Topics

Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)


Stephen Cowley
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


stephen theron
 

Stephen, Hello!

Life just is "the Idea Immediate", according to Hegel's Logic (under the category Life in EL).

Stephen Theron.

________________________________
From: hegel@groups.io <hegel@groups.io> on behalf of Stephen Cowley via groups.io <stephen.cowley=blueyonder.co.uk@groups.io>
Sent: 07 August 2020 12:56
To: hegel@groups.io <hegel@groups.io>
Subject: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


Stephen Cowley
 

The idea of life also has a theological sense derived from the imagery of the vine in the Bible in Hegel's early manuscripts. In the observing reason section, he proceeds from inorganic nature through organic nature to self-consciousness. I have yet to make sense of the order of ideas in the logic.
Stephen Cowley

-----Original Message-----
From: stephen theron
Sent: Monday, August 10, 2020 12:30 PM
To: hegel@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

Stephen, Hello!

Life just is "the Idea Immediate", according to Hegel's Logic (under the category Life in EL).

Stephen Theron.

________________________________
From: hegel@groups.io <hegel@groups.io> on behalf of Stephen Cowley via groups.io <stephen.cowley=blueyonder.co.uk@groups.io>
Sent: 07 August 2020 12:56
To: hegel@groups.io <hegel@groups.io>
Subject: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


Stephen Cowley
 

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

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

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

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

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

b) Observation of Self-consciousness

More to follow
Stephen Cowley

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


R Srivatsan
 

Hi Stephen,

My thoughts on the where reason arises is speculative quasi historical.
If, at the final stage of the unhappy consciousness, the Individual reduced
to a thing is one extreme and the Unchangeable is the other, the mediator
is the priest. The priest is able to see both the subject abnegated to
thingness and the Object raised to the Subject -- is able to observe the
panorama of that form of subject-object relationship. The priest as
exemplified in the historical eruption of scholasticism in Europe is the
bearer of the standard of Reason (and there may be others in other
historical formations).

The delineation of the features of objectivity in relation to the subject
-- as a process of observing consciousness is something that arises with
the priest who mediates the two and finds them problematized. How should
the subject subject himself to the Subject? What are the properties of the
Subject? In what turn does a thing become The Thing, ultimate substance --
the Unchangeable? The observing consciousness' exploration of the category
and of understanding through laws are thus a progression of reason.

So my view of the transition from the Unhappy Consciousness to Reason
occurs in the disjunct between the immediate, abnegated consciousness of
the layman and the mediate superseding consciousness of the priest -- the
unhappiness is a lay function, reason is a priestly function.

The function of reason is to find itself: Spirit - always. So Reason hunts
the space of the inorganic through lists, classifications and categories
and laws (modeled along cause and effect). However, again a sub-transition
occurs -- from a law which hovers pristine and unchanging above inorganic
chaos to the unchanging organism that seems to disobey inorganic laws,
following question of purpose that imbues the organic with its own reason
-- which is seen as purposive existence. The driving force in this chapter
is: What makes the world behave as it does? What rules the world?
Observing consciousness tries to understand why and how it is what it is.
It is through this that it tries to understand the relation between the
inner (noumenon) and the outer (phenomenon).

The patterns of observing reason in the observation of individuality form
the next stage -- observational psychology, which in Hegel's world, was an
abstract relation between the inner and the outer; followed by the higher
step of physiognomy where the relation ceases to be abstract and becomes
individualized. The outer, i.e., the sign, is not the deed itself (because
the deed is externalized and can be misrecognized or disavowed), but the
stance or reflective visage that accompanies the deed. But here because of
the significatory nature the reflective stance that accompanies every
action, the sign of physiognomy is fallible, untruthful - it too, like the
deed, is prone to misrecognition and dissimulation. Hence Observing
Reason arrives at the dead end of the caput mortuum -- the dead head: the
passive dead skull which does nothing is the true sign of Spirit -- Spirit
is Bone.

