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Three Counter-Theses Against Alan Ponikvar's Janos-Faced Dualist Interpretation of Hegel by Ryan Haecker Thank you for providing

this detailed response on how you interpret Hegel's Absolute. Before I address the points which you raise, I wish to briefly preface this discussion with a summary of the questions surrounding my hypothesis at the present. The hypothesis that I had presented was that the homology between the anti-foundationalism of Hegel's Absolute and the lack of a foundation in mathematics suggested the possibility of a Hegelian analysis of the problem of the foundation of mathematics, in which mathematics could be categorized as a formal domain of thought that is abstracted from, opposed to, and united with Hegel's system of philosophy as it united within the difference of the Absolute. I wrote (colored blue): "I argue that, because mathematics is not founded upon itself, it must be founded upon something other-than-itself; and that the most plausible candidate is the self-subsistent Hegelian Absolute..." To establish this thesis requires, from the standpoint of the Absolute, a deduction of the abstract domain of mathematics from Hegel's Logic; and from the standpoint of mathematics, a demonstration of the impossibility of a foundation to mathematics; which I proposed might be the consequence of Bertrand Russell's Paradox as it was re-employed in Kurt Gdel's Incompleteness Theorem. Assuming an agreement on the nature of the Absolute and the anti-foundationalism of mathematics, this hypothesis requires a definite description within and through the speculative dialectic, of the mediating relation between the Absolute and all mathematics. I observe definite structure to the present dispute, concerning my hypothesis and the objections: (A) my hypothesis proposes to describe the (M) mediating relation between (S) the Absolute and (P) all mathematics to account for the absence of a foundation within mathematics, e.g. S-M-P (which can be understood as the self-mediation and self-identity of mathematics; e.g. Mathematics - Mediation - Mathematics; mathematics predicated of itself, or S = S ), which can alternatively be understood, from the standpoint of mathematics, as an explanation of the foundation of mathematics in the Absolute, e.g. Mathematics - Mediation - Absolute, P-M-S. The objection of Alan concerns, not the (A) mediation relation, but only the nature of the subject term of the Absolute within this syllogistic relation. (B) Bill and Alan objected to my characterization of Hegel's Absolute in the admittedly Fichtean terms as the Absolute Ego. Alan elaborated to say that the Absolute was neither (a) self-identical, (b) selfsubsistent or (c) subjective and intentional. As the hypothesis of the (A) mediation relation of the Absolute to Mathematics (e.g. S-M-P) is a composite of the constituent conceptual terms of the Absolute and mathematics, the (B) objection to a definite nature of the subject term of the Absolute jeopardizes the consistency of my hypothesis. The three objections can be further distinguished as (a) logical, (b) ontological, and (c)

epistemological. Observe further that in the order of being ( ordo esse), from the standpoint of the Absolute, the latter is derived from the former; something is only (c) thinking if it is (b) self-subsistent; and something is only (b) self-subsistent if it is (a) self-identical. Hence, the question of whether or not the Absolute is (c) subjective and intentional will depend on its (b) self-subsistence, which further depends on (a) its selfidentity. This means also that the self-identity and self-subsistence of the Absolute do not (abstractly for the understanding) depend on (c) the subjectivity and intentionality of the Absolute. For this reason, I proposed that my hypothesis of the (1) mediating relation of the Absolute to Mathematics might be consistent even without disputing the theological question of the (c) subjectivity and intentionality of the Absolute, which is simply the personhood and self-consciousness of God. Although I admit that these distinctions and relations of dependency (1 & 2, and 'a b c') reduces the speculative Absolute to the categories of finite understanding, I expect that this mode of thinking and writing may nonetheless be helpful to frame and adjudicate the present dispute. In response to Alan's objection to characterizing the Absolute as subject, self-conscious and intentional, I replied with an argument from grammar that contended that Alan was inconsistent in characterizing the Absolute as an "Absolute form" of "self-reflective subjectivity" for there can be no self-reflection without a self and no subjectivity without a subject: both terms 'self-reflective' and 'subjectivity' refer to either an adjective or a verb form of a composite term of self and subject. To deny that the Absolute is self or is subject is, simply grammatically, to deny that it can be composed further to have selfreflection and or subjectivity: "The biggest objection that I have to this interpretation is that I do not understand how thought can be self-reflective and subjective in any way without a self, an Ego, and a subject of thought. It seems a flat contradiction to say that the Absolute is "self-reflective subjectivity" and yet the Absolute has no self. This problem, I expect, requires Hegelian interpreters to either affirm that the Absolute is, simply by its essence, or in virtue of some other particular thing, a self-reflective Ego." "intentionality is the determinative intellective activity of a subject, a self, and an Ego; if the Absolute is subject, self and Ego then it has intentional relations towards objects of its consciousness." The argument from grammar would ordinarily defeat the contention, that a selfreflective Absolute has no self, simply because the former predicate cannot be applied while the latter is denied, without equivocation. However, because we are disputing Hegel's Absolute, Alan can possibly wiggle out of what amounts to the equivocal fallacy by appealing in some imaginative way to the infinite dialectical movement of speculative reason. Thus, Alan (colored red) responds with two counter-claims:

"I would like to make two claims that seem inconsistent. (1) First, as you note, the true may be both taken as substance as well as subject but it is not a self-subsistent substance nor an actual subject. And (2) second, the absolute only emerges within the orb of finite subjectivity." 1) "With the first point I wish to indicate that we can employ the absolute without buying into the notion that the absolute is some ultimate substance or some actual infinite spirit that has intentions." Alan appears to agrees with my previous claim that, because we can perhaps "employ the absolute without... (c) intentions" then the (A) mediating relation between the Absolute and mathematics can be true without attributing (c) self-consciousness, subjectivity and intentionality to the Absolute. I wish to note that, according to my argument above for the independence of (a) self-identity and (b) self-subsistence from (c) subjectivity and intentionality, this means that Alan agrees that my hypothesis could be sound even in spite of his criticisms. 2) "With the second point I provide the reason for the first point. There is nothing grand about the absolute either with respect to substance or subject because the absolute first comes on the scene as the form that finite thought takes when this thought is brought to a dialectical impasse." Here Alan first defines how the (2) second point provides the justification for the (1) first (e.g. 1 iff 2, or 2 <=> 1). Thus, both points are defeasible if the (2) second point is defeated. Alan describes that "comes on the scene" which ambiguously implies that the Absolute existed prior to coming on the scene; for nothing 'comes' anywhere without having first been existing somewhere else. This is important because it will contradict the non-metaphysical emergentist account of the Absolute that Alan afterwards presents; in which the Absolute is a form of the thought of an inter-subjective human community which emerges as the "form that finite thought takes" is "brought to a dialectical impasses", namely the contradictory impasses of the Kantian antinomies. Alan explains: "Only if there is frustrated finite thought is there a dialectic. And only if there is a dialectic is there absolute form. All truths for Hegel manifest this absolute form that is the identity in difference of dynamic, idealized moments. As infinite or unconditioned the absolute form comes on the scene by means of an insight by the speculative philosopher who attends to what happens to finite thinking at this moment of frustration."

According to Alan's description there is little possibility of discerning the central question of our dispute, namely the essence of the Absolute as subjective and intentional, because Alan carefully conceals any commitment a realist definition of the Absolute that pre-exists human thought, or an anti-realist idealist definition of the Absolute that emerges only with human thought. When Alan describes the Absolute as "infinite or unconditioned" that may "come on the scene" "by means of an insight" by the speculative philosopher he appears to imply that the philosopher generates the Absolute where there was none before. Is this what Alan means? If not, then how does the Absolute exist before insight of the speculative philosopher? One answer that Alan might give is to affirm that the Absolute exists intellectually by knowing itself in-andthrough its own intentional subjectivity. Another answer is that the Absolute exists in an inchoate and unrealized nascent form among the inter-subjective thinking of historical human communities. The former is the so-called transcendentist, metaphysical, and theological interpretation of the Absolute as the subjective self-conscious and intentional God of Christianity, while the latter is the so-called immanentist, nonmetaphysical, and humanist interpretation of the Absolute as the self-understanding of historical human communities. Alan affirms the latter and deny the former, even as he sometimes employs ambiguous language that seems to suggest the former. Previously, Alan and I had apparently disagreed upon the ontological status of the Absolute. I wrote: " I believe that our disagreement pertains rather to the ontic status of this becoming, specifically the question of whether it may essentially possess the power to be selfsubsistent and provide the foundation of mathematics that mathematics does not provide for itself: I want to affirm greater ontology and power of self-subsistence while you wish to deny these to Hegel's Absolute." At the end of Alan's reply, he apparently agrees with me that the Absolute can be interpreted ontologically, as either self-subsisting or implicitly ontologically divided within itself: "what this shows is that Hegel's absolute has ontological import." Yet Alan still wants to disagree on the nature of this "ontological import." Alan writes: Hegel's absolute is not theological but prosaic in the extreme. It comes into being and inverts due to the way it reflects thought's ability to shift perspective... Thought and being are one, but not as a simple identity."

When Alan describes Hegel's Absolute as "prosaic in the extreme" he means to ontologically reduce the ontological divisions intrinsic within the Absolute even after he has affirmed that the Absolute is in some sense ontological; for 'prosaic' means the absence of any definite features, in the manner of free-prose, and is thus opposed to real ontological divisions (such as any equivocal division between subject and object, creator and creatures) within the unity of the Absolute. In my previous reply I objected to the ostensible contradiction of Alan affirming that the Absolute is self-reflective while denying to the Absolute a self; unless perhaps if the self could, in some way, be a historical human community of inter-subjective thinking: "I interpret you, on the other hand, to understand the 'self' Hegel's self-reflective Absolute to be like Pinkard's absolutization of the inter-subjective self-reflective thought of historical human communities. The initial objection re-emerges with this answer: where in a historical community of inter-subjective thinking is there any 'self' to which the Absolute subjectively may reflect upon?" Of course, this careful concealment of ontological commitment is just the trick that Hegel relies upon to work through the different stages in the dialectic. Alan is similarly presenting a dialectic of stages of dialectical thought in his speculative reply to my objections. The difference between how I interpret Alan and how I interpret Hegel is that I understand Alan to be presenting a two-stage dialectic that culminates in the negative moment which effaces all logical-identity and obliterates all ontological subsistence (both (a) and (b) of which are crucial to any hypothesized founding of mathematics upon the Absolute), while I understand Hegel to reconcile the negative and positive moments in a synthesis which preserves both positivity and negativity is a selfmoving concept. In short, I envisage Alan's dialectic to never advance beyond tarrying with the negative in a bad infinite of negating the positive moment. I invite Alan to correct me if he observes that I am misrepresenting his position. As evidence, observe how Alan writes: The dialectic itself arises at that point when thought attempts to complete itself as a self-concern. Hegel's Logic is about this self-thinking thought... The problem is that thought does not complete itself by providing this final comprehensive insight that totalizes its self-thinking. Instead, at this culminating point thought breaks down. It ceases to make sense. It exhibits an inconsistent thought or antinomy in keeping with the attempt to think frame as simultaneously also item framed... this is where Hegel thinks the paradoxical thought: the inability to think the final ultimate thought IS the final ultimate thought. The dialectic that exhibits the impasse of finite thinking also exhibits the coherent absolute form of this impasse.

Any Hegel interpreter that rises to the self-criticism of modern philosophy, especially the skeptical phenomenalism of Hume and transcendental criticism of Kant, must admit that classical realism, represented by the positive moment in Hegel's dialectic, to be untenable from the standpoint of human knowing ( ordo episteme). This is not disputed. What will be disputed is whether there is real self-subsistence in the Absolute, in the order of being (order esse), from the standpoint of the Absolute. The question that I wish to raise for Alan is whether or not there is a negative moment, in which thought "breaks down" and "ceases to make sense" by exhibiting an "inconsistent thought or antinomy" is the final moment in Hegel's dialectic. As I read Hegel, his dialectic does not ultimately conclude in the thinking of the "paradoxical thought" and the "inability to think the final ultimate thought" as a "coherent absolute form", but rather both the positive moment of realism and this negative moment which opposes realism are joined together in a mutually enriching third synthetic moment: the negation of the paradox does not simply nullify positive reality through its opposition, but rather the positive reality and the opposition of the negative criticism are altogether taken upon into a self-moving conceptual synthesis that unites and preserves the alternation of positing and negating in their mutual opposition. This is how I described our dispute in the previous reply: "I understand Hegel to interpret the synthetic moment as the truth and concrete reality of the prior conceptual moments. If Becoming emerges from the dialectic of Being and Non-Being, then it must possess some being of the former moments, of Being and NonBeing; simply because for nothing emerges from nothing and without possessing some being. This is why I interpret Hegel's dialectic as both logical and ontological. An emergence of something is an addition of being viz. the emergence. Hence I interpret the concrete synthetic moment of Hegel's dialectic as both an increase in truth and reality over the previous abstract moments. " Further, I described how this interpretation conceptually subsumed the ultimate-ness of the negative moment of paradox in what I interpret to be Alan's negative dialectic: " I would contend that the negative moment of the dialectic, that negates the being of what is posited, is not itself ultimate but is rather combined with the posited being in such a way that ontologically enriches the synthesis of the previous moments: e.g. beingfor-self is contradicted by being-for-others and becomes being-for-self-and-others, or being-in-and-for-itself. Thus, I interpret the ontologically robust conception of Hegel's Absolute to be the result rather than the refuse of critical speculation." To explain away the equivocal fallacy and to dialectically narrate his definition of the Absolute as not a subject, self or self-consciousness with any intentionality, Alan presents his long-awaited negative inversion of the realism of the Absolute, in a manner

consistent with (P) his Pinkardian non-metaphysical interpretation and with his (Z) Zizekian emphasis on paradox: "Finite thinking seeks to comprehend what is self-identical or a self-standing content, meant in this way to be an absolute content. The dialectic subverts this intention. [i.e. subverts the intention to be self-standing] The infinite then appears as what is not intended: the form of this failure to grasp content. Thus the absolute comes on the scene by way of cunning behind the back of the thought of an intentionally directed finite subject. But this absolute is not itself a subject. It simply is thought that as self-reflexive exhibits subjective form." Alan describes how the cunning of reason moves "behind the back of thought of an intentionally directed finite subject" to the dialectic of thought that "is not itself a subject" but simply exhibits "thought that as self-reflexive exhibits subjective form." Who or what is the thinker that thinks the reason that moves "behind the back" of the thought of the "intentionally directed finite subject"? If it is not the subjective, intentional self-consciousness of the Absolute and is also not the finite thinking of the speculative philosopher, then there is only one other option; which is the mediation between (PhG, C.CC) religious consciousness and (PhG, B) finite individual understanding; the (PhG, C.AA & C.BB) Spirit of the inter-subjective historical human community. Thus, the rejection of the theological interpretation of the Absolute as an intentional subject, even as thought is described to act independently of the finite speculative philosopher, means, as a consequence of the limited sets of thinking thinkers, that Alan must adopt the (P) Pinkardian interpretation of the Absolute as the inter-subjectivity of a human community; for some thinking could only subvert some thinking if these thinking activities were distinct; and were the distinction not between a man and the Absolute then it must be between the mankind and a man, between the collective and the individual. Alan supports his Pinkardian reading of Hegel's dialectic by describing how any attempt to conceive of or apprehend the Absolute results in a reduction of the dynamic selfmoving Spirit of the Absolute to a static image that may be analyzed according to the finite categories of the Understanding, or 'common reason' to use Alan's term. Alan writes: The absolute immediately inverts when thought. It becomes a static or abstract version of the exhibited dynamic... Finite thinking caught in the endless cycle of the transiting of being/nothing gives way by means of a perspective shift. What motivates the shift marks a divide between common and speculative thinking... there are no realities that persist thus there is nothing for us to think. Speculative reason in contrast embraces the evident paradox: there are no realities to think, only ideal moments that vanish into one

another, this then is what we will think. In this way, thought is a self-concern. Alan contends that because thought "immediately inverts" the dynamism of the Absolute, to become a static abstraction of common reason and understanding, finite thinking (i.e. common reason) is caught in a bad infinite "cycle of transiting" from the positive moment of being to the negative moment of non-being. This is the (Z) Zizekian paradox that Alan interprets Hegel to have dialectically generated from the "impasse" of the Kantian antinomies for common reason. For Alan, the bad infinite of the "cycle of transiting" resulting from the Kantian antinomies produces a "perspective shift" in which "there are no realities that persist" and "there is nothing for us to think" unless we, as speculative reasoners, follow Alan in embracing the interpretation of the conclusion of the negative moment as a paradox, in which "ideal moments vanish into one another" as a totally immanent "self-concern" of historical human communities. Hence according to Alan the non-metaphysical (P) Pinkardian interpretation depends upon the (Z) Zizekian dialectic of paradox. I have two objections to Alan's narration of Hegel's dialectic as in this negative fashion of a dialectic of paradox. Following Alan's example, (Z.i) the first is dependent upon (Z.ii) the second. (Z.i) First, rather than addressing the interpretation that I had proposed, in which Hegel's dialectic should be interpreted as three logical moments in the familiar triadic arrangement, Alan presents what appears to be a dialectic of only two logical moments that concludes by affirming the ultimate-ness of the negative moment, and rejoicing in its paradox. For example, Alan describes how the negativity of the negative moment entirely obliterates all intrinsic reason and substance of the positive moment when he describes how afterwards "there are no realities that persist thus there is nothing for us to think." If I am correct in interpreting Alan as thusly ejecting the reason and substance of the positive moment, then Alan commits himself to the sort of "bad skepticism" that Hegel describes (colored green) in the Introduction to the Phenomenology of Spirit: "To make this comprehensible we may remark, by way of preliminary, that the exposition of untrue consciousness in its untruth is not a merely negative process. Such a one-sided view of it is what the natural consciousness generally adopts; and a knowledge, which makes this one-sidedness its essence, is one of those shapes assumed by incomplete consciousness which falls into the course of the inquiry itself and will come before us there. For this view is scepticism, which always sees in the result only pure nothingness, and abstracts from the fact that this nothing is determinate, is the nothing of that out of which it comes as a result. Nothing, however, is only, in fact, the true result, when taken as the nothing of what it comes from; it is thus itself a determinate nothing, and has a content. The scepticism which ends with the abstraction nothing or emptiness can advance

from this not a step farther, but must wait and see whether there is possibly anything new offered, and what that is in order to cast it into the same abysmal void. When once, on the other hand, the result is apprehended, as it truly is, as determinate negation, a new form has thereby immediately arisen; and in the negation the transition is made by which the progress through the complete succession of forms comes about of itself." (PhG, 79, Miller Trans.) I contend that Alan's negative dialectic of paradox, which emphasizes the ultimate-ness of the negative moment as paradox, is simply the sort view of skepticism that Hegel critiques in this section from the Phenomenology of Spirit. For both Alan and the shape of incomplete consciousness of Skepticism, the result of the dialectic is to only see "pure nothingness" in which there is no reason, or substance, and "nothing is determinate" and from this nothing Skepticism brings forth its result, the result of paradox. (Z.ii) Second, I object that, in just the same way as Skepticism can bring forth no determinate content of thought as a result, Alan is mistaken to hold that he can bring forth any determinate content of thought from the annihilating negativity of a paradox in which "there are no realities that persist thus there is nothing for us to think." To say, to the contrary, that determinate thought come from nothing, Alan must violate Parmenides prohibition and contend the impossible: that some determinate thing can come from the indeterminateness of nothing! Blessed Plato writes: "You see, then, that in our disobedience to Parmenides we have trespassed far beyond the limits of his prohibition... He says you remember, Never shall this be proved that things that are not, are, but keep back thy thought from this way of inquiry. - Plato, the Sophist, 258c-d Alan mentions his indebtedness to Zizek, but where did Zizek discover this doctrine? Zizek found it buried in the Jena writings of none other than F.J. Schelling! For Zizek, Alan and Schelling, there is no determinate way of resolving the contradictions of thought in the Kantian antinomies. The resolution is, thus, for Zizek to think through the paradox (which I confess that I don't understand) just as it was for Schelling to have an aesthetic intuition of the identity between ideality and reality, the system of things thought and of things of extension. In either case we have a empty nothingness in which nothing can emerge according to any reasoning at all; for nothing less than a miracle can bring forth something from nothing and miracles are totally inscrutable. Again Hegel criticizes this doctrine of Schelling, in which determinate thought arises from nothing, in a famous passage from the Phenomenology of Spirit: "This monotonousness and abstract universality are maintained to be the Absolute. This formalism insists that to be dissatisfied therewith argues an incapacity

