Date   

33rd International Hegel Congress, Warsaw 06/2021 (XXXIII. Internationaler Hegel-Kongress, Warschau 06/2021)

Ken Kubota
 

33rd International Hegel Congress, Warsaw 06/2021 (XXXIII. Internationaler Hegel-Kongress, Warschau 06/2021)

Details:

https://hegel2020.uw.edu.pl <https://hegel2020.uw.edu.pl/>

21-25/06/2021

____________________________________________________


Ken Kubota
doi.org/10.4444/100 <https://doi.org/10.4444/100>


Re: Hegel and the Left: Hegel-Marx (dialectics, method), Hegel-Adorno (identity, non-identity) – Re: [marxistphilosophy] TODAY Sat Oct 17th: virtual panel "Hegel and the Left"

Ken Kubota
 

Thanks, Henry, for your kind answer and the literature references.

From Sommer's Das Konzept einer negativen Dialektik (2016) I have already extensively quoted passages containing a harsh critique of Adorno's reception of Hegel here:
https://owlofminerva.net/files/philosophical_bibliography_2019.pdf#page=15
Persistent link: https://doi.org/10.4444/100.110

Iain Macdonald's What Would Be Different. Figures of Possibility in Adorno (2019) is new to me.
https://www.sup.org/books/title/?id=31023

I will have a look at your forthcoming paper mentioning Backhaus and Reichelt ("Neue Marx-Lektüre") soon.

Best,

Ken

____________________________________________________


Ken Kubota
doi.org/10.4444/100 <https://doi.org/10.4444/100>

Am 20.10.2020 um 19:00 schrieb Henry Pickford <henry.pickford@...>:

Thank you, Ken, for your impression of the conference and for your very helpful contextualizations and references, which indicate paths for deeper pursuit of some of the questions raised in the discussion.

To just offer a gesture of a response to Ken’s question posed to me, since a careful response would unfortunately require more time than I have now in the midst of the semester, I think Adorno can take on board the Hegelian Moment of negation, non-identity, contradiction in ‘determinations of reflection,’ etc., and still maintain that negative dialectic is significantly different from Hegel. The recent book from M Sommer, Das Konzept einer negative Dialektik, seeks to make that case, though one may dispute its success. I would also recommend Iain Macdonald’s recent and excellent study What Would Be Different, which explores how Hegel’s system privileges actuality, whereas Adorno privileges the Hegelian moment of concrete (as opposed to abstract) possibility. I think this presentation is particular helpful in illuminating how Adorno can work within-and-against Hegel, and ‘re-purpose’ an aspect of Hegel’s thinking or system.
I regret that these few sentences must suffice as a response for now.

Thank you again, Ken, for your thoughts and questions!

Best,

Henry



Henry W. Pickford
Associate Professor of German and Philosophy
Co-Director of Graduate Studies, Carolina-Duke Graduate Program in German Studies
German Department
Old Chemistry 116K
Box 90256
Duke University
Durham, NC 27708
Phone: 919-660-3089
Fax: 919-660-3164


From: Ken Kubota <mail@... <mailto:mail@...>>
Date: Sunday, October 18, 2020 at 08:21
To: "marxistphilosophy@groups.io <mailto:marxistphilosophy@groups.io>" <marxistphilosophy@groups.io <mailto:marxistphilosophy@groups.io>>, "hegel@groups.io <mailto:hegel@groups.io>" <hegel@groups.io <mailto:hegel@groups.io>>
Cc: Henry Pickford <henry.pickford@... <mailto:henry.pickford@...>>, "Prof. Adrian Johnston" <aojohns@... <mailto:aojohns@...>>, Jensen Suther <jensen.suther@... <mailto:jensen.suther@...>>, Andy Blunden <andyb@... <mailto:andyb@...>>, Erin Hagood <editor@... <mailto:editor@...>>, "kevind217@... <mailto:kevind217@...>" <kevind217@... <mailto:kevind217@...>>
Subject: Hegel and the Left: Hegel-Marx (dialectics, method), Hegel-Adorno (identity, non-identity) – Re: [marxistphilosophy] TODAY Sat Oct 17th: virtual panel "Hegel and the Left"

The debate took place at a very high level, but unfortunately some key issues weren’t addressed extensively enough – a critique that was also raised in the discussion afterwards.
Too much was talked about psychology, and too little about the Hegel-Marx relation (dialectics, method) and Adorno’s reception of Hegel.

For future events, I would recommend to agree on two or three key aspects in advance.
Let me drop a note on the two mentioned above.

I. Hegel-Marx (dialectics, method)
I felt it a problem that none of the key authors were discussed or even mentioned, such as: Backhaus/Reichelt (Germany), Uno (Japan), Sekine (Japan, Canada).
Of course, economic theory (value theory) is quite difficult, as requirements are both Hegel’s Logic as well as economic theory, and the latter doesn’t seem to be a main field of the panelists.
However, there should be some idea, and a name such as Backhaus (Dialektik der Wertform), who is in the tradition of Hegel, Marx, and Adorno/Horkheimer, and who thought in Frankfurt, is known worldwide both in academia and in critical theory debates in general.
The English translation of my article should be available soon:
The Dialectical Presentation of the General Notion of Capital in the Light of Hegel’s Philosophy
On the Logical Analysis of Political Economy with Special Consideration of Adorno and the Research Results of Rubin, Backhaus, Reichelt, Uno, and Sekine
https://doi.org/10.4444/100.100 <https://urldefense.com/v3/__https:/doi.org/10.4444/100.100__;!!OToaGQ!8_rvMHBg8q6ASCnuHoK-l-JCIZN0Ti-WS4tngzVwg_QVvoYBg0WTQlc5AnemHGXTsfGFRw$>
At a very general level, the following quotes by Prof. Arndt are relevant:
should be understood as an alternative structure of reflection: “Einheit des Setzens und Vorausgesetztseins (nicht: Voraussetzens)” [Arndt, 2013, p. 89, emphasis as in the original; see also Kubota, 2009, p. 217 fn. 70].
[E]ine Reflexionsstruktur, die eine Alternative zur Hegel’schen Einheit des Setzens und Voraussetzens in der bestimmenden Reflexion darstellt, ohne in eine äußerliche Reflexion zurückzufallen” [Arndt, 2013, p. 89].
https://owlofminerva.net/files/philosophical_bibliography_2017.pdf#page=9 <https://urldefense.com/v3/__https:/owlofminerva.net/files/philosophical_bibliography_2017.pdf*page=9__;Iw!!OToaGQ!8_rvMHBg8q6ASCnuHoK-l-JCIZN0Ti-WS4tngzVwg_QVvoYBg0WTQlc5AnemHGWIUlt8dg$>

II. Hegel-Adorno (identity, non-identity)
Ralph Dumain’s critique, that the Dialectic of Enlightenment is not concrete and ahistorical in its argument, is basically correct and reflects Adorno’s problematic reading of Hegel.
This must not be misunderstood. Adorno is one of the most important thinkers of the 20th century, and his material philosophy is not affected by this, but his reading of Hegel’s Science of Logic in terms of methodology regresses back behind Marx.
Many have seen this, for example Žižek, Schubert, Iber, Stapelfeldt, and others. A link to quotes from them is attached.
On this topic I have attached the question to Henry Pickford, that remained unanswered, and a quote from Stapelfeldt.

____________________________________________________


Ken Kubota
doi.org/10.4444/100 <https://urldefense.com/v3/__https:/doi.org/10.4444/100__;!!OToaGQ!8_rvMHBg8q6ASCnuHoK-l-JCIZN0Ti-WS4tngzVwg_QVvoYBg0WTQlc5AnemHGWFOv0skg$>



[A question to Prof. Pickford:]

Many excellent theorists, for example Žižek, Iber (author of the most import commentary on Hegel's Logic of Essence), Stapelfeldt, and Schubert, state that Adorno's critique of Hegel actually preaches to the choir at least concerning Hegel's Logic of Essence (the second of the three books of Hegel's main work "Science of Logic"), regressing behind Marx's critique of Hegel.
What is your account on this?

Quote Schubert (automated English translation):
In this respect, Adorno’s criticism of Hegel runs down open doors – at least as far as the Logic of Essence is concerned – because here not every determination is identification, as Adorno claims, but primarily distinction, negation, which thus reduces identity to the moving moment and opposes the concept of identity the philosophy of identity has already changed qualitatively as Adorno's negative dialectics makes its program.

Quote Schubert (original German quote from his Ph.D. thesis):
Insofern rennt Adornos Hegelkritik – zumindest was die Wesenslogik angeht – offene Türen ein, indem hier eben nicht jede Bestimmung Identifikation ist, wie Adorno behauptet, sondern in erster Linie Unterscheidung, Negation, die damit die Identität zum bewegten Moment herabsetzt und den Begriff der Identität gegenüber der Identitätsphilosophie bereits so qualitativ verändert, wie es Adornos negative Dialektik zu ihrem Programm erhebt.
https://doi.org/10.4444/52.1.de <https://urldefense.com/v3/__https:/doi.org/10.4444/52.1.de__;!!OToaGQ!8_rvMHBg8q6ASCnuHoK-l-JCIZN0Ti-WS4tngzVwg_QVvoYBg0WTQlc5AnemHGU9YhBcYg$>

For similar quotes (e.g., by Christian Iber, Gerhard Stapelfeldt, and Slavoj Žižek), see section 1.7 "Notes on Adorno’s Reception of Hegel" (pp. x ff.) at
https://owlofminerva.net/files/philosophical_bibliography_2019.pdf#page=10 <https://urldefense.com/v3/__https:/owlofminerva.net/files/philosophical_bibliography_2019.pdf*page=10__;Iw!!OToaGQ!8_rvMHBg8q6ASCnuHoK-l-JCIZN0Ti-WS4tngzVwg_QVvoYBg0WTQlc5AnemHGVXIeF8Ow$>
Persistent link: https://doi.org/10.4444/100.110 <https://urldefense.com/v3/__https:/doi.org/10.4444/100.110__;!!OToaGQ!8_rvMHBg8q6ASCnuHoK-l-JCIZN0Ti-WS4tngzVwg_QVvoYBg0WTQlc5AnemHGXfrQn04Q$>


[Prof. Stapelfeldt on Hegel and Adorno]

Quote Stapelfeldt (automated English translation):
In Negative Dialectics, Adorno starts from the Dialectic of Enlightenment and reproduces its aporia. [...] The aporia appears in the fact that all thinking: the unconscious bourgeois enlightenment as well as its reflection in the instrumental, nature-dominating rationality, the constitution of a “second nature” like the objectivistic positing of a “first nature”, appear as “Enlightenment.” If all thinking is an identification and therefore a reification, then the pure concept cannot distinguish between social natural growth and objectified nature, between social domination and domination over inner and outer nature. [Stapelfeldt, 2012, p. 226, emphases as in the original]

Quote Stapelfeldt (original German quote):
Adorno geht in der Negativen Dialektik von der Dialektik der Aufklärung aus und reproduziert deren Aporie. [...] Die Aporie erscheint darin, daß alles Denken: die ihrer selbst bewußtlose bürgerliche Aufklärung wie deren Widerschein in der instrumentellen, naturbeherrschenden Rationalität, die Konstitution einer “zweiten Natur” wie die objektivistische Setzung einer “ersten Natur”, als “Aufklärung” gelten. Ist alles Denken ein Identifizieren und also eine Verdinglichung, dann läßt sich durch den puren Begriff nicht unterscheiden zwischen gesellschaftlicher Naturwüchsigkeit und objektivierter Natur, zwischen gesellschaftlicher Herrschaft und Herrschaft über die innere sowie äußere Natur. [Stapelfeldt, 2012, p. 226, emphases as in the original]
https://owlofminerva.net/files/philosophical_bibliography_2019.pdf#page=13 <https://urldefense.com/v3/__https:/owlofminerva.net/files/philosophical_bibliography_2019.pdf*page=13__;Iw!!OToaGQ!8_rvMHBg8q6ASCnuHoK-l-JCIZN0Ti-WS4tngzVwg_QVvoYBg0WTQlc5AnemHGX5YSbEfA$>
Persistent link: https://doi.org/10.4444/100.110 <https://urldefense.com/v3/__https:/doi.org/10.4444/100.110__;!!OToaGQ!8_rvMHBg8q6ASCnuHoK-l-JCIZN0Ti-WS4tngzVwg_QVvoYBg0WTQlc5AnemHGXfrQn04Q$>




Am 18.10.2020 um 06:10 schrieb Ralph Dumain <rdumain@... <mailto:rdumain@...>>:

As this session was recorded, it will presumably be publicly available at some point. But as far as I was concerned, it was a waste of two hours, followed by a separate Zoom session of open discussion by the audience, which remained invisible during the symposium, so another fruitless hour of my time.
I did make notes, so if so inclined, I could highlight the main points.
The panelists were Andy Blunden, Henry Pickford, Adrian O. Johnston, Jensen Suther. I am not familiar with the last two. Andy Blunden I do know, and Pickford has translated Adorno. Blunden briefly mentioned Vygotsky, but the bulk of the discussion centered around Hegel, Adorno, and of course Marx.
Now these are four erudite gentlemen, and those of the 30 attendees who congregated afterward who had something to say were also reasonably erudite, yet there was something missing from all this.
It's as if people have mastered in whole or part certain specific ideas or bodies of thought but haven't figured out how to make them work to say something new.
Maybe it's inevitable that a 2-hour presentation divided among 4 speakers could not yield more than theoretical sound-bites. There really was no tangible connection made between the ideas of Hegel or Adorno to today's reality, not even analytically, let alone practically. Vygotsky, Adorno, and Hegel are all great thinkers, but the discussion never developed any real content.
While the question I posed for the Q & A part of the symposium was ignored, in the session afterwards other people raised some doubts about the value of Dialectic of Enlightenment, which was about the only part of the conversation that held my attention.
This was the question I posed to the panelists that was ignored:
Adorno seems to equate abstraction as an epistemological phenomenon to real abstraction or the exchange principle. Of course, abstraction as such does not begin with capitalism, and certainly exists in all prior civilizations with written records, and arguably preceded even these. The notion that the exchange principle is the organizing principle of thought in the capitalist era is in my view typical of Adorno’s tendency toward absolute judgments about everything: popular culture, the nature of Enlightenment, consonant with the notion that the totally administered society really is totally administered. And yet this view, like Dialectic of Enlightenment, lacks concreteness. Adorno is constantly pushing back on the limitations of Kant and Hegel. Do you think that this limits Adorno’s judgments on the actual world?
On 10/17/2020 4:59 PM, Ralph Dumain wrote:
I've signed in. It's a webinar, and attendees can communicate with the panelists via chat, but not with everyone. This is a pain in the ass. But here goes.
On 10/17/2020 10:26 AM, Ralph Dumain wrote:
I have this on my calendar and I hope to attend. I'm not interested in Zizek, but hopefully other topics will be discussed.
On 10/17/2020 10:18 AM, Ken Kubota wrote:
Let me forward this interesting event announcement to the [marxistphilosophy] mailing list.

Some material on Hegel, Adorno, and Žižek is available in my Philosophical Bibliography: https://doi.org/10.4444/100.110 <https://urldefense.com/v3/__https:/doi.org/10.4444/100.110__;!!OToaGQ!8_rvMHBg8q6ASCnuHoK-l-JCIZN0Ti-WS4tngzVwg_QVvoYBg0WTQlc5AnemHGXfrQn04Q$>

A critique of a review by Andy Blunden is available here: https://groups.io/g/hegel/message/41653 <https://urldefense.com/v3/__https:/groups.io/g/hegel/message/41653__;!!OToaGQ!8_rvMHBg8q6ASCnuHoK-l-JCIZN0Ti-WS4tngzVwg_QVvoYBg0WTQlc5AnemHGVDFTYNrw$>


Kind regards,


Ken Kubota

____________________________________________________

Ken Kubota
https://doi.org/10.4444/100 <https://urldefense.com/v3/__https:/doi.org/10.4444/100__;!!OToaGQ!8_rvMHBg8q6ASCnuHoK-l-JCIZN0Ti-WS4tngzVwg_QVvoYBg0WTQlc5AnemHGWFOv0skg$>




Am 17.10.2020 um 08:04 schrieb Kevin via groups.io <https://urldefense.com/v3/__http:/groups.io/__;!!OToaGQ!8_rvMHBg8q6ASCnuHoK-l-JCIZN0Ti-WS4tngzVwg_QVvoYBg0WTQlc5AnemHGXOvtGL8A$><kevind217=yahoo.com@groups.io <mailto:kevind217=yahoo.com@groups.io>>:

[Edited Message Follows]

Dear Hegel discussion group,

My name is Kevin, and I am a member of the University of Chicago chapter of the Platypus Affiliated Society. Now, I would like to invite you all to attend a virtual panel over Zoom that the University of Chicago and George Mason Platypus chapters are hosting on "Hegel and the Left" happening today i.e. Saturday, October 17th at 2 PM Pacific Time/4 PM Central Time/5 PM Eastern Time/10 PM London Time.

Here's the link to join the panel discussion on Zoom:
https://zoom.us/j/94051838260 <https://urldefense.com/v3/__https:/zoom.us/j/94051838260__;!!OToaGQ!8_rvMHBg8q6ASCnuHoK-l-JCIZN0Ti-WS4tngzVwg_QVvoYBg0WTQlc5AnemHGVnuS8ldw$>

On the occasion of Hegel's 250th birthday, the Platypus Affiliated Society asks the question, how does Hegel task the Left and Marxism today?

Panelists:
Andy Blunden (Marxists Internet Archive, author of Hegel for Social Movements)
Adrian Johnston (University of New Mexico, author of A New German Idealism: Hegel, Žižek, and Dialectical Materialism)
Henry Pickford (Duke University, working on book project Theodor W. Adorno: A Critical Life)
Jensen Suther (Platypus Affiliated Society, Yale University, working on book project Hegel’s Materialism: The Logic of Critical Theory)

Facebook event page here:
https://www.facebook.com/events/427466214890236 <https://urldefense.com/v3/__https:/www.facebook.com/events/427466214890236__;!!OToaGQ!8_rvMHBg8q6ASCnuHoK-l-JCIZN0Ti-WS4tngzVwg_QVvoYBg0WTQlc5AnemHGU_rkvjJw$>

Hope to see you all there!

Thank you for your time and consideration,
Kevin
kevind217@... <mailto:kevind217@...>


-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Groups.io <https://urldefense.com/v3/__http:/Groups.io__;!!OToaGQ!8_rvMHBg8q6ASCnuHoK-l-JCIZN0Ti-WS4tngzVwg_QVvoYBg0WTQlc5AnemHGWvD0XH_A$> Links: You receive all messages sent to this group.
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YouTube link – Re: [Hegel] Hegel and the Left: Hegel-Marx (dialectics, method), Hegel-Adorno (identity, non-identity) – Re: [marxistphilosophy] TODAY Sat Oct 17th: virtual panel "Hegel and the Left"

Ken Kubota
 

https://youtu.be/q0Pjhv7kDF0

____________________________________________________


Ken Kubota
doi.org/10.4444/100 <https://doi.org/10.4444/100>

Am 18.10.2020 um 19:32 schrieb Stephen Cowley via groups.io <stephen.cowley=blueyonder.co.uk@groups.io>:

Is there a recorded version?
Stephen Cowley


-----Original Message----- From: Ken Kubota
Sent: Sunday, October 18, 2020 1:21 PM
To: marxistphilosophy@groups.io ; hegel@groups.io
Cc: Prof. Henry Pickford ; Prof. Adrian Johnston ; Jensen Suther ; Andy Blunden ; Erin Hagood ; kevind217@...
Subject: [Hegel] Hegel and the Left: Hegel-Marx (dialectics, method), Hegel-Adorno (identity, non-identity) – Re: [marxistphilosophy] TODAY Sat Oct 17th: virtual panel "Hegel and the Left"

The debate took place at a very high level, but unfortunately some key issues weren’t addressed extensively enough – a critique that was also raised in the discussion afterwards.
Too much was talked about psychology, and too little about the Hegel-Marx relation (dialectics, method) and Adorno’s reception of Hegel.

For future events, I would recommend to agree on two or three key aspects in advance.
Let me drop a note on the two mentioned above.

I. Hegel-Marx (dialectics, method)
I felt it a problem that none of the key authors were discussed or even mentioned, such as: Backhaus/Reichelt (Germany), Uno (Japan), Sekine (Japan, Canada).
Of course, economic theory (value theory) is quite difficult, as requirements are both Hegel’s Logic as well as economic theory, and the latter doesn’t seem to be a main field of the panelists.
However, there should be some idea, and a name such as Backhaus (Dialektik der Wertform), who is in the tradition of Hegel, Marx, and Adorno/Horkheimer, and who thought in Frankfurt, is known worldwide both in academia and in critical theory debates in general.
The English translation of my article should be available soon:
The Dialectical Presentation of the General Notion of Capital in the Light of Hegel’s Philosophy
On the Logical Analysis of Political Economy with Special Consideration of Adorno and the Research Results of Rubin, Backhaus, Reichelt, Uno, and Sekine
https://doi.org/10.4444/100.100
At a very general level, the following quotes by Prof. Arndt are relevant:
should be understood as an alternative structure of reflection: “Einheit des Setzens und Vorausgesetztseins (nicht: Voraussetzens)” [Arndt, 2013, p. 89, emphasis as in the original; see also Kubota, 2009, p. 217 fn. 70].
[E]ine Reflexionsstruktur, die eine Alternative zur Hegel’schen Einheit des Setzens und Voraussetzens in der bestimmenden Reflexion darstellt, ohne in eine äußerliche Reflexion zurückzufallen” [Arndt, 2013, p. 89].
https://owlofminerva.net/files/philosophical_bibliography_2017.pdf#page=9

II. Hegel-Adorno (identity, non-identity)
Ralph Dumain’s critique, that the Dialectic of Enlightenment is not concrete and ahistorical in its argument, is basically correct and reflects Adorno’s problematic reading of Hegel.
This must not be misunderstood. Adorno is one of the most important thinkers of the 20th century, and his material philosophy is not affected by this, but his reading of Hegel’s Science of Logic in terms of methodology regresses back behind Marx.
Many have seen this, for example Žižek, Schubert, Iber, Stapelfeldt, and others. A link to quotes from them is attached.
On this topic I have attached the question to Henry Pickford, that remained unanswered, and a quote from Stapelfeldt.

____________________________________________________


Ken Kubota
doi.org/10.4444/100 <https://doi.org/10.4444/100>



[A question to Prof. Pickford:]

Many excellent theorists, for example Žižek, Iber (author of the most import commentary on Hegel's Logic of Essence), Stapelfeldt, and Schubert, state that Adorno's critique of Hegel actually preaches to the choir at least concerning Hegel's Logic of Essence (the second of the three books of Hegel's main work "Science of Logic"), regressing behind Marx's critique of Hegel.
What is your account on this?

Quote Schubert (automated English translation):
In this respect, Adorno’s criticism of Hegel runs down open doors – at least as far as the Logic of Essence is concerned – because here not every determination is identification, as Adorno claims, but primarily distinction, negation, which thus reduces identity to the moving moment and opposes the concept of identity the philosophy of identity has already changed qualitatively as Adorno's negative dialectics makes its program.

Quote Schubert (original German quote from his Ph.D. thesis):
Insofern rennt Adornos Hegelkritik – zumindest was die Wesenslogik angeht – offene Türen ein, indem hier eben nicht jede Bestimmung Identifikation ist, wie Adorno behauptet, sondern in erster Linie Unterscheidung, Negation, die damit die Identität zum bewegten Moment herabsetzt und den Begriff der Identität gegenüber der Identitätsphilosophie bereits so qualitativ verändert, wie es Adornos negative Dialektik zu ihrem Programm erhebt.
https://doi.org/10.4444/52.1.de

For similar quotes (e.g., by Christian Iber, Gerhard Stapelfeldt, and Slavoj Žižek), see section 1.7 "Notes on Adorno’s Reception of Hegel" (pp. x ff.) at
https://owlofminerva.net/files/philosophical_bibliography_2019.pdf#page=10
Persistent link: https://doi.org/10.4444/100.110


[Prof. Stapelfeldt on Hegel and Adorno]

Quote Stapelfeldt (automated English translation):
In Negative Dialectics, Adorno starts from the Dialectic of Enlightenment and reproduces its aporia. [...] The aporia appears in the fact that all thinking: the unconscious bourgeois enlightenment as well as its reflection in the instrumental, nature-dominating rationality, the constitution of a “second nature” like the objectivistic positing of a “first nature”, appear as “Enlightenment.” If all thinking is an identification and therefore a reification, then the pure concept cannot distinguish between social natural growth and objectified nature, between social domination and domination over inner and outer nature. [Stapelfeldt, 2012, p. 226, emphases as in the original]

Quote Stapelfeldt (original German quote):
Adorno geht in der Negativen Dialektik von der Dialektik der Aufklärung aus und reproduziert deren Aporie. [...] Die Aporie erscheint darin, daß alles Denken: die ihrer selbst bewußtlose bürgerliche Aufklärung wie deren Widerschein in der instrumentellen, naturbeherrschenden Rationalität, die Konstitution einer “zweiten Natur” wie die objektivistische Setzung einer “ersten Natur”, als “Aufklärung” gelten. Ist alles Denken ein Identifizieren und also eine Verdinglichung, dann läßt sich durch den puren Begriff nicht unterscheiden zwischen gesellschaftlicher Naturwüchsigkeit und objektivierter Natur, zwischen gesellschaftlicher Herrschaft und Herrschaft über die innere sowie äußere Natur. [Stapelfeldt, 2012, p. 226, emphases as in the original]
https://owlofminerva.net/files/philosophical_bibliography_2019.pdf#page=13
Persistent link: https://doi.org/10.4444/100.110



Am 18.10.2020 um 06:10 schrieb Ralph Dumain <rdumain@...>:

As this session was recorded, it will presumably be publicly available at some point. But as far as I was concerned, it was a waste of two hours, followed by a separate Zoom session of open discussion by the audience, which remained invisible during the symposium, so another fruitless hour of my time.
I did make notes, so if so inclined, I could highlight the main points.

The panelists were Andy Blunden, Henry Pickford, Adrian O. Johnston, Jensen Suther. I am not familiar with the last two. Andy Blunden I do know, and Pickford has translated Adorno. Blunden briefly mentioned Vygotsky, but the bulk of the discussion centered around Hegel, Adorno, and of course Marx.

Now these are four erudite gentlemen, and those of the 30 attendees who congregated afterward who had something to say were also reasonably erudite, yet there was something missing from all this.
It's as if people have mastered in whole or part certain specific ideas or bodies of thought but haven't figured out how to make them work to say something new.
Maybe it's inevitable that a 2-hour presentation divided among 4 speakers could not yield more than theoretical sound-bites. There really was no tangible connection made between the ideas of Hegel or Adorno to today's reality, not even analytically, let alone practically. Vygotsky, Adorno, and Hegel are all great thinkers, but the discussion never developed any real content.
While the question I posed for the Q & A part of the symposium was ignored, in the session afterwards other people raised some doubts about the value of Dialectic of Enlightenment, which was about the only part of the conversation that held my attention.

This was the question I posed to the panelists that was ignored:

Adorno seems to equate abstraction as an epistemological phenomenon to real abstraction or the exchange principle. Of course, abstraction as such does not begin with capitalism, and certainly exists in all prior civilizations with written records, and arguably preceded even these. The notion that the exchange principle is the organizing principle of thought in the capitalist era is in my view typical of Adorno’s tendency toward absolute judgments about everything: popular culture, the nature of Enlightenment, consonant with the notion that the totally administered society really is totally administered. And yet this view, like Dialectic of Enlightenment, lacks concreteness. Adorno is constantly pushing back on the limitations of Kant and Hegel. Do you think that this limits Adorno’s judgments on the actual world?

On 10/17/2020 4:59 PM, Ralph Dumain wrote:
I've signed in. It's a webinar, and attendees can communicate with the panelists via chat, but not with everyone. This is a pain in the ass. But here goes.
On 10/17/2020 10:26 AM, Ralph Dumain wrote:
I have this on my calendar and I hope to attend. I'm not interested in Zizek, but hopefully other topics will be discussed.
On 10/17/2020 10:18 AM, Ken Kubota wrote:
Let me forward this interesting event announcement to the [marxistphilosophy] mailing list.

Some material on Hegel, Adorno, and Žižek is available in my Philosophical Bibliography: https://doi.org/10.4444/100.110

A critique of a review by Andy Blunden is available here: https://groups.io/g/hegel/message/41653

Kind regards,

Ken Kubota

____________________________________________________

Ken Kubota
https://doi.org/10.4444/100



Am 17.10.2020 um 08:04 schrieb Kevin via groups.io <http://groups.io/> <kevind217=yahoo.com@groups.io <mailto:kevind217=yahoo.com@groups.io>>:

[Edited Message Follows]

Dear Hegel discussion group,

My name is Kevin, and I am a member of the University of Chicago chapter of the Platypus Affiliated Society. Now, I would like to invite you all to attend a virtual panel over Zoom that the University of Chicago and George Mason Platypus chapters are hosting on "Hegel and the Left" happening today i.e. Saturday, October 17th at 2 PM Pacific Time/4 PM Central Time/5 PM Eastern Time/10 PM London Time.

