two works. It is my opinion that if the blinders that we so quickly assumewhen reading the
are removed, we will find that the earlier dialecticmust be approached differently. This different approach will, I believe,facilitate an understanding of Hegel's very difficult work, and perhaps willalso evade some of the prejudices that the more radical dialectic of the
causes. The purpose of this paper is then two-fold: to give astatement about some of the more general methodological assumptions ofthe
and to outlipe a specific approach to thedialectical scheme of the work. The further problem of reconciling themethodology of the
with that of the
is a temptingone, but is far beyond the scope of this paper.IIHegel's process philosophy, unlike the dualism of Whitehead'smetaphysic, entails a unity of both the process, or generative principle,and the content, or logical stages, of change and growth. One mayabstract the logical description of process and call it dialectic, and onemay, from a slightly different perspective, refer to absolute spirit as theultimate and abiding determinateness of that process; but any suchabstraction must defer to the basic unity. The dialectical process ofmovement occurs within the absolute, but the absolute is the processinsofar as it
i.e., attains consciousness of
by that verymovement.
movement, or attainment of consciousness, is embodiedin individual persons and cultures which are finite elements of absolutespirit moving toward fuller consciousness; but this is an immanentmovement and may only be described as spirit moving
Finite levelsof consciousness may for a time halt their movement and endure a longperiod of stasis, but such periods of stasis, no matter how long they mightpersist in time, and no matter how great the fear and anxiety may beregarding change, yet will loosen their temporal ties and will follow ahigher logic: "Should that anxious fearfulness wish to remain always inunthinking indolence, thought will agitate the thoughtlessness, its restlessness will disturb that indolence."
I.e. it is the nature of consciousness to speculate, no matter how limited this speculation may be. Hence,the temporal span of stasis itself
a finite thing which reflects the finitudeof the static consciousness. It follows from this that Hegel does notemphasize the temporal order of cultural development. Rather, his emphasis is on the logical, or dialectical order which describes the realmof appearances without referring to their logical continuity. Yet,