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This ad is sent on behalf of Paradigm Press, LLC, at 808 St. Paul Street, Baltimore MD 21202. If you're not interested in this opportunity from Paradigm Press, LLC, please [click here]( to remove your email from these offers. Influences The Critical Philosophy of Immanuel Kant (1724â1804) was a major influence on Hegel. As H. S. Harris recounts, when Hegel entered the TÃ¼bingen seminary in 1788, "he was a typical product of the German Enlightenment â an enthusiastic reader of Rousseau and Lessing, acquainted with Kant (at least at second hand), but perhaps more deeply devoted to the classics than to any thing modern." During this early period of his life "the Greeks â especially Plato â came first." Although he later elevated Aristotle above Plato, Hegel never abandoned his love of ancient philosophy, the imprint of which is everywhere in his thought. Aristotle (384â322 BCE) and the ancient Greeks were also a major influence. Hegel's concern with various forms of cultural unity (Judaic, Greek, medieval, and modern) during this early period would remain with him throughout his career. In this way, he was also a typical product of early German romanticism. "Unity of life" was the phrase used by Hegel and his generation to express their concept of the highest good. It encompasses unity "with oneself, with others, and with nature. The main threat to such unity consists in division (Entzweiung) or alienation (Entfremdung)." In this respect, Hegel was particularly taken with the phenomenon of love as a kind of "unity-in-difference," this both in the ancient articulation provided by Plato and in the Christian religion's doctrine of agape, which Hegel at this time viewed as "already 'grounded on universal Reason.'" This interest, as well as his theological training, would continue to mark his thought, even as it developed in a more theoretical or metaphysical direction.[b] Although it is often unacknowledged in the philosophical literature, Hegel's thought (in particular, the tripartite structure of his system) also owes much to the hermetic tradition, in particular, the work of Jakob BÃ¶hme. The conviction that philosophy must take the form of a system Hegel owed, most particularly, to his TÃ¼bingen roommates, Schelling and HÃ¶lderlin. Hegel also read widely and was much influenced by Adam Smith and other theorists of the political economy. It was Kant's Critical Philosophy that provided what Hegel took as the definitive modern articulation of the divisions that must be overcome. This led to his engagement with the philosophical programs of Fichte and Schelling, as well as his attention to Spinoza and the Pantheism controversy.[c] The influence of Johann Gottfried von Herder, however, would lead Hegel to a qualified rejection of the universality claimed by the Kantian program in favor of a more culturally, linguistically, and historically informed account of reason. Philosophical system See also: Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences Hegel's philosophical system is divided into three parts: the science of logic, the philosophy of nature, and the philosophy of spirit (the latter two of which together constitute the real philosophy). This structure is adopted from Proclus's Neoplatonic triad of "'remaining-procession-return' and from the Christian Trinity."[d] Although evident in draft writings dating back as early as 1805, the system was not completed in published form until the 1817 Encyclopedia (1st ed.). Frederick C. Beiser argues that the position of the logic with respect to the real philosophy is best understood in terms of Hegel's appropriation of Aristotle's distinction between "the order of explanation" and "the order of being."[e] To Beiser, Hegel is neither a Platonist who believes in abstract logical entities, nor a nominalist according to whom the particular is first in the orders of explanation and being alike. Rather, Hegel is a holist. For Hegel, the universal is always first in the order of explanation even if what is naturally particular is first in the order of being. With respect to the system as a whole, that universal is supplied by the logic. Michael J. Inwood plainly states, "The logical idea is non-temporal and therefore does not exist at any time apart from its manifestations." To ask "when" it divides into nature and spirit is analogous to asking "when" 12 divides into 5 and 7. The question does not have an answer because it is predicated upon a fundamental misunderstanding of its terms. The task of the logic (at this high systemic level) is to articulate what Hegel calls "the identity of identity and non-identity" of nature and spirit. Put another way, it aims to overcome subject-object dualism. This is to say that, among other things, Hegel's philosophical project endeavors to provide the metaphysical basis for an account of spirit that is continuous with, yet distinct from, the "merely" natural world â without thereby reducing either term to the other. Furthermore, the final sections of Hegel's Encyclopedia suggest that to give priority to any one of its three parts is to have an interpretation that is "one-sided," incomplete or otherwise inaccurate. As Hegel famously declares, "The true is the whole." The Phenomenology of Spirit Main article: The Phenomenology of Spirit The Phenomenology of Spirit was published in 1807. This is the first time that, at the age of thirty-six, Hegel lays out "his own distinctive approach" and adopts an "outlook that is recognizably 'Hegelian' to the philosophical problems of post-Kantian philosophy. Yet, the book was poorly understood even by Hegel's contemporaries and received mostly negative reviews. To this day, the Phenomenology is infamous for, among other things, its conceptual and allusive density, idiosyncratic terminology, and confusing transitions. Its most comprehensive commentary, scholar H. S. Harris's two-volume Hegel's Ladder (The Pilgrimage of Reason and The Odyssey of Spirit), runs more than three times the length of the text itself. The fourth chapter of the Phenomenology includes Hegel's first presentation of the lord-bondsman dialectic,[f] the section of the book that has been most influential in general culture. What is at stake in the conflict Hegel presents is the practical (not theoretical) recognition or acknowledgement [Anerkennug, anerkennen] of the universality â e.g., personhood, humanity â of each of two opposed self-consciousnesses.