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Re: [hegel] Re: Something from O'Regan

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  • Beat Greuter
    ... Stephen, Your interpretation seems to imply that there is a linear development of the absolute, from the most abstract to the most conrete. Basically I
    Message 1 of 28 , Apr 15, 2011
      Am 11.04.2011 13:18, Stephen writes:

      > Dear Beat,
      >
      > While not seeing how it would destroy John's account of the mutual
      > implication etc. of being and nothing, for example, I find
      > confirmation of my own interpretation in your account of how each
      > category gives way to a more "just" absolute, i.e. they are all
      > attempts to refer to or denominate the absolute. Hegel says as much.
      >


      Stephen,

      Your interpretation seems to imply that there is a linear development of
      the absolute, from the most abstract to the most conrete. Basically I
      agree with this, however, the movement is not linear and its 'aim' is
      not to reach a "just" absolute but to dissolve the absolute with the
      result of more 'justice' for the former absolutes having become moments
      in a new mediated whole. The mentioned movement includes two opposite
      directions which can not be sperated formally: the analytical and the
      synthetical direction. In the analytical direction there is a mediation
      of the achieved (one-sided) unity or identity with its arising other or
      opposite. The synthectical direction is a falling back into a new
      (one-sided) identity or unity for enabling a further mediation leading
      to a more concrete (or mediated) shape of the absolute.

      Examples:
      Pure Knowing at the end of the PhdG is a knowing which is fully mediated
      by the steps of consciousness but as the sublation of consciousness with
      its assumed externally fixed truth Pure Knowing falls back into the
      (one-sided) identiy or abstraction of Pure Being without any
      determination. Now, it has to actualize itself analyzing this result
      which leads to the other abstract concept of Pure Nothing as its
      opposite and then to the first concrete concept of their mediation in
      Pure Becoming. Though Pure Becoming is a concrete concept mediating two
      moments it cannot really achieve determination since the two moments are
      totally indifferent and equivalent. So, the Concept falls into a new
      one-sided and abstract synthesis in 'Determinate Being in General' which
      is the unity of Being and Nothing IN THE (one-sided) DETERMINATION OF
      BEING. The analytical step then will develop again the right of the
      Nothing as Quality leading to the Concepts of the Something and Reality
      where a new one-sided synthesis stops their spurious infinity in the
      Being-for-itself (the second negation of the true infinity). The
      analysis of this one-sidedness then brings the loss of Quality at all in
      the 'One' and the 'Many One' as the beginning of the quantitative
      anaylsis of the Concept which later will achieve a more developed stage
      of Quality in the Concept of the Measure.


      > So as you say even the True Infinite "gives way" to the One, if it
      > comes afterwards. This is disturbing in a way, in that it would oblige
      > one to characterise just how the final Absolute (Idea) differs from,
      > surpasses, the True Infinite (one clue would be Hegel's pointing out
      > that "infinite" is a negative characterisation).
      >


      The Concept of the Absolue Idea belongs to the Subjective Logic, the
      Logic of the Concept, where the Concpet has become the identity of the
      identity and non-identity but at the beginning (the Concept as such)
      only for-itself (one-sided) as a new synthesis. So, it has to develop
      again the lost Actuality out of itself achieving thereby Objectivity.
      The path again is a movement of analysis and synthesis. The Absolute
      Idea only makes fully explict this speculative method of the described
      conjunction of the analytical and synthetical movement. This is not an
      outer method but the liquefaction (Verflüssigung) of all moments
      developed on the path of the Logic without any further presupposition
      not yet mediated - total mediated immediacy. Hegel writes in para 186
      and 187 of the EL, 1817 (my translation):

      "This progress [method] is both, analytical as the immanent reflection
      positing only this that is included in the immediate Concept, as well as
      synthetical as far as in this the difference is not yet posited." (para
      186, EL, 1817)
      "This progress [method] is in the Being an Other and the transition into
      an Other, in the Essence Seeming [Scheinen] in the Opposite (in dem
      Entgegengesetzten), in the Concept the differentiation of the individual
      and the universality which as such does continue into that which is
      distinguished from itself and is as identity with it (the individual)"
      (para 187, EL, 1817)

      Hegel does not separate the analytical concept from the synthetical
      concept as in the Analytical Philosophy and Formal Logic. Neverthess, we
      have to distinguish the two moments of the specualtive method,
      otherwise, we miss the method. With this he makes a crucial relationship
      between Plato's 'What is'- and 'How-is'- (context-) question. According
      to Hegel it is not possible to answer the 'What is'-question (question
      on the essence, definition) without the 'How is'-question (the context).
      In the speculative method, therefore, both are integrated.


      > Now, not to leave theology out in the cold, Hegel says that "the
      > notion... results by abolishing the intermediation, and thus is
      > immediate"(EL51). Again, he speaks of "the genuine nature of essential
      > thought - by which it cancels the mediation in the very act of
      > mediation" (EL50), as it were "forgetting those things which are
      > before". Actually the things forget themselves, since they "are not".
      > As you wrote here, "In the logic there are no finite things separated
      > from infinite ideas but only thoughts."
      >


      These quotations belong to the section on the 'Pre-Concept' of the
      EL-Logic and there to Kant's 'Critical Philosophy'. We have to
      distinguish Hegel's critique on the 'Critical Philosophy' and what he
      accepts as true in this Philosophy. Perhaps we can come back to this later.


      > But suppose now that there are in fact only thoughts, no "things" as
      > realism represents them. The "things" rather are nothing other than
      > those names Hegel discusses in EG in a synthesis of nominalism,
      > conceptualism and realism (Findlay). Then the dialectic is indeed a
      > passage "from shadows to reality" and this is how I take the Orpheus
      > myth, his leading Eurydice from the land of shadows (it is his
      > "journey", not hers, though it is ultimately himself who is buried in
      > the shadows and must not "look back"). So the dialectic is always per
      > definition in error. It is only truth as a whole, as a method even, as
      > reached at the end.
      >


      I do not understand why "the dialectic is always per definition in
      error". Of course, until the end it always produces one-sidedness with
      new presuppositions. However, these are necessary stages or shapes for
      thought seeking its truth. In the Absolute Idea Pure Knowing realizes
      the dialectical movement as its procedural truth and essence including
      the unity of form and content only in this movement and not in a unity
      or identity beyond this movement.

      Regards,
      Beat Greuter


      > I would like to connect with this Hegel's treatment of the Will under
      > Practical Reason (EG) as itself superseding theoretical Mind but just
      > therefore needing to be a Thinking Will (in Hegel's inclusive sense of
      > "thinking"). Implied here, I would want to make out, is an eventual
      > real (non-abstract, but as supplanting the abstract) fusion of the
      > ethical with the metaphysical (echoing Aristotle's "contemplation is
      > the highest praxis", but going further, probably), as canvassed more
      > explicitly by some later thinkers. This fusion is the ultimate ground
      > for why in Hegel things are never simply themselves and not another
      > thing, thus putting out of court the question of being right or wrong
      > about what they are. This is the question he explicitly rules out in
      > connection with religion, for example.
      >
      > How far would you agree with my implicit view, finally, that dialectic
      > is not abstractly or merely a process within (the) Logic but
      > characterising all "reality" or, more immediately, the whole passage
      > or development of the "Encyclopaedia", allowing for a bit of
      > analogical fluidity in the term? Does this though, if affirmed tend
      > not also at least to suggest (or confirm, rather, thinking of Hegel's
      > work as a whole)that we are all the time dealing with Ideas, with
      > Absolute Mind (and hence that there is nothing else, nor can there be,
      > nothing "more" real)?
      >
      > --- In hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>, Beat
      > Greuter <greuterb@...> wrote:
      > >
      > > Am 10.04.2011 12:27, John writes:
      > >
      > > > --- In hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>
      > <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>, Beat
      > > > Greuter <greuterb@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > > John,
      > > > >
      > > > > How can you tell us such a thing? What has Tillich or other
      > theologian
      > > > > to do with Hegel who was a pure philosopher in the tradition of
      > Plato,
      > > > > Aristotle, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Kant. I do not
      > understand how
      > > > > you can take something totally alien to Hegel for explaining his
      > > > > philosophy instead of reading what he writes himself at the
      > > > beginning of
      > > > > his Logic.
      > > >
      > > > Hegel presents his theology in the lectures on the philosophy of
      > > > religion and in the penultimate chapter of the Phenomenology. So I am
      > > > certainly not introducing something alien to Hegel. I'm simply making
      > > > reference to a suppressed part of Hegel's thought.
      > > >
      > >
      > >
      > > John,
      > >
      > > But we are now at the beginning of the Logic and not in the Philosophy
      > > of Religion. In the Addition of para 88 of the EL Hegel writes
      > > (translated by William Wallace):
      > >
      > > "And in the case of being, we are speaking of nothing concrete: for
      > > being is the utterly abstract. So far then the question regarding the
      > > being of God --- a being which is in itself concrete above all measure
      > > --- is of slight importance."
      > >
      > >
      > > > You write:
      > > >
      > > > >There is no dialectical relation between Being and Nothing
      > > > > you write and in a further post that dialectic begins only with
      > > > > Determinate Being. But in total reversal of what you say it is
      > quite
      > > > the
      > > > > beginning which shows the prototype of Hegel's dialectic: the
      > > > opposition
      > > > > of two absolutes not yet mediated which become mediated in a third
      > > > > absolute.
      > > >
      > > > To speak of being, nothing and becoming as three absolutes that are
      > > > related to each other seems quite different from what Hegel is
      > saying.
      > > > Treating each of the three as a hypostasis is, I believe, somthing
      > > > Alan has been arguing against (if I understand him correctly).
      > > >
      > >
      > >
      > > That's not a hypostasis but what Hegel writes at the beginning of his
      > > Logic (para 87, EL, translated by William Wallace):
      > >
      > >
      > > "But this mere Being, as it is mere abstraction, is therefore the
      > > absolutely negative: which, in a similarly immediate aspect, is just
      > > Nothing.
      > > 1. Hence was derived the second definition of the Absolute: the
      > Absolute
      > > is the Nought. In fact this definition is implied in saying that the
      > > thing-in-itself is the indeterminate, utterly without form and so
      > > without content --- or in saying that God is only the supreme Being and
      > > nothing more; for this is really declaring him to be the same
      > negativity
      > > as above. The Nothing which the Buddhists make the universal principle,
      > > as well as the final aim and goal of everything, is the same
      > abstraction.
      > > 2. If the opposition in thought is stated in this immediacy as Being
      > and
      > > Nothing, the shock of its nullity is too great not to stimulate the
      > > attempt to fix Being and secure it against the transition into Nothing.
      > > With this intent, reflection has recourse to the plan of discovering
      > > some fixed predicate for Being, to mark it off from Nothing. Thus we
      > > find Being identified with what persists amid all change, with matter,
      > > susceptible of innumerable determinations --- or even, unreflectingly,
      > > with a single existence, any chance object of the senses or of the
      > mind.
      > > But every additional and more concrete characterisation causes Being to
      > > lose that integrity and simplicity it had in the beginning. Only in,
      > and
      > > by virtue of, this mere generality is it Nothing, something
      > > inexpressible, whereof the distinction from Nothing is a mere intention
      > > or meaning."
      > >
      > >
      > > The opposition of the first two absolutes - Being and Nothing - is
      > > sublated in a third absolute - Becoming. With this the first two
      > > absolutes are no longer absolutes but merged in Becoming. This is what
      > > Hegel calls 'dialectics'. So, the opposition is sublated and each
      > > attempt to preserve Being from transition into Becoming means to
      > > identify Being with a quality trying thereby to state a difference
      > > between Being and Nothing what indeed would be a hypostasis, be it God
      > > or Trinity or whatsoever. Being has become Becoming what is equal to
      > say
      > > Being is Nothing.
      > >
      > >
      > > > Further down you write:
      > > >
      > > > > It is exactly the
      > > > > mediation of the finite and the infinite in the Concept that
      > Hegel want
      > > > > to show us in the process of the Whole Logic.
      > > >
      > > > That is exactly right. So it is necessary to have the infinite and
      > the
      > > > finite. Being-nothing-becoming is the infinite. Existence, the
      > > > Something, etc is the finite. The first attempt to mediate the two is
      > > > with true infinity. But, obviously, before they can be mediated, they
      > > > have, first, to be established.
      > > >
      > >
      > >
      > > No, "Existence, the Something, etc" are not the finite but concepts on
      > > the path of determination or mediation like Being, Nothing and Becoming
      > > but already more concrete. Also the concept of True Infinity collapses
      > > in the One since it cannot hold its other in the Logic of Being. In the
      > > Logic there are no finite things separated from infinite ideas but only
      > > thoughts.
      > >
      > >
      > > > You write:
      > > >
      > > > >With your disengagment of
      > > > > Being from Determinate Being you prevent this mediation from the
      > very
      > > > > beginning since you have the non-mediated Whole already at the
      > > > beginning
      > > > > which afterwards you call trinity.
      > > >
      > > > In Hegel's theology this is the immanent trinity. But it certainly
      > > > isn't the whole. Or if it is the whole, then it is, as you say, the
      > > > "unmediated" whole. Basically it is the universal. The final result
      > > > will be the mediated whole, the whole that contains the three moments
      > > > of universal, particular and individual. But that is a long way off.
      > > >
      > > > John
      > > >
      > >
      > >
      > > Yes, this is certainly a long way. But Hegel is no theologian, he is a
      > > philosopher. You have to go along pure thoughts on that long way.
      > >
      > > Regards,
      > > Beat Greuter
      >
      >



