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Re: [hegel] Schopenhauer on Schelling

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  • greuterb
    ... Bruce, It is not my contribution. It is a quotation from Brinkmann s book on Idealism without Limits, Hegel and the Problem of Objectivity . ... Yes, I
    Message 1 of 13 , Aug 29, 2011
      Am 29.08.2011 12:46, Bruce writes:

      > Beat,
      > Thank you for this useful exposition.


      It is not my contribution. It is a quotation from Brinkmann's book on
      "Idealism without Limits, Hegel and the Problem of Objectivity".

      > PS I see that you've acquired Brinkmann's book on Hegel & Objectivity.
      > Are you enjoying it?

      Yes, I enjoy it much. It is written in a modest English language and I
      can understand it very well without consulting too often my dictionary.
      The argumentation is sometimes a little lengthy and you have to keep in
      mind earlier discussions for following the thread. BTW, Brinkmann also
      wrote the preface for Klaus Hartmann's "Hegels Logik" (de Gruyter, 1999)
      which is an important source of my Hegel interpretation. As far as I
      know Brinkmann was as student in Hartmann's lectures in the United
      States. I do not know if Hartmann's book (published from his legacy) was
      also translated in English.

      > Where does the phrase "turn to that preceding
      > > [Kantian] exposition" come from? I can't find it, as I skim over SL
      > p61f.

      From "The "Objective Logic" (I), "Introduction: General Division of Logic":

      "Recently Kant *) has opposed to what has usually been called logic
      another, namely, a transcendental logic. What has here been called
      objective logic would correspond in part to what with him is
      transcendental logic. He distinguishes it from what he calls general
      logic in this way, [a] that it treats of the notions which refer a
      priori to objects, and consequently does not abstract from the whole
      content of objective cognition, or, in other words, it contains the
      rules of the pure thinking of an object, and [b] at the same time it
      treats of the origin of our cognition so far as this cognition cannot be
      ascribed to the objects. It is to this second aspect that Kant's
      philosophical interest is exclusively directed.

      *) I would mention that in this work I frequently refer to the Kantian
      philosophy (which to many may seem superfluous) because whatever may be
      said, both in this work and elsewhere, about the precise character of
      this philosophy and about particular parts of its exposition, it
      constitutes the base and the starting point of recent German philosophy
      and that its merit remains unaffected by whatever faults may be found in
      it. The reason too why reference must often be made to it in the
      objective logic is that it enters into detailed consideration of
      important, more specific aspects of logic, whereas later philosophical
      works have paid little attention to these and in some instances have
      only displayed a crude --- not unavenged --- contempt for them. The
      philosophising which is most widespread among us does not go beyond the
      Kantian results, that Reason cannot acquire knowledge of any true
      content or subject matter and in regard to absolute truth must be
      directed to faith. But what with Kant is a result, forms the immediate
      starting-point in this philosophising, so that the preceding exposition
      from which that result issued and which is a philosophical cognition, is
      cut away beforehand. The Kantian philosophy thus serves as a cushion for
      intellectual indolence which soothes itself with the conviction that
      everything is already proved and settled. Consequently for genuine
      knowledge, for a specific content of thought which is not to be found in
      such barren and arid complacency, one must _turn to that preceding

      It is this "preceding exposition" which is important for Brinkmann and
      Hegel's going back to Kant's First Critique and his Copernican turn: the
      transcendental unity of apperception as the concept of the concept.
      Brinkmann shows now that the unity of pure intuition and the categories,
      that is, the transcendental unity of apperception, has to be the true
      starting point of a objective transcendental logic instead of Kant's
      double dualism of the empirical content and form as well as of pure
      intuition and categories which undermines Kant's first idea of the
      transcendental unity of apperception. With this he claims to be the true
      follower of Kant whereas Schelling and also Fichte in his
      Wissenschaftslehre (and of course Schopenhauer who always claimed that
      he were the true follower of Kant and not Schelling and Hegel who would
      have betrayed Kant's philosophy) did only dublicate Kant's dualism and
      with this do "not go beyond the Kantian _results_, that Reason cannot
      acquire knowledge of any true content or subject matter and in regard to
      absolute truth must be directed to faith." Hegel put forward this
      already in "Faith and Knowledge" (1802).

      > Does Hegel say in the PG that our insight into force and understanding
      > brings us back to Kant's trans. unity of apperception? Could you
      > direct me to this, please.

