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Re: [hegel] Chapter 1 Being : B. Nothing

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  • Beat Greuter
    ... Randall, Hegel writes at the end of A. Being: The Being as the indeterminate immediate is indeed NOTHING and no more and no less than Nothing . And then
    Message 1 of 8 , Mar 10, 2011
      Am 08.03.2011 23:26, Randall writes:

      > [Randall]
      >
      > >- "Being, the indeterminate immediate, is in fact nothing, and
      > > neither more nor less than nothing."
      >
      > > Pure being has here "immediatly" [vanished] into nothing.
      >
      > > Is there any reason for being to [vanish] into nothing? In other
      > > words, is there any determining factor that has mediated this
      > > move from being to nothing?
      >
      > Hello group,
      >
      > If anything is to follow from pure being, it must issue forth in
      > virtue of no other factor than the indeterminacy of pure being itself.
      >
      > If anything were to follow being as a result of the introduction of
      > any external determinations, or some prior given category, the Logic's
      > standing as self-determining science would be forfeited, and would
      > become relative to conditions given outside of (or prior) to the science.
      >
      > This indicates that if any advance is to be made from pure being,
      > whatever issues forth can only be an equally immediate indeterminacy.
      >
      > Otherwise, if what followed from pure being were to be in some way
      > determinate, where would it possibly get its determinacy?
      >
      > -------------
      > [Winfield] From Concept to Objectivity
      > ------------
      >
      > "Indeterminacy provides no resource for categorizing anything other
      > than itself. It cannot be the reason or determiner of any additional
      > category, for then it would have the very determinate character of
      > being a cause or principle. Furthermore, it cannot be the means for
      > determining anything whose own character rests on a contrastive
      > relation to something determinate. If determinacy has definite
      > character only in distinction from the quality of another determinacy,
      > nothing determinate can possibily follow from indeterminacy. Quite
      > literally nothing can proceed from indeterminacy, which is to say that
      > only another indistinguishable indeterminacy can follow upon the
      > indeterminacy with which we must begin. Whether we call the former
      > "being" and the latter "nothing" or the former "nothing" and the
      > latter "being" makes no difference since to be indeterminate, each
      > lacks all distinguishing marks. The key point is that once an account
      > of determinacy begins as it must with indeterminacy, it has nowhere to
      > go but to another category as indeterminate as the first." (Winfield
      > p. 41)
      >
      > ---------------
      >
      > So, to answer my own questions from my prior post, Hegel has offered
      > us no mediating factor to render being into nothing.
      >
      > There is no third term, or procedure that has been applied to being to
      > bring us to nothing. Instead, being has immediately vanished into nothing.
      >
      > There can be no reason for nothing immediately issuing forth from
      > being, because that would appeal to something beyond the indeterminacy
      > of pure being.
      >
      > Moreover, as Winfield explains above, being cannot be considered the
      > cause of the issuing forth of nothing.
      >
      > Instead, pure being simply vanishes, and what issues forth is the
      > equally indeterminate "nothing" as a distinct term.
      >
      > ------------
      > [Hegel] Chapter 1 B. Nothing
      > ------------
      >
      > "Nothing, pure nothing: it is simply equality with itself, complete
      > emptiness, absence of all determination and content ---
      > undifferentiatedness in itself. In so far as intuiting or thinking can
      > be mentioned here, it counts as a distinction whether something or
      > nothing is intuited or thought. To intuit or think nothing has,
      > therefore, a meaning; both are distinguished and thus nothing is
      > (exists) in our intuiting or thinking; or rather it is empty intuition
      > and thought itself, and the same empty intuition or thought as pure
      > being. Nothing is, therefore, the same determination, or rather
      > absence of determination, and thus altogether the same as, pure
      > being." (Hegel, SL p. 82)
      >
      > -------------
      >
      > When examining the above section on nothing we should first take note
      > of its striking similarity to the section on being:
      >
      > - "Nothing, pure nothing: it is simply equality with itself"
      >
      > [compare]
      >
      > "Being, pure being,...is equal only to itself".
      >
      > - "Nothing, pure nothing ....is complete emptiness, absence of all
      > determination and content."
      >
      > [compare]
      >
      > "Being, pure being, ...is pure indeterminateness and emptiness."
      >
      > - "Nothing, pure nothing...is undifferentiatedness in itself"
      >
      > [compare]
      >
      > "Being, pure being...has no diversity within itself"
      >
      > - "In so far as intuiting or thinking can be mentioned
      > here,...nothing is (exists) in our thinking; or rather it is
      > empty intuition and thought itself."
      >
      > [compare]
      >
      > "if one can speak here of intuiting, there is nothing to be
      > intuited in being; or, it is only this pure intuiting itself."
      >
      > [note]: I have switched around the "conditional clause" and
      > the "result clause" in the original sentence above,
      > to make the comparison easier to identify.
      >
      > So, after being and nothing are spoken of in the almost identical
      > terms listed above, Hegel then claims:
      >
      > - "To intuit or think nothing...is the same empty intuition or
      > thought as pure being."
      >
      > So, Hegel has suggested above that "Nothing is the same empty thought
      > as being", but how are they equatable?
      >
      > Hegel provides us with a direct answer:
      >
      > - "Nothing is, therefore, the same determination, or rather
      > absence of determination, and thus altogether the same as,
      > pure being.
      >
      > Being and nothing are only equatable in the sense that they are
      > equally devoid of determinacy (or they are equally indeterminate).
      >
      > So, even though Hegel describes Being and Nothing similarly, they are
      > both in no way related to anything, nor are they related to any
      > determinating factors, so they are not equatible in terms of similar
      > qualities they share. Being and nothing are not even in relation to
      > each other, because there's nothing that can connect them, instead
      > it's their sheer absence of determinacy that makes each immediately
      > the other.
      >
      > But if Being and Nothing are equally indeterminate, why then make a
      > distinction at all?
      >
      > Being and Nothing are spoken about in such indeterminate terms that
      > there is no possible way of finding a means of differentiating them.
      >
      > They are not distinct relative to anything, and there is no other
      > factor in relation to which that we can distinguish them, such as one
      > might have and the other doesn't have, so how can we make a
      > distinction between them?
      >
      > Here is Winfield again:
      >
      > ----------
      > [Winfield] From Concept to Objectivity
      > ----------
      >
      > "Even if no reason be sought for why indeterminacy be followed by
      > another indeterminacy, it is difficult to see how such a groundless
      > succession involves any development. If the only successor to the
      > category of indeterminacy can be an equally indeterminate category,
      > which follows without any mark by which it can be distinguished from
      > the first category. If the first determinacy be called "being" and the
      > second "nothing", then nothing is being, which seems to signify that a
      > move from being to nothing is no move at all, since it just reiterates
      > the point of departure. By the same token, the first indeterminacy,
      > being, is immediately what the second one is, nothing. Either way, the
      > would-be succession of categories vanishes by itself into the
      > self-same indeterminacy, which neither becomes something else nor ever
      > ceases to be at hand. If this is so, no categorical development can
      > possibly emerge from indeterminacy, and, by extension, no account can
      > be givne of determinacy." (Winfield p.41)
      >
      > ----------
      >
      > Q: Have we even really made an advance? Hegel says being and nothing
      > are indistinguishable, but how does he say they are distinct?
      >
      > Randall
      >


