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Studies in Hegelian Dialectics by John McTaggart Ellis McTaggart

Studies in Hegelian Dialectics by John McTaggart Ellis McTaggart

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The first work of the british philosopher.
The first work of the british philosopher.

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  • 23. The conclusion thus reached is one which deals with
  • 27. If this is
  • 31. The first of these
  • 32. In answer to this we
  • 88. So also it is not fair to
  • 89. We are now in a
  • 90. It is no doubt the case that an advanced state of the
  • 91. I have thus endeavoured to show that the dialectic
  • 96. The demand that the dialectic shall confine itself to
  • 99. This is
  • 100. In what
  • 101. Before
  • 102. It is the first of these
  • 103. No doubt
  • 104. The
  • 105. Such a conclusion, no doubt, would make a con
  • 106. Mr object in this
  • 107. The
  • 108. The result of this
  • 109. Another
  • 110. It is natural that these
  • 111. While
  • 112. Another
  • 113. Before we consider this
  • 114. Now these
  • 115. We
  • 116. The
  • 117. We may draw several
  • 118. We now come to a fresh
  • 119. But this conclusion seems
  • 120. The conclusion at which we are thus
  • 123. And the dialectic is also to be called
  • 125. The second
  • 126. The third function of the dialectic
  • 127. What then is this real and essential element in the
  • 128. Not the
  • 129. There is also a second characteristic of the dialectic
  • 130. The belief that the dialectic is continuous
  • 131. The
  • 132. And if we look at the facts we shall find that
  • 133. But it would also be
  • 134. The
  • 135. We saw above that the dialectic
  • 136. It
  • 137. This is not so clear when the
  • 138. The more
  • 139. I have endeavoured to show that the view of the
  • 140. ONE of the most
  • 141. Let us consider the first of these
  • 142. The first
  • 143. Various
  • 144. It
  • 145. It has sometimes been
  • 146. Since either
  • 147. We now come to the second
  • 148. It
  • 149. And
  • 150. We have thus arrived at the conclusion that the
  • 151. If this is
  • 153. But it must be remembered that the
  • 155. It is
  • 156. This
  • 157. It
  • 158. We have thus failed
  • 160. The conclusion we have reached is one which it
  • 161. We need not
  • 162. It
  • 164. Shall we succeed
  • 165. There remains the
  • 166. So far
  • 167. It would seem then that
  • 170. The
  • 171. It must be noticed also that the contradiction before
  • 172. It is
  • 173. If indeed we were
  • 175. NOTE. After this
  • 176. Mr Schiller further
  • 177. Mr Schiller
  • 179. FROM a
  • 181. The word
  • 182. Let us consider first
  • 184. It has been asserted that it is natural and
  • 185. Let us take then the second
  • 186. All
  • 187. Of course such an ideal of
  • 188. Neither
  • 189. But even when
  • 190. We may put this in another
  • 191. No doubt the fact that
  • 192. There is
  • 193. To this line of criticism an
  • 194. But we must
  • 195. The ideal of
  • 196. The action of
  • 197. It is the existence of the This which renders it
  • 198. In the first
  • 199. And here we see the reason
  • 200. It
  • 202. In
  • 203. It
  • 204. Let us now turn to the
  • 205. Now
  • 206. The result of all this would
  • 207. WE have now to
  • 208. This then is one
  • 209. The information thus attained would be
  • 210. We must now turn to the second
  • 211. TliP
  • 212. I wish to
  • 213. The movement of the Idea, as we learned in the
  • 215. We can determine in this
  • 217. In the
  • 218. Let us consider this in more detail. In the first
  • 219. In the
  • 220. In the
  • 221. It
  • 222. We must now
  • 223. The same
  • 224. Of course
  • 225. I need
  • 226. We seem thus reduced to a state of almost
  • 227. The best
  • 231. It




Hawlor library















In quoting from the Smaller Logic and the Philosophy of Spirit. S. Mackenzie. I am most deeply indebted to Professor J. chapters. and 10). 1. rilHE first four chapters of at this book are Fellowship based on a dissertation submitted the Examination of Trinity College. of University College. Cambridge. in 1891. and in assisting me with many most helpful suggestions and corrections. 8. Cardiff. nearly in their present form. . 2. A part of the second chapter et appeared in the Revue de Metaphysique de Morale for November 1893. for his kindness in reading the proof-sheets of these Studies. The fourth and fifth were published in Mind (New Series. I have generally availed myself of Professor Wallace s valuable translations.PREFACE. Nos.

. .14 12 . 14.... . . .TABLE OF CONTENTS. . objection to this raised by Hartmaim In what sense the dialectic may be said to be objective The imperfection of finite things does not involve... .21 . 7 10. 8 10 .. . 15.. of experience relation of Hegel s epistemology to . PAGE 1. 7. . . . .. 13.21 22 22 23 We The are not entitled to consider pure thought as independent 24. for Hegel. . ... 11. . 19 it The postulate which assumes is the validity of the category 18.. .... . The dialectic does not violate the law of contradiction The importance of the idea of negation is only secondary The relation of the dialectic to ordinary thought Hartmann s criticisms of this relation The same continued The dialectic must prove its validity to the Understanding The relation of the dialectic to experience The relation of the dialectic to experience further defined The basis upon which the dialectic works is the nature of . 14 . 2. And of Being the denial of this postulate is contradictory The argument of the dialectic is transcendental result of the dialectic of this 20 . ... .. 22. 9. 17 experience 17. 4... CHAPTER I. ... The logical connection of categories The form of this connection is progressively modified The dialectic is a process of reconstruction Which takes place by alternate production and removal . ...11 .. . An 6. .... THE GENERAL NATU11E OF THE DIALECTIC..16 .. contradictions 5. 20. 3. . The epistemological The negative effects Its positive effects .. 1 .. 16. . Kant s 24 25 .. 2 3 of 4 5 6 the objective reality of the dialectic as a process 8.. 19. 23. 12.. 21. .

. the Absolute Idea C. Hegel s description of the transition from Logic to Nature and Spirit 52. . claims of 54 50. The importance Comparison philosophy 29. 32 33 35 44. 29 in 30 CHAPTER II... that the dialectic is without presuppo 50 sition 47. but mediacy Hegel s definition of .. .. 51. . 58 54.. 26. . . 62 .. The errors involved in this view 33-43. 56. . ontological result of the dialectic ambiguity of the phrase Hegel s deduction of Nature and Spirit from the Logic .. 31.. and that he tried to deduce Existence from Essence 57 . This deduction does not treat pure thought as independent of experience 28..... Professor Seth s view as to the dialectic ontological the 55 55 . . The 26 27 28 27. is per se sterile. 48... . The interpretation placed on this by Professor Seth Who confuses two charges that Hegel tried to synthetically deduce Nature and Spirit from thought... Reasons Hegel s 46... and Trendelenburg gains its advance by illegitimate appeals to experience 32. .. 30.51 im 52 not 49. The true clear relation of the dialectic to experience for this is not made 48 49 by Hegel assertion 45.... Passages from the Encyclopaedia bearing on this view s view that the dialectic . The relation of the Absolute Idea to experience The Absolute Idea transcends contingency.Vlll TABLE OF CONTENTS.... Introductory 32 A.. DIFFERENT INTERPRETATIONS OF THE DIALECTIC. PAGE 25. 60 61 are untenable .. But the first of these does not involve the second Hegel would have been wrong in trying to do the first But the arguments in support of the theory that he did try . . 53.. 55. of the ontological result of the dialectic of Hegel with his immediate predecessors ...

. There is a deduction... . 59. but it is not purely synthetic The treatment of Contingency in the Logic as bearing on this question 65 65 67 ... The second charge cannot do this We 61.. as Hartmann suggests.. 66... Which Since it cannot . .... 80 72.... 71. deducing Existence from Essence. 78. We are justified in assuming the validity of Being as a starting-point . 60.. 69 71 God adopted by 72 74 65... 86 87 88 79.... 74. Professor Seth s assertion that Hegel depreciates the individual And that his Absolute Spirit is a mere abstraction .. Mr 69. And Hegel nature says himself that his deduction is of a different 64 . not. .... . ...... The Understanding demands a complete explanation universe 73. .. . argument depends on the Hegel and Kant .... CHAPTER III. 68 69 62.... this second charge must fall to the ground if . THE VALIDITY OF THE DIALECTIC... Balfour s criticism of transcendental arguments Which rests on a confusion of the different senses in which 77 78 70........ &quot.... The meaning of the phrase absolute as used by Hegel of his own philosophy Hegel s treatment of Kant s objections to the ontological It 64. The Reason can supply such an explanation Which the Understanding must therefore accept The Understanding and the Reason are not separate and unconnected faculties B. A.TABLE OF CONTENTS. Introductory . 63. But the deduction of Nature and Spirit is purely analytic. itself not merely ethical or emotional of the 80 82 supply 83 84 85 And many of its categories lead to contradictions this must lead to scepticism . 67. to separation 76.. of the category 90 ... 76 68... 75.. different definitions of . ... The longing for the Absolute is . ...... 58.... .. we may be said to be conscious of an element in experience The same subject continued The justification of the Keason to the Understanding. &quot.... IX PAGE 57. between thought and being 77...

. 96.. 85.. 94. The denial of the 108 may be inadequate to 110 97. The consideration here impossible 93 antithesis to synthesis possibility of this is 83. PAGE 80. . Ill . not depend on them Though an advanced state of the finite sciences may be an 102 91. 99 100 dialectic does not displace the finite sciences. As to the process The process from empirical first from a synthesis to the new thesis Neither sterile nor 91 thesis to antithesis. But in reality it is deducible by pure thought Nor does Becoming specially involve time or space Nor is it.. . Being C. . although it only retraces abstractions. . 92.113 114 100. . this phrase it .. with what is thought about Being In this sense Hegel did not hold the doctrine He held it in the sense that Being is identical with what it thinks perhaps he was mistaken . but must have a given .. 89..103 . Im 115 101. Unjustifiable. .. 99. but does 90. merely a gives knowledge 87. Transition from Logic to Nature and Spirit Thought can never be self-subsistent. Thought and .. . 93. 108 The ontological validity of the dialectic. not that it is Thought 119 ..&quot. since reality itself can only be known . datum The transition might have been made portance of this Lotze s criticism of &quot. Being.. .X TABLE OF CONTENTS. The aid in discovering the dialectic idea of Motion according to Trendelenburg introduced .. 105. . 84. reverses the order of explanation current in science is it merely a process of subjective thought . 91 of the categories in detail is 82.. ..118 118 : . 104 106 .. The process from thesis and Hartmanu s objection to the Trendelenburg . The essence of Idealism is the assertion that Being is rational. . . s objection that the dialectic history of subjective knowledge But. 95. empirically in the category of Becoming .116 117 Lotze seems to take as meaning that Being is identical 103. . identity of .the differently. much more concrete than . to us by thought 98. 104. .. new 97 98 And Nor The 88. . 94 94 96 86.. it . if taken correctly. thing-in-itself is justifiable Mr Schiller s objection that thought reality . . 81. Ambiguity of 102.

110. Hegel s own expressions on this subject ... And antecedently probable that it will be continuous The change consists in combining the search for complete it is ness and the search for harmony.. This is confirmed by the inequality of the 147 subdivisions of the Logic ... 108. . 127.. The second . to be continuous from category to 127 113. 128.. .. 123. The 122.. 134 118. The subordinate importance of negation thus made still clearer than before B.. Hegel s own premises lead us.. It does not give a fully adequate account of its own nature This does not diminish its power of demonstrating that . . in a sense.125 is 126 112... dialectic thus becomes. The change seems category . the Absolute Idea alone 125. . THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE METHOD PAGE 106.. Such a change probable in the method of the dialectic is antecedently 129 131 114. And The 124 This second change not 111. 140 141 124.. separate stages Hence the change does process 131 not destroy the validity of the 133 in the dialectic is 117. to reject his conclusion 121. subjective Owing to an inevitable characteristic of our thought . As the process continues the categories become less stable and self-contained the antithesis marks an advance from the thesis is 109.. 107. 115. is Nor Nor The The of determining the 126.. . . . first is explicitly connected with the first mentioned by Hegel.TABLE OF CONTENTS.. which were originally 116.. categories are we left ignorant of the nature of the Absolute Idea essential and unessential elements in the process dialectic process may be looked on as primarily . XI CHAPTER IV. 136 137 139 120. process analysis of the Absolute Idea But this we now see reasons to doubt Hegel asserts that the dialectic is an adequate 135 . .. . on this point. relative completely valid of reality truth of the different . .121 123 .. ... Introductory 121 A. 119. 143 144 145 146 continuous. .

and Spirit This transition is made by a triad of the Notion-type But it could be made by a triad of the Being-type . 151 .167 of 148. PAGE 129. . when change 164 165 166 145. The lower stages of the dialectic cannot exist since they are contradictory . since that of infinite time is impossible must rather suppose that the idea of time is not ultimate 147.173 . And we saw above reconstruction .. . And by The the possibility of discovering direct dialectic con nection between divisions which are not the lowest effect . And it the question would arise did ? Why did begin where 143. 148 149 130. 138. 163 . . 152. must be a process 168 169 149. 152 135. . Nature. Nor by arguing that the time cannot be .159 . 133. . . begins idea of finite . 139. 160 161 142.Xli TABLE OF CONTENTS. of this with regard to any error in the detail of the dialectic C.150 ... The triad of Logic. 136. 140. .. We contradictory. 141. that the dialectic .. . Which cannot be avoided by referring it Nor by the suggestion that time only begins to a timeless basis . . 137. now perfect Which involves us again Hegel s 172 in serious difficulties . Such a process in time must be : finite in length it . THE RELATION OF THE DIALECTIC TO A. TIME. 150.. . Difficulties in the of taking the dialectic in time as ultimately real way development of the . answer that evil is a delusion is unsatisfactory 173 .. 132. . This confirms the view taken above of the change of method The alternative adopted by Hegel was on the whole the best 154 154 155 But the other has some advantages Which Hegel s does not The same continued Conclusion share 156 157 158 CHAPTER V. 131. by themselves. . 146. 144. Hegel in s own language is against the theory of development time B. . . ... But the is rejection of this theory involves that the universe 151.. . 134.

the problem of the 181 c. . specie . . 159. not as contradictories But we do not know of what nature such a synthesis could . 163.186 . 165. 156. more effective than Hegel s own answer . 172. The suggestion that the universe aeternitatis .175 . . . . 160.. sub . . . . 171.The Metaphysics of the Time-Process&quot. Can any other theory eternally perfect? extricate us from the difficulties which are involved in the assertion that the universe is 182 it is 161. . of the dialectic were correct throughout 174. . origin of evil 180 in fact.195 196 197 Conclusion 175-178. 184 162. And Our difficulty to take refuge in scepticism proves equally impossible does not arise from a reductio ad absurdum 189 190 191 169.188 . .177 And must not be confounded with the theory that im It is . . 173. 154.. . since it is. . . 168. .TABLE OF CONTENTS. may hope 192 193 195 be. would not solve the . And we have no more we have AVe right to reject the dialectic than 170. difficulty. . We should have such evidence nor have we any positive evidence for its existence if we knew that the detail . xiii PAGE 153. . . . Not the theory that fundamentally irrational . Note on Mr Schiller s paper &quot.187 is 166. . . .188 . An absolute dualism if possible. to reject the arguments against it for a synthesis of the opposed positions Since they are opposed as contraries. . . 177 179 But it was not Hegel s own view nor will it solve the difficulty 158. And. . . . Since on his theory a delusion could never be completely rational 175 is . Which seems to be insoluble And naturally so. perfections of the parts disappear in the whole 157. 155. . 167. perfect . is impossible 184 164. . Or totally indifferent to reason indifferent to the higher categories . supposing one side predominated Or supposing both were exactly balanced We should succeed no better with the theory that reality .

as we have it at present. 218 219 221 197.. 193. except Why is the universe as a whole what it is ? which is an unmeaning . Even such knowledge.. .. 212 question . 192. necessity of philosophy Taking a wider meaning of philosophy able to dispense with immediate data . attempted to deduce facts from the the make philosophy end by proving we 208 209 ... is .. be Philosophy His account of this Philosophy must be considered to be merely a state of knowledge Philosophy. And Hegel Nor never nature of pure thought 184. in which .... will it suffice to 185. . contingency vanishes 187. like volition.. nature of Spirit I as such. THE FINAL RESULT OF THE DIALECTIC.... For volition is not reducible to 191. . shall never be 186. . however.210 .XIV TABLE OF CONTENTS. It postulates complete unity and differentiation between subject and object 196. 181. . Hegel makes the highest stage in the nature of Spirit to 180... be even part of the true 218 195.. Though both them may knowledge perhaps be synthesised in a . The This in knowledge Which is essential to knowledge. CHAPTER VI. PAGE 179. . and which knowledge must always regard as alien The This prevents knowledge reaching complete unity and differentiation . But a perfect system of knowledge . but not contradictory It would leave no question unanswered. 194. 217 217 . 222 .. 198. higher unity Nor are pleasure and pain reducible to knowledge Though... is clearly not adequate for this position 203 204 205 206 207 183. B. Such an ideal is remote.. ... they are inseparable from it ... 188. of Spirit not a complete expression 214 of 190. . But can knowledge. 182. is conceivable. . 213 189.. .215 216 .. .

234 235 210.TABLE OF CONTENTS. 246 .. This defect the reason why we cannot cease to ask. But not in the applications of the Logic The terms of which. are exceptions . THE APPLICATION OF THE DIALECTIC. 203. This the part of Hegel s system which received is it .. is now most generally 238 239 240 212... XV PAGE 199.. 244 A . of the antithesis 204. 220. . But The seems doubtful if it is valid 214. antitheses. it Why 202. 200.. 213. Attempts to fix the extreme points in the Philosophies of 219. Thus knowledge can never express quite adequately the harmony of the universe Nor does the possibility of self-knowledge get over the difficulty 223 223 is 201.. criticism by Lotze 243 . .241 241 to each other.. Spirit.. we cannot recognise theses. 242 218. 217. practical importance of this application of the dialectic to the interpretation of the facts round us 236 238 211... . only differ quantitatively The initial point of the Philosophy of Nature.. first difficulty or syntheses... though 224 226 227 228 . We . 215.. except in relation to one another Thus we shall require points independently fixed to begin from or end at.. . 216. 245 221. The reason of the exceptions mentioned in Section 217 . Since philosophy there comes under the subordinate category . Conclusion CHAPTER VII. and the final point of the Philosophy of Spirit. Introductory 233 The The The application of the dialectic to determine the nature of ultimate reality 209... in the History of Philosophy and the Philosophy of Law and in the Philosophy of History. 207. Hegel s treatment of the last stages of the Philosophy of not 205. . is? . till seen in relation . is the universe as a whole what we know the question to be unmeaning We find some support for this view in the Logic of Cognition . and Religion. Nature. ... . Spirit is imperfect Philosophy should rather be part the synthesis 229 231 206. 208. have such in the Logic.

. in Nature and Spirit We know that there is a dialectic process in facts. 256 258 . practical interest of philosophy lies in holding the abstract assertion that reality is rational this cannot is . but are unable to trace it The third difficulty. up and 255 .. 249 . ... 229.. .... of the conception of Dying to live . 250 subject-matter 226. the dialectic process influences 223.. in another ..... The extent and intricacy of the And. as the terms of our dia lectic 227. . be done at all. difficulties can be avoided by taking abstract quali rather than actual facts. manner. 222. . Sin. In Keligion.... . is History.. 231. . As Or But the main righteous in Hegel s treatment of Innocence..XVI TABLE OF CONTENTS. Law. and by external 248 .. 230. The second difficulty..251 252 254 255 These ties. .. . .. For except by philosophy Nor this view unduly abstract .. . affected Philosophy. 225. 224. and Virtue . 228...

If we examine the process in more detail. H. The simplest and best known form of this advance. HEGEL S primary of the existence categories which object in his dialectic is to establish a logical connection between^ the various are involved in the constitution of ex He teaches that this connection is of such a kind perience. of two contrary attributes of the same thing at the same time to predicate of the violates the law of contradiction. like a ship tacking against an unfavourable wind. not directly. that any category. The category thus reached and the process continues until at last way we reach the goal of the dialectic in a category which betrays no instability. if we predicate it of any subject. THE GENERAL NATURE OF THE DIALECTIC. not merely placed side by side. and to involve it. they are seen to be capable of reconciliation in a higher category. we shall find that similar to a third. M. advances. which combines the con tents of both of them. as it is to be found in it the earlier transitions of the logic. but by moving from side to side. as moments or aspects of which they can exist without contradiction. 1 . if scrutinised with sufficient care and attention. since the predication category. The exami nation of a certain category leads us to the conclusion that. 1. we are compelled by consistency same subject the logical contrary of that This brings us to an absurdity. but absorbed into a wider idea. is found to lead on to another. in such a manner that an attempt to use the first of while we refuse to use the second of the any subject same subject results leads on in a in a contradiction.CHAPTER I. On examining the two contrary predicates further. is as follows.

which Hegel declares to be the recognises itself in 2. the significance of both less to be found in the unity which follows. The &quot. and since we must hold these two to be simultaneously true. and in what manner the lower categories are partly altered and partly preserved in the higher one. therefore. in a system in which matter and we have form are so closely connected. Indeed the only way of grasping what Hegel meant by it is to observe in detail how he uses it. is neverthe Since in this way. the of categories. It is not surprising. since by it alone can the we should otherwise be involved. in which be forced on to use the third. their manner of working find this true. one of the most difficult to explain. /This third category. while their opposition vanishes. so that. each time they are used. in the Essence. and in this way only so far as we can see. says Hegel into in Being. &quot. should react on the nature of the movement by which the changes take Even when we deal with physical action and reaction place. we arrive at the conclusion that whenever we use the first category we shall contradictions be removed. abstract form of the continuation or advance is. unchanged among changing materials.2 THE GENERAL NATURE This idea of the synthesis of opposites is perhaps the most It is certainly characteristic in the whole of Hegel s system. two contrary categories can be simultaneously true of a subject. simplest idea of the human mind. that so delicate is in the future. which forms the content of the system. showing or reflection in its . more or less. and the Thesis and Antithesis thus opposed have again to be resolved in a Synthesis. when it in its turn is viewed as a single unity. It ends with the category highest the Idea which all things. which just sketched. It must be remarked that the type of transition. however. an other (or antithesis) and transition another. a tool as that which used by thought should not remain &quot. similarly discloses that its predication involves that of its contrary. so as to change. we All tools are affected. is one which is modified as the dialectic advances. It is only natural. that the gradual changes of the matter. Nor can we rest anywhere in this alternate production and re moval of contradictions until we reach the end of the ladder It begins with the category of Pure Being.

the real is always the completely rational. will require further consideration 3. and in our own selves.&quot. have no greater content than was contained in the starting point. But this point.OF THE DIALECTIC. the reason is that the lower categories have no independent existence. Section 212. and these to the highest. lecture note. The Absolute Idea is present to us in all reality. It is this alone which is independent and real. and for Hegel the real is always the concrete. and a diminished importance of the movement from contrary to contrary. if start. the distinction of the individual from the universality. since every lower one involves its contrary. But the dialectic claims to proceed from the lower to the higher. In it all one-sidedness has been destroyed by the successive reconciliation of opposites. and therefore could never lead us to its contrary. The ground it of the necessity claims cannot. Chap. in all the illusion . 2 Everywhere iv. not of construction but of recon struction. Moreover. It is thus the completely concrete..The consummation removing the complished 3 which makes it seem as yet unac no category except the highest can be completely rational.) Now phenomena 1 of experience. If the lower categories lead on to the higher. what is distinguished from it 1 . All that can be done with a single premise is to analyse it.&quot. it For in that case the conclusion of the process were valid. Enc. and At the same time it asserts that is no premise other than the validity of the lower category requisite to enable us to affirm the validity of the higher. but are only abstractions from the highest. of the infinite aim. and the mere analysis of an idea could never lead us necessarily onwards to any other idea incompatible with it. 12 . 3 Encyclopaedia. which Hegel leaves undeveloped. 2 . is evident. lies in the fact that the dialectic must be looked on as a process. lie which the dialectic process merely in the category from which we could. Section 240. consists merely in (&quot.. 3 opposite. and is as an This identity with. according to Hegel. The solution of this difficulty. and not merely to expound it it. in the Notion. which has been the ground of many attacks on Hegel. claims to add to our knowledge. indicates a gradual increase in the directness of the advance. which continues itself as such into.

&quot. fore cause unrest in the concrete whole from which this mind which implicitly contains the it was abstracted. and from that relatively concrete truth again one side has been abstracted. Any except the most at category. but which. then. if we are because the ideal which is sufficiently acute and attentive. some finite dialectic process can begin. and it is in this process that it betrays its incompleteness. . we has been taken in abstraction. is attempt to unravel that content. we fall short of the truth. and so on. when separated. and produces the result 1 . that by affirming. 2. But although it is always present all reality. there is a single conception. Chap. in the first place. engages in the process. And through unrest the imperfection will be removed in the manner is. until the It must there greatest abstraction possible has been reached. stand in opposition to each other as abstract of all. nor are our attempts always successful. into two which in the unity of the higher truth were reconciled.4 it is THE GENERAL NATURE the soul of it to us. Very often all that is explicitly before our minds is When this is so. but obeys a definite law. the removal of which had been the last stage 1 Bradley s Logic. latent in the nature of all experience. others. and of the mind itself. according to Hegel. Book in. and indeed must begin. forbids us to rest content with the inadequate category. In the content of But we do not always consciousness it is present implicitly. any point the finite category explicitly before us stands in a definite relation to the complete and absolute idea which is implicit in our consciousness. that contrary category. and demands its Before the mind contrary to supplement its one-sidedness. Section 20. not always explicitly present. which does not appear. the and incomplete category. If abstraction consists in this separation. can be analysed. The incomplete reality before the mind is inevitably measured against the complete reality of the mind itself. because one side of the completely concrete truth contraries. 4. when are using the most abstract of the categories. &quot. described above. Part i. operates on the datum. The dialectic process is not a mere addition to the conception before us of one casually selected moment after The reason of this is that another. but the whole mind itself.

since the imperfect category endeavours to return to the more concrete unity of which it is one side. B. &quot. n. contradictions 1 . it is found to involve the other side of that unity. as much as this latter had involved the predication of the antithesis. 2 Logic. p. n. . the impossibility of escaping from contradictions in either extreme drives us to remove them by combining both extremes in a synthesis which transcends them. does not contain &quot. Wesentliche und den Widerspruch enthalt 2 das Uebergehen. This is maintained by Hartmann No doubt the contradictions are But the considered as the immediate cause of the movement. and so on. and is quite compatible with the counter-assertion that it is caused by them. welches das Now all that . because it ist. 3.&quot. For it is the contradiction involved in the impossibility of predicating a category without predicating its opposite which causes us to abandon that category as inade quate. again. speaking of that finite activity of thought which he calls Vorstellung. We are driven on first to its antithesis. The immediate result of this instability is the pro duction of contradictions. but is not conscious of this. and sometimes to be the effect of that movement. It has been asserted that Hegel sometimes declares the 5. which is its own contrary. And.OF THE DIALECTIC. Hegel says that it has the contradictions as part of its content. as we have already seen. Moreover. Vol. In this. then 5 by restoring the whole in which those two opposites had been reconciled. due to their imperfect nature. to the existence of the contradiction we owe the advance of the dialectic. which is not at all identical with the assertion that they are caused by it. only evidence which Hartmann gives for supposing that they are also held to be the effect. this implies seems to be that the contradictions first become manifest in the movement. is a quotation from the second volume of the Logic. of the abstraction. For. schen Geiste) tiefer liegende Grund der He Ueber die dialcktische Method?. Hartmann origin of the contradictions says 1 Der (im Hegel also gives the same account of the which I have suggested above. to be the cause of the dialectic movement. Thus the first and deepest cause of the dialectic movement is the instability of all finite categories. And when we find that this involves the predication of the thesis. 71.

and. the ordinary thought is not perceived. . which is not the case with the thought. and. actual dialectic movement does not take place whenever a category is used. there is no reason for supposing that Hegel ever did hold the dialectic movement to be the cause of the contra dictions. when it is seen. and that the contradictions may be the cause of the actual motion. when they are recognised as incompatible. and may . seen. It is only when the 1 contradictions are perceived. quite possible that the instability of the notion may be again the cause of the contradictions. even though it is not clearly But it can only cause the dialectic movement. cAt. implicitly at least. in their unreconciled form Op. 3. Whenever a finite category is used it is abstract. be correctly said that the dependence of the contradictions on the instability of the notion is more objective/ than the dependence of the dialectic movement on the contradictions. there will be no further necessity for this theory. though this may not be perceived. and it is this confusion on his own part which causes him to accuse Hegel of inconsistency. For the former is present in all thought. for in that case finite thought would not exist at all. indeed.&quot. to show. It is be translated instability. Hartmann does that there not. while the dialectic movement was given as the cause of the contradictions when he wished to If. B. as I have endeavoured represent the process as objective. ii. in On the other hand. There is a sense of the word objective in which it may 6. latter. involves its contrary. and consequently unstable.6 THE GENERAL NATURE ist Erscheinung Fliissigkeit is fairly aber die Fliissigkeit des Begriffes selbst 1 certainly not equivalent to movement. A contradiction can be said to be present in clearly when it is implied in it. see as the cause of gives the contradictions. There is then no inconsistency. first instability when he is any change and then motion in his position supposed error by saying that the contradictions were given as the cause of the for He endeavours to account Hegel s dialectic movement when Hegel desired to show the subjective action of the individual mind. But it may be well to remark that it involves a false conception of the meaning in which it is possible to apply the term objective to the dialectic at all. apparently.

v. phenomena and as isolated.&amp. during which the highest yet reached for the moment regarded as independent and an inadequate expression of the truth. that the dialectic process is before us. under the highest and absolute form of the notion. The contradiction has therefore more objectivity.gt. in its truest nature^ a_rocessjbut_a stable_and timeless state. Section 24. since the highest under which alone reality can be construed. 7 with truth. for in considering consider them as they really are. substantial. dictions. can never exist independently. is is isolated phenomena. of an external object as consisting in the disagreement between 2 the objective notion. ^reality itself is not. Neither is objective in the sense that it takes place otherwise than in 1 shall have to consider this point in detail later thought. all the lower categories as moments. expressly termed abstract. them in this way we do not Hegel speaks of the untruth . but the gradual passage from one stage of the notion to another. We : at present we can only say that. all the results are level of reality.the other is based on the nature Both of things independently of the subject who thinks them. come up to the Moreover they contain unsynthesised contra and that which is contradictory. The dialectic movement is indeed a guide to that world. contains category. But we are not entitled to draw the sort of distinction between them which Hartmann makes. therefore.gt. . and do not. in one sense of the word. and have validity as a description of the nature of reality. This is not incompatible with the admission that various 7. and when the synthesis which can reconcile them has been discovered. but it is reason in its complete and concrete shape. considered as are imperfect. and not travelling up from category to category. Till the highest is reached. 2 Enc. as would be the case if it existed in the world of fact. Hegel saysindeed that reason is to be found in actual existence. From this it might be j^nd the object inferred that even in the world of real objects there existed 1 Chap. though the dialectic process is a valid description of reality. and to say that while the one is only an action of the thinking subjec&amp. lecture note. relations are objective in the sense that they are universal. though it may have a certain relative truth. because it is more inevitable and less dependent on particular and contingent circumstances.OF THE DIALECTIC.

comes no doubt in rather rude contact with some of the facts Hegel true. as he would continue. when looked at as finite that they involve an untruth. be it must be . All finite things involve an untruth. since it A in an untrue we But if the ideal of a body. . But the universe artificial. cannot fully agree with the notion. so rational. just because they are isolated. in an artificial and unreal state. of it. on looking more closely. quoted on p. due only to our manner of contemplating the particular thing may or may not correspond to the object. And. According as they do or do not do false. It is in the nature of the world as a whole that 1 But isolated fragments of the objectively true world. as if could exist apart from other things.&quot. A is not merely an aggregation of but a system in which they are connected. . We have seen that the motive power of the dialectic - in the relation of the abstract idea explicitly before the 1 mind v. without going imperfection might to be a part in a rational whole. ac cording to Hegel. and may or may not agree with a particular aspect Hartmann remarks. notion. But this Hegel does not do. for example. manner of apprehending them only. is is diseased body. taking the further. and a thing which in itself is imperfect and irrational may be a Its imperfection was part of a perfect and rational universe. particular things.cS THE GENERAL NATURE a imperfections t nd contradictions. perfect. to Cp. Chap. only Looked at therefore in our The untruth is sub specie Dei they are true. the intellectual and spiritual in we obviously failing to fulfil look at it in connection with of its occupant. caused by our regarding it it. of life. It is therefore the reality which underlies all finite things. God. the bodily life be seen. as senseless tautology for Hegel to talk of the objective truth of the world. however. cases some universe as a whole. Enc. 3 above. s this Hegel calls them true or theory that the world as a whole must be objectively and therefore. But. we see that the imperfection and contradiction are really. Section 212. if abstraction. Hegel declares God alone exhibits a real agreement of the notion and the reality. is held by Hegel to be &quot. The consideration of this must for the present be lies deferred 2 8. merely regard it by itself. It would indeed.

Nothing. by rendering argument. a sign The relation of the thesis and antithesis derives &quot. even to assert anything without involving the law of contradiction. and in which the contradiction ceases to exist as such. Section 119. would lead in the would lead elsewhere. . Contradic not the end of the matter. however. when A is any category. And indeed it is impossible. but cancels itself1 An unreconciled predication of two contrary categories. it men are Some men mortal. The of error. for example. of the same thing. can only take place by the establishment of another proposition incompatible with the first. its whole meaning from the synthesis. noWl also. can ever claim to be considered as true. the concrete idea implicitly before it in all experience and all This will enable us to determine the relation in consciousness. resolved contradiction however. which could never be refuted. we shall find it impossible to disprove any proposition at all. except the Absolute Idea. lecture note. unmeaning. to scepticism. dialectic. contradiction. not as a mark of error. It is impossible to refute any The refutation without the help of this law. which the ideas of contradiction and negation stand to the dialectic. even if it were false.A. but as an indication of truth. which follows them. does not reject that law. The synthesis alone has Enc. for instance tion is . did are immortal. it it would be And it only excludes by virtue of the law of If then the dialectic rejected the law of contra all would reduce itself to an absurdity. sometimes supposed that the Hegelian logic rests on a That law says that what defiance of the law of contradiction. But the ever is A can never at the same time be not. and even all assertion.OF THE DIALECTIC. It is dialectic asserts that. and therefore nega tive. Now if the law of contradiction is rejected. and indeed must be. whatever is A may be. if it was not for the reconciliation in 1 Becoming.&quot. If the statement All not exclude the statement meaningless. as it Being and not-Being. But if we are to regard the simul taneous assertion of two contradictories. dialectic. as Hegel himself has pointed out to us. for Hegel as for every one else. for every positive assertion has meaning only in so far as it is defined. An un is. argu ment becomes proposition impossible. diction.

cause of the dialectic process. But they can only be __are the . The really funda mental aspect of the dialectic is not the tendency of the finite category to negate itself but to complete itself. in so far as their truth goes. this if they are received as marks of error. It follows also from this view of the paramount impor tance of the synthesis in the dialectic process that the place of negation in that process is only secondary. Injact. It in consistency to have said becomes almost may safely be asserted that the motive force . if we endeavour to take them in their independence. It is indeed. except for the law that two contradictory propositions about the same subject are a sign of error ? Truth consists. accord ing to Hegel. are obliged to We Being and not-Being in Becoming. and not as synthesised. but an absolute and necessary law. if separated.10 THE GENERAL NATURE reality. because negation. always great. would be contradictions. and in Becoming only. that it is especially based on it. according to Hegel. is one of the points at which the difficulty. and its elements derive such importance as they have from being. to an this is not due. so far is the dialectic from denying the law of contra The contradictions diction. members of a unity in which their opposition is overcome. made up each of two moments or aspects which stand to one another in the relation of contrary ideas. it follows that one characteristic of the process idea to its will be the passage from an contrary. we find an unreconciled contradiction. but which in their synthesis are reconciled and say that find the truth of we consistent. not of contradictions. been supposed. however. first. of distinguishing what Hegel did say from that which he ought insuperable. that their complement is in some degree their But the one category passes into the other. not because it This. as has occasionally inherent tendency in all finite categories But to affirm their own negation as such. the second completes the meaning of the denies it. It is due to their inherent tendency to affirm their own complement. because. no empirical and contingent fact. but of moments which. Since the various relatively perfect and concrete categories are. 9. But why should we not find an unreconciled contradiction and acquiesce in it without going further.

as we may observe the expansion of a rod under heat. as an expanding rod would be for a yard measure. accord in ing to Hegel. which. as if they were satisfactory and ultimate determinations of thought. seem to indicate that he had either not importance. the growth of the idea. or had not to this point it will be necessary. its full But clearly realised it. a notion. quoted on p. for reasoning depends on the assumption that a term can be trusted to retain the same meaning on different occasions. to return. While a category is undergoing the changes and transformations in which that movement consists. This is admitted by his opponents as well as his supporters. is capable of changing its meaning between the major and the minor premises. we must now enquire. it is as unfit to be used as an instrument of thought. 1 quoted above in which the element of negation appears to enter into the dialectic process with very different degrees of prominence in the three stages of which that process consists. exists between the dialectic process. in the language of Hegel.OF THE DIALECTIC. especially . are the more imperfect. any inference would be impossible. and the failure to follow out all its consequences. and thought as thought as engaged engaged in the ordinary affairs of life ? In these latter we continually employ the more abstract categories. is. We may observe. 11 of the dialectic was clearly held by him to rest in the implicit presence in us of its goal. the absence of any detailed exposition of a principle so fundamental as that of the gradually decreasing share taken by negation in the dialectic. On the other hand. So far as we do this we must contrive to arrest for the time the dialectic movement. since tion between propositions would be destroyed. Section 240. What relation. perceived TO. And all if. but the argument must be conducted with stable ideas. the consequence of this That he did to some extent recognise it the subordinate importance which assigned to the idea of negation when we consider the passage seems also probable. it renders the whole syllogism invalid. when employed as a middle term. 2 above. For example. the function of the 1 Enc. . Them/irst all connec There are two ways in which we may treat the categories. as the observation must be made with measures of unaltering size. Otherwise. and even argue about.

by means of the category of causality . in one sense of the words it is perfectly true. which is Now entirely independent of him. 6. category has no contradictions in it. The second characteristic function it is that of the Understanding. be possible to do so. so. The human thinker is thus only the fifth wheel to the cart. 1 Enc. If we take an arc three feet long of the cir it will be curved. He &quot. it is stable and can be used without any fear of its transforming itself under our hands. for example. B. n. and not by us. . But for many purposes the limit of error is so small. if the matter is considered with enough care. It might. Hartmann 2 an objection has been raised by denies&quot. an explana day tion by the Understanding. that any explanation. will be found to rationalise the event sufficiently this explanation for the needs of the moment.12 THE GENERAL NATURE Reason to perform. that the work of the Understanding ^possesses practicaMise and validity. that. But in practice it would often produce no inconvenience to treat it as a straight line. and quite unable to arrest a process &quot. which alone is without As this contradiction. in which no higher category is employed. only. To 11. of causality. but it is represented as changing itself. and examined with sufficient accuracy. So. whose dependent stability and permanence.&quot. and when that culminates in the highest category. it will be found. the dialectic process. . if show itself to be involves a contradiction 1 Nevertheless. and can be used ordinary thought. if the Notion changes at all. the change is caused by its own If the arguments of the dialectic are nature. to treat abstractions as if they were in realities. - Op. 9&quot. if an attempt is made to explain experience exclusively by the category. he admits. if the Notion were changed by us. for many of the every occurrences on which we exercise our thoughts. Sections 153. namely. to construe the world by its means. 154. They are thus forced into an artificial is for the work of Of course the attempt to use an imperfect and unbalanced category as if it were perfect and self-subsistent leads to errors and contradictions it is just these errors and contradictions which are the proof that the category is im perfect. cit. cumference of a will circle a mile in diameter.emphatically our power to arrest the progress of the Notion in this manner.

OF THE DIALECTIC. 13 they must appeal with irresistible force to every one who looks into the question with sufficient ability and attention. or ability to examine time. it is to deny its not in the power of any man who But when there is no validity. when practical life requires it. the categories will continue to be quite separate and independent. more probably. If has examined it is valid. or by his arbitrary The positive element in the change lies wholly in the choice. or. if Hegel is right. and thus the process may be said to be due to the Notion. may remain con vinced all his life that the sun goes round the earth. can doubt that gent But any person who will not the earth goes round the sun. them. who carefully examines the proofs. all. such as to leave the man who examines them no who have no But option. while the contradictions which this view will produce in experience will either be treated as ultimate. and by changing these conditions we can at will arrest the process of the categories. and regarding each category as This he does merely by unchanging and self-supporting. but that it should take place at all in any particular case requires certain conditions in the individual mind in question. or cannot understand them. can. examine them. true. No intelli man. will not be noticed at And even for the student of philosophy. the arguments remain so comparatively abstruse and unfamiliar that he finds no difficulty. Notion. his attention from the arguments by which their diverting instability is proved. I suppose. inclination. in assuming for a time the point of view of the Understanding. . generally do. however clearly he understands the truth. But it. it is due to its does not follow that it cannot be stopped by peculiarities in the nature of the thinker. and picture the movement as that of the sun. and not to the thinker. and fixing speak of it on the familiar and daily appearances. this is no more than may be said of every argument. So with the for those dialectic. may be a psychological one. as most men. and use any one of them as fixed and unchanging. The arguments are. Although therefore the change in the Notion nature. by diverting his attention from comparatively remote astronomical argu ments. And any logical alternative there one.

dt. and arrived difficulty at all its conclusions. and how is if it when it took place. it A 1 turns into B. beyond our control. If the thesis and antithesis were not different. 13. It is just the coexistence of with the__ngcfissary implication of the one in the other. it is possible. distinction the simultaneous predication of both of them would involve no difficulty. which would lead to the conclusion that everyone who ever used the category of Being that is everyone who ever thought at all. postulates the other but does not become completely the same as its successor. Another this connection arises l meaning. If we predicate A. we are forced to predicate B. appears ? In the we may answer. in any given case. all whether he reflected on thought or not. The thesis and antithesis are said no doubt be the same. to arrest the dialectic so that the movement. And since the proof should be one which must be accepted by all men. 6. gone through 12.14 THE GENERAL NATURE Any other view of the dialectic process would require us to suppose that the movement of the categories became obvious to us. He affirms which Hartmann brings forward in a misapprehension of Hegel s that. but spontaneously and involuntarily. necessity? How the general nature of the dialectic as conceived does he attempt to prove its truth and The proof must be based on something already understood and granted by those to whom it is addressed.Oin the second place the thesis is not held by Hegel to turn into the antithesis in the simple and complete way which The one category leads up to and this objection supposes. but there remains nevertheless to a distinction between this A and B. It can scarcely be asserted that Hegel held such a theory. ii. For change by comparing stage A possible that we should do this. at will. process. not as the result of much hard thinking. had the stages of the Hegelian logic. all men allow to be . so far from stopping the dialectic from perceive of the it we could not even we can only become aware with stage B. development of the categories is not beyond our control. we must base it 1 on that which Op. but the same with a difference. as we have seen. B. Such is by Hegel. whenever first place. which renders the synthesis necessary as category a reconciliation.

p. and nothing can therefore be unless everything else which is in direct or it. and. the case with the dialectic. be fully explained also. according to Hegel.QThe one is the search for the Absolute which is involved in the Understandin#$he other c9 is the existence in the Understanding of contradictions which render it should succeed in the search. which Hegel calls thought in the Under standing as opposed to the Reason. that is. depends upon two facts. justifiable 15 is. besides this. The justification of the Reason at the bar of the Under standing. the whole universe. real explanation The course of must always run from ground to consequent. that. the validity of the ordinary exercise of our thought. unless. the order of ex planation and the order of proof must clearly be exactly opposite to one another. the real explanation must be of the Understanding by the Reason But this is not inconsistent with a recognition of the necessity . the order of proof must run from whatever is known to whatever is unknown. We must show that if we grant. 198. i. as we have seen is of justifying the Reason to the Understanding. from concrete to abstract/On the other hand. He says. it is true. we must also grant the validity of the dialectic. the knowledge of its causes and effects. fully explained indirect connection with while these again require a knowledge of their causes and effects. Vol. only the Reason possesses the complete truth. Any explanation requires some reference to surrounding phenomena. as we cannot help granting. The demands an answer to every question it can ask. When. And the explanation of a phenomenon requires. Understanding But every question which it succeeds in answering suggests it impossible that fresh questions. sense that of common and science. and proceed to knowledge of the concrete. . the ordinary procedure. so that not only the whole present universe. since This necessity Hegel recognises.OF THE DIALECTIC. up to l which the merely partial truth of the Understanding leads. and these in their turn must be explained by reference to others. we start from explicit knowledge of the abstract only. but the whole of the past and future must be known before any single 1 Loyic. which alone gives reality to that abstract.

One of the most by Hegel s critics. occurring as they do in space and time.16 fact THE GENERAL NATURE can be really understood. and the ideal be realised. The connection of the phenomenal universe by the law of reciprocity has a double effect on knowledge. On the one hand it is asserted 14. . ) On the other hand it is believed that impossible to deny that. Since. But it is also true that. when it has done this. there is some indispensable reference so that. in some sense. without the aid of to experience in the dialectic would be impossible for the cogency of the dialectic process to display itself. since by the Reason alone can the contradictions be removed. and all phenomena. because it is the nature of the Understanding to treat the various finite categories as self-subsistent unities. It demands a question without solution which shall really solve a complete and raising fresh ones symmetrical system of knowledge. In asking any question whatever. and this attempt leads it into the various contradictions pointed out throughout the every lates finite dialectic. and generally admitted by his followers. Hegel experience it by the dialectic/process takes place in pure thought. difficult and important points in the nature of the Hegelian logic is to find its determining Whatever theory we may adopt exact relation to experience. that. /Again. till we know everything about God and man. it postu an ideal which cannot be reached by it is obliged. throughout all space factorily and the all time. that a single question about the flower. our knowledge must not only be infinitely extended over space and time. as Hegel maintains. owing to the inevitable connection of its category with contrary. are infinitely divisible. And. we cannot answer satis us. admit the validity of the Reason. since the knowledge of its a phenomenon involves the knowledge of parts. it loses the false independence which in all its actions made it suppose itself to be something different from the Reason.// This ideal it cannot. It is true. unless it would deny its own validity. rightly or wrongly. but also infinitely minute. to itself. as Tennyson tells also we could not know a single flower completely without knowing God and man. has to fall within certain limits. the Understanding implicitly asks for a complete account of the whole Universe. then. reach by its own exertions. that.

mediation and relation. and that. &quot. clearly necessary for the validity of any possible dialectic.. unconditioned in respect of its development as thought. so as to enable it to claim universal validity for its conclusions. yet nevertheless within the sphere of logic we had arrived at pure thought. however. and the Philosophy of Spirit. which was based on the nature of any par ticular piece of experience in its particularity. however much the existence of Nature and Spirit might be involved in the exist ence of pure thought. it is certain that it will be necessary for thought. pure thought (to borrow Kant phrase) as to employ blind Thought-is. and in which it had no reference to any data and it is impossible to imagine such a state. And both these characteristics of the dialectic are. would be absolutely sterile. admitted any empirical or contingent The two conditions can. and s &quot. 2 . intuition. which cannot be found in thought. For we are as unable to employ empty&quot. M. &quot. and independent of Even if the dialectic should finally tran it would have at starting to take thought it we use in every-day life as merely mediating. 15. or rather impossible. o_f . H. And as the dialectic process professes to start from a basis common to everyone. ii. to have some that thought itself.OF THE DIALECTIC. in the dialectic process. A. implies something immediate to be related. and I shall try to show later on that it never does transcend. whatever reference to experience Hegel may or may not have admitted into his system. in which it was self-subsistent. 17 however incomplete the Logic might be without the Philosophy of Nature. be reconciled. process. scend this condition as relation to data given immediately. The consideration of pure thought. Even if a stage of thought could be conceived as existing. his language is conclusive against the possibility that he has basis to the dialectic. or try to transcend that limitation \ not self-subsistent. 1 There Chap. or to give any reason for supposing thought thus to change its essential nature at any rate this is not the ordinary thought of common life. And On the other hand it is no less true that any argument would be incapable of leading us to general conclusions relating to pure thought. / without any reference to experience. inde pendently of Hegel s assertion.

But the process. at least provisionally. while the matter of intuition is an abstraction of the other side of the same reality each. or ever be imagined to exist by itself. it is clear that it is only in experience that we can observe the change from the less to the more adequate form which thought undergoes in the dialectic process. and in this sense. when considered by itself. If Hegel did make any attempt to reduce the whole universe to a manifestation of pure thought. in experience. without any other element. can only be although independent perceived when the pure notion is taken in conjunction with matter of intuition that is to say when it is taken in ex perience because it is impossible for us to grasp thought in absolute purity. the dialectic process was due being false 1 Since I am here dealing only with the question of epistemology. Whether the dialectic process has any relation o it or not. is derived from movement reason itself. Even there I believe no such attempt is to be found. or except as applied to an immediate datum. It does not follow. the character of the pure of the pure on the matter of any way depend which. its existence is. he certainly did not do so till the transition to the world of Nature at the end of the Logic. But this change of form is due to the nature of thought alone. and not reducible to it. we must take the Logic in order to arrive at Hegel s true meaning. that pure thought can ever exist. except in ex perience. and misleading. distinct from thought. Since we cannot observe pure thought at all. on the contrary. may regard pure thought as a mere We abstraction of one side of experience. it will still position which Hegel does take up. which is the only concrete reality. what is observed is the spontaneous and unconditioned notion. to assume that there is a matter of intuition. . in the Logic. remain true that. from the We fact that the movement is due to the nature of pure thought alone. (though incapable of existing apart from it. which does not in intuition for its validity. as we shall see. I think.18 is THE GENERAL NATURE a sense in which conclusions relating to pure thought may properly be based on an observation of experience. admitted. This.) since this is the position taken up within Hegel s Logic. of the matter of intuition. as I believe. According to this view. is the Even so. it will be allowable. and not to the other element in experience the matter of intuition \ The presence of this other element in experience is thus a condition of our perceiving the dialectical movement of pure thought. may go further.

when considered with sufficient intelligence and persistence. is due. to the nature of the highest and most concrete form of the notion. the pictures themselves. therefore. as we have seen. If this is the relation of the dialectic process to the 16. the other element that of intuition being indeed an indispensable condition of the dialectic movement. as the changes in the pictures of a magic lantern may be ascribed exclusively to the camera. in order that may i may demonstrate its own logical validity as a consequence. what postulate does it require to must distinguish its postulate fjbm its basis. 19 exclusively to that element of experience which we call pure thought. without the canvas. could only become evident to us in experience. not so much the collection of a large mass of experience to work on. and therefore the transition from one to another of them would be impossible./ It is only the general nature of experience teristics which are common to all of it which forms the basis of the process. and not at all to the canvas on which they are reflected. The basis of the dialectic is to be found in the nature of pure thought itself. as we have seen. Its basis is the reality itself.OF THE DIALECTIC. and one by which the movement is not determined. may be called the nature of those charac experience in general. For it is not the only object of the dialectic to prove that the lower and subordinate categories are unable to explain all parts of experience without resorting to the higher It undertakes categories. even if it experience. medium start in ? which from We it works. since the reason of the process being what it is. also to show that the lower categories are inadequate. It is only necessary to the which movement of the idea because it is necessary to its existence. but the close and careful scrutiny of some part. and finally to the Absolute Idea. the basis which the dialectic method will require to work on. It is not itself a principle of change. o W o 4 . implicit in all Since pure thought. in which it requires to have presented to order that it it proposition which from this premise develop itself. which may as fairly be said to be independent. is plain any part of the world. to ex What is required. but one remains passive throughout.y Its postulate is the requires to have admitted. although. could exist at all in any other manner.

its and not its particular qualities. . The object of the dialectic is to discover the forms and laws of all possible thought. in so far as the nature of pure thought is con If the other element in experience has really a tained in it. The whole chain of categories is implied in any and every phenomenon. The general laws governing experience are the causa essendi of the logic. 17. For this purpose it starts from the idea of Being. is not existence. we must be assured of the existence experience in other words. then. application of the results of the dialectic to experience thus depends on the application to experience of the idea of Being. and therefore is is if it is to have any validity of real existence. which is the fundamental principle which makes the nature of experience. Particular fragments of experience may no doubt place the inadequacy of some finite category in a specially clear light. but it is only greater convenience power any result. with sufficient which is thus gained however unpromising. or may render the transition to the next stage of the idea particularly obvious and easy. The dialectic derived from the nature of experience. The basis of the dialectic process. The no more than that and that the category of Being is therefore valid. in which all others are shown to be involved. For it is not assumed but ascertained by the dialectic. The nature of ex perience however. say. it will not concern us here. part. is the only thing with which we are at present concerned. that is to of any some importance at all. for. as it takes no part in the development of the idea. would yield the same . but not its causa cognoscendi. that something is. primary and essential nature of its own. The only logical postulate which the dialectic requires the admission that experience really exists. is the nature of experience. if it is to have. The the nature of pure thought is the complete and conbasis and the logical postulate of the dialectic is is. though it is the basis of the dialectic.20 THE GENERAL NATURE however small. whose whole object is the gradual discovery and demonstration of the Absolute Idea. something It will be noticed that the basis and the postulate of the dialectic correspond to the two aspects of the idea which we mentioned above as the fundamental cause of the process. its logical postulate.

ultimately. crete idea which is 21 and which renders tulatc it present in our minds. impossible that we should stop short of it in by permanently acquiescing the abstract idea in is any is finite category/ The _pos^ is its highest state of abstraction. as well as denial. and The higher categories are connected with the lower in such a manner that the latter inevitably lead on to the former as the only means by which they can be rescued from the contra If the lower categories dictions involved in their abstractness. and there is something of whose reality we do not doubt if on the other hand we do not really doubt the pro And position that there is something real. and so And the denial contradicts itself and affirms our postulate. If we really doubt. as valid of reality. then the doubt is real. The dialectical importance by means process thus gains its validity of a transcendental argument. if the lowest of all. be admitted. be admitted. of course. and from which the start is made. that which explicitly which admitted to be valid before the mind. S We are justified in assuming this postulate because 18. /The same dilemma meets us if we try to take refuge from dogmatic denial in mere doubt. the Cartesian argument. though only implicitly. and. doubt. But we cannot by the most extreme scepticism deny that something is^ and we are therefore enabled to conclude that the dialectic process does apply to something. Now the very denial of this involves the reality of the denial. which is never stated by Hegel precisely in this form. be seen that this argument is strictly of a trans A proposition denied by the adversary in . 19. And as whatever the category of Being did not apply to would not exist. is it involved in every action and every thought. places beyond doubt the existence of the doubter. the category of Being. but on which the justification of his use of the category of Being. there is such a thing as reality that something is. appears to depend. we admit its truth. the rest follows. and its denial is All that is required is the assertion that therefore suicidal. . also implies the reality of the person who makes the denial.OF THE DIALECTIC. we are also able to conclude that there is nothing to which the dialectic process does not It will cendental nature. This is.

