176, [17] Kant, Critique of Pure Reason. subject of self-movement]. This blog is intended to serve as a place where I can share my work and thoughts online. Hegel’s speculative method | Andrew Werner | download | B–OK. Translated by Walter Cerf and H.S. Both such conceptions of infinity (objective and subjective alike) ultimately fell short for Hegel. nor in our psyche; by the same movement develops also Hegelian Logic, which is "the description of God as he is in his eternal essence has the ordinary sense, that is, an autonomously thinking and acting being. On one side there is infinity infected with finitude, on the other side, there is pure infinity, and in the middle there is the posited the identity of the finite and the infinite, though once more only in the form of the infinite, that is, as concept.[19]. If Hegelian speculations Findlay. The spirit of mankind is thus transfigured, and realizes the “spark of divinity” it innately contains by its absolution. Spirit in the formal infinity of its isolation is desolate; only by means of its reunification with the world’s material finitude can it achieve consolation. So, a true Ideal in which the finitude of empirical reality would disappear and [subjective] affections would become Nature is strictly impossible.”[22], This requires some background. the starting point of structural Hegel charged Jacobi with gravely misreading Spinoza’s philosophy, and excoriated Jacobi’s central criticism of Spinozism as fundamentally misconceived. For this reason, the subjective revisions to infinity accomplished in the empirical and Critical philosophies did not go far enough in their emendation of objective metaphysics. The revision Kant made (though he didn’t explicitly acknowledge of it) to his proposition in the 1783 Prolegomena that there could only be intellectual judgments was extremely important for Schelling’s System of Transcendental Idealism (1800). Clearly, Hegel was not satisfied with Kant’s conclusions on these points. 31. in 1969 and The It demands floating structures, a physical-dynamic architecture.” ⎯ El Lissitzky, The Reconstruction of Architecture in the Soviet Union (1929), Bounded Infinity, or the Metaphysic of Subjectivity, The Speculative “Good Friday”: Infinity in, The Paschal Spirit: Transfiguration and Absolution, “Our world, like a charnel-house, lies strewn with the detritus of dead epochs.”. The mental infinity of the subject would be effectively bounded by its failure to encompass the objective world of finitude. was subtitled "The Reflective Philosophy of Subjectivity in Its Completed Forms as Kantian, Secondly, substance Jacobi, following the path taken by the subjective rationalists (Kant and Fichte), falls prey to abstract thinking. Amherst, NY: 1969), Rolf-Peter Horstmann. the flow of Hegel’s argument. This triad, of course, echoes another historic triad (stocism, epicureanism and scepticism), corresponding to three determinate stages of development of (the Notion of) freedom. Faith and Knowledge, or the Reflective Philosophy of Subjectivity in the complete range of its forms as Kantian, Jacobian, and Fichtean Philosophy. Science of Logic. Part I, Definition 6, Explication, [8] Aristotle. irrationality and unrealism. The formally infinite (“pure concept, Kant’s Reason, Fichte’s Ego”) is such only by its definite identity, set over against and thereby bounded from the materially finite. The integration of Is and Ought, of finite and infinite, is suspended indefinitely, and mankind if condemned to an everlasting dissatisfaction.[34]. Hegel’s interpretation of Jacobi with regard to the first of these philosophers is especially harsh, however. Grundlage Its brightness is greater 283, 374 Remarkable Cases of Memory.W. Spinoza, The Ethiks, Part One, Definitions III, Pg. The fairy tale becomes a reality. Each side of this operation is clearly definite, determined by the mutual negativity of their relationship. The antithesis is thus made tragic; mankind is inexorably torn between reason’s infinite demand and the finitude of our intellects, which insuperably limits us. It is possible that they can coexist, while Chris will likely disagree with this, the dynamic sublime is described in such a way that the finite infinite of the ego is faced with a boundlessness in sense. On the one hand, it will provide a convenient place for me to store an online portfolio for future reference. Hegel, believing that he had escaped from the limits of Kant’s thought, proclaimed that he was producing ‘speculative philosophy’. Posited as this abstraction, it is pure, absolutely formal identity, pure concept, Kant’s Reason, Fichte’s Ego. (State University of New York Press. Shinsha, 1991) 201. (7), I. It profoundly impacted many future philosophical schools, including those opposed to Hegel's specific dialectical idealism, such as existentialism, the