to grasp the standpoint of the Absolute, and keep a firm hold on it... we find here all the value ascribed to the general idea in this bare form without concrete realisation; and we see here, too, the style and method of speculative contemplation identified with dissipating and, resolving what is determinate and distinct, or rather with hurling it down, without more ado and without any justification, into the abyss of vacuity. (PhG. 16, Baillie Trans.) For Alan the "abstract universality" "maintained to be the Absolute" is the cunning of reason that persists in the inter-subjective human community "behind the back of the thought of an intentionally directed finite subject." The paradox of the Kantian antinomies may totally negate and obliterate all reason and substance in the positive moment only because some reason and substance of thought persists, behind the back of the finite subject, in the activity of self-reflective thinking of the inter-subjective human community. If my interpretation is correct, Alan like Schelling holds that the dialectic of selfreflective reasoning may persists, even in spite of hurling down the determinate and distinct content of speculative contemplation into the paradoxical "abyss of vacuity", because thought subsists, not in "an intentionally directed finite subject", but "in the abstract identity A = A" of the spiritual substance of the inter-subjective human community; which is not thought but remains a "bare form without concrete realization." The totally un-thought abstract identity of the historical human community, which Zizek perhaps identifies with historical materialism, is an empty notion with no rational content; it consists in the positing that would "pit this single assertion, that in the Absolute all is one, against the organized whole of determinate and complete knowledge"; it is to "give out its Absolute as the night in which, as we say, all cows are black that is the very navet of emptiness of knowledge." (PhG. 16, Baillie Trans.) The (Z.i) first objection that Alan performs the incomplete stage of conscious thought of "bad skepticism" follows from (Z.ii) the second objection of the emptiness and impossibility of the negative dialectic of paradox in which nothing comes from the "abyss of vacuity." To conclude, I distinguished the disputes into two questions: (A) the mediating relation between the Absolute and mathematics (e.g. S-M-P), and (B) the nature of the Absolute as the self-conscious and intentional being which we call God. I distinguished three characteristics that had been attributed to the Absolute; (a) self-identity, (b) selfsubsistency, and (c) self-conscious subjectivity and intentionality; and argued that (A) the mediating relationship of my hypothesis minimally required (a) self-identity and (b) self-subsistency but did not require (c) self-conscious subjectivity and intentionality. I observed that Alan agreed with my claim that the (A) mediating relation between the Absolute could operate even without (c) the self-conscious subjectivity and

intentionality, but only with the (a) self-identity and (b) self-subsistency of the Absolute. Because Alan only contests whether the Absolute is (c) self-conscious, subject and intentional, and we both agree that this property (c) is not required for the truth of (A) the mediating relation between the Absolute and Mathematics, I judge that Alan admits the possibility (A) that mathematics could be categorized as a formal domain of thought that is abstracted from, opposed to, and united with Hegel's system of philosophy as it united within the difference of the Absolute. If, on the contrary, Alan intended to reverse this opinion and contend that (c) selfconscious subjectivity and intentionality were essential to any conception of (A) the Absolute that mediates and founds mathematics, then I have further critiqued the basis of Alan's critique of the (c) self-conscious subjectivity and intentionality of the Absolute. Alan's critique of (c) was presented in two theses, in which (1) the first thesis, that the Absolute "is not a self-subsistent substance nor an actual subject" entirely depends upon (2) the second thesis, that "the absolute only emerges within the orb of finite subjectivity." My arguments are directed against the second thesis to, as a consequence of their dependency, kill two birds with one stone. I argued from grammar that Alan was inconsistent in characterizing the Absolute as an "Absolute form" of "self-reflective subjectivity" while also denying that that the Absolute possessed a self, subject and Ego. Alan suggests with the language of "emerge" and "come on the scene" that the Absolute possesses subsists prior to the finite thought of the intentional subject, but he neglects to immediately disclose in what substance the Absolute subsists in. I propose three domains of thinking in which the self-reflective thought of the Absolute may subsist: (i) in the intentional subjectivity of the Absolute which is what we call God; (ii) in the intersubjective human community which Hegel calls Spirit; or (iii) in the finite thinking of the speculative philosopher, posited by what Fichte calls the Ego. I argued that if Alan denied that the Absolute subsisted (i) in subjective intentionality then it can only subsist in (ii) Pinkard's historical human communities and in (iii) Fichte's posting. I had previously argued that Alan was attempting to reduce the Ontological differentia of the Absolute to an immanentist non-metaphysical interpretation by denying being, but now Alan affirms that the Absolute possesses being, which he describes as "ontological import." I argued that Alan's two-stage dialectic that culminates in the negative moment was intended to obliterate all (a) logical self-identity and (b) ontological selfsubsistence. I described how the real difference in Alan and I's interpretation was that, while he identified the transcendentist interpretation of the Absolute (possessing properties a, b, and c) with the positive moment of naive realism, I contended that all of the properties (a, b, and c) could be attributed to the Absolute through a critical dialectic of speculative reason in a synthetic moment which preserves both positivity and negativity is a self-moving concept. I challenged Alan to defend the ultimate-ness of the negative moment of the paradox.

Finally, I showed how the (P) Pinkardian interpretation which reduces the (i) selfreflective subjectivity of the Absolute to the (ii) inter-subjectivity of the historical human community crucially depends, for the force of this negative reduction, upon the (Z) Zizekian dialectic of paradox. Just as thesis (1) could be defeated by defeating thesis (2), so could the (P) Pinkhardian sociological reduction be defeated by defeating the (Z) Zizekian dialectic of paradox (e.g. 1 iff 2, P iff Z). I described how the (Z) Zizekian dialectic of paradox was Hegel's triadic Trinitarian dialectic but an incomplete skeptical negative dialectic which totally ejected the reason and substance of the positive moment. Alan committed himself to "bad skepticism" when he wrote: "there are no realities that persist thus there is nothing for us to think." Just as it is impossible for anything emerge from nothing, so is it impossible for determinate thought to emerge from the annihilating negativity of the paradox. Alan hurls all reason and substance into the empty notion of the abysmal vacuity and seeks to pull them back out again. This may only be possible if reason and substance subsist in (P) Pinkard's inter-subjective historical human community. However, because the (P) Pinkardian interpretation of the Absolute as the inter-subjectivity of the historical human community depends upon the (Z) Zizekian dialectic of paradox, Alan cannot appeal to (P) Pinkard to justify (Z) Zizek. Alan's Zizekian dialectic of paradox is no better as a rebuttal to the self-conscious subjectivity and intentionality of the Absolute, than Schelling's conceptually vacuous aesthetic intuition of the Absolute - the night in which all cows are black. *** First Counter-Thesis against the Dualist Interpretation of Hegel Thank you once again for your thorough response to my criticism of your criticism of my mathematical hypothesis. I agree that, insofar as we are "each presenting aspects of our contrasting conceptions of Hegel's absolute," there will unavoidable misunderstandings and contentions. I hope that I may bring the points of conflict into sharper relief in the following response. It has become exceedingly apparent that you and I disagree on no merely superficial and accidental element of our respective interpretations of the philosophy of Hegel. Rather, we each of us interpret the most essential element, Hegel's dialectic, in different ways. In each case, the different interpretation of the essence of thought, finitely and absolutely, conditions an altogether different interpretation of the accidents in the whole. Saint Thomas Aquinas wrote at the beginning of De Ente et Essentia (Essence and Existence), that a "small mistake in the beginning is a big one in the end." Hence, beginning with a small disagreement in Hegel's Logic we come to an absolute disagreement in our interpretation of Hegel's Absolute. For this reason, it had been a mistake to begin by analyzing the properties of the Absolute, as though these hung ready at hand from the branches of a the Tree of

Knowledge, without having first analyzed the essential origin of these properties in the essence of Hegel's Absolute, the Logic of Hegel's Dialectic. Before I begin my reply, I wish to briefly sketch what I take to be the interpretive traditions in which we each implicitly stand. The Right or Old Hegelians who personally studied under Hegel and posthumously edited and compiled Hegel's collected writings in the Hegel Yearbook are generally said to have followed Hegel in his conclusions of the fittingness of Lutheran Christianity and constitutional monarchy. Later these original Hegelians were opposed by a younger-generation of student radicals, Left or Young Hegelians, who intended to employ the dialectical form of Hegelian philosophy against the received content of Hegelian philosophy. Thus the interpretive tradition of the philosophy of Hegel has been divided along political lines, that homologously represents the division of political liberalism into rightconservatives and left-progressives. Although Hegel was adamantly opposed to sects and dualities, the bare inert factuality of his philosophical corpus offers little possibility of resolving the dilemma, as each interpretative pole will claim for themselves legitimacy according to either the content or the form of the philosophy of Hegel: Right Hegelians will claim to follow the conclusions, while Left Hegelians will claim to follow the method of the master. Admitting this conundrum, I believe it more expedient that our labor of philosophical exegesis should focus less upon the extrinsic correspondence between an interpretation and the text, and more on the intrinsic coherence of the interpretation itself. Hence, while I understand that you have argued about the correspondence of your interpretation with better informed Hegel scholars than myself, I intend only to argue for the superior coherence of what I will call my Trinitarian interpretation of Hegel in relation to what I will call your Dualist interpretation of Hegel (if you would prefer another designation for your interpretation, I would gladly adopt an alternative nomenclature). Finally, I must mention that I was puzzled by your off-handed comment that the "natural misreadings" in which commentators fail to free themselves from "natural assumptions" "block comprehension" and "characterize most commentaries" as this statement seems to dismiss most Hegelian commentators: which interpretative tradition and which commentators do you find common agreement with? On my behalf, I can identify as standing within the Right Hegelian tradition, which includes Johann Adam Mhler, Franz von Baader, James Sterling, Emil Fakenheim, Benedetto Croce, Jean Hyppolite, J.N. Findlay, Cyril O'Reagan, Dale Schlitt, Robert Pippin and our own beloved Stephen Theron. Without intending any censure, may I ask which commentators, besides your oft-mentioned references to Slavoj iek, you do find yourself in agreement with? If your interpretation is only consonant with Mr. iek, have you familiarized yourself with the critiques of iek, both as a Hegel

interpreter and as a Hegelian philosophy? [See: Horwtiz, Noah. "Contra the Slovenians: Returning to Lacan and away from Hegel" (Philosophy Today, Spring 2005, pp. 2432] I raise this question of interpretation because I intend to criticize your reading of Hegel as a systematic misreading of the philosophy of Hegel as it has been misinterpreted according to the psychoanalytic theories of Mr. iek. The thesis of my criticism is three-fold: (A) first, I follow Horwitz in alleging that you are interpolating the Zizekian-Lacanian notion of the unconscious in place of Hegel's unconscious; (B) second, you absolutize this notion of the unconscious as negativity; and (C) third, the consequence of this interpolation and absolutization of the negation of consciousness is the absolutization of the unknown object which is known only as what is unknown, which Fichte calls the non-Ego. The inference follows from the first thesis to the last thesis: (A) as the Zizekian-Lacanian notion of the unconscious is interpolated in place of the Hegelian unconsciousness it may assume the role of the negative in Hegel's dialectic; (B) this negativity is absolutized at the beginning of the Logic and subsequently in all dialectical sequences; (C) the result of the absolutization of the negative is a duality between positive and negative thought; which you identify with the duality between common intellect and speculative reasoning of the paradox; in which the latter subsumes the negativity of the opposition of the prior moments, the Kantian antinomies, and yet remains unrealized as a result of the prior interpolation. This interpretation can be in some sense self-consistent simply because the system of Hegelian philosophy is presuppositionless, which means also that it entirely presupposes itself. Hence (A) presupposes (B) just as (B) presupposes (A). The task of criticism is neither to show that this Dualist interpretation extrinsically contradicts the Trinitarian interpretation, nor even that this Dualist interpretation intrinsically contradicts itself (both of these are no doubt true but equally trivial as you applaud these very contradictions as signs of "thinking the paradox"), but more decisively that this interpretation fails on its own account to realize the very purpose which it sets for itself, seeks to achieve, and leaves forever unrealized. (A) Please allow me to preface my reply by defining some key terms. First, the word 'intention' means to think rather than to will some object of thought. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy explains it thusly: "Intentionality is the power of minds to be about, to represent, or to stand for, things, properties and states of affairs... The word itself, which is of medieval Scholastic origin, was rehabilitated by the philosopher Franz Brentano towards the end of the nineteenth century. Intentionality is a philosopher's word. It derives from the Latin word intentio, which in turn derives from the verb intendere, which means being directed towards

some goal or thing... As the Latin etymology of intentionality indicates, the relevant idea of directedness or tension (an English word which derives from the Latin verb tendere) arises from pointing towards or attending to some target." Franz Brentano gave a modern formulation to the term in his book "Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint"(1874): "Every mental phenomenon is characterized by what the Scholastics of the Middle Ages called the intentional (or mental) inexistence of an object, and what we might call, though not wholly unambiguously, reference to a content, direction toward an object (which is not to be understood here as meaning a thing), or immanent objectivity. Every mental phenomenon includes something as object within itself, although they do not do so in the same way. In presentation, something is presented, in judgment something is affirmed or denied, in love loved, in hate hated, in desire desired and so on. This intentional inexistence is characteristic exclusively of mental phenomena. No physical phenomenon exhibits anything like it. We can, therefore, define mental phenomena by saying that they are those phenomena which contain an object intentionally within themselves." 'Intention' primarily denotes the mental representation of an object, as the mediating relation between subject and object of conscious thought. 'Intentionality' differs from 'intention' as an act differs from an activity as the repetition of the intentional relation in successive moments. Intention and intentionality are thus basic features of consciousness, which Hegel refers to as the "pure This" of a consciousness relation to an object, and not a self-reflective volition of some extra-mental object or state-of-affairs. What is meant by 'intention'; as for instance when I say that it is my intention to write a response to Alan Ponikvar; is not the same as what is meant by 'intention' for philosophers. This definition of intentionality as the basic relation between subject and object of consciousness, prior to any self-conscious volition, will be important later when intention becomes operational in the Hegelian Dialectic. Second, the term 'consciousness' has an idiosyncratic meaning in Hegel's philosophical system, which is speculatively constructed in the section A. Consciousness in the first three chapters of the Phenomenology of Spirit. Although Hegel appropriates many philosophical terms, he does so primarily, not to simply import their meaning from convention, but as vehicles to creatively re-conceptualize their meaning according to the various relations they assume within the overall architectonic of concepts that is the system of philosophy. Consciousness is the first major division of the Phenomenology of Spirit - the introduction to the entire system of philosophy - and accordingly assumes an altogether different meaning, as it is speculatively constructed in first standpoint of consciousness, than it may have in either conventional vernacular, or even in

specialized psychoanalytic theory, psychological research and psychiatric practice. The meaning of consciousness only comes to be known through the whole sequence of the dialectical movement through the standpoint of consciousness. Hegel summarizes this at the beginning of B.IV Self-Consciousness: "In the kinds of certainty hitherto considered, the truth for consciousness is something other than consciousness itself. The conception, however, of this truth vanishes in the course of our experience of it. What the object immediately was in itself whether mere being in sense-certainty, a concrete thing in perception, or force in the case of understanding it turns out, in truth, not to be this really; but instead, this inherent nature (Ansich) proves to be a way in which it is for an other. The abstract conception of the object gives way before the actual concrete object, or the first immediate idea is cancelled in the course of experience. Mere certainty vanished in favour of the truth. There has now arisen, however, what was not established in the case of these previous relationships, viz. a certainty which is on a par with its truth, for the certainty is to itself its own object, and consciousness is to itself the truth." (PhG 166) In support of the idiosyncrasy of the definition of 'consciousness' in the philosophy Hegel, I appeal to two authoritative sources: the first-hand account that Hegel gives in A.I - A.III of the Phenomenology of Spirit, and the second-hand account of commentators on the idiosyncratic meaning that Hegel gives to the term. In the first two paragraphs Hegel defines Consciousness (as much as Hegel defines anything in fixed non-speculative propositions) as the bare being and immediate object and of intention: "The knowledge, which is at the start or immediately our object, can be nothing else than just that which is immediate knowledge, knowledge of the immediate, of what is... This bare fact of certainty, however, is really and admittedly the abstractest and the poorest kind of truth. It merely says regarding what it knows: it is; and its truth contains solely the being of the fact it knows... Rather, the thing, the fact, is; and it is merely because it is. It is that is the essential point for sense-knowledge, and that bare fact of being, that simple immediacy, constitutes its truth." (PhG 90 and 91) Hegel again defines Consciousness in the Encyclopedia of Philosophical Sciences: "Consciousness constitutes the reflected or correlational grade of mind: the grade of mind as appearance. Ego is infinite self-relation of mind, but as subjective or as selfcertainty. The immediate identity of the natural soul has been raised to this pure 'ideal' self-identity; and what the former contained is for this self-subsistent reflection set forth as an object." (Enc. 413) Michael Innwood defines Consciousness thusly in the Hegel Dictionary:

"Bewusst, a technical term in philosophy and psychology since the eighteenth century, means 'conscious'. It is used to distinguish conscious mental states and events from unconscious ones, but in philosophy it primarily indicates intentional consciousness or consciousness of an object (Gegenstand)... Kant and Hegel use das Bewusstsein ('consciousness', literally 'being conscious') to denote not only a subject's consciousness, but the conscious subject himself, in contrast to the object of which he is conscious." Consciousness is thus the simple immediate phenomenological intuition of a uniform manifold of totally indeterminate being. It is the abstract apprehension of a totally indeterminate, self-identical and univocal ideal space of mental intuition. The definitions of intention and consciousness are related to one another as form and content that mediates between the subject and the object: intention is the form of the relation of the subject to its object, while consciousness is the content of this relation in which both subject and object are placed; or, alternatively, it might be said that intention is the abstract concept of the mediation between subject and object, while consciousness is the concrete phenomenological apprehension of being. 'Unconsciousness' is (qua 'un' and 'consciousness') then nothing more than the simple negation of consciousness; i.e. what consciousness is not; what is not simply and immediately phenomenologically intuited as uniform and indeterminate being. There is, further, an important difference between negation as opposition and simple negation (negatio simpliciter): negation of polar opposites is the opposition of things which are each the contrary of the other, such that to increase the degree of one is to decrease the degree of the other; while simple negation is the disjunction of things that are unrelated as opposites. This difference in senses of negation has been expounded by, among others, Benedetto Croce in the first chapter of What is Living and What is Dead in the Philosophy of Hegel, and by Thomas Cajetan as a simple contrary as, for example, between red and black. Thus, unconsciousness is not an alternate mode of consciousness that is the contrary opposite of consciousness, but rather simply what consciousness is not, what is altogether other-than consciousness, the bare Fichtean non-Ego. I have labored so diligently over the definition of these terms; intention, consciousness and unconsciousness; because I allege that you have interpolated an alien psychoanalytic meaning of these terms into your reading of the philosophy of Hegel (whether this was done willfully or not is irrelevant). The meaning of the 'unconsciousness' that you interpolate is the Lacanian psychoanalytic meaning of 'unconsciousness' that is an opposed mode of consciousness that is submerged below ordinary conscious thought, like the body of an iceberg below the water-line, which emerges unpredictably in the course of self-conscious reflection. Where unconsciousness is for Hegel the simple negation of what is other-than consciousness;

i.e. the non-Ego; unconsciousness is for you the opposite of consciousness that results in an original duality of consciousness and unconsciousness: consciousness and unconscious operate in tandem with to one another; yet only the conscious mind is immediately known; hence the unconsciousness is the unknown aspect of mind, just as the non-Ego is the unknown aspect of the Ego; in which the negativity of the unconscious non-Ego is submerged within the positivity of the conscious Ego. You intimate this duality when you write: "As I read the Phenomenology it is a complex exposition of the identity in difference or mutual implication of the reader and his self-alienated other, natural consciousness. The education to the standpoint of science that Hegel speaks about involves challenging the reader to comprehend this most comprehensive identity in difference of two way of thinking, one common and the other speculative. In the end, we are educated when we comprehend that when we are one with the absolute thought involves two views and not just one. We have to learn how to think twice, once as does the common intellect with thought directed to a self-standing thought in view and then again to the thinking of what is in view when what is in view devolves and manifests a dialectic." Here you appear to identify the "self-alienated other" as the "common intellect" of "natural consciousness", and the "standpoint of science" as the comprehension of the "identity in difference of two ways of thinking, one common and the other speculative." Speculative reasoning subsumes both "ways of thinking" within itself as the identity of their difference. The "common intellect" of "natural consciousness" is alienated from the self, from the Ego, from consciousness: it is the opposite of consciousness, the unconsciousness. "To comprehend speculatively the reader is shown how thought functions as dual. There is the intentional thought of the common intellect and then there is the cunning of the absolute that appears inadvertently behind the back behind what is intended but frustrated in act." Here you explicitly juxtapose the duality of thought as intentional and non-intentional; conscious and unconscious; as "common intellect" and as the "cunning of the absolute." One might ask how the Absolute "appears inadvertently behind the back" of "what is intended" in intentional conscious if there is no consciousness of this cunning. Hegel's consciousness is all being that is known. Hence there can be no conscious knowledge of what transpires "behind the back" of consciousness. Whatever else the unconsciousness is, it is a totally unknown non-Ego. For your psychoanalytic interpolation of 'unconciousness', what transpires "behind the back" of consciousness is always immanently subsumed under consciousness as merely another aspect of the mind.

