The Logic of Hegel's Logic

ONE OF THE PROBLEMSinvolved in doing the history of philosophy is reinterpreting past philosophers in such a way that the relevance o f their work to contemporary discussion can become clear. In doing so one often finds that certain doctrines to which a philosopher himself attached great significance may not be central to a particular line of his argument. Recent efforts at interpreting Kant have attempted, for example, to disentangle the objectionable part of the Kantian metaphysics from the "objective" argument contained therein. The whole doctrine of transcendental psychology in Kant's first Critique, for example, may perhaps be shelved without injuring the rational core of the argument. With Hegel, however, the case seems prima facie more difficult, since Hegel's whole system is seemingly tied down to a very obscure metaphysics, that of the " W o r l d Spirit." However, just as not all of Kant's doctrine is necessary to his philosophy, perhaps not all of Hegel's philosophy is inextricably bound up with commitment to such shadowy entities. In this paper I would like to try to draw out the central argumentative core of Hegel's Science oj Logic. To do this, I will first sketch briefly what Hegel takes to be the goal of such a theory. Second, I will outline the basic logical structure of the work. The result will be, it is hoped, a presentation of Hegel's philosophy that will make it not the obscure confidant of World Spirit, but rather one not far from contemporary concerns. i. Hegel's Idea of Philosophical Theory Hegel begins the Wissenschafl der Logik with a rejection of the " G i v e n " in experience. The Phenomonology of Mind is taken to be the argument for this, and thus Hegel says he must presuppose that work in erecting the kind of theory offered in the Logik. If there is not brute given in experience irreducible to conceptual treatment, then philosophical theory can go two ways: either one can construct "hypothetical" philosophies or one can look for transcendental conditions within the conceptual framework itself. Hegel opts for the latter. Such a theory, so he claims, must be reconstructive: "Consequently, logical science in dealing with thought d e t e r m i n a t i o n s . . , will also be a reconstruction of t h e m . ' " Such a reconstruction amounts to (1) "translating" (redescribing) other modes of experience into conceptual form and (2) linking the concepts logically with one another. Insofar as philosophy is to be logical reconstruction, it is also an a priori discipline. The validity of the concepts in question is to be obtained not by comparing
1 would like to thank Professors Klaus H a r t m a n n and D o n lhde for their helpful comments on earlier drafts of this paper. I would like to thank also Dr. Gitnther Maluschke for his suggestions about particular parts of the architectonic. G. W. F. Hegel, Wissenschaft der Logik, 2 vols. (Hamburg: Felix Meiner Verlag, 1971), 1:19 (hereafter cited as WL). All translations from this book are m y own.


1959). nor by giving various empirical examples of them. Indeed. 1933). (Stuttgart: Fr. his understanding of the word "transcend e n t a l " was limited. to see something as an instance of a concept presupposes a prior knowledge of the concept).kloplldie der philosophischen Wissenschqften(1830. however. 2 Philosophical theory reconstructs items so as to exhibit their logical ( " n e c e s s a r y " ) relations. I shall follow the usual practice of citing only the paragraph numbers and not the page numbers.. the fact becomes an exhibition and image of the original and completely independent activity of thought. " and "this expression is related only to the sources [Quellen] of such determinations. even the whole of logic. he took it to refer to a philosophy of subjectivity and took exception to Kant's idea that transcendental consciousness and not simply purely conceptual conditions was the ground of knowledge. All translations from this book are my own. B 134n. are to be counted as a m o n g the principles of pure reason.' z EnzJ. Smith (London: Macmillan and Co. If the rules of inference. If the reconstruction is to be complete. he understood the rational core of Kant's theory to be not transcendental but itself speculative. as it were. lead Hegel to the conclusion that the logical relations cannot be taken in. For our purposes we can use " t r a n s c e n d e n t a l " in a broader sense than Hegel understood it. so Hegel thinks. logically. Thought legislates for itself according to logical norms and thus achieves a " t r u e " necessity. N+ K."' While Hegel condemned K a n t ' s transcendentalism. and this is consciousness. then they must be incorporated into a system of the principles of pure reason. and conformably therewith. r Hermann Glockner. The synthetic unity of apperception is therefore that highest point.418 H I S T O R Y OF P H I L O S O P H Y them with things that are their instances (indeed. from the outside. it gives their content the essential form of freedom of thought (of the a priori) and the confirmation of necessity instead of the attestation of that which is "lit upon" [ Vorfindens] and of the experienced fact. this faculty of apperception is the understanding itself. 19:559. he characterized it as speculative. 26 vols. the validity of such concepts is to be obtained immanently. to which we must ascribe all employment of the understanding. 1969). Thus amounts to a demand for a transcendental philosophy along Kantian lines. Frommann Verlag. it is to make them surds. Trans. solely through their relations to one another. Hegel expresses it in a characteristic manner: In that philosophy owes its development to the empirical sciences. that is. Transcendental considerations. To presuppose them is to leave them in philosophical limbo. Werke. 12 (hereafter cited as E). And this Hegel himself characterized in his lectures on Kant as transcendental. and so on. the logical relations must themselves be reconstructed. He takes his jumping-off point from Kant's marginal characterization of the synthetic unity of apperception in the Kritik der Reinen Vernunft. transcendental philosophy. However. since in this broader sense it can perfectly well characterize his system also. He says of Kant's philosophy that " t h e transcendental exists in the exhibition of such determinations in subjective t h o u g h t . Hegel rarely characterized his philosophy as transcendental. par. for the most part. . Hamburg: Felix Meiner Verlag. Instead.