However, the absurdity of the formulation Spirit is Bone is not seen by
formal reason and the Kantian synthetic unity of apperception -- the
primary category. It will take the Hegelian synthesis to transform the
absurdity of the (positive) infinite judgment in this proposition through a
speculative unity of the subject, which is not an abstract unity, but one
that arises precisely in the supersession of the phrenological
consciousness that declares that Spirit (self-consciousness here) is bone
by seeing both the observing and the observed consciousnesses and
comprehending the unity of both -- I am thing. The thing is I. And
following this positive by the negative, The Spirit is not Bone. How is it
possible that Spirit is bone, if I, spirit can say so? Can a bone speak?

This oscillation or contradiction is what leads to the next turn, where it
is possible to say: I am (will become) all reality. So the I in this
Hegelian synthesis of apperception is sublated into one that moves beyond
the formal I to the dialectical one. Of course, it is not the phrenologist
who is capable of this sublation.

This is as far as I could make out.

Best
Srivats

On Sat, Aug 22, 2020 at 6:02 PM Stephen Cowley via groups.io
<stephen.cowley=blueyonder.co.uk@groups.io> wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

b) Observation of Self-consciousness

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley




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


Stephen Cowley
 

Hi Srivats,

My reading of the Reason chapter is influenced by paragraph 673 from later in the book, where Hegel produces a summary of the development of his thought:
"The immediate existence of reason which, for us, issued from that pain [of the unhappy consciousness], and its peculiar shapes, have no religion, because the self-consciousness of them knows or seeks itself in the immediate present."
The priest is indeed a mediator, but scholasticism issued from the monastic orders (Dominican, Benedictine). Moreover, I was reading the text as this-worldly (addressed to "the immediate present") and post-Medieval, albeit with a religious background. There was a dualism of clergy and laity in the Middle Ages which Protestantism challenged (e.g. Luther's "priesthood of all believers") and the opening of the Atlantic economy and the voyages of discovery gave the tendency of inquiry a secular turn. The layman had ceased to be in thrall to the priesthood - but something had been lost in the process (see the Preface), to which we return in chapter Six.

I may well have got hold of the wrong end of the stick though.

All the best
Stephen Cowley

-----Original Message-----
From: R Srivatsan
Sent: Monday, August 24, 2020 6:03 AM
To: hegel@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

Hi Stephen,

My thoughts on the where reason arises is speculative quasi historical.
If, at the final stage of the unhappy consciousness, the Individual reduced
to a thing is one extreme and the Unchangeable is the other, the mediator
is the priest. The priest is able to see both the subject abnegated to
thingness and the Object raised to the Subject -- is able to observe the
panorama of that form of subject-object relationship. The priest as
exemplified in the historical eruption of scholasticism in Europe is the
bearer of the standard of Reason (and there may be others in other
historical formations).

The delineation of the features of objectivity in relation to the subject
-- as a process of observing consciousness is something that arises with
the priest who mediates the two and finds them problematized. How should
the subject subject himself to the Subject? What are the properties of the
Subject? In what turn does a thing become The Thing, ultimate substance --
the Unchangeable? The observing consciousness' exploration of the category
and of understanding through laws are thus a progression of reason.

So my view of the transition from the Unhappy Consciousness to Reason
occurs in the disjunct between the immediate, abnegated consciousness of
the layman and the mediate superseding consciousness of the priest -- the
unhappiness is a lay function, reason is a priestly function.

The function of reason is to find itself: Spirit - always. So Reason hunts
the space of the inorganic through lists, classifications and categories
and laws (modeled along cause and effect). However, again a sub-transition
occurs -- from a law which hovers pristine and unchanging above inorganic
chaos to the unchanging organism that seems to disobey inorganic laws,
following question of purpose that imbues the organic with its own reason
-- which is seen as purposive existence. The driving force in this chapter
is: What makes the world behave as it does? What rules the world?
Observing consciousness tries to understand why and how it is what it is.
It is through this that it tries to understand the relation between the
inner (noumenon) and the outer (phenomenon).

The patterns of observing reason in the observation of individuality form
the next stage -- observational psychology, which in Hegel's world, was an
abstract relation between the inner and the outer; followed by the higher
step of physiognomy where the relation ceases to be abstract and becomes
individualized. The outer, i.e., the sign, is not the deed itself (because
the deed is externalized and can be misrecognized or disavowed), but the
stance or reflective visage that accompanies the deed. But here because of
the significatory nature the reflective stance that accompanies every
action, the sign of physiognomy is fallible, untruthful - it too, like the
deed, is prone to misrecognition and dissimulation. Hence Observing
Reason arrives at the dead end of the caput mortuum -- the dead head: the
passive dead skull which does nothing is the true sign of Spirit -- Spirit
is Bone.

