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 `aufheben'/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/`aufheben' Religion.Without the appearance of the exothermic moment there would not have been a Phenomenology that would have united the diachronic and the synchronous , 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 externalizes 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/`aufheben' fixed, constant, eternal knowledge of recognized consciousness. In terms of a dialectical procession 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 `Phenomenology 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 dialogues 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' mean more like `mood' of soul as it occurs in Indian philosophical term,`mana' and mental 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 pseudo philosophical 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 achieve,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 genealogy 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.
>>>>Dialectic as the unfolding on musico-poetic <complex> plane underlying Phenomenology of Spirit I am saying the following :
1/The question whether Phenomenologie der Geist' [PhG]is necessary for comprehending Hegel's Philosophical System is a bad question, yet needs be considered since philosophy demands suspension of judgment and bad questions are equally necessary for dialectic though not for the sake of tarring or engagements with trivialities.
2/Hegel never asked anything to such effect, or resembling such a query anytime later in his life; 3/One response given by Hegel to a question having similar import before the second edition was going for print, in 1830, evoked mild humour, but Hegel did not say that any part, section, page, word, etc. needed any change. Nothing should be changed was put across to the publishers. He was emphatic in this response while he would also let others know that the times and mood at Jena of 1806-'07 was youthful; 4/what I am saying is in not anything doctrinaire and nor am I interested about the obverse side, which would be the dogmatic typo; 5/I am saying in self-conscious terms, whose grasping and becoming is central for any knowing of Jena Phenomenology, and addressing consciousness of both the un-free and the free, both as a necessity as condemned by choice to be free in a world that precludes anything under the sign of scarcity/accumulation .Economy and Existence are both closely linked. 6/ Even if we were to put matters widely while the logic for studying PhG is clear and one may add conventional logic for asserting that his philosophical work in 1806 having written or covered the whole of PhG, as we are given to understand should be studied as well, but the `preference’ for the 1806 drafts have no priority and supposing that were it to be so, this present is definitely not in the case, though German speaking persons can access them on the net. It is weird to suggest with basic reasonableness why should the Preface that was composed by Hegel while the book was being printed be severed from the book published 1807 since both are open to reading. This question is very absurd since the author himself published PhG with the Preface with no hint about any ambiguity.; 7/any suggestion that is intended to communicate that both the versions are un-necessary sounds wicked, like some ritualistic act understating chopping the head from the body, thereby expurgating Hegel altogether; 8/In terms of pragmatics and common sense, PhG is the only Phenomenology that is not just most circulated, bought and sold, from rest of Hegel’s books and translated in variety of languages, Hegel's Berlin Phenomenology, is another fact that is not mentioned, ignored even by the authors with their cohorts, imitators, followers and so on. This no more than pure and simple `bad faith' that is symptomatic of untruth, or a consciousness that knows its placement on the side opposed to absolutes, truths, from a reading of PhG, but unwilling to recognize one’s own `unhappy consciousness because that state must be lived by the self rather than emitting a state of unmindful pathos that denies awareness of itself since that reveals a self consciousness. trapped in an unending ladder, much like Jacob’s, where each step is a show, the illusion of climbing, so much unlike Kierkegaard, whose consciousness of his own untruth itself became a truth borne out of freedom of simple negation, as shown in the manner of being in the world, busy writing in cafes, using his axe to break open the drawer to find his own ms’s [either/or], the very intensity of faith, and this becomes polemically contrasted and opposed to; 9/the system of Hegel's Philosophy, which would be for Kierkegaard nothing short of a trans-historical absolute all the way, since the `system’ already having `located’ him in advance, was known to him and that us why he was willing to live his life as a paradox, outside any paradigm, which was asserted passionately by him in numerous books. Husserl’s, discarding of Hegel’s system was simply reactionary nowhere close to Kierkegaard since the latter already knew Hegel so well that he even knew other than been foreseen by Hegel’s system, that in parts Hegel’s Philosophy of Right that he took as ethics based on rights was written in order to conceal Hegel’s `bad faith’.In