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Fwd: Spinoza and the Concept

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  • jgbardis@aol.com
    This accidentally missed the group. John ... From: Alan Ponikvar To: jgbardis Sent: Fri, Jul 15, 2011 7:17 pm
    Message 1 of 9 , Jul 16, 2011
      This accidentally missed the group.

      John





      -----Original Message-----
      From: Alan Ponikvar <ponikvaraj@...>
      To: jgbardis <jgbardis@...>
      Sent: Fri, Jul 15, 2011 7:17 pm
      Subject: Re: Spinoza and the Concept


      Hi John,

      I stand corrected.

      However, Hegel is once again saying something about a philosopher that the philosopher would not say about himself. Spinoza has substance, attribute and mode; but he does not as far as I am aware speak of the concept. This is Hegel's contribution.
      It is Hegel's attempt to hijack Spinoza's thought for his own purposes.

      You choose some very useful quotes, but once again say nothing. I am almost certain that you and I see these very differently. That is why it would help if you would comment on your chosen quotes. This failing contributes to what I find breezy.

      So let's take one of your quotes:

      "Spinoza has thus all three moments of the Concept, or they are essential to him. But the mode, under which head falls individuality, he does not recognize as essential, or as constituting a moment of true existence in that existence; for it disappears in existence, or it is not raised into the Concept."

      Individuality is not raised to the concept. This phrase either is totally obscure or points to the missing speculative moment, the moment which means to express the identity in difference of the absolute form. Now I may be wrong about this, but what this shows is how Hegel's text does not speak for itself. In fact, it seems to be the last text that one would think really speaks for itself. That is why Hegel is taken to be notoriously obscure. And that is why I remain perplexed by your inability to recognize this most distinctive feature of Hegel's writings.

      You then quote Hegel as saying:

      "these three are only enumerated one after the other, without the inner chain of development, and the third is not negation as negation, not the negatively self-referring negation by virtue of which it would explicitly be the turning back to the first identity and this identity be in turn truly identity."

      "Negatively self-referring negation" does not wear its meaning on its sleave. Again, it is a reference to absolute form and infinite activity, two other expressions in need of being explicated. Simply teasing out the meaning of such phrases is the heavy lifting that needs to be done. I can only think that you believe that these passages have some general understandable sense that somehow is evident. In this passage Hegel is drawing the distinction between the understanding's way of enumerating moments and speculative reason's supposed alternative way. But again, the nature of this way is what perplexes most Hegelians.

      Your final sentence notes that the modes is inessential for Spinoza but absolutely essential for Hegel. First, what is the essential/inessential distinction about? It is not as you seem to suggest a matter of a simple contrast. What is absolute for Hegel involves the mutual implication of two essential moments which were previously viewed as divided, one being essential and the other inessential. In other words, these words are not just tags. When Hegel speaks of the 'absolutely essential' he is speaking about the speculative identity in difference. He is speaking of what he call a second negative relation and not the simple first negative relation that only functions to conceal the true nature of what Hegel means to convey.