      Randall,

      Hegel writes at the end of A. Being: "The Being as the indeterminate
      immediate is indeed NOTHING and no more and no less than Nothing". And
      then he posits B. Nothing which is the same empty intuiting and thinking
      as pure being - as you indicate. So, pure nothing follows from pure
      being not because of a causal factor but because it expresses this same
      total emptiness, this same indeterminate immediate as pure being. It
      does this as its total other, its total opposite which, however, as mere
      opposite also has not yet any difference but only sameness calling now
      for difference which it is at the beginning only in-itself within pure
      being and now has become an own concept - pure nothing - for positing
      (making explicit) what being is. That is, pure nothing calls for
      mediation between the two (limit-concept of determination) which then
      can be first actualized in pure becoming but still without determination
      because of the vanishing character of the two - in themselves not yet
      mediated - moments mediated and mediating in pure becoming (C.
      Becoming). Hegel adds in B. Nothing:

      "....... - In so far as intuiting or thinking can be mentioned here, it
      counts as a distinction whether something or nothing is intuited or
      thought. To intuit or think nothing has, therefore, a meaning; both are
      distinguished and thus nothing IS (exists) in our intuiting or thinking;
      or rather it is empty intuition and thought itself, and the same empty
      intuition or thought as pure being. -......."

      I think that this also makes clear that pure nothing cannot be the
      starting concept since it calls for mediation with what first is posited
      and from which it comes from. Pure being cannot come from pure nothing
      and call for mediation though of course somebody could say "creatio ex
      nihilo". But as this Hegel's beginning of the Logic canNOT be taken
      since it would imply an immediate 'creatio' of something determinate,
      instead, the beginning is a limit-concept of determination.

      Regards,
      Beat Greuter


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • eupraxis@aol.com
      Beat, Yes, that is clearly what the text suggests to me, as well. Wil ... From: Beat Greuter To: hegel Sent: Thu,
      Message 2 of 8 , Mar 10, 2011
        Beat,

        Yes, that is clearly what the text suggests to me, as well.

