Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

‘Determination is negation’: The Adventures of a Doctrine from Spinoza to Hegel to the British Idealists

  • Robert Stern (a1)

Abstract

This article is a discussion of Hegel’s conception of the principle ‘omnis determinatio est negatio’, which he attributes to Spinoza. It is argued, however, that Spinoza understood this principle in a very different way from Hegel, which then sets up an interpretative puzzle: if this is so, why did he credit Spinoza with formulating it? This puzzle is resolved by paying attention to the context in which those attributions are made, while it is also shown that the British Idealists (unlike many contemporary commentators) were aware of the complexities in the Spinoza–Hegel relation on this issue. The paper also addresses some of the philosophical debates raised by this question, and the light it sheds on Hegel’s critique of Spinoza as a monist.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      ‘Determination is negation’: The Adventures of a Doctrine from Spinoza to Hegel to the British Idealists
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      ‘Determination is negation’: The Adventures of a Doctrine from Spinoza to Hegel to the British Idealists
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      ‘Determination is negation’: The Adventures of a Doctrine from Spinoza to Hegel to the British Idealists
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

References

Hide All
Bienenstock, M. (2007), ‘Selbstbestimmung bei Hegel’, in R. Bubner and G. Hindrichs (eds.), Von der Logik zur Sprache. Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta.
Brandom, R. B. (2002), Tales of the Mighty Dead: Historical Essays in the Metaphysics of Intentionality. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.
Caird, E. (1889), The Critical Philosophy of Immanuel Kant. Glasgow: James Maclehose.
Caird, J. (1888), Spinoza. Edinburgh: William Blackwood.
Duffy, S. (2006), The Logic of Expression: Quality, Quantity and Intensity in Spinoza, Hegel and Deleuze. Aldershot: Ashgate.
Descartes, R. (1964–76), Oeuvres de Descartes, ed. C. Adam and P. Tannery, revised edition. Paris: Vrin/CNRS.
Houlgate, S. (2006), The Opening of Hegel’s Logic: From Being to Infinity. West Lafayette: Purdue University Press.
Inwood, M. (1992), A Hegel Dictionary. Oxford: Blackwell.
Jacobi, F. H. (1785), Ueber die Lehre des Spinoza in Briefen an den Herrn Moses Mendelssohn. Breslau: Löwe.
Jacobi, F. H. (1994), ‘Concerning the Doctrine of Spinoza in Letters to Herr Moses Mendelssohn’, trans. G. di Giovanni in The Main Philosophical Writings and the Novel ‘Allwill’. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press.
Joachim, H. H. (1901), A Study of the Ethics of Spinoza. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Macherey, P. (1979), Hegel ou Spinoza. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.
Macherey, P. (2011), Hegel or Spinoza, trans. S. M. Ruddick. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Mander, W. J. (2011), British Idealism: A History. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Melamed, Y. Y. (2010), ‘Acosmism or Weak Individuals? Hegel, Spinoza, and the Reality of the Finite’, Journal of the History of Philosophy 48: 7792.
Melamed, Y. Y. (2012a), ‘“Omnis determinatio est negatio”: Determination, Negation and Self-Negation in Spinoza, Kant, and Hegel’, in E. Förster and Y. Y. Melamed (eds.), Spinoza and German Idealism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Melamed, Y. Y. (2012b), ‘Why Spinoza is not an Eleatic Monist. Or Why Diversity Exists’, in P. Goff (ed.), Spinoza on Monism. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Melamed, Y. Y. (2014), ‘Hasdai Crescas and Spinoza on Actual Infinity and the Infinity of God’s Attributes’, in S. Nadler (ed.), Spinoza and Medieval Jewish Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Moore, A. W. (2012), The Evolution of Modern Metaphysics: Making Sense of Things. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Moyar, D. (2011), Hegel’s Conscience. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Newlands, S. (2011), ‘Hegel’s Idealist Reading of Spinoza’, Philosophy Compass 6: 100108.
Parkinson, G. H. R. (1993), ‘Spinoza and British Idealism: The Case of H. H. Joachim’, British Journal for the History of Philosophy 1: 109123.
Pringle-Pattison, A. S. (1897), ‘A New Theory of the Absolute’, reprinted in his Man’s Place in the Cosmos and Other Essays. Edinburgh: William Blackwood, 129225.
Schelling, F. (1856–61), Sämmtliche Werke, ed. K. F. A. Schelling. J. G. Cotta: Stuttgart.
Schelling, F. (2006), Philosophical Investigations into the Essence of Human Freedom, trans. J. Love and J. Schmidt. Albany: SUNY Press.
Sigwart, C. (1895), Logic, trans. H. Dendy, 2nd edn.London: Swan Sonnenschein.
Spinoza, B. (1925), Opera, ed. C. Gebhardt. Heidelberg: Carl Winter.
Taylor, C. (1975), Hegel. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed