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Re: [hegel] Re: SL Chapter 1 : A. Being

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  • Beat Greuter
    ... Hi Randall, You are right. The start is with pure being. However, we cannot say anything about this pure being since as you and Hegel say it is without
    Message 1 of 99 , Mar 8, 2011
      Am 07.03.2011 12:17, Randall writes:

      > [Randall]
      > >> Q: `how does anything proceed from this empty infinitude of
      > >> pure self-sameness?'
      > >> - "Being, the indeterminate immediate, is in fact nothing,
      > >> and neither more nor less than nothing."
      > >> Pure being has here "immediatly" collapsed into nothing.
      > >> Is there any reason for this collapse? In other words, is
      > >> there any determining factor that has mediated this move
      > >> from being to nothing?
      > >> If there is a determining factor that mediates the move
      > >> from Being to Nothing, where could it have possibly come
      > >> from?
      > [Beat]
      > > I think your question is most interesting. But there is only
      > > a one-sided comprehension of Being in it: "pure self-sameness".
      > > With this there is no answer for your question. But Being has
      > > another side in it, its mere opposition - Nothing.
      > Hi Beat,
      > But we don't start with 'Being-Nothing', instead we start with "Being,
      > pure being, without any further determinations".
      > As we will see 'being-nothing' will emerge as the result of
      > 'becoming', but I don't think we can speak of pure being as a moment
      > of the 'being-nothing' whole just yet.
      > Of course we could say that the truth of being is that it is
      > indistinguishable from nothing. But this was a revolutionary
      > innovation by Hegel that he would not have simply expected us to
      > presuppose at the start.

      Hi Randall,

      You are right. The start is with pure being. However, we cannot say
      anything about this pure being since as you and Hegel say it is "without
      any further determination". So, we cannot speak about pure being,
      otherwise we ascribe something to it what is a determination. On the
      other side - you are right - Hegel proceeds with 'nothing' before their
      common concept 'becoming' arises. So, how do we come to 'nothing' before
      this and without a premature determination of being? Fortunately, this
      follows from your quotation below from 'With What Must Science Begin?':
      > To further support what I am trying to say let's look again at the
      > point in which Hegel introduces the term 'Being':
      > ----------
      > [Hegel] 'With What Must the Science Begin'
      > ---------
      > "Pure knowing as concentrated into this unity has sublated all
      > reference to an other and to mediation; it is without any distinction
      > and as thus distinctionless, ceases itself to be knowledge; what is
      > present is only simple immediacy.
      > Simple immediacy is itself an expression of reflection and contains a
      > reference to its distinction from what is mediated. This simple
      > immediacy, therefore, in its true expression is pure being. Just as
      > pure knowing is to mean knowing as such, quite abstractly, so too pure
      > being is to mean nothing but being in general: being, and nothing
      > else, without any further specification and filling." (Hegel,SL p. 69)

      Pure being is simple immediacy (a=b). So we could take 'simple
      immediacy' as the category of beginning. But this would be wrong since
      it contains an (outer) "reference to its distinction of what is
      mediated", that is, a determination, a mediation. Therefore, simple
      immediacy as the concept of beginning would not be an absolute which
      pure knowing in its first concept has to be. So, instead, we beginn with
      pure being which is in itself the simple immediacy, that is, the true
      expression of what simple immediacy means without any outer reference
      which would destroy what simple immediacy truely means. So, it seems
      that you are right and my statement about the "other side in it (being),
      its mere opposition - Nothing" would be wrong. However, it is not so
      easy as it looks. With this beginning of pure being as the true
      expression of simple immediacy (which precisely NOT can be taken as a=b)
      it contains its opposition (mediation) immediately (without mediation)
      within itself. 'Pure Nothing' is not an attribute of 'Pure Being'. The
      two are this identity (self-sameness) which has in itself the difference
      with not yet any mediation between the two. This I called the
      limit-concept (Grenzbegriff) of determination, that is, a concept which
      is not yet determination, however, has in itself the 'potentiality' for
      the further development to determination. So, the positing of 'Nothing'
      as the second absolute is only the making explicit of the identity or
      self-sameness with the difference as not yet mediated: Pure being and
      pure nothing are the same but nevertheless two different terms.

      > ---------
      > Hegel suggests that...
      > - The result of Pure Knowing (i.e. the knowing that no longer has its
      > object over against itself), sublates all reference to an other and
      > mediation, what remains is only "simple immediacy".
      > - The term "simple immediacy" itself contains reference to what is
      > mediated, so the sublation of the terms "immediacy" and
      > "indeterminacy" is the last hurdle before arriving into pure being.
      > - Pure being is to mean nothing but being in general: being, and
      > nothing else, without any further specification and filling.
      > This last phrase is most important for our discussion: "being, and
      > nothing else, without any further specification and filling".
      > >From the above I think that it is clear that we start with being
      > without any further specification (specifications such as "we start in
      > the one sided moment of being" like you have provided).
      > I also think that it is possible to start from nothing. If we don't
      > begin by way of Absolute Knowing, but instead begin by pure
      > abstraction, I think that we begin with nothing.
      > So, we either start with pure being, or we start with pure nothing,
      > but we don't start with the 'being-nothing' whole.

      This I do not understand. I do not think that we can begin with nothing.
      How can you come from pure nothing to pure being even if you begin with
      a pure abstraction. Pure nothing is a logically necessary step from pure
      being. In this case an inversion does not seem logically possible. But I
      am willing to learn here.

      > [Beat]
      > > The immediate collapse into Nothing may not be taken as
      > > effected by something external that "mediates the move":
      > >'Pure Self-sameness' and its opposite are not yet mediated,
      > > they are in a mere opposition since it is an immediate
      > > collapse from Being to Nothing (or vice versa), of two
      > > absolutes.
      > So, we are in complete agreement here. My only reservation is with the
      > term "opposition" because being and nothing are not terms that are
      > reciprocally defined like positive and negative. We have to see if we
      > can maintain the term "opposition" without evoking determination.

      I tried to make this more clear in my statement above: Self-sameness and
      opposition not yet mediated cannot yet evoke determination for which
      further reflections of being are necessary. There is no direct relation
      between pure being, pure nothing and pure become and determination. The
      limit-concept of determination does not determine the concept of
      determination. This will happen from being posited in its one-sidedness
      in the chapter of 'Dasein' ('Dasein' in general).

      > [Beat]
      > > So, a "determining factor" is not needed , a term which
      > > should not be used at this point of the Logic.
      > This leaves pure being vanishing into nothing without any causal
      > factors, and this is what leaves Alan (and I am sure many others)
      > disturbed.