      regards, Alan



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Beat
      ... John, I do not know what you mean with an ultimate unity . But for sustaining your view you would have to tell us what Hegel s text in your given
      Message 2 of 9 , Jul 18, 2011
        --- In hegel@yahoogroups.com, "john" <jgbardis@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        >
        > --- In hegel@yahoogroups.com, greuterb <greuterb@> wrote:
        > >
        >
        > > John,
        > >
        > > No, Hegel has overcome the triadic nature of the concept....
        >
        >
        > In Hegel's dynamic view of the Concept there
        > > are only two moments: the identity and its determination as its
        > > negation. So, there is "the becoming of identity and its
        > > determinations". You could reject this with help of the passage in
        > > Hegel's Logic where the true (subjective) Concept is first thematized
        > > (last paragraph of the Doctrine of the Essence). Here Hegel makes a
        > > distinction between the Universal, the Individual and the Particular.
        > > But read carefully the last sentence of this paragraph:
        > >
        > > "This their simple identity (of the Universal and Individual) is
        > > particularity, which contains in immediate unity the moment of
        > > determinateness of the individual and the moment of reflection-into-self
        > > of the universal. These three totalities are, therefore, one and the
        > > same reflection, which, as negative self-relation, differentiates itself
        > > into these two, but into a perfectly transparent difference, namely,
        > > into a determinate simplicity or simple determinateness which is their
        > > one and the same identity. - This is the Concept, the realm of
        > > subjectivity or of freedom." (translated by A.V. Miller, George Allen &
        > > Unwin, 1969)
        >
        >
        > Dear Beat,
        >
        > To say that Hegel has "overcome" the triadic nature of the concept could very well be said.
        >
        > I hate to bring Christian theology into it, as it doesn't make much sense to waste our time talking about things we know nothing about. But even a cursory knowledge of this subject would allow one to know that there are not three gods. There is only one God. And you could consider the world to be a fourth term. But even this is ultimately taken up into the oneness of God.
        >
        > But that Hegel's "overcoming" of the triadic nature of the concept leads to a concept with only two terms strikes me as a downright odd idea. Here, for instance, is the famous final paragraph of the Encyclopedia where the triadic nature of the concept is "overcome":
        >
        > "The third syllogism is the Idea of philosophy, which has self-knowing reason, the absolutely universal, for its middle term: a middle, which divides itself into Spirit and Nature, making the former its presupposition, as process of the Idea's subjective activity, and the latter its universal extreme, as process of the objectively and implicitly existing Idea. The self-judging of the Idea into its two appearances [very much as with Spinoza] characterizes both as its (the self-knowing reason's) manifestations: and in it there is a unification of the two aspects:--it is the nature of the fact, the concept, which causes the movement and development, yet this same movement is equally the action of cognition. The eternal Idea, in full fruition of its essence, eternally sets itself to work, engenders and enjoys itself as absolute Spirit."
        >
        > I believe this quote says pretty much the same thing as the quote that you provide from the final page of the doctrine of essence. So, yes, you are quite right to say that Hegel "overcomes" the triadic nature of the concept. But I believe this "overcoming" results in an ultimate unity--not an ultimate dyad.
        >
        > John
        >



        John,

        I do not know what you mean with "an ultimate unity". But for sustaining your view you would have to tell us what Hegel's text in your given quotation from "SL of the Essence", "The Actuality", Remarks for "C. The Mode of the Absolute" means:


        "..... What is lacking, therefore, is the necessity of the
        progression of the absolute to inessentiality, as well as the
        dissolution in and for itself of the latter into identity; or again,
        missing are both the becoming of identity and its determinations."


        Identity is a becoming only if the absolute is driven into inessentiality and back into identity. If 'identity' is taken as "an ultimate unity" then this unity will have the inessentiality outside itself. But this cannot be since then the absolute is no longer an absolute.

        Regards,
        Beat Greuter
      • ponikvaraj
        Hi John, I think your final paragraph is the key. Hegel s contribution has yet to be adequately comprehended. It is entirely original (excepting what I view to
        Message 3 of 9 , Jul 18, 2011
          Hi John,



          I think your final paragraph is the key. Hegel's contribution has yet to be
          adequately comprehended. It is entirely original (excepting what I view to
          be the true teaching of Plato) and has no proper predecessor, and has not
          been the ground for further philosophical thinking. All triadic thought
          fudges the third. Hegel's speculative philosophy offers the promise of
          speaking of thought beyond simple opposition.



          regards, Alan



          From: hegel@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hegel@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of john
          Sent: Sunday, July 17, 2011 5:58 AM
          To: hegel@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [hegel] Re: Fwd: Spinoza and the Concept







