viewpoint one cannot even be sure antecedently that mathematicians, as such, concernthemselves with Number itself. Thus in attempting this Frege, the mathematician, became aself-reflective philosopher
while, conversely, it is still not clear whether extensional"mathematical logic" is indeed logic. Its famous "great strides" may rather argue the opposite,a striding
, a reduction of everything to "Extensive magnitudes" in search of a"convenience" better served by not thinking at all, as Hegel remarks (103,
It is rather the other way round. What
confronts us is the unitary or continuousmagnitude, though in the first place, as Hegel (along with Spinoza) emphasises, this refers primarily to the whole. By analogy or, rather, metonymy with this we single out or "break off"other wholes. Analytic "discretion", to pun in irony, the discrete, comes later and to thus break something (a quantum) off is a tool, a praxis
, which often or always harms or distorts what itworks with, as,
, does the observer of "quanta" (no punning intended) incontemporary physics. For he is himself an
or abstracted aspect (thus by no means afragment) and not the whole which "counts itself".
Quantity, again, is only contingentlyconnected (not to say "related") to our "normal" more mathematical notion of it.Quantity first appeared, in fact, as the quality not which changes but which occurs to or isinstanced in but without affecting "the being itself", to which it is "external". Nonetheless,"the Absolute is pure Quantity" (99), which however Hegel relates to the "definition" of it asMatter.
The material realm, namely, is that where things are outside of or alienated from oneanother,
partes extra partes
, precisely the situation the "analytical method" tries to bringabout in regard to thoughts.Thus Quantity as a "stage of the Idea" refers more to negation than to externality. The latter ismere picture. Thus intensive magnitude permits the notion "more of the same", i.e. without being different, more without becoming several,
that is not
. Greek scienceworked in general with opposites and their relative proportions, like hot and cold, dry andwet. Even in Aristotle's ethics there is not much room for growth in virtue, though he has of course the notion of habit. However it only becomes a virtue at all when it is thus "had", as
, the "having" of it which it is, in perfection! You either have it or you don't. Butcontrast growth in spirit or in wisdom, in "grace"? Here intensive magnitude, more of thesame without being different and in
sense an external quality, is needed.In the sense that the Absolute is pure quantity we cannot but be referred to the dialectic asHegel's attempt to get behind the ultimately sham discreteness of language, the "broken off"spaces between words, to the continuum as reflected in the being of finite things. Such beingis identical with just their specific finitude, their degree on a scale, the limit, the finiteintensity (of "magnitude") appropriate to each thing (its "measure", we will see later). In thissense qualitative
, for example (change is not essential to this picture), are at bottomquantitative, as water gets more and more cold to become ice. Or as, in Christian theology, the
In support of these suggestions (not meant as mere insinuations) I cite the work on logic of a late friend andmentor, Henry B. Veatch, especially his
of 1952. For exposure of the misapprehension etc.evidenced in reviews of and comments upon this work see my
Philosophy or Dialectic
, Peter Lang, Frankfurt,1995, I, 5 (pp. 61-70).
Cf. 104: "Not only therefore
the quantum be increased or diminished without end: the very notion of quantum is thus to push out and out beyond itself." Thus Hegel overcomes the restrictive Kantian (or Lockean)conceptualism by maximising it, in true dialectical fashion. All possible conceptions, like all the possible worldsof modern physics, are stabs at the final result, moments of the method. This is not of course to say that allconceptions are possible.
A conception broached in V, q.v.
Hegel writes "when it is defined to be" (if I can rely on the translation) and that is exactly right, given Hegel'saccount of ideal reality. Here definition becomes a more open or less exclusive variety of identification than weusually intend with this latter term. The Absolute may and has to be thus identified with any and every category"in passing", as it were. Here Hegel, having recast definition, rescues identity from "the Philosophy of Identity"(cf. 103,
., last paragraph).