"We are to take to heart this truth: the absolute as it will develop and unfold is not to be found anywhere other than where there is a beating human heart. In fact, we can say two things right off about Hegel's absolute. First, it lies dormant as the contradiction inherent in all that is. And second , it is articulated at the very point when the finite subject comes to a dialectical impasse and ceases to function as an intentional subject. " Prior its recognition in speculative reasoning, the Absolute remains "dormant of the contradiction [i.e. negativity] inherent in all that is." It is in man but not known to man: in the "beating heart" but not in the mind's conscious awareness. Intentionality is just the abstract relation between subject and object of conscious thought. The cessation of the functioning of the "intentional subject" is then just as much the cessation and negation of consciousness; consciousness turned around to face its opposite; the unconsciousness. *** Second Counter-Thesis against the Dualist Interpretation of Hegel Thank you for elaborating upon your interpretive distinction between the "dual view" of consciousness. This helps me to understand how you are reading Hegel. Before I begin elaborating upon (B) my second counter-thesis, I wish to briefly comment upon your previous description. I acknowledge this distinction that Hegel frequently invokes in the Phenomenology of Spirit between consciousness for-itself and for-us. "Hegel writes so as to keep intentional consciousness and consciousness of the cunning of reason separate. In the Phenomenology this is done by distinguishing what is for consciousness and what is for us. As I have mentioned the education to the standpoint of science involves folding both views into one finite consciousness which is then prepared to enter the system and read what is written speculatively or to read employing a dual view." I interpret consciousness for-itself as the description of how the consciousness, that is the phenomenological protagonist, understands the journey of consciousness through the stages of the dialectic; and I interpret consciousness for-us as a description of how we, as the phenomenological readers, observe what transpires to, but not for, the consciousness of the phenomenological protagonist. I call consciousness for-itself a protagonist because I believe the Phenomenology of Spirit can be read as a RomansBildung, an romantic novel of the coming-of-age of the Spirit, in which consciousness is the heroic protagonist. I have found it amusing to imagine the narrative as a sort of modern-day Divine Comedy in which Hegel is both Dante and Virgil: Hegel is both the naive consciousness for-itself, from the first-person standpoint, and the guide for this

consciousness, from the third-person standpoint, just as we phenomenological readers watch on as the audience consciousness for-us. "Why there are two views rather than one is that there are two ways of focusing our attention. First, we focus on the content as it slips away and then returns only to slip away again. We thus focus on the movement. Second, we can shift focus and attend to the coherent form of the slipping away... What is distinctive to Hegel is that first this ability is divided in the Phenomenology between the reader and natural consciousness. It is not the commonplace ability indicated by simple selfawareness." Where we may still disagree is on the persisting significance of this "dual view" of consciousness: to the question of whether this "dual view" is merely a heuristic literary device meant to provide readers with a ladder to climb up the stages of consciousness and toss away, or is ultimately constitutive of Hegel's epistemology, I answer the former while I suspect that you would answer the latter. This interpretive difference, between duality of views as constitutive hypostatized substance and regulative abstract heuristic will be the basis of my criticism of your interpretation of Hegel's resolution of the Kantian antinomies in the second counter-thesis that follows. (B) The second counter-thesis is that, in hypostatizing the "dual view" of the opposition between consciousness for-us and consciousness for-itself, you also hypostatize the negative opposite of consciousness, which is the unconsciousness; the negative of consciousness as such. This original opposition between consciousness and what is other-than consciousness, or between the Ego and the non-Ego, is then retained as the negative other, the non-Ego, and the negativity of the Paradox, rather than subsumed in the concept as difference within unity. This duality, of the Ego and the non-Ego, is abstractly represented in the differing interpretations of the sequence of moments with which we each describe Hegel's dialectic: where my Trinitarian interpretation present three moments in the conventional triadic movement (e.g. thesis-antithesis-synthesis), your own Dualist interpretation presents only two moments, or maximally three moments that are reducible to two. This difference in our interpretation of the dialectic will, when absolutized, account for the different interpretations of the Absolute: the Trinitarian interpretation unites the opposed first and second moments in a third synthetic moment as equivocal predication is united in analogical predication, while the Dualist interpretation retains the opposition of the duality of the first and second moments in an empty identity, which I presume you would exalt as thinking the negative opposition of the paradox.

Before turning to your examine your response, please examine Hegel's description of these speculative moments at the conclusion of the Introduction to the Phenomenology of Spirit. In 81 Hegel mentions that "it may be useful to say something about the method of carrying out the inquiry." Starting in 82, Hegel describes the origination of the contradiction between the "abstract determinations" of the () positive moment of the object in-itself and () the negative moment of our knowledge of the object for -us which together constitute knowledge: "... Consciousness, we find, distinguishes from itself [] something, to which at the same time it [] relates itself; or, to use the current expression, there is something [] for consciousness; and the determinate form of this process of relating [ & ], or of there being something for a consciousness, is knowledge. But from this [] being for another we distinguish [] being in itself or per se; what is [] related to knowledge is likewise distinguished from [] it, and posited as also existing outside this relation; the aspect of [] being per se or in itself is called Truth..." In the second quoted sentence of 82, Hegel describes how knowledge is distinguished within itself into () the positive reality of "being in itself or per se" and () the negative ideality of "what is related to knowledge" and "distinguished from it." In 83, Hegel distinguishes the question of knowledge of () the object in -itself, as the naive correspondence between ideal thought and reality, and the () critical knowledge of the knowledge, as the object that is known for-us: "If now our inquiry deals with the truth of knowledge, it appears that we are inquiring what [] knowledge is in itself. But in this inquiry [] knowledge is our object, it is for us; and the essential nature of knowledge, were this to come to light, would be rather its being for us..." At the conclusion of 83, Hegel gives a warning against making the essence of knowledge, the relation of object of knowledge to the subject, an object in-itself, as a fixed form of knowing, or as a logic of method. This fixed form of knowing, or methodologism, is () the second negative moment of knowing for -us that has been made into an object, just as () the object in-itself makes the first positive moment into the object of "what is called truth" of the thing-in-itself. In each case, the () first positive and () the second negative moment are reified as self -subsistent finite objects. This reification of each moments as finite objects will later be exposed to be self-

contradictory, in () the third synthetic moment that exposes the unreality of both in the process of their mutually related opposition. In 84, Hegel explains how "consciousness provides its own criterion from within itself" to overcome the fixidity of any such form of methodologism, by once again distinguishing () the negative ideal relation of knowing for -us from () the object itself: "Consciousness furnishes its own criterion in itself, and the inquiry will thereby be a comparison of itself with its own self ; for the distinction, just made [ & ], falls inside itself. In consciousness there is [] one element for an other, or, in general, consciousness implicates the specific character of the moment of knowledge At the same time this other is to consciousness not merely [] for it, but also [] outside this relation, or has a being in itself, i.e. there is the moment of truth. Thus in what consciousness inside itself declares to be the essence or truth we have the standard which itself sets up, and by which we are to measure its knowledge. In the final sentences of 84, Hegel appears to confirm what you describe as the "perspective shift" in which both the first positive moment and the second negative are united in a bare and simple identity of opposites. However, after affirming that 'both of these processes are the same' Hegel goes on to describe how the () first positive and () the second negative moment both "fall within that knowledge which we are examining", the totality of knowledge that was first mentioned in 82: "It is clear, of course, that both of these processes are the same. The essential fact, however, to be borne in mind throughout the whole inquiry is that both these moments, notion and object, [] being for another and [] being in itself, themselves fall within that knowledge which we are examining [82]. Consequently we do not require to bring standards with us, nor to apply our fancies and thoughts in the inquire; and just by our leaving these aside we are enabled to treat and discuss the subject [] as it actually is in itself and for itself, as it is in its complete reality." The appearance Hegel affirms the equivalency between the two moments in a bare identity is altogether premature because, in 84, Hegel is describing how "consciousness furnishes its own criterion in itself" in which the distinctive moment of the () first and () second moments "falls inside itself." The criterion that emerges from within consciousness, and not from brought as fancies of "standards with us", is the 'knowledge' that Hegel has been examining all along; the endogenous () third

synthetic moment of the dialectic that unites the opposition of the former two within itself; in the actuality that is "in itself and for itself"; and the "complete reality." In 85, Hegel juxtaposes the notion and the object, the fixed "criterion" and the object of "what is to be tested", to describe how the form and the content of knowledge are each dependent upon the other; for "as knowledge changes so too does the object for it essentially belonged to this knowledge." To conclude, in 86 Hegel makes explicit, what had only hitherto been implicit: how () the first positive and () the second negative moments together combine in "the new and true object" of () the third synthetic moment, which is the process that contains the opposition of the former two as difference within its unity: "This dialectic process which consciousness executes on itself on its knowledge as well as on its object in the sense that out of it the new and true object arises, is precisely, what is termed Experience. In this connection, there is [] a moment in the process just mentioned [in 85] which should be brought into more decided prominence, and by which a new light is cast on the scientific aspect of the following exposition. Consciousness knows something; this something is [] the essence or is per se. This object, however, is also [] the per se, the inherent reality, for consciousness. Hence comes ambiguity of this truth [i.e. & ]. Consciousness, as we see, has now two objects: one is [] the first per se, the second is [] the existence for consciousness of this per se. The last object [] appears at first sight to be merely the reflection of consciousness into itself, i.e. an idea not of an object, but solely of its knowledge of [] that first object. But, as was already indicated [in 85], by that very process the first object is altered; it ceases to be what is per se, and becomes consciously something which is per se only for consciousness. Consequently, then, what this real per se is for consciousness is truth: which, however, means that this is the essential reality, or the object which consciousness has. This [] new object contains the nothingness of the first; the new object is the experience concerning that first object." Hegel announces that he will make explicit "the new and true object" which is the "moment in the process" of 85. This new moment is the processing of () the third synthetic moment that contains the opposition of () the first positive and () the second negative moments within its own self-movement. The second moment shows the abstract untruth of the first, and "contains the nothingness of the first", just as the

third moment will show the abstract untruth of the second. In the third moment, the former two are revealed in their abstractness, finitude, unreality and untruth. The reification of the fixed form of knowing of () the second negative moment of knowing for-us, as methodologism, is shown to be just as self-contradictory as () the first positive moment of "what is called truth", of the object in-itself. Hegel describes () the third synthetic moment as one that "does not seem to agree with what is ordinarily understood by experience", the experience that understands only finite objects: "This moment is the transition from the first object and the knowledge of it to the other object, in regard to which we say we have had experience, was so stated that the knowledge of the first object, the existence for consciousness of the first ens per se, is itself to be the second object. But it usually seems that we learn by experience the untruth of our first notion by appealing to some other object which we may happen to find casually and externally; so that, in general, what we have is merely the bare and simple apprehension of what is in and for itself. On the view above given, however, the new object is seen to have come about by a transformation or conversion of consciousness itself." You contend (colored red) that the "transformation or conversion of consciousness" is the result of the "futility of finite thought" of "common reason" that opens a hole for the insight of speculative reason viewed in its "absolute form." "The futility of finite thought guided by common reason opens a hole which with insight can be viewed as absolute form. The void or lack of subjectivity is where the absolute as Hegel conceives it may be thought." While I entirely agree that the futility of the understanding of common reason results from its finitude, and consequent inability to grasp the infinite judgment of speculative reason, I contend that, far from nullifying finite thought in a "hole", "void or lack of subjectivity", the much of the admittedly finite reality and truth of the ) the first positive and () the second negative moments is taken up into and preserved in the () the third synthetic moment. Hegel corroborates this when he describes how the form of () the third synthetic moment is contributed by our intentionality, through our intentional "way of looking at the matter", in the whole "series of experiences" in a "scientifically constituted sequence":

"This way of looking at the matter is our doing, what we contribute; by its means the series of experiences through which consciousness passes is lifted into a scientifically constituted sequence..." Hegel distinguishes between the two views that you have endorsed: the first-person view of consciousness for-itself and the third-person view of consciousness for-us, the reader: "... but this does not exist for the consciousness [for itself] we contemplate and consider. Hegel then directs our attention back to the exposition of skepticism in 78-79, when Hegel had previously distinguished between the bad skepticism that ejects the positive content of what is skeptically negated as an "empty nothing", and the good skepticism that instead retains the positive content of "what truth of the proceeding mode of knowledge" that had been skeptically negated": We have here, however, the same sort of circumstance, again, of which we spoke a short time ago when dealing with the relation of this exposition to skepticism [78-79], viz. that the result which at any time comes about in the case of an untrue mode of knowledge cannot possibly collapse into an empty nothing, but must necessarily be taken as the negation of that of which it is a result a result which contains what truth the preceding mode of knowledge has in it. Previously you had contended that the () first positive moment contributes nothing to () the third synthetic moment: "Common reason sees the senseless dialectic and is ready to come to a skeptical conclusion: there are no realities that persist thus there is nothing for us to think." I (colored blue) have previously criticized you for precisely this form of bad skepticism: "If I am correct in interpreting Alan as thusly ejecting the reason and substance of the positive moment, then Alan commits himself to the sort of "bad skepticism" that Hegel describes (colored green) in the Introduction to the Phenomenology of Spirit" Hegel confirms my criticism to be correct when he describes how ( ) the third synthetic moment, that is the processing of the opposition of () the first positive and () the second negative moments within its own self-movement, assumes this form only by

subsuming the previous two moments through subsuming the truth and reality of each, in the process of their mutual sublation that is good skepticism: In the present instance the position takes this form: since what [] at first appeared as object is reduced, when it [] passes into consciousness, to what knowledge takes it to be, and the implicit nature, the real in itself, becomes what this entity per se, is for consciousness [85]; this latter is [] the new object, whereupon there appears also a new mode or embodiment of consciousness, of which the essence is something other than that of [] the preceding mode. It is this circumstance which carries forward the whole succession of the modes or attitudes of consciousness in their own necessity. Hegel signals that this is a "new object" of a "new mode of embodiment or consciousness" (Miller translates this as "a new pattern of consciousness... for which the essence is something different from what it was at the preceding stage"), which signals this to be the "new and true object" mentioned in 86, and not either of the opposed and preceding moments that had previously been exhaustively described. Previously I described how this dispute turned on the question of how many conceptual moments there were in Hegel's dialectic: according to my Trinitarian interpretation this "new and true object" is () the third synthetic conceptual moment that unites () the first positive and () the second negative moments within itself; while according to your Dualist interpretation there are only () the first posi tive and () the second negative moments united by consciousness for -us as the consequence of a "perspective shift." The difference between these interpretation crucially depends on this transition between a second and a third conceptual moment. You write: "The positive moment is the second perspective on the absolute negativity of the cycling. It is the insight into the coherence of this cycling. It is the negativity recollected in its coherence. I am not sure where you intend to find the positive moment. I suspect once again it is the synthesizing third referencing a thought activity that stands apart from what is being synthesized. In other words, it is not activity as immanent but an intentional activity of a subject attending to some matter in view. It is an activity delegated to the common intellect." You describe how the positive moment of the dialectic is the "second perspective" of speculative reason which unites the () first positive and () the second negative moments in an "absolute negativity of the cycling" as the "negativity recollected in its coherence." You distinguish the activity of immanent speculative reasoning from its

negative opposite, the "intentional activity of a subject" of "common intellect." This distinction between the intentionality of common intellect and the non-intentional activity of immanent speculative reasoning, or between the activities of consciousness and the unconsciousness, is contradicted by Hegel's explicit description of the necessity of our contributing to the () third speculative moment as "our doing, what we contribute. [viz. the intentionality of consciousness]" Our activity of thought is intentional simply because in it is maintained the relation between subject and object. You further describe how this () third speculative moment is nothing other than the "two moments synthesized" in one: "Hegel's thought, being immanent, never moves beyond a two as one. There is no third thought; there are simply two views of what the two in one means. There are not two moments synthesized. There are two moments as one that lend themselves to being taken by the common intellect as nonsense and by the speculative intellect as generative of a newfound sense." The first two moments are understood by "common intellect", and these same two moments re-imagined by speculative reasoning. You, intend to escape the difficulty of thought intentionally positing a () third speculative moment by, alternatively, affirming that there are two speculative moments and two aspects of thought: positive and negative; and common intellect and speculative reasoning. Then you proceed to clarify the nature of the positive moment of "the second point of view" of speculative reason that unite the "moment cycles" of the two moments: The second point of view on the dialectic is not a mere recognition of the negative movement. It is a recognition that because this movement cycles it is coherent. It subsists as an identity in difference. It is only the ideal moments of this cycle that do not subsist. So rather than dismissing the dialectic as nonsense as does the common intellect we who view speculatively have insight into what coheres. This is the positive moment that you will soon say is missing from my account. The negativity of the "movement of cycles" is coherent when it is united in the "identity in difference." How, may we ask, does the negativity of the opposed moments, become coherent in an identity? Alternatively, we may ask; what is the nature of the identityrelation between the two opposed moments, and how is this coherent? Recall the contradiction is traditionally taken to be the universal sign of incoherence, just as identity is traditionally taken to be absence of difference between two terms. What then could it mean for the negative opposition of the "movement of the cycles" to become coherent, i.e. non-contradictory, and identical, i.e. non-different? The crucial difference

between the Trinitarian interpretation and the Dualist interpretation concerns how the opposition of the conceptual moments is resolved; either into a third synthetic concept or as an identity between the cycling of the two discrete moments. You write: "But I am only able - as you note - to count to two. Three is too many and certainly a community of humans is way too many." To summarize the differences in our respective interpretations: the Trinitarian interpretation negates the truth and reality of each of the previous moments just as it sublates and unites their truth and reality in a third synthetic concept; which while consisting of neither simply the first or second moment, or both taken moments together; nonetheless is constituted by the truth and reality of each of the previous moments, as they have been intentionally transformed by consciousness. Contrary to this account, the Dualist interpretation denies that any of the reality and truth of the previous moments persists to constitute a formally distinct third, but rather affirms that each of the previous two moments remain in their mutual untruth and unreality as they cycle around one another and just as much ceaselessly contradict one another, in the paradox of their mutual negativity. You write: "Hegel's thought is about the identity in difference of being and thought. It is about what first appears as pure negativity. I have been pounding the table to say that this is the crucial point: the skeptic and speculative thinker have before them the same dialectical movement. The skeptic says that pure negativity means that there is nothing more to think. The speculative philosopher says that this pure negativity is the infinite movement of the concept. Same content. Two views! " In this interpretation, neither duality is united in a common third; for the positive and negative moments of conscious common intellect are together re-imagined in the negative opposite of consciousness, the unconsciousness of speculative reasoning. Thus, the duality of the positive and negative moment is altogether transferred, although not transformed, in the full turbulence of their "negative cycling", to the unconsciousness, in which this duality persists. You write: "So the contradictions are not resolved. We never free ourselves from contradiction. What we do is learn to think the reason appropriate to such contradictions. We learn to shift from common to speculative reason." The impossibility of resolving the contradictions means that the negativity of the dualities is never overcome in a speculative "third thought" because there "are not two moments synthesized" but rather only two dualities; or two pairs of two; two moments

in two senses "that lend themselves to being taken by the common intellect as nonsense and by the speculative intellect as generative of a newfound sense." Consciousness cannot resolve the contradictoriness of the two moments in a third so the Dualist interpretation posits yet another duality, the duality of consciousness and unconsciousness, the unconscious activity of speculative reasoning "behind the back" of consciousness: The trauma comes about because the common intellect assumes that when we have the absolute as such before us we can think it. It is the thought that harmonizes our worldview. What Hegel is showing is that this harmonized thought is a fiction of metaphysical thinking. If we attempt to think this thought we find there is nothing to think other than the slipping away of this thought. Our need to disguise the disturbance at the heart of the absolute our need to convince ourselves that we inhabit a well-ordered universe is the divine thought that we need to give up. It is nothing but a fiction as shown at the inception of the Logic. The thinker that thinks the reason behind the back of consciousness is identified by Hegel to be the reader. The unconsciousness of speculative reason cannot be the consciousness for-itself, and thus must be the consciousness for-us, the reader; and this duality of consciousness is, on the Dualist interpretation, not merely a heuristic narrative aid to the reader that is ultimately resolved into the Absolute Idea, but is altogether reified as persisting in the empty identity of the two mutually exclusive, negating and unreal positive and negative moments. The duality of consciousness and unconsciousness; of Ego and non-Ego is then altogether absolutized in the Logic and the entirety of Hegel's system of Absolute Idealism! The Trinitarian interpretation concludes in a third synthetic moment that is epistemologically and ontologically enriched to afford to it a greater truth and reality than either of the two preceding moments, while the Dualist interpretation concludes in a bare and simple identity that contains the difference of its mutually undifferentiated moments in the ceaselessly negativity of their empty formal identity, from which no thought save paradox can emerge like the night in which all cows are black. In (C) the third and final thesis, I will argue that the consequence of the interpolation of the unconsciousness of speculative reasoning, and the absolutization of the negation of consciousness, is the absolutization of the unknown object; which is known only as what is unknown and which Fichte calls the non-Ego; as an absolute non-Ego which ceaselessly negates the absolutivity of what is called the Absolute.

