Re: truth/goodness, actuality/rationality [was: Plato's cave: Heidegger and Hegel]
- --- In email@example.com, Paul Healey <paulmsrf@...> wrote:
>To tell you the truth, Paul, I really wouldn't know.
> Dear John,
> I do not know about Chile and Uruguay, but suspect
> the mater is not quite as obvious as you portray it;
> rather than speakingÂ aboutÂ two countries, we could
> refer to just one.Â I.e., Spain;Â until the EU and
> the financial meltdown, the vast majorityÂ of
> Spanish would I presume claimÂ that social
> progressÂ had been successful.
> What appears to have undermined it is putting the free
> trade theory of theÂ ChicagoÂ SchoolÂ into practise.
> What resulted was the bias convergence of theÂ EuropeanÂ
> countries economic power;Â given the freedomÂ of financial
> institutionsÂ and media corporations to be unaccountableÂ
> to the states,Â to get a rise in corruptionÂ and bad
> economicÂ management. If unresolved soÂ that the unemployedÂ
> seeks revenge,Â you get civil war, dictatorships (using the
> rabble)and possibly another great war.Â
> What most would rather have isÂ equal opportunity
> and a voice, not justÂ the chance to beÂ rewarded
> for their work.Â
> Free tradeÂ has failedÂ precisely because the 'might is right'
> argument is used to justifyÂ theÂ worshippingÂ ofÂ celebrity egos,
> theÂ bribing andÂ threateningÂ of theÂ uneducated and the cruel
> exploitation of thoseÂ that have very few rights.Â
> Democracy so defined stands freedom fromÂ oppressionÂ on
> its head;Â it gives freedom for aÂ very few and theirÂ henchmen,
> so they can live as fat cats, whileÂ denying
> it for all the others!
> Good economic management is not so much aboutÂ regulationversusÂ entrepreneurship,Â or dictatorship
> versus socialism,Â butÂ about recognising the mediated
> rightsÂ and interests ofÂ the estates versus theirÂ
> negation.Â You cannot have progressÂ without addressing
> morality and ethics. Hence the good being the subject
> of Plato's Republic andthe interests and rights the
> subject of Hegel'sÂ Philosophy of Right; the objectivity
> of the understandingsÂ reason reveals the illusion ofÂ
> its subjectivity,Â so other understandings can be
> in a valid opposition.Â The oppositionsÂ of the
> free trade folk psychology result inÂ aÂ viscousÂ duality;
> where the working of the mind is mistakenly separated
> from that which it can experience; so greedy, delusional andÂ barbaricÂ individualsÂ become revered and so escape
> justice for their criminal behaviour. That is, dictatorshipÂ
> and free trade work from the same head for the same end.Â
> Well this appears to be the lesson of Rome and all the
> otherÂ empires that have tried to print theirÂ mark
> onÂ othersÂ minds so that they might fail to get
> what progress really means!
> Paul Healey
My point, really, was that the moral and political decisions that determine our actions are quite different from theoretical thought. There is something innately "irrational" about decisions that lead to actions. This is simply because we can't possibly have all the facts. There are too many variables. And we certainly cannot, for instance, know the future. So, then, sometimes the best intentioned actions lead to very bad results. And sometimes very unacceptable means somehow or another can lead to good results.
At any rate all this sort of thing is a big theme in the Phenomenology. People who make decisions and act on them find that things never turn out exactly as they had planned. And people who don't make decisions ar act nontheless feel free to judge those who do--and they always find the decisions and actions to be questionable. Or, again, Hegel likes to make fun of those who expect the world to conform to their fantastical "ideals" and who are always quite disappointed and disillusioned when this doesn't happen--rather, perhaps, like Plato.
- Am 08.08.2011 01:32, Robert Wallace writes:
> Hi Beat,Bob,
> Thanks for these stimulating objections. I'll begin with the
> historical question:
> I had asked:
> >> > You say earlier in your reply that what Hegel is
> >> > discussing corresponds to Kant's theoretical philosophy (in the
> >> > Critique of Pure Reason) rather than to his practical philosophy.
> >> This
> >> > suggestion makes my question all the more pressing. Why does
> >> Hegel use
> >> > a term from Kant's practical philosophy to designate something that
> >> > (according to you) is essentially theoretical?
> and you replied:
> >> From where do you know this? He does not take the term from Kant's
> >> practical philosophy. He shows the consequences of finite being
> >> within
> >> its limit and restriction and the categorical development associated
> >> with it. From there he can criticize Kant's standpoint and can go
> >> above
> >> this standpoint. Perhaps it would be a good idea to do some
> >> philological
> >> work about the 'Ought' going through the history of philosophy.
