Sunday, May 10, 2009

Georg Wilhem Friedriech Hegel

Let me begin with a quote from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosopy:

"In Britain (...) Hegel came to be one of the main targets of attack by the founders of the emerging “analytic” movement, Bertrand Russell and G. E. Moore.

For Russell, the revolutionary innovations in logic starting in the last decades of the nineteenth century had destroyed Hegel's metaphysics by overturning the Aristotelian logic on which it was based, and in line with this dismissal, Hegel came to be seen within the analytic movement as an historical figure of little genuine philosophical interest. "

And I'll be honest about it, I agree with this statement. And there is more. Hegel thought his system provided a defense of Christianity, and both supporters and opponents of his system have taken this view of it.

Those known as right (wing) Heglians considered Hegel's apologetic succesful, whereas the left(wing) Heglians argued that his Christianity had been only superficial. On the one hand, he held that only infinite mind is real; on the other hand he held that infinite mind can't be distinct from or beyond the finite and partial.

Hegel thought that these views were not incompatible, but it has been argued that the second is a denial of the first and, hence, a denial of any form of theism.

Hegel was a religious man. He wrote "Life of Jesus", "The Positivity of the Christian Religion" and "The Spirit of Christianity" before he wrote his famous philosophical works.

I can't get it out of my head, that Hegel's philosophy is a kind of theology in disguise. Hegel is seen as offering a metaphysico-religious view of God qua “Absolute Spirit” which has much in common with the type of elaborate idealist and theo-centric metaphysics found in Leibniz.

With its dark mystical roots, and its overtly religious content, it is hardly surprising that the philosophy of Hegel so understood is regarded as being very distant to the largely secular and “scientific” conceptions of philosophy that have been dominant in the twentieth century.

My problem with the kind of philosophy Hegel brings,is the fact that he talks about The Mind. Not about the fact that we individuals have individual minds, but as if it is One Big Transcendental Entity, in fact something like a God concept.

Again I run into this problem of one man's mind talking about something that goes far beyond his finite mind....The Absolute Mind...the Infinite Mind. Hegel is an absolute rationalist....what the (his) mind can think of is real.

When you read atricles about Hegel's philosophy you may notice that his ideas aren't discarded as nonsense. On the contrary numerous ideas are inspiring to new philosophical debate. The only problem is, and I'll be honest in this, I am not so willing to read such articles in depth.

What made Hegel's philosophy well-known was what is called dialectics. According to Hegel all development was embedded in a process of thesis - antithesis, which conflict would lead to a synthesis.

On the one hand you have being, on the other hand you have non-being, and this leads to the synthesis, which realizes itself in becoming. We'll see this dialectics reappear in the philosophy of Karl Marx, who gave it a materialist interpretation.

Or somehting like on the one hand you have vapour, on the other hand you have ice and these thesis and antithesis find their synthesis in liquid water.

You have to judge for yourself and I only can give you my view on Hegel. I regard his metaphysics and philosphical system as a kind of what I would call secular theology. That use the same methotodology as theological reasoning, but you exchange the word god by something profane: the Absolute Mind for instance.

(^_^) My goodness am I happily biased.............!!!