However, the absurdity of the formulation Spirit is Bone is not seen by
formal reason and the Kantian synthetic unity of apperception -- the
primary category. It will take the Hegelian synthesis to transform the
absurdity of the (positive) infinite judgment in this proposition through a
speculative unity of the subject, which is not an abstract unity, but one
that arises precisely in the supersession of the phrenological
consciousness that declares that Spirit (self-consciousness here) is bone
by seeing both the observing and the observed consciousnesses and
comprehending the unity of both -- I am thing. The thing is I. And
following this positive by the negative, The Spirit is not Bone. How is it
possible that Spirit is bone, if I, spirit can say so? Can a bone speak?

This oscillation or contradiction is what leads to the next turn, where it
is possible to say: I am (will become) all reality. So the I in this
Hegelian synthesis of apperception is sublated into one that moves beyond
the formal I to the dialectical one. Of course, it is not the phrenologist
who is capable of this sublation.

This is as far as I could make out.

Best
Srivats

On Sat, Aug 22, 2020 at 6:02 PM Stephen Cowley via groups.io
<stephen.cowley=blueyonder.co.uk@groups.io> wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

b) Observation of Self-consciousness

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley




--
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)


Stephen Cowley
 

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

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley

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

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

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

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

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

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

b) Observation of Self-consciousness

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


R Srivatsan
 

Thanks Stephen. I think you cleared a doubt I had lingering on the horizon
of my thinking about the contradiction between the priestly mediator and
the secular nature of observation.

Srivats

On Sat, Aug 29, 2020 at 3:17 PM Stephen Cowley via groups.io
<stephen.cowley=blueyonder.co.uk@groups.io> wrote:

Hi Srivats,

My reading of the Reason chapter is influenced by paragraph 673 from later
in the book, where Hegel produces a summary of the development of his
thought:
"The immediate existence of reason which, for us, issued from that pain
[of
the unhappy consciousness], and its peculiar shapes, have no religion,
because the self-consciousness of them knows or seeks itself in the
immediate present."
The priest is indeed a mediator, but scholasticism issued from the
monastic
orders (Dominican, Benedictine). Moreover, I was reading the text as
this-worldly (addressed to "the immediate present") and post-Medieval,
albeit with a religious background. There was a dualism of clergy and
laity
in the Middle Ages which Protestantism challenged (e.g. Luther's
"priesthood
of all believers") and the opening of the Atlantic economy and the voyages
of discovery gave the tendency of inquiry a secular turn. The layman had
ceased to be in thrall to the priesthood - but something had been lost in
the process (see the Preface), to which we return in chapter Six.

I may well have got hold of the wrong end of the stick though.

All the best
Stephen Cowley


-----Original Message-----
From: R Srivatsan
Sent: Monday, August 24, 2020 6:03 AM
To: hegel@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

Hi Stephen,

My thoughts on the where reason arises is speculative quasi historical.
If, at the final stage of the unhappy consciousness, the Individual reduced
to a thing is one extreme and the Unchangeable is the other, the mediator
is the priest. The priest is able to see both the subject abnegated to
thingness and the Object raised to the Subject -- is able to observe the
panorama of that form of subject-object relationship. The priest as
exemplified in the historical eruption of scholasticism in Europe is the
bearer of the standard of Reason (and there may be others in other
historical formations).

The delineation of the features of objectivity in relation to the subject
-- as a process of observing consciousness is something that arises with
the priest who mediates the two and finds them problematized. How should
the subject subject himself to the Subject? What are the properties of the
Subject? In what turn does a thing become The Thing, ultimate substance --
the Unchangeable? The observing consciousness' exploration of the category
and of understanding through laws are thus a progression of reason.

So my view of the transition from the Unhappy Consciousness to Reason
occurs in the disjunct between the immediate, abnegated consciousness of
the layman and the mediate superseding consciousness of the priest -- the
unhappiness is a lay function, reason is a priestly function.