      For me it is not disturbed. We are not yet in a causal relationship.
      This will only happen much later in the Logic. But I wonder what you
      think about this 'causal factor'? You only mention Alan and others.

      > [Beat]
      > > [We have the same problem in Descartes' famous proposition
      > > 'I think hence I am'. If you take this as a kind of syllogism
      > > you miss the whole point.]
      > Yes, here we have the immediate identity of certainty and truth and
      > Hegel accepts this (with qualitfication) as a way to arrive to pure
      > being (see SL bottom of 75-77).
      > [Beat]
      > > Because of this immediate opposition within Being the
      > > reflection in the Logic of being looks for mediation.
      > I have a problem with "opposition within Being". Being immediately
      > vanishes, Nothing immediately issues forth, Nothing immediately gives
      > way to Being, etc... I don't think we can say that nothing is "within"
      > being. We can say nothing is "within" becoming.

      I think these are two different points. With pure being and pure nothing
      as the first two absolutes it has only become clear what the concept of
      pure being implies. The next step of pure becoming makes these two not
      yet mediated absolutes to moments of itself since in its opposed
      self-sameness mediation cannot achieve actuality. The 'vanishing' then
      arises only in pure becoming with the result that also in this first
      concrete concept no real mediation will be possible.

      > [Beat]
      > > This reflective 'force' precisely is the motive for
      > > the further development of the Concept:
      > I have a problem with "reflective", because being and nothing are not
      > in a relation to each other (this would make them
      > determinate),therefore they cannot reflect off one another, but
      > instead there is simply an oscillation of being vanishing into nothing
      > a vice versa.

      As I said this vanishing only arises with pure becoming. Before, we have
      only two abstract absolutes opposed to each other in their mere

      > The term 'force' is interesting here, I too see a kinship to the
      > movement that occurs in the understanding chapter of the PhG, but I
      > think John has made a very good point about not introducing terms
      > before Hegel uses them.

      John and you are right. But without this reflective 'force' included in
      the absoluteness of these concepts no development is possible. This may
      not be taken as a reflection which lies outside the achieved meaning of
      these concepts anticipating meanings which only later will be posited.
      This would be what Hegel calls 'understanding'

      > I am guilty of the same thing, but maybe we should try to preserve the
      > term 'force' for its most precise technical usage for Hegel.
      > But as we will see I will allude to this term to try to make clear
      > what is going on in the transition between becoming and determinate
      > being as such.
      > But overall I think we should both be careful and always clarify when
      > we are just using a term in a loose manner.

      I agree fully with this. The transition between pure becoming and
      'Dasein' will reveal the logical connection between the two concepts.

      > [Beat]
      > > a mediation can be achieved if the two non-mediated opposites as
      > > absolutes become moments in a further concept which
      > > makes these absolutes moments of itself: Becoming.
      > That's right we need a third factor, and with the transition from
      > being to nothing we don't yet have a third factor. But yeah when we
      > arrive to the movement that encapsulates them, then we have the third
      > factor.

      Yes, of course. But for this movement we need reflective 'force' which
      we find within the achieved constellation of pure being and pure nothing.

      > [Beat]
      > > As mere opposite absolutes there is not yet mediation, as moments
      > > of a 'superior' concept a mediation is achievable.
      > So, we are in agreement. It's just that I don't think that we can
      > explain the move from being to nothing by anticipating this 'superior'
      > concept.

      I agree, we do not anticipate it but we have to discuss the logical
      necessity achieving this 'superior' concept.

      > [Beat]
      > > Since 'mediation' means 'determination' this abstract beginning
      > > of the Logic of being with Being, Nothing and Becoming is a
      > > necessary beginning: it shows the limit-concept of
      > >'determination', that is, of 'mediation'.
      > As I tried to explain in my initial post on 'Section One:
      > Determination', the Logic of Being offers an account of determinacy
      > without further qualification.

      Does this refer to the first Chapter of this Section? However, for our
      present discussion more interesting is the very beginning of the Secton
      One: 'Determination (Quality)'. There In the middle paragraph Hegel writes:

      "Because it is indeterminate being, it lacks all quality; but in itself,
      the character of indeterminateness attaches to it only in contrast to
      what is determinate or qualitative. But determinate being stands in
      contrast to being in general, so that the very indeterminateness of the
      latter constitutes its quality. It will therefore be shown that the
      first being is in itself determinate, and therefore, secondly, that it
      passes over into determinate being ......."

      I think this text does sustain my idea of a 'limit-concept' of
      determination as the beginning of the Logic.

      > But we can't explain determinacy by starting with something
      > determinate (without question begging).

      Yes, we cannot. But what do you call a "start with something determinate"?

      > So the Logic of Being must necessarily begin with indeterminacy, and
      > then somehow move from this abstract beginning with pure indeterminacy
      > to something determinate.
      > Randall

      I think that we can explain the transition to the concept of
      determination only if we take the beginning of the Logic as the
      limit-concept of determination. The pure indeterminacy of the beginning
      of the Logic exactly reveals this limit-concept of determination.
      Otherwise, for me the move "to something determinate' is logically not

      Beat Greuter

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Alan Ponikvar
      Hi Beat, Your comments have the virtue of offering a reading of the beginning of the Logic that follows from what you believe is the outcome of the
      Message 99 of 99 , Apr 3, 2011
        Hi Beat,

        Your comments have the virtue of offering a reading of the beginning of the
        Logic that follows from what you believe is the outcome of the
        Phenomenology. The difference in our respective readings of the beginning of
        the Logic come I suspect in large part from our different readings of the
        role of what you refer to as the Knowing Subject in the Phenomenology.

        One would think that Hegel himself could play this role. But he chooses not
        to. That is, if all the Phenomenology was about was having the wise instruct
        the unwise then Hegel could have written a more conventional book as a
        manual of instruction.

        I view the reader who is tasked to observe the unfolding drama as the one in
        need of being educated. I even find it amusing and ironic that the claim
        that the reader is the one who is to be educated should be such a
        controversial point. Here we have maybe the most difficult book every
        written and somehow we are invited to take up the position of the Knowing
        Subject – a position that surely every single reader of this text is unfit
        to occupy.

        If the Knowing Subject as Hegel controls the transitions from one
        consciousness to another then he could have done everyone a favor by
        explaining these transitions. But he does not choose to do so even thought
        he identifies them with what is speculative in his account. This indicates
        to me that the Phenomenology is meant to be a sort of self-initiation. It is
        left to us to struggle with an obscure text with little help from our

        If we succeed, then we are transformed in the process or educated to the
        standpoint of science. Thus in my view, the Knowing Subject of the
        Phenomenology – if he is identified with the reader – is not the same as the
        subject upon entry into the Logic.