          --- In hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com> , "ponikvaraj"
          <ponikvaraj@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi John,
          >
          >
          >
          > Actually, Spinoza is not talking about the concept or any concept for that
          > matter. He is talking about substance. The trinity is an admittedly
          > incomprehensible formulation. So I want to restate my claim: Hegel's
          triadic
          > concept is original with him. Most talk of the concept as a concept is
          about
          > the relation between concept and instance. This still trips up Hegelians
          as
          > Winfield makes evident in his discussion of the concept in "From Concept
          to
          > Objectivity". What is original is how one of the three moments - not
          always
          > the same moment - only arises as a reflection on what is made evident by
          the
          > other two. Hegel plays with this when he talks about the moments of the
          > concept. But the important point is that Hegel is not collecting three
          > distinct thoughts and relating them. Two thought always serve as moments
          of
          > the third.
          >
          >
          >
          > regards, Alan

          Dear Alan,

          That two thoughts always serve as moments of the third is how Trinitarian
          theology works as well. That's how it works in the Hermetic tradition and
          alchemy as well. There you have an active moment, a passive or negating
          moment, and then the third, which is the reconciling moment.

          I have to say, though, that my knowledge of Trinitarian theology and the
          Hermetic tradition is based, in both cases, on post-Hegelian material. It is
          generally difficult to read, or even to find, relevant books that are more
          than 200 years old. So it might be questionable to say that things that came
          after Hegel were the source of Hegel's philosophy. Hegel's influence on
          modern trinitarian theology is explicit. And it has been a major interest of
          mine in studying Hegel to see how he might have also been an influence on
          the modern Hermetic tradition (whatever that might be).

          But nonetheless there is enough information about these things prior to
          Hegel, Augustine's book on the Trinity would be the major example in the
          case of Trinitarian theology, to make it clear that Hegel didn't invent all
          this stff, but rather that he stands within the tradition--as a great
          Master, of course, in the Tradition.

          In regard to Spinoza, you will see that Hegel gives him credit for having
          the three moments of the concept, but he finds fault with him for not having
          a proper understanding of the third moment. This is the reason Spinoza was a
          pantheist--while Schelling and Hegel, who were both very much influenced by
          him, were not pantheists.

          But Hegel scholars do realize that Hegel's philosophy didn't just pop up out
          of nowhere. And I might imagine that you know this too. They realize that he
          was greatly influenced by Spinoza, Kant, Fichte and Schelling. But the point
          you make, that Hegel's triadic concept goes beyond anything to be found in
          these four sources, suggests the necessity of looking for other sources.
          But, again, the taboos in this regard are very strict.

          It strikes me as odd, by the way, that Hegel went to such great efforts to
          establish the triadic nature of the concept in philosophy--and then from the
          day he died, philosophy promptly forgot everything Hegel had tried to teach
          it. So not only must the sources of Hegel's thought be looked for outside
          the accepted boundaries of philosophy, but even the continuation of Hegel's
          thought, in so far as there was a continuation, must, to a large extent,
          also be looked for outside the accepted boundaries of philosophy.

          John





          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • ponikvaraj
          Hi Beat, I think one way of speaking of Hegel s third is that it is related to what Hegel calls double negation or the truth of a dialectical movement. As for
          Message 4 of 9 , Jul 18, 2011
            Hi Beat,



            I think one way of speaking of Hegel's third is that it is related to what
            Hegel calls double negation or the truth of a dialectical movement. As for
            the absolute, being an achieved result it is a third with respect to the
            dialectical movement between two moments. It is the truth of this movement.
            But as such it is immediately divided within itself. It is the truth and it
            is the movement. This divide - this self-alienation of the absolute -
            becomes the bais for whatever comes next. What does come next reclaims what
            has been left behind as the forgotten origin of each absolute as it emerges.