*** Third Counter-Thesis Against the Janos-Faced Dualist Interpretation of Hegel

Introduction For every instance of duality, thought demands two should be mediated by a third. Two things can only be thought to be separate and distinct in and through some third thing, in which each is joined together with the other. This is the Principle of Mediation that is the operative principle behind the Platonic-Aristotelian Third Man Argument and F.H. Bradley's infinite regress arising from the duality of universals and particulars. This principle had long ago been recognized in the geometrical cosmology of the ancient Pythagoreans, who affirmed the logical necessity that any dyad should be mediated by a third within a triad: Alexander Polyhistorius described how Xenophius of Chalsis "regarded the 'monad' as the beginning of all things. From this the Dyad was produced and from it numbers, from the numbers points, from the points lines, from the lines surfaces and from the surfaces solids." (Eduard Zeller, Outlines of the History of Greek Philosophy, p. 89) In Pythagorean cosmogony, the Monad begets the Dyad; the Dyad begets the Triad; then the Triad begets numbers, points and lines; and lines beget the surfaces of polygons, which beget the solids of polyhedra. The logical necessity of the Principle of Mediation, both for Pythagorean cosmogony and for Hegelian phenomenology, is the converse consequence of the impossibility of conceiving any two things without some mediating relation: whenever two may be conceived together there must ineluctably be some third relation between the two in and through which each are thought with the other, and both are apprehended together as a duality within triplicity. This third mediator may be thought of as something or nothing: as a minimally substantival Aristotelian quintessesnce or as a totally contentless void. Hegel showed, in the first part of the Science of Logic, that the concepts of being and non-being, something and nothing, were the positive and negative moments of the individual concept of becoming. Positive being and negative non-being are, in their opposed duality, two abstract concepts that emerge concretely in the third concept of becoming, through which each are subsumed and mediated in and through the self-particularizing individual concept. Hegel's logic is trinitarian because the third moment of the synthetic concept constitutes a fuller being and a richer truth than either the prior moments, of self-satisfied or self-alienated concepts, or both together, in a formal identity of duality.

The synthesis of opposites, through which a concept is estranged from and then reconciled with itself, is the fundamental trinitarian pattern of Hegel's dialectical logic. Summary of (A) First and (B) Second Counter-Theses This Trinitarian interpretation of Hegel's logic is opposed to Alan Ponikvar's Janosfaced Dualist interpretation. In the following, Alan's comments are colored red while my comments are colored blue. Please allow me to briefly summarize the major points of the previous (A) first and (B) second counter-theses before I precede to argue (C) the third counter-thesis: the consequence of dualism is the absolutization of the object that is known only as it is unknown, which Fichte calls the non-ego. In (A) the first counter-thesis I contended that Alan had artificially interpolated the Zizekian-Lacanian psychoanalytic notion of the unconsciousness in place of Hegel's unconsciousness. I quoted Franz Brentano to define 'intentionality' as primarily denoting "the mental representation of an object, as the mediating relation between subject and object of conscious thought." Then I quoted Hegel and Inwood to define consciousness as " the simple immediate phenomenological intuition of a uniform manifold of totally indeterminate being. It is the abstract apprehension of a totally indeterminate, self-identical and univocal ideal space of mental intuition." Finally, I defined the unconsciousness as the contrary opposite of consciousness: "The meaning of the 'unconsciousness' that you [Alan] interpolate is the Lacanian psychoanalytic meaning of 'unconsciousness' that is an opposed mode of consciousness that is submerged below ordinary conscious thought, like the body of an iceberg below the water-line, which emerges unpredictably in the course of self-conscious reflection. Where unconsciousness is for Hegel the simple negation of what is other-than consciousness; i.e. the non-Ego; unconsciousness is for you the opposite of consciousness that results in an original duality of consciousness and unconsciousness: consciousness and unconscious operate in tandem with to one another; yet only the conscious mind is immediately known; hence the unconsciousness is the unknown aspect of mind, just as the non-Ego is the unknown aspect of the Ego; in which the negativity of the unconscious non-Ego is submerged within the positivity of the conscious Ego." In (B) the second counter-thesis I argued that the Dualist interpretation was the consequence of the mistaken hypostatization of this opposition between conscious Ego and the unconscious non-Ego. I presented three pieces of textual evidence from the Introduction to the Phenomenology of Spirit (81 to 86) as evidence against the Dualist interpretation of the Hegelian dialectic: first, Hegel announces in 85 that he will make explicit "the new and true object"; second, Hegel describes how this object is contributed

by an intentional "way of looking at the matter"; and third, Hegel distinguishes between the bad skepticism, which negated the content of the conceptual moments as an "empty nothing", and the good skepticism, which retained their positive content as the "truth of the proceeding mode of knowledge." The new object preserves, through the positing of conscious intentionality, the reality and truth of the perceiving moment and thereby implies the Trinitarian interpretation in which "the third synthetic moment negates the truth and reality of each of the previous moments just as it sublates and unites their truth and reality," contrary to the Dualist interpretation which "denies that any of the reality and truth of the previous moments persists to constitute a formally distinct third, but rather affirms that each of the previous two moments remain in their mutual untruth and unreality as they cycle around one another and just as much ceaselessly contradict one another, in the paradox of their mutual negativity." (C) Third Counter Thesis The following third counter-thesis will present the speculative origin and absolute consequences of the dualist interpretation of the philosophy of Hegel, in which the seminal consequences of the prior theses (A) & (B) will blossom into the deadly poison of the Janos-faced paradoxical Absolute. Dualism and Trinitarianism in the Philosophy of Hegel "Thus, we have my claim: consciousness actualizes a dialectic which it is unable to comprehend. So the greatest mystery for Hegel's reader is why is it that out of this dialectic the new true object arises." The locus of the controversy surrounds what Alan has credibly described as the "greatest mystery" of the Hegelian dialectic: how may the contrary opposition of theses be resolved into a form of coherent knowing? The resolution of opposites is a mystery because classical logic holds that contradictions result in the obliteration of one or both of the opposed terms (ex falso quodlibet or ex contradictione sequitur quodlibet ). Following Aristotle's prohibitions, contradictions were held to destroy the truth of any proposition and the conceivability of any concept (See Metaph IV 3 1005b1920, 24 ,29-30, and IV 6 1011b1320). In pre-critical philosophy, the fear of the danger of the explosiveness of contradictions led philosophers (with rare exceptions such as Nicolas of Cusa) to present systems of deductions whose premises and conclusions were altogether without contradiction, or non-contradictory. Coherence means simply this: that there are no contradictions between the premises and the conclusion; or, to say that same thing, that the conclusion may be predicated as identical to the collective entailment of all of the premises (e.g. A = A).

Hegel's dialectical logic is frequently alleged to violate the classical prohibition on contradiction which is the Law of Non-Contradiction. Rather Hegel should be said to universalize contradiction by affirming a Law of Contradiction, in which 'all S is contradictory', in absolute opposition to the Law of Non-Contradiction, in which 'no S is contradictory'. Hegel does not so much seek to circumvent contradictions as to instrumentalize their very explosive force within his concepts. This instrumentalization of contradiction is motivated by a dialectical revolution in logic, beginning with the Port Royale logic and culminating with Hegel's Science of Logic (See Evald Ilyenkov's Dialectical Logic, 1974): for Spinoza every determination is a negation and the contrary opposite of what is determined; for Kant the contradictory paralogisms of the antinomies obliterate the transcendental conditions of conceivability; and for Fichte the Ego self-posits all universal laws of logic. Alan and I agree that Kant's antinomies of reason demonstrated the impossibility of conceiving of an encyclopedic system of philosophy as a coherent and non-contradictory deduction. The "greatest mystery" of the Hegelian dialectic is how Hegel conceives of the dialectical emergence of the "new true object" from the contrary opposition of the prior objects of thought. Modern philosophy can be viewed as a project to reconcile medieval theology and modern natural science: the natural sciences presented the spectacle of a lawfully ordered cosmos from the minutae to the gargantuan, while the theological notion of truth demanded systematic unity. In Spinoza, this duality appears as that of extension and thought in substance. In Leibniz, this duality appears as the manifold of intuition and the windowless monads. From these sources of the infinite and the infinitesimal, German Idealism inherited both the duality of thought and being as well as the dual loci of their unity in the Absolute and in the Ego. For Kant, the duality of thought and being is that of concepts and percepts; and the dual loci of their unity is the idea of God (the All or omnitudo realitatis, and the most real being or ens realissimum) and the mind's apperceptive unity. German Idealism sought to reconcile these dualities into a form of systematic unity and place all conditions in their logical and systematic relations within and for the unconditioned condition of all conditioned things (See Paul Franks's All or Nothing, 2005). The Hegelian dialectic of opposed concepts filially received the inheritance of both the Spinozist doctrine - determinatio est negatio - of the negative opposite determination of any single determination (See letter 50 to Jelles); as well as the Kantian antinomies of reason; in which any determination of a definite deduction is just as much a negation of some opposite determinable deduction, so that an antithesis is implicit in the positing of every thesis: as the Kantian antinomies oppose contrary deductions any definite deduction will be opposed by its contrary resulting in the opposition of possible deductions which Kant called a paralogism, or a paradox or reason. As these two

conditions apply to any definite syllogistic deduction, their conjoined effects are operative in every exercise of reason, regardless of its degree of magnitude and complexity. Of course, I deny that such a moment exists because the first and second moments you reference also do not exist. But leaving that aside for the moment, it seems that this 'synthesis' accomplishes two things at once: it exposes an unreality and it reveals an identity in difference in its place." The new synthetic object that emerges from the opposition of the antitheses of the first and second moment (i) exposes the relative unreality of the former conceptual moments, and (ii) replaces their mutual contrary opposition with an identity that subsumes, unites and preserves their differences. The question remains as to the relative (i) ontological status of these moments and (ii) epistemic nature of the 'revealed' identity in difference. The Trinitarian interpretation holds the synthesis of opposites to (i) subordinate the former conceptual moments to a single superordinating synthetic concept, and (ii) reveals the untruth of the former moments even as it incorporates the true content of each into the richer truth of the synthetic concept. On this account, the Hegelian dialectic of opposites generally produces concepts of fuller being and richer truth with the completion of each dialectical sequence, and may thus be said to ontologically and epistemologically progress up the via delorosa of Spirit (PhG 77). The Dualist interpretation denies any ontological and epistemological progress, and contends, contrary to the whole purgative spiritual trajectory of the Trinitarian interpretation, that the Hegelian dialectic ends no better than it had begun; in the negativity of mutually contradictory conceptual moments, and exalts this totally empty identity of mutual contradiction as an "insight" into paradox. Precedents for logical dualisms are readily discovered throughout all of modern philosophy and especially in the various systems of German Idealism: Kant opposed equally valid but mutually contradictory deductions to one another and concluded in a general aporia; Fichte proposed unconditioned activity of the conscious Ego posited any deduction in opposition to what was not thought, the non-Ego, and subsequently resolved the opposed deductions of Ego and non-Ego in an identity of their recursive alternation; and Schelling absolutized the Fichtean non-Ego as the unconditioned Absolute, opposed the deductions of conscious to the absolute deductions of nature, and affirmed the parallel unity of thought and being known through intellectual intuition. Thus Kant, Fichte and Schelling each reconceived of the dualisms of Kant in different ways: as antinomies of reason; as Ego and non-Ego; and as consciousness and nature. The Dualist interpretation is motivated to preserve the negative duality of modern philosophy; the opposition between theology and substance; Leibniz and Spinoza;

Jerusalem and Athens; so as to avoid the sacrifice of Cavalry, the speculative good friday, in which all concepts are negated and systematically united in the Absolute. Hegelian Hermeneutics "You seem to suggest something dangerously close to my view. You reference the third synthetic moment." The dialectic of opposed theses admits for equally opposed readings. Reading Hegel is the construction, for consciousness, of the systematic relations of concepts. Every determinate concept may be abstractly empowered to determine its opposite in onesided domination. Thus logical opposition is the condition for hermeneutic opposition. This is the consequence of the Spinozist doctrine determinatio est negatio, the Kantian antinomies, and the reversibility of the syllogism (i.e. (S-M-P) = (P-M-S)): determinatio est negatio demands that every determination of reason has an equally opposed negative determination; the Kantian antinomies oppose contradictory determinative deductions to one another; and the syllogism from the subject to the predicate may just as easily be reversed as a syllogism from the predicate to the subject. Dialectic opposes conceptual deductions to one another and invites the reader to judge their merit, both intrinsically, in relation to themselves, and extrinsically, in relation to each other. Just as it is possible to read Callicles and Thrasymachus as radical subverting Plato's grand EleaticPythagorean synthesis, so it is possible to read antitheses of contrary opposites in the system of Hegel as a radical subversion of his grand Spinozist-Boehmian-Kantian synthesis. In each case, the antithetical reading, which empowers one opposite to dominate another, is motivated to subvert the prevailing interpretation of the systematic unity of author's thought in favor of a counter-reading that, in emphasizing disunity and a-systematicity, endeavors to emancipate an autonomously crafted reading from the normative constraints of scholarly tradition. In the philosophy of Hegel the reading that emphasizes the contrary opposition of the antitheses is the Dualist interpretation, while the reading that emphasizes the systemic unity of syntheses is the Trinitarian interpretation. Both interpretations acknowledge that the initial theses of the dialectic are abstract untruths; oppose these theses to their opposite antitheses; and affirm that the opposition of theses and antitheses reveals the mutual unreality of the contrary opposites. Yet these interpretations differ on how to understand the dialectical resolution of this contrary opposition: for the Dualist interpretation duality is primary and unity is secondary, while for the Trinitarian interpretation unity is primary and duality is secondary. The interpretations consequently oppose one another as unity and duality seeking to mutually sublate one another.

"The moments of the dialectic are equally ideal. Neither is properly characterized as positive or negative. In the Logic the common intellect will offer such a distinction. But the dialectic will reveal this to have been a mischaracterization. The moments are mutual, expressing the same dialectical identity in difference. There is no third synthesizing agent that brings these two together. It is because they show themselves as together in the dialectic that a new point of view is required to break the dialectical deadlock." For the Dualist interpretation, each of the opposed conceptual moments negates the other just as it is negated by the other: each is positive in relation to itself and negative in relation to the other; or each is both positive and negative as well as neither properly positive or negative. The mutual relations of 'identity in difference' is no third concept but merely the self-posited formal identity of two different concepts from the standpoint of either (e.g. if M is formal identity, and S is the first thesis, and P is the second antithesis, then S-M-P or P-M-S). The formal identity relation of the conceptual moments appear to constitute a new concept in which contradictory opposites are identified, yet this appearance is misleading because the self-posited formal identity is nothing other than the mediating hypostatized contradiction in which nothing is posited as something. The positing of nothing is, not a postulate of something constitutive, but merely the postulate of the Kantian regulative principle of identity. Hegel describes his system of philosophy as a ladder to the absolute knowledge and the science of infinite being. The metaphor of the ladder implies a noetic ascent from a lower to a higher stages of knowing, in which the lower stages are known as they are sublated within the higher stages. The model of former narrative sections and lower epistemological stages sublated into later narrative sections and higher epistemological stages altogether suggests the classical Platonic epistemologico-ontological ascent from the cave of ordinary knowing to the sunshine apprehension of the forms; in which thought "passes from the dark void of the transcendent and remote super-sensuous, and steps into the spiritual daylight of the present." (PhG 177) This ascent is what Robert Wallace describes as the "vertical dimension" of Hegel's thought, from the naive certainty of the reality of the phenomena to scientific knowledge of the pure forms of essences. Hegel writes in the Phenomenology of Spirit: "Science on its side requires the individual self-consciousness to have risen into this high air, in order to be able to live with science, and in science, and really to feel alive there. Conversely the individual has the right to demand that science shall hold the ladder to help him to get at least as far as this position, shall show him that he has in himself this ground to stand on. His right rests on his absolute independence, which he knows he possesses in every type and phase of knowledge; for in every phase, whether recognized by science or not, and whatever be the content, his right as an

individual is the absolute and final form, i.e. he is the immediate certainty of self, and thereby is unconditioned being, were this expression preferred." (PhG 26) The Trinitarian interpretation of the Hegelian dialectic, as constituting a vertical Platonic ascent from opinion and appearances to the pure forms of knowing, is hermeneutically opposed by the Dualist interpretation of this same dialectic as no more than a horizontal extension of the nothingness of the hypostatized contradiction. The origin of this hermeneutic opposition is the conceptual opposition between the univocity and multivocity of contradiction, or of one and many senses in which contradiction is used. The hypostatic contradiction is the hermeneutic key to unlocking the labyrinth of the Dualist interpretation; the eye of the storm from which reason may enter into all sides; which simultaneously mediates, negates and divides all of the dualisms within the paradoxical absolute. What an uneducated reader is unable to see when they for instance consider the bad and true infinite in the Logic is that these are not two distinct concepts. They are two ways of speaking about the same thought movement. The bad and the true infinite are ways of thinking rather than ways of speaking. Thought is not separated from thought as a word is separated from the speaker in gesticulation. Thought contains itself within itself even as it differentiates itself from and is likewise differentiated within itself. The bad infinite of the indefinite prolongation of the separation of thought from itself, in the bare repetition of the isolated particular which never is resolved back into the self-mediating universality of thought. The two aspects of the mind's apprehension which the reader sees are together carried over into the domains of propositional judgment and speech, but remain immanently mediated within the infinite self-movement of thought. Hegel describes the understanding thinking the bad infinite in the Encyclopedia of Philosophical Sciences: "no doubt thought is primarily an exercise of Understanding; only it goes further, and the notion is not a function of Understanding merely. The action of Understanding may be in general described as investing its subject-matter with the form of universality. But this universal is an abstract universal: that is to say, its opposition to the particular is so rigorously maintained, that it is at the same time also reduced to the character of a particular again. In this separating and abstracting attitude towards its objects, Understanding is the reverse of immediate perception and sensation , which, as such, keep completely to their native sphere of action in the concrete. It is by referring to this opposition of Understanding to sensation or feeling that we must explain the frequent attacks made upon thought for being hard and narrow, and for leading, if consistently developed, to ruinous and pernicious results. The answer to