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • stephen theron
      Beat, Thank you for this painstaking reply which I will have to return to for further study. Strangely I was just now trying to clarify for myself Findlay s
      Message 2 of 28 , Apr 15, 2011
        Beat,

        Thank you for this painstaking reply which I will have to return to for further study.
        Strangely I was just now trying to clarify for myself Findlay's remark re beginning with Being that this was in fact dictated by the immediately previous moves in the Phenomenology, as you seem hereto confirm, as an example.

        Stephen.


        To: hegel@yahoogroups.com
        From: greuterb@...
        Date: Fri, 15 Apr 2011 20:44:16 +0200
        Subject: Re: [hegel] Re: Something from O'Regan






        Am 11.04.2011 13:18, Stephen writes:

        > Dear Beat,
        >
        > While not seeing how it would destroy John's account of the mutual
        > implication etc. of being and nothing, for example, I find
        > confirmation of my own interpretation in your account of how each
        > category gives way to a more "just" absolute, i.e. they are all
        > attempts to refer to or denominate the absolute. Hegel says as much.
        >

        Stephen,

        Your interpretation seems to imply that there is a linear development of
        the absolute, from the most abstract to the most conrete. Basically I
        agree with this, however, the movement is not linear and its 'aim' is
        not to reach a "just" absolute but to dissolve the absolute with the
        result of more 'justice' for the former absolutes having become moments
        in a new mediated whole. The mentioned movement includes two opposite
        directions which can not be sperated formally: the analytical and the
        synthetical direction. In the analytical direction there is a mediation
        of the achieved (one-sided) unity or identity with its arising other or
        opposite. The synthectical direction is a falling back into a new
        (one-sided) identity or unity for enabling a further mediation leading
        to a more concrete (or mediated) shape of the absolute.

        Examples:
        Pure Knowing at the end of the PhdG is a knowing which is fully mediated
        by the steps of consciousness but as the sublation of consciousness with
        its assumed externally fixed truth Pure Knowing falls back into the
        (one-sided) identiy or abstraction of Pure Being without any
        determination. Now, it has to actualize itself analyzing this result
        which leads to the other abstract concept of Pure Nothing as its
        opposite and then to the first concrete concept of their mediation in
        Pure Becoming. Though Pure Becoming is a concrete concept mediating two
        moments it cannot really achieve determination since the two moments are
        totally indifferent and equivalent. So, the Concept falls into a new
        one-sided and abstract synthesis in 'Determinate Being in General' which
        is the unity of Being and Nothing IN THE (one-sided) DETERMINATION OF
        BEING. The analytical step then will develop again the right of the
        Nothing as Quality leading to the Concepts of the Something and Reality
        where a new one-sided synthesis stops their spurious infinity in the
        Being-for-itself (the second negation of the true infinity). The
        analysis of this one-sidedness then brings the loss of Quality at all in
        the 'One' and the 'Many One' as the beginning of the quantitative
        anaylsis of the Concept which later will achieve a more developed stage
        of Quality in the Concept of the Measure.

        > So as you say even the True Infinite "gives way" to the One, if it
        > comes afterwards. This is disturbing in a way, in that it would oblige
        > one to characterise just how the final Absolute (Idea) differs from,
        > surpasses, the True Infinite (one clue would be Hegel's pointing out
        > that "infinite" is a negative characterisation).
        >

        The Concept of the Absolue Idea belongs to the Subjective Logic, the
        Logic of the Concept, where the Concpet has become the identity of the
        identity and non-identity but at the beginning (the Concept as such)
        only for-itself (one-sided) as a new synthesis. So, it has to develop
        again the lost Actuality out of itself achieving thereby Objectivity.
        The path again is a movement of analysis and synthesis. The Absolute
        Idea only makes fully explict this speculative method of the described
        conjunction of the analytical and synthetical movement. This is not an
        outer method but the liquefaction (Verfl�ssigung) of all moments
        developed on the path of the Logic without any further presupposition
        not yet mediated - total mediated immediacy. Hegel writes in para 186
        and 187 of the EL, 1817 (my translation):

        "This progress [method] is both, analytical as the immanent reflection
        positing only this that is included in the immediate Concept, as well as
        synthetical as far as in this the difference is not yet posited." (para
        186, EL, 1817)
        "This progress [method] is in the Being an Other and the transition into
        an Other, in the Essence Seeming [Scheinen] in the Opposite (in dem
        Entgegengesetzten), in the Concept the differentiation of the individual
        and the universality which as such does continue into that which is
        distinguished from itself and is as identity with it (the individual)"
        (para 187, EL, 1817)

        Hegel does not separate the analytical concept from the synthetical
        concept as in the Analytical Philosophy and Formal Logic. Neverthess, we
        have to distinguish the two moments of the specualtive method,
        otherwise, we miss the method. With this he makes a crucial relationship
        between Plato's 'What is'- and 'How-is'- (context-) question. According
        to Hegel it is not possible to answer the 'What is'-question (question
        on the essence, definition) without the 'How is'-question (the context).
        In the speculative method, therefore, both are integrated.

        > Now, not to leave theology out in the cold, Hegel says that "the
        > notion... results by abolishing the intermediation, and thus is
        > immediate"(EL51). Again, he speaks of "the genuine nature of essential
        > thought - by which it cancels the mediation in the very act of
        > mediation" (EL50), as it were "forgetting those things which are
        > before". Actually the things forget themselves, since they "are not".
        > As you wrote here, "In the logic there are no finite things separated
        > from infinite ideas but only thoughts."
        >

        These quotations belong to the section on the 'Pre-Concept' of the
        EL-Logic and there to Kant's 'Critical Philosophy'. We have to
        distinguish Hegel's critique on the 'Critical Philosophy' and what he
        accepts as true in this Philosophy. Perhaps we can come back to this later.

        > But suppose now that there are in fact only thoughts, no "things" as
        > realism represents them. The "things" rather are nothing other than
        > those names Hegel discusses in EG in a synthesis of nominalism,
        > conceptualism and realism (Findlay). Then the dialectic is indeed a
        > passage "from shadows to reality" and this is how I take the Orpheus
        > myth, his leading Eurydice from the land of shadows (it is his
        > "journey", not hers, though it is ultimately himself who is buried in
        > the shadows and must not "look back"). So the dialectic is always per
        > definition in error. It is only truth as a whole, as a method even, as
        > reached at the end.
        >

        I do not understand why "the dialectic is always per definition in
        error". Of course, until the end it always produces one-sidedness with
        new presuppositions. However, these are necessary stages or shapes for
        thought seeking its truth. In the Absolute Idea Pure Knowing realizes
        the dialectical movement as its procedural truth and essence including
        the unity of form and content only in this movement and not in a unity
        or identity beyond this movement.