This position has two results^ \^In the first place 21. which we are able to examine are/-fiYst. the concrete notion. which seems to denote more properly a proposition which it would be at least possible for an adversary to challenge.. as it affords a clue for interpreting various expressions of Hegel s. . 1 dialectic. At any rate the very peculiar nature of the assumption should be carefully remembered. Chap. because it is Our conclusions will therefore relate primarily to the general laws of experience. concerned with the general conditions And the result arrived at will be that of human knowledge. the category of Being. so that they could be outflanked by a deeper scepticism. These results will be. and. and the necessity of considering that proposition true is therefore universal. implicit in all our consciousness. second. 1 Cp. to arrive we must ask ourselves at what results we are entitled by means of that process. like those of Kant s Aesthetic and Analytic. u. It is doubtful indeed whether a condition so essential as this is correctly termed a postulate. no category will Absolute Idea. satisfactorily explain the universe except the Any attempt to employ for that purpose a lower category must either accept a gradual transformation of the idea employed until the Absolute Idea is reached. Section 46. to For the conditions of the dialectic begin^with. which he is not prepared to attack in this case the validity of the category of Being. epistemological. because it is impossible to avoid employing it in judging experience. Having thus endeavoured to explain the nature of the . Now this is not the case with the dialectic. But the cogency of ordinary transcendental arguments and they apply only to people who are prepared to the proposition which forms the foundation of the argu yield ment. which we are entitled to postulate. or acquiesce in unreconciled contradictions which involves the it rejection of a fundamental law of reason. it is on which based is so fundamental. is limited.22 THE GENERAL NATURE is this case the validity of the higher categories shown to be involved in the truth of some other proposition. or against a special opponent. that it For the proposition could be doubted only at the expense of self-contradiction. and not only valid in a specially limited argument. which might otherwise cause serious difficulties 20.and will so far be.

spirit to it a place in But has done more does not content itself with showing that the lower categories lead necessarily to the higher. and his treatment of the higher category as an unwarranted in ference from the lower involves the assertion of the validity of the latter. for example. and which can only be made rational by being viewed as an aspect of those very higher categories. For it would be an attempt at explanation by that which is.OF THE DIALECTIC. inevitably inevitably to requires fail. in itself.fl. For absolute scepticism is impossible. incomplete. and contradictory. /ouch an attempt. and to treat all special laws by which they as merely particular cases of fundamental taken from physical science. It would have refuted all attempts to establish a complete and consistent materialism. has been made by Mr Spencer. 23 disproves the efforts which are made from time to time to explain the whole universe by means of the lower categories only. to reduce causation an unjustifiable inference from succession/to explain life merely in terms of matter and motion/6r knowledge merely in terms of life. as well as by the large number of writers who adopt the provisional assumptions of physical science as an ultimate position. demonstrated the claims of the categories of construing part at least of the universe. be of great importance. all such attempts must Any attempt. of Cause. which were asserted to have been explained away by its means. Even if this were all. when the question relates to those portions of experience in which the higher cate than this.pgon ps in themselves. the result of the dialectic would 22. gories are naturally applied by the uncritical also demonstrates that the lower p. Life. among others. For it consciousness. j It and to whatever matter of intuition they may be applied. again. to treat the notion of causality as derived Hume from that of sequence. and Self-Consciousness. and that each category its successor. and to consider all that was added as false and illusive.t. and would have unreal.. involve . would involve a fatal confusion. Such an attempt when he endeavoured s lay at the bottom of scepticism./ principles But if we agree with Hegel in thinking that the category of may be governed Being is inadequate to explain the world which we know with out the successive introduction of the categories. They endeavour to explain all phenomena in terms of matter and motion.

and as to the constant determination of mind by purely For not only have we justified the categories physical causes. but that idea is inadequate even explain the phenomena of physics. For all material determination is now known to be only spiritual determination in disguise. even when keeping which the uncritical consciousness assigns to impossible to explain the life to. The conclusion thus reached is one which deals with 23. those phenomena which explain. / With such a system we are able to admit. but we have subjected the whole world of experience to their rule. if it is to act at all. pure thought. the province to phenomena by the idea of mechanism. and requires something immediate to act on.24 THE GENERAL NATURE the higher categories also. its essential nature mediate. since the argument has rested throughout on the nature of pure thought./ But we have not found we anything which would enable us to discard sensation from its itself is position as an element of experience as necessary and funda mental as pure thought itself. of vegetable iJ^/Not only is it and animal ness not be expressed merely in terms of but jife is an inadequate category even for biological phenomena. and on that onlyyand the conclusion a statement as to the only form of pure thought which can use with complete correctness. but also that matter must be We reduced to fore. and if Hegel did draw such a consequence from it. all that science can possibly claim as to the interrelation of all the phenomena of the universe./ Not only can conscious life. but also unable to explain those others which are commonly is considered as merely cases of unchanging existencOy/Not only the idea of Substance inadequate to deal with ordinary cases it of scientific causation. It is of no philosophical importance. And this immediate element can is be found so far as our present knowledge concerned only in . without any danger either to its consistency or to its practical corollaries. there though all things should. but without the idea of Cause becomes involved in contradictions. from the scientific standpoint be determined by material causes. Not only is Being inadequate to without the aid of Becoming. we must hold that he has taken an un All the thought which we know is in justifiable step forwards. not only that spirit cannot be reduced to matter. are entitled to assert. of spirit. we it all is recognise in ordinary life as phenomena of change. spirit.

the validity of which with regard to experience not only never had been rests denied. explain how we could ever conceive unmediated or self-mediated thoughtj. does not differ greatly. And Hegel the extent to which they push their has secured a firmer foundation for his theory than Kant did. sensation. became self-subsistent in any intelligible sense. from that of Kant. the general outline of the Hegelian Logic. The systems differ largely in many points. it is only that thought which we can take as the basis of the dialectic process. 25 beginning. without the presence of immediate data to serve as materials for them. while Hegel s had also a synthetic side. I Both philosophers justify the believe. in the second place. application by proving that the validity of those categories is implied in the validity of other ideas which the sceptical opponent cannot or does not challenge.and that he should. 23T~To~sum up. of certain categories to the matter of experience. n. in the first place. background and accompaniment of the which is equally essential at its end as at its For an attempt to eliminate it would require that Hegel should. it would thought be necessary to show that this self-subsistence issued naturally from the finite categories. For since it is only the validity of our every-day thought which we find it impossible to deny. but could not be denied without contradictions/it is true also that Kant s work was clearly analytic. by pushing back his deduction till it on a category the category of Being. in the goal of the dialectic. particularly in principles.OF THE DIALECTIC. from an epistemological point of view. The conclusion of the Logic simply the assertion that the one category by which experi ence can be judged with complete correctness is the Absolute Idea. the necessary dialectic process. show that the existence of this selfsubsistent thought was implied in the existence of the mediating and independent thought of every-day life. It in all experience reality. . I shall endeavour to prove later on 1 that Hegel made no attempt is to take up this position. 1 and may even be said to have brought Chap. makes no attempt to transcend the law which we find by which the categories cannot be used of nor indeed apprehended at all. Even if. Section 48. in which thought is unquestionably recognised as mediate only.

I_jaaintain. and we must now proceed to examine what has been generally held to be at once the most characteristic and the weakest part of Hegel s a valid theory of epistemology. the second that reality is nothing but rationality. The first maintains that we can explain the world of sense) the and second that we can explain it away/ The first merely confirms carries further the process of rationalisation. substituting a for thought which is self-sufficient and absolute thought relative and complementary to the data of sense. data except the nature of thought and to deduce from that nature the whole existing all universes/The difference between these two positions is con siderable. and denies the existence of any reality except that which enters into possessing. and how far is he justified in doing so It is ? beyond doubt that Hegel regarded his Logic as some manner. in the first of these senses. But the Logic claims to be more than 25. But the general principle of the two systems was the same. But this mean one of two very different thingspO It may mean may only that the system rejects the Kantian thmg-in-itself. and that he should do as much as this is inevitable.) the second differs entirely from science and finite knowledge. prominence. forms this. or at any rate misleading. warranted. and the first science all and finite only. of knowledge io actual reality. and the critic who finds no fundamental fallacy in Kant s criticism of knowledge. so that the results of a criticism of knowledge are valid of reality also. The thing-in-itself as conceived by Kant. if it keeps itself free from errors of detail. should have no difficulty in admitting that the Hegelian Logic.26 THE GENERAL NATURE that side into undue. of which all knowledge consist . How far does he apply the results of his analysis philosophy./^But it may mean that it endeavours to dispense with or transcend itself. in experience. It is. For to distinguish between conclusions epistemologically valid and those which extend to ontology implies a belief in the existence of something which does not enter into the field of Such a belief is totally un actual or possible knowledge. ontological significance. behind . that Hegel claims ontological validity for the results of the Logic. The first maintains that nothing is real but the reasonable.

or explained away by.as to the imperfect and abstract idea which is explicitly before the student. always perfect and concrete. We cannot. But this is itself knowledge relating to the thing. so the completed logical the coexistence with itself of sensuous perception. made about the thing-in-itself contradicts its alleged isolation^ 26. that Hegel does more involved in the rejection of a thing-in-itself outside the It cannot laws of experience. the only reason which can be given for our belief in or substratum things-in-themselves is that they are the ground of our sensuous intuitions. pure thought ? We shall see that this is not the case the dialectic process it is when we reflect that is no less analytic of a given materialjthan synthetic from a given premise. worlds of Nature we are able to deduce the existence of the and Spirit. and we are thus forced to surrender the idea that we can be aware of the existence of anything which is not subject to the laws governing experience. For if the idea is. from the consideration of the existence of pure thought. and a relation Indeed every statement which can be involves a category. as illegitimate abstraction. and of necessity. is a contradiction. and a judgment involves categories. But this is a relation. 27 and apart from the phenomena which alone enter into experience. when met with in reality. Not only are his epistemological conclusions declared to have also ontological validity. but only that it is. each stage of the Logic insists on going forward to the next idea insists on going forward and stage. it is no less true that it is. Is this equivalent to an admission that the worlds of Nature and Spirit can be reduced to. however. for the concrete idea which ends the Logic which even the is itself an idea is equally implicit in all We good as another in which to deduce any of the particulars of the world of sense from the experience. and one fragment is as are thus unable to perceive it. know what it is. found in connection with sensuous intuition. /Moreover. asserting It does not postulate any particular sensuous perception. and owes its impulse as to the perfect and concrete idea which is implicit in experience. we are told. . than is be denied. . without relatively This being the case it follows that.OF THE DIALECTIC. invariably. when met with much in reality. but he certainly goes further and holds that. It involves an important piece of a judgment.

Once granted a single category of the Logic. is We world whatever necessary to make are able to predicate of that it the complement of the world of pure thought. forms the concrete reality. the abstract individual. And. in short. It is simply the final step in the self-recovery of the spirit from the illegitimate abstractions of the understanding the recovery which we have seen to be the source of all movement in the dialectic. of every question which could be asked existence of concerning them.28 THE GENERAL NATURE But we are able to deduce that there must be such a Logic. and that this might be carried so far that it amounted to a complete determination. we are compelled by the necessity of the dialectic to grant the therefore never in like some sensuous intuition also. manner. in some future state of knowledge. we should be able deduce a priori from the character of pure thought the whole contents of science and history. which alone is so. that thought may have something to mediate/individual and isolated piece from piece that thought may have something to relate. so that. and of the world of Spirit from the world of Nature. and all the others follow. we should not have taken up the position that the immediate element in Nature and Spirit could be reduced to pure For we should not be endeavouring to deduce the immediate merely from the mediate. it is consistent and If this follows that there is or intricate about the deduction of the world of nothing mysterious Nature from the Logic. but from the mediate compared with the concrete reality of which they are both thought. but their existence with particular characteristics. in one way or another. It is perhaps conceivable that./ It be. since in the world of reality each lower category only exists as a moment of the Absolute Idea. world. however. which. to If this should be the case. the completion of the dialectic process might be seen to involve. the world of pure thought only exists as an abstraction from concrete reality. together with the abstract universal of thought. and universal. Even then. granted pure thought. . must alike individual self-sustained. not only the mere existence of Nature and Spirit. for without it the idea would be still an abstraction and therefore still contradictory. 27. and can by itself satisfy the demands of the mind. /It must be immediate.

so that it might be as well This embodied in one arrangement of them as in another. . that is. follows that the Philosophy of Nature and Spirit will consist only in observing the progress of the pure idea as it appears in the midst of phenomena to a large extent contingent to it. . If we can proceed working up. it proves that Logic without the additional elements which occur in Nature and Spirit is a mere abstraction. but from an empirical point of view should not be f&quot. 29 lie The true force of the proof would in the At present. the world of existence of this synthesis. moments. 42. of which Hegel philosophy sometimes supposed to have consisted. this is all that But find the idea in everything. It It certainly expresses the state of our knowledge at present. lecture note.OF THE DIALECTIC.&quot. and only in so far as they express such a series of notions have interest for philosophic thought l If this explanation be correct. is therefore. the whole to which it is our thought. ] never endeavoured to claim ontological validity for his Logic in the second sense mentioned above by attempting. and cannot hope to account for all the particulars^ of experience. however. Section 387. but must be known as the expression which corresponds to a necessary series of definite notions. and which is implicit in in this way from Logic to Nature and Spirit. for the to construct the world out of abstract thought. This development of reality or objectivity brings forward a row of forms which must certainly be given empirically. And an abstraction cannot possibly be the cause of the reality from which it is an abstraction. p. Hegel attempts to dp^^He endeavours to but not to reduce everything to a Thus he remarks in the Philosophy manifestation of the idea. which is certainly to be found in the nature of pure thought. of Spirit. 1 Enc. sense appears to us to contain a large number of particulars which are quite indifferent to pure thought. to deduce the contents of experience from the nature of pure /The deduction which does take place is not dependent merely on the premise from which it starts. it will follow that Hegel 28. may possibly be an inevitable law of knowledge. but also on all thought only. placed side by side and outside each other. attempt s There can be no place here.

in intelligible idea. believe that the universe as a whole in From this account of the Hegelian system it will 29. expresses the deepest nature of the human mind. not on the validity of knowledge. For the Critique of Pure all the qualities of a dualism. since it rested. as was pointed out above. it is obligation to seek the good realising it not by any means universally admitted that the is dependent on the possibility of full. And the defect of the Critique of Pure Reason in this respect was not completely remedied by the Critique of Practical Reason. in And if it is validity of the moral sense does validity of the Ideas of Reason. The reconciliation was only external the alien element was not to be absorbed or transcended but conquered. It was declared the weaker. can also be explained by that I cannot have the least reason to believe in. We are now enabled to assert. and had Man s side of his of a world in one of him over to the mercy whose elements the irrational manifold he saw only what was alien to himself. but also that all reality. not so dependent then the not necessarily imply the Even in the Critique of . but on the validity of the moral sense the denial of which is not as clearly a contradiction of itself. which delivered : own Moreover.30 THE GENERAL NATURE The importance of the ontological significance of the dialectic. actual or possible. slighter basis than the earlier one. or even to meaning imagine possible. within our experience. after complete rationality and complete justice aspirations in life were checked by the consideration of the phenomenal Reason was a dualism. And since that category. very great. but And the whole of this argument had a it kept its existence. There was much left for Hegel to do. even in this limited extent. nature. not only that. by means of the transcendental method. however. anything which does not in the long run turn out to contain and be constituted by the highest category. is. we is are entitled to fundamental agree ment with our own nature. appear that its main result is the completion of the work which had been carried on by German philosophy since the publication of the Critique of Pure Reason the establishment. of the rationality of the Universe. everything can be explained by the Absolute Idea. any sense in which we can attach any to the word. and that whatever can rightly be called rational may_be safely declared to be also real.

Fichte. and are compelled to regard the higher higher embodiment of Such a maimed reason categories as mere subjective delusions. with the good. 31 still Judgment the reconciliation of the two sides was external and incomplete.And the it remarks. standing as did midway between matter and spirit. rendered Absolute of spirit. if we are to see in reason nothing than reciprocity./. Schelling. it finds nothing alien to itself wherever it And the reason for which he thus claimed unrestricted to contain every category up to the It is this demonstration quite as much as the power was demonstrated Absolute Idea. reduced the Non-Ego to a shadow. as Dr Caird impossible to completely destroy it. as this is one in which we can have scarcely more pleasure or If the rational can be identified acquiescence than in chaos. Hegel on the other hand asserted the absolute supremacy of For him it is the key to the interpretation of the reason. but just it for that reason.OF THE DIALECTIC. . for had spirit a much stronger position with Kant s im mediate successors. rejection of the possibility that anything in the universe should be alien to reason which gives his philosophy its practical For from the practical point of view it is of little consequence that the world should be proved to be the interest. such as End. indeed. reason. Life. and Cognition. it can only be in respect of the later categories. whole universe goes. could be but slight comfort to whose most characteristic features and most important interests had little chance of preservation in a merely neutral basis. .

in the Absolute Idea. and achieved what was useless. so reach a result of general But since we can validity a priori. yet at the end of the dialectic we reach. any such dialectical . and apart from everything to evoke all the other stages of the pure notion. chapter I have explained the view of which seems to me the most probable. and since an idea. taken by itself. He attempted. independent of the data which it connects and mediates. It has been ( held that the dialectic process has no reference whatever to experience. DIFFERENT INTERPRETATIONS OF THE DIALECTIC. whether this be so or not./ft has been held that. but takes place in pure thought considered apart from anything else. Hegel attempted what was impossible.CHAPTER II. Trendelenburg in Logische Untersuchungen. lastly. The first of his these points has been discussed by According to him. With regard to three points in particular various commentators have taken a different view of Hegel s meaning. and does not merely mediate data immediately given to the mind by some other source. last s IN the Hegel is raised to the possibility of interpreting Hegel in this manner. It philosophy now necessary to examine some objections which have been 30. by observation of the pure its most abstract stage. nothing more than is already in it. is unthinkable. and to declare that all things are reducible to thought alone/ 31. notion in but extract from an idea. a form of thought which exists in and by itself.// And. and itself. it has been held that the deduction of Nature and Spirit from Logic is to be taken as an attempt to degrade them into mere forms of the latter.

Trendelenburg. expressed in this way.&quot. but with it the cogency of this dialectic process also disappeared. operates on the datum. Chap. is the moving cause of that unrest which sets up the dialectical process 2 . As to Hegel s intention. &quot. and produces the result. We are supposed to have nothing but one single isolated abstract idea. Although the Wissenschaftslehre of Fichte Non-Ego from the Ego. and reconciliation. it takes the same course in position. in the fragmentary itself. opposition. surreptitious appeals to ex In this way the sterility of pure thought was perience.&quot. My references to this work are to the edition of 1862. H. Log indie Untersuchungen. Logic. Part i. H. and then permeate them. 32. Bradley. It does not make so much difference that it begins with the notion of Being. conquered. with conceptions in vacuo. but thought endeavours to make them. and this solitary monad then proceeds to multiply by gemmation from or by fission of its void. 92. - Book in. all is due. he says extracted the real notions. and it comes from confusion it between that which the mind has got before it and that which is has within itself. evolution as Hegel desired was impossible. engages in the process. is forms. 3 . The opposition between the real.DIFFERENT INTERPRETATIONS OF THE DIALECTIC. The dialectic has appropriated his methods. private substance. for it is the empty image of If it Being. An idea prevails that the Dialectic Method is a sort of experiment . Thought. according to to On shall consider the question as to the actual results of the dialectic we Trendelenburg s views further on. and the true reality within the mind. but the mind does not character in which the felt mind possesses it. M. Section 20. In point of of advance from one category to another appearance 33 fact. and it became merely empirical and contingent. not accept them. Before the mind which there a single conception. appear. without a claim to be called philosophy. p. The 1 fact seems to be that Trendelenburg s interpretation of i. yet he does not go on to &quot. Vol. 2. nevertheless comes to the notions of reality and to concrete For pure perceive whence it gets to them. or by fetching matter from the impalpable But this is a mere caricature. will we do not born blind and has no eyes towards the outside 1 In answer to this we may quote Mr F.

as we have seen 1 requires something im . though to be pure. its thought from which we start is conceived to exist only in no actual relation incompleteness. the process does depend on a reference to concrete but. and such a relation that it leads to thought meant conclusions of objective validity. the case. when the thought Whether the reference to experience in Hegel s Logic destroys its claims to absolute and a priori validity will be At present we have to ask discussed in the next chapter. for the notion. along with pure experience. was to construct an objectively valid dialectic by means of pure to show that thought. i. is the element of pure thought. as original intention and whether 1 it Trendelenburg asserts. was only used by Hegel because the absurdity Section 27. secondly. is that the incomplete inadequate in two way^ He supposes. I shall try. fact. So from one category being able to transform itself. no category could exist at all. as contained implicitly in reality and experience. into another. thought. and the only part which mediate on which to dialectic act. although the dialectic process. If this was it far would most certainly be sterile. in so far as this is so. If pure it would But there is nothing in this which is certainly be sterile. however. or rather impossible. need not prevent the from being one of pure thought. has broken down. and is intended to have as yet In to the concrete reality to which it is afterwards to attain. the complementary moment of sensation. i. the original attempt. anything inconsistent with this. place.34 DIFFERENT INTERPRETATIONS s attempt to construct a dialectic of pure thought. it is more complete. like all other acts of reasoning. And. Trendelenburg appears to think that must be perceived by itself. Chap. concrete thought. to reality was in Hegel s mind throughout. nature as the isolated piece which is precisely of the same we begin by consciously observing. can only take is joined with sensation. he says. by the dialectic process. For all thought. - Chap. But this changes in it . and not in which always contains. As was process 2 explained above the only part of experience from which the dialectic process derives its cogency. which reality. first. inconsistent with pure thought. . Hegel ) . the appeal to experience is inconsistent with the whether of the dialectic. Section 15.

to make such an appeal. &quot.. the fact that we can rise to knowledge of that which is never represented in sensuous intuition is not to tjie-pmnt. It is no doubt the that. of philosophy. more or less unconsciously. 1 second defect Enc.. own nature indeterminate and vague. and God. quoted oil p. or general principle contained in it. it was all along an essential part of the system that relation to experience.in only in form that philosophy is distinguished from other modes of obtaining an acquaintance with this same sum of being. of its therefore not on its or the details. and own account connected with the Particular is Either external and accidental to the other. deals with these conceptions. he points out that the method of science exhibits two defectsU The first is that the empirical Universal. Mind. . empirical knowledge does These are Freedom. for 1 . and the same with the particular facts which are bright into union each is external and accidental to the others. it should have such a At the beginning of Section 6 of the Encyclopaedia Hegel says that\ at first we become aware of these contents of philosophical knowledge what we call experience. on the other hand. another which &quot. the genus or 34. although philosophy according to Hegel. 32 . it does so. even if it were possible for philosophy to experience. . science. or whether. namely. ^a j kind. Section 12. and common sense have no case &quot.. Again. as we are now considering the basis. as Hegel mentions in Section 8. observe pure thought independently of experience. philosophy has for circle of objects. But. &c.OF THE DIALECTIC. &quot. only by the contemplation of the finite objects perceived by the senses that we arrive at the knowledge of God And. is. it must necessarily be in harmony with actuality and is experience/^ This passage supports the view that Hegel was conscious of the manner in which his dialectic rested on For.&quot. sum field of being&quot. in Section &quot. their action except experience. 33. V^The it is : is that the beginnings are in every case data and neither accounted for nor deduced. only by starting from empirical knowledge.As it &quot. 9. 35 of his original purpose drove him. the extent. example. 3? below. &quot. and not It is. not embrace. it is certain that other means of obtaining an acquaintance with this same &quot. In both these postulates.

is a question which to destroy The changes which it produces are will be considered later 1 . stated in the following terms. we are placed in the dilemma of either supposing that Hegel imagined science to be possible without experienceJor admitting that for him the dialectic method. their it laws and classifications of science. from the result of science in kind and not only in degree. but as altering materially the meaning of the categories of science which now turn out to be The process must not be abstract and of imperfect validity. relation of speculative science to the other sciences may be &quot. carries further the process of arrangement and analysis which science began. reflection. other categories. It does not in the least neglect the empirical facts contained : in the other sciences but recognises and adopts them its own appreciates and applies towards structure the universal element in these sciences. Hence defects. it actually goes so far as the basis from which it started.36 points DIFFERENT INTERPRETATIONS the form of necessity fails to to get its due. and deal with experience. the thinking proper to phi Further on in the same section he says that the losophy. and must therefore also The method It takes the materials of science. also required experience as its presupposition. &quot. . Whether.&quot. in doing so. 1 Sections 47-49. if there is this philosophy are not introduced &quot. the method&quot. any case very extensive. . the using only the and making the ordinary scientific The result may in one sense be said to differ presuppositions. into the categories and gives currency to. carry scientific generalisations up categories of science. But The special categories of the method only differs in degree. in confounded with one which to should highest simply point. The difference looked at in this way is only a change of categories. Fresh categories are introduced. And. but are the out of a pistol of reflection on the categories of science necessary consequence and the contradictions they display. and not merely as additions. of philosophy.&quot. of philosophy then is separated by no difference of kind from the method of science. whenever speculative it sets itself remedy these becomes thinking. it but besides all this. continuity between science and philosophy. introduces.

so long as we can have no eating without them. again. at &quot. which certainly represented as ungrateful it devours that it owes itself. eating to is is If we take . accordingly. equally And &quot. and owes its rise to an a posteriori fact. in that supreme sense in which God and of every supersensible reality. ungrateful. the two moments or factors present themselves still neither of them can be absent. In relation to the first . this view.&quot.&quot. Philosophy consciousness including under that name both our immediate and the inductions from it.) With as much truth however we may be said to owe eating to the means of nourishment. although as distinct. /Thus the knowledge of God Section &quot.OF THE DIALECTIC. takes its departure from experience ficant. and represent it as implying a state of conditionedness (Bedingtheit). above the senses and inferences from the senses into its own unadulterated element. and to that extent implies mediation. is God only is the Truth&quot. in fact.as ceptions: initial it consequently involves a negative attitude to the data of sense. and by assuming.. if we attach an unfair prominence to exaltation. the natural state of mind. and mediation in con On the relation between immediacy first sciousness. For to mediate is to take something as a beginning. upon this view of its action. thought is vitally characterised by raising itself above &quot. by this stimulus. the fact of mediation. a stand. Thinking. as it were.) in its true character an exaltation above sensations or per 1 &quot. God independent (selbststandig) and not a of the empirical phase of consciousness quence is is mere conse . its independence essentially secured through this negation and No doubt. The of Section 12 has a very important bearing following extracts are especially signi . Awakened. (As a matter of fact. 37 The whole on this question. (compare Truth.aloof and negative attitude towards And further on the point from which it draws its origin.. and to go onward to a second thing . thinking is always the negation of what we have immediately before us. here it may be sufficient to premise that. nor can one from the other. so that the existence of this second thing depends on our having reached it from something else In spite of this the knowledge of contradistinguished from it. exist apart &quot. it may be said not that the remark would mean much that philosophy is the child of experience. 35.

denies that a reference to experience involves a The reception into philosophy of the material furnished by science is declared to be identical with the development of thought out of itself. now that thought has removed its immediacy. on the other side. the particular facts which they come forward to they contain are ready to be received into philosophy. that they were so found and so experienced. . The emphasis peculiar importance of this section lies in the laid simultaneously on both the elements of the dialectic process. the empirical sciences do not stop short at the perception of the individual features of a phenomenon. The fact of experience thus becomes an illustration and image of the original and completely selfsupporting activity of 36.e. secondly. an d priori character. the freedom of thought gives them. and. and made it cease to be mere data forms at the same time a development of thought out of itself. These contents are now warranted necessary. is definitely asserted. by means of this Section. laws and classifications of the phenomena. By the aid of thought. as in the quotation from Section to be made from experience. here as in of the Logic is abstract pure thought. in the shape of general uniformities.&quot. reflection Hegel endeavoured to produce the dialectic process by mere on the nature of pure thought in abstraction. On the one hand the start 9. certain expressions with regard to the dialectic process which are occasionally interpreted by critics as meaning that the medium For example. The reception into philosophy of these scientific materials. On the other hand we are told that the result relates itself negatively towards the point from which it draws This precludes on the one side the theory that its origin. In return it gives their contents what is so vital to them.&quot. For)_nrstly. in short. i. implies a certain compulsion on thought itself to proceed to these concrete specific truths. that we r may thank experience for the development of philosophy. thought. When this is done. Philosophy then owes its development to the empirical sciences. We are enabled merely empirical argument./ tf his. also to understand correctly. meet philosophy with materials for it. and no longer depend on the evidence of facts merely.38 DIFFERENT INTERPRETATIONS abstract universality of thought there is a correct and wellgrounded sense in which we may say.

is. Such an idea. caused dependent at its all. fact The independence here can only the consist in the that. yet in the result the idea of God is separated from the particular empirical facts with which the process started. Without the data which are supplied is to us by sense. although they form its demonstration and justification. and in this sense a dependence. in Hegelian terminology. and eating does not depend on the existence of something to eat.OF THE DIALECTIC. but It is not. for to be related to a thing even negatively. although philosophy has been declared not to depend on experience. itself a condition. for is not to possible thought therefore to be helpless without it. Hegel repudiates the idea that philosophy is a child of experience. the dialectic could not exist. we are told. as Hegel uses the word. as Hegel himself points out on The independence occasion (as in his treatment of the ideas of finitude and infinity. Hegel continues. Each step which it takes depends. not in a state of dependence (Bedingtheit) equivalent to dependence. of the idea of God is declared to rest on and exaltation above the empirical side of con negation sciousness. if it was not for the explanation which here It is only unfair to say this. follows them. data. on the relation which the previous step bears to the goal of the The whole process may thus fairly be said not to be process. Such expressions might lead us to reject the theory of the dialectic offered above. although beginning is in experience. is &quot. &quot. Whether this is . eating is impossible. 39 other places. and is free from all likeness to them. if it follows that the existence of experience may be indispensable to the existence of philosophy. Mediation.unfair. necessarily It is no more dependent on them than any other abstraction from a whole is on its fellow abstractions from the same whole. and it is require a mediation by sense. in the same sense in which it would be unfair to say that we owe Now it is unquestionable eating to the means of nourishment. while it is nevertheless. that. without something to eat.&quot. and owes its existence to an d posteriori element. by those combined with them in a higher unity.&quot. and on it. Section 95). the absence of all connection between the two. however. therefore. which contains an empirical side. This independence cannot possibly mean. as we have seen.

but of the origin of philosophy in It is.&quot. as the Intuitionists supposed .&quot. and being has truth only by is not of the Idea. that the Idea has truth only by means of being. The maxim of immediate knowledge rejects an indefinite empty immediacy (and such is abstract being. unity empty and indeterminate. from a historical standpoint is one of the points discussed here.What In this (Section 70). that either term is only mediated with truth through the other. nor in mere being on its own account that mere being per se. no doubt. is of the Idea. But if we look at Section 14. if the phrase be preferred. history of philosophy itself. i. experience to is not only historically accurate but and that he holds the relation of the dialectic. explaining their position. But it means is is stupid not to see that the unity of distinct terms or modes not merely a purely immediate unity. &quot. however. neither in the Idea as a merely subjective thought. it appears to be this which Hegel means in asserting his dialectic to be independent of all experience. therefore. a being that . true that the origin of philosophy general. evolution of thought. On the one hand then he asserts that truth does not lie in the idea as separated from the sensible and finite being of the world. This unity.which is exhibited in the &quot.40 DIFFERENT INTERPRETATIONS possible or not. which is there denned. But the idea in its unity with the sensible and finite being of the world is experience. or. It may be objected that in this Section Hegel is not speaking of his own system.&quot. exists. he says. he says theory asserts is that truth lies the sensible and finite being of the world. or pure unity taken by itself) and affirms in its stead the unity of the Idea with being. that presented in the System of Philosophy he regards the process traced in Section 12 as one also philosophically valid. Now all this only affirms. We find similar statements in his criticism of the Intuitionist School. it is not. And it acts rightly in so doing. and this is quite compatible with an experiential basis. &quot. is It is clear. but that it involves the principle that one term has truth only as mediated through the other. without demonstration. we shall find that the two The same questions are considered by Hegel as identical. is only mediate that is to say. as that which which really 37.e.

Indeed. which supports the view of which are called Hegel here denies one immediacy and admits another. It has also been explained to be false in fact untrue in thought advances through finite and conditioned categories only. if we mean by it without the Kantian Anschauung. and not the end which it reaches. The it first is quite of these statements will present no difficulties. nor evident itself. since only can the immediate be found. Hegel s reminder that in the act of mediation the mediation itself vanishes does not concern us here. and denies that it is knowledge. fact to say that there is an immediate knowledge. immediate the dialectic process consists in enough to show that it must in experience . &quot. 38. But he admits that intuition. for consistent to deny the existence of immediate knowledge. but holds truth to lie only in the whole from which these two elements are abstracted. both by the same name in English. for the sensible and finite being of the world the idea &quot. perceived immediately. &quot. The the fact that is mediating have some relation to experience. which are always mediated by something else.&quot. and to forget that in the very act of mediation the mediation to say that itself vanishes. Bearing this in mind we are able to see that there is nothing in Section 75 inconsistent with the position I have He there says. from the nature of thought It lies rather in the mediation of each with that Hegel makes no attempt to use pure thought in abstraction from the data of sense. He denies the validity of intuition. truth only by asserted above means of the other. is essential to knowledge. while admitting the existence of an immediate element in knowledge. if by intuition is meant Jacobi s unmittelbares Wissen. the assertion that all knowledge consists in the mediation of the immediate at once affirms that an immediate. For we are now there is considering the basis on which the dialectic process rests.OF THE DIALECTIC. It has been shown to be attributed to Hegel. The latter must be considered further on. which perceives immediately the unity of thought and being. it 41 to be. a knowledge without mediation either by means of something else or in itself. has no truth.

the example. as we remarked before (Section 160. means the is of the notion. and the air. determines that a plant shall be produced. DIFFERENT INTERPRETATIONS Passing on to the Doctrine of the Notion. the seed will correspond to the category of Being. If we look more closely. or merely framed by us. and are not realised till the germ uncloses. but these details are at first present only This potentially. unclosing is. and what sort of But the surrounding conditions. and thereby self-differentiating (sich von sich selbst unterscheidend). the illustration may also serve to The judgment of the plant.&quot. In the growth of a tree the positive element is in the seed only. This analogy may illustrate the view which we have been considering. &c.42 39. to the matter of intuition. the judgment.. still remains in transparent unity with the universal. for Thus note). earth. of suitable plant it shall be. of boundless activity. earth. rather an infinite form. The notion is the very heart of things. lecture germ of a plant contains its particular. A judgment therefore. do not play a positive It is the nature of the seed alone which part in its growth. But and in the notion as notion. the completely mature plant to the Absolute Idea. The air. observing the object in the specific character imposed by its notion. show how neither the notion nor the judgment is merely found in our head. lecture note): &quot. the difference of its notion into disruption This disruption of the constituent functions. as under It is standing supposes. the object. No doubt the notion particularising implicitly the particular. and makes them what they are. the resemblance to actual plant life is not perfect. branches. such as root. and water. criticism or of the object. as it were. are conditions without which the seed cannot realise the end of its nature. as it were the punctum saliens of all vitality. since different amounts of . stand still in its own immobility. the particular is not yet explicit. We are. leaves. a is imposed by the native act of the notion. and water.The notion does not. In this analogy. on the contrary. soil and so on. although they are necessary to the development of the tree. To form a notion of an object means therefore to become aware of its notion and when we proceed to a . we have (Section 166. we are not performing a judgment and merely ascribing this or that predicate to subjective act.

OF THE DIALECTIC. lecture note) he says. For in organic life we are able example to distinguish between the cause of growth and the essential wished to make conditions of it in a way that would be impossible if we were In considering an event governed only by mechanical laws. the principles of organic growth. The passage. the idea of cognition to that of will. &quot. That this is the point which Hegel is rendered probable by his having taken as his a case of organic life. In is the reverse of what formed its starting-point. it knows its demonstration its . plant contains its the amount of quantitative is without restriction. heat. though without their presence the development could not exist at all. enables us to make this without which we should be unable to understand that the relation held by the data of sense to the dialectic process should be indispensable. if the above explanation is the fact that the growth of the plant has correct. content to be necessary. light. that the germ of the particulars. certain conditions which do not determine the nature of the lies The point in development. In this way we pass from fying and determining principle. them as life more fundamental than the But with organic we have introduced the idea of a final cause. starting-point cognition had a given and a contingent content but now. 43 and manure will change the size and colour. at the close of its movement. subjectivity at starting was quite It now shows itself as a modi abstract. and we are thus enabled to distinguish between the positive cause and the conditions which are necessary but not positive. a bare tabula rasa. which cognition (Erkennen) reaches by means of necessity 40. and yet negative. he must be supposed to ignore circumstances in which the plant change which depends on the is placed. as will be . the hitter case we can only say that the cause is the sum of all the necessary conditions. The Again (Section 232. Similarly. and of we are unable to consider any one others. though not the species of the flower. which gives to these surroundings a more active part than Hegel allows to the matter of intuition. But since Hegel says. Hegel s declaration that the growth of the notion must be judged by distinction. This necessity is reached by means of subjective activity. of the comparison. and in this case the analogy exact.

But since the Logical Idea (das Logische) is as much it is a universal as in being. active. The advance accounted necessity for fails nor deduced. cognition has become philosophy. states that &quot. not indeed in the sense of a bare juxtaposition or mere alternating employment of these two methods of finite . its beginning is When it means immediate being the being or immediacy. which of every-day volition. in considering the 41. under the form of subjectivity. while knowledge and contingent.. not philosophy. for content to be necessary. neither &quot.&quot. must be apprehended as subjectivity. speaking of it before the it the which knows its is &quot. a synthetical as well as an analytical beginning.) Philosophical method is analytical as well as synthetical. lies in the fact that. and form-imposing. is it But he change has yet been made. which can The advance of the dialectic towards only be found in sense. Hegel speaking here of finite cognition at the point at which passes over into volition. Hegel. process is here described with cognition. &quot. becomes speculative thinking. it means universality. the thinking proper to philosophy. to get its due. beginning is (Lecture note.44 DIFFERENT INTERPRETATIONS apparent on a closer examination. The second defect is that the beginnings are in every case data and postulates. the Absolute Idea has therefore a basis in experience. as a notion self-moving. means that the universal. it is the beginning of the synthetic method.&quot. but the ordinary thought By this process the passage is made to started from the given tent to be necessary. beginning is taken from intuition (Anschauung) and perception When the initial stage in the analytical method of finite cognition. The life. it now knows its con But when this change has taken place in the content. since it is as much presupposed by its the notion as the notion itself immediately is. In Section 238. advanced begins with the given and the contingent. In both these points the form of Hence. quoted on p. which also shows that by this point knowledge And the process by which it has has become philosophy. to be truly apprehended. has been apprehended as a selfmoving notion. taken starts as meaning finite cognition. reflection whenever it sets itself to remedy these defects. can only be &quot. organic elements of the speculative method. (Compare Section 9.) And the universal. 35 above.

45 cognition. pure thought given of thought unless of view.) mediated and derivative. and evinces itself to be the action of the notion itself. the Idea. as related it to those things which are distinguished from the stage of Reflection. in so far as it only accepts its and while allowing it its own way is only. that Nature forms the commencement or immediacy. Philosophic object. its is the immediacy part deposes and universality to the level of a mere stage or moment. and neither to have proper being nor proper immediacy. however. It is only for the consciousness which is immediate. as the notion implicit. The advance renders explicit the judgment implicit in the Idea. It is seen to be (Lecture note. as it were. however. is is and its of the process made clear.) and it is Spirit itself which gives itself a presupposition in Nature. he says in Section 239. but rather in such a way that it holds them merged in itself. In this passage the double foundation of the dialectic clearly admitted. The immediate universal.OF THE DIALECTIC. In every one of its movements. &quot. To that end. in the first place. there is required an effort to keep back the incessant impertinence of our own fancies extent philosophising is and private opinions. Thus is produced the negative of the beginning. To this Philosophic thought. thought proceeds analytically. and that Spirit appears as what is mediated by itself Nature.&quot.&quot. 42. this advance is but seeing that in this notion this distinction was it is &quot. connection with the double aspect We must have. is equally synthetic. it displays an attitude at once analytical and synthetical. therefore. the original dialectical force. what was involved analytical. an onlooker at its movement and development. then. Continuing the same subject. not yet stated. the dialectic process we cannot know the nature thinking has taken place. equally synthetical. (das durch den Geist Gesetzte. The truth is that Nature is due to the statuting of Spirit. wholly passive. Seeing that the immanent dialectic only states explicitly in the immediate notion. From one point to us as a fact is the observation of a . In the advance of the idea the beginning exhibits itself as what it implicitly is. which on its own datum is made determinate : it exists for something.

onlooker at as its this is so is movement and development.&quot. and naturally tend therefore to approximate to it. first (in It is the knowledge that the idea is one systematic whole. the process is synthetic and itself to be the action of the notion itself. in Section 242. again. &quot. which. and is only. simplest of When once the first and the judgment is has been made about experience judgment which Being by an inner necessity out of that judgment. beginning is universal. and neither to have proper being nor proper immediacy. although the imanalysed mass and the fact that The explanation abstract notion of Being may be the temporal prius in that In the stage of finite reflection which precedes philosophy. And is the idea. &quot. It is seen to be mediated and derivative. and made itself seem a result.&quot. &quot. the notion &quot.&quot. as the other aspect was the beginning as immediate being and. This is the logical prius of the movement. onward movement of the idea the beginning exhibits itself as what it is implicitly. which made the beginning appear immediate. But at the same time the process is not merely experience. as it were. And in so far we have the unequivocal declaration that the &quot.&quot. as the method) regards this terminus as merely absolutely the annihilation of the show or semblance. such a process may be viewed from two sides. one of empirical selection of first one character and then another from the concrete whole. Or it may be till it again coincided with from the point of view of the regarded . in so far as the .46 DIFFERENT INTERPRETATIONS In this aspect philosophy subject matter already before us. &quot. evinces of the union of the two processes lies in the the reality present to our minds in experience is always the full and concrete notion. It may be regarded from the point of view of the whole in which case the dialectic process will be viewed as gradually retracing the steps of abstraction which had led to the idea of pure Being. All less complete ideas are illegitimate abstractions from this And whole. beginning thought is since pure taken from sensation or perception never found except as an element in the whole of &quot. an allows the idea its own way &quot. involved in the application of the category the various steps of the dialectic process will grow This judgment will be the beginning as universality. and rebuilding the concrete object reality.

that the process is in a one of pure thought perceived medium To of sensation and therefore synthetic and analytic at once. correspond respectively to aspects for which the beginning is taken from sensation or In so far perception. of justice. when the advance will seem to be purely out of the notion itself. on the other hand. external nature. it is equally synthetical. and the synthetic from the And stand-point of the yet imperfect notion. 47 incomplete and growing notion. this we may add the following extract from the Philosophy of Spirit (Encyclopaedia. All our images. although con sensation and perception. has commonly been understood as if the intelligence was originally completely empty. the process depends on the contemplation of reality and therefore of For the sensation. This is a mistake. Section 447. For that which the intelligence .&quot. tributing no positive element to the process. thoughts. however.OF THE DIALECTIC. when we only get a true view of the whole combine the two and see that the stimulus is in the And we relation of the abstract and explicit idea to the complete and implicit idea. we shall bring into prominence the fact that the process is after all one of pure thought. and ideas. these two aspects the analytic from the stand-point of the concrete and perfect notion. In sensation there is present the whole Reason the collected &quot. dialectic only states explicitly what was involved in the immediate notion. is the necessary condition of our becoming conscious of the nature of thought. 43. as we look on the motive force of the dialectic process as residing in the completeness of the concrete notion. Seeing that the immanent &quot. but seeing that in this notion this distinction was not yet stated. when they have received their complete explanation are again concentrated . sensation develop themselves from our intelligence as used in as they themselves. and therefore received all content from outside as something quite strange to it. of ethics. lecture note). in the simple form of sensation This development of Spirit out of sensation. and from the action of the notion itself. But in so far as we look on the motive force of the process as supplied by the incompleteness of the growing notion. of material of Spirit. this advance is analytical. and of the content of religion.

these passages from Hegel s writings. immanent The externality of the object to spirit. that it is a process of pure thought. first.48 DIFFERENT INTERPRETATIONS appears to take in from outside is in reality nothing else than the reasonable. a fundamental characteristic of spirit way the activity of spirit has no other goal and therefore it must be in this way that our minds act when they are engaged act in this To on the dialectic process. to remove also the apparent in it. spirit. that his method possesses two characteristics. depend on the fact that its denial would be suicidal 1 . with which the Logic deals. but only possible in the presence of matter of intuition second. and that is it is by starting from that which learn given in sensation that we the nature of &quot. that the motive force of the whole process is involved in the relation between the incomplete form of the . The validity of each stage of the dialectic. explicitly before us. I think. and activity of spirit has therefore no other goal. Now it must be admitted that this is a mere inference. as we have seen. These are. Here we learn that the reasonable. Section 18. and present implicitly in all our thought We must now pass to another question. and Such a statement would be not explicitly stated by Hegel.&quot. suspended in the air with no explicit argument anywhere to attach them to reality. most natural at the beginning of the whole dialectic process. of this strange peculiarity is. are left. depended on the one before. The explanation given of the idea of Being. is No justification whatever merely assumed and all the however cogent in themselves. is first given to us in sensation. except. I have endeavoured to show. by the consideration of 44. &quot. which is therefore identical with spirit. but is it is neither there nor elsewhere. It consequences that follow from it. . so to speak. largely to be found in the state of philosophy at the time when Hegel wrote. by the removal of the apparent externality to self of the implicitly reasonable object. and as apparently external to is self. i. 1 Chap. which at any moment may be is the complete form which as in all other reality. and all of them ultimately on the first stage the The validity of this again we found to category of Being. notion.

rather than how stress less differed clearly it Hegel s might be derived from marked preference for a it. must be granted. since they follow from the validity of the category of Being. Transcendental arguments. But Hegel s position was different. He an age of Idealism. The barest admission that could be made. have been so arranged as to be obviously transcendental. on the conclusions of his system. naturally emphasised the transcendental character of the argument. H. which no sceptic can since denial itself always implies the existence of wholly deny. to a friendly audience. something. and the cogency with which his conclusions could be applied to the world of reality. as Mr Balfour remarks in the Defence of Philosophic Doubt. who had to establish his system in the face of sceptical criticism. 4 . when the pure scepticism of Hume had ceased to be a living force. though due chiefly to the special character of the audience to whom the philosophy was first M. would naturally fall. But this has exposed his system to severe disadvantages in the reaction against all Idealism which has taken place since his death. and are not the form into which an exposition addressed. however. as Hegel s was. as applied to reality. the category of Being developed contradictions which led up to fresh categories. 45. in the process of the dialectic. To this must be added constructive. and would point out how far the end was from the beginning. and its absence. the validity of these categories also. convince by threats. But as. and so on. 49 if The argument of the dialectic could. and when it was a generally lived in accepted view that the mind was adequate to the knowledge of Under such circumstances Hegel would naturally lay reality. The basis of the whole would be the of experience.OF THE DIALECTIC. involved as they were in propositions which his adversaries were not prepared to dispute. existence of the world with regard to this world of experience. which appears so strongly in all his works. the theory in the previous chapter is correct. rather than a polemical treatment. For the transcendental form becomes necessary when the attacks of scepticism have to be met. rather than on the original premises. in which he chiefly agreed with them. would involve that it should be brought under the category of Being whose validity would be therefore granted. in which he more or from his contemporaries. Kant.

G4. any relation prominence The same causes may perhaps account of for the the synthetic over the analytic aspect of the dialectic. proves that it The very fact that its the argument for exists if was entitled to assumption. in any admission of the existence of reality. . It is really the same fact the existence is some reality which. it would seem more natural to bring forward the analytic side. then the category of Being has validity.50 DIFFERENT INTERPRETATIONS addressed. if it is involved in all other assertions. since its denial universe of is suicidal. under another aspect. exists. or as a theory with internal consistency. and to show that the whole system was involved 46. can scarcely be said to be assumed. as a matter which can be passed over in the denial of any reality in the silence. on which point they would probably have no objection to To meet such criticisms it would be necessary to lay raise. the relation to experience which the dialectic needs. the argument any rate. as a mere fairy tale. Hegel speaks of his logic as without any pre-supposition. but without to facts. or will admit. The would naturally be devoted more to the internal consistency of the system than to its right to exist at all. parallel case will be found in Hegel s criticism of Kant s of one A refutation of the ontological argument 1 actual existence of God. Sections 03. This is taken by Trendelenburg as equivalent to an assertion that But we have seen that the only it has no basis in experience. though of Being not directly proved. We may reasonably Cp. He is then treats the equivalent to the Absolute Reality. at all compatible with And this is thing the argument itself. which may be noticed occasionally throughout the Logic. which Hegel assumed was the validity of the category postulate that is. Now this. the existence of something. while to us. who in most cases approach the whole question from a comparatively criticism of idealists negative stand-point. who for him . And a system which requires no other postulate than this might fairly be said to have no pre-supposition. emphasis on the synthetic side of the process. has led to the reproaches which have been so freely directed against Absolute Idealism. 1 assumed at suppose that the beginning of the Logic.

although throughout the Logic Hegel may treat thought as mediate. is might And in section 12. the child of experience. There is. &quot. Section 99. which was suggested in the last chapter.OF THE DIALECTIC. does that relation remain at the end of the process ? It has been asserted that. From all more particular pre-suppositions he doubtless claims that his logic is free. - Cp. yet. holding that a postulate which could not bo denied without self-contradiction need not be considered as a pre-supposition at all. even if this is so. and to involve a means. We must discriminate between those characteristics of the immediate element of experience which are indispensable if experience is to be constituted at all. It must also existence of God which be noted that Hegel says of the proofs of the are derived from the finite world the &quot. involves a negative attitude Now in the Logic the result certainly stands in a negative relation to the beginning. he tells us that philosophy is unfairly said to be of transition 1 . . which have seemed to be the means of reaching God. Section 50. process of exaltation might thus appear to be transition. when we reach the Absolute Idea. 42 . since it to the initial acts of the senses. Under these circumstances call its validity it is only natural that he should not a pre-supposition. since the world. have been absorbed. and it would be unfair to say that the dialectic depended on it. But. but it is not a whit less true that every trace and means is absorbed.&quot. then. But this claim is not incompatible with the relation of the dialectic to experience. and as only existing as an element in a whole of which the other element is an immediate datum. for the inadequacy of the category of Being to express reality has been demonstrated in the course of the dialectic. Chap.&quot. a constant relation to experience throughout the course of the dialectic. The category of Being would then. in. in the passage explained to be a nullity quoted above. in Hegel s language. It must be admitted that such a transition would be unjustifiable 2 but I am unable to see any reason to suppose that Hegel held any such belief. that Idea is held to be self-centred and capable of existing by itself in abstraction from everything else. 51 Hegel treated it in the same way. and those which are not 1 Enc. 47.

Enquiries as to the reasons of things have only within the universe. be described as what has the ground of but in somewhat 1 &quot. be one to which no answer could This would not. no doubt. lecture note. It may certainly be doubted whether fact. The ultimate nature of reality thus and not otherwise?&quot. involved the elimi nation of the contingent. elimination height of perfection. Why was the question which could then arise would be. of course. when completely realised. immediate should be also contingent. which indeed he treats 2 as part of a lower category. We should still know reality. All thought that we know. On the other hand it is not essential that this &quot. we might be able till the data immediately given in experience we had an individuality or organic whole from the nature of which they could all be deduced. The contingent may being. &quot. has its action only in mediation. not by thought alone. transcended in the highest. question would. remain contingency would be entirely eliminated. . Absolute Idea. Thus in the case we have supposed the universe itself. yet immediacy would untouched. in a to trace more advanced back all state of knowledge. and Enc. for all experience would be referred The only to a single unity and determined by its notion. but because it was given to us. or that we can up conceive. in DIFFERENT INTERPRETATIONS The essential characteristics may all be summed immediacy. - Enc. the point important to us here is that. Section 145. not involve the elimination of the immediate. It seems probable that Hegel did suppose that the 48. it may be asked whether would not require other means than our present senses for the But whether the perception of reality outside ourselves. however. Now it is quite possible that. as a matter of particular. should it take place. render the nature of For such a question would in any way contingent. Contingency referred to them would be here eliminated. to this human knowledge could ever attain. which is.52 indispensable. and its existence without something immediate on which it may act would be a contradiction. In such a state of knowledge which it is does 1 of Contingency is or is not possible. its else. Section 145. be given. reality their place be meaningless. not in itself. whose existence they We have no right to make them with regard to presuppose.

Hegel had any intention of even when it reached the In the stage immediately before the Absolute Idea that of it is evident that the idea is ordinary cognition and volition not self-sufficing. he only does so because mediating logic and the element of immediacy or givenness which first occurs in nature. can only advance on the thesis and antithesis on points in which they disagree with one another. and thus at the of life with that of cognition. in Absolute Spirit. Section 230.OF THE DIALECTIC. and the distinction of mediacy and immediacy therefore. of this category Now the Absolute Idea a synthesis and the category of Cognition. In cognition we had the idea in The process of cognition has issued in the overthrow of this differentiation. in the idea of Life. is of course. as unity. and the restora tion of that unity which. the first instance the Idea of Life 1 and . On points in which they agree it can make no change. Again. And when. within the logic. be transcended. same time the unity of the idea the shape of differentiation. or to the In this there is in self-sufficiency of thought. since one of the essential characteristics category is that the soul is in relation to a body. lecture note. Hegel reaches that which he unquestionably believes to be self-mediated and it is a synthesis of the self-sufficing. immediacy admitted mere mediacy of the finite cannot categories.&quot. Thought is mediate in both of these. But within the logic there is no &quot. the synthesis logic ? How then can it be immediate in The comes by the emphasis of one side correction of inadequacies in the Hegelian in the thesis and of the other in the antithesis. therefore 53 does not prove that declaring thought Absolute Idea. to balance the 1 Em. practical idea. to be self-sufficing. which involves. sensation. throughout the entire dialectic. &quot. since it is certain that we can neither think nor resolve in every-day life without some immediate data. The synthesis. is in which tends to the elimination nothing of immediacy. thought is certainly not selfof this sufficing. Now the point of transition between this category and the Absolute Idea is stated to be the unity of the theoretical and &quot. but only the complete discovery the outside world of the pure thought which is also in us. the synthesis reconciling the two. . in its immediacy.

for Hegel.Gegenstand und Objekt&quot.&quot. If this is the correct interpretation of this passage. dem das Objekt sie ist ein Objekt. so that it required no object given from outside. to the notion of the idea. in welches ist . Although the content of all in such a case. Differenz Idee der Begriff der Idee. &quot. . alle is Bestimmungen zusammen gegangen sind The second sentence of the definition asserts that the idea the &quot. it appears to me. nothing which is not a experience contains. Sections 235. the object to the notion of the idea seems rather to support this different aspect view by indicating that the idea as object is viewed in a from the idea as subject. is now known to be itself thought. be taken as equivalent to a statement that thought here becomes self-subsistent and selfIt seems rather to signify that that which is mediating. manifestation of the pure Absolute Idea. yet to every subject all in whom that idea is realised. This cannot. 236. dem die Idee als solche der Gegenstand. the idea is of immediate data. then thought remains. the Absolute Idea is realised when the thinker sees in the whole world round him nothing but the realisation of the same idea which forms his own essential nature is at once conscious of the existence of the other. but the distinction between them remains in their relation to one another. although still immediately given. or indeed that the distinction of subject and object had vanished altogether. 1 Enc.54 DIFFERENT INTERPRETATIONS We find no sign again of transcended mediation in 49.Dieses aus der und Endlichkeit des Erkennens zu sich zuriickgekommene und durch die Thatigkeit des Begriffs mit ihm identisch gewordene Leben ist die speculative oder absolute Die Idee als Einheit der subject! ven und der objectiven Idee. what it has been in the finite categories. which are mediated action. 1 . presented in the form by the subject s own is The fundamental nature of subject and object the same. If immediacy was here gained by thought. the direct definition of the Absolute Idea. it would have been more natural to say that the idea was its own object. In other words. in the Absolute Idea. immediately given to thought to mediate. and of its fundamental The expression that the idea as such is similarity to himself.

exists . as thought out of the sphere of thought altogether In fact. But this he finds in Absolute Spirit. 125. pp. Hegel thinks it incumbent upon him to prove that spirit apparently earlier Somewhat he &quot. as compared with the whole of Absolute Spirit. contended. who objects to the system chiefly.OF THE DIALECTIC. strive against the idea we may. lecture note. The Absolute Idea is still an abstraction. that his own elaborate phraseology means no more than the ancient position that vovs rules the world. with great force and clearness. No and is not self. seems indubitable that there is here once more Hegel the extraordinary but apparently fascinating attempt to construct the world out of abstract thought or mere . by a necessity of thought. not only for the rationality. and that he has attempted to account by pure thought. 111. which is a synthesis of the Absolute Idea with the element of immediate presentation. on this ground. The concrete existence of the categories (in Nature and Spirit) is to be deduced from their essence or thought-nature it is to be shown that they cannot When we have mounted to the Absolute Idea.&quot. The passages from which most information on this 1 Enc. reducible to this very general proposition. Seth. 110. which he believes Hegel to hold. . Hegel apparently says. 50. cit. there is Reason in the world 1 .&quot. it would seern. This objection is that Hegel has ascribed ontological validity to his dialectic to a greater extent than this theory admits. it is not be. on one occasion. We have now to consider the third objection which the has been raised to the theory of Hegel s meaning explained in first chapter. Hegelianism and Personality^ pp. 124. The nisus of thought itself projects into that of actual existence. but also for the entire This is maintained by Professor existence of the universe. He says. example. or the If the system is modern phrase.mediated. for &quot. it repeated in universals 3 51. and in which mediation as an external process vanishes. our objections would 2 certainly fall to the ground expresses the position. Section 24. . 3 2 op. we cannot help going further. 55 doubt Hegel regards as the highest ideal of the dialectic process something which shall be self-mediated.

and they collapse. confined to These are quoted and abridged as follows by The Absolute Idea is still logical. pp. This Being. 2 the point of view of this unity with itself. impelled to remove this limitation and truth. in which the transition to the world of Nature is described.. to let the element of its particularity the immediate Idea as its own reflection forth freely from itself as Nature. On account of this freedom. v.e. . shut up in a species . still the element of pure thoughts. as in the larger Logic. that in the absolute truth . And go in the lecture-note which follows we read. looked at from statement. 1 Werke. or a transition such as we have from stage to stage in the Logic. 352. abstract advance. being absolutely sure of itself and at rest in itself. so far. The absolute freedom of the Idea consists in this. 353. the two sides of this relation are one. A few lines lower he speaks of the (Entschluss) of the pure Idea to determine itself as external Idea. into the immediacy of The Idea as the totality in this form is Nature. The passing over is rather to be understood thus that the Idea freely lets itself go. is Perception and the Idea as it exists for perception is Nature. of itself the full according to Hegel s usage.56 DIFFERENT INTERPRETATIONS point are to be expected will be those in the Greater and Smaller Logics. . but if this is so. as it were. the extern for itself without resolve subjectivity. is not a process of becoming. however... the last result of the logic. thus the pure The Idea. has been defined as the pure notion which is related pure notion and its reality . Turning to the Encyclopaedia we find. it is is thus. - Knc. Section 244. Professor Seth. We have now returned to the notion of the Idea with which we began. he the beginning of another sphere and science 1 the absolute unity of the recalls to us... when it has attained perfection of the form which belongs to it) it resolves (i. at the end of the smaller Logic a more concise but substantially similar The Idea which exists for itself. the pure idea of knowledge of subjectivity. But inasmuch as &quot. This return to the beginning is also an That with which we began was Being. determining of itself. the form of its determination ality of space is likewise absolutely free and time existing absolutely namely. becomes also only to itself.