The Discussion

[14:30] Herman Bergson: so..plz ..shoot..:-)
[14:30] Rodney Handrick: The "absolute mind" can be interpreted as "god"
[14:30] arabella Ella: but herman is it fair to compare hegel with the british analytical tradition as we must keep in mind the great divide between analytical and continentinental philosophy
[14:31] Osrum Sands: I like Helel when its applied to history
[14:31] arabella Ella: or the rationalists and empiricists
[14:31] Sage Hartmann: It seems to me that the idea of the dialectic was more interesting than the details of his metaphysical interpretations... could you characterize the structure of his dialectic in more detail?
[14:31] arabella Ella: and hegel is definitely a rationalist and continental philo
[14:31] Herman Bergson: yes arabella...there is a Northsea between them..:-)
[14:31] Athena John: lol
[14:32] Herman Bergson: Yes Sage...his idea of thesis-antithesis -synthesis is interesting....but it is just a model
[14:32] Osrum Sands: dialectics => see Marx and class struggle
[14:32] itsme Frederix: Herman - thats unfair: just a model
[14:32] Herman Bergson: Once someone said to doesnt work in physics all the time..and he replied..bad for physics
[14:33] AristotleVon Doobie: In reading up on Mr Hegel I felt his philosophic writings were intended to influence the political scene and the incorporation of god into it.
[14:33] itsme Frederix: Welll at least Hegel thought BIG
[14:34] Osrum Sands: his work is interesting when applied to 'the State'
[14:34] Wyeth Bailey: herman since Hegel was religious and wrote extensively about Christianity, why would he bother to cloak his biases with vague nontheistic language like "Aboslute Spirit" - what was the political climate?
[14:34] Sage Hartmann: Sure aristotle, but I think the lasting insights that many pihlosophers produce are not the ones they were trying to create, no? =) I would say that was true with kant too.
[14:34] Athena John: The political climate is probably why he chose to do so
[14:35] Herman Bergson: Yes interesting point...why
[14:35] Rodney Handrick: I agree Athena
[14:35] Herman Bergson: Hegel set philosophy above religion...
[14:35] arabella Ella: Herman I suppose we could say that Hegel took Kant's ideas with which he was familiar further towards increased idealism?
[14:35] Wyeth Bailey appreciates Herman's passion on the topic ;-)
[14:36] Herman Bergson: Yes he followed kant...
[14:36] AristotleVon Doobie: Bur transendental immannence? two opposites
[14:36] itsme Frederix: @Aristotle base for a synthesis then
[14:36] Mickorod Renard: maybe he wanted to appeal to a wider audience
[14:36] Herman Bergson: Well...let's focus on one specific Kantian issue...
[14:37] Herman Bergson: an important epistemological issue
[14:37] AristotleVon Doobie: I perceive an attempt by these quasi philosophers to merely blend previous thougt
[14:37] arabella Ella: Hegel's theory of knowledge was, in his view, a progression on that of Kant and prob influenced by the fact that he believe in progress and development in a positive manner thru the absolut Geist
[14:37] Herman Bergson: Kant brought up a very special issue...
[14:38] Herman Bergson: we have on the one hand the mind who applies its categories to the experiences..
[14:39] Herman Bergson: so knowledge is always a mix of sensory input molded by the mind's categories..
[14:39] Herman Bergson: and this is very interestng...for then you have to conclude that you never will have knowledge of what caused the sensory input...das Ding an Sich...the world as such
[14:40] Sage Hartmann nods - and thus defining metaphysics
[14:40] Herman Bergson: this..I think is an important issue and a serious matter of debate with the empiricists
[14:40] Herman Bergson: to me this is the only interesting thing about Kant and Hegel
[14:41] arabella Ella: exactly herman and hegel as a rationalist tries to overcome this issue
[14:41] Herman Bergson: yes..but converts all into theology in my opinion..we'll see the same thing with Heidegger
[14:42] itsme Frederix: Heidegger theological?
[14:42] Sage Hartmann: Does hegel's dialectic occur on the epistemological or metaphysical side of kant's divide, or is it attempting to bridge them?
[14:43] Herman Bergson: know Kant Hegel found a scheme..theis-antithesis.synthesis...
[14:43] Herman Bergson: and then they fall in love with it..and apply it on everything..
[14:43] Sage Hartmann: lol ok...
[14:44] arabella Ella: but herman is it not more than that, more like a clash of civilizations with a new civilization emerging as a result?
[14:44] Herman Bergson: Kant did so with his categorical imperative
[14:44] Osrum Sands: good thought Arabella I agree
[14:44] itsme Frederix: Herman there is no other way to deal with a Catagoric Imperative!!!!
[14:44] Osrum Sands: hense his historical emphesis
[14:45] Sage Hartmann: but hegel knew about kant's distinction based on the knowable/metaphysical - was the dialectic process considered entirely knowable - epistemological? Did it extend into 'things unto themselves'? Or did hegel reject this distinction?
[14:45] Mickorod Renard: yes i see that