        Regards,
        Beat Greuter

        > I would like to connect with this Hegel's treatment of the Will under
        > Practical Reason (EG) as itself superseding theoretical Mind but just
        > therefore needing to be a Thinking Will (in Hegel's inclusive sense of
        > "thinking"). Implied here, I would want to make out, is an eventual
        > real (non-abstract, but as supplanting the abstract) fusion of the
        > ethical with the metaphysical (echoing Aristotle's "contemplation is
        > the highest praxis", but going further, probably), as canvassed more
        > explicitly by some later thinkers. This fusion is the ultimate ground
        > for why in Hegel things are never simply themselves and not another
        > thing, thus putting out of court the question of being right or wrong
        > about what they are. This is the question he explicitly rules out in
        > connection with religion, for example.
        >
        > How far would you agree with my implicit view, finally, that dialectic
        > is not abstractly or merely a process within (the) Logic but
        > characterising all "reality" or, more immediately, the whole passage
        > or development of the "Encyclopaedia", allowing for a bit of
        > analogical fluidity in the term? Does this though, if affirmed tend
        > not also at least to suggest (or confirm, rather, thinking of Hegel's
        > work as a whole)that we are all the time dealing with Ideas, with
        > Absolute Mind (and hence that there is nothing else, nor can there be,
        > nothing "more" real)?
        >
        > --- In hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>, Beat
        > Greuter <greuterb@...> wrote:
        > >
        > > Am 10.04.2011 12:27, John writes:
        > >
        > > > --- In hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>
        > <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>, Beat
        > > > Greuter <greuterb@> wrote:
        > > >
        > > > > John,
        > > > >
        > > > > How can you tell us such a thing? What has Tillich or other
        > theologian
        > > > > to do with Hegel who was a pure philosopher in the tradition of
        > Plato,
        > > > > Aristotle, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Kant. I do not
        > understand how
        > > > > you can take something totally alien to Hegel for explaining his
        > > > > philosophy instead of reading what he writes himself at the
        > > > beginning of
        > > > > his Logic.
        > > >
        > > > Hegel presents his theology in the lectures on the philosophy of
        > > > religion and in the penultimate chapter of the Phenomenology. So I am
        > > > certainly not introducing something alien to Hegel. I'm simply making
        > > > reference to a suppressed part of Hegel's thought.
        > > >
        > >
        > >
        > > John,
        > >
        > > But we are now at the beginning of the Logic and not in the Philosophy
        > > of Religion. In the Addition of para 88 of the EL Hegel writes
        > > (translated by William Wallace):
        > >
        > > "And in the case of being, we are speaking of nothing concrete: for
        > > being is the utterly abstract. So far then the question regarding the
        > > being of God --- a being which is in itself concrete above all measure
        > > --- is of slight importance."
        > >
        > >
        > > > You write:
        > > >
        > > > >There is no dialectical relation between Being and Nothing
        > > > > you write and in a further post that dialectic begins only with
        > > > > Determinate Being. But in total reversal of what you say it is
        > quite
        > > > the
        > > > > beginning which shows the prototype of Hegel's dialectic: the
        > > > opposition
        > > > > of two absolutes not yet mediated which become mediated in a third
        > > > > absolute.
        > > >
        > > > To speak of being, nothing and becoming as three absolutes that are
        > > > related to each other seems quite different from what Hegel is
        > saying.
        > > > Treating each of the three as a hypostasis is, I believe, somthing
        > > > Alan has been arguing against (if I understand him correctly).
        > > >
        > >
        > >
        > > That's not a hypostasis but what Hegel writes at the beginning of his
        > > Logic (para 87, EL, translated by William Wallace):
        > >
        > >
        > > "But this mere Being, as it is mere abstraction, is therefore the
        > > absolutely negative: which, in a similarly immediate aspect, is just
        > > Nothing.
        > > 1. Hence was derived the second definition of the Absolute: the
        > Absolute
        > > is the Nought. In fact this definition is implied in saying that the
        > > thing-in-itself is the indeterminate, utterly without form and so
        > > without content --- or in saying that God is only the supreme Being and
        > > nothing more; for this is really declaring him to be the same
        > negativity
        > > as above. The Nothing which the Buddhists make the universal principle,
        > > as well as the final aim and goal of everything, is the same
        > abstraction.
        > > 2. If the opposition in thought is stated in this immediacy as Being
        > and
        > > Nothing, the shock of its nullity is too great not to stimulate the
        > > attempt to fix Being and secure it against the transition into Nothing.
        > > With this intent, reflection has recourse to the plan of discovering
        > > some fixed predicate for Being, to mark it off from Nothing. Thus we
        > > find Being identified with what persists amid all change, with matter,
        > > susceptible of innumerable determinations --- or even, unreflectingly,
        > > with a single existence, any chance object of the senses or of the
        > mind.
        > > But every additional and more concrete characterisation causes Being to
        > > lose that integrity and simplicity it had in the beginning. Only in,
        > and
        > > by virtue of, this mere generality is it Nothing, something
        > > inexpressible, whereof the distinction from Nothing is a mere intention
        > > or meaning."
        > >
        > >
        > > The opposition of the first two absolutes - Being and Nothing - is
        > > sublated in a third absolute - Becoming. With this the first two
        > > absolutes are no longer absolutes but merged in Becoming. This is what
        > > Hegel calls 'dialectics'. So, the opposition is sublated and each
        > > attempt to preserve Being from transition into Becoming means to
        > > identify Being with a quality trying thereby to state a difference
        > > between Being and Nothing what indeed would be a hypostasis, be it God
        > > or Trinity or whatsoever. Being has become Becoming what is equal to
        > say
        > > Being is Nothing.
        > >
        > >
        > > > Further down you write:
        > > >
        > > > > It is exactly the
        > > > > mediation of the finite and the infinite in the Concept that
        > Hegel want
        > > > > to show us in the process of the Whole Logic.
        > > >
        > > > That is exactly right. So it is necessary to have the infinite and
        > the
        > > > finite. Being-nothing-becoming is the infinite. Existence, the
        > > > Something, etc is the finite. The first attempt to mediate the two is
        > > > with true infinity. But, obviously, before they can be mediated, they
        > > > have, first, to be established.
        > > >
        > >
        > >
        > > No, "Existence, the Something, etc" are not the finite but concepts on
        > > the path of determination or mediation like Being, Nothing and Becoming
        > > but already more concrete. Also the concept of True Infinity collapses
        > > in the One since it cannot hold its other in the Logic of Being. In the
        > > Logic there are no finite things separated from infinite ideas but only
        > > thoughts.
        > >
        > >
        > > > You write:
        > > >
        > > > >With your disengagment of
        > > > > Being from Determinate Being you prevent this mediation from the
        > very
        > > > > beginning since you have the non-mediated Whole already at the
        > > > beginning
        > > > > which afterwards you call trinity.
        > > >
        > > > In Hegel's theology this is the immanent trinity. But it certainly
        > > > isn't the whole. Or if it is the whole, then it is, as you say, the
        > > > "unmediated" whole. Basically it is the universal. The final result
        > > > will be the mediated whole, the whole that contains the three moments
        > > > of universal, particular and individual. But that is a long way off.
        > > >
        > > > John
        > > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Yes, this is certainly a long way. But Hegel is no theologian, he is a
        > > philosopher. You have to go along pure thoughts on that long way.
        > >
        > > Regards,
        > > Beat Greuter
        >
        >

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





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Alan Ponikvar
        Hi Beat, This is an interesting set of comments. I am particularly interested in what you have to say about Plato. I agree that in Hegel the what is and how
        Message 3 of 28 , Apr 15, 2011
          Hi Beat,

          This is an interesting set of comments. I am particularly interested in what
          you have to say about Plato. I agree that in Hegel the 'what is' and 'how
          is' questions both are relevant to his speculative thought. I was just
          wondering what you have in mind ­ which dialogues are you thinking about ­
          where this conjunct of questions is raised in Plato.

          Regards, Alan

          From: Beat Greuter <greuterb@...>
          Reply-To: <hegel@yahoogroups.com>
          Date: Fri, 15 Apr 2011 20:44:16 +0200
          To: <hegel@yahoogroups.com>
          Subject: Re: [hegel] Re: Something from O'Regan






          Am 11.04.2011 13:18, Stephen writes:

          > Dear Beat,
          >
          > While not seeing how it would destroy John's account of the mutual
          > implication etc. of being and nothing, for example, I find
          > confirmation of my own interpretation in your account of how each
          > category gives way to a more "just" absolute, i.e. they are all
          > attempts to refer to or denominate the absolute. Hegel says as much.
          >

          Stephen,

          Your interpretation seems to imply that there is a linear development of
          the absolute, from the most abstract to the most conrete. Basically I
          agree with this, however, the movement is not linear and its 'aim' is
          not to reach a "just" absolute but to dissolve the absolute with the
          result of more 'justice' for the former absolutes having become moments
          in a new mediated whole. The mentioned movement includes two opposite
          directions which can not be sperated formally: the analytical and the
          synthetical direction. In the analytical direction there is a mediation
          of the achieved (one-sided) unity or identity with its arising other or
          opposite. The synthectical direction is a falling back into a new
          (one-sided) identity or unity for enabling a further mediation leading
          to a more concrete (or mediated) shape of the absolute.

          Examples:
          Pure Knowing at the end of the PhdG is a knowing which is fully mediated
          by the steps of consciousness but as the sublation of consciousness with
          its assumed externally fixed truth Pure Knowing falls back into the
          (one-sided) identiy or abstraction of Pure Being without any
          determination. Now, it has to actualize itself analyzing this result
          which leads to the other abstract concept of Pure Nothing as its
          opposite and then to the first concrete concept of their mediation in
          Pure Becoming. Though Pure Becoming is a concrete concept mediating two
          moments it cannot really achieve determination since the two moments are
          totally indifferent and equivalent. So, the Concept falls into a new
          one-sided and abstract synthesis in 'Determinate Being in General' which
          is the unity of Being and Nothing IN THE (one-sided) DETERMINATION OF
          BEING. The analytical step then will develop again the right of the
          Nothing as Quality leading to the Concepts of the Something and Reality
          where a new one-sided synthesis stops their spurious infinity in the
          Being-for-itself (the second negation of the true infinity). The
          analysis of this one-sidedness then brings the loss of Quality at all in
          the 'One' and the 'Many One' as the beginning of the quantitative
          anaylsis of the Concept which later will achieve a more developed stage
          of Quality in the Concept of the Measure.

          > So as you say even the True Infinite "gives way" to the One, if it
          > comes afterwards. This is disturbing in a way, in that it would oblige
          > one to characterise just how the final Absolute (Idea) differs from,
          > surpasses, the True Infinite (one clue would be Hegel's pointing out
          > that "infinite" is a negative characterisation).
          >

          The Concept of the Absolue Idea belongs to the Subjective Logic, the
          Logic of the Concept, where the Concpet has become the identity of the
          identity and non-identity but at the beginning (the Concept as such)
          only for-itself (one-sided) as a new synthesis. So, it has to develop
          again the lost Actuality out of itself achieving thereby Objectivity.
          The path again is a movement of analysis and synthesis. The Absolute
          Idea only makes fully explict this speculative method of the described
          conjunction of the analytical and synthetical movement. This is not an
          outer method but the liquefaction (Verflüssigung) of all moments
          developed on the path of the Logic without any further presupposition
          not yet mediated - total mediated immediacy. Hegel writes in para 186
          and 187 of the EL, 1817 (my translation):

          "This progress [method] is both, analytical as the immanent reflection
          positing only this that is included in the immediate Concept, as well as
          synthetical as far as in this the difference is not yet posited." (para
          186, EL, 1817)
          "This progress [method] is in the Being an Other and the transition into
          an Other, in the Essence Seeming [Scheinen] in the Opposite (in dem
          Entgegengesetzten), in the Concept the differentiation of the individual
          and the universality which as such does continue into that which is
          distinguished from itself and is as identity with it (the individual)"
          (para 187, EL, 1817)

          Hegel does not separate the analytical concept from the synthetical
          concept as in the Analytical Philosophy and Formal Logic. Neverthess, we
          have to distinguish the two moments of the specualtive method,
          otherwise, we miss the method. With this he makes a crucial relationship
          between Plato's 'What is'- and 'How-is'- (context-) question. According
          to Hegel it is not possible to answer the 'What is'-question (question
          on the essence, definition) without the 'How is'-question (the context).
          In the speculative method, therefore, both are integrated.

          > Now, not to leave theology out in the cold, Hegel says that "the
          > notion... results by abolishing the intermediation, and thus is
          > immediate"(EL51). Again, he speaks of "the genuine nature of essential
          > thought - by which it cancels the mediation in the very act of
          > mediation" (EL50), as it were "forgetting those things which are
          > before". Actually the things forget themselves, since they "are not".
          > As you wrote here, "In the logic there are no finite things separated
          > from infinite ideas but only thoughts."
          >

          These quotations belong to the section on the 'Pre-Concept' of the
          EL-Logic and there to Kant's 'Critical Philosophy'. We have to
          distinguish Hegel's critique on the 'Critical Philosophy' and what he
          accepts as true in this Philosophy. Perhaps we can come back to this later.

          > But suppose now that there are in fact only thoughts, no "things" as
          > realism represents them. The "things" rather are nothing other than
          > those names Hegel discusses in EG in a synthesis of nominalism,
          > conceptualism and realism (Findlay). Then the dialectic is indeed a
          > passage "from shadows to reality" and this is how I take the Orpheus
          > myth, his leading Eurydice from the land of shadows (it is his
          > "journey", not hers, though it is ultimately himself who is buried in
          > the shadows and must not "look back"). So the dialectic is always per
          > definition in error. It is only truth as a whole, as a method even, as
          > reached at the end.
          >

          I do not understand why "the dialectic is always per definition in
          error". Of course, until the end it always produces one-sidedness with
          new presuppositions. However, these are necessary stages or shapes for
          thought seeking its truth. In the Absolute Idea Pure Knowing realizes
          the dialectical movement as its procedural truth and essence including
          the unity of form and content only in this movement and not in a unity
          or identity beyond this movement.