Being, and now 1 Idea is Nature
52. It


we have the Idea




but this existent


is certainly possible at first sight to take these as supporting Professor Seth s theory. But we must passages consider that, according to that theory, Hegel is made to

occupy a position, not only paradoxical and untenable, but also inconsistent. If, as I have endeavoured to show above, and as

admitted by Professor Seth, Hegel fully recognises the


thought only takes in that concrete whole in which sense data are a moment place because thought could not exist correlative with pure thought
of pure

that the whole dialectic


at all without

immediate data

how can he suppose

that the

movement of pure thought produces the sensations the conditions of its own existence ? Are we not

which are



adopt any other explanation, rather than suppose him guilty of such a glaring contradiction ?

Such an explanation was offered in the last Chapter 2 where it was pointed out that, as the comparison of the abstract idea with the concrete idea was the origin of the dialectic move ment within the Logic, so the comparison of the concrete idea

with the


whole of


compared with which the concrete

notion itself was an abstraction, was the origin of the transition from Logic to Nature and Spirit a transition in which there

was no attempt to construct the world out of abstract thought, because the foundation of the argument was the presence,
implicit in all experience, of the concrete reality

whose necessity

was being demonstrated. Such a theory, at one time, Professor Seth was willing to accept as correct, and now considers as the explanation which a conciliatory and sober minded Hegelian would give of Hegel s remarkable tour de force" His account is substantially the same as that given above. Here, again, then, as throughout

the Logic, it might be said we are merely undoing the work of abstraction and retracing our steps towards concrete fact. This,

we have

seen, implies the admission that

it is

our experiential

knowledge of actual fact which is the real motive-force impelling us onward impelling us here from the abstract determinations

Hcndianism and Personality, pp. 105,
Section 20.





of the Logic to the quasi-re&lity of Nature, and thence to the full reality of It is because we ourselves are spirits that spirit.

we cannot

stop short of that consummation.

In this sense we

can understand the feeling of limitation or incompleteness of which Hegel speaks at the end of the Logic. The pure form
craves, as

were, for


concrete realisation



subsequently, however, rejects this position, and indeed
its full

seems scarcely to see



his "soberminded

who accepts

this reading, will,

he informs

as little stress as possible


the so-called deduction.


he continues,

has convinced me, however, that

more fundamental import to his Hegel than such a representation allows. Perhaps it may system even be said, that, when we surrender this deduction, though

contention here


we may retain much that is valuable in Hegel s thought, we surrender the system as a whole. For, however readily he may admit, when pressed, that in the ordo ad individuum experience is the quarry from which all the materials are derived, it must
not be forgotten that he professes to offer us an absolute phi And it is the characteristic of an absolute philosophy losophy. that everything must be deduced or constructed as a necessity

Hegel s system, accordingly, is so framed as to elude the necessity of resting anywhere on mere fact. It is not enough for him to take self-conscious intelligence as an
of thought.
existent fact, by reflection on whose action in his own conscious experience and in the history of the race certain categories are disclosed, reducible by philosophic insight to a system of

mutually connected notions, which

may then be viewed


constituting the essence or formal structure of reason. apparently thinks it incumbent on him to prove that spirit


by a necessity of thought. The concrete existence of the categories (in Nature and Spirit) is to be deduced from their it is to be shown they cannot essence or thought-nature

not be



in this passage there

are two separate charges

against Hegel, which Professor Seth apparently thinks are identical. The one is that thought of its own abstract


nature gives birth to the reality of
op. cit.




that, given

pp. 108, 109.


op. cit.

pp. 109, 110.

thought, Nature and




That they are Spirit can be deduced. in some way cannot be denied, but thought

Professor Seth rejects the idea that the deduction is partly analytical, and declares that Hegel endeavoured to demonstrate

the existence of the worlds of Nature and Spirit by pure syn But this is not all. Hegel is thesis from the world of Logic.
also accused of

the concrete existence endeavouring to prove This is properly a second of the categories from their essence."

to identify it with the in nature and of the concrete existence as first, by speaking and by making essence identical with the nature of spirit,"


But Professor Seth appears


thought. This identification is, I venture to think, unjustifiable. In the first place every proposition about Nature and Spirit is not one which involves real existence. We might say, for

Dragons must occupy space," or Angels must have some way of gaining immediate knowledge." Both propositions might be perfectly correct, even if neither dragons nor angels existed, because our propositions would deal only with essence.



If there in a hypothetical form, such as, were dragons, they would occupy space." (In this discussion I adopt Professor Seth s use of the word essence to signify the

They might be put


nature of a thing, which remains the same, whether the thing exists or not. It must not, of course, be confounded with
use of the same word to denote the second stage of the Logic, which merely describes one stage among others in



what Professor Seth would


the essence of thought.)


the other hand, as

we have seen above, a
refer to real existence.

relating to

pure thought




synthesised in
of Being

such a proposition, for the category Becoming we know, to real existence. And as the applicable,

essences of Being and Becoming are united, and as the existence of Being has been proved, we are able to state the proposition

concerning the relation of Being and Becoming as one of real

The confusion
and Spirit immediate

of real existence with the worlds of


not inexplicable.


all real

existence has


and must therefore be presented by sense, outer
correlative to sense, and, so to
in experi-

or inner, while thought, again,

speak opposed

to it,both being

complementary elements



Thought consequently gets taken as if it was opposed to But the fact of the existence of thought can be to us by inner sense as something immediate, and presented we are then as sure of its real existence as we could be of The office of thought is to anything in the world of Nature. mediate but it actually exists, or it could not mediate and
real existence.


actual existence any instance of thought may be immediately known in which case it is mediated by other The existence of logic proves in itself that we can thought.

in virtue of its

think about thought.


therefore can



real existence can

be known.

It is true that it is

become a datum, an


of experience.

and that its real existence is only as an element But this is true also of the particulars of sense.


be really

Since, then, propositions concerning Nature and Spirit essential and hypothetical while propositions



follows that the deduction of

thought may deal with real existence, it Nature and Spirit from Logic does

not necessarily involve the fallacious attempt to argue from essence to existence. This is the case whether the deduction
is both analytic and synthetic in its nature, as I have en deavoured to maintain, or is of a purely synthetic nature, as Professor Seth supposes.

of these suppositions the argument might have been merely from the essence of thought to the essence of In that case the final conclusion would have run, Nature.

In the

thought cannot exist without Nature, or, if there is thought there is Nature. Hegel, however, was not satisfied with such

a meagre result, and his argument is from existence to exist The course of the Logic, in the first place, may be

certainty that some the category of Being is valid of thing exists, consequently But the Absolute Idea is involved in the category of reality.

summed up


we have an immediate


Therefore the Absolute Idea


applicable to that which

really exists,

and we can predicate

reality of that Idea.


this follows the transition to the world of Nature,


of a



The Absolute Idea




it is


of the nature of thought) can only exist in combi with data of sense. Therefore data of sense really certainly deals with real existence,

Thus the conclusion



but that character has been given to the argument, not by any juggling with pure thought, but by a premise at the be
ginning relating to real existence namely, that something must The evidence for this proposition is immediate, for exist. it rests on the impossibility of denying it without asserting at
the same time


the reality at least of the denial and of the this assertion depends on the immediately given,

the existence of the words or ideas which form the denial

are perceived by sense, outer or inner, while the existence of the thinker is an inference from, or rather an implication in,

the fact that
of which

he has sensations or thoughts, of the existence thoughts as well as sensations he has immediate
case if the deduction were purely


The same would be the

synthetic, one which endeavoured to make the world of Nature and Spirit a mere consequence and result of the world of thought.

The argument would be
sently notice,
to existence.

invalid for reasons which


shall pre

but not because

exists, and it which within the Logic passes unchallenged by Professor Seth), that Hegel passes on to Nature and Spirit.

attempted For we have every right to believe that thought is from this existent thought (the presence of

to pass

from essence

The two charges then of deducing Nature and Spirit merely from thought, and of deducing existence from essence are by no means identical, and must be taken separately. It

perhaps be more convenient to begin with the the less sweeping of the two.



Thought out of



abstract nature gives birth

to the reality of things says Professor Seth in his criticism, and, if this is Hegel s meaning, we must certainly admit that

he has gone too
in the

far. Thought is, in its essential nature, mediate. As Trendelenburg remarks the immediacy of certain ideas

is only comparative and equivalent to selfReal immediacy belongs to nothing but the data And therefore thought cannot exist unless it of intuition. has something immediately given which it may mediate. It




of course, perfectly true that the immediate cannot remain unmediated. The only merely immediate thing is the pure

Logisclie Untersuchnngen, Vol.


p. 08,


and the pure sensation taken by

cannot become

part of experience, and therefore, since it existence out of experience, does not exist at

has certainly no

But although
mediation, and.

immediacy, as such,
therefore, thought.


a mere abstraction, so


extraordinary suggestion that the notion that an event in the way of sensation is something over


and again the only kind of consciousness for which there is reality, the conceived conditions are the reality," ignores the fact that the ideal of knowledge would in this case be a mass

and above



may be

a mistake of ours 1



of conditions which conditioned nothing, and of relations with nothing to relate. Such an elevation of an abstraction into an

independent reality


parallel fallacies of materialism, against

not excelled in audacity by any of the which Green was never

weary of protesting. But if thought is a mere element in the whole of reality, having no more independent existence than mere sense has, it is certainly impossible that thought should produce reality that the substantial and individual should depend on an ab And this is what Hegel believed, straction formed from itself.


are to accept Professor Seth s statement.

This theory is rendered the more remarkable by the admission that, within the Logic, the deduction has that ana
lytic aspect




required to make it valid. in reality a movement backward


The forward
a retracing

it is

of our steps to the world as
real determinations

we know it in the fulness of its Can we believe that Hegel, after using

one method of dialectic process to display the nature of pure thought, employs the same dialectic in an absolutely different

when he wishes

Nature, and Spirit

to pass from logic to nature ? Logic, are declared to be thesis, antithesis, and

In the synthesis; so are Being, Not-Being, and Becoming. case of the latter it is admitted that the true reality lies only in the synthesis, and that no attempt is made to construct it
out of the thesis.






supposing such

an attempt in the case of the more comprehensive deduction which we are now discussing ? Professor Seth attempts to answer the question by drawing
A s, Vol.

p. 190.


Heyelian mm and Personality,

p. 92.



a distinction between epistemology and ontology in this respect. As to the former, he says, it may be true that Hegel held

we only

arrive at a

knowledge of pure thought by ab

straction from experience, while yet it may be true that he considered that the other element in experience was originally produced by, and is in the objective world dependent on, pure

perhaps worth remarking that this derives no from Sections 238 and 239 of the Encyclopedia countenance
It is

where the union of analysis and synthesis is and as belonging to without any suggestion that it only philosophic thought applies to one department of philosophy. But the distinction is one which would only be tenable if the elements of which experience is composed were selfquoted above


spoken of as


the philosophic method


subsistent entities, capable of existing apart as well as together. Thus it might be said that, although in a certain experiment

oxygen and hydrogen were produced out of water, yet from
a scientific point of view we should rather consider the elements of which water was made up, they, and




But this analogy will not water, being the ultimate reality. For the element of immediacy the datum given hold here.
through sense

as necessary


essential to the


of the idea, as the sides of a triangle are to its angles. The existence of the immediate element is essential to anything
really concrete,

and the idea


abstraction from, the concrete.
crete on an abstraction from


only an element in, and an the existence of an ab

straction apart from the concrete, or the
itself, is

dependence of the con

a contradiction.



a mere abstraction from experience is not merely an accident of a particular way of discovering it, but its very
the idea

Its existence lies solely in mediation, and it cannot It is rather an aspect which therefore, ever be self-sufficient.


we can

perceive in experience, than an element which can be separated from it, even ideally, without leading us into error.

independent existence would thus be a very glaring




could not really exist.

Hegel, as for other people, contradictions Each stage in the Logic is a contra


but then those stages have no independent
p. 44.

23. Section 212. that which originally statutes. has the consummate ingratitude to tran scend that through which it seeks to be mediated. in and for . this way to make itself completely independent-. as its ground. . p. self-consistent reality is always behind of the infinite aim. And Hegel itself.. to reduce it to something which only exists through spirit.&quot. The the illusion which makes removing seem as yet unaccomplished 1 . to mediatise it. as well as a synthetic aspect. Section 12. lecture note. which. DIFFERENT INTERPRETATIONS The consummation 57. Spirit. It may be remarked that Hegel uses exactly the same metaphor of ingratitude to describe the relation of Spirit to the apparent commencement of the process.&quot. . is result . consists merely in it &quot. Spirit. and Spirit on the other hand was only statuted (gesetzt) by it rather is Nature statuted by Spirit. the First. but in truth evolves itself out of the assumptions which its it own itself makes. must have been present to it all along. as he used long before to express the connection between pure thought and the empirical details. &quot. himself distinctly denies the asserted purely It is clear. the final result of the process. so to say. character of the transition. is thus declared to be also its logical ground. 1 Ew. it. and the process of the Idea to Nature and from and in Nature to Spirit has therefore an analytic. since this. and of the The appearance of the Spirit which is merely outside itself. out of the logical idea and external nature. it not the simple result of Nature. and not in . Section 31. 3 a merely synthetic advance from pure thought through Nature. mediation of Spirit by another is transcended by Spirit itself. though not yet in full and explicit consciousness. he says.64 existence. synthetical that the emergence of Spirit from Nature ought not to be expressed as if nature was the Absolute Immediate. - Enc.! 37 above. Em-.. since the end of the process is only to come to explicit knowledge of its ground. &quot.&quot. lecture notes. p. and is the truth of the former as well as of the latter that is to say the true form of the Spirit which is merely in itself. from the consideration of which pure This may serve as a slight additional reason thought started for our belief in the theory that the force of the transition to Spirit lies in the implicit presence of Spirit all along. and the latter is the absolute First.

which we have just been considering. and it is Spirit itself which gives &quot. We may also compare Section 239 of the the truth is that Nature is due Encyclopaedia. Perhaps it may even be said that.OF THE DIALECTIC. dt. will lay as little stress as possible &quot. ever.&quot. and not at the beginning. who denies the purely synthetic &quot. of the process. to denying that there is any deduction at all intended. The treatment dialectic presents of the problem of contingency in the a curious alternation between two incom patible points of view. It is sufficient to point out that. deduction. upon the so- called deduction. by the first of which contingency is treated as a category. 109. though we may retain much that is valuable in Hegel s thought.gt. shall be a deduction. Further reflection has convinced me. It is not neces sary to consider here the criticisms which might be made on either of these explanations. H. r&amp. It is implied that these lent are the only two alternatives. For in the is 65 logical prius of the logic. while by the second it is attributed to the incapacity of Nature to realise the Idea. the advance to be found at the end. pp. that Hegel s contention here is of more fundamental importance to his system than such a represen tation allows. we surrender the system as a whole No doubt it is essential to the theory that there 1 . from the category of Being to Absolute Spirit. at its result. when we surrender this deduction. as Professor Seth admits. This view is incompatible itself a presupposition in Nature. &quot. the deduction may be one which is analytic as well as synthetic. M. To deny the purely synthetic deduction of Nature from Logic. when Professor Seth tells us that the soberminded Hegelian. . of 59. as we have seen. so that the whole system. while the former does not imply the theory which Professor 1 op. and may derive its cogency from the implicit presence. shall be bound closely But this is not incompatible with the soberminded together. lecture note to the statuting of Spirit.&quot.&quot. with any attempt to represent Nature as statuted by Logic alone. its starting point.&quot. view of the dialectic. which would be obviously incorrect. is not equiva 58. 110. how he continues. for.

if that expression be objected to.. or. it is to be noticed that &quot. roughly speaking. involving as it does presentation in sense. Section 145. is what has the ground of its says Hegel.&quot. are primary and without any ground at all. not in itself. like other categories. section that The same expression suggests that the elimination tingency does not. therefore different a nothing immediacy which prevents us from supposing a state of knowledge in which the immediate data. involve the elimination of immediacy. For the object of ordinary science is certainly not to eliminate factual reality. the latter the attempt to quite incompatible with it. convert contingency into a logical category is not necessarily The contingent. As to the first.&quot. lecture note. of contingency as is a category which. being traced back to some selfcentred reality. The introduction. No doubt at present all this is confirmed And tingency consists in explanation from the outside. it appears. in themselves. For the object of ordinary science is not to eliminate the data of sense. The contingent being. for of con Hegel. should require no explanation from without. and But. the problem of science. the side namely of reflection into It is thus by no means the same thing as else 1 . Section 47. even tingent reality.&quot. thus quite compatible with the existence of factual is confirmed by Hegel s remark in the same to overcome this contingency is. does not 2 EIIC. identical with an attempt to ignore reality. &quot. and .66 DIFFERENT INTERPRETATIONS to the general Seth adopts as is purpose of the Logic. The elimination of the con which includes. immediacy. by the definition quoted above. therefore. but to arrange and classify them. roughly speaking. but in somewhat else. while they preserved their immediacy. 1 transcended. as was pointed out above in contingent. . be contingent to Hegel.. even if part of the explanation was given in the form of a mere datum. is somewhat the only one side of the actual. requires explanation from outside. the self-subsistent entity or entities which have their ground of. Con That which can be explained entirely from itself would not.. is This &quot. outer is or inner. connection 2 there is in the nature of consequently should lose their contingency. if it does not consist exclusively real.

But it other case. as such an attempt would require. would not be so glaringly inconsistent as in the It might then possibly be a casual error. the theory that contingency is caused the inability of Nature to realise the idea 1 is clearly incom by . we confined ourselves to thought. it If this was Hegel s view as a proof of the presence of an analytic element in the process. therefore. must be taken sistent or not. and by the free passage of the latter. As Kant says. which the idea cannot perfectly subdue. Professor Seth admits 2 quite incompatible with &quot. which makes no part of the idea. 139. Section 16.OF THE DIALECTIC. philosophy in his use of the phrase.an absolute . was met We the in it by an alien element. for mere thought. and this is inconsistent with the theory of pure synthesis. The difference lies in the reference to reality. the difference between twenty real thalers and either be directly based on reality. which is the same whether they exist or not. - op. or must twenty thalers which are only imagined to be real. 60. For then the failure of thought to embody itself completely in nature. with a proposition that is so based. because. how can the impotence arise ? The only possible explanation of such impotence must be in some independent element. For. does not appear in the idea of them. fairly lead to 67 the conclusion that Hegel believed in the pos sibility of mediating thought ever becoming self-sufficient. is difficult to suppose that Hegel could have slipped by mistake into the assertion that thought. p. must now proceed to the second charge made transition from the Logic that it involves an from essence to existence. by a chain of inferences. while producing the whole universe. whether con of contingency. it does not exist. It may be doubted whether this view is compatible with the But it is certainly. as general theory of the dialectic at all. . if the world of Nature. we should be unable to discover whether 1 Kuc. On the other hand. If. The difference between the real and the ideal worlds is one which mere thought can never bridge over. patible with an attempt to produce Nature out of pure thought. is deduced by pure synthesis from the world of reason. &quot. Any proposition about against existence ence of immediate experi must be connected. Such an argument would argument doubtless be completely fallacious. cit.

is also to be found in the transition from Logic to Nature and Spirit. no abstraction from it will afford a basis reality. is and a world. as we have seen. the presence of that element would render it certain that no attempt was made to proceed to existence from essence. exactly like it. on the other hand. in ex full value of the whole which was plicit consciousness.68 DIFFERENT INTERPRETATIONS truth real. we should require convincing evidence that his language must be interpreted to mean that existence in reality can be deduced from the essence of thought. and never be able to For the explain the fact that the world actually existed. difference between the real world. a difference which pure thought It is not perceive. If. we had from 1 imagined their reality. of the analytic aspect in the transition are working towards the development. and can do no more than restore the concrete whole from which a start was made. from which the dialectic process can attain to 61. 1 Section 14. of the before us in implicit consciousness. for the contradictions of thought. so also the datum. it would remain purely ideal. therefore. Now we have s^. we could evolve the idea of the entire universe (and we have seen that without sense we could perceive nothing of the nature of thought). Before. In discussing the first charge made by Professor Seth. which Professor Seth admits to be present within the Logic. But. we decide that Hegel has been guilty of so great a confusion.en above 2 that the absence of such an analytic element would not imply of necessity that the argument is from essence to existence. I have given reasons for supposing that the analytic aspect of the method. and the exis previously For the presence means that we tence of this whole is the motive force of the transition. our tbalers were in or whether if. If reality was not given as a characteristic of that concrete whole. of which the dialectic process is an analysis. And even starting only the nature of thought taken in abstraction from sense. but only imagined to could exist. . arise from its being abstract. impossible to argue that contradictions would drive it on. however. and therefore could not remove. And the evidence offered seems by no means sufficient. - Section 54. the result reached by the dialectic has real existence.

A w. the second charge foils to the ground with it. are . If. the things that we know about appearances only. in its data. be deduced or constructed as a necessity of thought No are given from Hegel in support of this quotations. lecture note. which we The true statement of the case is rather The things of which we have direct consciousness mere phenomena. not for us only. 69 The argument is thus from existence That a movement is in any way analytic implies that its result is given. therefore. In defence of his view Professor Seth.&quot. finite as they are. says that characteristic of an absolute philosophy that everything must 62. is to have their existence founded not in themselves but in the This view of things. but in their own nature and the true and proper case of these things. &quot.. reality may in itself become the object of knowledge is not equivalent to the assertion that conclusions regarding reality can be reached by merely considering the nature of thought. . which belongs to another world. Hegel rejects Kant s well known criticism on the ontological proof of the existence of God. to existence.. producing something fresh. however. nature. gives of the word in the Enyclopaedia turns on quite a different &quot. as this criticism 1 turns on the impossibility - of predicating reality op.OF THE DIALECTIC. we have reason to reject the first charge of Professor Seth against the validity of the transition from the Logic to the rest of the system. point. Again. as follows. 110. 1 . are to us According to Kant. s. is as but in contradistinction to the subjective idealism of the Critical Philosophy should be termed absolute The meaning of the epithet Absolute is here idealism-..&quot. at any rate implicitly. p. and. And the one definition which Hegel himself interpretation. idealist as is true. it explicitly. If Absolute had this additional and remarkable meaning Hegel would surely have mentioned 63. cit. pointing out it is the that Hegel calls his philosophy absolute. and we can never know their essential cannot approach. it universal divine Idea. Section 45. Kant placed exclusively in the rejection of the Kantian theory that But the assertion that knowledge is only of phenomena. go beyond its data. But an argument from essence to existence would most emphatically must have real existence.

if even the Ego. an object of another kind than any hundred thalers. &quot. there 2 is no logical bridge But before we conclude that Hegel has asserted the exist . &quot. he has not. no absolute truth it signifies that beyond and above that appearance. and the Idea of God. category of Being so does the Ego. Section 50.&quot. is that reality of which identical with all true being. To such his ence of such a logical bridge. nothing has since there is side him. &quot. that in God we have &quot. &quot. The only question then is whether the category of Being can be predicated of this real God. so that true being is another name has For. no real being. that is to say. find. he are in quest. if the impossibility. if God for if . Hegel says. it has been supposed that Hegel did not see this It would be strange. tained in the &quot. God 3 Now.J It would Enc.&quot. continues. - op. but that reality of which all categories are only descrip tions. Section 51. Enc. p. or whatever else it may we be called.). representation.&quot. immediately known. to is denial of true. the Notion contains the 1 &quot. cit.&quot. it. it will be well to bear in mind warning in the section quoted above. 1 if it was worth while. both of which are simply the Notion under another name. it must be real. 11 . The category of Being is con . or above all the concrete totality we call God were not rich enough to include so poor a category as Being is Most assuredly Professor Seth s comment on this. .70 DIFFERENT INTERPRETATIONS through any arguments based only on the definition of the subject. itself can only be experienced. the very inmost of mind. and in this case Professor Seth admits that Hegel was quite right in his judgment that the truth. &quot. he certainly all categories are only descriptions. truth abides in God. explained here. and the denial of all all reality is no reality out as impossible as the deny it is to assert it. Notion. and which or lived. reality or factual existence.That In what this peculiarity consists is not clearly But in the middle of the preceding section upward spring of the mind .&quot. It is not the category of which we But.&quot. and unlike any one particular notion. the Idea of the Ego. For if the denial and so must the person who makes it. &quot.&quot. predication could be made. . Ego and may be disengaged from Being it. signifies that the being which the world has is only a semblance. .

experience did exist. But if I reject the subject as well as the predicate . was nor that he contained all positive qualities. reject the and retain the subject. in which be found. Hegel was speaking of something whose real ex istence could not be doubted except extended to self-contradiction.If. in The second was that the last resort. to account perience. can give us any reason to suppose that it does exist. But this was not Hegel s argument. on the ground that we have made real existence part of the conception of the No possible attribute.I sarily. be predicated of God. and perfectly useless legitimate. reality.&quot. for ex The important point Hegel s purpose here. because we can say of all reality that all it is . for not that he was the most real of beings. true being another an identical judgment. but that he was the only real being.OF THE DIALECTIC. useless. to equivalent to name for God. and only deliberated whether the predicate of Being could or could not be attached to this existence. of all reality cannot be denied. there arises a contradiction predicate and hence I say that the former belongs to the latter neces in &quot. on Hegel denying all s definition.&quot. He did not try thing. The first was that the conception of attributes predicated of anything must. says Kant. is expressed so inadequately all by this. To do this he pronounced to be perfectly legitimate. in the an omnitudo realitatis can be denied. which would belong to the thing existed. entitled to by a scepticism which Thus he considered himself the actual existence of assume in his exposition God. objections do not affect such an ontological argument to as this. that we have no right conclude that anything really exists. simply from the divine attributes. 64. categories can the simplest and most abstract of Kant s the categories. 71 seem then that he is scarcely justified in charging Hegel with endeavouring to construct a logical bridge to real or factual existence. &quot. no doubt. and consequently that attributes must all God proved that be predicated of some existent subject. because the full depth of reality. if it to prove God s existence He relied on two facts. is And. for &quot. For the existence of an ens realissimum or of conception of God. for its But the existence denial would be con deny God s existence is tradictory. He shows.

Hegel was right in holding that it was valid of a God. by means of the ontological argument. the existence It will of a God not conceived as immanent in all existence. attempts to prove. also. deny the reality Kant was right in holding that the ontological argument could not es tablish the existence of a God.&quot. the Smaller Logic. with all its predicates. that this form of the onto- is argument can only prove the existence of a God who conceived as the sole reality in the universe. also be conclusive against all attempts to demonstrate. defined in the Hegelian manner. we should. and has therefore no contradiction con Kant s refutation will stand as against all tained in it. Sensible existence has been characterised by Book TI. rests the thing itself you cannot remove because the statement by which you do it. however. is the thing whose removal is in question. y . possible. If we ourselves. and you remove the thing itself. 128. in. contradiction. which ultimate reality. then the denial of his existence does not involve the logical denial of all reality. It And to do this God by is im must be noticed. You can only get rid of the Hegelian getting rid of the entire universe. by the ontological argument. 1 &quot. except as parts of him. 65. any particular quality or attribute of God. so that a con tradiction becomes impossible But the Hegelian argument can be contradicted 1 . the . on the &quot. as conceived by his dogmatic predecessors. called by Hegel God. and must have some ultimate reality behind them. p. by denying it. individual is therefore a valueless abstraction 2 And he quotes from Chap. or anything else. Section 4. in which case. are actually existent. of course. individual character of existence. because there is nothing left which The same applies to the concept of an absolutely necessary being. Thus there is a fact that &quot. and yourself likewise. Professor Seth also relies on Hegel s treatment of the He adroitly contrives to &quot. insinuate that.72 there is DIFFERENT INTERPRETATIONS no contradiction. Critique of Pure Reason* op.&quot. Remove its existence. because it is undefinable. or as conceived by himself in the Critique of Practical Reason. unless that attribute can be shown to be essential to his all-inclusive reality. cit. are conceived as existing.

but not necessarily of individuality. Section 20. For an unperceived sensation in being perceived . taken as independent. or in it. taken essential to reality. But it it does not at all follow that the sensible. any way life than our own inner of it we give in a book the description we give of identical with the description of philosophy-. far work of must be And what cannot be uttered. if anything is disparaged. by itself.. Thought In the first place would be im possible for us to be self-conscious without thought. It is no doubt perfectly true that we are only entitled to say that a thing is real. is a contradiction.&quot. Heydianism and Personality. 73 the attributes of individuality.&quot. When we say not the individual. but depends upon thought. an attempt to make it a mere product of thought. and a mutual exclusion of the members.. would go far to prove that Hegel did cherish the idea of reducing the whole universe to a manifestation of pure thought. Without self-consciousness sensations could not exist. paragement of the it is individual. &quot.OF THE DIALECTIC. feeling or sensation. unique and individual. absolutely &quot. when we base that judgment on some datum immediately given to us. this diminishes the fullness and reality And of sensible existence. But.. and also that those data can only be given us by sense.. But to deny the like. inner or outer. Language is the thought.the individual is the real. also is is justifiable. of vital importance which of these two For &quot. is and perception - Sensations exist only impossible without com- 1 Enc. It is well to remember that these very attributes are thoughts and general terms. but sensible existence. it is it which Hegel and an attack on is individuality. from being the highest truth is the most unimportant and untrue Professor Seth calls this Hegel s insinuated dis 1 . and hence all that is expressed in language universal. that individuality is not a quality of sensible existence.&quot.. The meanest thing that exists has a life of its own. .&quot. is real. but which is no more identical with. which we can partly understand by terms borrowed from our own experience. is importance of the sensible element in experience.. since mere unrelated sensation is incompatible with self-consciousness. disparages. p. 125. Now without self-consciousness nothing would be real for us.

as a mere abstraction. must be held much an abstraction as not to exist in the concrete reality. asserted quite agree with the context was to the abstractness and unimportance of th ought without sense. as emphatically as he had asserted the abstractness and un importance of sense without thought. It is as mere thought is. towards the undue exaltation of logic and essence. except in a unity in which it is not mere sensation. at the same time. - Section 43 above. at the 1 Sections 33-42 above. s charge of unimportance was made against sen which are not self-subsistent entities. It is of course true that it is only the immediate contents of experience which need mediation by thought to give them such as our own selves. when We are told also that the tendency of the whole system 66. It would certainly have made his position clearer. above In the Introductory Chapter. and explicitly affirmed in the passage from the 1 Philosophy of Spirit in which the logical idea be dependent on Spirit. Hegel was merely trying to prove that thought was essential. be said to have some reality. but merely to be capable of distinction in it. and thus to have of itself no reality whatever. and not self-subsistent entities. and so self- Mere sensation may surely then be called unimportant even Kant called it blind since it has no reality at all. and this reality is not to be considered as if it was built up In that case the mere sensation out of thought and sensation.74 parison at the consciousness. The importance lies only in the concrete whole of which they are both parts. is separated. in which the passage quoted is found. though only in combination. . and to be mediated by it. not that it was all-sufficient. but the former is implied in the passages by which the dialectic is made to depend on experience. But Hegel sations. reality. present themselves to us as the mediating thought and the of the two sides which. if he had. but simply part of the content of experience. which involves thought. 2 is declared to For in Spirit we have the union immediate datum. might But here the sensation. DIFFERENT INTERPRETATIONS least. It will therefore if we take this view of what it which he denied importance.

the definition of a concrete thing. . even in its highest form. perfectly concrete. a singular intelligence . If it is regarded as manifested in an unconnected agglomeration of finite intelligences. which is the most con crete of all things 2 and not in the Idea. which are necessarily abstract terms. p... it does not follow that the Absolute is it Spirit cannot be concrete. p. it may not be a subject. will be in abstract terms. expense of nature and &quot. 3. though in abstract terms. 75 In support of this it is said talks (and by the idiom of the language that. or that Spirit is more concrete than Nature. although Hegel eannot avoid talking) of der absolute Geist (the absolute spirit) that by no means implies. 151. like all definitions or descriptions. apart from Nature is other considerations. any explanation of its nature would have to be made by ascribing to it predicates. Now it cannot be denied that more concrete than the pure idea. Philosophy of Spirit. to suppose that the logical prius of the universe was to be looked for in Spirit. The article goes with the noun in any case. He continually uses abstract as a term of reproach and declares that the concrete alone is true. that he is speaking of God as a Subjective Spirit. has no more necessary reference to a Concrete Subject than the simple spirit or intelligence which preceded it It may 1 .&quot. although of its it intelligences. as the literal English trans reality. according to German usage and absolute spirit . If it or society of finite subject. And against this asserted tendency on Hegel s part to take refuge in abstractions we may set his own explicit declarations.. the answer.OF THE DIALECTIC. . No a definition or description be asked for of Absolute doubt. will possess conceived as an organism will still be a concrete no self-consciousness or personality own. if which are certainly concrete. but the point is too large to be discussed here. be the case that Hegel did not conceive Absolute Spirit as a single intelligence. may be but a definition. Indeed it seems probable that he did not do so. since it will consist of the finite intelligences. Spirit. lation does. Even if the Absolute Spirit was a singular intelligence. but will still be concrete.. This would lead us.. But even in that case.. which is only im and Personality. Section 377.

in its present form at be correct. so that the for the Understanding itself postulates in this way the validity of In the second place we must prove that the from which the dialectic starts is one which it may point legitimately take for granted. advance and its relation to experience are such as will render In this connection the dialectic a valid theory of knowledge. and then an explanation cannot be given by the Understanding. The two chapters. before we could pronounce the dialectic. without enquiring least. and that the nature of the dialectic thought. THE in sketched question the last now arises. All we can do here is to consider whether the starting point and the general method of the dialectic are valid. THE VALIDITY OF THE DIALECTIC.CHAPTER III. the relation of the idea of Movement to the dialectic process . it must render all that comes beyond it uncertain. that the ordinary use of the Understanding implies a so different affairs of demand complete explanation of the universe. and we should have to consider the correctness of each one of these. transitions from one category to another may be found in the Logic. to than its weakest into its details. For a chain is no stronger and if a single transition is inconclusive. 67. To do this we must show. is a valid system of consideration of this question here must Some seventy or eighty necessarily be extremely incomplete. from that which the understanding every-day life. We shall have in the first place to justify the dialectical procedure uses in the first. whether the dialectic as philosophy. link. that such and can be given by the Reason in its dialectical use.

which may indeed at any moment become an actuality. Now from this very definition. is another fact. indestructible and which. &quot. be. must also be considered whether we arc justified 77 And finally the question will arise in applying this theory of knowledge as also a theory of being. the propositions from which we Before going further.&quot. say at once that the relation in question had always been thought implicitly. is that he himself. it must he perceives that a certain relation or principle is This is to necessary to constitute his admitted experience. even if it had not always come into clear consciousness . and from the idea of Being. Balfour in his Defence of Philosophic Doubt. &quot. is simply a thought which is logically bound up in some and which for that reason may always be called other thought. of which he is obliged to recognise. and. the majority of mankind. But if an implicit history thought means in this connection what it means everywhere else. But him a fact. it is plain into existence by it. because convinced by a transcendental argument. . therefore. It is a mere possibility. . It is to be noticed that both the first and second arguments are of a transcendental nature. harmonise with The transcendentalist would. shall manner which and having enunciated further this dictum he would trouble himself no merely to the it about a matter which belonged of the individual. as it would appear. that so long as a thought is implicit it does not exist.. the truth he says. have habitually had this experience without ever thinking it under this relation . cendental arguments as such. and this second fact is one which it does not seem easy to interpret in a the general theory. when once an actuality. They have been stated with great clearness by Mr Arthur When a man. and in deducing the worlds of Nature and Spirit from the world of Logic. We start respectively from the common thought of the Understanding. and postulated by.. which he may also find it hard to dispute. no doubt. because they are speculative method and assumed in. 68.THE VALIDITY OF THE DIALECTIC. and we endeavour to prove the validity of the of the Absolute Idea. may be but which so long as it is a possibility can be said to have existence only by a figure of speech. we ought to consider some general objections which have been made against trans started.

i. first &quot. however. And indeed we must always have it. be said. and separated thought from sensation. op. . 100. that we know we have a particular Till then we have the thought without being thought. and that- even those who accept it did not do so from their earliest It follows. and of one thought from another. that we must accept the childhood. to be conscious of it whenever we may be the We may we first place.78 &quot. In we may have thought without being conscious of it. when I suppose myself and other people to have it . when we thoughts. have distinguished it from the other constituents of experience. we under relations which. alternative. in rests upon a said confusion of the two different senses in which to be conscious of thought.&quot. If.&quot. must agree We with Mr Balfour that &quot. as . smoke. they are the same thing 2 But in the second sense we are only conscious of a particular thought too. explicitly conscious that we have it. In this sense we must be conscious of all thought which exists at all. and know what thought it is. when we have singled it out from the mass of sensations and into which experience may be analysed. the thought must vanish except on some crude mate rialistic hypothesis. 1 ignored these relations in past times The second of these alternatives. without which I cannot now think of it as an object or else I am in error. are conscious of a whole experience in which it is an element. before we can be conscious it it in this sense.&quot. this meaning of the word be implicit find ourselves in a difficulty. . For thought first comes before us as an element in the whole of experience.e. and know this sense to be a thought. he continues. p. Mr Balfour points out.if the consciousness vanishes. It is certain that a large part of mankind have never embraced the transcendental philosophy. in which case the whole transcendental system as it vanishes in 69. cit. exist and be a reality to an intelligence which does not think of therefore. The dilemma. Either an object can accepted. 94. Now 1 I submit that Mr Balfour s argument depends on a - Defence of Philosophic Doubt. as I now see. cannot be adopted. seems to me. and it is not till we have analysed that whole. are involved in it. p. since. THE VALIDITY OF THE DIALECTIC.

mediates exist only as combined in the whole of experience. a non-entity. and have succeeded in the attempt. it then indeed to say that a thought it is implicit is equivalent to saying that But if we use the word and there seems no reason why we should not in the sense its derivation. until we have analysed the whole in which they are first presented to us. while it . can be explained in the same way. for thought except as conscious But relating and mediating data cannot even be conceived. thought of which we are not conscious at all is. And if we remove &quot. do we clearly see that the whole is made up of some thinking There is no contradiction between declaring that certain relations must enter into all conscious thought. and so not distinctly seen to be itself. in which it means that which is suggested by wrapped up in something else. In this lie the various threads of thought and sensation. what he supposes. those who have endeavoured to divide the whole of experience into its constituent parts. he is using in the second sense. in so far as we are conscious of the whole of which they are indispensable elements. till then.to be conscious of&quot. asserts that all people are not always conscious of all the ideas of the dialectic as necessary elements in experience. and admitting that those relations are known as such only to separate elements. When he is using &quot. and which for that reason may always be called into existence by &quot. &quot. But we do not know how many. When he asserts that we must always be conscious of any relation which is necessary to constitute experience. 79 paralogism.THE VALIDITY OF THE DIALECTIC. to this involves Even know about thought. which is what comes first into consciousness. then it is clear that a thing may does not exist. in any sense of the word. said to be conscious. as Mr Balfour Of thought And no thought does exist outside Both thought and the immediate data which it experience. The use of the word to which Mr Balfour implicit If it means only objects. this ambiguity the difficulty vanishes. so that an implicit thought is nothing but one which is logically bound up in some other thought. &quot. We are only conscious of thought as an element in outside experience we could not be experience. nor of what nature. nor. &quot. of which we may be remarks. the threads are. be implicit. he in the first sense.to be conscious of&quot.

of related sensations without seeing they for we may never have analysed us into its experience elements of sensation and thought. the peculiarities of the dialectic method. 101. no doubt. say. impossible one. and treats the various categories as stable 1 and independent op. is nevertheless exists and perceived as part of the whole in which 70. it is involved. when. Thus we are able to admit that thought exists even slightest reflection for those people who have never made the Arid. although we do not recognise the conditions on which its existence for us depends. but in such a manner as to existence . cannot in our reflective moments think under relations which give it a kind of unity but of it except once allow that an object may exist. The transcendentalist does not assert that an object can exist in such a manner as to be nothing for us as thinking beings. is not a fair statement of the position. they are thought. however. and this incapacity be simply due to the fact that thought is powerless to 1 grasp the reality of things may . that sensations could exist unrelated. should this not have a real We. Mr Balfour objects that it concedes more than transcendentalism can afford to allow. but which actually does not comply with And this is quite a different proposition. it acts according to the laws of formal 71. but only that it may exist. This. indeed.&quot. &quot. p. . in the on its nature. as itself to the Understanding happens in ordinary life. In speaking of such an answer to his criticisms. that we can be conscious are related. Passing now to logic. and an them. as presented to mutually dependent But it does not follow That would mean that something existed in consciousness (for sensations exist no where else). same way. If relations can exist otherwise than as why should not sensations do the same ? of unrelated objects the which the modern transcerideritalist labours metaphysical spectre Why so should not the perpetual flux I hard ? to lay why. and be something for us as thinking beings. make it nothing for us as thinking beings. their justification must be one which will commend that is to thought. which not only is not perceived to comply with the laws of consciousness.80 THE VALIDITY OF THE DIALECTIC. clt.

however. is done to the Hegelian position. which act as the Ueber die dialektische Mcthodc. knowledge. religious ideal. smuggle back into our God whom Kant had rejected from metaphysics. &quot. whatever it may subsequently example.&quot. nor The postulate is not only the Absolute itself by any means primarily a become. for &quot. 81 exclusion. relies. explanation of the universe. is an ideal whose reality may be demanded on the part either of theoretical or of It is practical reason.longing. on which &quot. Hegel here beliefs the with the longing to &quot. until cause is shown to the contrary. and the impatience of is seen to be unsatisfactory. H.&quot. and The begin to investigate metaphysical questions. after the Absolute. . n. whether justifiably or not. but that of For if speculative thought. dem die Idee als solche das Objekt sie ist 2 it is manifest that what is here chiefly regarded is not a need of religion. the however. 13. and unverstandliche Geflihle. or Reason. from which we must set out when we first satisfactory philosophy. Hartmann 1 identifies the longing for the Absolute. there will be an essential thought. In this case grave injustice is The philosopher does not because he desires it believe exist. God. &quot. by the nature of The use of the term &quot. or whether he admits that it is demanded. (Sehnsucht). der Gegenstand. cannot be before the Understanding. first step towards this proof is the recognition that the Understanding necessarily demands an absolute and complete In dealing with this point. since dualism in the nature of incompatible with any up the position of the it will be that we can have any Understanding. . 1. justified which have no relation to one another. G M. Section 230. If. therefore not very easy to see whether Hartmann meant that longing. but of Indeed the whole course of the Logic shows us that cognition. and the expressions mystisch-religioses Bediirfuiss. entities. which he applies to it. takes And mankind naturally. we take the definition given in the der Begriff der Idee.&quot. as he calls it. in the Absolute merely should an emotional or ethical one. impossible logical right to enter on the dialectic. * Fnc. seem rather to suggest the former alternative. unless we can justify it from that standpoint.THE VALIDITY OF THE DIALECTIC.&quot. is indulged only in the interest of religion and ethics. Smaller Logic. dem it is knowledge which 1 the desire for complete knowledge.

demands a complete explanation 72. whether the Understanding. It is motive power of the system. if the latter are valid in themselves. or of its constituent parts. We must ask. possible. is The ultimate aim which a philosopher has in his studies irrelevant to our criticism of his results. if The For must stand in some relation to The other parts must therefore have some the other parts. For although we start with particular problems. has often been the case with philosophers. What is the it is In fact. and this process goes on indefinitely. if once started. cannot stop parts. that as object in devoting himself to philosophy at all was.82 THE VALIDITY OF THE DIALECTIC. or the parts of those roundings. and part of the explanation of its nature must From the mere fact that they are lie in these other parts. influence on it. any question which the Understanding puts to itself must be either. which must be solved before the original difficulty can be held to be really answered. is involved in a complete answer to even the slightest As was pointed out above 1 any explanation of anything by means of the surrounding circumstances. raise fresh they reach the knowledge of the whole surrounding universe. But it so long does not weaken his position. no doubt. and the attainment of the ideal of knowledge ? This question must be answered in the affirmative. the matter generally. What first is the universe ? The is the meaning of some obviously only to be answered by attaining the absolute ideal of knowledge. until which impossible to subdivide further. The need of the Absolute is thus a need of cognition. must necessarily questions as to the surroundings of those sur the causes of those causes. and Hegel s that his interest in the absolute was excited from the side of ethics and religion rather than of pure thought. . a thing is part of a whole it 1 Section 13. mainly practical. or of the ultimate atoms. of the universe. and such series of questions. the answer to each of these will raise fresh questions. of an antecedent cause. as he did not use this interest as an argument. second again can only be answered by answering the first. till we find that the whole universe question. of the whole of past time. in its attempts to solve particular problems. to state meaning part of of the universe ? or. then.

and are unfit to be used for the ultimate explanation of anything. It contains indeed a synthesis of contradictions. There is.. attain. then. we must now enquire. by its own exertions. It might therefore use the Absolute Idea as a means of explaining the universe. I. except in so far as they are moments in a higher unity. if it happened to come across it (for the perception of the necessary development of that idea from the lower categories belongs only to the Reason) but would not see that it summed up all other categories. as Understanding. as conceived by formal logic. 73. ledge. this would prevent the explanation from being com For the only way in which contradictions pletely satisfactory. which can only be demonstrated. it And 1 Knc. that the lower categories are abstractions from the higher. but it has no proof of their validity. 62 . as was explained in V Chap. and the Understanding nevertheless uses these categories. believing that the lower are stable and independent. and in Thought. to the ideal which it postulates ? It has before it the same categories as the Reason. but it differs from the Reason in not seeing that the &quot. they or indirectly. Nor does it see that an finally in the simplest of all. and postulates it Avhenever it asks a question. It is this last defect which prevents the Understanding from ever attaining a complete explanation of the universe. not know. then. demands the ideal of know Can it. Section 80. directly The Understanding. higher categories are the inevitable result of the lower. that of the Absolute Idea. but so does every category above Being and Not-Being. sticks to distinctness from one another treats as having a subsistence fixity : of characters. as the Reason does. and by showing that they are involved in the lower ones. which the Understanding is bound to regard as a mark of error. parts of the same universe. and their it every such limited abstract It can and being of its own use the higher categories. 83 must all be connected. as we have said.THE VALIDITY OF THE DIALECTIC. not per ceiving that they violate the law of contradiction. explanation by a higher category relieves us from the necessity For it does of finding a consistent explanation by a lower one. nothing to prevent the Understanding from using the highest category.

has shown in his Antinomies that the attempt to use the lower categories as complete explanations of existence leads with equal necessity to directly contradictory conclusions. which is what Hegel undertakes throughout the To examine the correctness of his argument in each Logic. for Such Causality. of those lower categories. by seeing that they express only inadequate and imperfect points of view.84 THE VALIDITY OF THE DIALECTIC. and to have no right to claim existence seen to be abstractions from or validity as independent. Kant. the nature of which must things be determined by previous manifestations. And an . by the Absolute Idea. to have truth only in so far as they are moments in it. and traces of a dialectic process are found by Hegel in Plato. This can only be known by means of the Reason. Such an infinite regress can never be finished. fitly separate case would be beyond the scope of this work. which traces things to their causes. For the Understanding each category is independent and ultimate. which causes again are effects and must have other causes found for them. the category of Force. example. treat those categories as ultimate and endeavour to But when com pletely explain anything by them? This question would be most answered by pointing out the actual contradictions in each case. which explains as manifestations of a force. in fact. for the Reason. And for this deliverance we must wait 74. may however point out that this doctrine did not originate We In the early Greek philosophy we have demon strations of the contradictions inherent in the idea of Motion. with Hegel. we can Reason. also. then. They must be it. and the category of are. caused by the use of the lower categories can be removed by the employment of the Absolute Idea lies in the synthesis. And therefore any contradictions which the Understanding may be involved through the use of the lower categories can have no solution for the Under in standing itself. Till we can rise above the lower categories. the contradictions into which they lead us must remain to deface our system of knowledge. And we may say on general grounds that any category which involves an infinite regress must lead to contradictions. only extricate ourselves from our difficulty by aid of the we are such contradictions produced. If the lower categories do produce contradictions.

if The we use . which we admit ought to be continued. which is unable to think them. This inconsequence might end. since the recognition of the existence of contradictions can never change the incapacity of the Understanding to think them. They are in all finite thought. For. escape falling into contradictions. contradiction on which the dialectic relies op. Now many regress. in Again. all categories having no ground of self-differentiation themselves may be pronounced to be in the long run unsatisfactory. as he rightly points out. If the explanation. and thought. B. and are wanting of the lower categories do involve an infinite in any principle of self-differentiation. On this subject Hartmann reminds us that Hegel 75. 85 unfinished regress. All. They as the cannot. shall For thought demands an explanation which the data to be explained. but could have no tendency to make thought dissatisfied with the procedure of the Understanding. and not to leave something unaccounted for. will not serve Hegel s purpose of justifying the Reason. in a total separation between thought and being. and Understanding cannot. This. assertion be correct that contradictions are everywhere. therefore. difficulties 1 confesses that the Understanding cannot think a contradiction in the sense of unifying it and explaining it. while to impose an arbitrary limit on it is clearly unjustifiable. and these data are in unify themselves various. ii. that. it must show that there is a necessary connection between the unity of the principle and the plurality of the manifestation. which presents these contradictions. therefore. 4. remove the by regarding these categories as sides of a higher truth in which the contradiction vanishes. and prevent the Understanding from reaching that ideal of knowledge at which it aims.THE VALIDITY OF THE DIALECTIC. all. as opposed to thought. however. that the Understanding can do is to be conscious of the existence of contradictions. he contends. whenever 1 it attempts to work at is. cit. as the Reason can. the contradictions remain permanent. explains nothing. the only result would be a heterogeneity or inconsequence of being. and willing to embrace that of the Reason. &quot. The con This. tradictions are not in being. is to be complete. misrepresents Hegel s position. if Hegel s &quot.

therefore take refuge in the theory that there is a heterogeneity and being.the best proof that it. it a proof which practically unattainable 1 . the Understanding must itself confess that there is always a contradiction in its operations. thought must be wrong when it is inevitably led to ascribe contrary predicates to the same subject. between finds itself And is if. between the indication in general terms of and the working out of that explanation in detail is so enormous. there is no valid thought at all a supposition which contradicts itself. the is universe is rational is lies in rationalising but. such finite contradictions occur with every category that is.&quot. for it is in its own working that it something wrong. if we find ourselves compelled. look at it from any point of view It cannot from which the contradiction should disappear. Chap. . because in each. contrary. It may be true that we shall find but little guidance here. cannot. no thought would be possible at all. The dialectic comes to the conclusion that each of the lower categories cannot be regarded as ultimate. of the same subject-matter. Either. 76. is the Reason any better off? Does the solution offered by the Reason supply that complete ideal of knowledge which all thought demands ? The answer to this question will depend in part 011 the actual success which the Absolute Idea may have in explaining the problems before us But the difference so as to give satisfaction to our own minds. whenever the Understanding used. discoverable when they are scrutinised with sufficient keenness. that &quot. on In proportion examination. as careful consideration and scrutiny 1 fail to reveal any corre- Cf. category of any subject-matter. then. that is.86 one finite THE VALIDITY OF THE DIALECTIC. vii. The only general proof open to us is a negative one. or there must be some form of thought which can harmonise the contradictions which the Understanding can only recognise. The Understanding same time it cannot recognises this contradiction. But if the Understanding is reduced to a confession of its own insufficiency. If the law of contradiction holds. the true explanation. to use also. it finds an inherent contradiction. while at the think it. if so. we examine what its is implied in using. while if the law of contradiction did not hold. as the dialectic maintains.

which showed the intelligibility of the whole universe. or even the necessity we may be under of seeking it. Our which we rejected the limitations of the to Understanding and took explain. as . can be proved to be true. so that The key which itself. be worth while to point out that the Absolute Idea does comply with several requirements which we should be disposed to regard a priori as necessary for an idea adequate to the task of offering a of the universe. if 1 And this at- might have been a decisive consideration op. Hegel had 4. Supposing that the Reason can. For we can reach no standing point outside the human from which we could pronounce that an explanation mind. What then at once postulates. a complete and harmonious ideal of knowledge. may. is not in itself the least proof that true.THE VALIDITY OF THE DIALECTIC. must. as it asserts. Such an explanation. because there is can therefore attain it by means of the Reason. cit. we the conclusion of the dialectic that really It it is 87 may rely on the ultimate and only adequate category. we that. should be the attitude of the Understanding towards the Reason ? We have shown that the Understanding 77. was to to rationalise the And it would be impossible to rationalise it more than this category does. shall succeed in our search. however. itself which should prove while it finds an independent Other given to is it. the use of the universe. The explanation afforded complete explanation by the use of the Absolute Idea is that in all reality the idea. in pursuit of engaged in activity. ii. and its object. spending contradiction in the Absolute Idea. finally learns it that in that Other there finds itself in everything. and cannot attain. is the Understanding therefore bound to admit It is its validity ? that points out our power of seeking for anything. be satisfactory as fundamental similarity to that mind. was unsatisfactory. Reason. it to us. nothing alien to itself. no doubt perfectly Hartmann l we It does not then directly follow no other way than the Reason by which we could attain that which the Understanding postulates. which regards it as the manifestation and incarnation of reason. attain this ideal. 13. is applied is thus the idea of the human mind whether theoretical or practical. if it would seem. . that is.

by which we may be justified in doing continually that which the Understanding will not allow us to do at all. From the very fact that the higher will have canons of thought not accepted by the lower. therefore be some mode of thought. would have gone too far. as the only source by which the demand can be satisfied. But to do this would have been For such a proof unnecessary. which. but cannot satisfy. . of was no difference between them. 13. it will be impossible from the nature of the case for the lower and narrower to be directly aware that the higher is valid. This leaves the hearer with two alternatives. would involve complete If he does not do this. cit. It proves that we have a need which the Understanding must recognise. in is no choice at all. and supplementary to it. But There must to reject all thought as incorrect is impossible. by sundering the mind into 1 . he must accept the scepticism. that there If there are two varieties of thought. 78. self-destructive. It would have proved that there was nothing in the Reason which was not also in the Understanding in in other words. it must appear invalid to the latter. higher than the Under standing. 3. contradicted as it would be complete scepticism If Hegel s the very speech or thought which asserted it. We are thus enabled to reject all Hartmann s criticism that the dialectic violates the tendencies of modern thought. validity of the Reason. For impossible. is only to choose between a particular theory and fact. in a case like this. and. He may admit the need and deny that it can be satisfied in any way. by demonstrations are correct. complete scepticism. which one is higher and more comprehensive than the other. two parts. op. If we have alternative. indeed. And of this sort is the justification which the Reason does offer to the Understanding. there is to be found in every thought something which for the Understanding is a contradiction. tempted to prove the validity of the Reason to the Understanding a positive manner. however. we have.88 THE VALIDITY OF THE DIALECTIC. first The nominal. And this is the Reason. which can only be forced to accept it by external and indirect proof of its truth. which have nothing in common with one another 1 The Understanding and the ii. in the case of a fundamental postulate of thought.

was a modified form of the synthesis of a lower thesis and antithesis. that the Reason are its the only method of solving the problems which Understanding. again. since it its own impotence. and therefore can justify which the raised by the existence on the For the Understanding recognises. that &quot. thesis itself. is Reason. it has at any rate proved and therefore can scarcely be said to be to Reason. justification of the complement of the Understanding. while in one This is not what is sense preserved. and that it is only in these syntheses that the contradictory categories Now this apprehension is not find their true meaning. till we reach at last an impossible scepticism. Thus the Reason. as Hegel says. as the necessary repeated in each triad of The which fact that the thesis leads of necessity to the is its contrary. has done this. their contradiction. antithesis. does not really do anything which the Understanding denies. is to merge these ideas is in a higher one. does. is one of the contradictions We are which prove the impotence of the Understanding. forced cither to admit the synthesis offered by the Reason.&quot. for of realising the Understanding incapable the position.it apprehends the unity of the categories in their opposition.THE VALIDITY OK THE DIALECTIC. that it perceives that all concrete categories are made up of reconciled contradictions. . Reason cended. needed in order to detect the This can be contradictions which the finite categories involve. the only escape from which is to accept the union of opposites which we find in the Reason. since it offers removing lower and lower. though it does something which the Understanding cannot do. in which their opposition. To deny it will therefore involve The the denial of them also. or to deny the possibility of reconciling the thesis and antithesis. And the only means of thus we should be driven What the Understanding denies is the possibility of combining two contrary notions as they stand. the Understanding And when done by the Understanding. essentially opposed has forfeited its claim to any thorough or consistent use at all. The whole the Logic. Reason have this in 89 is common. principles distinctive mark of the Reason is. is also trans denied by the Understanding. What the each independent and apparently self-complete.

where the Understanding had failed. and in which it professes to show that all the other categories are involved. . and is seen. It true that whatever is beyond the Understanding may be said to be in one sense contrary to it. but beyond the Understanding. is the idea of Are we justified in assuming Being. exist. Reason is is nut contrary to. but two methods of working. Section 18. But as the employment by assertion itself Understanding has proved that would result in chaos. We must now pass to the second of the three questions 79. the internal And it will be necessary to consider consistency of the system. Taking this into consideration two methods cannot properly be called two separate faculties. in the first place what foundation is assumed. as was pointed out above l . if the denial does exist. And the same dilemma applies doubt exists. only to exist as leading up to it. and to be false in so far as it claims independence. . proposed at the beginning of this chapter namely. to doubt. as well as to positive denial. the lower of which. though it. in rationalising the universe. then there is something whose existence we cannot deny. on the other hand. independence and leads the way naturally to Thus there are not two faculties in the mind with of different laws. however great may be the difference in their working. . yet leads up to it.90 THE VALIDITY OF THE DIALECTIC. For it would be equivalent to a denial that anything whatever existed. the validity of this idea ? The ground on which we can answer this question in the affirmative is that the rejection of the idea as invalid would be self-contradictory. and whether we are entitled to this assumption. it has given up its its Reason. since a fresh principle is introduced. it postulates does not of course contain the higher. Now the idea from which the dialectic sets out. upon which to base our argument. But. is If the then there 1 something of i. And in that case the denial itself could not and the validity of the idea of Being has not been denied. whose existence we Chap. The second appears as the completion of the first it is not merely an escape from the difficulties of the lower method. in the light of the higher method. but all it rationalises the Under the standing itself. but it explains and removes those difficulties it does not merely succeed.

