BECOMING III: FROM BEING-FOR-SELF TO QUANTITYBeing-for-self names, after Being and Being Determinate, the third section of the first of the three parts, viz.Quality, of the Doctrine of Being. As such it leads into Quantity, the second part. The second section, BeingDeterminate, however, itself progresses from Quality (in a more specified sense), Limit or Finitude andAlterability to Infinity, whether "bad" or genuine and,
the latter, to Being-for-self as evincing "the categoryof Ideality", proper to the finite. Its "readiest instance", however, is "found in the 'I'" and it is upon this we willfocus when charting the real or
emergence of quantity from quality. By this we mean a
necessity, though not that the Absolute is necessitated as if constrained to "create" in quantity, as it were. This passage, rather, as
or of the Mind, is intrinsic to Absolute Being itself, disclosed as Beginning (after having
begun with it) by, finally, some form of an "Ontological Argument". In this sense God creates
and not merely "at" the beginning.
To the necessary all things, all categories of thought, are necessary and this isone with or is the Ground of "blessedness" and
.Logic thus ends at the Beginning and even absolutely so, in that the idea is finally one with the Method itself of the whole, of Thinking. No hole, no opening, is left such as are routinely taken as an escape from what wemistake for the
of Reason. The Freedom which Reason finally
, superseding any separation of cognition and volition, is the presence of All to and in all, the identity of self with other and with other again, notlimited to the maintenance of the initial, as it appears, individual self, "ruined" before it begins. This "quality" isone with the universal of universals which I, as conscious, am, subject become or passed to subjectivity. As suchI disclose pure quantity, a quantity which, as pure, is one with the One, however, the continuous not excludingthe discrete (or non-continuous) or anything else.As Hegel sums it up (
2), and it is characteristic that the insight comes to the fore in a considerationof philosophical
, asking "whence these categories (quality and quantity) originate":The fact is, quantity just means quality superseded and absorbed: and it is by the dialectic of quality here examined that this supersession is effected…i.e. absolutely or, which is the same, rationally. As Cicero had long ago argued, Reason is divine and thereforeLaw (
II, 4, 10). This is the same as to say that Reason itself is ab-solute, the being loosed (
)from all or, in a word, Freedom, the overcoming, in being and exercise, of the categorical or limited, of the
. Hegel goes on:First of all, we had Being: as the truth of Being, came Becoming: which formed the passage toBeing Determinate: and the truth of that we found to be Alteration. And in its result Alterationshowed itself to be Being-for-self,
exempt from implication of another and from passage intoanother
… (my emphasis)As such, finally, in Repulsion and Attraction (here we have Atomism, but also the dialectic of finite love) Being-for-self "is clearly seen to annul itself",
while yet remaining
, and thus, all along the line "to annul quality in thetotality of its stages". "This also is thou, neither is this thou" expresses (as distinct from explaining) thedeveloped "mystical" perception of this.
Quality thus emerges, not as "abstract and featureless" but asindifferent to "determinateness or character", i.e. as quantity, here become figure for or expression of Mind, of Freedom, or the undetermined, transcendent character thereof. Hence Quality was said, as a category "only of thefinite" (90,
), to belong not properly to Mind but to Nature. Alternatively, or as we might interpret or vary
Hegel here, as a moment of Logic and hence necessary it presages (for us) the necessity of Nature, of the Idea inalienation.*********************"If we now ask for the difference between something and another it turns out that they are the same." With thesewords Hegel marks variability, becoming other, as of the essence of, as
, Determinate Being.
Here, just therefore, we must situate Time, variability's measure., and not make an absolute out of it. McTaggart andnot the lesser theologians was right here, at least if we are interpreting Hegel and with him Aquinas, Augustineand the Apostle Paul. With God, absolutely speaking, or, simply, just absolutely speaking, there is neither
Augustine relates the
creation (of spirits) to this seeming wordplay, doubly relevant to us should therein fact be no angels other than ourselves.
Hegel, we noted earlier, positively claimed the mystical character for philosophy, i.e. for philosophy.
This identification has become a truism of hermeneutics.
Compare our tentative identification of variation and determinate interpretation in our previous paragraph.