          Regards,
          Beat Greuter

          > I would like to connect with this Hegel's treatment of the Will under
          > Practical Reason (EG) as itself superseding theoretical Mind but just
          > therefore needing to be a Thinking Will (in Hegel's inclusive sense of
          > "thinking"). Implied here, I would want to make out, is an eventual
          > real (non-abstract, but as supplanting the abstract) fusion of the
          > ethical with the metaphysical (echoing Aristotle's "contemplation is
          > the highest praxis", but going further, probably), as canvassed more
          > explicitly by some later thinkers. This fusion is the ultimate ground
          > for why in Hegel things are never simply themselves and not another
          > thing, thus putting out of court the question of being right or wrong
          > about what they are. This is the question he explicitly rules out in
          > connection with religion, for example.
          >
          > How far would you agree with my implicit view, finally, that dialectic
          > is not abstractly or merely a process within (the) Logic but
          > characterising all "reality" or, more immediately, the whole passage
          > or development of the "Encyclopaedia", allowing for a bit of
          > analogical fluidity in the term? Does this though, if affirmed tend
          > not also at least to suggest (or confirm, rather, thinking of Hegel's
          > work as a whole)that we are all the time dealing with Ideas, with
          > Absolute Mind (and hence that there is nothing else, nor can there be,
          > nothing "more" real)?
          >
          > --- In hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>
          <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>, Beat
          > Greuter <greuterb@...> wrote:
          > >
          > > Am 10.04.2011 12:27, John writes:
          > >
          > > > --- In hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>
          <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>
          > <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>, Beat
          > > > Greuter <greuterb@> wrote:
          > > >
          > > > > John,
          > > > >
          > > > > How can you tell us such a thing? What has Tillich or other
          > theologian
          > > > > to do with Hegel who was a pure philosopher in the tradition of
          > Plato,
          > > > > Aristotle, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Kant. I do not
          > understand how
          > > > > you can take something totally alien to Hegel for explaining his
          > > > > philosophy instead of reading what he writes himself at the
          > > > beginning of
          > > > > his Logic.
          > > >
          > > > Hegel presents his theology in the lectures on the philosophy of
          > > > religion and in the penultimate chapter of the Phenomenology. So I am
          > > > certainly not introducing something alien to Hegel. I'm simply making
          > > > reference to a suppressed part of Hegel's thought.
          > > >
          > >
          > >
          > > John,
          > >
          > > But we are now at the beginning of the Logic and not in the Philosophy
          > > of Religion. In the Addition of para 88 of the EL Hegel writes
          > > (translated by William Wallace):
          > >
          > > "And in the case of being, we are speaking of nothing concrete: for
          > > being is the utterly abstract. So far then the question regarding the
          > > being of God --- a being which is in itself concrete above all measure
          > > --- is of slight importance."
          > >
          > >
          > > > You write:
          > > >
          > > > >There is no dialectical relation between Being and Nothing
          > > > > you write and in a further post that dialectic begins only with
          > > > > Determinate Being. But in total reversal of what you say it is
          > quite
          > > > the
          > > > > beginning which shows the prototype of Hegel's dialectic: the
          > > > opposition
          > > > > of two absolutes not yet mediated which become mediated in a third
          > > > > absolute.
          > > >
          > > > To speak of being, nothing and becoming as three absolutes that are
          > > > related to each other seems quite different from what Hegel is
          > saying.
          > > > Treating each of the three as a hypostasis is, I believe, somthing
          > > > Alan has been arguing against (if I understand him correctly).
          > > >
          > >
          > >
          > > That's not a hypostasis but what Hegel writes at the beginning of his
          > > Logic (para 87, EL, translated by William Wallace):
          > >
          > >
          > > "But this mere Being, as it is mere abstraction, is therefore the
          > > absolutely negative: which, in a similarly immediate aspect, is just
          > > Nothing.
          > > 1. Hence was derived the second definition of the Absolute: the
          > Absolute
          > > is the Nought. In fact this definition is implied in saying that the
          > > thing-in-itself is the indeterminate, utterly without form and so
          > > without content --- or in saying that God is only the supreme Being and
          > > nothing more; for this is really declaring him to be the same
          > negativity
          > > as above. The Nothing which the Buddhists make the universal principle,
          > > as well as the final aim and goal of everything, is the same
          > abstraction.
          > > 2. If the opposition in thought is stated in this immediacy as Being
          > and
          > > Nothing, the shock of its nullity is too great not to stimulate the
          > > attempt to fix Being and secure it against the transition into Nothing.
          > > With this intent, reflection has recourse to the plan of discovering
          > > some fixed predicate for Being, to mark it off from Nothing. Thus we
          > > find Being identified with what persists amid all change, with matter,
          > > susceptible of innumerable determinations --- or even, unreflectingly,
          > > with a single existence, any chance object of the senses or of the
          > mind.
          > > But every additional and more concrete characterisation causes Being to
          > > lose that integrity and simplicity it had in the beginning. Only in,
          > and
          > > by virtue of, this mere generality is it Nothing, something
          > > inexpressible, whereof the distinction from Nothing is a mere intention
          > > or meaning."
          > >
          > >
          > > The opposition of the first two absolutes - Being and Nothing - is
          > > sublated in a third absolute - Becoming. With this the first two
          > > absolutes are no longer absolutes but merged in Becoming. This is what
          > > Hegel calls 'dialectics'. So, the opposition is sublated and each
          > > attempt to preserve Being from transition into Becoming means to
          > > identify Being with a quality trying thereby to state a difference
          > > between Being and Nothing what indeed would be a hypostasis, be it God
          > > or Trinity or whatsoever. Being has become Becoming what is equal to
          > say
          > > Being is Nothing.
          > >
          > >
          > > > Further down you write:
          > > >
          > > > > It is exactly the
          > > > > mediation of the finite and the infinite in the Concept that
          > Hegel want
          > > > > to show us in the process of the Whole Logic.
          > > >
          > > > That is exactly right. So it is necessary to have the infinite and
          > the
          > > > finite. Being-nothing-becoming is the infinite. Existence, the
          > > > Something, etc is the finite. The first attempt to mediate the two is
          > > > with true infinity. But, obviously, before they can be mediated, they
          > > > have, first, to be established.
          > > >
          > >
          > >
          > > No, "Existence, the Something, etc" are not the finite but concepts on
          > > the path of determination or mediation like Being, Nothing and Becoming
          > > but already more concrete. Also the concept of True Infinity collapses
          > > in the One since it cannot hold its other in the Logic of Being. In the
          > > Logic there are no finite things separated from infinite ideas but only
          > > thoughts.
          > >
          > >
          > > > You write:
          > > >
          > > > >With your disengagment of
          > > > > Being from Determinate Being you prevent this mediation from the
          > very
          > > > > beginning since you have the non-mediated Whole already at the
          > > > beginning
          > > > > which afterwards you call trinity.
          > > >
          > > > In Hegel's theology this is the immanent trinity. But it certainly
          > > > isn't the whole. Or if it is the whole, then it is, as you say, the
          > > > "unmediated" whole. Basically it is the universal. The final result
          > > > will be the mediated whole, the whole that contains the three moments
          > > > of universal, particular and individual. But that is a long way off.
          > > >
          > > > John
          > > >
          > >
          > >
          > > Yes, this is certainly a long way. But Hegel is no theologian, he is a
          > > philosopher. You have to go along pure thoughts on that long way.
          > >
          > > Regards,
          > > Beat Greuter
          >
          >

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









          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Beat Greuter
          ... Alan, In a group we read the Menon dialogue. In this dialogue there is a reflection on the What-is-x-Question . Among others two passages were interested
          Message 4 of 28 , Apr 17, 2011
            Am 16.04.2011 02:31, Alan Ponikvar writes:

            > Hi Beat,
            >
            > This is an interesting set of comments. I am particularly interested
            > in what
            > you have to say about Plato. I agree that in Hegel the 'what is' and 'how
            > is' questions both are relevant to his speculative thought. I was just
            > wondering what you have in mind ­ which dialogues are you thinking about ­
            > where this conjunct of questions is raised in Plato.
            >
            > Regards, Alan
            >


            Alan,

            In a group we read the Menon dialogue. In this dialogue there is a
            reflection on the 'What-is-x-Question'. Among others two passages were
            interested for me:

            (71b) "From what I do not know what it is how shall I know of this a
            particular quality (hopoion, quale quid)"
            (86d) "So, we must - as it seems - examine how something is (quale quid)
            from what we do not yet know what it is"

            I am not a Plato expert. However, it seems that these passages have some
            references to Hegel's Logic of Being. Until know I thought that
            Aristotle was more important for Hegel's philosophy and Logic. However,
            this Menon dialogue (and perhaps also other dialogues) seems to be
            important for our understanding of Hegel's procedure in the Logic of
            Being. But, of course, I could be wrong.

