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Revelance of Hegel's Jena Phenomenology

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Revision as of 02:10, 28 September 2008 by (talk)
Hello and good wishes to one and all,

The subject of this talk is mainly a kind of response to Kai Forbes'write-up +/~ on G W F Hegel's `Phenomenolog/y/ie der Geistes'being the first, original title that would cover around 750 pages in all, the number of pages being equivalent to the number of copies released in April 1807 and published from Bamberg.Hegel reached there in Jan. 1807, remained preoccupied with the book-release in April, 1807.Other than proof reading that was the most exacting exercise in early 19th c.techniks because proofing-cum-typesetting-cum-formatting constituted the last stage of publication, though handwritten pages of the author must have been made clear, edited, copy-edited, details from contents, written matter by Hegel's involvement.It was in that period that he wrote the Preface.Almost the entire book seems written straight, on the singular plane that makes writing a volitional and responsible deed, without too much, rather minimalist reworking of drafts.The thinking that lead to the book, however,covered at least five years prior to its writing.The timing of publication had to await the appearance of Napoleon during the battle of Jena.This event had to mark and impress the discovery, not recovery,of Phenomenology of Spirit as completely novel beginning the ending of via moderna.The prescencing of world-spirit completed the labours of philosophy by announcing the new born as Phenomenology as an already absolute self-consciousness. The main body comprised in the working of the way by the use of a revolutionary method of the knowledge that knows itself both in endothermic and exothermic unity.The spirit of the age as embodied by Napoleon,as the external appearance had to be recognized by Hegel for emergence of `aufhaben'/sublation of all that preceded the arrival of the absolute Spirit,of man as man, at Golgotha, as that level of the brim beyond which the froth spills over.The inner, philosophical engagement and dialoguing with Christianity as religion and spending of long periods of time with Christ terminated in a Phenomenology whose contents, becoming encompassed by consciousness resulted in a Spirit/`Geist',which was absolutely adequate for Philosophy that had sublated/`aufhaben' Religion.Without the appearance of the exothermic moment there would not have been a Phenomenology that would have united the diachronic and the synchronic , the latter prescencing/``darstallungen',or in the dramatic progression/procession of consciousness from experience to perception to understanding and force, then to the move in the diachronic plane self-consciousness that is the activity of knowing its truth in `desire' that exceeds the appetative desired - every `obscure object of desire'-that finds its truth in the `recognition', the terrain where desire is consummated through the dialectic of lordship and bondage prescencing as a fight unto death between two embodiments of consciousness.The fight is a metaphor, a ruse of reason because one embodied consciousness submits to `recognizing' because the submitted consciousness knows in advance that its truth can only be constituted diachronically through work/labour/production, as unfolding by production of time, like the unrolling of a carpet, i.e.,the knowledge that the present can only become dialectical, as becoming,opposed to the eternal, fixed knowing of the recognized consciousness, only by the effect of the future on the present since each such moment of actualization marks the road to freedom. Freedom starts in the interiority at first, but whenever the opposition exteriorizes through combats, interiority too exteriorizes itself as expansive, multiple units of the self. Thus the self that returns back into its indwelling site after the combat is an enriched self that can only progress concretely whenever the action of the future - the time to be made- is universal.In other words,the free self-activity of recognizing consciousness sublates/`aufhaben' fixed, constant, eternal knowledge of recognized consciousness. In terms of a dialectical procession'only that consciousness progresses, which makes the truth of freedom as universal, a moment that cannot be grasped by the recognized consciousness even though it learns about freedom by a limited unity with its other. The limits are the one's that it has already realized in the first two moments of individuality [ in desire]and particularity [of recognition by the other].

Hegel's `Phenomenolgy of Spirit/s' was made out to be a journey through a picture gallery and this gallery turns out to be a vision-in-the-making as we move from conceptualizing one picture, as mental image,to another conceptualization to yet another and in this sense Phenomenology is linked to earlier traditions their initial glimmerings may be found in Plato, especially in `Georgias' where conceptions/`ennoiai' of genera and species/ `ennoimeta' end up in thoughts/`noema'as concepts/`en-noema'. Plato introduces these themes and in the course of dialogics the difficulties of the themata emerge prominently instead of resolutions. Aristotle appealed to internal representations or fractals of Plato's `noema'as a resolution and this was contradicted by Stoical arguments on non-existent representations of thought-objects. Later Stoics used propositional and semantic logic applied to entities/`ens'.Shifted to the ontological terrain, that had already been problematized by Plato but remained suppressed through philology though in Latin the cognates of `intentio' were interpreted variously by Sextus Empiricus,Diogenes Leaterus and most prominently, Zeno of Cleanthes.`Intentio' had different meanings though as the two-fold division between mental state and mental acts clarified the terms of references.Early Arabic philosophy referred to terms such as `ma'na'and `ma'qul'to mean more like `mood' of soul as it occurs in Indian philosophical term,`mana'and mtntal acts that had more to do with practical, `to do'of ontology instead of pure mental states , thought-objects that were self-generating and not as they were mentioned in religious scriptures. Hegel saw these excursions, except for Plato's conceptions and ma'na, as a mood of the soul, as so many pseudophilosophical inanities that had to be cleared. Hegel's task was compounded by such inanities that would block him from even getting a post in a faculty vacancy though diachronic progression developing out of French revolution, even as it appeared in its `old age' before Hegel spurred him to arrive, in the least,maybe as the owl of Minerva, at the intersection with the remains of the spirit of the age.It was at this juncture, after encountering the limit of ethical actuality in politics that Phenomenology could irrupt.Leaving the Preface aside, what Hegel wrote on the abstract ending of the notion of French revolution in Terror, or revolutionary terror as the `Feurie des Verschnwadens'is the description provided by Hegel to show the culminated act of revolution. With this act, the logic of the revolution turned into its opposite, from the dialectical logic it turned into sheer abstraction, or abstract freedom that was unmediated in the act of Terror dissolved all the earlier promises and determinations, turning the intellectual landscape into a barren desert. It is only at this point that the Spirit falls, turns into abyss, into meaninglessness and consequently, meaningless death. The destabilization of the dialectic by abstract unmediated negativity returns us back to the ancients, especially, the problematique of cognition in relation to inadmissible ideas that Plato brings up in `Georgias' and to our own times when we ask, yet again, how can dialectic surmount the increasingly resurgent abstract, meaningless actions in the heart of world history.