The function of reason is to find itself: Spirit - always. So Reason hunts
the space of the inorganic through lists, classifications and categories
and laws (modeled along cause and effect). However, again a sub-transition
occurs -- from a law which hovers pristine and unchanging above inorganic
chaos to the unchanging organism that seems to disobey inorganic laws,
following question of purpose that imbues the organic with its own reason
-- which is seen as purposive existence. The driving force in this chapter
is: What makes the world behave as it does? What rules the world?
Observing consciousness tries to understand why and how it is what it is.
It is through this that it tries to understand the relation between the
inner (noumenon) and the outer (phenomenon).

The patterns of observing reason in the observation of individuality form
the next stage -- observational psychology, which in Hegel's world, was an
abstract relation between the inner and the outer; followed by the higher
step of physiognomy where the relation ceases to be abstract and becomes
individualized. The outer, i.e., the sign, is not the deed itself (because
the deed is externalized and can be misrecognized or disavowed), but the
stance or reflective visage that accompanies the deed. But here because of
the significatory nature the reflective stance that accompanies every
action, the sign of physiognomy is fallible, untruthful - it too, like the
deed, is prone to misrecognition and dissimulation. Hence Observing
Reason arrives at the dead end of the caput mortuum -- the dead head: the
passive dead skull which does nothing is the true sign of Spirit -- Spirit
is Bone.

However, the absurdity of the formulation Spirit is Bone is not seen by
formal reason and the Kantian synthetic unity of apperception -- the
primary category. It will take the Hegelian synthesis to transform the
absurdity of the (positive) infinite judgment in this proposition through a
speculative unity of the subject, which is not an abstract unity, but one
that arises precisely in the supersession of the phrenological
consciousness that declares that Spirit (self-consciousness here) is bone
by seeing both the observing and the observed consciousnesses and
comprehending the unity of both -- I am thing. The thing is I. And
following this positive by the negative, The Spirit is not Bone. How is it
possible that Spirit is bone, if I, spirit can say so? Can a bone speak?

This oscillation or contradiction is what leads to the next turn, where it
is possible to say: I am (will become) all reality. So the I in this
Hegelian synthesis of apperception is sublated into one that moves beyond
the formal I to the dialectical one. Of course, it is not the phrenologist
who is capable of this sublation.

This is as far as I could make out.

Best
Srivats

On Sat, Aug 22, 2020 at 6:02 PM Stephen Cowley via groups.io
<stephen.cowley=blueyonder.co.uk@groups.io> wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

b) Observation of Self-consciousness

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley




--
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)


Stephen Cowley
 

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley

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

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

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley

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

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

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

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

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

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

b) Observation of Self-consciousness

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


R Srivatsan
 

There seems to be an irreducible dimension of the fictional in the
*Phenomenology*. The patterns of consciousness, the sequences of dancing
figures of which there are none that are not drunk somewhat reminiscent of
the Mardi Gras, belong to a genre of mythology. And not for nothing has
the text been called time and again a bildungsroman. I have begun to
remind myself of this fictional dimension whenever I think of attributing
too much factual accuracy to Hegel's progression, transitions and figures.
They seem meant to be ambiguous, contradictory and intentionally permitting
a progressively developing and somewhat kaleidoscopic articulation of the
concept (and the Concept).

This style is perhaps unique in philosophical literature? But perhaps not
-- genre hijacking seems to be a quite respectable and well used mode to
conduct conversations about truth.

This is of course, not a recommendation, only a description of my own
practice.

Srivats

On Mon, Sep 21, 2020 at 12:21 AM Stephen Cowley via groups.io
<stephen.cowley=blueyonder.co.uk@groups.io> wrote:

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley

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

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

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley

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

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

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

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

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

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

b) Observation of Self-consciousness

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley








--
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
 

Stephen, let's look a little more closely at the Hegel you cite.

You say that paras 302 and 323 consider "the idea of psychology as a search for laws of mental activity corresponding to outside stimuli." Of course these two paragraphs have different objects.

Para. 302 concerns "observation in the behaviour of consciousness in its actuality." Hegel also stipulates that "Psychology contains the collection of laws in accordance with which Spirit relates itself in various ways to the various modes of its actuality as an otherness already given."