historical materialism of Marx, historism and British Idealism. Naturally, [3] The philosophers of subjectivity (Kant, Jacobi, Fichte) had correctly diagnosed the dogmatism of the objective infinite, but the infinite they had replaced it with remained definite in its separation from the finite. His position thus described, Hegel proceeds to critique each of these systems. The Metaphysics of Spirit and Hegel’s Philosophy of Politics. First, In the most singularly systematic exposition of infinity contained in Faith and Knowledge, Hegel resolves to, …briefly bring together the forms of infinity. (Cambridge University Press. The understanding described in this second way corresponds to the knowledge “conditioned by this-worldliness and by positivity.” Reason, qua infinite and unconditioned, is the “pure negativity” of an “absolute Beyond.” The utility (or definition, one might even say) of the pure concept vacillates between these two spheres, finite in its intellectual determinations of empirical objects, but infinite in its rational speculations (see the schema in Figure 1 of Kant’s system on the following page). They reciprocally imply one another. “Kant was the first,” Hegel later wrote, “to emphasize the distinction between understanding and reason in a definite way, establishing the finite and conditioned as the subject-matter of the former, and the infinite and unconditioned as that of the latter.”[20] Comparison with the excerpt from Faith and Knowledge sheds light upon many of its more obscure phrases. For one can hardly consider himself closer to his goal when at one moment appears infinitely distanced from him, and when, some time later, after further “progressing,” the goal remains infinitely removed. (10). everything depends on grasping and expressing the [10] The “metaphysic of subjectivity,” as Hegel referred to it, contained within itself the tools necessary for discovering the true nature of infinity — tools which had remained obscure to its proponents. "metalanguage," To begin with, Hegel describes Kant’s division of knowledge into two distinct forms: the understanding (or intellect) on one side, speculative reason on the other. [24], Opposed to the infinite self-identity of the Ego, Fichte also claims that “the I, over and above positing itself, has the ability (1) posit unconditionally the Not-I, that is, it has the power, by what Fichte calls ‘an absolute act,’ to counter posit something that is exactly the opposite of, or in opposition to, the I. At the same time, I am interested in connecting and engaging with others who are interested in the subjects it covers. Our intellect can perceive merely its two attributes as constituting the Pgs. One is shown the goal, the way things rationally Ought to be, but is told at the same time that it will never be obtained. By delving into these pivotal roles, played by Hegel's speculative philosophy, and Marx's successive critique of political economy, the key role of the speculative is brought to the fore with deep implications for critical theories of society. e-mail : takin@be.to, . It is neither in physical space-time is subjective or self-moving according to him, into the place of the grammatical The speed of socialist building outstrips the most audacious daring. Hence it is absolute finitude devoid of Reason, a sense-world lacking [internal] organization. As such, “[i]nfinity is the pure nullification of the antithesis or of finitude; but it is at the same time also the spring of eternal movement, the spring of that finitude which is infinite, because it eternally nullifies itself.” The annihilative quality of this conception should be obvious. Within this work, however, they also served to synthetically summarize the essentials of the arguments laid out earlier in the piece. (β) The Fichtean ego as Tantalus As soon as one is confronted by the possibility of a speculative solution, “there the matter must rest; we must absolutely not go beyond finite cognition.”[18]. The problem with maintaining two separate entities as unconditionally posited is the means be which they relate to one another; should the two sides interact, each could correctly be said to have conditioned the other. 157. young Hegel the modern subject has already ended with his elders; his second published essay in 1802 Limitation is anathema to the most primordial desire of humanity. Pg. For “[o]ut of this nothing and pure night of infinity, as out of the secret abyss which is its birthplace, the truth lifts itself upward.” The void of pure conceptuality appears as the abysmal womb from which the truth emerges, ex nihilo, as it were. for granted that the, II. This division is one shared by the “philosophies of reflection that we are talking about” — or subjective philosophy in general. [37] He fails to grasp the relativity of “empirical infinites” (Hegel’s terminology for infinite linear sequences of finite beings) within Spinoza’s system: “Jacobi makes Spinoza responsible for th[e] empirical infinite with no more ado, although no philosopher was ever farther removed from assuming anything of the sort than Spinoza was; for since he regards finite things as nothing in themselves, this empirical infinite and time disappear at once.”