[g] What the readers learn, but what the self-consciousnesses described do not yet realize, is that recognition can only be successful and actual as reciprocal or mutual. This is the case for the simple reason that the recognition of someone you do not recognize as properly human cannot count as genuine recognition. Hegel can also be seen here as criticizing the individualist worldview of people and society as a collection of atomized individuals, instead taking a holistic view of human self-consciousness as originating in recognition from others, and our view of ourselves being shaped by the views of others. Title page of the original 1807 edition Hegel describes The Phenomenology as both the "introduction" to his philosophical system and also as the "first part" of that system as the "science of the experience of consciousness." Yet it has long been controversial in both respects; indeed, Hegel's own attitude changed throughout his life.[h] Nevertheless, however complicated the details, the basic strategy by which it attempts to make good on its introductory claim is not difficult to state. Beginning with only the most basic "certainties of consciousness itself," "the most immediate of which is the certainty that I am conscious of this object, here and now," Hegel aims to show that these "certainties of natural consciousness" have as their consequence the standpoint of speculative logic. This does not, however, make the Phenomenology a Bildungsroman. It is not the consciousness under observation that learns from its experience. Only "we," the phenomenological observers, are in a position to profit from Hegel's logical reconstruction of the science of experience. The ensuing dialectic is long and hard. It is described by Hegel himself as a "path of despair," in which self-consciousness finds itself to be, over and again, in error. It is the self-concept of consciousness itself that is tested in the domain of experience, and where that concept is not adequate, self-consciousness "suffers this violence at its own hands, and brings to ruin its own restricted satisfaction." For, as Hegel points out, one cannot learn how to swim without getting into the water. By progressively testing its concept of knowledge in this way, by "making experience his standard of knowledge, Hegel is embarking upon nothing less than a transcendental deduction of metaphysics."[i] In the course of its dialectic, the Phenomenology purports to demonstrate that â because consciousness always includes self-consciousness â there are no 'given' objects of direct awareness not already mediated by thought. Further analysis of the structure of self-consciousness reveals that both the social and conceptual stability of our experiential world depend upon networks of reciprocal recognition. Failures of recognition, then, demand reflection upon the past as a way "to understand what is required of us at the present." For Hegel, this ultimately involves rethinking an interpretation of "religion as the collective reflection of the modern community on what ultimately counts for it." He contends, finally, that this "historically, socially construed philosophical account of that whole process" elucidates our distinctly "modern" standpoint and its genesis. Another way of putting this is to say that the Phenomenology takes up Kant's philosophical project of investigating the capacities and limits of reason. Under the influence of Herder, however, Hegel proceeds historically, instead of altogether a priori. Yet, although proceeding historically, Hegel resists the relativistic consequences of Herder's own thought. In the words of one scholar, "It is Hegel's insight that reason itself has a history, that what counts as reason is the result of a development. This is something that Kant never imagines and that Herder only glimpses." In praise of Hegel's accomplishment, Walter Kaufmann writes that the guiding conviction of the Phenomenology is that a philosopher should not "confine him or herself to views that have been held but penetrate these to the human reality they reflect." In other words, it is not enough to consider propositions, or even the content of consciousness; "it is worthwhile to ask in every instance what kind of spirit would entertain such propositions, hold such views, and have such a consciousness. Every outlook in other words, is to be studied not merely as an academic possibility but as an existential reality." What the reader of The Phenomenology of Spirit learns is that the search for an externally objective criterion of truth is a fool's errand. The constraints on knowledge are necessarily internal to spirit itself. Yet, although our theories and self-conceptions may always be reevaluated, renegotiated, and revised, this is not a merely imaginative exercise. Claims to knowledge must always prove their own adequacy in real historical experience. Although Hegel seemed during his Berlin years to have abandoned The Phenomenology of Spirit, at the time of his unexpected death, he was in fact making plans to revise and republish it. As he was no longer in need of money or credentials, H. S. Harris argues that "the only rational conclusion that can be drawn from his decision to republish the bookâ¦ is that he still regarded the 'science of experience' as a valid project in itself" and one for which later system has no equivalent. There is, however, no scholarly consensus about the Phenomenology with respect to either of the systematic roles asserted by Hegel at the time of its publication.[j][k]