Here's the link to join the panel discussion on Zoom:
https://zoom.us/j/94051838260

On the occasion of Hegel's 250th birthday, the Platypus Affiliated Society asks the question, how does Hegel task the Left and Marxism today?

Panelists:
Andy Blunden (Marxists Internet Archive, author of Hegel for Social Movements)
Adrian Johnston (University of New Mexico, author of A New German Idealism: Hegel, Žižek, and Dialectical Materialism)
Henry Pickford (Duke University, working on book project Theodor W. Adorno: A Critical Life)
Jensen Suther (Platypus Affiliated Society, Yale University, working on book project Hegel’s Materialism: The Logic of Critical Theory)

Facebook event page here:
https://www.facebook.com/events/427466214890236

Hope to see you all there!

Thank you for your time and consideration,
Kevin
kevind217@... <mailto:kevind217@...>






Re: Hegel and the Left: Hegel-Marx (dialectics, method), Hegel-Adorno (identity, non-identity) – Re: [marxistphilosophy] TODAY Sat Oct 17th: virtual panel "Hegel and the Left"

Stephen Cowley
 

Is there a recorded version?
Stephen Cowley

-----Original Message-----
From: Ken Kubota
Sent: Sunday, October 18, 2020 1:21 PM
To: marxistphilosophy@groups.io ; hegel@groups.io
Cc: Prof. Henry Pickford ; Prof. Adrian Johnston ; Jensen Suther ; Andy Blunden ; Erin Hagood ; kevind217@...
Subject: [Hegel] Hegel and the Left: Hegel-Marx (dialectics, method), Hegel-Adorno (identity, non-identity) – Re: [marxistphilosophy] TODAY Sat Oct 17th: virtual panel "Hegel and the Left"

The debate took place at a very high level, but unfortunately some key issues weren’t addressed extensively enough – a critique that was also raised in the discussion afterwards.
Too much was talked about psychology, and too little about the Hegel-Marx relation (dialectics, method) and Adorno’s reception of Hegel.

For future events, I would recommend to agree on two or three key aspects in advance.
Let me drop a note on the two mentioned above.

I. Hegel-Marx (dialectics, method)
I felt it a problem that none of the key authors were discussed or even mentioned, such as: Backhaus/Reichelt (Germany), Uno (Japan), Sekine (Japan, Canada).
Of course, economic theory (value theory) is quite difficult, as requirements are both Hegel’s Logic as well as economic theory, and the latter doesn’t seem to be a main field of the panelists.
However, there should be some idea, and a name such as Backhaus (Dialektik der Wertform), who is in the tradition of Hegel, Marx, and Adorno/Horkheimer, and who thought in Frankfurt, is known worldwide both in academia and in critical theory debates in general.
The English translation of my article should be available soon:
The Dialectical Presentation of the General Notion of Capital in the Light of Hegel’s Philosophy
On the Logical Analysis of Political Economy with Special Consideration of Adorno and the Research Results of Rubin, Backhaus, Reichelt, Uno, and Sekine
https://doi.org/10.4444/100.100
At a very general level, the following quotes by Prof. Arndt are relevant:
should be understood as an alternative structure of reflection: “Einheit des Setzens und Vorausgesetztseins (nicht: Voraussetzens)” [Arndt, 2013, p. 89, emphasis as in the original; see also Kubota, 2009, p. 217 fn. 70].
[E]ine Reflexionsstruktur, die eine Alternative zur Hegel’schen Einheit des Setzens und Voraussetzens in der bestimmenden Reflexion darstellt, ohne in eine äußerliche Reflexion zurückzufallen” [Arndt, 2013, p. 89].
https://owlofminerva.net/files/philosophical_bibliography_2017.pdf#page=9

II. Hegel-Adorno (identity, non-identity)
Ralph Dumain’s critique, that the Dialectic of Enlightenment is not concrete and ahistorical in its argument, is basically correct and reflects Adorno’s problematic reading of Hegel.
This must not be misunderstood. Adorno is one of the most important thinkers of the 20th century, and his material philosophy is not affected by this, but his reading of Hegel’s Science of Logic in terms of methodology regresses back behind Marx.
Many have seen this, for example Žižek, Schubert, Iber, Stapelfeldt, and others. A link to quotes from them is attached.
On this topic I have attached the question to Henry Pickford, that remained unanswered, and a quote from Stapelfeldt.

____________________________________________________


Ken Kubota
doi.org/10.4444/100 <https://doi.org/10.4444/100>



[A question to Prof. Pickford:]

Many excellent theorists, for example Žižek, Iber (author of the most import commentary on Hegel's Logic of Essence), Stapelfeldt, and Schubert, state that Adorno's critique of Hegel actually preaches to the choir at least concerning Hegel's Logic of Essence (the second of the three books of Hegel's main work "Science of Logic"), regressing behind Marx's critique of Hegel.
What is your account on this?

Quote Schubert (automated English translation):
In this respect, Adorno’s criticism of Hegel runs down open doors – at least as far as the Logic of Essence is concerned – because here not every determination is identification, as Adorno claims, but primarily distinction, negation, which thus reduces identity to the moving moment and opposes the concept of identity the philosophy of identity has already changed qualitatively as Adorno's negative dialectics makes its program.

Quote Schubert (original German quote from his Ph.D. thesis):
Insofern rennt Adornos Hegelkritik – zumindest was die Wesenslogik angeht – offene Türen ein, indem hier eben nicht jede Bestimmung Identifikation ist, wie Adorno behauptet, sondern in erster Linie Unterscheidung, Negation, die damit die Identität zum bewegten Moment herabsetzt und den Begriff der Identität gegenüber der Identitätsphilosophie bereits so qualitativ verändert, wie es Adornos negative Dialektik zu ihrem Programm erhebt.
https://doi.org/10.4444/52.1.de

For similar quotes (e.g., by Christian Iber, Gerhard Stapelfeldt, and Slavoj Žižek), see section 1.7 "Notes on Adorno’s Reception of Hegel" (pp. x ff.) at
https://owlofminerva.net/files/philosophical_bibliography_2019.pdf#page=10
Persistent link: https://doi.org/10.4444/100.110


[Prof. Stapelfeldt on Hegel and Adorno]

Quote Stapelfeldt (automated English translation):
In Negative Dialectics, Adorno starts from the Dialectic of Enlightenment and reproduces its aporia. [...] The aporia appears in the fact that all thinking: the unconscious bourgeois enlightenment as well as its reflection in the instrumental, nature-dominating rationality, the constitution of a “second nature” like the objectivistic positing of a “first nature”, appear as “Enlightenment.” If all thinking is an identification and therefore a reification, then the pure concept cannot distinguish between social natural growth and objectified nature, between social domination and domination over inner and outer nature. [Stapelfeldt, 2012, p. 226, emphases as in the original]

Quote Stapelfeldt (original German quote):
Adorno geht in der Negativen Dialektik von der Dialektik der Aufklärung aus und reproduziert deren Aporie. [...] Die Aporie erscheint darin, daß alles Denken: die ihrer selbst bewußtlose bürgerliche Aufklärung wie deren Widerschein in der instrumentellen, naturbeherrschenden Rationalität, die Konstitution einer “zweiten Natur” wie die objektivistische Setzung einer “ersten Natur”, als “Aufklärung” gelten. Ist alles Denken ein Identifizieren und also eine Verdinglichung, dann läßt sich durch den puren Begriff nicht unterscheiden zwischen gesellschaftlicher Naturwüchsigkeit und objektivierter Natur, zwischen gesellschaftlicher Herrschaft und Herrschaft über die innere sowie äußere Natur. [Stapelfeldt, 2012, p. 226, emphases as in the original]
https://owlofminerva.net/files/philosophical_bibliography_2019.pdf#page=13
Persistent link: https://doi.org/10.4444/100.110



Am 18.10.2020 um 06:10 schrieb Ralph Dumain <rdumain@...>:

As this session was recorded, it will presumably be publicly available at some point. But as far as I was concerned, it was a waste of two hours, followed by a separate Zoom session of open discussion by the audience, which remained invisible during the symposium, so another fruitless hour of my time.
I did make notes, so if so inclined, I could highlight the main points.

The panelists were Andy Blunden, Henry Pickford, Adrian O. Johnston, Jensen Suther. I am not familiar with the last two. Andy Blunden I do know, and Pickford has translated Adorno. Blunden briefly mentioned Vygotsky, but the bulk of the discussion centered around Hegel, Adorno, and of course Marx.

Now these are four erudite gentlemen, and those of the 30 attendees who congregated afterward who had something to say were also reasonably erudite, yet there was something missing from all this.
It's as if people have mastered in whole or part certain specific ideas or bodies of thought but haven't figured out how to make them work to say something new.
Maybe it's inevitable that a 2-hour presentation divided among 4 speakers could not yield more than theoretical sound-bites. There really was no tangible connection made between the ideas of Hegel or Adorno to today's reality, not even analytically, let alone practically. Vygotsky, Adorno, and Hegel are all great thinkers, but the discussion never developed any real content.
While the question I posed for the Q & A part of the symposium was ignored, in the session afterwards other people raised some doubts about the value of Dialectic of Enlightenment, which was about the only part of the conversation that held my attention.

This was the question I posed to the panelists that was ignored:

Adorno seems to equate abstraction as an epistemological phenomenon to real abstraction or the exchange principle. Of course, abstraction as such does not begin with capitalism, and certainly exists in all prior civilizations with written records, and arguably preceded even these. The notion that the exchange principle is the organizing principle of thought in the capitalist era is in my view typical of Adorno’s tendency toward absolute judgments about everything: popular culture, the nature of Enlightenment, consonant with the notion that the totally administered society really is totally administered. And yet this view, like Dialectic of Enlightenment, lacks concreteness. Adorno is constantly pushing back on the limitations of Kant and Hegel. Do you think that this limits Adorno’s judgments on the actual world?

On 10/17/2020 4:59 PM, Ralph Dumain wrote:
I've signed in. It's a webinar, and attendees can communicate with the panelists via chat, but not with everyone. This is a pain in the ass. But here goes.
On 10/17/2020 10:26 AM, Ralph Dumain wrote:
I have this on my calendar and I hope to attend. I'm not interested in Zizek, but hopefully other topics will be discussed.
On 10/17/2020 10:18 AM, Ken Kubota wrote:
Let me forward this interesting event announcement to the [marxistphilosophy] mailing list.

Some material on Hegel, Adorno, and Žižek is available in my Philosophical Bibliography: https://doi.org/10.4444/100.110

A critique of a review by Andy Blunden is available here: https://groups.io/g/hegel/message/41653

Kind regards,

Ken Kubota

____________________________________________________

Ken Kubota
https://doi.org/10.4444/100



Am 17.10.2020 um 08:04 schrieb Kevin via groups.io <http://groups.io/> <kevind217=yahoo.com@groups.io <mailto:kevind217=yahoo.com@groups.io>>:

[Edited Message Follows]

Dear Hegel discussion group,

My name is Kevin, and I am a member of the University of Chicago chapter of the Platypus Affiliated Society. Now, I would like to invite you all to attend a virtual panel over Zoom that the University of Chicago and George Mason Platypus chapters are hosting on "Hegel and the Left" happening today i.e. Saturday, October 17th at 2 PM Pacific Time/4 PM Central Time/5 PM Eastern Time/10 PM London Time.

Here's the link to join the panel discussion on Zoom:
https://zoom.us/j/94051838260

On the occasion of Hegel's 250th birthday, the Platypus Affiliated Society asks the question, how does Hegel task the Left and Marxism today?

Panelists:
Andy Blunden (Marxists Internet Archive, author of Hegel for Social Movements)
Adrian Johnston (University of New Mexico, author of A New German Idealism: Hegel, Žižek, and Dialectical Materialism)
Henry Pickford (Duke University, working on book project Theodor W. Adorno: A Critical Life)
Jensen Suther (Platypus Affiliated Society, Yale University, working on book project Hegel’s Materialism: The Logic of Critical Theory)

Facebook event page here:
https://www.facebook.com/events/427466214890236

Hope to see you all there!

Thank you for your time and consideration,
Kevin
kevind217@... <mailto:kevind217@...>



Hegel and the Left: Hegel-Marx (dialectics, method), Hegel-Adorno (identity, non-identity) – Re: [marxistphilosophy] TODAY Sat Oct 17th: virtual panel "Hegel and the Left"

Ken Kubota
 

The debate took place at a very high level, but unfortunately some key issues weren’t addressed extensively enough – a critique that was also raised in the discussion afterwards.
Too much was talked about psychology, and too little about the Hegel-Marx relation (dialectics, method) and Adorno’s reception of Hegel.

For future events, I would recommend to agree on two or three key aspects in advance.
Let me drop a note on the two mentioned above.

I. Hegel-Marx (dialectics, method)
I felt it a problem that none of the key authors were discussed or even mentioned, such as: Backhaus/Reichelt (Germany), Uno (Japan), Sekine (Japan, Canada).
Of course, economic theory (value theory) is quite difficult, as requirements are both Hegel’s Logic as well as economic theory, and the latter doesn’t seem to be a main field of the panelists.
However, there should be some idea, and a name such as Backhaus (Dialektik der Wertform), who is in the tradition of Hegel, Marx, and Adorno/Horkheimer, and who thought in Frankfurt, is known worldwide both in academia and in critical theory debates in general.
The English translation of my article should be available soon:
The Dialectical Presentation of the General Notion of Capital in the Light of Hegel’s Philosophy
On the Logical Analysis of Political Economy with Special Consideration of Adorno and the Research Results of Rubin, Backhaus, Reichelt, Uno, and Sekine
https://doi.org/10.4444/100.100
At a very general level, the following quotes by Prof. Arndt are relevant:
should be understood as an alternative structure of reflection: “Einheit des Setzens und Vorausgesetztseins (nicht: Voraussetzens)” [Arndt, 2013, p. 89, emphasis as in the original; see also Kubota, 2009, p. 217 fn. 70].
[E]ine Reflexionsstruktur, die eine Alternative zur Hegel’schen Einheit des Setzens und Voraussetzens in der bestimmenden Reflexion darstellt, ohne in eine äußerliche Reflexion zurückzufallen” [Arndt, 2013, p. 89].
https://owlofminerva.net/files/philosophical_bibliography_2017.pdf#page=9

II. Hegel-Adorno (identity, non-identity)
Ralph Dumain’s critique, that the Dialectic of Enlightenment is not concrete and ahistorical in its argument, is basically correct and reflects Adorno’s problematic reading of Hegel.
This must not be misunderstood. Adorno is one of the most important thinkers of the 20th century, and his material philosophy is not affected by this, but his reading of Hegel’s Science of Logic in terms of methodology regresses back behind Marx.
Many have seen this, for example Žižek, Schubert, Iber, Stapelfeldt, and others. A link to quotes from them is attached.
On this topic I have attached the question to Henry Pickford, that remained unanswered, and a quote from Stapelfeldt.

____________________________________________________


Ken Kubota
doi.org/10.4444/100 <https://doi.org/10.4444/100>



[A question to Prof. Pickford:]

Many excellent theorists, for example Žižek, Iber (author of the most import commentary on Hegel's Logic of Essence), Stapelfeldt, and Schubert, state that Adorno's critique of Hegel actually preaches to the choir at least concerning Hegel's Logic of Essence (the second of the three books of Hegel's main work "Science of Logic"), regressing behind Marx's critique of Hegel.
What is your account on this?

Quote Schubert (automated English translation):
In this respect, Adorno’s criticism of Hegel runs down open doors – at least as far as the Logic of Essence is concerned – because here not every determination is identification, as Adorno claims, but primarily distinction, negation, which thus reduces identity to the moving moment and opposes the concept of identity the philosophy of identity has already changed qualitatively as Adorno's negative dialectics makes its program.

Quote Schubert (original German quote from his Ph.D. thesis):
Insofern rennt Adornos Hegelkritik – zumindest was die Wesenslogik angeht – offene Türen ein, indem hier eben nicht jede Bestimmung Identifikation ist, wie Adorno behauptet, sondern in erster Linie Unterscheidung, Negation, die damit die Identität zum bewegten Moment herabsetzt und den Begriff der Identität gegenüber der Identitätsphilosophie bereits so qualitativ verändert, wie es Adornos negative Dialektik zu ihrem Programm erhebt.
https://doi.org/10.4444/52.1.de

For similar quotes (e.g., by Christian Iber, Gerhard Stapelfeldt, and Slavoj Žižek), see section 1.7 "Notes on Adorno’s Reception of Hegel" (pp. x ff.) at
https://owlofminerva.net/files/philosophical_bibliography_2019.pdf#page=10
Persistent link: https://doi.org/10.4444/100.110


[Prof. Stapelfeldt on Hegel and Adorno]

Quote Stapelfeldt (automated English translation):
In Negative Dialectics, Adorno starts from the Dialectic of Enlightenment and reproduces its aporia. [...] The aporia appears in the fact that all thinking: the unconscious bourgeois enlightenment as well as its reflection in the instrumental, nature-dominating rationality, the constitution of a “second nature” like the objectivistic positing of a “first nature”, appear as “Enlightenment.” If all thinking is an identification and therefore a reification, then the pure concept cannot distinguish between social natural growth and objectified nature, between social domination and domination over inner and outer nature. [Stapelfeldt, 2012, p. 226, emphases as in the original]

Quote Stapelfeldt (original German quote):
Adorno geht in der Negativen Dialektik von der Dialektik der Aufklärung aus und reproduziert deren Aporie. [...] Die Aporie erscheint darin, daß alles Denken: die ihrer selbst bewußtlose bürgerliche Aufklärung wie deren Widerschein in der instrumentellen, naturbeherrschenden Rationalität, die Konstitution einer “zweiten Natur” wie die objektivistische Setzung einer “ersten Natur”, als “Aufklärung” gelten. Ist alles Denken ein Identifizieren und also eine Verdinglichung, dann läßt sich durch den puren Begriff nicht unterscheiden zwischen gesellschaftlicher Naturwüchsigkeit und objektivierter Natur, zwischen gesellschaftlicher Herrschaft und Herrschaft über die innere sowie äußere Natur. [Stapelfeldt, 2012, p. 226, emphases as in the original]
https://owlofminerva.net/files/philosophical_bibliography_2019.pdf#page=13
Persistent link: https://doi.org/10.4444/100.110

Am 18.10.2020 um 06:10 schrieb Ralph Dumain <rdumain@...>:

As this session was recorded, it will presumably be publicly available at some point. But as far as I was concerned, it was a waste of two hours, followed by a separate Zoom session of open discussion by the audience, which remained invisible during the symposium, so another fruitless hour of my time.
I did make notes, so if so inclined, I could highlight the main points.

The panelists were Andy Blunden, Henry Pickford, Adrian O. Johnston, Jensen Suther. I am not familiar with the last two. Andy Blunden I do know, and Pickford has translated Adorno. Blunden briefly mentioned Vygotsky, but the bulk of the discussion centered around Hegel, Adorno, and of course Marx.

Now these are four erudite gentlemen, and those of the 30 attendees who congregated afterward who had something to say were also reasonably erudite, yet there was something missing from all this.
It's as if people have mastered in whole or part certain specific ideas or bodies of thought but haven't figured out how to make them work to say something new.
Maybe it's inevitable that a 2-hour presentation divided among 4 speakers could not yield more than theoretical sound-bites. There really was no tangible connection made between the ideas of Hegel or Adorno to today's reality, not even analytically, let alone practically. Vygotsky, Adorno, and Hegel are all great thinkers, but the discussion never developed any real content.
While the question I posed for the Q & A part of the symposium was ignored, in the session afterwards other people raised some doubts about the value of Dialectic of Enlightenment, which was about the only part of the conversation that held my attention.

This was the question I posed to the panelists that was ignored:

Adorno seems to equate abstraction as an epistemological phenomenon to real abstraction or the exchange principle. Of course, abstraction as such does not begin with capitalism, and certainly exists in all prior civilizations with written records, and arguably preceded even these. The notion that the exchange principle is the organizing principle of thought in the capitalist era is in my view typical of Adorno’s tendency toward absolute judgments about everything: popular culture, the nature of Enlightenment, consonant with the notion that the totally administered society really is totally administered. And yet this view, like Dialectic of Enlightenment, lacks concreteness. Adorno is constantly pushing back on the limitations of Kant and Hegel. Do you think that this limits Adorno’s judgments on the actual world?

On 10/17/2020 4:59 PM, Ralph Dumain wrote:
I've signed in. It's a webinar, and attendees can communicate with the panelists via chat, but not with everyone. This is a pain in the ass. But here goes.
On 10/17/2020 10:26 AM, Ralph Dumain wrote:
I have this on my calendar and I hope to attend. I'm not interested in Zizek, but hopefully other topics will be discussed.
On 10/17/2020 10:18 AM, Ken Kubota wrote:
Let me forward this interesting event announcement to the [marxistphilosophy] mailing list.

Some material on Hegel, Adorno, and Žižek is available in my Philosophical Bibliography: https://doi.org/10.4444/100.110

A critique of a review by Andy Blunden is available here: https://groups.io/g/hegel/message/41653

Kind regards,

Ken Kubota

____________________________________________________

Ken Kubota
https://doi.org/10.4444/100



Am 17.10.2020 um 08:04 schrieb Kevin via groups.io <http://groups.io/> <kevind217=yahoo.com@groups.io <mailto:kevind217=yahoo.com@groups.io>>:

[Edited Message Follows]

Dear Hegel discussion group,

My name is Kevin, and I am a member of the University of Chicago chapter of the Platypus Affiliated Society. Now, I would like to invite you all to attend a virtual panel over Zoom that the University of Chicago and George Mason Platypus chapters are hosting on "Hegel and the Left" happening today i.e. Saturday, October 17th at 2 PM Pacific Time/4 PM Central Time/5 PM Eastern Time/10 PM London Time.

Here's the link to join the panel discussion on Zoom:
https://zoom.us/j/94051838260

On the occasion of Hegel's 250th birthday, the Platypus Affiliated Society asks the question, how does Hegel task the Left and Marxism today?

Panelists:
Andy Blunden (Marxists Internet Archive, author of Hegel for Social Movements)
Adrian Johnston (University of New Mexico, author of A New German Idealism: Hegel, Žižek, and Dialectical Materialism)
Henry Pickford (Duke University, working on book project Theodor W. Adorno: A Critical Life)
Jensen Suther (Platypus Affiliated Society, Yale University, working on book project Hegel’s Materialism: The Logic of Critical Theory)

Facebook event page here:
https://www.facebook.com/events/427466214890236

Hope to see you all there!

Thank you for your time and consideration,
Kevin
kevind217@... <mailto:kevind217@...>


-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Groups.io Links: You receive all messages sent to this group.
View/Reply Online (#45745): https://groups.io/g/hegel/message/45745


Re: TODAY Sat Oct 17th: virtual panel "Hegel and the Left"

Kevin
 

Dear all, the Hegel and the Left panel is starting now: https://zoom.us/j/94051838260 Best, Kevin

On Saturday, October 17, 2020, 07:19:02 AM PDT, Ken Kubota <mail@...> wrote:

Let me forward this interesting event announcement to the [marxistphilosophy] mailing list.

Some material on Hegel, Adorno, and Žižek is available in my Philosophical Bibliography: https://doi.org/10.4444/100.110

A critique of a review by Andy Blunden is available here: https://groups.io/g/hegel/message/41653

Kind regards,

Ken Kubota

____________________________________________________

Ken Kubota
https://doi.org/10.4444/100



Am 17.10.2020 um 08:04 schrieb Kevin via groups.io <kevind217=yahoo.com@groups.io>:

[Edited Message Follows]

Dear Hegel discussion group,

My name is Kevin, and I am a member of the University of Chicago chapter of the Platypus Affiliated Society. Now, I would like to invite you all to attend a virtual panel over Zoom that the University of Chicago and George Mason Platypus chapters are hosting on "Hegel and the Left" happening today i.e. Saturday, October 17th at 2 PM Pacific Time/4 PM Central Time/5 PM Eastern Time/10 PM London Time.

Here's the link to join the panel discussion on Zoom:
https://zoom.us/j/94051838260

On the occasion of Hegel's 250th birthday, the Platypus Affiliated Society asks the question, how does Hegel task the Left and Marxism today?

Panelists:
Andy Blunden (Marxists Internet Archive, author of Hegel for Social Movements)
Adrian Johnston (University of New Mexico, author of A New German Idealism: Hegel, Žižek, and Dialectical Materialism)
Henry Pickford (Duke University, working on book project Theodor W. Adorno: A Critical Life)
Jensen Suther (Platypus Affiliated Society, Yale University, working on book project Hegel’s Materialism: The Logic of Critical Theory)

Facebook event page here:
https://www.facebook.com/events/427466214890236

Hope to see you all there!

Thank you for your time and consideration,
Kevin
kevind217@...



Re: TODAY Sat Oct 17th: virtual panel "Hegel and the Left"

Ken Kubota
 

Let me forward this interesting event announcement to the [marxistphilosophy] mailing list.

Some material on Hegel, Adorno, and Žižek is available in my Philosophical Bibliography: https://doi.org/10.4444/100.110

A critique of a review by Andy Blunden is available here: https://groups.io/g/hegel/message/41653

Kind regards,

Ken Kubota

____________________________________________________

Ken Kubota
https://doi.org/10.4444/100

Am 17.10.2020 um 08:04 schrieb Kevin via groups.io <kevind217=yahoo.com@groups.io>:

[Edited Message Follows]

Dear Hegel discussion group,

My name is Kevin, and I am a member of the University of Chicago chapter of the Platypus Affiliated Society. Now, I would like to invite you all to attend a virtual panel over Zoom that the University of Chicago and George Mason Platypus chapters are hosting on "Hegel and the Left" happening today i.e. Saturday, October 17th at 2 PM Pacific Time/4 PM Central Time/5 PM Eastern Time/10 PM London Time.

Here's the link to join the panel discussion on Zoom:
https://zoom.us/j/94051838260

On the occasion of Hegel's 250th birthday, the Platypus Affiliated Society asks the question, how does Hegel task the Left and Marxism today?

Panelists:
Andy Blunden (Marxists Internet Archive, author of Hegel for Social Movements)
Adrian Johnston (University of New Mexico, author of A New German Idealism: Hegel, Žižek, and Dialectical Materialism)
Henry Pickford (Duke University, working on book project Theodor W. Adorno: A Critical Life)
Jensen Suther (Platypus Affiliated Society, Yale University, working on book project Hegel’s Materialism: The Logic of Critical Theory)

Facebook event page here:
https://www.facebook.com/events/427466214890236

Hope to see you all there!

Thank you for your time and consideration,
Kevin
kevind217@...


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TODAY Sat Oct 17th: virtual panel "Hegel and the Left"

Kevin
 
Edited

Dear Hegel discussion group,

My name is Kevin, and I am a member of the University of Chicago chapter of the Platypus Affiliated Society. Now, I would like to invite you all to attend a virtual panel over Zoom that the University of Chicago and George Mason Platypus chapters are hosting on "Hegel and the Left" happening today i.e. Saturday, October 17th at 2 PM Pacific Time/4 PM Central Time/5 PM Eastern Time/10 PM London Time.

Here's the link to join the panel discussion on Zoom:
https://zoom.us/j/94051838260

On the occasion of Hegel's 250th birthday, the Platypus Affiliated Society asks the question, how does Hegel task the Left and Marxism today?

Panelists:
Andy Blunden (Marxists Internet Archive, author of Hegel for Social Movements)
Adrian Johnston (University of New Mexico, author of A New German Idealism: Hegel, Žižek, and Dialectical Materialism)
Henry Pickford (Duke University, working on book project Theodor W. Adorno: A Critical Life)
Jensen Suther (Platypus Affiliated Society, Yale University, working on book project Hegel’s Materialism: The Logic of Critical Theory)

Facebook event page here:
https://www.facebook.com/events/427466214890236

Hope to see you all there!

Thank you for your time and consideration,
Kevin
kevind217@...


Re: Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

Stephen Cowley
 

Hi Bruce,
See Condillac - Traité des Sensations (1754) - Parts 2 & 3. Maine de Biran developed the argument by describing active touch.
Stephen Cowley

-----Original Message-----
From: Bruce Merrill
Sent: Friday, October 16, 2020 2:11 PM
To: hegel@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

Stephen,

Could you please direct me to where Condillac holds that touch is the
source for our notion of externality. Thanks!

And I agree (if that's the point you're making?) that Kant's notion of
"experience" is too voyeuristic, and too removed from physical worldly
engagement.

I find that frustration /resistance pushes externality upon us,
and this pertains to
our physical body: touch, resistance, injury
our will: the world not being as we want it to be
our empirical cognition: finding ourselves to be mistaken, in error.