The point is the kinds of moves a piece can legitimately make within the game. 1963). The concept of red. Sellars envisages chess on a grand scale. Part of the task of a transcendental logic is then to give an explanation of the central concepts of logic. the conceptual meaning of " b i s h o p " ) is constituted by its moves. A familiar formulation of a relevant notion of a language game may. 1:9. what kinds of moves are enjoined. vis ~ vis other concepts. and the concepts are defined by their moves in abstraction.i n accordance with the rules of inference (the logic) of the language (epistemic frame) in question. although it usually appears in a certain form it can appear in any material form and still be a bishop. e." where the squares are counties and RollsRoyces are kings. we can say that the determinateness of the bishop (i. and of inference. Yet one also need not take the Cartesian alternative and speak See Sellars.e. One can extend the analogy to language. What he proposes thereby is a constructive logic of concepts. The terms are embodiments of the concepts in question (just as this bishop is an embodiment of " b i s h o p h o o d " ) . One can draw the analogy further and claim that the conceptual meaning of a term is constituted by what can be inferred from it--that is. Perception. we can use the analogy of language games. Terms may be said to take their meaning (their determinateness) by virtue of the moves they make within the language (the game). its logic. the kinds of moves a concept makes. why it may be taken to be Hegelian. that is. 5 be made in analogy with chess. ''6 The point of the analogy with language games is that it makes sense to speak of concepts as embodied in language. Hegel's problem was to find a procedure for exhibiting the logical (or better: transcendental-logical) connections between them. "Some Reflection on Language Games. The logic of a concept is therefore not external to its determinateness but instead internal to it.. In order to understand what this is. for example. the bishop. To put it in Hegelian language. then presumably the central concepts of the notion of logic itself can be reconstructed according to this principle. In other words.. that is. we must first of all clarify what a logic o f concepts is. A piece in the chess game. following Wilfred Sellars. . which he calls "Texas Chess. from their behavior vis ~t vis other concepts. of relations. Hegel speaks similarly: " T h e forms of thought are first set out and deposited in human language. pp. refers to the kinds of moves the vocable " r e d " (or " r o t " or " r o u g e " ) can legitimately play (allowing for auxiliary moves in different games. the rules of German as opposed to English). If even the "whole of logic" is to be ultimately derivative from the concept-principle. constitutive of it. and Reality (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. to where one can m o v e . For this purpose.H E G E L ' S LOGIC 419 In a more Hegelian light. The moves of concepts constitute their logic. from their logic.g. Hegel notes that within our epistemic framework is a whole battery of concepts: concepts of independent entities. one can therefore speak of an immanent logic of concepts. meaning simply the behavior of concepts vis/l vis one another. 321-58. the synthetic unity of apperception may be called a concept-principle. for example. is defined by its moves in the game. WL." in Science. a principle for the understanding of conceptuality as such. one need not draw the Wittgensteinian conclusion and be restricted only to a description of actual usage within a particular language. their determinateness. concepts acquire their meaning. and what kinds of demands such a logic would make.

13. " " r o u g e . and its movement from position to position is what constitutes it as conceptual thought. that Sellars's and Hegel's metaphysics are in any way the same. This analogy with language games is. is inferential. the particular vocables embody the concept of red by virtue of the moves they make in the language game.: Doubleday. ''9 namely. a television tube) embodying the bishop. moreover. The answer is that the pieces. 1959). Thought is the only " p i e c e " in the game. breaks down when one asks what (or who) is moving the pieces. " Hegel might at first seem to be saying something similar. Again. of course.. heuristically interesting). Ibid. p. are not moving. " Ibid. I shall follow Hegel's wording and speak of movement of concepts. for example that "the history of philosophy exhibits in the various philosophies that come on the scene in part only One Philosophy. p. It seeks to uncover " a massive central core of human thinking. xiv. Thought moves from one position to another in the sense that it infers one position from another. ''l~ and that " t h e same development of thought that is presented in the history of philosophy is presented in philosophy itself. is not merely descriptive but has a certain "scope and generality ''~ that a purely descriptive program does not have.. the categorial concepts. " and " r o t " in the same way in which one can speak of different pieces (e.420 HISTORY OF P H I L O S O P H Y of a subjective immediacy of thoughts as opposed to their expression in language. The analogy of chess. One can still affirm a priority of language and nevertheless talk of concepts as distinct from their embodiment in a particular language (although. only cursory. xiii. "which. The movement being spoken of. so to speak. The opposition of constructive/descriptive philosophy is not to be identified with the more familiar Strawsonian opposition of revisionary/descriptive metaphysics. it should be noted. ''7 Descriptive metaphysics. N. Likewise. Each concept in the Logik is thus a position in the game in which "speculative thought" moves. Hegel misstates this point by speaking of the movement of the concepts when actually it is only thought moving from one position to another. at the least. a constructive and not merely a descriptive philosophy. 14. it is " t h o u g h t " itself that is moving from position to position. the specific embodiment of concepts is always. a matchbox. he says. For reasons of brevity. Rather.Y. 9 ibid. The particular pieces embody the bishop by virtue of the kinds of moves they make within the game. . The opposition of description of overt language performances versus Cartesian analysis of inner thoughts is not the only alternative. In the introduction to his book Individuals Strawson makes the distinction: "Descriptive metaphysics is content to describe the actual structure of our thought about the world. of course. of course. change not a t a l l . therefore. That is. (I am not claiming here. a stick of wood. purely in the element o f thought. freed of that historical externality.g. The point of it is to propose a model through which one can understand Hegel's notion of the movement of concepts and of this movement's being constitutive of the determinateness of the concepts.) Hegel favors. '~ E. one can speak of the concept of red being embodied in the vocables " r e d .. moreover.'"' In one sense Hegel's ' (Garden City. in their most fundamental character. revisionary metaphysics is concerned to produce a better structure. care must be taken in order that Hegel's meaning may not be lost.

. The Beginning Hegel proposes therefore to take already granted concepts and reconstruct them according to a logic that is thereby constitutive of those concepts' determinateness. in that it does not propose a new conceptual scheme in competition with the normal one. 1. Rather. Hegel's theory is not purely descriptive. justified step by step.H E G E L ' S LOGIC 421 theory answers to the Strawsonian notion of a descriptive metaphysics. To sum up: Hegel's theory is reconstructive in that it attempts to exhibit the conceptual structure that is familiar to us. Hegel's proposal for a transcendental theory thus exhibits a peculiar blending of reconstructive (descriptivist) and constructive (revisionary or normative) demands along with a theory of determinateness. Hegel's Logical Procedure A. Hegel's proposal is: (1) a reconstruction of familiar concepts gained from experience. One cannot simply invent a logic that merely connects the concepts. Hegel adds another condition: the whole procedure must be grounded. " Hegel's theory is not therefore revisionary. " " Hegel's theory offers only a reconstruction of already familiar concepts. and the history of philosophy. indeed. But this is not to say that for Hegel philosophy reconstructs only life-world concepts or concepts that can be found only in ordinary language. then at each step the requisite logical moves must be shown to be integral to the meaning of the concepts in question. and so o n e . science.. As Hegel obliquely puts it. The familiar concepts are to be reconstructed so as to exhibit their " r a t i o n a l i t y . that is. since he claims only to deal with a conceptual structure that is already there: "Philosophy can consequently presuppose an acquaintance with its object. the added condition that the logic must be constitutive of the determinateness of the concepts in question rules out the idea that all one need do is " c o n n e c t " the concepts with one another. a logic that not only connects the concepts but is constitutive also of their determinateness. their meaning. and it is constructive in that it constructs a logic to do so and also constructs new concepts where these are shown to be necessary to the conceptual apparatus (the specific status of the new categories will have to be considered later). of the conceptual scheme we already have. (2) a construction of a normative logic of these concepts (as opposed to the acceptance of mere usage) and of new concepts where these are necessitated. Other concepts-scientific.a l s o fall within the reconstruction (although scientific concepts fall properly within only that part of the reconstructive scheme called the Realphilosophie). those already at least implicitly in use in language. the form '~ Ibid. It is a normative reconstruction of the scheme unearthed by descriptive metaphysics. (3) a theory of the determinateness of concepts. To see how well such demands can be unitarily treated requires us to look more closely at the actual structure of the Hegelian theory. II. the " f o r m " must emerge from the content: " t h a t the m e t h o d with the content. that is. the rationality. for it is intended to have normative import. If the connection is to be constitutive of determinateness.. it must presuppose an acquaintance and moreover an interest in s u c h . it seeks to reconstruct the logic.

