >>in particular have these two views combined within themselves. Today
                              >>also Analytical Philosophy deals with the philosophy of religion
                              >>(theism, reformed epistemology, pragmatism), partly also based on the
                              >>philosophy of Wittgenstein. I am not sure if a critical philosophy of
                              >>language can hold these two views together therefore I take now a
                              >>lecture on this subject matter.
                              >>
                              >>Regards,
                              >>Beat Greuter
                              >>
                              >>
                              >>
                              >>>hilosophy, on the other hand, is handily characterized by its ancient
                              >>>debate over the Existence of God. There have been famous thinkers
                              >>>on both sides of that debate, and the question is still unresolved to
                              >>>this very day. Hegel hoped to resolve the question with his dialectical
                              >>>reworking of Anselm's Ontological Argument, but as Fate would have
                              >>>it (or perhaps as God would have it), Hegel died while working on that
                              >>>very project.
                              >>>
                              >>>So, Religion takes God for granted, and Philosophy refuses to take
                              >>>God for granted. That is a legitimate difference -- yet that doesn't
                              >>>prove they are incompatible.
                              >>>
                              >>>There is another great difference between Religion and Philosophy
                              >>>according to Hegel, namely, that "Religion is for Everybody -- it is
                              >>>not Philosophy, which is not for Everybody." (Hegel, LPR, vol I)
                              >>>One may object that Hegel is being elitist here - but he is really
                              >>>only describing the naked fact under our noses -- less than 1% of
                              >>>humanity reads academic Philosophical Journals.
                              >>>
                              >>>Still - Hegel was one of those Philosophers who developed a new
                              >>>approach to logic - and in his conclusions he decided that Religion
                              >>>has a legitimate and useful contribution to make to human thought
                              >>>and to the human condition generally. Hegel's theology may be
                              >>>unorthodox, but it remains genuinely Christian (just as the theology
                              >>>of Jesus of Galilee was unorthodox, but remained genuinely Jewish).
                              >>>
                              >>>Therefore, Hegel makes an interesting conclusion to his Lectures
                              >>>on Religion. Hegel says:
                              >>>
                              >>>"Two positions are opposed to Philosophy.
                              >>>Firstly, there is the vanity of the [Pure]
                              >>>Understanding, which is displeased by the
                              >>>fact that Philosophy still exhibits the
                              >>>truth in Religion and demonstrates that
                              >>>Reason still resides within it. =*=
                              >>>This 'Enlightenment' wants to have nothing
                              >>>further to do with the Content, and therefore
                              >>>is highly displeased that Philosophy, as
                              >>>conscious, methodical thinking, curbs the
                              >>>fancies, the caprice, the contingency of
                              >>>thinking. =*=
                              >>>Secondly, immature religiosity is opposed to
                              >>>Philosophy." (Hegel, LECTURES OF 1827
                              >>>ON THE PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION,
                              >>>ed. Hodgson, 1988, p. 489)
                              >>>
                              >>>Hegel had a somewhat lower opinion of those 'Enlightenment'
                              >>>thinkers who failed to see the value in Religion.
                              >>>
                              >>>Best regards,
                              >>>--Paul Trejo, MA
                              >>>
                              >>>


                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • stephen theron
                              Dear Beat, Thanks for your reply! No, I didn t mean the dialectic would find a foundation for the real world , like discovering God as creator on a realist
                              Message 14 of 24 , Oct 13, 2010
                                Dear Beat,



                                Thanks for your reply! No, I didn't mean the dialectic would "find a foundation for the real world", like discovering God as creator on a realist scheme. In my understanding "creation" comes out different under absolute idealism. The realist theologians distinguish among "divine ideas" between realised and unrealised possibilities. I rather would see Being as just one among the ideas, a moment of the Concept. I find this right through Hegel, e.g. when he says or implies that the truths of "religion" do not depend upon an inevitably contingent realisation.

                                So no. Or to put it another way, when Hegel talks about having done with, annulling, such a "real world", what he means is that we are thinking with absolute mind, from the viewpoint of which the world is nothing extra or "outside" at all. This is so even though the Logic ends with the free going forth as nature. This going forth is precisely an alienation and we don't have to view Nature "materially",e.g. of repulsed atoms, or as in space in time, the points or instants different and the same at once, i.e. the realist picture is contradictory. Hence we must come back from it (Spirit), while in Nature viewed rightly the whole, the Notion, is identical with every part or rather "moment". So I see it and I think it is Hegel's view. You would be the right man to point out a systematic mistake if I am making one, although one can to some extent choose how one reads it, maybe. Conversely, do people always understand what they write themselves? But I maybe digress, make it too rich.

