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Phenomenology of Spirit - Revealing of Revelation - Hegel's Secular Lesemysterium

Phenomenology of Spirit - Revealing of Revelation - Hegel's Secular Lesemysterium

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Published by Andrew Glynn
The Phenomenenology of Spirit as an Attempt at Revealing the Meaning of Revelation or The End of the Conceptual Epoch © Andrew Glynn 2010
To download in PDF format please click here. Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit attempts to serve the same purpose that was later attempted by Nietzsche in Thus Spake Zarathustra and Heidegger in Contributions to Philosophy (from Enowning). Indeed in a religious sense the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola also attempt this purpose. In order to fully understa
The Phenomenenology of Spirit as an Attempt at Revealing the Meaning of Revelation or The End of the Conceptual Epoch © Andrew Glynn 2010
To download in PDF format please click here. Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit attempts to serve the same purpose that was later attempted by Nietzsche in Thus Spake Zarathustra and Heidegger in Contributions to Philosophy (from Enowning). Indeed in a religious sense the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola also attempt this purpose. In order to fully understa

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Published by: Andrew Glynn on Apr 17, 2010
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The Phenomenenology of Spirit as an Attempt at Revealing the Meaning of Revelationor The End of the Conceptual Epoch© Andrew Glynn 2010
To download in PDF format pleaseclick here.
Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit attempts to serve the same purpose that was later attempted byNietzsche in Thus Spake Zarathustra and Heidegger in Contributions to Philosophy (from Enowning).Indeed in a religious sense the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola also attempt this purpose.In order to fully understand absolute knowing, or the eternal recurrence, or enowning, or the revelationof Christianity, one has to have undergone the experience of revelation itself.What differentiates the post religious revelations is that they include the revelation of the nature ofrevelation itself. As a result they are interpreted in a non religious manner.Revelation is not something that comes to da-sein from the ‘outside’ but ‘happens’ to da-sein when thesystem of self-consciousness is superseded by the emergent, self-certain, self-organising system ofunderstanding.Hegel’s (and Holderlin’s) experience of the meaning of revelation exhausted the possibilities of theconceptual epoch (religious-metaphysical-scientific) as recognised in different ways by Marx,Nietzsche and Heidegger.“The purpose of the Phenomenology of Spirit, is to raise consciousness to self-consciousness and onward to the path where consciousness in general finds the absoluteNotion. Hegel said this about his method and that means the Notion as well. He notes, “Themethod itself by means of this moment expands itself into a system.” (Science of Logic,E.T., p. 838). Hegel rarely wrote about his system, so this important idea is a distinctivelink among the Notion, the method, and the system. Hegel clearly said that the “…theabsolute method, which has the Notion for its soul and content…(Science of Logic, E.T., p.839). Think about the nature of “the absolute method.” Who today would claim to have“the absolute method?”” (Ferrer, 2002)… to raise consciousness to self-consciousness
and onward
to the path where consciousness in generalfinds the absolute Notion.“The
method
itself
by means of this moment expands itself 
into a
system
.” (Ferrer, 2002)It expands
itself 
into a system. The ’system’ is not finally of Hegel’s making, it is of his
experience
.“Who today would claim to have “the absolute method?” (Ferrer, 2002)
Only someone with the experience of revelation of revelation.
“the purpose of the Phenomenology of Spirit is
to get us to
the standpoint of the circle ofcircles, namely, the pure, absolute, eternal, spiritual, ensouled reflected into itself – Notion.”“Hegel commented in a personal way, “I find the distinctive mark of (the) Science in the s
elf-movement of the Notion
…” (Indem ich das, wodurch die Wissenschaft existiert, in die Selbstbewegung desBegriffes setze). This plainly points to the importance that the Notion has for Hegel’s system. The final
 
goal for Hegel’s is the absolute Notion;
this is his methodology, movement, and the content 
of hismetaphysical system.” (Ferrer, 2002)The Notion is not an abstract notion of any thing. It is
the absolute Notion
, of which there is alwaysonly one – the revelation of revelation.“the purpose of the Phenomenology of Spirit is by analogy like Plato’s allegory of the cavein the Republic. It is the
movement from the shadows out of the cave into the sunlight 
. Thepurpose of the Phenomenology of Spirit is to
bring us to an absolute beginning
. ThePhenomenology of Spirit is the
ladder
to the absolute beginning as the Science of Logic.The third point is t
he Phenomenology brings the system to the point of the absolute Notion,which are both the methodology and the movement of Hegel’s metaphysical system
.”“Why would Hegel have started with sense certainty as he did in the Phenomenology ofSpirit? How are the
 patterns of consciousness, self-consciousness, Reason, Spirit, in theirself-unfolding
a concern of Philosophy? The education of consciousness through history toPhilosophy is important, but it is not Philosophy …” (Ferrer, 2002)Dialectical evolution of mind to self-consciousness
and beyond
. In patterns Hegel recognizes theevolution of system into
The System
, or
 Philosophy,
or
 