these charges, in so far as they are warranted by the facts, is that they do not touch thinking in general, certainly not the thinking of Reason, but only the exercise of Understanding. It must be added, however, that the merit and rights of the mere Understanding should unhesitatingly be admitted. And that merit lies in the fact that apart from Understanding there is no fixity or accuracy in the region of theory or of practice." - Enc. 80 The paradoxical Absolute of the Dualist interpretation is just such an opposition of concepts that is falsely united by the insight of the faculty of imagination. No sense or coherence can be made of contradictory opposites without some mediation. Thus the Dualist interpretation imagines that contradiction itself may constitutively mediate between the concepts. However, as contradiction is nothing more than the explosive nothingness of opposed incompossibilities, the conceptual mediation of contradiction is mistakenly imagined to be constitutive when it is, in fact, merely regulative. The division of logic into Kantian and Hegelian infects all thought with disease of finitude. Thus, the paradoxical Absolute is not so much discovered by an insight from the standpoint of science, as it is continually posited by the imagination as a Fichtean regulative postulate of what ought to be to make the contradictory opposite concepts sensibly cohere. To his credit, Alan honestly concedes the indeterminateness, unreality and inconceivability of the paradoxical Absolute: "The absolute that transcends the ordinary the absolute as such is for Hegel indeterminate. It appears at the inception of the Logic designated as pure being. The thought of pure being actually is never thought. Before we can get to this thought we find that we have been deflected towards nothing. And if we think that nothing is what is before us we soon learn that before we can pin this thought down it has already slipped away. All that we have is the negativity of the slipping. That is the absolute as such for Hegel. So for Hegel, the absolute in all its glory is an unachievable thought. That is the lesson of the beginning of the Logic." We may well wonder how Hegel was able to write so many gothic paragraphs about the indeterminate "negativity of the slipping" that is "unachievable in thought": just as nothing may ever be said of anything that is not thought, so may Hegel not have written so voluminously about an absolute nothing. Alan proposes that there is an esoteric mode of reading the writings of Hegel, that justifies the Dualist interpretation by remaining caught in the deception of the concepts exoterically written by Hegel: "Interpretive readings will often say more than what is evident on the page... You like every commentator are caught in Hegel's deception... Here we reach the height of Hegel's deception... We then learn why Hegel cannot simply come at his readers with a

direct presentation of science. It baffles his readers because they are in no position to alter their natural assumptions about knowledge. Here Hegel briefly really says what will happen. And no one seems to know what to make of this... Unfortunately, for Hegel's readers they are only able to view what happens as does consciousness. It is for this reason that when they first come upon this passage as we all did at one point it reads as pure nonsense. It makes no sense unless one has been educated to the standpoint of science... It is a deception that an educated reader will have to unravel." The defense of the Dualist interpretation from esoteric reading crucially depends upon the duality of the common intellect of consciousness and the speculative reason of the unconsciousness. The "natural assumptions about knowledge" of the common intellect are frustrated by the contradictory antinomies of reason, yet, from the educated standpoint of science, speculative reason reveals these contradictions to be the absolute paradox of science. The requirement that one be "educated from the standpoint of science" betrays the explicit intentions of the The Phenomenology of Spirit to guide the reader to the standpoint of science, for this requirement makes The Phenomenology of Spirit altogether hermeneutically dependent upon The Science of Logic and The Encyclopedia of Philosophical Sciences, even as it is presented as a prolegomena to them. The consequence is a hermeneutical circle which the reader can neither tentatively enter into nor successfully resolve; and which recapitulates the same bad infinity of the closed-circle of Fichtean subjective idealism. On the contrary, Hegel explains the systematic place and meaning of The Phenomenology of Spirit in the Introduction to The Science of Logic: "In the Phenomenology of Mind I have expounded an example of this method in application to a more concrete object, namely to consciousness. Here we are dealing with forms of consciousness each of which in realizing itself at the same time resolves itself, has for its result its own negation and so passes into a higher form . All that is necessary to achieve scientific progress and it is essential to strive to gain this quite simple insight is the recognition of the logical principle that the negative is just as much positive, or that what is self-contradictory does not resolve itself into a nullity, into abstract nothingness, but essentially only into the negation of its particular content, in other words, that such a negation is not all and every negation but the negation of a specific subject matter which resolves itself, and consequently is a specific negation, and therefore the result essentially contains that from which it results; which strictly speaking is a tautology, for otherwise it would be an immediacy, not a result. Because the result, the negation, is a specific negation, it has content. It is a fresh Notion but higher and richer than its predecessor; for it is richer by the negation or opposite of the latter, therefore contains it, but also something more, and is the unity of itself and its opposite. It is in this way that the system of Notions as

such has to be formed and has to complete itself in a purely continuous course in which nothing extraneous is introduced." - Hegel, The Science of Logic, 62 A Dualist Psychology "the choice of 'unconscious' to designate what is enacted by consciousness but is for us is probably a bad choice of words... Consciousness is aware of the dialectic it brings into being but interprets it as a failure to know... the common and speculative are simply two points of view. They both see the same dialectic but interpret it differently. 'Unconscious' is too weighty a word to employ to get this point across. That is why I prefer the intentional/inadvertent distinction to describe this situation." The Dualist interpretation divides Hegelian psychology into two views or two aspects: intentional conscious common intellect and inadvertenent unconscious speculative reason. Intentionality is the simple relation of subject to object in consciousness. Thus the negation of intention, i.e. inadvertency, is just as much the negation of consciousness, or the unconsciousness. The Dualist interpretation of consciousness ideally posits its object of dialectic and "brings it into being" but does not know it. Speculative reason knows the dialectic that the consciousness of common intellect has created. Both aspects of the mind apprehend the same object, yet speculative reason knows it more truly than the understanding of common intellect. Were the object truly united in the "same object" then the Dualist interpretation would be a triad of common intellect, object, and speculative reason, such that the same object would be seen by both aspects and mediate between the opposed aspects of mind. Such a dualism of psychological aspects then conceptually collapses into the Trinitarian interpretation of moments of consciousness. To avoid this consequence, the Dualist interpretation can avoid the reduction to the Trinitarian interpretation by absolutizing the duality of mind in the duality of the paradoxical Absolute. "Second, I still want to maintain that you reference a synthesizing activity that never takes place... What I wish to assert is that dialectics frees what appears from that of which it means to be an appearance. In Hegel's language, it is appearance qua appearance. As such, we have appearance that can now be viewed in two distinct ways." Alan denies the possibility of an ultimate synthesis of opposed concepts, and, in place of this synthesis, presents the Scotistic doctrine of un-instantiated accidents, or pure appearances. Appearance qua appearances can mean nothing else than the appearances which have as the summation of their qualities to be appearances. For Duns Scotus the phenomenal appearances of a thing, like the unconsecrated Eucharistic host, can possibly be individuated from their essential ground in the substance of the

thing-in-itself: through God's direct intervention in the Eucharistic sacrifice, the substance of the host comes to consubstantially locate the body of Jesus Christ simultaneously remains located in the host and in Heaven (viz. bilocation). Lewis Caroll satirized the Scotistic doctrine of pure appearances with the lingering appearance of the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland. Alan seems to believe that this doctrine is necessary to explain the view of speculative reason of the negativity of paradox, because the void resulting from an absolute paradox is nothing at all; hence all of the appearances are appearances of nothing, or appearance qua appearances by themselves. That is the whole point of a dialectical exposition. It shows how the breakdown of common thinking/knowledge frees thought from treating what appears as an instrument or medium for the unimpeded access to what is true. It frees thought from the singular gaze so that what is in view can be viewed from two distinct points of view. This is only possible when thought ceases to intend and becomes dialectical. Alan describes how dialetics "frees thought from the singular gaze... to be viewed from two distinct points of view" negates the truth of unilinear apprehension to become dual apprehending, and yet mistakenly holds the Trinitarian interpretation to affirm the an "unimpeded access to what is true", i.e. the direct realism of things-in-themselves of sense-certainty. Having progressed through the dialectic of (A.I) Sense-Certainty and (A.II) Perception, through the Trinitarian interpretation holds, not that the direct realism of sense-certainty should be re-affirmed, but that both moments should be synthesized in (A.III) Force and Understanding. The Dualist interpretation, on the contrary, affirms that the self-contradictoriness of the first and second moments "frees thought" from direct realism so that "what is in view can be viewed" under the dual aspects of common intellect and speculative reason. Notice that Alan affirms that the object of apprehension for both aspects is "in view" even before it "can be viewed" by the mind, which suggests there to be a real and not merely apparent object of dialectic, which can only be the paradoxical Absolute. Finally, Alan affirms that thought becomes dialectical only when it "ceases to intend." Hence, thought under the aspect of speculative reason is held by him to be non-intentional, opposed to consciousness and altogether unconsciousness. The psychological dualism of conscious, Ego and nonconscious non-Ego was presented by the subjective ideas J.G. Fichte. Hegel criticizes Fichte's dualism of intentional consciousness and inadvertent unconsciousness in the Lectures on the History of Philosophy: "ordinary consciousness as the active ego finds this and that, occupies itself, not with itself, but with other objects and interests, but the necessity that I [intentionally] bring forth determinations, and which determinations cause and effect, for example, lies beyond my consciousness: I bring them forth instinctively and cannot get behind

my consciousness. But when I philosophize, I make my ordinary consciousness itself my object, because I make a pure category my consciousness. I know what my ego is doing, and thus I got behind my ordinary consciousness. Fichte thus defines Philosophy as the artificial consciousness." - G.W.F. Hegel, Lectures on the History of Philosophy, Pt. 3, Section 3, C.1 The Dualist interpretation reproduces this Fichtean dualism between active intentional ordinary consciousness and inadvertent non-intentional unconsciousness "behind... ordinary consciousness." The philosophic striving of ordinary consciousness to get behind and negate consciousness is, for the dualist interpretation, the emergent breakdown of ordinary consciousness through dialectical self-contradiction. What is called speculative reason is the distinct point of view that results from this contradiction of consciousness and unconsciousness. The contradiction of all thought and all truth is what becomes known through the Hegelian dialectic as "identity in difference": "We have Hegel giving a preliminary account of the contradiction inherent to the truth of a particular form of consciousness. The knowledge actualized then is revealed to correspond to Hegel's preliminary account. The split inherent to truth becomes the split revealed in actual knowing as the dialectical identity in difference." For the Dualist interpretation, truth is the self-contradictory duality of concepts, split and divided between themselves, self-posited together in formal identity, as an "identity in difference." For the Trinitarian interpretation, the ostensible contradiction of the first and second conceptual moments are intentionally incorporated into a third synthetic concept with greater reality and richer truth. The thesis and the antithesis are, together with their differences, each incorporated into a common concept and selfidentical truth. For the Dualist interpretation, on the contrary, the difference between the contradictory conceptual moments remains only as real and true as they have each been united in a merely formal identity of mutual cycling. Thus, for the Trinitarian interpretation, difference is subsumed within identity, while, for the Dualist interpretation, difference subsumes identity. Alan explains that for the Dualist interpretation "the truth" is that the "contradiction is absolutized" in the "absolute form" of the identity of contradictory opposites: "The contradictory two in one that Hegel exposes is actualized as a dialectical knowing that for us is a speculative identity in difference. The contradiction is actualized as absolute form. This is the truth." How can contradiction be absolutized if contradiction is nothing? Contradiction must be hypostatized in thought; its inherent explosive nothingness must be made something for thinking. The hypostatization of the contradiction is the motive and mediator of the

Hegelian dialectic which connects mind to the Absolute. The Absolute is opposed by its contradictory opposite, just as consciousness is opposed and contradicted by unconsciousness; an absolute non-Ego erected to oppose an absolute Ego in a cycling duality, an eternal "tarrying with the negative", that may never be resolved to reach any end. In Plato's Thaetetus Socrates juxtaposes the idealist philosopher 'friends of the gods' with the materialist philosopher 'titans' and describes how each school of philosophy battles ceaselessly as though partaking in a never-ending wrestling match: "... for little by little our advance has brought us without our knowing it, between the two lines, and unless we can somehow fend them off and slip through, we shall suffer for it, as in the game they play in the wrestling schools, where the players are caught by both sides and dragged both ways at once across the line." (181a) The Trinitarian and Dualist interpretations of the philosophy of Hegel recapitulate the titanomachy between the idealist 'friends of the gods' and the materialist 'titans', for the Trinitarian interpretation of the Hegelian system philosophically mediates between the minds of men and the Absolute, while the Dualist interpretation of the Hegelian system just as absolutely abolishes the possibility of philosophical mediation, shatters the paths to Mount Olympus, and leaves only a vacuous chasm between the mind and the paradoxical absolute. For the Trinitarian interpretation, the Absolute mediates all differences by a self-identical synthetic concept which simultaneously enriches its truth and elevates its reality. For the Dualist interpretation, the Absolute is mediated only by the hypostatized contradiction between the formally united contradictory opposites. The former interpretation enriches and elevates the concept while the latter interpretation announces the contradictoriness of the opposed yet formally united concepts, precludes any vertical ascent from mind to Absolute, and nullifies the truth and reality of philosophical science. "what is original for consciousness is the transparent identity of certainty and truth in actual knowing. What happens is that this actualization elicits an unintended split that appears as the dialectical cycling that blocks knowledge and indicates a breakdown of knowing. A transparent identity breaks up into moments that cycle seemingly to no purpose. What is intended is replaced by this non-intentional seeming nonsense." On the Dualist interpretation, the contradictions of the first and second conceptual moments "elicits an unintended split" viz. their mutual contradiction of the other moment; a contradiction which simultaneously motivates their mutual cycling and 'blocks' consciousness's intentional knowledge of its object. Yet this split of consciousness is a separation rather than a reconciliation and consequently is not sufficient to account for any resolution of the aporia of the mutually opposed

conceptual moments. The Dualist interpretation concludes in the self-satisfaction of this aporia which it idolizes as the absolute paradox, while the Trinitarian interpretation progresses the dialectic even further. The mysterious power of insight is to account for the knowledge of the aporetic paradox that concludes the Dualist interpretation. The veil of mystery that obfuscates insight is torn asunder once it is recognized to be merely the Schellingian mental faculty of intellectual intuition. Here Alan responds to the criticism in (B) the second counter-thesis that the insight of speculative reason is really a hypostatized negative opposite of consciousness, i.e. the unconsciousness: "This dialectic which you here call the hypostatized negative opposite of consciousness [i.e. unconsciousness] is not subsumed in the concept as difference within unity. This hypostatized negative is the bad infinite that is the endless cycling of ideal moments. But when properly viewed this very same hypostatized negative is the true infinite. One appearance; two views. This is the thought that I am challenging you to think. I contend that it is the thought that most closely accounts for what Hegel actually presents." Alan concedes the negative opposition between consciousness and the unconsciousness; or alternatively between the thesis and the antithesis; to be the "bad infinite that is the endless cycling of ideal moments", but further contends that this is also the "true infinite" of the paradoxical Absolute. Hence, is shown to result in both the Dualist interpretation results in both self-contradiction and a bad infinity of endless ideal cycling. I had suggested this at the conclusion of (B) the second counter-theses when I wrote that "I envisage Alan's dialectic to never advance beyond tarrying with the negative in a bad infinite of negating the positive moment." Alan seeks to escape from the thorns and bushels of this criticism into the rarefied clouds of speculative reason. Hegel predicted that such a dialectic that did not escape from the Kantian antinomies of the understanding would cycle in just such a bad infinite that could never achieve knowledge of the infinite ideas: "If no advance is made beyond the abstract negative aspect of dialectic, the result is only the, familiar one that reason is incapable of knowing the infinite; a strange result forsince the infinite is the Reasonable it asserts that reason is incapable of knowing Reasonable - Hegel Science of Logic, Miller trans. 68 The bad infinite of the endless ideal cycling of conceptual moments seems to proceed onward in an infinite series, as though to fulfill reasons purpose, the bad infinity, but in fact turns reason back upon itself, into its own self-made aporetic enigma which, by this ceaseless cycling, never escapes from within its own self-enclosed circuit to fulfill the absolutely unlimited freedom of reason. Alan seeks to justify the speculative perspective upon the bad infinity of the dualist interpretation by distinguishing

between the two aspects of mind as classical logic that adheres to the Law of NonContradiction and a logic that does not adhere to this prohibition, but rather "seeks insight" into the truth of the emergent Absolute: The basic distinction [of common intellect and speculative reason] is between a logic that adheres to the law of non-contradiction and thus seeks to grasp truths as realities and one that does not and instead seeks insight into the truth as the emergent absolute form of idealized moments. Like Kant, all consciousness is able to see are the antinomies made evident in the dialectic. Hegel looks at the antinomies and sees truth. These are the two views, the first negative or skeptical and the second positive or speculative. For the Dualist interpretation consciousness is limited by the Kantian prohibition of metaphysical reasoning beyond the contradictory paralogisms of the antinomies, while speculative reason is, in some way, unlimited and spreads its wings like the Owl Minerva with Hegel's dialectic far above the crumbling deductions of classical logic. There is a great chasm between the two aspects of mind which no finite deduction of classical logic may ever bridge. Yet in its purview the unconsciousness of speculative reason is able to look the contradictory antinomies in the full negativity of their paradoxical cycling and see the truth. Moments of mind emerge in dual pairs: "first negative or skeptical" and second "positive or speculative." Alan then accounts for how the Dualist interpretation explains how the unconsciousness of speculative reasoning inadvertently achieves the synthesis: "The first and second moments are engendered for the first time when they appear as ideal within the dialectic. The synthesis is not intentional but an inadvertent achievement of a misguided consciousness attempting to avoid the split in its actual knowing. As you say, it is what is exposed." I have previously defined the term intentionality as "the mental representation of an object, as the mediating relation between subject and object of conscious thought." Intentionality is an essential property of conscious thought. Hence, all conscious thought is necessarily intentional thought, and all non-intentional thought is nonconscious, or unconscious thought. It cannot be objected that the Dualist interpretation does not describe its own notion of non-intentional speculative reason in this way as the unconsciousness, for this is precisely the point of the present criticism. The (B) second counter-thesis criticized your Dualist interpretation for implicitly dividing consciousness from unconsciousness according to the oft-repeated dualism between the intentional consciousness of common intellect and the non-intentional insight of speculative reason. Moreover, the opposition between consciousness and unconsciousness follows immediately from the standard definition of intentionality as

an essential property of consciousness: the negation of intentional consciousness is just as much a negation of consciousness as it is the unconsciousness. "For the common intellect or natural way of viewing things first we need to expose the error. For the speculative way of viewing things the supposed exposed error is the truth." This duality between exposed error as error, and exposed error as truth, can partly be explained by Alan's insistence that the contrary opposition of the first and second moments is a repetition of the Kantian antinomies, which he describes as the "the split in actual knowing" that exposes common intellect to error. On this Dualist interpretation, each conceptual moment is, like the Kantian antinomies, a valid deduction of reason, which may be opposed to an equally valid deduction, so that their individually valid conclusions must mutually contradict one another, in a paralogism of reason. However, Alan further maintain that Hegel resolves this ostensibly inconceivable paralogism through an inexplicable "perspective shift" to a "speculative way of viewing things" in which the very same mutually contradictory paralogism is revealed as a coherent and cycling paradox. On this account the duality of consciousness and unconsciousness is itself simply a duality between Kantian and Hegelian logic of concepts: the first two contrary opposed conceptual moments are interpreted as mutually paralogistic Kantian deductions, while their speculative resolution is interpreted as a Hegelian paradox of 'identity-in-difference'. This division between the Kantian and Hegelian logics is hermeneutically problematic because the distinction between the first and second moments and their mutual resolution is never conceptually isolated from previous conceptual moments of the wider philosophical system. Whereas for Kant all judgments float in relative indifference, for Hegel all judgments find an absolute place in and through the systematic coherence of the Absolute idea. The relation of all concepts is intrinsic and essential to the Absolute Idea. Each of the conceptual moments subsumes within itself, and operates upon the presupposition of, all of the moments of the preceding stages of being and consciousness. For example, the first moment of Desire in B. Self-Consciousness subsumes within itself and operates with the presupposition of the entire preceding stage of consciousness of A. Consciousness, for there can be no self-conscious desires without conscious intentionality. Hence, any attempt to isolate and divide the conceptual moments; as conscious and unconscious or Kantian and Hegelian; is bound to be exposed as mutually inconsistent caprice when the concepts are cut open and found to contain all of the preceding conceptual stages; so that the Kantian consciousness will contain Hegelian unconsciousness just as the Hegelian unconsciousness contains Kantian consciousness and each is intrinsically the other. Neither the first and second conceptual moments can be said to be simply Kantian

