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AW: Re: AW: [hegel] Brief Synopsis of PhdG Preface 1-22

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  • greuterb@bluewin.ch
    ... Von: robertfanelli2001@yahoo.com Datum: 03.01.2011 01:16 An: Betreff: Re: AW: [hegel] Brief Synopsis of PhdG Preface 1-22 Beat,  
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 5, 2011
      ----Ursprüngliche Nachricht----
      Von: robertfanelli2001@...
      Datum: 03.01.2011 01:16
      An: <hegel@yahoogroups.com>

      Betreff: Re: AW: [hegel] Brief Synopsis of PhdG Preface 1-22

      I'm sending you my complete analysis of this
      difficult paragraph 22  which obviously offers a transcendence of both the mechanistic and romantic aspect of
      nature.  Am I on the right track here?


      For me the second sentence in para 22 is not quite clear: "The
      exaltation of so-called nature at the expense of thought misconceived, and more especially the rejection of external
      purposiveness, have brought the idea of purpose in general into disrepute." Therefore I offered two possible
      interpretation of the concept of nature referred to in this sentence and also what "micsonceived thinking" could mean
      in this connection. The romantic view on nature - its exaltation above the concept - was certainly a reaction on the
      mechanical view on nature of the arising natural sciences, and Hegel wanted to save the rational view on nature without
      accepting the mechanical view. For this he had to emphasize thought as purposive rationality which however is not
      merely an external purposiveness (as for the mechanical view) but an inner moment of all rationality. This he could
      find in Aristotle's view on nature and ethics. For Hegel the Concept alone does express the purposive rationality.
      Therefore he writes later in this para: "... in other words, the actual is the same as its Concept only because the
      immediate, as purpose, contains the self or pure actuality within itself." The moment of the identity of the concept -
      the immediate or PURE actuality - is not separated from its other, from its EXTERNAL actualization. Their assimilation
      or mediation process Hegel calls dialectic.


      Bob's comments:
      In Hegel’s time of science the idea of
      self-moving purpose or a rational cosmos was becoming academic. Reason is intrinsically purposive.  This is not, for
      Hegel a presupposition.  Rather, it is an ongoing rational principle which dialectically proves its point of
      purposiveness by its very rational development.   Hegel wishes to revert back to the Aristotelian sense of the self
      moving Subject.  He translates this self moving ‘existence for itself’ as pure negativity, putting a beginning on
      purpose. In the ‘concrete actuality’ of what is real, is rational movement.  The Self comes into play as ‘self-
      referring and self-relating, identity and simplicity.’  Self-consciousness takes over and so too does reflective
      thinking.  Existence then stands to itself as a self-inflicted sense of purposiveness. Thus the purpose of all this
      rational thinking develops its own actuality and its own concreteness. The self reigns supreme in its own
      development.  All of this then is enveloped by the Hegelian rational developing forms which are not foundational.  I,
      with my own rational thinking grasp the actuality of ‘telos’ or ‘purpose’ of my thoughts.  My existence then is always
      on the line in terms of this kind of structural thinking.

      --- On Fri, 12/31/10, greuterb@... <greuterb@bluewin.
      ch> wrote:

      From: greuterb@... <greuterb@...>
      Subject: AW: [hegel] Brief Synopsis of PhdG Preface 1-22

      To: hegel@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Friday, December 31, 2010, 4:58 PM


      ----Ursprüngliche Nachricht----
      Datum: 29.12.2010 01:26
      An: <hegel@yahoogroups.com>

      Betreff: [hegel] Brief Synopsis of
      PhdG Preface 1-22

      (Highlights) First 22 Paragraphs

      Individual concepts
      of reality as structured by
      consciousness must lead to universal concepts of this reality, and thus enhance the reality
      of the universe.


      Hegel offers the `progressive evolution of truth' in his diversity in a philosophical system.
      The progression of
      evolutionary truths are not just contradictions, but must contain a ceaseless activity of truth with
      organic unity.

      We must continue the process of philosophical thinking. Philosophical systems die on the vine. We
      need a complete
      process to arrive at any substantial conclusion.

      We are bombarded with the individual moments of
      `actual life,'
      and it is these moments which give us meaningful experience. Hegel seeks a point of movement with these
      thoughts of our individual experiences. Hegel seeks cognition of `actual life.'

