Tagged: Dialectics

Hegelian Concepts

Source: Hegel for Beginners, by Llyod Spencer and Andrzej Krauze, Published by Icon Books. In 1808, Hegel still talked of constructing some sort of bridge between traditional logic set out in classical form by Aristotle and his own. Aristotlean logic had been the standard for 2,000 years. Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC) perfected a form of deductive argument called the syllogism. “Classical reasoning assumes the principle of logical identity: A = A or A is not non-A”. Why did Hegel need a different logic? Perhaps you may already have seen the answer to this in Hegel’s Phenomenology. Hegel usually...

Hegel: Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences. 1830.

Part One: Introduction §1 Philosophy misses an advantage enjoyed by the other sciences. It cannot like them rest the existence of its objects on the natural admissions of consciousness, nor can it assume that its method of cognition, either for starting or for continuing, is one already accepted. The objects of philosophy, it is true, are upon the whole the same as those of religion. In both the object is Truth, in that supreme sense in which God and God only is the Truth. Both in like manner go on to treat of the finite worlds of Nature and the...

Louis Althusser: Contradiction and Overdetermination

Althusser argues in this passage from the 1965 book “For Marx,” that the difference between Marx and Hegel is not just a reversal of the dialectical method from an idealistic to a materialistic use, as Hegelian Marxists like Lukács, Benjamin, and the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory have claimed. Althusser tries to show that Marx’s model of the dialectic is quite different than Hegel’s,  and he argues that Marx’s Opus Magnum, the “Kapital” from 1867, is a decisive epistemological break with Hegelian categories of thought.  In Althusser’s view, Marx tried to conceptualize the ‘social formation’ not in the Hegelian terms of an ‘expressive totality’ (see [easyazon_link...

Hegel: Phänomenologie des Geistes. (1807)

Sektion 4, A und B. IV. Die Wahrheit der Gewißheit seiner selbst In den bisherigen Weisen der Gewißheit ist dem Bewußtsein das Wahre etwas anderes als es selbst. Der Begriff dieses Wahren verschwindet aber in der Erfahrung von ihm; wie der Gegenstand unmittelbar an sich war, das Seiende der sinnlichen Gewißheit, das konkrete Ding der Wahrnehmung, die Kraft des Verstandes, so erweist er sich vielmehr nicht in Wahrheit zu sein, sondern diesAn-sich ergibt sich als eine Weise, wie er nur für ein Anderes ist; der Begriff von ihm hebt sich an dem wirklichen Gegenstande auf, oder die erste unmittelbare Vorstellung in der Erfahrung,...

Hegel Quotes

The website Marxists.org has an extensively researched collection of Hegel texts. The following quotes from Hegel are linked to these texts, so you can read each quote in the context in which it was written, which is very helpful.   When philosophy paints its grey in grey, one form of life has become old, and by means of grey it cannot be rejuvenated, but only known. The owl of Minerva, takes its flight only when the shades of night are gathering. Preface to The Philosophy of Right (1821) The spirit of a nation is reflected in its history, its religion, and the degree of...

Simone de Beauvoir: On the Master-Slave Relation

From Part II of The Second Sex. Simone de Beauvoir, 1949. On the Master-Slave Relation Certain passages in the argument employed by Hegel in defining the relation of master to slave apply much better to the relation of man to woman. The advantage of the master, he says, comes from his affirmation of Spirit as against Life through the fact that he risks his own life; but in fact the conquered slave has known this same risk. Whereas woman is basically an existent who gives Life and does not risk her life, between her and the male there has been...

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

Along with J. G. Fichte and F. W. J. von Schelling, Hegel  (1770-1831) belongs to the period of “German idealism” in the decades following Kant. The most systematic of the post-Kantian idealists, Hegel attempted, throughout his published writings as well as in his lectures, to elaborate a comprehensive and systematic ontology from a “logical” starting point. He developed a dialectical method, which can be seen as an extended version of logic. He is perhaps most well-known for his teleological account of history, an account which was later taken over by Marx and “inverted” into a materialist theory of an historical development...

Augustine of Hippo: On Dialectics.

Augustine, De Dialectica (trans. J. Marchand) From the translator: It is hard to translate, not because the Latin is hard; it is not. But St. Augustine likes to use particles (he is educating his son) and the like, and I wanted to preserve the flavor. This is not a scientific treatise. At the same time, I note that the translation I give is sometimes too literal, since I also wanted to avoid falsifying St. Augustine and to preserve much of his introtextuality and self-reference. The Roman numeral at the beginning of each paragraph is a link to the corresponding paragraph...

Kojève: Consciousness and Desire

This short text is quoted from Kojève, Alexandre: Introduction to the Reading of Hegel. Basic Books, New York, 1969. Beginning and End. Man is Self-Consciousness. He is conscious of himself, conscious of his human reality and dignity; and it is in this that he is essentially different from animals, which do not go beyond the level of simple Sentiment of self. Man becomes conscious of himself at the moment when – for the “first” time – he says “I.” To understand man by understanding his “origin” is, therefore, to understand the origin of the I revealed by speech. Now, the...