            Regards,
            Beat Greuter


            >
            > From: Beat Greuter <greuterb@... <mailto:greuterb%40bluewin.ch>>
            > Reply-To: <hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>>
            > Date: Fri, 15 Apr 2011 20:44:16 +0200
            > To: <hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>>
            > Subject: Re: [hegel] Re: Something from O'Regan
            >
            > Am 11.04.2011 13:18, Stephen writes:
            >
            > > Dear Beat,
            > >
            > > While not seeing how it would destroy John's account of the mutual
            > > implication etc. of being and nothing, for example, I find
            > > confirmation of my own interpretation in your account of how each
            > > category gives way to a more "just" absolute, i.e. they are all
            > > attempts to refer to or denominate the absolute. Hegel says as much.
            > >
            >
            > Stephen,
            >
            > Your interpretation seems to imply that there is a linear development of
            > the absolute, from the most abstract to the most conrete. Basically I
            > agree with this, however, the movement is not linear and its 'aim' is
            > not to reach a "just" absolute but to dissolve the absolute with the
            > result of more 'justice' for the former absolutes having become moments
            > in a new mediated whole. The mentioned movement includes two opposite
            > directions which can not be sperated formally: the analytical and the
            > synthetical direction. In the analytical direction there is a mediation
            > of the achieved (one-sided) unity or identity with its arising other or
            > opposite. The synthectical direction is a falling back into a new
            > (one-sided) identity or unity for enabling a further mediation leading
            > to a more concrete (or mediated) shape of the absolute.
            >
            > Examples:
            > Pure Knowing at the end of the PhdG is a knowing which is fully mediated
            > by the steps of consciousness but as the sublation of consciousness with
            > its assumed externally fixed truth Pure Knowing falls back into the
            > (one-sided) identiy or abstraction of Pure Being without any
            > determination. Now, it has to actualize itself analyzing this result
            > which leads to the other abstract concept of Pure Nothing as its
            > opposite and then to the first concrete concept of their mediation in
            > Pure Becoming. Though Pure Becoming is a concrete concept mediating two
            > moments it cannot really achieve determination since the two moments are
            > totally indifferent and equivalent. So, the Concept falls into a new
            > one-sided and abstract synthesis in 'Determinate Being in General' which
            > is the unity of Being and Nothing IN THE (one-sided) DETERMINATION OF
            > BEING. The analytical step then will develop again the right of the
            > Nothing as Quality leading to the Concepts of the Something and Reality
            > where a new one-sided synthesis stops their spurious infinity in the
            > Being-for-itself (the second negation of the true infinity). The
            > analysis of this one-sidedness then brings the loss of Quality at all in
            > the 'One' and the 'Many One' as the beginning of the quantitative
            > anaylsis of the Concept which later will achieve a more developed stage
            > of Quality in the Concept of the Measure.
            >
            > > So as you say even the True Infinite "gives way" to the One, if it
            > > comes afterwards. This is disturbing in a way, in that it would oblige
            > > one to characterise just how the final Absolute (Idea) differs from,
            > > surpasses, the True Infinite (one clue would be Hegel's pointing out
            > > that "infinite" is a negative characterisation).
            > >
            >
            > The Concept of the Absolue Idea belongs to the Subjective Logic, the
            > Logic of the Concept, where the Concpet has become the identity of the
            > identity and non-identity but at the beginning (the Concept as such)
            > only for-itself (one-sided) as a new synthesis. So, it has to develop
            > again the lost Actuality out of itself achieving thereby Objectivity.
            > The path again is a movement of analysis and synthesis. The Absolute
            > Idea only makes fully explict this speculative method of the described
            > conjunction of the analytical and synthetical movement. This is not an
            > outer method but the liquefaction (Verflüssigung) of all moments
            > developed on the path of the Logic without any further presupposition
            > not yet mediated - total mediated immediacy. Hegel writes in para 186
            > and 187 of the EL, 1817 (my translation):
            >
            > "This progress [method] is both, analytical as the immanent reflection
            > positing only this that is included in the immediate Concept, as well as
            > synthetical as far as in this the difference is not yet posited." (para
            > 186, EL, 1817)
            > "This progress [method] is in the Being an Other and the transition into
            > an Other, in the Essence Seeming [Scheinen] in the Opposite (in dem
            > Entgegengesetzten), in the Concept the differentiation of the individual
            > and the universality which as such does continue into that which is
            > distinguished from itself and is as identity with it (the individual)"
            > (para 187, EL, 1817)
            >
            > Hegel does not separate the analytical concept from the synthetical
            > concept as in the Analytical Philosophy and Formal Logic. Neverthess, we
            > have to distinguish the two moments of the specualtive method,
            > otherwise, we miss the method. With this he makes a crucial relationship
            > between Plato's 'What is'- and 'How-is'- (context-) question. According
            > to Hegel it is not possible to answer the 'What is'-question (question
            > on the essence, definition) without the 'How is'-question (the context).
            > In the speculative method, therefore, both are integrated.
            >
            > > Now, not to leave theology out in the cold, Hegel says that "the
            > > notion... results by abolishing the intermediation, and thus is
            > > immediate"(EL51). Again, he speaks of "the genuine nature of essential
            > > thought - by which it cancels the mediation in the very act of
            > > mediation" (EL50), as it were "forgetting those things which are
            > > before". Actually the things forget themselves, since they "are not".
            > > As you wrote here, "In the logic there are no finite things separated
            > > from infinite ideas but only thoughts."
            > >
            >
            > These quotations belong to the section on the 'Pre-Concept' of the
            > EL-Logic and there to Kant's 'Critical Philosophy'. We have to
            > distinguish Hegel's critique on the 'Critical Philosophy' and what he
            > accepts as true in this Philosophy. Perhaps we can come back to this
            > later.
            >
            > > But suppose now that there are in fact only thoughts, no "things" as
            > > realism represents them. The "things" rather are nothing other than
            > > those names Hegel discusses in EG in a synthesis of nominalism,
            > > conceptualism and realism (Findlay). Then the dialectic is indeed a
            > > passage "from shadows to reality" and this is how I take the Orpheus
            > > myth, his leading Eurydice from the land of shadows (it is his
            > > "journey", not hers, though it is ultimately himself who is buried in
            > > the shadows and must not "look back"). So the dialectic is always per
            > > definition in error. It is only truth as a whole, as a method even, as
            > > reached at the end.
            > >
            >
            > I do not understand why "the dialectic is always per definition in
            > error". Of course, until the end it always produces one-sidedness with
            > new presuppositions. However, these are necessary stages or shapes for
            > thought seeking its truth. In the Absolute Idea Pure Knowing realizes
            > the dialectical movement as its procedural truth and essence including
            > the unity of form and content only in this movement and not in a unity
            > or identity beyond this movement.
            >
            > Regards,
            > Beat Greuter
            >
            > > I would like to connect with this Hegel's treatment of the Will under
            > > Practical Reason (EG) as itself superseding theoretical Mind but just
            > > therefore needing to be a Thinking Will (in Hegel's inclusive sense of
            > > "thinking"). Implied here, I would want to make out, is an eventual
            > > real (non-abstract, but as supplanting the abstract) fusion of the
            > > ethical with the metaphysical (echoing Aristotle's "contemplation is
            > > the highest praxis", but going further, probably), as canvassed more
            > > explicitly by some later thinkers. This fusion is the ultimate ground
            > > for why in Hegel things are never simply themselves and not another
            > > thing, thus putting out of court the question of being right or wrong
            > > about what they are. This is the question he explicitly rules out in
            > > connection with religion, for example.
            > >
            > > How far would you agree with my implicit view, finally, that dialectic
            > > is not abstractly or merely a process within (the) Logic but
            > > characterising all "reality" or, more immediately, the whole passage
            > > or development of the "Encyclopaedia", allowing for a bit of
            > > analogical fluidity in the term? Does this though, if affirmed tend
            > > not also at least to suggest (or confirm, rather, thinking of Hegel's
            > > work as a whole)that we are all the time dealing with Ideas, with
            > > Absolute Mind (and hence that there is nothing else, nor can there be,
            > > nothing "more" real)?
            > >
            > > --- In hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>
            > <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>
            > <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>, Beat
            > > Greuter <greuterb@...> wrote:
            > > >
            > > > Am 10.04.2011 12:27, John writes:
            > > >
            > > > > --- In hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>
            > <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>
            > <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>
            > > <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>, Beat
            > > > > Greuter <greuterb@> wrote:
            > > > >
            > > > > > John,
            > > > > >
            > > > > > How can you tell us such a thing? What has Tillich or other
            > > theologian
            > > > > > to do with Hegel who was a pure philosopher in the tradition of
            > > Plato,
            > > > > > Aristotle, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Kant. I do not
            > > understand how
            > > > > > you can take something totally alien to Hegel for explaining his
            > > > > > philosophy instead of reading what he writes himself at the
            > > > > beginning of
            > > > > > his Logic.
            > > > >
            > > > > Hegel presents his theology in the lectures on the philosophy of
            > > > > religion and in the penultimate chapter of the Phenomenology. So
            > I am
            > > > > certainly not introducing something alien to Hegel. I'm simply
            > making
            > > > > reference to a suppressed part of Hegel's thought.
            > > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > John,
            > > >
            > > > But we are now at the beginning of the Logic and not in the Philosophy
            > > > of Religion. In the Addition of para 88 of the EL Hegel writes
            > > > (translated by William Wallace):
            > > >
            > > > "And in the case of being, we are speaking of nothing concrete: for
            > > > being is the utterly abstract. So far then the question regarding the
            > > > being of God --- a being which is in itself concrete above all measure
            > > > --- is of slight importance."
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > > You write:
            > > > >
            > > > > >There is no dialectical relation between Being and Nothing
            > > > > > you write and in a further post that dialectic begins only with
            > > > > > Determinate Being. But in total reversal of what you say it is
            > > quite
            > > > > the
            > > > > > beginning which shows the prototype of Hegel's dialectic: the
            > > > > opposition
            > > > > > of two absolutes not yet mediated which become mediated in a third
            > > > > > absolute.
            > > > >
            > > > > To speak of being, nothing and becoming as three absolutes that are
            > > > > related to each other seems quite different from what Hegel is
            > > saying.
            > > > > Treating each of the three as a hypostasis is, I believe, somthing
            > > > > Alan has been arguing against (if I understand him correctly).
            > > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > That's not a hypostasis but what Hegel writes at the beginning of his
            > > > Logic (para 87, EL, translated by William Wallace):
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > "But this mere Being, as it is mere abstraction, is therefore the
            > > > absolutely negative: which, in a similarly immediate aspect, is just
            > > > Nothing.
            > > > 1. Hence was derived the second definition of the Absolute: the
            > > Absolute
            > > > is the Nought. In fact this definition is implied in saying that the
            > > > thing-in-itself is the indeterminate, utterly without form and so
            > > > without content --- or in saying that God is only the supreme
            > Being and
            > > > nothing more; for this is really declaring him to be the same
            > > negativity
            > > > as above. The Nothing which the Buddhists make the universal
            > principle,
            > > > as well as the final aim and goal of everything, is the same
            > > abstraction.
            > > > 2. If the opposition in thought is stated in this immediacy as Being
            > > and
            > > > Nothing, the shock of its nullity is too great not to stimulate the
            > > > attempt to fix Being and secure it against the transition into
            > Nothing.
            > > > With this intent, reflection has recourse to the plan of discovering
            > > > some fixed predicate for Being, to mark it off from Nothing. Thus we
            > > > find Being identified with what persists amid all change, with matter,
            > > > susceptible of innumerable determinations --- or even, unreflectingly,
            > > > with a single existence, any chance object of the senses or of the
            > > mind.
            > > > But every additional and more concrete characterisation causes
            > Being to
            > > > lose that integrity and simplicity it had in the beginning. Only in,
            > > and
            > > > by virtue of, this mere generality is it Nothing, something
            > > > inexpressible, whereof the distinction from Nothing is a mere
            > intention
            > > > or meaning."
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > The opposition of the first two absolutes - Being and Nothing - is
            > > > sublated in a third absolute - Becoming. With this the first two
            > > > absolutes are no longer absolutes but merged in Becoming. This is what
            > > > Hegel calls 'dialectics'. So, the opposition is sublated and each
            > > > attempt to preserve Being from transition into Becoming means to
            > > > identify Being with a quality trying thereby to state a difference
            > > > between Being and Nothing what indeed would be a hypostasis, be it God
            > > > or Trinity or whatsoever. Being has become Becoming what is equal to
            > > say
            > > > Being is Nothing.
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > > Further down you write:
            > > > >
            > > > > > It is exactly the
            > > > > > mediation of the finite and the infinite in the Concept that
            > > Hegel want
            > > > > > to show us in the process of the Whole Logic.
            > > > >
            > > > > That is exactly right. So it is necessary to have the infinite and
            > > the
            > > > > finite. Being-nothing-becoming is the infinite. Existence, the
            > > > > Something, etc is the finite. The first attempt to mediate the
            > two is
            > > > > with true infinity. But, obviously, before they can be mediated,
            > they
            > > > > have, first, to be established.
            > > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > No, "Existence, the Something, etc" are not the finite but concepts on
            > > > the path of determination or mediation like Being, Nothing and
            > Becoming
            > > > but already more concrete. Also the concept of True Infinity collapses
            > > > in the One since it cannot hold its other in the Logic of Being.
            > In the
            > > > Logic there are no finite things separated from infinite ideas but
            > only
            > > > thoughts.
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > > You write:
            > > > >
            > > > > >With your disengagment of
            > > > > > Being from Determinate Being you prevent this mediation from the
            > > very
            > > > > > beginning since you have the non-mediated Whole already at the
            > > > > beginning
            > > > > > which afterwards you call trinity.
            > > > >
            > > > > In Hegel's theology this is the immanent trinity. But it certainly
            > > > > isn't the whole. Or if it is the whole, then it is, as you say, the
            > > > > "unmediated" whole. Basically it is the universal. The final result
            > > > > will be the mediated whole, the whole that contains the three
            > moments
            > > > > of universal, particular and individual. But that is a long way off.
            > > > >
            > > > > John
            > > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > Yes, this is certainly a long way. But Hegel is no theologian, he is a
            > > > philosopher. You have to go along pure thoughts on that long way.
            > > >
            > > > Regards,
            > > > Beat Greuter
            >
            >



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Alan Ponikvar
            Hi Beat, Okay. I thought you might have something like this in mind. I tend to look more to Plato than Aristotle in general and also in particular when I have
            Message 5 of 28 , Apr 17, 2011
              Hi Beat,

              Okay. I thought you might have something like this in mind. I tend to look
              more to Plato than Aristotle in general and also in particular when I have
              Hegel in mind. But Hegel clearly seems to prefer Aristotle.

              Regards, Alan

              From: Beat Greuter <greuterb@...>
              Reply-To: <hegel@yahoogroups.com>
              Date: Sun, 17 Apr 2011 18:38:48 +0200
              To: <hegel@yahoogroups.com>
              Subject: Re: [hegel] Re: Something from O'Regan






              Am 16.04.2011 02:31, Alan Ponikvar writes:

              > Hi Beat,
              >
              > This is an interesting set of comments. I am particularly interested
              > in what
              > you have to say about Plato. I agree that in Hegel the 'what is' and 'how
              > is' questions both are relevant to his speculative thought. I was just
              > wondering what you have in mind � which dialogues are you thinking about �
              > where this conjunct of questions is raised in Plato.
              >
              > Regards, Alan
              >

              Alan,

              In a group we read the Menon dialogue. In this dialogue there is a
              reflection on the 'What-is-x-Question'. Among others two passages were
              interested for me:

              (71b) "From what I do not know what it is how shall I know of this a
              particular quality (hopoion, quale quid)"
              (86d) "So, we must - as it seems - examine how something is (quale quid)
              from what we do not yet know what it is"

              I am not a Plato expert. However, it seems that these passages have some
              references to Hegel's Logic of Being. Until know I thought that
              Aristotle was more important for Hegel's philosophy and Logic. However,
              this Menon dialogue (and perhaps also other dialogues) seems to be
              important for our understanding of Hegel's procedure in the Logic of
              Being. But, of course, I could be wrong.