a ground from "WL. then. so Hegel thinks. it must be the seemingly i m p o s s i b l e . the statement of the logic is tantamount to a statement of the ground of the concepts in be a concept of being (since it is being that we talk about). ~' Ibid. to the primordial [Urspranglichen] and true depends on that with which the beginning is made and is indeed brought forth from i t . implicitly defined by the logic that emerges fully only at the end: " T h i s last.a n indeterminate concept. is then that out of which the first emerges.422 H I S T O R Y OF P H I L O S O P H Y with the principle is united. or. that one must have something to talk about before one can talk about one's talking. the beginning cannot already contain the method. His reasons are. then the beginning must somehow undercut determinateness. It is not circular in that the end is identical with the beginning (although Hegel euphorically says that also). The question. A third condition supplements these other two: this concept. But. free of any stated logic. " " The initial concept is to be. In other words. Hegel thus speaks of a "circle" of justification. refines itself: Which concept? Two conditions immediately impose themselves. so it seems. since the logic of the concepts is constitutive of their determinateness. the ground. the same proposition that appears at least once as a premise appears later on as a conclusion. " Ibid. How in any save a metaphorical sense can this be done? Hegel's answer is quite complex and must be carefully explicated in order to be intelligible. begin? The theory is to be a theory of concepts that gain their determinateness through their logical relations to one another. (1) If the theory is to explain determinateness. p. The statement of the method. it must not be the result of something else. ' ' ' 5 What at the beginning of the theory can appear only as something merely immediate or stipulated is in fact constituted ( " i n der Tat hervorgebracht wird") by the terminal section of the theory. the end of the theory is something that emerges from the " n a t u r a l " development of the concepts and is. that is. must be a concept relating to the object of knowledge. to speak loosely. '''3 Both the specific content and the logical steps (the method) required to establish such a content must be legitimated. Therefore. the logic of the development as already stated. although such talk is not entirely accurate. To state the method beforehand is to presume beforehand what kind of relations are to be constitutive of the concepts. (2) It must be logically immediate. The only concept that fulfills all these c o n d i t i o n s . He puts the problem quite simply: With what must the science. of the logic that connects the concepts. nor is it circular in the sense in which some coherence theories of truth are circular. also something derived from the initial concepts. likewise. By this is meant no more than that the beginning cannot state the method beforehand. like all the concepts within the theory. the emergence of the logic itself as thematic within the theory is the emergence of the " t r u e " ground of what has come before: " T h a t the forward movement [das Vorwartsgehen] is a regression [Rfickgang] to the ground. the theory. . thereby justifying itself. a concept. the beginning must be. still speaking loosely.. 55. must therefore come at the end. from that point of view. 1:52. that is. indeterminate. However. which first appears as immediate. that one must develop the "object lang u a g e " before one can develop the " m e t a l a n g u a g e " .

It denotes rather the "shiftiness. depending on one's feeling toward Hegel. p. it is thereby determinate being (Dasein). " B e c o m i n g " here does not refer to the ordinary notion of such that would imply that something (a determinate being) passes into nothing (which would. The logic of the initial concept." the "unsteadiness" of the concepts of pure being and pure nothing: "Passing-over [Obergehen] is the same as becoming. '''8 But the concept of becoming has the advantage in that it has as its meaning the unity of being and nothing. ~s Ibid. one moves to a new concept--one infers to it--that is (1) more developed and (2) a solution to a dilemma. sich selbst gleich") '6 This initial concept is something primitive. being is distinguished from nothing. not susceptible to further analysis--a "Nichtanalysierbares. this passage leading to a new concept. This characterization of " b e c o m i n g " was suggested to me by Klaus H a r t m a n n . within the concept of becoming one can talk of being and nothing. perhaps senseless) idea that being and nothing are the same. becoming. however. From the opening position."" something that cannot be shown to have any more primitive predecessors. Or one can say: in order to think intelligibly of the concept of being. . in this case a protocontradiction. One may abstract from this the general principle that the concept of being acquires determinateness through its incorporation into itself o f the negative o f itself.) This immediate passage of one into another is equivalent to the concept of becoming: the passage of being into nothing and of nothing into being.. logically equivalent to the concept of pure nothing. It is indeterminate immediacy and equal only to itself ("unbestimmten U n m i t t e l b a r k e i t . Yet nothing and being simply are not equivalent.H E G E L ' S LOGIC 423 which the logic can develop--is the concept of pure being. The concept of pure being is indeterminate and cannot therefore be distinguished from pure nothing. so Hegel thinks. Within the concept of becoming.. As the most primitive concept it is the presupposition of all other concepts. is therefore to have passed over into the concept of pure nothing. The inference to the negative of the concept of being is necessary for its determinateness. the inference or move to the concept of becoming is thereby partially justified. that is. 66. In the subsequent edition of the '~ Ibid. since only by virtue of some determination could it be distinguished from anything else. Taken in this form. the beginning exhibits a dilemma: Two concepts that in their ordinary meaning simply do not mean the same are equated. p. one must think of it as determinate being. The opening move of Hegel's theory struck his contemporaries as bizarre and has struck probably every reader since as at least odd. p. . .. 60. thereby also be a determinate concept since it would be the negation of something). The concept of becoming thus emerges as part of the logic of the concept of pure being and pure nothing. Hegel claims that they have passed over into one another (he does not say that they pass over into one another since he feels that such a statement would impute a logic to them prematurely. The concept of becoming thus emerges as a solution to a primitive contradiction: without it one must hold the seemingly contradictory (and. 79. " Ibid. It is a concept free of any logic that can be stated at the outset. Such a concept is. But as long as one remains on the level of pure being. one cannot say this. The initial logic thus emerges with the initial concept: the logic of pure being is to have passed into pure nothing. otherwise one must say being equals nothing. pure being.