        That so many commentators express a position somewhat like yours is I
        believe because they really do not think that much is involved in overcoming
        the opposition of consciousness. Everyone believes they know what this
        means. In my view this overcoming is poorly understood and is often confused
        for something like what the understanding achieves when it engages in true
        knowing: the coincidence of the subject and object. The opposition itself
        alters over the course of the Phenomenology from being identified with a
        task suited to consciousness to the task that confronts self-alienated

        But before I get too far into the Phenomenology, let me just say that it is
        almost universally acknowledged that there is no satisfying completed
        reading of the Phenomenology. I believe this is in part due to the great
        divide between what commentators say the book is about and all the stuff
        stuffed into this book. The book is what it is. So I see the problem being
        with the way commentators read the book. They tend to dumb it down to the
        level of their own understanding. They do not take seriously the notion that
        we are to be transformed through an encounter with this text. I do because
        this has been my experience with the text.

        As for the viability of my reading of the Logic, we will have to see how
        well it does. As I have mentioned from the beginning, I do not expect anyone
        to change their mind based on anything I say. But what I hope to do is show
        what is being ignored in what I call the easy reading of the movement of
        thought that is the Logic.

        Regards, Alan

        From: "greuterb@..." <greuterb@...>
        Reply-To: <hegel@yahoogroups.com>
        Date: Sun, 3 Apr 2011 08:49:44 +0000 (GMT+00:00)
        To: <hegel@yahoogroups.com>
        Subject: Re: [hegel] Re: SL Chapter 1 : A. Being

        Am 27.03.2011 19:59, Alan Ponikvar writes:


        Hi Beat,

        Instead of offering a point by point response, I would
        like more like a jazz

        musician to offer a response that plays off of what you
        write. It is for you

        to decide if my response is responsive or not. So rather
        than sorting

        through our affinities and differences I will just speak
        to the theme of our


        I would like to begin by also quoting from paragraph 60 of
        the Phenomenology

        a bit above the quote you cite.

        In contrast to the way of the understanding:

        "Speculative thinking behaves in a different way. Since
        the concept is the

        object's own self, which presents itself as the
        coming-to-be of the object,

        it is not a passive subject inertly supporting the
        accidents; it is, on the

        contrary, the self-moving concept which takes its
        determinations back into

        itself. In this movement the passive subject itself
        perishes; it enters into

        the differences and the content, and constitutes the
        determinateness, I.e.

        the differentiated content and its movement, instead of
        remaining inertly

        over against it. The solid ground which argumentation has
        in the passive

        subject is therefore shaken, and only this movement itself
        becomes the


        Here, of course, Hegel is speaking of the subject and
        predicate of a

        proposition. But what he says here can be viewed more
        broadly as a

        distinctive feature of speculative thinking. Thus, with
        the achievement of

        absolute knowing the subject can be viewed as we who have
        been educated to

        the standpoint of science. And what this passages suggest
        to me at least is

        that we are no longer to be the passive or observing
        subject. That subject

        has perished to be replaced by a subject that 'enters into
        the differences

        and the content'.


        I think that your interpretation of Hegel's text is not fully
        accurate. Your quotation shows exactly the same as my quotation of
        the Speculative Sentence in para 60 in the Preface of the PhdG:

        The Knowing Subject in the PhdG is the same as the Knowing Subject
        in the Logic. Both are active and observing. The difference is only
        that the Knowing Subject in the PhdG wants to guide consciousness by
        its own experience on the standpoint of Pure (Absolute) Knowing,
        that is real knowing, following the contradiction between the stated
        object in-itself and the concept-for-consciousness of this object.
        But the Knowing Subject controlls the dialectical transition from
        one consciousness with its own object in-itself to the following one
        with another own object in-itself resolving in this transition again
        and again the contradiction of consciousness in a logically
        subsequent shape of concsiousness (see PhdG, Introduction, paras
        86-89 ). So, In the PhdG the Concept can only get in-and-for-itself
        at the end in Pure Knowing where knowledge becomes real and leaves
        behind the idealistic separation of object and knowing.

        At the end of the PhdG and the beginning of the Logic the hope is
        that this aim of Pure Knowing - the Concept in-and-for-itself - is
        achieved: the method has become the pure Concpet that relates itself only to
        itself. But this does not mean that at the beginning of the Logic
        the subject of the content has become identical with the Knowing
        Subject as you seem to state in your interpretation above. The
        Knowing Subject in the Logic has now to make the movement of the
        subject-predicate relation of the content once more but now from the
        standpoint of Pure Knowing - the Concept that relates itself only ot itself
        - no
        longer including explicitly the perspectives of consciousness as in
        the PhdG. Otherwise, the grown Pure Knowing would fall back into the
        understanding (Verstand) again since the subject (soul of the
        content) would be fixed in Pure Knowing (as in pre-Kantian
        metaphysics) what is precisely the inhibition of speculative

        So, indeed, in the Logic, that is in the movement of Pure Knowing in
        the Knowing Subject, the Concept has become in-and-for-itself,
        however, in the Logic of Being yet merely in-itself, that is, the Science of
        Logic has not yet grasped its own Concept, since the
        mediating movement there presupposes the immediate being as true
        with the consequence that the Concept as the mediation of the
        immediate and the mediated in the process of determination loses
        always its other (its difference) passing through a sequence of
        one-sided opposites. This sequence shows the shapes of knowledge in
        Pure Knowing in which - analogically to the shapes of consciousness
        in the PhdG - their developed one-sidedness is 'temporary' resolved
        in the opposite one-sidedness. *) The Concept cannot yet hold together both
        sides for itself and the Knowing Subject is the inherent force in fulfilling
        its movement. With this the Knowing Subject as Pure Knowing is on the way to
        realize itself what it can only achieve in the absolute Idea where all
        moments of the movement of the Concept are included and have got their right
        as moments: the realized Concept or the Concept that comprehends itself:

        "Thus then logic, too, in the absolute Idea, has withdrawn into that
        same simple unity which its beginning is; the pure immediacy of being
        in which at first every determination appears to be extinguished or
        removed by abstraction, is the Idea that has reached through mediation,
        that is, through the sublation of mediation, a likeness correspondent
        to itself. The method is the
        Pure Notion that relates itself only to itself [the concept
        in-and-for-itsefl]; it is therefore the
        simple self-relation that is being. But now it is also fulfilled being,
        the Notion that comprehends itself, being as the concrete and so
        absolutely intensive totality. In conclusion, there remains only this to be
        said about this Idea, that in it, first, the science of logic has grasped
        its own Notion." (SL, Volume Two: Subjective Logic, Chapter 3: The Absolute