effect, Rechtsphilosophie, according to Kierkegaard was an exposition of `bad faith’, something that only he could decipher and even prove by pointing the stark difference between what Hegel had to say on marriage and love and the reality of Hegel’s personal situation, showing that Hegel himself led his courtship and marriage for a few years with a bad conscience. Hegel refers to pangs of conscience in some letters, though that level of self-consciousness would constitute proof of Hegel’s `existentialism’ for Kierkegaard.. Well aware with Hegel’s thought, as if trapped in advance because of this knowing Kierkegaard would oppose as indeterminacy as by his obsession with pseudonyms as though he wanted to demolish proper names, like Hegel’s, his own above all, and to the anterior determination and his destiny, as though the self did not exist, whereas 10/ Husserl isolates Hegel from Descartes , Kant, Fichte, not for acknowledging the knowing, as was the case with Kierkegaard, of the composer of the first modern book on Phenomenology but for opposite reasons, attacking Hegel as a `system builder', `unscientific', .lacking a critique of reason', said by Husserl together with the chorus that won out from 1870’s, on Germany, after `defeating metaphysics’ and `philosophy of science’ while hailing technology in ascent, in the universities and faculties, under the banner of `down with metaphysics’, while accepting the subservience to major growth industries by doing research on their behalf while even watered down philosophy of science would get marginalized. ≪≫<’The appendix on history of science : transition from science as based on empirical observations, experiments etc, or science as earlier metaphysics begins to retreat after the defeat of 1848 revolution in Germany. There is both spectacular increase in middle classes and the preponderance of technology, as urban centres begin getting overhauled by water supply systems, hyginicism, radically designed plumbing systems get installed as much as the drainage system begins to be transformed ,finally capping the apex of this technocratic infrastructure was electricity, and by end of 1890’s the internal combustion engine hits the roads . The industrial `revolution’ that backed up such changes was lead by Germany. And technology takes precedence, the applicable core of science gets accepted by the burgeoning middle classes. This showed up in Germany first, in the steel sector, with new `techniques’<-e.m> developed for production of steel < Bessemer, Siemens, Gilchrist-Thomas> [at the turn of the19th c. German steel industry was 4 times the average size of the British. This was co-terminus with development of new forms of credit and banking systems>. Similarly in Soda production and in the whole of chemical production, the Germans became the leaders. Science was now required to make new connections in fields of practical applications and no longer the sole guide to innovations. In this context new theoretical physics was born < Clasius and Boltzmann’s kinetic theory, Kelvin and Maxwell electromagnetism> reached unknown conclusions. Science, philosophy of nature, experimentalism were getting pushed out and no longer useful in terms of everyday practicality and industrial productivity. Here it may be instructive to mention E Mach and Avinarus as the critics of this shift. < the criticism of Mach to this mechanism, compelled Einstein remaining grateful to Mach; their anti-mechanistic critique and return to a study of pure experience, sensations…On the other hand, Ostwald’s`Energetics’ tougher but a more popular conception in the scientific community, reconsidered the central role of thermodynamics in its phenomenological form [equally` new’] proposed an extension of the 2 laws to other forms of energy> then fragmentation of sciences….with all the – environmental consequences.>
The destiny of speculative logic was tied to metaphysics. Branches and sub-branches derived from science, or fractured science were instead inserted into math, while formalism and empiro-positivism spread rapidly. Now properties were deduced with math. Development of models, with effective predictive powers. In new theoretical physics, Stokes completed the math. part of insertion. Theory of physical optics, identifying light with waves, Maxwell broke unequivocally from the French tradition by recognizing the conceptions brought to fore by Faraday and developed a electromagnetic field. On this ground he derived the electromagnetic waves and electromagnetic nature of light Testing them in new fields increased mans domination over nature. These opened up kinetic theory, acceptance of atomic theory, a conception of thermodynamic quantities //and laws which were determined only at a phenomenological level., exemplifying the scientific practices of previous decades.