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355, Chaudhuri says, aptly enough, that a fault in recent civilisation is that its ideals have been set by servile or proletarian elements. Only criticism one might make of this that it assumes a certain Spenglerianism, that civilisation at any one stage has an 'ideal', the Hegelian suggestion that this is generally accepted.
367, Hegel's dialectic all used to prove the need to accept the authority of a single point of view. The argument that any possible point of view is inevitably one sided and limited. Therefore we have to make do with what we can. i.e. the 'rational', whatever it is we have to accept, whatever its recommendations, will not escape being one-sided and limited, the best we can hope for is that it will be less so than other positions
Justification for repression. The Marquis de Sade will not be understood or appreciated.
Identification of 'the noumenon' with thought about the phenomenon. I find Hegelian idealism very unattractive, it seems to me to be a doctrine of servility. Idea that truth is made by what men think. Of contradictions in reality. The form of idealism that denies the reality not of that outside the perceiving mind, but of the judging mind. The individual is made to depend for his reality upon a total system. Politically this provides a neat, plausible and quite attractive justification for anti-individualist authoritarian attitudes. Reality is confused with thought about reality. Unless you are a world historical figure, 'the truth' is no more than the most advanced thought of the time. You only advance beyond this by feeling the pain of contradiction and creating a new truth.
Bradley rejected this
Bradley was not a Hegelian. I think he came up with an attractive little philosophy, rather like a religion. But there are obviously Hegelian elements.
Bradley's Absolute has an attractive timelessness.
Bradley's influence on Russell. The insistence on a logic by which the part can subsist independently of the whole. From this an individualism and pluralism. Liberalism in politics tempered by humanitarianism.
67, Continuing with this idea of the French refutation of Nietzsche with a facile Marxism. See how an original Nietzscheanism is not even taken as a credible position
When the later Nietzscheanism, the 'new Nietzsche' is supposed to offer an alternative to Hegel, it is only through this nihilistic relativism.
The idea that Hegel is actually wrong, is not actually considered. The Marxist position is deconstructed rather than argued down. This piece of nonsense, this silly educational prejudice in favour of Hegel, this childish trick which is supposed to rule out Nietzsche. Which means Hegel has to be out negotiated by some quite complicated procedure, before we can return to Nietzsche. The idea that a straightforward Nietzscheanism is refuted by a simplistic neo-Marxism is an outrage. What always stood in our way. Always going back to the mistaken idea that Hegel has not been refuted. (Descombes:- Modern French Philosophy)
140, Hegel's philosophy. Hegel v Stirner, The Puritanism, the theological concerns of the seventeenth century. If one felt them, one would have to justify them. If one was aware of history, one would have to identify one's own preoccupations with the logic of progress.
One's objection to Hegel is not so much with the idea of progress as with the identification of progress with specific obnoxious opinions.
Survey Stirner's basic objection. The real objection is to a kind of relativism that lies at the heart of Hegel's scheme. One has to think of oneself as progressive and enlightened, the point is one probably is not, but this latter fact Hegelianism disguises.
1, Great importance of Hegel for communist society. Although his philosophy was supposed to be transcended and rejected, through his history he was supposed to allow for all heretical impulses. How to refute, how to attack Hegel? From Stirner's brave effort to Solzhenitisyn's devastating demonstration.
5, Different types of God. To the true neoplatonist even God is a vulgar expression. He conceives a state so refined that it is even beyond the beyond. Something so totally unexpected , and completely beyond all normal comprehension. Hegel, on the other hand, wants a specific God, a political God. To the neoplatonist, Hegel's conception of enlightenment is ignorance and darkness.
Different viewpoints of the individual and the conformist. Like forming different Gods. Different conceptions of enlightenment, of light, illumination. To each the other appears benighted.
24&, Hegel on stoicism and epicureanism as forms of dogmatism. He sees the Roman Empire as destroying the lives of the nations. So stoicism as a philosophy that relates to such a state in the only way possible, i.e. abstractly. The stoic sees nothing wrong with incest, pederasty, cannibalism. Hegel completely rejects such reasoning.
Aristotle whose prime mover is but one entity among others.
Hegel on the sceptics, To him the sceptics are of the utmost importance. Magnificence of Hegel's vision. Painting a story of continual progression (toward "the Notion") See how the sceptics, for all their doubt of everything, produced a kind of certainty in the inner world. Soul stability. Open the way to neoplatonism. Then the preoccupation with God.
On Proclus. Who he sees as superior to Plotinus. He respects his triads.
Brilliant way in which he presents the modern world as a solution of the problems of the mediaeval world. As if modern life is a very hard won overcoming of the painful tension between the natural and spiritual that possessed the mediaeval. As if what we have today is far less simple than it appears. Result of the fusion of the two races.
Abstract hypothetical nature of scholastic speculation. Gap between the spiritual and the natural. Resolved for the individual in the monastic life. Inadequacy of this. See how scholastic principles are made to seem vital even to what we are an have become. Metaphysics.
Hegel's 'commonplace personality'. Ipse dicet. One more example of his own values which he tries to universalise. He says that society is now fully rationalised.
When Schopenhauer says Hegel's ideas are essentially without meaning, and his readers are required to give them a meaning. What is the 'Notion'? What is the meaning of this teleological principle? Something out of Schelling.
He repeats the gibe about a nation of shopkeepers. This contempt for England is essentially post-revolutionary., Napoleon. Criticism that the English are mundane and unresponsive to great ideas. Shopkeepers versus soldiers in revolutionary armies.
Hegel on Descartes, Locating being in thought, Comparing him to Fichte.
Spinoza, Easiness to understand (as against what Anscombe says). A necessary stage in all philosophy, the withdrawal from all determinateness. That he should deduce more. Inadequacy of his geometrical method.
Hegel belonged to the era of Byron, Napoleon, Stendhal, Beethoven. The spirit of 200 years ago. I would say it is not fully comprehensible now, not in the completeness of its enthusiasm. Harder to relate to than the renaissance, or the gothic middle ages.
36 Hegel, emphasis he places on Lull, Bruno, Boehme. Can one have a thought that has not occurred to him? The vastness of his learning suggests he is acquainted with every spiritual state. Are there perhaps states of schizoid solipsistic horror that have philosophical significance and which he does not understand? A state of negativity and rejection that is more than even his mystical consciousness can cope with. Something that really is right outside the framework of he Christian God and yet contains the seed of a great hope.
The traces of God that remain in his system. Modern atheism that never rises to a full religious height. The horror is the perception of contradiction. Also the desire to destroy his system out of pure hatred. A non-Christian mysticism, a heretical, a gnostic mysticism. Destroying all belief by a will to destroy. Annihilate the Christian God.
52 Hegel on Kant. The real meat, getting there to what he really believes. Trouble is that a lot of what Hegel says I rather agree with. Like his criticisms of Spinoza. What is that but phallic affirmationism? So the religious movement that I find important, he finds important too. What has this to do with philosophy? He links it to philosophy with his idea of the Notion.
Jacobi, a philosopher who expressed a philosophy which was like a crude version of Kant.
In Hegel there is much that is right that is not expressed anywhere else. But yet he produces an offensive particularity It is rather as if he takes the right considerations and perverts them. His section on Kant must be one of the best things he wrote. It shows how the difficulties in Kant's position lead on to other things. He has the effrontery to accuse Kant of barbarous jargon. Fichte deducing the categories from the ego. A philosophical enterprise no doubt, but was it an entirely rational and sensible one?
Ultimately of course Hegel comes out of Schelling. The bizarre concepts and principles he bears throughout his journey are really the end product of this process of philosophical criticism. And much to do with the desires that Kant stimulated and left unsatisfied,
French philosophes, surely he overrates their philosophical mission. And his excitement at the revolution, his wholesale swallowing of revolutionary propaganda.
Hegel saw Christianity as popularised philosophy. Communism too was that. The spiritual content of communism was the riches of Hegel.
55& His consistency, Also his limitations. The logic displayed in history he treats as inevitable logic. Every development is progression. Schopenhauer saw fundamental dishonesty in this. (Nietzsche said Schopenhauer himself was just as dishonest.) This subjection to history, this obsequiousness, one might say, affects the final position to which he is throughout committed, i.e. the problems set by Fichte & Schelling. From a strictly logical point of view there is something almost arbitrary in these intellectual problems he applies himself to tackle. He tackles them with great panache. But why these? They were where philosophy had got to. An almost deliberate myopia. One gets there by an almost slavish subjection to history. 'At your feet or at your throat'. With his highly Teutonic obsessive, compulsive, temperament comes an almost masochistic desire to submit to authority, in his case the authority of history. He does take great pleasure in defending established power.
Point of the defect. Problems that are not naturally occurring. Thus the bizarreness of some of the principles which he obtrudes right from the beginning. Springing from a subjection to a single chain of reasoning. The great tradition, the development of the Notion.
Grasping Hegel. Part of the difficulty lies in misunderstanding the consistency of his motive. The guiding principles which are central to everything he says, it is misleading to see simply as the conclusions of abstract philosophical argument. Hegel is throughout an apologist, he is guided by humility. Philosophical argument will only lead him along a predetermined path, that track which has already been followed, There is in him much of the Jesuit, much of the perverse pleasure of obedience.
One way of mapping a path through an otherwise trackless wilderness. To attack his principles head on is to get nowhere. His assumptions are already given, they are given by Fichte and Schelling. Who inherited the mandate of Heaven from Kant.
Of course Nietzsche had a certain admiration for the Jesuits, so he can hardly withhold it altogether from Hegel.
Hegel's starting point is given to him, that is the most important thing to remember.