        Wil




        -----Original Message-----
        From: Beat Greuter <greuterb@...>
        To: hegel <hegel@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Thu, Mar 10, 2011 3:48 am
        Subject: Re: [hegel] Chapter 1 Being : B. Nothing




        Randall,

        Hegel writes at the end of A. Being: "The Being as the indeterminate
        immediate is indeed NOTHING and no more and no less than Nothing". And
        then he posits B. Nothing which is the same empty intuiting and thinking
        as pure being - as you indicate. So, pure nothing follows from pure
        being not because of a causal factor but because it expresses this same
        total emptiness, this same indeterminate immediate as pure being. It
        does this as its total other, its total opposite which, however, as mere
        opposite also has not yet any difference but only sameness calling now
        for difference which it is at the beginning only in-itself within pure
        being and now has become an own concept - pure nothing - for positing
        (making explicit) what being is. That is, pure nothing calls for
        mediation between the two (limit-concept of determination) which then
        can be first actualized in pure becoming but still without determination
        because of the vanishing character of the two - in themselves not yet
        mediated - moments mediated and mediating in pure becoming (C.
        Becoming). Hegel adds in B. Nothing:

        "....... - In so far as intuiting or thinking can be mentioned here, it
        counts as a distinction whether something or nothing is intuited or
        thought. To intuit or think nothing has, therefore, a meaning; both are
        distinguished and thus nothing IS (exists) in our intuiting or thinking;
        or rather it is empty intuition and thought itself, and the same empty
        intuition or thought as pure being. -......."

        I think that this also makes clear that pure nothing cannot be the
        starting concept since it calls for mediation with what first is posited
        and from which it comes from. Pure being cannot come from pure nothing
        and call for mediation though of course somebody could say "creatio ex
        nihilo". But as this Hegel's beginning of the Logic canNOT be taken
        since it would imply an immediate 'creatio' of something determinate,
        instead, the beginning is a limit-concept of determination.

        Regards,
        Beat Greuter

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









        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Beat Greuter
        ... Wil, The problem is that what the text suggests to us is not true. The text suggests that there is no reflection in the beginning, that is, no reflection
        Message 3 of 8 , Mar 11, 2011
          Am 10.03.2011 15:11, Wil writes:
          >
          > Beat,
          >
          > Yes, that is clearly what the text suggests to me, as well.
          >
          > Wil
          >


          Wil,

          The problem is that what the text suggests to us is not true. The text
          suggests that there is no reflection in the beginning, that is, no
          reflection in the positing of pure being and pure nothing: the first two
          concepts are described as non-reflective. However, this is impossible as
          the vast Hegel reception and Hegel's procedure itself show clearly. The
          German Hegel scholar Andreas Arndt therefore writes in his reader on
          "Hegels Seinslogik": "....... Hegel has failed to embed the starting
          reflection into the beginning of the Logic itself though he has to
          presuppose the fact of reflection for being able to transfer the
          beginning into the reflection of a reflection which mediates this fact.
          In this respect the beginning itself undermines the complexity of the
          reflection, a complexity which first renders the beginning. In the
          non-reflective immediacy this complexity of the reflection is simply
          forgotten and erased." ("Hegels Seinslogik, Interpretationen und
          Perspektiven", edited by Andreas Arndt and Christian Iber, "Die
          anfangende Reflexion .....", p. 139; my translation).

          Is this true? In my opinion Arndt claims something that Hegel cannot
          honour at the beginning since he beginns his Logic with the Logic of
          Being. With this he makes the presupposition of an immediate true being
          for thought in its activity of determination. The category of reflection
          itself cannot yet be thematized in this immediacy of being for thought.
          This only happens in the second part of the Objective Logic, that is, in
          the Logic of the Essence. So, Hegel ought to have begun with the Logic
          of the Essence? No and yes: no, since then the immediacy of the truth of
          thought would have been abandoned; yes, since being also is mediated by
          reflection and with this is posited between the Logic of the Essence and
          the Logic of the Concept. But the latter can only happen when the
          necessary steps of thought through being - essence - concept have been
          done - steps which indicate the circular path of thought. So, we are in
          a real dilemma and the only blame we could make on Hegel is that he has
          hardly clarified this dilemma in the preliminary passages of his Logic
          as he did for the Phenomenology.

