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The object reveals itself not merely as returning into the self — this is according to Hegel the one-sided way of apprehending this movement, the grasping of only one side. Man is equated with self. The self, however, is only the abstractly conceived man — man created by abstraction. Man is selfish. His eye, his ear, etc. In him every one of his essential powers has the quality of selfhood.

Self-consciousness is rather a quality of human nature, of the human eye, etc. The self-abstracted entity, fixed for itself, is man as abstract egoist — egoism raised in its pure abstraction to the level of thought. We shall return to this point later. For Hegel the human being — man — equals self-consciousness. All estrangement of the human being is therefore nothing but estrangement of self-consciousness.


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The estrangement of self-consciousness is not regarded as an expression — reflected in the realm of knowledge and thought — of the real estrangement of the human being. Instead, the actual estrangement — that which appears real — is according to its innermost , hidden nature which is only brought to light by philosophy nothing but the manifestation of the estrangement of the real human essence, of self-consciousness.

The science which comprehends this is therefore called phenomenology. All reappropriation of the estranged objective essence appears therefore, as incorporation into self-consciousness: The man who takes hold of his essential being is merely the self-consciousness which takes hold of objective essences. Return of the object into the self is therefore the reappropriation of the object. Expressed in all its aspects , the surmounting of the object of consciousness means:.

This totality of its determinations makes the object intrinsically a spiritual being; and it becomes so in truth for consciousness through the apprehending of each one of the determinations as self , or through what was called above the spiritual attitude to them. As to 1 : That the object as such presents itself to consciousness as something vanishing — this is the above-mentioned return of the object into the self.

Mark Passio - Hegelian Dialectic, Politics

As to 2 : The alienation of self-consciousness posits thinghood. Because man equals self-consciousness, his alienated, objective essence, or thinghood , equals alienated self-consciousness , and thinghood is thus posited through this alienation thinghood being that which is an object for man and an object for him is really only that which is to him an essential object, therefore his objective essence. And since it is not real man, nor therefore nature — man being human nature — who as such is made the subject, but only the abstraction of man — self-consciousness — thinghood cannot be anything but alienated self-consciousness.

It is only to be expected that a living, natural being equipped and endowed with objective i. There is nothing incomprehensible or mysterious in this. It would be mysterious, rather, if it were otherwise. But it is equally clear that a self-consciousness by its alienation can posit only thinghood, i. And what is posited, instead of confirming itself, is but confirmation of the act of positing which for a moment fixes its energy as the product, and gives it the semblance — but only for a moment — of an independent, real substance. Whenever real, corporeal man , man with his feet firmly on the solid ground, man exhaling and inhaling all the forces of nature, posits his real, objective essential powers as alien objects by his externalisation, it is not the act of positing which is the subject in this process: it is the subjectivity of objective essential powers, whose action, therefore, must also be something objective.

An objective being acts objectively, and he would not act objectively if the objective did not reside in the very nature of his being. He only creates or posits objects, because he is posited by objects — because at bottom he is nature. Here we see how consistent naturalism or humanism is distinct from both idealism and materialism, and constitutes at the same time the unifying truth of both.

We see also how only naturalism is capable of comprehending the action of world history. As a natural being and as a living natural being he is on the one hand endowed with natural powers, vital powers — he is an active natural being. These forces exist in him as tendencies and abilities — as instincts.

On the other hand, as a natural, corporeal, sensuous objective being he is a suffering, conditioned and limited creature, like animals and plants. That is to say, the objects of his instincts exist outside him, as objects independent of him; yet these objects are objects that he needs — essential objects, indispensable to the manifestation and confirmation of his essential powers. To say that man is a corporeal , living, real, sensuous, objective being full of natural vigour is to say that he has real, sensuous objects as the object of his being or of his life, or that he can only express his life in real, sensuous objects.

To be objective, natural and sensuous, and at the same time to have object, nature and sense outside oneself, or oneself to be object, nature and sense for a third party, is one and the same thing. Hunger is a natural need; it therefore needs a nature outside itself, an object outside itself, in order to satisfy itself, to be stilled. Hunger is an acknowledged need of my body for an object existing outside it, indispensable to its integration and to the expression of its essential being. A being which does not have its nature outside itself is not a natural being, and plays no part in the system of nature.

A being which has no object outside itself is not an objective being. A being which is not itself an object for some third being has no being for its object; i. Its being is not objective. Suppose a being which is neither an object itself, nor has an object. Such a being, in the first place, would be the unique being: there would exist no being outside it — it would exist solitary and alone. For as soon as there are objects outside me, as soon as I am not alone, I am another — another reality than the object outside me. For this third object I am thus a different reality than itself; that is, I am its object.