      The opposition of the two worlds in 'Force and Understanding' constitute
      the unity of self-consciousness as the concept in and for itself. This
      is shown in the transition to the chapter on 'Self-Certainty'.

      > Also, what do you mean by the "Fichtean version" of "KANT'S
      > > TRANSCENDENTAL UNITY OF APPERCEPTION, albeit in its Fichtean version of
      > > the I intuiting itself."

      This is from my quotation from Brinkmann's book.

      > As I see it,
      > and in regard to "Fichte's contribution" to subsequent idealism, I
      > take it that his most important contribution lies in his
      > identification of the triadic structure of Kant's unity of
      > apperception:
      > original empty synthesis > synthesis of the object > circuit of
      > self-consciousness.
      > (This triadic structure is already in Kant, but not identified as
      > triadic.)
      > Fichte then transposes this triad on to the triad found with Kant's
      > categories of quality, as applied to the I's self-positing:
      > affirmative /I > negative /not-I > infinite.
      > So that you end up with this pregnant triad:
      > 1) original empty synthesis /affirmative of the I >
      > 2) synthesis of the object /negation by the not-I >
      > 3) circuit of self-consciousness /infinite
      > Thus identifying an original triadic starting point for logic
      > /philosophy. Voila!
      > Any comment on that supposed "contribution."?
      > Thanks again,
      > Bruce

      I do not think that Hegel has in mind the triadic structure of Kant's
      transcendental unity of apperception as the foundation of his own
      Logic. What he has in mind is the opposed moments in their original
      unity or the original unity as the unity of opposed moments. Brinkmann's
      mention of Fichte's "I intuiting itself" refers to self-consciousness
      which first has to be 'derived' from the starting point of the original
      unity of apperception as the foundation of Hegel's concept of knowledge.