          Regards,
          Beat Greuter


          > -----Original Message-----
          > From: Beat Greuter <greuterb@... <mailto:greuterb%40bluewin.ch>>
          > To: hegel <hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>>
          > Sent: Thu, Mar 10, 2011 3:48 am
          > Subject: Re: [hegel] Chapter 1 Being : B. Nothing
          >
          > Randall,
          >
          > Hegel writes at the end of A. Being: "The Being as the indeterminate
          > immediate is indeed NOTHING and no more and no less than Nothing". And
          > then he posits B. Nothing which is the same empty intuiting and thinking
          > as pure being - as you indicate. So, pure nothing follows from pure
          > being not because of a causal factor but because it expresses this same
          > total emptiness, this same indeterminate immediate as pure being. It
          > does this as its total other, its total opposite which, however, as mere
          > opposite also has not yet any difference but only sameness calling now
          > for difference which it is at the beginning only in-itself within pure
          > being and now has become an own concept - pure nothing - for positing
          > (making explicit) what being is. That is, pure nothing calls for
          > mediation between the two (limit-concept of determination) which then
          > can be first actualized in pure becoming but still without determination
          > because of the vanishing character of the two - in themselves not yet
          > mediated - moments mediated and mediating in pure becoming (C.
          > Becoming). Hegel adds in B. Nothing:
          >
          > "....... - In so far as intuiting or thinking can be mentioned here, it
          > counts as a distinction whether something or nothing is intuited or
          > thought. To intuit or think nothing has, therefore, a meaning; both are
          > distinguished and thus nothing IS (exists) in our intuiting or thinking;
          > or rather it is empty intuition and thought itself, and the same empty
          > intuition or thought as pure being. -......."
          >
          > I think that this also makes clear that pure nothing cannot be the
          > starting concept since it calls for mediation with what first is posited
          > and from which it comes from. Pure being cannot come from pure nothing
          > and call for mediation though of course somebody could say "creatio ex
          > nihilo". But as this Hegel's beginning of the Logic canNOT be taken
          > since it would imply an immediate 'creatio' of something determinate,
          > instead, the beginning is a limit-concept of determination.
          >
          > Regards,
          > Beat Greuter
          >


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • eupraxis@aol.com
          Beat, I have to first of all say my general take on these very matters is not too unlike Houlgate s, who proffers less a transcendental method of
          Message 4 of 8 , Mar 11, 2011
            Beat,

            I have to first of all say my general take on these very matters is not too unlike Houlgate's, who proffers less a "transcendental" method of understanding the opening chapters than an 'immanentist' one. We are, that is, not concerned with the, as it were, transcendental conditions for the possibility of understand Being, but rather of thinking what we in fact use up, so to speak, in the concept along (what will eventually appear as) its notional transformations to Becoming.

            Wil


            -----Original Message-----
            From: Beat Greuter <greuterb@...>
            To: hegel <hegel@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Fri, Mar 11, 2011 2:55 pm
            Subject: Re: [hegel] Chapter 1 Being : B. Nothing





            Am 10.03.2011 15:11, Wil writes:
            >
            > Beat,
            >
            > Yes, that is clearly what the text suggests to me, as well.
            >
            > Wil
            >

            Wil,

            The problem is that what the text suggests to us is not true. The text
            suggests that there is no reflection in the beginning, that is, no
            reflection in the positing of pure being and pure nothing: the first two
            concepts are described as non-reflective. However, this is impossible as
            the vast Hegel reception and Hegel's procedure itself show clearly. The
            German Hegel scholar Andreas Arndt therefore writes in his reader on
            "Hegels Seinslogik": "....... Hegel has failed to embed the starting
            reflection into the beginning of the Logic itself though he has to
            presuppose the fact of reflection for being able to transfer the
            beginning into the reflection of a reflection which mediates this fact.
            In this respect the beginning itself undermines the complexity of the
            reflection, a complexity which first renders the beginning. In the
            non-reflective immediacy this complexity of the reflection is simply
            forgotten and erased." ("Hegels Seinslogik, Interpretationen und
            Perspektiven", edited by Andreas Arndt and Christian Iber, "Die
            anfangende Reflexion .....", p. 139; my translation).

            Is this true? In my opinion Arndt claims something that Hegel cannot
            honour at the beginning since he beginns his Logic with the Logic of
            Being. With this he makes the presupposition of an immediate true being
            for thought in its activity of determination. The category of reflection
            itself cannot yet be thematized in this immediacy of being for thought.
            This only happens in the second part of the Objective Logic, that is, in
            the Logic of the Essence. So, Hegel ought to have begun with the Logic
            of the Essence? No and yes: no, since then the immediacy of the truth of
            thought would have been abandoned; yes, since being also is mediated by
            reflection and with this is posited between the Logic of the Essence and
            the Logic of the Concept. But the latter can only happen when the
            necessary steps of thought through being - essence - concept have been
            done - steps which indicate the circular path of thought. So, we are in
            a real dilemma and the only blame we could make on Hegel is that he has
            hardly clarified this dilemma in the preliminary passages of his Logic
            as he did for the Phenomenology.