                                So I meant rather the foundation, perhaps a bad expression, of the dialectic itself. Again, the confused masses Aristotle starts with.... I had no thought of these being matter as "hypokeimenon" (is this the Zugrundeliegende and is this the Ground of the English translations?) or substrate. I think Hegel makes a point of not making matter prior to the process, of this being an especial Christian insight corresponding to "creation out of nothing", does he not? I never suspect him of conjuring tricks, like some. The confused masses are rather in the Mind, though for Aristotle I don't think this would rigorously mean they were immaterial. This would be indifferent for him, to start with at least. Thus he does consider the possibility of things, objects, being really in the mind and explains referential terms, words, as arising out of the impossibility of this which otherwise ought to be, so to say, since there is knowing, or the mind becoming its other, which is typically material (De soph. elench. I think).



                                So there is no pre-substrate which is already something, I absolutely agree. In fact in my understanding the Scholastic materia prima means precisely possibility (potentia) and, contrariwise, perishability and nothing else. For (absolute) idealism this becomes something else, what I have called shadows, the untrue finite, etc. etc.

                                Your second point, difficult for me, but I want to understand it. The whole process, of mediation, is the Concept or Absolute become explicit at the end, yes, and this means also that there is no End (telos) distinct from the rest seen as Means. As he says, it is a matter of realising, in our thinking, that all is "accomplished". Some say he goes wrong there. I don't think so. From the absolute viewpoint it must be so.

                                Again, the foundation at the end of the dialectic is not a foundation for a spurious "real world". The dialectic is what is real and the Absolute Idea terminating it is foundation for thinking (as being what thinking is, the Notion/Concept/Begriff). So when I took over the phrase (Newman's motto) "from shadows to reality", perhaps ill-advisedly, I meant to refer to this ascent or process from mutually contradictory finite notions to the Absolute Idea which is indeed "harmony between thought and reality" but precisely because reality turns out to be just this absolute Idea, which Hegel says is the Absolute. Hence he says idealism is the cardinal doctrine of philosophy as such, if I remember right.



                                What you say about this meaning there is no possible explanation of the beginning and ending of the dialectic... you mean the thought that it is like a circle, that one may break into at any point? People today sometimes want to explain God(!) as "the self-explanatory" and that seems to me an incorrect, rationalist move. Ex-planation means unfolding what is composite. The Absolute Idea is rather the discovery of perfect, supra-organic unity, beyond talk of parts and whole in juxtaposition. Identity is the relation wanted, a relation that is no relation or a relatio rationis only.



                                But the beginning brutal? Perhaps you mean because denial of the phenomenal world as anything other than just that is already implicit. Or even that making a beginning as such is already wrong. We should not have put ourselves outside in order to get inside. All is flow, and that, as the truth of thinking, is motionless and eternal therefore. No, I don't quite get the focus here, so if you can explain more I would be interested.... as also where you think I diverge from or misunderstand Hegel, if you do.....



                                Sincerely,

                                Stephen.





                                To: hegel@yahoogroups.com
                                From: greuterb@...
                                Date: Wed, 13 Oct 2010 11:24:24 +0200
                                Subject: Re: [hegel] Hegel versus Atheism







                                Stephen Ttheron writes:

                                >Dear Beat,
                                >
                                >Thanks for yours.
                                >
                                >Why a contradiction, you ask? I mean simply it (philosophy as subservient to "faith") is a position in which one cannot rest, requiring dialectical supersession. This is implied I find in the Pauline epistles as well as in the so-called Alexandrian Fathers particularly, but also Augustine, "Credo ut intelligam", taken over by Anselm.
                                >
                                >So, in Boethius (alias, very probably, the Mantuan martyr, still venerated there, San Severino), the lady Philosophia represents the final appearance, manifestation,of the light of faith itself. So I take it and it is an at least possible reading, demystifying, so to say, "wisdom from above". I also think that in Old Testament tradition it becomes progressively clear that any other view of "God", any name in fact, amounts to idolatry (or the direct converse of Yahwism/Judaism).
                                >
                                >So much on religion. I mean then that this overcoming the contradiction between faith and thought, historical, itself contains contradiction (as I expect future ages will find in Hegel or have maybe already begun to do, thinking of aspects of the philosophy of language, its intrinsic metaphorical quality etc., though one might counter that he is already aware of this himself). On the other hand I do not quite see the contradiction between faith and thought on Thomistic principles. What I said was contradiction was the characterising of philosophy as subservient, which I see no need for doing in the dogmatic system as such.
                                >
                                >"nothing can be above God conceptually, even if he does not exist". Well, I understand "God" as superior to the category, in Essence, of Existence. I think Hegel makes the same point in several ways. He deprecates the religious term "God" as containing figurative elements, e.g. as suggesting that God is a substance among substances, though one might say the same of at least the grammatical form of "the Absolute". Hence he uses the term "God" fairly often without needing to feel he contradicts himself (in the Logic).
                                >
                                >For me this is quite compatible with his position that the Absolute is one with the Method. There is no need to conceive Method abstractly, or as in common life. It is ultimately Absolute Knowledge which is not knowledge, or method, of anything else or other, though this needs to be made more precise I realise.
                                >
                                >I think you need not fear, as you say, that I do not follow Hegel in this last step, from religion to absolute knowledge. "God", the purified religious concept, is simply the or a name for the "last step", whatever it is. For some this may mean the "death of God" absolutely, though this is of course a pictorial presentation itself related to the death believed divine on the Cross and hence a real death. When Hegel speaks of the death of God I take him to refer to just the dark night and perplexity of the understanding well known in mystical tradition and negative theology generally, though he maybe goes further (or not so far, if one thinks of, say, the 6th century Dionysius or Wittgenstein, enjoining absolute silence).
                                >
                                >There is nothing "beyond or above" the Concept and that is why, to reverse things, the Concept is itself God, absolute knowing (of self). That is, there is nothing "beside" the concept either, the world is "annulled" (Hegel's term).
                                >
                                >Well, God, or Hegel, doesn't end philosophy with God because God is process, Method, you seem to say. It seems to me I agree. Something like historical Trinitarianism is implied (a "development" or even simply "manifestation" of it, I rather think).
                                >
                                >I need God for my thinking and have to invent him, you suggest. No, not a merely "practical postulate", though maybe Kant does violence to his own view by that construction.
                                >
                                >Voltaire's dictum is implicitly dialectical, I find, and even finally Anselmian. It means that God cannot but be real or actual, since this is what "God" names, and that alone is why I said "even if he should not exist". (That atheism is a form of theism is implied by dialectical principles, as these too, I would want to argue, are implied by the ancient condemnation of idolatry). The word simply names that above which there can be nothing, names the "above", the "last step" which generates the whole. But of course I agree that use of this name implies that Hegel's philosophy might be false, or merely a "model". It would be false if God in fact were "above the concept". So I think the concept, absolute knowledge, includes and must include all that we mean by love, beauty, unity, truth or even, why not, absolute being. Similarly I think it includes, is one with, prayer, to recall your reference to "Gottesdienst" recently.
                                >
                                >Hegel often takes this line or one like it, e.g. when saying that religion does not depend upon any contingent truths. I connect this with the high place he gives to Volition as perfecting Cognition, i.e. I don't see this as straight antithesis to Knowing proper which the Idea synthesises. Synthesis implies composition, whereas knowledge is here identified with will, though "superseding" it. This has to be if it is absolute and so not externally determined. Similarly the freedom of this will is itself what we call necessity. So I want to suggest that the model of thesis-antithesis-synthesis does not so much yield place to as become more and more compatible (identical?) with a straight Advance, such has been admitted as latent (Advance, namely) all through the dialectic, albeit as indirect (like a sailing ship against the wind). This indirectness or zig-zag is necessitated by the dialectic's being an emergence "from shadows to reality", i.e. it must find its own foundation at the end of the progress/process only. Even Aristotle spoke of metaphysics beginning with "confused masses".
                                >

                                Dear Stephen

                                I think I can agree with what you say in the above section of your text,
                                however, I do not understand it fully. You say that "the dialectic's
                                ....... must find its own foundation at the end of the
                                progress/process only". It seems that you mean this for the real world.
                                So, you mention Aristotle and his beginning with "confused masses" or
                                you say that "dialectics being an emergence 'from shadows to reality' ".
                                However, even Aristotle admit (after a long discussion in the
                                Metaphysics) that Matter cannot be the Subjacent (das Zugrundeliegende)
                                and then he looks for an other 'feature' which could be the Subjacent.
                                As distinct from this for Hegel two points have to be noted:

                                - There is no Subjacent which is already something
                                - The dialectical progress/process is an ongoing foundation or mediation
                                in pure thought with its other in itself. For Hegel the whole of this
                                mediation is the Subjacent which, coming into its total other, into
                                'reality', is exposed to contingency. Therefore for Hegel there is no
                                teleological end, no foundation at the end of the progress/process as
                                far as this process is actualized in the real world.

