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Petry, 3 vols. Miller with Foreword by J. Findlay, Oxford, Hoffmeister, Hamburg Mit- geschrieben von F. Good, edited by K. Gloy Lectures, selected transcripts, and manuscripts, vol. Bolland, Leiden Haldane and F. Simson , 3 vols. New York Gar- niron and W. Jaeschke Lectures, selected transcripts and manu- scripts, Vol. Greek Phi- losophy 1, edited by P.

Garniron and W. Jaeschke Lectures, selected transcripts, and manuscripts, Vol. Greek Philosophy 2, edited by P. Jaeschke, Hamburg Einleitung: System und Geschichte der Philosophie. Johannes Hoffmeister, Leipzig Lasson, in four parts, Leipzig — Speirs and J. Sanderson, 3 vols. Hegel and dem Herrn Dr. See- beck hintergelassenen Buchsammlungen, section 1, Berlin Preliminary NotesWhen Perrault, Fontenelle, Boileau, and Bayle inaugurated the quar-rel between ancients and moderns, the confrontation with the ancientshad been a marginal topic confined to literary questions.

At the end ofthe 18th century, over a hundred years afterward, it was becoming a re-current theme. More frequentlythan in the previous two centuries, which were busy severing their tieswith tradition, we find appeals to revitalize ancient philosophy or civi-lization. But all such appeals say less about the sources to which they re-fer than about the purpose they served at the time, in the conditions inwhich they arose, about the historical needs from which they origi-nated. In other words, the proposal of resuscitating Greek or Latinmodels was instrumental to the dissatisfaction or crisis that spurred it.

This is even more the case inGermany, where the tradition of Greek studies was more continuousthan in France which was keener on the Latin tradition , and where afew years later Wilhelm von Humboldt proposed the study of Greek asa Bildungsfundament foundation of education for Germans in his proj-ect of education reform —9. Reflection is intrinsically un-able to grasp the original unity from which stem all its oppositions: thisprimordial being is rather intuited as beauty.

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The fragmentation of uni-tary bonds between individual and community, reason and sensibility,nature and civilization, science and life, are for the young Hegel in-dicative of the need for a popular religion in which classical and Chris-tian elements, a new understanding of life and love as immaterialbonds, are fused together. Berglar, Humboldt B 18,EL 17? These are some of the questions this book will try to tackle.

This workdoes not merely intend to show the extent to which Hegel is indebtedto Aristotle or the degree to which his interpretation of Aristotle is attimes arbitrary or misguided. Its main task is to show the tensionsthat result from this contrast. In the Lectures on the History of Phi-losophy Hegel devotes to no other philosopher so much praise and suchextensive attention; there is nobody whom he seems to admire as much.

This is not a question of a chronological ordering that could bethe exclusive interest of philologists and scholars. What matters in thisis the determination of the range and extent of the influence of classi- 7 Hegels Leben Unless otherwise noted, all references in this book are to be understood as references to the original sources utilized.

Whenever English translations of the works used are recorded in the List of Abbreviations before the Introduction and in the Bibliogra- phy at the end of the book before the Index , quotations will be from them in case several translations are recorded, I will specify which one I will be adopting. However he translates it,though, he invariably means the same, an actualization of a potencyoriginally immanent in the subject of the process or movement. Hegelinterprets energeia as the self-referential activity that he finds at work inits several manifestations: from the self-grounding of essence to theConcept, from the teleological process to natural life, from the essenceof man to the forms of knowing and acting down to its most obviouslyfree and self-determining dimension, absolute thinking that has itselfas its object.

In this connection Hegel appropriates and transforms the meaningof energeia to define spirit. Spirit is actuosity, the self or subject contain-ing in itself its own movement and purpose and expressing in the ac-tualization of its potentialities its identity with itself and its permanencein its dealing with ever new and different contents. This must sound striking to those who are used to themodern idea — reflected in the philosophical lexicon only after Baum-garten and Kant but originating roughly around Descartes — that sub-jectivity is par excellence the cogito opposed to a realm of objectivitystanding over and against it.