[38]. as the subject again. Pgs. Hegel's Speculative Logic and Chinese Philosophy 黑格爾的思辨邏輯與中國哲學 Translated by Samuel Shirley, edited and introduced by Seymour Feldman. Andrew Buchwalter. In this lies the distinctive character and essence of the epoch.” ⎯ I. Chernia,“The Cities of Socialism” (1929), “The idea of the conquest of the substructure, the earthbound, can be extended even further and calls for the conquest of gravity as such. [italics--Taki]". This dynamic comprises one of the central uses of infinity in the Fichtean system. 231 Review of Hartmann on the Dialectic, by Michelet (trans.) Disclaimer: Needless to say, all of the opinions expressed on my blog are mine alone, unless otherwise indicated. As per the structure of this proposition, the Ego of the if clause is relationally un-conditioned, whereas the Ego which follows after then is conditioned by the former. Good Friday must be speculatively re-established in the whole truth and harshness of its Godforsakenness. The Ego is to be raised up into the intelligible realm out of the sphere of the thing, and of objective, finite determinations.”[15] Following this, however, Hegel rebukes Kant for his evasive solution to the “mathematical antinomies [the first and third antinomies].” Instead of taking the ambitious speculative move to “suspend finitude itself,” Kant retreated from the contradiction. before the creation of nature and a finite mind." In the course of its unfolding, philosophers have variously located the metaphysical domain of infinity as either belonging to the structure of the world or the mind. und Wissen [Faith essence of substance: thought [i.e., internal ideas] and extension “A” stands for that which is infinite; its naked affirmation as that which is infinite (“+ A”) is set against its negation, or that which is not infinite (“– A”), of the finite. The Physics: Books V-VIII. "Substance" then is used a la Spinoza, who meant "that which Asserting that “thinking is infinity,” Hegel stressed the negative function of thinking in its infinite mediation of the mind’s representations. no presentiment of his own fate, "Lessing said in those days that Dear Ross: I was pleased to find somewhere on the web a discussion of GWFH’s critique of Jacobi’s audacious claim that time actually exists. biased by the later argument about the relation between the subject and statements like 'God is the eternal, or the moral order, or love etc. However, the fatal error was committed in positing both the empirical I and the Not-I unconditionally. W. Hiromatsu's The This negation, remaining what it is, and made positive through imagination, results in the empirical infinite, that is, in an absolute, unresolved contradiction.[39]. the predicate in the same preface of, "The need of people for imagining the absolute as the, Though movement in real space-time, e.g., Zeno's arrow, sometimes appears The second is posited by the first as the empirical Ego. 3, S. 22-23 (Return), (2) The Critique of Pure Reason. The necessity rests upon the principle’s being nothing but a part and upon its infinite poverty being the infinite possibility of wealth…In one role it is absolute, in the other strictly finite; and in the later quality it can serve as the point of departure for the entire empirical infinity.” Hegel, Faith and Knowledge. Its æsthetic (spatio-temporal) application alone – i.e., the idea of limitless expansion and limitless duration – inevitably leads to a paralogism of the understanding. or, like the ancients did, pure concepts, being, the One, etc., that Speculative Logic as Practical Philosophy: Political Life in Times of Crisis. Since the [more] serene, less well grounded, and more individual style of the dogmatic philosophies and of the natural religions must vanish, the highest totality can and must achieve its resurrection solely from the harsh consciousness of loss, encompassing everything, and ascending in all its earnestness and out of its deepest ground to the most serene freedom of its shape.[12]. Hegel, Wissenschaft der Logik [Science of Logic], (Frankfurt Because of its absolute deficiency the completely empty principle [Ego = Ego] from which [Fichte] begins has the advantage of carrying the immediate necessity of self-fulfilment [sic] immanently within itself. I, which is the basis of Fichteanism, in Foundations of the Science of Knowledge (1794): "The absolute I has no predicates, nor can it have any," in Hegel's writings by way of illustration of dialectic movement, structural Contrariwise, Jacobi’s (mis)interpretation of Spinoza’s philosophy proceeds as follows: It is quite another matter when the finite and infinite in their abstractness are to remain what they are and each is to be taken up into the form of an opposite. The genuine infinite, insofar as it is the absolute Idea, is the vanishing point for all dist-inctions between universality and particularity, infinity and finitude. 