            Regards,
            Beat Greuter

            > -----Original Message-----
            > From: Beat Greuter <greuterb@... <mailto:greuterb%40bluewin.ch>>;
            > To: hegel <hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>>;
            > Sent: Thu, Mar 10, 2011 3:48 am
            > Subject: Re: [hegel] Chapter 1 Being : B. Nothing
            >
            > Randall,
            >
            > Hegel writes at the end of A. Being: "The Being as the indeterminate
            > immediate is indeed NOTHING and no more and no less than Nothing". And
            > then he posits B. Nothing which is the same empty intuiting and thinking
            > as pure being - as you indicate. So, pure nothing follows from pure
            > being not because of a causal factor but because it expresses this same
            > total emptiness, this same indeterminate immediate as pure being. It
            > does this as its total other, its total opposite which, however, as mere
            > opposite also has not yet any difference but only sameness calling now
            > for difference which it is at the beginning only in-itself within pure
            > being and now has become an own concept - pure nothing - for positing
            > (making explicit) what being is. That is, pure nothing calls for
            > mediation between the two (limit-concept of determination) which then
            > can be first actualized in pure becoming but still without determination
            > because of the vanishing character of the two - in themselves not yet
            > mediated - moments mediated and mediating in pure becoming (C.
            > Becoming). Hegel adds in B. Nothing:
            >
            > "....... - In so far as intuiting or thinking can be mentioned here, it
            > counts as a distinction whether something or nothing is intuited or
            > thought. To intuit or think nothing has, therefore, a meaning; both are
            > distinguished and thus nothing IS (exists) in our intuiting or thinking;
            > or rather it is empty intuition and thought itself, and the same empty
            > intuition or thought as pure being. -......."
            >
            > I think that this also makes clear that pure nothing cannot be the
            > starting concept since it calls for mediation with what first is posited
            > and from which it comes from. Pure being cannot come from pure nothing
            > and call for mediation though of course somebody could say "creatio ex
            > nihilo". But as this Hegel's beginning of the Logic canNOT be taken
            > since it would imply an immediate 'creatio' of something determinate,
            > instead, the beginning is a limit-concept of determination.
            >
            > Regards,
            > Beat Greuter
            >

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









            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • TheJack
            [Randall] ... [Alan] ... There is no justification Alan. I am providing a commentary on the Science of Logic. My commentary is in no way designed to
            Message 5 of 8 , Apr 1, 2011
              [Randall]

              >> When examining the above section on nothing we should
              >> first take note of its striking similarity to the
              >> section on being:

              >> - "Nothing, pure nothing: it is simply equality with
              >> itself"

              >> [compare]

              >> "Being, pure being,...is equal only to itself".

              >> - "Nothing, pure nothing ....is complete emptiness,
              >> absence of all determination and content."

              >> [compare]

              >> "Being, pure being, ...is pure indeterminateness
              >> and emptiness."

              >> - "Nothing, pure nothing...is undifferentiatedness
              >> in itself"

              >> [compare]

              >> "Being, pure being...has no diversity within itself"

              >> - "In so far as intuiting or thinking can be mentioned
              >> here,...nothing is (exists) in our thinking; or
              >> rather it is empty intuition and thought itself."

              >> [compare]

              >> "if one can speak here of intuiting, there is nothing
              >> to be intuited in being; or, it is only this pure
              >> intuiting itself."


              >> So, after being and nothing are spoken of in the
              >> almost identical terms listed above, Hegel then
              >> claims:

              >> - "To intuit or think nothing...is the same empty
              >> intuition or thought as pure being."

              >> So, Hegel has suggested above that "Nothing is the
              >> same empty thought as being", but how are they
              >> equatable?

              >> Hegel provides us with a direct answer:

              >> - "Nothing is, therefore, the same determination,
              >> or rather absence of determination, and thus
              >> altogether the same as, pure being.

              >> Being and nothing are only equatable in the sense that
              >> they are equally devoid of determinacy (or they are
              >> equally indeterminate).

              >> So, even though Hegel describes Being and Nothing
              >> similarly, they are both in no way related to anything,
              >> nor are they related to any determinating factors, so
              >> they are not equatible in terms of similar qualities
              >> they share.

              >> Being and nothing are not even in relation to each
              >> other, because there's nothing that can connect them,
              >> instead it's their sheer absence of determinacy that
              >> makes each immediately the other.


              [Alan]

              > Question #1: What justifies comparison as a method of inquiry?

              There is no justification Alan. I am providing a commentary on the Science of Logic. My commentary is in no way designed to facilitate the movement of the dialectical advance of the Logic itself.

              Instead, my reflections (see Hegel's use of the term on SL p. 110) are meant to help provide access to the text. It's the unfolding of the text itself where Hegel attempts to justify the method of advance of the Science of Logic.

              [Alan]

              > Question #2: Who is doing this comparing? If we are doing
              > this comparing then how does what we know by means of
              > comparison relate to what is true about nothing?


              I am doing the comparing Alan. There isn't any "we" here (except you and Oliver). At this point everybody on the list is advancing their own personal reading of the SL.