Bruce

On 10/16

/20, Stephen Cowley via groups.io
<stephen.cowley=blueyonder.co.uk@groups.io> wrote:
It doesn't work as an argument, certainly, but it was intended as adverting
to a lived experience. It was a point made by John Young, a pupil of James
Mylne, in Belfast in his Lectures on Intellectual Philosophy (1835). The
background is in Condillac's analysis of the sense of touch as the source of

the idea of externality. The German idealists seem to be weak on this.
Kant's Anschauung (view) evokes only vision for example.
Stephen Cowley

-----Original Message-----
From: stephen theron
Sent: Monday, October 12, 2020 3:23 PM
To: hegel@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

"If I have been hill-walking I cannot doubt the reality of the external
world".


Re: Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

Bruce Merrill
 

Stephen,

Could you please direct me to where Condillac holds that touch is the
source for our notion of externality. Thanks!

And I agree (if that's the point you're making?) that Kant's notion of
"experience" is too voyeuristic, and too removed from physical worldly
engagement.

I find that frustration /resistance pushes externality upon us,
and this pertains to
our physical body: touch, resistance, injury
our will: the world not being as we want it to be
our empirical cognition: finding ourselves to be mistaken, in error.

Bruce

On 10/16

/20, Stephen Cowley via groups.io
<stephen.cowley=blueyonder.co.uk@groups.io> wrote:

It doesn't work as an argument, certainly, but it was intended as adverting
to a lived experience. It was a point made by John Young, a pupil of James
Mylne, in Belfast in his Lectures on Intellectual Philosophy (1835). The
background is in Condillac's analysis of the sense of touch as the source of

the idea of externality. The German idealists seem to be weak on this.
Kant's Anschauung (view) evokes only vision for example.
Stephen Cowley

-----Original Message-----
From: stephen theron
Sent: Monday, October 12, 2020 3:23 PM
To: hegel@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

"If I have been hill-walking I cannot doubt the reality of the external
world".


Re: Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

Stephen Cowley
 

It doesn't work as an argument, certainly, but it was intended as adverting to a lived experience. It was a point made by John Young, a pupil of James Mylne, in Belfast in his Lectures on Intellectual Philosophy (1835). The background is in Condillac's analysis of the sense of touch as the source of the idea of externality. The German idealists seem to be weak on this. Kant's Anschauung (view) evokes only vision for example.
Stephen Cowley

-----Original Message-----
From: stephen theron
Sent: Monday, October 12, 2020 3:23 PM
To: hegel@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

"If I have been hill-walking I cannot doubt the reality of the external world".

That just doesn't follow, it seems to me: The doubt rests rather with the status of hill-walking, just as is the case, though it is more complex, the remarks about evolution you think (with Taylor) show ignorance of the latest natural science. Hegel's view, rather, it seems to me, is that evolution, like time itself, quantities etc., lies "outside the concept". It doesn't much matter then what the future science you mention is going to come up with. Otherwise how can he say that life "is only the idea immediate", that, consequently, "death is the entry into Spirit" (Geist). Reading that I think of the words of Christ, "Unless a man hate his life in this world he cannot be my disciple". Hegel will have read those words and not scorned them.

Of course it can seem a bit thick to unload such insights, pejoratively (but not by him) called mysticism, upon all seeing themselves as philosophers. Plato didn't scruple, however. We have to go the whole hog or else lose both the mediate and the immediate together.

With this I find myself recalling his remarks about, what was it now, an intra-Mercurial planet? something similar. For many this seems sufficient reason not to go further with him.

Stephen Theron.

________________________________
From: hegel@groups.io <hegel@groups.io> on behalf of Stephen Cowley via groups.io <stephen.cowley=blueyonder.co.uk@groups.io>
Sent: 09 October 2020 14:23
To: hegel@groups.io <hegel@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

More on the "Reason" chapter of the Phenomenology and unhappy consciousness.

Phrenology (paras 323-46)

Hegel says that what remains to be considered is the immediate, fixed aspect of individuality, of immobile thinghood, in relation to mind. Any relation here, he argues, must be a causal connection. A relation of inner and outer must involve necessity (rather than accident). If the individual mind then, is to have an effect on the body, it must itself be bodily. What organ this might be is not immediately obvious. Plato thought prophecy the work of the liver, for example. However, the brain and the nervous system are the best candidate. He writes:
"The nerves themselves are no doubt again organs of consciousness which is already engrossed in an outward direction. However, the brain and spinal cord may be considered as the immediate presence of self-consciousness persisting within itself." (327)
The brain is the living head, the skull is a caput mortuum. We might think of the brain pressing on the skull, or conversely the skull restricting or facilitating the growth of the brain. Either might play the determining role, or we might think of a pre-established harmony like that of Leibniz. A field of conjecture opens up here. The brain might be supposed the organ of settled character and conscious action. This is then compared with the skull. The skull may give rise to many thoughts, as did Yorick's for Hamlet, but it itself has no expression or countenance. Our list of mental properties changes with the state of psychology and bumps or indentations on the skull are supposed to correspond to them, or to the mind of a murderer, thief, unfaithful wife, or poet. This is on the level of saying that it always rains when you put your washing out. If it perchance does not, still it is "supposed to". Emboldened by the principle that "the outer is expression of the inner" and by comparison with the skulls of animals, observation goes to work. Excuses and subterfuge are used to cover false predictions. [Hegel applies the law of contradiction in its normal sense here.] Here is a denial of reason here. Hegel writes:
"What is, without mental activity, is a thing for consciousness and so little its essence that it is rather its opposite. Consciousness is only real to itself through the negation and consumption of such a being." (339)
Hegel observes that: "The raw instinct of reason will cast aside such a phrenology unexamined." (340)

There follow two images of Israel: the comparison with the grains of sand (334), which is a common Biblical metaphor (Gen 22.17; 1 Kings 4.20; Hosea 1.9), but notably found in "Isaiah also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved." (Romans 9.27; c.f. Isaiah 10.22). Hegel returns to the metaphor when he writes:
"As can be said of the Jewish people, that it is precisely because they stand immediately before the gates of Salvation that they are and have been the most rejected [verworfenste], what they should be, this being themselves, they are not to themselves, but displace it beyond them. It makes a higher existence possible for itself through this alienation, if it could but take its object back into itself, than if it remains standing inside the immediacy of being, because the spirit is the greater, the greater the opposition out of which it returns to itself." (340)
A kind of counterpoint emerges here, as we can read Hegel's text either as about Judaism or about phrenology. The passage harks back to the (then) unpublished "theological manuscripts" and may bolster Wahl's argument identifying Judaism as a stage of the unhappy consciousness.

The presence of mind, Hegel concludes, removes sensuous being and directs us to the idea of purpose. This leads us to turn to self-consciousness. Phrenology on the other hand, leads us from changeable language to a dead thing. It is worthwhile saying what spirit is - and what is intended here is not materialism - but defective to say that it must be something like a bone.

The concluding three transitory paragraphs have their own interest in relation to unhappy consciousness, which I will deal with separately.

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Cowley via groups.io
Sent Sunday, October 4, 2020 1:36 PM
To: hegel@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

More on the "Reason" chapter of the Phenomenology and unhappy consciousness.

Physiognomy (paras 312-22)
This short section draws on the work of Lichtenberg and uses this to develop
Hegel's view of action as central to the nature of the person. Georg
Christoph Lichtenberg (1742-99) was the editor of a physics textbook and a
popular writer who wrote an essay On Physiognomy: Against the Physiognomists
(1778):
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=jMg6AAAAcAAJ&pg=PP5&source=kp_read_button&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false
http://www.zeno.org/Literatur/M/Lichtenberg,+Georg+Christoph/Aufs%C3%A4tze+und+Streitschriften/%C3%9Cber+Physiognomik;+wider+die+Physiognomen
Some of his reputation was posthumous and apparently post-dates the
Phenomenology. H S Harris points out that observations of local types in the
spirit of Lavater were a feature of contemporary travel literature, such as
Sophia’s Journey, a novel known to Hegel. Hegel seems to be simply pressing
Lichtenberg’s aphorisms into the service of his own philosophical project.

At first, Hegel explains, we encounter an inner in the form of a deed
expressed through outward bodily organs - the speaking mouth the labouring
hand, even the walking legs. Physiognomy claims that aspects of the body are
related to the deed as signs. Its advocates claim an element of necessity
for it that distinguishes it from astrology, or palmistry. However, this is
hard to justify. It might be compared to graphology (which has actually been
used on Hegel's manuscripts). We act through our speech and our hands, but
these are no longer the possession of an individual, but universal in nature
as comprehensible speech or valuable labour.

We express ourselves bodily, e.g. see by his facial expression if someone is
serious, and there is a "natural physiognomy" of easy assumptions, but
Lichtenberg says that "if the physiognomist did take the measure of a man,
he could make himself inscrutable again by a resolve." (para 318) It is
conceded that the physiognomist does not see deeds, but only capacities.
Lichtenberg comments on this that someone who said "You act like an honest
fellow, but I see from your face that you are a knave at heart" would get an
honest slap in return. Hegel concludes:
"The true being of man is rather his deed. In it, individuality is real, and
it is it which removes intention (das Gemeynte) in both its aspects." (322)
These incomplete aspects are the motionless body and the inexpressible
intention. It is the deed that replaces conjecture with fact. Even a private
ill-intention is taken away if we act otherwise. We may conjecture and
opinionate even about ourselves.

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Cowley via groups.io
Sent: Friday, October 2, 2020 10:39 AM
To: hegel@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

More on the "Reason" chapter of the Phenomenology and unhappy consciousness.
I have now come to see form the start of 5B that the second and third parts
of the chapter are a better bet for drawing comparisons with the central
ideas of the Self-consciousness chapter. However, I'll try to create a
continuous narrative.

Observation of the Relation of Self-consciousness and its Immediate Reality:
Physiognomy and Phrenology (309-11)
Observation has found no law of the relationship of self-consciousness to
the reality it faces. Hegel explains that this is because:
"The individual is in and for himself; he is for himself, or he is a free
action (ein freyes Thun)." (310)
The in-itself that is contrasted with this Hegel calls "having an original
determinate being". Hegel reviews the moments present here: there is a
universal human form, varied somewhat by climate and people, just as we
previously noted universal ethical customs and culture. Then there are more
particular circumstances and situations. Then there are the free actions by
which the individual makes himself what he is. Here his outward form or
shape (Gestalt) is the expression of his self-realisation, the traits and
forms of his activity.

So we can observe the body. We look at the whole individual, both natural
body and that developed by training and habit, the result of inner activity,
as well as current disposition. The inner is seen in its effects. Here we
consider these in relation. Or rather, we consider how the relation of
expression is to be determined.

There follows a short section on physiognomy and a longer one on phrenology.

Physiognomy
More to follow

Stephen Cowley

-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Cowley via groups.io
Sent: Sunday, September 20, 2020 7:49 PM
To: hegel@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

More on the "Reason" chapter of the Phenomenology and unhappy consciousness.
As I read through the chapter, a number of uncertainties have arisen for me.
Firstly, there is the sense of "idealism" from which the chapter is written.
Is this the Lockean "way of ideas" (that might indeed be equated with
"absolute empiricism"), or is it something more Kantian, or Fichtean, based
on the unknowable thing-in-itself or fact of freedom? Secondly, there is the
justification of dividing self-observation into Logic and Psychology. For
Locke, everything would be psychology, with Logic reduced to "trivial
truths". Kant calls his project "transcendental logic", but this seems
something different from Hegel's stance in the "Reason" chapter. That said,
I continue with the psychology section.

Psychological Laws
There is little dualism in this section, other than the overarching one of
observer and agent. The section considers the idea of psychology as a search
for laws of mental activity corresponding to outside stimuli (paras 302,
323). This is different and more limited than contemporary notions of
psychology and no texts are referenced. It concludes that there are no such
laws, as there is always a right of refusal on the part of the mind. He
writes:
"However, the individual is also universal. He immediately steadily flows
together with the universals at hand, customs, habits, etc. and adapts
himself to them. He can adapt them, oppose them, even invert them. They may
leave him cold. [...] psychological necessity is just an empty word, in that
for what ought to have such and such influence, the possibility of present
that it is not able to exercise it" (para 306, 307)
This is similar to the idea of freedom and negation at the start of the
Philosophy of Right. The argument seems flawed to me. If I feel pain, I may
choose not to avoid it, at least to some extent, but I cannot choose not to
feel it. If I look at a blue sky, I cannot choose not to judge that it is
blue. If I have been hill-walking, I cannot doubt the reality of the
external world. So with limits on freedom, there is room for law.

Hegel characterises psychology as a practical concern, intended to moderate
behaviour and customs. It enumerates faculties, finding them like objects in
a sack. Differences between individuals, e.g. of interest or intellect, can
be observed. We see the general through the individual. [This seems to be a
preference for biography, or perhaps a version of Plato's study of public
life in the Republic. - SC] The idea of the individual transforming his
lived experience may refer back to the "transfigured world" of chapter
three. There is a little dualism in the contrast of individual and world
that may be developed later on.

More to follow
Stephen Cowley

-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Cowley via groups.io
Sent: Sunday, August 30, 2020 8:28 AM
To: hegel@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

More on the "Reason" chapter of the Phenomenology and unhappy consciousness.

b) Observation of Self-consciousness
This section contains discussion of logical and psychological laws. In the
opening paragraph (298), Hegel distinguishes three objects for observational
consciousness, inorganic nature, organic nature and self-consciousness. He
now turns to the third of these, which are to be treated from the standpoint
of idealism and by means of observation. We appear here to be at the
standpoint of Francis Bacon for inorganic nature and that of Locke or
Condillac for self-consciousness. It might be expected that the method of
observation would have limits in respect of self-consciousness and that
Hegel's position after Kant would make him aware of these. He finds the
“free concept” at work in self-consciousness, but does not define the term.

Logical Laws
Hegel devotes only three paragraphs to these, suggesting that they will be
more fully treated in his Logic. He does not even enumerate the laws he is
talking about. If we turn to the Science of Logic (Doctrine of Essence,
Determinations of Reflection), we would conclude that he means such laws as
that of identity (“A is A), excluded middle (“A is B or not-B”) and
non-contradiction (“Not (A and not-A)). Formal logic was not a central theme
of 18th century philosophy, for example Locke, Berkeley and Hume did not
write on it, though there is a little known text by Condillac and it was
used by Kant as a key to his categories. Hegel remarks that it was still
taught “for the sake of a certain formal utility” (Science of Logic, Preface
to 1st edition, Miller, 26). However, this was often through Latin textbooks
and in an abbreviated form (see Hamilton’s 1833 essay). Gottfried Ploucquet’s
was the textbook used when Hegel was a student in Tübingen. Hegel says of
the laws of thought:
“To say then, that they have no reality (Realität) means in general nothing
else than that they are without truth. They ought to be though, not the
whole truth surely, but still formal truth. Yet the purely formal without
reality is a mere creature of thought (Gedankending) or empty abstraction
with no division (Entzweyung) in it, which would be none other than the
content.” (299)
Here we see the concept of division interpreted logically. Hegel adds that
they go without saying, or are simply assumed, in instances of clear
thinking. It is only in a rarefied sense of observation that they are open
to being observed at all. When they are found by observation they appear as
an “array of separate necessities” (300), whose plurality contradicts the
unity of self-consciousness. He goes on to describe them as “vanishing
moments”. Stephen Theron points out that the variety of concepts of identity
involved was analysed in medieval logic (Hegel’s System of Logic, 92).

In Hegel’s treatment, logical laws are subordinate to “active consciousness”,
to which he now turns.

More to follow
Stephen Cowley

-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Cowley via groups.io
Sent: Saturday, August 22, 2020 1:29 PM
To: hegel@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

More on the "Reason" chapter of the Phenomenology and unhappy consciousness.

A. Observing Reason
This first section concerns the rational observer, after which we proceed in
chapter five to the standpoint of the agent and a final third on "real
individuality". This first third on Observing reason is itself tripartite,
covering observation of nature, observation of the mind and observations of
the alleged relations between the two. Hegel writes:
"This consciousness, for which being has the significance of being its own,
we now see entering again into sensation and perception, but not as the
certainty of a mere other, but rather with the certainty of being that other
itself." (240)
This process of inquiry is presented as an outcome of the unhappy
consciousness, which seems to be a theologically grounded confidence in our
faculties, but also of the consciousness section. One might see "reason" in
this sense as an outcome both of consciousness and self-consciousness,
rather than interpreting the chapter as simply a continuation of chapter
four alone. There is a high-level dualism of observer and nature in the
first section, but little that I can see to shed light on unhappy
consciousness.

a) Observation of Nature
Hegel gives a treatment of description, signs and laws as applied to nature
in general. Thereafter, he turns to observation of organic nature. There is
a brief discussion of teleology. Then we turn to the biology of his day.
Much observation of nature in the 18th century took the form of what was
called natural history (e.g. Buffon) and medical speculations (e.g. Brown's
medical theories). The design argument was popular, at least in Britain.
There was also some speculative biological theorising in terms of "inner"
and "outer" (purpose and reality), which Hegel finds vague. We are offered a
critique of Kielmeyer's distinction of sensibility, irritability and
reproduction (corresponding roughly to the modern nervous system, the
muscular system and the digestive and reproductive systems). An English
version of Kielmeyer's main essay is expected later this year (2020). There
is some talk of self-preservation (Selbsterhaltung).

Hegel speaks of “reflection within itself”, which may help with the use of
such phrases later in the book. He makes a general point that the concepts
of law applicable to inorganic nature do not operate so well in interpreting
organic phenomena, as they are reductive. Hegel comments that consciousness
has a series of shapes in world history. Then he adds:
“However, organic nature has no history. Organic nature immediately descends
from its universal, or life, into the singularity of existence.” (295)
This seems to be written in ignorance of contemporary theories of geology
and (pre-Darwinian) evolution. Reason turns from organic nature to the
divergent elements, zones and climates to interpret natural kinds. The kind
of self-understanding this can produce is limited.

Hegel could have had no knowledge of subsequent developments such as organic
chemistry, cell structure (?) or DNA. However, when Kielmeyer’s essay
appears in English, perhaps we will be able to see if his mode of critique
is still applicable to modern biological theories.

b) Observation of Self-consciousness

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Cowley via groups.io
Sent: Friday, August 7, 2020 11:56 AM
To: hegel@groups.io
Subject: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

My thoughts on unhappy consciousness are still in a state of flux. However,
I’d like to start a thread examining the use of the concept of unhappy
consciousness in the reason chapter of the Phenomenology. I doubt there is
much in the first third of the chapter on organic nature, though the concept
of division and the relation of self-consciousness and life are discussed.
However, I would expect the idea to recur in the last two thirds.

I wonder if the balletic representations of the self-consciousness chapter
are not elaborations of Fichte’s early writings on self-consciousness. I
have been unable to find any comparisons in the publicly accessible
scholarly literature, though there is something of a Fichte renaissance at
present in the work of Daniel Breazeale, Allen Wood and others. Has anyone
ever compared Fichte’s idea of self consciousness with Hegel’s unhappy
consciousness?

Chapter Five
Introduction
Hegel writes:
“For the unhappy consciousness the in-itself is the beyond of itself. But
its movement has resulted in placing the completely developed single
individual, or the single individual that is a real consciousness, as the
negative of itself. [...] Its truth is that which appears in the syllogism
whose extremes appeared as held absolutely asunder, as the middle term which
proclaims to the unchangeable consciousness that the single individual has
renounced himself and, to the individual, that the unchangeable is for it no
longer an extreme, but is reconciled with it.” (para 231)
This is pretty much a recapitulation of the last chapter and starts where it
ends. Hegel says that “Reason is the certainty of being all reality [...]
this reason, as immediately coming on the scene, does so only as the
certainty of that truth.” (para 233) This sheds light on the use of
“certainty” in chapter four. Certainty is opposed to “truth” (the truth of
reason’s being all reality), as a project is opposed to its completion.
Hegel proceeds to discuss “idealism”, which he eventually equates with “pure
empiricism”. The rest of the chapter may shed some light on this.

The reference to planting a flag of sovereignty in the world (para 241) is
an image draw from colonialism (either exploration, trading concession or
victory in battle). One might object that Germany did not have colonies,
though Prussia had an influence beyond its eastern borders. However, German
influence extended through the Dutch and Belgian ports. For example, Steiger
whose family Hegel tutored in Switzerland was well travelled and
Jean-Jacques Cart, whose letters Hegel translated (1798) had spent time in
the USA. Hegel’s illegitimate son later sought to copy Steiger by travelling
with a regiment to the Dutch East Indies, where he died in Jakarta. It is
only a metaphor though.

A. Observing Reason
This is the first third of the chapter and the first third of this third
concerns observation of nature. After a brief discussion of observation and
laws in general, Hegel turns to organic nature. At this point, the first
initial resemblance with the idea of unhappy consciousness appear. There is
the contrast of “observing reason” with organic nature itself, which is a
version of man as a rational animal. This Aristotelian concept contains a
dualism of the sort that the Romantics sought to overcome, as did Hegel in a
different vein.

Hegel then introduces the idea of life as a model of self-consciousness.
Self consciousness like life is constituted by distinguishing itself into
moments. Hegel writes:
“Hence it [self-consciousness] finds in the observation of organic nature
nothing other than this essence, or it finds itself as a thing, as a life,
and yet is distinguishes between what it itself is and what is found, but
the difference is no difference at all.” (para 258)
There is a kind of rational instinct, but as instinct it is opposed to
consciousness. “Hence its satisfaction is divided [entzweyt] by this
opposition. (para 258) So here again the theme of division from chapter four
re-emerges. The use of imagery of life is also Biblical and Hegel had drawn
attention to this in his early manuscripts.

Hegel proceeds to address the distinction of inner and outer. It is worth
noting that a translation of Kielmeyer’s essay on biology that he draws on
here is set to appear later this year (2020).

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


Re: Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

stephen theron
 

________________________________
From: hegel@groups.io <hegel@groups.io> on behalf of Stephen Cowley via groups.io <stephen.cowley=blueyonder.co.uk@groups.io>
Sent: 09 October 2020 14:23
To: hegel@groups.io <hegel@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

More on the "Reason" chapter of the Phenomenology and unhappy consciousness.

Phrenology (paras 323-46)

Hegel says that what remains to be considered is the immediate, fixed aspect of individuality, of immobile thinghood, in relation to mind. Any relation here, he argues, must be a causal connection. A relation of inner and outer must involve necessity (rather than accident). If the individual mind then, is to have an effect on the body, it must itself be bodily. What organ this might be is not immediately obvious. Plato thought prophecy the work of the liver, for example. However, the brain and the nervous system are the best candidate. He writes:
"The nerves themselves are no doubt again organs of consciousness which is already engrossed in an outward direction. However, the brain and spinal cord may be considered as the immediate presence of self-consciousness persisting within itself." (327)
The brain is the living head, the skull is a caput mortuum. We might think of the brain pressing on the skull, or conversely the skull restricting or facilitating the growth of the brain. Either might play the determining role, or we might think of a pre-established harmony like that of Leibniz. A field of conjecture opens up here. The brain might be supposed the organ of settled character and conscious action. This is then compared with the skull. The skull may give rise to many thoughts, as did Yorick's for Hamlet, but it itself has no expression or countenance. Our list of mental properties changes with the state of psychology and bumps or indentations on the skull are supposed to correspond to them, or to the mind of a murderer, thief, unfaithful wife, or poet. This is on the level of saying that it always rains when you put your washing out. If it perchance does not, still it is "supposed to". Emboldened by the principle that "the outer is expression of the inner" and by comparison with the skulls of animals, observation goes to work. Excuses and subterfuge are used to cover false predictions. [Hegel applies the law of contradiction in its normal sense here.] Here is a denial of reason here. Hegel writes:
"What is, without mental activity, is a thing for consciousness and so little its essence that it is rather its opposite. Consciousness is only real to itself through the negation and consumption of such a being." (339)
Hegel observes that: "The raw instinct of reason will cast aside such a phrenology unexamined." (340)

There follow two images of Israel: the comparison with the grains of sand (334), which is a common Biblical metaphor (Gen 22.17; 1 Kings 4.20; Hosea 1.9), but notably found in "Isaiah also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved." (Romans 9.27; c.f. Isaiah 10.22). Hegel returns to the metaphor when he writes:
"As can be said of the Jewish people, that it is precisely because they stand immediately before the gates of Salvation that they are and have been the most rejected [verworfenste], what they should be, this being themselves, they are not to themselves, but displace it beyond them. It makes a higher existence possible for itself through this alienation, if it could but take its object back into itself, than if it remains standing inside the immediacy of being, because the spirit is the greater, the greater the opposition out of which it returns to itself." (340)
A kind of counterpoint emerges here, as we can read Hegel's text either as about Judaism or about phrenology. The passage harks back to the (then) unpublished "theological manuscripts" and may bolster Wahl's argument identifying Judaism as a stage of the unhappy consciousness.

The presence of mind, Hegel concludes, removes sensuous being and directs us to the idea of purpose. This leads us to turn to self-consciousness. Phrenology on the other hand, leads us from changeable language to a dead thing. It is worthwhile saying what spirit is - and what is intended here is not materialism - but defective to say that it must be something like a bone.

The concluding three transitory paragraphs have their own interest in relation to unhappy consciousness, which I will deal with separately.

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Cowley via groups.io
Sent Sunday, October 4, 2020 1:36 PM
To: hegel@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

More on the "Reason" chapter of the Phenomenology and unhappy consciousness.

Physiognomy (paras 312-22)
This short section draws on the work of Lichtenberg and uses this to develop
Hegel's view of action as central to the nature of the person. Georg
Christoph Lichtenberg (1742-99) was the editor of a physics textbook and a
popular writer who wrote an essay On Physiognomy: Against the Physiognomists
(1778):
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=jMg6AAAAcAAJ&pg=PP5&source=kp_read_button&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false
http://www.zeno.org/Literatur/M/Lichtenberg,+Georg+Christoph/Aufs%C3%A4tze+und+Streitschriften/%C3%9Cber+Physiognomik;+wider+die+Physiognomen
Some of his reputation was posthumous and apparently post-dates the
Phenomenology. H S Harris points out that observations of local types in the
spirit of Lavater were a feature of contemporary travel literature, such as
Sophia’s Journey, a novel known to Hegel. Hegel seems to be simply pressing
Lichtenberg’s aphorisms into the service of his own philosophical project.

At first, Hegel explains, we encounter an inner in the form of a deed
expressed through outward bodily organs - the speaking mouth the labouring
hand, even the walking legs. Physiognomy claims that aspects of the body are
related to the deed as signs. Its advocates claim an element of necessity
for it that distinguishes it from astrology, or palmistry. However, this is
hard to justify. It might be compared to graphology (which has actually been
used on Hegel's manuscripts). We act through our speech and our hands, but
these are no longer the possession of an individual, but universal in nature
as comprehensible speech or valuable labour.

We express ourselves bodily, e.g. see by his facial expression if someone is
serious, and there is a "natural physiognomy" of easy assumptions, but
Lichtenberg says that "if the physiognomist did take the measure of a man,
he could make himself inscrutable again by a resolve." (para 318) It is
conceded that the physiognomist does not see deeds, but only capacities.
Lichtenberg comments on this that someone who said "You act like an honest
fellow, but I see from your face that you are a knave at heart" would get an
honest slap in return. Hegel concludes:
"The true being of man is rather his deed. In it, individuality is real, and
it is it which removes intention (das Gemeynte) in both its aspects." (322)
These incomplete aspects are the motionless body and the inexpressible
intention. It is the deed that replaces conjecture with fact. Even a private
ill-intention is taken away if we act otherwise. We may conjecture and
opinionate even about ourselves.

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Cowley via groups.io
Sent: Friday, October 2, 2020 10:39 AM
To: hegel@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

More on the "Reason" chapter of the Phenomenology and unhappy consciousness.
I have now come to see form the start of 5B that the second and third parts
of the chapter are a better bet for drawing comparisons with the central
ideas of the Self-consciousness chapter. However, I'll try to create a
continuous narrative.

Observation of the Relation of Self-consciousness and its Immediate Reality:
Physiognomy and Phrenology (309-11)
Observation has found no law of the relationship of self-consciousness to
the reality it faces. Hegel explains that this is because:
"The individual is in and for himself; he is for himself, or he is a free
action (ein freyes Thun)." (310)
The in-itself that is contrasted with this Hegel calls "having an original
determinate being". Hegel reviews the moments present here: there is a
universal human form, varied somewhat by climate and people, just as we
previously noted universal ethical customs and culture. Then there are more
particular circumstances and situations. Then there are the free actions by
which the individual makes himself what he is. Here his outward form or
shape (Gestalt) is the expression of his self-realisation, the traits and
forms of his activity.

So we can observe the body. We look at the whole individual, both natural
body and that developed by training and habit, the result of inner activity,
as well as current disposition. The inner is seen in its effects. Here we
consider these in relation. Or rather, we consider how the relation of
expression is to be determined.

There follows a short section on physiognomy and a longer one on phrenology.