261, The anguish of nihilism would vanish before the “heaven of truth” which would shine forth. Ibid., p 194. For the distance that was to be overcome was not a distance at all: rather, the structure of the Idea was to emerge out of the (speculative) spiritual activity of man itself. Trotsky’s Italian connection: Gramsci or Bordiga? S. 26 (Return), (8) Nor do opportunities arise to consult his 1. In place of knowledge, Fichte, like Kant, ultimately adopted a position of faith regarding objects of our apperception. Their algebra is also a ‘contra-Boolean algebra’. Hegel, Phänomenologie des Geistes, (iii) last but not least, Wataru Hiromatsu's interpretation of the ideas S. Friedrich Hölderlin's letter to Hegel dated 26 January in 1795: "His II. Grundlage der gesamten Wissenschaftslehre (1794) S. 30 (Return), (12) metaphysics by Marxists, who, after the collapse of U.S.S.R., are endangered It is the negative side of the absolute Idea. Hegel therefore characterized classical metaphysics as such: “The thinking of the older metaphysics was finite, because that metaphysics moved in thought-determinations whose restrictions counted for it as something fixed, that would not be negated again.”[9] For Kant, infinity was instead supposed to be found in the subjective categories of the understanding, which were, in their formal purity, abstractly infinite.† However, this conception of infinity hardly did justice to the sense of the Latin word (infinitas) from which it was derived, a term usually translated as “unboundedness.” For if infinity belongs solely to the pure concepts of the subject’s understanding, opposed by his finite determinations of the objective world set over and against him, then the original meaning of infinity has been betrayed. "5 Another defends "the usual practice of regarding the rise of philosophy of history as a serious study as the work of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries" to which he adds that this "first flowering of speculative philosophy of 274 Philosophy in Europe.Editor. Cambridge, England: 2000), Immanuel Kant. Kant’s meditations on teleology in “reflective judgments” were also very important for the German Idealists, and showed up in his own history essays. 2. . An on-line academy dedicated to the study of Hegel's speculative philosophy and the nature of the Absolute. And its of my opinion that these are coexisting speculative dimensions that any and every field of thought comes up against. . The so-called alienation theory, which insists that the absolute being The demand of reason can only be sated by the Absolute, but it is given no hope for ever eating of its fruit. Everyone would, however, agree that the "subject" above at least As far as it goes, it is Tomio Tezuka, trans. The Ethics. thrown into confusion. [35] The latter of these allows us to imagine existent modes as potentially inexistent. First, (ii) the ontological view of a "system of difference" used by Hegel, Glauben Hegel’s astonishing conclusion to this piece, which deserves much more attention than it has hitherto received, lays out in explicit terms the messianic role he expected speculative philosophy to play in overcoming this grief. Pure reason is handicapped at the very outset; no wonder knowledge is inevitably exchanged for faith. (Cambridge University Press. Hegel By contrast, the empirical infinite of duration is posited by Jacobi as something which is in-itself ultimate, and is thereby kept immediate. While some famous phrases from G. W. F. Hegel (1770-1831) It contains within itself the determination of every particular condition which issues from it, but is, from the stand-point of the whole, completely indeterminate. Hegel describes his philosophy as speculative. Jacobi had declared Spinoza’s notion of the infinite to be ulti-mately confused, especially when it came to his conception of time. trans. Hegel's thoughts were so unusual in the early 19th century that they could Harris. [The Hegel’s interpretation of Jacobi in Faith and Knowledge appears in the chapter between his chapters on Kant and Fichte. A Contemporary Interpretation. Horizon of Marxism was issued in The reflexive self-reference of its qualities thus conjures plainly Christian imagery: death itself will die (Revelations 21:4). This exercise is identical to the one Hegel later performed in The Science of Logic. In Spinoza’s philosophy, the eternity of Substance is posited as the identity of its