Grandeur of his thought. The significance of his seemingly bizarre opinions. The conformism is actually the whole thrust of it. The very principle which generates it. Why could not this be expressed by a commentator? Why is he so difficult to understand, why does he come across as some menticidal pedant? Of course I am far from understanding the whole of his philosophy, but I have got an angle on him at last, I can see his place, see his thought as the exemplification of an essentially simple principle. All the complexity is really in the detail.
It seems wrong to reproach him with his conformism, because that is really his whole inspiration.
110, School of Eckhart (Tauler, Suso, Theologica Germanica) and its influence on William Law. See how deeply thrilling some of these beliefs can be. But how can we be thrilled when we cannot share the beliefs? See one of the things Hegel was trying to do.
Hegel copies Boehme by offering reconciliation, but in a tendentious doctrinaire manner. His God, his Absolute, contains too much of his own will. He falls short of he depth of Boehme. I would not say that Blake succeeds either his solution is too purely personal. But almost every thinker can come to seem hackneyed and oppressive.
211, The lie, the illusion, that if you desire one thing you have to go along with a lot of other things as well. This is how the culture can depress. One is lured, seduced, into some kind of morality of the weak. The error, such as it is, can probably be stated very simply as a basic assumption. It relates closely to the gregarious feeling.
Hegel is merely a highly intellectualised way of expressing a principle that is found commonly in fields which cannot have been influenced by him.
"Europe dreamed with Rousseau' A powerful emotion was felt, a conformist and coercive emotion that is Catholic rather than Protestant in spirit. An emotion that to some people makes life highly meaningful. That emotion, which purports to be the fulfilment of everything, and perhaps found expression in Beethoven's music….for all the erotic satisfaction attached to acceptance of this, for all the presentation of it as the only cultural opportunity of offer, it aims to lure into a depressing consensus. Where some such compromise seems to underlie everything on offer.
247, Hegel's claims to completeness. Oppose Hegel by something else. But all on the level of tenuous dubious theories. Reasons that are not compelling, that are just asserted to be good. And what if the argument is rejected? Is it allowed that it can be, and that beyond a certain point there is nothing more to be said? Disputes coming down to some kind of 'ultimate decision"
205, The assumption that Aquinas is so much greater than Duns Scotus or Ockham, is not one I find all that easy to accept. It is tempting to see him as essentially a very competent commentator on Aristotle. The orthodoxy both of his Aristotelianism and his Christianity seem to make for a lack of the originality one seeks in a great philosopher. Aristotle, one may say, demystifies. At a cost. One has to see Aquinas as putting Aristotle's scientific programme into effect. There is undoubtedly something admirable in this. It was a move forwards. In the removal of mystery, however, one might sense coercive implications. In eliminating the other world, the so called platonic, a lot of meanings are brought down to earth, made immanent in the ordinary. The tendency is therefore to reduce possibility and replace it by conformity.
Hegel might be said to resemble Aristotle in this respect. The emotions which the Platonist would reserve for the transcendent are to be turned onto the immediate. This has a conformist tendency. Aquinas, Dominicans, Inquisition. Reality beyond what is present tends to be denied. The realm of possibility dismissed as unreal. So there tends to be a trapping in the present. I think renaissance critics were right to see Aristotle as a stultifying force. He militates against originality and change.
Clearly there is an element of scientific hard headedness in it. Desire to be rid of unnecessary mysteries. One might say it tends to be anti mystical, locating all emotion instead in the matter of ordinary living. If this is to be satisfying, however, it will have to take a predictable path.
Demystification has its coercive tendency. It has to compensate for the emotional loss. So it makes emotion immanent in the ordinary. Such emotion might normally be indefinitely variable, this is denied.
Aristotle, Aquinas, Hegel, Marx. Lacking is the emotional neutrality of the sublunary world, sub specie aeternitas. From a perspective outside the world may be emotionally neutral. Destroy that perspective, and where are you to get your excitement?
Emotional richness is retained, but at the cost of conformism. And there is an actual falsehood perpetrated in the implicit denial of possibility, of different emotional responses.
327, Hegel's conception of logic with its peculiar use of contradiction. What he might say of my position is that I ignore contradiction. That in discussing all he 'ways and paths' I make use of a non dialectical logic. That the reality of thought is not that of self enclosed possibilities in the way I present them.
76, Consistency. Feyerabend defending contradictions in his work. Even Hegel admits that a contradiction involves a painful tension that needs to be resolved.
224&, Charles Taylor:- Hegel and Modern Society.
Hegel's philosophy. Extrapolation of the experienced necessity of some present thought & feeling. All reason shown as bearing down upon it.
Kant's idea of rational moral freedom, the 'exhilarating sense of freedom', a wrong twist, a false path. Seeming escape from enlightenment determinism. Romantic objection thereto, & 'expressivism'.
Hegel attempting to reconcile this with 'reason'. Attempt to show this present feeling as inevitable. Hegelianism as a romantic philosophy. Finding it so alien and Hegel's system so implausible, my great problem with it is to understand its appeal.
It is so different from neoplatonism with its detachment and withdrawal into possibility. If Hegel's is a philosophy that answers to human drives, then so is neoplatonism but in a more sophisticated way. The romantics finally lost the wisdom of the middle ages and the renaissance. In its emotional content Ficino's philosophy would be a more than adequate substitute for both Hegel and Freud.
The magical approach of neoplatonism. Because it is designed to answer to human desire, it does not exclude rationalism, even of the austerest kind.
Hegel insists on the importance of the finite for the manifestation of the absolute. Neoplatonism insists on the possibility of withdrawal from the finite, from particular desires or motives into a realm of mere possibility. Hegel deifies a present possibility, i.e. an actuality.
The Florentine renaissance brought forth Machiavelli, the romantic generation the French Revolution. The French Revolution glorifies the present moment as if it were the pinnacle of all history. Machiavelli shows how political power may be gained and held. Machiavelli presupposes the possibility of detachment, something the spirit of the revolution repudiates entirely,
Hegel's system as philosophy for dupes, people who believe propaganda, as if some lower part of the body were usurping the function of the brain.
Concept of Volksgeists, supposedly opposed to atomism. Idea of the Volksgeist as a rational order. Herein lies oppression. The dissident ( the ordinary dissident that is, not the 'world historical' ones.) is condemned, he is not 'following reason'.
'Reason' involves a seemingly inevitable conjunction and succession of ideas.
Demoralisation, the insidious voice telling you all the time that you are wrong. Alien wills trying to subjugate you.
Original Hegelianism, excuse for a kind of romantic reactionary political outlook. I suppose there could be something exciting there. A new and original ideology, Insistence on differentiation. A philosophy for the bourgeoisie, encouraging self satisfaction.
239, G.H. Lewes:- A Biographical History of Philosophy
Interesting point that Hegel's work was essentially a clarification and systematisation of Schelling.
Lewes compares Proclus and Hegel. I think they are far apart, poles apart even.
Hegel's absolute, I would say, belongs to the Hebraic tradition. He is immanent in history. He gives authority to an essentially arbitrary set of dogmas.
383, Ruge giving a practical orientation to Hegel's complacency, i.e. the real is not yet entirely the rational, we have to make it so,
200, Golo Mann for all that I like some of his generalisations, is sometimes naïve and unscholarly. His treatment of Schopenhauer and Spengler is somewhat inadequate. He is a bit of a shallow Hegelian. Hegel, certainly, was one for the occasional illuminating generalisation (The History of Germany since 1789)
17, To say that truth has come to consciousness is suspiciously Hegelian. Hegel's illusion of explanation. What is explained by putting things into triads? Only an appeal to habit, an authority of habit.
111, Dom Cupitt's book Life Lines. I go along with him for some of the way. This pluralism, this need to come to terms with relativism. He is excessively influenced by Hegel. But some form of Hegelianism is a necessary precondition of his being able to write at all. The succession of consciousness he describes is not a strictly logical progression, it is a Hegelian progression. That means there is a large component of authority in it, the guru/shish relationship that has unfortunately become so important in continental philosophy. He writes of 'postmodernism' as if it has been brought to us by the logic of history. The 'sea of meanings'. The incoherence of his relativism is something he is prepared simply to acknowledge and ignore. The 'sea of meanings' idea, all religions are one, goes back a long way. Blake, Vico, Mallarmé, Blavatsky, Iamblichus, Stirner, could all be said to show it in one way or another. The I think of someone like Paracelsus, prepared to search for truth among all kinds of different traditions, including many that would be despised in the universities, like those of the craftsmen.
But Cupitt has to exclude all this sort of stuff if he is to be able to write a book at all. But the exclusion is dishonest. For religious experience there is the magical tradition, the modern use of drugs, poets of all different kinds from Wordsworth to Milton and Blake, seemingly quite out of his scope.
Recall what Wittgenstein said about Hegel. "No I don't think I would get on with Hegel. Hegel seems to me to be always wanting to say that thing which look different are really the same. Whereas my interest is in showing that things which look the same are really different." (Conversations with Wittgenstein 1 157)
"His teaching was in fact a naturalistic version of the Protestant gospel of salvation by faith alone'" ( Cupitt p114 on Nietzsche)
The Platonic tradition, that so many people these days seem eager to reject, of pure logic and argument. Meno's slave.
Modern continental alternative, clinging to Hegelian pseudo logic as a way out of chaos.
114&, Hegelianism as essentially Catholic and counter reformation. It introduces a mysterious priest like authority. The mantle of which has now fallen on Derrida and others.
The modern pagan, says Cupitt, is concerned with establishing a good biography of himself, for retrospection at the end of his life.
260 Modern zeitgeist. Right wing. It needs to be satirised certainly, but what are we to pick on? Perhaps pretension is not so strained as it then was.
Zeitgeist, Realities I would say go deeper.