> My reply is:
> > A useful starting point for this philological work, which I agree
> > can be helpful here, is Hegel's _Differenzschrift_ (1801) and _Faith
> > and Knowledge_ (1802). Here, in his earliest publications, Hegel
> > describes Fichte's philosophy as centering on an Ought (Sollen).
> > "The highest synthesis revealed in the system [Fichte's] is an
> > _ought_. 'Ego equals Ego' turns into 'Ego _ought_ to equal
> > Ego'" (Diff., Harris & Cerf p. 132, STW 2:68). Hegel's alternative
> > to Fichte's Ought here already is a "true infinity" (146; STW 5:84).
> > And in _Faith and Knowledge_: "Because formal thought does not ever
> > truly give itself up, the Ought is perennial" (p. 165, Cerf and
> > Harris; STW 2:406). Fichte himself presents the Ought as the key to
> > his version of Kantian thinking: "Only through this medium of the
> > moral law do I behold _myself_"... "I _ought_ in my thinking to set
> > out from the pure self"... (Wissenschaftslehre, second introduction,
> > I, 466-7); "our idealism is not dogmatic but practical; does not
> > determine what is, but what ought to be" (I, 156). In his Remark on
> > the Ought in SL, Hegel says "the philosophy of Kant and Fichte sets
> > up the ought as the highest point of the resolution of the
> > contradictions of Reason" (Miller trans. p. 136; STW 5:148). So in
> > the SL as in the Differenzschrift and _Faith and Knowledge_, Hegel
> > clearly associates the Ought with Kantian and Fichtean thought.
> > Rather than saying that Hegel took the term "from Kant's practical
> > philosophy," I should have said that he took it from Fichte, who
> > sought by means of it (together with "intellectual intuition") to
> > deal with the duality of theoretical and practical that he inherited
> > from Kant. So when it reaches Hegel, the "Ought" is no longer
> > exclusively a practical concept. But as my first quotation from
> > Fichte makes clear, and it's obvious in any case, _Fichte_ derives
> > the Ought from Kant's practical philosophy, specifically, the
> > Categorical Imperative. If you can come up with texts prior to Kant
> > in which the "ought" plays an important role, great. But it's
> > abundantly clear that the predecessor texts that Hegel himself has
> > in mind, in connection with this term, starting in 1801 in Jena, are
> > Kant's practical philosophy and Fichte's Wissenschaftslehre.
I think this is a very good short overview on the use of the 'ought' in
the German Idealism including Kant. I ought to read again the early Jena
works 'Differenzschrift' and 'Faith and Knowledge' and also Fichte's
'Wissenschaftslehre' which I have somewhat neglected in the last years.
Nevertheless, we should be aware that Hegel's 'ought' in the Logic has
passed through a shift of meaning. It is now bound to the finite being
and its limitation and restriction. It is no longer 'ought to be' as
something beyond the finite being - as something 'ideal' of a moral 'I'
as practical - but has become a thought moment of the finite being
itself which with this is posited as 'ideell'. So, Hegel's critique on
Kant and Fichte is at the same time a shift in meaning of the concept of
the 'ought' what in the 'Differenzschrift' and in 'Faith and Knowledge'
- as far as I can remember - has not yet been realized. With this a
presupposition for actualizing freedom is shown bounding the infinite to
the finite. This can also be seen as the transition from a subjective
idealism to an absolute idealism in which the concept itself moves and
does solve its contradiction - the contradiction has become a moment of
the concept itself. So, Hegel writes in your quotation: "In his Remark
on the Ought in SL, Hegel says "the philosophy of Kant and Fichte sets
up the ought as the highest point of the resolution of the
contradictions of Reason" (Miller trans. p. 136; STW 5:148)." This means
also that in Hegel's Logic the 'ought' has lost 'the highest point of
the resolution', it is no longer an absolute but becomes a moment in the
concept of 'being-for-self' and its further movement.
If this is true then we should look indeed at texts prior to Kant and
Fichte for finding further and more adequate references to the 'ought'.
One candidate for this would be Nikolaus von Kues who wrote a trialogue
on the 'Possest' (Können-Ist, Potential-Is). Another reference would be
the neoplatonism. Perhaps there is aready a book that gives a critical
historical insight on the use of the 'ought' in Hegel's Logic of Being.
I am certainly not the right man for doing this.
> ..................[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]