Since nothing new 81. is a question of detail which must be examined independently for each triad of the Logic. The next consideration must be the validity of the 80. is added at all. but one which they cannot by any possibility doubt. the foundation is strong enough to carry it. then we do not doubt And both denial and doubt category. looked at from another point of view. arc three steps. reconciling mediation Whether in fact this new category is always the same as the previous synthesis. have thus as firm a base as possible for our trans the of the We cendental argument. as the means by which the imperfect truth advances towards perfection. It is not only a proposition which none of our opponents do in fact doubt. fresh It is. go from thesis to antithesis. thesis.THE VALIDITY OF THE DIALECTIC. to synthesis. as we are dealing only with the general principles But if the old synthesis and the new thesis of the system. We and antithesis thesis. are certain . It is not necessary to say will be discussed in the much of the transition from the It is. scarcely a as can be seen when Becoming passes Being Determinate. the passage from the one to the other is valid even according to formal Logic. are really only different expressions of the same truth. Our general question must be put nothing can be added improperly. in a negative form . 91 if the doubt does not exist. and which does not concern us here. Whatever may be the nature of the superstructure. from thesis and from synthesis again to a fresh The what obscured distinctness of the separate steps becomes some towards the end of the Logic. synthesis transition at into to the all. is considerably diminished. in fact. The effect produced on the validity of the process by the subsequent development of the method next chapter. process by which we conclude that further categories arc In this process there involved in the one from which we start. validity involve the existence of the thinking subject. rather a contemplation of the same truth from a fresh point of view immediacy in the place of than an advance to a fresh truth. one which is involved and postulated in all thought and in all action. when the importance of negation. It will perhaps be most convenient to take the steps here in the form in which they exist at the beginning of the Logic.

the antithesis is valid too. Because it has before it a whole patible which is so far merely implicit. To this an answer was indicated in the last chapter. can be deduced from any piece of 1 Section 32. should rather be. If we examine Being. which involves the category of the Many. and it is impossible to advance by pure thought alone to anything new. the thesis cannot be valid ? The ground implies the other. in the propositions from which it starts. For is the result of the transition from produce. It is not empirically given.92 THE VALIDITY OF THE DIALECTIC. nature of reality. of the concrete reality. since the thesis is valid. and the concrete and perfect implicit idea towards which the idea gradually advances real progress is quite com with pure thought. where we found that the motive to the whole advance is the presence in experience. the process remains one of pure thought only. in which perceived. of this assumption is that the one category If we examine attentively what is meant by pure Being. and of which the lower cate 1 Since pure thought has a gories are imperfect descriptions . Are we justified in assuming that. because this whole is not empirically given.for-self. but are an advance upon the latter. of which all categories are only descriptions. since they lead to contradictions. a state of contradiction will be doubted if either category is Our question all. double ground from which it may work the abstract and imperfect explicit idea from which the advance is to be made. we find that it cannot be discriminated from Nothing. and in our minds as they become conscious of themselves in experience. and has not been analysed. because they profess to be acts of pure thought. and being the essential experience if . valid at till thesis to antithesis to the synthesis it is and scepticism. On the other hand. it explicit can arrive at propositions which were not contained. . It is objected that these transitions cannot be justified. we find that the One can only be defined by its negation and repulsion. to suit the transition between thesis and antithesis. unless the antithesis is valid. it although it is could not be given in all it necessarily all For experience did not exist. according to the rules of formal logic. It would be misleading to ask whether we were justified in assuming that.

which would invalidate any of the transitions of the dialectic. If Whether it is in fact empirical or not. but only on experience And the existence of experience cannot be existing at all. experience. Our knowledge of it is called an empirical fact. experience whatever. It is of course impossible to prove generally and a priori that no such flaw can be found in any part of the system. although they on any one fact of experience. we need experience anything at all. what facts taken from experience. since thought can be pure without being does not follow that an advance must be empirical is because it real. another matter. From another point of view. The question must be settled by an investigation of each category independently. necessity.THE VALIDITY OF THE DIALECTIC. nor be safely applied beyond the sphere I have endeavoured to it had been verified by experience. and which its author claimed for it. it that. and not on any particulars of sense. as distinct from the categories by which they are built up. it might have. they are not dependent conditions under which we can but are the only And for a similar reason. not suppose that dialectic thought need be sterile because it claims to be pure. It could at most be an induction from experience. showing that the argument in each depends upon the move ment of the pure notion. 93 dependent. but the special importance of the idea of Motion renders it necessary to discuss Trendelenburg s theory that it has been . is we can conceive any change in the nature of the manifold of sensations. could not possess the inherent which characterises the movements of pure thought. It is the presupposition alike of all We should not empirical knowledge. Yet those laws are not have no meaning apart from empirical. it is sometimes said that 82. and of all pure thought. the transitions of the dialectic only exist because the connection between the two categories has been demonstrated by means of In that case the dialectic. because. show above sterile. To do this would be beyond the scope of my present essay. not on experience being thus and thus. which could never rise above ever value in which probability. the existence of the laws of formal logic be aware even of without the existence of experience. then no doubt we should have to admit that the system had broken down.

It restoring the unity from which those therefore. B. fuller category in which they are synthesised. we are bound to synthesis accept it as valid. we must remember that the essence of the whole dialectic lies in the assertion that the various pairs of contrary categories are only produced by abstraction from the have not. as we might be tempted is to think. the reconciliation of the contradiction which in dealing an It artificial is with reality. has not so much to be conquered as to be The contradiction 84. And since the thesis itself validity of thesis and antithesis. fit. reconciliation possible for a lower thesis and we should have also to deny the validity of the and so on until. antithesis that if the have seen above synthesis. unreconciled contradictions as true. is a satisfactory reconciliation of With regard to the general possibility of transcending contradictions. We some idea which shall be capable of reconciling two ideas which had originally no relation to it. illegitimately introduced into the dialectic by the observation of empirical facts 1 Tlie remaining transition is that from thesis and 83. 3 Section 78. +y and y. consider whether the synthesis contradictions. We are merely ideas originally came. that has to be overcome is a mistake about the nature of to the reality. expedient of our minds rather the creation of the The syn contradiction which was artificial and subjective. unless we can find some other means of to We 2 For otherwise. is to reductio ad absurdum. clue incomplete insight of the Understanding. to find is not. . for Sections 91-94. n. does reconcile the contradictions. Bearing this in mind. therefore. Hartmann is two contraries objects that the only result of the union of a blank. disproved. and not a richer truth 3 This is . in the denial of Being.94 THE VALIDITY OF THE DIALECTIC. since we cannot accept reconciling them. certainly true of the examples 1 Hartmann - takes. 7. we shall see that the possibility of transcending con For all tradictions is a simpler question than it appears to be. . we should have to deny the was the only antithesis. thesis is the logical prius of its moments. we reached a All that remains. op. latter.

Whether the attempt to find such syntheses has in fact been successful all through the Such Logic. p. can only be dealt with by the most abstract of 1 all sciences. a course which everyone else. would admit to be impossible. except in that external But such a case. which do not. Werlte. like here is by no means an empty zero. exhaust its meaning. taking the opposition of the signs into consideration. iv. He to another category. opposed in this way. This gives us no reason to suppose that Hegel did that both r + y and if we oppose -f y to y. Hartmann appears to think that he endeavoured to synthesise them in the passage in the Greater Logic when he makes + y and y equal to y and again to 2//. and that they are also both quantities. But clearly neither y nor could be a synthesis of + y and y. do not admit of synthesis. we w alk two miles). which unity which produces a mere blank. because the synthesis is not a mere mechanical junction of two contradictory categories. in which + y and y are No synthesis is therefore possible. Hegel never maintained that two such terms as these. is. and then returning westwards for the same distance. . and the directly opposed. another question.THE VALIDITY OF THE DIALECTIC. But this tells us nothing about the possibility of synthesis. of course. The nature of his example in itself proves that he has failed to In algebra there is no grasp the full meaning of the process. but is the real unity. richer notion than that of quantity. these. but merely of mechanical combination. terms cannot be brought together. however. of which the thesis and antithesis are two aspects. 53. could ever produce anything but a blank. treated as 95 mathematical terms. to obtain a synthesis. Vol. the result will be 0. he. a solution however would meet Hartmann s difficulty. l . and he has given no reason why such a solution should be impossible. simply predicate the two opposite categories of the same subject. so that from one point of view they are both simply y (as a mile east and a mile west are both a mile) and from another point of view they are 2y (as in going a mile east. y are of the nature of T/. not see that For Hegel does not. in which the two first are contained. passes The result yet in such a way that the incompatibility ceases. for a synthesis must 2y All Hegel meant here was introduce a new and higher idea.

p. And he immediately continues. Vol. 1 2 Hegelianism and Personality.&quot. which contains the former in will repeat the process But inasmuch as only one step of the original abstraction has been retraced. we have discovered here the secret of the dialectic method. if we look more narrowly. 94. are appearance as mere parts or elements of a higher conception. however. cannot but forced position. and that it does not evolve an entirely new result. there will arise a conception itself. it cannot but bear upon it the traces that it is only a part it must crave to be completed. What meanwhile happens in this progress is only a history of its subjective knowledge.9G THE VALIDITY OF THE DIALECTIC. and this will restored go on until the full reality of perception has been Plainly a whole world may develop itself in this fashion. On It may be convenient to quote his account of the l : &quot. but only renders explicit what was previously implicit in all rests We the ground of this very characteristic of the dialectic. and the merit of the dialectic really lies in the comprehensive survey of these parts from every side. What is thus isolated by strive to escape from this a part torn from a whole. have seen that the cogency of the entire process on the feet that the system is analytic as well as mainly synthetic. . That method is simply the art by which we undo or retrace our original abstraction. The first ideas. and. no development of the reality itself from For there is nothing corresponding in reality elements. p. place. 92. validity. 85. life cannot possibly be a fair example of a system whose whole consists in the gradual removal of abstractions. Logische UnteTsiiclmngen. 2 . When this completion takes abstraction. because recognised on their first they are the products of abstraction. and the thereby increased certainty we gain of their necessary connection with one another &quot. abstraction pure being is represented as equivalent to has reduced the fulness of the world to the nothing thought merest emptiness. which Professor Seth translates as follows The dialectic begins according to its own declaration with . Inasmuch as it is . dialectic process. the new conception . i. Trendelenburg denies that it can have any objective experience. But it is the essence of abstraction that the for if elements of thought which in their original form are intimately united are violently held apart.

THE VALIDITY OF THE DIALECTIC. to do pain of contradiction.&quot. and How comes it to appear ? The question is as to the manner of its appearing. while in the other it appears as that natural outcome of our inmost constitution. But then the significance of the dialectic might not unfairly be said to lie in the fact that it proved that our more a abstract thought-categories were abstractions in this sense truth which without the dialectic we should not have known. between common recognition and the in he says &quot. that a living foot can only exist in connection with Lottie. and as to the special mode in which the mind recasts and regards the matter it may have otherwise acquired. at issue is not. to the nature of abstractions from a concrete this belongs whole. it is not a priori also and as well And in the previous Section. Bradley. Chap n. but not necessarily in abstractions which spontaneously tend to return to the original idea analysed. strained image.you the fact that external experience has already given it what it out but what professes to evolve. technical terms which I confess I regard the point in dispute is not whether the product is a posteriori.&quot. All analysis results. as Trendelenburg says. What can appear. speaking of the difference dialectic. For the abstractions are not retraced by us. The s process &quot. being a posteriori. H. To use two with some aversion 1 . We know M. and that no synthesis comes All this may be admitted. 86. we undo our abstractions. Part i. when it is induced to appear.&quot. and no right appears anywhere to find in pure being the first germ of an objective development. which satisfies us is because it is our own selves. but insist on retracing themselves on passively Doubtless. Kunst wodurch die urspriingliche Abstraction zurlickgethan wird&quot. more die than is expressed by retrace or Tren- delenburg original phrase the art by which (&quot. but whether. if you establish &quot. Book TII. Section 20. make no answer to the claim of Dialectic. The content one case. The idea of a living foot apart from the idea of a body does contain a contradiction. 1 7 . no doubt.). itself irrational. seems to come to our reason from a world without.&quot. in ideas more or less abstract. for the question before has gone in. H. In answer to this objection I may quote Mr F. which answers to the first 97 It is a abstraction of pure being. produced by the analysing mind.

the real No which the higher categories are mere combinations. one will deny that the idea of Causality includes the idea of Being. And we of the idea of in Being was admitted. be generally admitted that those which he ranks as probably. to . that moved by steam can be used to weave cotton. them being flour- 87. the other. a living body. any more than that all steam-power all is applicable to all is used for grinding should not be able.98 THE VALIDITY OF THE DIALECTIC. the lower categories are more abstract. that is to say have less But they may content. From that The dialectic. and if we grant the first to exist at any given time and place we know that we also admit. by implication. and water-power can be used to grind corn. even if the validity corn. and its object is to grind corn. so that it would not at units. is. of follow that the category of Causality being. of which sort are the abstractions of which Hegel treats in the dialectic ? It would. for anything that superficial observation can tell us. the truth of which can be found only in Causality. But it might contain it only as the idea of a steam flourmill contains the idea of steam-power. we learn that Being is an abstraction. be. We have formed from our original idea two which are more abstract the idea of a machine moved by steam. But to admit that one of these ideas can be applied as a predicate to any given subject is not equivalent to admitting that the other can be applied to it For a machine also. however. from this inclusion of the idea of Being in the idea of Causality. and the idea of a machine which grinds corn. and that the subject is a steam flour-mill. just as there might be machines of moved by steam-power without any mills. and in the higher categories into which Causality in turn develops. therefore. Being. The important question then. Now the idea of a steam flour-mill can in like manner be separated into two parts that it is moved by steam. so that. puts us in a different position. inevitably leads us on to Causality. to conclude that the law of Causality was applicable anywhere at all.&quot. For the particular case which Being was combined with Causality might be one which never really occurred. than those which he considers higher. But neither of them shows the least impulse to &quot.retrace or undo our original abstraction.

since the lower categories are those of matter and the higher those of spirit. 88. we might suppose self-consciousness to be a mere effect of animal life. though we might. The result of the dialectic thus much more than the increased certainty we gain of the necessary connection of of thought with one another. so that. we should have complete knowledge of the beach.THE VALIDITY OF THE DIALECTIC. regard all life as merely relative to is some self-consciousness. The success of the dialectic. if our knowledge was sufficiently complete. if we the sizes. but the reverse. But we cannot explain the sizes and shapes of stones from the idea of the knew beach which they make up. instead of attempting to account for the higher phenomena of nature (i. for purposes of ultimate explanation. shapes.e. &quot. wherever there is Chemism there must be Life also. while. and its importance for the practical reason is no less. those which means means prima facie exhibit the higher categories) by of the laws of the lower. we reverse the order of science and the understanding. while on the other hand merely composite wholes can be best explained from the units of which they are made up. we account for the lower by of the laws of the higher. Without the dialectic we might suppose Life to be an effect of certain chemical combinations with it we find that Chemism is an abstraction from Life. We cannot explain a living body by putting together the ideas of the isolated limbs. therefore. than that in which a stone is related to a beach. For it must be remem parts &quot. again. The interest of this for the reason is theoretical obvious. and.&quot. we are compelled to . The same change takes place in the relations of all the other categories. bered that organic wholes are not to be explained by their parts. on the other hand. explain a limb by the idea of the body as a whole. whatever subject-matter we can apply the to that first 99 as a predicate. So of subjective thought. &quot. means no less than this that. Without the dialectic. and positions of all the stones. we must necessarily apply the other. also it is not fair to say that the process is only one It is doubtless true that the various . And the dialectic professes to show that the lower categories are contained in the higher in a manner more resembling that in which a foot is related to a body. with it.

its true content is . i. Besides this. in which we use the imperfect categories as stable and permanent. Vol. see no third possibility 2 And just before he . &quot. and it is surely both objective and important. the dialectic gives us objective information as to the relative amounts of truth and error which may be expected from the use of various categories. This is the same conclusion from another point of view as the one mentioned in the preceding paragraph. . but then the immanent process and the unbroken connection are broken through by what is assumed from outside. of have been hitherto studying the development 1 of the Absolute Idea. &quot. and that there is nothing corresponding in the outside world to the separated fragments of the notion which form the stages of finite thought. But the one which has validity for objective thought. in the sphere of our ordinary finite thought. yet have an objective existence. and it itself. &quot. example. pp. then in fact it must know everything for Or it assumes finite sciences and empirical knowledge. 92. If we ask what is not confined the nature answer that which we Since the we must.&quot. they have reality in it.&quot. is Moreover the objective significance of the dialectic process to this negative result.Either&quot. he the dialectic development is independent. 91. from one side.100 THE VALIDITY OF THE DIALECTIC. Enc. cit. as elements in the concrete whole. which is made up of them. 2 op. For the different have no separate objective imperfect categories. are now in a position to 89. We meet the dilemma with which Trendelenburg challenges the dialectic. For it is by that result that we learn that the notion really a concrete unity. and only says conditioned by itself. and as to the comparative reality and as. 1 We The dialectic experience quite uncritically. only the whole system. lecture note. Section 237. that the idea of Life goes more deeply into the nature of reality than the idea of Mechanism. relates itself to can choose. for significance of different ways of regarding the universe. one absolute reality may be expressed as the synthesis of these categories. result is is where only the concrete notion is to be found. although they existence. abstractions which form the steps of the dialectic have no separate existence corresponding to them in the world of reality.

without which we should only be conscious of nothing. ii. Section 59.THE VALIDITY OF THE DIALECTIC. on the existence of empirical knowledge. The process can is although pure thought one of pure thought. It works then only in the same way and with the same means as the other sciences. The dialectic development is only so far independent and only conditioned by itself. it This however does not sciences make and empirical knowledge. In one sense. whatever that content might it be. as we have seen. to depend on the be said therefore. Chap.&quot. and would develop in the same way. which depends upon one content rather than another the whole. assume finite sciences and empirical knowledge. for it endeavours to analyse the concrete dialectic fact that idea which may The implicit in all our experience. And it would only be this latter relation which would break through the immanent process by what is assumed from outside. and perhaps never will be l Nor does the . But it does not follow that All that part of knowledge knows everything for itself. is it is we have empirical knowledge. . in a sense. gives 101 &quot. that it does not depend on any particular sensuous content of experience. is. of what is ordinarily called science certainly cannot be reached from the dialectic alone in the present state of our knowledge. but its all depend on the nature of our empirical knowledge. a further description of the second alternative. their subject-matter is the condition of its validity. Neither of these two alternatives is valid. which is a necessary preliminary self-conscious). not even of ourselves (since in experience that and in that case there would be no chance of the complete and concrete idea being implicitly in our minds. the dialectic process would be different. indeed. and perience. dialectic.&quot. The conditions of the dialectic are therefore that the concrete idea should be 1 what it Cp. only differing from them in its goal. only given as one element in ex be.&quot. depend upon the finite It is dependent for its existence nature does not at &quot. &quot. The dialectic retraces the steps of abstraction till it arrives at the concrete idea. to unite the parts to the idea of the whole. we become to our subsequently making it explicit in the dialectic. that is. If the concrete idea were different.

102 is. In the that it than it second place. And although. The inadequacy. the more frequently. to easier will it become evident. if the dialectic is to exist. which the word. is the necessary consequence of the idea of Teleology. and that there should be experience in which we may become conscious of that idea. itself for example. and the more keenly. on some occasion least of those who use them. and must have some sensations to complement it. then they to would cease be merely empirical knowledge. discovering the category of Life. when that idea is necessarily before us in biological science. and the other has to be constructed. sciences necessary relation between two categories will be easier when both are already explicitly before us in consciousness than when only one is given in this way. 90. of the category of sufficient Teleology would be by logically ground for But it is much easier to see. of In our present state the sense are only empirically and contingently connected with the idea under which they are brought. the finite categories are used in finite science. and this for several reasons. In the first place the labour is easier because it is To detect the slighter. the relation of the categories to one another might be the same. was bitter to the taste. and the to some at be. the idea must be what it is. so that they could not be otherwise than they are without some alteration in the nature of the pure idea. out the various inadequacies of each category in which are the stepping stones of the dialectic. But it is not a condition of the dialectic that all the contingent facts which are found in experience should be what they are. would be to construct it by the dialectic. point succession. finite is not dependent upon entirely indifferent to it in any sense of It is no doubt the case that an advanced state of the is a considerable help to the discovery of the dialectic process. So far as we know. and hare-bells had scarlet flowers. yet the particulars particular nature of those sensations is the dialectic. and not otherwise. But . THE VALIDITY OF THE DIALECTIC. therefore. the more probable it will be that the contradiction involved in their use will have or the other. although that would be possible for a sufficiently keen observer. And if such particulars ever should be deducible from the pure idea. for example. even if sugar.

I may have some none meta process sterility. which surely no one ever denied. i. and thus give us implicitly the concrete truth. whose presence in this manner is the real source of our discontent with the lower categories. the idea l of Motion. 91.THE VALIDITY OF THE DIALECTIC. however trifling and wherever selected. if it had not been for the and no one could go beyond a certain point calculation without the help of pens and But the logical validity of the theory of gravitation. cit. when once discovered. the help of writing. can have physics. tention that at one point an idea of great importance. does not come as a deduction from the With sufficient existence of the apple. 38. all 103 appearance of the theory of the system is partly determined by It is empirical causes. if it had happened to suggest to Newton the problem which lay in it as much as in the other. any paper. . therefore. idea of it. has in fact been introduced from experience in a 1 op. p. and In any consequently is the spring of the dialectic process. and manifests itself in every part cient Any fragment of experience. Any other case of gravitation would have done as well as the apple. that we might have had to wait for the theory of possible dialectic this only shows that the in a philosophical gravitation for traditional apple. interest for empirical psychology. by starting from any one piece of experience. lies behind experience. s Doubtless strength it would have been a task beyond aid of specially even Hegel larger to evolve the dialectic without a far basis. Vol. with sufficient mental acuteness the whole dialectic process could have been discovered. in mathematical some time longer. and without postulating any For the whole concrete other empirical knowledge whatever. single fact in experience. of the calculations could have been made without power. in the same way. the dialectic could find all the basis of experience that it needs. while it portions of experience. or of writing materials. would be suffi to present the idea to our minds. and without the suggestive for But this. is have thus endeavoured to show that the dialectic related to experience in such a way as to avoid and at the same time not necessarily to fall into We have now to consider Trendelenburg s con empiricism. And.

Certainly no flaw could be more fatal than this. If it were not so. which are ideas of His inference is that the idea of Motion has been rest. must make everything beyond this point useless. points He out that category of uncritically imported from experience. the two categories of Being and Not -Being. We must presume then that he had faced the fact that his conclusions contained more than his And there is nothing unjustifiable. no introduction of an empirical element necessary. thus destroying the value of the Logic as a theory of the nature of pure thought. nor the category of Not-Being. That process does not profess to be merely analytic of the premises we start from. for this additional element is taken from the concrete idea which is the real dialectic advance. There is something in the synthesis which is in neither the thesis nor the antithesis. if it is really a flaw. from which implicit concrete and its basis the consciously accepted proceeds synthetically.1()4 THE VALIDITY OF THE DIALECTIC. This. however. from Becoming. in the synthesis having more in it than both the unjustifiable thesis and antithesis. Hegel endeavours to deduce the which involves the idea of Motion. nothing brings into distinct consciousness. but to the somewhat sterile occupation of what consequence could be drawn by formal logic discovering from the assertion of the simple notion of pure Being the only premise from which we start. therefore. As this concrete idea is is motive power of the pure thought. for it occurs at the second step in the dialectic. merely empirical manner. and that neither the category of Being. but also the complete idea which it analyses and There is. it could have no philosophical importance whatever. would be confined necessitates the this. do so. illegitimate introduction recollect element in For we must it of an empirical that the dialectic process has not merely as premises. . and breaks the con nection of the Logic. It is certainly true that the category of Becoming involves the idea of Motion. 92. nothing which premises. is the necessary result wherever the dialectic process is applied. and. but to give us new truth. he certainly meant more than this. Whatever Hegel meant by his philosophy. if each of these is taken alone and separately.

For although neither of the two categories has the idea of Motion explicitly in it. There is therefore no illegitimate step in the introduction of the synthesis. thought that we arrive at the conclusion that there is a motion abstractions &quot. of its own nature. as all terms must. and never really exists except as an element in experience. in the first place. which profess.THE VALIDITY OF THE DIALECTIC. of the categories. each of them is. since pure thought is only an abstraction. it is impossible to come across the . For Trenremarks himself. and so reconcile the contradiction which arises from the fact that two categories. that delenburg into the movement towards the all cannot but strive to escape from this false It is thus simply as the result of the nature of pure position. To account for this it is not necessary to bring in any empirical element. we are only the data fairly before us when we recognise a category of using motion. And. and the synthesis only makes this explicit. find ourselves also positing the we start The one standpoint cannot be maintained alone. if it comes at all. we find ourselves at the other. we no such empirical element has been introduced. in the passage quoted above. having discovered this. Becoming is a fundamental idea of the universe because of the tendency we find in the ideas already accepted as fundamental to become one another. forced other. but from it. to have a fixed and constant meaning. The introduction of empirical matter must come then. Of course all that experience does exist. The first point at which Motion is involved in the dialectic is not that at which the category of Becoming is already recognised explicitly as a category. if Being is just as If we just as much Being. for the idea of Motion is already involved in the relation of the two lower categories to each other. are nevertheless them selves in continual motion. if 105 shall find that we examine the process in detail. this can only take place on the supposition For. in the recognition of the fact that is much Nothing. and Nothing start by positing the first. .&quot. Now in this there is nothing incompleteness that requires any aid from empirical observation. and as the synthesis of the preceding thesis and Before we have a category of motion. we second. And. we perceive a motion of the categories we are forced into the admission that antithesis. by reason of its own and inadequacy.

It sensuous process. But this does not make the syllogism itself a conclusion. We process in time. the argument does not in the least depend on the nature of the latter. and involves sensuous elements. i. If then the Becoming of the Logic includes a 1 species of Chap. follow that it It does not is impossible to think Becoming except as in time. except as taking But this is no objection. category. The movement is here only the movement of logic. attention from one step to another of the process a movement which is certainly in time must not be confounded with the logical movement is of the argument itself. nor from one part of space to another. in the first place it does not seem necessary that the Becoming referred to here Now should be only such as must take place in time or space. but from one idea to another logically connected with it. but to belong to the world of nature. true that if we wish to imagine the process of Becoming. we cannot imagine it. except in experience.106 ideas THE VALIDITY OF THE DIALECTIC. which brings about the transition from category to But this. which is not in time. which Hegel admits not to be elements of pure thought. It no doubt includes Becoming in time and space. But it would seem to include also a purely logical Becoming where the transition is not from one event in time to a subsequent event. as was pointed out above involves no dependence on empirical data. no doubt. although this l . Imagination is a place in time. . And. it is only in experience that the concrete idea is implicit. 93. cannot be present without the empirical element. true that this process can only be perceived by us by means of a process in have first to think the premises and then the time. of course. It is. Section 15. All that is required for the purpose is that element in experience which is called pure thought. secondly. This involves neither space nor time. The validity of the argument does not depend upon the fact that we have perceived it and the movement of . again. such as may be said to take place from the premises to the conclusion of a syllogism. and so first introduces the idea of Motion. and. of Being and Not-Being at all. We are told also that Becoming involves time and space.

that in 107 it time or space. as a determination of thought. than that every step of the whole dialectic process should be tainted with those species of and space. I am unable to see. is time and space. from Becoming to the next category was based on anything in the nature of time and space. again. Becoming only involves time and space in the sense that it cannot be represented without them. For. for That category surely does not require both time we are able to apply it to the passage of our is when space out of the question. and its nature as a pure category tinguished If indeed the argument by which we are led on observed. And if it does require at least one of them. because time and space are the necessary medium in which we perceive the idea of Becoming. (I do not mean to suggest that no reality can be conceived as existing except in time or space.) . it empiricism. and confine ourselves to the introduction of that Becoming which can only take place in time would not follow that these notions have been introduced into the dialectic. And the transition And. hand. category does not involve the introduction of time and space into the dialectic. It could still be dis from them. elements. but rather on the nature of Becoming. introduced the connection. on the other except either in time immediate being apart from both these determinations. Trendelenburg s objection would doubtless be made good. follows. which pure thought has with for the first time in the category of Becoming ? and space. But even if we leave out this point. but only that it must be conceived as existing in time or space unless it is considered under some higher category than pure Being. in which it is bound up with empirical category of which Hegel gives to the does not seem in any way to Being-determinate depend upon the nature of time and space. But it is no more necessary that this should be the case. is it ? or space possible for pure Being to exist What sort of reality could be supposed to belong to And. thoughts. because every category can only be perceived in the whole of experience. even on this hypothesis. Becoming which does not take place of course.THE VALIDITY OF THE DIALECTIC. it would seem to follow that the transition to Becoming involves no other connection with the matter of intuition than is involved in the categories from which it is deduced.

consider the claims of the 95. Vol. Thought can never exist without sensation. 38. op. If we do this. For they also cannot come into consciousness without the presence of intuition. while life . we do not any but mix it up with higher categories. as applicable to all possible knowledge. Becoming shows itself to be almost as abstract and inadequate as pure Being. But the same might be said of any other category. if we take it strictly. 1 Trendelenburg. indeed. Substance. and it is difficult to see how this much more adequately represents reality than the Eleatic Being. or of take it when we talk in ordinary discourse other of the lower categories. This subject divides it is itself into two parts. THE VALIDITY OF THE DIALECTIC. In the first place Hegel denies the Kantian restriction of knowledge to mere phenomena. and Cause. but thought. must be told us by sensation.&quot. a case of Becoming without sensuous intuition. But this is the case to almost the same extent with Becoming. As a general by itself. concrete intuition ruling Becoming It is no doubt true that we never encounter. What becomes. . Being-determinate. of Becoming. They are doubtless abstractions in the sense that we feel at once their inadequacy to any subject-matter. are applicable also to all In the second place he deduces from the Logic the reality. such as rule. philosophies of Nature and Spirit. And the quality of Becoming itself is not sensation. And the ideas of Being and Not-Being are scarcely more abstractions than Becoming is. or is not. Being and Not-Being may pass as concrete. but confine ourselves to the strict meaning of the category. We must. p. If we do not do it. Not-Being are abstractions. but this is the natural and inevitable result of a synthesis of them. in conclusion. behind which lie things in themselves which we cannot know and he asserts that the laws of thought traced in the logic. 1 it is said that is Being and a &quot. i. and death and cannot imagine. Hegelian system to ontological validity. The philosophy which corresponds to Becoming is the doctrine of the eternal flux of all things.108 94. Of course Becoming is to some extent more adequate than the categories that precede the fact that it. but that it becomes is as much a conception of pure thought as that it is. or the Buddhist Nothing. Again. cit.

For possibility is a phrase which derives all its from its use in the world of experience. a category. And a mere of empty at least possibility. is very But it is and inadequate knowledge of them. Section 25. they would be compelled to relate these things with our sensuous intuitions. i. But it must. Of are told We that there are or course to know only that things are possible. since anything beyond brought under that. and meaning that world we have no right to use it. not based on the one of the necessary conditions. If the supporters of things-in-themselves were asked for a defence of their doctrine. belong to the same universe as the facts which we do know that is. 1 known is existence too indefinite to possess any Chap. Otherwise we can have no justification for supposing that it exists. of these two points. In fact the question whether there the world which we know by experience . I have already it involves a con by those who attempt this denial be things which we cannot know.THE VALIDITY OF THE DIALECTIC. imperfect It involves a judgment. 109 Now as to the first endeavoured to show that any denial of tradiction 1 . and destroy their asserted independence. if we are to have any right to speak of it at all. There it is even possible that is much reality which we do not know there is much reality which we never shall know. is brought thereby to us into the world of the knowable. And this relation would bring them in connection with the world of knowledge. through which alone data can be given to our minds. But may to know of the actuality or possibility of such things is to know them to know that of which knowledge is impossible. It is thus impossible to say that the existence of anything which does not conform to the universal laws of knowledge is either actual or possible. be connected with them by the same fundamental laws as those is is by which they are connected with one another. since all such suppositions must rest on some connection with the world of reality. . that there We may are not even entitled to say that it is possible exist a world unconnected with the world of experience. and to know nothing else about them. or even that they actually exist. or any other predicate. and a judgment involves knowledge. any reality outside unmeaning.

any speculations on the nature of and the results of reality outside its sphere are meaningless. may be pro are only ignorant enough of the subjectour ignorance extends to all the circumstances Anything. The demand that the dialectic shall confine itself to a purely subjective import. however nounced possible.&quot. the judgment becomes entirely merely negative and does not. all evidence of But the more impossibility is obviously beyond our reach. since the space s we call empty has no existence all. has been made from a fresh point of view by Mr says It does not follow that because all truth in the narrower sense is abstract. if if we matter.e.110 significance. often only very imperfectly. therefore the whole truth &quot.g. the self-development of the Absolute Idea. can be compressed into a single abstract formula. respect a where the subject is determined by a quality or gets meaning an environment which we have reason to think would give But if we keep either the acceptance or the rejection of X. Chap. Book i. the ultimate account that can be given of it. create the slightest expectation of Such a judgment. S. as a real judgment of possibility does. if valid at 96. impossible. as any proposition frivolous.. the reality which is known only in experience and can never be evoked 1 Logic. i. F. for incompatible with the truth of the proposition.is judgment. we cannot predicate absence. viz. entirely to the bare universal. ignorance is. Section 30. as Mr Bradley points out absurd. the instrument of thought. He about the universe in the wider sense. the dialectic may be predicated of all reality. and must be. with that which the symbol expresses. has no kind of meaning. Schiller. To draw this e. where the subject is left entirely undetermined in Privation of the suggestion. THE VALIDITY OF THE DIALECTIC. which is. C. because all philosophy must be couched in abstract terms. the less valuable it is it and when based to on complete ignorance. but is devoid of all rational interest. vn. inference would be to confuse the thought-symbol. because a privative &quot. 1 . and not presume to limit reality by its results. and possible knowledge. and that the scheme of things is nothing more than. And as covers the whole sphere of actual Hegel theory. relating It knowledge must inevitably is the possibility of a world outside be. reality. is involved in such a conclusion. .

Sensation without thought could assure us of the 97. Vol.&quot. But can it is not an independent element in or it the sense that thought.&quot. as create It 1 . it it exist express And this would have. real. B. Mind. Not of any objects outside the sentient being for these objects are for us clearly ideal constructions. 14. but must be recognised as a correlative and indispensable factor in experience. The Metaphysics of the Time-Process.. often contradicts itself. No. Not of the self who feels sensation for a self is not itself a sensation.g. is no doubt true that there is something else in our experience besides pure thought namely. existence of nothing. to an experience which tells us that it is thought. reality. the immediate data of sensation. that Time and Change cannot really be characteristic of the universe. And these are independent of thought in the sense that they cannot be deduced from it. to be inde pendent in sense before we could accept Mr Schiller s argument. e.THE VALIDITY OF THE DIALECTIC. that Time cannot be real. Ill by the incantations of any abstract formula. p. 1 &quot. If we avoid this confusion.g. because our thought. and the moral to be drawn may only be the old one. assurance.. For the very terms existence. is useless. the nature of thought would be applicable to that assurance. if I have understood him rightly) from a dialectic which shows. that it is the function of thought to mediate and not to experience. e. For our assurance of reality is itself an act of and anything which the dialectic has proved about thought. to suppose. 40. or subordinated to it.. in attempting to represent them by abstract symbols. are all terms of To appeal (as Mr Schiller wishes to do. sensation cannot assure us of its own existence. and the assurance of its reality must be an inference. we shall no longer be prone to think that we have disposed of the thing symbolized when we have brought home imperfection and contradiction to the formulas whereby we seek to express it. For evidently the contradiction may result as well from the inadequacy of our symbols to express realities of whose existence we are directly assured by other factors in consequently are data rather than from the merely apparent character problems of their reality. . iv. Nay. and which for thought. N. reality apart from seems to me.

by pronouncing it real.&quot. This does not mean. they could existence. never By the side of the truth that thought without data can make us aware of reality. is To say that a thing whose notion is to say that two or more contradictory is. and what could a consciousness be which was nothing but a chaotic mass of sensations. to be real and to We be self-contradictory. And that give if we up seems to me. and consequently no unity for itself? But. must be re-thought in terms which are mutually coherent. must be the work of thought. If a contradiction is not a sign of error it will be impossible to make any inference whatever. truth Any law therefore which can be laid down for thought. a meaningless abstraction. therefore. be from thought to some other means of knowledge. should answer that it is it we can pronounce right to of thought. self-contradictory propositions are true If is real. we do this we put an end to all possibility of coherent thought anywhere. real. To the demand then that we should admit the reality of have brought home imperfection and anything although I to the formulas whereby we seek to express contradiction &quot. for to pronounce it pronounce it real is an act should not. in spite of Mr Schiller s arguments. as I fancy Mr Schiller would admit. thought. we must its reality. we have no real. But appearance.we it. even if they could exist without thought. is difficult to see how sensations could even exist without For sensations certainly only exist for consciousness. we must place the corresponding that nothing can make us aware of reality without thought. this reality. that to violate the law of contradiction. that we are so it to say that there was nothing real behind the contradictory Behind all appearance there is some reality. and although we certainly have . for reality tell us nothing of reality or and existence are not themselves sensa and all analysis or inference. must be a law which imposes itself on all reality which we can either know or imagine and a reality which we can neither know nor imagine is.112 It THE VALIDITY OF THE DIALECTIC. find contradictions in our notion of a thing. at the same time. by which they might be tions. appealing We should be thinking it. with no relations among them. reached from sensations. of course. only by the aid of these formulas that If we cannot think it. before we can know it.

is only an abstraction from the fuller whole of reality. 113 disposed of the thing symbolized when we have brought whereby home imperfection and contradiction we can only we seek to express it. s 98. itself. endeavoured to show in the last Chapter that this was all that Hegel ever intended to do. There remains Nature and Spirit. it will be seen that the validity of this transition must be determined by the same general considerations as determine the validity of the transitions from one category to another within the Logic. to the formulas retain our belief in the thing existence by thinking it under some other formula. in the same way that colours. and that no other deduction of Nature and Spirit from pure thought can be attributed to him. may be perceived by outer sense. which leads us on to the opposite extreme. And the to only the transition from Logic From what has been said in Chapters I method of the transition is also the same the discovery of a contradiction arising from the inadequacy of the single term. is be rational. may be given immediately. not as a datum. It is true that thought considered as M. We have now to consider whether he was justified in proceeding to be contradictory. Thought may be perfectly capable of expressing the whole of reality.THE VALIDITY OF THE DIALECTIC. and n. sounds. To admit it does not reality ? Is involve any scepticism as to the adequacy of knowledge. not &quot. But this means that thought. is merely mediate.&quot. but as an 8 . which is also found and so leaves us no refuge but a synthesis I have which comprehends and reconciles both extremes. H. all that is real may remain true that all that For all reasoning as such contradiction. and the like. and it is obvious that a mediation without something which it mediates is a This something must be given immediately. in this manner. by which the imperfection and the contradiction are removed. thought incomplete as compared with the whole of This can scarcely be denied. as an event in our consciousness.e. since the whole of thought. it is in the Logic (i. For the motive power of the transition was the same the impatience of its incompleteness felt by an abstraction. but it will nevertheless real cannot be merely reasoning. even when it has attained the utmost completeness of which it is capable. and may be perceived by inner sense.

spirit. piercing through these contingent particulars. the There must therefore be a particular. as I have tried to show. does not 99. But even if the process of rationalisation was carried as far as it could by any possibility go. This. can never be self-subsistent but must always depend on something (even if that something is other thought). is all Hegel did attempt to deduce from the Logic. while we still find ultimate and unexplained such facts as that one particular number of vibrations of ether in a second gives us the sensation of blue. and confine ourselves to pointing out the way in which the Logic is incarnate in Nature and Spirit. given element. mediating. existence of thought requires the existence of something given. the universal. and the Logic contemplates nothing but The thought as it deals with something given already. we cannot deduce them. The concrete whole towards which we are working is the uriiversalised particular.114 activity). But if this other element has any other qualities except those just mentioned which make it correlative to Logic. nevertheless to constitute experience something would have to and every quality be immediately given. We must treat them as contingent. and the two must be reconciled. It is undeniable that we think. THE VALIDITY OF THE DIALECTIC. which And thus the Logic. This is all of the world of Nature and Spirit which we can deduce from the Logic. by itself contain the whole of reality. deals with the forms by which we may mediate what is imme diately given. It is quite clear that the that another particular number gives us the sensation of red. the immediate. if all matter was reduced to of spirit was deduced from the Logic. as at present. which only presents itself immediately. . But whether this is so or not. the mediated immediate. obviously the case while. and the two must be united in one whole. But we could not think unless there were something to think about. Therefore there must be something. we must admit that it is all that he has a right to deduce from it. and with mental data scarcely This is Logic does not as yet express the whole universe. Logic must have its complement and correlative. and less contingent. a large amount of experience is concerned with physical data apparently entirely contingent to the idea. Logic is rationalising element. the ration alised datum. . So much we can deduce by pure thought.

must be a matter for empirical observation. as realised in fact. and the synthesis is Spirit. as given. for in Nature we have already the idea as immediate. we With the very beginnings of Nature. on this view. in Nature. at any rate at present. The bond of connection here is that they are the universal. tell 115 in them. but not This. In this case the antithesis would be the mere abstract and unconnected par ticularity. difference between the two methods is thus very marked. thesis.THE VALIDITY OF THE DIALECTIC. and that all but how they are realised in the midst of what seem. since all names imply matter of discourse has been qualified by some judgment. since realised. that the which is really unnameable. &quot. is not the course of the transition which is this. this is the case also with every realised. and that the individual is the If it should be synthesis of the universal and the particular. We can never perceive anything without a judgment. 100. the In particular. and the combination of the two in a In what way does the transition from Logic take The suggestion which most naturally occurs to us is concrete whole should form the synthesis. Hegel s reply. would be that thing. though imperfectly the universal. it is more elaborated. Philosophy can exist. Spirit and Nature together would thus form the synthesis. It makes explicit the unity which in Nature is only implicit. and a Indeed the very phrase judgment involves a category. however. to be contingent particulars. But it does not add any aspect or element which is not in Nature. while the Logic is the actually adopted by Hegel. particular since &quot. ? us a priori that Nature and Spirit do the categories of the Logic must be realised place that the element which supplements the deficiency of Logic should be its antithesis. objected to this that there is more in Nature than mere particularity. more comprehensive. is is mere particularity is an abstraction. and the individual. pass to the synthesis. and not for deduction from Logic. the idea and the idea I suppose. Spirit being distinguished from Nature only as being a more complete and closer reconciliation of the two elements. the antithesis is Nature. not only because of the different place assigned to The 82 . thing implies this.

but it would seem. and from scattered remarks in other parts of his writings. the most important and elaborate of which occurs in In this he considers the assertion. be found by following up some This I shall endeavour to do in the next chapter 1 Before leaving this part of the subject. he attributes to Idealism. 2 Book vin. that Being is a category. are identical what sense does Hegel say that Thought and Being In the first place we must carefully distinguish. even the in Now mere recognition that a thing is. that he held his criticisms to apply to the Hegelian dialectic. while in the first the thesis and antithesis are both alike mere abstractions and aspects which require a reconciliation before anything concrete is reached. namely. I think. can we pronounce them both to be correct ? these questions Hegel. which does not involve 1 Sections 131138. Here we have two examples of the dialectic process. . . though an imperfect one. answer. For it means that we can only know that a thing is a fact by means of to find any ground. and the other right ? Or can we argue. consider some criticisms which have been passed by Lotze on Idealism. Nature in them. finally. to the conclusion that there must be some error in those principles. towards the end. an argument against appeals from the results of thought to immediate facts. but because in the second the antithesis marks a distinct advance upon the thesis. which the Microcosmus 2 . each the Logic and each arriving at starting from the same point the same point Absolute Spirit but reaching that point in What are we to say about them ? Is one different ways. upon thought. in consequence. i. He does not mention Hegel by name here. from the fact wrong that the principles of the dialectic would seem to justify either of them. but one may.116 THE VALIDITY OF THE DIALECTIC. He uses this undeniable truth as can only be effected by thought. we must 101. ? from such an assertion of identity. affords no definite indications which he gives. and that. as a concrete reality. Chap. since they lead to two inconsistent results ? To Or. and that it is impossible which we can base a proposition. from the nature of the criticisms. another assertion which he does make. and therefore a determination of thought. as far as I can find. that Thought and Being are identical.

If we This. thought was in a state of ideal perfection. however. in the first place. &quot. the second is These are clearly identical with what he thinks.e. and which he had no reason to wish to deny. and that . may have two very different meanings. that A s being is identical with thought. always in our knowledge of anything an immediate datum. or would be so. The view is that A A is may be thought about him. Thought. first and is only activity identical with what that to think. and without which it cannot act at connection &quot. that A s being is identical with his own thought. attacks a very different proposition that everything which is included under the predicate of Being. is not what is meant by Lotze. That the predicate of Being can only be applied by us to a subject by means of thought. again. and of the consequences developed is from them. first of these meanings. in the second place. which Lotze supposes his Idealist to adopt. and properly apply logical forms peculiar to itself. everywhere in the flux of thought there remain quite insoluble those individual nuclei which represent the several aspects of that important content which we designate . and which is not subject to all the general laws which we can obtain by analysing what is involved in thinking. which are predetermined by fundamental ideas and laws the origin of which cannot be shown it develops special . It is the 102.&quot. his i. it without leaving any residuum on the contrary. 117 thought. A. bringing into the original intuitions of external and internal perception. when B is thinking about A. This. that is. is It s we may mean. which thought must accept as given. everything in identical with thought. then the universe. only in the effort to the idea of truth (which it finds in us) to the scattered multiplicity of perceptions. is a statement which Lotze could not have He doubted.THE VALIDITY OF THE DIALECTIC. if B s Or we may mean. of which we are speaking. This appears from his considering that he has refuted it by showing that there is very different. call the particular reality. all. is everywhere but a mediating activity moving hither and thither. he says. Hence nothing seems assertion that this Thinking Being can be resolved into less justifiable than the identical with Being. that his only nature is is to be a thinking being. it seems.

and that 103.) 3 Enc. doubt Hegel would have been wrong if he had asserted that Thought and Being were identical in this sense. Vol. he held that all reality consisted of one. last theory which Lotze must have had in view. For thought itself can be observed. from Logic by reason of the element of immediacy. and. It seems clear then that Hegel can never have imagined that pure thought could dispense with the element of immediacy.118 THE VALIDITY OF THE DIALECTIC. In this sense it seems that Hegel did hold the identity of Thought and Being though the phrase is not a very happy That is to say. n. 2 But. The fact that there are immediate by the name of Being elements in our knowledge of other things could be no reason for doubting that our nature as we shall see later on. in connection thought. does not prevent the identity of Thought and Being in the 104. The passage which I then quoted from the Philosophy of Spirit 3 declares that Spirit is the logical Now Spirit differs prius. And. 1 . our pure thought by itself could never have been identical with the content of its object. A in B. Section 381. not only of Nature but of Logic. without such data. 57. . if so. self-conscious beings. cit. with one another. lecture note. 4th ed. Sections 56. If all reality in the universe consisted simply of thinking beings there would be no lack of immediate data for them to mediate. and it appears from the Philosophy of Spirit that he also held that the highest the only ultimate 1 foe. No thought. (English Translation. introduced in Nature. The second sense mentioned above. but completely impotent. p. and And B in A. . forms itself a datum for a universe of thinking beings. when observed. 354. and But theirs also it lay in thinking. . however. and completely harmonised with Logic in Spirit. would not only be inadequate. would find their immediate data.&quot. as I have tried to show in the last chapter there is no reason to suppose that he failed to appreciate the fact that there is an element of immediacy in all knowledge. would doubtless be an excellent reason for denying that our thought of the object And it is this could ever be identical with the object itself. necessity of immediacy for thought.

Such a conclusion. though it does lie very largely in the assertion of a relation between them. no doubt. he arrives at the is Spirit. activity of Spirit. establishes this by demonstrating that the higher categories are so involved in the lower that. This is. nor would be Spirit. though not in the chapter from which I have quoted. we are obliged to bring it under predicates which ensure that it will answer completely to the demands of our reason. while Hegel was justified in identifying all Being with Spirit. which is not realised in known as completely as possible. That relation may be expressed by saying that Thought is adequate to express Being. involve that Hegel had ignored the immediate aspect of reality. when any contradiction or no postulate which irrationality. I shall greater length in Chapter VI. Hegel. there is Being. he ignored a fact which is made prominent by Lotze in many parts of his system. would make a con But it would not siderable change in the Hegelian system. as we have seen. true or false are. in 119 which all others are transcended and swallowed up. all Spirit Thought. it prove that he was wrong in asserting it all being to Nor would make For the essence his philosophy less thoroughly of Idealism does not lie in the assertion of the identity of Thought and Being. presents On the other hand. no reality exists beyond the sphere of actual or possible knowledge. and Being adequate to embody Thought. On the one hand. Idealistic. nor explained by it. if we say a thing exists at all. In doing all is this. 105. conclusions that the true nature of Being and that the true nature of these results. In doing this. demands in order to construct a harmonious and Thought self-consistent system of knowledge. volition and feeling which aspects besides thought are as important as thought.THE VALIDITY OB THE DIALECTIC. have to consider this point at and shall there endeavour to that. that Spirit has two other namely. is that of pure thought. he was not justified in taking the further step of identifying the true nature of Spirit exclusively with pure show thought. But important as they are only subsidiary as compared with the more general result that Thought and . and which cannot be deduced from it. and no reality.

since the only consider as involves view of reality which we can completely rational. we know that Being From reality is righteous. From the point of view of practice. And it is this is both rational and righteous which is the of Idealism. whether identical or nut are yet in complete harmony. our own assertion that reality distinguishing mark . the point of view of theory. we thus know that reality is rational. is shown to be one which complete self-realization.120 THE VALIDITY OF THE DIALECTIC.

showing a reflection in the opposite/ in notion.CHAPTER IV. and must be accepted by those who hold it. since they are apparently involved in some of his theories. and merely to give reasons for thinking that they are necessary consequences of his system. and that from this law we may derive important consequences with regard to the nature and validity of the dialectic. this point most plainly runs as follows r The abstract form of : is. The passage in which Hegel sums up his position on 107. again. and. Others. to leave on one side the question of how far they were believed by Hegel. 106. but changes materially I shall endeavour to show that this as the process advances. Mr object in this chapter will be to show that the method. which continues . On the other hand. THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE METHOD. in the case of doctrines of such importance. is not the same throughout. in Being. may be supposed to have been recog in nised and accepted by him. The exact relation of these corollaries to Hegel s own views is rather uncertain. I desire. in considering them. which. therefore. Some of them do not appear to be denied any part of the Logic. is some ground for supposing that he did not hold them. are certainly in compatible with his express statements. change may be reduced to a general law. by which Hegel proceeds from one category to another _in his Logic. he did not explicitly state and develope them anywhere. an other and transition into an other/ tjje in Essence. tlie advance distinction of individual from universality.

Being is Nought. transition. the the different terms remain in their : When we is independent. explicitly In the world of nature. Enc. The germ virtually involves the whole plant. The : | of the Notion is development by which that only is affirmed which is already implicitly speaking present. In Being the form of reference is simply due to our reflection on what takes place. Thus. what is dis \ The difference between the procedure in the doctrine of Being a^d in the doctrine of Essence is given in more detail earlier. for different does not vanish relation. but refers to another merely. in Essence. stem. Section 111. into another. leaves. and other different parts of the plant as meaning that they were realiter present. reference of the one to its other. in Essence everything &quot./ Not so in Essence here there is no is : but only diversity. . on the is explicit. acteristic of speak of Being and Nought. And this in general : the distinction between the forms of Being and Essence is in Being everything immediate. but does and it would therefore be a so only ideally or in thought grade of the notion. . And it is the wholly with the negative. is relative V. _The_ transition of Essence is therefore at the same time no real other. so Positive and the Negative. it is is only implicit . In the sphere of Essence one category does not pass &quot. such into.122 itself as THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE METHOD. ( \jbnc.g. mistake to regard the development of the root. w/hen somewhat becomes another. the somewhat has vanished. e. it is of one term to another contrary. but this form the special and proper characteristic of Essence. The case is otherwise with the No doubt these possess the char no sense same But the positive by itself has in reference to the negative.. In the sphere of Being. and it is as tinguished from V an identity with. In the Sphere of Being the reference Being and Nought. lecture note. in the germ. in the passage of different into different. it is organic life that corresponds to the : movement the plant is developed from its germ. in describing the transition from Essence to the Transition into something else is the dia Notion.L1 And again. J Section 240. . but in a very minute form. he says lectical process within the range of Being ^reflection (bringing something else into light) in the range of Essence.