Insofar as the present age is anti modernist there is a philistine element that represses understanding. It is anti-art and does not recognise decadence.. anti-socialist, it tends to deny the motives of which socialism is an expression. It is not a pleasant zeitgeist. It is backward looking, romantic to a degree. In many respects Thatcherite. Its solution to certain great problems is to ignore them, censor them off.
This the folly of our own time, The narrowness of sixties hating. Vision of a partial truth. But the tyranny of fashion enables many of the more uncomfortable objections to be shifted. For fashion is an argument in itself. If something is fashionable it has become a possible position to take up. Following the zeitgeist is after all a philosophy in its own right, as advocated by Hegel. This is an interesting phenomenon for it helps to explain how grotesque absurdities can flourish at one time which a later generation sees through easily. To go heavily into the zeitgeist is to go into something heavily onesided. Hegel would admit that this is so. Yet the zeitgeist is supposed to be creative. It is the point instant of the present moment.
67 Hegel and idealism, Monism. Abolition of the thing in itself, therefore reality as mental. Solipsism avoided by monism. Exciting possibilities this seems to open up. Like magic being true. All minds being one, disagreement between minds counts as a contradiction.
The attraction of idealism. The initial difficulties presented by the idea of idealism or monism are interpreted as difficulties to be overcome. Full understanding is perhaps an ideal, set at some time in the future.
One has to see how seductive it is. His philosophy produces a justification of his present position, that is to say everything he thinks and feels. There is also the promise of some form of certainty. Coherence theory of truth "the truth is the whole". Thus, despite idealism, a form of truth may be arrived at, even a quite comprehensive form of certainty, like a religious creed. Mind being one, there is a necessity to conform, and progress is a clear reality.
The escape from subjectivism.
Idealism offers at first a great sense of emancipation, insofar as we really believe it. The constraints of the material world appear to be overcome. This astonishing conclusion that everything really is nothing but mind, as something genuinely believed.
This is a bizarre and liberating, but disturbing conclusion. The unlimited freedom it seems to promise is in need of restraint. The restraints proposed by this peculiar coherence theory is more anthropomorphic than that imposed by a material world. It is very like religion with its creeds. Philosophy comes to imply beliefs of a quite particular sort, including those rooted in emotion. The principle of monism gives less freedom, less leeway. Far less in the way of opinions become philosophically indifferent.
It is original, I grant it that. It is far removed from ordinary mysticism, from neoplatonic questions. It might be thought to represent an authoritarian impulse of the individual. The individual believes what he does because he has to do so. He can make this explicit as possible, make it into a system as Hegel does. But what hold does this have on others? One might confront his argument in all sorts of ways.
Hegelian idealism. Common sense restored by a process of conformism. The only escape from the wilderness of solipsism. The only reality is mind because there is no thing in itself. But your judgements are determined. I.e. what you think, what you can think, is not absolutely free, but is determined by the stage consciousness has reached.
Thus there is no reality beyond the judgement itself.
83 In reading Hegel one needs to try and grasp why these somewhat repellent ideas can come to seem so attractive. It is no use simply learning what he says and criticising it, if it is not seen how attractive it can seem.
Part of Hegel's appeal is the same as the appeal of Boehme. Boehme introduced into mysticism what seems like a strikingly original viewpoint., though perhaps influenced by the kabbalah. Hegel seems original in the same sort of way. He is apparently very anti platonic. His view seems more exotic than Buddhism. The anti-thelemic, the full self confidence of the ordinary, the mundane.
Boehme's God is convincing, but the word 'God' is itself a vague and symbolical term. There are natural forces. Without contraries is no progression.
Hegel's idea of spirit is most peculiar. We aspire to make a judgement and find that the substance of our judgement is itself judgement.
Idea of the impossibility of making a beginning. The 'warm bath of Hegel'. Criticism of all previous philosophy therefore.
104 Kant's system has some weak points, concentrating on these Hegel builds up a vast system which seems to negate most of what Kant stood for.
119& Hegel and his difficulty. The Absolute Idea is the viewpoint of complete understanding, His whole philosophy is centred around that, as a theophany centred around God.
135 Hegel and his impenetrability. Sometimes extremely suggestive. At other times almost absurd, as with his philosophy of nature. To understand everything, he says, would take much study, and I am not sure of its value. Of course he is not saying what he sometimes appears to be saying.
The Absolute is Mind, he says, this is the central truth of all religion and philosophy. This is dubious. I would have thought Dionysius the Areopagite had it better in his Mystical Theology.
Hegel writes that mind creates nature by positing it, and discovers a different kind of order than the evolutionary order. What stops you throwing him away in disgust, is that most of the time he does not mean quite this The Absolute Idea just means perfect understanding, the point from which all becomes clear, whether or not we have arrived at that, and that everything else is to be explained outwards from that. Thus an idea that is unconscious of the viewpoint is inadequate, its reality is inadequate, because looked at from a point of view of intellectual understanding it is only a stage in reaching that understanding.
Teleology naturally springs from this. Any earlier idea I had is, from my present viewpoint, inadequate, therefore I have to look at it as self contradictory. It has no reality apart form my present viewpoint, the Idea gives it intelligibility. The idea is Kant's thing in itself, but it is not noumenal but phenomenal, a consideration of all viewpoints and difficulties including radical otherness. And contingency, and yet a mastery or understanding of this. The Absolute Idea is perhaps to be thought of as a judgement, But I lose myself. Everything that can be said about the phenomenon, including its otherness and mystery, that is all the understanding we can get and all that is necessary. This is the viewpoint of the Absolute Idea. This viewpoint gives everything else its sense. Without this viewpoint everything else we can say is one sided, problematic, not fully intelligible. Like a world restricted to phenomena in other philosophies. Conscious of this perspective, the Absolute idea is everything else that seems necessary to us at this point in time. How would I attack this?
145 Appeal of Hegel, Demand for certainty for one's vision. Objecting to the idea of the English empiricists, that certain questions simply do not admit of right and wrong answers.
156&& Hegelian suggestion. The beauty that we find, insofar as it is understood, is to be looked upon as our own creation. What would be error would be to regard the primitive man as superior to ourselves because he seems to live in a way that fulfils our enterprise.
Mind's discovery of itself if we want to be Hegelian. That may sound impoverishing. Hegel discovers a kind of self assertiveness in beauty. Mind created values. The peculiarity of this when it is a bodily beauty of which we are speaking. The understanding of beauty, it should be said, does not in any way diminish it. Hegelian aesthetics.
Fundamental feature of Hegel's idealism, the attack on natural explanations. Which would have the effect of relativising his own tastes and prejudices.
162& Hegel's philosophy strikes me as all self justification, and fallacious throughout.
Hegel's mode of classification. Supposed science. What is its possible value as science? Could it lead to anything in a practical sense, as a successful medical theory could lead to power over the disease, with the object of controlling, limiting and eradicating it?
210 Self justification, as in Hegel or Aquinas seems like dishonesty, a failure to discriminate what there is to discriminate, for a suspect motive.
309 The seeming futility of will. The Hegelian point that your will is more effective than you think it is. Your attention is focussed always upon the next obstacle. The will is a constant itch to remove obstacles.
28, To try and justify a switch from Marxism to Nietzscheanism it might be tempting to use Hegelian rhetorical devices. Such devices are persuasive because they mimic the forms of nature, mathematical patterns regularities, shapes of crystals. One looks for patterns and thinks one has made discoveries.
158, Perspectives, Hegel, Marx, Stirner. The fool does not appear a fool to himself. Whatever I see and understand I do so because of the perspective from which I see it. That which I hate is not hateful to itself. So how can I justify my perspective?
Hegel cannot really abide the existence of that other perspective. He wants to get inside it, undermine it from within.
194, Understanding Hegel via Marx. Hegel I think should be understood in terms of the faith generated by the French revolution. Perhaps we can approach this better via Marx. A vehement rejection of the Nietzschean and Stirnerite view of religious faith, The German Ideology is a key text.
Hegel is the defence of the true believer. The enthusiast against the cynic. Attempting to show that his faith is not an illusion. That the very idea that it is an illusion is only a stage in thought, which he has overcome. Every opposition to himself as a phase which he has managed to overcome in a higher synthesis. The real point of the synthesis being to defend his faith.
Wittgenstein in Moscow, being told to read more Hegel.
Hegelianism is essentially a powerful onslaught upon certain positions. Marx's position also seems to be that Stirner should read more Hegel.
Hegelian triumphalism The aim being to exclude and overcome certain types of criticism.
What the real central content of Hegelianism is, is not necessarily all that important. But it is a type of orthodoxy, some kind of conventional thought. It is a response to the attack on orthodoxy. A defence of slave values.
The attack on orthodoxy holds that the truth of orthodoxy is entirely relative, and that it is essentially a refuge of the weak, dogmatic and irrational. All faiths tend to be treated with contempt, as constraints on the independence of the mind, attractive to mediocrity and inferiority. Aristocratic disdain for the enthusiasms of the mass.
Those who feel at home in conventional thought naturally want to defend it against what threatens to be a demoralising attack.
So the attack is treated as only a phase of thought, one moment on the vast canvas of the rational. Of your opinion it is said that Hegel thought it through many years ago. That it collapses because of its internal contradictions. The true desire is for happiness in conventional thought. This is the driving instinct. The apparent collapse and destruction of the enemy produces a triumphant feeling, which is the true meaning and purpose of Hegelianism.
The confidence it gives to those who want to be conventional
Ak David Macgregor:- The communist ideal in Hegel and Marx
89 To Hegel, Nietzsche's philosophy would be restricted to the mere understanding. A limited mode of thought.
100& Hegel admits his philosophy is there to justify what he calls 'The achievements of thought brought about by the French Revolution'.