              By juxtaposing the "phrases that Hegel uses to describe the indeterminacy of being", side by side with the almost identical "phrases that Hegel uses to describe the indeterminacy of nothing", I am merely pointing to the fact that Hegel uses identical terminology to describe the indeterminacy of being and nothing.

              What we know about "what is true about nothing" from the comparison of terminology used to describe being and nothing, is simply "what Hegel tells us" is true about nothing.

              And what does he tell us? He tells us that being and nothing are equally indeterminate.

              Having said that, there *is* a major difference with the above comparative method that I have used, and the way that the text actually unfolds that could be potentially deceptive if not addressed.

              What am I doing when I compare being and nothing? I am holding them side by side in what could be said to be a persisting backdrop (spatial metaphor).

              But when we arrive to becoming, it will be clear that this is not how they actually emerge in the development of the SL.

              Instead, when being vanishes, nothing issues forth, and when nothing vanishes being issues forth.

              When I compare them I have intervened between them, and have acted as a medium in which they are held together. But this is not part of the unfolding of the Logic, but only my reflection on what has already occurred.

              And what has actually occurred so far?:

              The indeterminacy of pure Being is immediately the equally indeterminate nothing. And yet the indeterminate nothing never ceases to be, so it is immediately the equally indeterminate being.

              That's it. That's what has happend so far.

              Having said that, I want to stop to examine the two statements above:

              - "Being, the indeterminate immediate, is in fact nothing"

              The above proposition that Being and Nothing are the same expresses the identity of the terms.

              However, the statement equally contains being and nothing as distinguished. So, although the proposition explicitly affirms their identity it also exhibits their difference.

              And because some would like to impregnate being and nothing with a meaning that is beyond the scope of Hegel's use of the terms, I want to point out here that what I am talking about are two equally indeterminate terms that are explicitly identified, but are at the same time implicitly expressed as distinguished.

              The proposition above seems to just point out thier identity, but Hegel points out in REMARK 2, that their is something inherently limited about employing judgements here.

              But a judgement of this nature is precisely what is given at the conclusion of both sections A. BEING, and B. NOTHING.

              With the proposition "being is nothing", you have two terms whose unity is explicitly expressed, but the judgement also implicitly affirms the distinctness of the two terms. Yet, the judgement fails to explicitly express their distinctness.

              The judgement can of course correct this deficiency, if for example the proposition is stated in a negative judgement (e.g. Being is not Nothing).

              But then Hegel points out that this again would leave us only with one side, where in truth both an identity and difference apply (i.e. Being is nothing, and yet they are also distinct).

              So, how is it possible that the identity and difference of being and nothing can be expressed? Well, in remark 2, Hegel explicitly rules out the possibility of judgements achieving this task.

              With this in mind I issued my challenge to Oliver "to go ahead and make my day":

              And in response to this task you write in your last post:

              [Alan]

              > Hegel does not think like the common understanding. He does
              > not mean first to show that being and nothing are identical
              > and then show that they are also distinct. Instead, they are
              > identical in that they are in truth the same movement through
              > differences, differences that are only meant by the
              > understanding but never really thinkable as self-standing
              > thoughts. It is the coming to be and ceasing to be as the
              > truths of the meant thoughts of being and nothing that persist
              > as identities that move through differences. Only if we bring
              > the dead back to life can we make your day.

              Well, for the most part I don't get what you are saying and you have provided no textual support for what you have said.

              But in particular you write:

              "He does not mean first to show that being and nothing are identical and then show that they are also distinct"

              On the contrary, this is *exactly* what he does, in sections A. Being, and B. Nothing, he only expresses the identity of being and nothing and leaves thier distinction implict.

              It is only in section C. BECOMING where the distinction between being and nothing is explictly expressed (i.e. as an absolute distinction)

              I will discuss in my commentary on section C. BECOMING, how contrary to propositional judgements, becoming is capable of expressing the identity and difference of being and nothing, in my next post.

              So to recap:

              With the emergence of nothing, we have a second term that refers to the "genesis" of an equally immediate indeterminacy, and in virtue of its pure indeterminacy, it is indistinguishable from being, but at the same time as an emergent second category, nothing is also distinct. But then this equally indeterminate second category, in virtue of its indeterminacy, is immediately being.

              Randall
            • Alan Ponikvar
              Hi Randall, This time I can be reasonably brief. 1. If a commentary uses a tool of the understanding ­ comparison ­ and the dialectical advance is
              Message 6 of 8 , Apr 1, 2011
                Hi Randall,

                This time I can be reasonably brief.