Which "modes of actuality" does he have in mind? The remainder of the paragraph makes this fairly clear. It's "the habits, customs, and way of thinking already to hand," primarily social norms, but perhaps also material culture, culture in general, etc. These are "modes of its actuality as an otherness already given." These modes are either "that in which [consciousness] is an actuality or an object to itself" (following the norm) or "making the object [the norm] conform to [consciousness]." (Although this is perhaps a discovery of the idea of direction of fit, that's beside my point.)

Para. 323 takes as its object the distinction between physiognomy (which in this part means for Hegel facial expressions) -- "the speaking presence of the individual who, in expressing himself in action, at the same time exhibits himself as inwardly reflecting and contemplating himself, an expression which is itself a movement, features in repose which are themselves essentially a mediated being" (323) -- and what we'll see is phrenology, where "the outer aspect is lastly a wholly immobile reality which is not in its own self a speaking sign but, separated from self-conscious movement, presents itself on its own account and is a mere Thing" (323).

You add some text from 306 and 307, and object that "If I feel pain, I may choose not to avoid it, at least to some extent, but I cannot choose not to feel it. If I look at a blue sky, I cannot choose not to judge that it is blue. If I have been hill-walking, I cannot doubt the reality of the external world."

Do you mean to imply that pain and seeing blue sky are grounded in custom and habit? My impression from your email is that this is the opposite of what you want to argue in your objection. In any case, it seems clear that Hegel isn't thinking of pain and color perception as representing the kind of psychological laws he has in mind in these paragraphs.

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 Stephen Cowley via groups.io <stephen.cowley=blueyonder.co.uk@groups.io>
Sent: Sunday, September 20, 2020 1:49 PM
To: hegel@groups.io <hegel@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley

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

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

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley

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

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

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

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

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

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

b) Observation of Self-consciousness

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


Stephen Cowley
 

Plato - and Berkeley, and Hume, and Leibniz - used fictional dialogues as a medium. The Anglophone tradition I was taught made blunt statements of fact central and preferred the essay form. I have thought of the Phenomenology as governed by a sense of the unity of mind as sovereign over experience. Schopenhauer's World as Will and Idea is beautiful and has a literary form. The Phenomenology reads more like someone wrestling with something, or knowing where they want to go more than how to get there. The sentences are quite tortured, rather than limpid like Schopenhauer.
Stephen Cowley

-----Original Message-----
From: R Srivatsan
Sent: Monday, September 21, 2020 4:06 AM
To: hegel@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

There seems to be an irreducible dimension of the fictional in the
*Phenomenology*. The patterns of consciousness, the sequences of dancing
figures of which there are none that are not drunk somewhat reminiscent of
the Mardi Gras, belong to a genre of mythology. And not for nothing has
the text been called time and again a bildungsroman. I have begun to
remind myself of this fictional dimension whenever I think of attributing
too much factual accuracy to Hegel's progression, transitions and figures.
They seem meant to be ambiguous, contradictory and intentionally permitting
a progressively developing and somewhat kaleidoscopic articulation of the
concept (and the Concept).

This style is perhaps unique in philosophical literature? But perhaps not
-- genre hijacking seems to be a quite respectable and well used mode to
conduct conversations about truth.

This is of course, not a recommendation, only a description of my own
practice.

Srivats

On Mon, Sep 21, 2020 at 12:21 AM Stephen Cowley via groups.io
<stephen.cowley=blueyonder.co.uk@groups.io> wrote:

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley

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

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

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley

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

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

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

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

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

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

b) Observation of Self-consciousness

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley








--
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)


Stephen Cowley
 

I can see that Hegel has a different conception of psychology than I was attributing to him. He makes it clear who he is talking about in the next section (Lichtenberg), but not in the psychology one. So I had recourse to some contemporary lectures delivered in Scotland by James Mylne and later by his student William Hamilton. Mylne provided a study of the mind that started with sensation and always found determining reasons for what happened. He argued that negative judgement was necessary to freedom, but that a free act with no reason was merely arbitrary rather than free. Hamilton refers to the "Phenomenology of Mind... commonly called Psychology" (Lectures, Vol 1, 121), but also includes sensation. But it's likely a different use of the term that I've picked up wrongly.
Stephen Cowley

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Hord
Sent: Monday, September 21, 2020 2:51 PM
To: hegel@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

Stephen, let's look a little more closely at the Hegel you cite.