      We have to raise
      philosophy to the
      level of a scientific system and this is the systematic development of truth. The method in which we
      know things must
      become a science. . Only within the development of this System can we grasp `the true shape of

      finds the means or instrument of its existence in notions' means that these conceptually
      developed notions are
      cognitive forms of truth; that is, they are logical and empirical developing forms of truth.
      This method of seeking
      truth differs from the presuppositions of Hegel's day and the dogmas of the day.

      We need
      therefore decidedly to
      be rejuvenated. Fullness of life, the immediacy of belief, and the satisfaction and security
      of a reconciled reality
      both within and without are all now in the tail end of Aufklärung (Enlightenment) and are
      simply seeking rejuvenation,
      a rebirth, and even a feeling good effect.

      Experience and empirical knowledge have
      overtaken all other ideology
      and hence the search for more meaningful beliefs….Hegel, of course will offer his PhdG.
      Now (in this early nineteenth
      century) the natural sciences have burst on to the scene and the sensate or power of
      empiricism have taken hold.


      Philosophy is a dynamic living spirit. This human spirit must look to Hegel's kind of
      science and overcome simple
      edification. Hegel's theme is the avoidance of mere edification, that is, simple
      instruction, improvement, even moral

      The paragraph is a proclamation or invective against the
      romanticism and intuitiveness of the day.
      The contentment and edification which Hegel refers to is that of these anti-
      scientific texts overflowing the
      intellectual communities of his day.

      We have the spirit of the times, the
      Aufklärung (Enlightenment), along with
      the old order of things, including perhaps some of the religious doctrines of
      the past. There are changes in the air.

      Hegel's thesis includes the idea that science is the `crowning' part of
      the `spiritual world;' and the `spiritual
      world' includes, as the world of Spirit (Geist) , an entire historical and
      educational process subject to `revolutions
      in manifold forms.'

      Hegel makes no bones about pure rational thought
      being the king. Consciousness needs the
      discipline of the negative and of precise thinking. There is much information
      from the past which consciousness must
      sift through and make exoteric not esoteric.

      Hegel speaks of a type of
      Gordian Knot, (`the critical knot which
      scientific culture at present struggles to loosen, and about which so far it is
      not very clear'). It is an intractable
      problem to be solved by a bold stroke. It is a `parade' of sorts between two
      factions: one side shows the strength of
      the empirical `wealth of its material,' and the other side `intuitive
      rationality' with its corresponding divinity.

      We need the full `color' representation of reality. Fichte and
      Schelling merely offer `such a repetition of the
      same formula,' and to boot, they prove nothing. It is old hat and
      simply an empty absolute, so to speak. It is `the
      shapeless repetition of one and the same idea,' over and over
      again. Hegel seeks the developing concrete absolute Idea
      (the full development of dialectic thinking).

      knowing is the encompassing of the reality of the world by
      means of dialectic thinking with the developing reality of
      the mind in the process. In the correspondence of the
      reality of the other (the world) with the reality of
      consciousness an absolute sense of reality has been manifested,
      and thus this is the way in which the concept of God is
      understood; for God is the ultimate reality for Hegel. The
      correspondence of the mind's thoughts with the objects of
      the world is actualized by the dialectic process itself.

      We can not get to the truth of things unless Substance
      and Subject are conjoined, that is, put together, for a
      common purpose, perhaps more. This concrete substantiality
      requires both a universal and individual perspective,
      again, both conjoined.

      #18 The subject is a basis for
      actuality. It is substance in the sense that it seeks to be
      independent of all the structures developed by the sensate
      mind. When we speak of substance and subject in the same
      breath, Hegel means we have grasped Spirit itself (Geist).

      The historical search for knowledge of the divine and
      divine intelligence is discussed here. The emphasis is on
      knowledge in the Hegelian sense not in a supernaturally
      revealed sense etc.

      This is one of Hegel's most
      fundamental statements. `The truth is the whole' (Miller
      translates, `the true is the whole'). It is the reflective
      autonomy of self-consciousness' own development of the
      whole truth. The subject (self-consciousness) in its rational
      development, produces at the end of this self-developing
      process, the absolute which is fully actualized.

      emphasizes the self conscious method of the `ego for
      itself' and the search for identities in thoughts, catching the
      moments of immediacy in these identities and
      negations, which is the process of simple becoming. This becoming is
      Hegel's initial goal.

      In Hegel's time of
      science the idea of self-moving purpose or a rational cosmos was becoming
      academic. Reason is intrinsically purposive.
      This is not, for Hegel a presupposition. Rather, it is an ongoing
      rational principle which dialectically proves its
      point of purposiveness by its very rational development.