        "So ist denn auch die Logik in der absoluten Idee zu dieser einfachen
        zurückgegangen, welche ihr Anfang ist; die reine Unmittelbarkeit des Seins,
        dem zuerst alle Bestimmung als ausgelöscht oder durch die Abstraktion
        weggelassen erscheint, ist die durch die Vermittlung, nämlich die Aufhebung
        Vermittlung zu ihrer entsprechenden Gleichheit mit sich gekommene Idee. Die
        Methode ist der reine Begriff, der sich nur zu sich selbst verhält; sie ist
        daher die einfache Beziehung auf sich,
        welche Sein ist. Aber es ist nun auch erfülltes Sein, der sich
        begreifende Begriff, das Sein als die konkrete,
        ebenso schlechthin intensive Totalität. Es ist von dieser Idee zum Schlusse
        nur noch dies zu erwähnen, daß in ihr
        erstlich die logische Wissenschaft ihren eigenen
        Begriff erfaßt hat." (WL, Zweiter Teil. Die Subjektive Logik, Drittes
        Kapitel: Die absolute Idee)

        *) In the other two parts of the Logic
        it is basically the same, however, on a higher level with a
        respective other constellation since immediate being from the Logic
        of Being is no longer taken as true.


        Beat Greuter

        has traversed and as an anticipation of what is to come
        oriented by what you

        note is the resolve to take up what is before us as what I
        take to be the

        abstract conception of the infinite movement of absolute
        knowing that has

        resolved all determinate differences. I have not looked
        into this, but I

        wonder if for the German like the English 'resolve' has
        the double sense of

        either a resolution to act or a dissolution of what is
        before us. In other

        words, I am wondering if Hegel is engaging in a word play

        In any case, for me the distinctive sense of the
        speculative is that it is

        not a 'remaining inertly over against' the movement but is
        itself the

        movement or with respect to the movement of the subject
        'this movement

        itself becomes the object'. The way I read this Hegel is
        alerting us to the

        fact that this is how we are to be situated with respect
        to the content. The

        movement of our thought is to be the content.

        Thus, with respect to being and nothing, they are not the
        content since they

        are simply what are first given to the reader to think as
        if the reader is

        properly oriented, as is the understanding, as an observer
        of what Hegel has

        to offer. The concept first comes on the scene when the
        attempt to passively

        consider these first abstract thoughts generates a
        movement of our thought –

        a movement that arises out of the frustrated attempt to
        fix these two

        thoughts. In this way the beginning of the Logic and the
        third test of sense

        certainty reveal the same logic – the same movement of
        thought. Both exhibit

        failed intention. Both as a rotary motion can go on
        forever as a kind of mad

        thinking that gets no where but is unwilling to give up
        the fixation on the

        attempt to grasp what is not graspable.

        Thus this dialectic can either be experienced as a sort of
        mad thought to no

        purpose or we can attend to what in fact does persist or
        cohere in this

        madness as the identity of this movement itself as it
        circles through

        differences. It is this move that interests me as it is
        this move that moves

        us to the next thought – becoming. And as far as I can
        tell this move is

        nothing but a perspective shift. We move from experiencing
        the dialectic to

        attending to the dialectic itself as worthy of thought.
        The frustrated

        thinking becomes the object of thought with the move to

        There may be other or better ways to account for this
        first major

        transition. But what I am resisting is any notion that the
        move from

        being/nothing to becoming is itself an absolute
        presentation apart from our

        thinking of it. It is not something complete unto itself
        that we are invited

        to reenact but which remains true whether we succeed in
        this reenactment or

        not. This would be to reinstitute the opposition of
        consciousness that

        distinguishes between an essential truth – here the
        complete self-sufficient

        text that is the Logic – and our unessential and often
        deficient attempt to

        think this essential truth. It would have us as knowers
        approach the text as

        a truth to be known, a truth indifferent to our attempt to
        know it.

        On my view, our thought as one moment of the absolute
        recaptures in its

        movement the infinite movement of the absolute that is the
        origin of the

        indeterminate immediate as the first thought of the Logic.
        Thus the first

        thought is not an arbitrary posit. It is what I have been
        calling one face

        of absolute knowing. It marks the transition from the
        Phenomenology to the


        Thus, on my view, the text needs to be complemented by our
        thinking. The

        text is not a self-standing truth. It has to be enlivened
        by our thought. In

        fact, I believe the failure to see this feature of the
        text is what makes it

        unreadable for most.

        A reader who is looking to be instructed comes to the text
        with the wrong

        point of view. How we take up the text – how we are
        situated with respect to

        what is provided – makes all the difference in what
        comes into view. If we

        take ourselves as simply following an account rather than
        as contributing to

        the account than we will miss the self-movement of thought
        which is in fact

        about the movement of our own thinking. We will be like
        most readers who

        complain that they do not see the transitions. They do not
        see because they

        do not know where to look and thus do not know what they
        are looking at. The

        reader must come to understand that it is he who 'enters
        into the

        differences and the content, and constitutes the

        So as we read the Logic I will be attempting to show the
        plausibility of my

        reading. Does it account for the movement of thought or is
        it an unwelcome

        intrusion into the rhythm of the concept?

        Regards, Alan

        From: Beat Greuter <greuterb@... <mailto:greuterb%40bluewin.ch> >

        Reply-To: <hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com> >

        Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2011 17:39:20 +0200

        To: <hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com> >

        Subject: Re: [hegel] Re: SL Chapter 1 : A. Being

        Am 26.03.2011 00:51, Alan Ponikvar writes:

        > Hi Beat,


        > I think what is well-known prior to Hegel is that the
        thought of pure being

        > is a thinkable thought. It is the thought of infinite
        being as a stable

        > metaphysical referent. No one previous to Hegel felt
        compelled to move off

        > of this thought. And this was the case even when this
        being was designated

        > as empty or without determination. So we find find
        the claim that being is

        > nothing or being is the void or being is any of a
        number of ways of

        > characterizing what lies beyond finite being. We even
        find cases where from

        > this pure being there is an emanation. But what we do
        not find in all these

        > ways of speaking of being is a logic of the movement
        of being into nothing

        > and nothing into being.


        > So my question is why not? What is Hegel's
        innovation? That's it. That is

        > all I am asking for.