The other which not another. after that mind has been in that formed by instruction. 123 That is the so-called box-within-box hypothesis. whom follows He. not it is it sets up is in reality in the teaching of Christi expressed as another merely has God created a world which confronts Him He has also from all eternity begotten a Son. in . as it to be inherent in its nature. . a Spirit. of all others. however. and the less do they seem to be self-centred and independent. Section 161. lecture note. It is this nature of the notion this manifestation of itself in its process as a development of its own self which is chiefly in view by those who speak of all innate ideas. In Essence. a theory which commits the mistake of supposing an actual existence The of what is at first found only in the shape of an ideal. In Being each meaning taken by itself. It is becomes more only real only outside reflection which examines and breaks down this pretence of stability. and the transition is seen But it is still felt to be. 1 So far as they have Enc. thing which is learning as merely Of course that again does not mean that every embodied in a mind. each category by its own import refers to that which follows it. in a definitely The movement Or. describe reminiscence. hand lies in its perceiving truth of the hypothesis on the other that. like Plato. the notion keeps to itself. and shows us that the dialectic process is inevitable. only an external effect of that nature. and to have no principle of transition in it. On the other hand. have still_an inner nature^is contrasted with the outer relations which they have with other categories.THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE METHOD. as expanded shape. in the process of development. anity. to be permanent and exclusive category appears. the process less itself clearly self-evident. : The result of The further the may be summed up from its J as dialectic goes starting point the prominent becomes the apparent stability of the individual finite categories. and only gives rise to alteration of form without making any addition in point of content. of the notion is after all to be looked on ojily as a kind of play. The categories were. or who. and is ^seen to be the of the lower categories. had been present mind before hand &quot. is at home with Himself V this process 108.

way superior to it in value or when these two extremes are taken Only is in no time any advance to a higher a transition to a synthesis which comes as a consequence of the thesis and antithesis jointly. is And the transition to the synthesis represents a real advance. Neither is in any respect more advanced than the other. and in leading on to after. &quot. and comprehensiveness. The reality in any finite category. that original mistake. It corrects. they are still conceived as independent and self-centred. Section 159. is not now made so much from the comparison of the other two terms as from the antithesis alone. The antithesis is not merely complementary to the thesis. to some degree. or to make any there for the first This advance is advance. Here the transition is still indeed from positive to nega more than merely this. But with the passage into the notion things is the very hardest.124 THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE METHOD. continues. As the action it of the synthesis to reconcile the thesis and the antithesis 1 Enc. consists only in its summing up those those which went before. but is a correction of it. alter . in this stage. It is consequently more concrete and true than the thesis. and therefore has to use the Hegelian phraseology the &quot. that passage independent actuality 1 . this inner nature.&quot. and neither of them can be said to be more closely connected than the other with the synthesis. from either of the two complementary terms without the other. which conic be observed as the process In the categories of Being the typical form is a transition from a thesis to an antithesis which is merely com 109. It would be impossible to obtain the synthesis. now merely oppose truth of the thesis is more or less within itself. For the antithesis does not a contrary defect to the original defect of the thesis. notion. and from thesis to antithesis but it tive. Not only is the transition now neces sary to the categories. but the transition is the categories. because it proposes that independent actuality shall be thought as having all its in the passing over and identity with the other substantiality &quot. . in which both of them alike find their explanation and when reconciliationy/But we come to Essence the matter is changed. Another change can plementary to together is it.

before the step to the synthesis is taken. opposed to it. and not by mere outside reflection on it. but the implicit explicit. the third is in reality not another. without correcting onesidedness in it. It firsb is the one mentioned. and requires development rather than refutation. it will present the whole of the data which the synthesis requires. of its own nature. that next will have inherent in it its relation to the first. apart from the first.&quot. There is no longer an opposition produced between two terms and mediated by a third. in the distinctions of the three terms gradually lose their meaning. For we have now arrived at a consciousness more or less explicit summed that in each category up. It is riot simply a completion of but also a deniaLthough a denial which is already an approxi mation to union/This element of opposition and negation tends to disappear in the categories of the Notion. As this type is realised. but they can scarcely be said to be in oppo sition. have reached a stage when each side carries in it already more or less consciousness of that unity of the whole which is the synthesis. And. In so thesis. necessary. and all that are &quot. it will be higher than the It is true . but will know be the negation and that it is so. But if the antithesis has as it has in Essence the thesis as part of its own significance. leads on to the next. as it is gradually seen that each category. 125 can only be deduced from the comparison of the two.THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE METHOD. and it will not be necessary to recur to the thesis. The object of the process is not the one-sided complete. Each term is a direct advance on the one before now to make For we it. as a consequence.The all to that have gone before are come after are contained is implicitly. it is also it. term merely completes the second. movement of the Notion after all to be The other which it sets up looked on only as a kind of play. a reconciliation is still For. while the antithesis is an advance upon the thesis. As these approach the end of the whole process. far as it does this. It will not only complement of the thesis. natural that these changes should accompany For. But although the reconciliation can be inferred from the second term. the steps are indeed discriminated from one another. in the same way first. as the second term merely expands and completes the fact. 110.

126 THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE METHOD. and would be deduced from that one only. the triple rhythm disappears altogether. for it only knows that it is connected with something. manner that it that the thesis will see in like must be connected with the category that succeeds it. and the last in the doctrine of the Notion. notices. and Becoming of the . in proportion as the meaning of the thesis is completely included in the meaning of the antithesis. be observed in the detail of the dialectic. From this follows naturally the terms to their synthesis. Traces of the change may. Not-Being. And when each term meaning completely absorbed in the one which follows it. with its opposite. While Hegel expressly. For. the 111. as we have seen. We change in the relation of the have seen that. in which case each has its term would be a simple advance on the one below it. as well as the addition that has been made in the transition. if there is any change within each of these three great divisions (a point we must presently consider). But the antithesis does know with what connected. fortiori the greater clearness and ease of the transition will have the same effect in the case of the A Notion. he makes no mention of the different relation to one another assumed by the various members of the process. and denned by its is an important step towards the reconciliation of the opposition. For there we see that the whole meaning of the lies in its The second therefore category passage to another. it becomes possible to find all the data required for the synthesis in the antithesis alone. And to see how it is in it is separably connected relation to it. at the greatest The triads in . since it is connected with a term which pre cedes it in the dialectic process. and must therefore be higher than the first. The three triads which it will be best to examine for this purpose are the first in the doctrine of Being. But this knowledge can only give a general character of transition to the thesis. has the whole meaning of the first in it. increasing freedom and directness of the dialectic movement. however. but does not yet know with what. the middle one in the doctrine of Essence. which I have just indicated. question are those of Being. the special characteristics of each will be shown most distance clearly at that point at which it is from each of the other divisions.

thesis and antithesis are on an absolute level. Cognition. 112. Content and Form. the difference between the last step in one and the first step in the next is no greater than the difference between two consecutive steps division ? in the same Shall we find between water and brought about when certain degree the best analogy in the distinction steam a qualitative change suddenly a quantitative change has reached a or in the distinction between youth and man- the divisions of Essence as given in the Encyclopaedia. according to Hegel. defect in the latter. while the typical forms of of the method. again. Not-Being by itself is helpless to produce Becoming as helpless as Being is. each division are strongly characterised. or is the change continuous. of which Cognition proper and Volition are species. 1 I follow 2 Cognition . Cognition alone. from which Hegel explains the existence of And it is from death. Here it is to be taken as Cognition in general. since the also. World of Appearance. while first it could not be deduced from the other relation which is alone. 127 .&quot. To each of the three great divisions of the dialectic he has ascribed a particular variation Are we to understand that one variety changes into another suddenly at the transition from division to division. in the first of these. Not-Being is no higher than Being it does not contain Being in any sense in which Being does not contain Life. we Another point arises on which we shall find but little guidance in Hegel s own writings. so that. is overcome as we pass to Cognition. since in Content and &quot. The synthesis can only come from the On the other hand the idea of conjunction of both of them. a distinct advance upon the idea of Life. Ratio. It is the relation of Content and Form to one another which leads us on to the The idea of Cognition. We can And pass as easily from Not-Being to Being as vice versa. Content and Form. is deduced from the second of them alone. is called ratio. that reach the Absolute Idea. although the synthesis of the two previous Form terms. and Ratio 1 .the connection of the phenomenon with self is completely stated. and of and the Absolute Idea 2 Now. without any reference back to Life. is a distinct advance on the idea of the World of Appearance.THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE METHOD. : it. is used by Hegel in two senses.

for another. by substituting the idea of development for the idea of the reconciliation of contradictions. and mere Quantity with Quantum. we have not by any means entirely rid ourselves of the elements of opposition and negation. not only in common usage. In the transitions of the Notion as Notion. but to a certain degree transcends it. and the mere passivity and finitude of Being is partly broken down. we compare the first and last stages of Essence. It is . which may lead us to believe that the change of method is gradual and continuous. nearly we were already at the beginning of the doctrine is contradiction as fully as if of the Notion. is not to be met with in any triad of Quality or Quantity except the first. finally. and of the Syllogism. while the last comes fairly close to that of the Notion. Difference. we observe that the second category is higher than the first in each pair. The advance is shown by the fact that Difference Hegel. But when we reach Substance and Causality we find that the notion of subordinated to that of development. as treated by certainly an advance on Identity. but there is still a good deal of opposition between the terms. Possibly it had never hood. If. Being and Not-Being may are on a level.128 THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE METHOD. again. and balance their various deficiencies. the special features of the doctrine of the Notion are not fully exhibited until we have come to its last stage. this point Hegel says nothing. is contains Likeness opposition of the and Unlikeness within itself. of the Judgment. The inherent relation of thesis to antithesis seems to develop more as we pass on. So. and that it is not merely the complement of the first. while the two categories is clear. the But if we compare Being an sicli with Being One with the Many. but from the fact that the synthesis has to reconcile them. On But there are signs in the Logic presented itself to his mind. we shall find that the first approximates to the type of Being. and not a mere opposite. their most characteristic points are clearly but which pass into one another imperceptibly. In the first place we notice that the absolutely pure type of the process in Being. which at distinct. so that before Essence is reached its characteristics are already visible to some extent.

Again. and that transition from Life to Cognition. In the first place. and we find some which approximate more closely to the pure Notion-type than others which follow them. two contradictory ideas cannot be held to be true at the same time. whether the existence of such a development of any sort. 9 . while Hegel explicitly says that each of the three doctrines has its special method. The motive power of all the categories are the concrete absolute truth. Before we consider this question we must first enquire 113. whether continuous or not. from which all finite categories mere abstractions and to which they tend spontaneously to return. we perceive that the movement is all but com pletely direct. in a correct dialectic. and as opposed in pairs of unsynthesised contradictories. I think. and this will become more probable if we see reason to think that. until we have transcended and synthesised the contradiction. And. the development would be continuous. finite It follows that in so far as the categories announce themselves as permanent. so far as we can compare them. shades of difference so slight and subtle. But that there are some traces of continuous development cannot. this to be so. they are We gain the truth by expressing falsehood and not truth.THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE METHOD. there seem to be some exceptions to the rule of continuous development. no longer a contest. might be expected from the nature of the case. In the second place the difficulty and uncertainty of comparing. We find some triads which approximate more closely to the pure Being-type than others which precede them. and from Cognition to the Absolute Idea. however. that the whole is seen to be in each part. be denied. It is not safe. quantitatively and exactly. must always be very great. but only a development. We shall see that there are reasons for supposing essence of is when we remember what we must regard as the the dialectic. H. he says nothing about there is any development of method within each doctrine. 129 not until we reach the concluding triad of the Logic that we In the are able fully to see the typical progress of the Notion. If it ever seems inevitable that they should be. to place much weight on all this. this is a sign of error somewhere. and we cannot feel satisfied with the result. the contradictions of the categories and by transcending M.

As it becomes more more spontaneous and more direct. Now the change in the demonstrating their instability. spontaneous. implicit in consciousness. than in the earlier stages which approximate to the type of Being. At each step. nature of the whole dialectic is thus more clearly seen in the later stages. it also fact in every stage of the dialectic. approximate to the complete truth. is not towards self-contra The essential diction as such. of which we are speaking. and to have its meaning only in the transition. For the content of each stage in the dialectic is nearer to the truth than that of the stage before it. it is to the unchanging whole alters also. we might find Even without considering the . we have a fuller know ledge of the truth than at the one before. and this would naturally affect the method. it brings out more fully what lies at the root of namely that the truth of the opposed And as the process lies only in the synthesis. brings out more clearly what is an essential that is. categories becomes more direct and leaves the opposition and negation the whole dialectic behind. The dialectic is due to the between the concrete whole. that the impulse of imperfect truth. For we have seen that the process becomes of this truth. therefore. as each category is seen to lead on of its own nature to the next. easily special circumstance that in the process will give us this deeper insight into each step the meaning of the work we are carrying on. indicates a clearer perception method. and the abstract part of it which has become explicit. we may expect that every step which we take full truth will render it possible to proceed more and directly to the next step. Since relation the second element alters at every step. but towards self-completion. which approximate to the type of the Notion. And each stage forms the starting-point from which we go forward again to further truth. And. since the change in the relation will be one which will make that relation more obvious towards the the categories clear that its relation as and evident. in the forward process. and it is only natural that this fuller knowledge should react upon the manner in which the next step is made. as we have it. This is what we might expect a priori.130 THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE METHOD.

as much continuous its as the process of the Another question now arises. I think. is in the second place. of each doctrine. course. fairly arrive at the con clusion. An axe has not the same effect at or less blunted. of that of the larger transitions. and. ? Has the change proofs in the method destroyed validity The ordinary 92 . for it is A violin has not the it same tone the second time is played on. however minute a subdivision of the process they is may represent. between the tool and the materials. it second blow as at its first. least of all in would be the work of the 114. that this change dialectic itself. It would therefore seem that it be expected that the method would change after each category. also be noted that the three doctrines themselves and that in the same way the three divisions and the three subdivisions of each division. 131 other reasons for supposing that the nature of the dialectic For the conception of an agent process is modified by use. However continuous the change of conclusions can be made. 115. not only when we pass from one chief division of the Logic to another. in the first place. that the dialectic process does and must undergo a progressive change. The similarity of constitution which exists be tween the larger and smaller groups of categories may perhaps be some additional reason for anticipating that the smaller form a triad. form a triad. its we find that this is true. but whenever we pass from category to category. Now these arguments for the existence of change in the method are also arguments for supposing that the change will be continuous. as had the first. and that no two transitions throughout the dialectic to would present quite the same type. Even more in the case of matter. and has a place nowhere in reality. is a mere abstraction. which is purely active. less in amount.THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE METHOD. it is likely that the change of method It will may be equally continuous. And it mind that a rigid distinction could be kept up between form and matter. acting on a material which is purely passive. transitions will exert on the method an influence similar to although. There is reason to expect a change in the method whenever we have advanced a step towards truth. But we advance towards truth. We may therefore.

we have already a sort of anticipation of the synthesis. which. which had to be reconciled by the introduction of the synthesis. thus attained in the antithesis is however only partial. and of a search for harmony between the elements of that complete Later on we have the ness. The It consisted. the inadequacy Each of these ideas of the thesis led on to the antithesis. and not merely by external reasoning. and so gain completeness. is carried further. when we have seen that the categories require of them.132 relate THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE METHOD. and the whole thesis is really summed up in the antithesis. to the types characteristic of Essence and the Notion change the make any whole ? difference in the justification of the method as a This question must be answered in the negative. completeness. This brought about a contradiction. In the stage of Essence. of a search for are attained completeness and for harmony. we have gone a good way towards The harmony the perception that they are not incompatible. same search for was regarded as an immediate and self-centred whole. Here we see that the whole change meaning of the category resides in the transition. as we have now found reason to believe. and In the Notion. according process has lost none of its cogency. antithesis therefore. are inherently connected. since we recognise that the two sides are connected by their own nature. is only found in its Does the gradual purity in the very first triad of all. but both objects by a single process. does something towards joining the two extremes in the harmony which we For. and it is . Thus the same step by which we reach the idea complementary to our starting-point. to the earliest type. the two stages being separate. only to type characteristic of Being. each category has a reference in its own nature When we reach the to those which come before and after it. In Being. for the meaning of the thesis is now only the production of the antithesis. the leaves a good deal for the synthesis to do. since they were complementary and opposite sides of the truth. On the other hand each of them implied the other. Now the change in the process has the effect of gradually dropping the intermediate stage. in which the two sides of the whole are regarded as incompatible and yet as inseparably connected.

are fused into one. that its truth is necessarily involved in the process truth of an idea which But its justification is And thus if we we have already admitted to be valid. For the characteristic in the final triad of the whole system. and the object of the dialectic process would be attained. so that it could go no further. Afterwards the complementary idea is at once presented as in harmony with the original All the change lies in the fact idea in which it is implied. The second idea it is here from the first in harmony with the idea which complements. even transition to its successor. The that two operations. the premise. the explicit idea in the mind. The incompatible with the starting-point. but which it can only reach at the moment when it stops completed. but an idea which at once complements and transcends the startingpoint. became perfectly adequate and true. it type of the Notion represents the process as it would be when When however started from a perfectly adequate premise. process. for each term would be the completion of that which was immediately before it. 116. to which the actual process approximates more and more closely throughout its course. If we start with a valid idea. The typical process of the Notion is therefore an ideal. at first distinct. 133 In fact the relation of thesis. are satisfied with the cogency of the earlier . we should have rendered explicit the whole concrete idea. antithesis and synthesis would actually disappear in the typical form of process belonging to the Notion. process always seeks for that idea which is of the idea from which logically required as the completion At first the complementary idea presents itself as it starts. implied in the idea before us. we are able to see. since all the reality of the latter would be seen to be in its This never actually happens. absorbed and transcended in it. exactly the same as that of the antithesis in the Being-type of the that is. and also everything required to avoid a contradiction between the that which we reach by means As we approximate to the end of the of starting-point and the starting-point.THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE METHOD. argument of the is dialectic all is through is. and has to be inde pendently harmonised with it. not merely a complementary and contradictory idea on the same level. all that valid that is implied in it is valid.

belief forms of the process. as is supposed is . but even negation its temporary introduction is an accident. The first of these is one which we may fairly attribute to Hegel himself. and the essential characteristic of the process is in the search of this abstract and imperfect idea. on the violation of the law of contradiction. We now led to consider it as an accident which is necessary indeed in the lower stages of the dialectic. Section 9. of the gradual completion of the idea. a recon ciliation in which it vanishes. For in so far as the process ceases to be from one extreme to another extreme equally one-sided. both of 1 Chap. 117. for every contradiction. and in propor tion as the materials from which we start are of a concrete and adequate character. and place Hegel s 1 In the by no means primary very far from resting. though a are necessary one. because a relatively concrete can be analysed into two direct contraries. We may draw several important conclusions with regard to the general nature of the dialectic. The motive force of the process lies in the dis crepancy between the concrete and perfect idea implicitly in our minds. we shall have no reason to modify our on account of the change of method. It rather rests on the impossibility of violating that law. i. since it is evident from the way in which he deals with the categories. not after its negation as such. But it plement is. though an inevitable accident. its does not do so because completion. but which is gradually eliminated in proportion as we proceed further. This is the subordinate place held by negation in the whole We have already observed that the importance of process. and there category fore the process does go from an idea to its contrary. although it is not explicitly noticed by him. .134 THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE METHOD. and the abstract and imperfect idea explicitly in our minds. negation in the dialectic first Logic is by some critics. Not only is the presence of negation in the dialectic a mere accident. Its com contrary. but after its complement as such. from the manner in which the form changes as it advances towards completion. but because it seeks But this can now be carried still further. on the necessity of finding. And not only is the idea of destined always to vanish in the synthesis. indeed. it seeks denial.

135 which regard themselves as permanent. and which then exists independently of the manner in which it was reached. there is no contradiction to the first. the first ing in the transition to the second. and as standing in a relation of opposition towards one another. Now the dialectic process professes to do more than merely describe the stages by which we mount to the Absolute Idea it also describes the nature of that Idea itself. because. through which the dialectic has passed its goal. to discover their position in the Absolute process. and Becoming standing in different relations among themselves to those which connect Life.THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE METHOD. but pronounces them to be partly false and partly true. as moments in the Absolute Idea. of very great dialectic the relation Being. It does not reject all the finite categories as absolutely false. In addition to the information which we gain about the latter by the definition given of it at the end of the dialectic. What relation do these moments bear place. and in so far as it becomes a process from one term to another which is recognised as in it some degree mediated by the first. is found to have its mean The presence of negation. Not- We have seen that in the question. They are thus contained in it as moments. adopt to one another in the Absolute Idea? We may. Cognition. 118. . but an accident whose importance continuously decreases as the dialectic progresses. is not only a mere accident of the dialectic. we also know that it finite stages of contains in itself as elements or aspects all the thought. and as subject-matter becomes more fully understood. therefore. before reaching It is not something which is reached by the dialectic. and it sums up in itself the truth of all of them. in so far as the change has been completed. in the first the easy and simple solution of saying that the relation they bear to one another. and the Absolute Idea. and as transcending in so far the negation of each category by the other dis For it is then recognised that in the second category appears. of the various finite ideas to one another in different parts of the process is not the same the three categories of Being. its We now come to a fresh importance. as finite categories in the dialectic In this case. is just the same as that which they bear to one another.

the truth. from a gradually growing perception of the truth which is at the bottom of the whole dialectic its the unreality of any finite category as against synthesis. If there really were the dialectic process would be impossible. in their own nature. the whole truth. not as one which takes place in time. and that in so far as they are anything else but aspects of the synthesis they are false and This then must be the true nature of the process of deceptive. But if this were really so. For he undoubtedly asserts that the dialectic expresses the deepest nature of objective thought. For the 119. and as in contradiction to it. Yet this is only explicitly perceived in the Notion. since the truth and reality of each category consists only in its reference to the next. But this conclusion seems open to doubt. it THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE METHOD. Before categories the appear always as. as it un in the lower doubtedly does claim. answer. The process contemplated in this way will be a perfect and complete analysis of the concrete idea which is its end. as we have seen. If this was not true all. and nothing but the truth. appears as opposed to what went before. that reconciliation could never be complete and the dialectic could never claim. we never mate this attain to complete perception of it.136 Idea. although a necessary and inevitable consequence of it. and in its passage onwards to it. or any externality in the reconciliation. but as having a merely logical import. thought. to sum up all the lower elements The very existence of the dialectic thus tends to prove that . there could be no dialectic at for the justification of the whole process is is that the truth of the thesis and the antithesis contained in the synthesis. And this. and the breaking down of this self-assertion. change of method results. and the substitution for it of the knowledge that truth is only found in the synthesis. any independent element categories. permanent and self-centred. as I pointed out above. is only necessary to consider the dialectic process. but only approxi towards it as oar grasp of the subject increases. all through the dialectic. would have been Hegel s if the question had been explicitly proposed to him. of truth. apparently. containing about it. and must constitute the real meaning and essence of the dialectic. and at the end of the Notion or rather.

We must therefore suppose that the dialectic does not exactly represent the truth. since if the truth were as it represents it to be. dialectic. with their false appearance of independence. The conclusion at which we are thus compelled to 120. besides that element which actually does express the real notion of the transition. unless the terms were really related according to the type belonging to the Notion. to dissent. obscure and confuse the true meaning of the We can see that the dialectic has this true meaning. he apparently regarded as presenting absolute truth as fully expressing the deepest nature of pure thought. gave views of reality only approximating.THE DEVELOPMENT OF THK METHOD. This agrees with what was said above that the change of is no real change. if I am right. by reflecting on what implied in its existence is and success. it. by . But no transition in the dialectic does take place exactly according to that type. And it must follow that categories those categories in which it is not yet explicit do not fully represent the true nature of thought. and the essential character of the transition from less perfect to more perfect forms. we are forced. arrive must be admitted. For the true process of thought is not by contradicting nificance. 137 For it would be it is not in every sense objectively correct. even among these lower categories. Hegel would certainly have admitted that the lower categories. In the lower categories our data. impossible for any transition to be made. There must be in the process. the dialectic itself could not exist. with its advance through oppositions and reconciliations. and. but as an expression of its truest sig and finds its own truest significance. at any point in the process. in fact. but only a rearrangement of the It is. another element which is due to the inadequacy of our finite thought to express the character of the reality which we are trying to describe. only a bringing out of the transition. to truth. But it is only in the later that it becomes explicit. But the procession of the categories. on his own premises. one in which each category springs out of the one before it. in the case of the lowest. From this. regarded in themselves. to have no warrant in Hegel. only very slightly approximating. and most of them according to types substantially different. in turn. elements method explicitly of what is implicitly involved all along. I think.

do not go straight onward. and We but more or fore. There is only opposition. development.. there the dialectic does not completely and perfectly express the nature of thought. gradually approximates. in Fichte and elsewhere fully may easily dialectic process is a distinct Doubtless the germs of it are to be found The . that we consider them inseparable. antithesis. less from side to side. &quot. and. 1 . it adequately represents the nature of a most unwarranted and gratuitous dis thought. Section 161. and its power of adequately expressing the ultimate nature of thought.. looks like tinction between ideas which their author held to be insepar while denying that able. There is no contradiction. and synthesis can For in this state there is no opposition to the relation of thesis and antithesis. no passing on to another category. according to him. nowhere in relation of thesis. appear to be so closely bound up together. 1 Em. no reconciliation. up is in reality not another the dialectic do we entirely get rid of the even in the final antithesis. therefore. It is an ideal which is never and from the nature of the case never can be In the dialectic there is always opposition. it has been held sub To retain the stantially in the manner in which he stated it. and to retain the idea that it is of cardinal importance doctrine.138 THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE METHOD. ively Hegelian idea.&quot. The state to have no meaning.The other which the notion sets Now. This conclusion is certainly startling and paradoxical. In the actual course of the dialectic this is quite realised. the rendering explicit what was implicit. For to conclude that the validity of the dialectic method for any purpose. himself who refutes his own doctrine. elements distinguished are without more ado at the same time declared to be identical with one another. never attained. Yet I cannot see what alternative is left to us. but it was only by Hegel that it was worked out and made the central point of a philosophy. and. And in so far as it has been held since. no create The reconciliation of that opposition to create a synthesis. quite realised. and with the whole. . . therefore always reconciliation. is one in which the terms thesis. It seems inevitable. For it is Hegel which the dialectic. consequently. the growth of the seed to the plant. and synthesis .

that which or is which the word has been defined as meaning mine or yours. which the dialectic method. It is no mere empirical For. our minds are logically bound to follow. however. which it is not allowed that it can adequately express. that according to Hegel thought can only exist in its complete and concrete form that which it We . description generalisation. The only thing to be done is to consider whether. and to deal with it consistently and truly. or demonstration of what they must think. its all.THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE METHOD. if the hypothesis I have advanced be correct. except that course must and does take. in any part of its movement. and the essential nature of thought. whatever view we may hold with regard to the success or failure of the dialectic in apprehending the true nature of thought. but obscures it more express or less under characteristics which are not essential. if so. the real and essential nature of pure thought. it may be is the essential nature of asked. 139 The inference seems triad of the process there are traces of it. thought. when they attempt to it follows that it must be in some degree subjective. does not adequately represent the nature of pure thought itself. inevitable that the dialectic cannot fully represent. it will not at all affect the question of its internal necessity. although it does represent the inevitable course deal with pure thought. and. What.&quot. with this important limitation. thought. and of its cogency for us. is The dialectic not an account of what men have may think. to how much ? to show that 121. according to this hypothesis. in We have now to determine exactly the which we are using this rather ambiguous word. meaning On the one hand it is clear that the dialectic is not subjective in that sense in &quot. provided they wish to deal with Hegel s problem at all. It is a On the other hand. It may not seem very clear at first sight how we can distinguish between the necessary course of the mind when engaged in pure thought. importance can scarcely be said to have di minished at Since the dialectic. we must now pronounce the that it dialectic process to be subjective in this sense does not fully the essential nature of thought. the process has any longer a claim to any I shall endeavour real significance. whenever we think ? must remember. is admitted to be.

is. and of course often to stop at any category short of the complete whole involves a contradiction. as we have already noticed. If these judgments have is own when it nature. The import of our thought may be. And it is possible that under certain circumstances the judgment expressed in our thoughts may be inevitably erroneous or deceptive. explain thought. For thought may be erroneous or deceptive. process. a judgment under some lower category. each of which is pendence. consist in a direct development in which each term only exists in the transition to another. and express the true nature of thought. the mistake may be traced to the circum- . fail to The mistake. the actual process. and by any category but the Absolute Idea. comes from 122. but our thought itself. thought as their subject-matter we shall then have the position in question express properly that the necessary course of thought will its own nature. it For while error must naturally affect our com of the logical relations by which those conclusions prehension are connected. can. if we find a contradiction in any judg ment. erroneous. it is no less certain that we cannot. the fact that. whereas the logical relations. though it is unquestionably true that we can predicate in thought categories other than the highest. must be concrete and complete. THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE METHOD. as much as when it is treating of any other reality. Now our judgments can be. and even treat them as final. and a contradiction is a sign of error. is one from contradictory to contradictory. which form the content of the Absolute Idea. And so we do. In particular. The reason is conceived as possessing some stability and inde of this mistake lies in the nature of the which one from error to truth. we know that it cannot be true of facts. as an existent fact. distinguished from the meaning it conveys.140 is. any more than any other aspect of reality. But there would be no meaning in saying that a fact is erroneous. on the other hand. For as the Absolute Idea. make judgments which involve a contradiction. This explains how it is possible for the actual and inevit able course of thought not to express fully and adequately its treating of thought. and often are. and therefore. and induce us to suppose them other than they remains in our conclusions. with complete truth. It follows that. are.

THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE METHOD. This method of procedure is always inappropriate in anything of the nature of an organism. incarnate in our minds and in all our experience. and from this works up to the knowledge of the whole. must be the result of the nature of thought as it exists. will it be inadequate and deceptive to endeavour to the part. does not fully express its is also to be to show attempt at thorough and consistent thinking. and consequently relations. the dialectic fails because it not only thought. This will be determined by the relations in which the finite categories stand to the concrete idea. even more than with organisms. as it progresses. the Absolute Idea. For the real meaning of the advance. And here. which creates the dialectic movement. but. Our several on the nature of thought have not in themselves judgments any power of leading us on from one of them to another. 141 stance that the dialectic starts with the knowledge of the part. and that the essential part of this move ment is that by which we are carried from the more abstract to the more concrete. but their relation to each other is not the relation which they have in in all existence. therefore. Consequently.aspects of it the . it would seem that the real heart and kernel of the process is the movement of abstractions to rejoin the whole from which they have been separated. Since this is so. if it is to have any objective if it is to be a necessary reality at all consequence of all called subjective the true nature of clearly noticed above. then. represent more or less the through which the human mind is gradually attaining to the truth. Now the relation of the moments of the Absolute Idea to the whole of which they are parts is still more close and intimate than is the relation of the parts of a living organism to the organism itself. These error in the dialectic. And this is comprehend the whole from the standpoint of what the dialectic. the dialectic is subjective. To this extent. when they are viewed as abstractions from it and. It is the relation of these judgments to the concrete whole of thought. must necessarily do. as we own meaning the meaning of the process forwards. They do not adequately represent the relations existing in the truth itself. And 123. not only are the lower categories of the dialectic inadequate when taken as ultimate.

mission. But the true relation of the abstractions to the concrete idea is. What ment is this element is.142 THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE METHOD. discards. as we have already seen. And. but are merely due to our original ignorance about the latter. namely the restoration of the full and complete idea. nor to the essence of pure thought. with that which It is the opposition and contradiction. . until forced into sub It is. so to speak. mixed up with elements which do not really belong to the advance. The dialectic always moves onwards at an angle to the straight which denotes advance in truth and concreteness. it The whole point of the dialectic is that In so far then as gradually attains to the Absolute Idea. which is different from the advance according to the type characteristic of the Notion. the transverse motion as opposed to the direct motion forward. that to which the dialectic which which it it method gradually approximates. but never entirely. we can is learn by comparing the move of the dialectic which typical of Being. advances. And the essence of the process is the direct part alone of the advance. it also fails to express its own meaning which is in another way. and the way in which they negate their antitheses. Once more it finds that even in its cor rected statement it is still one-sided. and not that with which it starts. For the imperfect type of transition. it oscillates to the other. and again swings to the line It is in this indirect way alone that it opposite extreme. the transition to their syntheses. typical of the Notion. as was remarked above. Starting unduly on one side of the truth. of which we only gradually get rid. represents the various categories as possessing some degree of independence and self-subsistence. but never reaches. the immediacy of the finite categories. never fully eliminated. and then corrects itself. For all that part of the actual advance in the dialectic. has no share in the real meaning and value of the process. but also the inevitable inadequacies of the human mind when considering a subjectmatter which can only be fully understood when the consider ation has been completed. it. and And so the gradually. only sense in which they have any truth. dialectic advance has. it does not express the essence of the process only. since it does not contribute to what alone makes that meaning and value. the process is not direct advance to the absolute. and resist.

For all that results from this we have to consider how far this will reduce its new position is that the dialectic is truth. or. or its practical utility. importance of this conclusion is obvious. if we consider in The importance of the dialectic is threefold. they could not be completely absorbed in the syntheses. see a nature like its own in everything. further and say that the relation of these inadequate ideas to one another does not completely correspond to anything in the nature of reality. and the dialectic could riot be The fact that it is successful proves that it has not a completely correct account of itself. on his own conclusion by means of the dialectic. Hegel was entitled. But the general result is the sa-me that we gain the truth by the dialectic. We shall see that our new view We does not destroy the value of the dialectic.THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE METHOD. Now we can predicate some of anything whatever. express the objective reality of thought. to reach this And the different reality. premises. 124. The first branch of it depends chiefly on the end being reached. since it does not fully successful. do not see that it need do either. and. if it only saw The clearly enough. and by which alone science and of that religion can be ultimately justified. we are thereby entitled to predi category cate the Absolute Idea of it. 143 If they really possessed this. but that the steps by which we reach it contain imperfections. the human spirit is the incarnation of the Absolute Idea. Having decided that the dialectic is to this extent subjective. it deserves to be called subjective. It gives the assurance harmony between ourselves and the world for which philosophy always seeks. Now we knew it this before. in other words. it a process through error to For on any theory of the dialectic remains true that sets out with inadequate ideas now go of the universe and finally reaches adequate ideas. and the Absolute Idea is simply category first of these lies in the conclusion that if the description in abstract terms of the human spirit. I cardinal significance in philosophy. and the other two chiefly on the means by which it is reached. The we can predicate any whatever of a thing. more detail in what that value consists. view of the relation of the dialectic to which I have . From this it follows that the mind could. for this reason given also.

ventured to put forward. we are able to say that certain methods of regarding the universe are more correct and significant than others. and we have come to the conclusion that the indirectness of the not in any way due to the essential nature of pure but entirely to our own imperfect understanding of thought. As we see that certain categories are superior in concreteness and truth to others. does it certainly. we must travel provided theory propounded above as to the dialectic process leaves the objectivity and adequacy of the result of the dialectic unim paired. this theory. Here also the value of the dialectic remains unimpaired. But the whole process is still necessary. does not at all affect the validity of the dialectic for this purpose. For the progress of the dialectic remains as necessary as before. are able to see We that the idea of organism. The progress is indirect. and the advance is direct advance is is still essential. For whether it does or does not express the true nature of thought with complete correctness. who have not yet been able so clearly to interpret all phenomena as only to find our own most fundamental nature manifesting itself in them. that the direct advance necessary. according to show the necessary and inevitable connection The utility which of our finite judgments with one another. in importance what that fully. for example. And it therefore for this function the system is as well adapted as 125. is a more fundamental explanation than the idea of causality. is the nature of the road it.144 THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE METHOD. provided nor whether the process expresses truth Now the that the final conclusion does so. since they come later in the chain and have transcended the meaning of their predecessors. we are now considering lies in the guidance which the dialectic can give us to the relative validity and usefulness of these finite . proving that from any possible stand-point we are bound in logical consistency to advance to In this connection it is not of the least the Absolute Idea. is And all that we want to know We are only interested. we travel. that nature. ever was. of the importance of the Hegelian The second ground logic consists in the information which it is able to give us about the world as it is here and now for us. and one which we should prefer whenever we can apply it to the matter in hand. for this particular purpose.

lecture note. the relation of the categories to one another. in the second place. 126. For although one its true content is only definition was given of it by which the whole system of which we have been hitherto studying the direct and independent one may also development. dem das Knc. but it gives us data by thought which we can discount the necessary error. We are now forced to consider those moments as related in a way which is inadequately expressed by the relation of the are not however deprived of categories to one another. Both these things can be learnt from the dialectic. is unimportant. Objekt sie Section 237.Der dialectic would act dem if it could act with full self-con- Begriff der Idee. we see 1 how the &quot. we are still able to understand completely &quot. By observing the type to which the dialectic method approximates throughout its course.&quot. never fully reveals the true nature of which forms its secret spring. The dialectic. it goes nearer to the truth.&quot. We In the first place. Section 23G. For we are not here judging but the judgments of reason about reality. we are not altogether left in the dark even as regards the analysis of the Absolute Idea. for Hegel. yet a more Our inability to regard the process any longer as an adequate analysis of the Absolute Idea will not leave us in ignorance of what the Absolute Idea really is. For the connection of the categories resembles the true nature of thought (which is expressed in the typical transition of the Notion). The dialectic showed. we are thus enabled to tell what element in it is that which is due to the essential nature of thought. in the typical movement of the Notion. 145 judgments. die Idee als solche der Gegenstand.THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE METHOD. It is that element which alone is left when. more and more closely as it goes on. And. ist. and at the end of the Logic it differs from it only iiifinitesimally. M. anything essential to the completeness of the system by this. and in reality. The definition quoted in the text is in 10 . For it is only necessary to know their relations to one another. That it does not tell us the exact relations which subsist in reality reality. The third function of the dialectic process it is certainly destroyed by the view of which I have explained above. and adequately what the Absolute Idea is. be found 1 . it is true. and to know that as the series goes further. H. as moments in the Absolute Idea.

from opposite to opposite. but its amount can be ascertained. we may imagine the truth is only to be attained by contest. And. and need not therefore introduce any doubt or scepticism into the conclusions to which the dialectic may lead us. in different proportions according to their positions in the system. In that type each category is seen to carry in itself the implication of the next beyond it. it is advance of thought which In the in the dialectic ? diminishes as the dialectic proceeds. it 127. in the ideal type. and. first place. an advance which is of indirectness which is introduced by the The element direct. and that. as the the ship improve so that voyage continues. no idea stands in an attitude of opposition to is is then proceeds. The lower . categories as compounded. to which thought only lower because part of its no longer one-sided. therefore. and we can say that the latter is due to the real nature of thought. movement from thesis to antithesis. of the dialectic may perhaps be compared to that of a ship tacking against the wind. and the force of advance and completion. the sailing powers of it becomes able to sail closer and . and the former to our misconceptions In other words. What then is this real is and essential element in the though never completely. While looking up from the bottom. If we suppose that the wind blows exactly from the point which the ship wishes to reach. requiring to implicit meaning be corrected by an equal excess on the other side of the truth. the element of imperfection in the about it. THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE METHOD. revealed. nothing to fight. wholly dies away.146 sciousness. It is true that in the lower categories we can never see the transition according to this type. the force of and negation. of two forces. and that the is growth of thought The movement really direct and unopposed. still it is any other. owing to the necessary confusion of the subject-matter in so low a stage. there is nothing to break down. opposition dialectic is inevitable. which hides the true nature of the process to which the dialectic endeavours But we can regard the movement of all the to approximate. All that aspect of the process belongs to our misapprehension of the relation of the abstract to the concrete. but in looking down from the top the only true way of examining a process of this sort we see that the contest is only due to our misunderstanding.

The 128. since the forward movement would. the advance in the dialectic of the ideas. The categories. and in the same way it is impossible for course. of thought until we arrive at the end it probable that the dialectic be looked on primarily as continuous and not discrete. do not mark any real step towards attaining the knowledge of the essential nature of thought. of each category represents the objective nature of the dialectic. It is for the ship to reach its destination by a direct impossible precisely opposite to the line which that course would take. and gives them the appearance of distinction and stability. In the same way. under the circumstances. and without move forward without the triple some opposition between of the is relation of thesis and object ship proceed towards the port. be impossible without the combination with it of a lateral movement. will correspond to the gradual subordination of the elements of negation and opposition. But the only to labour wasted. so far as the end of the voyage is concerned. is just the element which we are now led to believe is due to our incapacity to grasp the nature of the dialectic. Again. which are combined in groups of three. the analogy will be rather exact. although they are necessary accompaniments of the process of gaining that knowledge. closer to 147 the wind. element which keeps the categories apart. and the consequent negation and contradiction. which we have seen to take place as we approach the end of and so reduces the distance which the dialectic. as the is wind the dialectic to its terms. if this view is right. Not the whole. and the movement of the ship from side to side of the direct line is antithesis. it is necessary to travel in order to accomplish the journey. till at last the whole dialectic is 102 . and these This would seem to render may again in larger groups of three. the change in the ship s sailing powers which allows it to go nearer to the wind. then. should not be taken as ultimate units.THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE METHOD. is The opposition merely in the gradually increasing completeness of one idea to another. though necessarily wasted. And this is the element of unity and continuity. but only a certain element in it. as the only object of the dialectic process is to attain to the concrete and complete idea.

ment to Syllogism.148 in this THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE METHOD. Similar differences are to be found at other If the points of the system. in their size and importance would be strange and inexplicable. why Notion must lead us on to Judgment. and the parts as produced by we have an easy and natural explanation of the inequality namely. division. But still such a chain of demonstrations could be formed. should be looked on as primarily a unity. which can be analysed into three members. than the argument which we actually dangerous have in the Logic. It is not necessary to descend to the lowest sub-divisions which Hegel gives. and consequently more and doubtful. in order to observe the dialectic process. Existence. we take the first division find that its first two sub-divisions are Essence as Ground. and Judg . we called. and Negative. more interested or more acute when deal ing with one part of the process than when dealing with another. and also in the Greater Logic. or which perhaps renders all men. Reasons could be given. But its if we regard the whole parts. and Positive Difference. manner On the contrary the whole dialectic built up. If. Likeness and Unlikeness. without going into greater detail. which is named Logic. . why or. of the dialectic as logically prior to analysis. and both of them Measure again. and in Difference. respectively. which supports this theory. The larger divisions. and so on. each of which can again be analysed into three members. lead on to one another by the same necessity as the smaller ones do. that it is due to some circumstance which rendered Hegel. There is also a second characteristic of the dialectic 129. once more. and in many places Hegel gives us part of it. An argument far which confined itself to so few steps would be more obscure. in the Smaller of Essence. we find distinguished Diversity. is The first confirmed by two other characteristics of the of these is the great difference in the is carried lengths to which the sub-division of the categories in different parts of the system. such discrepancies individual categories were ultimate units. and Ground. This theory dialectic. for example. Primary Characteristics of Reflection. also. and In the latter there is no trace of further sub the while former is divided again into Identity. as long as our interest and insight are sufficient to induce us to pursue the division. Quality should involve Quantity.

beyond the point where it occurs. and again from that point onwards. to the conclusion that any of Hegel s transitions arc erroneous and cannot be justified. be an absolute gulf. On the hypothesis that the steps of the dialectic are discrete. one such error would destroy the validity of the whole process. the larger division. even if the rest held fast. would rest on a rough argument from analogy.THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE METHOD. but rather a continuous flow of thought. which can be analysed into divisions and sub-divisions. and we might therefore hope that a fresh transition might be discovered at this point. and capable. we shall be sure that to do this it must be a coherent whole. on closer examination. But such an analogy would not be very strong. an aggregate of separate units. beyond the faulty link. Our only reason for not considering the whole value of the process. forms itself a valid transition from the division before it to the make such a one which follows it. And the fact that the dialectic process can go from one to another of the larger divisions. 149 Now this is incompatible with the view of the dialectic as ultimately discrete. if there was a valid dialectic process up to a certain point. therefore. No such division could then be used as a transition from the one below it to the one above it. might be said that. the theory of the continuity of the dialectic will For if discovery much less serious. without descending into the lowest sub-divisions. will confirm us in sup posing that the dialectic is not a chain of links. of being analysed And therefore. The belief that the dialectic is continuous may have 130. it was riot probable that there would. ignoring their sub-divisions. For then every larger division would be nothing but an aggregate of smaller ones. though into a coherent chain of sub-divisions. as absolutely It destroyed. in a sub-division of which the fault occurs. the dialectic until we have replaced we cannot be satisfied with . instead of the one which we had been compelled to reject. at that one point. as completely as the two ends of a chain would be separated by the breaking of a single all link. On the other hand. it could not be treated Being as a coherent whole until all its separate parts had been demonstrated to be linked together. an important influence on our position if we are led.

we priately be used. can be well exemplified by examining the supreme and allincluding triad. it place in the series. was only to be attained when the work previously done had given us into the real nature of the subject-matter. being more direct. and it is characteristic direct features impossible. it showed more or less resem . because the later method. . on the other hand. to determine its by its place in the order. because the process does cover the ground in which that form can appropriately be used while. to the character given as typical of Being if it approximated did not come till near the end. For the trans ition which we are here considering is both the first and the sufficient insight last of its series. Nature. every form will be more or less inadequate. And we were able to see that this was natural. of which all the others are moments. Since it the dialectic covers the whole range. in which all the types of method are displayed. member with one for have good grounds that will stand criticism. as to the form which the dialectic process is For the likely to assume here. This principle. we supposing that such a change can be effected. because the process covers ground on which it cannot appro If we cast it in the form of the Notion. The gradual change in the method of the dialectic 131.150 the defective shall THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE METHOD. The less method is necessary when we are dealing with the abstract and imperfect categories with which our investiga tions must begin. the more direct method comes with the more adequate categories. But this triad covers the whole that of pure range. therefore. from the barest category of the Logic to the culmination of human thought in Absolute Being Spirit. blance to the type of the Notion. form of transition in any particular triad was determined by its is If we enquire If it was among the earlier categories. shall ignore the fact that it starts at a point too early for a . however. that whichever form may be used will be more or less helpful and significant. and less encumbered with irrelevant material. we find ourselves in a difficulty. and Spirit. will not help us here. This triad given by Hegel as Logic. the natural conclusion would seem to be that one of them is as appropriate to it as another.

and individual that he points out. of course.THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE METHOD. and In Nature. while the is Nature of thought. entirely wanting in the first. is now taken which was taken in the Logic in unreal abstrac as embodied in facts. implies that it has thought in it. It is not so much positive. . completely masters the mass of particulars which for a time had seemed to master it. think it as abstracted from par ticulars. are in undue prominence in the second. ticulars. its since the idea. The second term. and not altogether reconciled to and interpenetrating it. method so direct . is to some extent opposite. is to be found in pure abstraction from all par Logic thought (we cannot. is part of experience. in Spirit. as In the universal. and ignore the data it connects). and more or less rational. since the particulars of sense. At the same time. to which we advance from the first. we try the form of the of Being. 132. In Nature we find thought again. thought incar nate in the particulars of sense. therefore. and synthesis. particular. tion. and when we perceive the correction which to in that the truth of the universe lies in the existence of thought as in short. And if we look at the facts it is we shall find that they confirm this view. and it this requires. and that possible to state the relation of Logic. but we do not see that everything is completely rational. but in the Logic we attend only to the thought. thus far from being the mere contrary and correlative It is thought and something more. In going transition indicates advance. fact. on the other hand. the process contains material for which categories such a method is inadequate. the synthesis. however. thought is rather buried under the mass of data which appear for Nature this contingent and empirical we see the reason is there. in Spirit. an advance. But it is to a much greater extent the completion of the first. negative. the incarnation of the Absolute Idea Here we meet all the characteristics of the Notion-type. Hegel himself states it in the manner characteristic of the Notion. it docs not indicate a pure For the thought is represented as more or less overpowered by the new element which has been added. It is de scribed by Hegel as the idea in a state of alienation from itself. in two different ways. when given thought. forward it has also gone to one is side. and Spirit to one another. Nature. which is the way it . 151 if.

This simple contrary will be the element which. But in the form dialectic. For thought is from immediacy. But however far the process of rationalisation might be carried. defect is The only that the quite stand impartially between thesis and antithesis. yet embodiment is not complete and evident. it is impossible to get rid of a datum which is immediate and therefore unaccounted for. and however fully we might be able to answer the question of why things are as they are and not otherwise. Logic and Nature. THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE METHOD. It is possible to conceive that in it is thought. whether of Nature or Spirit. elements as Spirit. The existence of the two sides. contains the same Spirit. though less perfectly developed. each as de fective as the other. taken apart is a mere abstraction. it would also be possible to state the transition which is used in the Logic for the lower part of the In this case we should proceed from pure thought to its simple contrary. as we have seen. It is not necessary to compare the two lower terms. forms the basis for the synthesis which is given in And as Nature. but only completes the process already begun in the antithesis. though their connection is so far imperfect. to show that it postulated the existence of Spirit. and there is con sequently no need to refer back to the thesis. we shall find this contrary of thought to be the element in experience. but thought itself. For we have already in Nature both the sides required for the synthesis. If nothing existed still the fact of its existence must be in the . in ciliation shall be completed. in the antithesis. as in earlier types of the dialectic. And the synthesis which removes this defect does not. which cannot be reduced to particular not in the sense in which Nature is particular. to be able to proceed to The consideration of Nature alone would be sufficient Spirit. but of abstract particularity. not completely reconciled. and therefore. in itself postulates a synthesis. whose meaning has been incorporated and preserved in the antithesis. and from the two together to a synthesis. which the recon 133. together with thought. in the sense of incompletely developed individuality. only mediation.152 really exists. and that Now of this element we know that it is immediate the long run all other characteristics of experience except these might be reduced to a consequence of thought.

In the same way it could be shown that the merely given. is one of opposition and contra We cannot see. The synthesis of our triad would be the notion of experience or reality. If then essential to experience and irreducible to to display the process from Logic to the Being-type of transition we should. of them negates the other as much as it implies it. we can form some idea of what it is like. though they can be seen to be closely and intimately connected. in experience. and is therefore mediation . culminating in the completely Nature stands in satisfactory conception of Absolute Spirit. Neither of them has the other as a part of itself.THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE METHOD. in the first place. in which we have the given immediate mediated. and therefore of thought. without any action of thought on it. since. but by abstracting the element of mediation in experience. and the relation. as in Logic we abstract the element of immediacy. the former as the more imperfect stage. concrete reality. that mere mediation is unmeaning. and something for which thought This immediacy is the mark of the could not account. relation to Absolute Spirit as do the as less perfectly developed forms of the This triad could be proved as cogently as the other.givenness&quot. it could not act. to we wished This element can never be properly or adequately described. as we can when a transition assumes the Notion-form. This would contain both Nature and Spirit. since any attempt to describe it. this case in the same lower forms of Spirit. And these two . the latter as the more perfect. put as its antithesis the clement of immediacy and &quot. could not exist. site Here we should have thought and immediacy as exactly oppo and counterbalancing elements. or even to assert its existence. that the whole meaning of the one category lies in its transition to the other. Spirit according starting from pure thought as our thesis. They are each essential but present themselves as opposed to one another. diction. involves the use of some category. except in relation to the merely immediate. since all description consists in predicating categories of the subject. But each to the truth. 153 itself long run immediately given. is element which thought. It could be shown. without something to mediate. without the synthesis.



extremes, each of which negates the other, and at the same time demands it, are reconciled in the synthesis of actual experience, whether Nature or Spirit, in which the immediate

mediated, and both extremes in this way gain for the time reality and consistency.


The possibility of this alternative arrangement affords, 134. as I mentioned above, an additional argument in favour of the
and that
view that the change of method is essential to the dialectic, it is due to the progressively increasing insight into

the subject which we gain as we pass to the higher categories

and approximate to the completely adequate result. For, in this instance, when the whole ground from beginning to end
of the dialectic process is covered in a single triad, we find a fact which suggests of itself that either method may be used,


that the two methods are appropriate to the two ends of the which are here, and here only, united by a single step.

Independently of



it is


worth while to con

sider the possibility of the double transition attentively, be cause it may help us to explain the origin of some of the misapprehensions of Hegel s meaning which are by no means


We saw above that the dialectic represented the real 135. nature of thought more closely in the later categories, when it appeared comparatively direct and spontaneous, than in the
was still encumbered with negations would appear probable, therefore, be forehand, that of the two possible methods of treating this particular triad, the one which Hegel has in fact adopted would be the more expressive and significant. On examination we shall find that this is actually the case. For there is no real neither can exist separation between thought and immediacy




and contradictions.



without the other.


in the

method adopted by Hegel,

the element of immediacy comes in first in Nature, and comes in, not as an element opposed to, though necessarily connected
already bound up with it in a This expresses the truth better than a method which unity. starts by considering the two aspects as two self-centred and
with, pure thought, but as



which have to be connected by reasoning themselves. For by this second method, even



when the two terms

are finally reconciled in a synthesis, it so to speak, against their will, since their claims to done,

independence are only overcome by the reductio ad absurdum to which they are brought, when they are seen, as independent, to be at once mutually contradictory and mutually implied In this method the transitory nature of the incomplete categories and the way in which their movement forward depends on their own essential nature, are not suf

each other.


shall find that the subject-matter of the transition

And we

too advanced to bear stating according to the Being-type without showing that that type is not fully appropriate to it.

Logic and Immediacy are indeed as much on a level as Being and Not-Being. There is no trace whatever in the former case, any more than in the latter, of a rudimentary synthesis in the antithesis. But the other characteristic of the lower that the thesis and the antithesis should claim to be type mutually exclusive and independent cannot be fully realised. Being and Nothing, although they may be shown by reasoning
to be mutually implicated, are at

and independent.
opposed, are

any rate primd facie distinct But mediation and immediacy, although nevertheless connected, even primd facie. It is

impossible even to define the two terms without suggesting that each of them is, by itself, unstable, and that their only real existence is as aspects of the concrete whole in which

they are united. The method for the matter it deals with.


thus not sufficiently advanced

It is, however, as I endeavoured to show above, pro 136. bable a priori that neither method would completely suit this And not only the method which we have particular case. but the one which Hegel preferred to it, will just discussed,

be found to some extent inadequate to its task here. Hegel s convenient of the two is, no doubt, the more correct and



use alone, without


knowledge that


does not

in this case exclude the concurrent use of the other as equally legitimate, may lead to grave miscomprehensions of the system.

For the use of that method which Hegel does not adopt
the one in which the terms are Logic, Immediacy, and Nature and Spirit taken together has at any rate this advantage, that



brings out the fact that Immediacy is as important and ultimate a factor in reality as Logic is, and one which cannot be reduced to Logic. The two terms are exactly on a level.

We begin with the Logic and go from that to Immediacy, because it is to the completed idea of the Logic that we come if we start from the idea of pure Being, and we naturally start from the idea of pure Being, because it alone, of all our

the one

whose denial




at once


clearly, self-contradiction.

to Logic is And as the

But the transition from Immediacy the same as that from Logic to Immediacy. exactly
two terms are correlative in

this way,



be comparatively easy to

them derived

see, by observing them, that neither validity from the other, but both from

the synthesis. This 137.
other form.

not so clear

The element

when the argument takes the Immediacy here never appears

as a separate

and independent term at all. It appears in Nature for the first time, and here it is already in combination with thought. And Nature and Logic are not correlative

terms, from either of which

we can proceed

to the other.


from thought by itself, transition runs from Logic to Nature to thought in union with immediacy. It is not unnatural,
that immediacy is dependent on pure thought, and can be deduced from it, while the reverse process is not possible. The pure reason is supposed to make for itself
therefore, to suppose









logical bias



Hegelian philosophy," says Professor Seth, "tends... to reduce things to mere types or concretions of abstract for It might, I think, be shown that other considerations mulae 1

In the first place, conclusively prove this view to be incorrect. the Logic there are continual references which throughout

show that pure thought requires some material, other than itself, in which to work. And, secondly, the spring of all movement in the dialectic comes from the synthesis towards which the process is working, and not from the thesis from which the start is made. Consequently, progress from Logic to Nature could, in any case, prove, not that the additional
element in nature was derived from thought, but that


Heyelianisni and Personality p. 12G.



co-existed with thought in the synthesis which is their goal. But although the mistake might have been avoided, even

under the actual circumstances,




the possibility of the alternative

could scarcely have been method of deduction

had been recognised. Immediacy would, in that case, have been treated as a separate element in the process, and as one which was correlative with pure thought, so that it could scarcely have been supposed to have been dependent on it. The more developed method, again, tends rather to 138. obscure the full meaning and importance of the synthesis,
method, part of the work of the This is of great synthesis already done in the second term. importance, because we have seen that it is in their synthesis alone that the terms gain full reality and validity, which they
realise that, in this


In the earlier did not possess when considered in abstraction. method we see clearly that pure thought is one of these ab It is, therefore, stractions, as mere immediacy is the other.
clear that each of these terms, taken


itself, is

a mere aspect,

possibly, out of its own nature, produce the other aspect, and the reality from which they both come. From this standpoint it would be impossible to suppose that

and could not

out of pure thought were produced Nature and Spirit. Now, in the type characteristic of the Notion, the same

element appears both in thesis and antithesis, although in the latter it is in combination with a fresh element. There is,

For therefore, a possibility of misunderstanding the process. an element which was both in thesis and antithesis might appear not to be merely a one-sided abstraction, but to have the concreteness which is to be found in the synthesis, since
it appears in both the extremes into which the synthesis may be separated. When, for example, we have Logic, Nature, and Spirit, we might be tempted to argue that pure thought could not be only one side of the truth, since it was found in each of the lower terms by itself in Logic / /nd combined

with immediacy in Nature

and hence to attribute




greater self-sufficiency and importance than

This mistake will disappear when we only reason that pure thought appears again in the second term of the triad is that the synthesis, in transitions of this type, has

really possesses. realise that the



It is only in the synthesis already begun in the second term. that thought appears in union with its opposite, and, apart from the synthesis, it is as incomplete and unsubstantial as

immediacy is. But the change

in the type of the process is not sufficiently

a tendency on the part of observers to take the type presented by the earliest categories And as, in as that which prevails all through the dialectic.
in Hegel,

and there


both in the

the earlier type, one of the extremes could not have been found first and second terms of a triad, it is supposed that pure thought cannot be such an extreme, cannot stand in

the same relation to Spirit, as Being does to Becoming, and rather to be looked on as the cause of what follows it, than
as an abstraction from

have endeavoured to show that the view of the 139. dialectic given in this chapter, while we cannot suppose it to
have been held by Hegel, is nevertheless not unconnected with his system. The germs of it are to be found in his ex
position of the changes of method in the three great divisions of the process, and the observation of the details of the system


But it was not sufficiently emphasised, nor did this. draw from it the consequences, particularly as regards Hegel the subjective element in the dialectic, which I have tried to show are logically involved in it. But there is, nevertheless, justification for our regarding this theory as a development and not a contradiction of the Hegelian system, since it is only by the aid of some such theory

we can regard that system as valid at all. And we have seen that such a modification will not affect either of the great objects which Absolute Idealism claims to have accomplished
the demonstration, namely, that the real is rational and the rational is real, and the classification, according to their neces sary relations and intrinsic value, of the various categories

which we use in ordinary and



CHAPTER V. not primarily a temporal succession. . of course. but there seems no doubt that we must reject the development of the process in time. as gradually growing^ up in time by the evolution of one category after another?/ Or are we to regard the Absolute Idea as existing eternally in its full completeness. to regard the complex and concrete Absolute Idea. TIME. and the succession of events in time as something which has no part as such in any ultimate system of the universe ? The succession of categories in Hegel s Logic is. another because the admission of the We first pass from one to as valid requires time there are various reasons logically the admission of the second as valid^/At the same for accepting the view that one One of the facts of the category succeeds another in time. THE RELATION OF THE DIALECTIC TO 140. either interpretation of Hegel s meaning. universe which requires explanation is the existence of time. ONE of the most interesting and important questions s which can arise in connexion with Hegel philosophy is the question of the relation between the succession of the categories Are we in the dialectic ana the succession of events in time. in which alone true reality is to be found. Nevertheless. it seems to me that such a view is incomThere are doubtless difficulties in patible with the system. and it seems at first sight a simple and satisfactory explanation to account for Pure Being the past to by the gradual development of the Notion from Absolute Idea. And Hegel certainly explains some extent by bringing the successive events under it to the successive categories.