      Thanks for this summary of the first 22 paras
      from the Preface of the PhdG. I think that your comment on para
      22 does not fully conceive what Hegel writes there. In
      the following I quote the whole para 22 in the original and the
      English translation with some comments following:

      "22. Das Gesagte kann auch so ausgedrückt werden, daß die Vernunft
      das zweckmäßige Tun ist. Die Erhebung der
      vermeinten Natur über das mißkannte Denken, und zunächst die Verbannung der
      äußern Zweckmäßigkeit hat die Form des
      Zwecks überhaupt in Mißkredit gebracht. Allein, wie auch Aristoteles die Natur
      als das zweckmäßige Tun bestimmt, der
      Zweck ist das Unmittelbare, das Ruhende, welches selbst bewegend oder Subjekt
      ist. Seine abstrakte Kraft zu bewegen
      ist das Für-sich-sein oder die reine Negativität. Das Resultat ist nur darum
      dasselbe, was der Anfang, weil der Anfang
      Zweck ist; - oder das Wirkliche ist nur darum dasselbe, was sein Begriff,
      weil das Unmittelbare als Zweck das Selbst
      oder die reine Wirklichkeit in ihm selbst hat. Der ausgeführte Zweck oder
      das daseiende Wirkliche ist die Bewegung und
      das entfaltete Werden; eben diese Unruhe aber ist das Selbst; und jener
      Unmittelbarkeit und Einfachheit des Anfangs
      ist es darum gleich, weil es das Resultat, das in sich Zurückgekehrte, -
      das in sich Zurückgekehrte aber eben das
      Selbst, und das Selbst die sich auf sich beziehende Gleichheit und Einfachheit

      "22. What has been said may also
      be expressed by saying that reason is purposive activity. The exaltation of so-
      called nature at the expense of thought
      misconceived, and more especially the rejection of external purposiveness, have
      brought the idea of purpose in general
      into disrepute. All the same, in the sense in which Aristotle, too,
      characterizes nature as purposive activity,
      purpose is the immediate, the undisturbed, the unmoved which is self-
      moving; as such it is subject. Its power of
      moving, taken abstractly, is its existence for itself, or pure negativity.
      The result is the same as the beginning
      solely because the beginning is purpose. Stated otherwise, what is actual and
      concrete is the same as its inner
      principle or notion simply because the immediate qua purpose contains within it the
      self or pure actuality. The
      realized purpose, or concrete actuality, is movement and development unfolded. But this
      very unrest is the self; and
      it is one and the same with that immediacy and simplicity characteristic of the beginning
      just for the reason that it
      is the result, and has returned upon itself-while this latter again is just the self, and
      the self is self-referring
      and self-relating identity and simplicity."

      Regarding the history of philosophy and of
      (natural) science the second
      sentence in this para is interesting. Hegel writes there:

      (1) "The elevation [Erhebung]
      of a deficient conception of
      nature above unappreciated thought ......": What does this mean? Is it the mechanical view
      on nature in the modern
      area (i.e. Hobbes, Descartes) against Aristotelian thinking on nature which only with Leibniz
      got a renaissance ? Or
      is it the Romantic view on nature which also Schelling adhered to neglecting thereby the freedom
      and autonomy of
      thought which Kant and Fichte had developed in their philosophies? The latter would justify
      "exaltation" as the
      translation of the German term "Erhebung"

      (2) "...... the rejection of external purposiveness,
      have brought the idea
      of purpose in general into disrepute.": This would suggest that Hegel reminds us of the Romantic
      view on nature in
      this para. The Romantic view did despise the external purposiveness of nature which for Hegel
      nevertheless is an
      important moment of reason, that is, of rational activity (see also SL, Doctrine of the Concept).
      But then Hegel
      proceeds to "the idea of purpose in general" which for him is essential for Aristotle’s view on nature
      against the
      modern mechanical view.

      For Hegel both views on nature (the mechanical and the Romantic) are
      inadequate. The first
      explains nature only in causal relationships and neglects the self-moving of the subject. The
      second has no concept of
      the pure negativity of the being-for-itself (the subject) but only positive internal
      purposiveness and forces which
      govern nature as a whole (exaltation). So, Hegel had to go back to Aristotle, however,
      now seen from the freedom of
      the subjet as Kant and Fichte have shown.

      Beat Greuter
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