The idea. Idea of complete understanding as an end to alienation, an overcoming of otherness, Teleology in history. The idea as now articulated was not present from the beginning. We describe the idea as present in some kind of inchoate form. Deep nihilism and extreme relativism. Whatever it is you now think you could think something different by a process of negation. Feelings and reactions could be learnt, and they could be quite different from what they are. Hegel would try to destroy whatever claim to authority they possess.
117 Hegel and Marx on Kantian understanding. The principle of non-contradiction as characterising 18th century understanding. 18th century understanding, which to me is rationality. Its egoism. Against it, the idea of transcending individualism. That a non individualistic form of experience is possible, is undeniable. That it may be satisfying, is not to be denied either.
Point about Hegel, Unless you are in sympathy with his aims you are unlikely to understand him fully. There are ways of showing you how you might get to it, even if it is at present alien to you. There seems to be the most enormous fallacy. The 'ideal' that is supposed to be the origin of thought is not my idea or desire. All it comes down to is that there is an orthodoxy and a way of bringing you to accept it.
To pass beyond the understanding is to produce something that is not understanding. What is the use of it? From my point of view it is entirely useless. A way of feeling comfortable with orthodoxy perhaps.
122& "Ignorance of the causes, and original constitution of right, equity, law, and justice, disposeth a man to make custom and example the rule of his actions; in such manner as to think that unjust which it hath been the custom to punish; and that just, of the impunity and approbation whereof they can produce an example or (as the lawyers which only use this false measure of justice barbarously call it) a precedent; like little children that have no other rule of good and evil manners but the correction they receive from their parents and masters; save that children are constant to their rule, whereas men are not so; because grown strong and stubborn, they appeal from custom to reason, and from reason to custom, as it serves their turn, receding from custom when their interest requires it, and setting themselves against reason as oft as reason is against them: which is the cause that the doctrine of right and wrong is perpetually disputed, both by the pen and the sword: whereas the doctrine of lines and figures is not so; because men care not, in that subject, what be truth, as a thing that crosses no man's ambition, profit, or lust. For I doubt not, but if it had been a thing contrary to any man's right of dominion, or to the interest of men that have dominion, that the three angles of a triangle should be equal to two angles of a square, that doctrine should have been, if not disputed, yet by the burning of all books of geometry suppressed, as far as he whom it concerned was able." (Leviathan)
Hobbes. I think this is very relevant to Hegel's rejection of 'the understanding consciousness'. Hegelianism is so successful because the desire to repudiate the conclusions of the understanding consciousness is so strong. The is so called 'ideality'. Hence Hegel's appalling obscurity. He cannot use the method of the understanding because that uses a standard of rationality that he rejects. Ideality' is a kind of motive force towards a desired conclusion, with every intention of giving 'the devil his due' along the way.
Inconstancy of the mind, He undermines the idea that there is any stability in present feeling. Maybe there is not, but from here there are various directions that may be taken.
From Magregor p128:- "It became urgent to justify thought with reference to the results it had produced" (Hegel means here the French Revolution) and this "constituted one of the main problems of philosophy".
When is a hidden motive not a hidden motive? When it is unpalatable. Some people feel threatened by certain ideas and their power. Others feel happy and satisfied with those same ideas.
In place of the egoistic interpretations of the 18th century, we have a collectivist type of explanation in what was thought of as the illusion is taken form reality.
So all the discoveries of the psychologists are taken as void. etc etc
150 Hegel and Kant. Hegel teaching us to love Big Brother. Morality with Kant is set against the individual will. It is something to which one conforms, insofar as one desires to be moral. Hegel sees it as something one should love, that should immediately chime in with inclination.
208 Even if the main thrust of his philosophy is unacceptable, people still find him modern and relevant. How can this be? His claim to have given a complete logical and historical survey of all the forms of thought. How can this be convincing? In the obscurity of Hegel there is something resembling a mystical idea that there is something to be understood at the very centre. Along the way there are flashes of understanding through all the sketches of the general form of ideas. As if Hegel had already thought everything. His air of knowingness.
269 'Hegel would not have the slightest trouble dealing with Stirner'. Of course he wouldn't on an intellectual level he could easily fit him into his scheme. Stirner fits Hegel into his. Marxist attack on Nietzsche or Stirner, as indeed with any of his opponents, is to say that they speak only from a class perspective, that their whole claim to truth just comes from identification with a doomed class. This is his whole argument.
In a sense Hegel is invulnerable. Stirner might convince others by creating a hatred for Hegel so that one does not even want to take the first step with him,. Creating invulnerable ideologies. This may be acceptable so long as it is quite clear what one is doing.
315 Loving Big Brother. Concept of the totalitarian. See how Hegel claims that his own philosophy is about freedom, when from my point of view it seems about the reverse. Hegel is about conversion, total conversion. The person who was totally converted would not feel oppressed or unfree, consequently he would feel free. If one rejects this one establishes another myth, the Gnostic myth, in which there is an oppressive demiurge which it is necessary to escape. A standard of reference claiming superiority to the demiurge,
342 Get this whole progress doctrine out into the open, to expose it for all its intellectual elaboration.
364 At least Kantian morality contains a reservation. Hegel wants to do away even with that.
al Introduction to the lectures on the history of Philosophy.
73& Possibility. The difference in what is posited. How it is possible to be anti-Hegel. One objects to Hegel because of his assertion of a single possibility whereas knowledge is that of the coexistence of different possibilities. It is the type of modern consciousness Hegel asserts. One is to prepared to assert a modern consciousness based upon knowledge, but it is knowledge of possibility rather than living a particular one.
105 Much of his thought is a game, not logically rigorous at all. Once again removed from defending itself against opponents.
In objecting to his idea of the deliverances of reason, could I say there are no such deliverances? Or rather that they are very different from what he says they are? Understanding of possibility rather than specific possibility. But this is itself possibility.
Dialectic. The ways a possibility confronts a counter possibility, to make a third, the synthesis. This movement of the mind, as if the one mind is right all along. It is not that there is not a truth. There is no contradiction in reality.
121 Hegel is obviously aware of other concepts of truth. Presumably he is a first rate historian of philosophy.
Penetrating to the heart of mystical enlightenment by exclusively rational means.
155 As mood enhancer there is nothing wrong with music. What is wrong is when it lends itself to Hegelian interpretations. People's opinions of themselves. The same confidence can be applied to different opinions. It can be destruction of opinion. Music is a whore. How it can seem to demand conformity, with the ecstatic promise of complete emotional satisfaction. Song of the sirens.
199 Pretentiousness begins with Hegel, who tried to replace religion
229*& Hegel's Introduction, the clearest exposition of his philosophy in its appeal and its originality, Inventing a religion, making the modern feel the wisest and deepest richest child of time. His rejection of all esotericism.
The hope he provides that every desirable aim can be accomplished in a right understanding of the present. To be charged with infinite meaning.
This fanatical exoterism, a self inflation, an awful smugness. "that every prig ought to be a Hegelian". A religion that makes everything you do and have done part of the progress towards some infinitely valuable goal, the achievement of a most desirable purpose.
No one could have understood Hegel who does not understand the force of this emotional appeal, the power of this new religion which aims to raid all the treasures of time. The magic here. That no secret has been lost, that everything is contained in the most modern philosophy.
That philosophy is the fullest rational explicitness of what was implicit in religion.
This magical meaningfulness of all action.
Deep and rich. Only subjective emotions, though it can take a long time to see this.
It is very like being the worshiper of a god. Actually very Hebraic.
He aims to empty the content from all the mysteries. Now, he says, is the deepest and richest.
All culture is like manifestations of philosophy.
Every excitement one may imagine from contemplating any form, and cultural manifestation from the past, is said to be present, now, in only a deeper and richer form , if only we understand the present and its most advanced philosophy.
History reveals exciting possibility which we feel we have already appropriated, and that everything we do is obscurely aimed towards this most desirable goal.
'The Absolute Idea' a rational replacement for God, a supposedly rational explication of religion.
The acts that it sanctifies are those of the most enthusiastic commitment to modernity, a fanatical surrender to the zeitgeist.
Nature of this religion. Intense consciousness of history, involvement, action. But whatever one does, whatever one feels involved in doing is made intensely meaningful. For the most up to date philosophy reveals all the treasure of time.
This fantastic conceit. Is it any more of an illusion than the neoplatonic or the Buddhist scheme?
To me they seem more plausible as religions. And far better defined.
235& Thinking of philosophies, the kabbalah, Lullism. With computers, this kind of philosophy should become more accessible to us.
The emotional basis for Hegelianism, the progress heresy, the fanatical young man excited by the latest ideas. Hegelianism cannot contain all the wisdom of the past, that would be ridiculous. What it can do is at best to offer a kind of index to any past idea. Any past idea can be used to feed present complacency. This is not to say there is not a genuine scholarly impulse here.
Explicating the symbolism of religion. See how one might do the same for gnosticism, the very thing that Hegel abhors.
Question of how to persuade, where to begin in explicating your ideas.,
Progress fanaticism. History as magic,. Magical weapons to achieve great effects.
One could make a philosophy like a reference book, or dictionary. In the form of a computerised database one could refer instantaneously. One could browse through it with qvs.
For an idea to become effective when the opposite idea has an equal claim is downright oppression. Hegel writes of religion revealing its rational content. Satanism can reveal its rational content.
Against Hegel, magic, rational magic. All the treasure of the past. The ideal of rational magic is to gain access to it by specific acts of will.
This is the magical and the neoplatonic aim. Not the all encompassing systematised emotion of the Hegelians. No great concern about 'the Absolute' or the objective of which all other objectives are a part. There can be some quite specific and limited objectives.