Physiognomy
More to follow

Stephen Cowley

-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Cowley via groups.io
Sent: Sunday, September 20, 2020 7:49 PM
To: hegel@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

More on the "Reason" chapter of the Phenomenology and unhappy consciousness.
As I read through the chapter, a number of uncertainties have arisen for me.
Firstly, there is the sense of "idealism" from which the chapter is written.
Is this the Lockean "way of ideas" (that might indeed be equated with
"absolute empiricism"), or is it something more Kantian, or Fichtean, based
on the unknowable thing-in-itself or fact of freedom? Secondly, there is the
justification of dividing self-observation into Logic and Psychology. For
Locke, everything would be psychology, with Logic reduced to "trivial
truths". Kant calls his project "transcendental logic", but this seems
something different from Hegel's stance in the "Reason" chapter. That said,
I continue with the psychology section.

Psychological Laws
There is little dualism in this section, other than the overarching one of
observer and agent. The section considers the idea of psychology as a search
for laws of mental activity corresponding to outside stimuli (paras 302,
323). This is different and more limited than contemporary notions of
psychology and no texts are referenced. It concludes that there are no such
laws, as there is always a right of refusal on the part of the mind. He
writes:
"However, the individual is also universal. He immediately steadily flows
together with the universals at hand, customs, habits, etc. and adapts
himself to them. He can adapt them, oppose them, even invert them. They may
leave him cold. [...] psychological necessity is just an empty word, in that
for what ought to have such and such influence, the possibility of present
that it is not able to exercise it" (para 306, 307)
This is similar to the idea of freedom and negation at the start of the
Philosophy of Right. The argument seems flawed to me. If I feel pain, I may
choose not to avoid it, at least to some extent, but I cannot choose not to
feel it. If I look at a blue sky, I cannot choose not to judge that it is
blue. If I have been hill-walking, I cannot doubt the reality of the
external world. So with limits on freedom, there is room for law.

Hegel characterises psychology as a practical concern, intended to moderate
behaviour and customs. It enumerates faculties, finding them like objects in
a sack. Differences between individuals, e.g. of interest or intellect, can
be observed. We see the general through the individual. [This seems to be a
preference for biography, or perhaps a version of Plato's study of public
life in the Republic. - SC] The idea of the individual transforming his
lived experience may refer back to the "transfigured world" of chapter
three. There is a little dualism in the contrast of individual and world
that may be developed later on.

More to follow
Stephen Cowley

-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Cowley via groups.io
Sent: Sunday, August 30, 2020 8:28 AM
To: hegel@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

More on the "Reason" chapter of the Phenomenology and unhappy consciousness.

b) Observation of Self-consciousness
This section contains discussion of logical and psychological laws. In the
opening paragraph (298), Hegel distinguishes three objects for observational
consciousness, inorganic nature, organic nature and self-consciousness. He
now turns to the third of these, which are to be treated from the standpoint
of idealism and by means of observation. We appear here to be at the
standpoint of Francis Bacon for inorganic nature and that of Locke or
Condillac for self-consciousness. It might be expected that the method of
observation would have limits in respect of self-consciousness and that
Hegel's position after Kant would make him aware of these. He finds the
“free concept” at work in self-consciousness, but does not define the term.

Logical Laws
Hegel devotes only three paragraphs to these, suggesting that they will be
more fully treated in his Logic. He does not even enumerate the laws he is
talking about. If we turn to the Science of Logic (Doctrine of Essence,
Determinations of Reflection), we would conclude that he means such laws as
that of identity (“A is A), excluded middle (“A is B or not-B”) and
non-contradiction (“Not (A and not-A)). Formal logic was not a central theme
of 18th century philosophy, for example Locke, Berkeley and Hume did not
write on it, though there is a little known text by Condillac and it was
used by Kant as a key to his categories. Hegel remarks that it was still
taught “for the sake of a certain formal utility” (Science of Logic, Preface
to 1st edition, Miller, 26). However, this was often through Latin textbooks
and in an abbreviated form (see Hamilton’s 1833 essay). Gottfried Ploucquet’s
was the textbook used when Hegel was a student in Tübingen. Hegel says of
the laws of thought:
“To say then, that they have no reality (Realität) means in general nothing
else than that they are without truth. They ought to be though, not the
whole truth surely, but still formal truth. Yet the purely formal without
reality is a mere creature of thought (Gedankending) or empty abstraction
with no division (Entzweyung) in it, which would be none other than the
content.” (299)
Here we see the concept of division interpreted logically. Hegel adds that
they go without saying, or are simply assumed, in instances of clear
thinking. It is only in a rarefied sense of observation that they are open
to being observed at all. When they are found by observation they appear as
an “array of separate necessities” (300), whose plurality contradicts the
unity of self-consciousness. He goes on to describe them as “vanishing
moments”. Stephen Theron points out that the variety of concepts of identity
involved was analysed in medieval logic (Hegel’s System of Logic, 92).

In Hegel’s treatment, logical laws are subordinate to “active consciousness”,
to which he now turns.

More to follow
Stephen Cowley

-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Cowley via groups.io
Sent: Saturday, August 22, 2020 1:29 PM
To: hegel@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

More on the "Reason" chapter of the Phenomenology and unhappy consciousness.

A. Observing Reason
This first section concerns the rational observer, after which we proceed in
chapter five to the standpoint of the agent and a final third on "real
individuality". This first third on Observing reason is itself tripartite,
covering observation of nature, observation of the mind and observations of
the alleged relations between the two. Hegel writes:
"This consciousness, for which being has the significance of being its own,
we now see entering again into sensation and perception, but not as the
certainty of a mere other, but rather with the certainty of being that other
itself." (240)
This process of inquiry is presented as an outcome of the unhappy
consciousness, which seems to be a theologically grounded confidence in our
faculties, but also of the consciousness section. One might see "reason" in
this sense as an outcome both of consciousness and self-consciousness,
rather than interpreting the chapter as simply a continuation of chapter
four alone. There is a high-level dualism of observer and nature in the
first section, but little that I can see to shed light on unhappy
consciousness.

a) Observation of Nature
Hegel gives a treatment of description, signs and laws as applied to nature
in general. Thereafter, he turns to observation of organic nature. There is
a brief discussion of teleology. Then we turn to the biology of his day.
Much observation of nature in the 18th century took the form of what was
called natural history (e.g. Buffon) and medical speculations (e.g. Brown's
medical theories). The design argument was popular, at least in Britain.
There was also some speculative biological theorising in terms of "inner"
and "outer" (purpose and reality), which Hegel finds vague. We are offered a
critique of Kielmeyer's distinction of sensibility, irritability and
reproduction (corresponding roughly to the modern nervous system, the
muscular system and the digestive and reproductive systems). An English
version of Kielmeyer's main essay is expected later this year (2020). There
is some talk of self-preservation (Selbsterhaltung).

Hegel speaks of “reflection within itself”, which may help with the use of
such phrases later in the book. He makes a general point that the concepts
of law applicable to inorganic nature do not operate so well in interpreting
organic phenomena, as they are reductive. Hegel comments that consciousness
has a series of shapes in world history. Then he adds:
“However, organic nature has no history. Organic nature immediately descends
from its universal, or life, into the singularity of existence.” (295)
This seems to be written in ignorance of contemporary theories of geology
and (pre-Darwinian) evolution. Reason turns from organic nature to the
divergent elements, zones and climates to interpret natural kinds. The kind
of self-understanding this can produce is limited.

Hegel could have had no knowledge of subsequent developments such as organic
chemistry, cell structure (?) or DNA. However, when Kielmeyer’s essay
appears in English, perhaps we will be able to see if his mode of critique
is still applicable to modern biological theories.

b) Observation of Self-consciousness

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Cowley via groups.io
Sent: Friday, August 7, 2020 11:56 AM
To: hegel@groups.io
Subject: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

My thoughts on unhappy consciousness are still in a state of flux. However,
I’d like to start a thread examining the use of the concept of unhappy
consciousness in the reason chapter of the Phenomenology. I doubt there is
much in the first third of the chapter on organic nature, though the concept
of division and the relation of self-consciousness and life are discussed.
However, I would expect the idea to recur in the last two thirds.

I wonder if the balletic representations of the self-consciousness chapter
are not elaborations of Fichte’s early writings on self-consciousness. I
have been unable to find any comparisons in the publicly accessible
scholarly literature, though there is something of a Fichte renaissance at
present in the work of Daniel Breazeale, Allen Wood and others. Has anyone
ever compared Fichte’s idea of self consciousness with Hegel’s unhappy
consciousness?

Chapter Five
Introduction
Hegel writes:
“For the unhappy consciousness the in-itself is the beyond of itself. But
its movement has resulted in placing the completely developed single
individual, or the single individual that is a real consciousness, as the
negative of itself. [...] Its truth is that which appears in the syllogism
whose extremes appeared as held absolutely asunder, as the middle term which
proclaims to the unchangeable consciousness that the single individual has
renounced himself and, to the individual, that the unchangeable is for it no
longer an extreme, but is reconciled with it.” (para 231)
This is pretty much a recapitulation of the last chapter and starts where it
ends. Hegel says that “Reason is the certainty of being all reality [...]
this reason, as immediately coming on the scene, does so only as the
certainty of that truth.” (para 233) This sheds light on the use of
“certainty” in chapter four. Certainty is opposed to “truth” (the truth of
reason’s being all reality), as a project is opposed to its completion.
Hegel proceeds to discuss “idealism”, which he eventually equates with “pure
empiricism”. The rest of the chapter may shed some light on this.

The reference to planting a flag of sovereignty in the world (para 241) is
an image draw from colonialism (either exploration, trading concession or
victory in battle). One might object that Germany did not have colonies,
though Prussia had an influence beyond its eastern borders. However, German
influence extended through the Dutch and Belgian ports. For example, Steiger
whose family Hegel tutored in Switzerland was well travelled and
Jean-Jacques Cart, whose letters Hegel translated (1798) had spent time in
the USA. Hegel’s illegitimate son later sought to copy Steiger by travelling
with a regiment to the Dutch East Indies, where he died in Jakarta. It is
only a metaphor though.

A. Observing Reason
This is the first third of the chapter and the first third of this third
concerns observation of nature. After a brief discussion of observation and
laws in general, Hegel turns to organic nature. At this point, the first
initial resemblance with the idea of unhappy consciousness appear. There is
the contrast of “observing reason” with organic nature itself, which is a
version of man as a rational animal. This Aristotelian concept contains a
dualism of the sort that the Romantics sought to overcome, as did Hegel in a
different vein.

Hegel then introduces the idea of life as a model of self-consciousness.
Self consciousness like life is constituted by distinguishing itself into
moments. Hegel writes:
“Hence it [self-consciousness] finds in the observation of organic nature
nothing other than this essence, or it finds itself as a thing, as a life,
and yet is distinguishes between what it itself is and what is found, but
the difference is no difference at all.” (para 258)
There is a kind of rational instinct, but as instinct it is opposed to
consciousness. “Hence its satisfaction is divided [entzweyt] by this
opposition. (para 258) So here again the theme of division from chapter four
re-emerges. The use of imagery of life is also Biblical and Hegel had drawn
attention to this in his early manuscripts.

Hegel proceeds to address the distinction of inner and outer. It is worth
noting that a translation of Kielmeyer’s essay on biology that he draws on
here is set to appear later this year (2020).

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


Re: Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

stephen theron
 

"If I have been hill-walking I cannot doubt the reality of the external world".

That just doesn't follow, it seems to me: The doubt rests rather with the status of hill-walking, just as is the case, though it is more complex, the remarks about evolution you think (with Taylor) show ignorance of the latest natural science. Hegel's view, rather, it seems to me, is that evolution, like time itself, quantities etc., lies "outside the concept". It doesn't much matter then what the future science you mention is going to come up with. Otherwise how can he say that life "is only the idea immediate", that, consequently, "death is the entry into Spirit" (Geist). Reading that I think of the words of Christ, "Unless a man hate his life in this world he cannot be my disciple". Hegel will have read those words and not scorned them.

Of course it can seem a bit thick to unload such insights, pejoratively (but not by him) called mysticism, upon all seeing themselves as philosophers. Plato didn't scruple, however. We have to go the whole hog or else lose both the mediate and the immediate together.

With this I find myself recalling his remarks about, what was it now, an intra-Mercurial planet? something similar. For many this seems sufficient reason not to go further with him.

Stephen Theron.

________________________________
From: hegel@groups.io <hegel@groups.io> on behalf of Stephen Cowley via groups.io <stephen.cowley=blueyonder.co.uk@groups.io>
Sent: 09 October 2020 14:23
To: hegel@groups.io <hegel@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

More on the "Reason" chapter of the Phenomenology and unhappy consciousness.

Phrenology (paras 323-46)

Hegel says that what remains to be considered is the immediate, fixed aspect of individuality, of immobile thinghood, in relation to mind. Any relation here, he argues, must be a causal connection. A relation of inner and outer must involve necessity (rather than accident). If the individual mind then, is to have an effect on the body, it must itself be bodily. What organ this might be is not immediately obvious. Plato thought prophecy the work of the liver, for example. However, the brain and the nervous system are the best candidate. He writes:
"The nerves themselves are no doubt again organs of consciousness which is already engrossed in an outward direction. However, the brain and spinal cord may be considered as the immediate presence of self-consciousness persisting within itself." (327)
The brain is the living head, the skull is a caput mortuum. We might think of the brain pressing on the skull, or conversely the skull restricting or facilitating the growth of the brain. Either might play the determining role, or we might think of a pre-established harmony like that of Leibniz. A field of conjecture opens up here. The brain might be supposed the organ of settled character and conscious action. This is then compared with the skull. The skull may give rise to many thoughts, as did Yorick's for Hamlet, but it itself has no expression or countenance. Our list of mental properties changes with the state of psychology and bumps or indentations on the skull are supposed to correspond to them, or to the mind of a murderer, thief, unfaithful wife, or poet. This is on the level of saying that it always rains when you put your washing out. If it perchance does not, still it is "supposed to". Emboldened by the principle that "the outer is expression of the inner" and by comparison with the skulls of animals, observation goes to work. Excuses and subterfuge are used to cover false predictions. [Hegel applies the law of contradiction in its normal sense here.] Here is a denial of reason here. Hegel writes:
"What is, without mental activity, is a thing for consciousness and so little its essence that it is rather its opposite. Consciousness is only real to itself through the negation and consumption of such a being." (339)
Hegel observes that: "The raw instinct of reason will cast aside such a phrenology unexamined." (340)

There follow two images of Israel: the comparison with the grains of sand (334), which is a common Biblical metaphor (Gen 22.17; 1 Kings 4.20; Hosea 1.9), but notably found in "Isaiah also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved." (Romans 9.27; c.f. Isaiah 10.22). Hegel returns to the metaphor when he writes:
"As can be said of the Jewish people, that it is precisely because they stand immediately before the gates of Salvation that they are and have been the most rejected [verworfenste], what they should be, this being themselves, they are not to themselves, but displace it beyond them. It makes a higher existence possible for itself through this alienation, if it could but take its object back into itself, than if it remains standing inside the immediacy of being, because the spirit is the greater, the greater the opposition out of which it returns to itself." (340)
A kind of counterpoint emerges here, as we can read Hegel's text either as about Judaism or about phrenology. The passage harks back to the (then) unpublished "theological manuscripts" and may bolster Wahl's argument identifying Judaism as a stage of the unhappy consciousness.

The presence of mind, Hegel concludes, removes sensuous being and directs us to the idea of purpose. This leads us to turn to self-consciousness. Phrenology on the other hand, leads us from changeable language to a dead thing. It is worthwhile saying what spirit is - and what is intended here is not materialism - but defective to say that it must be something like a bone.

The concluding three transitory paragraphs have their own interest in relation to unhappy consciousness, which I will deal with separately.

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Cowley via groups.io
Sent Sunday, October 4, 2020 1:36 PM
To: hegel@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

More on the "Reason" chapter of the Phenomenology and unhappy consciousness.

Physiognomy (paras 312-22)
This short section draws on the work of Lichtenberg and uses this to develop
Hegel's view of action as central to the nature of the person. Georg
Christoph Lichtenberg (1742-99) was the editor of a physics textbook and a
popular writer who wrote an essay On Physiognomy: Against the Physiognomists
(1778):
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=jMg6AAAAcAAJ&pg=PP5&source=kp_read_button&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false
http://www.zeno.org/Literatur/M/Lichtenberg,+Georg+Christoph/Aufs%C3%A4tze+und+Streitschriften/%C3%9Cber+Physiognomik;+wider+die+Physiognomen
Some of his reputation was posthumous and apparently post-dates the
Phenomenology. H S Harris points out that observations of local types in the
spirit of Lavater were a feature of contemporary travel literature, such as
Sophia’s Journey, a novel known to Hegel. Hegel seems to be simply pressing
Lichtenberg’s aphorisms into the service of his own philosophical project.

At first, Hegel explains, we encounter an inner in the form of a deed
expressed through outward bodily organs - the speaking mouth the labouring
hand, even the walking legs. Physiognomy claims that aspects of the body are
related to the deed as signs. Its advocates claim an element of necessity
for it that distinguishes it from astrology, or palmistry. However, this is
hard to justify. It might be compared to graphology (which has actually been
used on Hegel's manuscripts). We act through our speech and our hands, but
these are no longer the possession of an individual, but universal in nature
as comprehensible speech or valuable labour.

We express ourselves bodily, e.g. see by his facial expression if someone is
serious, and there is a "natural physiognomy" of easy assumptions, but
Lichtenberg says that "if the physiognomist did take the measure of a man,
he could make himself inscrutable again by a resolve." (para 318) It is
conceded that the physiognomist does not see deeds, but only capacities.
Lichtenberg comments on this that someone who said "You act like an honest
fellow, but I see from your face that you are a knave at heart" would get an
honest slap in return. Hegel concludes:
"The true being of man is rather his deed. In it, individuality is real, and
it is it which removes intention (das Gemeynte) in both its aspects." (322)
These incomplete aspects are the motionless body and the inexpressible
intention. It is the deed that replaces conjecture with fact. Even a private
ill-intention is taken away if we act otherwise. We may conjecture and
opinionate even about ourselves.

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Cowley via groups.io
Sent: Friday, October 2, 2020 10:39 AM
To: hegel@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

More on the "Reason" chapter of the Phenomenology and unhappy consciousness.
I have now come to see form the start of 5B that the second and third parts
of the chapter are a better bet for drawing comparisons with the central
ideas of the Self-consciousness chapter. However, I'll try to create a
continuous narrative.

Observation of the Relation of Self-consciousness and its Immediate Reality:
Physiognomy and Phrenology (309-11)
Observation has found no law of the relationship of self-consciousness to
the reality it faces. Hegel explains that this is because:
"The individual is in and for himself; he is for himself, or he is a free
action (ein freyes Thun)." (310)
The in-itself that is contrasted with this Hegel calls "having an original
determinate being". Hegel reviews the moments present here: there is a
universal human form, varied somewhat by climate and people, just as we
previously noted universal ethical customs and culture. Then there are more
particular circumstances and situations. Then there are the free actions by
which the individual makes himself what he is. Here his outward form or
shape (Gestalt) is the expression of his self-realisation, the traits and
forms of his activity.

So we can observe the body. We look at the whole individual, both natural
body and that developed by training and habit, the result of inner activity,
as well as current disposition. The inner is seen in its effects. Here we
consider these in relation. Or rather, we consider how the relation of
expression is to be determined.

There follows a short section on physiognomy and a longer one on phrenology.

Physiognomy
More to follow

Stephen Cowley

-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Cowley via groups.io
Sent: Sunday, September 20, 2020 7:49 PM
To: hegel@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

More on the "Reason" chapter of the Phenomenology and unhappy consciousness.
As I read through the chapter, a number of uncertainties have arisen for me.
Firstly, there is the sense of "idealism" from which the chapter is written.
Is this the Lockean "way of ideas" (that might indeed be equated with
"absolute empiricism"), or is it something more Kantian, or Fichtean, based
on the unknowable thing-in-itself or fact of freedom? Secondly, there is the
justification of dividing self-observation into Logic and Psychology. For
Locke, everything would be psychology, with Logic reduced to "trivial
truths". Kant calls his project "transcendental logic", but this seems
something different from Hegel's stance in the "Reason" chapter. That said,
I continue with the psychology section.

Psychological Laws
There is little dualism in this section, other than the overarching one of
observer and agent. The section considers the idea of psychology as a search
for laws of mental activity corresponding to outside stimuli (paras 302,
323). This is different and more limited than contemporary notions of
psychology and no texts are referenced. It concludes that there are no such
laws, as there is always a right of refusal on the part of the mind. He
writes:
"However, the individual is also universal. He immediately steadily flows
together with the universals at hand, customs, habits, etc. and adapts
himself to them. He can adapt them, oppose them, even invert them. They may
leave him cold. [...] psychological necessity is just an empty word, in that
for what ought to have such and such influence, the possibility of present
that it is not able to exercise it" (para 306, 307)
This is similar to the idea of freedom and negation at the start of the
Philosophy of Right. The argument seems flawed to me. If I feel pain, I may
choose not to avoid it, at least to some extent, but I cannot choose not to
feel it. If I look at a blue sky, I cannot choose not to judge that it is
blue. If I have been hill-walking, I cannot doubt the reality of the
external world. So with limits on freedom, there is room for law.

Hegel characterises psychology as a practical concern, intended to moderate
behaviour and customs. It enumerates faculties, finding them like objects in
a sack. Differences between individuals, e.g. of interest or intellect, can
be observed. We see the general through the individual. [This seems to be a
preference for biography, or perhaps a version of Plato's study of public
life in the Republic. - SC] The idea of the individual transforming his
lived experience may refer back to the "transfigured world" of chapter
three. There is a little dualism in the contrast of individual and world
that may be developed later on.

More to follow
Stephen Cowley

-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Cowley via groups.io
Sent: Sunday, August 30, 2020 8:28 AM
To: hegel@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

More on the "Reason" chapter of the Phenomenology and unhappy consciousness.

b) Observation of Self-consciousness
This section contains discussion of logical and psychological laws. In the
opening paragraph (298), Hegel distinguishes three objects for observational
consciousness, inorganic nature, organic nature and self-consciousness. He
now turns to the third of these, which are to be treated from the standpoint
of idealism and by means of observation. We appear here to be at the
standpoint of Francis Bacon for inorganic nature and that of Locke or
Condillac for self-consciousness. It might be expected that the method of
observation would have limits in respect of self-consciousness and that
Hegel's position after Kant would make him aware of these. He finds the
“free concept” at work in self-consciousness, but does not define the term.

Logical Laws
Hegel devotes only three paragraphs to these, suggesting that they will be
more fully treated in his Logic. He does not even enumerate the laws he is
talking about. If we turn to the Science of Logic (Doctrine of Essence,
Determinations of Reflection), we would conclude that he means such laws as
that of identity (“A is A), excluded middle (“A is B or not-B”) and
non-contradiction (“Not (A and not-A)). Formal logic was not a central theme
of 18th century philosophy, for example Locke, Berkeley and Hume did not
write on it, though there is a little known text by Condillac and it was
used by Kant as a key to his categories. Hegel remarks that it was still
taught “for the sake of a certain formal utility” (Science of Logic, Preface
to 1st edition, Miller, 26). However, this was often through Latin textbooks
and in an abbreviated form (see Hamilton’s 1833 essay). Gottfried Ploucquet’s
was the textbook used when Hegel was a student in Tübingen. Hegel says of
the laws of thought:
“To say then, that they have no reality (Realität) means in general nothing
else than that they are without truth. They ought to be though, not the
whole truth surely, but still formal truth. Yet the purely formal without
reality is a mere creature of thought (Gedankending) or empty abstraction
with no division (Entzweyung) in it, which would be none other than the
content.” (299)
Here we see the concept of division interpreted logically. Hegel adds that
they go without saying, or are simply assumed, in instances of clear
thinking. It is only in a rarefied sense of observation that they are open
to being observed at all. When they are found by observation they appear as
an “array of separate necessities” (300), whose plurality contradicts the
unity of self-consciousness. He goes on to describe them as “vanishing
moments”. Stephen Theron points out that the variety of concepts of identity
involved was analysed in medieval logic (Hegel’s System of Logic, 92).

In Hegel’s treatment, logical laws are subordinate to “active consciousness”,
to which he now turns.

More to follow
Stephen Cowley

-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Cowley via groups.io
Sent: Saturday, August 22, 2020 1:29 PM
To: hegel@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

More on the "Reason" chapter of the Phenomenology and unhappy consciousness.

A. Observing Reason
This first section concerns the rational observer, after which we proceed in
chapter five to the standpoint of the agent and a final third on "real
individuality". This first third on Observing reason is itself tripartite,
covering observation of nature, observation of the mind and observations of
the alleged relations between the two. Hegel writes:
"This consciousness, for which being has the significance of being its own,
we now see entering again into sensation and perception, but not as the
certainty of a mere other, but rather with the certainty of being that other
itself." (240)
This process of inquiry is presented as an outcome of the unhappy
consciousness, which seems to be a theologically grounded confidence in our
faculties, but also of the consciousness section. One might see "reason" in
this sense as an outcome both of consciousness and self-consciousness,
rather than interpreting the chapter as simply a continuation of chapter
four alone. There is a high-level dualism of observer and nature in the
first section, but little that I can see to shed light on unhappy
consciousness.

a) Observation of Nature
Hegel gives a treatment of description, signs and laws as applied to nature
in general. Thereafter, he turns to observation of organic nature. There is
a brief discussion of teleology. Then we turn to the biology of his day.
Much observation of nature in the 18th century took the form of what was
called natural history (e.g. Buffon) and medical speculations (e.g. Brown's
medical theories). The design argument was popular, at least in Britain.
There was also some speculative biological theorising in terms of "inner"
and "outer" (purpose and reality), which Hegel finds vague. We are offered a
critique of Kielmeyer's distinction of sensibility, irritability and
reproduction (corresponding roughly to the modern nervous system, the
muscular system and the digestive and reproductive systems). An English
version of Kielmeyer's main essay is expected later this year (2020). There
is some talk of self-preservation (Selbsterhaltung).

Hegel speaks of “reflection within itself”, which may help with the use of
such phrases later in the book. He makes a general point that the concepts
of law applicable to inorganic nature do not operate so well in interpreting
organic phenomena, as they are reductive. Hegel comments that consciousness
has a series of shapes in world history. Then he adds:
“However, organic nature has no history. Organic nature immediately descends
from its universal, or life, into the singularity of existence.” (295)
This seems to be written in ignorance of contemporary theories of geology
and (pre-Darwinian) evolution. Reason turns from organic nature to the
divergent elements, zones and climates to interpret natural kinds. The kind
of self-understanding this can produce is limited.

Hegel could have had no knowledge of subsequent developments such as organic
chemistry, cell structure (?) or DNA. However, when Kielmeyer’s essay
appears in English, perhaps we will be able to see if his mode of critique
is still applicable to modern biological theories.

b) Observation of Self-consciousness

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Cowley via groups.io
Sent: Friday, August 7, 2020 11:56 AM
To: hegel@groups.io
Subject: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

My thoughts on unhappy consciousness are still in a state of flux. However,
I’d like to start a thread examining the use of the concept of unhappy
consciousness in the reason chapter of the Phenomenology. I doubt there is
much in the first third of the chapter on organic nature, though the concept
of division and the relation of self-consciousness and life are discussed.
However, I would expect the idea to recur in the last two thirds.

I wonder if the balletic representations of the self-consciousness chapter
are not elaborations of Fichte’s early writings on self-consciousness. I
have been unable to find any comparisons in the publicly accessible
scholarly literature, though there is something of a Fichte renaissance at
present in the work of Daniel Breazeale, Allen Wood and others. Has anyone
ever compared Fichte’s idea of self consciousness with Hegel’s unhappy
consciousness?

Chapter Five
Introduction
Hegel writes:
“For the unhappy consciousness the in-itself is the beyond of itself. But
its movement has resulted in placing the completely developed single
individual, or the single individual that is a real consciousness, as the
negative of itself. [...] Its truth is that which appears in the syllogism
whose extremes appeared as held absolutely asunder, as the middle term which
proclaims to the unchangeable consciousness that the single individual has
renounced himself and, to the individual, that the unchangeable is for it no
longer an extreme, but is reconciled with it.” (para 231)
This is pretty much a recapitulation of the last chapter and starts where it
ends. Hegel says that “Reason is the certainty of being all reality [...]
this reason, as immediately coming on the scene, does so only as the
certainty of that truth.” (para 233) This sheds light on the use of
“certainty” in chapter four. Certainty is opposed to “truth” (the truth of
reason’s being all reality), as a project is opposed to its completion.
Hegel proceeds to discuss “idealism”, which he eventually equates with “pure
empiricism”. The rest of the chapter may shed some light on this.