This offer is brought to you by Cross Market Review. 221 W 9th St # Wilmington, DE 19801. If you would like to unsubscribe from receiving offers brought to you by Cross Market Review [click here](. Science of Logic Main article: Science of Logic Hegel's concept of logic differs greatly from that of the ordinary English sense of the term. This can be seen, for instance, in such metaphysical definitions of logic as "the science of things grasped in [the] thoughts that used to be taken to express the essentialities of the things." As Michael Wolff explains, Hegel's logic is a continuation of Kant's distinctive logical program. Its occasional engagement with the familiar Aristotelian conception of logic is only incidental to Hegel's project. Twentieth-century developments by such logicians as Frege and Russell likewise remain logics of formal validity and so are likewise irrelevant to Hegel's project, which aspires to provide a metaphysical logic of truth. There are two versions of Hegel's Logic. The first, The Science of Logic (1812, 1813, 1816; bk.I revised 1831), is sometimes also called the "Greater Logic." The second is the first volume of Hegel's Encyclopedia and is sometimes known as the "Lesser Logic." The Encyclopedia Logic is an abbreviated or condensed presentation of the same dialectic. Hegel composed it for use with students in the lecture hall, not as a substitute for its proper, book-length exposition.[l] Hegel presents logic as a presuppositionless science that investigates the most fundamental thought-determinations [Denkbestimmungen], or categories, and so constitutes the basis of philosophy. In putting something into question, one already presupposes logic; in this regard, it is the only field of inquiry that must constantly reflect upon its own mode of functioning. The Science of Logic is Hegel's attempt to meet this foundational demand.[m] As he puts it, "logic coincides with metaphysics." It is important to see, however, that Hegel's metaphysical program is not a return to the Leibnizian-Wolffian rationalism critiqued by Kant, which is a criticism Hegel accepts. In particular, Hegel rejects any form of metaphysics as speculation about the transcendent. His procedure, an appropriation of Aristotle's concept of form, is fully immanent. More generally, Hegel agrees wholeheartedly with Kant's rejection of all forms of dogmatism and also agrees that any future metaphysics must pass the test of criticism. It is the assessment of scholar Stephen Houlgate that Hegel's method of immanent logical development and critique is historically unique. BÃ©atrice Longuenesse holds that this project may be understood, on analogy to Kant, as "inseparably a metaphysical and a transcendental deduction of the categories of metaphysics."[n] This approach insists, and claims to demonstrate, that the insights of logic cannot be judged by standards external to thought itself, that is, that "thought... is not the mirror of nature." Yet, she argues, this does not imply that these standards are arbitrary or subjective. Hegel's translator and scholar of German idealism George di Giovanni likewise interprets the Logic as (drawing upon, yet also in opposition to, Kant) immanently transcendental; its categories, according to Hegel, are built into life itself, and define what it is to be "an object in general." Books one and two of the Logic are the doctrines of "Being" and "Essence." Together they comprise the Objective Logic, which is largely occupied with overcoming the assumptions of traditional metaphysics. Book three is the final part of the Logic. It discusses the doctrine of "the Concept," which is concerned with reintegrating those categories of objectivity into a thoroughly idealistic account of reality.[o] Simplifying greatly, Being describes its concepts just as they appear, Essence attempts to explain them with reference to other forces, and the Concept explains and unites them both in terms of an internal teleology. The categories of Being "pass over" from one to the next as denoting thought-determinations only extrinsically connected to one another. The categories of Essence reciprocally "shine" into one another. Finally, in the Concept, thought has shown itself to be fully self-referential, and so its categories organically "develop" from one to the next. It is clear then, that in Hegel's technical sense of the term, the concept (Begriff, sometimes also rendered "notion," capitalized by some translators but not others[p]) is not a psychological concept. When deployed with the definitive article ("the") and sometimes modified by the term "logical," Hegel is referring to the intelligible structure of reality as articulated in the Subjective Logic. (When used in the plural, however, Hegel's sense is much closer to the ordinary dictionary sense of the term.) Hegel's inquiry into thought is concerned to systematize thought's own internal self-differentiation, that is, how pure concepts (logical categories) differ from one another in their various relations of implication and interdependence. For instance, in the opening dialectic of the Logic, Hegel claims to display that the thought of "being, pure being â without further determination" is indistinguishable from the concept of nothing, and that, in this "passing back and forth" of being and nothing, "each immediately vanishes in its opposite." This movement is neither one concept nor the other, but the category of becoming. There is not a difference here to which we can "refer," only a dialectic that we can observe and describe. The final category of the Logic is "the idea." As with "the concept", the sense of this term for Hegel is not psychological. Rather, following Kant in The Critique of Pure Reason, Hegel's usage harks back to the Greek eidos, Plato's concept of form that is fully existent and universal: "Hegel's Idee (like Plato's idea) is the product of an attempt to fuse ontology, epistemology, evaluation, etc., into a single set of concepts." The Logic accommodates within itself the necessity of the realm of natural-spiritual contingency, that which cannot be determined in advance: "To go further, it must abandon thinking altogether and let itself go, opening itself to that which is other than thought in pure receptivity." Simply put, logic realizes itself only in the domain of nature and spirit, in which it attains its "verification."