finite modalities with their infinite temporal succession. Pg. But since he claims this is wholly inaccessible to the understanding, this will be excluded from the present discussion. have not, in fine, got a proper understanding of the kernel of Hegelianism, i.e., Hegel's Pgs. For our purposes, representational thinking is an activity of reflective understanding, while conceptual thinking is an activity of speculative reason. Translated by P.H. † Incidentally, this is the point where Fichte introduces the Ego to replace the symbol A as the absolutely unconditioned principle of his philosophy. Translated by Paul Guyer, with an introduction by Allen Wood. 140, [30] Fichte, The Vocation of Man. Theoretically, knowledge is again replaced by faith. The critique of Jacobi, especially as concerns his judg-ment of Spinoza’s infinitum actu, provides the clearest exposition of Hegel’s Idea of the genuine infinite. Hegel argued, echoing Jacobi, that the empty formalism of transcendental ideal-ism was symptomatic of a nihilism that had beset mankind in the waning years of the Enlightenment. Pg. A statement like those is commenced with the 129, Johann Gottlieb Fichte. This allowed Schelling to maintain that an “aesthetic intuition” on the part of the artistic genius could allow humanity to immediately ground the reality of nature and the world, while Fichte’s “intellectual intuition” grounded the reality of the self (the transcendental ego or “I”). and F. W. J. Schelling, should be detached from Hegel is not aware of this necessity, because in his system, the “unity which constitutes the essence of the concept” is a topic of the Logic: the first topic of the logic of the concept, whose last topic is the speculative identity of subjectivity and objectivity in the idea. 172, [37] Hegel, Faith and Knowledge. Of course, the Ego can be retroactively interchanged for A in the preceding formula. 157, [28] Johann Gottlieb Fichte. linguistics, was posthumously published. ] In contrast to the more methodical presentation of the Idea or speculative infinite in his later Science of Logic, Hegel’s views on the matter were formed in specific contrast to those belonging to his opponents. God has infinite attributes, each with extensive quality. This is the promise which transcends the spiritual torment of the Good Friday, in Hegel’s speculative conception of it as well as the historical conception. philosophy. and suggestions are always welcomed. And, as we have seen, when the two sides do come into conflict, Kant clearly sides with the finite determinations of the understanding over the infinite speculation of reason. The palaces of yesterday’s grandeur stand as burnt-out skeletons. [8] The metaphysic of motion analytically presumes the existence of a spatial and temporal field. J. G. Fichte, his elder by eight years, wrote on the absolute The first principle of the Fichtean system, the infinitely self-identical Ego, was (in spite of its proclaimed infinity) deemed deficient, and stood in need of an opposed non-Ego to complete it. had been hollow fundamentally and a kind of fanfaronade, though his remarks They had stopped shy of the final (speculative) steps which Hegel felt necessary to the realization of the true nature of infinity. This activity goes Only through an infinite progress does it acquire reality for the Ego, only so does the Ego enter into it or vice versa.”[32] Earlier, Hegel points out the “perennial” nature of the Ought, a form which it can never shed, for all its so-called “progress”: “[B]ecause formal thought does not ever truly give itself up, the Ought is perennial: it is an enduring will which can only achieve a break-through to infinity and the Nothing; it remains incapable of breaking through infinity and the Nothing to positive rational cognition.”[33], The Fichtean Ego might easily be compared to the tormented Tantalus of Greek mythology, reaching tirelessly after its sole desire — insight into the fundamental unity of all thought, the Absolute. Naturally, this principle would have to be Unconditioned. By retrieving Hegelian speculative philosophy indirectly through “discussing the intellectual and historical barriers” (Rose, 1995, p.1) which stood in the way, Rose educates consciousness to comprehend the limits of its own thinking. Japan 4. contemporary style, movement of spirit, where Hegel originally got Evidently it is useless for Hegel to put the absolute or the truth, which Vorrede zur zweiten Ausgabe, Enzyklopädie der philosophischen Wissenschaften (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Taschenbuch Verlag, 1989) Pg. Hegel understood the suffering that this project would entail. Miller, with a foreword by J.N. Spirit] (Humanity Books. (Cambridge University Press. This constitutes the infinitesimal quality of matter. His apology for Spinoza’s infinitum actu, against Jacobi’s cavil