                1. If a commentary uses a tool of the understanding ­ comparison ­ and the
                dialectical advance is speculative, and if the understanding and speculative
                thinking are distinct, then what makes you think a comparison can be
                anything but a misleading commentary? Why not offer a speculatively guided
                commentary instead? Or do you believe that is not possible?
                2. You still have not addressed why Hegel can turn a predicate into a
                predicate nominative. How do we move from 'being, without determination' or
                'being is empty' to 'being is nothing'? How do we move from a description of
                being to an identity statement?
                3. I give a brief description of the infinite movement which replaces the
                immediacy of being with the mediated immediacy, coming to be, and the
                immediacy of nothing with the mediate immediacy, ceasing to be as does
                Hegel.
                > 1. The reason why these mediated thoughts replace being and nothing is that
                > being and nothing are never actually thinkable. They vanish before they can be
                > thought.
                > 2. I am not surprised that you do not know what I am talking about as I am
                > referencing the self-reflexivity of thought characteristic of the speculative
                > absolute, something you refuse to reference or even acknowledge is relevant.
                4. What Hegel does in the brief paragraphs on being and nothing is speak
                from the point of view of the understanding as if these are thought items
                that we can actually think.
                > 1. What is missing is what is provided in the following sections as an account
                > that references explicitly the movement of thought that is the truth of the
                > indeterminate immediate. As I have mentioned, for the understanding being and
                > nothing seem to be no more than two names for one thought.
                > 2. Thought is only divided ­ allowing for two thoughts - when we attend not
                > merely to the thought but to the thinking of the thought as is the case when
                > the thinking of the indeterminate immediate is treated as an absolute thought
                > in keeping with how it is properly given at the beginning as a presupposition
                > provided from the Phenomenology. Hegel has no trouble referring to the
                > presuppositional role of the Phenomenology.
                > 3. So rather than trying to think how a presupposition can provide an
                > indeterminate immediate as the first thought you offer your nonspeculative
                > procedure of skeptically motivated abstraction which gives us nothing that
                > would allow us to divide the indeterminate immediate.
                > 4. The skeptic who would be with you as you abstract your way to pure being
                > but would part ways over what it means to say we have nothing to think. You
                > want to say we can think this nothing. The skeptic would object and call this
                > a sophism. For the skeptic, if there is nothing to think then we are done
                > thinking.
                Regards, Alan

                From: TheJack <thejackjam@...>
                Reply-To: <hegel@yahoogroups.com>
                Date: Sat, 02 Apr 2011 00:00:30 -0000
                To: <hegel@yahoogroups.com>
                Subject: [hegel] Re: Chapter 1 Being : B. Nothing






                [Randall]

                >> When examining the above section on nothing we should
                >> first take note of its striking similarity to the
                >> section on being:

                >> - "Nothing, pure nothing: it is simply equality with
                >> itself"

                >> [compare]

                >> "Being, pure being,...is equal only to itself".

                >> - "Nothing, pure nothing ....is complete emptiness,
                >> absence of all determination and content."

                >> [compare]

                >> "Being, pure being, ...is pure indeterminateness
                >> and emptiness."

                >> - "Nothing, pure nothing...is undifferentiatedness
                >> in itself"

                >> [compare]

                >> "Being, pure being...has no diversity within itself"

                >> - "In so far as intuiting or thinking can be mentioned
                >> here,...nothing is (exists) in our thinking; or
                >> rather it is empty intuition and thought itself."

                >> [compare]

                >> "if one can speak here of intuiting, there is nothing
                >> to be intuited in being; or, it is only this pure
                >> intuiting itself."


                >> So, after being and nothing are spoken of in the
                >> almost identical terms listed above, Hegel then
                >> claims:

                >> - "To intuit or think nothing...is the same empty
                >> intuition or thought as pure being."

                >> So, Hegel has suggested above that "Nothing is the
                >> same empty thought as being", but how are they
                >> equatable?

                >> Hegel provides us with a direct answer:

                >> - "Nothing is, therefore, the same determination,
                >> or rather absence of determination, and thus
                >> altogether the same as, pure being.

                >> Being and nothing are only equatable in the sense that
                >> they are equally devoid of determinacy (or they are
                >> equally indeterminate).

                >> So, even though Hegel describes Being and Nothing
                >> similarly, they are both in no way related to anything,
                >> nor are they related to any determinating factors, so
                >> they are not equatible in terms of similar qualities
                >> they share.

                >> Being and nothing are not even in relation to each
                >> other, because there's nothing that can connect them,
                >> instead it's their sheer absence of determinacy that
                >> makes each immediately the other.

                [Alan]

                > Question #1: What justifies comparison as a method of inquiry?

                There is no justification Alan. I am providing a commentary on the Science
                of Logic. My commentary is in no way designed to facilitate the movement of
                the dialectical advance of the Logic itself.

                Instead, my reflections (see Hegel's use of the term on SL p. 110) are meant
                to help provide access to the text. It's the unfolding of the text itself
                where Hegel attempts to justify the method of advance of the Science of
                Logic.