The beginning set of moves. Hegel calls such a movement an Aufhebung. Hegel characteristically describes this somewhat obliquely: he speaks of it as the " g r o u n d of the whole science" '~ and says that the progression in the theory is only a "further determination ''20 of the beginning. The determinations a concept gains by its references to its other. Hegel distinguishes three basic types of logical moves within his theory.. that is.. This involvement of a concept with its other (the Hegelian term for the concept that serves as a negation of another concept) then leads to a new concept that is thereby justified as a product of and a solution to the dilemmas of the lower level. The beginning is a proposal for a constructive " l o g i c " of concepts. (2) The moves appropriate to the logic of essence. p. The Hegelian thesis is that each of these logics is a novel one. 54. The moves from each of these three logics to the other may be architectonically described as a move from noninclusion of the determining other (being). Negation is thereby made the vehicle for the reconstruction of categorial concepts. ~~ Ibid.o n e moves to the negation of concept A but then must move back to concept A. and none can be reduced to the other. its negation. where each concept has a certain independence on its o w n . to full inclusion of the determining other (conceptuality). Logic and Metalogic: The Principles of the Theory What the apparently bizarre beginning of the Logik in fact does is present the basic logical structure of the whole work. The higher level concept is one in which the dilemmas of the lower level concept do not appear. . B. the beginning move is "metalogical" for the whole theory. to partial inclusion of the determining other (essence). " that is.424 HISTORY OF P H I L O S O P H Y Wissenschaft der Logik Hegel added a great many observations and explanations in an attempt to quiet the feelings of oddness and make this part understood. is integrated within the higher concept. The logic of other more developed. where one concept passes over into another concept. all three logics are nevertheless "principled" by the opening move. Although there are three basic types of logic in the theory. less primitive concepts are constructed according to the logic of the concept of pure being: each concept takes its determinateness from its own " n o t h i n g . (1) The moves appropriate to the logic of being. for example. where one moves to a new concept in which the first concept has a continuity. (3) The moves appropriate to the logic of conceptuality itself. 2. has a " Ibid."2' The logic of the concepts of being and nothing form the logical structure of the work. Within the Hegelian theory. p. remaining immanent throughout its further determinations. by the move from it to its negation. Hegel proposes that we attempt to construct all our categorial concepts in terms of the implicit relation between a concept and its specific negation. 56. Ibid. He sums it up thus: " S o the beginning of philosophy is the foundation [Grundlage] that is preserved and is present in all subsequent developments. This is described by Hegel as a reflection of one into the other. where a move to another concept is always sanctioned because there is nothing to stop it. It requires a further reflection in order that its point may not be lost. that is. the way a universal is continuous in its instances. then. so to speak.. the term means "integration": the higher level concept integrates the logic of the lower ones. for he himself realized that the point of the section was extremely difficult to grasp.

as if Hegel's own objections could be raised against him. then. it is to be remembered. which is only a particular logic of the theory." and the beginning must contain no stated relations. Nothing is not equivalent to nonbeing. the determinateness." being already " c o m p l e x . so it seems. metalogical. p. what could also be expressed through the mere: not [Nicht]. Therefore. a negation is always a negation of something. The sense in which the opening of the logic presents the characteristic moves of the rest of the theory is to be understood through the concept of negation. but with the abstract immediate negation. constitute the meaning. if the latter is the case. . 2~Ibid. Hegel himself saw the problem."'2 Elsewhere. of the concepts in question. though. that is. One cannot merely compare concepts with one another. then. Hegel claims that "it first of all has nothing to do with the form of opposition. Only negation is immanent enough to the concepts to do the job the Hegelian theory demands. As an answer to such a possible objection. and hence negation must assume the prior determinateness of that of which it is the negation. The logic of the concepts in the theory.H E G E L ' S LOGIC 425 double role: (1) they are principles. Instead. A concept gains its determinateness through its negative relation to another concept. to reconstruct the determinateness of concepts solely through their logical relations to one another. The reconstruction of determinateness through negation offers. a precise expression of the more general program ot the theory. metalogical. already containing a "relation within itself. To speak of a concept as a negation of another concept would require. of relation. is preceded by the concept of nothing. " It would seem. "for in nonbeing the relation to being is contained. does that not mean that the other two are reducible to the logic of being? Here one must distinguish between the sense in which the beginning of the theory presents the basic moves of the theory and the sense in which later stages of the theory are developments of this initial move. That is. not only because it is immanent to the content in question but because a preliminary account can be given of it. Hegel rejects other proposals as being either external or containing presuppositions within themselves. for the logic of being. Hegel's use o f negation would be just as arbitrary as any other. he added four " A n m e r k u n g e n " in later editions of the Logik in an attempt to dispel such criticism. which relations? Is there a multiplicity of them? A few? If there are more than one. The opening moves present just that logic: determinateness is to be reconstructed through the means of negation. such comparison would be something external to the contents of the concepts in question and would certainly not be constitutive of the content. that is. Negation is to be preferred. that is. with Nothing [das Nichts] purely for itself. the relationless denial [Verneinung]-if one pleases. namely. that the two concepts be determinate. namely. 58. indeed. it is the negation in abstraction from that of which it is the negation. The opening concept of nothing is not simply quivalent to negation. Negation. that is. (2) they are principles. the logical relations are to be developed out of the initial concepts. being. it might be argued that negation is no less external than a number of other relations.. so Hegel argues. that is. how do they relate to one another? Hegel's proposal is to reconstruct all the relations out of negation. how can the logic of essence and conceptuality be novel? If the logic of being is metalogical for the other two. for not only the logic of being but the logic of essence and the logic of conceptuality. The question is. However.

p. the metalogic of the opening concepts needs to be developed. z~Ibid. In this sense.426 H I S T O R Y OF P H I L O S O P H Y Hegel speaks of "this immediate or abstract negation. In this sense. and so on. A circle is constituted by 360 z~Ibid. . yet we do not have yet the explicit machinery for doing so. a gradual incorporation of " n o t h i n g " into " b e i n g . It does not refer to any kind of metaphysical thesis. Hegel's use of " m o m e n t " to characterize this relation of inclusion that some concepts have to another is crucial for his theory. Hegel's well-known doctrine that the truth is the whole signifies no more than that: the meaning of categorial concepts is not to be reconstructed in their isolation from each other but it terms of their logical relations to one another. Nothing. not by abstracting from the beginning. the meaning of the concepts of being and nothing is dependent on their place in the whole system of concepts. does not present the full structure of the principles of the theory. 85. and the necessary machinery for formulating this principle the metalogic of the theory. In order to avoid confusion. namely. that is. meaning is constituted by the kinds of moves the concepts make. the machinery for commenting on this opening is not yet developed. Therefore. " that is. however. thus the already abstract negativity. negation. One cannot say that they are alike.. we may speak of the opening of the logic as furnishing the principle of the theory. From the concept of determinate being Hegel reconstructs the concept of quality.its negative--into the meaning of the concept itself.. Concepts such as reality and negation are said by Hegel to be moments of the concept of determinate being. becoming. nor even that they "pass over" into one another so long as one remains on the level of the two concepts of pure being and pure nothing. is normative for the rest of the theory.. Only insofar as the logic is developed can one speak of being and nothing as having a full meaning. '':s The terms by which one could connect the concepts of being and nothing are at the beginning not yet given. p. ''2' and claims "that passing-over [Obergehen] is not yet a relation [Verhi~ltnis].e. it is metalogical for the rest. the principle of reconstruction). The incorporation of its negative into a concept is the language in which we can talk of the determinateness of concepts (i. then of reality. The rationale for the Hegelian way of putting things off and assuring the reader that the solution is yet to come finds its roots in this doctrine. He obviously intends to draw an analogy to the notion of a circle. The logic of the concepts of being and nothing. the metalanguage is something yet to come. 90. On the other hand. therefore. ~' Ibid. but be developing via negation the kinds of moves characteristic of the metalanguage. unlike. the rest is to be seen as a development of this initial logic. an incorporation of that which gives determinateness to a c o n c e p t . ''23 of "the complete abstraction. To sum up: The logic of being and nothing and the move to a concept that integrates (aufhebt) the logic of the two. Hegel's reason for thinking that his opening concepts make sense is that the meaning of concepts is to be obtained from their place in the system. We could also speak of the opening moves as forming models for the interpretation of the determinateness of most concrete concepts. in this sense.