              Regards,
              Beat Greuter

              >
              > 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, 15 Apr 2011 20:44:16 +0200
              > To: <hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>
              <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>>
              > Subject: Re: [hegel] Re: Something from O'Regan
              >
              > Am 11.04.2011 13:18, Stephen writes:
              >
              > > Dear Beat,
              > >
              > > While not seeing how it would destroy John's account of the mutual
              > > implication etc. of being and nothing, for example, I find
              > > confirmation of my own interpretation in your account of how each
              > > category gives way to a more "just" absolute, i.e. they are all
              > > attempts to refer to or denominate the absolute. Hegel says as much.
              > >
              >
              > Stephen,
              >
              > Your interpretation seems to imply that there is a linear development of
              > the absolute, from the most abstract to the most conrete. Basically I
              > agree with this, however, the movement is not linear and its 'aim' is
              > not to reach a "just" absolute but to dissolve the absolute with the
              > result of more 'justice' for the former absolutes having become moments
              > in a new mediated whole. The mentioned movement includes two opposite
              > directions which can not be sperated formally: the analytical and the
              > synthetical direction. In the analytical direction there is a mediation
              > of the achieved (one-sided) unity or identity with its arising other or
              > opposite. The synthectical direction is a falling back into a new
              > (one-sided) identity or unity for enabling a further mediation leading
              > to a more concrete (or mediated) shape of the absolute.
              >
              > Examples:
              > Pure Knowing at the end of the PhdG is a knowing which is fully mediated
              > by the steps of consciousness but as the sublation of consciousness with
              > its assumed externally fixed truth Pure Knowing falls back into the
              > (one-sided) identiy or abstraction of Pure Being without any
              > determination. Now, it has to actualize itself analyzing this result
              > which leads to the other abstract concept of Pure Nothing as its
              > opposite and then to the first concrete concept of their mediation in
              > Pure Becoming. Though Pure Becoming is a concrete concept mediating two
              > moments it cannot really achieve determination since the two moments are
              > totally indifferent and equivalent. So, the Concept falls into a new
              > one-sided and abstract synthesis in 'Determinate Being in General' which
              > is the unity of Being and Nothing IN THE (one-sided) DETERMINATION OF
              > BEING. The analytical step then will develop again the right of the
              > Nothing as Quality leading to the Concepts of the Something and Reality
              > where a new one-sided synthesis stops their spurious infinity in the
              > Being-for-itself (the second negation of the true infinity). The
              > analysis of this one-sidedness then brings the loss of Quality at all in
              > the 'One' and the 'Many One' as the beginning of the quantitative
              > anaylsis of the Concept which later will achieve a more developed stage
              > of Quality in the Concept of the Measure.
              >
              > > So as you say even the True Infinite "gives way" to the One, if it
              > > comes afterwards. This is disturbing in a way, in that it would oblige
              > > one to characterise just how the final Absolute (Idea) differs from,
              > > surpasses, the True Infinite (one clue would be Hegel's pointing out
              > > that "infinite" is a negative characterisation).
              > >
              >
              > The Concept of the Absolue Idea belongs to the Subjective Logic, the
              > Logic of the Concept, where the Concpet has become the identity of the
              > identity and non-identity but at the beginning (the Concept as such)
              > only for-itself (one-sided) as a new synthesis. So, it has to develop
              > again the lost Actuality out of itself achieving thereby Objectivity.
              > The path again is a movement of analysis and synthesis. The Absolute
              > Idea only makes fully explict this speculative method of the described
              > conjunction of the analytical and synthetical movement. This is not an
              > outer method but the liquefaction (Verfl�ssigung) of all moments
              > developed on the path of the Logic without any further presupposition
              > not yet mediated - total mediated immediacy. Hegel writes in para 186
              > and 187 of the EL, 1817 (my translation):
              >
              > "This progress [method] is both, analytical as the immanent reflection
              > positing only this that is included in the immediate Concept, as well as
              > synthetical as far as in this the difference is not yet posited." (para
              > 186, EL, 1817)
              > "This progress [method] is in the Being an Other and the transition into
              > an Other, in the Essence Seeming [Scheinen] in the Opposite (in dem
              > Entgegengesetzten), in the Concept the differentiation of the individual
              > and the universality which as such does continue into that which is
              > distinguished from itself and is as identity with it (the individual)"
              > (para 187, EL, 1817)
              >
              > Hegel does not separate the analytical concept from the synthetical
              > concept as in the Analytical Philosophy and Formal Logic. Neverthess, we
              > have to distinguish the two moments of the specualtive method,
              > otherwise, we miss the method. With this he makes a crucial relationship
              > between Plato's 'What is'- and 'How-is'- (context-) question. According
              > to Hegel it is not possible to answer the 'What is'-question (question
              > on the essence, definition) without the 'How is'-question (the context).
              > In the speculative method, therefore, both are integrated.
              >
              > > Now, not to leave theology out in the cold, Hegel says that "the
              > > notion... results by abolishing the intermediation, and thus is
              > > immediate"(EL51). Again, he speaks of "the genuine nature of essential
              > > thought - by which it cancels the mediation in the very act of
              > > mediation" (EL50), as it were "forgetting those things which are
              > > before". Actually the things forget themselves, since they "are not".
              > > As you wrote here, "In the logic there are no finite things separated
              > > from infinite ideas but only thoughts."
              > >
              >
              > These quotations belong to the section on the 'Pre-Concept' of the
              > EL-Logic and there to Kant's 'Critical Philosophy'. We have to
              > distinguish Hegel's critique on the 'Critical Philosophy' and what he
              > accepts as true in this Philosophy. Perhaps we can come back to this
              > later.
              >
              > > But suppose now that there are in fact only thoughts, no "things" as
              > > realism represents them. The "things" rather are nothing other than
              > > those names Hegel discusses in EG in a synthesis of nominalism,
              > > conceptualism and realism (Findlay). Then the dialectic is indeed a
              > > passage "from shadows to reality" and this is how I take the Orpheus
              > > myth, his leading Eurydice from the land of shadows (it is his
              > > "journey", not hers, though it is ultimately himself who is buried in
              > > the shadows and must not "look back"). So the dialectic is always per
              > > definition in error. It is only truth as a whole, as a method even, as
              > > reached at the end.
              > >
              >
              > I do not understand why "the dialectic is always per definition in
              > error". Of course, until the end it always produces one-sidedness with
              > new presuppositions. However, these are necessary stages or shapes for
              > thought seeking its truth. In the Absolute Idea Pure Knowing realizes
              > the dialectical movement as its procedural truth and essence including
              > the unity of form and content only in this movement and not in a unity
              > or identity beyond this movement.
              >
              > Regards,
              > Beat Greuter
              >
              > > I would like to connect with this Hegel's treatment of the Will under
              > > Practical Reason (EG) as itself superseding theoretical Mind but just
              > > therefore needing to be a Thinking Will (in Hegel's inclusive sense of
              > > "thinking"). Implied here, I would want to make out, is an eventual
              > > real (non-abstract, but as supplanting the abstract) fusion of the
              > > ethical with the metaphysical (echoing Aristotle's "contemplation is
              > > the highest praxis", but going further, probably), as canvassed more
              > > explicitly by some later thinkers. This fusion is the ultimate ground
              > > for why in Hegel things are never simply themselves and not another
              > > thing, thus putting out of court the question of being right or wrong
              > > about what they are. This is the question he explicitly rules out in
              > > connection with religion, for example.
              > >
              > > How far would you agree with my implicit view, finally, that dialectic
              > > is not abstractly or merely a process within (the) Logic but
              > > characterising all "reality" or, more immediately, the whole passage
              > > or development of the "Encyclopaedia", allowing for a bit of
              > > analogical fluidity in the term? Does this though, if affirmed tend
              > > not also at least to suggest (or confirm, rather, thinking of Hegel's
              > > work as a whole)that we are all the time dealing with Ideas, with
              > > Absolute Mind (and hence that there is nothing else, nor can there be,
              > > nothing "more" real)?
              > >
              > > --- In hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>
              <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>
              > <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>
              > <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>, Beat
              > > Greuter <greuterb@...> wrote:
              > > >
              > > > Am 10.04.2011 12:27, John writes:
              > > >
              > > > > --- In hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>
              <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>
              > <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>
              > <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>
              > > <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>, Beat
              > > > > Greuter <greuterb@> wrote:
              > > > >
              > > > > > John,
              > > > > >
              > > > > > How can you tell us such a thing? What has Tillich or other
              > > theologian
              > > > > > to do with Hegel who was a pure philosopher in the tradition of
              > > Plato,
              > > > > > Aristotle, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Kant. I do not
              > > understand how
              > > > > > you can take something totally alien to Hegel for explaining his
              > > > > > philosophy instead of reading what he writes himself at the
              > > > > beginning of
              > > > > > his Logic.
              > > > >
              > > > > Hegel presents his theology in the lectures on the philosophy of
              > > > > religion and in the penultimate chapter of the Phenomenology. So
              > I am
              > > > > certainly not introducing something alien to Hegel. I'm simply
              > making
              > > > > reference to a suppressed part of Hegel's thought.
              > > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > John,
              > > >
              > > > But we are now at the beginning of the Logic and not in the Philosophy
              > > > of Religion. In the Addition of para 88 of the EL Hegel writes
              > > > (translated by William Wallace):
              > > >
              > > > "And in the case of being, we are speaking of nothing concrete: for
              > > > being is the utterly abstract. So far then the question regarding the
              > > > being of God --- a being which is in itself concrete above all measure
              > > > --- is of slight importance."
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > > You write:
              > > > >
              > > > > >There is no dialectical relation between Being and Nothing
              > > > > > you write and in a further post that dialectic begins only with
              > > > > > Determinate Being. But in total reversal of what you say it is
              > > quite
              > > > > the
              > > > > > beginning which shows the prototype of Hegel's dialectic: the
              > > > > opposition
              > > > > > of two absolutes not yet mediated which become mediated in a third
              > > > > > absolute.
              > > > >
              > > > > To speak of being, nothing and becoming as three absolutes that are
              > > > > related to each other seems quite different from what Hegel is
              > > saying.
              > > > > Treating each of the three as a hypostasis is, I believe, somthing
              > > > > Alan has been arguing against (if I understand him correctly).
              > > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > That's not a hypostasis but what Hegel writes at the beginning of his
              > > > Logic (para 87, EL, translated by William Wallace):
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > "But this mere Being, as it is mere abstraction, is therefore the
              > > > absolutely negative: which, in a similarly immediate aspect, is just
              > > > Nothing.
              > > > 1. Hence was derived the second definition of the Absolute: the
              > > Absolute
              > > > is the Nought. In fact this definition is implied in saying that the
              > > > thing-in-itself is the indeterminate, utterly without form and so
              > > > without content --- or in saying that God is only the supreme
              > Being and
              > > > nothing more; for this is really declaring him to be the same
              > > negativity
              > > > as above. The Nothing which the Buddhists make the universal
              > principle,
              > > > as well as the final aim and goal of everything, is the same
              > > abstraction.
              > > > 2. If the opposition in thought is stated in this immediacy as Being
              > > and
              > > > Nothing, the shock of its nullity is too great not to stimulate the
              > > > attempt to fix Being and secure it against the transition into
              > Nothing.
              > > > With this intent, reflection has recourse to the plan of discovering
              > > > some fixed predicate for Being, to mark it off from Nothing. Thus we
              > > > find Being identified with what persists amid all change, with matter,
              > > > susceptible of innumerable determinations --- or even, unreflectingly,
              > > > with a single existence, any chance object of the senses or of the
              > > mind.
              > > > But every additional and more concrete characterisation causes
              > Being to
              > > > lose that integrity and simplicity it had in the beginning. Only in,
              > > and
              > > > by virtue of, this mere generality is it Nothing, something
              > > > inexpressible, whereof the distinction from Nothing is a mere
              > intention
              > > > or meaning."
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > The opposition of the first two absolutes - Being and Nothing - is
              > > > sublated in a third absolute - Becoming. With this the first two
              > > > absolutes are no longer absolutes but merged in Becoming. This is what
              > > > Hegel calls 'dialectics'. So, the opposition is sublated and each
              > > > attempt to preserve Being from transition into Becoming means to
              > > > identify Being with a quality trying thereby to state a difference
              > > > between Being and Nothing what indeed would be a hypostasis, be it God
              > > > or Trinity or whatsoever. Being has become Becoming what is equal to
              > > say
              > > > Being is Nothing.
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > > Further down you write:
              > > > >
              > > > > > It is exactly the
              > > > > > mediation of the finite and the infinite in the Concept that
              > > Hegel want
              > > > > > to show us in the process of the Whole Logic.
              > > > >
              > > > > That is exactly right. So it is necessary to have the infinite and
              > > the
              > > > > finite. Being-nothing-becoming is the infinite. Existence, the
              > > > > Something, etc is the finite. The first attempt to mediate the
              > two is
              > > > > with true infinity. But, obviously, before they can be mediated,
              > they
              > > > > have, first, to be established.
              > > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > No, "Existence, the Something, etc" are not the finite but concepts on
              > > > the path of determination or mediation like Being, Nothing and
              > Becoming
              > > > but already more concrete. Also the concept of True Infinity collapses
              > > > in the One since it cannot hold its other in the Logic of Being.
              > In the
              > > > Logic there are no finite things separated from infinite ideas but
              > only
              > > > thoughts.
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > > You write:
              > > > >
              > > > > >With your disengagment of
              > > > > > Being from Determinate Being you prevent this mediation from the
              > > very
              > > > > > beginning since you have the non-mediated Whole already at the
              > > > > beginning
              > > > > > which afterwards you call trinity.
              > > > >
              > > > > In Hegel's theology this is the immanent trinity. But it certainly
              > > > > isn't the whole. Or if it is the whole, then it is, as you say, the
              > > > > "unmediated" whole. Basically it is the universal. The final result
              > > > > will be the mediated whole, the whole that contains the three
              > moments
              > > > > of universal, particular and individual. But that is a long way off.
              > > > >
              > > > > John
              > > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > Yes, this is certainly a long way. But Hegel is no theologian, he is a
              > > > philosopher. You have to go along pure thoughts on that long way.
              > > >
              > > > Regards,
              > > > Beat Greuter
              >
              >

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            • stephen theron
              Beat, I am pondering still your last to me, looking up Hegel on method(s) and comparing with other views of this. I am noticing, for example, that you say the
              Message 6 of 28 , Apr 20, 2011
                Beat,

                I am pondering still your last to me, looking up Hegel on method(s) and comparing with other views of this.
                I am noticing, for example, that you say the movement is "not linear", but comes as it were now from one direction, now from another. This recalls to me at least McTaggart's "zigzag motion", one like a sailing-ship "tacking" against the wind, he says, indirect. I am wondering how far the two views, his and yours, coincide.

                Just one thing first, you say the aim is to "dissolve" the absolute and do more justice to "the former absolutes" though you say they have now become moments in a new mediated whole. But of course there are no former absolutes, right? And you can't dissolve the absolute, right? You only get to it at the end, though we must distinguish getting to the absolute and having names for it merely, which one replaces and replaces until one can't go further. One cartainly cannot reach a correct "definition" of the ab-solute.

                So when Hegel says the Absolute Idea is in fact the Absolute he cannot there be simply talking about names. But this is where we get to. Now what McTaggart concludes here is that up to this point the dialectic has been in error the whole time. He stresses (SHD 1896, ch. IV) the development of the method itself towards a "linear" development (in the doctrine of the Notion progressively) and away from "in Being, an other and transition into another; in essence, showing a reflection in the opposite" (EL240). Of what I have called "linear" Hegel says, in the same place, "in notion, the distinction of individual from universality. which continues itself as such into, and is as an identity with, what is distinguished from it."

                So there are three forms of advance which actually are one fluid development of such a progress, first from Being to an Other, then from different into different (both not vanishing but remaining in their relation) and finally passing from reflection to sheer development from within itself, the Notion (like the plant from the germ, and obviously thinking of an innate idea properly interpreted: he refers to this, Hegel does) "The notion keeps to itself"... here we have the link with Plato's Meno you have been highlighting.

                This is the meaning, easily missed, of his reference to divine generation and creation at EL161, note, viz. that the "other which it sets up is in reality not another". The Notion, in creation, is still keeping to itself (acosmism: "all in all" as Scripture has it).

                Here is part (only) of my difficulty with your account. Of course the aim is to reach a "just" presentation, as far as words go, of the unique absolute, not in relation to anything not itself. Hegel claims to show this; it has nothing much to do with whatever we thought or believed before. To understand how McTaggart, atheist, can view this one needs to read chapter 2 of his Studies in the Hegelian Cosmology of 1901, "Immortality". Of course I am only citing a third person as putting very much my own view (short-circuiting therefore a wish to present the latter independently).

                As he says, "the transition is the categories", once we get to the Notion. So Life transits to Cognition and on. We do not get or go back to it in reaching the Absolute Idea. The idea of development is progressively substituted for the idea of reconciling contradictions as even difference yields to identity, the whole in each part. In a correct dialectic, which is impossible, the development woiuld be continuous.

                Here you can see the congruence with my own linking of it to the journey of Orpheus "from shadows to reality". Of course it is Orpheus who looked back, not his wife, though they are of course the same, he is rescuing or transfiguring himself only. In the Genesis story it is rather Lot's wife who looks back (against instructions) to the vanishing and shadowy (for us) "cities of the plain", becoming in consequence a pillar of salt (whatever we are to make of that). So, baldly, truth is approached only via error. Don't look back.

                So the Method changes inj "use" and it was never anything separate from the dialectic anyway. The Absolute Idea, of course, "does not reject all the finite categories as absolutely false, but pronounces them to be partly false and partly true, and it sums up in itself the truth of all of them." The point is, as consequence of this, that the relation the moments bear to one another in the Absolute Idea cannot be "just the same as that which they bear to one another, as finite categories in the dialectic process" (McT. 118). McTaggart suggests this latter is in fact how Hegel may have viewed it, saying that all the same, as a conclusion, it "seems open to doubt":

                "the change of method results, as we have seen, from a gradually growing perception of the truth which is at the bottom of the whole dialectic - the unreality of any finite category as against its synthesis, since the truth and reality of each category consists only in its reference to the next, and in its passage onwards to it." (119) "If this was not true all through the dialectic, there could be no dialectic at all..." But this "real meaning and essence of the dialectic... is only explicitly perceived in the Notion, and at the End of the notion - or rather... we never attain to complete perception of it, but only approximate towards it... The very existence of the dialectic thus tends to prove that it is not in every sense objectively correct." He adds that any transtion would be impossible "unless the terms were really related according to the type belonging to the Notion. But no transition in the dialectic does take place exactly according to that type... We must therefore suppose that the dialectic does not exactly represent the truth." There must be in it "another element... due to the inadequacy of our finite thought." So "the change of method is no real change" but a making explicit.

                McTaggart then says that we must admit that this conclusion "must be admitted, I think, to have no warrant in Hegel". Really? We "are forced, on his own premises, to dissent" from his apparently regarding "the procession of the categories... as presenting absolute truth - as fully expressing the deepest nature of pure thought". "There is no contradiction, no opposition, and consequently, no reconciliation... only development... the growth of the seed to the plant." "In the dialectic there is always opposition, and therefore always reconciliation." "We do not go straight onward, but more or less from side to side", as Beat too seems to say. It "is Hegel himself who refutes his own doctrine". "The other which the notion sets up is in reality not another" (EL161, note). This, McTaggart declares, in no way diminishes the importance of the dialectic, only showing that it "is to some degree subjective" (McT. 121), in a sense he defines. It has "cogency for us". It shows men and women "what they must think". The relations of the categories to one another, in the dialectic, "represent more or less the error through which the human mind is gradually attaining to the truth... they do not represent the relations existing in the truh itself."

                All this shows is that "the dialectic is a process through error to truth". We knew this before. It follows from the dialectic, McTaggart says, and it is quite clear, "that if we can predicate any category whatever of a thing, we are thereby entitled to predicate the Absolute Idea of it." This leads the mind to Being, inasmuch as being is enclosed within the very act of predication as such. Cf. Augustine, non aliquo modo est, sed est, est... Thus, even to categorise anything as Nothing is already to have admitted it as a "being of reason". I realise that not everyone therefore will find this a great discovery, therefore, on McTaggart�s part. He adds though that "the Absolute Idea is simply the description in abstract terms of the human spirit, or, in other words, the human spirit is the incarnation of the Absolute Idea." The mind could, ideally, "see a nature like its own in everything". This, he thinks, is harmony, "by which alone science and religion can be ultimately justified". It is not important whether the process expresses truth fully provided that the final conclusion does so."

                I think, Beat, from my point of view, that this takes care of your very pertinent example of a process from absolute knowing as the sublation of consciousness to "pure Being without any determinations", its apparent Other and a new beginning. I also want to go further into those methods called Analytical and Synthetic which you in fact take up and refer to here. I am not sure if they bear out your main statements about the opposite directions, one-sidedness and so on. Here too I was relieved to find McTaggart writing (well I have known it for years now) under the category of "the True" that this "distinction can have no place in the present category". Why? Because the example able to be offered of this "is not the acquisition of knowedge, but the possession of knowledge when acquired". Similarly the category of Life "does not deal with the gradual production of Life" (McTaggart, Commentary on Hegel's Logic, 1910, 281). So the principle on which these divisions were introduced "seems unjustified", has no significance with regard to the category. His error, however, if so, "does not destroy the line of his argument". We can go directly from the Idea of the True to the Idea of the Good. Hegel could have made the transition just as well as he makes it from "Synthetic Cognition".

                This topic however I am still in the midst of studying as also your own text and how much it would be affected if these observations turn out to be valid. I just mention it for completeness sake. I hope this is interesting to people, whatever mistakes I may have made in presenting it.

                Stephen.


                To: hegel@yahoogroups.com
                From: greuterb@...
                Date: Fri, 15 Apr 2011 20:44:16 +0200
                Subject: Re: [hegel] Re: Something from O'Regan






                Am 11.04.2011 13:18, Stephen writes:

                > Dear Beat,
                >
                > While not seeing how it would destroy John's account of the mutual
                > implication etc. of being and nothing, for example, I find
                > confirmation of my own interpretation in your account of how each
                > category gives way to a more "just" absolute, i.e. they are all
                > attempts to refer to or denominate the absolute. Hegel says as much.
                >

                Stephen,

                Your interpretation seems to imply that there is a linear development of
                the absolute, from the most abstract to the most conrete. Basically I
                agree with this, however, the movement is not linear and its 'aim' is
                not to reach a "just" absolute but to dissolve the absolute with the
                result of more 'justice' for the former absolutes having become moments
                in a new mediated whole. The mentioned movement includes two opposite
                directions which can not be sperated formally: the analytical and the
                synthetical direction. In the analytical direction there is a mediation
                of the achieved (one-sided) unity or identity with its arising other or
                opposite. The synthectical direction is a falling back into a new
                (one-sided) identity or unity for enabling a further mediation leading
                to a more concrete (or mediated) shape of the absolute.

