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Re: [hegel] Re: Clark Butler's 'Dialectical Method'

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  • Beat Greuter
    ... John, What Buttler means - as far as I can see from your quotation - is that Hegel rejects the propositional form (subjcet - predicate) for grasping the
    Message 1 of 9 , Mar 15, 2011
      Am 14.03.2011 17:07, John writes:

      > --- In hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>, Beat
      > Greuter <greuterb@...> wrote:
      > >
      > > Am 14.03.2011 00:52, John writes:
      > >
      > > > In regard to this whole being-nothing-becoming business, in his
      > > > commentary on the SL, on page 93, in a little aside about the
      > Absolute
      > > > that I won't go into, Carlson quotes the EL #85:
      > > >
      > > > "At least the first and third category in every triad may [be a
      > > > definition of the Absolute]--the first, where the thought-form of the
      > > > triad is formulated in its simplicity, and the third, being the
      > return
      > > > from differentiation to a simple self-reference."
      > > >
      > > > In a foot-note to this, he writes:
      > > >
      > > > "Butler overlooks this passage when he announces, 'Hegel is
      > nowhere so
      > > > indiscriminate as to say that qualitative being is a definition of
      > the
      > > > absolute'."
      > > >
      > > > John
      > > >
      > >
      > > John,
      > >
      > > But Butler is right. One has to read the whole para 85 EL. Hegel
      > rejects
      > > in the second part of this para the form of definition (the
      > > propositional form of a sentence) all over and this means also that he
      > > rejects what he first writes about these triads only written for giving
      > > the understanding (representation) some indications about what happens
      > > in the Science of Logic in general and the Logic of being in
      > particular.
      > > For Carlson the Logic is a jigsaw puzzle of triads. But this is not
      > > Hegel's Logic which is pure movement. I cite this second part of
      > para 85
      > > EL though the translation is miserable (I add therefore the German
      > > original):
      > >
      > > "The objection to the form of definition is that it implies a something
      > > in the mind's eye on which these predicates may fasten. Thus even the
      > > Absolute (though it purports to express God in the style and character
      > > of thought) in comparison with its predicate (which really and
      > > distinctly expresses in thought what the subject does not) is as yet
      > > only an inchoate pretended thought --- the indeterminate subject of
      > > predicates yet to come. The thought, which is here the matter of sole
      > > importance, is contained only in the predicate: and hence the
      > > propositional form, like the said subject [God as subject] is a mere
      > > superfluity." (translated by William Wallace)
      > >
      > > "Wenn aber die Form von Definitionen gebraucht würde, so würde sie dies
      > > enthalten, daß ein Substrat der Vorstellung vorschwebt; denn auch das
      > > Absolute, als welches Gott im Sinne und in der Form des Gedankens
      > > ausdrücken soll, bleibt im Verhältnisse zu seinem Prädikate, dem
      > > bestimmten und wirklichen Ausdruck in Gedanken, nur ein gemeinter
      > > Gedanke, ein für sich unbestimmtes Substrat. Weil der Gedanke, die
      > > Sache, um die es hier allein zu tun ist, nur im Prädikate enthalten
      > ist,
      > > so ist die Form eines Satzes, wie jenes Subjekt, etwas völlig
      > > Überflüssiges (vgl. § 31 und unten Kap. vom Urteile [§ 166 ff.])."
      > >
      > >
      > > By the way, in the previous para 84 EL Hegel mentions the necessary
      > > implicit presupposition made starting with the Logic of Being, that is,
      > > the assumption of the immediate truth of being as the concept implicit
      > > only. This concept implicit only is characterized by its further
      > > determination (the form of dialectic) as a mere transition into others
      > > and can be made explicit and thereby sublated only in the explicating
      > > movement of the Logic of being itself and in the transition into the
      > > Logic of the essence and later. Therefore in the Logic of being we need
      > > reflection not yet thematized itself:
      > >
      > > "Being is the notion implicit only: its special forms have the
      > predicate
      > > 'is'; when they are distinguished they are each of them an 'other': and
      > > the shape which dialectic takes in them, i.e. their further
      > > specialisation, is at once a forth-putting and in that way a
      > disengaging
      > > of the notion implicit in being; and at the same time the
      > withdrawing of
      > > being inwards, its sinking deeper into itself. Thus the explication of
      > > the notion in the sphere of being does two things: it brings out the
      > > totality of being, and it abolishes the immediacy of being, or the form
      > > of being as such." (para 84 EL, translated by William Wallace)
      > >
      > > "Das Sein ist der Begriff nur an sich; die Bestimmungen desselben sind
      > > seiende, in ihrem Unterschiede Andere gegeneinander, und ihre weitere
      > > Bestimmung (die Form des Dialektischen) ist ein Übergehen [transition]
      > > in Anderes. Diese Fortbestimmung ist in einem ein Heraussetzen und
      > damit
      > > Entfalten des an sich seienden Begriffs und zugleich das Insichgehen
      > des
      > > Seins, ein Vertiefen desselben in sich selbst. Die Explikation des
      > > Begriffs in der Sphäre des Seins wird ebensosehr die Totalität des
      > > Seins, als damit die Unmittelbarkeit des Seins oder die Form des Seins
      > > als solchen aufgehoben wird. "
      > >
      > > Regards,
      > > Beat Greuter
      >
      > So, then, "the absolute is being"--we are talking about being, so why
      > is it necessary to add "the absolute is"? He makes the same point
      > somewhere else about the word "God". It is just a meaningless sound,
      > so why even use it? But then, oddly enough, Hegel continues using it
      > anyway. And the same is the case here. "The absolute is being" doesn't
      > mean anything without an explanation. So he gives the explanation in
      > para. 86:
      >
      > "If we enunciate Being as a predicate of the Absolute, we get the
      > first definition of the latter. The Absolute is Being. This is (in
      > thought) the absolutely initial definition, the most abstract and
      > stinted. It is the definition given by the Eleatics, but at the same
      > time is also the well-known definition of God as the sum of all
      > realities. It means, in short, that we are to set aside that
      > limitation which is in every reality, so that God shall be only the
      > real in all reality, the superlatively real."
      >
      > So, although I understand the problem with the form of definition, I
      > don't understand why Butler would say that Hegel never said that being
      > is a definition of the absolute.
      >
      > John
      >
      >
      >


      John,

      What Buttler means - as far as I can see from your quotation - is that
      Hegel rejects the propositional form (subjcet - predicate) for grasping
      the Absolute since in the subject there is a substrate of representation
      which leaves us apart from the pure predicate as the concept of the
      Absolute at a certain point of the development of the Logic (see also
      the Speculative Sentence in the Preface of the PhdG). Hegel writes in
      the first edition of the EL (1817) in the same para (then para 39)
      precisely the same about the Absolute as subject: "The Absolute is the
      Being, or it is the absolute indifference only in this way that a
      substrate of representation - here under the name of the Absolute - is
      in the mind [vorschweben, to fancy], a substrate whose thought - which
      alone we consider here - is alone in the predicate; this subject [the
      Absolute or God, or another one] as well as the form of a sentence is
      therefore totally superfluous".

      Regards,
      Beat Greuter


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