            Hegel tends to speak of the truth of a dialectic but only occassionally
            relates this to the absolute. But I think it is important to keep in mind
            that for Hegel the true and the absolute are co-extensive. So whenever Hegel
            speaks of the "truth of ." he is speaking about the manifestation of the
            absolute. Because the absolute is with us and because thought moves, this
            movement is a movement internal to the absolute. It is about how the
            absolute manifests itself. This manifestation - if we are counting - is
            always a third in relation to some dialectically linked two.



            regards, Alan



            From: hegel@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hegel@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Beat
            Sent: Monday, July 18, 2011 3:09 PM
            To: hegel@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [hegel] Re: Fwd: Spinoza and the Concept







            --- In hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com> , "john"
            <jgbardis@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            >
            > --- In hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com> , greuterb
            <greuterb@> wrote:
            > >
            >
            > > John,
            > >
            > > No, Hegel has overcome the triadic nature of the concept....
            >
            >
            > In Hegel's dynamic view of the Concept there
            > > are only two moments: the identity and its determination as its
            > > negation. So, there is "the becoming of identity and its
            > > determinations". You could reject this with help of the passage in
            > > Hegel's Logic where the true (subjective) Concept is first thematized
            > > (last paragraph of the Doctrine of the Essence). Here Hegel makes a
            > > distinction between the Universal, the Individual and the Particular.
            > > But read carefully the last sentence of this paragraph:
            > >
            > > "This their simple identity (of the Universal and Individual) is
            > > particularity, which contains in immediate unity the moment of
            > > determinateness of the individual and the moment of reflection-into-self

            > > of the universal. These three totalities are, therefore, one and the
            > > same reflection, which, as negative self-relation, differentiates itself

            > > into these two, but into a perfectly transparent difference, namely,
            > > into a determinate simplicity or simple determinateness which is their
            > > one and the same identity. - This is the Concept, the realm of
            > > subjectivity or of freedom." (translated by A.V. Miller, George Allen &
            > > Unwin, 1969)
            >
            >
            > Dear Beat,
            >
            > To say that Hegel has "overcome" the triadic nature of the concept could
            very well be said.
            >
            > I hate to bring Christian theology into it, as it doesn't make much sense
            to waste our time talking about things we know nothing about. But even a
            cursory knowledge of this subject would allow one to know that there are not
            three gods. There is only one God. And you could consider the world to be a
            fourth term. But even this is ultimately taken up into the oneness of God.
            >
            > But that Hegel's "overcoming" of the triadic nature of the concept leads
            to a concept with only two terms strikes me as a downright odd idea. Here,
            for instance, is the famous final paragraph of the Encyclopedia where the
            triadic nature of the concept is "overcome":
            >
            > "The third syllogism is the Idea of philosophy, which has self-knowing
            reason, the absolutely universal, for its middle term: a middle, which
            divides itself into Spirit and Nature, making the former its presupposition,
            as process of the Idea's subjective activity, and the latter its universal
            extreme, as process of the objectively and implicitly existing Idea. The
            self-judging of the Idea into its two appearances [very much as with
            Spinoza] characterizes both as its (the self-knowing reason's)
            manifestations: and in it there is a unification of the two aspects:--it is
            the nature of the fact, the concept, which causes the movement and
            development, yet this same movement is equally the action of cognition. The
            eternal Idea, in full fruition of its essence, eternally sets itself to
            work, engenders and enjoys itself as absolute Spirit."
            >
            > I believe this quote says pretty much the same thing as the quote that you
            provide from the final page of the doctrine of essence. So, yes, you are
            quite right to say that Hegel "overcomes" the triadic nature of the concept.
            But I believe this "overcoming" results in an ultimate unity--not an
            ultimate dyad.
            >
            > John
            >

            John,

            I do not know what you mean with "an ultimate unity". But for sustaining
            your view you would have to tell us what Hegel's text in your given
            quotation from "SL of the Essence", "The Actuality", Remarks for "C. The
            Mode of the Absolute" means:

            "..... What is lacking, therefore, is the necessity of the
            progression of the absolute to inessentiality, as well as the
            dissolution in and for itself of the latter into identity; or again,
            missing are both the becoming of identity and its determinations."

            Identity is a becoming only if the absolute is driven into inessentiality
            and back into identity. If 'identity' is taken as "an ultimate unity" then
            this unity will have the inessentiality outside itself. But this cannot be
            since then the absolute is no longer an absolute.

            Regards,
            Beat Greuter





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