# Hegel's Logic

Thu 12 Feb, 2009 01:29 am
Hegel's Logic, if I understand it, is a type of living logic or a meta-logic attempting to articulate the structures of Logic via Metaphysics. The structures are a correlation between three things: Being, Essence, and the Idea.

Being contains the factual substances of a thing: Quantity, Quality, and Measure. The first means that a thing is an apple no matter how many or how little there are. Quality determines that an apple is an apple is an apple. Measure is the union of the two in the sense that an apple is only an apple in the sense of what an apple is, for example, a seedling and ashes that used to be of an apple, are excluded from being considered an apple; only from the time an apple is a small baby apple to a rotten old apple.

This leads to a concept of essence which contains the relation of Being: Appearance, Identity and Ground of Determinate Being. Appearance means, for example, that the appearance of an apple is contained not only in the viewer, but in the apple itself. The apple itself contains what is needed for appearance. Identity is the relation of apple to non apples. An apple is only an apple when contrasted from non-apples. Ground of Determinate Being is the combination of appearance and identity: because apples and non-apples are related to each other by excluding its opposite, they both contain each other and are self-identical to each other because they are mutually reflected upon when they are thought (e.g. you can't think an apple without thinking its opposite and vice-versa).

Finally a concept of the Idea contains both the Essence and Being, and is reflected upon subjectively, objectivity, and absolutely. Subjective reflection contains the reflector and reflected. I think this is where traditional logic comes into play: objects are reflected upon subjectively and are constructed into frames of references like syllogisms and rules of logic. Once these structures are in place, objective thought comes from these frames of references that no longer need subjective reflection: they are self-contained, and apart from the subject. History is another example, history is made by the subject, but once made, history can stand on its own without the subject. However, like the apple and the non apple, the object cannot exist without its opposite: the subject, and vice versa. This then is the Idea. The absolute reflection of both subject and object. The subject contains its opposite the object, and the object contains its opposite, the subject.

And this I think is Hegel's progression of Logic as component of understanding the overall Idea of the whole of reality.

But, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

Hegel's Logic: Hegel - Science of Logic ToC

Victor Eremita

Fri 13 Feb, 2009 09:00 pm
@Victor Eremita,
So, there's no Hegelians on the forum that can comment on my assessment of Hegel's Logic?

Reconstructo

Tue 24 Nov, 2009 07:57 pm
@Victor Eremita,
Hi,

I love Hegel, but I have not tackled the Logic yet. I find Kojeve's book completely engrossing. I've read several books on Hegel and have a general idea of what the Logic is about. I like the suggestion that indeterminate being is nothingness.

Any books on Hegel you recommend?

Victor Eremita

Mon 30 Nov, 2009 02:32 am
@Reconstructo,
Unfortunately I can't recommend any good Hegel books to start with, though I did try struggling through the Encyclopedia and the Philosophy of Right in order to understand some aspects of Kierkegaard's philosophy.

Reconstructo

Fri 5 Mar, 2010 07:10 pm
@Victor Eremita,
It now seems to me that Wittgenstein is shockingly close to the core of Hegel's logic. They both reduce all logic to two forces, tautology and contradiction (W), and being and nothingness(H)....

Reconstructo

Sat 6 Mar, 2010 04:22 pm
@Victor Eremita,
From Hegel's Logic.....this is the key to Hegel and Wittgenstein...IMO
Quote:

... there is nothing, nothing in heaven, or in nature or in mind or anywhere else which does not equally contain both immediacy and mediation, so that these two determinations reveal themselves to be unseparated and inseparable and the opposition between them to be a nullity.

Reconstructo

Mon 8 Mar, 2010 10:01 pm
@Victor Eremita,
You can't have a donut without a hole, nor a hole without a donut. But one can infer this just from studying a donut. (Obviously, I'm limiting donuts to the classic torus variety.)

I mention this because this is the core of Hegel's logic. You can't have an inside without an outside. All our finite concepts are just that. Finite. We made em ourselves. And we are always already re-making them.

Deckard

Mon 5 Apr, 2010 12:49 am
@Reconstructo,
Here's an excerpt from a website that I found instructive

Quote:
the dialectical laws of thought, which are sometimes summarized as
1. The unity of opposites. The nature of everything involves internal opposition of contradiction.
2. Quantity and quality. Quantitative change always eventually leads to qualitative change or development.
3. Negation of the negation. Change negates what is changed, and the result is in turn negated, but this second negation leads to a further development and not a return to that with which we began.

(This last idea is sometimes presented by expositors of 'dialectic' in the jargon of 'thesis-antithesis-synthesis'; this jargon, however, is not characteristic of dialectical materialists. Since it was never used by Hegel, and was used by Marx only once, solely for the purpose of ridicule, it is easy to understand why its use is nearly always a sign of either ignorance of or hostility to dialectical thinking-usually both at once.)
It was only out of ignorance and without hostility but I am among those who have used "Thesis Antithesis and Synthesis" in reference to Hegel.