The reference to planting a flag of sovereignty in the world (para 241) is
an image draw from colonialism (either exploration, trading concession or
victory in battle). One might object that Germany did not have colonies,
though Prussia had an influence beyond its eastern borders. However, German
influence extended through the Dutch and Belgian ports. For example, Steiger
whose family Hegel tutored in Switzerland was well travelled and
Jean-Jacques Cart, whose letters Hegel translated (1798) had spent time in
the USA. Hegel’s illegitimate son later sought to copy Steiger by travelling
with a regiment to the Dutch East Indies, where he died in Jakarta. It is
only a metaphor though.

A. Observing Reason
This is the first third of the chapter and the first third of this third
concerns observation of nature. After a brief discussion of observation and
laws in general, Hegel turns to organic nature. At this point, the first
initial resemblance with the idea of unhappy consciousness appear. There is
the contrast of “observing reason” with organic nature itself, which is a
version of man as a rational animal. This Aristotelian concept contains a
dualism of the sort that the Romantics sought to overcome, as did Hegel in a
different vein.

Hegel then introduces the idea of life as a model of self-consciousness.
Self consciousness like life is constituted by distinguishing itself into
moments. Hegel writes:
“Hence it [self-consciousness] finds in the observation of organic nature
nothing other than this essence, or it finds itself as a thing, as a life,
and yet is distinguishes between what it itself is and what is found, but
the difference is no difference at all.” (para 258)
There is a kind of rational instinct, but as instinct it is opposed to
consciousness. “Hence its satisfaction is divided [entzweyt] by this
opposition. (para 258) So here again the theme of division from chapter four
re-emerges. The use of imagery of life is also Biblical and Hegel had drawn
attention to this in his early manuscripts.

Hegel proceeds to address the distinction of inner and outer. It is worth
noting that a translation of Kielmeyer’s essay on biology that he draws on
here is set to appear later this year (2020).

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


Re: Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

Stephen Cowley
 

More on the "Reason" chapter of the Phenomenology and unhappy consciousness.

I have had a look at Lichtenberg's essay On Physiognomy (1778), in Aufsätze und Streitschriften (Ed. Holzinger, 2013). This seems to be a response to an intellectual fad of Hegel's youth. As Hegel does not define the term, we may cite Lichtenberg's definition:
"We take the word Physiognomy in a limited sense and understand by it the skill of discerning the constitution of the mind and heart from the shape and composition of the outer parts of the human body, mainly the face, excluding all temporary signs of emotions; while on the other hand, the whole semiotics of affects, or knowledge of the natural signs of emotions, according to all their degrees and mixtures, should be called Pathognomics." (65)
Lichtenberg says that he began when young to sketch people's faces and this has led him to be skeptical of the claims made for physiognomy. The popularity of physiognomy, he thinks, is not to be attributed to the spirit of observation of the Age, but to the wish to give oneself the greatest possible airs with the least possible actual knowledge. He discusses the physiognomic remarks in Shakespeare's plays, saying that these are are few and designed to shed light on the character of the observer. He concludes, based on sketches of famous individuals and general observation, that there is no correlation between the immoveable parts of the face and character, though habitual expressions may leave traces on the muscles of the face. Hegel's representation of Lichtenberg then, is a fair summary.

More to follow
Stephen Cowley

-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Cowley via groups.io
Sent: Friday, October 9, 2020 1:23 PM
To: hegel@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

More on the "Reason" chapter of the Phenomenology and unhappy consciousness.

Phrenology (paras 323-46)

Hegel says that what remains to be considered is the immediate, fixed aspect of individuality, of immobile thinghood, in relation to mind. Any relation here, he argues, must be a causal connection. A relation of inner and outer must involve necessity (rather than accident). If the individual mind then, is to have an effect on the body, it must itself be bodily. What organ this might be is not immediately obvious. Plato thought prophecy the work of the liver, for example. However, the brain and the nervous system are the best candidate. He writes:
"The nerves themselves are no doubt again organs of consciousness which is already engrossed in an outward direction. However, the brain and spinal cord may be considered as the immediate presence of self-consciousness persisting within itself." (327)
The brain is the living head, the skull is a caput mortuum. We might think of the brain pressing on the skull, or conversely the skull restricting or facilitating the growth of the brain. Either might play the determining role, or we might think of a pre-established harmony like that of Leibniz. A field of conjecture opens up here. The brain might be supposed the organ of settled character and conscious action. This is then compared with the skull. The skull may give rise to many thoughts, as did Yorick's for Hamlet, but it itself has no expression or countenance. Our list of mental properties changes with the state of psychology and bumps or indentations on the skull are supposed to correspond to them, or to the mind of a murderer, thief, unfaithful wife, or poet. This is on the level of saying that it always rains when you put your washing out. If it perchance does not, still it is "supposed to". Emboldened by the principle that "the outer is expression of the inner" and by comparison with the skulls of animals, observation goes to work. Excuses and subterfuge are used to cover false predictions. [Hegel applies the law of contradiction in its normal sense here.] Here is a denial of reason here. Hegel writes:
"What is, without mental activity, is a thing for consciousness and so little its essence that it is rather its opposite. Consciousness is only real to itself through the negation and consumption of such a being." (339)
Hegel observes that: "The raw instinct of reason will cast aside such a phrenology unexamined." (340)

There follow two images of Israel: the comparison with the grains of sand (334), which is a common Biblical metaphor (Gen 22.17; 1 Kings 4.20; Hosea 1.9), but notably found in "Isaiah also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved." (Romans 9.27; c.f. Isaiah 10.22). Hegel returns to the metaphor when he writes:
"As can be said of the Jewish people, that it is precisely because they stand immediately before the gates of Salvation that they are and have been the most rejected [verworfenste], what they should be, this being themselves, they are not to themselves, but displace it beyond them. It makes a higher existence possible for itself through this alienation, if it could but take its object back into itself, than if it remains standing inside the immediacy of being, because the spirit is the greater, the greater the opposition out of which it returns to itself." (340)
A kind of counterpoint emerges here, as we can read Hegel's text either as about Judaism or about phrenology. The passage harks back to the (then) unpublished "theological manuscripts" and may bolster Wahl's argument identifying Judaism as a stage of the unhappy consciousness.

The presence of mind, Hegel concludes, removes sensuous being and directs us to the idea of purpose. This leads us to turn to self-consciousness. Phrenology on the other hand, leads us from changeable language to a dead thing. It is worthwhile saying what spirit is - and what is intended here is not materialism - but defective to say that it must be something like a bone.

The concluding three transitory paragraphs have their own interest in relation to unhappy consciousness, which I will deal with separately.

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Cowley via groups.io
Sent Sunday, October 4, 2020 1:36 PM
To: hegel@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

More on the "Reason" chapter of the Phenomenology and unhappy consciousness.

Physiognomy (paras 312-22)
This short section draws on the work of Lichtenberg and uses this to develop
Hegel's view of action as central to the nature of the person. Georg
Christoph Lichtenberg (1742-99) was the editor of a physics textbook and a
popular writer who wrote an essay On Physiognomy: Against the Physiognomists
(1778):
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=jMg6AAAAcAAJ&pg=PP5&source=kp_read_button&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false
http://www.zeno.org/Literatur/M/Lichtenberg,+Georg+Christoph/Aufs%C3%A4tze+und+Streitschriften/%C3%9Cber+Physiognomik;+wider+die+Physiognomen
Some of his reputation was posthumous and apparently post-dates the
Phenomenology. H S Harris points out that observations of local types in the
spirit of Lavater were a feature of contemporary travel literature, such as
Sophia’s Journey, a novel known to Hegel. Hegel seems to be simply pressing
Lichtenberg’s aphorisms into the service of his own philosophical project.

At first, Hegel explains, we encounter an inner in the form of a deed
expressed through outward bodily organs - the speaking mouth the labouring
hand, even the walking legs. Physiognomy claims that aspects of the body are
related to the deed as signs. Its advocates claim an element of necessity
for it that distinguishes it from astrology, or palmistry. However, this is
hard to justify. It might be compared to graphology (which has actually been
used on Hegel's manuscripts). We act through our speech and our hands, but
these are no longer the possession of an individual, but universal in nature
as comprehensible speech or valuable labour.

We express ourselves bodily, e.g. see by his facial expression if someone is
serious, and there is a "natural physiognomy" of easy assumptions, but
Lichtenberg says that "if the physiognomist did take the measure of a man,
he could make himself inscrutable again by a resolve." (para 318) It is
conceded that the physiognomist does not see deeds, but only capacities.
Lichtenberg comments on this that someone who said "You act like an honest
fellow, but I see from your face that you are a knave at heart" would get an
honest slap in return. Hegel concludes:
"The true being of man is rather his deed. In it, individuality is real, and
it is it which removes intention (das Gemeynte) in both its aspects." (322)
These incomplete aspects are the motionless body and the inexpressible
intention. It is the deed that replaces conjecture with fact. Even a private
ill-intention is taken away if we act otherwise. We may conjecture and
opinionate even about ourselves.

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Cowley via groups.io
Sent: Friday, October 2, 2020 10:39 AM
To: hegel@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

More on the "Reason" chapter of the Phenomenology and unhappy consciousness.
I have now come to see form the start of 5B that the second and third parts
of the chapter are a better bet for drawing comparisons with the central
ideas of the Self-consciousness chapter. However, I'll try to create a
continuous narrative.

Observation of the Relation of Self-consciousness and its Immediate Reality:
Physiognomy and Phrenology (309-11)
Observation has found no law of the relationship of self-consciousness to
the reality it faces. Hegel explains that this is because:
"The individual is in and for himself; he is for himself, or he is a free
action (ein freyes Thun)." (310)
The in-itself that is contrasted with this Hegel calls "having an original
determinate being". Hegel reviews the moments present here: there is a
universal human form, varied somewhat by climate and people, just as we
previously noted universal ethical customs and culture. Then there are more
particular circumstances and situations. Then there are the free actions by
which the individual makes himself what he is. Here his outward form or
shape (Gestalt) is the expression of his self-realisation, the traits and
forms of his activity.

So we can observe the body. We look at the whole individual, both natural
body and that developed by training and habit, the result of inner activity,
as well as current disposition. The inner is seen in its effects. Here we
consider these in relation. Or rather, we consider how the relation of
expression is to be determined.

There follows a short section on physiognomy and a longer one on phrenology.

Physiognomy
More to follow

Stephen Cowley

-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Cowley via groups.io
Sent: Sunday, September 20, 2020 7:49 PM
To: hegel@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

More on the "Reason" chapter of the Phenomenology and unhappy consciousness.
As I read through the chapter, a number of uncertainties have arisen for me.
Firstly, there is the sense of "idealism" from which the chapter is written.
Is this the Lockean "way of ideas" (that might indeed be equated with
"absolute empiricism"), or is it something more Kantian, or Fichtean, based
on the unknowable thing-in-itself or fact of freedom? Secondly, there is the
justification of dividing self-observation into Logic and Psychology. For
Locke, everything would be psychology, with Logic reduced to "trivial
truths". Kant calls his project "transcendental logic", but this seems
something different from Hegel's stance in the "Reason" chapter. That said,
I continue with the psychology section.

Psychological Laws
There is little dualism in this section, other than the overarching one of
observer and agent. The section considers the idea of psychology as a search
for laws of mental activity corresponding to outside stimuli (paras 302,
323). This is different and more limited than contemporary notions of
psychology and no texts are referenced. It concludes that there are no such
laws, as there is always a right of refusal on the part of the mind. He
writes:
"However, the individual is also universal. He immediately steadily flows
together with the universals at hand, customs, habits, etc. and adapts
himself to them. He can adapt them, oppose them, even invert them. They may
leave him cold. [...] psychological necessity is just an empty word, in that
for what ought to have such and such influence, the possibility of present
that it is not able to exercise it" (para 306, 307)
This is similar to the idea of freedom and negation at the start of the
Philosophy of Right. The argument seems flawed to me. If I feel pain, I may
choose not to avoid it, at least to some extent, but I cannot choose not to
feel it. If I look at a blue sky, I cannot choose not to judge that it is
blue. If I have been hill-walking, I cannot doubt the reality of the
external world. So with limits on freedom, there is room for law.

Hegel characterises psychology as a practical concern, intended to moderate
behaviour and customs. It enumerates faculties, finding them like objects in
a sack. Differences between individuals, e.g. of interest or intellect, can
be observed. We see the general through the individual. [This seems to be a
preference for biography, or perhaps a version of Plato's study of public
life in the Republic. - SC] The idea of the individual transforming his
lived experience may refer back to the "transfigured world" of chapter
three. There is a little dualism in the contrast of individual and world
that may be developed later on.

More to follow
Stephen Cowley

-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Cowley via groups.io
Sent: Sunday, August 30, 2020 8:28 AM
To: hegel@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

More on the "Reason" chapter of the Phenomenology and unhappy consciousness.

b) Observation of Self-consciousness
This section contains discussion of logical and psychological laws. In the
opening paragraph (298), Hegel distinguishes three objects for observational
consciousness, inorganic nature, organic nature and self-consciousness. He
now turns to the third of these, which are to be treated from the standpoint
of idealism and by means of observation. We appear here to be at the
standpoint of Francis Bacon for inorganic nature and that of Locke or
Condillac for self-consciousness. It might be expected that the method of
observation would have limits in respect of self-consciousness and that
Hegel's position after Kant would make him aware of these. He finds the
“free concept” at work in self-consciousness, but does not define the term.

Logical Laws
Hegel devotes only three paragraphs to these, suggesting that they will be
more fully treated in his Logic. He does not even enumerate the laws he is
talking about. If we turn to the Science of Logic (Doctrine of Essence,
Determinations of Reflection), we would conclude that he means such laws as
that of identity (“A is A), excluded middle (“A is B or not-B”) and
non-contradiction (“Not (A and not-A)). Formal logic was not a central theme
of 18th century philosophy, for example Locke, Berkeley and Hume did not
write on it, though there is a little known text by Condillac and it was
used by Kant as a key to his categories. Hegel remarks that it was still
taught “for the sake of a certain formal utility” (Science of Logic, Preface
to 1st edition, Miller, 26). However, this was often through Latin textbooks
and in an abbreviated form (see Hamilton’s 1833 essay). Gottfried Ploucquet’s
was the textbook used when Hegel was a student in Tübingen. Hegel says of
the laws of thought:
“To say then, that they have no reality (Realität) means in general nothing
else than that they are without truth. They ought to be though, not the
whole truth surely, but still formal truth. Yet the purely formal without
reality is a mere creature of thought (Gedankending) or empty abstraction
with no division (Entzweyung) in it, which would be none other than the
content.” (299)
Here we see the concept of division interpreted logically. Hegel adds that
they go without saying, or are simply assumed, in instances of clear
thinking. It is only in a rarefied sense of observation that they are open
to being observed at all. When they are found by observation they appear as
an “array of separate necessities” (300), whose plurality contradicts the
unity of self-consciousness. He goes on to describe them as “vanishing
moments”. Stephen Theron points out that the variety of concepts of identity
involved was analysed in medieval logic (Hegel’s System of Logic, 92).

In Hegel’s treatment, logical laws are subordinate to “active consciousness”,
to which he now turns.

More to follow
Stephen Cowley

-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Cowley via groups.io
Sent: Saturday, August 22, 2020 1:29 PM
To: hegel@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

More on the "Reason" chapter of the Phenomenology and unhappy consciousness.

A. Observing Reason
This first section concerns the rational observer, after which we proceed in
chapter five to the standpoint of the agent and a final third on "real
individuality". This first third on Observing reason is itself tripartite,
covering observation of nature, observation of the mind and observations of
the alleged relations between the two. Hegel writes:
"This consciousness, for which being has the significance of being its own,
we now see entering again into sensation and perception, but not as the
certainty of a mere other, but rather with the certainty of being that other
itself." (240)
This process of inquiry is presented as an outcome of the unhappy
consciousness, which seems to be a theologically grounded confidence in our
faculties, but also of the consciousness section. One might see "reason" in
this sense as an outcome both of consciousness and self-consciousness,
rather than interpreting the chapter as simply a continuation of chapter
four alone. There is a high-level dualism of observer and nature in the
first section, but little that I can see to shed light on unhappy
consciousness.

a) Observation of Nature
Hegel gives a treatment of description, signs and laws as applied to nature
in general. Thereafter, he turns to observation of organic nature. There is
a brief discussion of teleology. Then we turn to the biology of his day.
Much observation of nature in the 18th century took the form of what was
called natural history (e.g. Buffon) and medical speculations (e.g. Brown's
medical theories). The design argument was popular, at least in Britain.
There was also some speculative biological theorising in terms of "inner"
and "outer" (purpose and reality), which Hegel finds vague. We are offered a
critique of Kielmeyer's distinction of sensibility, irritability and
reproduction (corresponding roughly to the modern nervous system, the
muscular system and the digestive and reproductive systems). An English
version of Kielmeyer's main essay is expected later this year (2020). There
is some talk of self-preservation (Selbsterhaltung).

Hegel speaks of “reflection within itself”, which may help with the use of
such phrases later in the book. He makes a general point that the concepts
of law applicable to inorganic nature do not operate so well in interpreting
organic phenomena, as they are reductive. Hegel comments that consciousness
has a series of shapes in world history. Then he adds:
“However, organic nature has no history. Organic nature immediately descends
from its universal, or life, into the singularity of existence.” (295)
This seems to be written in ignorance of contemporary theories of geology
and (pre-Darwinian) evolution. Reason turns from organic nature to the
divergent elements, zones and climates to interpret natural kinds. The kind
of self-understanding this can produce is limited.

Hegel could have had no knowledge of subsequent developments such as organic
chemistry, cell structure (?) or DNA. However, when Kielmeyer’s essay
appears in English, perhaps we will be able to see if his mode of critique
is still applicable to modern biological theories.

b) Observation of Self-consciousness

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Cowley via groups.io
Sent: Friday, August 7, 2020 11:56 AM
To: hegel@groups.io
Subject: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

My thoughts on unhappy consciousness are still in a state of flux. However,
I’d like to start a thread examining the use of the concept of unhappy
consciousness in the reason chapter of the Phenomenology. I doubt there is
much in the first third of the chapter on organic nature, though the concept
of division and the relation of self-consciousness and life are discussed.
However, I would expect the idea to recur in the last two thirds.

I wonder if the balletic representations of the self-consciousness chapter
are not elaborations of Fichte’s early writings on self-consciousness. I
have been unable to find any comparisons in the publicly accessible
scholarly literature, though there is something of a Fichte renaissance at
present in the work of Daniel Breazeale, Allen Wood and others. Has anyone
ever compared Fichte’s idea of self consciousness with Hegel’s unhappy
consciousness?

Chapter Five
Introduction
Hegel writes:
“For the unhappy consciousness the in-itself is the beyond of itself. But
its movement has resulted in placing the completely developed single
individual, or the single individual that is a real consciousness, as the
negative of itself. [...] Its truth is that which appears in the syllogism
whose extremes appeared as held absolutely asunder, as the middle term which
proclaims to the unchangeable consciousness that the single individual has
renounced himself and, to the individual, that the unchangeable is for it no
longer an extreme, but is reconciled with it.” (para 231)
This is pretty much a recapitulation of the last chapter and starts where it
ends. Hegel says that “Reason is the certainty of being all reality [...]
this reason, as immediately coming on the scene, does so only as the
certainty of that truth.” (para 233) This sheds light on the use of
“certainty” in chapter four. Certainty is opposed to “truth” (the truth of
reason’s being all reality), as a project is opposed to its completion.
Hegel proceeds to discuss “idealism”, which he eventually equates with “pure
empiricism”. The rest of the chapter may shed some light on this.

The reference to planting a flag of sovereignty in the world (para 241) is
an image draw from colonialism (either exploration, trading concession or
victory in battle). One might object that Germany did not have colonies,
though Prussia had an influence beyond its eastern borders. However, German
influence extended through the Dutch and Belgian ports. For example, Steiger
whose family Hegel tutored in Switzerland was well travelled and
Jean-Jacques Cart, whose letters Hegel translated (1798) had spent time in
the USA. Hegel’s illegitimate son later sought to copy Steiger by travelling
with a regiment to the Dutch East Indies, where he died in Jakarta. It is
only a metaphor though.

A. Observing Reason
This is the first third of the chapter and the first third of this third
concerns observation of nature. After a brief discussion of observation and
laws in general, Hegel turns to organic nature. At this point, the first
initial resemblance with the idea of unhappy consciousness appear. There is
the contrast of “observing reason” with organic nature itself, which is a
version of man as a rational animal. This Aristotelian concept contains a
dualism of the sort that the Romantics sought to overcome, as did Hegel in a
different vein.

Hegel then introduces the idea of life as a model of self-consciousness.
Self consciousness like life is constituted by distinguishing itself into
moments. Hegel writes:
“Hence it [self-consciousness] finds in the observation of organic nature
nothing other than this essence, or it finds itself as a thing, as a life,
and yet is distinguishes between what it itself is and what is found, but
the difference is no difference at all.” (para 258)
There is a kind of rational instinct, but as instinct it is opposed to
consciousness. “Hence its satisfaction is divided [entzweyt] by this
opposition. (para 258) So here again the theme of division from chapter four
re-emerges. The use of imagery of life is also Biblical and Hegel had drawn
attention to this in his early manuscripts.

Hegel proceeds to address the distinction of inner and outer. It is worth
noting that a translation of Kielmeyer’s essay on biology that he draws on
here is set to appear later this year (2020).

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


Re: A query about actualizing reason

R Srivatsan
 

Thanks Paul for this added perspective. Good to hear from you. Hope you
are doing well.

Srivats

On Fri, Oct 9, 2020 at 8:20 AM PAUL <petrejo@...> wrote:

Srivats wrote:

How on earth would you collapse Ethical Life and Observational
consciousness as being simultaneously left behind by Actualizing Reason?

Both leavings make sense as a fall from the grace of total clarity, but
they don't, cannot, stand alongside each other as both superseded by the
search for individual happiness.

-- Srivats
My reading, Srivats, is that Hegel in his section on Actualizing Reason
(para. 347-359) criticizes the Ethical Life of the ancient Greeks as
witnessed by Socrates in this context. Just as Socrates had invited
Observational Reason to rise above the data of the five senses (a massive
task), so also did Socrates invite Observational Reason to rise above the
traditional Virtues of the five senses.

This was the key project of Self-consciousness.

For example, Socrates asked the civil authorities of his day to describe
the term, Virtue. They divided the term into the virtue of the Mother,
the virtue of the Father, the virtue of the Virgin, the virtue of the
Suitor, the virtue of the Slave, the virtue of the Landlord, the virtue of
the Soldier, the virtue of the General; the virtue of the Citizen; the
virtue of the Ruler, and so on and on.

Socrates criticized this -- how was this a definition of Virtue? Was it
not merely an empirical description of the traditional roles of traditional
Society?

Thus -- when Ethics is merely a passive repetition of Tradition -- without
further reflection -- this merits criticism from the vantage of Actualizing
Reason.

In the same way -- Actualizing Reason would transcend Observing Reason by
progress toward Innovation and *Invention*. Actualizing Reason would
transcend Observing Reason by progress toward *Internal* Virtue. What is
Right and Wrong requires *internal Ethical reflection **beyond* empirical
Observation and toward internal Self-consciousness.

It was from this Socratic critique the later *Spiritual *version of Virtue
-- of Self-certain Morality -- would evolve.

There's one explanation.

All best,
--Paul


On Mon, Sep 21, 2020 at 8:37 PM R Srivatsan <r.srivats@...> wrote:

In the Actualizing Reason chapter of the Phenomenology, hegel embarks on
the path of demonstrating how ethical life or substance, where life or
substance mean not life simple but life or substance as not fully
developed
spirit (not yet subjectively internalized thus the ethics being an
external
natural force that drove individual conduct), which originally enveloped
individuality and gave it an at once universal and particular meaning in
perfection is left behind by Spirit, as the individual begins to
'recognize' himself a moral and autonomous source of Truth.

Now Hegel places this quite clearly in European history after the
consciousness pattern of Observing Reason, as is emphasised by his quote
from Faust. He also reiterates further along leaving the clarity of the
observational consciousness behind in Reason's pursuit of its own truth
in
what I can only understand as a kind of Romanticism.

Now while it is possible to understand this pursuit of one's happiness
and
hedonism as a leaving behind of a clear objective rationality, what is
difficult to square with this aspect is the description of Ethical Life
which precedes it. To me, Ethical Life as described here is that of a
mythical abstract unity, a child at the mother's bosom, Greece, where the
individual was one with the law and custom. My question is:

How on earth would you collapse Ethical Life and Observational
consciousness as being simultaneously left behind by Actualizing Reason?

Both leavings make sense as a fall from the grace of total clarity, but
they don't, cannot, stand alongside each other as both superseded by the
search for individual happiness.

Srivats



--
R Srivatsan
<
http://www.anveshi.org.in/the-people-of-anveshi/fellows-2/dr-r-srivatsan/
Flat 101, Block C, Saincher Palace Apartments
10-3-152, Street No 2
East Marredpally
Secunderabad
Telangana 500026
Mobile: +91 77027 11656, +91 94404 80762
Landline: +91 40 2773 5193

*Human action is characteristically neither blind and goalless nor the
mere
implementation of means to an already decided end. Acting that is the
bringing about of such an end by a calculated means certainly has a
place,
but a subordinate place, in human activity. That it is only in the
course
of the movement that the goals of the movement are articulated is the
reason why we can understand human affairs only after the event. The owl
of Minerva, as Hegel was later to put it, flies only at dusk. *
Alasdair Macintyre, "Hegel on Faces and Skulls", in ed., *Hegel: A
Collection of Critical Essays, * (Garden City NY: Anchor, 1972)









--
R Srivatsan
<http://www.anveshi.org.in/the-people-of-anveshi/fellows-2/dr-r-srivatsan/>
Flat 101, Block C, Saincher Palace Apartments
10-3-152, Street No 2
East Marredpally
Secunderabad
Telangana 500026
Mobile: +91 77027 11656, +91 94404 80762
Landline: +91 40 2773 5193

*Human action is characteristically neither blind and goalless nor the mere
implementation of means to an already decided end. Acting that is the
bringing about of such an end by a calculated means certainly has a place,
but a subordinate place, in human activity. That it is only in the course
of the movement that the goals of the movement are articulated is the
reason why we can understand human affairs only after the event. The owl
of Minerva, as Hegel was later to put it, flies only at dusk. *
Alasdair Macintyre, "Hegel on Faces and Skulls", in ed., *Hegel: A
Collection of Critical Essays, * (Garden City NY: Anchor, 1972)


Re: Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

Stephen Cowley
 

More on the "Reason" chapter of the Phenomenology and unhappy consciousness.

Phrenology (paras 323-46)

Hegel says that what remains to be considered is the immediate, fixed aspect of individuality, of immobile thinghood, in relation to mind. Any relation here, he argues, must be a causal connection. A relation of inner and outer must involve necessity (rather than accident). If the individual mind then, is to have an effect on the body, it must itself be bodily. What organ this might be is not immediately obvious. Plato thought prophecy the work of the liver, for example. However, the brain and the nervous system are the best candidate. He writes:
"The nerves themselves are no doubt again organs of consciousness which is already engrossed in an outward direction. However, the brain and spinal cord may be considered as the immediate presence of self-consciousness persisting within itself." (327)
The brain is the living head, the skull is a caput mortuum. We might think of the brain pressing on the skull, or conversely the skull restricting or facilitating the growth of the brain. Either might play the determining role, or we might think of a pre-established harmony like that of Leibniz. A field of conjecture opens up here. The brain might be supposed the organ of settled character and conscious action. This is then compared with the skull. The skull may give rise to many thoughts, as did Yorick's for Hamlet, but it itself has no expression or countenance. Our list of mental properties changes with the state of psychology and bumps or indentations on the skull are supposed to correspond to them, or to the mind of a murderer, thief, unfaithful wife, or poet. This is on the level of saying that it always rains when you put your washing out. If it perchance does not, still it is "supposed to". Emboldened by the principle that "the outer is expression of the inner" and by comparison with the skulls of animals, observation goes to work. Excuses and subterfuge are used to cover false predictions. [Hegel applies the law of contradiction in its normal sense here.] Here is a denial of reason here. Hegel writes:
"What is, without mental activity, is a thing for consciousness and so little its essence that it is rather its opposite. Consciousness is only real to itself through the negation and consumption of such a being." (339)
Hegel observes that: "The raw instinct of reason will cast aside such a phrenology unexamined." (340)

There follow two images of Israel: the comparison with the grains of sand (334), which is a common Biblical metaphor (Gen 22.17; 1 Kings 4.20; Hosea 1.9), but notably found in "Isaiah also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved." (Romans 9.27; c.f. Isaiah 10.22). Hegel returns to the metaphor when he writes:
"As can be said of the Jewish people, that it is precisely because they stand immediately before the gates of Salvation that they are and have been the most rejected [verworfenste], what they should be, this being themselves, they are not to themselves, but displace it beyond them. It makes a higher existence possible for itself through this alienation, if it could but take its object back into itself, than if it remains standing inside the immediacy of being, because the spirit is the greater, the greater the opposition out of which it returns to itself." (340)
A kind of counterpoint emerges here, as we can read Hegel's text either as about Judaism or about phrenology. The passage harks back to the (then) unpublished "theological manuscripts" and may bolster Wahl's argument identifying Judaism as a stage of the unhappy consciousness.

