Posts Tagged ‘Hegel’

Truth is the world spirit

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

For Hegel, Napoleon was not just this mere mortal man of flash and blood, and this was not just another horse ride, nor was this just another military march: this was the march of history, of the world spirit. Individual people are not isolated units but parts of a larger whole, a ‘Zeitgeist’, the spirit of the age.

Truth is not found on just one side of an opposition [Kant], but in a unity of opposites. Truth is not an abstraction. It is the very process of concretising itself, exemplify itself. Truth is a march, in motion, coming about or coming to be in space and time.

With Hegel finally truth is a thing of this world, truth is the process of becoming true and can happen anywhere.

Napoleon is not an island, he embodies the spirit of the age and is prompted by it, through us. Without us the spirit is nothing real. Without the spirit we are uninspired and have nothing to realise. so we belong together ‘concretely’.

Caputo J.D. (2013) Truth, Philosophy in Transit, p. 141, 148

Post-Truth (A Roll of the Dice)

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Kierkegaard that was inspired by Lessing’s thesis, would defer the compliment that he is a Christian in favour of saying that he is ‘trying to become’ one. Derrida would add that in trying to become a Christian, or anything else, Kierkegaard doesn’t truly know what he is trying to become.

We don’t know what we desire and that is the condition under which a more radical desire is possible, so that for Derrida we are all, Augustine and Kierkegaard and everyone else alike, afloat or adrift in the same boat, a boat whose final destination neither Hegel nor anyone else knows.

Postmoderns strongly doubt, after the genocides of the twentieth century that history is the unfolding of God’s life on earth [Hegel].
Philosophers like Heidegger and Derrida think that history is something of a roll of the dice, that nothing is guaranteed, that truth might remain for ever concealed, and things might turn out badly.

Hegel set off a torrent of anti-philosophy, in which philosophers philosophize against Hegel and the tremendous reach that philosophy had grasped for in Hegel. His successors react against him in different ways – by being more materialistic than idealistic (Marx), more interested in the existential individual than in world history (Kierkegaard), and more atheistic than panentheistic (Nietzsche). They all proposed different candidates for what is truly concrete, but they didn’t dispute that concrete is what truth is and must be.

Caputo J.D. (2013) Truth, Philosophy in Transit, p. 152,155

Sartre on Hegel and Social Consciousness

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

There is in Hegel a fundamental form of optimism. It may be called an ontological optimism. For Hegel indeed truth is truth of the Whole. And he places himself at the vantage point of truth – i.e. of the Whole – to consider the problem of the Other….individual consciousnesses are moments in the whole, moments which by themselves are unselbständig (dependent), and the whole is a mediator between consciousnesses. Hence is derived an ontological optimism parallel to the epistemological optimism: plurality can and must be surpassed towards the totality (BN p.243).

[But] no logical or epistemological optimism can cover the scandal of the plurality of consciousnesses. If Hegel believed that it could, this is because he never grasped the nature of that particular dimension of being which is self-consciousness….so long as consciousnesses exist, the separation and conflict of consciousnesses will remain;…(BN p.244)

István Mészáros, The Work of Sratre – Search For Freedom and The Challenge of History (1979)

Hegelian Struggle

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

The Essence of the Dialectic between two individuals is the Movement or Motion of Recognising; a struggle in which the two Self-Consciousnesses are eventually constituted (each in Being Recognised as Self-Conscious by the Other).