                Examples:
                Pure Knowing at the end of the PhdG is a knowing which is fully mediated
                by the steps of consciousness but as the sublation of consciousness with
                its assumed externally fixed truth Pure Knowing falls back into the
                (one-sided) identiy or abstraction of Pure Being without any
                determination. Now, it has to actualize itself analyzing this result
                which leads to the other abstract concept of Pure Nothing as its
                opposite and then to the first concrete concept of their mediation in
                Pure Becoming. Though Pure Becoming is a concrete concept mediating two
                moments it cannot really achieve determination since the two moments are
                totally indifferent and equivalent. So, the Concept falls into a new
                one-sided and abstract synthesis in 'Determinate Being in General' which
                is the unity of Being and Nothing IN THE (one-sided) DETERMINATION OF
                BEING. The analytical step then will develop again the right of the
                Nothing as Quality leading to the Concepts of the Something and Reality
                where a new one-sided synthesis stops their spurious infinity in the
                Being-for-itself (the second negation of the true infinity). The
                analysis of this one-sidedness then brings the loss of Quality at all in
                the 'One' and the 'Many One' as the beginning of the quantitative
                anaylsis of the Concept which later will achieve a more developed stage
                of Quality in the Concept of the Measure.

                > So as you say even the True Infinite "gives way" to the One, if it
                > comes afterwards. This is disturbing in a way, in that it would oblige
                > one to characterise just how the final Absolute (Idea) differs from,
                > surpasses, the True Infinite (one clue would be Hegel's pointing out
                > that "infinite" is a negative characterisation).
                >

                The Concept of the Absolue Idea belongs to the Subjective Logic, the
                Logic of the Concept, where the Concpet has become the identity of the
                identity and non-identity but at the beginning (the Concept as such)
                only for-itself (one-sided) as a new synthesis. So, it has to develop
                again the lost Actuality out of itself achieving thereby Objectivity.
                The path again is a movement of analysis and synthesis. The Absolute
                Idea only makes fully explict this speculative method of the described
                conjunction of the analytical and synthetical movement. This is not an
                outer method but the liquefaction (Verfl�ssigung) of all moments
                developed on the path of the Logic without any further presupposition
                not yet mediated - total mediated immediacy. Hegel writes in para 186
                and 187 of the EL, 1817 (my translation):

                "This progress [method] is both, analytical as the immanent reflection
                positing only this that is included in the immediate Concept, as well as
                synthetical as far as in this the difference is not yet posited." (para
                186, EL, 1817)
                "This progress [method] is in the Being an Other and the transition into
                an Other, in the Essence Seeming [Scheinen] in the Opposite (in dem
                Entgegengesetzten), in the Concept the differentiation of the individual
                and the universality which as such does continue into that which is
                distinguished from itself and is as identity with it (the individual)"
                (para 187, EL, 1817)

                Hegel does not separate the analytical concept from the synthetical
                concept as in the Analytical Philosophy and Formal Logic. Neverthess, we
                have to distinguish the two moments of the specualtive method,
                otherwise, we miss the method. With this he makes a crucial relationship
                between Plato's 'What is'- and 'How-is'- (context-) question. According
                to Hegel it is not possible to answer the 'What is'-question (question
                on the essence, definition) without the 'How is'-question (the context).
                In the speculative method, therefore, both are integrated.

                > Now, not to leave theology out in the cold, Hegel says that "the
                > notion... results by abolishing the intermediation, and thus is
                > immediate"(EL51). Again, he speaks of "the genuine nature of essential
                > thought - by which it cancels the mediation in the very act of
                > mediation" (EL50), as it were "forgetting those things which are
                > before". Actually the things forget themselves, since they "are not".
                > As you wrote here, "In the logic there are no finite things separated
                > from infinite ideas but only thoughts."
                >

                These quotations belong to the section on the 'Pre-Concept' of the
                EL-Logic and there to Kant's 'Critical Philosophy'. We have to
                distinguish Hegel's critique on the 'Critical Philosophy' and what he
                accepts as true in this Philosophy. Perhaps we can come back to this later.

                > But suppose now that there are in fact only thoughts, no "things" as
                > realism represents them. The "things" rather are nothing other than
                > those names Hegel discusses in EG in a synthesis of nominalism,
                > conceptualism and realism (Findlay). Then the dialectic is indeed a
                > passage "from shadows to reality" and this is how I take the Orpheus
                > myth, his leading Eurydice from the land of shadows (it is his
                > "journey", not hers, though it is ultimately himself who is buried in
                > the shadows and must not "look back"). So the dialectic is always per
                > definition in error. It is only truth as a whole, as a method even, as
                > reached at the end.
                >

                I do not understand why "the dialectic is always per definition in
                error". Of course, until the end it always produces one-sidedness with
                new presuppositions. However, these are necessary stages or shapes for
                thought seeking its truth. In the Absolute Idea Pure Knowing realizes
                the dialectical movement as its procedural truth and essence including
                the unity of form and content only in this movement and not in a unity
                or identity beyond this movement.

                Regards,
                Beat Greuter

                > I would like to connect with this Hegel's treatment of the Will under
                > Practical Reason (EG) as itself superseding theoretical Mind but just
                > therefore needing to be a Thinking Will (in Hegel's inclusive sense of
                > "thinking"). Implied here, I would want to make out, is an eventual
                > real (non-abstract, but as supplanting the abstract) fusion of the
                > ethical with the metaphysical (echoing Aristotle's "contemplation is
                > the highest praxis", but going further, probably), as canvassed more
                > explicitly by some later thinkers. This fusion is the ultimate ground
                > for why in Hegel things are never simply themselves and not another
                > thing, thus putting out of court the question of being right or wrong
                > about what they are. This is the question he explicitly rules out in
                > connection with religion, for example.
                >
                > How far would you agree with my implicit view, finally, that dialectic
                > is not abstractly or merely a process within (the) Logic but
                > characterising all "reality" or, more immediately, the whole passage
                > or development of the "Encyclopaedia", allowing for a bit of
                > analogical fluidity in the term? Does this though, if affirmed tend
                > not also at least to suggest (or confirm, rather, thinking of Hegel's
                > work as a whole)that we are all the time dealing with Ideas, with
                > Absolute Mind (and hence that there is nothing else, nor can there be,
                > nothing "more" real)?
                >
                > --- In hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>, Beat
                > Greuter <greuterb@...> wrote:
                > >
                > > Am 10.04.2011 12:27, John writes:
                > >
                > > > --- In hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>
                > <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>, Beat
                > > > Greuter <greuterb@> wrote:
                > > >
                > > > > John,
                > > > >
                > > > > How can you tell us such a thing? What has Tillich or other
                > theologian
                > > > > to do with Hegel who was a pure philosopher in the tradition of
                > Plato,
                > > > > Aristotle, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Kant. I do not
                > understand how
                > > > > you can take something totally alien to Hegel for explaining his
                > > > > philosophy instead of reading what he writes himself at the
                > > > beginning of
                > > > > his Logic.
                > > >
                > > > Hegel presents his theology in the lectures on the philosophy of
                > > > religion and in the penultimate chapter of the Phenomenology. So I am
                > > > certainly not introducing something alien to Hegel. I'm simply making
                > > > reference to a suppressed part of Hegel's thought.
                > > >
                > >
                > >
                > > John,
                > >
                > > But we are now at the beginning of the Logic and not in the Philosophy
                > > of Religion. In the Addition of para 88 of the EL Hegel writes
                > > (translated by William Wallace):
                > >
                > > "And in the case of being, we are speaking of nothing concrete: for
                > > being is the utterly abstract. So far then the question regarding the
                > > being of God --- a being which is in itself concrete above all measure
                > > --- is of slight importance."
                > >
                > >
                > > > You write:
                > > >
                > > > >There is no dialectical relation between Being and Nothing
                > > > > you write and in a further post that dialectic begins only with
                > > > > Determinate Being. But in total reversal of what you say it is
                > quite
                > > > the
                > > > > beginning which shows the prototype of Hegel's dialectic: the
                > > > opposition
                > > > > of two absolutes not yet mediated which become mediated in a third
                > > > > absolute.
                > > >
                > > > To speak of being, nothing and becoming as three absolutes that are
                > > > related to each other seems quite different from what Hegel is
                > saying.
                > > > Treating each of the three as a hypostasis is, I believe, somthing
                > > > Alan has been arguing against (if I understand him correctly).
                > > >
                > >
                > >
                > > That's not a hypostasis but what Hegel writes at the beginning of his
                > > Logic (para 87, EL, translated by William Wallace):
                > >
                > >
                > > "But this mere Being, as it is mere abstraction, is therefore the
                > > absolutely negative: which, in a similarly immediate aspect, is just
                > > Nothing.
                > > 1. Hence was derived the second definition of the Absolute: the
                > Absolute
                > > is the Nought. In fact this definition is implied in saying that the
                > > thing-in-itself is the indeterminate, utterly without form and so
                > > without content --- or in saying that God is only the supreme Being and
                > > nothing more; for this is really declaring him to be the same
                > negativity
                > > as above. The Nothing which the Buddhists make the universal principle,
                > > as well as the final aim and goal of everything, is the same
                > abstraction.
                > > 2. If the opposition in thought is stated in this immediacy as Being
                > and
                > > Nothing, the shock of its nullity is too great not to stimulate the
                > > attempt to fix Being and secure it against the transition into Nothing.
                > > With this intent, reflection has recourse to the plan of discovering
                > > some fixed predicate for Being, to mark it off from Nothing. Thus we
                > > find Being identified with what persists amid all change, with matter,
                > > susceptible of innumerable determinations --- or even, unreflectingly,
                > > with a single existence, any chance object of the senses or of the
                > mind.
                > > But every additional and more concrete characterisation causes Being to
                > > lose that integrity and simplicity it had in the beginning. Only in,
                > and
                > > by virtue of, this mere generality is it Nothing, something
                > > inexpressible, whereof the distinction from Nothing is a mere intention
                > > or meaning."
                > >
                > >
                > > The opposition of the first two absolutes - Being and Nothing - is
                > > sublated in a third absolute - Becoming. With this the first two
                > > absolutes are no longer absolutes but merged in Becoming. This is what
                > > Hegel calls 'dialectics'. So, the opposition is sublated and each
                > > attempt to preserve Being from transition into Becoming means to
                > > identify Being with a quality trying thereby to state a difference
                > > between Being and Nothing what indeed would be a hypostasis, be it God
                > > or Trinity or whatsoever. Being has become Becoming what is equal to
                > say
                > > Being is Nothing.
                > >
                > >
                > > > Further down you write:
                > > >
                > > > > It is exactly the
                > > > > mediation of the finite and the infinite in the Concept that
                > Hegel want
                > > > > to show us in the process of the Whole Logic.
                > > >
                > > > That is exactly right. So it is necessary to have the infinite and
                > the
                > > > finite. Being-nothing-becoming is the infinite. Existence, the
                > > > Something, etc is the finite. The first attempt to mediate the two is
                > > > with true infinity. But, obviously, before they can be mediated, they
                > > > have, first, to be established.
                > > >
                > >
                > >
                > > No, "Existence, the Something, etc" are not the finite but concepts on
                > > the path of determination or mediation like Being, Nothing and Becoming
                > > but already more concrete. Also the concept of True Infinity collapses
                > > in the One since it cannot hold its other in the Logic of Being. In the
                > > Logic there are no finite things separated from infinite ideas but only
                > > thoughts.
                > >
                > >
                > > > You write:
                > > >
                > > > >With your disengagment of
                > > > > Being from Determinate Being you prevent this mediation from the
                > very
                > > > > beginning since you have the non-mediated Whole already at the
                > > > beginning
                > > > > which afterwards you call trinity.
                > > >
                > > > In Hegel's theology this is the immanent trinity. But it certainly
                > > > isn't the whole. Or if it is the whole, then it is, as you say, the
                > > > "unmediated" whole. Basically it is the universal. The final result
                > > > will be the mediated whole, the whole that contains the three moments
                > > > of universal, particular and individual. But that is a long way off.
                > > >
                > > > John
                > > >
                > >
                > >
                > > Yes, this is certainly a long way. But Hegel is no theologian, he is a
                > > philosopher. You have to go along pure thoughts on that long way.
                > >
                > > Regards,
                > > Beat Greuter
                >
                >

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