The presence of mind, Hegel concludes, removes sensuous being and directs us to the idea of purpose. This leads us to turn to self-consciousness. Phrenology on the other hand, leads us from changeable language to a dead thing. It is worthwhile saying what spirit is - and what is intended here is not materialism - but defective to say that it must be something like a bone.

The concluding three transitory paragraphs have their own interest in relation to unhappy consciousness, which I will deal with separately.

More to follow
Stephen Cowley

-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Cowley via groups.io
Sent Sunday, October 4, 2020 1:36 PM
To: hegel@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

More on the "Reason" chapter of the Phenomenology and unhappy consciousness.

Physiognomy (paras 312-22)
This short section draws on the work of Lichtenberg and uses this to develop
Hegel's view of action as central to the nature of the person. Georg
Christoph Lichtenberg (1742-99) was the editor of a physics textbook and a
popular writer who wrote an essay On Physiognomy: Against the Physiognomists
(1778):
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=jMg6AAAAcAAJ&pg=PP5&source=kp_read_button&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false
http://www.zeno.org/Literatur/M/Lichtenberg,+Georg+Christoph/Aufs%C3%A4tze+und+Streitschriften/%C3%9Cber+Physiognomik;+wider+die+Physiognomen
Some of his reputation was posthumous and apparently post-dates the
Phenomenology. H S Harris points out that observations of local types in the
spirit of Lavater were a feature of contemporary travel literature, such as
Sophia’s Journey, a novel known to Hegel. Hegel seems to be simply pressing
Lichtenberg’s aphorisms into the service of his own philosophical project.

At first, Hegel explains, we encounter an inner in the form of a deed
expressed through outward bodily organs - the speaking mouth the labouring
hand, even the walking legs. Physiognomy claims that aspects of the body are
related to the deed as signs. Its advocates claim an element of necessity
for it that distinguishes it from astrology, or palmistry. However, this is
hard to justify. It might be compared to graphology (which has actually been
used on Hegel's manuscripts). We act through our speech and our hands, but
these are no longer the possession of an individual, but universal in nature
as comprehensible speech or valuable labour.

We express ourselves bodily, e.g. see by his facial expression if someone is
serious, and there is a "natural physiognomy" of easy assumptions, but
Lichtenberg says that "if the physiognomist did take the measure of a man,
he could make himself inscrutable again by a resolve." (para 318) It is
conceded that the physiognomist does not see deeds, but only capacities.
Lichtenberg comments on this that someone who said "You act like an honest
fellow, but I see from your face that you are a knave at heart" would get an
honest slap in return. Hegel concludes:
"The true being of man is rather his deed. In it, individuality is real, and
it is it which removes intention (das Gemeynte) in both its aspects." (322)
These incomplete aspects are the motionless body and the inexpressible
intention. It is the deed that replaces conjecture with fact. Even a private
ill-intention is taken away if we act otherwise. We may conjecture and
opinionate even about ourselves.

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Cowley via groups.io
Sent: Friday, October 2, 2020 10:39 AM
To: hegel@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

More on the "Reason" chapter of the Phenomenology and unhappy consciousness.
I have now come to see form the start of 5B that the second and third parts
of the chapter are a better bet for drawing comparisons with the central
ideas of the Self-consciousness chapter. However, I'll try to create a
continuous narrative.

Observation of the Relation of Self-consciousness and its Immediate Reality:
Physiognomy and Phrenology (309-11)
Observation has found no law of the relationship of self-consciousness to
the reality it faces. Hegel explains that this is because:
"The individual is in and for himself; he is for himself, or he is a free
action (ein freyes Thun)." (310)
The in-itself that is contrasted with this Hegel calls "having an original
determinate being". Hegel reviews the moments present here: there is a
universal human form, varied somewhat by climate and people, just as we
previously noted universal ethical customs and culture. Then there are more
particular circumstances and situations. Then there are the free actions by
which the individual makes himself what he is. Here his outward form or
shape (Gestalt) is the expression of his self-realisation, the traits and
forms of his activity.

So we can observe the body. We look at the whole individual, both natural
body and that developed by training and habit, the result of inner activity,
as well as current disposition. The inner is seen in its effects. Here we
consider these in relation. Or rather, we consider how the relation of
expression is to be determined.

There follows a short section on physiognomy and a longer one on phrenology.

Physiognomy
More to follow

Stephen Cowley

-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Cowley via groups.io
Sent: Sunday, September 20, 2020 7:49 PM
To: hegel@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

More on the "Reason" chapter of the Phenomenology and unhappy consciousness.
As I read through the chapter, a number of uncertainties have arisen for me.
Firstly, there is the sense of "idealism" from which the chapter is written.
Is this the Lockean "way of ideas" (that might indeed be equated with
"absolute empiricism"), or is it something more Kantian, or Fichtean, based
on the unknowable thing-in-itself or fact of freedom? Secondly, there is the
justification of dividing self-observation into Logic and Psychology. For
Locke, everything would be psychology, with Logic reduced to "trivial
truths". Kant calls his project "transcendental logic", but this seems
something different from Hegel's stance in the "Reason" chapter. That said,
I continue with the psychology section.

Psychological Laws
There is little dualism in this section, other than the overarching one of
observer and agent. The section considers the idea of psychology as a search
for laws of mental activity corresponding to outside stimuli (paras 302,
323). This is different and more limited than contemporary notions of
psychology and no texts are referenced. It concludes that there are no such
laws, as there is always a right of refusal on the part of the mind. He
writes:
"However, the individual is also universal. He immediately steadily flows
together with the universals at hand, customs, habits, etc. and adapts
himself to them. He can adapt them, oppose them, even invert them. They may
leave him cold. [...] psychological necessity is just an empty word, in that
for what ought to have such and such influence, the possibility of present
that it is not able to exercise it" (para 306, 307)
This is similar to the idea of freedom and negation at the start of the
Philosophy of Right. The argument seems flawed to me. If I feel pain, I may
choose not to avoid it, at least to some extent, but I cannot choose not to
feel it. If I look at a blue sky, I cannot choose not to judge that it is
blue. If I have been hill-walking, I cannot doubt the reality of the
external world. So with limits on freedom, there is room for law.

Hegel characterises psychology as a practical concern, intended to moderate
behaviour and customs. It enumerates faculties, finding them like objects in
a sack. Differences between individuals, e.g. of interest or intellect, can
be observed. We see the general through the individual. [This seems to be a
preference for biography, or perhaps a version of Plato's study of public
life in the Republic. - SC] The idea of the individual transforming his
lived experience may refer back to the "transfigured world" of chapter
three. There is a little dualism in the contrast of individual and world
that may be developed later on.

More to follow
Stephen Cowley

-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Cowley via groups.io
Sent: Sunday, August 30, 2020 8:28 AM
To: hegel@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

More on the "Reason" chapter of the Phenomenology and unhappy consciousness.

b) Observation of Self-consciousness
This section contains discussion of logical and psychological laws. In the
opening paragraph (298), Hegel distinguishes three objects for observational
consciousness, inorganic nature, organic nature and self-consciousness. He
now turns to the third of these, which are to be treated from the standpoint
of idealism and by means of observation. We appear here to be at the
standpoint of Francis Bacon for inorganic nature and that of Locke or
Condillac for self-consciousness. It might be expected that the method of
observation would have limits in respect of self-consciousness and that
Hegel's position after Kant would make him aware of these. He finds the
“free concept” at work in self-consciousness, but does not define the term.

Logical Laws
Hegel devotes only three paragraphs to these, suggesting that they will be
more fully treated in his Logic. He does not even enumerate the laws he is
talking about. If we turn to the Science of Logic (Doctrine of Essence,
Determinations of Reflection), we would conclude that he means such laws as
that of identity (“A is A), excluded middle (“A is B or not-B”) and
non-contradiction (“Not (A and not-A)). Formal logic was not a central theme
of 18th century philosophy, for example Locke, Berkeley and Hume did not
write on it, though there is a little known text by Condillac and it was
used by Kant as a key to his categories. Hegel remarks that it was still
taught “for the sake of a certain formal utility” (Science of Logic, Preface
to 1st edition, Miller, 26). However, this was often through Latin textbooks
and in an abbreviated form (see Hamilton’s 1833 essay). Gottfried Ploucquet’s
was the textbook used when Hegel was a student in Tübingen. Hegel says of
the laws of thought:
“To say then, that they have no reality (Realität) means in general nothing
else than that they are without truth. They ought to be though, not the
whole truth surely, but still formal truth. Yet the purely formal without
reality is a mere creature of thought (Gedankending) or empty abstraction
with no division (Entzweyung) in it, which would be none other than the
content.” (299)
Here we see the concept of division interpreted logically. Hegel adds that
they go without saying, or are simply assumed, in instances of clear
thinking. It is only in a rarefied sense of observation that they are open
to being observed at all. When they are found by observation they appear as
an “array of separate necessities” (300), whose plurality contradicts the
unity of self-consciousness. He goes on to describe them as “vanishing
moments”. Stephen Theron points out that the variety of concepts of identity
involved was analysed in medieval logic (Hegel’s System of Logic, 92).

In Hegel’s treatment, logical laws are subordinate to “active consciousness”,
to which he now turns.

More to follow
Stephen Cowley

-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Cowley via groups.io
Sent: Saturday, August 22, 2020 1:29 PM
To: hegel@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

More on the "Reason" chapter of the Phenomenology and unhappy consciousness.

A. Observing Reason
This first section concerns the rational observer, after which we proceed in
chapter five to the standpoint of the agent and a final third on "real
individuality". This first third on Observing reason is itself tripartite,
covering observation of nature, observation of the mind and observations of
the alleged relations between the two. Hegel writes:
"This consciousness, for which being has the significance of being its own,
we now see entering again into sensation and perception, but not as the
certainty of a mere other, but rather with the certainty of being that other
itself." (240)
This process of inquiry is presented as an outcome of the unhappy
consciousness, which seems to be a theologically grounded confidence in our
faculties, but also of the consciousness section. One might see "reason" in
this sense as an outcome both of consciousness and self-consciousness,
rather than interpreting the chapter as simply a continuation of chapter
four alone. There is a high-level dualism of observer and nature in the
first section, but little that I can see to shed light on unhappy
consciousness.

a) Observation of Nature
Hegel gives a treatment of description, signs and laws as applied to nature
in general. Thereafter, he turns to observation of organic nature. There is
a brief discussion of teleology. Then we turn to the biology of his day.
Much observation of nature in the 18th century took the form of what was
called natural history (e.g. Buffon) and medical speculations (e.g. Brown's
medical theories). The design argument was popular, at least in Britain.
There was also some speculative biological theorising in terms of "inner"
and "outer" (purpose and reality), which Hegel finds vague. We are offered a
critique of Kielmeyer's distinction of sensibility, irritability and
reproduction (corresponding roughly to the modern nervous system, the
muscular system and the digestive and reproductive systems). An English
version of Kielmeyer's main essay is expected later this year (2020). There
is some talk of self-preservation (Selbsterhaltung).

Hegel speaks of “reflection within itself”, which may help with the use of
such phrases later in the book. He makes a general point that the concepts
of law applicable to inorganic nature do not operate so well in interpreting
organic phenomena, as they are reductive. Hegel comments that consciousness
has a series of shapes in world history. Then he adds:
“However, organic nature has no history. Organic nature immediately descends
from its universal, or life, into the singularity of existence.” (295)
This seems to be written in ignorance of contemporary theories of geology
and (pre-Darwinian) evolution. Reason turns from organic nature to the
divergent elements, zones and climates to interpret natural kinds. The kind
of self-understanding this can produce is limited.

Hegel could have had no knowledge of subsequent developments such as organic
chemistry, cell structure (?) or DNA. However, when Kielmeyer’s essay
appears in English, perhaps we will be able to see if his mode of critique
is still applicable to modern biological theories.

b) Observation of Self-consciousness

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Cowley via groups.io
Sent: Friday, August 7, 2020 11:56 AM
To: hegel@groups.io
Subject: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

My thoughts on unhappy consciousness are still in a state of flux. However,
I’d like to start a thread examining the use of the concept of unhappy
consciousness in the reason chapter of the Phenomenology. I doubt there is
much in the first third of the chapter on organic nature, though the concept
of division and the relation of self-consciousness and life are discussed.
However, I would expect the idea to recur in the last two thirds.

I wonder if the balletic representations of the self-consciousness chapter
are not elaborations of Fichte’s early writings on self-consciousness. I
have been unable to find any comparisons in the publicly accessible
scholarly literature, though there is something of a Fichte renaissance at
present in the work of Daniel Breazeale, Allen Wood and others. Has anyone
ever compared Fichte’s idea of self consciousness with Hegel’s unhappy
consciousness?

Chapter Five
Introduction
Hegel writes:
“For the unhappy consciousness the in-itself is the beyond of itself. But
its movement has resulted in placing the completely developed single
individual, or the single individual that is a real consciousness, as the
negative of itself. [...] Its truth is that which appears in the syllogism
whose extremes appeared as held absolutely asunder, as the middle term which
proclaims to the unchangeable consciousness that the single individual has
renounced himself and, to the individual, that the unchangeable is for it no
longer an extreme, but is reconciled with it.” (para 231)
This is pretty much a recapitulation of the last chapter and starts where it
ends. Hegel says that “Reason is the certainty of being all reality [...]
this reason, as immediately coming on the scene, does so only as the
certainty of that truth.” (para 233) This sheds light on the use of
“certainty” in chapter four. Certainty is opposed to “truth” (the truth of
reason’s being all reality), as a project is opposed to its completion.
Hegel proceeds to discuss “idealism”, which he eventually equates with “pure
empiricism”. The rest of the chapter may shed some light on this.

The reference to planting a flag of sovereignty in the world (para 241) is
an image draw from colonialism (either exploration, trading concession or
victory in battle). One might object that Germany did not have colonies,
though Prussia had an influence beyond its eastern borders. However, German
influence extended through the Dutch and Belgian ports. For example, Steiger
whose family Hegel tutored in Switzerland was well travelled and
Jean-Jacques Cart, whose letters Hegel translated (1798) had spent time in
the USA. Hegel’s illegitimate son later sought to copy Steiger by travelling
with a regiment to the Dutch East Indies, where he died in Jakarta. It is
only a metaphor though.

A. Observing Reason
This is the first third of the chapter and the first third of this third
concerns observation of nature. After a brief discussion of observation and
laws in general, Hegel turns to organic nature. At this point, the first
initial resemblance with the idea of unhappy consciousness appear. There is
the contrast of “observing reason” with organic nature itself, which is a
version of man as a rational animal. This Aristotelian concept contains a
dualism of the sort that the Romantics sought to overcome, as did Hegel in a
different vein.

Hegel then introduces the idea of life as a model of self-consciousness.
Self consciousness like life is constituted by distinguishing itself into
moments. Hegel writes:
“Hence it [self-consciousness] finds in the observation of organic nature
nothing other than this essence, or it finds itself as a thing, as a life,
and yet is distinguishes between what it itself is and what is found, but
the difference is no difference at all.” (para 258)
There is a kind of rational instinct, but as instinct it is opposed to
consciousness. “Hence its satisfaction is divided [entzweyt] by this
opposition. (para 258) So here again the theme of division from chapter four
re-emerges. The use of imagery of life is also Biblical and Hegel had drawn
attention to this in his early manuscripts.

Hegel proceeds to address the distinction of inner and outer. It is worth
noting that a translation of Kielmeyer’s essay on biology that he draws on
here is set to appear later this year (2020).

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


Re: A query about actualizing reason

PAUL
 

Srivats wrote:

How on earth would you collapse Ethical Life and Observational
consciousness as being simultaneously left behind by Actualizing Reason?

Both leavings make sense as a fall from the grace of total clarity, but
they don't, cannot, stand alongside each other as both superseded by the
search for individual happiness.

-- Srivats
My reading, Srivats, is that Hegel in his section on Actualizing Reason
(para. 347-359) criticizes the Ethical Life of the ancient Greeks as
witnessed by Socrates in this context. Just as Socrates had invited
Observational Reason to rise above the data of the five senses (a massive
task), so also did Socrates invite Observational Reason to rise above the
traditional Virtues of the five senses.

This was the key project of Self-consciousness.

For example, Socrates asked the civil authorities of his day to describe
the term, Virtue. They divided the term into the virtue of the Mother,
the virtue of the Father, the virtue of the Virgin, the virtue of the
Suitor, the virtue of the Slave, the virtue of the Landlord, the virtue of
the Soldier, the virtue of the General; the virtue of the Citizen; the
virtue of the Ruler, and so on and on.

Socrates criticized this -- how was this a definition of Virtue? Was it
not merely an empirical description of the traditional roles of traditional
Society?

Thus -- when Ethics is merely a passive repetition of Tradition -- without
further reflection -- this merits criticism from the vantage of Actualizing
Reason.

In the same way -- Actualizing Reason would transcend Observing Reason by
progress toward Innovation and *Invention*. Actualizing Reason would
transcend Observing Reason by progress toward *Internal* Virtue. What is
Right and Wrong requires *internal Ethical reflection **beyond* empirical
Observation and toward internal Self-consciousness.

It was from this Socratic critique the later *Spiritual *version of Virtue
-- of Self-certain Morality -- would evolve.

There's one explanation.

All best,
--Paul


On Mon, Sep 21, 2020 at 8:37 PM R Srivatsan <r.srivats@...> wrote:

In the Actualizing Reason chapter of the Phenomenology, hegel embarks on
the path of demonstrating how ethical life or substance, where life or
substance mean not life simple but life or substance as not fully developed
spirit (not yet subjectively internalized thus the ethics being an external
natural force that drove individual conduct), which originally enveloped
individuality and gave it an at once universal and particular meaning in
perfection is left behind by Spirit, as the individual begins to
'recognize' himself a moral and autonomous source of Truth.

Now Hegel places this quite clearly in European history after the
consciousness pattern of Observing Reason, as is emphasised by his quote
from Faust. He also reiterates further along leaving the clarity of the
observational consciousness behind in Reason's pursuit of its own truth in
what I can only understand as a kind of Romanticism.

Now while it is possible to understand this pursuit of one's happiness and
hedonism as a leaving behind of a clear objective rationality, what is
difficult to square with this aspect is the description of Ethical Life
which precedes it. To me, Ethical Life as described here is that of a
mythical abstract unity, a child at the mother's bosom, Greece, where the
individual was one with the law and custom. My question is:

How on earth would you collapse Ethical Life and Observational
consciousness as being simultaneously left behind by Actualizing Reason?

Both leavings make sense as a fall from the grace of total clarity, but
they don't, cannot, stand alongside each other as both superseded by the
search for individual happiness.

Srivats



--
R Srivatsan
<http://www.anveshi.org.in/the-people-of-anveshi/fellows-2/dr-r-srivatsan/
Flat 101, Block C, Saincher Palace Apartments
10-3-152, Street No 2
East Marredpally
Secunderabad
Telangana 500026
Mobile: +91 77027 11656, +91 94404 80762
Landline: +91 40 2773 5193

*Human action is characteristically neither blind and goalless nor the mere
implementation of means to an already decided end. Acting that is the
bringing about of such an end by a calculated means certainly has a place,
but a subordinate place, in human activity. That it is only in the course
of the movement that the goals of the movement are articulated is the
reason why we can understand human affairs only after the event. The owl
of Minerva, as Hegel was later to put it, flies only at dusk. *
Alasdair Macintyre, "Hegel on Faces and Skulls", in ed., *Hegel: A
Collection of Critical Essays, * (Garden City NY: Anchor, 1972)






Re: A query about actualizing reason

R Srivatsan
 

Bill,

Thanks for your challenges. It makes me think in a more refined manner. I
agree with you. My only reaction is to the word "childish", which made me
understand where you were coming from.

Let me explain: I meant childlike, not childish. Also, somewhat
implicitly, I was making a more complex comparison to the Anthropology
Chapter in the Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences. There the life
of the child is modeled along the lines of a substantive, unmediated,
unreflective relationship to an abstract universal or the mother, youth is
the antithesis or rebellion against parents and community, and old age is
when man rejoins community with a developed, rational sense of how the I is
the we. What I was trying to suggest without reducing it to an identity
was a similarity between Ethical Substance or Ethical Life (as opposed to
developed Spirit) with the child phase described in the Anthropology.

Srivats

On Thu, Oct 8, 2020 at 4:26 AM Bill Hord <bill.hord@...> wrote:

Srivats, I didn't mean to assert merely that ethical life (or ethical
substance) is not identical to childhood. I hope this goes without saying.
But neither is it "explicit Reason, fully articulated and developed" --
this is also obvious. Likewise, neither is it spirit.

My point is that childishness is the wrong metaphor for ethical life or
ethical substance.

Ethical substance, the kind of community solidarity in which those you
address understand your meaning implicitly, and vice versa, is an always
necessary moment of ethical life, reason, and spirit. Perhaps we agree that
this is what Hegel is getting at in 350?

Thanks,

Bill

"It is evident that Hegel means for us to take his descriptions quite
literally, that he means to suggest not that reason is like life but that
reason is a dynamic, living activity in constant development." (Karen Ng,
Hegel’s Concept of Life : Self-Consciousness, Freedom, Logic<
https://libaccess.hccs.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=2333926&site=eds-live&ebv=EB&ppid=pp_11>,
Oxford University Press, 2020)


This email may contain confidential and/or privileged information. If you
are not the intended recipient (or have received this email in error)
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________________________________
From: hegel@groups.io <hegel@groups.io> on behalf of R Srivatsan <
r.srivats@...>
Sent: Tuesday, October 6, 2020 8:51 PM
To: hegel@groups.io <hegel@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [Hegel] A query about actualizing reason

Bill,

I take your correction that Ethical Life is not identical to childhood.
But Reason too is not quite articulate in it. See e.g., this paragraph:

quote
350. It is in fact in the life of a people or nation that the Notion of
self-conscious Reason's actualization -- of beholding, in the independence
of the 'other', complete unity with it, or having for my object the free
thinghood of an 'other' which confronts me and is the negative of myself,
as my own being-for-myself -- that the Notion has its complete reality.
Reason is present here as the fluid universal Substance, as unchangeable
simple thinghood, which yet bursts asunder into many completely independent
beings, just as light bursts asunder into stars as countless self-luminous
points, which in their absolute being-for-self are dissolved, not merely
implicitly in the simple independent Substance, but explicitly for
themselves. They are conscious of being these separate independent beings
through the sacrifice of their particularity, and by having this universal
Substance as their soul and essence, just as this universal again is their
own doing as particular individuals, or is the work that they have
produced.
end quote
(Miller 212)

Carefully read, the first line is an exposition of how the Notion is in
complete (fully articulated) reality. Reason as actualized in
self-consciousness beholds the independence of the other as in unity with
itself, as observing the self-consciousness that confronts me as opposed to
me and comprehending my unity with it. Community is explicitly articulated
in this state.

In contrast, in the next sentence, "here" i.e., in the realm of Ethical
Substance, Reason is present as a fluid universality and the individual
points of light that diffract from the single source of Spirit simply
dissolve themselves willingly and explicitly (note the play between
mechanism and purposiveness). They find their individuality as they
sacrifice themselves to "the universal Substance" which is their soul and
essence. And without their realizing it (behind their back as it were)
this universal substance is their own product.

This state of Ethical Life is not explicit Reason, fully articulated and
developed. In relation to reason's absolute form, I would say ethical life
is somewhat like the state of childhood.

Srivats

On Tue, Oct 6, 2020 at 6:30 PM Bill Hord <bill.hord@...> wrote:

Srivats, I suppose Hegel had in mind readers for whom Goethe's Faust was
more or less common knowledge.

The substance of this comment also tells us something about ethical
substance. The kind of community solidarity, in which those you address
understand your meaning implicitly, isn't strictly the object of a desire
to return to a childlike state of innocence and obedience. It's also and
more importantly reasonable.

If Hegel in fact had something like this in mind, I agree that he leaves
it mostly implicit here. But it may also help us understand why Hegel
often
favors literary examples. These objects are objective only in a
community.

Bill

"It is evident that Hegel means for us to take his descriptions quite
literally, that he means to suggest not that reason is like life but that
reason is a dynamic, living activity in constant development." (Karen Ng,
Hegel’s Concept of Life : Self-Consciousness, Freedom, Logic<
https://libaccess.hccs.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=2333926&site=eds-live&ebv=EB&ppid=pp_11
,
Oxford University Press, 2020)


This email may contain confidential and/or privileged information. If you
are not the intended recipient (or have received this email in error)
please notify the sender immediately and destroy this email. Any
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________________________________
From: hegel@groups.io <hegel@groups.io> on behalf of R Srivatsan <
r.srivats@...>
Sent: Monday, October 5, 2020 9:50 PM
To: hegel@groups.io <hegel@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [Hegel] A query about actualizing reason

Bill,

"This is because" refers to my own process of inference -- it means "Why
I
think so is because I see that". The causation is not objective (in the
way in which I meant it).

Both your comments are very useful. They point to the issue very
precisely.

However, this conversation raises another observation on my part about
Hegel's exposition. In the text, the reference to Ethical Life comes
after
the chapter on Observing Reason. True, Ethical Life is about the
unthinking obedience of subjective thought to the objective community.
It
is precisely about a lack of developed self-consciousness. It is a near
childlike state of substantive universality where the individual
expresses
the universal as an unproblematic one. If as you put it (confirming my
own
developing argument) that Observing Reason has a dual relationship to
Ethical Substance, it would have been extremely useful if there was a
line
(or paragraph) of clarification in the text that clearly enunciates this
relationship! Hegel however lets us flail wildly as we find our way out
of
this very deep and implicit reference. I guess this is the way in which
he
teaches how to swim with an articulate knowledge of what swimming is.
But
of course, it could have simply been a hasty carelessness on his part.
Or
perhaps, his argument is so deeply embedded in that aphoristic Faust
quote
that those who haven't studied Faust (yes there are many) won't catch on!

Best
Srivats




On Mon, Oct 5, 2020 at 7:53 PM Bill Hord <bill.hord@...> wrote:

Srivats, I have a question and perhaps a relevant comment on this that
you
write:

"Ethical substance here is the base of community, *and also the
implicit
premise or ground for the development of the observational
consciousness.*
This is because knowledge and theory are "other than those of [this =
the
emerging moral] self-consciousness [in its romantic search for
happiness].
In other words, the emerging scientific community which maps
immediately
on
to Hegel's pattern of Observing Reason is a community which, basing
itself
in the Ethical Life begins to investigate the world."

The key to my question is your phrase "this is because." Perhaps you
mean
observational reason has "lifted itself out of ethical Substance"
(Hegel)
"because knowledge and theory are "other than those of [this = the
emerging
moral] self-consciousness [in its romantic search for happiness]"?

Or, as written, do you mean that "ethical substance here is the base of
community, *and also the implicit premise or ground for the development
of
the observational consciousness* ... because knowledge and theory are
"other than those of [this = the emerging moral] self-consciousness [in
its
romantic search for happiness]"? That seems backward.

In any case, a couple of observations:

First, the movement after Observing Reason is the search for
individuality
-- for its for-itself. Observing Reason had a dual relationship to
ethical
Substance. On one hand it arises out of ethical substance with its
sense
of
being all. But it also in doing so effaces its own individuality in its
search for universal laws that negate particularity.

But this search for theoretical knowledge, a view from nowhere, is
like a
"shadow" without substance. This is why the quote from Faust tells us
so
much. At the beginning of Faust, Part 1, Faust despairs of reason.
Faust
sells his soul for, it turns out, sensual pleasure with Gretchen.
Hegel's
later remarks refer to the tragedy that results for Gretchen -- her
mother,
her brother, her child, herself, dead for this expression of Faust's
individuality.

The next form seeks a moral law based in its own individuality, also
with
tragic effect.


Bill

"It is evident that Hegel means for us to take his descriptions quite
literally, that he means to suggest not that reason is like life but
that
reason is a dynamic, living activity in constant development." (Karen
Ng,
Hegel’s Concept of Life : Self-Consciousness, Freedom, Logic<
https://libaccess.hccs.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=2333926&site=eds-live&ebv=EB&ppid=pp_11
,
Oxford University Press, 2020)


This email may contain confidential and/or privileged information. If
you
are not the intended recipient (or have received this email in error)
please notify the sender immediately and destroy this email. Any
unauthorized copying, disclosure or distribution of the material in
this
email is strictly prohibited.