[14:45] arabella Ella: the dialectic can also occur with knowledge, if i have a belief which is confronted by another opposing belief the resulting belief the synthesis may be different from the previous two beliefs
[14:45] AristotleVon Doobie: I think that maybe civilization is now taking two paths, one to the left and one to the right
[14:45] Herman Bergson: hold on...!!!
[14:46] Herman Bergson: goodness..what do you ask from me..^_^
[14:47] Sage Hartmann: sorry :O lol just very curious =O
[14:47] Herman Bergson: And yes..Arabella...this Heglian dialectics is a nice theory..sometimes it works to explain things
[14:48] Herman Bergson: Hegel made it a description of how the world develops...and that doesnt work
[14:48] Herman Bergson: sometimes you can apply it to history..colliding cultures evolving into a new culture
[14:49] Herman Bergson: anybody still out there?
[14:49] Sage Hartmann: :)
[14:49] Athena John: Yes
[14:49] Osrum Sands: or ideologies coliding into new
[14:49] Herman Bergson: Oh ...good.thought I was crashing on Hegel
[14:49] arabella Ella: we are all ears Herman
[14:50] AristotleVon Doobie: I see it developing into counter cultures
[14:50] Osrum Sands: its seen in the eastern versus western understanding of Human rigths
[14:50] Mickorod Renard: yes i am just listening very hard
[14:51] Osrum Sands: western being applied to the individual and eastern applied to the collectiv
[14:51] Herman Bergson: is an obvious thing ...argument counter argument and compromis...that is what humans do...
[14:51] Wyeth Bailey: in the most simplistic terms however, it assumes that all dynamic tensions results from a binary conflict, two sides, when we all know life to be much more coplex, no?
[14:51] Herman Bergson: Right Weyth..
[14:52] itsme Frederix: Wyeth is it?
[14:52] AristotleVon Doobie: yes, always have to have opposition
[14:52] arabella Ella: not necessarily a compromise tho herman, at least not in hegelian terms
[14:52] Herman Bergson: The human mind is to tempted to think only binary..
[14:52] Mickorod Renard: civilisation is about compromise for the overall good ?
[14:52] Osrum Sands: but not in computer world of Sl its all 1's and 0's
[14:52] itsme Frederix: arabella you are right not a compromise, but something higher a new step
[14:52] Osrum Sands: sorry red herring
[14:52] arabella Ella: creativity often involves bringing two disparate objects together for the creation of a completely new idea
[14:52] Wyeth Bailey: why two? why not 3 or 4 or 5
[14:53] Herman Bergson: ________________
[14:53] Herman Bergson:
[14:53] Herman Bergson: ** Silence plz ***
[14:53] Herman Bergson: ________________
[14:53] itsme Frederix: Ossum stil a computer works on quantum - heavily uncertain
[14:53] Herman Bergson: lol
[14:53] Herman Bergson: hold did you like that..:-)
[14:53] AristotleVon Doobie: :)
[14:53] Sage Hartmann: lol ;)
[14:53] itsme Frederix: preparations Herman!
[14:53] Rodney Handrick: :-)
[14:54] CONNIE Eichel: :))
[14:54] Herman Bergson: Yes Itsme..knowing you I had to..(^_^)
[14:54] Rodney Handrick: lol
[14:54] Herman Bergson: but let's get to the issue
[14:54] Herman Bergson: if there is no compromiss there is war
[14:55] Rodney Handrick: true
[14:55] Osrum Sands: another form of Dialectics
[14:55] Athena John: Sometimes WITH compromise there is war
[14:55] itsme Frederix: war is another compromise
[14:55] arabella Ella: war is only one possibility amongst others
[14:55] Rodney Handrick: war is a solution
[14:55] Athena John: war is a symptom
[14:55] arabella Ella: war is bad
[14:55] itsme Frederix: Rodney the outcome might give a solution, war is the process
[14:55] Wyeth Bailey: war is a business
[14:56] Sage Hartmann: lol
[14:56] Rodney Handrick: hmm..
[14:56] itsme Frederix: Herman can you do it again?
[14:56] AristotleVon Doobie: War is an instrumnt of the military-industrial complex to rob the citizenry
[14:56] Osrum Sands: what happened to Hermans plee for silence ???
[14:56] Rodney Handrick: someone mentioned war Osrum
[14:56] Herman Bergson: Well..if I may quote Clauzewitz..he said that war is continuing politics with other means only
[14:57] Herman Bergson: I still have the weapon at hand Osrum..:-)
[14:57] Osrum Sands: haha
[14:57] Rodney Handrick: That's the problem...the definition of "other"
[14:58] Wyeth Bailey: other=antithesis
[14:58] arabella Ella: but didn't Hegel believe that humanity was gradually progressing via the dialectic towards a perfect state?
[14:58] arabella Ella: i mean a state of perfection
[14:59] Osrum Sands: the 'other' - the construction of the other in order to bring about conventions in or\der to being social controll
[14:59] Herman Bergson: He was a christian sure he believed that
[14:59] AristotleVon Doobie: I think he did, but feel he was disillusioned
[14:59] Mickorod Renard: maybe he forgot about greed
[14:59] arabella Ella: why do you link it to his being a christian herman?
[14:59] Herman Bergson: good remark Mickorod..:-)
[14:59] AristotleVon Doobie: maybe he felt greed was just for his side
[15:00] Herman Bergson: ok..
[15:00] Mickorod Renard: if he was christian he did forget about greed
