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The question is this: How are we to understand a method that is not the application of thought to an object? Our sense of method in modern philosophy is set by Descartes Discours de la mthode.

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Here is the notion of thought as instru- ment, as Werkzeug. Thought can discover the truth about a matter by applying to it Descartes fourfold method of Part 2 of the Discours. Hegel denies the name science to such a conception of method.

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Such a method cannot secure its own starting point. It presupposes, as in fact Descartes says it must, a first step in which something is recognized as certainly and evidently true. The starting point has no security from scepticism. It must presuppose the overcoming of doubt in order to apply the method to the object under investigation. Scepticism is the ability to make the certain and evident, uncertain and inevident-to move truth into appearance. Hegel understands that the answer to scepticism is to move within appearance and to generate an absolute standpoint of knowing by causing scepticism to turn constantly in 20 Hegels Recollection upon the conditions of its own negation of knowledge of the object.

I n what I have called the first half of the introduction, Hegel remarks on his conception of determinate negation as the answer to scepticism Miller, When a truth about the object is negated by adducing a ground of doubt, the standpoint from which the doubt is formed becomes a further object of examination on which to place new doubt.

I n this manner consciousness passes through a complete series of illusions, each time seeing the untruth of the object and then the untruth of the perspective from which it saw the objects untruth. Within illusion there is a necessary moment that is based on the double sense of the Ansich that Hegel explains in the second half of the introduction. Thi s is in fact Hegels notion of aufieben-the sense in which con- sciousness raises itself on by cancelling anlpparency. This is a methodless method in the sense that consciousness applies itself to itself.

Further, because it is self-altering, it is a method unlike any sense of method that can be derived from any other area of thought. In the process of aufleben, each moment of aufieben, which means each time consciousness passes through the necessity of the double Ansich, is different from any other moment of aufieben. Method in the ordinary sense requires that the same procedure is constantly applied throughout any alteration in the object. I n this case the method alters in itself and in the object.

The death of God and Hegel's system of philosophy

Hegels sense of method cannot be compared to any sense of method that we know from either before his time or after it. It is not like the hermeneutical or phenomenological senses of method that command so much attention today. Hegel has already rejected these in the first pages of his introduction, as external methods. My suggestion is that what Hegel calls method is in fact the basis of method, in a sense similar to the fact that what he calls experience is actually the basis of what we more ordinarily call experience. I ngenuity or ingenium is not a method in a Cartesian sense but it is a way in which thought accomplishes what it needs to accomplish in any given moment.

I n its literal meaning it is a natural disposition, a mental power, that which is born in one, a nature, talent.

The death of God and Hegel's system of philosophy | SpringerLink

The Latin term has the sense of the perception of the relationships between things which can issue on the one hand in tropic formulations such as metaphor and on the other in scientific hypotheses. Ingeni um connotes at once the power both to form imagistically and to form through an intellectual principle.

It contains both a sense of imagistic and conceptual forming. Through ingenuity a new and needed object is produced through a reshaping of what is already at hand. I n other words ingenuity is a way of doing something that gets its method immediately from the content before it.

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  • Each time it makes up its method immediately. It is always doing something for which there is no method. Yet each time such a thing is done it is grasped as a result of ingenuity.

    Hegels Recollection A Study Of Images In The Phenomenology Of Spirit 1985

    Hegels method of the double Ansich is like this. Consciousness The Met hod of In-itself 21 must take itself beyond the object to the new object. It must see through the present phenomenon, the seen, to the unseen, to a sense of truth that is beyond the present illusion. Simply on the basis of its present state it must take itself to a further state, one that has never been for it before. I t must do this by moving the opposition within the present state somehow against itself until the new sense of the object emerges.

    As it engages in this production of states of itself it holds its past lines of production in its memory, its recollection. Thus i ts basis for the ingenious production of a next state becomes ever richer in possibilities. This movement is always governed by the double sense of the Ansich, the necessity within conscious- ness itself. The answer to scepticism is this sense of ingenuity. Scepticism that, as Hegel says, just throws things into the same empty abyss Miller, 79 is simply a failure of ingenuity while at the same time claiming it is ingenuity itself.

    What sceptic does not think himself the most ingenious of men? I have introduced the notion of ingenuity to find terms through which we can speak about Hegels sense of a method that is not like any other method. I have done this in an effort to interpret Hegel in more than a repetition of his own words, a practice which so many writers on Hegel adopt.

    So much interpretation of Hegel will not dare anything; it engages in a kind of deft furniture moving-lifting a heavy chunk of Begrif here and placing a shackly Gegenstand there. Having made the connection with ingenuity, we can now say, not that ingenuity has told us what Hegels method is, but that Hegels sense of method has told us what ingenuity is as a philosophical power of mind. Allow me to recast my point and state it again.

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    The great question with the Phenomenology and with Hegels philosophy in general is: What is the dialectic? The dialectic of the Logi c may be different from that of the Phenomenology, but my view at the moment is confined to the Phenomenology. T o answer the question of what the dialectic is by laying out as a scheme the stages of the Phenomenology or in fact any part of Hegels system is a mistake, as it offers us only the table-of-contents mentality of the Un- derstanding and does not allow us in fact may produce a barrier to apprehend the self-movement of reason. We create a skeleton of spirit with tickets stuck all over it and learn nothing. The stages of the Phenomenology are definitely progressive but at many points it is a mystery how progress from one stage to another is made. T he logical mind-that oriented toward argument and deduction-focuses on those stages where the Auflebung seems most proficient and the progression most evident.

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    It then tries to explain those places where the dialectic seems simply to jump to a new stage. What if we approach the movement within the Phenomenology in the reverse, and see the jumps as the common state of affairs and the moments of smooth transformation as the exceptional? On my reading, the dialectic is fundamentally a series of fascinating jumps. Spirit requires an ingenious act, in which through an immediate act of its own wit it produces a new standpoint. It requires the power of ingenium. What is accomplished through ingenium is a new similitudo, a new likeness, resemblance, a new simile.

    Spirit must suddenly project a new reality for itself out of a reality in which it finds itself becoming exhausted and dismembered. Spirit can do this only by attention to the negative, E the fact that it has come to a point where it is in despair. Hegel says: Spirit is this power only by looking the negative in the face, and tarrying with it. This tarrying with the negative is the magical power that converts it into being Preface, Miller, What is this magical power Zauberkraft?

    It is the power to form a new similitudo. This tarrying Verweilen with the negative is ingenium. When thought is blocked, it requires a new connection with itself. The forging of a new connection does not take place as a simple act of novelty.

    The dialectical move forward requires Erinnerung. Spirit must recollect something from its past state in order to get beyond its present negative state to a new form of itself. The similitudo it requires is between what it is at this present moment and what it was, what it can recollect of itself. It requires a simile that will offer it an image of itself that will allow it to convert itself into being.

    Ingenium in Hegels terms is a movement from being-in-itself Ansichsein to the recollected in- itself das erinnerte Ansich that is ready for conversion into the form of being-for-self [Fursichsein] Preface, Miller, Hegel uses the tropes of metaphor and irony to characterize various stages in the Phenomenology and as a weapon to attack opposing positions and states of mind.

    The whole table of contents looked at from this perspective is a table of metaphors. I n saying this I do not mean that all headings employ metaphors. They do not. A look at the contents makes this clear see below, Appendix. But remember Hegels gallery of images.