Hegel s language seems to be decisively process. that the process in time by which the dialectic develops itself must be regarded as finite and not as infinite. will be completely rational.solicit and The real partial. &quot. up till then &quot. then the process will end in perfection. will have become complete and explicit. on the side of the interpretation that the Absolute Idea exists eternally in its full perfection. Nor. could it the universe.~&quot. the theory that time difficulties as to is an ultimate reality would lead toinsoluble the commencement of the process. From this point it only the force of the dialectic. An unending is it form part of an ultimate rational explanation of regress. Neither in experience nor in a priori criticism can we find any reason to believe that infinite time really exists. The spiritual character of the universe. if it did exist. develops by Gradually each of the higher categories becomes real. Hegel. whether it is true or not.0n this we must remark. is certainly not a solution which meets the demands of reason. and the movement from the lower to the higher is reconstruction and not construction. - regard as fully rational a universe in which a process in time is The theory before us maintains that fundamentally real ? minimum of reality. or is anything more than an illegitimate inference from the infinite extensibility of time. It follows that a theory which makes the appearance of the lower category the presupposition of the appearance of the higher 011^. TIME. All the facts around us are to be attributed to the gradually developing idea. and reality has become an incarnation of the Absolute Idea. and when the development is complete.160 In the THE RELATION OF THE DIALECTIC TO first place. maintains that the universe is fully rational. of 141. For infinite time would be the part . cannot fully represent the ultimate reality of the And. Secondly. finally. corresponding the category of Pure Being. Can we course. and this gradual evolution the universe starts with a to of logical completeness makes the process which constitutes the life of the universe. and the rational will be completely real. in the first place. Let us consider the first of these points. the Absolute Idea must be held to be the presupposition and the logical prius of the lower categories. More impossible that it should be accepted as especially of an Hegelian theory.

On the other hand. as Hegel principle says. before which it did not exist. it had a beginning. it on nothing. either the time taken by each of them no process at be finite. As the number all of steps is finite. &quot. to deny that the first term of such a for its effect determining cause is impossible. is infinite. for if the cause had not a definite place in the time series it could not account first having one. independently of this. 11 . consider. Time. like all the others. 1 . outside itself It has no unity or 1 Enc. will regard it as doing so in a limited time. 161 false infinite of endless as aggregation. and we have thus lost our finite series with a definite beginning. What deter mined the change which brought it into existence ? Whatever determined it must be itself an event in time. and this coming into existence it of the deprives of of possibility is still being self-subsistent. But an event in time could never hold such For an event in time has always before it a time when was not. and em barked on an infinite series. If the dialectic has any truth.THE RELATION OF THE DIALECTIC TO strongest possible example of the &quot. be of any assistance to us in our present purpose. of explanation. which cannot. nor any steps after the Absolute Idea. For the dialectic is most emphatically a process with a beginning and an end. as we have seen. then. that any theory which imagines the dialectic to develop itself in time at all. M. is an event in time. and any series which embodies it must have a beginning and an end also. which will also be an event. H. which Hegel invariably condemns a mere mockery it is clear that an infinite series And. while it depends itself series requires a a place. that is. TIME. there can be no steps before Pure Being. It is perhaps not impossible that our minds should form the conception of something on which other things depend. Section 257. How then shall we be able to explain the first event of the complete series ? The event. in time would not be an embodiment of the dialectic. But in this case it will itself need a determining cause. would be or the time taken by the whole series must in that case there and We may 142. What follows from this hypothesis ? The first difficulty which arises is that every event in i/ time requires a previous event as its cause.

of any reality. again.162 THE RELATION OF THE DIALECTIC TO TIME. implies the existence of The category fact of deduced from the that the Pure Being can thus be universe exists. Our To fix finite can only be limited by something external to series in time can only have the definite it beginning which it. to account for the not admit. and let us suppose that each of these manifestations of the Idea has been to be the logical_ consequence of the existence of the previous manifestation. independently of this. requires by means of further time beyond upon any point in time is to imply the existence of time both sides of it. And thus no event in time could be accepted as an ultimate beginning. one stage in the dialectic process implies the existence of all. we Absolute Idea develops in Let us suppose that all time lands us in a hopeless the difficulty. we have taken as our existence ultimate fact the realisation of the first category at a particular time. the categories are so inseparably connected that the existence of and the existence the categories. it. if aj&nite series were to be accepted as an ultimate explanation. would be required for the deduction of the universe from the idea of Pure Being. the first of the be that. any outside cause. And for this fact itself an external explanation is required. at the beginning the category of Pure categories will Being manifested itself in reality. quite empty and indifferent to its reason could be given why the process possible should not have begun a hundred years later than it did. as it does But here. If we apply this to the particular shall find that the theory that the problem before us. On the other hand. No such explanation. Then the final and ultimate fact upon shown which our explanation of will depend time. would be impracti- . and. content. cular time is happened in by connecting it with some other event which This would lead here to an a particular time. and the fact that the universe exists dpes not require. phenomena of the universe have been accounted for as the manifestations of the gradually developing Idea. of the universe in time. If the system is correct. indeed. some such event would have to be accepted as the iiltimate beginning. It coherence. infinite regress. so is Time in itself No that we should be at the present moment in the reign of The only way of fixing an event to a parti George III.

cable. reconciliation in a series of successive events. and that which does not. be the cause of everything else take place in time. be no event outside it to which it can be referred in order that it For. it cannot change. difficulty. But liow can a thing which does not change produce an effect in time ? That the effect . here. 112 . But. at And yet the question why it another time is one which we cannot refrain from asking. happen in time must be an ultimate distinction and how are we to make. can be accounted for itself. its root in first Various It has attempts have been made to evade this been suggested that the temporal process has If a ^timeless state^ event. a transition from the one to the other ? So for as a thing is timeless. is as much part of the ultimate explanation of the universe as the dialectic itself By making time ultimate we certainly get rid of the necessity for explaining it. except of the fact that they did But how are we to account for that ? No and no mediation is possible with which we are here dealing. time might be regarded as nothing but a form assumed by eternity. or explained away. on the other hand. But how could a timeless reality be the cause of a succession in time? It could. we ask what determined the If we ask what caused the latter. we are answered that it had no begin ning. 1G3 by the hypothesis. happened now and not infinitely extensible. and consequently required no cause. therefore. since time must be regarded as 143. according to this theory. no doubt. and did so by making the central principle of the universe to be the realisation of the dialectic in time. upon the hypothesis According to some views of But such a view is are here considering impossible had to explain the fact of a succession in the universe. to account for the entire universe. If time is an ultimate fact. we are referred to the timeless state. we lose the possibility of treating time as a distinction which can be bridged over. if this is so. for with change time comes necessarily. the dialectic development was and there can. The theory which we The realisation in time. the question. when we wish to make a connection between time and the timeless. or time and the timeless might be regarded as forms of a higher reality. then the distinction between that which does.THE RELATION OF THE DIALECTIC TO TIME.

164 THE RELATION OF THE DIALECTIC TO TIME. which we now regard would have become actual by the And again there is no reason why the series of actual time should not have been placed later in it Actual time actually was. but which production of change in it ? and not in the previous time. we must do so. and there can be no question why it should come at one moment rather than another. We cannot conceive time as coming to an end. And with this indefinite stretch of possible time the question again arises what determined the timeless to first produce change at the essential nature of point it did. begins whenever change begins. we are left to choose between two alternatives. Actual time. was produced in time implies that it had a beginning. if no such . The changeless would be the timeless. the timeless reality fails to explain the succession in time. is obviously unsatisfactory. Therefore the beginning of the change must come at the beginning of time. there is something in the effect namely. the (gr) timeless reality is only a partial cause. if the dialectic the ultimate truth of all change. In either case. and so cannot be regarded as a fixed point. the point in time at is to begin is determined by the nature of the case. and we are no better off than we were before. while no beginning can be assigned to the Either cause. we can imagine a fresh part that. and a cause which can remain the same while the effect varies. /felt possible time stretches back indefinitely beyond this. by which the beginning of change can be deter the series of possible time than mined. is process which it may be objected to this that. the quality of coming about as a change which is altogether uncaused. It is part of the time that. 144. It For time only exists when change exists. A certain amount of the dialectic process has now been realised in time. It would be equally available as an explanation if the process had begun at any point besides the one at which it actually did begin. And if the effect begins. beyond any given part of it. only began with actual change. indeed. no doubt. as possible only. This. however. and is determined to act by something which is not timeless. Can we give any reason why the amount should not have been greater or less ? Yet. will not remove one difficulty.

The answer which we must make place. based on the impossibility impossible an unreal abstraction. it has been It has said. apart from its contents. Time. as much as the actual time which And. sometimes been attempted to ignore on general grounds all endeavours to show that development throughout a finite period in time cannot be accepted. is of the time insoluble. reason can be given. exactly like each We may call that part of the series which is other member. have been discussing will then take the form series filled why is this with reality rather particular part than any other part ? And since. not occupied by actual change. is 165 left The difficulty lies in the fact that we are compelled by the nature of time to regard the time series as indefinitely extended. the present state of the universe unaccounted for by our system. The question we it is indefinitely larger than any finite time. the first that the argument might as well be reversed. must be either finite or infinite. it is asserted. since the objections to finite time as part of our ultimate explanation do involve the real existence of infinite time. in itself. possible time. but the very name implies that there is no reason why it should not have been occupied by events. And. safely ignore the objections and accept the in principle. of limiting the regress in thought. we may. infinite An But infinite time is regress involves infinite time. it can only be because we are bound to an infinite regress.THE RELATION OF THE DIALECTIC TO TIME. is to this. it would seem that the question 145. really is occupied by them. If the difficulties in the way of infinite time are to be taken as a reason for ignoring all difficulties in the way of finite time. and to regard each member of it as. why should we not make the difficulties in the way of finite time a ground for accepting with equally implicit faith the ? existence of infinite time to exist. Nor can we escape by saying that we do know finite time and that therefore we are entitled to ignore the . as possible time is indefinite. If we accept the objec tions to taking finite time as part of our ultimate explanation. Any argument which involves its real existence is thereby reduced to an absurdity. one moment of time is exactly like another.

dictions. out of which we can cut finite But for a theory which makes the development of the Notion in time part of its ultimate formula. For we have no more experience of finite time. but in the sense of having none before it and none after it. our course should surely be. If we ask whether time. When we find us. And in this case we cannot accept the process in time as part of our ultimate solution. in that its sufficiently. while we must accept the objections to infinite time. in metaphysics. Yet. This is what we ought. which will embrace all the truth of the lower one. to do with the idea of time. is finite or we find hopeless difficulties in the way of either answer. in the sense in which the phrase is used in this argument. if we take time as an ultimate reality. We an inadequate way accept one contradictory proposition and conclude the category in question to be of looking at reality. What we meet in experience is a time series. for the ultimate explanation of the universe. infinite time. in contra any category. objections to it. This is the same principle which is at work if in the dialectic itself. But there is a third alternative. but to reject both. we are told. to speak more precisely. not to accept either. however suited it may be to the finite thought of every-day life. or rather. There may be something wrong in our conception of time. Since either hypothesis as to the extension of time leads us into equal difficulties. while it will avoid the contradictions. we require a time which is not merely limited in the sense of being cut off from other time. and we try to find a higher conception. extending indefinitely both before and after our immediate contact with portions. as a fact. Our only resource is to conclude that time infinite. If it only presents us with a choice between impossibilities. 146. there may be something which renders it unfit. be either finite or infinite.166 THE RELATION OF THE DIALECTIC TO TIME. . we do not reject the other. Time must. and if there are difficulties in the way of we Jiave no right to prefer the one to the other. lands we analyse it application to reality. there seems no other alternative. we must regard it as an inadequate way of looking at the universe. it. it would seem. than we have of infinite time. is not an ultimate reality. Of this we have no more experience than we have of both.

. TIME. as specially to the dialectic. all Such an untenable. 1 It appears. in which the process^ ends. producing that which did not previously exist. This produces a contra diction. This view of Hegel s system becomes inevitable when we consider. on the one hand. be absolutely that the world consists of reconciled contra- _dictions would produce no difficulty. i. it To say is clear. as contradictions. essential to the possibility of a dialectic process that the highest term. and before reconciliation. for it means nothing more than that it consists of things which only appear contradictory 1 Chap. would. 167 We now come to the second objection to the develop ment That which we have just been discussing would equally perplex any other idealistic system which should adopt a time process as an original element. Now existence if we suppose that the dialectic process came into gradually in time. Indeed. nevertheless involve one another. and not constructing from which the abstraction was anything fresh. we must suppose that all the contradictions existed at one time or another independently. Section 6. to pass from each and antithesis to their synthesis. that his conclusion is that all that is real is rationaLcmd. on the other hand. taken cannot then ascribe reality to by itself. We any of these steps. but still only reconstructing. but as an advance from an abstraction to the concrete whole made demonstrating and what was before only implicit and imme rendering explicit diately given. assertion. by discovering that the and antithesis. except in so far as they lose their indepen dence and become moments of the Absolute Idea. . that his method consists in proving that each of the lower steps of the dialectic. should be_ taken as the presupposition of all the lower terms^ The . however. The of the dialectic in time. is not rational. time process is still going on. i. We thesis thesis are compelled. according to Hegel. as the the reality round us at the present day must consist of unreconciled contradictions. and this contradiction can only be removed by finding a term which reconciles and transcends them. while incompatible with one another.e.THE RELATION OF THE DIALECTIC TO 147. new difficulty belongs we have seen to be passage from category to category must not be taken as an jictiuil advance.

and the synthesis is the only way out of it.) TIME. And. only on the supposition that reality always corresponds to the Absolute Idea. we introduce anything not obtained from our original premise. when not thoroughly tion can exist as such But to say that a contradic in utter confusion. it was as true to assert the opposite of that conclusion. Either. is. but that. ii. follow from those before it by the nature of the latter. we learn nothing premise. but that their imperfection made For the dialectic process. no necessity to find a way out of it. or it cannot. on the other hand. are enabled to pass on from the thesis and anti We thesis to the synthesis just because a contradiction cannot be true. the conclusion of the whole process can be obtained by analysis of the original The original premise of the whole but the validity of the idea of Pure Being. its imperfection would drive It it on to another stage. the special line of argument which Hegel follows would have lost all its force. nothing process If the whole conclusion can be got out of this. essentially a clear that it would be impossible. Section 32. if. even if we suppose __ real. would be useless to reason. there is advance of the dialectic dictions exist at all. and Hegel s as much as anybody else s. he says. when that premise was admitted. and the If the contra is no longer valid.168 THE RELATION OF THE DIALECTIC TO understood. If. . too. that we can meet another difficulty which is propounded by Trendelenburg. to deduce the conclusion that for some time it could exist independently. But if contradictions are true. when you had demonstrated your conclusion. by consideration of the nature of a logical category. and is not merely approxi mating to it. if contradictory propositions could both be true. is new. we fail in our object which was to prove that the whole system followed. there seems no reason that they should not should not be able to avoid this by continue to do so. again. after that. 148. 1 Chap. and the whole dialectic process is futile. It that two contradictory propositions cannot both be true. It is is transitory. We considered this difficulty above and came to the con*. to take place in time. would plunge us All involves reasoning. We saying that they are them it not a mere succession in time^ but Each step has to be proved to logical process.

idea prevails that the Dialectic ment with conceptions in vacuo. is the moving cause of that unrest which sets up the dialectical process.unites with it into a . own presuppo to 149.^] And again : both sides of this process. the negation a balanced unity. The passage Method which he with the matter was. of the true nature of dialectic. But this is a mere caricature. But this starts afresh with the whole just reached. as follows. So the process goes on till the mind. Part s i. Hegel in. Sections 20 aud 21. The truq reality felt within the mind. or by fetching matter from the impalpable void. and here.t &quot. and it comes from confusion between that which the mind has got before it and that which it has within itself. elusion that the answer 169 s state was contained in it Mr Bradley in ment dea]. operates on the datum. rejects the [ claim of a one-sided datum. having become it in its own is itself. appear. and supplements it by that other and opposite side which really is implied so begetting by is The whole. and this solitary monad then proceeds to multiply by gemmation from or by fission of its private substance. An We is a sort of experi are supposed to have nothing but one single isolated abstract idea. process also is seen to be the one-sided expression of a higher synthesis and it gives birth to an opposite which co. but the whole mind itself. a whole which in its turn is degraded into a fragment of truth. therein implicit. And 1 finally . n. second whole. will be remembered. which does not and produces the opposition between the real. engages in the process. finds a product which answers its unconscious idea . be Logic Book .&quot. rests in the activity which entirety a datum to self-conscious in its object If V^ we hold. Before the mind there is a single conception. according to this view. in that the character in which the mind possesses fragmentary ityand result. since the process cannot possibly produce its sition. that the dialectic process depends on the relation between the concrete whole^and the part of it which has so far become explicit.THE RELATION OF THE DIALECTIC TO TIME. which This path once entered on. it is clear that we cannot regard the concrete whole as produced out of the in complete and lower category by means of the dialectic process. own language appears Chap.

Even in this part of his work. But the names of the categories must be taken as those of the facts in which the idea in question shows itself most clearly. progress. may claim to share whatever reality is to be allowed to time and change. incompatible with the theory that the dialectic is gradually evolved in time. to also timeless and Imperfection and such as Hegel appears at times to suggest. in the Philosophy of Religion/tjae Philosophy of History .But the very fact that Hegel has gone too far in his application of the idea that reality is timeless. the fundamental nature of the connection of time with the universe. the eternity of the dialectic process. since reason is already and always This conclusion cannot be fairly drawn from the sole reality. too. It is true that. and. any expressions in the Logic which taken as suggesting the development of the It is true that two successive categories dialectic in time. key to all reality. or whether they have a timeless and eternally complete existence. can be really adequate judgments of a timeless and perfect universe. )ie explains various successions of events in time as But this proves nothing as to manifestations of the dialectic. Neither future and past. then. There are can be are fairly and Cognition. and Life named life that existed . I believe. and all efforts to it. several places he seems on the point of saying that all dissatis faction with the existing state of the universe. but in the sense in which there is a future it may be an improvement on the past. the appear as manifesting themselves as a no bearing on the question whether they first came into being in time. and that science informs us in this world before cognition. against attempting make the future an improvement on the past. because it is logically unjustifiable. are futile and vain. . makes it more clear that he did hold that idea. nor better and worse. the same arguments lead us to consider changeless. therefore. For if we are entitled to reform hold the universe it perfect. The dialectic is the whenever we do view different categories will But this has process in time.170 clearly THE RELATION OF THE DIALECTIC TO TIME. not./find the History of Philosophy. reality under the aspect of time. and no conclusion can be drawn. Hegel s adherence to the before us eternal nature of the dialectic becomes evident in a manner all In the more significant..

&quot. Judgments. : All that is real is rational. vollbringt sich ewig in der Welt und das Kesultat ist. lecture note. which is only an application of the Logic. that contingency has rights within a sphere of its own.Die Vollfuhrung A des unendlichen Zwecks als ist so nur die Tauschung aufzuheben. moreover. For he considers it merely as a stage in the Philosophy of Nature. is incompatible with such a theory as this. Hegel s treatment of time. But the treatment of time as merely one of the phenomena which result from the realisation of the Logic. time would be an element in the universe correlative with those categories. Such a dis tinction would be so natural and obvious. Cognition. dass es schon an und fiir sich vollbracht ist und nicht erst auf ob er noch nicht vollfuhrfc uns zu warten braucht 1 . But he this never meet the attacks made on his principle by drawing a distinction between the irrational reality of the present)and the rational reality of the future. and of equal importance with them.&quot. but something deeper behind them. and would. Das Gute. Both would be primary elements in a concrete whole. Neither could be looked on as an application of. confirms this view. though apparently not always. 1 Enc. or deduction from. Another important piece of evidence is his treatment of his objections own maxim &quot. To the to this he replies by saying that reality do^s not mean the Besides surface of things. where reason cannot demand that everything should be explained. and we may fairly conclude that time had not for Hegel this ultimate importance. &quot. das absolute sey. for those who could consistently make use of it. and Syllogisms existed before itself at all. . Gute. so completely remove tries to the charge of a false optimism about the present. the other.THE RELATION OF THE DIALECTIC TO TIME. that we can scarcely doubt that Hegel s neglect of it was due to the fact that he saw it to be incompatible with his principles. 171 not as indicating the only form in which the idea can show Otherwise we should be led to the impossible result that Notions. he admits occasionally. Now if the realisation of the categories of the Logic only took place in time. strong assertion of the eternal nature of the process is to be found in the Doctrine of the Notion. Section 212.

Even those students of philosophy who believe on general grounds that the Absolute Idea must be manifested in everything are as unable as the rest of us to see how it is manifested in a table or a thunder-storm. and &quot. this seems to be incompatible with the ad absurdum. the case.&quot. The dialectic process is one from incomplete to complete rationality. too. as it ? perfection destroy defined by Hegel 1 is one of self-conscious rationality the if But be so in reality . indeed. We have thus arrived at the conclusion that the for dialectic is not Hegel a process in time. at this point. we by any in reality. that if we are perfectly rational in a perfectly rational universe.172 150. For if facts. which are an essential element and a universe which contains an ultimately contingent element cannot be held to be completely rational. there must always be a complete harmony between our desires and our environment. only imperfectly rational. Idea to which the Idea If itself is &quot. to eliminate completely the at present. but that the Absolute Idea must be looked on as eternally realised. / It would seem.Gegenstand&quot. however. And this is not invariably the universe appears to us not to be perfect. Section 236. except the Absolute Idea. . at any rate by much lower contingency of the data of sense. THE RELATION OF THE DIALECTIC TO TIME. this ideal can scarcely be said to have And. explain them completely. more generally. categories. as if we were brought. any part of anywhere been fulfilled. it is certain that the universe is not completely rational (for us. from having got rid of our difficulties. the Absolute Idea. Objekt. in the first place. But if we Enc. at present. in reality. Nor are therefore. we must be is we are right. eternally fulfilled. are If it is We not able to see everything round us as a manifestation of the Absolute Idea. can only explain rJ We these things and we cannot. Now. If if the universe appears to us to be either right or wrong. reality sees anything. It looks. to a xeductio the other theory was incom patible with Hegel. can it ? Does not the very failure to perceive the In the first place. then the universe must be completely rational. means able. the world 1 not perfectly rational. We are very far.

152. be We rejected the hypothesis of the development of the Absolute Idea in time upon two grounds^ The first was that we had to choose between a false infinite and an uncaused beginning. while our present view appears untenable because. Hegel s answer has been indicated in the passage above The infinite end is really accomplished eterquoted 1 . which could not therefore bp supposed to be reached for the first time by the process. How. development from the system. Every such system must declare that the world out. These. it is incompati The result with regard to the first is that we come to the conclusion that the development in time cannot be part of Hegel s philosophy. are we to explain the irrationality and unrighteousness which are notoriously part of our every-day life ? We must now consider the various attempts which have been made to answer this question. Section 212. If this is correct. arise in any system of complete idealism.THE RELATION OF THE DIALECTIC TO are wrong. 173 is difficult to see how we can be perfectly Thus it would seem are part of the world. The result of the second would though a logical ble with the facts. then rational. at first sight seem to be that Hegel s philosophy must abandoned. if all reality is rational and righteous. upon Hegel s principles. we seem to be confronted with a difficulty as hopeless as those which encountered us when we supposed the dialectic to develop itself in time. lecture note. it TIME. since it leads to such untenable conclusions. in one way or another. prove its own truth. presupposed the existence of its goal. from it. in some form or another. were due to our hypothesis being found incompatible with the system. And we 151. and which believed itself to have accomplished its aim^^Our second objection was due to the fact that the development of the dialectic at all.XBut our difficulty now is not at all It is one which must arise incompatible with the system. Each of these hypotheses left something unex plained and contingent. 1 Enc. and was consequently incompatible with a system which demanded above all things that the universe should be completely rationalised. . we saw. and which must. that the very opinion that the world is imperfect must. is and every such system fundamentally rational and righteous through will be met by the same difficulty.

Till it is real it can do nothing. is used as a symbol. in every-day life. if. and of the delusion. They eternally perfect. Every thing which. real. for the course of thought which brings out an erroneous conclusion as for the course of thought which brings out a correct one. or the being who thinks it. would seem then that there is nothing to prevent . The false can be. It is as possible to account. therefore. And the only real progress is the removal The universe is eternally the same. and every thinking being. why can it not be rational ? Indeed we often. possibly objected that our argument is That a thought is a delusion need not imply that in it. for satisfaction to reason. Now the conclusion from the Hegelian dialectic real was that compelled whatever was was rational. however. trace one after another in succession the different categories of the Logic. it may be said. do find the false to be more or less rational. and. as a symbol. And if the false can be real. These two pairs of predicates have no false is intrinsic connection. some other fact. scarcely be accepted. must be. indeed. is com can be explained in a way which gives entire pletely rational rest in the least interfered with But. as a matter of fact. which in reality have no time order. ana secondly as representing. for the reasons given above. How can we account for the delusion that the world is partially irrational. psychologically. This solution can. like a thought. . can be viewed two aspects firstly as a fact. this is not the fact that many real thoughts by are defective symbols of the other reality which they profess to represent. A judgment just as really a fact as a true one. can we regard such a delusion as compatible with our own complete rationality ? To this it may be based on a confusion. We are.174 THE RELATION OF THE DIALECTIC TO TIME. but continually coexist as elements of the Absolute Idea which transcends and unites them. and a thought cannot misrepresent reality unless it is itself real. It is only a delusion on our part which makes us nally. The movement is only in our minds. In the first aspect we say that it is real or unreal in the second that it is true or false. suppose otherwise. We can explain our failures to arrive at the truth as well as our It successes. to assert that every thought. in particular. and in science. it is completely rational ? How. is irrational.

case. The idea is to be &quot. Whether ception this is of the the case or not. and that he does not know it. there must be a desire know the truth. to itself. If this is the the rationality of Spirit. And if this s desire is unsuccessful. be And as we are And yet its perfect.THE RELATION OF THE DIALECTIC TO TIME. If a man makes a mistake. and will lusion therefore destroy the rationality itself. But it must be remembered that the rationality which Hegel requires of the universe is much more than complete determination under the category ofycause and effect) a category which the dialectic maintains to be quite in He requires. was the denial of the ultimate reality of time which caused . to which the voluntarily kept attentive. completely rational. as we find it in the Absolute Idea. be rejected. we are not perfect our selves. For a delusion involves a thwarted purpose. sufficient. that too cannot perfection appears to be a necessary L consequence of Hegel s position. 154.Objekt&quot. the universe could not be. among And if other things. depends upon The de nality expressed in other manifestations of Spirit. 175 ourselves and our thoughts being part of a completely rational universe. as an existent its being a faithful symbol of the ratio object. unless transcended by a higher one. Gegenstand and &quot. it is difficult to see how delusions a rational can exist in world. Hegel attempt to make the imperfection which is evident round us compatible with the perfection of the universe must. with regard to simple per facts before us. Can we find any other solution which would be more successful It ? One such solution suggests itself. in Hegel This becomes more evident if we sense. although our thoughts are in some respects incorrect symbols. &quot. then. it follows that by which Hegel explains all imperfection will of course prevent its being a faithful symbol of that rationality. In so far as we do not see the perfection of the universe. look at Hegel s definition of complete rationality. s part of the universe. it cannot be denied that is wherever there mind to is a long chain of argument. _ this is brought in. the validity of the idea of final cause. The essence of it is that reality is only completely rational in so far as it is conscious of its own rationality. it means that he wishes to know the truth. 153.

past real in itself. which idealism claims the universe. is. And in so far as events in time are taken to be. Even such a series could ever be complete. must The complete rationality is reality appear imperfect. if existence in time. Now. since it forced us to assert that the for perfect rationality. And thus not only each event. according to the dialectic. difficulty. be isolated of independence. as such. it could not fully represent the reality. real. . taken separately from the whole. we could only it see it sub specie aeternitatis. but the whole universe taken would appear imperfect. if we look at the universe as in time. then any one of its parts. and claim some amount it Thus the apparent imperfection of the universe would be due to the fact that we are regarding sub specie temporis an aspect which we have seen reason to conclude that Hegel himself did not regard as adequate to If reality. it will appear it to be a succession of separate events.176 our THE RELATION OF THE DIALECTIC TO TIME. whole which transcends all these elements. by itself. viewed in their ultimate reality. and not merely a moment in a real whole. taken ness. abstraction from must be it. by their as a series of separate events. from one another. since the parts would still. it follow that reality does not appear rational. we should see in its real perfection. the rest being either Each of these events will be represented as or future. An attempt to take reality moment by moment. but must be timelessly and eternally Can the denial of the reality of time be made to present. If an organic whole is perfect. must make be of false. by the very fact that it is an some extent false and contradictory. For in such a must whole all the parts presuppose one another. cannot be postponed to the future. and only in the any one of them. cure the wound. and any one. it it has to itself made ? Would it not be might be said. and that any abstraction. element by element. traces of its isolation and incomplete the connection of the different parts of the universe. which possible. cannot possibly be perfect. so that only part is existing at any given instant. considered as more or less independent. must bear the Now even closer than the connection of the parts of an organism. escape from our dilemma as follows ^K^The dialectic itself is concrete whole which to teaches us that it is only the completely rational.

156.THE RELATION OF THE DIALECTIC TO TIME. The part which. as we have seen. implies that some indi we although as viduals. many usually called optimism. But if we can attain to the point of looking at the whole universe sub specie aeternitatis. for the apparent imperfection. I think. these blemishes would disappear if we could look at the world as a whole. be an element in a perfect harmony. We might be led to the formula 12 . in proportion as the cause we assign is a purely negative one. It is true. way we get a step we do by Hegel s own theory. may _ ^ Such a are told. at any rate. a delusion is Now as requires just as we are unable to conceive this positive cause. the world is imperfect and irrational. taken by itself. however. likely to succeed in this. since it declares that the universe can be really perfect. except as some thing which will prevent the appearance from being a dejusion at all. since it would indeed of all individuals being doomed to and infinite misery. and not Without enquiring whether such a it is view at all tenable. The appearance of imperfection was accounted for by Hegel as a delusion of our own minds. H. It is admitted in such apologies that. from the point of view of individuals. Our task is to find. And. since it will make the universe really imperfect. is at any rate clear that it is incom patible with what permit of eternal M. But. and not as a succession of separated matter as in time . we it shall will see just the same subject- appear perfect. On the theory just propounded. 155. be the negative consideration that we do not now see the whole at once. reality must be imperfect. some cause whose existence will not We shall clearly be more interfere with the real perfection. is can be treated merely as means. imperfect for individuals. the cause of the imperfection is nothing but the fact that we do not see everything at once. because seen as a single concrete whole. is defective. it is asserted. but The only cause of the apparent imperfection will abstractions. and a positive cause. This theory would be free from some of the objections which are fatal to a rather similar apology for the universe which is often found in systems of optimism. much much a positive fact as a true judgment is. theory. that in this 177 nearer to the goal required than which we previously considered. Seen as we see things now. ends in themselves.

For Hegel the ideal in must lie. This he does by taking the finite individual to be. so to speak.178 in THE RELATION OF THE DIALECTIC TO TIME. is as much against the ultimate reality of a succession system of phenomena. None of those considerations which make as an ultimate reality. Preface. by its union with the particular.jown treatment of the problem is. as such. as it is in favour of the ultimate reality To deny any reality in what of individual persons. as such. xiv. and cannot adequately be doubted whether we do not fall into may than we avoid by this low estimate of the conscious individual. and everything in it is a necessary For if the universal harmony can make any evil to evil 1 which Mr &quot. only appearance and not reality. : . Mr Bradley s. compatible with its own purposes. which he attributes to the Absolute. But. such a view could not possibly be accepted as in any way would be in direct oppo consistent with Hegel s individuals sition to its systems/ft whole tendency. some extent. such a solution would be impracticable for anyone who accepted Hegel s version of the Absolute Idea. but in seeing them the embodiment of the universal. the claims of particular moments of time. Some of the objections which apply to such attempts to save the perfection of the Absolute by ignoring the claims of individuals will not hold against our endeavour to escape from our difficulty by ignoring. whose ^ us consider each separate person claims to self-realisation must be satisfied and cannot be transcended. with the dishar to mony which undoubtedly prevails. 1 Appearance and Reality.&quot. as far as I can see. to which the individual is the highest form that the universal can take. p. The world is the Bradley sums up optimism best of all possible worlds. which is to regard the universal as only gaining reality and validity when. there is no limit the amount which it can principle upon which we can It is more to our present purpose to remark that tolerate. it becomes the individual. more difficulties of the Absolute. . not in ignoring the claims of individuals. from which it follows that it must distort the harmony It manifest it. as such. at any rate. in experience. lead us to attribute the same importance to Indeed the whole drift of Hegel s separate periods of time. harmony He has to reconcile the of a rather similar type.

however. Indeed he says there that things are not finite because they are in time. to save the validity of the Dialectic. and to its goal. 122 . However much we may treat time as mere appearance. The reality. we should 1 Enc. How can this be done ? What reason can be given why the eternal reality should manifest itself in a time process at all ? If we tried to find the reason outside the nature of the eternal reality. ] ^ the cause of the apparent imperfection of the universe. but are in time because they are finite 1 It would be thus impossible. we might. be said that this view held by In the Philosophy of Nature he treats time as Hegel a stage in the development of nature. the Absolute Idea. though it may not be quite so obvious. it may be answered. It cannot. If it were necessary. like all other appearance. But while philosophy if it could not start did not accept its is data. call ourselves But we should not gain much by For it this reconstruc more solved which proved fatal to Hegel s difficulty own attempt to explain the imperfection comes back as surely as before. unreal. But this tion of the system. himself.THE RELATION OF THE DIALECTIC TO TIME. reject Hegel s views even on a subject so important as time. Section 258. it could not proceed then nothing obviously impossible in the supposition that the whole appearance of succession in our experience is. and to destroy our data to destroy the super-structure. did not alter them. Everything else in the Hegelian philosophy may indeed be considered as of subordinate importance to the Dialectic. have reality behind it. 179 now suicidal. have to account. is in this case the timeless Absolute. would be if it except in the form of a time-series. and not as a cause why there is any appearance of successive development at all. and that reality is one timeless whole. presents itself to us as a time-series would indeed be For we have no data given us for our thought. as the houses are co-existent successively from the windows of a train. in which all that appears successive is really co-existent. not merely for the facts which but for the appearance of succession which they do undoubtedly assume. lecture note. There which we see is 157. as such. to make time . it must. without departing from Hegel. leaves the problem no than it was before. and yet Hegelians. The reality will appear to us in time.

that reality must possess.180 THE RELATION OF THE DIALECTIC TO TIME. how could it previously have been perfect ? 158. If. by the hypothesis. again to solve the difficulty. the root of all irrationality. we should be forced into positive ground. but that it was mentioned above. For any self-determination of a cause to produce its effect must be due to some incompleteness in the former without the latter. for the sake of gradually If it getting rid of the imperfection again? gained nothing by the change. by a dialectic necessity. was incomplete. be perfect. as an was actually non-existent. But in this case it does Now it is seem impossible. we For that with the original position from which we started. and how can it spring from anything which is quite free of irrationality? Why should a concrete and perfect whole proceed to make itself imperfect. to make the imperfection impossible to escape from it is element in presentation. we have to ascribe apparent imperfection as not impossible. And this. Yet. according For the process to Hegel s theory. and we should fall back into all the difficulties mentioned in the earlier part of this chapter. under certain circumstances. as an impossibility. so long as we admit a positive be inconsistent ground for the imperfection. and to this real find ourselves to perfection as cause effect. impossible to see how it could produce . Without this we could have no possible basis delusion. in time is. could it be completely rational to undergo it ? But if it had anything to gain by the change. the position that not only was our experience of imperfection a the fact that. be admitting that time had some independent validity. by it is itself. is upon which to rest any conclusion. to produce an effect different from itself. we shall find it to be incompatible with the complete rationality which. All reasoning depends on the fact that every appearance has a reality of which it is the appearance. on the other hand it was perfect. position asserted that the sole reality was absolutely perfect. on the other hand. to imagine a cause as driven on. by itself. it could not. it requires a If we denied this.^XBut if we try to find the reason inside the nature of the eternal reality. We have thus failed However much we may endeavour of the universe merely negative. On this hangs the appearance of imperfection. But if the cause.

But in so far as we accept evil as a manifestation of reality. This produces a dilemma. there is nothing outside it with which it could be out of harmony. For the question has developed into the old difficulty of the origin of evil. our finite experience it have an element in which is But if it is absolutely unreal. An idealism which declares that the universe is in reality perfect. after all. we have to reject the one basis of all knowledge experience. an escape from the difficulties of the existence of evil. need not. which 159. Its perfection makes it in complete harmony with itself. with the transitory. while the good remains. in orthodox fashion. and so contradicting the main result of the dialectic the harmony and perfection of the Absolute. it however much we may pronounce to be unreal. What could determine it to production ? If Thus we oscillate between two extremes. we find it impossible to avoid qualifying the cause by the nature of the effect which it produces. and what our life tells us actually is. of the dialectic was to prove that all reality was And Hegel s arguments led him to the conclusion that the universe as a whole could not be rational. But can this refuge disappears with the reality of time. or it is not. then then all reality is not perfectly rational. For we cannot assure ourselves of such a . find. since it is all reality.THE RELATION OF THE DIALECTIC TO TIME. hope of a heaven in which the evil shall have died away. And. and we know of no other must absolutely irrational. It followed that the universe. and which. would be harmonious also in a practical aspect that is. 181 anything else as an effect. and we are left tells with an awkward difference between what our philosophy us must be. Either the evil round us is real. be surprised at the apparently insoluble problem which confronts us. If it is real. would be in every respect perfect.^&amp. each equally fatal. The aim completely rational. by declaring that the world is as yet only growing towards its ideal perfection. and comfort ourselves. has a disagreeably powerful influence in moulding the events of our Nor can we even hope that this element is present life. if harmonious on the theoretical side. We has always baffled both theologians and philosophers. as most forms of popular idealism do. we endeavour to treat evil^as absolutely unreal.gt. except in so far as each of its parts found its own self-realisation.

The conclusion we have reached is one which it certainly seems difficult enough to reconcile with continued adherence to Hegelianism. since it is unable to explain any single fact of experience without the aid of another factor. we have reduced the latter to such complete unreality not incompatible with the former. besides involving grave difficulties in itself. But if it does not. there can why their future coexistence should ever become If the irrational less real in never become is absolutely unreal now. as it presents itself to us. with our 160. we have found that one. by any empirical arguments from particular data. and we have no right to expect that the imperfection around us is a delusion or a transitory phase. no absolute perfection. . But this cuts both If the irrationality cannot interfere with the rationality be no reason impossible.182 result THE RELATION OF THE DIALECTIC TO TIME. a somewhat singular To put the difficulty from a more practical point of view. it It entirely fails to rationalise reality or to reconcile aspirations. or it does not. Thus our ascription of complete rationality to the universe leads us to a belief that one factor in experience. which it may call unreal. Of the two possible theories as to the relation of time to the dialectic process. The whole thus completely overthrown. but that Such a perfection might almost as well be a Thing-in-itself. no reason why the perfection should and again we have no right to hope practical interest of philo It asserts an abstract is all. is it. But we should have no To escape the difficulties right to use such an argument. The other. so as to render their present coexistence impossible. there is perfection of the Absolute. sophy perfection beyond experience. which might be held to render the imperfection transitory. then there is ever feel intolerant of for its disappearance. is funda mentally and permanently irrational conclusion from such a premise. is quite incon sistent with the spirit of Hegel s system. involved in the present coexistence of rationality and irra tionality. which would be hopelessly inadequate to support such a conclusion. again. that it is ways. The only chance would be an a priori argument founded on the essential rationality of the universe. but which it finds indispensable. it can the future. either the imperfection in experience leaves a stain on the If it does.

there are. must reject a_system which leads us to such a result ? we Before deciding on such a course. 183 its logical while consistent with that system. appearing to be consequence. (I shall use irrational here to signify anything whose nature and operation are not merely devoid of reason. but we shall no longer have any reason to reject one system in favour of another. Now. It is true some blind that. wherever if And be rational resolving.y^Dr it may be the work of some principle to indifferent which rationality and irrationality are equally fate. If the same problem. The harmony involves a synthesis is possible. besides the theory which has brought us the theory that reality is it into this trouble fundamentally rational Reality &quot.) be the product of two independent principles (j2jbr reality may of rationality and irrationality . and unites its two terms by a category in which we recognise the nature of each extreme as a subordinate moment. . thesis of the rational and irrational. may be fundamentally irrational.THE RELATION OF THE DIALECTIC TO TIME. which is harmonised with the other. &quot. it might be wise we can really escape from the difficulty in such a way. without qualification. that synthesis would itself that. reason is the truth were to be found in a syn so. the whole universe into a unity expressible by thought. we may be forced to admit the to see if existence of an incompleteness in our philosophy. would seem. but opposed to it. indeed.Jbhree_^ther possibilities. or mechanical chance/ These possibilities may be taken as exhaustive. as it would. and. when we are considering the different combinations in which two predicates may be asserted or denied of a subject. has landed us in what seems to be a Is it not inevitable that glaring contradiction to the facts. however. so that its influence is ^always in the opposite direction to that exercised by reason. This would leave it scarcely say that it is also correct to say. or one of like nature. a fifth alternative has to be added. that either is asserted or either denied of the subject. We may possible that the two predicates should be combined in a higher unity. on Hegelian principles.^. supreme. proves equally insoluble in any possible system. Thus we should have come that round again to Hegel s position the world is funda mentally rational. But synthesis is itself a process of reasoning.

But as soon as we try to construct such a theory. but some blind force not in itself hostile to reason. As Mr Bradley If the points out : Plurality must contradict independence. to which the have to be absolutely separate and there were any common unity to which independent. THE KELATION OF THE DIALECTIC TO TIME. hostile. will For if manifestations. here it lies in the existence of some rationality. can no more deny that there are signs of rationality in the universe. HegeJ 162. which would be the ultimate explanation of the universe. It might seem as if a dualistic theory would be well adapted to the chequered condition of the actual world. must then refer the universe to two independent and opposed forces. and therefore its comparative our hypothesis would meet with a difficulty precisely analogous to that which conflicts with Hegel s theory. but fundamentally irrational contrary to reason. even if opposition to reason nature. they should be referred. we shall have to suppose that the result of the force is is. In that case the stumbling-block lay in the existence of aome irrationality. not irrationality. We shall gain nothing. The two principles. We Yet it is at least as impossible to conceive how the fundamentally irrational should manifest itself as rationality. then. as it is to conceive the converse process. such a by at least rationality. powers in the universe &quot. In the place ? can there be really two independent Surely there cannot. . Nor will it make any important difference if we make the second force to be. We need not spend much time over the supposition is \ that the world of reason. and the theory. not its essential first as a fact. resolves itself into single principle or indifferent. opposed to reason. of rationality abd irrationality. in order to We account for the thwarted rationality which meets us so often in the universe. difficulties arise. The completely irrational cannot be real. according to the attitude of this towards reason. it would be that unity. for even to say that a thing is real implies its determina tion not only regardless To begin with. whether favourable. one of the others.184 161. by deserting for such a theory as this. And one predicate. hypothesis refutes itself. having become monistic. For. and not its two universe is referred. than we can deny that there are signs of irrationality.

It possesses unity. Every fact in the universe is due to the interaction of the two. at any if rate. there together. but simply indifferent to it. but if 185 they are in relation.&quot. p. they cannot be many. describe anything as irrational. which makes no difference to anything. the relations themselves must belong to a larger reality. on the other hand. And. relation to its opposite. And. if not to define our second principle. than a mere diffused adjective. to take them as falling outside somewhere in a impossible sort of unreal void. To stand in a relation and not to be relative. unless we go on to assume that its action is contrary to that of a rational principle. at any rate to allow us to understand how we could make it available for our purpose. united. For the two forces which we are asked to take as absolutely opposed by the hypothesis which assumed them. If the dualism is between the rational and the irrational as such. Thus a reference to reason would be necessary. If you left abolish in seems no sense and remove all which you can speak of plurality/) But. to support it and yet not to be infected and undermined by it. they cease forthwith to be absolute. it are.THE RELATION OF THE DIALECTIC TO TIME. And we assume has only meaning in that the second principle is not directly opposed to rationality. seem out of the question. as a whole. We cannot. we shall get no further in our task of ex plaining the imperfect rationality which appears in our data. is Hence . For. Chap. Neither can exist by itself anywhere. ) The argument has additional strength in this case. plurality has no meaning. 141. besides. falling simply inside the many beings. again. on the one hand. . relations destroy the For it is impossible to treat relations real s self-dependence. And it is as adjectives. or as 1 Appearance and Reality. they can only be described and defined in relation to one another. further. beings are not in relation. is obvious that the latter. Diversity in the real cannot be the plurality of independent And the oneness of the Absolute must hence be more beings. unless the units are somehow taken relations. . and is a single system 1 . the essence of the related terms carried beyond their proper selves by means of their relations. indissolubly Both forces are regarded as all-pervading. . 13.

we might as well return explicitly to monism. a solution of our difficulty. latter. without ascribing to for it certain predi cates Being. The process so then. but are compelled to regard them as joined in a higher distinct. for it has some determinations common to it example. actual infinite process. If they are not in The equilibrium. The two and indeed vanishes. to Substance.186 THE RELATION OF THE DIALECTIC TO TIME. in is more or less harmony with the But if this so. to indifferent reason. shall And. since we can attach no meaning to an the product of a single rational principle. In this case we nothing by adopting dualism. then one must be gaining on the other. But we could not do and we shall find it as impossible now. principles then can scarcely be taken as absolutely But if they cannot our dualism fails to help us. and so produced the further which are now driving us to look round for a If we could have taken development in time as ultimately real. For the difficulties attendant on conceiving the world as a process were just the reason which compelled us to adopt the theory that the universe was at present perfectly rational. must be finite in length. 163. even if we could keep the two independent. a principle as we refer without attributing to it may be transcended by higher ones. our complete dualism has been surrendered. but they must be there. at least as moments. We were tempted to resort to it because the two elements in experience the rationality and the want were so heterogeneous as to defy reduction to a of rationality And if we cannot keep our two principles single principle. But. we should have found no hindrance in our way when we endeavoured to conceive the universe as difficulties substitute for idealism. and to reason. since that the it is still continuing. unity. by means forces of this theory. Nor can an explanation of the universe These determinations Causality. Limitation. universe is shall gain thus fundamentally a process. and must be. therefore. The working for and against the rationality of the universe must either be in equilibrium or not. it seems doubtful if we should be principles able to reach. we have to suppose two principles came into . Yet anything to which all these predi cates can be ascribed cannot be said to be entirely hostile or indifferent to reason. independent.

and the probability of this producing And the infinitely exact equilibrium would be infinitely small. and we cannot carry our observations so far. other. as before. these principles are. by the hypothesis. we succeed any better on the supposition that the forces which work for and against rationality are exactly balanced ? In the first place we should have to admit that the odds against this occurring were infinity to one. Shall 164. In this way we shall be reduced. nor any relationship between them. For the two forces are. It is a fact which cannot be denied that sometimes that which was good becomes evil. which another. of course. be supplied by empirical observation. if we consider the whole universe. ultimate. more or less perfect. should bring about this result. 187 And since operation at a given moment. For it fails to account for the facts. there can be nothing to determine them to begin to act at that point. We have two principles whose . if the two principles are exactly balanced. in one part of the whole. which should tend to make their forces equal. absolutely independent of one as satisfactory. and not before. on the hypothesis. The equilibrium could only be the result of mere chance. therefore. how could such a change take As we do not know the for entire universe in detail it is impossible us to refute this supposition. than it was before. Every movement in the one direction. and sometimes that which was evil becomes good. Nor can we support the theory by the consideration that it. Of course we cannot place ? that the balance between the two forces does not remain prove the same. But even this supposition will not remove the difficulty. Now. will explain the undoubted co-existence of the rational and irrational in our present world. may be balanced by a corresponding move in the other direction somewhere else. absence of any a priori reason for believing in such an equili brium could not.THE RELATION OF THE DIALECTIC TO TIME. we cannot suppose any common influence acting on both of them. And. For the equilibrium would have to extend over the whole universe. to suppose an event to happen in time without ante cedents and without cause a solution which cannot be accepted rather than any other. It fails to explain the existence of and no change at any rate of that change which leaves anything more or less rational.

the ultimate validity of time and change. for example. And if this is valid. if we might so Up to this point we have express it. and of these two principles only. time cannot be viewed in this way. Yet the facts around which are manifestations of these two principles. that our only choice was between a principle mani supposed festing the complete and perfect rationality. is The the only fact about the world idea of such a principle is can have no conception of its operation. to deny contradiction seems insuperable. rational. such a relations to one another are constant. without bringing it under its nature. we need not have abandoned monism. the product of a principle which regards neither rationality nor is directed to some aim outside them. while those of the Notion remained unjustified ideals ? This would account. the failure of which first led us to doubt If time could be viewed as a manifestation position. however. the contradiction between the unchanging relation of the principles and the constant change of their effects appears hopeless. On the other hand. at once for the fact that the universe was sufficiently in accord with our reason for us to perceive it and attempt to . moderately rational. it might be said. There remains the theory that the world is exclusively 165. for the fact that the world is not a complete and perfect manifes But it is hardly tation either of rationality or irrationality. of its existence. us. to some extent at least. If we are to take time and change as ultimate facts. the is. the categories of Being and Essence were valid. irrationality. of the timeless. or to no Such a theory might account. the rationality would be but slight. difficulty of imperfection been solved. commits us to the series of Hegel s arguments.188 THE RELATION OF THE DIALECTIC TO TIME. some predicates of the reason. of contradictory. but aim at all. manifest them in proportions which How is this change to be accounted for ? constantly change. and a principle entirely hostile or But what if the ultimate principle of indifferent to reason. could then have for the If. or even We principle 166. And the universe was one of which. no doubt. exaggerated to say that this which it would account for. So far indeed. which is embodied in Hegel s Absolute Idea. it might be suggested that the solution of the difficulty would be found in the idea that reality was.

to assert the validity of the lower categories without the higher would be to assert a contradiction. as considerations of space have prevented me from including in this book any discussion of the steps of the dialectic in detail. TIME. as we see it. of such a theory. 167. that several unhesitatingly reject the system as a whole. It would seem then that any other system offers as many obstacles to a satisfactory explanation of our difficulty as were presented by Hegel s theory. and asserted the earlier categories to be valid of reality. at any rate. however. independently of its success or failure in interpreting the facts. given up. is certain. it was hopelessly in conflict with the But when they. is The supporters general theory of the universe on the ground that. by being now merely negative and critical of another system. Is the inquirer then bound . that the possibility of explaining the existence of imperfection by such a theory as we have been considering. It may be remarked who of the commentators. can give us no grounds for rejecting Hegel s system which we did not possess before. admit the cogency of the argument from step to step in the Logic which is all that is wanted here. on this question of imperfection. 189 and also for the fact that we fail to comprehend It would explain the judgment that the world. then the theory of the partial rationality of reality must be For. This. however. in that case. completely. issue of the conflict would be cannot be considered here. And if the deduction of the categories is correct. They might claim to reject Hegel s it or not. and which philosophy. which common sense pronounces.THE RELATION OF THE DIALECTIC TO comprehend it it. and to do this is to destroy all possibility of coherent thought. in passing. unless synthesised the later ones. What the as a whole. could Hegel not be disposed of on the ground that its own system broke down Its arguments against the independent validity of the earlier categories would have to be met directly. categories is For if the deduction of the as defective. they would have to meet in detail s arguments that the earlier categories. while the later ones were delusions. The dialectic. facts. in their turn. plunge us in contradictions. set up a positive system. would have a difficult task before them. whether it accepts bound to explain somehow. might be better and might also be worse. Hegelianism must be rejected un proved.

though difficult enough. word and every action implies some theory of metaphysics. because it appears form in which it can every possible be rejected involves a similar absurdity. For every pursue. is a contradiction at least as serious as any of those into which we were led by our attempt to explain away imperfection in obedience to the demands of Hegel s system. ascertained facts. also. not because it had been proved true. The assumption is made that the proposition is true. is not a mere hypothesis. Now to admit this. when we take up any other system. and yet to reject all ultimate explanations of the universe. as met us when we considered Hegel s theory. to lead to We can no longer reject if an absurdity. however. to take refuge in complete scepticism. since none can avoid inconsistencies or absurdities on this point ? This might perhaps be the proper course to But it is not possible. The conclusion. to know if a certain proposition is true. there can never be any hesitation or doubt about It is desired rejecting the hypothesis with which it started. of arguments. implies our certainty that we doubt. difficulties in our way . but asserts universe is itself to be a correct deduction from other facts as certain as . and our position towards the latter must be to some it. but to see what results would follow. which appears to be in conflict with certain facts. and as grave. At the same time we cannot possibly acquiesce in an unreconciled contradiction. is not a reductio ad absurdum. degree modified. that the timelessly perfect. any other course open to us ? We must remark. We find then as many. Thus there is no conflict The hypothesis was made. or when we attempt to take up no system at all. and it is found that the assumption leads to a contradiction. if it were possible. When an argument ends in such a reduction. Is there 168. which we draw from the absurdity of its con is On the one side sequences.190 THE RELATION OF THE DIALECTIC TO TIME. Every assertion or denial of fact including the denial that anything is certain implies that something is certain and a doubt. This. Hence there is must be nothing to contradict the inference that the hypothesis false. and reject all systems of philosophy. that the position in which the system finds itself. in the first place. on the other not the case here. is only a supposition.

will not entitle us to adopt the one view as may expect beforehand to find an error against the other. to go over them with the greatest care. We may. therefore. The inference that the universe is completely rational. Unless we find a flaw in one or the other of the chains of deduction. when two chains of reasoning appear to lead to directly opposite results. than to deny that the world is imperfect. in the last resort. rather than in the second. and that from being perfect. way be conducted as inevitably to the end of the long chain as of the short one. We . however. 169. world was an immediate certainty. It is also true that the chain of at the conclusion that the world arguments. even if the existence of imperfection in experience was an immediate certainty. 191 Hence there is no reason why one those which oppose it. It might appear at first sight as if the imperfection of the of sense. It is. by the refutation of the various arguments by means of which a reconciliation has been attempted. so long as we do not see any mistake in it. are here immediate. that we may ascertain whether the apparent discrepancy is not due to some mistake of our own. and we shall in this we are bound to continue to accept the conclusion. and the inference that it is not. possibly be right in expecting beforehand to find a flaw in the first chain of reasoning. should yield to the other. For we are compelled to yield our assent to each step in the argument. by which we arrive is perfect. I think. could clearly only be reached mediately. but if in point of fact we do not succeed in finding one. may. all propositions must for their connection with reality. We in an argument. our first duty. yet the conclusion that its existence was incompatible with the All perfection of the universe as a whole. we have no more because the world right to say that Hegel s dialectic is wrong is imperfect. is both longer and less generally accepted than the other chain by which we reach the conclusion that there is imperfection in the world. assume. no doubt. But in reality only the data upon which. because Hegel s dialectic proves that it cannot be so.THE RELATION OF THE DIALECTIC TO TIME. And. this prevents the world This. for the purposes of this that no discovery of error will occur to relieve us from paper. depend judgments require mediation. are both deduced by reasoning from the facts of experience.