[15:00] Athena John bites her tongue
[15:01] AristotleVon Doobie: christiuons are not greedy?
[15:01] Herman Bergson: Well... let's come to a conclusin on Hegel...
[15:01] Herman Bergson: ________________
[15:01] Herman Bergson:
[15:01] Herman Bergson: ** Silence plz ***
[15:01] Herman Bergson: ________________
[15:01] arabella Ella: i think we just need to consider the fact that most of europe was christian in those days and that people did not have choice
[15:01] arabella Ella: sorry!
[15:01] Herman Bergson: :-)
[15:02] Herman Bergson: Ok..For me the most interesting problem we have to face since Kant is the subject of "Das Ding an Sich" ..the world as such...
[15:03] itsme Frederix: Sure but I hear some shouting
[15:03] Herman Bergson: this is the problem of the knowledge of the existence of a real world outside our consciousness.
[15:04] Rodney Handrick: AHH!!!!
[15:04] Rasana Destiny: go to go have a great day
[15:04] Herman Bergson: the rationalists and the empricists have to face this problem and come up with an answer
[15:04] Herman Bergson: Bye Rasabna
[15:04] arabella Ella: yes that is certainly a very difficult problem
[15:05] Mickorod Renard: perfect solutions for an imperfect world
[15:05] Herman Bergson: hegel did it by coming up with a concept of an Absolute MInd...
[15:06] Herman Bergson: the empiricists still are stuck to sensory input...and just the postulate that there is a real world outside the mind
[15:07] Osrum Sands: Jung reflected this with his univseral Archtypes
[15:07] Herman Bergson: So..we'll see ..we'll have to wait a hundred years before we can start the real debate on this issue
[15:07] Wyeth Bailey: leave it to the physicists perhaps
[15:07] itsme Frederix: our debate!
[15:08] arabella Ella: we must not forget that the physicists have 'disenchanted' nature
[15:08] itsme Frederix: our not real - well real for us, as it was for them
[15:08] Mickorod Renard: yes i like that Ara
[15:08] arabella Ella: ty Mick
[15:08] Herman Bergson: the brain scanners dont have the answer either...
[15:08] Wyeth Bailey: well the quantum mechanics guys believe in magic
[15:09] itsme Frederix: lovers believe in magic too
[15:09] Herman Bergson: which is an other word for..inexplicable Weyth
[15:09] AristotleVon Doobie: magic is very romantic isnt it?
[15:09] Sage Hartmann: I don't think any of these philosophical questions are to be found in physics, but that is a far digression... :O
[15:09] Wyeth Bailey believes in magic
[15:09] Osrum Sands: my son's smile is magic also
[15:10] Wyeth Bailey: Schrodeinger's cat is dialectical, as cats go
[15:10] Rodney Handrick: magic has more than one meaning...
[15:10] itsme Frederix: so nothing stange about magic, quantum has strange, charm and that kind of phrases
[15:10] AristotleVon Doobie: I believe in the magic of a lovers touch
[15:10] arabella Ella: also Wittgenstein's beetle box
[15:10] Osrum Sands: its a magic word --- like stuff - just fo definative!!!
[15:10] Wyeth Bailey: this is getting sexy ;-) lol
[15:11] Sage Hartmann: Might i inquire about a rather orthogonal approach to thinking about hegel's contributions?
[15:11] Herman Bergson: Enough on magic....this is just a wordgame
[15:11] AristotleVon Doobie: magic is
[15:11] Mickorod Renard: paradox p*ssy
[15:11] Wyeth Bailey: now the blog will flag us again Mick . . .
[15:11] itsme Frederix: another word for your blog Herman
[15:11] Mickorod Renard: oops
[15:11] Rodney Handrick: lol
[15:11] arabella Ella: cats?
[15:11] AristotleVon Doobie: :)))
[15:12] Herman Bergson: I want to thank you for this brilliant discussion...never thought Hegel would lead to that..but as I confessed I am so biased
[15:12] arabella Ella: camels?
[15:12] AristotleVon Doobie: soooo funny
[15:12] Osrum Sands: its your teaching there Herman
[15:12] CONNIE Eichel: haha
[15:12] Osrum Sands: as we move forward we become more enligthened
[15:12] Mickorod Renard: he he he
[15:12] itsme Frederix: Well at last it became real abstract Hegel would have said!
[15:12] AristotleVon Doobie: we must have some levity in life
[15:12] arabella Ella: thank you so much herman
[15:12] AristotleVon Doobie: Thank yu Herman
[15:12] arabella Ella: who is the next philosopher?
[15:12] Wyeth Bailey: thanks so much Herman
[15:13] Sage Hartmann: herman, are you of the more analytic school then? :)
[15:13] itsme Frederix: we are arabella
[15:13] Herman Bergson: my pleasure..^_^
[15:13] Mickorod Renard: yes thanks Herman , and i didnt fall asleep.. honest
[15:13] arabella Ella: lol itsme
[15:13] Sage Hartmann: yes thank you for the class Herman =)
[15:13] Herman Bergson: Yes Sage...
[15:14] AristotleVon Doobie: Herman are we still on for 1:00 SLT for class?
[15:14] Herman Bergson: weird...PDT says 3:14
[15:14] Mickorod Renard: why does it say PDT?
[15:14] AristotleVon Doobie: that is night savings time in US
[15:14] Sage Hartmann: right
[15:14] Herman Bergson: yes should be PST
[15:15] Sage Hartmann: we lost an hour today :)
[15:15] AristotleVon Doobie: day light

Posted by herman_bergson on 2008-03-10 05:49:52

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