[q] Hence the conclusion of the Science of Logic with "the idea freely discharging [entlÃ¤Ãt] itself" into "objectivity and external life" â and, so too, the systematic transition to the Realphilosophie. Philosophy of the real Hegel uses the Owl of Minerva as a metaphor for how philosophy can understand historical conditions only after they occur. See also: Realphilosophie In contrast to the first, logical part of Hegel's system, the second, real-philosophical part â the Philosophy of Nature and of Spirit â is an ongoing historical project. It is, as Hegel puts it, "its own time comprehended in thoughts." Hegel expands upon this definition: A further word on the subject of issuing instructions on how the world ought to be: philosophy, at any rate, always comes too late to perform this function. As the thought of the world, it appears only at a time when actuality has gone through its formative process and attained its completed state [sich fertig gemacht]. This lesson of the concept is necessarily also apparent from history, namely that it is only when actuality [Wirklichkeit] has reached maturity that the ideal appears opposite the real and reconstructs this real world, which it has grasped in its substance, in the shape of an intellectual realm. When philosophy paints its gray in gray, a shape of life has grown old, and it cannot be rejuvenated, but only recognized, by the gray in gray of philosophy; the owl of Minerva begins its flight only with the onset of dusk. This easily reads â and frequently has been read â as an expression of the impotence of philosophy, political or otherwise, and a rationalization of the status quo. Allegra de Laurentiis, however, points out that the German expression "sich fertig machen" does not only imply completion, but also preparedness. This additional meaning is important because it better reflects Hegel's Aristotelian concept of actuality. He characterizes actuality as being-at-work-staying-itself that can never be once-and-for-all completed or finished. Hegel describes the relationship between the logical and the real-philosophical parts of his system in this way: "If philosophy does not stand above its time in content, it does so in form, because, as the thought and knowledge of that which is the substantial spirit of its time, it makes that spirit its object." This is to say that what makes the philosophy of the real scientific in Hegel's technical sense is the systematically coherent logical form it uncovers in its natural-historical material â and so also displays in its presentation. The Philosophy of Nature See also: Naturphilosophie The philosophy of nature organizes the contingent material of the natural sciences systematically. As part of the philosophy of the real, in no way does it presume to "tell nature what it must be like." Historically, various interpreters have questioned Hegel's understanding of the natural sciences of his time. However, this claim has been largely refuted by recent scholarship. One of the very few ways in which the philosophy of nature might correct claims made by the natural sciences themselves is to combat reductive explanations; that is to discredit accounts employing categories not adequate to the complexity of the phenomena they purport to explain, as for instance, attempting to explain life in strictly chemical terms. Although Hegel and other Naturphilosophen aim to revive a teleological understanding of nature, they argue that their strictly internal or immanent concept of teleology is "limited to the ends observable within nature itself." Hence, they claim, it does not violate the Kantian critique. Even more strongly, Hegel and Schelling claim that Kant's restriction of teleology to regulative status effectively undermines his own critical project of explaining the possibility of knowledge. Their argument is that "only under the assumption that there is an organism is it possible to explain the actual interaction between the subjective and the objective, the ideal and the real." Hence the organism must be acknowledged to have constitutive status. Introducing Hegel's philosophy of nature for a 21st-century audience, Dieter Wandschneider [de] observes that "contemporary philosophy of science" has lost sight of "the ontological issue at stake, namely, the question of an intrinsically lawful nature": "Consider, for example, the problem of what constitutes a law of nature. This problem is central to our understanding of nature. Yet philosophy of science has not provided a definitive response to it up to now. Nor can we expect to have such an answer from that quarter in future." It is back to Hegel that Wandschneider would direct philosophers of science for guidance in the philosophy of nature. Recent scholars have also argued that Hegel's approach to the philosophy of nature provides valuable resources for theorizing and confronting recent environmental challenges entirely unforeseen by Hegel. These philosophers point to such aspects of his philosophy as its distinctive metaphysical grounding and the continuity of its conception of the nature-spirit relationship.
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