                [Alan]

                > Question #2: Who is doing this comparing? If we are doing
                > this comparing then how does what we know by means of
                > comparison relate to what is true about nothing?

                I am doing the comparing Alan. There isn't any "we" here (except you and
                Oliver). At this point everybody on the list is advancing their own personal
                reading of the SL.

                By juxtaposing the "phrases that Hegel uses to describe the indeterminacy of
                being", side by side with the almost identical "phrases that Hegel uses to
                describe the indeterminacy of nothing", I am merely pointing to the fact
                that Hegel uses identical terminology to describe the indeterminacy of being
                and nothing.

                What we know about "what is true about nothing" from the comparison of
                terminology used to describe being and nothing, is simply "what Hegel tells
                us" is true about nothing.

                And what does he tell us? He tells us that being and nothing are equally
                indeterminate.

                Having said that, there *is* a major difference with the above comparative
                method that I have used, and the way that the text actually unfolds that
                could be potentially deceptive if not addressed.

                What am I doing when I compare being and nothing? I am holding them side by
                side in what could be said to be a persisting backdrop (spatial metaphor).

                But when we arrive to becoming, it will be clear that this is not how they
                actually emerge in the development of the SL.

                Instead, when being vanishes, nothing issues forth, and when nothing
                vanishes being issues forth.

                When I compare them I have intervened between them, and have acted as a
                medium in which they are held together. But this is not part of the
                unfolding of the Logic, but only my reflection on what has already occurred.

                And what has actually occurred so far?:

                The indeterminacy of pure Being is immediately the equally indeterminate
                nothing. And yet the indeterminate nothing never ceases to be, so it is
                immediately the equally indeterminate being.

                That's it. That's what has happend so far.

                Having said that, I want to stop to examine the two statements above:

                - "Being, the indeterminate immediate, is in fact nothing"

                The above proposition that Being and Nothing are the same expresses the
                identity of the terms.

                However, the statement equally contains being and nothing as distinguished.
                So, although the proposition explicitly affirms their identity it also
                exhibits their difference.

                And because some would like to impregnate being and nothing with a meaning
                that is beyond the scope of Hegel's use of the terms, I want to point out
                here that what I am talking about are two equally indeterminate terms that
                are explicitly identified, but are at the same time implicitly expressed as
                distinguished.

                The proposition above seems to just point out thier identity, but Hegel
                points out in REMARK 2, that their is something inherently limited about
                employing judgements here.

                But a judgement of this nature is precisely what is given at the conclusion
                of both sections A. BEING, and B. NOTHING.

                With the proposition "being is nothing", you have two terms whose unity is
                explicitly expressed, but the judgement also implicitly affirms the
                distinctness of the two terms. Yet, the judgement fails to explicitly
                express their distinctness.

                The judgement can of course correct this deficiency, if for example the
                proposition is stated in a negative judgement (e.g. Being is not Nothing).

                But then Hegel points out that this again would leave us only with one side,
                where in truth both an identity and difference apply (i.e. Being is nothing,
                and yet they are also distinct).

                So, how is it possible that the identity and difference of being and nothing
                can be expressed? Well, in remark 2, Hegel explicitly rules out the
                possibility of judgements achieving this task.

                With this in mind I issued my challenge to Oliver "to go ahead and make my
                day":

                And in response to this task you write in your last post:

                [Alan]

                > Hegel does not think like the common understanding. He does
                > not mean first to show that being and nothing are identical
                > and then show that they are also distinct. Instead, they are
                > identical in that they are in truth the same movement through
                > differences, differences that are only meant by the
                > understanding but never really thinkable as self-standing
                > thoughts. It is the coming to be and ceasing to be as the
                > truths of the meant thoughts of being and nothing that persist
                > as identities that move through differences. Only if we bring
                > the dead back to life can we make your day.

                Well, for the most part I don't get what you are saying and you have
                provided no textual support for what you have said.

                But in particular you write:

                "He does not mean first to show that being and nothing are identical and
                then show that they are also distinct"

                On the contrary, this is *exactly* what he does, in sections A. Being, and
                B. Nothing, he only expresses the identity of being and nothing and leaves
                thier distinction implict.

                It is only in section C. BECOMING where the distinction between being and
                nothing is explictly expressed (i.e. as an absolute distinction)

                I will discuss in my commentary on section C. BECOMING, how contrary to
                propositional judgements, becoming is capable of expressing the identity and
                difference of being and nothing, in my next post.

                So to recap:

                With the emergence of nothing, we have a second term that refers to the
                "genesis" of an equally immediate indeterminacy, and in virtue of its pure
                indeterminacy, it is indistinguishable from being, but at the same time as
                an emergent second category, nothing is also distinct. But then this equally
                indeterminate second category, in virtue of its indeterminacy, is
                immediately being.

                Randall









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