Reconstructo

Tue 6 Apr, 2010 10:52 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;148453 wrote:

It was only out of ignorance and without hostility but I am among those who have used "Thesis Antithesis and Synthesis" in reference to Hegel.

I think "Thesis Antithesis Synthesis" is great, and that it fits, even if wasn't the terminology Hegel preferred. IMO, it captures the concept of the dialectic perfectly, at least as I understand it. Maybe it was Fichte or Schelling who actually cooked it up, but it doesn't really matter.

In a way, the "synthesis" element is redundant, as the antithesis is already a synthesis/new-thesis, but the triad reveals the structure at once. It's like that triangle symbol I was using. The top of the triangle was just a symbol for the recognition of the bottom two corners as the whole story.

The philosopher is the self-consciousness of the Absolute, or that's how I understand it. :bigsmile:

Deckard

Tue 6 Apr, 2010 11:44 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;149092 wrote:
I think "Thesis Antithesis Synthesis" is great, and that it fits, even if wasn't the terminology Hegel preferred. IMO, it captures the concept of the dialectic perfectly, at least as I understand it. Maybe it was Fichte or Schelling who actually cooked it up, but it doesn't really matter.

In a way, the "synthesis" element is redundant, as the antithesis is already a synthesis/new-thesis, but the triad reveals the structure at once. It's like that triangle symbol I was using. The top of the triangle was just a symbol for the recognition of the bottom two corners as the whole story.

The philosopher is the self-consciousness of the Absolute, or that's how I understand it. :bigsmile:

Is perhaps "synthesis" misleading because it suggests a combining of the previous two stages which seems to be a process of ever expanding as opposed to negation of negation of negation... which seems to suggest the opposite.

Reconstructo

Tue 6 Apr, 2010 11:59 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;149121 wrote:
Is perhaps "synthesis" misleading because it suggests a combining of the previous two stages which seems to be a process of ever expanding as opposed to negation of negation of negation... which seems to suggest the opposite.

For me, it's is graphically represented by a widening spiral. So synthesis is actually good at indicating an accumulation of determinate negations. For instance, as we pass through life we outgrow certain attitudes/perspectives but remember them and still possess their essence to the degree that we can smile ironically when we see a younger person making the same (for us) error.

This is how I understand "determinate negation." Not P is some valuable information at times.

On the other hand, and more in line without our suggestion, I think a tightening spiral exists simultaneously with the widening spiral. This would be Occam's razor, or the progress of abstraction in mathematics. Things become more and more clear, simple, etc., as confusions are negated.

I was fond of the term "nonism" not long ago for this very reason. In my opinion, to see that all essence is accidental (and I believe Wittgenstein as much as says this in the TLP), is to see that concepts like "man" or "self" or "universe" are all contingent. That the mind/matter distinction is a waste of breath when it comes to serious logic. For me, this is the most exciting part of how I take Hegel/Wittgenstein.

All contingent concepts, which are founded on negation (p= not not p) are themselves negated, as no finite thing can be the ground. And this includes the concept of the ground. Thus negative ontology. No concept or essence can be THE essence. Maybe it's like a series of errors that negate themselves into self-consciousness. When discourse becomes aware that the real is revealed by discourse, and that the real is not different than discourse. This would be a negation of negation. False dichotomies are tossed on a bonfire of vanities. It reminds me of the limit concept. Thought can't have infinity directly, but it can negate all the false infinities? It can finally see itself as tautology and contradiction. (Witt) or being and nothingness (Hegel, and all those existentialists that ripped him off...).

Heraclitus and his River are good stuff. We can step into the same river twice, because the river is the intelligible form of the water. And water is the intelligible form of the associated qualia. But I digress.

kennethamy

Wed 7 Apr, 2010 02:28 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;137787 wrote:
You can't have a donut without a hole, nor a hole without a donut. But one can infer this just from studying a donut. (Obviously, I'm limiting donuts to the classic torus variety.)

I mention this because this is the core of Hegel's logic. You can't have an inside without an outside. All our finite concepts are just that. Finite. We made em ourselves. And we are always already re-making them.

I bought doughnut holes without doughnuts just the other day. If the core of Hegel's logic is that there cannot be doughnut holes without doughnuts (and, for all I know, it might well be) well, that's just another example of why one should study Hegel in order to learn how not to philosophize. Hegelians (and I include those of a Hegelian temperament) always have a strong aversion to facts. Point to a counterexample, and they are certain not to see it.

Deckard

Thu 8 Apr, 2010 01:08 am
@kennethamy,
Bacon attempted to develop a new Organon, a new kind of logic. His methods of logic have largely been dismissed and replaced. However, his attempts lead us tot he scientific method and raising of the value of induction. Hegel's logic might be considered in a similar light. Hegel's logic might eventually find a similar place in history as a method of reasoning that will ultimately be replaced by some better method that it nevertheless inspires.

kennethamy

Thu 8 Apr, 2010 02:04 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;149497 wrote:
Bacon attempted to develop a new Organon, a new kind of logic. His methods of logic have largely been dismissed and replaced. However, his attempts lead us tot he scientific method and raising of the value of induction. Hegel's logic might be considered in a similar light. Hegel's logic might eventually find a similar place in history as a method of reasoning that will ultimately be replaced by some better method that it nevertheless inspires.