                                This means also that for him there is no explanation of the real
                                beginning and ending of the process, neither a theological nor a
                                scientific explantion. All attempts to do so are condemned to failure
                                and (or) are mere games of thought (which can be very illuminating). I
                                think this is the meaning of the brutal beginning in the Logic with
                                Being and Nothing: the two are in a mere identity or, what at the
                                beginnning is the same, in a mere opposition. More cannot be said. You
                                cannot even speak of a "shadow" which is already something.

                                Regards,
                                Beat Greuter

                                >This view of Hegel's seems to remove the contradiction you mention from faith in regard to Reason or thought. In fact the religious is not a hermetically sealed milieu, but belongs with thought's manifestation in history, I would want to say. But thought is manifested in history as that which finally annuls or "puts by" history. History was the groping after thought, Mind, by the shadows themselves and this is the final "order" (Anaxagoras) in which Mind itself "sets" them, these so-called "all things", being thus "all in all", though this too is dialectical. It should be "all" period.
                                >
                                >I hope this goes some way to meeting your first set of stimulating comments? Maybe I have missed the "brutality"? Or I am brutal myself. Ignorance and cocksureness, of course, is brutal and I would want to avoid those.
                                >
                                >
                                >Stephen.
                                >
                                >
                                >To: hegel@yahoogroups.com
                                >From: greuterb@...
                                >Date: Sun, 3 Oct 2010 18:03:16 +0200
                                >Subject: Re: [hegel] Hegel versus Atheism
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >Dear Stephen,
                                >
                                >You write:
                                >
                                >>Dear Beat,
                                >>
                                >>May I say that I find your summary re philosophy and religion here extremely sure-footed.
                                >>
                                >>The internal/external dilemma and the need to surmount it is very clear. The tendency today is for theology, as purely internal, to give way to philosophy of religion of this "good" sort. I rather think myself that the history of academic theology reflects this triad of differentiating theology from philosophy and then sublating this difference. The differentiation resulted from the Christian idea of a regula fidei, developed from around Augustine's time I would think (or when Justinian closed the Academy). Hegel shows, however, how even this can be treated philosophically (making the outside inside, in a transferred sense to yours here), as a possible notion of or approach to religion, and one might view this as implicit in the Pauline notion of "wisdom from above", i.e. it is still wisdom. Similarly, some have tried to show how even Greek philosophy, Platonism in particular, was exercised in awareness of an overarching maybe sacred tradition taken "internally" if you like (cf.J. Pieper, �ber die platonischen Mythen). This view, however, often goes together with setting the internal (faith) above the external(philosophy), i.e. of making philosophy subservient, which is a contradiction. I have understood that this is not Hegel's way and my having said that God is the Hegelian Absolute should be taken in the light of that understanding. Of course nothing can be above God, conceptually, i.e. even if he should not exist.
                                >>
                                >>
                                >
                                >You say that "..... setting the internal (faith) above the external
                                >(philosophy), i.e. [of] making philosophy subservient, which is a
                                >contradiction". Why a contradiction? Is it not rather one solution for
                                >overcoming the contradiction between faith and thought, also
                                >historically? I agree mostly with what you say in your text above.
                                >However, the last proposition makes me perplex: "nothing can be above
                                >God, conceptually, i.e. even if he should not exist". What does this
                                >mean?. I am afraid that you do not accede Hegel's last step in the PhdG
                                >from religion to pure (absolute) knowing. For you there is still
                                >'something' beyond or above the concept? The beginning of the activity
                                >of pure knowing later in the Logic, however, is one of the most brutal
                                >philosophical 'presupposition' in the history of philosophy. There is no
                                >presupposition at all - there is at the beginning no 'object' which
                                >philosophical thinking can adhere to. The 'object' arises together with
                                >thinking. Hegel does not begin his pure philosophy with God and he does
                                >neither end it with God. God is 'only' the process of pure thought in
                                >its circle. Now, if you state that "nothing can be above God,
                                >conceptually, i.e. even if he should not exist" then I wonder if you
                                >have to invent God since you need Him for your thinking as Kant needs
                                >God for making his practical philosophy working?