244 Articulation of ideas. Hegel's completed system. How the end comes before the beginning. All his concepts, which he admits he doesn't prove, What to me seems the implausibility. Boehme is more plausible because he does not pretend to be rational. Is Hegel only appropriate to a state of excitement?
Hypothesis, pedantry, the description of opinions that Hegel says is such futile erudition. How to get a handle on having any effect?
Similarity between Hegel and the kabbalah. Hegel, Fichte, Kant. Peculiar kind of triumphalism that Hegel aims to explicate. Conflict of views and opinions. The conflict that is almost endless. Languages, interpretations. A kind of promise held out by Hegel that certain propositions will be proved.
The main difficulty of Hegel. Also his interest. His claim to have advanced beyond Kant, to be the most up to date, most modern, of all philosophies. This is the central mystery of his claim, and why he has to be understood.
259 Hegel's book is actually very good, he impresses by the great power of his intellect. Sometimes he infuriates, like when he talks of spirit. Obviously he is very deep rooted in Kant and Fichte and cannot be well understood without them.
Kant's practical reason. Access to the thing in itself, seen as a supreme triumph of the mind. And as satisfying the most complete desire for the union of subjective and objective, for absolute knowledge, the absolute in the particular a mystery, prefigured in the Christian scheme of incarnation and the infinitude yet determinacy of God.
He makes this the most pressing human need, this discovery of final truth. The bankruptcy of 'the understanding' yet a kind of metaphysics following on from that.
The appeal of Hegel as experienced by someone like Marx. How convincing he seemed.
Proving orthodoxy is made indeed into a kind of miracle. Admittedly not possible on the level of argument, the understanding. But considered an immensely desirable thing to do. Getting there is an achievement of the 'reason' it is getting home. Something miraculous to be done of which Kant showed the way. And Fichte developed further.
Finding Hegel plausible and exciting, that is the measure of understanding him. It is not sufficient to see errors in him. To understand him is to see how he can seem to be entirely right, it is to see the desire he appeals to, the motive, to see Boehme and the kabbalah in him. My motives are opposite, so in many ways similar.
The certainty he has discovered, in which he locates all his triumph, is nothing, it reflects his time, the convincing nature of Kantian philosophy. Any previous certainty would have done.
The conquest of objectivity is like Kant's access to the thing in itself, though expressed differently, presented as the supreme aim, the most desirable and satisfying achievement. What it means is discovery of ultimate truth in the particular, like in a particular set of doctrines laws and institutions. Impossible to 'the understanding' it is expressed in religious terms as the Christian mystery. It is the task of 'reason' and has considered to have been done in Hegel's philosophy. Something admittedly difficult, but nonetheless desirable.
281 It is Hegel's insistence on morality that sounds so intensely priggish. What religion should not do is to give support to the the shockable brigade however imaginary.
171 Walsh:- Hegelian Ethics.
Hegel's motive is in some ways opposite to Nietzsche's. His immense skill lies in his awareness of opposing positions and his efforts to deal with them. At the very centre of Hegel's thought is a collectivist enthusiasm which is deeply anti-English and which I find thoroughly detestable. Almost the essence of what is detestable, the most detestable thing, Like the philosophy of the police informer. Appealing to the most repulsive of human motives. Whereas much of what he says is good and reasonable, always he wants to draw you further than that, right into his nastiest beliefs like surrender of individuality into some horrible mood of self satisfied priggish obedience that is one of the worst characteristics of the Germans. A mood that sets them so clearly apart from the English and around which patriotic feelings may therefore flourish.
There is a type of Protestantism that identifies precisely that collectivist self abnegation with the Catholicism it most opposes, Many of the historical phases Hegel talks about we can understand, perhaps approve, but he wants to drive us on to his final destination.
That there is no one like Hegel around today, what does that signify? Dialectics, was it of value?
191 "He conceives the 'will to power' as the heir to western decadence, but only if it is the all encompassing monistic principle of Being can it also be seen as a redemption from nihilism. It is because they saw it in those terms as disease and cure alike that countless German intellectuals espoused national socialism, that ideology which promised the will's greatest unfolding'. Stern "Nietzsche' p83-4.
Hegelianised Nietzsche. The idea that a philosophy can give some very specific advice as to how to live and direct your energies ... this conception that Hegel insists upon, this specificity of belief. What Stern writes here is typical rubbish. Turning a simple rational doctrine into something altogether different.
301 Schopenhauer and Nietzsche. How important is life affirmation versus life negation? Not, I think the real point at dispute. The Schopenhauerian pleasure in art can so easily be reinterpreted in a Nietzschean sense. Nietzsche's real opponent is not life negation but morality of the weak. See how this is experienced as life negation, or life negation is experienced as this. See how Wagner, for all his promise of pleasure is experienced as life negation. Because present feeling present desire is to be negated.. the future happiness is promised not in terms of fulfilment of present desires.
The enemy is no more Hegel than Schopenhauer. Hegel, Mcluhan, Nordau, Marx. The sleight of hand.
Yet desire is in terms of identification with a present desire. i.e. this perspective and its urge to triumph. Through this perspective we are to look, & it is the enemy of all materialism, of that which would base our beliefs and values in something outside thought. Hegel, though an idealist, bases the values certainly in something outside present thought.
The Hegelian is committed to the opposite of everything I believe, though he tries hard as he can to include me. The shoring up of an orthodox position, the defence of gregarious spirit.
310& One & the same work of art
be enjoyed in a Nietzschean or a Schopenhauerian way. Way of slave or of
master. Schopenhauer is not very different from N. What Sch sees as the rejection of life is for N. the rejection of life lived under certain conditions. The aesthetic experience to Sch an escape from the will is to N. an escape from those conditions. But for Hegel it is an exemplification of his own idea. He scribbles his name over it, so to speak.
Mcluhanism is a sort of vulgar Hegelianism. Interesting because it is so much clearer, yet many of the same motives operate. The tyrant Wagner, the tyrant Hegel. Holding out against them. Some kind of orthodoxy as expressing the will to power of the tyrant. And those under the tyrant's spell.
320 History of Philosophy vol. 1
Hegel on the sophists. That I admit to be very good and interesting. It lets me understand much more of his spell. I think that in speaking of Hegel, I shall have to do it more seriously and carefully than hitherto. Nietzsche has to express himself in a way that can defeat Hegel.
Hegel speaks of questions I find discussed by no one else. At his core I still find nihilism. He holds reason can prove anything. But from this he still generates a duality, self interest or the universal.
He will include every idea as mere hypothesis. Nothing has not been thought of.
Idea of the sophists as progress. Way of life of the Athenian citizen. Leisure, civilised discussion, exercise. The citizen could be a handicraftsman but he would have workers to work for him.
But Hegel says we do not live like that now, But that was the way to live. Creative political thought., Only life worthy of a free man.
Hegel tries to include all possible ideas and puts them in a certain order. Historical order he could put it. Admittedly this order could be different, but what sense could there be in altering it?
Idea that all prigs should be Hegelians (William James). A revolting pleasure to which Hegel appeals, little Jack Hornerism, sanctimonious self satisfaction. His dialectical history recreates to a great extent the experience of the child. The child goes through radically opposed attitudes in the same day. He will be naughty and rebellious, then perhaps he will be good as gold, on the side of authority. Both states he may enjoy. The pleasure in obedience is viewed in Anglo Saxon culture as rather disgusting and despicable. It is canine. In German culture it seems it is widely regarded as legitimate, even laudable. Hence some of the paradoxes of the German character. Think of the pleasures available to the sneak. Warm approval by authority and schadenfreude felt at those condemned by it.
Thus, for Hegel, much of his patriotic feeling, something so different from English patriotic feeling which is independent and rebellious. Hegel's patriotic pride is something altogether more revolting. An unhealthy, what should be an illicit, feeling. Such feeling serves no real useful propose. There is a confusion of means and ends. What is at best a by product of a useful emotion is made itself an end.
See how he approves the condemnation of Socrates, as well as Socrates. He sees this as tragedy. Really it is a revolting sycophantic attitude towards authority. Thought evolving by means of contradiction. This very concept is itself slavish. It accepts the possibility of a complete change of mind, like the child. This peculiar conception of tragedy. Like an ignoble conception, identifying with the chorus rather than the hero.
Little Jack Horner said "what a good boy am I!'. This feeling of his, which children may sometimes have, is at best a by product of good behaviour. Good behaviour is valued for reasons of order and general utility, not for its capacity to promote this feeling. The emotional parameters that make up the life promoted. A child-like life, over which there is an ultimate parental authority, understood as education for your own good. His philosophy is a perpetuation of this approach.
45, Plato's refutation of scepticism. Not so much a refutation as a demonstration of the need for philosophic certainty. A demonstration that it is not satisfactory to attempt to be content with scepticism, that if intellectual potential is to work freely and vigorously there needs to be a foundation of that which is sure. In that we have one of the intellectual justifications for Christianity. The actual content Plato put into the form of philosophic certainty, the need for which he had discovered, was indeed unsatisfactory, there was the strong coercive element that reappeared so much later in Hegel, the move from the general to the particular.
63&, The good part of Hegel's philosophy deals with how the understanding may come to terms with the hard world outside. But he is not content to leave this unparticularised, his ego intrudes into his philosophy so that he seriously maintains that pure logic leads inexorably to a view of the world which is exactly the same as his own. His philosophy has a tremendous appeal, largely because of the regrettable concreteness. People love to be told what to think and feel while thinking of themselves as free. This is the root of the appeal of certain forms of Christianity.
37, Hegel, which, I would say, is also really depressing. Hegel, the rationale behind the lure. His ingenuity. The contaminator, contaminating everything modern with an alluring mystery and promise of erotic satisfaction. Once you penetrate the mystery of Hegel, get behind to the one simple idea or motive, then you have penetrated the secret of all this mystery, this lure, and you can be free of it. Refuting Hegel. To prove the importance of a logic other than historical logic.