What we will have to discuss is thereforethe Hegelian notion of subjectivity in its relation with the Aristotelianenergeia. Yet his clear intention is that of pre-senting his students with a genuine Aristotle, in opposition to thephilosophical historiography of his own age. His choice of some fun-damental concepts is guided by what he sees as their convergence in aunitary interpretation, in light of what he takes to be the new Aris-totelian principle, subjectivity.

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For him the return to, and close studyof, the Greek text is crucial. We will see howHegel emphasizes the centrality of energeia in his reconstruction of theMetaphysics. Here Hegel finds a distinction of three types of substances,19 Throughout this book I adopt this shortened formula used by Hegel and by the sec- ondary literature. If ousia is identical with its concept, and this is the sub-ject of its own actualization, on the one hand God is, qua thought think-ing itself, the complete identity of subject and object after which the en-tire cosmos strives. On the other, Hegel finds in phusis nature , in thetheory of the form which has in itself the drive to actualize itself or themovement to reach its own telos, his own idea of natural subjectivity.

But if the peak of the Metaphysics is for Hegel represented by its specu-lative Idea, God, and yet thought thinking itself and substances in thesublunar world are two independent principles, then it is the De animawhich represents for Hegel the Archimedean point allowing for theunification of natural subjectivity and spirit, from its finite to its ab-solute forms. Hegel argues that in this work thedifferent forms of life, knowing and acting, are unitarily conceived asgradual moments in the actualization of the same process, the ent-elechy of living spirit.

There is much to be questioned about this interpretation and ap-propriation of the Metaphysics and the De anima, naturally, as will appearin due course. What is important to note here is that Hegel takes Aris-totle to have made nature, change, and all becoming intelligible in andof themselves. We must not oppose substance as a passive substrate tomovement, nor form or essence to becoming. Its very being consists in the process of its own actualization. Ifthe essence of the living being does not exist independently of it, it mustthen be the form understood as end — Hegel calls this the concept —that moves the living being in the process of attaining to its end or te-los.

Differently stated, in the living being the concept becomes con-crete. Energeia is what Hegel means by subjectivity, the concept as acause of its being and movement, or self-actualizing form. The concept exists realiter in nature, it is not our imposition; and yetit is present in it only in a hidden form, in potentiality with respect toits existence as an object of actual thinking.

If the universal is theessence of a natural being, of physical laws, and if it constitutes the ob-jectivity of the living, it cannot at the same time be found as such in na-ture. It is a moment of the Idea, a product of the activity of absolutethought.

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With a very arbitrary interpretive move Hegel identifies the existinguniversal, the objective intelligibility of all that is, with the Aristotelianpassive nous, only to oppose to objectified thought-determinations theactive nous, self-consciousness, the concept as absolute I. The object asa conceptual synthesis is produced in the I by the unity of thought; it isposited by the Concept that in the object relates to otherness as to it-self, and is the unity of itself with itself, the identity of subject and ob-ject.

If in this relation between active and passive nous it is more difficultto recognize Aristotle than the idealistic, especially Fichtean develop-ment of the Kantian transcendental deduction, it remains true that forHegel Aristotle is retrieved as a model of Vereinigungsphilosophie phi-losophy of unification over against the philosophy of reflection andthe scissions of modernity. The sensible is not opposed to reason; na-ture is not opposed to spirit. It is rather its immediate substance Grund-lage , the otherness of the Idea, out of which spirit emerges to attain toitself.

In all this spirit does not have to reach an end outside itself, for itsend is internal to it; if spirit is the movement of positing itself as its otherand of negating its otherness, then, in Aristotelian terms, its activity is The task of this book is to show why it is fruitful for a better under-standing of Hegel to examine his thought against the backdrop of hiscomments on Aristotle. The very arrangement ofthe material expounded in the lectures will prove to be significantly bi-ased on a few substantial counts.