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >>Philosophy of religion in Analytical Philosophy has also been an interest of mine. Frege speaks of "the Reason that is in the world", "What is the world without the reason? "I suspect that the eagerness with which Anglo-American analysts, such as M. Dummett, present Frege as philosophy's timely escape from the error of idealism may be itself an error. They are bemused by the reaction of Russell and Moore against their colleague McTaggart and against British Hegelianism (of which McTaggart was not typical). Work by Hans Sluga has helped me here (esp. two articles in Inquiry). I mention this since it is from the viewpoint of Absolute Idealism that one sees the religious roots (or windowon religion) of philosophy best. Marx is very religious, or at least Messianic. But there is also a lot of interesting stuff on the Ontological Argument, so central for Hegel, in G�del and other writers, especially maybe the Polish analytical philosophers from between the wars and after. Forgive me for listing stuff you probably know better than I. Your plans to read up on this, if I understand your last sentence rightly, remind me of my late mentor and friend in Germany, Fernando Inciarte, who wrote profoundly on Aristotelian philosophy and its link with German idealism (what's that?). He, namely, had a nervous breakdown as a result of too intensive Aristotelian studies. He spent his convalescence "taking a lecture" on, reading up on, "analytical philosophy" and his last postumous work was a heavy tome on first logical principles (the "excluded third"), substance and action).I helped with the English version. Myself, I'm a bit tired of analytical philosophy, but I suppose I have profited from having to work in and with it.
                                >>
                                >>Sincerely,
                                >>
                                >>Stephen.
                                >>
                                >>
                                >>
                                >
                                >I think that Analytical Philosophy has become trapped in its
                                >self-created metaphysical riddles. This is the fate of thought Hegel
                                >demonstrates in his dialectic.With this Analytical Philosophy has
                                >actualized Hegel's thought as dialectical and therefore calls now for
                                >him for becoming clear what she has done historically.
                                >
                                >Regards,
                                >Beat Greuter
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >>To: hegel@yahoogroups.com
                                >>From: greuterb@...
                                >>Date: Thu, 23 Sep 2010 10:32:19 +0200
                                >>Subject: Re: [hegel] Hegel versus Atheism
                                >>
                                >>
                                >>Paul Trejo writes:
                                >>
                                >>
                                >>
                                >>>In response to the 9/13/2010 post by Beat Greuter:
                                >>>
                                >>>
                                >>>
                                >>>
                                >>>>...I said above that Hegel's divine service of philosophy is a
                                >>>>dynamic process in pure thought. But the categories do not
                                >>>>merely "fall away into something less abstract and particular".
                                >>>>This would be merely a linear process of the understanding.
                                >>>>Hegel's process is not linear but a new category is more
                                >>>>abstract and unconscious and one-sided first in its new
                                >>>>immediacy which then is the starting point for further mediations
                                >>>>with a more concrete result which could not have been achieved
                                >>>>directly from the previous mediated category (i.e. the transition
                                >>>>
                                >>>>
                                >>>>from the concrete concept of Pure Becoming into the one-sided
                                >>>
                                >>>
                                >>>>concept of Determinate Being in which Pure Becoming is merely
                                >>>>sublated and has to be made explicitly again into a more concrete
                                >>>>level of the concept). Each progress requires first a regression.
                                >>>>I think that each science requires such regressions and
                                >>>>simplifications for its development.
                                >>>>
                                >>>>Regards,
                                >>>>Beat Greuter
                                >>>>
                                >>>>
                                >>>>
                                >>>>
                                >>>I agree with your characterization of Hegel's logical method, Beat.
                                >>>Nevertheless, it appears that the clash between Philosophy and
                                >>>Religion remains unaffected by your narrative.
                                >>>
                                >>>Let's look again at Hegel's texts where he says that Philosophy
                                >>>is itself the "service of God." Hegel says:
                                >>>
                                >>>"But each of them, Religion as well as
                                >>>Philosophy, is the service of God in a
                                >>>way peculiar to it. They differ in the
                                >>>peculiar character of their concern with
                                >>>God. This is where the difficulties lie
                                >>>that impede Philosophy's grasp of Religion,
                                >>>and it often appears impossible for the
                                >>>two of them to be united. The apprehensive
                                >>>attitude of Religion toward Philosophy and
                                >>>the hostile stance of each toward the other
                                >>>arise from this." (Hegel, LECTURES OF 1827
                                >>>ON THE PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION, ed. Hodgson,
                                >>>1988, p. 79)
                                >>>
                                >>>Religion sees the world from the moral and ethical viewpoint almost
                                >>>exclusively. It's a question of the Law, of what is Permitted and
                                >>>what is Forbidden from a Cosmic perspective -- that's the focus of