You say that paras 302 and 323 consider "the idea of psychology as a search for laws of mental activity corresponding to outside stimuli." Of course these two paragraphs have different objects.

Para. 302 concerns "observation in the behaviour of consciousness in its actuality." Hegel also stipulates that "Psychology contains the collection of laws in accordance with which Spirit relates itself in various ways to the various modes of its actuality as an otherness already given."

Which "modes of actuality" does he have in mind? The remainder of the paragraph makes this fairly clear. It's "the habits, customs, and way of thinking already to hand," primarily social norms, but perhaps also material culture, culture in general, etc. These are "modes of its actuality as an otherness already given." These modes are either "that in which [consciousness] is an actuality or an object to itself" (following the norm) or "making the object [the norm] conform to [consciousness]." (Although this is perhaps a discovery of the idea of direction of fit, that's beside my point.)

Para. 323 takes as its object the distinction between physiognomy (which in this part means for Hegel facial expressions) -- "the speaking presence of the individual who, in expressing himself in action, at the same time exhibits himself as inwardly reflecting and contemplating himself, an expression which is itself a movement, features in repose which are themselves essentially a mediated being" (323) -- and what we'll see is phrenology, where "the outer aspect is lastly a wholly immobile reality which is not in its own self a speaking sign but, separated from self-conscious movement, presents itself on its own account and is a mere Thing" (323).

You add some text from 306 and 307, and object that "If I feel pain, I may choose not to avoid it, at least to some extent, but I cannot choose not to feel it. If I look at a blue sky, I cannot choose not to judge that it is blue. If I have been hill-walking, I cannot doubt the reality of the external world."

Do you mean to imply that pain and seeing blue sky are grounded in custom and habit? My impression from your email is that this is the opposite of what you want to argue in your objection. In any case, it seems clear that Hegel isn't thinking of pain and color perception as representing the kind of psychological laws he has in mind in these paragraphs.

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 Stephen Cowley via groups.io <stephen.cowley=blueyonder.co.uk@groups.io>
Sent: Sunday, September 20, 2020 1:49 PM
To: hegel@groups.io <hegel@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley

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

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

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley

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

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

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

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

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

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

b) Observation of Self-consciousness

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


stephen theron
 

True! "A man's reach must exceed his grasp or what's a heaven for". Thus heaven, according to Thomas Hobbes, as a third here, one "will no sooner know than enjoy", i.e. it has to be so, if it is considered anything at all (as it was by McTaggart).
Am just reading Houellebecq's short essay on Schopenhauer, whose book he too finds beautiful.

Stephen

________________________________
From: hegel@groups.io <hegel@groups.io> on behalf of Stephen Cowley via groups.io <stephen.cowley=blueyonder.co.uk@groups.io>
Sent: 21 September 2020 19:42
To: hegel@groups.io <hegel@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

Plato - and Berkeley, and Hume, and Leibniz - used fictional dialogues as a
medium. The Anglophone tradition I was taught made blunt statements of fact
central and preferred the essay form. I have thought of the Phenomenology as
governed by a sense of the unity of mind as sovereign over experience.
Schopenhauer's World as Will and Idea is beautiful and has a literary form.
The Phenomenology reads more like someone wrestling with something, or
knowing where they want to go more than how to get there. The sentences are
quite tortured, rather than limpid like Schopenhauer.
Stephen Cowley

-----Original Message-----
From: R Srivatsan
Sent: Monday, September 21, 2020 4:06 AM
To: hegel@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

There seems to be an irreducible dimension of the fictional in the
*Phenomenology*. The patterns of consciousness, the sequences of dancing
figures of which there are none that are not drunk somewhat reminiscent of
the Mardi Gras, belong to a genre of mythology. And not for nothing has
the text been called time and again a bildungsroman. I have begun to
remind myself of this fictional dimension whenever I think of attributing
too much factual accuracy to Hegel's progression, transitions and figures.
They seem meant to be ambiguous, contradictory and intentionally permitting
a progressively developing and somewhat kaleidoscopic articulation of the
concept (and the Concept).

This style is perhaps unique in philosophical literature? But perhaps not
-- genre hijacking seems to be a quite respectable and well used mode to
conduct conversations about truth.

This is of course, not a recommendation, only a description of my own
practice.

Srivats

On Mon, Sep 21, 2020 at 12:21 AM Stephen Cowley via groups.io
<stephen.cowley=blueyonder.co.uk@groups.io> wrote:

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley

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

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

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley

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

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

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

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

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

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

b) Observation of Self-consciousness

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley








--
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)


Stephen Cowley
 

I read his Elementary Particles years ago for a taste of modern France. He seemed to go through a stage of admiring Auguste Comte. The Charlie Hebdo attack shut him up for a while and I've never kept up with him since then. I wonder what the world would be like if Hegel had written as clearly as Schopenhauer - a Lutheran paradise or a totalitarian nightmare, maybe?
Stephen Cowley

-----Original Message-----
From: stephen theron
Sent: Friday, September 25, 2020 12:30 PM
To: hegel@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

True! "A man's reach must exceed his grasp or what's a heaven for". Thus heaven, according to Thomas Hobbes, as a third here, one "will no sooner know than enjoy", i.e. it has to be so, if it is considered anything at all (as it was by McTaggart).
Am just reading Houellebecq's short essay on Schopenhauer, whose book he too finds beautiful.

Stephen

________________________________
From: hegel@groups.io <hegel@groups.io> on behalf of Stephen Cowley via groups.io <stephen.cowley=blueyonder.co.uk@groups.io>
Sent: 21 September 2020 19:42
To: hegel@groups.io <hegel@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

Plato - and Berkeley, and Hume, and Leibniz - used fictional dialogues as a
medium. The Anglophone tradition I was taught made blunt statements of fact
central and preferred the essay form. I have thought of the Phenomenology as
governed by a sense of the unity of mind as sovereign over experience.
Schopenhauer's World as Will and Idea is beautiful and has a literary form.
The Phenomenology reads more like someone wrestling with something, or
knowing where they want to go more than how to get there. The sentences are
quite tortured, rather than limpid like Schopenhauer.
Stephen Cowley

-----Original Message-----
From: R Srivatsan
Sent: Monday, September 21, 2020 4:06 AM
To: hegel@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

There seems to be an irreducible dimension of the fictional in the
*Phenomenology*. The patterns of consciousness, the sequences of dancing
figures of which there are none that are not drunk somewhat reminiscent of
the Mardi Gras, belong to a genre of mythology. And not for nothing has
the text been called time and again a bildungsroman. I have begun to
remind myself of this fictional dimension whenever I think of attributing
too much factual accuracy to Hegel's progression, transitions and figures.
They seem meant to be ambiguous, contradictory and intentionally permitting
a progressively developing and somewhat kaleidoscopic articulation of the
concept (and the Concept).

This style is perhaps unique in philosophical literature? But perhaps not
-- genre hijacking seems to be a quite respectable and well used mode to
conduct conversations about truth.

This is of course, not a recommendation, only a description of my own
practice.

Srivats

On Mon, Sep 21, 2020 at 12:21 AM Stephen Cowley via groups.io
<stephen.cowley=blueyonder.co.uk@groups.io> wrote:

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley

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

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

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley

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

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

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

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

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

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

b) Observation of Self-consciousness

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley








--
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)


stephen theron
 

Yes, Comte is a turnoff (as regards Houelleb. I mean). His Sch. essay was pressed on me, I have hardly seen anything else of his as yet. Am busy correcting the zipfile for Thomas Aquinas and Georg Hegel on Trinity.

I found this from Bd. John Duns Scotus: actually from a secondary source in English only (It has stuck on italics here):

"God would have become man even if Adam had not sinned, since he willed that in Christ humanity and the world should be united with Himself by the closest possible bond."

This seems entirely Hegelian (to me at least). It is compatible even with an impossibility of Adam not "sinning". It also removes the impression of paradox from "felix culpa", making it more like a thesis in Hegel's logic.

I have been writing in strong reaction to an extraordinary performance by Cyril O'Regan ("98 theses on Hegel" or similar, it is called). I have seen one good reply, from someone at Boston College (it's in a journal called "Church LIfe", i.e. most of this.