common intellect nor can their mutual resolution be said to be simply Hegelian speculative reasoning; for each is intrinsically contained within and identical with the other; neither is exorcizing the Hegelian speculative reason from the Kantian common intellect, the unconsciousness from consciousness, any more plausible than the Cartesian dualism of mind and body, which equally attempted to tear the animating principle of the whole organism from within its corporeal embodiment. Rather than any such duality between static Kantian conscious intellect and dynamic Hegelian unconscious speculative reasoning, every concept must be thoroughly Hegelian, speculative and syllogistic; both in its infinitesimal intension and in its infinite extension. The unity of consciousness and speculative reasoning is the only way in which the concepts may be mutually sublating and absolutely cohering in a system of philosophy. The system may be conceived as either finite static determinations for ordinary understanding or as the infinite self-movement of speculative reason, yet the thought of each remains within and through itself. To affirm the contrary is to produce a-systematic and unreasoning schisms throughout Hegel's entire system of philosophy. Alan affirms such an original duality of consciousness and unconsciousness, as the results of dualisms throughout Hegel's broader system, when he describes the "contradiction inherent in the truth object": "What consciousness intends is that knowledge and object are transparently one and never two in a true knowing. What we have now [in speculative reasoning] is the truth of knowing as a two in one that is the dialectical identity in difference. This truth reflects the contradiction inherent to the true object. Thus contradiction may expose consciousness but it also exposes the truth, the contradiction that correlates with the dialectic." On the Dualist interpretation, the intention of the conscious subject to know the transparent unitary object is deceived in the intention of knowing the object, for "the truth of knowing" is, not one, but "two in one": what was thought to be one is in fact two non-identical concepts that are united in self-posited formal identity which Alan calls "identity in difference." The difference in identity is the mutually contrary opposition of the conceptual moments that results from the dualisms throughout the contradictory system that Alan celebrates as the true paradox of speculative reasoning. The absolute paradox is at once the hightest illumination and bleakest subterfuge of the Dualist interpretation, for its dualisms and contradictions are the mistaken consequence of the dogmatic original dualism between consciousness and unconsciousness, and between the Ego and the non-Ego, that results in a paradox that does not cohere but remains totally incoherent, self-contradictory and altogether intellectually selfdestructive. The absolutization of contradiction between the Ego and the non-Ego is not

any grand paradox but rather a monstrous suicide of reason in which nothing is thought but the totally vacuous positing of formal identity. On Dialectical Logic Hegel often describes organic concepts through the metaphor of seeds and plants. For example, Hegel writes: "[T]he great necessity in Philosophy is to possess one living Idea; the world is a flower which is eternally produced from one grain of seed." The Trinitarian interpretation of exhaustive dynamism is consonant with this embryonic metaphor but the Dualist interpretation of merely extrinsic dynamism is not. The embryo is the synthesis of the gamete cells of spermatozoa of the father and the ova of the mother, and each of these cells is negated upon their mutual copulation: nucleic meiosis totally dismembers their very DNA and RNA strands and afterwards recombines each together. Thus the child is born through the negation and synthesis of the reality and truth of the parents. Parents are thus present within the child as abstract concepts of their essential genetic inheritance. However, on the Dualist interpretation we would be compelled to presume just the opposite: the parents would be presumed to continue to exist as static miniscule persons within the child, like the pre-formationist homunculi of 16th-Century alchemy! The Dualist interpretation seeks to reduce the synthetic moment of the Trinitarian interpretation into the naive realism of the first moment, so that it may be sublated during the first moment of the Dualist interpretation. This interpretation may seem plausible simply because every non-Absolute synthetic moment of a syllogism begets the first moment of a further opposed syllogism viz. determinatio est negatio. The Dualist interpretation intends to further demonstrate that this alternation of opposed determinations progresses neither epistemologically nor ontologically, but cycles in an eternal and totally empty paradox. For the Dualist interpretation there is indeed nothing new under the Sun: every synthesis is just as much a thesis as an antithesis and never moves beyond this mutually negating contradiction. Hence, Alan challenges the Trinitarian interpretation to explain the very necessity of the contradictory moment of the dialectic: "why is this gap exposed and shown to be a contradiction? Why isn't there just a series of demonstrations of how consciousness is unable to match what is for consciousness with what is in itself? That is, why does a dialectic appear rather than a failed comparison between the positive and negative moments. That is, if consciousness examines itself makes the comparison itself then why isn't this failed comparison what we see in the exposition?"

The gap or negation, that is shown in the progression of the Hegelian dialectic is necessary to motivate the concepts own self-movement. The concept must move itself to resolve its own intrinsic contradictions. Because of the self-negation of any finite determination that was made explicit in Kant's presentation of the antinomies of reason, no simple series of demonstrations will suffice to describe what is for consciousness and in the concept. The self-movement of the concept is necessary because consciousness must come to know; through the full depth, despair and suffering of "tarrying with the negative"; how each and every positive and negative moments are intrinsically selfcontradictory. It is not enough for the concepts to be compared to one another as a merely extrinsic finite static objects, for each of the concepts must be related to one another through the mediation of a third: the finitude of each concept, indicates that, through this mutual comparison, they are each finite and self-contradictory just as each contradicts the other. Hegel describes these two problems of the Kantian antinomies in the Science of Logic: "True, Kant's expositions in the antinomies of pure reason... do not indeed deserve any great praise; but the general idea on which he based his expositions and which he vindicated, is the objectivity of the illusion and the necessity of the contradiction which belongs to the nature of thought determinations: primarily, it is true, with the significance that these determinations are applied by reason to things in themselves; but their nature is precisely what they are in reason and with reference to what is intrinsic or in itself. This result, grasped in its positive aspect, is nothing else but the inner negativity of the determinations as their self-moving soul, the principle of all natural and spiritual life." - Hegel Science of Logic, Miller trans. 68 The necessity of the contradiction that essentially belongs to thought determinations is also the inner negativity of the self-moving spirit. Spirit must be self-moving if it is to develop from within and through itself, rather than from without and through another. Plato described in the Sophist how the explosive force of negation can generate movement: "Then we must admit that motion is the same and is not the same, and we must not be disturbed thereby; for when we say it is the same and not the same, we do not use the words in the same sense. When we call it the same, we do so because it partakes of the same in relation to itself, and when we call it not the same, we do so on account of its participation in the other, by which it is separated from the same and becomes not that but other, so that it is correctly spoken of in turn as not the same." (Sophist, 256a-b) The difference between the same in-itself and the same for-others is the negation of sense of the same as intensive and extensive. Motion is the result of the negation of the

concept that is the same and the not the same, that is negated between two senses, which when equivocated is this semantic difference united in identity. Both the Dualist and the Trinitarian interpretations of Hegel's dialectic agree that a contradictory moment is necessary for the concept to be resolved by its own intrinsic self-movement, yet each disagree on the nature and consequences of this contradictory moment. "In effect, we have an organic unity or a unity of dynamic moments. A contradiction references static moments. So for Hegel what subsists as true only does so as the moments as ideal do not subsist. The difference of respect folded into Hegel's thought is between the dynamic and static conception of truth. Both are moments of a speculative truth. Only if there is a perishing is there a persistence." The identity-in-difference of the first and second moments is without a doubt organic and dynamic. Hegel inherits the doctrine of the hylozoism, in which all concepts are living, from the influence of Schelling's Naturphilosophie. The Trinitarian and Dualist interpretations diverge both on the nature of this identity-relation and as to the degree of difference afforded by it: the Trinitarian interpretation holds the dynamism of the concept to be exhaustively dynamic with no perpetually static parts, while the Dualist interpretation holds the dynamism of the concepts to be, not intrinsic to the content of the first and second conceptual moments, but rather the mere cycling mutual contradiction of independently static determinations. The Dualist interpretation thinks of the Absolute like a pair of diploid cells, in which the individual organism is divided within itself into two distinct yet adjacent cells which each possess the full set of nucleic chromosomes. The nucleic chromosomes signify the essence of the organism, while the diploids signify its intrinsic division into two essentially self-contained parts. The Trinitarian interpretation holds that this pair of diploid cells is not essentially selfcontained, but rather is essentially related to the whole dynamic organism. The reason for absolute dynamism of the concept is that any perpetual static immutability of a conceptual moment must result in its causal independence in relation to Absolute; independence is division; division is negation of the infinite becoming of the Absolute; and this negation entails that both the Absolute and the conceptual moment are mutually finitized contrary to the unity and absolutivity of the Absolute. The conceptual moments are also essentially preserved rather than annihilated in the dynamism of the conceptual synthesis. In an absolute sense the preservation of the concepts is only abstract, for the previous conceptual moments are intrinsic within the conceptual synthesis as abstracta of the real concrete concept. The Hegelian doctrine of the essential preservation of the sublated conceptual moments is a development of John Duns Scotus's doctrine of formal distinctions: between the distinctions among real substances and the distinctions among ideal imaginings, there is a third distinction; midway between reality and ideality; between real substances and their formal

essences. For Scotus allows for substances to have many essences but only one haecceitas, (the ultimately individuated this-ness of the thing in-itself) and it is this one haecceitas that ultimately individuates and unites the substance for Scotus, just as it is the conceptual synthesis that unites the substance for Hegel. For Hegel, abstract moments of concrete concepts are just like Scotus's formal distinctions of essences from real substances: one concrete concept has many abstract conceptual moments, just as one individuated substance has many essences. Thus, just as essences are for Scotus intrinsic within real substances, abstract conceptual moments are for Hegel intrinsic within all concrete synthetic concepts. For example, in the Phenomenology of Spirit (A.I) sense-certainty and (A.II) perception are both abstract conceptual moments essentially contained within the (A.III) understanding of (A) consciousness, just as (A) consciousness and (B) self-consciousness are essentially contained within (C) reason. The Dualist interpretation denies that the conceptual moments are exhaustively dynamic, and contends, to the contrary, that they are each preserved as mere static deductions of finite understanding and "common intellect." Each of the deductions is conceived to be a discrete individual concept that contains a series of propositions and inferences within itself: the propositions are the matter and the inferential relations are the forms that together constitute the individual concept. Each of the opposed concepts essentially contradicts the other in virtue of their contradictory conclusions which produces the explosive negativity of their mutual cycling. The dynamism of the concepts in there relation of identity-in-difference is thus a totally extrinsic relation of their mutual contradiction, rather than an intrinsic differentiation and re-combination in a thoroughly united synthetic concept. For the Dualist interpretation conceives of the static concepts as Kantian deductions and dynamic Hegelian concepts. Each concept extrinsically negates the other as a consequence of their mutually contradictory conclusions. "Another way to put this is that this negativity is not what you are calling the difference within unity. It is not subsumed. It is the difference that is unity. We do not move beyond difference. We see difference differently." Alan confirms that the difference of the concept is altogether not subsumed but remains a difference of opposition of dual of discrete ideal moments. Whatever unity there is does not really exhaustively negate the opposed moments, for the moments remain unsubsumed. "What I propose Hegel means here is what I have been saying all along: the nothingness of the first object the dialectical identity in difference of the object's inherent contradiction is the truth about this object, a truth that is new and comes to be posited as the new object for a new form of consciousness. The dialectical downfall is

also a new truth. One experience of consciousness; two points of view on what this experience means." The nothingness of the contradiction, inherent to the first object of consciousness among the mutually contradictory paradoxical cycling of the opposed concepts, is the purported truth of the Dualist interpretation of the Hegelian dialectic. The one experience of the paradoxical object gives meaning to the two aspects of the mind. In the previous counter-thesis (B) I asked: "How, may we ask, does the negativity of the opposed moments, become coherent in an identity? Alternatively, we may ask; what is the nature of the identity-relation between the two opposed moments, and how is this coherent? Recall the contradiction is traditionally taken to be the universal sign of incoherence, just as identity is traditionally taken to be absence of difference between two terms. What then could it mean for the negative opposition of the "movement of the cycles" to become coherent, i.e. non-contradictory, and identical, i.e. non-different?" Alan answered: "We do not judge what consciousness reveals. We just note that whether we focus in on one moment or the other each exhibits the same dialectic identity in difference. So in Perception if we begin by taking the thing as what is a being for self or whether we begin by taking the thing as a being for another what we get in the end are simply two ways of expressing the same truth: the two mutually implicate. This is the identity relation when two moments mutually implicate. The identity is the coherence of the cycling through moments." Alan distinguishes between intentional judgment and non-intentional noting of the two aspects of the mind. Both aspects of mind are said to "mutually implicate" one another, in which to 'implicate' means to be involved in or to be causally related to. Hence, both aspects of mind are held to be mutually causally related. How are the two opposed moments causally related to one another? Alan answers that this mutual causation of implication is the identity relation. However mutual causation supposes some prior non-identity of the agents of causation; for whatever is no simply self-caused must cause an effect in what is other-than and non-identical to itself; and the non-identical agents relate to one another not through identity but only through their mutual effects upon one another. Alan has repeatedly affirmed that there is never any synthesis of the two agents of causation, or the two objects of the first and second moment of the dialectic. Thus there is an identity between the different conceptual objects. "So the cycle does not become coherent. It is coherent because it cycles."

Alan affirms, as though anticipating this argument from the non-identity of mutually causing agents, that the cycle of the agents' mutual causation is also an identity-relation that only becomes coherent for speculative reason, even while it is not coherent for common intellect. This interpretation is plausibly suggested by Hegel, yet this response affirms, contrary to dualism, the Trinitarian interpretation in which there is a third synthetic moment of identity that is itself irreducible to duality of the former two conceptual moments: if the first and second objects of the Hegelian dialectic are thoroughly united in some further identity, then this self-same identity of the former two objects can be nothing other than the third synthetic conceptual moment of the Trinitarian interpretation. The Trinitarian interpretation accounts for the former two conceptual moments as essentially preserved abstract moments of the concrete synthetic concept. The Dualist interpretation cannot simply account for both the real identity of the former two conceptual objects without also simultaneously denying their nonidentity? Two cannot be one any more than one can be two, without a contradiction. If Alan both denies and affirms the identity of the two objects then he commits a contradiction, but if Alan chooses to affirm the real identity of the two objects then he must also affirm the third synthetic moment of the Trinitarian interpretation. With the former option the Dualist interpretation violates the law of non-contradiction and is totally incomprehensible to our common understanding, while with the latter option the Dualist interpretation is subsumed within the Trinitarian interpretation, which may without contradiction explain both concrete identity and abstract non-identity among concepts. Hegel describes this same problem of identity and dualism for Fichte's selfpositing Ego: "The first proposition [of the self-identical Ego] must be simple, in it predicate and subject must be alike; for were they unlike, their connection since in accordance with their diversity the determinations are not directly one would have to be first of all proved by means of a third. The first principle must thus be identical." - G.W.F. Hegel, Lectures on the History of Philosophy, Pt. 3, Section 3, C.1 Unless the mind is a simple self-identical proposition, i.e. Ego = Ego, then it is unlike, not alike, and non-identical. If the mind is a non-identical duality then, lest it cascade into schizophrenic duality, it requires some third principle to unite the non-identical principles. The Platonic principle of the One over Many applies in this way to the old Platonic problem of the Third Man: any set of many things that are alike in any way must, to be alike have a principle that is common to all things; just as for any duality between the individual man and the idea of man there must be an idea of a 'third man' that mediates between them. This principle and this problem of Platonism were first systematically addressed by the Neo-Platonic philosophy of Proclus, who influenced Hegel through the medieval mysticism of Ekhart and Boehme. The principle of One

over Many is applied to the problem of the Third Man, by the doctrine of intrinsic relations of all terms, and by the essential relatedness of all things in A.III Understanding. Hegel holds that all thought and existence are syllogistic and Trinitarian: just as the syllogism has a subject, a predicate, and a mediating copula; and the Trinity has the three persons of Father, Son and Holy Spirit; so does Hegel's dialectic have a thesis, an antithesis and a synthesis. Upon this principle of the Trinitarian dialectic are all dualities resolved into an absolutely synthetic and systematic unity. Benedeco Croce writes this about opposed dualisms in the first chapter of What is Living and What is Dead in the Philosophy of Hegel?: "Opposition gives rise to deep fissures in the bosom of the philosophic universal and of each of its particular forms, and to irreconcilable dualisms . Instead of finding the concrete universal, the organic whole of reality which it seeks, thought seems everywhere to run against two universals, opposing and menacing each other. In this way, the fulfilment of philosophy is impeded; and since an activity which cannot attain to its fulfilment, thereby shows that it has imposed an absurd task on itself, philosophy itself, the whole of philosophy, is menaced with failure. " Hegel describes the Fichtean dualisms between the Ego and the non-Ego for which there is no "third thought" to synthesize the duality of the Ego and its opposite: "This Notion [being as such], which is immediately actuality, and this actuality which is immediately its [Ego's] Notion, and that indeed in such a way that there neither is a third thought above this unity [of Ego and non-Ego], nor is it an immediate unity which does not possess difference, separation, within it, is the ego; it is the selfdistinction of opposites within itself. That whereby it distinguishes itself from the simplicity of thought, and distinguishes this other, is likewise immediately for it; it is identical with, or not distinguished from it." -ibid. For Fichte, as for the Dualist interpretation, the distinction of opposites within the self is not resolved in any further conceptual synthesis but is merely reaffirmed in the immediate individual thought that retains the non-identity of contradictory concepts in the appearance of self-posited conceptual unity. Any dualist interpretation must thus affirm the former lemma which concedes that the Dualist interpretation is, at least for the understanding of the common intellect, self-contradictory, and deny the latter lemma in which the Dualist interpretation is subsumed within the Trinitarian interpretation, by contending that, even in spite of self-contradiction, only speculative reason may have "insight" into the paradoxical Absolute. Alan intends to flee from the wreckage of the understanding into the salvific insight of self-contradictory speculative reason. The (C) third counter-thesis argues, that, even if Alan affirms that the Dualist

interpretation escapes the self-contradiction of identity and non-identity by contending that the paradoxical Absolute is known through the intellectual intuition of "insight", then the Dualist interpretation will nonetheless suffer from Hegel's criticism of Schelling's identity-philosophy, in which the identity of non-identical concepts is an empty, non-conceptual, and unintelligible relation between concepts; nothing other than an immediate imagined self-posited identity-form among non-identical concepts the night in which all cows are black. On the Nature of Contradiction A small mistake at the beginning is a big mistake at the end . All of the dualisms of the Dualist interpretation originate from a mistaken univocal understanding of contradiction, in which contradiction is thought of as negating its object in just the same way without regard to the specificity of its object. Only that which in some sense exists may be spoken of with the same, i.e. univocal, reference, for reference directs thought to that which exists and never to that which does not exist. Hence, if the notion of contradiction is univocalized then this notion must in some sense exist. Aristotle and Plato held negation to crucially depend upon the prior positivity of the object that is negated. The nature of the objects confer to negation this specific sense in which it negates its object. Negation is not a self-subsistent separate Platonic form which selfexemplifies as negation negating itself, but rather only exists insofar as it negates what already exists. This is the asymmetry of being and non-being, positing and negating that the Eleatic Stranger elaborates in Plato's Sophist. As negation negates according to its object, and the sense in which all objects are spoken of differs according to the nature of the object, so must the sense in which negation is said to negate differ according to the object which is negated. Hence, this understanding of negation and contradiction is multivocal because it holds these to be used in many different ways according to the nature of whatever is negated. For example, the negation of a proposition (e.g. P) differs from the negation of a numeral (e.g. -1) just as propositions differ from numerals. Contrary to this, the Dualist interpretation understands contradiction to negate all objects in a manner that is univocal and indifferent to the content of the object negated. Contradiction is conceived of as subsisting in-itself prior to whatever it contradicts. This conception of contradiction may only be possible on the assumption that negation and contradiction have some existence which is altogether prior and independent to what is contradicted and negated. Contradiction is a form of the mutual incompossibility of propositions. According to Aristotle's Prior Analytics, contradiction only explodes the mutual possibility of opposed propositions (e.g. All cows are black [i.e. All S is P] and no cows are black [i.e. No S is P]). The philosopher writes: It is impossible for the same thing to belong and not to belong at the same time to the same