        Yes, Hegel's Logic of Being is "a logic of the movement of
        being into

        nothing and nothing into being" It is the movement of

        (Quality)" as the title of the first section of the Logic
        says and this

        is a movement of mediation. If this thought is Hegel's
        innovation I do

        not know. Certainly, he was the first who did not look for
        a basic

        principle beyond or behind this movement reputed to be the
        initiator of

        this movement. Other philosphers who did not overcome this
        dilemma did

        help Hegel to find it. So, the understanding of the
        concept of

        determination and mediation is the understanding of the
        beginning of the

        Logic of Being.

        > When you say this beginning is not informative but
        will become informative I

        > and I suspect many others find such a beginning
        problematic. It is as if you

        > are saying: "Yes, I know. We are unable to say much
        about what is happening

        > and why. But in time matters will become clear." But
        at each point at which

        > we move from one thought to another there has to be a
        logic at work. There

        > has to be some explanation for each move. Your
        explanation is that only

        > later will we be able to comprehend why we moved as
        we did.

        Yes, there has to be a logic at work. But this logic you

        determine before you think and demonstrate it, otherwise
        you suppose

        either that there is a basic principle of the beginning or
        you remain

        totally abstract and formal.

        > I wish to suggest that a later comprehension will be
        a reconception. A first

        > explanation will give way to a second more
        speculatively adequate

        > explanation. What I am calling into question is the
        notion that we can

        > actually get anywhere without some explanation of
        what is moving our thought

        > if for no other reason than we need some way to
        assess what we are doing.

        We only follow the concept of mediation for determine the

        being which in the Logic of Being is presupposed as true.
        This is the

        assessing justification of what we are doing.

        > If someone disagrees with any of the moves how are we
        to adjudicate the

        > dispute?

        That doesn't matter. There are several explanations of the
        beginning of

        mediation which are not necessarily in contradiction to
        each other and

        which all help to understand the beginning. We collect and
        compare these

        explanations. If somebody does not want to start we let
        him be happy not

        getting crazy about Hegel.

        "Here [in the PhdG] the beginning is made with being which

        represented as having come to be through mediation, a
        mediation which is

        also a sublating of itself; and there is presupposed pure
        knowing as the

        outcome of finite knowing, of consciousness. But if no
        presupposition is

        to be made and the beginning itself is taken immediately,
        then its only

        determination is that it is to be the beginning of logic,
        of thought as

        such. All that is present is simply the resolve, which can
        also be

        regarded as arbitrary, that we propose to consider thought
        as such."

        (SL, With What must Science Begin?)

        > I know this question raises the specter of a presumed
        standard of measure. I

        > do not want to attribute to you thoughts you may not
        have, but it seems if

        > we raise this specter we also seem to offer a choice
        between two unappealing

        > alternatives: either we provide a standard or we
        think standard free which

        > here means we think free of any constraint that some
        reason might put on our

        > thought.

        Yes, both are unappealing alternatives. The first one I
        discussed above.

        The second one is abstract and irrelvant: We do not "think
        free of any

        constraint that some reason might put on our thought".
        This is a logic

        and in the logic of the immediate being we have to follow
        the concept of

        determination or mediation. The beginning may be
        arbitrary, however, the

        following steps are necessary. We cannot think freely what
        just comes

        into our mind.

        > What I am suggesting is that there is a third
        alternative. Reason itself is

        > not a standard when viewed speculatively. It is
        simply a second or

        > recollective view of the movement of thought when
        such movement appears to

        > cohere.

        Agreed! 'Cohere' I think means 'to form a whole or unity',
        'to be

        chained to each other', 'to be interrelated'. This is
        certainly correct

        and the movement of the concept of mediation will show
        this all over

        again, however, the concept in the Logic of Being is only
        in-itself and

        therefore cannot yet hold together being and nothing - the
        two moments

        of mediation - without getting one-sided (the one-sided
        form of being in

        the 'Dasein in General' or later the one-sided form of the
        'One') or its

        moments merely vanishing ('Becoming' yet without

        > The understanding is a movement of thought that does
        not cohere but is

        > scattered. If some truth fails then the understanding
        looks for another

        > truth. The understanding moves in a haphazard way in
        search of truth. The

        > understanding may be guided by formal reason and in
        this way cohere. But

        > this only happens after the basic truths or premises
        have been established.

        > There is nothing coherent in the understanding's
        search for ultimate truths.

        I agree with this. Hegel does repeatedly point to it,
        particularly also

        in the PhdG, Preface, para 60, Speculative Sentence
        (translated by J. B.


        "Usually the subject is first set down as the fixed and
        objective self;

        from this fixed position the necessary process passes on
        to the

        multiplicity of determinations or predicates. Here the
        knowing ego takes

        the place of that subject and is the function of knitting
        or combining

        the predicates one with another, and is the subject
        holding them fast.

        But since the former subject enters into the determinate

        themselves, and is their very life, the subject in the
        second case -

        viz. the knowing subject - finds that the former, which it
        is supposed

        to be done with and which it wants to transcend, in order
        to return into

        itself,--is still there in the predicate: and instead of
        being able to

        be the determining agency in the process of resolving the

        predicate-reflectively deciding whether this or that
        predicate should be

        attached to the former subject--it has really to deal with
        the self of

        the content, is not allowed to be something on its own
        account (für

        sich), but has to exist along with this content."

        > Speculative thinking only comes on the scene when
        thought as absolute

        > involves a rotary motion or a dialectic that shapes
        itself. It is this

        > self-shaping of thought that is thinkable.

        I think the above cited Speculative Sentence shows very
        well what

        speculative thinking is: The Knowing Subject instead of

        (positive) predicates about the subject 'being' has to
        stay in this

        subject and to grasp its essence which is given with the

        predicate 'nothing'. The Knowing Subject doing this is

        thinking which can resolve the inner contradiction of this

        subject-predicate relation proceeding into 'Becoming',
        that is, can

        demonstrate what 'being' and 'nothing' really are as
        moments in a

        logically subsequent concept. [It is not yet the

        relation we have in the Subjective Logic where the Knowing
        Subject and

        the subject of the content merge into each other. Here we
        are in the

        Objective Logic of Determination of Being with a content
        having its own

        subject which is its 'soul'.] This you can call
        "self-shaping of thought

        that is thinkable" but I do not understand what this
        formulation does

        bring more than the Speculative Sentence.

        > Now what is so difficult about the move from being to
        nothing is that these

        > thoughts are each really unthinkable. What is
        thinkable is coming to be and

        > ceasing to be. Being does not pass over into but has
        passed over into

        > nothing. What I believe Hegel means by this is that
        before we can even think

        > either thought it has vanished into the other
        thought. Neither thought �

        > being indeterminate � is really there to be

        If I understand this correctly than it concurs at least
        partially with

        what I wrote above about speculative thinking at the
        beginnin of the

        Logic. However, that 'being' and 'nothing' is unthinkable
        seems to me

        quite a contradiction in terms.