                                >>>Religion. Furthermore, Theology, to be Theology, will almost never
                                >>>broach the question of whether God exists (just as Psychology
                                >>>will almost never broach the questoin of whether the psyche exists).
                                >>>
                                >>>
                                >>>
                                >>Thanks for your reply.
                                >>
                                >>I think it is not the task of THEOLOGY to consider the question of
                                >>whether God exists or not. Its task is to provide the objective basis
                                >>for the faith (which is not merely a subjective phenomenon but provides
                                >>social cohesion) and to develop this basis and embodiment in the course
                                >>of social and religious changes which could threaten the faith. Therfore
                                >>it has always an internal view and differs in this respect from the
                                >>SCIENCE of religion which has a mere external view. Good PHILOSOPHIES of
                                >>religion, however, unite these two views: on the one side they have to
                                >>keep an internal view otherwise they would be merely abstract thinking
                                >>and could not reconcile reason and religion. On the other side they have
                                >>to be critical and therefore historical. I think in this respect Hegel
                                >>did a good job: his philosophy in general and his philosophy of religion
                                >>in particular have these two views combined within themselves. Today
                                >>also Analytical Philosophy deals with the philosophy of religion
                                >>(theism, reformed epistemology, pragmatism), partly also based on the
                                >>philosophy of Wittgenstein. I am not sure if a critical philosophy of
                                >>language can hold these two views together therefore I take now a
                                >>lecture on this subject matter.
                                >>
                                >>Regards,
                                >>Beat Greuter
                                >>
                                >>
                                >>
                                >>>hilosophy, on the other hand, is handily characterized by its ancient
                                >>>debate over the Existence of God. There have been famous thinkers
                                >>>on both sides of that debate, and the question is still unresolved to
                                >>>this very day. Hegel hoped to resolve the question with his dialectical
                                >>>reworking of Anselm's Ontological Argument, but as Fate would have
                                >>>it (or perhaps as God would have it), Hegel died while working on that
                                >>>very project.
                                >>>
                                >>>So, Religion takes God for granted, and Philosophy refuses to take
                                >>>God for granted. That is a legitimate difference -- yet that doesn't
                                >>>prove they are incompatible.
                                >>>
                                >>>There is another great difference between Religion and Philosophy
                                >>>according to Hegel, namely, that "Religion is for Everybody -- it is
                                >>>not Philosophy, which is not for Everybody." (Hegel, LPR, vol I)
                                >>>One may object that Hegel is being elitist here - but he is really
                                >>>only describing the naked fact under our noses -- less than 1% of
                                >>>humanity reads academic Philosophical Journals.
                                >>>
                                >>>Still - Hegel was one of those Philosophers who developed a new
                                >>>approach to logic - and in his conclusions he decided that Religion
                                >>>has a legitimate and useful contribution to make to human thought
                                >>>and to the human condition generally. Hegel's theology may be
                                >>>unorthodox, but it remains genuinely Christian (just as the theology
                                >>>of Jesus of Galilee was unorthodox, but remained genuinely Jewish).
                                >>>
                                >>>Therefore, Hegel makes an interesting conclusion to his Lectures
                                >>>on Religion. Hegel says:
                                >>>
                                >>>"Two positions are opposed to Philosophy.
                                >>>Firstly, there is the vanity of the [Pure]
                                >>>Understanding, which is displeased by the
                                >>>fact that Philosophy still exhibits the
                                >>>truth in Religion and demonstrates that
                                >>>Reason still resides within it. =*=
                                >>>This 'Enlightenment' wants to have nothing
                                >>>further to do with the Content, and therefore
                                >>>is highly displeased that Philosophy, as
                                >>>conscious, methodical thinking, curbs the
                                >>>fancies, the caprice, the contingency of
                                >>>thinking. =*=
                                >>>Secondly, immature religiosity is opposed to
                                >>>Philosophy." (Hegel, LECTURES OF 1827
                                >>>ON THE PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION,
                                >>>ed. Hodgson, 1988, p. 489)
                                >>>
                                >>>Hegel had a somewhat lower opinion of those 'Enlightenment'
                                >>>thinkers who failed to see the value in Religion.
                                >>>
                                >>>Best regards,
                                >>>--Paul Trejo, MA
                                >>>
                                >>>

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