Being and nothing are the moments of becoming. then the explication of the moments is an explication of the concepts in question. a concept in which the logic of the other concepts can be stated. Being-for-self. they are not species of becoming. that the " m e a n i n g " of concepts is determined by the logic of their moments. Indeed. the interpretive models he introduces in the doctrine of qualitative being. by i t s e l f . then. It is an ideal and not a real unity of being. First. is a totality structure. The relation of concepts such as reality and negation to more general concepts such as determinate being is not an inclusion of species within their genus. he need not go infinitely from one concept to a concept of that concept. If certain concepts subsist solely through the logic of their moments. " the circle. One can consider each degree. but its degrees are such only as a part of the circle. that is. We need not follow the precise details of Hegel's procedure. Negation is to be the basic vehicle for the construction of the logic of the concepts. To say of some concept that it is a moment of another is to say that the logic of the former "makes u p " the meaning of the latter.H E G E L ' S LOGIC 427 degrees. Being-for-self. is made up of its degrees. one is offered an antecedent of negation. ad infinitum. The circle. from the kinds of moves that they make.b u t a degree is one only as part of the " w h o l e . then one will need a totality structure such as being-for-self in order to state the logic of the moments that have come before. If the Hegelian thesis is accepted. so to speak. namely. It is self-determining in that it is determined only from the logic of the concepts it includes and not from some other 2~ I have treated the Hegelian notion of the infinite and its relation to being-for-self in more detail in " H e g e l ' s Philosophy of M a t h e m a t i c s . but they cannot be considered outside of the concept in which they are included. " forthcoming in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. The procedure is brought to its first closure in the notion of being-for-self (Fgirsichsein). It emerges as a necessary result of the conceptual progression of the Logik. Concepts that are moments of another concept make up the meaning of that concept. then. From the relation of being to nothing one arrives at the concept of negation as a "determinate nothing." that is the result of the movement of the concepts that have preceded it. The section on qualitative being presents therefore the basic moves of negation itself.a n d (2) the moments have an explicitly stated logic (they are "posited"). since it is through the logic of these preliminary concepts that the other logics are to be constructed. namely. pure nothing." Hegel then works out the logic of negation.a n sich. Through the device of being-for-self Hegel avoids what he calls the " b a d infinite". as Hegel would s a y . What is of importance are the types of logical moves. is a concept in which (1) the moments are totally constitutive of it--the logic of the concept includes no reference to a recalcitrant o t h e r . thereby developing the principles of his theory. It is the movement of being and nothing that constitutes becoming: the concept of becoming "subsists in this m o v e m e n t . Being-for-self is a concept in which the determining other is included as a moment of the concept itself.. the logic of determinateness. Hegel uses the analogy of the circle in reference to conceptual structures. . that the determinateness of categorial concepts arises only from their logic. being-for-self is the structure of conceptuality as such. " The term " m o m e n t " is a theoretical expression of the leading idea of the Hegelian program. he has developed a metalogical concept that is inherently "reflexive. then. that is. By the use of the term " m o m e n t " Hegel is proposing another sense of inclusion than that of genus-species. 2~ Instead. and each degree is said to be a moment of the circle.

their logic. qualitatively or quantitatively different. however. in the logic of essence it is new relations of determination that are introduced. then. however. which he partly identifies with Kant's transcendental logic and classical metaphysics. then must it not . each is ingredient in and relevant to the determinateness of the other. Qua concepts they are only particular determinations of qualitative being. therefore. from going any deeper into this logic. Again. a metalogic. The principles of conceptuality itself must be worked out. then. The two sections of Hegel's Logik. it would be the infinite progress of which Hegel speaks. cannot be so characterized. he thereby reconstructs the a priori conditions for thought about objects. the closure principle for a conceptual progression. The logic of being is an "entity-logic". The Logic of Conceptuality Having done this. C. Hegel then reconstructs the other two basic concepts of the doctrine of being--quantity and measure--and then begins a new logic. An essence and that of which it is an essence are not two entities standing side by side. it is the study of being "at large. With the introduction of it the whole machinery or principles. unless some device is found in which the determination can come from within. to put the same point differently. that is. The objective logic is. its dialectical other). The terms in essence-logic. The principles. are not indicative of a dogmatic line of thought running throughout the theory. does Hegel's Logik not end with the sections on being and essence? Hegel holds that once an account of "things" has been offered. they are more indicative of such things as construction rules. what is now required to complete the explanation is a logic of the logic. Being-for-self is. an " o t h e r " will always emerge. The logic of essence is that of concepts referring to substructure/superstructure relationships. entities are characterized as. the progression in the logic would have no end. The logic of these concepts forms the totality of principles for Hegel's logic of concepts. Reasons of space prohibit me. however. then. Ontology is prosecuted via a reconstruction of how we think about the real.e. The a priori determination of objects is demonstrated through a logic of concepts.428 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY concept (i. comprise what Hegel calls the objective logic. This structure of principles is what gives to some commentators on Hegel the appearance of arbitrariness or of dogmatism. The precise nature of its transcendentality must be spelled out later. what is needed is an account of the account: conceptuality itself has to be understood. It is "metaphysical" in an obvious sense." Its transcendentality is not. If the logic of concepts of objects has been given. a treatment of the a priori determinations of being. A concept gains its determinateness from its other. a general ontology. procedures with which to construct the logic of further concepts. Without such a reflexive concept. for example. In the logic of being new determinations progressively follow one another. the complete working out of the steps of negation. if reconstructive. so immediately obvious. Why. is thereby presented. the doctrine of being and the doctrine of essence. a means for reflecting on what has come before. transcendental thought has provided a reconstruction of concepts of objects. however. but this much is obvious: Hegel's ontology is explicitly a purely conceptualist one.. forms the network of principles for the theory. In this sense Hegel reconstructs the determinations of things according to the principles of thought. that of terms belonging to the family of concepts he subsumes under the general heading of essence. however.