in Hegel’s terms,
The Science
. The
beyond
wasnew to Hegel in 1806, due to the experience commemorated in the poem Eleusis, dedicated to the poetHolderlin.“to overcome historical alienation in thought through a conceptual comprehension of thisdialectical movement. This philosophical overcoming of alienation makes possible areconciliation or ‘acceptance’ of
the dynamic, self-reproducing, but at the same time self-superseding contradictions
of modernity.”“In this way the PhG a
ttempts to lead us, as philosophically educated but unsatisfiedmodern individuals, to philosophical self-knowledge in absolute Spirit 
. Identity anddifference, I shall argue, remain operative concepts for this dialectical movement,particularly in the chapters on consciousness and self-consciousness. Hegel’s overall aim inthe PhG is thus to
overcome the difference of consciousness and formalism of self-consciousness
through the i
ntersubjective unity of Spirit 
which preserves both differenceand identity” (Sinnerbrink, 2002)Dialectic is merely the “rational” explanation of the revelation of revelation. But in this case Hegel
departs from dialectic,
overcoming the difference requires the
 preservation of both identity anddifference in the difference between them
. Hegel thereby introduces hermeneutics into his dialectic.“Hegel describes the PhG as depicting the “coming-to-be of
Wissenschaft as such
or of
knowledge
””Wissenschaft or philosophical Science, according to Hegel, refers to t
he self-organisingsystem of speculative knowledge
, whose introduction consists of phenomenology itself.
Such a system—comprising Logic, the philosophy of Nature, and philosophy of Spirit 
 —isthe appropriate philosophical expression of the Absolute as Spirit—“
the most sublimeConcept 
and the one which belongs to the modern age and its religion” (PhG 22/¶25). Spirithas moved
beyond
the unity and immediacy of ethical life and faith in ancient and medievallifeworlds, but
also beyond
the formal self-reflection that defines the lifeworld of theEnlightenment.(Sinnerbrink, 2002)
 
Self-organizing system
is self explanatory (see “The Development of the Net-Work”, Glynn 2010), asare its elements – the
complexity necessary for the next systemic emergence
in “the most sublimeConcept.” “… the unity and immeidacy of ethical life .. in ancient and medieval lifeworlds … also …the lifeworld of the Enlightenment.”. Here Hegel expresses the overcoming of earlier epochs in thetransition to the new. Those life
worlds
have literally
ended
. Hegel has himself ‘happened’ to
experience
the end of the “World” in the sense of the religious-metaphysical-scientific World of hispredecessors.“Hegel says that the rationality of history “is not a presupposition of study; it is a
result 
which [he adds without apology] happens to be known to myself because I already knowthe whole.””(Lischer, n.d.)“Spirit has not only
lost its essential life
; it is also
conscious
of this loss, a
nd of the finitudethat is its own content 
” (Sinnerbrink, 2002)Compare this with Heidegger’s
‘finitude of being’
and
‘abandonment by being’
. as
experiencedthrough (the event of) Ereignis
.“Rather than successfully
developing consciousness to the standpoint of reason
, Hegelfinds in post-Kantian idealism a
reversion to the standpoint of reflection
through thee
levation of either the subjective or objective pole of the “absolute identity”
.” (Sinnerbrink,2002)For Hegel, then, consciousness must develop and overcome its own limitations, rather than beingposited as non substantial subject or non substantial “absolute identity”. Identity or subject is indeednon substantial, but not absolute,
only absolute knowledge of the absolute Notion through absolutemethod
achieves what Kant, Schelling and others aimed at.“Hegel’s criticism, directed obliquely at Schelling, is that contemporary philosophy fails to“give difference its due”.”” (It)…fails to comprehend the
complex interplay of form and content, identity anddifference, subject and object, which defines rational actuality
. Consequently, there is a
failure to construct an organic system of reason in which these antitheses are reconciledwithin a self comprehending unity.
” (Sinnerbrink, 2002)The ‘
complex interplay
‘ is the universe or reality itself, which ‘plays because it plays’. The failure isnot to
construct an organic system
(a contradiction in terms in any case) but to
experience self-comprehending unity as a ’system of reason
‘.“This thesis can be justified only by performing the exposition of the system itself; that is,by demonstrating the suspension of the opposition between substance and subject withinself-knowing Spirit.” (Sinnerbrink, 2002)Here is the crux of the
failure
of the Phenomenology, along with that of “Thus Spake Zarathustra” and“…vom Ereignis”. It must not simply
demonstrate
but
 provoke the experience
of that suspension.“One important sense of what Hegel calls the “Subject” is free activity or simple negativity,
a “doubling” movement of self-positing
that sets up another in opposition to itself, negatesthis opposition, and
then returns to itself in its self-identity that has integrated otherness
.”"(Sinnerbrink, 2002)

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