-//Maxwell-Boltzmann rigorously-formulated in math. terms the kinetic model of gas, where they found unexpected connections – e.g. the relationship between transport co-efficients that could not have been easily deduced by experiment Mechanistic models started to develop in chemistry as well.Guldberg and Waage formulated the concept of chemical equilibrium , similar to kinetic theory.Models displaying the disposition of atoms constituting given molecules were made and microscopic properties of substances were connected to such structures…start of molecular engineering. The adoption of mechanical models and experimental techniques opened up technological innovation and scientific advance, overturning the relationship between science and technology-techne over physis or as Karen Armstrong put in her view the severance of mythos and logos was complete. [ K Armstrong, Ashort history of Myth, p.113 The scientific community was torn apart by difficult and heated debates. Many paradoxes cropped up. Pp.50-51/ In the prevailing mechanistic structure of 19th c. science and its reductionist structure as well. The unification of Germany in 1871 allowed , despite the onset of long depression, the development of industrialization process so rapidly and so new as to be termed `an industrial revolution’ while Britain’s huge productive system remained rigid. After the civil war, similar tendency began in the U S. German science took world leadership for the next 50 years, in physics chemistry, math, the entire domain of scientific rsearch.USA lagged behind, approx till 1933./Firm-Industry contacts established; the great technical achievement of German chemical industry were BASF’s 17 year investigation of industrial synthesis of Indigo [ costing 1,000,000 pounds] and the fixation of nitrogen [ synthesis of ammonia] carried out in 1913 by BASF chemist Bosch and F Heber after 10 years of research Germany could hold out for 4 years of ww1 was this process could produce explosives and fertilizers.≫≫≫
10.1/ whereas, in spite of his long painful labours Husserl failed to resolve the big intention as the maker/inventor of phenomenology as a science, and for giving rise to reaction from philosophy of nature who considered Husserl’s `science’ that it was nothing but an extension of 18th c. `naturalism', experimental,etc. Hegelianism was made as the main culprit held responsible. It became the scapegoat, for weakening the `impulse toward philosophic science , rigorous constitution by methods, and created after effects for `those generation' whose belief in Hegelian philosophy actually `resulted in any belief whatever in absolute philosophy’ since the absolute was over with Hegel, it gave rise to `skeptical historicity'. Husserl stated all this right in the beginning of a lecture `Philosophy as a Rigorous Science’; 10.2/The supreme irony that can now be stated with the benefit of hindsight, to be explicit, consisted in the difference that with PhG as the presupposition Hegel went on to write true, absolute idea of science in the Science of Logic that was the next presupposition of the elaboration of the Hegelian system of `philosophical science', as it was elaborated in the university, 11/because the truths of philosophy, even as independent proposition depend upon the context when the system was founded, or as stated without any paradox or indeterminacy, "Unless it is a system philosophy is not a scientific production"; 12/since the value of philosophy only made sense as a part of interdependence and/with `organic whole', any an advanced state of mind, which was found in plenitude on many commons such as the `we', `communion in the sphere of religion', `common language', etc. is in a position to see the real in the unapparent, < unapparent connections are truer than apparent ones'- Heraclitus>and that is also the point of access to science, its dimensions as explored in Hegel's Phenomenology as the science of both laws and unfolding of consciousness, 13/ in the absence of that, as the presupposition, writing the `Science of Logic' was not possible at all 14/ since the sole guarantee aka certainty, exactitude was the work of uncovering all the moments of Reason, which is a Section in PhG that the critics just overlook since they are neither ready to devote attention and a study, a rarity, while they would readily jump to conclusions only to create confusion from their confused faculty to reason or even see the Real mainly by pointing to the bare externals, as obtains in the apparently arbitrary nature of the table of contents, which combines Latin and Greek letters, roman-English letters, affixed double letters - AA,BB.DD, etc.- absence of numerals, 15/Finally, the content and the thematic in their sequence retain same , like an ordering that gets simultaneously replicated on the self-same plane;[ who would not revise anyway?]when Hegel was composing the Encyclopedia; 16/ e.g., in Philosophy of Mind', under the rubric Self-Consciousness, the first part under the Greek alpha, Appetite corresponds to the sense-certainty of PhG, holding `desire' within, self-consciousness negative under the Greek sign `beta' would correspond to PhG;s section on `Lordship and Bondage', holding `recognition' within and universal self consciousness under the Greek letter epsilon does not, as the moment of sublation has any identical equivalent, though it is subsumed in its meaning as belonging to the sphere of Right as `self-certainty The aforementioned contents in their logical order and exposing the vacuity , bad intentions of phenomenology' especially, Husserl's highly objectionable point of view [ this is some line of his hallmark, close to being an usurper while loafing around inside pages upon pages, as I also read what he said about Buddhist Philosophy in Gottingen, 1926], is the crux of my response. The rest is meant to show historical specificity in its bare contours that I consider as a counterpoint to Dilthy's `historicism'.