________________________________
From: hegel@groups.io <hegel@groups.io> on behalf of R Srivatsan <
r.srivats@...>
Sent: Friday, October 2, 2020 9:09 PM
To: hegel@groups.io <hegel@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [Hegel] A query about actualizing reason

To worry my puzzlement about the clubbing together of Ethical Life and
Observing Reason as seemingly heteroclite moments in the sublation of
Actualizing Reason:

paragraph 360
quote
In so far as it has lifted itself out of the ethical Substance and the
tranquil being of thought to its being-for-self, it has left behind the
law
of custom and existence, the knowledge acquired through observation,
and
theory, as a grey shadow which is in the act of passing out of sight.
For
the latter is rather a knowledge of something whose being-for-self and
actuality are other than those of this self-consciousness. Instead of
the
heavenly-seeming Spirit of the universality of knowledge and action in
which the feeling and enjoyment of individuality are stilled, there has
entered into it the Spirit of the earth, for which true actuality is
merely
that being which is the actuality of the individual consciousness.
end quote (Miller 217)

This quote is a bit difficult to read, but seems to address this
transition/sublation better. Ethical substance here is the base of
community, *and also the implicit premise or ground for the development
of
the observational consciousness.* This is because knowledge and theory
are
"other than those of [this = the emerging moral] self-consciousness [in
its
romantic search for happiness]. In other words, the emerging
scientific
community which maps immediately on to Hegel's pattern of Observing
Reason
is a community which, basing itself in the Ethical Life begins to
investigate the world. In this investigation, it chafes at the lack of
individuality -- progressing from mere observation, to categorizing and
classifying properties, to laws which reflect being-for-self, organism
which manifests being-for-self, psychology which is a flawed
deterministic
modeling of the self, physiognomy and phrenology both of which are a
search
for the individual self as objective. This chafing is also
historically
evident in for example Gailieo's straining against the position of the
church.

It would seem that in Hegel's progression of spirit, the transition to
self-aware individuality occurs in the emergence of the romantic
refusal
of
both science and community.

Srivats





On Wed, Sep 23, 2020 at 7:04 AM R Srivatsan <r.srivats@...>
wrote:

Thanks a lot Bill.

So you are suggesting that the placing alongside each other of both
ethical life and observing reason is not a matter of chronological
order,
but of logical preconditions. Though each may well have arisen at
vastly
different periods, the logical antecedents of both a) an ethical life
in
its utter and sublime simplicity, and b) of an observing reason that
seeks
to find the truth as individual consciousness are together necessary
so
that the next step of seeking happiness occurs as the sub lation of
both.

So it would seem as if this kind of 'romanticism' would reject
observing
reason's content (i.e, laws etc.) and yet use observing reason's form
(i.e., mode of exploration) on the one hand, and reject ethical
life's
form
(i.e., its external supervening immediacy in individual life) and
accept
its content -- i.e., laws of conduct as in need of individual
verification,
rejection and/or transformation.

This works for me.

Ng is very interesting - I am about half way through. I find her work
very
systematic and thorough. Some points that seem to show thinness
though.
Will have to think them through.

Best
Srivats

On Wed, Sep 23, 2020 at 2:32 AM Bill Hord <bill.hord@...>
wrote:

I was trying to run over to a meeting this morning and left some
parts
of
this grammatically unfinished. This is corrected.

Srivats, I'll try to respond to your concerns. As I understand them,
we
have different views of what's going on in the book.

So, for example, when you say that ethical life is "not fully
developed
spirit (not yet subjectively internalized ... )", I'd say something
like
this, that fully developed spirit is not yet full objective
(meaning,
as
"subject"). But the key point is that ethical substance "which
originally
enveloped individuality and gave it an at once universal and
particular
meaning in perfection," "a mythical abstract unity, a child at the
mother's
bosom, Greece, where the individual was one with the law and
custom,"
is at
that stage merely given. I strike through mythical because I
believe,
not
only among the Greeks, the social ethical substance of a people has
this
form as a given. It is the characteristic of being merely given that
both
makes it effective (to a point) and causes consciousness to leave it
behind.

The subsequent attempts to actualize this substance through Reason
(which
leads to Spirit) take the individual who has broken away from the
merely
given ethical substance through a series of forms -- the first is a
species
of hedonism, with Faust as example, in which the pursuit of pleasure
leads
not only to unintended consequences that shatter the ethical
substance,
but
also to a kind of compulsion that can't be satisfied. (After
psychological
observation comes up short, it's interesting that each of these
attempts at
living ethically as a sole individual leads to a kind of madness.)

I find Ng and Hegel's concept of Life quite helpful here. Both in
ethical
substance and in its attempts to actualize Reason, Reason fails to
realize
that what it seeks is its own telos -- that its actions enact or
actualize
itself and its ethical substance, where subject and object coincide
(in
Platonic terms, where the parts of the soul are in harmony).

So, my reply to your final question is sublation. The concept of
ethical
life must be preserved for the individual to find happiness -- and
so
must
observing reason, in some form. But they can't be preserved in their
immediate forms. A grace that is present merely as given isn't
satisfactory
for the universal (it needs mediation) or for the individual (it
can't
be
part of what reproduces that grace [that is, free]).

Bill

"It is evident that Hegel means for us to take his descriptions
quite
literally, that he means to suggest not that reason is like life but
that
reason is a dynamic, living activity in constant development."
(Karen
Ng,
Hegel’s Concept of Life : Self-Consciousness, Freedom, Logic<
https://libaccess.hccs.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=2333926&site=eds-live&ebv=EB&ppid=pp_11
,
Oxford University Press, 2020)


This email may contain confidential and/or privileged information.
If
you
are not the intended recipient (or have received this email in
error)
please notify the sender immediately and destroy this email. Any
unauthorized copying, disclosure or distribution of the material in
this
email is strictly prohibited.

________________________________
From: bill.hord <bill.hord@...>
Sent: Tuesday, September 22, 2020 9:57 AM
To: hegel@groups.io <hegel@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [Hegel] A query about actualizing reason

Srivats, I'll try to respond to your concerns. As I understand them,
we
have different views of what's going on in the book.

So, for example, when you say that ethical life is "not fully
developed
spirit (not yet subjectively internalized ... )", I'd say something
like
this, that fully developed spirit is not yet full objective
(meaning,
as
"subject"). But the key point is that ethical substance "which
originally
enveloped individuality and gave it an at once universal and
particular
meaning in perfection," "a mythical abstract unity, a child at the
mother's
bosom, Greece, where the individual was one with the law and
custom."
I
strike through mythical because I believe, not only among the
Greeks,
the
social ethical substance of a people has this form as a given. It is
the
characteristic of being merely given that both makes it effective
(to
a
point) and causes consciousness to leave it behind.

The subsequent attempts to actualize this substance through Reason
(which
leads to Spirit) takes the individual who has broken away from the
merely
given ethical substance through a series of forms -- a species of
hedonism,
with Faust as an example, in which the pursuit of pleasure leads not
only
to unintended consequences that shatter the ethical substance, but
also
to
a kind of compulsion that can't be satisfied. (After psychological
observation comes up short, it's interesting that each of these
attempts at
living ethically as a sole individual leads to a kind of madness.)

I find Ng and Hegel's concept of Life quite helpful here. Both in
ethical
substance and in its attempts to actualize Reason, Reason fails to
realize
that what it seeks is its own telos -- that its actions enact or
actualize
itself and its ethical substance, where subject and object coincide
(in
Platonic terms, where the parts of the soul are in harmony).

So, my reply to your final question is sublation. The concept of
ethical
life must be preserved for the individual to find happiness -- and
so
must
observing reason, in some form. A grace that is present merely as
given
isn't satisfactory for the universal (it needs mediation) or for the
individual (it can't be part of what reproduces that grace [free]).


Bill

"It is evident that Hegel means for us to take his descriptions
quite
literally, that he means to suggest not that reason is like life but
that
reason is a dynamic, living activity in constant development."
(Karen
Ng,
Hegel’s Concept of Life : Self-Consciousness, Freedom, Logic<
https://libaccess.hccs.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=2333926&site=eds-live&ebv=EB&ppid=pp_11
,
Oxford University Press, 2020)


This email may contain confidential and/or privileged information.
If
you
are not the intended recipient (or have received this email in
error)
please notify the sender immediately and destroy this email. Any
unauthorized copying, disclosure or distribution of the material in
this
email is strictly prohibited.


________________________________
From: hegel@groups.io <hegel@groups.io> on behalf of R Srivatsan <
r.srivats@...>
Sent: Monday, September 21, 2020 8:36 PM
To: hegel@groups.io <hegel@groups.io>
Subject: [Hegel] A query about actualizing reason

In the Actualizing Reason chapter of the Phenomenology, hegel
embarks
on
the path of demonstrating how ethical life or substance, where life
or
substance mean not life simple but life or substance as not fully
developed
spirit (not yet subjectively internalized thus the ethics being an
external
natural force that drove individual conduct), which originally
enveloped
individuality and gave it an at once universal and particular
meaning
in
perfection is left behind by Spirit, as the individual begins to
'recognize' himself a moral and autonomous source of Truth.

Now Hegel places this quite clearly in European history after the
consciousness pattern of Observing Reason, as is emphasised by his
quote
from Faust. He also reiterates further along leaving the clarity of
the
observational consciousness behind in Reason's pursuit of its own
truth
in
what I can only understand as a kind of Romanticism.

Now while it is possible to understand this pursuit of one's
happiness
and
hedonism as a leaving behind of a clear objective rationality, what
is
difficult to square with this aspect is the description of Ethical
Life
which precedes it. To me, Ethical Life as described here is that
of a
mythical abstract unity, a child at the mother's bosom, Greece,
where
the
individual was one with the law and custom. My question is:

How on earth would you collapse Ethical Life and Observational
consciousness as being simultaneously left behind by Actualizing
Reason?

Both leavings make sense as a fall from the grace of total clarity,
but
they don't, cannot, stand alongside each other as both superseded by
the
search for individual happiness.

Srivats



--
R Srivatsan
<
http://www.anveshi.org.in/the-people-of-anveshi/fellows-2/dr-r-srivatsan/
Flat 101, Block C, Saincher Palace Apartments
10-3-152, Street No 2
East Marredpally
Secunderabad
Telangana 500026
Mobile: +91 77027 11656, +91 94404 80762
Landline: +91 40 2773 5193

*Human action is characteristically neither blind and goalless nor
the
mere
implementation of means to an already decided end. Acting that is
the
bringing about of such an end by a calculated means certainly has a
place,
but a subordinate place, in human activity. That it is only in the
course
of the movement that the goals of the movement are articulated is
the
reason why we can understand human affairs only after the event.
The
owl
of Minerva, as Hegel was later to put it, flies only at dusk. *
Alasdair Macintyre, "Hegel on Faces and Skulls", in ed., *Hegel: A
Collection of Critical Essays, * (Garden City NY: Anchor, 1972)










--
R Srivatsan
<
http://www.anveshi.org.in/the-people-of-anveshi/fellows-2/dr-r-srivatsan/>
Flat 101, Block C, Saincher Palace Apartments
10-3-152, Street No 2
East Marredpally
Secunderabad
Telangana 500026
Mobile: +91 77027 11656, +91 94404 80762
Landline: +91 40 2773 5193

*Human action is characteristically neither blind and goalless nor
the
mere implementation of means to an already decided end. Acting that
is
the
bringing about of such an end by a calculated means certainly has a
place,
but a subordinate place, in human activity. That it is only in the
course
of the movement that the goals of the movement are articulated is the
reason why we can understand human affairs only after the event. The
owl
of Minerva, as Hegel was later to put it, flies only at dusk. *
Alasdair Macintyre, "Hegel on Faces and Skulls", in ed., *Hegel: A
Collection of Critical Essays, * (Garden City NY: Anchor, 1972)


--
R Srivatsan
<
http://www.anveshi.org.in/the-people-of-anveshi/fellows-2/dr-r-srivatsan/
Flat 101, Block C, Saincher Palace Apartments
10-3-152, Street No 2
East Marredpally
Secunderabad
Telangana 500026
Mobile: +91 77027 11656, +91 94404 80762
Landline: +91 40 2773 5193

*Human action is characteristically neither blind and goalless nor the
mere
implementation of means to an already decided end. Acting that is the
bringing about of such an end by a calculated means certainly has a
place,
but a subordinate place, in human activity. That it is only in the
course
of the movement that the goals of the movement are articulated is the
reason why we can understand human affairs only after the event. The
owl
of Minerva, as Hegel was later to put it, flies only at dusk. *
Alasdair Macintyre, "Hegel on Faces and Skulls", in ed., *Hegel: A
Collection of Critical Essays, * (Garden City NY: Anchor, 1972)










--
R Srivatsan
<
http://www.anveshi.org.in/the-people-of-anveshi/fellows-2/dr-r-srivatsan/
Flat 101, Block C, Saincher Palace Apartments
10-3-152, Street No 2
East Marredpally
Secunderabad
Telangana 500026
Mobile: +91 77027 11656, +91 94404 80762
Landline: +91 40 2773 5193

*Human action is characteristically neither blind and goalless nor the
mere
implementation of means to an already decided end. Acting that is the
bringing about of such an end by a calculated means certainly has a
place,
but a subordinate place, in human activity. That it is only in the
course
of the movement that the goals of the movement are articulated is the
reason why we can understand human affairs only after the event. The owl
of Minerva, as Hegel was later to put it, flies only at dusk. *
Alasdair Macintyre, "Hegel on Faces and Skulls", in ed., *Hegel: A
Collection of Critical Essays, * (Garden City NY: Anchor, 1972)










--
R Srivatsan
<http://www.anveshi.org.in/the-people-of-anveshi/fellows-2/dr-r-srivatsan/
Flat 101, Block C, Saincher Palace Apartments
10-3-152, Street No 2
East Marredpally
Secunderabad
Telangana 500026
Mobile: +91 77027 11656, +91 94404 80762
Landline: +91 40 2773 5193

*Human action is characteristically neither blind and goalless nor the mere
implementation of means to an already decided end. Acting that is the
bringing about of such an end by a calculated means certainly has a place,
but a subordinate place, in human activity. That it is only in the course
of the movement that the goals of the movement are articulated is the
reason why we can understand human affairs only after the event. The owl
of Minerva, as Hegel was later to put it, flies only at dusk. *
Alasdair Macintyre, "Hegel on Faces and Skulls", in ed., *Hegel: A
Collection of Critical Essays, * (Garden City NY: Anchor, 1972)










--
R Srivatsan
<http://www.anveshi.org.in/the-people-of-anveshi/fellows-2/dr-r-srivatsan/>
Flat 101, Block C, Saincher Palace Apartments
10-3-152, Street No 2
East Marredpally
Secunderabad
Telangana 500026
Mobile: +91 77027 11656, +91 94404 80762
Landline: +91 40 2773 5193

*Human action is characteristically neither blind and goalless nor the mere
implementation of means to an already decided end. Acting that is the
bringing about of such an end by a calculated means certainly has a place,
but a subordinate place, in human activity. That it is only in the course
of the movement that the goals of the movement are articulated is the
reason why we can understand human affairs only after the event. The owl
of Minerva, as Hegel was later to put it, flies only at dusk. *
Alasdair Macintyre, "Hegel on Faces and Skulls", in ed., *Hegel: A
Collection of Critical Essays, * (Garden City NY: Anchor, 1972)


Re: A query about actualizing reason

Bill Hord
 

Srivats, I didn't mean to assert merely that ethical life (or ethical substance) is not identical to childhood. I hope this goes without saying. But neither is it "explicit Reason, fully articulated and developed" -- this is also obvious. Likewise, neither is it spirit.

My point is that childishness is the wrong metaphor for ethical life or ethical substance.

Ethical substance, the kind of community solidarity in which those you address understand your meaning implicitly, and vice versa, is an always necessary moment of ethical life, reason, and spirit. Perhaps we agree that this is what Hegel is getting at in 350?

Thanks,

Bill

"It is evident that Hegel means for us to take his descriptions quite literally, that he means to suggest not that reason is like life but that reason is a dynamic, living activity in constant development." (Karen Ng, Hegel’s Concept of Life : Self-Consciousness, Freedom, Logic<https://libaccess.hccs.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=2333926&site=eds-live&ebv=EB&ppid=pp_11>, Oxford University Press, 2020)


This email may contain confidential and/or privileged information. If you are not the intended recipient (or have received this email in error) please notify the sender immediately and destroy this email. Any unauthorized copying, disclosure or distribution of the material in this email is strictly prohibited.

________________________________
From: hegel@groups.io <hegel@groups.io> on behalf of R Srivatsan <r.srivats@...>
Sent: Tuesday, October 6, 2020 8:51 PM
To: hegel@groups.io <hegel@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [Hegel] A query about actualizing reason

Bill,

I take your correction that Ethical Life is not identical to childhood.
But Reason too is not quite articulate in it. See e.g., this paragraph:

quote
350. It is in fact in the life of a people or nation that the Notion of
self-conscious Reason's actualization -- of beholding, in the independence
of the 'other', complete unity with it, or having for my object the free
thinghood of an 'other' which confronts me and is the negative of myself,
as my own being-for-myself -- that the Notion has its complete reality.
Reason is present here as the fluid universal Substance, as unchangeable
simple thinghood, which yet bursts asunder into many completely independent
beings, just as light bursts asunder into stars as countless self-luminous
points, which in their absolute being-for-self are dissolved, not merely
implicitly in the simple independent Substance, but explicitly for
themselves. They are conscious of being these separate independent beings
through the sacrifice of their particularity, and by having this universal
Substance as their soul and essence, just as this universal again is their
own doing as particular individuals, or is the work that they have produced.
end quote
(Miller 212)

Carefully read, the first line is an exposition of how the Notion is in
complete (fully articulated) reality. Reason as actualized in
self-consciousness beholds the independence of the other as in unity with
itself, as observing the self-consciousness that confronts me as opposed to
me and comprehending my unity with it. Community is explicitly articulated
in this state.

In contrast, in the next sentence, "here" i.e., in the realm of Ethical
Substance, Reason is present as a fluid universality and the individual
points of light that diffract from the single source of Spirit simply
dissolve themselves willingly and explicitly (note the play between
mechanism and purposiveness). They find their individuality as they
sacrifice themselves to "the universal Substance" which is their soul and
essence. And without their realizing it (behind their back as it were)
this universal substance is their own product.

This state of Ethical Life is not explicit Reason, fully articulated and
developed. In relation to reason's absolute form, I would say ethical life
is somewhat like the state of childhood.

Srivats

On Tue, Oct 6, 2020 at 6:30 PM Bill Hord <bill.hord@...> wrote:

Srivats, I suppose Hegel had in mind readers for whom Goethe's Faust was
more or less common knowledge.

The substance of this comment also tells us something about ethical
substance. The kind of community solidarity, in which those you address
understand your meaning implicitly, isn't strictly the object of a desire
to return to a childlike state of innocence and obedience. It's also and
more importantly reasonable.

If Hegel in fact had something like this in mind, I agree that he leaves
it mostly implicit here. But it may also help us understand why Hegel often
favors literary examples. These objects are objective only in a community.

Bill

"It is evident that Hegel means for us to take his descriptions quite
literally, that he means to suggest not that reason is like life but that
reason is a dynamic, living activity in constant development." (Karen Ng,
Hegel’s Concept of Life : Self-Consciousness, Freedom, Logic<
https://libaccess.hccs.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=2333926&site=eds-live&ebv=EB&ppid=pp_11>,
Oxford University Press, 2020)


This email may contain confidential and/or privileged information. If you
are not the intended recipient (or have received this email in error)
please notify the sender immediately and destroy this email. Any
unauthorized copying, disclosure or distribution of the material in this
email is strictly prohibited.

________________________________
From: hegel@groups.io <hegel@groups.io> on behalf of R Srivatsan <
r.srivats@...>
Sent: Monday, October 5, 2020 9:50 PM
To: hegel@groups.io <hegel@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [Hegel] A query about actualizing reason

Bill,

"This is because" refers to my own process of inference -- it means "Why I
think so is because I see that". The causation is not objective (in the
way in which I meant it).

Both your comments are very useful. They point to the issue very
precisely.

However, this conversation raises another observation on my part about
Hegel's exposition. In the text, the reference to Ethical Life comes after
the chapter on Observing Reason. True, Ethical Life is about the
unthinking obedience of subjective thought to the objective community. It
is precisely about a lack of developed self-consciousness. It is a near
childlike state of substantive universality where the individual expresses
the universal as an unproblematic one. If as you put it (confirming my own
developing argument) that Observing Reason has a dual relationship to
Ethical Substance, it would have been extremely useful if there was a line
(or paragraph) of clarification in the text that clearly enunciates this
relationship! Hegel however lets us flail wildly as we find our way out of
this very deep and implicit reference. I guess this is the way in which he
teaches how to swim with an articulate knowledge of what swimming is. But
of course, it could have simply been a hasty carelessness on his part. Or
perhaps, his argument is so deeply embedded in that aphoristic Faust quote
that those who haven't studied Faust (yes there are many) won't catch on!

Best
Srivats




On Mon, Oct 5, 2020 at 7:53 PM Bill Hord <bill.hord@...> wrote:

Srivats, I have a question and perhaps a relevant comment on this that
you
write:

"Ethical substance here is the base of community, *and also the implicit
premise or ground for the development of the observational
consciousness.*
This is because knowledge and theory are "other than those of [this = the
emerging moral] self-consciousness [in its romantic search for
happiness].
In other words, the emerging scientific community which maps immediately
on
to Hegel's pattern of Observing Reason is a community which, basing
itself
in the Ethical Life begins to investigate the world."

The key to my question is your phrase "this is because." Perhaps you mean
observational reason has "lifted itself out of ethical Substance" (Hegel)
"because knowledge and theory are "other than those of [this = the
emerging
moral] self-consciousness [in its romantic search for happiness]"?

Or, as written, do you mean that "ethical substance here is the base of
community, *and also the implicit premise or ground for the development
of
the observational consciousness* ... because knowledge and theory are
"other than those of [this = the emerging moral] self-consciousness [in
its
romantic search for happiness]"? That seems backward.

In any case, a couple of observations:

First, the movement after Observing Reason is the search for
individuality
-- for its for-itself. Observing Reason had a dual relationship to
ethical
Substance. On one hand it arises out of ethical substance with its sense
of
being all. But it also in doing so effaces its own individuality in its
search for universal laws that negate particularity.

But this search for theoretical knowledge, a view from nowhere, is like a
"shadow" without substance. This is why the quote from Faust tells us so
much. At the beginning of Faust, Part 1, Faust despairs of reason. Faust
sells his soul for, it turns out, sensual pleasure with Gretchen. Hegel's
later remarks refer to the tragedy that results for Gretchen -- her
mother,
her brother, her child, herself, dead for this expression of Faust's
individuality.

The next form seeks a moral law based in its own individuality, also with
tragic effect.


Bill

"It is evident that Hegel means for us to take his descriptions quite
literally, that he means to suggest not that reason is like life but that
reason is a dynamic, living activity in constant development." (Karen Ng,
Hegel’s Concept of Life : Self-Consciousness, Freedom, Logic<
https://libaccess.hccs.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=2333926&site=eds-live&ebv=EB&ppid=pp_11
,
Oxford University Press, 2020)


This email may contain confidential and/or privileged information. If you
are not the intended recipient (or have received this email in error)
please notify the sender immediately and destroy this email. Any
unauthorized copying, disclosure or distribution of the material in this
email is strictly prohibited.

________________________________
From: hegel@groups.io <hegel@groups.io> on behalf of R Srivatsan <
r.srivats@...>
Sent: Friday, October 2, 2020 9:09 PM
To: hegel@groups.io <hegel@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [Hegel] A query about actualizing reason

To worry my puzzlement about the clubbing together of Ethical Life and
Observing Reason as seemingly heteroclite moments in the sublation of
Actualizing Reason:

paragraph 360
quote
In so far as it has lifted itself out of the ethical Substance and the
tranquil being of thought to its being-for-self, it has left behind the
law
of custom and existence, the knowledge acquired through observation, and
theory, as a grey shadow which is in the act of passing out of sight. For
the latter is rather a knowledge of something whose being-for-self and
actuality are other than those of this self-consciousness. Instead of the
heavenly-seeming Spirit of the universality of knowledge and action in
which the feeling and enjoyment of individuality are stilled, there has
entered into it the Spirit of the earth, for which true actuality is
merely
that being which is the actuality of the individual consciousness.
end quote (Miller 217)

This quote is a bit difficult to read, but seems to address this
transition/sublation better. Ethical substance here is the base of
community, *and also the implicit premise or ground for the development
of
the observational consciousness.* This is because knowledge and theory
are
"other than those of [this = the emerging moral] self-consciousness [in
its
romantic search for happiness]. In other words, the emerging scientific
community which maps immediately on to Hegel's pattern of Observing
Reason
is a community which, basing itself in the Ethical Life begins to
investigate the world. In this investigation, it chafes at the lack of
individuality -- progressing from mere observation, to categorizing and
classifying properties, to laws which reflect being-for-self, organism
which manifests being-for-self, psychology which is a flawed
deterministic
modeling of the self, physiognomy and phrenology both of which are a
search
for the individual self as objective. This chafing is also historically
evident in for example Gailieo's straining against the position of the
church.

It would seem that in Hegel's progression of spirit, the transition to
self-aware individuality occurs in the emergence of the romantic refusal
of
both science and community.

Srivats





On Wed, Sep 23, 2020 at 7:04 AM R Srivatsan <r.srivats@...> wrote:

Thanks a lot Bill.

So you are suggesting that the placing alongside each other of both
ethical life and observing reason is not a matter of chronological
order,
but of logical preconditions. Though each may well have arisen at
vastly
different periods, the logical antecedents of both a) an ethical life
in
its utter and sublime simplicity, and b) of an observing reason that
seeks
to find the truth as individual consciousness are together necessary so
that the next step of seeking happiness occurs as the sub lation of
both.

So it would seem as if this kind of 'romanticism' would reject
observing
reason's content (i.e, laws etc.) and yet use observing reason's form
(i.e., mode of exploration) on the one hand, and reject ethical life's
form
(i.e., its external supervening immediacy in individual life) and
accept
its content -- i.e., laws of conduct as in need of individual
verification,
rejection and/or transformation.

This works for me.

Ng is very interesting - I am about half way through. I find her work
very
systematic and thorough. Some points that seem to show thinness
though.
Will have to think them through.

Best
Srivats

On Wed, Sep 23, 2020 at 2:32 AM Bill Hord <bill.hord@...> wrote:

I was trying to run over to a meeting this morning and left some parts
of
this grammatically unfinished. This is corrected.

Srivats, I'll try to respond to your concerns. As I understand them,
we
have different views of what's going on in the book.

So, for example, when you say that ethical life is "not fully
developed
spirit (not yet subjectively internalized ... )", I'd say something
like
this, that fully developed spirit is not yet full objective (meaning,
as
"subject"). But the key point is that ethical substance "which
originally
enveloped individuality and gave it an at once universal and
particular
meaning in perfection," "a mythical abstract unity, a child at the
mother's
bosom, Greece, where the individual was one with the law and custom,"
is at
that stage merely given. I strike through mythical because I believe,
not
only among the Greeks, the social ethical substance of a people has
this
form as a given. It is the characteristic of being merely given that
both
makes it effective (to a point) and causes consciousness to leave it
behind.

The subsequent attempts to actualize this substance through Reason
(which
leads to Spirit) take the individual who has broken away from the
merely
given ethical substance through a series of forms -- the first is a
species
of hedonism, with Faust as example, in which the pursuit of pleasure
leads
not only to unintended consequences that shatter the ethical
substance,
but
also to a kind of compulsion that can't be satisfied. (After
psychological
observation comes up short, it's interesting that each of these
attempts at
living ethically as a sole individual leads to a kind of madness.)

I find Ng and Hegel's concept of Life quite helpful here. Both in
ethical
substance and in its attempts to actualize Reason, Reason fails to
realize
that what it seeks is its own telos -- that its actions enact or
actualize
itself and its ethical substance, where subject and object coincide
(in
Platonic terms, where the parts of the soul are in harmony).

So, my reply to your final question is sublation. The concept of
ethical
life must be preserved for the individual to find happiness -- and so
must
observing reason, in some form. But they can't be preserved in their
immediate forms. A grace that is present merely as given isn't
satisfactory
for the universal (it needs mediation) or for the individual (it can't
be
part of what reproduces that grace [that is, free]).

Bill

"It is evident that Hegel means for us to take his descriptions quite
literally, that he means to suggest not that reason is like life but
that
reason is a dynamic, living activity in constant development." (Karen
Ng,
Hegel’s Concept of Life : Self-Consciousness, Freedom, Logic<
https://libaccess.hccs.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=2333926&site=eds-live&ebv=EB&ppid=pp_11
,
Oxford University Press, 2020)


This email may contain confidential and/or privileged information. If
you
are not the intended recipient (or have received this email in error)
please notify the sender immediately and destroy this email. Any
unauthorized copying, disclosure or distribution of the material in
this
email is strictly prohibited.

________________________________
From: bill.hord <bill.hord@...>
Sent: Tuesday, September 22, 2020 9:57 AM
To: hegel@groups.io <hegel@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [Hegel] A query about actualizing reason

Srivats, I'll try to respond to your concerns. As I understand them,
we
have different views of what's going on in the book.