The relevance of Hegel's Jena Phenomenology is becoming far more than what is being talked about. Now, Sept 2008 will mark the auction of this first edition under the auspices of HSA.The edition may well sell in $ million+ in the hands of a fat cat. This may well be very timely but who is in a position to see the rose on the cross and dance with reconciliation?

Human beings do form an idea /eidos of sorts about what the work would show up after completion in relation to the initial idea, which is why there is a preconscious of the conscious, though differentiated.Unlike the beavers preconception of an embankment that actually means how much more immaculate degree of specialization than humans can ever hope to acheive,human beings are different by virtue of its dynamic and meta-dynamic spiritual universe.Transformation of preconscious to the fully developed form of consciousness is also in addition to the discovery, creating a product [eidos], or idea-product though work is a mark of general, social labour.When Hegel worked out the path to write Phenomenology, Kai is correct in tracing its geneology to 1801-'02, the organization of that, as demanded by cumulative non-quantified logic, in 1806 did not qualify as Phenomenology to Hegel.However one should not infer that Phenomenology is something of an advance from Philosophy. There is a difference and an opposition resulting in subordination of Phenomenology to Logic or the method proper to Philosophy.I think that resemblances are and should be deceptive, fully recognized as intrinsic to aesthetics. But in Philosophy, where the right word may be `meme' [ contentious terrain for sure], yet all such acts remain subordinate to the concept [begriff].That is why reviews in newspapers too matter,when the world is yet to come out of the `Enlightenment Idea' about opinion [doxa]governing the world.In terms of dialectic Hegel broke a barrier of linearity and the work of 1807 was preceded by a leap that could only be found in the Preface where Hegel shows how and why he breaks from Descartes- the Cartesian Ego.A break that is hardly passive. It is a dialectical sublation that reverses the entire mode of the `Cogito Ego' into a past transcended, long dead or eternally passive.Spirit, according to Hegel, cannot infuse life into all the dead bones of Philosophy sunk in oblivion. Again, what does it imply for mental activity when told that the Preface to PhG could be separated from its position, then lifted and transferred for serving what succeeded - meaning what Hegel wrote up to 1817-'18 and after? 1806 cannot be separated from 1807 as long as these represent time units. When was the last time someone told you about reading any book with a Preface/ Introduction to omit the latter and read the text ? Is that something absurd or is the suggestion selectively applicable to Hegel?Dear Kai,how is it possible for you to be blinded to the sharp line of division between Philosophy and Phenomenology? Am I missing out on something altogether? Hegel was writing Philosophical Drafts in 1806, not Phenomenology.To round up what is being said, there is the difference between Hegel's perception of the product of his labours [and the use of `we' by Hegel contains others in the course of work]and the perception of social labour that produced 750 copies. If that is self-evident then the next unity must be the dynamic unity of these two modes of work and perception all the way to the moment of synthetic, non-oppositional, non-differentiated unity.That would be the work of Spirit.

It is possible for eyes to deceive and I am , from a purist angle vulnerable to mis-spells, confused tenses but that is not because I am not aware of rules. I have encountered difficulties and felt embarrassed with this thought but cant help explaining a simple euphemism [ when referring to the absence of Hegel's presence in stalinist russia and almost everywhere and with the presence of his absence in last 3 decades of 19th c. in Europe].Because general consciousness, common to humanity remains grateful to our ancestors choice of very precise varieties of cereals out of a huge, vast range of species aggregates. Take wheat and you would be eating something same that has adored eating spreads 8000 years ago.That is the way in which the past lives in the present and as it would also be alive in the future.In the world of Geist [Spirit], the past does not live in its totality and that which is still with us through complex entities may be best communicated via euphemisms. That was clear, but what was bothering you so much as to risk wagers in 0-sum games played in 2005?

work-in-progress .......