Yes, it might. There is absolutely no reason to think that it will, and every reason to think that it won't. But it might.

Reconstructo

Tue 13 Apr, 2010 03:33 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;149497 wrote:
Bacon attempted to develop a new Organon, a new kind of logic. His methods of logic have largely been dismissed and replaced. However, his attempts lead us tot he scientific method and raising of the value of induction. Hegel's logic might be considered in a similar light. Hegel's logic might eventually find a similar place in history as a method of reasoning that will ultimately be replaced by some better method that it nevertheless inspires.

Really, that's arguably already happened. His dialectical developing truth seems like the foundation of Nietzsche and Pragmatism, etc., including Rorty, who often refers to him. For me, the crown of Hegel's system is mostly valuable as poetry. Still, I see a fundamental connection twixt Hegel and Witt. Sure, it might be my eccentricity at work, but I mention it just in case, because for me it's significant.

Deckard

Thu 15 Apr, 2010 03:04 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;151505 wrote:
Really, that's arguably already happened. His dialectical developing truth seems like the foundation of Nietzsche and Pragmatism, etc., including Rorty, who often refers to him. For me, the crown of Hegel's system is mostly valuable as poetry. Still, I see a fundamental connection twixt Hegel and Witt. Sure, it might be my eccentricity at work, but I mention it just in case, because for me it's significant.

I still haven't figured out Hegel...still haven't read Kojeve...I am remiss...I hope I will find the sort of continuity that you are pointing to. Continuity is comforting and I like the historical approach. Drawing a line between Hegel and Wit for me is only intuitvely possible at the moment. There is a sort of movement between the "I" and the "We" present in both...like the arch of a proletarian novel...the undermining of Descartes cogito and the impossibility of private language...In any case, and even without my intuitions, I believe it is a mistake to take Wit as a staring point. The genealogy of Wittgenstein would make a good thread but one I would not be able to contribute much to.

kennethamy

Thu 15 Apr, 2010 06:52 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;152190 wrote:
I still haven't figured out Hegel...still haven't read Kojeve...I am remiss...I hope I will find the sort of continuity that you are pointing to. Continuity is comforting and I like the historical approach. Drawing a line between Hegel and Wit for me is only intuitvely possible at the moment. There is a sort of movement between the "I" and the "We" present in both...like the arch of a proletarian novel...the undermining of Descartes cogito and the impossibility of private language...In any case, and even without my intuitions, I believe it is a mistake to take Wit as a staring point. The genealogy of Wittgenstein would make a good thread but one I would not be able to contribute much to.

The difference between Hegel and Wittgenstein could not be greater. As Wittgenstein would have put it, Hegel is a slum landlord, and Wittgenstein want to get rid of the slums and let it fresh air. Anyone who thinks that Wittgenstein was a good philosopher could not possibly do anything but despise Hegel, so anyone who thinks they have anything in common probably understands neither one.

Ding an Sich

Thu 15 Apr, 2010 09:18 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;152220 wrote:
The difference between Hegel and Wittgenstein could not be greater. As Wittgenstein would have put it, Hegel is a slum landlord, and Wittgenstein want to get rid of the slums and let it fresh air. Anyone who thinks that Wittgenstein was a good philosopher could not possibly do anything but despise Hegel, so anyone who thinks they have anything in common probably understands neither one.

Aparently Wittgenstein was influenced by Hegel in his later years, but I doubt it. I have not seen anything resembling Hegel at all in Wittgensteins works. Would you believe there are those that claim Wittgenstein's TLP has certain aspects to it that are Hegelian? Nothing could be further from the truth.

kennethamy

Thu 15 Apr, 2010 10:00 am
@Ding an Sich,
Ding_an_Sich;152264 wrote:
Aparently Wittgenstein was influenced by Hegel in his later years, but I doubt it. I have not seen anything resembling Hegel at all in Wittgensteins works. Would you believe there are those that claim Wittgenstein's TLP has certain aspects to it that are Hegelian? Nothing could be further from the truth.

I don't find it apparent. Well, maybe negatively influenced. It could be that Hegel determined Wittgenstein even more than he had been, to get rid of the slums which Hegel built, and rented out.

Ding an Sich

Thu 15 Apr, 2010 02:12 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;152300 wrote:
I don't find it apparent. Well, maybe negatively influenced. It could be that Hegel determined Wittgenstein even more than he had been, to get rid of the slums which Hegel built, and rented out.

It was something that I had read up on concerning Hegel. Hegel influenced the late Wittgenstein, or at least thats what the source said. But I still have yet to see anything resembling Hegel in any of Wittgenstein's works. Maybe they did mean it in a negative way.