So, for example, when you say that ethical life is "not fully
developed
spirit (not yet subjectively internalized ... )", I'd say something
like
this, that fully developed spirit is not yet full objective (meaning,
as
"subject"). But the key point is that ethical substance "which
originally
enveloped individuality and gave it an at once universal and
particular
meaning in perfection," "a mythical abstract unity, a child at the
mother's
bosom, Greece, where the individual was one with the law and custom."
I
strike through mythical because I believe, not only among the Greeks,
the
social ethical substance of a people has this form as a given. It is
the
characteristic of being merely given that both makes it effective (to
a
point) and causes consciousness to leave it behind.

The subsequent attempts to actualize this substance through Reason
(which
leads to Spirit) takes the individual who has broken away from the
merely
given ethical substance through a series of forms -- a species of
hedonism,
with Faust as an example, in which the pursuit of pleasure leads not
only
to unintended consequences that shatter the ethical substance, but
also
to
a kind of compulsion that can't be satisfied. (After psychological
observation comes up short, it's interesting that each of these
attempts at
living ethically as a sole individual leads to a kind of madness.)

I find Ng and Hegel's concept of Life quite helpful here. Both in
ethical
substance and in its attempts to actualize Reason, Reason fails to
realize
that what it seeks is its own telos -- that its actions enact or
actualize
itself and its ethical substance, where subject and object coincide
(in
Platonic terms, where the parts of the soul are in harmony).

So, my reply to your final question is sublation. The concept of
ethical
life must be preserved for the individual to find happiness -- and so
must
observing reason, in some form. A grace that is present merely as
given
isn't satisfactory for the universal (it needs mediation) or for the
individual (it can't be part of what reproduces that grace [free]).


Bill

"It is evident that Hegel means for us to take his descriptions quite
literally, that he means to suggest not that reason is like life but
that
reason is a dynamic, living activity in constant development." (Karen
Ng,
Hegel’s Concept of Life : Self-Consciousness, Freedom, Logic<
https://libaccess.hccs.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=2333926&site=eds-live&ebv=EB&ppid=pp_11
,
Oxford University Press, 2020)


This email may contain confidential and/or privileged information. If
you
are not the intended recipient (or have received this email in error)
please notify the sender immediately and destroy this email. Any
unauthorized copying, disclosure or distribution of the material in
this
email is strictly prohibited.


________________________________
From: hegel@groups.io <hegel@groups.io> on behalf of R Srivatsan <
r.srivats@...>
Sent: Monday, September 21, 2020 8:36 PM
To: hegel@groups.io <hegel@groups.io>
Subject: [Hegel] A query about actualizing reason

In the Actualizing Reason chapter of the Phenomenology, hegel embarks
on
the path of demonstrating how ethical life or substance, where life or
substance mean not life simple but life or substance as not fully
developed
spirit (not yet subjectively internalized thus the ethics being an
external
natural force that drove individual conduct), which originally
enveloped
individuality and gave it an at once universal and particular meaning
in
perfection is left behind by Spirit, as the individual begins to
'recognize' himself a moral and autonomous source of Truth.

Now Hegel places this quite clearly in European history after the
consciousness pattern of Observing Reason, as is emphasised by his
quote
from Faust. He also reiterates further along leaving the clarity of
the
observational consciousness behind in Reason's pursuit of its own
truth
in
what I can only understand as a kind of Romanticism.

Now while it is possible to understand this pursuit of one's happiness
and
hedonism as a leaving behind of a clear objective rationality, what
is
difficult to square with this aspect is the description of Ethical
Life
which precedes it. To me, Ethical Life as described here is that of a
mythical abstract unity, a child at the mother's bosom, Greece, where
the
individual was one with the law and custom. My question is:

How on earth would you collapse Ethical Life and Observational
consciousness as being simultaneously left behind by Actualizing
Reason?

Both leavings make sense as a fall from the grace of total clarity,
but
they don't, cannot, stand alongside each other as both superseded by
the
search for individual happiness.

Srivats



--
R Srivatsan
<
http://www.anveshi.org.in/the-people-of-anveshi/fellows-2/dr-r-srivatsan/
Flat 101, Block C, Saincher Palace Apartments
10-3-152, Street No 2
East Marredpally
Secunderabad
Telangana 500026
Mobile: +91 77027 11656, +91 94404 80762
Landline: +91 40 2773 5193

*Human action is characteristically neither blind and goalless nor the
mere
implementation of means to an already decided end. Acting that is the
bringing about of such an end by a calculated means certainly has a
place,
but a subordinate place, in human activity. That it is only in the
course
of the movement that the goals of the movement are articulated is the
reason why we can understand human affairs only after the event. The
owl
of Minerva, as Hegel was later to put it, flies only at dusk. *
Alasdair Macintyre, "Hegel on Faces and Skulls", in ed., *Hegel: A
Collection of Critical Essays, * (Garden City NY: Anchor, 1972)










--
R Srivatsan
<
http://www.anveshi.org.in/the-people-of-anveshi/fellows-2/dr-r-srivatsan/>
Flat 101, Block C, Saincher Palace Apartments
10-3-152, Street No 2
East Marredpally
Secunderabad
Telangana 500026
Mobile: +91 77027 11656, +91 94404 80762
Landline: +91 40 2773 5193

*Human action is characteristically neither blind and goalless nor the
mere implementation of means to an already decided end. Acting that is
the
bringing about of such an end by a calculated means certainly has a
place,
but a subordinate place, in human activity. That it is only in the
course
of the movement that the goals of the movement are articulated is the
reason why we can understand human affairs only after the event. The
owl
of Minerva, as Hegel was later to put it, flies only at dusk. *
Alasdair Macintyre, "Hegel on Faces and Skulls", in ed., *Hegel: A
Collection of Critical Essays, * (Garden City NY: Anchor, 1972)


--
R Srivatsan
<
http://www.anveshi.org.in/the-people-of-anveshi/fellows-2/dr-r-srivatsan/
Flat 101, Block C, Saincher Palace Apartments
10-3-152, Street No 2
East Marredpally
Secunderabad
Telangana 500026
Mobile: +91 77027 11656, +91 94404 80762
Landline: +91 40 2773 5193

*Human action is characteristically neither blind and goalless nor the
mere
implementation of means to an already decided end. Acting that is the
bringing about of such an end by a calculated means certainly has a
place,
but a subordinate place, in human activity. That it is only in the
course
of the movement that the goals of the movement are articulated is the
reason why we can understand human affairs only after the event. The owl
of Minerva, as Hegel was later to put it, flies only at dusk. *
Alasdair Macintyre, "Hegel on Faces and Skulls", in ed., *Hegel: A
Collection of Critical Essays, * (Garden City NY: Anchor, 1972)










--
R Srivatsan
<http://www.anveshi.org.in/the-people-of-anveshi/fellows-2/dr-r-srivatsan/
Flat 101, Block C, Saincher Palace Apartments
10-3-152, Street No 2
East Marredpally
Secunderabad
Telangana 500026
Mobile: +91 77027 11656, +91 94404 80762
Landline: +91 40 2773 5193

*Human action is characteristically neither blind and goalless nor the mere
implementation of means to an already decided end. Acting that is the
bringing about of such an end by a calculated means certainly has a place,
but a subordinate place, in human activity. That it is only in the course
of the movement that the goals of the movement are articulated is the
reason why we can understand human affairs only after the event. The owl
of Minerva, as Hegel was later to put it, flies only at dusk. *
Alasdair Macintyre, "Hegel on Faces and Skulls", in ed., *Hegel: A
Collection of Critical Essays, * (Garden City NY: Anchor, 1972)










--
R Srivatsan
<http://www.anveshi.org.in/the-people-of-anveshi/fellows-2/dr-r-srivatsan/>
Flat 101, Block C, Saincher Palace Apartments
10-3-152, Street No 2
East Marredpally
Secunderabad
Telangana 500026
Mobile: +91 77027 11656, +91 94404 80762
Landline: +91 40 2773 5193

*Human action is characteristically neither blind and goalless nor the mere
implementation of means to an already decided end. Acting that is the
bringing about of such an end by a calculated means certainly has a place,
but a subordinate place, in human activity. That it is only in the course
of the movement that the goals of the movement are articulated is the
reason why we can understand human affairs only after the event. The owl
of Minerva, as Hegel was later to put it, flies only at dusk. *
Alasdair Macintyre, "Hegel on Faces and Skulls", in ed., *Hegel: A
Collection of Critical Essays, * (Garden City NY: Anchor, 1972)


Re: A query about actualizing reason

R Srivatsan
 

Bill,

I take your correction that Ethical Life is not identical to childhood.
But Reason too is not quite articulate in it. See e.g., this paragraph:

quote
350. It is in fact in the life of a people or nation that the Notion of
self-conscious Reason's actualization -- of beholding, in the independence
of the 'other', complete unity with it, or having for my object the free
thinghood of an 'other' which confronts me and is the negative of myself,
as my own being-for-myself -- that the Notion has its complete reality.
Reason is present here as the fluid universal Substance, as unchangeable
simple thinghood, which yet bursts asunder into many completely independent
beings, just as light bursts asunder into stars as countless self-luminous
points, which in their absolute being-for-self are dissolved, not merely
implicitly in the simple independent Substance, but explicitly for
themselves. They are conscious of being these separate independent beings
through the sacrifice of their particularity, and by having this universal
Substance as their soul and essence, just as this universal again is their
own doing as particular individuals, or is the work that they have produced.
end quote
(Miller 212)

Carefully read, the first line is an exposition of how the Notion is in
complete (fully articulated) reality. Reason as actualized in
self-consciousness beholds the independence of the other as in unity with
itself, as observing the self-consciousness that confronts me as opposed to
me and comprehending my unity with it. Community is explicitly articulated
in this state.

In contrast, in the next sentence, "here" i.e., in the realm of Ethical
Substance, Reason is present as a fluid universality and the individual
points of light that diffract from the single source of Spirit simply
dissolve themselves willingly and explicitly (note the play between
mechanism and purposiveness). They find their individuality as they
sacrifice themselves to "the universal Substance" which is their soul and
essence. And without their realizing it (behind their back as it were)
this universal substance is their own product.

This state of Ethical Life is not explicit Reason, fully articulated and
developed. In relation to reason's absolute form, I would say ethical life
is somewhat like the state of childhood.

Srivats

On Tue, Oct 6, 2020 at 6:30 PM Bill Hord <bill.hord@...> wrote:

Srivats, I suppose Hegel had in mind readers for whom Goethe's Faust was
more or less common knowledge.

The substance of this comment also tells us something about ethical
substance. The kind of community solidarity, in which those you address
understand your meaning implicitly, isn't strictly the object of a desire
to return to a childlike state of innocence and obedience. It's also and
more importantly reasonable.

If Hegel in fact had something like this in mind, I agree that he leaves
it mostly implicit here. But it may also help us understand why Hegel often
favors literary examples. These objects are objective only in a community.

Bill

"It is evident that Hegel means for us to take his descriptions quite
literally, that he means to suggest not that reason is like life but that
reason is a dynamic, living activity in constant development." (Karen Ng,
Hegel’s Concept of Life : Self-Consciousness, Freedom, Logic<
https://libaccess.hccs.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=2333926&site=eds-live&ebv=EB&ppid=pp_11>,
Oxford University Press, 2020)


This email may contain confidential and/or privileged information. If you
are not the intended recipient (or have received this email in error)
please notify the sender immediately and destroy this email. Any
unauthorized copying, disclosure or distribution of the material in this
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________________________________
From: hegel@groups.io <hegel@groups.io> on behalf of R Srivatsan <
r.srivats@...>
Sent: Monday, October 5, 2020 9:50 PM
To: hegel@groups.io <hegel@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [Hegel] A query about actualizing reason

Bill,

"This is because" refers to my own process of inference -- it means "Why I
think so is because I see that". The causation is not objective (in the
way in which I meant it).

Both your comments are very useful. They point to the issue very
precisely.

However, this conversation raises another observation on my part about
Hegel's exposition. In the text, the reference to Ethical Life comes after
the chapter on Observing Reason. True, Ethical Life is about the
unthinking obedience of subjective thought to the objective community. It
is precisely about a lack of developed self-consciousness. It is a near
childlike state of substantive universality where the individual expresses
the universal as an unproblematic one. If as you put it (confirming my own
developing argument) that Observing Reason has a dual relationship to
Ethical Substance, it would have been extremely useful if there was a line
(or paragraph) of clarification in the text that clearly enunciates this
relationship! Hegel however lets us flail wildly as we find our way out of
this very deep and implicit reference. I guess this is the way in which he
teaches how to swim with an articulate knowledge of what swimming is. But
of course, it could have simply been a hasty carelessness on his part. Or
perhaps, his argument is so deeply embedded in that aphoristic Faust quote
that those who haven't studied Faust (yes there are many) won't catch on!

Best
Srivats




On Mon, Oct 5, 2020 at 7:53 PM Bill Hord <bill.hord@...> wrote:

Srivats, I have a question and perhaps a relevant comment on this that
you
write:

"Ethical substance here is the base of community, *and also the implicit
premise or ground for the development of the observational
consciousness.*
This is because knowledge and theory are "other than those of [this = the
emerging moral] self-consciousness [in its romantic search for
happiness].
In other words, the emerging scientific community which maps immediately
on
to Hegel's pattern of Observing Reason is a community which, basing
itself
in the Ethical Life begins to investigate the world."

The key to my question is your phrase "this is because." Perhaps you mean
observational reason has "lifted itself out of ethical Substance" (Hegel)
"because knowledge and theory are "other than those of [this = the
emerging
moral] self-consciousness [in its romantic search for happiness]"?

Or, as written, do you mean that "ethical substance here is the base of
community, *and also the implicit premise or ground for the development
of
the observational consciousness* ... because knowledge and theory are
"other than those of [this = the emerging moral] self-consciousness [in
its
romantic search for happiness]"? That seems backward.

In any case, a couple of observations:

First, the movement after Observing Reason is the search for
individuality
-- for its for-itself. Observing Reason had a dual relationship to
ethical
Substance. On one hand it arises out of ethical substance with its sense
of
being all. But it also in doing so effaces its own individuality in its
search for universal laws that negate particularity.

But this search for theoretical knowledge, a view from nowhere, is like a
"shadow" without substance. This is why the quote from Faust tells us so
much. At the beginning of Faust, Part 1, Faust despairs of reason. Faust
sells his soul for, it turns out, sensual pleasure with Gretchen. Hegel's
later remarks refer to the tragedy that results for Gretchen -- her
mother,
her brother, her child, herself, dead for this expression of Faust's
individuality.

The next form seeks a moral law based in its own individuality, also with
tragic effect.


Bill

"It is evident that Hegel means for us to take his descriptions quite
literally, that he means to suggest not that reason is like life but that
reason is a dynamic, living activity in constant development." (Karen Ng,
Hegel’s Concept of Life : Self-Consciousness, Freedom, Logic<
https://libaccess.hccs.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=2333926&site=eds-live&ebv=EB&ppid=pp_11
,
Oxford University Press, 2020)


This email may contain confidential and/or privileged information. If you
are not the intended recipient (or have received this email in error)
please notify the sender immediately and destroy this email. Any
unauthorized copying, disclosure or distribution of the material in this
email is strictly prohibited.

________________________________
From: hegel@groups.io <hegel@groups.io> on behalf of R Srivatsan <
r.srivats@...>
Sent: Friday, October 2, 2020 9:09 PM
To: hegel@groups.io <hegel@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [Hegel] A query about actualizing reason

To worry my puzzlement about the clubbing together of Ethical Life and
Observing Reason as seemingly heteroclite moments in the sublation of
Actualizing Reason:

paragraph 360
quote
In so far as it has lifted itself out of the ethical Substance and the
tranquil being of thought to its being-for-self, it has left behind the
law
of custom and existence, the knowledge acquired through observation, and
theory, as a grey shadow which is in the act of passing out of sight. For
the latter is rather a knowledge of something whose being-for-self and
actuality are other than those of this self-consciousness. Instead of the
heavenly-seeming Spirit of the universality of knowledge and action in
which the feeling and enjoyment of individuality are stilled, there has
entered into it the Spirit of the earth, for which true actuality is
merely
that being which is the actuality of the individual consciousness.
end quote (Miller 217)

This quote is a bit difficult to read, but seems to address this
transition/sublation better. Ethical substance here is the base of
community, *and also the implicit premise or ground for the development
of
the observational consciousness.* This is because knowledge and theory
are
"other than those of [this = the emerging moral] self-consciousness [in
its
romantic search for happiness]. In other words, the emerging scientific
community which maps immediately on to Hegel's pattern of Observing
Reason
is a community which, basing itself in the Ethical Life begins to
investigate the world. In this investigation, it chafes at the lack of
individuality -- progressing from mere observation, to categorizing and
classifying properties, to laws which reflect being-for-self, organism
which manifests being-for-self, psychology which is a flawed
deterministic
modeling of the self, physiognomy and phrenology both of which are a
search
for the individual self as objective. This chafing is also historically
evident in for example Gailieo's straining against the position of the
church.

It would seem that in Hegel's progression of spirit, the transition to
self-aware individuality occurs in the emergence of the romantic refusal
of
both science and community.

Srivats





On Wed, Sep 23, 2020 at 7:04 AM R Srivatsan <r.srivats@...> wrote:

Thanks a lot Bill.

So you are suggesting that the placing alongside each other of both
ethical life and observing reason is not a matter of chronological
order,
but of logical preconditions. Though each may well have arisen at
vastly
different periods, the logical antecedents of both a) an ethical life
in
its utter and sublime simplicity, and b) of an observing reason that
seeks
to find the truth as individual consciousness are together necessary so
that the next step of seeking happiness occurs as the sub lation of
both.

So it would seem as if this kind of 'romanticism' would reject
observing
reason's content (i.e, laws etc.) and yet use observing reason's form
(i.e., mode of exploration) on the one hand, and reject ethical life's
form
(i.e., its external supervening immediacy in individual life) and
accept
its content -- i.e., laws of conduct as in need of individual
verification,
rejection and/or transformation.

This works for me.

Ng is very interesting - I am about half way through. I find her work
very
systematic and thorough. Some points that seem to show thinness
though.
Will have to think them through.

Best
Srivats

On Wed, Sep 23, 2020 at 2:32 AM Bill Hord <bill.hord@...> wrote:

I was trying to run over to a meeting this morning and left some parts
of
this grammatically unfinished. This is corrected.

Srivats, I'll try to respond to your concerns. As I understand them,
we
have different views of what's going on in the book.

So, for example, when you say that ethical life is "not fully
developed
spirit (not yet subjectively internalized ... )", I'd say something
like
this, that fully developed spirit is not yet full objective (meaning,
as
"subject"). But the key point is that ethical substance "which
originally
enveloped individuality and gave it an at once universal and
particular
meaning in perfection," "a mythical abstract unity, a child at the
mother's
bosom, Greece, where the individual was one with the law and custom,"
is at
that stage merely given. I strike through mythical because I believe,
not
only among the Greeks, the social ethical substance of a people has
this
form as a given. It is the characteristic of being merely given that
both
makes it effective (to a point) and causes consciousness to leave it
behind.

The subsequent attempts to actualize this substance through Reason
(which
leads to Spirit) take the individual who has broken away from the
merely
given ethical substance through a series of forms -- the first is a
species
of hedonism, with Faust as example, in which the pursuit of pleasure
leads
not only to unintended consequences that shatter the ethical
substance,
but
also to a kind of compulsion that can't be satisfied. (After
psychological
observation comes up short, it's interesting that each of these
attempts at
living ethically as a sole individual leads to a kind of madness.)

I find Ng and Hegel's concept of Life quite helpful here. Both in
ethical
substance and in its attempts to actualize Reason, Reason fails to
realize
that what it seeks is its own telos -- that its actions enact or
actualize
itself and its ethical substance, where subject and object coincide
(in
Platonic terms, where the parts of the soul are in harmony).

So, my reply to your final question is sublation. The concept of
ethical
life must be preserved for the individual to find happiness -- and so
must
observing reason, in some form. But they can't be preserved in their
immediate forms. A grace that is present merely as given isn't
satisfactory
for the universal (it needs mediation) or for the individual (it can't
be
part of what reproduces that grace [that is, free]).

Bill

"It is evident that Hegel means for us to take his descriptions quite
literally, that he means to suggest not that reason is like life but
that
reason is a dynamic, living activity in constant development." (Karen
Ng,
Hegel’s Concept of Life : Self-Consciousness, Freedom, Logic<
https://libaccess.hccs.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=2333926&site=eds-live&ebv=EB&ppid=pp_11
,
Oxford University Press, 2020)


This email may contain confidential and/or privileged information. If
you
are not the intended recipient (or have received this email in error)
please notify the sender immediately and destroy this email. Any
unauthorized copying, disclosure or distribution of the material in
this
email is strictly prohibited.

________________________________
From: bill.hord <bill.hord@...>
Sent: Tuesday, September 22, 2020 9:57 AM
To: hegel@groups.io <hegel@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [Hegel] A query about actualizing reason

Srivats, I'll try to respond to your concerns. As I understand them,
we
have different views of what's going on in the book.

So, for example, when you say that ethical life is "not fully
developed
spirit (not yet subjectively internalized ... )", I'd say something
like
this, that fully developed spirit is not yet full objective (meaning,
as
"subject"). But the key point is that ethical substance "which
originally
enveloped individuality and gave it an at once universal and
particular
meaning in perfection," "a mythical abstract unity, a child at the
mother's
bosom, Greece, where the individual was one with the law and custom."
I
strike through mythical because I believe, not only among the Greeks,
the
social ethical substance of a people has this form as a given. It is
the
characteristic of being merely given that both makes it effective (to
a
point) and causes consciousness to leave it behind.

The subsequent attempts to actualize this substance through Reason
(which
leads to Spirit) takes the individual who has broken away from the
merely
given ethical substance through a series of forms -- a species of
hedonism,
with Faust as an example, in which the pursuit of pleasure leads not
only
to unintended consequences that shatter the ethical substance, but
also
to
a kind of compulsion that can't be satisfied. (After psychological
observation comes up short, it's interesting that each of these
attempts at
living ethically as a sole individual leads to a kind of madness.)

I find Ng and Hegel's concept of Life quite helpful here. Both in
ethical
substance and in its attempts to actualize Reason, Reason fails to
realize
that what it seeks is its own telos -- that its actions enact or
actualize
itself and its ethical substance, where subject and object coincide
(in
Platonic terms, where the parts of the soul are in harmony).

So, my reply to your final question is sublation. The concept of
ethical
life must be preserved for the individual to find happiness -- and so
must
observing reason, in some form. A grace that is present merely as
given
isn't satisfactory for the universal (it needs mediation) or for the
individual (it can't be part of what reproduces that grace [free]).


Bill

"It is evident that Hegel means for us to take his descriptions quite
literally, that he means to suggest not that reason is like life but
that
reason is a dynamic, living activity in constant development." (Karen
Ng,
Hegel’s Concept of Life : Self-Consciousness, Freedom, Logic<
https://libaccess.hccs.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=2333926&site=eds-live&ebv=EB&ppid=pp_11
,
Oxford University Press, 2020)


This email may contain confidential and/or privileged information. If
you
are not the intended recipient (or have received this email in error)
please notify the sender immediately and destroy this email. Any
unauthorized copying, disclosure or distribution of the material in
this
email is strictly prohibited.


________________________________
From: hegel@groups.io <hegel@groups.io> on behalf of R Srivatsan <
r.srivats@...>
Sent: Monday, September 21, 2020 8:36 PM
To: hegel@groups.io <hegel@groups.io>
Subject: [Hegel] A query about actualizing reason

In the Actualizing Reason chapter of the Phenomenology, hegel embarks
on
the path of demonstrating how ethical life or substance, where life or
substance mean not life simple but life or substance as not fully
developed
spirit (not yet subjectively internalized thus the ethics being an
external
natural force that drove individual conduct), which originally
enveloped
individuality and gave it an at once universal and particular meaning
in
perfection is left behind by Spirit, as the individual begins to
'recognize' himself a moral and autonomous source of Truth.

Now Hegel places this quite clearly in European history after the
consciousness pattern of Observing Reason, as is emphasised by his
quote
from Faust. He also reiterates further along leaving the clarity of
the
observational consciousness behind in Reason's pursuit of its own
truth
in
what I can only understand as a kind of Romanticism.

Now while it is possible to understand this pursuit of one's happiness
and
hedonism as a leaving behind of a clear objective rationality, what
is
difficult to square with this aspect is the description of Ethical
Life
which precedes it. To me, Ethical Life as described here is that of a
mythical abstract unity, a child at the mother's bosom, Greece, where
the
individual was one with the law and custom. My question is:

How on earth would you collapse Ethical Life and Observational
consciousness as being simultaneously left behind by Actualizing
Reason?

Both leavings make sense as a fall from the grace of total clarity,
but
they don't, cannot, stand alongside each other as both superseded by
the
search for individual happiness.

Srivats



--
R Srivatsan
<
http://www.anveshi.org.in/the-people-of-anveshi/fellows-2/dr-r-srivatsan/
Flat 101, Block C, Saincher Palace Apartments
10-3-152, Street No 2
East Marredpally
Secunderabad
Telangana 500026
Mobile: +91 77027 11656, +91 94404 80762
Landline: +91 40 2773 5193

*Human action is characteristically neither blind and goalless nor the
mere
implementation of means to an already decided end. Acting that is the
bringing about of such an end by a calculated means certainly has a
place,
but a subordinate place, in human activity. That it is only in the
course
of the movement that the goals of the movement are articulated is the
reason why we can understand human affairs only after the event. The
owl
of Minerva, as Hegel was later to put it, flies only at dusk. *
Alasdair Macintyre, "Hegel on Faces and Skulls", in ed., *Hegel: A
Collection of Critical Essays, * (Garden City NY: Anchor, 1972)










--
R Srivatsan
<
http://www.anveshi.org.in/the-people-of-anveshi/fellows-2/dr-r-srivatsan/>
Flat 101, Block C, Saincher Palace Apartments
10-3-152, Street No 2
East Marredpally
Secunderabad
Telangana 500026
Mobile: +91 77027 11656, +91 94404 80762
Landline: +91 40 2773 5193

*Human action is characteristically neither blind and goalless nor the
mere implementation of means to an already decided end. Acting that is
the
bringing about of such an end by a calculated means certainly has a
place,
but a subordinate place, in human activity. That it is only in the
course
of the movement that the goals of the movement are articulated is the
reason why we can understand human affairs only after the event. The
owl
of Minerva, as Hegel was later to put it, flies only at dusk. *
Alasdair Macintyre, "Hegel on Faces and Skulls", in ed., *Hegel: A
Collection of Critical Essays, * (Garden City NY: Anchor, 1972)


--
R Srivatsan
<
http://www.anveshi.org.in/the-people-of-anveshi/fellows-2/dr-r-srivatsan/
Flat 101, Block C, Saincher Palace Apartments
10-3-152, Street No 2
East Marredpally
Secunderabad
Telangana 500026
Mobile: +91 77027 11656, +91 94404 80762
Landline: +91 40 2773 5193

*Human action is characteristically neither blind and goalless nor the
mere
implementation of means to an already decided end. Acting that is the
bringing about of such an end by a calculated means certainly has a
place,
but a subordinate place, in human activity. That it is only in the
course
of the movement that the goals of the movement are articulated is the
reason why we can understand human affairs only after the event. The owl
of Minerva, as Hegel was later to put it, flies only at dusk. *
Alasdair Macintyre, "Hegel on Faces and Skulls", in ed., *Hegel: A
Collection of Critical Essays, * (Garden City NY: Anchor, 1972)










--
R Srivatsan
<http://www.anveshi.org.in/the-people-of-anveshi/fellows-2/dr-r-srivatsan/
Flat 101, Block C, Saincher Palace Apartments
10-3-152, Street No 2
East Marredpally
Secunderabad
Telangana 500026
Mobile: +91 77027 11656, +91 94404 80762
Landline: +91 40 2773 5193

*Human action is characteristically neither blind and goalless nor the mere
implementation of means to an already decided end. Acting that is the
bringing about of such an end by a calculated means certainly has a place,
but a subordinate place, in human activity. That it is only in the course
of the movement that the goals of the movement are articulated is the
reason why we can understand human affairs only after the event. The owl
of Minerva, as Hegel was later to put it, flies only at dusk. *
Alasdair Macintyre, "Hegel on Faces and Skulls", in ed., *Hegel: A
Collection of Critical Essays, * (Garden City NY: Anchor, 1972)










--
R Srivatsan
<http://www.anveshi.org.in/the-people-of-anveshi/fellows-2/dr-r-srivatsan/>
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*Human action is characteristically neither blind and goalless nor the mere
implementation of means to an already decided end. Acting that is the
bringing about of such an end by a calculated means certainly has a place,
but a subordinate place, in human activity. That it is only in the course
of the movement that the goals of the movement are articulated is the
reason why we can understand human affairs only after the event. The owl
of Minerva, as Hegel was later to put it, flies only at dusk. *
Alasdair Macintyre, "Hegel on Faces and Skulls", in ed., *Hegel: A
Collection of Critical Essays, * (Garden City NY: Anchor, 1972)