        > So as readers we are struggling with what is familiar
        to us. A thought is

        > something we can have in mind. Well, with these first
        two thoughts, neither

        > is really in mind. Hegel is playing off of this
        well-known truism about

        > thinking. If we stick with this WELL-KNOWN truism
        then we will fail to

        > RECOGNIZE what is true.

        As the Knowing Subject in the dialectical subjet-predicate
        relation we

        have to overcome what the understanding (Verstand) makes
        as Hegel shows

        in the Specualtive Sentence:

        "...... and instead of being able to be the determining
        agency in the

        process of resolving the predicate-reflectively deciding
        whether this or

        that predicate should be attached to the former subject it
        has really to

        deal with the self of the content, is not allowed to be
        something on its

        own account (für sich), but has to exist along with this

        The speculative procedure certainly is not familar to the

        and reading Hegel's Logic it struggles with what is
        familar to it. But

        this does not mean that the Knowing Subject at the
        beginning of the

        Logic has no thought in mind, it is itself pure thought.

        > So we might say that when we mean to think the
        indeterminate immediate all

        > we really have is the movement of failed reference
        not unlike what Hegel

        > makes evident with the third test of sense certainty.


        > Regards, Alan

        With the Logic we entered into the process of Pure (or
        Absolute) Knowing

        and do no longer advocate the perspective of the
        consciousness of sense

        certainty or of any other consciousness in the PhdG. So,
        your comparison

        fails. However, with this I do not say that the several
        moments of

        consciousness have disappeared yet that they are merely
        sublated in Pure



        Beat Greuter

        > From: Beat Greuter<greuterb@... <mailto:greuterb%40bluewin.ch>

        > Reply-To:<hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>

        > Date: Fri, 25 Mar 2011 23:40:12 +0100

        > To:<hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>

        > Subject: Re: [hegel] Re: SL Chapter 1 : A. Being







        > Am 25.03.2011 19:21, Alan Ponikvar writes:


        >> Hi Beat,


        >> I think Hegel's point about what is well-known
        not being recognized is not

        >> to be taken as an invitation to start over having
        freed ourselves from

        >> what

        >> is familiar. For one thing, those comfortable
        with the familiar would see

        >> this as an invitation to think strange, inverted
        thoughts. Why not

        >> stay with

        >> what is familiar? What I believe happens is that
        the familiar itself is

        >> disrupted. Only then does it become possible to
        recognize what is true.


        >> With respect to the Logic, pure being is one of
        those well-known thoughts

        >> the truth of which is not recognized. The entire
        issue is how we move from

        >> attending to what is well-known ­ what appears
        in the Logic as an

        >> immediacy

        >> ­ to attending to an emergent truth that has
        superseded this first

        >> well-known thought. That is, what is the nature
        of logical mediation?


        > Alan,


        > But what is well-known in being at the beginning of
        the Logic? Nothing?

        > Or is it the thousands of meaning it has from the
        history of philosophy?

        > But these thousands of meaning are not well-known.
        They are a huge

        > burden of thought which we drag with us and which we
        raise when we begin

        > to read the Logic. However, in this moment we already
        missed the

        > beginning. Or is this well-known being a common
        representation what

        > being is? However, such a common representation I
        cannot find. Perhaps

        > an 'is' I can find in a sentence as "this rose is
        beautiful" or "my name

        > is Beat" etc. But what has this to do with being
        except that it is the

        > infinitive of 'is'. Take the English term for 'Sein':
        'Being'. What does

        > it mean? 'Seindes' (that which has being) or 'Dasein'

        > being), 'Wesenheit' (essentiality)? I think the
        well-known is Hegel's

        > beginning itself that being is nothing and therefore
        a pure opposition

        > which as such has to be resolved if we want to escape
        the eternal

        > repetition of being, being, being .... looking for a
        deeper sense for it

        > in the world or beyond the world. So, if you later
        write: "To say that

        > in thinking being we find ourselves thinking nothing
        may be true but is

        > not very informative. We have to be able to say more
        about the origin of

        > new thoughts. We cannot be merely a captive to a
        movement we do not

        > understand." then I can only say that this starting
        thinking cannot be

        > informative but will proceed to be more informative.
        Before and at the

        > beginning of the Logic there is no informative
        origine. The origine will

        > arise from the proceeding of the Logic. But we are
        not captive to this

        > movement since we force the movement with our
        thinking of being taken as

        > immediately true, it does not merely happen.


        > Regards,

        > Beat Greuter


        >> Thus the Wittgensteinian we is not foreign to the
        Logic. It provides the

        >> context for the emergence of the speculative.
        Without the well-known we

        >> would have nothing to think and by that I do not
        mean we would think the

        >> indeterminate immediate. I mean we would be
        clueless as to how to proceed.


        >> My reading is unorthodox. I am making two
        suggestions that most would not

        >> accept. First, that the immediacies or first
        thoughts are familiar and

        >> come

        >> to be disrupted because they cannot really be
        thought apart, cannot really

        >> be thought without mediation. And second, this
        disruption itself as the

        >> dialectic that circles upon itself - the activity
        of thought - is all we

        >> have to think when thought is so mediated. To do
        so we need to shift our

        >> attention from that which vanishes to the
        vanishing, at least here in the

        >> Logic of Being.


        >> A more conventional reading rejects both of these
        claims. The problem is

        >> that what is offered seems to make thought
        thinking itself appear as some

        >> sort of parlor trick or magic act. So the
        challenge is to account for the

        >> movement of thought. What does it mean to say
        thought moves itself. To say

        >> that in thinking being we find ourselves thinking
        nothing may be true

        >> but is

        >> not very informative. We have to be able to say
        more about the origin

        >> of new

        >> thoughts. We cannot be merely a captive to a
        movement we do not

        >> understand.


        >> Regards, Alan


        >> From: Beat Greuter<greuterb@... <mailto:greuterb%40bluewin.ch>


        > <mailto:greuterb%40bluewin.ch>>

        >> Reply-To:<hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>


        > <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>>

        >> Date: Fri, 25 Mar 2011 18:23:35 +0100

        >> To:<hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>


        > <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>>

        >> Subject: Re: [hegel] Re: SL Chapter 1 : A. Being


        >> Am 25.03.2011 15:48, Oliver Scholz writes:


        >>> Beat,


        >>> no.


        >> Oliver,


        >> 'No' for what? For the 'nothing' of your answer?