HEGEL'S LOGIC 429 a l s o . is the logic of conceptuality? Briefly put. there was partial inclusion. that is. the logic of this position consists in a concept's maintaining its identity in the other that gives it determinateness. the other was not included. the network of principles that make up these concepts. each is the determining " o t h e r to the o t h e r . they have these determinations only insofar as they have not yet gone back into this their unity?' The specific concepts of the doctrine of being and essence are no longer present. provided the conditions of the possibility for thought of objects.f o r the sake of the completeness of the e x p l a n a t i o n .p r o v i d e an account of how it is that it can establish or grasp the categories it has thus far laid out? The doctrine of conceptuality is meant to do just that. .. as this unity is the diremption of itself 2. then. that is. The other. the cause refers to its effect but is not identical with it. it. a universal is a " c e n t e r " for the determination of its many instances. Hegel's logic of conceptuality is an attempt to explain how what has come before has indeed " c o m e a b o u t " and thereby to justify what has come before. the logic of being and essence. is fully included in the initial concept. as Hegel calls it) is then in part constituted by the logic of being and essence: Being and Essence are the moments of its becoming [ Werdens]. and for that reason these totalities are purely and simply one. 2:213. the logic. The essence is not divorced from that of which it is the essence as two qualitative or quantitative entities are. insofar as it establishes the basis from which the first two sections were done. is.. the determinateness of the concept of conceptuality (the concept of the concept. the section on the concept is meant to establish the conditions of the possibility for thinking about the first two sections. is their foundation [Grundlage] and truth as the identity in which they are submerged and contained. Concepts of being and essence have been given. Metalogically. In the doctrine of being. The logic of conceptuality is thus a successor to the logic of being and essence. WL. In the logic of conceptuality the concept and its other are dialectically intertwined: each is a moment of the other. each contains the determination of the other within itself. then. an independence on its own. but each m o m e n t maintained an integrity. What. the explanation now demands that we be told what concepts are. however. They are contained in it because it is their result. what are the conditions of the possibility of thought's comprehending objective categories? Just as the first two sections. In the doctrine of essence. What are the logical conditions of the possibility of thought's having established the categories that it so far has. we can see that a concept is an instance of being-for-self. It is intended to provide an answer to a transcendental question. nor is the thing totally identical in all its instances. but no longer as Being and as E~ence. something was different from its o t h e r . The logic of conceptuality is their " t r u t h " insofar as it provides the metalogic of the two earlier sections.t w o books sitting on a table do not include one another. that is. being and essence. the paradigm case of such is the identity of a universal in the m a n y particulars. The logic of conceptuality is that certain concepts are " c e n t e r s " of determination. " Hegel describes this "concept of the c o n c e p t " in typical Hegelian fashion: Each of them is the totality.

in that one is conceived and expressed. In other words. one requires logic. are in the fundamental sense intentionaUy o f being. but this framework for the reconstruction is not to be confused with what is reconstructed. p..430 HISTORY OF P H I L O S O P H Y into the disengaged seeming [Schein] of this doubleness [Zweiheit] . concretely. its logical form is independent. in this case. the WL is not a reconstructionof Geist but offers only the "simple scaffolding" (eitorache Geruste) of such a reconstruction. . itself or something else. Description of a given is actually a bringing of it under certain norms. p. ~o Ibid. merely apprehended in its givenness but rather brought under certain norms. The explanation of conceptuality is therefore also an explanation of intentionality. axioms. This inclusion is to be understood in terms of Hegel's theory of determinateness: a concept is determinate only by virtue of its other. Hegel has this point expressly in mind. and this " o f " is to be understood as the " o f " of intentionality. into the epistemic (conceptual) framework.. In terms of Hegel's logical categories. Conceptuality is the "principle" of cognitive consciousness. Insofar as these schemes are constructed. ''3~ Intentionality is explained as the appropriation of an other into the sphere of the subject. He speaks approvingly of the Kantian idea that the synthetic unity of apperception is the principle of conceptuality as such. ultimately bound up with the establishment of rational norms. The concept of mind or of the ego is not to be reconstructed in the Logik. it is the bringing of the brute. p. the a priori determination of objects. 433. nonconceptual given into conceptual form. 2. which is being and essence. that with which it is continuous. 2~ Ontologically expressed. Concepts. . Likewise. Hegel's disagreement with Kant lies in what he considers to be Kant's conflation of an abstract principle with a particular existent. one must think of it in opposition to the categories of objects. the I. To this end. 219. '''9 The principles of conceptuality form the logical framework for the reconstruction of m i n d as intentional. and therefore thought (insofar as thought is conceptual). The logic of the concept of cognition is for the subject to overcome the brute otherness of the object. a concept is that which ideally included its other. The other from which the concept takes it determinateness is being and essence. the other is immediately conceived and expressed in it. only the framework for reconstruction is there presented.all moments of the notion of a conceptual framework. Ibid.. concepts must be o f being. to bring the " g i v e n " into the conceptual sphere. In terms of the whole Hegelian theory. that is. with mind or ego as such. the world is not. intentionality is an 2. we can see that conceptuality is determinate only in virtue of its other. Theory is thus not a mere description of the world. Thus. however. 24. In order to understand what a concept is. and so o n . Ibid. The subject is essentially intentional: " T h e I thinks something. the concept of cognition is intimately bound up with that of action--that is. The subject brings the world into its own orbit by bringing it into rational conceptual form. The principle of conceptuality is not to be confused with that for which it provides the interpretive model: " F r o m that nonmental just as well as this mental formation [geistigen Gestalt] of the concept. . Hegel thus gives a diagnosis of the cognitive relation of knower and known.

