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Re: truth/goodness, actuality/rationality [was: Plato's cave: Heidegger and Hegel]

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  • john
    ... To tell you the truth, Paul, I really wouldn t know. My point, really, was that the moral and political decisions that determine our actions are quite
    Message 1 of 74 , Jul 14, 2011
      --- In hegel@yahoogroups.com, Paul Healey <paulmsrf@...> wrote:
      > 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 speaking about two countries, we could
      > refer to just one. I.e., Spain; until the EU and
      > the financial meltdown, the vast majority of
      > Spanish would I presume claim that social
      > progress had been successful.
      > What appears to have undermined it is putting the free
      > trade theory of the Chicago School into practise.
      > What resulted was the bias convergence of the European 
      > countries economic power; given the freedom of financial
      > institutions and media corporations to be unaccountable 
      > to the states, to get a rise in corruption and bad
      > economic management. If unresolved so that the unemployed 
      > seeks revenge, you get civil war, dictatorships (using the
      > rabble)and possibly another great war. 
      > What most would rather have is equal opportunity
      > and a voice, not just the chance to be rewarded
      > for their work. 
      > Free trade has failed precisely because the 'might is right'
      > argument is used to justify the worshipping of celebrity egos,
      > the bribing and threatening of the uneducated and the cruel
      > exploitation of those that have very few rights. 
      > Democracy so defined stands freedom from oppression on
      > its head; it gives freedom for a very few and their henchmen,
      > so they can live as fat cats, while denying
      > it for all the others!
      > Good economic management is not so much about regulationversus entrepreneurship, or dictatorship
      > versus socialism, but about recognising the mediated
      > rights and interests of the estates versus their 
      > negation. You cannot have progress without addressing
      > morality and ethics. Hence the good being the subject
      > of Plato's Republic andthe interests and rights the
      > subject of Hegel's Philosophy of Right; the objectivity
      > of the understandings reason reveals the illusion of 
      > its subjectivity, so other understandings can be
      > in a valid opposition. The oppositions of the
      > free trade folk psychology result in a viscous duality;
      > where the working of the mind is mistakenly separated
      > from that which it can experience; so greedy, delusional and barbaric individuals become revered and so escape
      > justice for their criminal behaviour. That is, dictatorship 
      > and free trade work from the same head for the same end. 
      > Well this appears to be the lesson of Rome and all the
      > other empires that have tried to print their mark
      > on others minds so that they might fail to get
      > what progress really means!
      > Paul Healey

      To tell you the truth, Paul, I really wouldn't know.

      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.

    • greuterb
      ... Bob, 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
      Message 74 of 74 , Aug 11, 2011
        Am 08.08.2011 01:32, Robert Wallace writes:

        > Hi Beat,
        > 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.


        > ..................

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