        >>> I. I'm with Stephen here. Wittgenstein, in
        particular, is definitely

        >>> concerned about logico-ontology. However, the
        concurrences and

        >>> differences between Wittgenstein and Hegel
        provide material for several

        >>> habilitationsschriften. I committed to no
        particular concurrence other

        >>> than that I used the Wittgensteinian "we".
        This "we" is Wittgensteinian

        >>> because it does not pertain to any empirical
        group. A certain

        >>> acquaintance with this form of philosophical
        speech (or method) can be

        >>> presumed to be part of contemporary
        philosophical education (bildung).


        >> Then show your philosophical education! Until now
        I did not see much of

        >> it at least concerning Hegel's philosophy.


        >>> II. I neither stated nor implied nor hinted
        at anything amounting to

        >>> "that Hegel has written a kind of a theory of
        meaning". He is concerned

        >>> about *thought*. But he is also the one
        philosopher who regarded

        >>> language as being in an intrinsic relation to
        thought -- language is the

        >>> sensual there-being of thought (das sinnliche
        Dasein des Gedankens). I

        >>> find this so extremely obvious that I'm
        somewhat unwilling to make an

        >>> argument for it. Have we been reading the
        same philosopher?


        >> Certainly not, however you should read Hegel


        >>> Just for starters, from the invaluable second
        preface to the WdL (my

        >>> translation, German original at the end of my
        mail) -- starting on the

        >>> very first page of that preface (Hegel's


        >>> "The forms of thought [denkformen] are
        firstly exposed and stipulated in

        >>> the LANGUAGE of man. In our times one can not
        remind often enough that

        >>> it is thinking through which man
        distinguishes himself from animals. In

        >>> everything that for him becomes something
        inner, in everything that

        >>> becomes a representation at all, language has
        intruded. And what he

        >>> raises to language and expresses in it,
        contains -- more or less

        >>> shrouded or intermingled or exposed -- a
        category; so much is the

        >>> logical natural for him, or rather: the
        logical is his own singular

        >>> nature itself."


        >> Yes exactly, and these categories you have to
        think and not rely on

        >> nebulous meanings of words which are supposed to
        constitute our prior

        >> understanding. This is really a confusion of
        Hegel's philosophy.


        >>> I don't care in the least whether one wants
        to call this a "philosophy

        >>> of language" in the contemporary sense or
        not. The parallels are as

        >>> obvious as the differences; and I neither
        stated nor implied nor hinted

        >>> at anything where the differences are
        significant. This is mere

        >>> handwaving and irrelevant to the subject


        >> Yes, and these differences have to be thought.
        But you make a

        >> wishy-washy of thoughts in Hegel's philosophy and
        nebulous allusions on

        >> common meanings of being and other categories
        developed in Hegel's Logic.


        >>> III. Regardless of "philosophy of language",
        my point stands. If you at

        >>> all cost want to believe that it is not
        necessary to have 'some sort' of

        >>> prior understanding of the involved terms,
        i.e. in the form of

        >>> acquaintance, then the fantasy words in my
        examples should be get their

        >>> meaning from the text itself, just as "being"
        etc. allegedly do. Your

        >>> reply to this -- "philosophy of language",
        "anachronism" -- is just

        >>> blowing smoke around.


        >> Yes, I can imagine that you do not like this
        smoke. However, if you

        >> cannot think Hegel's being and other categories
        in his logic without

        >> referring to 'some sort' of representations and
        pictures within them

        >> then you really miss his philosophy entirely and
        there must be a thick

        >> fog around your mind. Hegel at least is very
        clear on this point.


        >>> ...


        >>> "Aber indem so die logischen Gegenstaende wie
        deren Ausdruecke etwa in

        >>> der Bildung Allbekannte sind, so ist, wie ich
        anderwaerts gesagt, was

        >>> BEKANNT ist, darum nicht ERKANNT, und es kann
        selbst die Ungeduld

        >>> erregen, sich noch mit Bekanntem
        beschaeftigen zu sollen, und was ist

        >>> bekannter als eben die Denkbestimmungen, von
        denen wir allenthalben

        >>> Gebrauch machen, die uns in jedem Satze, den
        wir sprechen zum Munde

        >>> herausgehen." (second preface)


        >> Yes, this is exaclty your problem: you confuse
        the 'BEKANNT' with the

        >> 'Erkannt', a basic error in reading Hegel.


        >>> Truly, when you or me say "Hegel", we
        obviously mean two different

        >>> philosophers.


        >> Yes, truly, and you should truly read Hegel


        >>> IV. What you call an "anachronism", I call a
        determination of the

        >>> an-und-fuer-sich-sein of Hegel's philosophy.
        I wish anybody trying to

        >>> avoid this kind of "anachronism" good luck
        in: 1. moving to an desolated

        >>> area, 2. dressing in empire-style frocks, 3.
        brainwashing himself to

        >>> forget his 21st century education and become
        a child again, 4. educating

        >>> oneself within the scope of the 18th century
        and 5. re-live the

        >>> transformation of European society.


        >> That's folly. But it concurs with your comment.


        >> Regards,

        >> Beat Greuter


        >>> Oliver


        >>> "Die Denkformen sind zunaechst in der
        *Sprache* des Menschen

        >>> herausgesetzt und niedergelegt, es kann in
        unseren Tagen nicht oft genug

        >>> daran erinnert werden, dass das, wodurch der
        Mensch sich vom Tier

        >>> unterscheidet, das Denken ist. In allem, was
        ihm zu einem Innerlichen,

        >>> zur Vorstellung überhaupt wird, was er zu
        dem Seinigen macht, hat sich

        >>> die Sprache eingedraengt, und was er zur
        Sprache macht und in ihr

        >>> aeussert, enthaelt, eingehuellter,
        vermischter oder herausgearbeitet,

        >>> eine Kategorie; sosehr natuerlich ist ihm das
        Logische, oder vielmehr:

        >>> dasselbige ist seine eigenthuemliche *Natur*


        >>> Am 25.03.2011 13:17, schrieb Beat Greuter:

        >>>> Am 24.03.2011 12:38, Oliver Scholz


        >>>>> Randall,


        >>>>> Am 22.03.2011 01:45, schrieb TheJack:

        >>>>>> But, 'being' is just a term that
        Hegel has attached to this place in

        >>>>> which we have arrived upon entering
        into pure knowing, i.e. "simple

        >>>>> immediacy".

        >>>>>> When we have properly entered
        into 'pure being' it immediately

        >>>>> vanishes into an equally "simple
        immediacy" (i.e. nothing).

        >>>>>> 'Nothing' does *not* emerge as a
        second term becaused "we", as the

        >>>>> ordinary person on the street,
        realize that the indeterminacy of

        >>>>> 'being' matches our prior criterion
        that we might have for 'nothing'.

