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Chapter 5 - Schelling, Hegel, and Positivity

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 September 2021

George di Giovanni
Affiliation:
McGill University, Montréal
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Summary

Remembering is also the theme of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit (1807) but of a different kind than Schelling’s. It is not of a cosmic event; nor does it yield a theogony. The issue for Hegel is rather the actualization of the historical human individual and of humanity accordingly, and the remembering is of how being rational affects an individual’s relation to nature. At origin this relation is worked out unconsciously. It is visibly reflected, however, in the sense of self-identity into which an individual is historically born, just as one is born into a family. To retrieve the source of the identity, thus to make it deliberately one’s own – by the same token to make of nature a work of intelligence – is the factor that motivates experience. Chapter 5 contrasts Schelling’s and Hegel’s respective ideas of history. It then proceeds with a detailed examination of the Phenomenology up to the section on Religion. It argues that, while in some ways a work of conceptual fiction, the Phenomenology must nonetheless have historical anchoring and logical significance. It also underscores the debt Hegel owes to Fichte that makes him quite different from Schelling.

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Hegel and the Challenge of Spinoza
A Study in German Idealism, 1801–1831
, pp. 130 - 177
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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