While Nietzsche following Hegel, praises Napoleon for introducing a heroic motive into life, I despise that heroic motive As the English or the Russians see it, this conscription into a military ideal is just a gross interference into private business. People's private businesses are enough in themselves, war spreads devastation all round.
327, Hegel, Wagner, Like the orthodoxy of ordinary society, though vastly intensified.
253, Hegel, abolition of thing in itself, truth to be found through phenomena (through the interactions of superficialities?) Sometimes Hegel troubles me, because he seems absurd, and totally incredible, a mythmaker. Where then the ground of his huge appeal? I suppose he deals with the mystic quest, which he turns into a worldly thing. Opposition to the criticism of conformity perhaps, which is why he appeals to the Russian communists, sweeping the ground from under the feet of dissidents. Annihilation of all objective standards, an extreme anti-Platonism. Also an apology for all degrees of imperfection.
Hegel, truth cannot be perceived as a whole, only in an aspect. There is a wisdom in this, notably the Satan principle.
259&&, The Absolute Idea. Instead of the thing in itself, the Idea, a final understanding of the nature of reality. Hegel's best appeal is surely where he is most indebted to Boehme, the dialectic or doctrine of contraries. On one level of thought and experience every plausible theory about reality is immediately contradicted by its opposite. Whatever is left out has an equal claim on our attention.
Hegel's Logic, every statement has the Absolute for its subject, of course the Absolute is the ghost of the thing in itself. Bradley, to my mind, does Hegelianism a good turn by turning it into something rather like a private religion, divorcing it from history and the progress doctrine and from 'contradictions in reality'. Hegel's logic is circular and thus has no compulsory hold on our attention. For Bradley, the Absolute, or organising our judgements in accord therewith, is almost a karmic thing, very much like having our goal on instinctual perfection. Much like the thing in itself, a more completely satisfying explanation, one involving our feelings as much as our logic. …
The idea of a complete explanation as coming thorough contradictions. .. The point at which we chose certainty is above all dogmatisms of two dimensional logic. See how Stirner comes out to Hegel. He too is concerned with all the conflicting and contradictory ideas which purport to explain the world and how to relate to it.
Kant demanded a new kind of explanation over and above that provided by empirical philosophy. What we might call the religious explanation. Hegel does not want something narrow, but he does want some kind of unanimity, or consensus on particular issues. Therefore his puerile progress theory.
How can the absolute idea be the motive force of history? Through dialectical struggle perhaps even we would call it the will to power. "Spirit' a kind of anthropomorphic force.
No unknowable thing in itself. The ultimately satisfactory answer. The Absolute is revealed in phenomena, or is ever more nearly approached. The answer, that is, is an idea in the mind, something that has to evolve out of a synthesis of all the contrary directions in which reality seems to blow us.
264 Enlightenment. How with my basic outlook I find enlightenment in out of the way places. Hegel's denial of this would be profoundly depressing if one were to believe it. His idea that the past may be dispensed with because it is contained in the present.
And yet there persists the feeling that one might arrive at a true concept of enlightenment by denying his errors. But that would be to draw closer to him.
335 Kojeve. Idea of the desire for recognition as the crucial thing. The gregarious mentality this appeals to. Overwhelming motive.
340& Idea of progress, that every stage of history contains contradictions which have to be resolved in the future, that organic development is progressive. But it is not progressive. Every end always was, is now and ever shall be.
Fukuyama's Hegelianism. His Napoleonism. A kind of aristocratic prejudice.
91 Modernity of the revolution. How we still live under its spell.
Originality of the Jacobins, following Rousseau.
Magic and illusion. How such a great movement, so emotionally powerful, productive and inspiring was rooted in such illusionism. This idea of creating reality, this was new in the world. See it put onto philosophical form in the philosophy of Hegel.
216 Old dispute between Plato and Hegel that of eternal truth or historical truth. To be ruled by fashion is Hegelian. A society which submits to a constantly mutating fashion. Alternatively one that aspires to some objective system of ideas is platonic in inspiration.
255 Reinterpretation of prophecy from Joachim to Hegel and Marx. Thus the concerns of one generation are continuously linked to the very different concerns of another.
35, Bakunin, and the Hegelian origins of the mystique of destruction
41/49, (JN Findlay:- Hegel a Re-examination) Hegel on Freedom and Necessity. A very different conception of freedom from my own. Understanding oneself as most fully realised in what happens of necessity. "While Spinoza sees freedom merely in the realisation of one's union with the necessity and infinity of the universe, Hegel rather sees it in the extension of one's nature so as to take in all the relationships and influences that impinge on it from without. We are free, for Spinoza, by losing ourselves in the universe: we are free for Hegel since the only Universe there can be is in us." This is a pillar of the doctrine that we should involve ourselves with the historical movements of the day. We can be free while fanatics. Great appeal of Hegel that he offers a new religion for the intellectuals of the western world. Enlightenment in action rather than in contemplation, one might say it confuses the two spheres in a disastrous manner.
" the central message of Hegelianism, that 'otherness' in all its forms exists only to call forth the energies, and to intensify the self awareness, of Spirit". Surely this doctrine is borrowed from Fichte, just as the essential principle of the dialectic is borrowed from Boehme.
Totally conditioned, the individual discovers his freedom in understanding all his conditioning as having no other function but to bring about his own complete fulfilment. Hegel thus produces a doctrine that is totally satisfying to the arrogance of the ego.
"the carrying out of the Infinite end consists therefore merely in overcoming the illusion which makes it seem as yet unaccomplished." (Hegel) The vast complexity of the Dialectic is a means of allowing the ego to arrive at this position without evident self delusion and insanity. Hegel is showing us the intellectual moves we must make if we are to arrive at a position of total smugness. Marxism rejects Christianity and mysticism but its roots go back through Hegel to Boehme and thence to God knows what.
"When one says that a contradiction is not thinkable, it is rather the case that in the pain of a living organism...."
"In the Idea the Notion achieves freedom, and for the sake of this freedom must include the toughest opposition in itself" (Hegel)
Hegel is praised for his 'non contemplative ideals' but his philosophy of immanence is worse than transcendentalism, for action is not allotted its proper sphere of its own, but so bogged down with contemplation that there is hardly any escape from a superfluity of conscious 'meaning'.
Some Hegelian concepts are very useful. To evolve to the full I must transform myself into pure spirit, an intelligible essence.
Contrast his optimism with Freud's pessimism. The experience of satisfaction can take place though certain energy is still dammed up. Compare the mystics. The reality principle can be something which is enjoyed, in the Fichtean sense. Such enjoyment of a higher quality than Freud's mechanical theory would allow.
Hegel reduces the tension of desire and discharges it harmlessly in a rigid conservatism. He may not realise that he changes the direction of the desire, which conceptually speaking he has no right to do. Compare Freud's definition of religion as dammed up libido. Hegel, freedom as the understanding of necessity. Somewhere he made a false move, which led to a static smugness. Slip away from the dynamic of infinite desire. Having understood the limitation on desire, he is content to abandon desire, and cleave instead to the limitation. At some point the individual is to agree to be ruled by an intellectual interpretation of himself.
20, Identification of the real and the rational. How can we see this Hegelianism as having such a strong appeal? It was this 'rational' which made life meaningful, following Kant and Fichte. This 'rational;' is to be integrated into a possible 'rational' life, which can only be some identification of the 'rational with the 'real'. But Hegel purports to identify freedom with constraint, with something arrived and independently of the rational process. The real is made rational to satisfy our craving for spiritual meaning. So Marx claims the highest spiritual value for his artificially constructed society. Real world as existing to draw out our energies. From Fichte. We believe what it suits us to believe….Unlike other philosophic doctrines it infuses certain of man's activities with an intense religious meaning. State worship, a Prussian instinct which had to be integrated into philosophy.
42, Hegelian stupidity, comparable to Michurinism in genetics. The real source of change lies deeper than the obvious and the actual. The surface presentation of history, as with journalism, yields no real understanding. Hegel provides a false logic to prove necessary connections between phenomena that are not really applicable. The European is not one mutating developing soul, he is a lot of different lives, activities and outlooks, some of which will surface into newsworthiness and popular fame. Those which 'surface' always do so only temporarily. Only the most superficial people always remain attached to the surface,
51, Reality constituted by an idea of the understanding. This turns philosophy into a pedantic attempt to justify life on an intellectual basis. It makes life subservient to intellectual idea, ideas which philosophers elaborate and expect us to accept. Experience itself is subordinated before an intellectual concept which it is the task of philosophers to elaborate. Some find this denial of the facts of experience incredible and irrelevant, refusing to accept that individual experience only has reality and meaning in the light of the philosopher's dialectics, rejecting the claim to authority that he makes.
6&, Hegelianism as an attempt to maintain the ruling power of cliques, cultural as well as political, by denying they are subject to rational criticism. This looks like freedom to the group in control and fosters an uncritical acceptance on behalf of the population as a whole of ideas which are too obscure even to be rationally expressed. We are expected to 'move with the times' in a kind of shadow play.
104, Hegel the logical and Hegel the biological. The biological is an irrationalist, and it is that one who adversely influenced the Birth of Tragedy. As for the logical, I have been a bit like that myself lately, seeing everything in terms of thought, the pain of contradictions which have to be resolved and when they are feel better.
256, Hegel, Rousseau. The strong appeal of those ideas to many people. Kant, Fichte, the moral life as somehow filling a gap. Making each the slave of all. Obeying 'reason'.
One source of collectivism is the idea that the individual really does not exist.
The idea of the Absolute ego. The ultimate source of all reality as the totality of human consciousness, i.e. my impulses and desires are subject to the culture in which I am born, I am to obey reason, at the level at which it has reached in the culture. We are all to be slaves of reason, if you like. All criticism is to be mediated via 'reason' which is something upheld in the public forum as the highest point of culture and progress. If you wish to disobey 'reason' you will have to argue your point publicly.
Egoism is reduced to the status of a mere one-sided and limited idea. Above it is 'reason'. Hegel teaches, or presupposes, that reason can tell us how to live.
The idea that there is a gap between will and being (if that expresses it clearly). That one needs an ought to find completeness and self fulfilment. Something in the German character.
363, Copleston:- Fichte to Hegel, History of Philosophy, vol. 7 part 1 Hegel as making a consistent system out of the inconsistent yet seminal musings of Schelling. Basic simplicity of Hegel's thought. Aristotle's God, an awareness of awareness. Something very similar to this is what Hegel conceives as the purpose and explanation of the universe, only it is immanent and not transcendent and revealed in the act of philosophising (i.e. thinking it). Triadic nature of he dialectic. Essential, really in giving systematic order to his speculation. It can become a mechanical process, but any metaphysical interpretation of reality has to conform to some simple pattern.
Schelling. New conception of the relation between the ideal and the real, that the whole reaches its end and significance in the philosophical understanding of man. Fichte with his Absolute Ego manages to express a very different point of view, one I find far more sympathetic. …the 'ego is not merely the subjective ego, but this is only because the subjective ego breaks down as a concept. And Fichte's philosophy of moral action is not unsympathetic if we emphasise the action rather than the moral. It could move to something like Thelema. Hegel's Absolute, however, is a different concept, arrived at via being rather than via ego.
I find Hegel's conception of the unhappy consciousness, as standing between Scepticism and Christianity, most interesting. It recalls St Augustine, and consumerist atomism. It offers an explanation for the rise of Christianity. Also relevant to Marx of TheGerman Ideology.
Explanation of he relation between the real and the ideal, of mind and matter. That the purpose of it all is that you should be here, now, understanding what is going on. For what is God but thought thinking about itself? The revelation is precisely that you should be here now, thinking that. For that to have happened it is needful that there be mind, and that there should have been a long history, as there was. All that is to have its meaning in terms of this, to be considered as the necessary ground for this,. That is the kind of explanation we are to consider satisfying and rational. Surely it can only appeal to a certain kind of mind?
To me the very presuppositions are so profoundly unsympathetic. I genuinely dislike the cast of Hegel's mind, though I can admire many of his insights. I dislike him more than I dislike most of his followers.
His philosophy was clever, but to me quite incredible. Yet it is very seminal We could suggest that his consistency is achieved at the cost of ambiguity. One may make sense of his basically simple system in various ways.
From Absolute Ego to Absolute . The process of understanding in a sense reversed. Fichte begins with something rather like the clear light or the union of Brahman Atman. That is to say that something resembling an apprehension of truth is his starting point. Such is Hegel's finishing point. Fichte teaches pride and arrogance, Hegel teaches humility. He directs us to his apprehension by a kind of censorship, a systematic exclusion of possibilities. This is the real significance of such retrospective teleology. He is the great philosopher of orthodoxy, ….Perhaps Schelling was the weak link in the philosophical chain, the one who introduced religion into philosophy at the expense of rigorous argument. To make him consistent is perhaps not necessarily to participate in an unbroken chain of great philosophers. The chain of rigorous argument had been broken.
Hegel as compared with St Paul. Each produced a system or set of ideas which was extremely influential and which aroused the enthusiasm of psychological types very different from themselves.
27 Lenin and Hegel. Hegel follows Rousseau follows the Jesuits.
95 Kant's thing in itself is thought of in various ways. Hegel makes it into the whole world of phenomena, as in Bradley, the logical subject of everything not a mysterious shadowy impenetrable entity, the same in every case, but one thing in itself, the subject of every judgement.
171 Hegel the philosopher for those afraid of enlightenment, or those to stupid to reach it. The civilisation of Greece and Rome, founded on sound egoistic principles. Such an outlook underlies Machiavelli. In Hobbes it is not true to say there is intellectual dishonesty, because the reasoning is so clear, and the origin of moral values is frankly placed in egoistic motives. There is however the beginning of a blurring. By the time of Hegel, egoistic enlightenment is completely obscured. The moral value has become something to be pursued for its own sake, something with a life of its own. It is even considered a matter of fair argument whether this old man of the sea is to be preferred to self interest.
Hobbes endeavours to destroy the moral arguments for rebelling. Hegelianism as essentially an form of obscurantism. 'The real is the rational' this is really nonsensical. An attempt to close of all options but that which happens to be present. This springs from fear of intellectual freedom, of enlightenment, which is dismissed as 'cynicism' or egoism.
202 Hegelianism as philosophy of fear and mystification. A false rationale of changing values. Hegel as anti-Nietzsche. Philosophy of the fooled and those willing to be fooled. Underdog philosophy.
I don't think Bradley can justly be regarded as a mere Hegelian, he lacks the essential viewpoint of Hegelianism which is its link up with history, his idea of the unfolding of history and of contradiction in reality. We can see Hegelianism as appealing to a certain class of people, those who do not wish to stand outside the shifting pattern of opinion. To justify immersion in the shifting pattern it is considered sufficient to show the causes of each change in a logical manner. This is to show that wherever happens is right, that progress is inevitable,
Hegelianism as mysticism might be an escape from this endless chain, an escape into pure forms of logic. This would be an enlightenment in an essentially unenlightened culture. Like sufism, or the various mysticisms of religion.
Bradley seems to use the logic as a kind of antenna for psychic wholeness.
Hegel's logic shows that in any specific idea there seems to be an imbalance, a shortcoming which is not supposed to affect his own philosophy, or it would negate itself. Therefore consciousness must be a constant process of change,
This is normally used to justify immersion in the process of change
Bradley uses it for what seems to be contrary purpose, to insist on an awareness of the whole in everything we do, not to look to the particular for the realisation of truth but to feel the total limitation of everything particular.
In this respect Bradley is the opposite of Marx, though I suspect Marx was closer to Hegel than Bradley was. Bradley detaches Hegel from history. Hegel is for those who want to justify change as right, and who thereby need to explain change by means of the concept of a mutating truth. Hegel explains why it mutates by showing why each particular truth is inadequate. Yet this naturally leads to something like Marxism where the inadequacy of a truth comes down to the understanding of the forces which cause change, Logical adequacy fuses with practical adequacy. And thus it must be if whatever is right.
210& Idea of changing the direction of the western intellectual consciousness away from Hegel and towards Nietzsche and Wittgensteinian logic.
218 Idea that the present is perfect and that modern man has it easily within his capacity to be as fulfilled as anyone in the past. The idea that the ideal is instantly available, A very continental idea, and not one that makes for happiness. My desires are infinite, how could I be satisfied? I cannot fool myself that I am living in an ideal way, give my life an artificial form and rationality to it. Atmosphere of smugness in modern European culture, as if the modern must necessarily be as good as the best of the past. A destructive error, leading to sterility.
115, Kierkegaard reacting against Hegel, certainly reacting against a pseudo-rationalism, but on what are perhaps rather suspect grounds. Stirner also reacted against Hegel's essences but in a very different way, his aim was to dominate them after having shown their insubstantiality, Kierkegaard just wishes to escape them. He escapes into a kind of subjectivism where he is immune from criticism
Hegel's of course is a gregarious philosophy, we are expected to conform to the concepts prevalent in the society around us, and to derive our meaning in life from these. Kierkegaard was an introvert reacting against this, but still under its spell. He conceded the Hegelian significance of essence, but said that existence precedes essence, a sentence of which the meaning is far from immediately clear. He means that we may disregard these Hegelian concepts, it is not that they have no meaning, but that we have the right to take no notice of them, reason oppresses, so we have the right to dispense with reason. Who would dispute that we have this right? Kierkegaard thus appears as one of the champions of freedom against oppression. He has pinpointed a form of oppression that perpetrated by something claiming to be reason.
Disregarding these essences means disregarding the necessity to communicate. We can preoccupy ourselves with whatever ideas we like , aiming at 'the salvation of the soul'. Etc etc
275, There is no dialectic. Hegel represents a will to conformity, and Marx is his natural successor. If thought is to conform to some particular line it must be made to depend on something outside reason. The system of Hegel and the system of the Jesuits, both admired by Dali. The Jesuits also admired by Crowley and Hitler. In presenting two sides of a dialectical antithesis we are left with pure possibilities. Each of these could develop to provide a foundation. We can make a third possible foundation by constructing a new synthesis but this is just as arbitrary as the others. What we are to use as a foundation depends on the forces that happen to be operating on us at any one time, and this varies from individual to individual. It was the discovery of empiricism and positivism that none of these forces have any compelling rational force. They are not rational, thy have little to do with reason as such.
…………Can we synthesise every idea that has be thought up to now? The suggestion is nonsensical. The most we can do is synthesise prevalent cultural forces, by conforming to them.
There is no dialectic because any one of innumerable ideas could provide a sure foundation. What we choose to regard as a foundation is arbitrary. Hegel has a scheme for making us decide, he decides to synthesise all the prevalent cultural forces. Therefore Marx and class conflict. The synthesis is only better in that it is more of a balance between conflicting motives. This means conflicting motives within society if one's aim is to induce conformity. The dialectic is at best a rhetorical device. There is no halfway house between rational and irrational
1, The Anti-Hegel. Hegel is interesting partly as a philosopher and partly for his role in the history of religion. Marx, the successor of Hegel, is interesting for his role in the history of religion
108&, Man is born free but everywhere he is in chains' Hegel disagrees with this fundamentally. How would Hegel remove the chains? By creating a culture in which everything is immediately acceptable to the emotions. Hegel says that it is only in relation to the obstacles it encounters, the 'chains' that the self has any existence at all. He follows the generally totalitarian thrust of Rousseau's conception of the general will.