        >>>>> to my mind, if I read the
        implications of this correctly, you are

        >> dead

        >>>>> wrong here, -- and basically ignoring
        everything Hegel writes on the

        >>>>> relation of thought and language (way
        too many quotations are

        >> relevant

        >>>>> here).


        >>>>> *IF* I read the implications of that
        last sentence correctly,

        >> that is,

        >>>>> which I, frankly, find hard to
        believe. (So, I apologize in

        >> advance, if

        >>>>> all of what I write in the following
        is utterly pointless.)


        >>>>> Of course, this is not about
        'criteria'. And it's not about the

        >> street

        >>>>> or any other particular place. But
        what is absolutely relevant

        >> here is

        >>>>> the Wittgensteinian "we". Without
        "us" already being acquainted

        >>> with the

        >>>>> application of the categories, and
        thus having already a vague

        >>> notion of

        >>>>> them, those 'terms', as you write,
        would have no meaning at all.


        >>>> Oliver,


        >>>> So, you think that Hegel has written a
        kind of a theory of meaning

        >> which

        >>>> coincides in a certain way with
        Wittgenstein's (and other

        >>>> representatives of the Analytical school)
        philosophy of language, that

        >>>> is, with his belief that meaning is only
        constituted by the use of a

        >>>> term in common speech. But I think this
        is quite the same as if you

        >>>> would state that Plato was a philosopher
        of language. However, both,

        >>>> Plato and Hegel, believed that thought
        (concepts) can express

        >> being, so

        >>>> they are ontologists whereas Wittgenstein
        and his fellow

        >> travellers are

        >>>> not. Of course, there is also a
        difference between Plato and

        >> Hegel. But

        >>>> the difference is related to the
        epistemology as a critical theory of

        >>>> being though also Plato and Aristotle had
        already this critical moment

        >>>> within their ontology. So, even you make
        no mistake of categories you

        >>>> make the mistake of anachronism.


        >>>> Regards,

        >>>> Beat Greuter



        >>>>> A simple thought experiment:
        Morphemes are arbitrary, and that a term

        >>>>> "resonates with the history of
        philosophy", while it is a reason, is

        >>>>> only only a *weak* reason to use it.
        Assuming that this "resonance"

        >>>>> doesn't provide an (unconscious)
        underhand determination of the

        >>> 'terms',

        >>>>> there wouldn't be a intrinsic reason
        not to use entirely artificial

        >>>>> 'terms'. Would the text have the same
        content, if it read like this:


        >>>>> "CatI1A, pure CatI1A, -- without
        further application of CatI2Bb.

        >> In its

        >>>>> pure CatI2Bb-free immediacy it is
        CatII2A-ic only with itself,

        >> and also

        >>>>> not CatII2B-ic against anything
        CatI2Ba-ic. [...] CatI1A, the

        >>>>> CatI2Bb-free immediacy is indeed
        CatI1B, and nothing more nor

        >> less than

        >>>>> Cat1B."


        >>>>> Or if you need something more


        >>>>> "Quurx, pure quurx, -- without
        further flafla. In it pure unflaflaic

        >>>>> immediacy it is rusticonic only with
        itself, and also not

        >> unrusticonic

        >>>>> against any shibil. [...] Quurx, the
        unflaflaic immediacy, is indeed

        >>>>> lirum-larum, and nothing more nor
        less than lirum-larum."


        >>>>> Please forget for a while that you
        already know the text well

        >> enough to

        >>>>> substitute the real terms for the
        fantasy terms. My point is:

        >>> without us

        >>>>> already having 'some sort' of
        understanding of "being", "nothing",

        >>>>> "becoming" ... the text would be a
        pure nonsense text ...


        >>>>> ... and indeed utterly pointless.
        Because it's whole point is the

        >>>>> critical reflexion on the categories
        that we already use, as Hegel

        >>> says,

        >>>>> "instinctively".


        >>>>> Because we already USE them
        instinctively, we already "know", in a

        >>>>> manner of speaking, that 'being',
        taken so purely would amount to

        >>>>> nothing. And yet we also already
        "know", in a manner of speaking,

        >> that

        >>>>> it can not (!) be (!) the same as
        'nothing'. Thus the contradiction.

        >>>>> This is what makes it necessary to
        "step back" (spatial metaphor) and

        >>>>> "look at" (visual metaphor) the
        thought that led us to think their

        >>>>> sameness.


        >>>>> On the other hand, because we only
        use them INSTINCTIVELY, we can not

        >>>>> presume that their determination is
        already clear. They have to be

        >>>>> developed, that is: re-constructed,
        scientifically, that is: through

        >>>>> necessity. In our consciousness, in
        'our' thought the thought

        >>>>> determinations never occur
        for-themselves, but only 'on' concrete

        >>>>> contents. Sartre on "being" is
        actually a very grateful example for

        >>> what

        >>>>> happens when one tries to reflect on
        thought determinations

        >>>>> unscientifically: category mistakes
        and the virulence of the

        >> imaginary.

        >>>>>> This would be simply a matter of
        employing "the prior fixed

        >>>>> categories" of the understanding.

        >>>>> Quite on the contrary. The
        speculative is not the 'other' of the

        >>>>> understanding. The split, so to say,
        between the understanding

        >> and the

        >>>>> speculative runs through speculative
        reason itself. Understanding

        >>> is the

        >>>>> precondition of reason (at least
        genetically, so to say, if we

        >>>>> distinguish between genetical and
        logical preconditions). The common

        >>>>> fault of understanding is not that it
        fixates *per se*, but that it

        >>>>> pertinaciously clings to its fixating
        abstractions. Other than simple

        >>>>> obstinacy when facing the emergence
        of the speculative, one

        >> strategy of

        >>>>> the understanding is to find a new
        form of understanding, often a

        >>>>> 'higher' understanding, that is
        supposed to cope with the

        >> emergence of

        >>>>> dialectical contradictions. That is
        why I write "quite on the

        >>> contrary".

        >>>>> A speculative that is the 'other' of
        (everyday) understanding

        >> would be

        >>>>> an-other understanding, presumably a
        'higher understanding'.


        >>>>> Just in case: I'm not suffering from
        equivocacy here. It is NOT an

        >>>>> accident that "understanding" in the
        context of Hegel is the same

        >> word

        >>>>> as in "understanding a text" or
        "understanding what happens". The

        >> same

        >>>>> goes for German "verstand" and
        "verstaendnis" or "verstehen"

        >> which are

        >>>>> different forms of the same word.


        >>>>> Oliver

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