thing and in the same respect (Metaph IV 3 1005b1920) Negation is more general than contradiction, for negation applies universally to terms, propositions, substances and concepts (e.g. All cows are not black [i.e. All S is not-P]). Consequently, where two propositions which are mutually affirmed and denied in the same sense necessarily contradict one another, two terms, substances or concepts that are affirmed and denied do not necessarily contradict one another, but only possibly contradict according to the time, thing, and respect in which they are negated. The subtle distinction between negation and contradiction has been woefully obscured by the influence of nomimalism in Stoic, Late Medieval and contemporary Analytic philosophy (See J.M. Bochenski's Formale Logik, 1956 and Paul Redding's Analytic Philosophy and the Return of Hegelian Thought, 2007). The nominalization of formal logic has resulted in the indifference of negation and contradiction to the proposition that is negated and contradicted. Once contradiction and negation are conceived of as selfidentical and self-subsistent names, then they can be conceptually atomized and isolated from the existence and reason of the Absolute. Nominalism consequently hypostatizes the syncategormatic functions (e.g. v, &, , =, etc.) as concepts that float in the air, distinct from any application to categorematic terms and propositions (e.g. dog, Socrates, Sun etc.) just as Platonism hypostatizes categorematic predicates as universal forms or Platonic Ideas. For the Dualist interpretation, the syncategormatic function of negation is hypostatized as the univocal nothingness of contradiction. Hypostatization is the conceptual combination of form and matter, in which form is the universal structure while matter is the ground of subsistence: sublime Kant used the term hypostatization to describe how abstract categories of the Understanding may be capriciously reified; that is, wantonly fixed as the concrete ground of thinking without any critical or transcendental justification. For example, Kant holds Isaac Newton to have dogmatically hypostatized the pure intuitions of space and time as the substantive ground of all celestial mechanics and motion. So similarly does nominalism hypostatize the syncategorematic functions, and the dualist interpretation hypostatizes the logical function of negation along with its species of universal propositional negation which is contradiction. The nominalization of and univocalization of contradiction is attractive to the common intellect because of the simplicity and expediency of employing the fixed concept of negation indifferently to what is negated. Nominalism wrenches concepts from their absolute place and systematic relations, holds them aloft as fixed names, and tosses the concept into free floating thought as it is beheld in their lonely finitude by the Understanding. The Dualist interpretation adopts the nominalist hypostatization of negation and contradiction because, even in spite of protestations to the contrary, this interpretation follows the letter rather than the spirit of the encyclopedic philosophy of

Hegel: according to the letter of his texts, we are led to understand that the master uses the same words, of contradiction and negation, in the same univocal sense; but according to the spirit of his philosophy, speculative reason has insight into the multivocal sense in which these words are used according to the many different objects of negation and contradiction. The Trinitarian interpretation follows this spirit and apprehends negation as it applies to the speculative proposition in many different and multivocal senses. Contradiction of sense-certainty is contradiction in a different sense than contradiction of being, simply because what is contradicted differs as sensecertainty and being; from the perspective of the subject as well as from the standpoint of the Absolute. The hypostatic fixed concept of contradiction is essential to the Dualist interpretation for it alone mediates and unites both aspects of mind: consciousness and unconsciousness. Mediation require something that is common to both terms of a syllogism (e.g. S-M-P). Alan has repeatedly insisted that on the Dualist interpretation neither consciousness nor intention are common to both conscious common intellect and unconscious speculative reason. For instance, Alan explains that the dialectic is itself subsistent and intrinsically coherent: "For us this dialectic is what subsists or coheres. It is the new truth. We only provide a recollective insight into what consciousness has brought into being." Dialectic is a method of discourse that brings forth the implicit contradiction within and between arguments. Its operating principle is contradiction. Contradiction is, in-itself, the nullifying explosion of two mutually incompossible propositions (e.g. P & P). How then may dialectic be understood to subsist in and by itself? If dialectic is essentially contradictory, and contradiction is explosive nothingness, then dialectic also is nothingness. Nothingness is opposed to substance, as non-being is opposed to being, as negation is opposed to positing. To assert that dialectic is self-subsistent is then to contradict the essential ontological status of dialectic, and hold that nothing is something. Just as dialectic is contradictory and hence nothing, so similarly is dialectic incoherent: what coheres is that which has an identity relation between the premises and the conclusion, or alternatively that which is mediated between subject and predicate; but because dialectic is essentially contradictory it is necessarily non-identical and incoherent. How, then, may the Dualist interpretation hold what is essentially nothing and incoherent to be subsistent and coherent? Alan will no doubt appeal to the mysterious faculty of speculative reasoning, but this will not suffice for him to escape from this contradiction: a faculty of speculative reasoning which cannot be made intelligible to the understanding of common intellect is nothing more than the empty name: it is not the infinite aspect coupled with the aspect of finite thinking, but the

empty identity of disunited modes of knowing held together by the barest formal identity of their mutual imagining, which is an aesthetic intuition. Absent of any speculative escape, the Dualist interpretation may only intelligibly hold the self-contradictory belief that the dialectic is mediated by contradiction, if it holds that contradiction to be hypostatized, as a self-subsistent and self-cohering contradiction. Without mediation, the two aspects of mind remain totally separated: an unmediated dualism is not in any way united in a third term but is left entirely disunited in complete duality; the absolute separation of one term from the other; between which lies only the unsearchable chasm of the infinite void. Alan insists, however, that there is a perspective shift of a logical transition from the intentional consciousness of common intellect to the non-intentional unconsciousness of speculative reason and, presumably, back again. This transition requires some medium through which the former may pass over into the latter, just as Aristotle required a universal medium of prime matter to permit the complete transformation of one substance to another, and Leibniz required some common property between two distinct substances, for without a medium there can be no relation. With no relation there is can be no logical transition from common intellect to speculative reason or back again. The problem of the relation of disunited objects is the greatest difficulty that Parmenides raises for Plato's Middle Period Theory of the Forms in the Parmenides (133a). Contradiction is the form of nothingness (nihil) that results from the mutual incompossibility of two existentially opposed propositions. Hence, contradiction must in some sense exist if it is to provide the mediation required for the transition between the common intellect and speculative reason. When contradiction is conceptually hypostatized it is supported by the matter of thought to becomes something altogether more than nothing, for it is posited by thought in the manner of the self-positing of Fichtean subjective idealism. The nature of the hypostatized contradiction for the Dualist interpretation is mysterious, for since contradiction is nothing and hypostasis is something it would seem as though no self-subsistent contradiction could be thought. If we were to scour the widest geographic breadth and plunge the deepest archaeological depths of philosophy might we, even with the clearest eyes and most discerning vision, ever discover such a notion? There is one idea in the archaeology of philosophy which matches the description of contradiction given by the Dualist interpretation. It is just as soon inconspicously found as it is forgotten within the most unlikely of texts. In Plato's Phaedrus, Socrates describes the ungenerated self-movement of the soul just as the Dualist interpretation describes the hypostatized contradiction: "First, then, we must learn the truth about the soul divine and human by observing how it acts and is acted upon... Only that which moves itself, since it does not leave itself, never ceases to move, and this is also the source and beginning of motion for all other

things which have motion... But since that which is moved by itself has been seen to be immortal, one who says that this self-motion is the essence and the very idea of the soul, will not be disgraced. For every body which derives motion from without is soulless, but that which has its motion within itself has a soul, since that is the nature of the soul; but if this is true, that that which moves itself is nothing else than the soul,then the soul would necessarily be ungenerated and immortal. " (245c-246a) The ungenerated soul moves itself from within the self-motion of the simple idea. The hypostatized contradiction is, in just the same way, a self-moving simple idea that is the "source and beginning of motion for all other things which have motion." The hypostatized contradiction must exist in some way if it is to impart motion; for just as prior positivity precedes negativity so must a substance actual exist if it is to cause any movement from potentiality to actuality. The hypostatized contradiction is self-moving because it is contradictory. Contradiction imparts the negation of its nothingness to the negativity of movement between alternating states of being and non-being (Sophist, 256a-b). Hence the self-contradiction within a substance is also the self-movement of a substance. For Hegel, the Ego's subjectivity is its own self-contradiction, that motivates the process of its becoming; towards the actualization of its essence and the determination of the concept. The Absolute is substance become subject. Thus Hegel affirms the Law of Contradiction, in which all finite substances are self-contradictory, so that he may consequently affirm that all substances are subject, self-moving, and free. Subjective consciousness is self-contradictory consciousness. However, the Dualist interpretation does not predicate self-contradiction of a unitary consciousness, but rather holds the simple idea of the hypostatic contradiction apart from the mind in an original duality: when the hypostatic contradiction is applied to mind it divides mind in two, as intentional conscious and non-intentional unconsciousness; when the hypostatic contradiction is applied to thought it divides thought into the two thinking modes of common intellect and speculative reason; and finally when the hypostatic contradiction is applied to the Absolute it absolutely and endlessly divides the universe within itself in the ceaseless schisms of an absolute paradox. The hypostatic contradiction is the common term that mediates between all of the dualisms of the Dualist interpretation: consciousness and unconsciousness; common intellect and speculative reason; and thesis and antithesis. Contradiction is the great chain of nothing that unites the loftiest firmament of the paradoxical absolute to the uttermost foundation of totally indeterminate non-being in a grand syllogism of the nothing that nothings its own nothingness. Contradiction is constituted by nothing in and of itself, yet for the Dualist interpretation contradiction serves the regulative function of mediating between all of the dualisms once it has been hypostatically postulated by and with the being of thought: thinking

postulates the hypostatic contradiction by imparting its own intellective being into the bare concept of the nothingness of contradiction. The Dualist interpretation must necessarily postulates the hypostatic contradiction for there to be any possible conceptual self-mediation of the many dualisms. The necessity of the postulate makes the Dualist interpretation essentially Fichtean. In the philosophy of Fichte, both the self and the Absolute, subject and object, consciousness and unconsciousness, are ceaselessly posited. The ceaseless postulation of hypostatic contradictions is the selfpositing activity, i.e. positivity, of the Fichtean Ego, while the paradoxical Absolute is the absolute form of what is posited, the object of intellection, and the absolute non-Ego. The Dualist interpreter is the lonesome Fichtean self that gazes into the starry heavens above while possessing all the riches of moral law within. The hypostatic contradiction is the engine of the ceaseless contradiction of both the Fichtean ego and the non-ego of the paradoxical absolute. Yet because contradiction is univocal, it contradicts every stage, object and part of the absolute in just the same way, and produces the very same dualisms in and throughout every substance. Consequently both the mind and the Absolute become divided within themselves: when the hypostatic contradiction is applied to the mind it divides mind into the two aspects of intentional conscious common intellect, and non-intentional unconscious speculative reason; and when the hypostatic contradiction is applied to the Absolute it similarly produces self-subsistent absolute for common intellect, and the paradoxical absolute for speculative reason. For both the mind and the Absolute the two aspects are united by and through the mediation of the hypostatic contradiction, which is nothingness made something through the artifice of thought. Meontotheology The Trinitarian and Dualist interpretations differ on the epistemological and ontological consequences of the dialectic: where the Trinitarian interpretation holds that the minds' synthesis of opposite conceptual moments produces a richer truth and fuller reality, the Dualist interpretation holds the same to result in a non-intentional perspective shift behind the back of consciousness into an insight of unconscious speculative reason. The non-intentional perspective shift is the transition from intentional conscious common intellect to non-intentional unconscious speculative reason mediated by the hypostatic contradiction. The purported insight of unconscious speculative reason is Schelling's intellectual intuition, in which the mind intuitively self-posits the formal identity between subjective being-for-self and objective being-in-itself. For the Trinitarian interpretation, the mind intentionally mediates between the opposed conceptual moments as each intrinsically contradict themselves, recoil into the other, and are synthesized together; while for the Dualist interpretation, it is the nothingness of the hypostatic contradiction which mediates between the opposed moments, divides mind

and absolute within themselves, and motivates the transition from conscious intellect to speculative reason that reveals the paradoxical Absolute. For the Trinitarian interpretation the consequence of the dialectical movement is the richer truth and fuller being of the synthesis of the opposed concepts, while for the Dualist interpretation the consequence is merely a revelation of the paradox and nothingness: the former constructs an infinite scientific system, while the latter abolishes all finite ontological phantasms. Alan explains how the opposition of the conceptual moments is engendered, or made to come into existence, by the agency of the hypostatic contradiction, and affirms that this identity between the opposed moments pre-exists the dialectic, even as it is "made evident" by attending to the "dynamic identity" in difference of the dialectic: "First, the opposition is not retained; it is engendered. And second, the identity is not empty but already is an identity in difference. All that is required of us is that we shift from the common way of attempting to grasp a self-standing identity to attending to the dynamic identity made evident in the dialectic." For the Dualist interpretation contradiction is conceived of as a univocal hypostatic selfmoving being; that mediates between subject and object, intellect and reason, and mind and absolute; just as it divides altogether them in the same obliterating nothing. The hypostatic contradiction contradicts its object in same universal and univocal manner, from the greatest to the least, engendering schisms throughout the absolute extent of thought and being. Then the univocal hypostatic contradiction of the Dualist interpretation contradicts thought thinking itself, just as it contradicts thought opposed to thought, with the universal negation of mutual obliteration. The engendering of schisms is the negative moment in which contradiction negates and alienates substance, while the mutual obliteration of opposites is the positive moment in which the externality of contradiction is resolved back into its own barren nothingness. The alternation of schism and mutual obliteration is the dual alternation of negative and positive moment that continues without end in a bad infinite of eternal repetition (e.g. +,-,+,-,+,-...). There is no third moment to escape from this bad infinite and speculative reason is no more than a cynical insight into the Sisyphean banality of this pitiless oscillation. Thus, the Dualist interpretation of dual aspects of mind, antithetical moments, and contradictory deductions, is just as much a monism of uniform nothingness: the univocal hypostatic contradiction reduces all being to non-being even as it divides being into non-being; so that every contradiction is once again resolved into the very nothingness from which it subsequently re-emerges, like Saturn devouring his own children. Where the Trinitarian interpretation affirms that the Absolute

produces itself from within itself and thinks its own thought, the Dualist interpretation affirms only a nothing that nothings its own nothingness. The Trinitarian interpretation saves Hegelian philosophy from this abyss of infinite nothingness through the intentional positing of a third synthetic moment. The negative opposition between the conceptual moments is retained as the dynamic self-movement within the synthetic concept: both of the opposed conceptual moments are intrinsically and mutually contradicted, broken asunder, and their components are reconstituted into a new organic unity. The synthetic concept is more than the sum of its parts because it contains, not merely the former opposed moments, but also the oppositional relations of each of the preceding conceptual moments within itself and to one another. Just as for Aristotle matter is actualized through form, so is for Hegel the bare univocal being of basic concepts actualized through the essence which emerges from the intrinsic self-contradiction of each and all prior conceptual moments. The combination of these formal oppositional relations and the matter of the conceptual moments altogether constitute the dynamic new synthetic concept. The emergence of form and essence require some prior form and some prior essence. For Aristotle the thought-thinkingitself - nosis noses nosis - is the form of all forms - Forma Formarum - which brings primordial matter to its fullest actualization, while for Hegel the Absolute idea intrinsically contains all being and essence as abstract conceptual moments; is intrinsically at the beginning what it will be at the end; "the circle which presupposes its end as its purpose" (PhG 18); and determines the actualization of Nature according to the providential and the providential unfolding of the Spirit of history. The Dualist interpretation, on the contrary, understands the original principle; which simultaneously motivates, resolves and reveals concept to thought, to be the mere nothingness of hypostatic contradiction that nothings its own nothingness. Consequently, for the Dualist interpretation, the Hegelian dialectic does not lead the mind on a noetic ascent to the pure knowing of the Absolute idea, but is no more than an insight that reveals the originary nothingness of the infinitely cycling absolute paradox. Alan explains that the contradictory nothingness at the end of the dialectic is just what it always had been since the beginning: "Initially it [i.e. consciousness] expects the unessential moment to fall away. It does not bring together what stands apart. When its knowing is true, there is the presumed identity. If knowing is false an unwanted distinction is made evident. When this distinction arises consciousness judges that it has failed. We in contrast do not judge. We [i.e. speculative reason] simply attend to the coherent movement as the new identity the new object." Speculative reason attends to the distinctions between the conceptual moments engendered by intentional consciousness, as the purportedly coherent cycling

movement of the new self-identical object. The distinctions of the preceding conceptual moments are the many contradictions between, within and throughout the opposed concepts. The disunited mass of opposed concepts neither obliterate one another in mutual strife, nor eject their opposites from the concept, but altogether mutually cohere in the cycling identity of the new object. How is this new identity established and the unity maintained? Neither the individual concepts in-themselves nor the oppositions between concepts for-the-other will suffice; for the concepts are essentially related only to themselves and only accidently related to others, while the opposition between the concepts can be no more self-identical than the mutual negation of each by the other. Only the hypostatic contradiction can simultaneously mutually negate the opposed conceptual moments and resolve them together in a "new identity - the new object." This most contradictory of contradictions does indeed arise "behind the back" of the understanding of consciousness and common intellect, for the understanding could never comprehend either the nature of the self-identical contradiction, nor how what is intrinsically explosive nothingness may unite explosively opposed concepts. "... the new and true object is the process in its entirety. You speak of a processing but do not identify the processor. Hegel says that the process is what consciousness exercises upon itself. It is inadvertent to what consciousness intends." The Trinitarian and Dualist interpretations each hold the "new and true object" to be, in some sense, a process that contains the previous conceptual moments in the motion of their reciprocal contrariness: the contrary opposition of the first and second conceptual moments simultaneously unites them and propels the internal motion of the concept. The subject of the process, or the "processor", is disputed. There are at least three potential subject processors: "(i) in the intentional subjectivity of the Absolute which is what we call God; (ii) in the inter-subjective human community which Hegel calls Spirit; or (iii) in the finite thinking of the speculative philosopher, posited by what Fichte calls the Ego." Previously Alan has denied that either (i) the Absolute or (ii) the inter-subjective human community were the processor, which leaves only (iii) the finite thinking of the speculative philosopher. However, the Dualist interpretation describes two processors: the consciousness of the common intellect and the inadvertent activity of speculative reason; and consequently divides the remaining processor of (iii) the finite thinking of the speculative philosopher into two separate modes of cognition: the consciousness and the unconsciousness. This original opposition of consciousness and unconsciousness is, through the dialectical sequence of Hegel's system of philosophy, absolutized and conceptually taken up into the Absolute. The Absolute conditions all things whether a priori or a posteriori. Consequently, the Absolute may, upon the Dualist interpretation, be read as the origin and ultimate cause of the infinite opposition of mutually contradictory concepts and of the consciousness and the unconsciousness.