Alexandre Kojève

Alexandre Kojève (1902-1968) was born in Russia and educated in Berlin. Kojeve gave his influential lectures on Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes from 1933-1939 in Paris, which were collected and edited by the poet Raymond Quesneau as Introduction to the Reading of Hegel (1947). After the Second World War Kojeve worked in the French ministry of Economic Affairs as one of the chief planners of the Common Market (EU). Short Biography, quoted from Marxists.org “French philosopher who introduced a study of Hegel to post-World War Two France. Born in Russia and educated in Berlin, he...

Dialektik der Aufklärung

Die in dem Buch erkannte Entwicklung zur totalen Integration ist unterbrochen, nicht abgebrochen; sie droht, über Diktaturen und Kriege sich zu vollziehen. Die Prognose des damit verbundenen Umschlags von Aufklärung in Positivismus, den Mythos dessen, was der Fall ist, schließlich die Identität von Intelligenz und Geistfeindschaft hat überwältigend sich bestätigt. Unsere Konzeption der Geschichte wähnt nicht, ihr enthoben zu sein, aber sie jagt nicht positivistisch nach Information. Als Kritik von Philosophie will sie Philosophie nicht preisgeben.

Hegel’s Grand Synthesis: A Study of Being, Thought, and History.

The following quote is from: Daniel Berthold-Bond, Hegel’s Grand Synthesis: A Study of Being, Thought, and History. New York: Harper, 1993, pp. 81-91. The Dialectical Principle Probably more has been written about Hegel’s theory of dialectic than any other aspect of his philosophy. It has been ridiculed as a “primitive schematization system,” [49] and praised as that which allows Hegel to “describe as few others have done the paradoxes, the problems, and the glories of spiritual life.” [50] I am not going to attempt a systematic or thorough analysis of Hegel’s theory of dialectic, but wish only to show how...

Adorno: Self-reflection of Dialectics

(From: Theodor Adorno, Negative Dialectics, 1969. End.) The question is whether metaphysics as a knowledge of the absolute is at all possible without the construction of an absolute knowledge – without that idealism which supplied the title for the last chapter of Hegel’s Phenomenology. Is a man who deals with the absolute not necessarily claiming to be the thinking organ with the capacity to do so, and thus the absolute himself? And on the other hand, if dialectics turned into a metaphysics that is not simply like dialectics, would it not violate its own strict concept of negativity? Dialectics, the...

Alexandre Kojève: What is Dialectic?

This excerpt from Kojève, Alexandre: Introduction to the Reading of Hegel. Basic Books, New York, 1969, discusses the question “What is dialectic?” I am quoting from Chapter 1, and from the conclusion. The Dialectic of the Real and the Phenomenological Method in Hegel What is Dialectic, according to Hegel? We can give a first answer to this question by recalling a passage from the Encyclopaedia — more exactly, the Introduction to the First Part of the Encyclopaedia, entitled Logic. In § 79 (third edition) Hegel says this: With regard to its form, logic has three aspects (Seiten): (a) the abstract...

Vorrede zur Phänomenologie des Geistes

Hier ist die deutsche  Vorrede zur Phänomenologie des Geistes, Hegel’s Hauptwerk von 1807.  “Eine Erklärung, wie sie einer Schrift in einer Vorrede nach der Gewohnheit vorausgeschickt wird – über den Zweck, den der Verfasser sich in ihr vorgesetzt, sowie über die Veranlassungen und das Verhältnis, worin er sie zu andern frühern oder gleichzeitigen Behandlungen desselben Gegenstandes zu stehen glaubt – scheint bei einer philosophischen Schrift nicht nur überflüssig, sondern um der Natur der Sache willen sogar unpassend und zweckwidrig zu sein. Denn wie und was von Philosophie in einer Vorrede zu sagen schicklich wäre – etwa eine historische Angabe der Tendenz und...

Hegel: Absolute Knowledge

Chapter VIII of the Phenomenology of the Spirit. (1) 788. THE Spirit manifested in revealed religion has not as yet surmounted its attitude of consciousness as such; or, what is the same thing, its actual self-consciousness is not at this stage the object it is aware of. Spirit as a whole and the moments distinguished in it fall within the sphere of figurative thinking, and within the form of objectivity. The content of this figurative thought is Absolute Spirit. All that remains to be done now is to cancel and transcend this bare form; or better, because the form appertains to consciousness...

Preface to the Phenomenology of the Spirit

The Phenomenology of the Spirit (German: Phänomenologie des Geistes) was published in 1807, and it is one of G.W.F. Hegel‘s most important philosophical works, and a very influential book in the philosophical tradition. You can also find the German text on this website. PREFACE: ON SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE 1. In the case of a philosophical work it seems not only superfluous, but, in view of the nature of philosophy, even inappropriate and misleading to begin, as writers usually do in a preface, by explaining the end the author had in mind, the circumstances which gave rise to the work, and the relation in...