Hegelianism

In other words, understandinghow Hegel conceives his system and the relation between thinking andRealphilosophie philosophy of nature and spirit will later be of crucialimportance in helping us understand why Hegel misconstrues theanalogous relation between philosophy and sciences which he thoughthe could find in Aristotle, and why he ignores that the De anima is nota philosophy of spirit in his sense.

After showing the tacit confrontation with theMetaphysics taking place in the Science of Logic Chapter Four , Aris-totelian and Hegelian treatments of essence, concept, definition, andcomposite substance are compared and contrasted Chapters 5 and 6. While Chapter7 focuses on teleology in nature, and on questions such as motion, mat-ter, space and time, mechanics and organics, Chapter 8 concentrateson the teleological self- constitution of spirit.

Yet wemust be clear about the meaning of such influence. The employmentof categories such as causality or external determination in the historyof philosophy postulates the polarity of an active cause and a passive re-cipient; in this relation the recipient is understood as a matter shapedby a form imposed on it from without. However important genetic stud-ies sometimes are, this often is the presupposition: namely, thatthrough the reading of or exposure to a text a philosopher shapes hisviews on a determinate subject before eventually reaching his own po-sition.

A given author cannot influence me unless I let himor her speak to me, unless I have made myself recipient to his or hermessage. But even if and when I do, whatever I assimilate is transformedwithin the preexisting framework of my thought. Hegel has shown that external causes only work in mechanism; liv-ing nature and especially spirit can only accept something from with-out once they are disposed and ready to do so.

All talk of externalcauses, writes Hegel, should be banished and rephrased as an occasion,an external stimulus, if applicable at all WL 2: —9, SL —3. Spirittransforms causes into stimuli for its own development; by inwardizinga cause, it transforms it into something else and eradicates it from itsexternality. And what he finds is what he islooking for. At the risk of sounding trivial, what I mean to say is that dif-ferent authors who may have been influenced by Kant or Aristotle findvery different motives of inspiration in them, and no two of them cometo the same conclusions.

Second, as Hegel put it in the Phenomenology, it is easier to judge anddismiss philosophers — that is, point out limits that only an external andcleverer observer can see — than to do them justice by understandingcomprehensively and sympathetically the essence of their thought W3: 13, PhS 3. Whether Hegel actually practiced this teaching is a dif-ferent question that we need not take up now. A third point taught by Hegel is that thinking is by nature critical, inthe sense that it negates the absolutization and self-subsistence of any Thought affirms, denies, and then unitesspeculatively the first two moments it has produced.

Any serious study in the history of philosophy, as well as any com-parative study and fruitful approach to similarities and differences be-tween historical figures, must take its bearings with these three pointsif it does not want to run the risk of futility and externality to the thingitself.

If one stands on the shoulders of giants, one must not forget whyit is that one sees farther. Thus Aristotle is often examined in a different light than is Hegel, aswell as contrasted with his reading. I believe the latter to be a very in-structive and interesting overinterpretation, if not distortion, and animportant chapter in the century-long history of Aristotelianism.

Here my procedure is comparable toa study in chiaroscuro bringing into relief otherwise hidden similaritiesand differences by contrast. Contrasts are valued as a means for a betterunderstanding of the specific arguments of each author, and for theidentification of what sets them off from one another. Hegel of-ten rests content with programmatic assertions that he does not testcritically, judging philosophers more for their intentions than for therealization of those intentions. An illustration of this kind of procedure is offered in this section.

I agree it does in somecrucial respects, most notably in the interpretation of the AristotelianGod. Hegel reverses the meaning of thesewords: activity Tun is a generic name applying to whatever change isinitiated, no matter by whom or what. I 4—6 , by chance or automatically. An action Handlung , in turn, is the result of deliberation and is that for whichthe agent claims full responsibility; it is the expression of rationality andspontaneity, or, in Kantian terms, of causality through freedom.