      > On 8/27/11, greuterb <greuterb@...
      > <mailto:greuterb%40bluewin.ch>> wrote:
      > > Am 27.08.2011 00:37, John writes:
      > >
      > >> --- In hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>
      > <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>, Bruce
      > >> Merrill <merrillbp@...> wrote:
      > >>
      > >> > > Schopenhauer, by the way, is not a post-Hegelian philosopher. He
      > >> is very much a contemporary of Schelling and Hegel. He was, really, a
      > >> follower of Schelling.
      > >> >
      > >>
      > >> > But he presents himself as a follower of Kant, right? So, does he
      > >> > mis-represent himself?
      > >>
      > >> Not really. There are two things that are particularly characteristic
      > >> of early Schelling. First, he originally became famous for his
      > >> philosophy of nature which came out in the last few years of the 18th
      > >> century. And second, he ends his _System of Transcendental Idealism_
      > >> of 1800, which otherwise closely follows Fichte, with his philosophy
      > >> of art.
      > >>
      > >> Schopenhauer presents both a philosophy of nature and a philosophy of
      > >> art in his _The World as Will and Representation_, which came out in
      > >> 1819. I don't think Schopenhauer refers at all to Hegel in the first
      > >> edition of the book. I don't know that Hegel would have been very well
      > >> known in 1919. He speaks in a generally favorable way, though, of
      > >> Schelling's philosophy of nature in 1819. He writes:
      > >>
      > >> "To discover this fundamental type has been the main concern, or
      > >> certainly at any rate the most laudable endeavor, of the natural
      > >> philosophers of Schelling's school. In this respect they have much
      > >> merit, although in many cases their hunting for analogies in nature
      > >> degenerates into mere facetiousness. However, they have rightly shown
      > >> the universal relationship and family likeness even in the Ideas of
      > >> inorganic nature, for instance between electricity and magnetism, the
      > >> identity of which was established later; between chemical attraction
      > >> and gravitation, and so on.
      > >>
      > >> "They drew special attention to the fact that polarity, that is to
      > >> say, the sundering of a force into two qualitatively different and
      > >> opposite activities striving for reunion, a sundering which also
      > >> frequently reveals itself spatially by a dispersion in opposite
      > >> directions, is a fundamental type of almost all the phenomena of
      > >> nature, from the magnet and the crystal up to man...
      > >>
      > >> "Also in the school of Schelling we find, among their many efforts to
      > >> bring to light the analogy between all the phenomena of nature, many
      > >> attempts, although unfortunate ones, to derive laws of nature from the
      > >> mere laws of space and time. However, we cannot know how far the mind
      > >> of a genius will one day realize both endeavors."
      > >>
      > >> (vol. 1, 143f)
      > >>
      > >> Hegel, in his philosophy of nature begins with space and time and
      > >> derives all the laws of nature from them. Is Schopenhauer referring to
      > >> Hegel here? Could he have known something about Hegel's philosophy of
      > >> nature in 1919? Certainly, insofar as he knew anything about Hegel at
      > >> all in 1919, he would very likely have supposed him to be a member of
      > >> the school of Schelling.
      > >>
      > >> I believe all the other references to Schelling, and all the
      > >> references to Hegel, were addded to the second edition of 1844.
      > >>
      > >> But even in 1844 he still continued to speak not unfavorably about
      > >> Schelling. So, for instance, he writes:
      > >>
      > >> "The "One and all", in other words, that the inner essence in all
      > >> things is absolutely one and the same, has by my time already been
      > >> grasped and understood, after the Eleatics, Scotus Erigena, Giordano
      > >> Bruno, and Spinoza had taught it in detail, and Schelling had revived
      > >> this doctrine."
      > >>
      > >> (vol 2, 642)
      > >>
      > > John,
      > >
      > > Yes, and this philosophy of identity is exactly what Hegel rejects and
      > > for which Schelling (and Schopenhauer) attacks Hegel in reverse as an
      > > apparently undermining of Kant's dualism, i.e. the opposition of
      > > consciousness. Klaus Brinkmann in his book on "Idealism without Limits"
      > > (Springer, 2011, p. 144f) does point on this very clear:
      > >
      > > "The unity, therefore, is "already divided" as it always already has
      > > "superseded itself as an otherness". In other words, there is no need to
      > > posit an abtract totality apart from the unity of the two opposites.
      > > Each opposite is in and of itself united with its opposite both
      > > internally and externally. The unity is not something beyond the two
      > > opposites but contains them and is contained by them from the start. The
      > > unity of essential opposites is an original unity that is originally
      > > self-differentiating, or the original unity contains difference
      > > originally. Instead of trying to derive this unity form something
      > > simpler and less differentiated we start with it - and essentially
      > > remain with and in it throughout its unfolding and development.
      > >
      > > It is thus apparent that in Hegel's view Schelling's positing of an
      > > unknowable - because undifferentiated - ground of reality results from a
      > > lingering commitment to the opposition of consciousness and an
      > > unwillingness to abondon the standpoint of the understanding. The fact
      > > that (absolute) reason remains an enigma for (human) reason indicates
      > > that (human) reason continues to be identified with the understanding.
      > > For what Schelling has in effect done is to eliminate the inner
      > > opposition from one of the opposites. He did not follow the logic of the
      > > concept as an inner difference but instead let himself be guided by the
      > > concept of an external difference. Following the principle of
      > > non-contradiction as Spinoza had done he treated the opposite as
      > > "predicates, whose essence is an inert substance" (PS § 164/3, 134),
      > > i.e., as being only accidentally attached to their totality. This,
      > > however, makes the ground a mere "Verstandes-Identität", i.e. a
      > > tautology unity ("A=A") from which nothing can be derived. To try to do
      > > so is to belabor a pseudo-problem. This suggests again that Hegel saw in
      > > Schelling's philosophy essentially an impasse. Like Fichte's
      > > Wissenschaftslehre this was not the way to complete the Copernican
      > > revolution. The original synthetic unity of self-consciousness could not
      > > be transformed into an inifinite principle in this way. As we saw
      > > earlier, neither Fichte's nor Schelling's approach went "beyond the
      > > Kantian results" (SL 62, footnote/WdL I 44 footnote). Therefore, if real
      > > progress was to be made, one had once again to "turn to that preceding
      > > [Kantian] exposition". Force and Understanding thus appropriately ends
      > > with the evocation of that genuine starting-point of speculative
      > > philosophy as Hegel understood it, viz. self-consciousness as the
      > > original unity of subject and object which is no longer opposed by an
      > > other outside it. Schelling's philosophy of identity is not a foundation
      > > on which to build. In Hegel's view, the true foundation REMAINS KANT'S
      > > TRANSCENDENTAL UNITY OF APPERCEPTION, albeit in its Fichtean version of
      > > the I intuiting itself."
      > >
      > > Regards,
      > > Beat Greuter

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