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Meta-Encyclopaedic Reflections on the Beginning of Philosophy

  • Umur Başdaş (a1)

Abstract

Since in Hegel's view the end of philosophy coincides with its beginning, it is reasonable to expect that the end of the Encyclopaedia sheds some light on the Science of Logic. The Encyclopaedia concludes with three syllogisms in which logic, nature and spirit are related to each other in three different ways. This article analyses these three final syllogisms with an eye to how they can contribute to our understanding of the logical movement that starts from pure being. Trendelenburg and Schelling, like many others after them, think that Hegel's project in the Science of Logic is doomed from the start, because there can be no such thing as a non-temporal, purely logical movement. I argue that the three final syllogisms contain Hegel's response to this challenge. I call them ‘meta-encyclopaedic reflections’ in the sense that they take the whole encyclopaedic presentation of the Hegelian system as an object of critical inquiry and identify its limitations. The core of my approach is to examine how each one of these syllogisms situate us, namely the philosophizing subjects, vis-à-vis the world as disclosed by them. They demand that we shift from a third-person to a first-person perspective towards the world. The logical categories initially appear to move of their own accord only due to the limitations of the third-person perspective of the encyclopaedic presentation, which is to be sublated in a higher, first-person perspective. Hence, Hegel would happily admit that a purely logical movement is a mere appearance, but he would also claim that his philosophy can immanently explain the necessity of this appearance in the beginning of philosophy, and explain it better than his critics.

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Meta-Encyclopaedic Reflections on the Beginning of Philosophy

  • Umur Başdaş (a1)

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