Unlikein Kant, however, I am not only responsible for the maxims of my ac-tions but also for their consequences. We can say that the distinction is both about the end and about thebeginning of the action; thus it is both Aristotelian and Kantian, andneither. Activity, in sum, has to do with directed processes initiated byan agent as opposed to mere change happening to a patient. Further,it is not distinctively human: human beings can be patients say, subjectto sudden meteorological change , and an animal can be the agent of,say, its growth, reproduction, etc.

When he compares language to the infinity of an organic form againstthose who take it as a finished product ergon , Humboldt — in a moreSchellingian than Hegelian vein — advocated for this reason a geneticdefinition of language.

And on thisscore he is obviously right. It is all the more striking how Kierkegaard wants to preserve this im-mobility while denying it. When he was ar- rested in Berlin in on charge of complicity with the Burschenschaften fraternities , Hegel wrote to von Schuckmann, Minister of Internal Affairs and Police, to pledge his innocence. Hegel reminded von Schuckmann that the fourth volume of the Proclus edition had been dedicated by Cousin to Schelling and Hegel Briefe , Letters —5. For example, Zeller cf. Chapter 4 below, n. In political and social terms, Hegel saw the ultimate destination of this historical process as a conflict-free and totally rational society or state, although for Hegel this did not mean a society of dogmatic and abstract pure reason such as the French Revolution envisaged, but one which looks for what is rational within what is real and already existent.

Some have argued that Hegel's vision of the state as an organic rational whole, leaves no room for individual dissent and choice, no room for the very freedom he was advocating. However, it should be noted that Hegel's idea of freedom was quite different from what we think of as the traditional Liberal conception of freedom which he would have seen as merely the ability to follow your own caprice , and rather consists in the fulfillment of oneself as a rational individual.

He did not expound in any detail, though, on his vision of the ideal state , and how such a state might avoid sinking into authoritarianism and Totalitarianism. Hegel categorically rejected Kant 's "thing-in-itself" and his noumenal world , arguing against Kant 's claim that something that exists was unknowable as contradictory and inconsistent. On the contrary, he claimed that whatever is must by definition be knowable : "The real is rational, and the rational is real".

He asserted that what becomes the real is "Geist" which, as we have noted above, can be translated as mind, spirit or soul , which he also sees as developing through history , with each period having a "Zeitgeist" spirit of the age. Thus, although individuals and whole societies change as part of the dialectical process, what is really changing is the underlying Geist.

He also held that each person's individual consciousness or mind is really part of the Absolute Mind even if the individual does not realize this , and he argued that if we understood that we were part of a greater consciousness we would not be so concerned with our individual freedom , and we would agree with to act rationally in a way that did not follow our individual caprice, thereby achieving self-fulfillment.

There has been much debate about whether Hegel's philosophy should be considered religious or spiritual or not.


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Most have interpreted his idea of an Absolute Mind as essentially a kind of Monism , which may or may not involve a monotheistic God of the traditional Christian kind. Some have seen it as closer to a kind of Pantheism. However, most of his philosophy also makes good sense when interpreted in a non-religious way, concerned merely with human minds. Hegel also discussed the concept of alienation in his work, the idea of something that is part of us and within us and yet seems in some way foreign or alien or hostile.

He introduced the figure of the "unhappy soul" , who prays to a God whom he believes to be all-powerful, all-knowing and all-good, and who sees himself in contrast as powerless, ignorant and base. Hegel submits that this is wrong because we are effectively part of God or Geist or Mind , and thus possessed of all good qualities as well as bad. Hegel's thought is often considered the summit of early 19th Century German Idealism.

Despite the suppression and even banning at one point of his philosophy by the Prussian right-wing, and its firm rejection by the left-wing, Hegel's influence has been immense , both within philosophy and in the other sciences. It would come to have a profound impact on many future philosophical schools not least those that opposed his ideas , such as Existentialism , Marxism , Nationalism , Fascism , Historicism , British Idealism and Logical Positivism and the Analytic Philosophy movement.

After his death, Hegel's followers split into two opposing camps : the Protestant, conservative Right "Old" Hegelians , and the atheistic , revolutionary Left "Young" Hegelians. In the latter half of the 20th Century, Hegel's philosophy has undergone a major renaissance , partly due to the re-evaluation of Hegel as a possible philosophical progenitor of Marxism , and partly due to a resurgence of the historical perspective that he brought to everything, and an increasing recognition of the importance of his dialectical method.

See the additional sources and recommended reading list below, or check the philosophy books page for a full list. A huge subject broken down into manageable chunks. Practice can be used in relation to political, moral, and religious values as well. In Plato we do not find a systematic development of the concept of praxis. The explanation is that Plato emphasizes reason, logos , and insight, gnosis , as the essential, in opposition to praxis, which is not regarded to have any value in itself. Correspondingly, the two other classes, the guardians and the craftsmen, are described as practicing in a condition of intellectual blindness.

From this perspective, it would simply be without any interest to develop a philosophy of praxis in the political sense. Aristotle turns this perspective around. It is Aristotle that systematically develops a concept of praxis as a central concept in his philosophy. According to Aristotle, the concept of praxis becomes one of the grounding concepts for the determination of the human being. It implies both theoretical praxis, the? Practical philosophy becomes herewith a separate part of philosophy where the task is to determine praxis as good both in the ethics in relation to the individual person and in the political philosophy in relation to the political community koin?

The single person cannot govern himself alone by his own reason. It is necessary for him to act upon a higher explicit reason, embedded in the law, and grounded in both phronesis phron? Praxis as? For Aristotle this is a prerequisite and therefore it is also said in the end of the Nicomachean Ethics , as a form of introduction to the Politics , that the polis is prior to the household oikos and the single person ekastos h?

This unity in the concept of praxis between? Praxis is for Aristotle the same as to practice in accordance with? The historical dissolution of the relation between praxis ,? From the perspective of the history of ideas, the close relation between praxis ,?

In the Hellenistic and Roman civilisations of the Mediterranean world this relation disappears. The Greek concept of polis acquires a new meaning as well with its translation into Latin. The same is the case in the early Christian theology as can be seen by Augustine, who created a political philosophy in The City of God in which it is a central point that the inner relation between common ethics and society, moralis et societas , understood as the Roman state, has been broken Augustine This theological metaphysical construction could not stand against the increasing individualization and secularization of the European society from the Renaissance through the Reformation, where the political and the economic changes posit a totally new agenda and where individualization becomes the new ground for the constitution of the new liberal political philosophy of Hobbes, Locke, Hume, Adam Smith and Kant.

Hegel — Praxis as Sittlichkeit. It comprises both a strong Platonic idealism and a form of Aristotelian pragmatic phenomenology. According to Hegel, from a philosophical perspective all contradictions are elevated aufgehoben into the unity of state. Hegel summarizes the essential in modern political philosophy, Hobbes, Adam Smith, Rousseau and Kant, and gives them their full place at the same time as they become subordinated to his own political philosophical perspective. As it is explained in the introduction, due to his idealism, Plato has on the one hand presented the Greek?

It is in connection with this presentation in the introduction that Hegel writes his maybe most discussed and maybe most conservative political philosophical statement as well:. This passage could be translated as follows:. The statement is very conservative because it seems, on the spontaneous level, to identify what is factually given in a society, the facticity, with what is reasonable or maybe even rational.

Simon Critchley. Hegel: the Philosopher of Tragedy. 2011

The rational is synonymous with the idea Hegel The essential point is that Hegel wishes to present the idea in the modern state in a Platonic sense; he wishes to present as well the reason in the modern state, which in an Aristotelian sense contains and mediates the free boundless personality, the family, the institutions of civil society, the concrete state with its different forms of institutions, etc.