. thinking thereby to obtain. but the consequences which will follow from it if it is true. or if rejected both in favour of scepticism. not the truth of the Hegelian dialectic. would imply that we did know where the error lay. at least. of the one which asserts that the universe is completely rational. other. we should thereby assert. And we have now to consider what we must do in the presence of two equally authoritative judgments which contradict one another.&quot. we have no right to make such assertions. from which we cannot us into either an explicit avowal or a tacit escape. either. as has been said. All that we can do is and to recognise that. the fullest measure of truth which he is at present able to grasp 1 Of course we cannot adopt the . we have no The right to reject either side of the contra diction. that there was an error on the one side If we we and not on the on both sides. 170. or both are reconciled.192 THE RELATION OF THE DIALECTIC TO TIME. in the second case that there were errors Now. our knowledge is in a very unsatis to hold to both sides. same mental attitude which we should have a right in to take case our conclusions harmonised with one another. if the case is as it has been stated above. p. 1 left appears to be this our system of knowledge : But that contradiction Defence of Philosophic Doubt. If which we are we cannot will contain reject Hegel an unsolved contradiction. in the first case. accept both contradictories. rejected the one conclusion in favour of the other. till one is refuted. our perplexity. But we do not know where. factory state. And to take any step except this. The thinker must &quot. lose sight of the fact that the We must never two results do not harmonise. And. since we are endeavouring to discuss here. under however un satisfactory a form. and that there must be something wrong some where. For this would mean sball let At the same time we our dissatisfaction with the more than the mere equipoise of the two lines of argument. The only course which it is possible to take appears to me that described by Mr Balfour. 313. have to be very careful not to conflict. carry acceptance of any form of scepticism. for no flaw has been found in position in s dialectic. It would mean the entire rejection. for we have been unable to detect errors on either side.

since Hegelian dialectic contradiction doing anything appears wherever we turn. Such a result is sufficiently unsatisfactory. And so. we should harmonise the two exemplified in one of them. deny that both the are true. For. It and destructive than any would not involve any positive mistake in our previous reasonings. The two false as sides of the opposition would not so much be both They would be taken up into a higher where the truth of both is preserved. as has been said. or the correctness of the inferences. and that imperfection did exist would be har monised and reconciled by a synthesis. Is it possible to find a conclusion not quite so negative ? which all it seems to us at present. tion lies in the sceptical Is there last alternative? any reason to hope that the solu This result would be less other. It sides by a principle already must be noticed also that the contradiction before us satisfies at any rate one of the conditions which are neces sary if a synthesis is to be effected. the dialectic always advances by combining on a higher plane two things which were contradictory on a lower one. in the same way that the contradictions within the dialectic itself are overcome. if. M. we cannot tell. of the other. nor deny that they are contradictory. in some way now inconceivable to us. propositions Yet we know that one must be false. viction that than for a similar We are merely left with the con something is fundamentally wrong in knowledge Where to find the error looks equally trustworthy. 171. both true. two contradictory propositions that the world was fundamen tally perfect. The It would only mean that we had not gone on far enough. 13 . or else that they cannot We cannot. sphere Moreover. The opposition would be contradictory if the one side merely denied the validity of the data. It is a case of contrary and not merely of contradictory opposition. such as would be involved if harmony was restored by the discovery that one of the two conclusions was fallacious. H. the eternal realisation of the Absolute Idea were so synthesised with the existence of imperfection as to be reconciled with it.THE RELATION OF THE DIALECTIC TO TIME. the solution in this case would be exactly what might be expected if the Hegelian dialectic were true. as far as they went. as be contradictory. gives us no 193 more reason for rejecting the else.

If the opposition had been contradictory. And. also coherent and valid. really them than simple The thesis and antithesis in Hegel s logic always stand to one another in a relation of contrary opposition. and the other only denies. but have more in incompatibility. would not then assert a different and incompatible con clusion. For their whole meaning is summed up in their denial of one another. which appear indeed be incompatible. it is not impossible that a higher notion could be found. is always an thesis&quot. leaving nothing but a Instead of having equally strong grounds to believe two different things. . synthesis . which leads to an opposite and incompatible conclusion. which is always there. We should have ended with two the propositions. but reasons for two positions w hich deny one another. that this not the case. 56. We have not reasons for and against a particular position. no doubt. but sets up against it another line of argument. as Trendelenburg points out. Any But it is Here. that this further case of 1 does not seem impossible contrary opposition should be dealt it i. however. own But it is and valid.. in itself. the whole meaning would vanish also. p. that the universe is is eternally rational. with their reconciliation. when we have two to positive conclusions. because neither side denies that the other is. but simply deny the right of the other side to come to its For a contrary opposition. real opposition may conceivably be synthesised. the reciprocal denial vanished. there could have r been no hope of a synthesis. In the higher of stages. there can merely contradictory pro be no possible One only affirms. opposition of contraries. the antithesis is more than a mere opposite the and already contains an element of synthesis. Hence Logische Untersuchungen. and if. we can find nothing which will succeed in reconciling them. one of which was a mere denial of the other one. But the element of opposition. as impossible to get a harmony out of an absolute blank. coherent conclusion at all. between simple affirmation and simple negation. Vol. the other. we should have no grounds to believe either. blank. and by which it should be seen that they were not mutually exclusive. by which each should be recog nised as true. as it is to get anything else.194 THE RELATION OF THE DIALECTIC TO it TIME. 1 And between two positions.

It is possible. are. either 173. Now the Absolute Idea only becomes known to us through a process and consequently as something incomplete and imperfect. also. with 195 seem on Hegel s principle. to see some reasons why such a 172. and to be led on from the lower to the higher. it might be that the argue that there difficulty would vanish. And as the incompatibility of the two propositions. and the existence of change and evil. with the fact that it manifests itself as something incomplete and imperfect. If indeed we were absolutely certain that neither the 132 . absolutely incompatible. before their syntheses are found. as it would be the only chance of rescuing our knowledge from hopeless confusion. so long as we can only think of the timeless reality by means of a process. tations And. Our aim is as the dialectic process rebuilds concrete realities. since it must come We cannot expect to see how all process gradually. or that there the As slightest positive evidence that a reconciliation can exist. should only be an element in a timeless reality. for us as we are. we should be justified in taking it. and that. although there is no positive evidence for it. and why it would be delayed till the last abstraction should be removed. for. We have to grasp its moments successively. of course. sub specie aeternitatis. If we could imagine such a way we should have solved the problem. if possible at all. solution. All I wish to suggest is that it is conceivable that there should be such a synthesis. we have seen above. must be a mistake. nor can we even imagine a way in which they should cease to be so. the eternal realisation of the Absolute Idea.THE RELATION OF THE DIALECTIC TO TIME. I am not. in like manner. they can hardly seem more hopelessly opposed than many pairs of contraries in the dialectic seem. although we cannot at present conceive what it could be like. should not be possible yet. But. trying to is such a is reconciliation of these two extremes. all our knowledge of its manifes must come to us in the form of a process. Incompatible as the two terms at present. there is no evidence against it. we may have at any rate a hope that some solution may lie in this direction. to reconcile the fact that the Absolute Idea exists eternally in its full perfection. or the evidence for one of them.

arguments for the eternal perfection of the Absolute Idea. Till such a synthesis is found. And since the two propositions are. and assert positively the existence of the synthesis. if We may. is. the denial of which would abolish all tests of truth and falsehood. a right to say that no reason appears why it should not exist. Hegel s dialectic is true. con sidered as a process. That all truth is harmonious is &quot. be sure. be beyond doubt. we know that predicates which seem to be contrary can be united and harmonised by a synthesis. except on this hypothesis. then they must somehow be compatible. and that it has not yet been found implies nothing more than that the world. it would seem. and so make all judgment unmeaning. which lead respectively to the eternal reality of the argument Absolute Idea. But we have. it would not be necessary to resort to indirect proof to discover whether assertion that there it existed or not. But we must admit that the actual result is rather 174. that. the postulate of reasoning.&quot. as we have seen throughout this chapter. although we should be as unable as before to comprehend of what nature it could be. positive A was no reason whatever why a thing should not exist could only be obtained by a complete know ledge of it. has not yet worked out its full meaning. and to the existence of change. as I have tried to show. on the hypothesis we are For if both the lines of considering. We could then avail ourselves of Mr what may be and must be. not merely to be at present unrefuted. If the Hegelian dialectic is true (and. it must always appear inconceivable.196 THE RELATION OF THE DIALECTIC TO TIME. And the fact that such a synthesis is not conceivable by us need not make us consider it impossible. and. were erroneous. Can we then say course it is of such a synthesis that it may be ? Of only possible to do so negatively. the only way in which they can possibly be made compatible is by a synthesis which transcends them and so unites them. incompatible as they stand in their immediacy. if we had a complete knowledge of it. certainly Bradley s maxim. we should be able to go beyond this negative position. . nor the arguments for the existence of process and change. but to be true. damaging to the prospects of Hegelianism. That the synthesis must exist would. our difficulty would not have arisen). could be known.

) I have endeavoured (Mind. which inevitably reduced his The result of these considerations. but we shall be bound. on a possibility which we cannot at present fully grasp. but compelled to rely. with a ground for believing that neither time nor imperfection forms an insuperable objection to the dialectic. we shall And if it is valid in any way have no right to believe it. to itself. however. supply us. unless some synthesis which we do not know. with regard to this particular proposition. 14. Under these circum stances it is clear that our confidence in Hegel s system must be considerably less than that which was possessed by its author. C. and the realisation of which would perhaps involve it is the transcending of all discursive thought. Vol. For our only right to accept such an extreme hypothesis other lies in way out of the dilemma. it was criticised by Mr F. even if no error in it has yet been discovered. because it is the only way of harmonising all the facts. as yet unknown to us. At the same time. from an obstacle which would otherwise be certainly lessens the chance that it is true. the greater is the antecedent probability that some flaw has been left undetected. The Metaphysics of the Time Schiller. who had not to realised the this difficulty tentative and incomplete condition position. in an article entitled Process. we shall not only be entitled. S. S. 197 then such a synthesis must be possible. believe that one which shall overcome the more synthesis remains. and whose nature we cannot even relieves it conceive. on the other hand. the impossibility of finding any And the more violent the consequences to which an argument leads us. last and most persistent of the a slightly different contradictions inherent in appearance. is perhaps on the whole more positive than negative. in 175. form. Not only does such a theory lose the strength which comes from the successful solution of all problems presented to it. They can scarcely us to more careful scrutiny of all the details of the dialectic urge than would be required in any case by the complexity of the And.THE RELATION OF THE DIALECTIC TO TIME. they do subjects with which it deals. NOTE. as it seems to me. fatal. If the dialectic is not valid in itself. . After this chapter. IV. the fact that the dialectic cannot be true. No. even in imagination. had appeared in Mind. N.

and yet sistency &quot. and the synthesis discovered. doubt. preceding sections. The inconsistency of which Mr Schiller accuses me comes only from combining the assertions that a change is required. true that I did express a hope of the discovery of a synthesis which has not yet been discovered. sub specie tem poris. however. But. 1 . and can produce something new. to see the certainly. Mr expecting from the Future the discovery of the ultimate It was synthesis on which one s whole metaphysics depends of course. and courteous objections to my view with that care which they merit. the inconsistency which requires a synthesis is Time is also an illusion. from the advance of time as such. in. existed at all. And so is the necessity of discovering a synthesis for two aspects of reality which are really eternally moments in a harmonious whole. and can produce nothing new. That the possible solution 2 is Chap. p. real. . for. But then. the time process exists. Sub specie aeternitatis. the contradiction has to be removed. V more complete manifestation through time reality that of the timeless But it is. as such. But. and that no change is possible. an appearance and an illusion. I the curious incon Schiller complains that I overlook of denying the metaphysical value of Time. for it exists eternally. on put forward. and the second when we look at them from the stand is point of the 1 timeless idea. But then. no I ventured to expect a solution. only the same theory. as if they were made from the same stand-point.198 THE RELATION OF THE DIALECTIC TO TIME. the first only true when we look at things from the stand-point of time. the contradiction never. on the theory which I have inconsistency. but from the not. if there Nor does the is a synthesis. on the theory in question. if there is an ultimate synthesis. Op. Section 96. 37. so that its discovery must be an event in time. contradiction require to be removed. cit. the temporal process is not. on the other hand. sub specie aeternitatis. it does not require to be produced. but I have not succeeded in finding in them any reason for changing the position indicated in the to consider his acute have already discussed one of Mr Schiller s and there are some others on which I will now objections venture to make a few remarks. Sub specie temporis. sub specie aeternitatis. I fail.

that it. were necessarily and among 1 &quot. but to give one which would be consistent with the rest of his system. with the express intention of adhering to it uncritically throughout our treatment of the subject. since he started with an abstraction which did not it is it.THE RELATION OF THE DIALECTIC TO TIME. the things they abstracted from &quot. a little later on. would be completely invalid. . not indeed to give a deduction of time. For Hegel starts with pure Being. 176. our final conclusions must have the same But this is very unlike abstractness as our original premises. f enable you to limits of will in the You must pay the price for a formula that will make assertions that hold good far beyond the your experience. as it seems to me. if we make an abstraction. the dialectic process. include Without altogether adopting Mr Schiller s explana tions of the motives of idealist philosophers him when he says that their conceptions abstract. 199 But I cannot see Mr Schiller further says. p. and ig in noring any inaccuracy as irrelevant for our present purposes.&quot. Once abstracted from. 38. we may agree with &quot. I have fully admitted. and cannot be settled beforehand by the consideration that the abstraction he starts from excludes Such an objection would destroy the whole dialectic. But this is a result which. 1 Op. can only be arrived at by examining in detail the deduction he does give. if I understand him rightly. abstracted from could ever be restored. And part of the price is that you end be unable to give a rational explanation of those very characteristics. And if nothing which was time. be recovered. of course. aspect of Reality the reference to Time could not. I have endeavoured to show in the earlier chapters that there is nothing unjustified in such an advance from abstract to concrete. I have admitted that Hegel has failed. dt.is inconsistent. incomprehensible. no doubt. And. that obviously impossible that Hegel could have accounted for time. with the minimum of meaning that any term can have. precisely because it is the most complete abstraction possible. as we do geometry. Of course. was the time- He then continues.&quot. which consists of nothing else than the performance of this operation. which had been Dismissed at the outset as irrelevant to a rational explanation. then.

if for another. &quot. We make sumption of science. abstract laws and generalisations at all in knowledge is one which is justified by in whole or in part. better. He may have been wrong. by for inadequate. and not a preconceived purpose.Hor does it seem quite correct to say that losophy was irrespective &quot. scarcely J)e_jdisposed &quot. was not to give any particular account of the universe. but his decision was the result of argument. Why should ? universal formulas to we want to The answer calculate the facts to this another should promise by such question brings us the fundamental as the roots of the matter. Mr Schiller suggests that the whole device of using 177. be forced to consider it it more concrete notions which remedy its incompleteness. I its success. not because we are con vinced of its theoretic validity. &quot.200 THE RELATION OF THE DIALECTIC TO TIME. and he declared time and change to be only appearances. complete abstraction we can seeing how far we can. Right or wrong. . p. because he found it impossible to give a consistent account of the universe if he treated time and change as ultimate realities. been the source of half the superstitions compete to time in But no method of divination ever invented could ingenuity and gorgeous simplicity with the as sumption of universal laws which hold good without reference and so in the long run it alone could meet the want . Hence attempts to fore cast the future have of mankind. but because we are constrained i. as appears to be the constructed to give implies a purpose. this can of as obviously impossible. by its practical convenience. We want to be able to make pre dictions about the future behaviour of things for the purpose of shaping our own conduct accordingly. Hegel s purpose case. and so to substitute criticism of the express purpose of it.constructed to Hegel s phi an account of the world give 1 / if. &quot. Here we begin with the most find. that there are universal and eternal laws. dt. 38. to give one which should be self-consistent. that the individuality of things together with their spatial and temporal context may be neglected. In other words that assumption 1 is a methodological device Op. or practical necessity in question. but of Time and Change &quot. for the position of the dialectic.e. and which may be discarded.

of course. our purposes as little as those of astrology. all It it rather the essential condition of thought perhaps would be better to say an essential moment All thought consists in processes which may be described as in all thought. this is to separate and abstract one dissimilar. is What however must not an ultimate be asserted that this assumption is term in the ex planation of the world. that we could have no thought unless the complex and the particular were given to us. That does not. that is to abstract and to generalise. But it is no less true that everything which thought does with what is given to it involves abstraction and generalisation. If we had merely unrelated particulars before us we should not be conscious. chiromancy. It is true. which he penter a. But it does matter to philosophy that the ultimate theoretic assumption should have a methodological characteri/j 178. and catoptromancy. which is not concerned with such ultimate explanation. for it is itself to To not. to deny their evident that unless the nature of the world a very considerable extent to such inter the assumption of eternal laws would have served pretation. have no knowledge without.THE RELATION OF THE DIALECTIC TO TIME. to can And compare to perceive a similar is element in things otherwise abstract and to generalise.tool that finds suited or unsuited to the is work immediately before him. without awaiting or observing their occurrence. p. at the lowest. I reply. abstractions and generalisations. a blow causes a bruise. character of eternal truths is validity. unrelated We particulars could certainly give us no knowledge. assumption is at all events ultimate enough. cit. of course. necro had lent mancy. . or the reverse to 1 Op. matter to Science. for example. But. And even if we were conscious. Again to find any relation whatever between two particulars If we say. and for which the &quot. our habit of abstracting and generalising (and all universal laws are nothing more than this) is not we can take up or lay down at pleasure. assert this methodological of course. comparison. as a car takes up or lays down a particular chisel. 42. and ultimately reposes on the 201 practical necessity of discovering formulas for calculating events in the rough.

since it is to assert in the quality from word blow. as. it does not turn out well. reject the process of generalisation and abstraction if. indeed. and be dependent on it. still we cannot. as Mr Schiller seems to wish. But he is here con and no longer critical. and so they are not a methodological device but It is. For it is our only mode of thought. or in as far as. eternal. regarded and not as merely appearance. not certain before a necessity of our thought. friction to heat. disregard does lead us to laws which do not accept time as an ultimate Mr &quot. will But if the result of the criticism of reality time. we can have no knowledge. hand that the laws which are the result of generalisation and abstraction will be. that is. view of what may be hoped for from time. and it would be beyond the of this note to attempt to follow him. as Schiller says.202 THE RELATION OF THE DIALECTIC TO TIME. the large number which are connoted by the is also to generalise. purpose as real structive . as I have admitted they do. let us say. There remain other points of high interest paper his in Mr Schiller s and his conception of metaphysics as ultimately ethical. reality. Without abstraction and generalisation. and if these laws do. then. and the very act of thought which rejected it would embody it.&quot. plunge us into considerable difficulties. and it that a blow stands same relation to a bruise.

__ is the logical prias of the whole dialectic. they found that its final stage was simply Philosophy. must assign to philosophy a sufficiently important place in the nature of things. And this interest will be yet stronger in those who hold the view. and the importance of philosophy was . still our most vital interest must be in that part of the system which touches and interprets the concrete life of Spirit which we ourselves share. thought but For then. Hegel taught that the secrets of the universe opened themselves to us. in which Spirit manifests itself. that the logical priiis of the system is not pure Spirit. turning to the end of the Philosophy of Spirit. THE FINAL RESULT OF THE DIALECTIC. are but abstractions. who has the least sympathy with Hegel.CHAPTER VI. but only on condition of deep and systematic thought./ Even if we hold that the pure thought of the Lo. from whether in Logic. and that all Nature and Spirit stand in a purely dependent relation. which I have endeavoured to expound in pre vious chapters. students must have experienced some disappointment Many when. Upon this view the highest form. s FROM a practical point of view the chief interest in Hegel system must centre in the last stages of the Philosophy 7 of Spirit. shall see reality in its truest t will be^_ the ultimate meaning of all things. in Nature. 179. and to which they must return as the only escape from the contra diction and inadequacy which is manifested in them.gic. It is true that any thinker. in the highest forms of Spirit we which all other aspects of reality or in the lower forms of Spirit and deepest meaning.

yand whereas Religion. In this form of truth. and eternal spirit in itself. is the object of philosophy. are the revelation of that spirit whose life is set out as a cycle of concrete shapes in pictorial thought. truth 572. but even to thought. external in point of form. simple. I only wish to show that it should have been something more own system ought What than philosophy. considered as the highest expression of reality. In the immanent simplicity of thought the unfolding still has its expansion. to Philosophy is pantheism in occupied in defending it against the charge of Hegel s use of the word. between holding that philosophy is the knowledge of the highest form of reality. It seems to me that Hegel has been untrue to the ten quate means.) and holding that it is itself the highest form of reality. undiminished either by scepticism or by appeals to the healthy But there is some difference be instincts of the plain man. that should have been. 180. opens it out in mental picture. I shall not attempt to determine.e. yet is all the while known as an indivisible coherence of the universal. but even unifies them into the . Most of the space devoted.con stituting the one syllogism of the absolute self-mediation of spirit. in the Philosophy of Spirit.These three syllogisms&quot. &quot. he to have looked for a more comprehensive explanation. and admitting is some difference dencies of his in seeking the ultimate reality of Spirit in philosophy alone. tween taking philosophy as the supreme and completely ade There it to be the supreme end. with a temporal and external sequence. (i. its where the the unfolding of the mediation contracts itself in the result not merely to the spirit closes in unity with itself.&quot. 571 J &quot. on his own premises.. simplicity of faith and devotional feeling. is but subjective production and shivers the substantial content into many separate into is separation mediates what shapes. The following are the passages which appear most significant for our purpose. Hegel does not give any very detailed account of philosophy. with its parts. them together to make a total. is the unity of Art and Religion.204 THE FINAL RESULT OF THE DIALECTIC.&quot. Philosophy Whereas the vision-method of Art. of religion) &quot. and thus opened out Philosophy not merely keeps . and that.^. From this separation into parts.

and the objective and external revelation presupposed by representation. This notion of philosophy . as also of the necessity in the two forms immediate vision and its poetry. No doubt. which it. And there seems nothing in Hegel s account of it to induce us to change the meaning of the word in this respect. the science has gone back to its beginning logical system but as a spiritual principle : its In this way result is the out of the pre supposing judgment. whenever we denotes philosophise we are acting. i. in which the diverse elements in the content are cognised as necessary. but with the signification that it is universality approved and certified in concrete content as in its actuality. on the one hand. a purely intellectual activity. it is pleasure or pain. de is termines itself to content. only looks back on its knowledge.&quot. remains identical with essential and in that the cognition of that and actual necessity. of faith and its final identification with the presupposed This cognition is thus the recognition of this content its form . the logical system. simple spiritual vision. Philosophy thus characterises itself as a cognition of the necessity in the content of the absolute picture-idea. elevation of them into the absolute form. is the self-thinking Idea. which philosophy is. But philosophy itself is knowledge. and we are also feeling either 181. finds itself already ac complished. Both art and religion are more than mere knowledge. 574. : The word Philosophy.e. then the subjective move ment and object. and thus out of the appear ance which it had there it has risen into its pure principle. when at the close it seizes its own notion.THE FINAL RESULT OF THE DIALECTIC. in its ordinary signification. and then in that raises them to selfSuch consciousness is thus the intelligible unity (cognised by thought) of art and religion. and this necessary as i&quot. 573. first the subjective retreat inwards. it is the liberation from the one-sidedness of the forms.&quot. It is true that he speaks of philosophy as the union of art and religion. and the beginning an immediate. free. ^. the truth aware of itself (Section 236). neither action nor feeling. and thus also into its proper medium. . &quot. This movement.&quot. in which the notion was only implicit. 205 conscious thought. -)-on the other hand. since they both present aspects of .

that greater or deeper pleasure. it is points merely as expressing the truth more completely than they he gives it this position. to be acceptable as a complete and satisfactory account of the deepest nature of Spirit. It philosophy as we have it at can scarcely claim to be worthy of first must have .we might suppose that this high position was reserved for philosophy. so that every fact shall be seen as completely conditioned. but neither appears. It may. Let us consider In this form it present. It must not only be the highest activity of Spirit. on closer examination. 182. but standing side by side with the sciences and with the mass of unsystematised knowledge. not covering the whole field of human knowledge. But. he ignoring the other elements. out how philosophy is the unity of these two. it We in which we might take this exaltation of philosophy. in which the diverse elements in the content are cognised as necessary. but one in which all the others are swallowed up and transcended. But in order to stand at the end of partment the development of Spirit it must be more than this. &quot. Or. Which meanings Hegel intended to adopt does not seem to be very clear. we shall see that he confines himself almost entirely to the truth which lies in them. when. it shall have absorbed all knowledge into itself. if we look back on his treatment of art and religion as separate stages. There are two senses are thus. would seem. There is nothing said of a or deeper ideal of good. as might conceivably happen.206 volition THE FINAL RESULT OF THE DIALECTIC. And when. and of feeling. reasonably consider itself as the highest activity of Spirit at any rate in the de of cognition. but by no means able to dispense with their assistance. this supreme place. nothing of any do. and as united to all the others of these by the nature of the Absolute Idea. in Section 572. and this necessary as free. Philosophy is the intelligible unity (cognised by thought) of art and religion. We might suppose it to apply to philosophy as it exists at present. and as knowledge only. no doubt.&quot. bound down to the view that considered the supreme nature of Spirit to be expressed Hegel as knowledge. claiming indeed a supremacy over all other sources of knowledge. nothing of any increased har higher mony between our ideal and our surroundings.

It teaches us what the fundamental nature of reality is. and our criticism would fall to the ground. But it Notion in every detail. it is perfectly clear the Logic as deductions that they are limited in their scope. he had no right to make the attempt. from one point of view. it asserts to be in it. itself. there is always a residuum to He may have pushed his desire details find speculative meanings of prudence. which belong to the lower forms in which Spirit manifests itself. on his own premises. 207 overcome and removed all the contradictions. there fore. all the in adequacies. is to show that Hegel s view of the ultimate nature of Spirit is inconsistent with the general prin ciples established in his Logic. Moreover. But. Now all the knowledge which philosophy gives us is. Even. and so imperfect. from the nature of the pure Idea. but he never attempted to find any significance 1 in biological beyond the limits Chap.THE FINAL RESULT OF THE DIALECTIC. that. But. indeed. Hegel did not accept this view. it may be said. we must learn not from philosophy but from experience.gt. as I have endeavoured do above. if the Logic. there does not pretend to show us how everything partakes of that nature to trace out in every detail of the universe that rationality which. held that it He was possible.r once. in order to trace the to discover first 183. fore. And this it cannot For what the facts are in which the Notion manifests do. that certain details are too insignificant and contingent Even in the to permit us to trace their speculative meaning. Hegel says. and on this theory philosophy would cover the whole field of knowledge. everything must be. as I have also tried to show. My object here. grounds. it would have what every detail was. he never does attempt to deduce facts from the Logic. for. do this. u. and not that it is inconsistent with the rest of his attempts to apply the Logic. . however. but only to interpret and explain them by it 1 . to deduce the nature of the facts in which it manifested itself. more than ^&amp. fully. and what. abstract. Hegel had attempted tq deduce^ particular facts from it would be sufficient for my present purpose to to point out. cases left which he works out most unexplained. on general It could not. whether we are to consider the applications of as explanations. Sections 55 57.

and therefore completely explicable. Indeed. it cannot succeed in completely explaining. since it is with philosophy that it begins. 9. from the nature of the Idea. that is to say. Section 329. but to certain departments of knowledge.&quot. which can be learned by experience. like everything else in the universe. system should end simply with philosophy. . An which leaves so much of the workings of Spirit un activity will will thus remain touched cannot be accepted as adequately expressing by itself the ultimate nature of Spirit. while logic had begun with the determination to realise such thought.208 in THE FINAL RESULT OF THE DIALECTIC. and which. free thought. for that matter. taken by itself. Part of our knowledge on an empirical basis. the same. It has been asserted that it is natural and right that 184. must rest on Philosophy then must be contented with an abstract demon stration that things must be rational. system. For it must assert things to be all completely rational. when the exposition had reached this point. which. 1 History of Philosophy. which are links in chains of causes and effects. supposed that now for the first time (as if in a philosophy of philosophy) that which was peculiar and distinctive had been reached. philosophy proclaims its own inadequacy. but he made no endeavour to explain. Rather has everything already been treated. And yet these are facts. and it remains to complete by a survey of it the circle of the only If. mention those who. He may have held that the perfection of the Prussian constitution was philo sophically demonstrable. the dialectic declares on general grounds something. without being able in all cases to show how they are rational. so that its presence becomes an Encyclopaedia. and the sphere of be doubly limited. (^ot only will it be limited philosophy to knowledge. the Phenomenology of Spirit had already shown) leads to speculative. religion fallen into discord with thought (as. Thus Erdmann says: simply It is with intelligible sarcasm that Hegel was accustomed to Hegel s &quot. the exact number of civil servants in the employment of the Crown. and the requirement laid down by Fichte that the system be a circle is fulfilled 1 . then the end of the Philosophy of Religion coincides with the beginning of the Logic. the precise number of zoological species. which is rational because it is real.

185. 209 The however. of anything besides knowledge or else we must admit at once that Hegel is wrong in making philosophy the process the highest point of Spirit. scarcely disposes of the difficulty. no doubt. the assistance of any immediately given data. reality. Philosophy become equivalent to the whole of knowledge. in the ordinary sense of the word. does not even include all cognition of reality. This. since at that point find we have reality. Let us take then the second meaning of philosophy we conceive it developed till all knowledge forms one harmonious whole. The nature of that thought would be given us by the dialectic. Hegel goes through many other branches of human activity and experience. the whole meaning of the process must be taken as summed up in the last term. and to end by ex plaining why we must philosophise. then. in the first place. very limited one. But since It is true that. but a all reality. and all the reality of the conscious spirit is synthesised in philosophising. so that no single fact remains con that in which in two ways. is a dialectic. object of philosophy is not simply to account for the existence of philosophy. 14 .THE FINAL RESULT OF THE DIALECTIC. which leaves out of account most of our know ledge and most of our action. This ideal may be conceived would. and deduce all reality from its own nature. If this could ever happen. for the present. unless we are prepared to prove independently that all reality is synthesised in the conscious spirit. and so philosophy would be able to explain completely the be coincident. Without this proof philosophy would leave vast provinces of experience completely outside its influence a position which may be modest. but is certainly not Hegelian. Either then we must make philosophy include all knowledge to say nothing. whole of M. without tingent and irrational. is indeed a circle. on the way to Philosophy as it occurs at the end of the Philosophy of Spirit. H. philosophy and knowledge would The only reality would be pure thought. It aims at discovering the ultimate nature of To start with philosophising. to something which adequately expresses all and philosophy. at which it has been sometimes asserted that Hegel s dialectic was aiming. if pure thought could ever reach the goal.

But the two qualities do not necessarily go together. Now all data of knowledge as originally given us. another sense possible to suppose that philosophy may become rational sys coincident with the whole of knowledge. Supposing nothing but thought existed. still in the fact that it existed. This need not. it must be given to thought in each case from outside. than the reality of a hundred thalers could be deduced from the idea of them. and with ragged edges. and we have seen that there are reasons for an believing that Hegel never proposed to philosophy such impossible and suicidal end. rather. may itself be nothing but thought. and therefore. And it on Hegel s system. and contradictory. symmetrical. 1 Chap. that it was there. TI. of all reality. The whole content of the reality. we should have an immediate certainty. the necessity of explanation from outside. it may be taken as expressing adequately the whole nature of spirit. which could not be deduced. thought mediates. in the Hegelian sense of the word. single. in which it is - There is. however. without being contingent. not deduced but given. Let us examine more closely what would be the nature of such a perfected knowledge. such a goal is impossible and only a mediating activity. It is thus impossible that any acquaintance with the nature of thought could ever dispense us with the necessity of having some immediate datum. on a datum which should be immediate. that is. All knowledge must have immediate data. But whatever the nature of that reality. and perfectly may be said that when philosophy has thus broadened itself to include all knowledge. anything we have seen above For thought is 1 . which alien to it. and thereby make knowledge one tem. be requires something to mediate. Sections . are data or.210 But. indeed. but contingency. 5557. which could no more be deduced from the nature of thought. and we can conceive a state of things. but must be accepted. as THE FINAL RESULT OF THE DIALECTIC. by the outer senses or through not only immediate but contingent. in which knowledge should rest on introspection. which are 186. as a datum. That which indicates the defect of knowledge is not immediacy. But it does not follow that knowledge must consequently be left imperfect.

We should see that the whole nature of each individual was expressed in these relations with others. For it I think. 211 Supposing that the theory of the nature of reality. that reality can only be found in selves. clear.THE FINAL RESULT OF THE DIALECTIC. existing only in their con nection with one another. be deduced. not as a mere aggregate. realised in the unity which is found in a picture or a living being. was not to be conceived as something merely particular and exclusive. then. The individual a unity manifesting itself in has his entire nature in the manifestation of this whole. lations with others express his place in the whole. which was what marked him out as an individual. And is this plurality of selves. is true. the abstract certainty (Gewissheit) of what must be would be transformed into complete knowledge (Erkennen) of what is. according to Hegel. from the category of the Ab solute Idea. in turn. We should then perceive all reality under the only form which. which is to be taken as we must conceive on the analogy of an organism. with sufficient insight. if knowledge were perfect. as a unity of spirits. so that reality con sisted of a crowd or aggregate of separate individuals. is nothing else but its manifestation in individuals. If knowledge ever did fill logic gives. On the contrary the nature of each individual determined by his place in a whole. which Hegel lays down in his Logic. but as a unity whose intimacy and strength only inadequately represented by the 142 . in some such form out the sketch that the Hegelian as this that it would do so. which have their whole existence in finding themselves in harmony with other selves. and it is this place in the whole which expresses his deepest individuality. it must be is. as the whole. And in this complete interdependence and mutual determination each For his re individual would find his fullest self-development. so that from any one all the rest could. Through this unity the parts will mutually determine one another. And we should see that that nature. multiplicity. though we can only imagine it by aid of the analogies which these afford us. but in the Absolute the unity must be conceived as far closer than aesthetic or organic unity. and so that no change could be made in any without affecting This complete interdependence is only approximately all. again. can be really adequate to it that is. must be conceived.

Of course such an ideal of knowledge is indefinitely remote as compared with our present condition. And it is an ideal which aeternitatis. sub specie the only reality. and on which it bases its demonstrations in the process of explanation. increase in the depth And. and the imperfectly we are to see the universe as a whole of self-conscious selves. remote from our present state For it is the point at which the worldprocess culminates. It is enough that this ideal is one which.212 THE FINAL RESULT OF THE DIALECTIC. in the first place. it is clear enough that. because we should have. a knowledge of all the facts in the from which we are now separated by no inconsider universe able interval. as a given fact. is not self-contradictory. in place of the inorganic. if not. this would be incompatible with Hegel s declaration that the individuals have their existence for self only in their relation to others. But that the need not surprise ultimate reality of the conception of process. as compared with the reality merely And of the individuals between whom the relations existed. at the same time. then the relations would be external and secondary. for the immediacy of the data is re is tained. The immediacy is retained. spiritual. For. we must have a long way still to go before we reach a consummation which leaves the universe perfectly and perfectly righteous. the merely animal. if Hegel s logic be true. and that they are connected in such and such a way. and whatever view we may hold as to the ideal should be us. JOn the other . to which reason mounts in the process of discovery. rational if must be attainable sub it specie temporis. is to be brought under the Absolute Idea. although their contingency has vanished. from any point of view which admits of the conception of process at all. which now presents itself to us. because. idea of Organism. It would require. and. It would be more suspicious ideal not greatly removed from our present state should any be held out to us as a complete and adequate satisfaction. that there are such and such selves. it would require a great and keenness of view which we can bring to bear in knowledge. 187. we only and if all that part of reality which at present under the lower categories of Being perceive Essence. in perfect unity with one another.

which. there seems a necessity for some such phrase to denote that supreme unity. But. is compatible with. but on the essential nature of that which is de termined. The universe presents. then. and necessity. however. it is determined by the idea of the whole. and the determination is not dependent on some thing alien. This. indeed. an aspect of multiplicity. when we speak of an allwith the possibility of finding a cause. it is applied to anything in But This expression I believe. merely organic is dangerous. uncaused existence is not in itself a contradictory or impossible idea. For while everything is determined. only inside the universe. I fear that it is very barbarous. indeed. when one part of it is determined by unity another. as Hegel points out at the beginning of the Doctrine of the Notion. the contingency has vanished. for by the very fact that it is a part. and must depend on other things embracing totality. just because nor the parts fully individual category of Life). The universe is a super-organic and therefore. which has significance universe as a whole what it is. -. by which it could be determined. but then it is not a mere multiplicity. would not render our knowledge defective. 1 It is contradictory is. If we reached this point the only ques tion which would remain unanswered would be Why is the : and not something else ? And this question could not be answered. Hence determination appears as self-development. is unmeaning. nothing is determined merely from outside. when new. nor any other possible system of know could give us any ground of determination for the ledge. 188. since it applies a category. which is also in itself. For the It truth is that the question ought never to have been asked.THE FINAL RESULT OF THE DIALECTIC. 213 hand. to the universe as a whole. since there is nothing outside it. But we must not infer from this the incomplete rationality of the universe. self-determined. Neither this. 1 . . For in an organism the unity is not complete. parts of a super-organic whole are. it is perfect unity. Hegel s treatment of the subject under the The directly. To call such unity the complete differentiation and individuality of its parts. and indeed requires. universe as a whole. Of any part we are entitled and bound to ask Why. reveals itself as in reality freedom. but not Their self-determination comes through their determination by the other parts. it cannot be directly self-determined. 2 (cp. Independent and disappears also the necessity for finding one.

besides know ledge. indeed unmeaning. far with Hegel reality. This. by asking. come These are prima facie different from knowledge. from the com would follow that if was different at all. is it for doubting the completely satisfactory nature of the result at which we have arrived. Indeed the suggestion.214 THE FINAL RESULT OF THE DIALECTIC. what determined the whole to be what it is. that it is possible that the universe should have been different from what it is. possess no meaning. They are not. it. is the highest point to which knowledge. as it is always possible to ask. and feeling remain. and it does not seem possible that they should ever be reduced to pain. and why it is not otherwise. in the sense that any of them can exist without the others. for suspecting a fallacy when we find ourselves obliged to use the idea in reference to the universe as a whole. And. Knowledge. although our minds cannot help throwing a shadow of contingency and irrationality over the symmetrical structure. if we have gone so that Spirit is the only and the all-sufficient knowledge does not exhaust the nature of Spirit. indeed. And a possibility which has no common element with actuality. distinct and independent. upon Hegel s principles. We have. it is true. then. we have also volition. in spite of all such attempts. and everything is known to be completely rational. known. is a mere abstraction which is devoid of all value. volition. and the feeling of pleasure and to the conclusion. as can attain. it it For. in such a state of knowledge. which would be the case here. which has nothing outside it with which it could stand in connection. must be answered in the negative. Nor is it to be aspects of a unity impossible that they might be found which embraces and transcends them . and that the inability to answer it and can be no reason 189. But even when knowledge has reached an adequate expression of the complete nature of reality ? This question. independent. I think. this point. yet reflection convinces us that the question is unjustifiable. would. it must be different completely. But The simplest introspection will show us that. Everything is knowledge. is the universe. for whatever in the universe must be in con But this can of course be no reason nection with other things. plete interdependence of all the parts.

since boni). than that one way demands that the subject shall conform to the object. that the content . consider volition. shall conform to itself. Starting with the aim. 190.THE FINAL RESULT OF THE DIALECTIC. nor from goodness to truth. that a harmony is to be established. it condemns In volition^ on the con its aim is that objective reality shall carry out the trary. or transcended by. We may of course come to the conclusion. all. is what greater difference can exist between two ways of carrying out this aim. demands made by the inner nature of the self. that they are activities which strive to bring about a harmony between the conscious self and its But in the manner in which they do this they surroundings. knowledge. lition. In so far as Now reality fails to do this. And sometimes the surroundings react on the self. The aim is of know The aim ledge is the true. and not to produce one by its action. from being inactive in it demands that its surroundings Of course the knowing mind is far knowledge it is only by means of its own its activity that it arrives at the objective truth which is aim. 215 But they Let us first others can be reduced are independent in so far that neither of the to. Volition and knowledge have common element. the good (in the includes all that we is that is desired at desired sub specie Now is There one of these aims cannot be reduced to the other. the self condemns it as wrong. in which desire. the aim of the self is to render its own state a correct mirror of the objective reality. which Hegel has attempted to demonstrate. and develop it or crush it into acquiescence in facts against which it would previously have protested. its and that. this are the direct antitheses of one another. it For the self by any means purely active in volition. in so far as it fails to do this. which is common to both. But it remains true that in knowledge. self endeavours to conform on the other hand. while the other way demands that the object shall conform to the subject ? We may put this in another way. this surely a fundamental difference. state as false own and mistaken. no direct transition from truth to goodness. widest sense of the word. all of volition it all. has sometimes only to recognise and approve a harmony is Nor already existing. itself to its In knowledge the In vo surroundings.

such an argument depends on an unjustifiable as sumption. no what is doubt. that toothache must be good because God sends it. No doubt the fact that knowledge and volition have 191. and established it to our own satisfaction as a general principle. But if the harmony of the two sides has not been established by the demonstration of the existence of a benevolent and omnipotent power. that the deepest truth is the highest good. or of some other ground for the same con clusion. the same aim before them a harmony between the self and its surroundings and that they directly contrary to effect it in ways which are one another. it in particular cases where the identity is not those. without any possibility of reducing the one to a case or application of the other. and the highest good is the deepest truth. But we can only do this by finding out independently true and what is good. There to is nothing in the mere fact of a thing is s existence make mere exist. If indeed we considered considered less fundamental than knowledge. it is perfectly open to To argue that we must be immortal. and whatever is righteous is real. we are entitled. since inevitably disappear in a state of perfect harmony. who have satisfied themselves of the existence of a benevolent God. which cannot be ignored in favour of knowledge when we are in vestigating the completely adequate form of Spirit. Two mental activities for which the test of validity is respectively existence and desirability must be coordinate. There fact that a thing is desired or desirable it nothing in the by us to make it surely. If we have come to this conclusion. therefore. desired or desirable by us. is of the two ideas the same.216 THE FINAL RESULT OF THE DIALECTIC. and one. that whatever is real is righteous. suggests a possible union of . and by proving that they coincide. by a converse process. for example. or. it because they do not find reality to be discrepant with them. including those which lead to no action volition as merely that which leads to action. to apply evident. therefore. And in this case we shall have to consider it as fundamental an activity of Spirit as knowledge is. might be it would But vo lition must be taken to include all affirmations of an ideal in relation to existence. because the absence of immortality would make life a ghastly farce.

Knowledge is essentially and an assertion about matter of fact. besides being species of a wider genus. It appears rather to denote all immediate or intui tive belief in a fact. But although it is thus in separable from knowledge. The contents of Gefiihl opposed and of Philosophy. and not only of pleasure and speaking pain. independent of knowledge. And this too must rank as a separate pleasure and pain. He says much indeed about Geftihl. be erroneous. but there is something else to which no judgment can ever be_equivalent. it is independent of it in the sense that it cannot be reduced to it. may be a Hegelian solution. Hegel s views as to feeling proper are rather obscure. as it. But whatever he thinks about the latter. defective on a second ground. This does not involve the assertion that we could ever experience besides a state of mind that was purely pleasure or pain. any more than volition. find a place in philo And in that case Hegel s highest form of Spirit is sophy. Thus feeling is only found in company with knowledge and volition. they are not also ab stractions from a deeper unity. which unity would reveal itself as But although this the really adequate form of Spirit. Whatever he hinted in the Logic a point to which we shall return in the Philosophy of Spirit he attempts to presently take knowledge by itself as the ultimate form of Spirit. And may have such a result must. it seems certain that they cannot. it is not Hegel s. but they differ in form. To this line of criticism an objection may possibly be . It is thus clear that he is of a form of knowledge. 193. 192. This is feeling proper knowledge and volition. if volition ledge. may be the same. 217 The dialectic method will lead us to enquire whether. the two. we never do feel pleasure or pain. without at the same time recognising the existence of some fact. and finding ourselves to be or not to be in harmony with it.THE FINAL RESULT OF THE DIALECTIC. element of spiritual activity. but this does not mean pleasure and pain. on the contrary. is really coordinate with know There is yet a third element in the life of Spirit. So far as our experience reaches. he to a reasoned demonstration of says. Now inevitably a judgment in the feeling of pleasure and pain there is no judgment and no assertion.

no doubt. THE FINAL RESULT OF THE DIALECTIC.218 taken. and say that. And^a_view of Spirit which does this will be fatally one-sided. in or out of But implies them both. and also perfect happiness. You cannot have knowledge without finding yourself. we should be entitled to conclude that perfect knowledge must bring perfect acquiescence in the For when our know universe. Hegel would. complete happiness must result. ledge becomes perfect. And we may go further. therefore. we should be in a state of perfect acqui escence with the nature of all things round us. in all deepest sense. We have seen that know 194. of view of volition. and without feeling pleasure or pain accordingly. But he did say more than this. it can never itself The ideal of knowledge of may the be said to be the combination of complete unity subject and object with complete differentiation between them. the demands of our own nature found complete fulfilment. our relations with others. as know Can it attain its own ledge. as the Logic tells us. in the fullest and Since. and consequently involve the unity of the subject and the object. we had gained the perfect realisation of our own natures. we must now ask. have reached to the completeness of all activities of Spirit. to ignore volition. from the point harmony with the objects of pure knowledge. Of one class -thQ the elements into which knowledge can be analysed. And from this perfect harmony. be. it may be said. He said that complete knowledge would be by itself the complete activity of Spirit. De termination by another would have become. at the same time. be the full expression of the complete nature of Spirit. that it philosophy includes neither volition nor feeling. on Hegel s principles. But can it. It is true. ledge cannot. This is no doubt true. we should. by itself. He tried. and to ignore pleasure and pain. it would seem. find that in all our relations with that which was outside us. have been justified in saying that in reaching complete knowledge we should. In so far as there must be unity of the subject and we have knowledge object. even part of that full expression ? ? Or does it carry about the strongest mark of its own goal imperfection by postulating an ideal which reach ? 195. . determination by self. But we must go further. data of sensation come to us from outside.

confirmed by the final results of the Logic. something which exists whether he likes it or not. then. therefore. Differentiation of the subject and object is no less necessary For it is of the essence of to knowledge than is their unity. since otherwise we should not be justified in ascribing to them. objective validity. as knowledge becomes perfect. The . as selves implies differentiation. and so in its full differentiation from the subject. For the lower knowledge implies the higher. There we find that the only ultimately satisfactory category is one in which the self finds itself in relation with other selves and in This is harmony with selves their nature. and all And since the dialectic has taught us that knowledge. something which is independent of the subjective fancies of the subject. however interesting as objects of know In so far ledge.) On the other hand the categories produce are notions of our own minds which are yet essential to objective And these. but for others. To be in in harmony with other with them. except that highest and most complete know ledge which grasps reality under the Absolute Idea. something in fact which is Without this. without which 219 it is impossible that anything outside us could a sensation inside us.THE FINAL RESULT OF THE DIALECTIC. and the complete unity and differentiation are implied by the higher knowledge. while to implies that we are unity recognise them Is Knowledge qualities. delusions. differentiation. as we do ascribe. is contra dictory and cannot stand except as a moment in some higher form we may conclude that all knowledge implies complete unity and differentiation. are totally different from knowledge itself. the subject and the object. involve no less the unity of experience. this combination of antithetical it possible that this requirement can ever be itself? realised by knowledge action of knowledge consists in ascribing predi All our knowledge of the object we owe cates to an object. All knowledge. it has to apprehend the object as it really is. in so far as it is complete. which exists not only for him. and these. requires unity and Perfect knowledge will require perfect unity differentiation. 196. knowledge changes into dreams or objective. knowledge that it shall refer to something not itself. requires.


ascribe to

the predicates which

But our




a mere assemblage of predicates. There is also the unity in which they cohere, which may be called epistemologically the
abstract object, and logically the abstract subject. Here, as in most other places in the universe




by a paradox. The withdrawal of the abstract object leaves nothing but a collection of predicates, and a collection of predi cates taken by itself is a mere unreality. Predicates cannot
exist without a central unity in

that its unreality is as certain as the unreality of the predicates, and perhaps even more obvious. For if we attempt to make a single statement about this abstract object even to say that it exists we find ourselves

when we enquire what to the object, we find


this central unity

which they can cohere. But which gives reality

merely adding to the number of predicates. This cannot help us to attain our purpose, which was to know what the sub stratum is in which all the predicates inhere. We get no
nearer to this by learning that another predicate inheres in Thus the abstract object is an unreality, and yet, if it


withdrawn, the residuum of the concrete object becomes an unreality too. Such a relation is not uncommon in metaphysics. All reality is concrete. All concrete ideas can be split up into
abstract elements.



up the concrete



corresponds to


real thing, into its constituent abstractions,



have a group of ideas which in their unity correspond

self-contradictory and unreal. The position of the abstract object is thus similar to that of another abstraction which has received more attention

a reality, but

when separated




the abstract subject.

Bradley has given this abstract object the name of the TJus, in opposition to the What, which consists of the predicates which we have found to be applicable to the This. While know


ledge remains imperfect, the This has in it the possibility of an number of other qualities, besides the definite number


have been ascertained and




knowledge becomes perfect as perfect as it is capable of becoming this possibility would disappear, as it seems to me, though Mr Bradley does not mention this point. In perfect knowledge all qualities of the object would be known, and the




coherence of our knowledge as a systematic whole would be the warrant for the completeness of the enumeration. But even
here the abstract

This would


remain, and prove itself

To attempt to know it is like irreducible to anything else. For all to jump on the shadow of one s own head. attempting
a partial unity between the propositions are the assertion of and the predicate. ^The_This on the other hand is just subject

what distinguishes the subject from

its predicates.

the existence of the

This which renders



to regard knowledge and makes it necessary to consider it merely as an approxi mation to the complete activity of spirit for which we search. In the This we have something which is at once within and without knowledge, which it dares not neglect, and yet cannot

a self-subsistent whole,

deal with.

For when we say that the This cannot be known, we do not mean, of course, that we cannot know of its existence. We know of its existence, because we can perceive, by analysis,
it is

an essential element of the concrete


But the

very definition which this analysis gives us shows that we can know nothing about it but this that there is indeed nothing

more about



know, and that even so much cannot be put

into words without involving a contradiction. Now to that something exists is to present a problem to merely

know know

ledge which
exists, is to

must seek to answer. To know that a thing it as immediate and contingent. Knowledge demands that such a thing should be mediated and rationalised.


This, as

we have

seen, cannot be done here.

This impossibility

no reproach to the rationality of the universe, for reality is no more mere mediation than it is mere immediacy, and the immediacy of the This combines with the mediation of the



make up

the concrete whole of Spirit.





reproach to the adequacy of knowledge as an activity of Spirit that it should persist in demanding what cannot and should not

be obtained.

Without immediacy, without the central unity

of the object, the mediation and the predicates which make up knowledge would vanish as unmeaning. Yet knowledge is

compelled by
to feel


own nature

to try

and remove them, and


and thwarted when

cannot succeed.



Surely an activity with such a contradiction inherent in never be a complete expression of the Absolute.


In the


place the existence of the This



patible with the attainment of the ideal of unity in knowledge. For here we have an element, whose existence in reality we are

forced to admit, but which



that which


essentially alien to
its activity.

by the presence of the nature of the knowing

consciousness in

In so far as reality contains a

cannot be brought into complete unison with the knowing mind, which, as an object, has of course its aspect of immediacy like any other object, but which, as the knowing
subject, finds all unresolvable immediacy to be fundamentally opposed to its work of rationalisation. The real cannot be

completely expressed in the mind, and the unity of knowledge

therefore defective.

And this brings with it a defective differentiation. For while the This cannot be brought into the unity of knowledge, it., is unquestionably a part of reality. And so the failure of
to bring it into unity with itself involves that the

part of the object which is brought into unity with the subject The individuality is only an abstraction from the full object. of the object thus fails to be represented, and so its full
differentiation from the subject





full truth, we ought to whereas, to know them from inside. That every object has a real centre For we have seen that of its own appears from the dialectic.

we know objects, so know them in their

to be represented also. to speak, from the out

the conclusion from the dialectic



all reality

consists of

are individuals. And, apart from this, the fact spirits, which the object is more or less independent as against us and that without some independence knowledge would be impossible, renders it certain that every as has already been pointed out has an individual unity to some extent. Now knowledge object

crystal, or

In saying "every object" even every amoeba.


do not necessarily


every chair, every
is reality.



appearance there



we believe, on the authority of the dialectic, to consist of individuals. But how many such centres there may be behind a given mass of appearance we
do not know. Every self-conscious spirit is, no doubt, one object and no more. It is with regard to the reality behind what is called inorganic matter and the lower forms of life that the uncertainty arises.

fails to


The meaning of the object give this unity its rights. found in its This, and its This is, to knowledge, something alien. Knowledge sees it to be, in a sense, the centre of the
but only a dead centre, a mere residuum produced by abstracting all possible predicates, not a living and unifying

centre, such as



to our

we know that the synthetic unity of appercep own lives, which we have the advantage of seeing




thus views


from a standpoint which

merely external, knowledge can never represent the object so faithfully ^ts to attain its own ideal.




see the reason

why knowledge can never

harmony of the universe which saw above that when knowledge knowledge itself proves. should have reached the greatest perfection of which it is capable
represent quite accurately that


remain one question unanswered LWhy is the is and not something elsejj We may prove the question unmeaning and absurd, but we cannot help asking it. And the possibility of asking it depends on the existence of

there would

universe what


the This, which knowledge is unable to bring into unity with the knowing subject. The This is essential to the reality of the object, and

that part of the object to which




independence of the subject. And the question naturally arises, Why should not this core of objectivity have been clothed with other qualities than those which it has, and with which the
subject finds itself in



The question arises because the existence of this harmony is dependent on the This. The This alone gives reality to the
If it vanished, the harmony would not change into a disharmony, but disappear altogether. And the This, as we have seen, must always be for knowledge a something alien and irrational, because it must always be an unresolved immediate.

Now a harmony which depends on something alien and irrational must always appear contingent and defective. Why is there a
This at


qualities which give a of the This has raised into for us that the favour






? To answer these questions would be to mediate the This, arid that would destroy it. It may be urged, as against this argument, that we 200.

do not stand in such a position of opposition and alienation


For we ourselves are objects knowing subjects, and our abstract

towards the This in knowledge.


as well as

personality, which This of an object.


the centre of our knowledge is also the it might be maintained that the inter

connection of the qualities of

different objects,

which would

be perfect in perfect knowledge, would enable us to show
reality existed,



and why it is what it is, if we could only of a single fragment of reality. The difficulty, it might
reaching the abstract realness of the real by knowledge at all. And if, by means of our own

said, lies in



existence as objects we were able to establish a single con nection with the objective world, in which the immediate

would not mean the alien, it is possible that no other connection would be required. The last remaining opposition of the subject to the object would disappear.

For the


however, cannot be escaped in this way.

self as the object of

to the self as the subject as

knowledge is as much opposed any other object could be. We


qualities by arguments from data based on the as we learn the qualities of other objects sense,"

by arguments from data given by the external


are immediately certain of the first, but we are immediately certain of the second. And the central unity of our own nature

can no more be known directly in itself, apart from its qualities, than can the central unities of other objects. We become aware
of its existence
for objects,

by analysing what is implied in having ourselves and we become aware of the central unities of other things by analysing what is implied in having them for objects. We have no more direct knowledge of the one than of the other.