then the consideration of conceptuality as such is a consideration of the logic of conceptuality.. identical with the method of the Logik itself. the object was some particular concept or set of concepts. is a reflection of the standpoint from which the rest of the Logik is written. " " The method is quite simply the means of relating the concepts with one another. and what follows becomes "always richer and more concrete. is the logical movement of establishing new content. p. but now it is conceptuality itself. p. then.. a concept-principle. Kant distinguishes a progressive. the Critique of Pure Reason follows. then. But it is not something external to the concepts in Question: it is constitutive of them.. one grants a n u m b e r of concepts to be reconstructed. The " o f " of intentionality is thereby conceived as inclusion within a concept or a conceptual structure. It is a reconstructive method that is structured into three aspects: (1) a progressive aspect. 485. regressive method in his work."33 " Ibid. synthetic method " Ibid. moreover. a progressive. 487. D. devised to account for their d e t e r m i n a t e n e s s . it is the metalogical consideration of what has gone before: " W h a t comes here for consideration is not a content but the universal in its f o r m . the progressive aspect. can be reflected upon.'"' Hegel claims that it is the identity of subject and object. The first of these.t h a t is. meaning no more than that the subject of the m o v e m e n t . and (3) a systemic or architectonical aspect. Kant says. If the m e t h o d . synthetic method from an analytic. That is. It is the point at which the method becomes explicit.t h e logic of the concepts. or what Hegel calls the absolute ldea. it is the inclusion of the determinateness of the world in the orbit of the subject.HEGEL'S LOGIC 431 example of being-for-self. Hegel takes both the progressive and regressivemethods from Kant's characterization of his own method. " s u b s t a n c e " is) but is a metaconcept. It is the means by which new content is placed ( " t h e forward moving further determination"). is the placing of new concepts partly as a solution to dilemmas. " ibid. This logic is. The Absolute Idea: Metalogical Considerations The move into what Hegel calls the absolute Idea is the place within the theory where the method of the theory can become thematic. The exact nature of the derivation of this concept can be shown only by taking into account the doctrine of method. the final concept is not so much an "individu a l " concept (as. the progressive introduction of new concepts. . Formerly. rather.h a s at this point become the object of consideration. 502. the method. to avoid contradiction. in concepts such that nothing is "left o v e r . specifically. deduction in a strict sense of the term could not provide new content. Thus. It is not a process of deduction. The consideration of the absolute idea. say. the content must be granted. Since the progressive m o v e m e n t cannot create new content. is the method? Hegel simply claims that " t h a t which constitutes the method are the determinations of the concept itself and their relations that are now to be considered in the significance as determinations of the m e t h o d .i s indeed constitutive of the determinateness of the categories.t h e logic of c o n c e p t s . an inclusion of the other within itself. What. Together. (2) a regressive aspect. What constitutes the progression is an arrangement of concepts from abstract to concrete.. clearly. " which is not conceptualized. p. the three aspects constitute Hegel's dialectic.. the early concepts display an abstract determinateness. thematic. The progressive aspect. and then one places them in a progressive order.

4. Peter G. only a placement of content according to the concreteness of the concept in question. and if the logic of ordinary usage is to be rejected. This is provided by the progressive-regressive aspects of the method. the notion of the regressive movement specifies only which concepts there are.Y. all concepts are deficient in terms of the final concept. a regressive aspect is required. it must be a process of establishing new content that is already granted. Both m o v e m e n t s -. ed. If the theory is not to be a mere catalogue or a listing of items on a sheet of paper. Hence. that is.the progressive and the regressive-. . 5n).b u i l d i n g " (Aufbau) of concepts. when it has been reconstructed as arising out of moves of negation and double negation (as Hegel understands it). it cannot create any new concepts." in Alisdair Maclntyre. then the logic. The prior concepts are antecedents of later ones. their logic is in part constitutive of the later concepts. trans. a " b a c k w a r d s going grounding [Begriindung] of the b e g i n n i n g . Since the progressive aspect cannot be deduction. these two aspects cannot support a well-ordered movement such as the Hegelian theory requires.b u i l d i n g . This is articulated through the third aspect of the method. which we may call the architectonic.432 H I S T O R Y OF P H I L O S O P H Y The progressive m o m e n t offers. the former exhibits a deficiency in terms of the latter. pp. " so to w of the same concepts. 1959]. the prior concepts are more primitive than later ones. the absolute Idea. regressively seen. "Hegel: A Non-Metaphysical View. Lucas [Manchester: Manchester University Press. The arrangement of concepts according to the schema " p r i o r .a n d one attempts to reconstruct this whole in terms of its logical relations. that is. tt therefore calls for an arrangement of concepts in terms of foundational logical relations. and the movement goes forward in order to overcome the deficiency. This is the sense of transcendental explanation as it occurs in the Hegelian theory. Together. If the determinateness of concepts is to be constituted by their logic. 32A similar notion of the role of the architectonic as providing a genealogy of concepts can be found in Klaus Hartmann's. Seen regressively. Ultimately.: Doubleday. the regressive m o m e n t is the " u n . N. they are " a n c e s t o r s " of the later ones. Hegel himself does not use the term. each concept has a set of " a n c e s t e r s " that may be said to explain it. " " The basis of the forward movement found in the progressive aspect is that each concept is deficient in determinateness in respect to the next one. ~5 The so-called genealogical aspect of the m o v e m e n t constitutes the regressive feature of the method. To put it another way. and thus the progressive m o m e n t has a teleological bent to it. is already granted.l a t e r " offers thereby a genealogy of concepts. The vehicle for reconstruction is the concept of determinate negation. but there is a structure to his theory that may be so labeled. 2:503. we could say that a concept has been explained in the Hegelian sense when it has been systematically redescribed in the framework of Hegel's theory. the kind of moves concepts make vis ~ vis one another.are necessary to the theory. A concept m a y be said to be explained when (1) its logic is exhibited and (2) when it is shown to be developed out of other concepts. thus the progressive movement is the reconstruction of what. The notion of a progressive m o v e m e n t specifies only that the concepts follow one another. 1972).. then it must offer some way of establishing its concepts. The progressive m o m e n t is a constructive " u p . 101-24. Hegel: A Collection o f Critical Essays (Garden City. pp. ~" WL. then. must (Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics. One has a totality--the categorial apparatus of knowledge .