Stephen Theron
________________________________
From: hegel@groups.io <hegel@groups.io> on behalf of Stephen Cowley via groups.io <stephen.cowley=blueyonder.co.uk@groups.io>
Sent: 26 September 2020 15:28
To: hegel@groups.io <hegel@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

I read his Elementary Particles years ago for a taste of modern France. He seemed to go through a stage of admiring Auguste Comte. The Charlie Hebdo attack shut him up for a while and I've never kept up with him since then. I wonder what the world would be like if Hegel had written as clearly as Schopenhauer - a Lutheran paradise or a totalitarian nightmare, maybe?
Stephen Cowley

-----Original Message-----
From: stephen theron
Sent: Friday, September 25, 2020 12:30 PM
To: hegel@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

True! "A man's reach must exceed his grasp or what's a heaven for". Thus heaven, according to Thomas Hobbes, as a third here, one "will no sooner know than enjoy", i.e. it has to be so, if it is considered anything at all (as it was by McTaggart).
Am just reading Houellebecq's short essay on Schopenhauer, whose book he too finds beautiful.

Stephen

________________________________
From: hegel@groups.io <hegel@groups.io> on behalf of Stephen Cowley via groups.io <stephen.cowley=blueyonder.co.uk@groups.io>
Sent: 21 September 2020 19:42
To: hegel@groups.io <hegel@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

Plato - and Berkeley, and Hume, and Leibniz - used fictional dialogues as a
medium. The Anglophone tradition I was taught made blunt statements of fact
central and preferred the essay form. I have thought of the Phenomenology as
governed by a sense of the unity of mind as sovereign over experience.
Schopenhauer's World as Will and Idea is beautiful and has a literary form.
The Phenomenology reads more like someone wrestling with something, or
knowing where they want to go more than how to get there. The sentences are
quite tortured, rather than limpid like Schopenhauer.
Stephen Cowley

-----Original Message-----
From: R Srivatsan
Sent: Monday, September 21, 2020 4:06 AM
To: hegel@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Hegel] Reason and Unhappy consciousness (Phen. Ch5)

There seems to be an irreducible dimension of the fictional in the
*Phenomenology*. The patterns of consciousness, the sequences of dancing
figures of which there are none that are not drunk somewhat reminiscent of
the Mardi Gras, belong to a genre of mythology. And not for nothing has
the text been called time and again a bildungsroman. I have begun to
remind myself of this fictional dimension whenever I think of attributing
too much factual accuracy to Hegel's progression, transitions and figures.
They seem meant to be ambiguous, contradictory and intentionally permitting
a progressively developing and somewhat kaleidoscopic articulation of the
concept (and the Concept).

This style is perhaps unique in philosophical literature? But perhaps not
-- genre hijacking seems to be a quite respectable and well used mode to
conduct conversations about truth.

This is of course, not a recommendation, only a description of my own
practice.

Srivats

On Mon, Sep 21, 2020 at 12:21 AM Stephen Cowley via groups.io
<stephen.cowley=blueyonder.co.uk@groups.io> wrote:

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley

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

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

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley

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

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

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

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

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

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

b) Observation of Self-consciousness

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley








--
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)


Stephen Cowley
 

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

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

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

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

Physiognomy
More to follow

Stephen Cowley

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

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley

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

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

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley

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

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

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

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

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

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

b) Observation of Self-consciousness

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


Stephen Cowley
 

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

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley

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

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

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

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

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

Physiognomy
More to follow

Stephen Cowley

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

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley

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

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

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley

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

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

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

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

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

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

b) Observation of Self-consciousness

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


Stephen Cowley
 

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

Phrenology (paras 323-46)

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

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley

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

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

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


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

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

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

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

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

Physiognomy
More to follow

Stephen Cowley

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

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley

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

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

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley

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

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

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

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

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

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

b) Observation of Self-consciousness

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


Stephen Cowley
 

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley

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

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

Phrenology (paras 323-46)

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

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


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

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

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


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

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

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

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

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

Physiognomy
More to follow

Stephen Cowley

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

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley

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

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

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley

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

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

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

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

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

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

b) Observation of Self-consciousness

More to follow
Stephen Cowley


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More to follow
Stephen Cowley