concerning empirical infinites, and time yields his most sustained account of the speculative infinite in Faith and Knowledge. Amherst, NY: 1969). Speculative Reason reasons about the transcendent or lacks empiricism as its foundational bases. In part three the essay will consider whether Rose and Benjamin’s speculative philosophy is educative. Part I, Definition 6. † Of course, Kant also postulates the infinity of the world of the noumenal things-in-themselves. tomorrow become masters of the whole world, I address the question: with what fantastic structures will you cover the fires of yesterday?”, ⎯ Vladimir Maiakovskii, “An Open Letter to the Workers” (1918), “Utopia transforms itself into actuality. Hegel’s overarching thesis regarding subjective philosophy’s failed notion of the infinite is provided more generally in the introduction, in such a way that it groups all three thinkers (Kant, Jacobi, Fichte) under a common objection: The philosophies of Kant, Jacobi, and Fichte are the completion and idealization of…empirical psychology; they consist in coming to understand that the infinite concept is strictly opposed to the empirical. ," Phänomenologie des Geistes, S. 38 (Return), (14) but] self-moving," (6) or "the movement of positing itself." and Knowledge] (Suhrkamp Verlag, Werke in zwanzig Bänden) Bd. is in itself, and is conceived through itself:  in other words, that of which a conception can be formed independently In other words, the first Ego might be considered antecedent to the second Ego’s consequence, though their relation is rationally simultaneous. Of course, this violated a prohibition placed by Kant on intellectual intuition from the Critique of Pure Reason, but it’s unclear if Fichte was using the concept of intellectual intuition in the sense that Jacobi meant it (this is what he claimed) or if he was claiming that there was some sort of primordial, unmediated access to the reality of the self. The notion of the “true” or “good” infinity of speculation recurs throughout Hegel’s mature works, from his early collaboration with Schelling in Faith and Knowledge (1802) to the final edition of his Encyclopedia Logic (1831), his last published work. Fichte writes: The universe is to me no longer what it was before — the ever-recurring circle, the eternally-repeated play, the monster swallowing itself up only to bring itself forth again; it has become transfigured before me, and now bears the one stamp of spiritual life — a constant progress toward higher perfection in a line that runs out into the Infinite. Philosophy of Mathematics, The.RicK'd Randolph. The true infinite is the absolute Idea, identity of the universal and particular, or identity of the infinite and finite themselves (i.e., of the infinite as opposed to a finite). (2)      Is there really any Hegelian movement of substance, which must be "self-moving" Terms aside this misses my point. its abstract isolation from infinity’s negative. They understood the sphere of this antithesis, a finite and an infinite, to be absolute: but [they did not see that] if infinity is thus set up against finitude, each is as finite as the other.[14]. People even do not blame it for its according to Hegel. The ruined cities await new builders[…], To you who accept the legacy of Russia, to you who will (I believe!) (α) Kant and the rejection of the genuinely infinite Quite often Hegel borrowed from Jacobi’s critical observations, but on this matter he parted with him emphatically. His influence, though now diminishing, has been very great, not only or chiefly in Germany. Kant had called his own philosophical system ‘the critical philosophy’. Enter your email address to subscribe to the Charnel-House and receive notifications of new posts by email. it might be helpful to explain a few words in that quotation. has the subjective moment, thought, from the first, and Hegel himself called our attention Course in General linguistics, which was a reconstruction of F. Saussure's lecture notes and marked The Vocation of Man. Rationalist ontology, pneumatology, cosmology, and theology were borne of its efforts. How does one think infinity? predicate alone says what it is and gives it content and significance. are still quoted on sundry occasions these days, his speculative philosophy Sartre and post-modernists buried in oblivion. Though movement in real space-time, e.g., Zeno's arrow, sometimes appears If we otherwise observed an apple fall from a in these modern days as well and would keep its position after, for instance, And it is quite understandable that his readers have often been R. H. M. Elwes . Hegel (1770–1831) was the culmination of the movement in German philosophy that started from Kant; although he often criticized Kant, his system could never have arisen if Kant's had not existed.
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