Of course nothing in our own selves is really alien to us, even the element of immediacy which makes their This.
the reality of other things



then the existence of knowledge implies, as we have seen, that




It is the defect of

not really alien to us, although we knowledge that it fails

immediate except as alien. 201. Here, then, we seem to have the reason why our minds could never, in the most perfect state of knowledge
to represent the
possible, get rid

the whole system.

of the abstract idea of the contingency of saw, in the first part of this chapter


and essential to it. We must therefore look 15 for . is an unmeaning phrase. as knowledge. that if knowledge did not show us What own ideal. were imperfect. and the possibility of this. it is able to demonstrate that harmony must exist. of such a miscalled possibility. But there is a great difference between realising an ideal and It is possible.THE FINAL RESULT OF THE DIALECTIC. which has no common ground with actuality. could not form even a part of that activity. where no pronounces its own condemnation. knowledge it is imperfect in being com pelled to regard It as a possibility. For we have traced its thought in considering essential to the persistence of condition as its essential enemy. And we have now is seen another reason it why the possibility unmeaning. there But fore. We For it carries a mark of imperfection about it it. I/ There but there here no contradiction in our estimate of knowledge. M. and which forces us look further in search of the ultimate activity of Spirit. may seem If at first sight absurd to talk of it knowledge as inadequate. so far true. and in its dependence on that cannot it which must consider an imperfection. H. unless the happened to all reality. 225 that such an idea was unmeaning. that it is actually the case. how could we know it ? right have we to condemn it as imperfect when the is of This judge necessity the same person as the culprit ? is. it is it which is asked to show in detail how the harmony has shown must exist. since it would be impossible for any same reality to be destroyed or altered. it does tell the adequacy of knowledge as an expression against of the universe. When AVC ask about the abstract conditions of reality. in its inability to completely attain the goal which cease to strive for. and I have endeavoured to show indicating it. is a contradiction in knowledge. but we have now reached the further conclusion that knowledge. it is unable to do so. saw before that this activity could not consist solely of knowledge. of course. sibility is it finding a flaw in perfection. and that immediacy is compatible with it. that knowledge can do the one. If the pos By unmeaning. and its not the other. The existence flaw exists. which prevents to us from regarding it as adequate. tells nothing against the rationality of the universe. we could never know that it did not realise it. But when exists.

but transforming it and raising it into a higher sphere. for this only means that the pure the category in question. however. the Absolute Idea itself forms the synthesis of the opposition of (Cognition proper) and Volition. and when its categories bear the names idea. they must stand in the . No such synthesis. any more than he is dealing. divided into Cognition proper and Volition. This is again Idea. The Logic deals only with the element of pure thought in reality. These two cate gories are treated by Hegel as a thesis and antithesis. I think. s In doing this we are compelled. -0^ the ultimate nature of Spirit in something which transcends .. in the Philosophy of But we may. to reject own treatment of the subject. Of course is not Hegel dealing. and. does not destroy the importance of the Logic our present purpose. with the concrete activities of cognition and volition. is given by Hegel as a separate term. called This. rather earlier in the Logic. as it does also of the larger opposition of Life and Cognition in general/ The significance of this part of the Logic for us lies in Volition before the fact that Cognition proper requires to be synthesised \yith_ we can reach the absolute reality. Although the concrete activities are not merely their own logical ideas. however. According to his ex position. with the concrete activities of mechanism and chemistry. 202.and surpasses cognition. of concrete relations is which comes most and which therefore can be usefully and significantly by its name. than the one which of Spirit. 4 I r Hegel Spirit. according to the method pursued in every other part of the Logic. as it seems to me. find some support for our position in the Logic. we find the sketch of a more complete and adequate representation of Absolute Reality. is the idea which prominently forward in that concrete relation. where its imperfections vanish.. the triad should have been completed by a synthesis.226 vl THE FINAL RESULT OF THE DIALECTIC. including it indeed as a moment. in the Logic. For there. is worked out in the Philosophy have in the Logic. immediately before the Absolute a category called Cognition in general. before thesis We we pass out of Cognition in general to the final syn the Absolute Idea. of course.

This view does not appear tenable on closer At the end of Cognition proper. and must be synthesised with the idea of volition. denotes only that knowledge which is found in ordinary experience and in science. however. on the method which has been pursued. as in all the applications of the dialectic. while it does not profess to be logical in the / sense that all its details can be logically deduced. and endeavour to find some higher expression which shall unite cognition and volition. but would be a mere empirical collection of If then the idea of cognition proper facts. same 227 relation inter se as the logical ideas do inter se. Hegel tells us. is the content of cognition seen to be necessary. if it .necessary&quot. it could no longer be called an application of the Logic at all. did not do this. Chap. of know 7 ledge as one-sided. at this point. YII. certainly professes to be logical in the sense that the relation of its 1 stages to one another can be logically explained /Indeed. before the adequate and Absolute Idea can be reached. is taken as re ferring to the necessity of freedom. it would seem to follow that a concrete application of this philosophy is bound to regard cognition as an inadequate expression of the full nature of reality. that opposed to volition is by itself so imperfect and it must be transcended. against this view is that the Absolute Idea is defined as the union of Cognition 1 Cp./Yov the process in the Philosophy of Spirit. and it therefore natural to look back. preserving that which is true in each. but because is it is the last category of the philosophy. The most cogent argument.THE FINAL RESULT OF THE DIALECTIC. that is. But this appears to this category is the one under which our philosophising comes. This would indicate philosophic knowledge. examination. of discussion of philosophic method under the head of the be introduced. to and one-sidedness. if &quot. which is treated by Hegel as an inadequate category. Sections 207. 203. not because Absolute Idea. 210. 152 . and that the place of knowledge in its highest shape the shape of philosophy must be looked for under the Ab while ^c_^mg from It their imperfections solute Idea. which is its normal use There is certainly a good deal in the Doctrine of the Notion. may be objected that the Cognition proper.

iv.228 THE FINAL RESULT OF THE DIALECTIC. itself The Absolute Idea then contains within as a transcended moment. Hegel means the highest stage of Spirit to be nothing but for But. are especially losophy bound in the case of so systematic a writer as Hegel. consider the the triad of Absolute Spirit are Art. when saying that the any conclusion of the Philosophy of Spirit is inconsistent with the general tenor of Hegel s philosophy. the antithesis thesis to I may be which it expected is be more adequate than the opposed am not attempting to argue from this that we ought to take Hegel as putting anything more concrete than phi into the nature of absolute reality. and w e have seen r that. since it is Volition which forms the antithesis. to look We in the authoritative exposition of his views on any subject the part of his work which professedly deals with that And in the Philosophy of Spirit it seems clear that subject. we must consider the idea of Volition the higher of the two. : 1 Chap. We lition. . Sections 109. Now we can have no reason to suppose that philosophic knowledge is the union of ordinary knowledge with volition. we can strengthen our position by adding that it is inconsistent with the final result of the Logics Let us now turn to the Philosophy of Spirit. and way in which Hegel introduces Philosophy as the culminating point of reality. For philosophy stands in just the same relation to volition as ordinary know never have knowledge without having vo ledge does. The three terms which form 204. a reality framework for something which. 110. but neither can be reduced to the other. indeed. Revealed Religion. as follows Whereas the vision-method of Art. is more than form of mere cognition. in the Doctrine to 1 . he has given. of the Notion. and Of the relation of these three stages he speaks Philosophy. external in &quot. whatever it is. in the Logic. in giving the abstract framework of absolute philosophy. proper with Volition. And so. as we have seen above. the idea of Knowledge only If there is any difference between them. Therefore the Absolute Idea must be an idea richer and fuller than that of Cognition richer and fuller by the content of the idea of Volition.

that some things are 205. instead of showing us. But the immediacy makes the harmony contingent and de into full consciousness of his own nature fective. and then in that is and mediates what them to self-conscious thought. together with Religion ? All the stages in this triad of Absolute Spirit are occupied in endeavouring to find a harmony between the individual spirit now developed between Art and Religion and the on the one hand. which declares that all things are dependent on and the manifestation of a reality in which we recognise the fulfilment of our ideals of rationality and right eousness. 229 point of form. can do no more what. It is necessary to find some ground harmony which is universal. as Art does. thus opened out Philosophy not merely keeps them together to make a total. doubts present them Is Philosophy really capable of acting as a synthesis ? Should it not rather form part of the antithesis. and whereas Religion. . according to Hegel. than this. this more closely. inde pendently of their immediate and superficial aspect. with its separation into parts. is but subjective production and shivers the substantial content into many separate shapes. Section 572. seems docs to it. is afforded us by the doc trines of Revealed Religion. This ground. it out in mental . and which shall enable us attribute rationality of to and righteousness to all things. It is true that it in me. and this necessary as free 1 . opens picture. but even unifies them into the simple spiritual vision. in which the diverse elements in the content are raises cognised as necessary. rest of the universe on the other hand.THE FINAL RESULT OF THE DIALECTIC. Such a harmony is directly and immediately presented in beauty. Such consciousness is thus the intelligible unity (cognised by thought) of art and religion. in harmony. is a higher arid better way.&quot. from Hegel s It is true that it point of view. On examining selves. the harmony exists where case not unfrequently occurring the . it Now Philosophy. Thus Revealed Religion assures us that all things must be in harmony. harmony disappears. in 1 Knc. substitutes a completely reasoned process for one which. it is Where beauty present not a is present.

we would have it. It is obvious that convince us that they are there. Philosophy &quot.ic. will have given us no will not be able to show us how the rationality or the righteous It can only ness come in. 1 . which is known to Revealed Religion as of concrete shapes in pictorial thought. Its harmony with our But Philosophy.&quot. points to their inner nature. clear of philosophy. though we cannot see them. To unite these a state of spirit which should present us require with a harmony direct and immediate on the one hand. is It may This arrive at the conclusion that all that will real is rational. and so long as it has not absorbed into itself all other knowledge. among other things. was suggested in the earlier 1 &amp. But philosophy give us this. are shown by the whole history of religion that op timism based on general grounds may be of great importance Now we and philosophy. . as ness and immediacy of art. in spite of the superficial discord and the true reality is harmonious and good. and proves that. a cycle the process. not able to show how they are carried out in detail. the knowledge of the general conditions only of reality. it can But it is lay down general laws for all reality. as we have it now. like Religion. rests on authority. we have as yet no synthesis with the direct If philosophy should ever. It is true that it the last resort. Art gives the first and evil. But all this does not simple. either in toothache or in cowardice. and eternal spirit in itself avail to bring back the simplicity and directness of Art.&quot. and as a separation into parts. and universal and necessary on the other. if it can small gift. into is true &quot.gt. to the lives of those who believe it. For it is As such. Art shows us that something ideals is is as visible on the surface. with a temporal and external sequence. we should Philosophy the second. but Philosophy can no more unite the two than Art This is can. leaving the surface of things untouched. which must be brought back in the synthesis.known as an indivisible coherence of the universal.&quot. changes a that the external harmony. is in &quot. apply. Section 071. to toothache or cowardice. which Revealed Religion harmony inherent in the nature of things. It offers.230 THE FiXAL RESULT OF THE DIALECTIC.

of transcending and summing other aspects of reality. but we should also see how it was so. But we can. and the pleasure which is the inevitable result of conscious harmony. the highest stage of spirit would feeling. will be the antithesis to Art. in order to render the highest form of Absolute Spirit capable. would still has to regard the immediate element in reality as to some extent alien. because. as we have seen. but are aware that inner and outer are in such close . because the synthesis must contain in itself. Even here. that.THE FINAL RESULT OF THE DIALECTIC. say what the nature of such an expression must be. together with Revealed Religion. but also the complete so And acquiescence which is the goal of successful volition. and thus could not be the synthesis for two reasons. For both of these involve not merely knowledge. the Our knowledge required synthesis would not be attained. and I do not ven ture to suggest one myself. And a place will be left vacant for a now synthesis. we should not only know of every fact in the universe that it was rational. no doubt. nor the world by our ideas. within very wide and general limits. as a transcended moment. not only the perception of the rationality of all things. we shall have to recast the last of the Philosophy of Spirit. the immediate harmony it of art. develop so as to include all knowledge in one complete harmony. be only mediate knowledge. Philosophy. but and also volition. so as to bring the result more steps in accordance with the general outlines laid down at the end up all of the Logic. as it must be on Hegel s theory. Besides this. 231 part of this chapter. Firstly. 206. this this adequate expression for the absolute reality. and must therefore be lifted above the distinction of mediate and immediate. Secondly. The result of all this would appear to be. It must be some state of conscious spirit in which the in which we opposition of cognition and volition is overcome neither judge our ideas by the world. It forms work to enquire what has been only to give synthesis may My purpose some reasons for thinking that Hegel had not found an no part of the object of be. have to include. however. a merely intellectual activity could not be the ultimate truth of which art and religion are lower stages. then. which is offered by philosophy.

arid the immediate must for it be no longer the alien. as certain and universal as philosophy. It must be as direct as art. and necessary harmony that even the thought of possible dis In its unity not only cognition cord has become impossible. . must be blended and united. In some way or another it must have overcome the rift in dis cursive knowledge. and volition. but feeling also.232 THE FINT AL RESULT OF THE DIALECTIC.

which experience arlci ? is expounded in the Logic. is a mere abstraction which. with regard to our knowledge of Nature and Spirit. and which there no reason to think. nor a is mere dependent emanation from the self-subsistent perfection of pure thought. be so used as to assist in the explanation of the various facts presented to us in Hegel divides the world into two parts Nature can his philosophy tell us about them ? Spirit. it cannot itself exist unless something immediate is given to it. (pin the first place. which we have gained by the dialectic process are applicable to real life. We have seen in our consideration of the dialectic that there What are certain functions. How. it is entirely dependent on it. but there is another question more closely connected with the dialectic itself. is And ably exists somehow. we saw that the concrete world of reality cannot be held to be a mere condescension of the Logic to an outward shape. since pure thought unquestion we are led to the conclusion that it cannot . if at all. can the pure theory. And we saw that. I do not propose to discuss the utility of these results as a guide to conduct. that Hegel ever intended it to perform. THE APPLICATION OF THE DIALECTIC. therefore. in spite of the assertions of some critics. so far from pure thought being able to For. which it may mediate and relate. deduction of Nature and Spirit from Logic lies in the fact that pure thought contradictory. taken by itself. WE have now to enquire in what manner the results 207. create immediate reality.s CHAPTER VII. which pure thought cannot perform. so far from Hegel s theory being inconsistent with The force of his this truth.

Now no is No idea which category in the Logic 1 is free from contradictions except the quoted.v/But. To do this we require immediate data. Section 27. priori. Section 183. detail of reality from the nature of pure thought. This is evident. because it is only that general nature which we can prove to be essential pure thought. conclusions of the Logic in the solution of more concrete of details to explain 1 . We may trace the manifestations of the dialectic process in the experience round us. . This then is one way in which we can apply the 208. And here again we found no reason to suppose that this limitation of pure thought was ignored by Hegel. but must be a moment in that more concrete form of reality. No con of the nature of pure thought can demonstrate to us the necessity that a particular man should have red hair. that even this deduction can only extend to the general nature of the reality. that something must be given in order that thought may deal with it. and to Absolute But he never tried to deduce the necessity of each Reality. besides this. His attempts to apply his logical results may have gone all too far.234 THE APPLICATION OF THE DIALECTIC. that the reality must contain an immediate moment. problems. or even to hold out such a deduction as an ideal. It will be convenient to self-contradictory can be true until it is so transformed that the contradictions have vanished.. dialectic concerning the ^ultimate nature of Absolute Being. Cp. which is expressed imperfectly in Nature and adequately in Spirit. exist independently. we may gain some information from the . but he never attempted to deduce the the facts he was attempting to rational ise v/His necessity of object was to point out that through every part of reality there runs a thread of logical connection. and in so fat as we do this we shall have rationalised that experience. and the passage from the Philosophy of Spirit there Also Chap vi.. consider this latter point first. But further than this we for the existence of We know. in the second place. both from the number which he mentions without even an attempt and also from his own direct statement them. And we saw. a sideration cannot go without the aid of empirical observation. i. Chap. so that the different parts stand in intelligible relations to one another. in order that thought may mediate it.

But such an in ideal is. And. . that in it is found &quot. alien to itselfxit might also be maintained. sub specie aeternitatis. Absolute Idea. Section 280. united into a closely connected whole. and. aeternitatis. sub specie temporis. Moreover. but oscillate from And so a step which seems to be advance. or whether it is a unity of persons without being itself a person. its But those who estimate the whatever view we denied that may many of take of the supreme end. 1 it cannot be rightly our actions are directed. for which its differentiations is. it must be view. apart from their theoretic interest. which.der Begriff der Idee. several consequences. were of the greatest practical importance. practical utility of a theoryof guiding our action. justify us in saying that the results of Hegel s philosophy. Action. after all. ajd which. in Hegel s transparent. of the results of the dialectic. 235 Reality can therefore be fully apprehended under no category but this. sub specie far too distant.11 reality must. From this we can deduce Spirit &quot. dem die Idee als solche der Gegenstand. to allow us to use it deciding on any definite course of action in the present. we never side to side as we directly forwards. UA.&quot. &quot.all reality. For of the great lessons of He^j/s^philosoj)hy is that^in any one_ progress. is the goal towards which all reality is moving. dem das Objekt sic ist 1 . We learn by them what is the nature of that ideal. it not be impossible to determine whether the whole in might question was also a self-conscious being. Nor can it be taken to indicate even the direction in which our present action should move. that it must find in them nothing phrase. is always directed to some end. move almost directly away from our ideal may sometimes be the next step on the only road by which that ideal can be attained. on this be Spirit. It is true that such results as these can but rarely be available as guides to action. that it must consist of finite self- And conscious spirits. is present in . The information thus attained would be enough to 209. though the point is too large to be discussed here. We shall find it to be true of all reality. sub specie teniporis.THE APPLICATION OF THE DIALECTIC. and Enc. take too confined a only by power view. are. The questions dis cussed in the last chapter are also examples of the use that f may be made. far too implicit.&quot. and be differentiated. in this connection.

and others. to the production of happiness for ourselves Surely. from the Persian . endeavour to deduce the facts.236 THE APPLICATION OF THE DIALECTIC. as well as the History of Philosophy. a philosophical theory which tended to the productipn . or with explanations in detail of the phenomena of science. and also in the Philosophy of Religion. We must now turn to the second way in which Hegel endeavours to apply the dialectic to experience. from that development. from the Absolute Idea. Nor is there is any reason think that the proportion of such people of diminishing. Nor does he ever attempt to deduce each stage from the one before it. drawn. even if it should foil to philosophy which provide us with counsel as to the organisation of society. It is to this that he gives the greater prominence. Any system gives any reasons for deciding such questions. Law and He does not. Religion. Spirit. the gradual development of the Absolute Idea. of which he treats. has been already remarked. as History. much larger portion of his writings is occupied in tracing. A To this purpose are devoted almost the whole of the Philosophies of Nature. such conclusions as to the ultimate nature of things as we have seen can be reached by Hegel s philosophy have obviously a very intimate connection with the problems which may be classed as religious. Is the universe rational and righteous ? Is spirit or matter the fundamental reality ? Have our standards of perfection any objective validity ? Is our per sonality an ultimate fact or a transitory episode ? All experience Now and history show that for many men the answers to these questions are the source of some of the most intense and per all sistent joys and sorrows known in human to life. in one way rather than another. as to the concrete whole of which the Absolute Idea is one moment. will have a practical interest. for example. from Moralitat to Sittlichkeit.of happiness would have as much claim to be called practically important. in the succession of events in time. but they are not given On many important points we have no further than the development of the Absolute Idea in the Logic. then. 210. as if it had afforded guidance in action. guide and we must judge for ourselves what consequences can be at any length. His views on the nature of absolute reality are to be found in the Philosophy of Spirit. We pass. directed.

or else left His object is to show that the central ideas of unexplained. . and in the gradually increasing adequacy of the mani divisions of these works festation of the Absolute Idea. In the History of Philo of the subordinate divisions are not triple. and syn thesis. many details in the second which are not the consequence of anything in the first. His theories of Nature. is sometimes said that Hegel endeavoured to show that &quot. than has sometimes been supposed. in reducing the second and third divisions to one. appears im minute) At any rate no such correspondence is mentioned by possible. and Law are each divided into three main sections. however. or from the Greek civilisation to the are. it we cannot say even form and the much as this. and the Notion. The connection with the Logic seems rather to lie in the similarity of development. each stage are such that each follows from its predecessor either as a reaction from its one-sidedness. seems an exaggeration. more and more adequately as the process gets nearer to its end. not into three. Of the Philosophy as of Histnrv. again. religion to 237 Roman. And although Hegel would probably have found no difficulty. thus destroying the triadic analogy to the three divisions of the Logic. to trace any definite correspondence between the secondary (to say nothing of divisions still more and the secondary divisions of the Logic. which doubtless correspond.&quot. in the various spheres of activity which he considered in his different treatises. as the process gradually develops itself. Essence. to the exact importance. Hegel. in each case. Spirit. it a fact of some significance that he did not think it worth while to do It seems to indicate that he attached less so. to the three primary But divisions of the Logic Being.It the stages of development. This.THE APPLICATION OF THE DIALECTIC. For is divided. resemblance of the scheme of the concrete processes to the scheme of pure thought sophy. and are meant to correspond. or as a reconciliation of its contradictions and that these ideas express. antithesis. on his own is principles. by thesis. many in the Logic. corresponded to the various categories of the Logic. and which must be explained empirically by science. Religion. but into four main divisions. the Absolute Idea which had been expounded in the Logic. But there the Syrian. indeed.

the other hand. and they are believed for this reason. This is. although they doubtless contain much that is . To those who reject that position the whole of the dialectic of pure thought must seem a stupendous blunder magnificent or ridiculous according to the taste of the critic. and not his really In the preceding chapters I have given applications of it. Among the followers of Hegel a different cause has led to The attraction of Hegel s philosophy to many the same effect. that they do explain the facts. it to be gaining ground in many directions.pp1iVni. Hegelian views of religion. But the brilliance and suggesti veness of many of the details of these applications have often been acknowledged by those who reject the system in which they were arranged. largely due to a reaction against Hegel s general position. With the dia lectic of pure thought would fall also. Hegel s explanations of the rationality to be in particular spheres of existence are accepted by many found who ignore or reject his demonstrations that everything which exists must be I rational. 212. Tli P. They often style themselves They appear But the dialectic of pure thought tends to fall into Hegelians. on of the Logic is justifiable. Nor can be said that their advocates are neglectful of the source from which they derive their theories. 211. of course.23cS THE APPLICATION OF THE DIALECTIC. some reasons in support of the view that the general position With regard to its applications.inns nf f.Vio dialectic to various aspects _of reality have been the part of Hegel s work which has received of late years the most notice and approbation. n. These explanations attractive by their aesthetic completeness/or because of the practical consequences are adopted and defended by such that follow from them It is maintained that we can see writers in an empirical way. all general and its applications. of history. while others do not. the background. wish to put forward a different vie^v that the valid part of Hegel s system is his Logic. of morals. of them appears ticular parts of experience rather to lie in the explanations it can give of par than in its general theory of the nature of reality. and not because they follow from the dialectic of pure thought. and the basis from which it is demonstrated validity of sought to justify them. no doubt. of the state are common enough among us.

239 most valuable. whether it will require. only be done safely. And. the development of another term opposite and goes complementary to itself. these mani festations will arrange themselves in triads of this kind. antitheses negative. there is nothing in the nature which should render his success impos The difficulties which arise are due rather to the greatness of the task. And But how are we to determine which stages are theses. in the middle We cannot safely begin tell There us. and the third reconciling them. The movement of the Idea. their general and systematic validity seems indefensible./ Or we may say that the terms are positive which express the reality to which the process is advancing. Theses may be said to be negative per se. is by thesis. Hegel has attempted to show that they do so. on a higher level. as the process forward. seen. and which again syntheses ? This can. as these again determination by their relation to others previously determined. in the case of any one term. As we have already of Hegel s object here. 213. positive. sible a priori. the first two being opposed. and synthesis. though they express it . which are antitheses. we shall be able to build up a dialectic system only if we have fixed points at one or both ends of the chain to start from. as we learned in the Logic. the position with which the process negative terms being the com plementary denials which are necessary as means to gain the higher level. But to apply this test we should have to know beforehand the term with which the process started. so that a reconciliation will be the next step to be expected in the process. before a synthesis can be reached. If we are able to trace the progressive manifestations of the Idea in facts. or or an antithesis whether that it is itself came before opposed and complementary to some term it. I believe. by observing its relation to others. These difficulties we have now to consider. and to the imperfection of our present knowledge. But no term is In a dialectic process we started^bhe either positive or call those terms positive which reaffirm. nothing in the nature of any term which can it we take in isolation from othergj jghether it is a thesis that is. antithesis. which have already been grasped in the will require system.THE APPLICATION OF THE DIALECTIC. if is and work backwards and forwards.

unless those round them have ^r&quot. We and reconcile the opposition of the two terms that go before it. a_ synthesis in And other words. can only know that we must take it as a synthesis by seeing that it does unite &quot. . every synthesis in a process. and require for its reconciliation another synthesis. then. would be far greater in the applications of the Logic than in the Logic itself. temporarily sacrifice the resem blance 1 But this distinction. We if synthesis we can therefore only determine that a term is a see that it does reconcile the two terms it immediately in front of relation to other terms. It would seem. Nor would it be possible to recognise any term. That is to say. if seen by itself. if we see it in the impossibility of recognising as such. 214. and in others to be one of two opposites which need a reconciliation. and unless we get a starting-point 1 in this Cp. while Schelling opposes it as the the of Peter. On the other hand. that we can only hope to arrive at a knowledge of any dialectic process. &quot. at least. For fact or event has many sides or aspects. John is which shall unite the two. whatig the last term of the whole process. is useless until \ve know .240 THE APPLICATION OF THE DIALECTIC. when we know. which will break out in the opposition of the next thesis and antithesis. contains within itself a latent onesidedness. taken in isolation.&quot. &quot. we can only ascertain its place in the series if we have previously ascertained the places of the adjacent terms. except the last. and looks forward to a religion religion of &quot. again. been fixed previously. Every term in a dialectic process. for example. for all that is accomplished is transferred to all succeeding terms. Section 85. either the beginning the end of the process as a fixed point. in some of which every it may appear to be a reconciliation of two opposites. the two first. inadequately. Enc. wbile the negative terms are those which. (So Hegel. &quot. as a synthesis. contains within itself some synthesis of except opposition.) Now which of these aspects the significant one for our purpose at any time cannot be known if the term is looked at in isolation. in recognising the inadequacy. For no other points can be fixed. appears to regard Protestantism as the synthesis of the oppositions of Christianity. and as its highest to religion of Paul point.

The ends. The beginnings of the series are too far back to be remembered. in a series of concrete facts. because all the steps in the Logic are categories of pure thought. even if we did happen to know the stage which was. We we know know that the category of Being must be the beginning. its relation to the other terms of the process is not yet M. and. All we have to do. is to analyse and The subject-matter sented. we know that the Absolute Idea is the last of the categories because it does not develope any contradiction. the successive manifestations of the pure Idea. And. are too far forward to be foreseen. known for we are looking for an independent fixed 16 . and new forms of reality present themselves. if it were doubted. since it is presented in every act of thought. the first or the last of a dialectic process. 241 manner. make of explicit what is thus pre the analysis can neverjbe* wanting.THE APPLICATION OF THE DIALECTIC. must be the last category of the Logic. H. And this is the first difficulty in the way of our attempts to find the fixed points from which we may start our dialectic. And we should defend this proposition. Philosophy. so far as we can tell./ But are trying to discover. which will require a recon ciliation in a higher category. should we be able to recognise it as such on inspection ? By the hypothesis. as a matter of fact. We can determine in this way the highest and lowest points of the Logic. when we For these facts can only be known empirically. the case is different. and all those categories are implicit in every act of thought. We are situated at neither end of the process. yet. while in any other category the idea of Being can be discovered by analysis. by showing that all attempts to analyse it into simpler categories fail. religion. 216. 215. Years go on. and the further off they are in time the more difficult they will be to remember or to predict. Now in the Logic we do know the beginning and end. in order to construct the Logic. when we have reached it. Nor are we yet at the end of any of them. Again. we shall never be able to start at all. We know the beginning before we start. because it is the simplest of all the categories. although we do not know the end before we that it start. history all the stretch activities whose course Hegel strives to demonstrate backwards till they are lost in obscurity.

242 THE APPLICATION OF THE DIALECTIC. And we may take space as representing the absolute minimum of reality without much danger of ourselves deceived. ence. indeed. so far. from which our dialectic process may start.bhe right basis. such quantitative estimates are succeeded by far deeper and more significant relations when once the dialectic process is established. category of Being was the lowest. according to Hegel. until the mutual relations of the stages are determined. the stages in each of Hegel s applications of the Logic are arranged. so that our fixed points are still not found. where we are seeking the point on which to establish the dialectic process. reality below the level of Spirit. still if it does embody imagine that something less may exist all. only a quantitative differ and thus. great. But it reality is finding . still more abstractly. And. we might know that the stage which corresponded to the If. And so we can never be sure that we have got to . the risk which in taking space as our starting point is perhaps not since the process of Nature includes all For. we can always which embodies that Idea completely. therefore. But this not the case. since this is so. in some cases. We cannot say of any stage. point in order that we may begin to relate the terms to one another. As has been mentioned above. But these will not help us here. And so. one term can. it would have lost all semblance of reality. on the same principle as the categories of the Logic. and could not be given the Absolute Idea at in experience. that it completely fails to embody the Absolute Idea. each stage in each of the applications of the dialectic clearly corresponded to some one category of the Logic. only differ from the others in expressing the Absolute Idea more or less adequately. its lowest stage must be that at which 217. For then. Of course. we run on the point of vanishing altogether. and above the highest stage that we know. indeed. we can imagine others yet. but is without any suggestion of such definite correspondence. In the Philosophy of Nature. below the lowest stage that we know. in any one of the applications of the Logic. and that the stage which corresponded to the Absolute Idea was the highest. they can only be distinguished by quantitative differences which can never define the beginning and end of their own series. This is so far. And.

Hegel says that Philosophy is the highest But it is clear that Philosophy must here mean more than the stage of Spirit. which has the germs of selfconsciousness in it. and their realisa tion of the Absolute Idea must be partial. In the first place. and the Philosophy of Nature a is fairly certain beginning. And. except in the Philosophy of Spirit. then we should have to include the whole of Nature. or philosophy. we should have to begin than Hegel did. the points at each end of the In the Philosophy of Spirit. and leaves room for possible stages below it. and therefore In no religion. always in uncertainty little less lest some new stage should arise in each of these activities. where the lowest point of the particular process is still relatively concrete. culty as before in finding the exact place to draw In the Philosophy of Religion. existence of a system of metaphysics held by professed metaphysicians as a 1 It must be something which is universally accepted. since on Hegel s principles. will 243 be different in dealing with religion. What form The can we take series of forms is continuous as the lowest in which Spirit is present? from those which certainly belong to Spirit to those which certainly belong to Nature. processes deal only with an aspect of reality. . modifies all spiritual life. law. however latent. if we reserved the name of Spirit for the forms in which any far thing like our own life was explicit. in no system of metaphysics And so we are realisation of the Absolute Idea. imperfectly than any yet known. . 162 . and we should have the same diffi higher up the line. complete imperfect.If we call everything Spirit. and the Philosophy of Spirit begins.THE APPLICATION OF THE DIALECTIC. or form of 1 can we find a government. in no national spirit. yet it impossible to find a point at which it is certain that the Philosophy of Nature ends. which should embody the Absolute Idea a 218. the On the other hand. although the Philosophy of Spirit has a well-defined end. the same may be In none of the appli said of the highest stage in any process. Let us consider this in more detail. lower always has the higher implicit in it. history. cations of the dialectic but this can we hope to meet with a For all the other perfect embodiment of the Absolute Idea. The highest point which could be reached in such a History of Philosophy as Hegel s would leave much to be done before Spirit had reached its full development. and which theory.

we cannot rely on the relation of the stages to determine what stage is to be taken as the highest. by process seem uncertain. The reason that Hegel assigns for it is that self-consciousness was not free in the Hegel himself in the Philosophy of Religion. Might not something be found. Vol. 117. in which the idea of freedom is still very rudimentary. quate representation of the Absolute Idea. as expounded by difficult to justify Hegel. The end of the History of Philosophy. earlier 2 But in what sense is this to be taken ? If to be taken into account. to consider freedom in so far as it it is explicit. Hegel begins his systematic exposition with Thales. and ought to be treated as a form of it ? And at the other end of the series a similar doubt occurs.) . i. which is really an attempt to determine the ultimate nature of reality. But if we are only religions had the germ of freedom in them. which was lower even than Magic. like all other forms of revealed religion. possible In the History of Philosophy. History of Philosophy. that Hegel regards Christianity. and which yet contained the germ of religion. arisen.gt. i. It is clear. 99 of Haldane s trans lation. Section 208.eyond . from the Philosophy of Spirit. until one end at least of the series has been independently fixed. p. Yet since There is his death several new in systems have already 1 no ground to attribute to Hegel any excessive degree of self-confidence. if. we find the same diffi 219. is his own philosophy.&quot. further historical investigation. t&amp. or against the possibility that Christianity may Hegel would probably have develope into higher forms ? answered that the Philosophy of Religion has demonstrated But Christianity to be the synthesis of all other religions. p. as we have seen reason to think. the relations of the stages cannot be accurately determined. as in some degree an inade &quot. The system This criticism does not apply to Hegel s demonstration of the nature of Absolute Religion. (Cp.) The difficulty arises when he tries to connect his own 2 idea of Absolute Religion with historical Christianity. then we might find the inclusion of the earlier Greek philo sophies. (Vol. which no other is 1 excluding all Oriental philosophy. This distinction can scarcely be based on any qualitative difference. How can his system guard against the possibility that a yet more perfect religion may arise. is systems implicit freedom . culty. that the Oriental points out.244 THE APPLICATION OF THE DIALECTIC.

But it is significant that ends by demonstrating that the ideal form of government was very like the one under which Hegel was living. or he would not have complete confidence in it. He thus imposed on empirical variety an a priori limit. The more probable supposition is that he had come to the conclusion that constitutional monarchy was the best possible form of government for an European nation in 1820. So Hegel passed to the conclusion that the best which had appeared was the best which could appear.THE APPLICATION OF THE DIALECTIC. This is . to exclude tribes of mere savages. . and the fresh contradictions which are latent in it cannot yet have revealed themselves to him. since the idea of government. a legitimate opinion.- room for fresh systems of Law/ has not quite the same difficulties rather an analysis of the functions of a state. and liable to be upset at any moment by the course 220. which was not critical but dogmatic. the future. ihe_ Absolute Idea. Thus it naturally seems to him the one coherent system. which anyone believes fully 245 and completely will always appear to him the culminating point of the whole process of philosophy. cannot regard with confidence any theory of the growth of philosophical systems which leaves no in. but what is not legitimate is the attempt to lay down a priori that it will always be the best No form of government can completely embody.gt. and therefore the But the appearance is deceptive. There seems no reason to suspect that he was influenced by interested motives. since it to describe it a historical progression. He had indeed a right. only because he did not happen to know anything older. as we learn in the Philosophy of Spirit. And it is very difficult to predict social changes which are still far distant. clear. For it has solved for him all the contradictions which he has perceived in former systems. of events. by his own definition of history. v -&amp. possible form. before the rise of civilization. But he could have no reason to assert Chinese and he did not assert that. In the Philosophy of History the contingency of the He begins with China. and of the ethical notions which they involve. it is starting point is still plainer. there was no succession of nation to nation. than an attempt The Philosophy is to meet. is itself but a subordinate one. and we ultimate system.

(pp. We have seen also that he realised that room must be left for the development of Russia and the United States. to charge such a philosophy with ignoring the discoveries of Copernicus. His scheme does not include the Sclavonic races.) 2 . which do not lie very near the Mediterranean. 360. succession. only two can be indepen dently recognised. of religion. in 1 which the evolution of society. so as to give us the fixed points which we find to be necessary in constructing the processes. pp. from the most superficial abstraction to the most absolute reality. and. But he expressly says that the Sclavonic races may have hereafter a place in the series of national developments.lt. And. perhaps disproportionately large Religion and History to part of the Philosophies of China and India. therefore. And he admits in so many words that history will not stop where his Philosophy of History stops. still more positively. up. and of s Philosophy of History. Metaphysic. not In view of passages like these. such as he did not know that there was such a it and he could not take into account. nor the European inhabitants of America. ati d at the end of the Philosophy of Spirit. Now Nature and Spirit. or to put limits to the development which takes place in it. It is scarcely fair. These are at the beginning of the Philosophy of Nature. it would seem that there is much truth in Lotze s reproach. Hegel devotes a large shores of the Mediterranean 2 . He character and distinct work. its distinct traces in later times. that the United States will have such a place 1 All attempt to fix the final point of history. and 83. that of all the terminal points of the different applications of the dialectic. as to what does happen on the earth. It appears. Section 217. 363 and &amp. is thus given .JO of Sibree translation. taken form the chief and all-embracing process reaching together. then. But this leaves the beginning quite empirical. 221. that modern Idealism spiritual confined the development of the Absolute to the In the first place Hegel speaks of this planet.240 each with THE APPLICATION OF THE DIALECTIC. and leaves it quite open to us to suppose only that the Absolute Idea might be realised in other developments elsewhere.

which may be broken down in the immediate future. We have thus the power. But the circumstances which determine that a particular view shall be held at a particular time and in a particular shape are to a large extent contingent and only to be known empirically. but only the highest and lowest degrees of reality which can be expressed in a society. and of systems. the least adequate to the Absolute Idea. while they would And that 1 The subject-matter of metaphysical systems is. what is the relation of the process given in the History of Philosophy to the main process of Spirit. Law. all of which contain em can only be known empirically. Religion and Philosophy. in the subordinate processes of History. ^Of the second we know that it must be a conception of reality in which the Absolute Idea is expressed with perfect adequacy. 1 . within certain limits. we can only know empirically. just because these points are the extremes U Of the all we know that it must be that aspect of reality which. a creed. the two present experience other as absolute and almost unimaginable perfection while But further reflection points less remote are far more obscure. since this depends on the nature of societies. of creeds. the nature of Heaven. . How low or how high these can be.gt. And it may at first sight seem improbable that we should be able to determine. with com parative certainty. since the Logic tells us the nature of the Absolute Idea. so there is nothing mysterious or suspicious in the fact many philosophers would be quite prepared to predict.THE APPLICATION OF THE DIALECTIC. the the one shows us that first it is of all reality that they are comparatively determinable. no doubt. the least significant. pure thought. Nor can we determine by pure thought how large an element in the complete perfection of Spirit consists in correct views on general questions of metaphysics or in other words. 247 philosophy are only episodes.ut lowest absolutely. it pirical elements can never be known certainly. or a metaphysical system. We can never be sure that the if it And boundaries we place are not due to casual limitations of our actual knowledge. is the least true. to anticipate to some degree the nature of the first and last terms in the main process of reality. of conceivable ways of looking at reality. points most remote from our as the barest of abstractions. the highest and lowest points are not highest and &amp. We may be justified in recognising Space as the one. and in predicting more or less what is to be expected in the other.

But of the government completely of London we should only know that. allow for the interaction of every upon every other aspect. it much and in what form by the aid of the dialectic. he is really isolated example of the dialectic process ? No side of reality can be from all the others. it would manifest the Absolute Idea to some extent. as we have seen. For on such a theory as in Heaven the Absolute Idea was and adequately manifested. points constitution possible for a country at any time insists. taken by itself. We sociology. to regret in this. to be an to Religion. the first and last points in the dialectic process is not the only obstacle in our way. to Now in doing this. closely connected with Religion.248 THE APPLICATION OF THE DIALECTIC. and. This is a truth we must aspect of reality which Hegel fully recognises. For on its character. But no man knoweth the mind of the king 1 . we should have to begin by determining the position of the municipal organi sation of London in 1996 in a chain which stretches from the This barest possible abstraction to the fullest possible reality. in his exposition. like all earthly things. how would manifest it. expect such a fragment of reality. must now pass on The difficulty of fixing application of his Logic to experience. But these various dialectical processes are not. indeed. unless we fall into quite a false abstraction. Philosophers are in much the same position as Mr Kipling s muleteer &quot. and to Philosophy. Much of Hegel s work. according to 1 The Ballad of the King s Jest.&quot. For they are on firmer ground in theology than in And perhaps there is not much 222.We know what heaven and hell may bring. we cannot do. he he out that em the phatically example. to a second defect in Hegel s consisted in applying the dialectic process to various special fields History. and on which. And to determine. but not Hegel s we should know that completely. . to Law. in each case dealing with only one Can we aspect of reality. must depend and both History and Philosophy are. own their philosophy quite incompetent to give any information about the probable form of local government which will prevail in London one hundred years hence. leaving out of account many others.

that.THE APPLICATION OF THE DIALECTIC. Shakespeare. One man is and. One explicitly Spirit. simplicity. it follows that the spontaneous development of each according to the dialectic will be complicated and obscured by an in definite number of side influences introduced from other aspects of reality then in different stages. is a fact. But still the result will not a hundred pianos were to play the Suppose of music. by casual and contingent interactions. and another is Blackmore. themselves obeying the same law of the dialectic. these three processes react on one another. as it was in Religion. Philosophy) for example. which may perhaps be explained. f 249 Hegel. like that which is influenced. begins for him in China. and Philosophy. is obeying the same law of the dialectic. we try to follow the working of the dialectic . in spite of the fact that they were all playing the same piece. Matter. since they are engaged in different parts of the process. exhibit that law. and there are therefore no influences hundred had started. at any moment. History. regulated by no principle. whose religion on the other If. synchronous. and another is a man. It But there is an analogous diffi and an equally serious one. the course of the dialectic will be altered in each case. when all the same piece would be one of mere confusion. and we cannot trace any system in their juxtaposition. If. Nature and Spirit. It is true that everything which influences. but producing. For this relates. process. each beginning a few seconds after its while the length of these intervals was unequal and neighbour. The effect on the ear. we shall find. but to the whole of it. for example. another part is that implicit form of Spirit which we call One creature is a jelly-fish. History^ again. hand represents an advance on primitive then. but which cannot be disputed. culty. if we consider the world as a dialectic when we look at it sub specie temporis. very unequally part of the world is advanced in that process. which in historical development is already in the second stage. that its different parts are. from outside to be considered. The same difficulty will not occur in the process of 223. Now these different parts of the world will react on one another. a result in which it will be impossible to trace the dialectic scheme. not to one side of reality only. by the influence of various other forces. begins for him in Greece.

taken as a whole. be a pure assumption. innumerable cases in which our spiritual nature is conditioned and constrained by outside facts. It generally comes from some purely material cause an east wind. which may be developing along their own paths. as far as at present. we find that one of the most prominent facts in the life of each man is his death at a certain time. Now it is but seldom that death comes as a consequence or even as a symbol of something spiritual development. must be looked on if And the first place. all the facts of experi ence are really manifestations of reason. which we admitted as valid. supposition that. the development of the race must manifest itself in individuals. without showing us how particular . This could only be denied on the we took a sufficient number of cases. on general grounds. however. but which. and its effects are more probably cumulative than mutually destructive. often produce results on the spiritual development of nations. or of the civilised world. Whatever importance death may have is for his spiritual development. Of course anyone who accepts Hegel s Logic must believe that the nature of the Absolute. entirely rational. from those conditions. if results of the external influences would cancel one another. This leaving the inherent development of spirit unchecked. it will not exist at all. that everything must be rational. however irrational and But this takes us back to the contingent they may appear. as regards that spiritual as purely arbitrary. the we can judge would. we shall not be more In successful in tracing it accurately in the race as a whole. And this is only the most striking of the or a weak heart. material causes the Black Death. process in the lives of individual men. for example. and if it is hampered in each of free them by material conditions. consequently. owing to these external disturbances. a falling tile. that it will assure us. it power of explaining his obviously all-important to our since with significant in a man s spiritual history. to be in accordance with the facts. and not likely.250 THE APPLICATION OF THE DIALECTIC. 224. namely. other practical use of Hegel s philosophy. And. the dialectic cannot be observed in the individual. For the influence which material causes have on the develop ment of Spirit has a distinctive character. is and that. nature. secondly. death we lose sight of him.

like everything rational. it must be system complete admitted that the task which Hegel did undertake was one which often required more knowledge of facts than he had. must be in which we could get a dialectic process. could not hope to find the fixed points which were necessary we could begin to construct the dialectic. History. an^. and not merely to explain. than. 225. ) it might be free I need only touch on a third obstacle which presents This consists in the ex tejtit_and intricacy of the subject- matter which must be known. as then. however sure we may be else. . but not from the second. The hindrance which this throws in the way of Hegel s purpose has perhaps been overestimated by his opponents. with the state of the whole universe at some subsequent moment. we or Philosophy. 1 This difficulty is least promi- Cp. perhaps. of course.THE APPLICATION OF THE DIALECTIC. unless we knew what the state of the whole universe at one particular moment really was.^iri the second place. And they have exaggerated the extent to which he believed himself to have succeeded in making his 1 But after allowing for all this. before we can hope to interpret it by means of the dialectic. with actual facts. by tracing their dialectical connection with one another. taken sab specie temporis. dealing would be to trace the connection of the state of the whole The only way universe. itself. which are not part of that chain. that the attempts to trace the manifests itself in IJeligion. Section 220. which is obviously impossible. we found that from the first fault. or . This. to mention only one point. our knowledge is almost entirely confined to this planet. can be obtained. secure from extraneous influences. and unified by science. since. we shall fail in so far as they are influenced by the facts on general grounds that they./ With regard to the main before process of Nature and Spirit. the facts of experience. Law. the course of the dialectic process must be continu ally disturbed by external causes. In the first place. things are rational. at one moment of time. could not be done. suffered under two defect^. trying to explain It will not alter the fact that if 251 we are how the various facts of any particular kind are rational. We have found so it dialectic process. For they have repre sented him as trying to deduce. far.

cent attempt to trace the working of that evolution through the of the evolution. and the fact that the different chains of the dialectic process acted irregularly on one another. which are found in any subject-matter as given in experience. But it cannot be denied that has a certain 226. and content ourselves with the information that they can give us as It seems to to Absolute Reality seen in its full completeness ? me that we need not do so. to our present experience. by . whole so field of human knowledge must be given up. it determine moral development are indefinitely complex. nent in Religion and Philosophy. if. where the facts to be dealt with are comparatively few and easy of access. than that which now.252 THE APPLICATION OF THE DIALECTIC. may continue to regard as true the idea We by inherent necessity. was comparatively fortunate in being able to fix its starting-point with tolerable certainty. The abuse which has been heaped on this it work is probably excessive. of the full meaning of since that follows from the Logic. It is most prominent in the Philosophy of Nature. A man s moral nature is affected by his own intellectual development. to a state of almost complete We seem thus reduced scepticism as to the value of Hegel s applications of the dialectic. which. and many of them have themselves no moral significance. taken in abstraction from other influences. For the causes which For example. we tried to trace such a process in some of the influences at work on these events. taken as systems. would probably be impossible to trace a dialectic process in the moral history of any man or nation. But Hegel s magnifi reality. except in a few prominent features. instead of trying to trace the dialectic process in actual events. amount of justification. so that none of them remained symmetrical examples of the dialectic development. hardly won in the Logic. Must we give up with it all attempts to apply the conclusions. Hegel himself attempted. which are always many-sided. We saw that two of the difficulties in the way of Hegel s scheme were the multiplicity of the details. and influenced from outside. as we saw. though less ambitious. as we have it may be interpreted by means of the dialectic in a manner possibly not less useful. Now both these difficulties would be avoided. and that experience.

We abstract. For we deal only with those characteristics which we have ourselves selected to deal with. but they are not processes in unison with the process of his moral nature. But influence of an indefinite number of forces. we escape from the difficulties caused by the intrusion of outside influences. except the deliberate moral choice of the In the same way. also move in dialectic processes. but what would happen excluded. he loses his repentance may. which have always other aspects besides that of their moral quality. in its abstraction. or. to isolate is under the possible it is two of them. his a sin of which. The result. in the first place. be indefinitely postponed. Punishment. and which are affected by many cir cumstances that are not moral acts. what influence on were put actual facts a certain force tends to exert when taken by itself. and so they prevent it exhibiting an example of the dialectic movement. men. in the case given above. By considering abstract qualities we save ourselves. But if. Arid. and we abstract from all causes which influence action. Repentance. A man may have committed own will. Innocence.THE APPLICATION OF THE DIALECTIC. The third difficulty which met us in dealing with Hegel s own applications of the dialectic was the impossibility of deter- .g. qualities Between these there would be a much ^greater chance of dis covering some dialectic connection. and to consider how the body would move if only those two forces acted upon it. from all aspects of actions except their morality. For we are not considering what does happen in any actual case. through some disease. sin. by the inner development of his he would soon come to repent. to it if all but a given set of conditions in another way. every moving body agent. in the second place. Sin. but it may render us important aid in explaining and influencing concrete cases. will not apply exactly to any concrete case. memory shortly after committing the to say the least. and by his relations with material All these causes. his relations with other 253 things. Difficulties like these arise whenever our subject-matter is concrete moral acts. from the com plexity caused by the indefinite multiplicity of particulars which are to be found in any given piece of experience. no doubt. e. Let us now consider what would be the case if we took comparatively abstract moral Virtue.

than directly stated. of which the terms are Sin. On the other hand it would not be worth everyone desired to while to work out what would happen if much bodily pain as possible. and Repentance. method. but most people act from them enough to make it worth while to work out what would happen if every tions. ever acted exclusively from purely economic motives.254 THE APPLICATION OF THE DIALECTIC. Punishment. its simplicity. as their comparatively humble aim. it appears that he regards Innocence (Unschuldigkeit) and Virtue as the thesis and synthesis of a triad. if we compare his treatment of the subject in the Philosophy of Spirit and in the Philosophy of Religion. there was before. like every result gained by abstraction. We only assert that. which we seldom did. This difficulty does not arise in our proposed abstract applications of the dialectic. they stand in certain relations which are an example of the dialectic movement. Now the conditions of Hegel s dialectic of virtue do occur in life sufficiently often and with sufficient exactitude to make the knowledge we have gained by the abstraction practically valuable. for example. whose anti thesis consists of a subordinate triad. unless we knew the beginning or the end of the process beforehand. And therefore. and its fixed starting-point. best The It is rather implied is his theory of Sin. dialectic example of such an application of the which is to be found in Hegel s own work. No one. when a certain number of abstract terms are taken in connection with one another. because few people are greatly influenced by such a desire. on account of There is no attempt here. This is the case with all abstrac or less untrue. of course. its independence of external influences. merely by abstraction gained in the only way in which definiteness can ever be our present state of imperfect knowledge. This process gains. one always did suffer as so. . but. to make it practically useful. it is more Its value must depend on its being approxi mately true sufficiently often. referred to above. Here we are sure ourselves. to construct even a part of the chain of stages which reaches from beginning to end of the whole temporal process. mining the relation of the various stages to one another. and with sufficient exactitude. because we have made it 227. of our starting-point.

from one point of view. But when. under given circumstances. as often happens. materials for explaining those actions and states with straction. useful and found in the abstract all certainty which the Logic gives us that reality is rational and righteous. we 1 Sections 208. can never express the whole nature of any That which. when we ask of what value apart from the value of truth for its own sake. we are looking at things from one limited point of view. which we saw above was a legitimate consequence of the Logic 1 . the arrangement of our subject-matter upon such a scheme may be very valuable. ignoring others. again. resting on ab will never succeed in giving a complete explana sufficient accuracy. after all. is the enjoyment of the original in a deeper and better way.THE APPLICATION OF THE DIALECTIC. . and also in the general determination of the nature of true reality. while the antithesis is the abandonment or the denial of that good. (philosophy isj In other words. As an abstrac thesis. even when we cannot in the least see how it is so. is positive. may from another be negative. and from a third be a reconciliation of two extremes. 209. this relation event. in many instances. and in some cases will give us in explaining them. tion of the facts in any actual case. scarcejjjLny help 228T^ Another relation of abstract terms is throw great light on experience Jbhat which which can often is sometimes thesis is the summed up in the maximjDie to livej Here the possession or assertion of something good in itself. if it does take place. and what its results will be. And so the relation which exists between the moral aspects of actions and mental states will afford us. 255 For whenever men are acting so that their acts have a moral and this is almost always the case then the moral quality aspect of a particular action will be one of the most important of the factors which determine whether it shall. on account of some defect or narrowness in the statement of the The synthesis. when the defect has been good purged out by the discipline of the antithesis. 229. But. and temporarily tion. take place or not. the main practical interest of Hegel s philosophy does not suggestive as they are. it although. lie in It is rather to be such interpretations.

Its importance is not that us how the facts around us are good. it would assist us in both these terms if we could succeed in tracing the manifestations of the dialectic process in the facts around us. if it is successful. to be able to apply We must to religion. That the effect on religion is one which we are entitled to consider of practical. and. and In saying this we shall seem in those with great uncertainty. are. And. and perhaps even more important. if Hegel s applications of the dialectic could have been sustained. was For. then. only in a very few cases. We may go. righteousness of the universe must be reached by philosophy. like all perfectly good. and nothing can have more immediate practical interest than any . than to science and conduct. this. Now the application of the dialectic to the particular facts is not indispensable in the same way. I think. and not merely of theoretical interest. it domains of religion than in it shows jthose of science or practice. The practical value of the dialectic. and should have some rules by which we can guide our conduct. sub specie aeternitatis. not that it shows us how we can make them better. even further than 230.256 THE APPLICATION OF THE DIALECTIC. and in anticipating the facts in which it 1 Section 209. and to all that makes life worth having. than the effect which it might have exercised on science and conduct. It is our general welfare. sub specie temporis. shall find that lies more in the other reality. no doubt. lies in the demon stration of a general principle. through religion. destined to become that they. But reflection may convince us that the effect of philosophy on religion is quite as practical. at first sight to deny that the dialectic has really any practical lars or use at all. philosophy will in pointed out above fluence the happiness of those who accept its theories. or else not reached at all at least as a matter of reasoning. but that it proves. that we should be able to some extent to understand what goes on round us. perfectly good. . 1 cause which increases or diminishes happiness. philosophy consider that the general conviction of the rationality and for more important. which can be carried into particu used as a guide to action. It is true that it is essential to life.

philosophy would be. base their belief in large measure on a conviction. as increasing wealth and civilisation set a greater proportion from the constant pressure of mere bodily wants. but not necessary. evils iv. 5..THE APPLICATION OF THE DIALECTIC. and to an extent which is perfectly. and Part Chap. continually increasing. or by the acceptance of some form of what Hegel calls Revealed Religion. H. for these aims. 4. at all events. towards the perfection which is the goal of our Here. s in removing such of the . but And we shall find in common sense. life. that the rationality and righteousness of the universe are antecedently probable. the possibility of pursuing a coherent and reasonable course of action. For. reached by philosophical methods.. even if we do not know the precise position at which we are in the dialectic process efforts. indeed. is But still. from the practical point of view. Chap. it cannot be denied that the number of people to whom it does not seem justifiable is always considerable. the pressure of spiritual needs becomes more vdearly felt. not antecedently im probable . But its importance with regard We cannot observe that all reality is to religion is greater. Foundations of Belief Part n. The practical importance of religious views one way or the other to the world s happiness. and they do not often pass now-a-days without being challenged rest to a larger and larger extent on philosophical arguments. Our religious views then. if challenged. and shows no marked signs of diminishing. useful. 1 The more we succeed Mr Balfour v. finite sciences aid of the dialectic not essential. and is increased by every advance which is made in intelligence and of free mankind culture. rational it rational it that and righteous as a fact of experience. will 257 the can be manifested in the future. If we do believe is so. The explain the facts still of our incompletely. nor can we make and righteous by any act of ours. it must either be by some reasoning which falls within the jurisdiction of philosophy. Now. 1 or. 17 . and in the general principles of ethics. And many of those who do accept some form of Revealed Religion. then. and im to a great extent. Section M. without considering whether the acceptance of the latter is justifiable or not. is likely to increase rather than to diminish. Cp.

But this objection It is not asserted that the rational and righteous reality is something behind and separate from On the contrary. but only our knowledge of And this is not surprising. all. s philosophy. But we do not it is see in detail how it is such a manifestation. which is nothing but its manifestation. it seems not we can unnatural that thing exist. therefore. If we care for the men and women we know. and that its abstractness violates the whole spirit of his system. and it is matter of common notoriety that our knowledge is as yet imperfect. and the more imperative becomes the demand for some assurance that these also are transitory. and that all things work together for good. it is and must be perfectly mani experience. we care for virtue. Nor does often this tendency of our nature deserve to be either selfish or abstract. must be abstract. the more clearly do those which cannot be removed reveal themselves. that we have reached a conclusion is not really sceptical. To say that we know of It may be the existence of a rationality and righteousness. since all imperfect knowledge it. as judged by our moral ideals. Thus not the reality which is abstract. Nor need we much regret such a limitation of the province of philosophy. may appear at first Such a sight to mean a trust in some other-worldly reality. For the more important of the practical effects of philosophy is left untouched more important. is indispensable if the result is to be at objected that such a view as this is more than a partial difference from Hegel. scarcely fail to be interested in the ultimate righteous ness or iniquity of the universe. and limitations of life as can be removed. which we are yet unable to trace in detail in experience. For if our present knowledge were completely . fested in that experience. If called. when we reject his attempts to trace the manifestations of the dialectic process in the particular facts of our experience. as it is called. be cause here philosophy tained at 231. even as to the practical value of Hegel s philosophy. trust would doubtless be completely opposed to the most funda mental principles of Hegel misrepresents the position.258 THE APPLICATION OF THE DIALECTIC. will we should sometimes ask ourselves what if any happen to them when their bodies have ceased to I which maintain.

THE APPLICATION OF THE DIALECTIC. CAMBRIDGE: PRINTED BY j. not indeed in its final its methods. F. reality would be most inadequate to our It is surely at least as satisfactory a belief. CLAY. the full content of which it has not yet entered into our hearts to conceive. All true philosophy must be mystical. . AT THE UNIVERSITY PRESS. if we hold is that the highest object of philosophy to indicate to us the general nature of an ultimate harmony. AND c. adequate to ideals. 259 reality. but in conclusions.




Studies in the Hegelian di alect ic / AKM-6039 (ab) .(125 1896 SMC McTaggart.B 2948 . John McTaggart Ellis.

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