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The Idea of ‘Method’ in Hegel's Science of Logic — a Method for Finite Thinking and Absolute Reason

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 June 2015

Angelica Nuzzo*
Affiliation:
De Paul University, Chicago
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Extract

Hegel's Science of Logic achieves its conclusion with a chapter on the ‘absolute Idea’ that parallels the ending of other works such as the ‘absolute Knowing’ chapter of the Phenomenology of Spirit and the ‘absolute Spirit’ chapter of the Encyclopedia. However, the ending of the Logic claims special systematic attention due to the fact that Hegel presents here the ‘discourse on method’ of his philosophy. The method of philosophy — of philosophical thinking and philosophical knowing — is the method of speculative logic. This logic “takes the place” of the old metaphysics — of the traditional metaphysica generalis and metaphysica specialis — going beyond Kant's own critique and proposing a new science that establishes itself as the “eigentliche Metaphysik”. The project of concluding this new speculative metaphysics with a theory of method is complicated by the double systematic placing that Hegel attributes to his logic which, at the same time, figures as the very first and very last science of the whole system of philosophy. In this perspective, the absolute Idea of the Logic gains its double relation to the phenomenological ‘absolute knowing’ and to the highest moment of ‘absolute spirit’.

Type
Hegel's Logic and Metaphysics
Copyright
Copyright © The Hegel Society of Great Britain 1999

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References

1 The Science of Logic will be quoted as I. or II. followed by the page number and the paragraph (e.g. I. 51, 2 = first vol., p. 51, second paragraph) of the following German edition: Hegel, G.W.F., Werke in zwanzig Bänden, ed. Moldenhauer, E. and Michel, K.M. (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1971), vols. 5 Google Scholar (=I), 6 (=II); in parentheses I will give the reference to the English edition: Hegel, G.W.F., Science of Logic, trans. Miller, A.V. (Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press, 1969)Google Scholar; here II. 570, 2 (841).

2 II. 549, 1 (524).

3 II. 572, 2 (843).

4 II. 549, 1 (824).

5 II. 573, 2 (843).

6 II. 551, 1 (825): the method is both “Modalität des Seins” and “Modalität des Erkennens”.

7 I. 487, 2 (775).

8 II. 488 (776); for the critique of the idea of a ‘sich bedienen’ of the representation of the I, see II. 490, 1 (777).

9 II. 490 (777 f.).

10 II. 489, 2 (775).

11 II. 493, 2 (779).

12 II. 487, 3 (774).

13 II. 496, 3 (782).

14 II. 497, 1 (782).

15 In: A. Die Idee des Wahren we have a finite knowing that as: a. Das analytische Erkennen runs through the logic of Being (II. 511) and as: b. Das synthetische Erkennen accomplishes the transition “vom Sein zur Reflexion” (II. 511); whereas in: B. Die Idee des Guten finite knowing reaches the sphere of the freedom of the concept (II. 541). The absolute Idea is the unity of all these dimensions. Precisely in this sense is it ‘absolute’.

16 II. 539 (816).

17 II. 539-540 (816-17).

18 II. 540 (817).

19 II. 557 (830).

20 II. 549 (824), 570 (841).

21 II. 489 (777), 491 (778), 492 (779).

22 Hegel, G.W.F, Werke in zwanzig. Bänden, vols. 8, 9, 10 (Enzyklopädie der philosophischen Wissenschaften) (hereafter Enz.), § 236 ZGoogle Scholar.

23 Enz. § 577.

24 II. 557, 1 (830), 572 (843).

25 II. 549 (824).

26 G.W.F. Hegel, Gesammelte Werke. In Verbindung mit der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft,, Hrsg. v. der Rheinisch-Westfälischen Akademie der Wissenschaften (Hamburg: Meiner, 1968 ff), (= GW), 9. 18 (in parentheses I give the corresponding page of the English edition: Hegel, G.W.F., Phenomenology of Spirit, trans. Miller, A.V.. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977)Google Scholar; here 10.

27 GW 9. 22 (14).

28 II. 195 (537).

29 II. 551, 1 (825).

30 II. 549, 1 (824).

31 II. 549, 1; see Enz. § 236: “die absolute und alle Wahrheit”.

32 Enz. § 236.

33 II. 549, 1.

34 II, 549, 2.

35 II. 550 - see also Enz. § 236: “die sich selbst denkende Idee, und zwar hier als denkende, als logische Idee”.

36 II. 551, 1.

37 II. 551, 1.

38 II. 550, 1.

39 GW 9. 53 f. (46)

40 II. 551-2.

41 GW 9.433 (492): “Seine Grenze wissen, heißt sich aufzuopfern wissen”.

42 II. 570 (840-1).

43 II. 549, 1.

44 GW 9.49 (43).

45 GW 9.24 (16).

46 GW 9.18 (10).

47 GW 4. 458.

48 GW 9. 5 (2-3).

49 GW 9. 22 (14).

50 I. Kant, Kritik der reinen Vernunft (=KrV) B 766.

51 I. Kant, Was heißt: Sich im denken orientieren?, A 324 Anm.

52 KrV B XXVI f. Anm.

53 I. Kant, Kritik der Urteilskraft (=KU) § 76.

54 GW 9.427 (485).

55 GW 9.429 (487).

56 Fragment: C. Die Wissenschaft, in: Hegel, G.W.F., Phänomenologie des Geistes (Hamburg: Meiner, 1988), 535546 Google Scholar; see also: Bonsiepen, W., “Zur Datierung und Interpretation des Fragments ‘C. Die Wissenschaft’”, in: Hegel-Studien, 12 (1977): 179–90Google Scholar.

57 II. 499 (784).

58 II. 552 (826).

59 II. 564, 2 (836).

60 A terminological analysis of the Hegel's ‘absolute’ can be found in Burbidge, J., “Hegel's Absolutes”, in: The Owl of Minerva, 29, 1 (Fall 1997): 2337 CrossRefGoogle Scholar. I agree with Burbidge's analysis; however, he shows neither the reasons why Hegel would need his particular doctrine of the ‘absolute’ nor the necessity of it.

61 The absolutus in this sense corresponds to the ‘thing in itself’ as what is not even in a relation to thinking and knowing.

62 KrV B 381-382.

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