Topics

A query about actualizing reason


R Srivatsan
 

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they don't, cannot, stand alongside each other as both superseded by the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)


Bill Hord
 

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)


Bill Hord
 

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
 

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
 

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)


Bill Hord
 

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
 

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
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________________________________
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)


Bill Hord
 

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
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________________________________
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
 

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)


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)


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)
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: 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
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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)


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)






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)