An alternative view. The self is full of lust, & that its character is merely the channel through which the lust flows. Always there must be a channel, the channels are the various characters of women and men. The self is not concerned to 'exist' or the 'realise itself', it is concerned with the object of its lust. To know thyself is to know the channel thought which the lust flows. This means to understand the way the self reacts to the obstacles it encounters. Hegel's view seems to entail that a man in a concentration camp is perhaps the freest and most enviable of all. His encounter with 'otherness' is extreme. This cannot be right.
Hegel makes self knowledge a supreme value, Rousseau does the same for emotional expression. It is a mistake to call Nietzsche's a philosophy of self realisation. Hegel's is the philosophy of self realisation. Nietzsche's is a philosophy of instinct satisfaction.
69 Hegel is right when he treats the resistance we find ourselves to be faced with as in a way uniquely necessary and desirable, but this has to be said with qualification Things like crushing poverty, backbreaking toil, surely cannot be so included. What is meant, I think is that we cannot wish ourselves out of time. Every age, even the most debased, calls on us for a characteristic resistance, the overcoming of that are the heart of the time, & that which remains of it, that which we value in an age. Inspired perhaps by the past we have our own tasks, and if we fail to meet them we fail
41, Hegel and resistances. When we feel all the suffering we have been through is for the best. The strength we gain through suffering. Of course we need to suffer, to encounter resistances. But own resistances are of unique importance.
Why is it that all my suffering and my periods of darkness and ignorance should seem somehow uniquely apt, as if part of a destiny? Is it that they are my only weapons, my only measure of the world? Or perhaps that is wrong. Perhaps they actually make the world, define its problems. I am not so much in the world as in my game.
If I attain to self knowledge I perceive that it is only in the context of the particular experience that I have got that any kind of satisfaction is possible at all. One's real satisfactions in life are personal rather than general. If you are to get satisfaction you need to know yourself, i.e. follow your own uniquely determined path. It becomes an irrelevance to wish you were someone else, another's satisfaction is not really comprehensible to you.
9, Kind of Hegelianism in it, 'otherness' as drawing out the energies of spirit. Otherness is all possible material for a 'mind fuck', in which all tensions and energies are to be discharged. Thus there is no room for criticism of modern society except insofar as it does not provide enough satisfaction of material appetites.
164, Collingwood's ideas are conservative, high church, Oxford elitist, scholastic, reactionary in tone. They are the values of a very well established power clique. They are counter revolutionary, not anti-socialist, but anti-Socratic. They attempt to undermine the possibility of rational criticism of an orthodox line.
Tout comprendre est tout pardonner. Comprendre et pardonner all the central actors of the drama of history that have brought us to where we are now. Even those who loathed and abominated their predecessors can be seen a merely part of a dialectical process leading up to our present enlightenment. Comprenez et pardonnez them all.
See how useful is the theory for disciplining the mind. Right and left Hegelians. Very similar in motivation. All use logical legerdemain to enforce ideological conformity, in the one case to established power, in the other to revolutionary power.
183, Objection to my analysis 'it can't be the whole answer'. It does not take account of the possibility that it may be wrong. What is that possibility? Someone's desire that it should be so. Ideas are like counters. False ideas are as useful as good ones. Hegelian synthesis of the true and the false. Much of the dialectic stimulated by a plain will to falsity. Of course no truth is complete because there is always a case to be made for the opposing side, because there is the will to deny. The theosophical perspective on ideas. Why not submit? Because of a perverse desire to get her own way.
Nietzsche's sticking to your guns.
149&, By putting contradiction and tension into reality itself Hegel is very suppressive of the individual and individual effort. Very often loyalty to leftism is of the nature of patriotic loyalty, party factional loyalty, hard to extirpate by reasoned argument. The identification of the real and rational just is this very collectivisation of the will. What is the rational if not what is willed to be? What other dynamic can there be but will? Contradiction is something experienced in the pain of an organism. Suppressive of the individual, i.e. the pain of the contradiction must to some degree be tolerated because it is involved in reality itself at a certain stage of unfoldment. And what is real and rational can come to be collectively determined. This attitude of Hegel's destroys the dynamic that is normally involved in thinking, progressive understanding as a kind of creative effort depending on the vitality of the life force. Thus the solitary ego, in trying to come to terms with his own experience, is left in a very weak position. He is told that his very confusion is real understanding, that his state of mind mirrors reality itself. This is a reinforcement of that confusion making it the more difficult to escape. It shows vividly the appeal of Hegel to the well established and self satisfied
1, Thoughts on Hegel and Spengler. Spengler, After the great synthesis the rationalisation, the formation of an adequate rule, there are no tasks left to perform. But every completed idea breeds its antithesis, its negation, which appeal to the excluded. Hence communism, Marxist Leninism, following on from imperialism as its antithesis. The communism of the true believer is strongly repellent. Yet for some people, servitude as it is strongly attractive. As soon as the synthesis is perfected the antithesis arises. The synthesis is not given time.
Christianity and Marxism almost precisely parallel. Hegel contains a lot of part truths and so does Spengler.
6, History of Idealism. Neoplatonism- kabbalah. The idea of the intelligible as an originating force. Kabbalah - Boehme, the idea of contraries in fruitful tension composing the deity. 'Without contraries is no progression' Boehme- Hegel. Hegel, the idea of the explication of 'the Absolute' as 'ultimate truth' as Boehme explicates God. So we get as far as Hegel. Hegel's Absolute, ghost of God. Trying to fit Nietzsche into this scheme, as if there is some 'truth' which is of a higher logical order than the field of which he treats.
I do not want to treat him as any final, absolute, philosophical truth. Idea of the Absolute. Suggestion you are somehow deficient if you do not 'go with the flow'. The type of truth Nietzsche is talking about is not the same as the type of truth Hegel is talking about in his concept of the absolute. To see Nietzsche's type of truth in the way the Hegelian tradition would see it, solely as ideology, is to destroy and weaken Nietzsche's position. His claim is more modest, yet firmer and stronger than that.
43, Hope that Britain may be somehow safe from modernity. We can feel modernity as an offensive pressure. 'Modern ideas' experienced as a tyranny and a sensibility that depends upon a gregarious consciousness is condemned as phoney. We are conscious of the past and the past as living in the present. When Hegelism was popular here, note its non historical emphasis. Conscious of different possible values, of different immediately available points of view.
49 Hegel offers something very like a defence of the Christian God. I would offer something like a defence of Satan's claim. So the true God, as it were, is something that is inevitably above this. Hegel's philosophy is a way of defending , shoring up, any position which is powerfully enough held. Every motive that leads to it is presented in all its strength. As history of philosophy it is of the greatest value. As a means for discovery of truth less so. This is not to assert that there cannot be a truth. It is more to assert that the nature of truth reveals itself in what resists orthodoxy. It is like the transcendence of orthodoxy.
71 Reading his Logic I definitely am getting a better understanding of Hegel. See much better how his concepts fit together and the buzz that he has to offer. Yet still I resist, The basic Gnostic feeling. The whole effort of his is to justify what is currently thought, to justify complacency. Always remember how much involves assimilation of he work of Fichte and Schelling. His claim to truth simply not established. There is no truth by fiat, though those with power to assert it would like to say there was.
78 Hegel accusing Jacobi of the sort of priggishness one tends to find in himself. One thing he did achieve, A certain overcoming of paralysing scepticism. Almost restoring the confidence to create gods again.
Fichte as trying to unite the two halves of Kant's philosophy.
112 Hegel as sanctimonious so-and-so. Idea of a republic of evil. Evil having clearly different senses. Evil without and evil within. The evil that is perceived in a pure hostile will.
133 Findlay's introduction to Hegel's Logic. Making him sound more reasonable, as almost all Hegel commentators have to do. Filter out the arbitrary dogmatism. Explaining him in a way that would probably have been unacceptable to Hegel.
151 Danby's Christian interpretation of Shakespeare. (Shakespeare's Doctrine of Nature) At some points his thesis suggests something very exciting. But it is only a Hegelian sort of excitement. This Christianity like Marxism, making the answer to everything the achievement of some social order.
The Christianity comes in the self abnegation. Some submission of the individual will, such that seems to some the very essence of Christianity. The pious act of childish 'goodness'. The infantile winning of adult approval.
201& Hegel, Wagner, Heidegger, who may seem so different from Hegel. Hegel sees the whole task of philosophy as eliminating the contingent, which seems another piece of nonsense.
Kierkegaard objecting to Hegel. Obvious is the objection to his all embracing scheme, his pretension to all exclusiveness. Strange that this very insistence on unassimilable experience is made the basis for a new system (Heidegger). As if scholasticism could be made completely comprehensive by adding the hacciety of Scotus. Kierkegaard objected to Hegel . It seems the point is missed about his real objection They try to create some kind of system but on the basis of the experience Kierkegaard uses as an objection. If it were possible, one thinks Hegel would have foreseen it. But for Hegel in this context people often mean Plato, as if our concept of truth derives form him. Neoplatonism in particular puts essence before existence, whatever that is taken to mean.
The point of Kierkegaard's objection is that Hegel does not pin him down. …..And Kierkegaard's angst is also will to power, The asceticism of the rishi. He does not want to be subsumed under Hegel's system. .
346 Scruton says how Hegel's master and slave dialectic is an elucidation of Kant's categorical imperative. I would say it's clever but not at all convincing . And Scruton leaves a lot out.
363 Scruton on Kojeve's famous paper,
it as without intellectual merit.
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