Thus, to suppose a being which is not the object of another being is to presuppose that no objective being exists. As soon as I have an object, this object has me for an object. But a non-objective being is an unreal, non-sensuous thing — a product of mere thought i. To be sensuous is to suffer. Man as an objective, sensuous being is therefore a suffering being — and because he feels that he suffers, a passionate being.


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  5. Passion is the essential power of man energetically bent on its object. That is to say, he is a being for himself. Therefore he is a species-being, and has to confirm and manifest himself as such both in his being and in his knowing. Therefore, human objects are not natural objects as they immediately present themselves, and neither is human sense as it immediately is — as it is objectively — human sensibility, human objectivity.

    Neither nature objectively nor nature subjectively is directly given in a form adequate to the human being. History is the true natural history of man on which more later. Thirdly, because this positing of thinghood is itself only an illusion, an act contradicting the nature of pure activity, it has to be cancelled again and thinghood denied. For consciousness the negative of the object, its annulling of itself, has positive significance — i.

    As we have already seen, the appropriation of what is estranged and objective, or the annulling of objectivity in the form of estrangement which has to advance from indifferent strangeness to real, antagonistic estrangement , means likewise or even primarily for Hegel that it is objectivity which is to be annulled, because it is not the determinate character of the object, but rather its objective character that is offensive and constitutes estrangement for self-consciousness.

    The Unobtainable Object of Desire

    The object is therefore something negative, self-annulling — a nullity. This nullity of the object has not only a negative but a positive meaning for consciousness, since this nullity of the object is precisely the self-confirmation of the non-objectivity, of the XXVIII abstraction of itself. For consciousness itself the nullity of the object has a positive meaning because it knows this nullity, the objective being, as its self-alienation; because it knows that it exists only as a result of its own self-alienation The way in which consciousness is, and in which something is for it, is knowing.

    Knowing is its sole act. Skip to main content.

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    Peter C. Google Scholar. Christine Helmer and Kristin D. Troyer Leuven: Peeters, , — But these contents cannot be understood apart from their contributions to the overarching category: this is what it is to be negated aufgehoben within the new category. In general this is how the Logic proceeds: seeking its most basic and universal determination, thought posits a category to be reflected upon, finds then that this collapses due to a contradiction generated, like that generated by the category being, and so then seeks a further category with which to make retrospective senses of those contradictory categories.

    However, in turn the new category will generate some further contradictory negation and again the demand will arise for a further concept that can reconcile these opposed concepts by incorporating them as moments. It is in terms of this category that we can think, along with Aristotle, of a thing having an underlying substrate within which properties inhere and which, unlike the properties themselves, cannot be thought in general terms, but only in terms of the category of singularity. And yet this will encounter a problem for the determinacy of this underlying substrate— it will have to find determining contrasts that allow it to be determinately conceived.

    In Book 2 of the Logic we will learn that the category of singularity will rely on particularity just as particularity has been shown to rely on singularlity.

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    Attempting to unravel the intricacies of the patterns of dependence between such categories will be task of this mammoth work, but here a general point might be made. Hegel only explicitly explores the details of the interactions of these determinations of conceptuality in his discussion of judgments and syllogisms in Book 3, The Doctrine of Concept, suggesting that concerns of logic as traditionally conceived are not as irrelevant to the Science of Logic as often thought.

    However, the general point separating his approach from that of Spinoza clearly emerges earlier on. The other basic methodological principle of the Logic will be that this categorical infrastructure of thought is able to be unpacked using only the resources available to thought itself: the capacity of thought to make its contents determinate in a way somewhat like what Leibniz had thought of as making clear but confused ideas clear and distinct , and its capacity to be consistent and avoid contradiction.

    For Kant, transcendental logic was the logic governing the thought of finite thinkers like ourselves, whose cognition was constrained by the necessity of applying general discursive concepts to the singular contents given in sensory intuitions, and he contrasted this with the thought of a type of thinker not so constrained—God—a thinker whose thought could directly grasp the world in a type of intellectual intuition. It is also a science of actual content as well, and as such has an ontological dimension.

    Naturally the logical structures and processes implicit in essence-thinking are more developed than those of being-thinking.

    go In contrast, the categories of Being-logic seem to govern thought processes that are restricted to qualitative phenomena and their co-ordinations. But distinction between essence and appearance must itself instantiate the relation of determinate negation, and the metaphysical tendency to think of reality as made up of some underlying substrates in contrast to the superficial appearances will itself come to grief with the discovery that the notion of an essence is only meaningful in virtue of the appearance that it is meant to explain away.