while the doctrine of being has its place in the large-scale architectonic as the logic of noninclusion. the logic of being has its own special type of architectonic. 240. The logic of the method must come from the beginning itself but not as thematic. the architectonic cannot be merely constructed and applied but must itself be developed. The architectonic is constituted by the basic models of interpretation and provides the principles for ordering the concepts. If Hegel's proposal for an immanent. it must (1) be deficient and (2) have the architectonic immanent within it. and within this logic is a small-scale architectonical ordering.t h a t is. there is a movement from (1) noninclusion of concepts in one another. the transition per se has a rationale to it. constitutive of their determinateness. something and something else. in Essence an appearing [Scheinen] in opposites [Entgegensetzen]. however. Hence. This logic is the architectonic of the theory. which is continuous as such in that which is differentiated from it and with it as identity. etc. as is found in the doctrine of conceptuality. Each particular transition is regulated by the small-scale architectonic.). to (2) partial inclusion. since architectonically the former position must yield to a later one--noninclusion must yiel d to at least partial inclusion. in the concept the differentiatedness of the individual from universality. This underlies Hegel's insistence on the importance of the beginning of the theory. Hegel says that " t h e immediate of the beginning must by itself [an ihm ~ E . The terminal point is total inclusion. moreover. The whole progressive movement is not invalidated by a faulty transition. which is the absolute Idea. The large-scale architectonic regulates the large-scale transitions on the theory. Each domain of the Logik has its own logic. a particular transition may not be valid. however. This is also illustrative of a peculiar strength of a Hegelian style of transcendental theory: even if a particular transition is not valid. On the large scale. ~ Again. or conceptuality giving an account of itself. If one merely applied the architectonic. In order for the beginning to develop this. to (3) full inclusion. as is found in the doctrine of essence. but the necessity for such a transition is prescribed architectonically. The large-scale and small-scale architectonic thus offers the theorist a schema for placing c o n c e p t s .H E G E L ' S LOGIC 433 be constructed.. and the architectonic determines the kind of deficiency that is present. It is in virtue of the architectonic that concepts are seen to be deficient. It must also have the other characteristics noted earlier. logical reconstruction of concepts is to be valid. Thus. The beginning must develop the architectonic out of itself. those from Being to Essence and from Essence to Concept. quantitative difference. Hence.g. between the architectonic on the large scale and the architectonic on the small scale. Hegel delineates the small architectonic in the following way: The abstract form of progression in Being is an other and passing-over in an other. a schema for the reconstruction of c o n c e p t s . the architectonic must be not external to the concepts in question but immanent to them. We may distinguish. This obviously puts the Hegelian style of system at odds with a purely deductive theory in which a faulty inference can invalidate the whole outcome. . then there would be no problem of beginning. as is found in the doctrine of being (e.a n d it is then an open question whether or not a particular concept validly fills the particular spot in the schema. that is.

The principle of conceptuality itself can be grasped and understood. Closure is achieved in that there remains no countervailing " o t h e r " at the end of the theory. in both cases it is conceptuality or " t h o u g h t .434 H I S T O R Y OF P H I L O S O P H Y selbst] be deficient and infected with the impulse to lead itself the same as that which does the e x p l a i n i n g . to reconstruct the determinateness of the J' W L . not deductive. There is thus no surd in the explanation: the beginning is explained as the primordial case of determinateness by the end. (2) a dynamic w a y . The Logik is an attempt. ~l Ibid. " Within the theory it is not as if one has a stance from which results are derived. at the end the "construction rule" grasps itself. the architectonic emerges from the beginning. is constitutive of their determinateness. it is deficient only in terms of something else. a p r i n c i p l e . either deductively or constructively. If something is deficient. it is a more subtle case of a constructivist self-explanation. p. The accusation ofpetitio does not enter also because the scheme is reconstructive. There is no leap from the object language. ''37 For this reason the beginning must be indeterminate in order to present a genealogy of deter minateness.t h e explanans. The circularity is not a petitio since the beginning is not a premise that then appears in the conclusion. Rather.3' In terms of the game analogy. Clearly. where full inclusion is attained. . Rather. 2:489. which is constitutive of the architectonic. the deficiency of the beginning is one only in terms of at least the next stage and ultimately the end.t h e m o v e m e n t from one position to another. A principle that is akin to a construction rule is developed at the beginning. to a system of science and with that concludes by grasping this comprehension of itself. the logic of the concepts. thereby integrating [aufzuheben] its position as content and object and cognizing [erkennen] the concept of science. What is to be e x p l a i n e d . But Hegel's point is that since the method. to the metalanguage. Hence. is presented at the beginning. the Logik can be seen in two ways: (1) a static w a y . the genealogy of determinateness is the genealogy likewise of the architectonically structured method. The circularity lies in the fact that the principle that is operative in the beginning can by virtue of its logic become thematic at the end.t h e unity of being and nothing--is in virtue of its logic able to give an account of itself. since the logic of determinateness emerges there. The move to determinateness. a proposal. It is the pure concept that has itself for object and that. Thought understands that its determinateness comes from the whole logic of its concepts. so to speak. Circularity ensues because this initial logic later explains itself in the terminal concept. To use Hegelian language. thought categorizes itself as categorizing its other. develops itself into the whole of its reality.. the explanans (the bestowal of determinateness via determinate negation) explains itself. its moments. The rest of the Hegelian p r o g r a m follows virtually automatically from this beginning. there is not a first premise that on the grounds of certainty is to be preferred and to which all else is related. and the end is the development of the beginning. the procedure is circular. the dialectical logic is able to give an account of itself in its own terms. Conceptuality accounts for itself.t h e collective arrangement of all the " p i e c e s " on the " b o a r d " . In this sense.t h e explanadum -. in that it runs as object through the totality of its determinations. however. 505.

as a kind of transcendental philosopher. the proper and the most fruitful way to read him. Hegelian philosophy. A second type of reconstruction follows. the basic concepts found in science and experience. to have provided foundations for. is. reconstructing their logic along the lines of the concepts found in the Logik. but with Hegel's careful attention to constructing the systemic (architectonical) aspect of his theory out of a small set of basic principles that are themselves developed in the Logik. Thus. Hegel attempts systematically to redescribe more concrete notions in the terms of his general ontology. Philosophy becomes conceived as the conceptual critique of the other domains of conceptuality. first. one can place the concrete concepts of science and experience in the now intelligible framework of the Logik. natural science. of system. that is. he avoids many of the charges commonly associated with such systematizing. namely. Having set up his general ontology. science of politics. The conclusion of such more concrete reconstructions would be the reconstruction of the notion of philosophy itself. much of contemporary philosophy stresses a clarification of particular problems at the expense. In conclusion. for example. Hegel's concern for analyzing and reconstructing the logic of the concepts that constitute the core of our conceptual framework is also very much in line with other types of contemporary concerns. and so on. perhaps. There is. one accordingly can systematically redescribe the concepts of natural science. Hegel is not simply some nineteenth-century German romantic listening to his own incantations of the World Spirit but a philosopher concerned with carefully working out the logical relations between all the different ways in which we experience things and talk about that experience. behavioral science. In this way one can investigate the foundations of scientific theories. need not be taken as very far from this type of concern. Such a proposal is enacted in Hegel's philosophy of nature. that of " f o r c i n g " material into places where it does not fit. One can do likewise for concepts in the behavioral and political sciences. a proposal Hegel enacts in his philosophy of subjective mind and objective mind. (2) one has a method of placing sciences according to the kind of explaination they offer. with its notion of an " i m m a n e n t " system of concepts. in contemporary philosophy the newly reawakened concern for system in philosophy. Nor is he the champion of those who would like to reject the principle of noncontradiction.H E G E L ' S LOGIC 435 Logik. The advantages to such a reconstruction are then twofold: (1) one can claim to understand. To see Hegel in this light. Hegelian theory obviously answers to this concern. as he is often supposed to be. we note how the Hegelian theory on this reading fits into more contemporary styles of philosophy. purely categorial concepts of experience in terms of the concepts found within the Georgetown University . In its search for first principles. I would maintain.

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