Hegel describes how such a duality of the Ego and the non-Ego emerged from the simple self-identity of the Fichtean Ego: "Relation requires two sides; the relating and the related are here, however, the same; for on account of the simplicity of the ego, there is nothing but a relation of the ego to the ego. I have knowledge of myself; but in so far as I am consciousness, I know of an object which is different from me, and which is then likewise mine. But the ego is in such a way identical with its difference that what is different is immediately the same, and what is identical is likewise different; we have a difference without a difference. Self-consciousness is not dead identity, or non-Being, but the object which is identical with me. This is immediately certain; all else must be as certain to me, inasmuch as it must be my relation to myself." The Ego and the non-Ego are two aspects of the same simple Ego. The dual aspects are manifestations of the difference between the Ego which knows itself and the Ego which knows what is differentiated from itself. From the simple self-relation of the Ego to itself (i.e. Ego = Ego) there emerges the relation of the subject to its object, the non-Ego. The Ego and the non-Ego are a difference that are united within an identity. Thus the non-identical difference of subject and object subsists within the self-identity of the Ego, as an identity that is inwardly differentiated, just as the self-identical proposition is inwardly differentiated into subject, predicate and copula (e.g. S = P). The difference of two parts in singular self-identity is a triadic model of Hegelian philosophy in which the proposition, the syllogism, judgment, consciousness, and all systematic philosophy are thoroughly composed of conceptual triads. The dispute between the Trinitarian and the Dualist interpretation turns upon the primacy of whether of the difference that subsumes identity or the identity that subsumes difference; of one-over-two or twoover-one; such that the concepts are ultimately dual and mediated by nothingness or ultimately triadic and mediated by some third concept. For Fichte, self-identical consciousness is inwardly differentiated into these two aspects of Ego and non-Ego: "Fichte thus appeals to consciousness, postulates ego and non-ego in their abstraction, and since philosophic knowledge is the consciousness of consciousness, it is not sufficient that I should find its determinations in consciousness, for I produce them with consciousness. Common consciousness [i.e. common intellect], indeed, likewise brings forth all the determinations of the ordinary conception and of thought... seeing, however, is my activity, the determinations of my faculty of sensation are thus posited through me. The ego as theoretic is, indeed, aware in philosophic consciousness that it is the ego which posits; but here it posits that the nonego posits somewhat in me. The ego thus posits itself as that which is limited by the non-ego. I make this limitation mine; thus is it for me in me, this passivity of the ego

is itself the activity of the ego." - G.W.F. Hegel, Lectures on the History of Philosophy, Fichte The Dualist interpretation presents mind in two aspects, of consciousness and unconsciousness, just as Fichte had posited the Ego and the non-Ego as a limit upon the unlimited Ego. The positing of the non-Ego is the negative opposite of the Ego, the object opposed to subject. The duality of Ego and non-Ego, the two aspects of mind, mutually limit each other so that both Ego and non-Ego are limited by one another. The non-Ego is the negative of the Ego, which stands in relative independence to the Ego as an opposed aspect of consciousness. Thus the Dualist interpretation passively posits a limit upon itself even as it actively strives to surpass the limitation of all objectivity, in an infinite self-limiting striving that may never come to realization. "As a matter of fact, all reality which appears in the object for the ego is a determination of the ego, just as the categories and other determinations were in Kant's case. Thus it is here more especially that we should expect Fichte to demonstrate the return of otherBeing into absolute consciousness. However, because after all the other-Being was regarded as unconditioned, as implicit, this return does not come to pass. The ego determines the 'other,' indeed, but this unity is an altogether finite unity; non-ego has thus immediately escaped from determination once more and gone forth from this unity. What we find is merely an alternation between self-consciousness and the consciousness of another, and the constant progression of this alternation, which never reaches any end." - G.W.F. Hegel, Lectures on the History of Philosophy, Fichte For Kant, the empirical intuition of real objects were ideally determined by the transcendental categories of the Understanding. Fichte never demonstrates how the Kantian categories of the non-Ego, the object of other-being, may be both unconditioned non-Ego and absolutely posited by consciousness Ego. Hence there remains an originary contradiction between the absoluteness of Ego and the unconditionality of the non-Ego, which simultaneously stands apart from and limits the Ego by contradicting its absolutivity. This contradiction between Ego and non-Ego results in a paradoxical duality, in which each limits the other, even as the Ego strives towards unlimited absolutivity. The mutual contradiction of Ego and non-Ego, together with infinite striving of the Ego, result in a ceaseless alternation between the infinitude of the Ego and its contradiction by finite non-Ego, in a "constant progression" of a bad infinite "which never reaches any end." "This absolute Notion or this absolutely existent infinitude it is which has to be developed in knowledge, and its distinction as the whole distinction of the universe has to be represented from itself, and this has in its distinction to remain reflected

within itself in equal absoluteness." - G.W.F. Hegel, Lectures on the History of Philosophy, Fichte The Absolute Idea develops itself entirely from itself, from which the whole universe is represented, as it is equally reflected within itself. The tautology of the Absolute is the "circle which presupposes its end as its purpose" (PhG 18). The emergence of the form and essence require that the Absolute possess some prior form and some prior essence. For Aristotle the thought-thinking-itself is the form of all forms which brings primordial matter to its fullest actualization, while for Hegel the Absolute idea intrinsically contains all being and essence as abstract conceptual moments; is intrinsically at the beginning what it will be at the end; and determines the actualization of Nature and the providential unfolding of the Spirit of history. The Trinitarian and the Dualist interpretations disagree on the prior conditions for this emergence: where the Trinitarian interpretation holds the unitary self-positing consciousness to apprehends and intend the processes of thought, the Dualist interpretation holds speculative reason to possess a special insight into the paradox of the dialectic that operates "behind the back" of intentional consciousness. Bad Infinity For the Dualist interpretation, the bad infinite of alternating aspects of the mind is merely the result of the supervenience of the paradoxical Absolute. The Fichtean bad infinite is not resolved into the good infinity of the Absolute, but rather the bad infinite is itself absolutized as the paradoxical absolute. Restless modern subjectivity of contradictory self-positing does not find its final rest in God, but erects itself as an idol of its own private veneration. Consequently, the Dualist interpretation may affirm that the mind's knowledge of the Absolute is nothing more than the correlation of contradiction with contradictory truth: "Rather than attempting to make correct statements that correlate knowledge and truth we instead have to correlate contradiction with an actual knowing appropriate for expressing a contradictory truth. We have to think dialectically of an identity in difference." Knowledge is the correlation of self-contradictory mind with self-contradictory Absolute truth, and the hypostatic contradiction is both the efficient cause and formal condition of their mediation of their "identity in difference." For the Dualist interpretation, there can be no intentionality but only contradictoriness. All thought and being is absolutely contradictory just as it is absolutely non-being and non-thought. The dualisms of the Dualist interpretation engenders the nothingness of all, absolute nihilism, or meontotheology, which is the theology of nothingness. A product of this

dual-consciousness is the inexplicable Schellingian mental faculty of speculative reason, or 'insight': "Our observational restraints enables us to see what is before us without being oriented naturally to assume that truth is given to consciousness. As so restrained we are able to recollect what is before with WITH INSIGHT... Insight is not intentional. It actually is the co-origination of thought and object thought... With insight something new comes on the scene out of what was already in view but without insight. This is not a guided intentional act. It is something that can only come about if we restrain employing natural intentional guides... the activity by consciousness is consciously enacted but is inadvertent to its intention. Speculative reason does nothing but see what is enacted from a second point of view. It itself does not act other than by providing insight into what is there to be seen. Thought moves not because we intentionally synthesize but because we shift our point of view." The dualism between intentional consciousness and non-intentional unconsciousness is mediated by the common hypostatic contradiction of both subject and object, the mind and the Absolute. The activity of non-intentional unconsciousness is the result of the concurrent cooperation of both Ego and non-Ego, "thought and the object thought" in their mutual "co-origination" in the hypostatic contradiction of the paradoxical Absolute. The "co-origination" of the hypostatic contradiction, in both the mind and the Absolute, motivates a "perspective shift" from intentional conscious common intellect to the non-intentional 'insight' of speculative reason. Because contradiction obliterates all coherent (i.e. self-consistent) thought, the coherence of insight is not any constitutive conceptual relation but the merely formal identity of contradictory opposites. Insight is not a Plotinian mystical ascent to truth but merely the abysmal void of Schelling's intellectual intuition; a formal nothingness hypostatized as something; the idolization of nothingness that is nihilism. Everything is already done for speculative thought." Insight is nothing more than the speculative revelation of the nothingness that nothings nothing throughout all that common intellect holds to be something. The nothingness of the paradoxical Absolute needs only to be confirmed, its eternal nothingness, by the insight of speculative reason. Everything you are, were, or could have been is disclosed to be absolutely nullified by a monstrous cycling paradox. Rather than adoring the divine Absolute Idea apprehended through philosophical sciences, the Dualist interpretation adores the titanic paradox that obliterates any possible the concept of religion and science:

Where do we find the ontic expression of the absolute if not in some ultimate grand conception? We find it concealed as the inconsistency of matter itself when we probe deeply enough. This inconsistency has effects. And these effects are the realities of which we are familiar. The absolute that spins off these realities is the split or inconsistency inherent to these supposed realities. It is not a divine being as creator but matter's inner truth, its inherent divide. Alan affirms that, for the Dualist interpretation, the paradoxical Absolute is the "inconsistency of matter itself" as it is known by the effects that "spin off" from the split opposition of contradictory concepts which cycle around the mediating hypostatized contradiction, like the accretion disc of an all-consuming black hole. While the black hole of the paradoxical Absolute does not consume actual matter, it even more rapciously devours all forms of thought in the purely formal logical singularity of all contradictory opposite concepts that stands behind the appearances as "matter's inner truth." Even the thought of the dualist interpretation is annihilated by the logical singularity of the self-contradictory paradoxical Absolute. What is greatest becomes worse when corrupted. Thus the brilliant pan-generative Hegelian dialectic becomes pan-destructive when Hegelian trinitarianism is denied and reduced to dualism. The Dualist interpretation devours itself in an apocalyptic suicide of all reason more catastrophic than any skepticism, absolutizes contradiction, and makes its purported coherence the very sense of non-sense: "On my view, it is the sense/nonsense divide where Hegel's unique thought expresses itself. The dialectic is important because it is the form of expression that can be seen as either sense or nonsense. No other philoophy does its work on this divide. Often when two philosophies conflict there will be an attempt to reduce the alternative philosophy to nonsense. What is uniquely Hegelian is the fact that only when thought is reduced to nonsense - only when it appears as a dialectic - is thought where it needs to be for the proper emergence of a new truth. Sense emerges as a second look at what on first look has the appearance of nonsense. We do not dismiss nonsense. We do not dismiss the dialectic of the finite and spurious infinite. We simply recollect the seeming nonsense to bring out its inherent sense." The sense that philosophy makes of the paradoxical Absolute is simply non-sense. For the Dualist interpretation, there is no "grand conception" of scientific truth but only the insipid mutual contradictions of the paradoxical Absolute. The vaunted emergent sense of truth is nothing more than the non-sense of so many falsehoods, for the nothingness of all contradictions is non-sense. For theDualist interpretation, all is contradictory panantiphasis - and all is non-sense. The Dualist interpretation absolutizes its own inherent duality as the merely formal identity of contradictory opposites. All the

differentia of concepts, whose matter are the contradictorily opposed concepts, are absolutely united in this formal self-identity and which is altogether grounded in the paradoxical Absolute. Thus, for the Dualist interpretation, as for the philosophy of Fichte, the unconscious non-ego is absolutized. Hegel explains how this results was implicit in the dualisms of Fichte: "It is the absolute form which Fichte laid hold of, or in other words, the absolute form is just the absolute Being-for-self, absolute negativity, not individuality, but the Notion of individuality, and thereby the Notion of actuality; Fichte's philosophy is thus the development of form in itself." - Hegel, Lectures on the History of Philosophy, Fichte Neither the conscious Ego nor the unconscious non-Ego can ever escape from the cycling contradiction of their mutual opposition. Like the space-farer who travels to close to the singularity of a black hole, each are ineluctably drawn towards the other other in an infinite downward spiral into nothingness. The infinite movement which accomplishes nothing beyond itself is the closed circle of the 'bad infinite'. Hegel concludes that the dualisms of the philosophy of Fichte result in such a 'bad infinite' circle of self-contradictory movement that, in being closed in upon itself, must be limited by what is outside itself, in the unconscious non-Ego of the Kantian noumenon: "In this return the ego is merely an effort, on its side it is fixed, and it cannot realize its endeavours. Striving is thus an imperfect or implicitly limited action. The ultimate result is consequently a circle which cannot be broken through, so that the finite spirit must necessarily posit an absolute outside itself (a thing-in-itself), and yet on the other hand it must recognize that this same is only there for it (a necessary noumenon)... There remains only the empty repulsive force, and that is the Kantian Thing-in-itself, beyond which even Fichte cannot get, even though the theoretic reason continues its determination into infinitude. The ego as intelligence ever remains dependent on an undetermined non-ego; it is only through this that it is intelligence." Hegel, Lectures on the History of Philosophy, Fichte Alan affirms this duality of the Absolute when he writes: "What thought emphatically is not is some grand synthesis in view for a master synthesizer or for the reader as he comes to the end of the Phenomenology. Many commentators have challenged what appears to be Hegel's endorsement of just such a view. Consciousness fails in each of its forms but the reader gets off Scott free. By what right are we to be exempt from the chaos visited on consciousness? We are not to be exempt. We are to be transformed. We are to be educated to the standpoint of science.

We are to come to appreciate that when thought is absolute it is inherently divided or dual." The Dualist interpretation originates in a Fichtean opposition between consciousness and unconsciousness. For Fichte, all thought and being is posited by the simple Ego: the conscious Ego posits itself as unlimited and the unconscious non-Ego as a limit upon itself. In positing the contradictory opposites of the conscious Ego and the unconscious non-Ego, the Fichtean Ego posits a contradiction within itself. This self-posited contradiction is the hypostatized contradiction of the Dualist interpretation. Hegel explains how this two-fold contradictory principle annihilates the unicity of the Ego: [The Ego must] have the principle of positing itself within it, and also the principle of not positing itself. Hence the ego in its essence would be contradictory and selfrepellent; there would be in it a twofold or contradictory principle, which assumption contradicts itself, for in that case there would be no principle within it. The ego would consequently not exist, for it would abrogate itself. All contradictions are reconciled through the further determination of contradictory propositions. The ego must be posited in one sense as infinite, and in another as finite. Were it to be posited as infinite and finite in one and the same sense, the contradiction would be insoluble; the ego would not be one but two." - Hegel, Lectures on the History of Philosophy, Fichte For the Dualist interpretation, the finite common intellect and the infinite speculative reason are posited together in one and the same sense as they are together mediated by the hypostatic contradiction. Finite consciousness is posited in relation to infinite unconsciousness and vice versa, so that each is mediated with the other by one and the same hypostatic contradiction. Thus, in positing the finite non-Ego, the Ego is divided in two; into the conscious Ego and the unconscious non-Ego; even as it remains united only by the barest thread of the formally identity of contradictory opposites. The difference of Ego and non-Ego is united, not in the self-identity of Ego, but in the totally unconscious self-identity of the hypostatic contradiction of ideal self-posited thought. The unconscious formal self-identity of the hypostatic contradiction is absolutized according to this inherent duality. Fichte explains how the non-Ego groundless and unlimited absolutely opposes the Ego: According to our hypothesis the ego must now posit a non -ego absolutely, and without any ground, i.e. absolutely and without any ground it must limit or in part not posit itself. - Fichte, Grundlage der gesammten Wissenschaftslehre, pp. 233 Hegel concludes his criticism of the philosophy of Fichte by describing how any attempt to reconcile these contradictions, to affirm the thought of something rather than

nothing, is merely an infinite Kantian imperative, an 'ought', which may never resolve but only remain within the annihilating bounds of the contradiction: "If one occupies oneself only with this content, that form of subjectivity which is dominant with Fichte, and which remains in his opposition, disappears. As the ego is affirmative and determining, there now is in this determination a negative likewise present; I find myself determined and at the same time the ego is like itself, infinite, i.e. identical with itself. This is a contradiction which Fichte indeed endeavours to reconcile, but in spite of it all he leaves the false basis of dualism undisturbed. The ultimate, beyond which Fichte does not get, is only an 'ought,' which does not solve the contradiction; for while the ego should be absolutely at home with itself, i.e. free, it should at the same time be associated with another. To Fichte the demand for the solution of this contradiction thus adopts the attitude of being a demanded solution only, of signifying that I ever have to destroy the barriers, that I ever have to reach beyond the limitation into utter infinitude, and that I ever find a new limit; a continual alternation takes place between negation and affirmation, an identity with self which again falls into negation, and from this negation is ever again restored." Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Lectures on the History of Philosophy, Fichte Any purported resolution to the nothingness of the contradictions many amount to no more than merely a repetition of the same self-limiting opposition of conscious Ego and unconscious non-Ego, in a continual alternation between the positing of the identity and the negation of the Ego. Finally, any concept of the self-contradictory mind and the paradoxical Absolute must be a merely fictive phantasm; not as what is but only as what ought to be, and that which we are not yet no less will to become - the infinite ought-to-be of the virtuous heart: "... the fact that the ego in going forth at once finds its activity checked by a limitation, and returns once more into itself, brings about two opposite tendencies in me, between which I waver, and which I try to unite in the faculty of imagination." - Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Lectures on the History of Philosophy, Fichte Having shown that there to be no constitutive paradoxical Absolute, that either motivates or maintains this purported duality of consciousness or concepts, besides the infinite Fichtean positing of the reader's imagination, it must be clear that there can be no insurmountable obstacle to reading and understanding the philosophy of Hegel. Although Hegel was no doubt a clever writer, it can be little more than a viciously circular hermeneutic ruse to defend an interpretation by claiming esoteric insight into the philosophy of the master. The duality of esoteric and exoteric interpretations reiterates the Dualist interpretation's more general dualisms of finite common intellect

and infinite speculative reason. The insight into the self-annihilating nothingness of speculative reason is no better than the viciously circular hermeneutic of the esoteric Dualist interpretation. Hegel ridiculed all such speculation of esoterism when he lectured on the hermeneutics of the philosophy of Plato: "How nonsensical! This would appear as if the philosopher kept possession of his thoughts in the same way as of his external goods: the philosophic Idea is, however, something utterly different, and instead of being possessed by, it possesses a man. When philosophers discourse on philosophic subjects, they follow of necessity the course of their ideas; they cannot keep them in their pockets; and when one man speaks to another, if his words have any meaning at all, they must contain the idea present to him. It is easy enough to hand over an external possession, but the communication of ideas requires a certain skill; there is always something esoteric in this, something more than the merely exoteric. This difficulty is therefore trifling."Hegel, Lectures on the History of Philosophy, Plato The presentation of the philosophy of Hegel "follows of necessity the course" of the Absolute Idea from the humblest barren abstraction of sense-certainty and being to the majestic summit of Absolute Knowing. This necessity is the ladder of science that Hegel marvelously invokes in the Preface to The Phenomenology of Spirit (26). For the Dualist interpretation, the ladder of science is, contrary to the surface meaning of a vertical ascent, an exoteric red herring that is meant to conceal the esoteric importance of insight into the paradoxical absolute, which is the toppling of all essence, being, and knowledge into the absolute nothingness that nothings itself. The difference in how the antitheses are resolved has the further epistemological and ontological consequences that the Trinitarian interpretation is generative of richer truths and fuller realities, while the Dualist interpretation languishes in paradoxical identity which affirms only its own self-annihilating nothingness. Thus the Trinitarian Absolute is a self-surpassing infinite becoming while the Dualist Absolute is no more than a meontotheology which divinizes nothing as an absolute nihilism. Conclusion In Schelling's 1796 essay Of the Ego as a Principle for All Philosophy and the Unconditioned in Human Knowledge, Hegel's erstwhile colleague describes such an opposition between an absolute Ego and an absolute non-Ego: the absolute non-Ego is, not only not absolute and limited by its other, but also, and all the more damningly, a species of idealist Leibnizian or realist Spinozist dogmatism which simultaneously negates the very possibility of any theoretical and all practical reason:

"Insasmuch as the ego is the absolute ego, that which is not the ego can be determined only in contrast to the ego and presupposing the ego. Any non-ego posited absolutely, as if it were in no contrast to anything, is a contradiction in terms... The two extremes are dogmatism and criticism. The principle of dogmatism is a non-ego posited as antecedent to any ego; the principle of criticism, as ego posited as antecedent to all that is not the ego and as exclusive of any non-ego... dogmatism contradicts itself because it presupposes an unconditional thing-in-itself that is a thing that is not a thing." - F.J. Schelling, Of the I as the Principle of Philosophy, 4 Schelling affirms that the non-ego, which is other-than the ego, can only be apprehended in thought by first presupposing the ego, which is the positing of one's own self-conscious mind. To posit the non-ego absolutely, as an omnipresent unknowable thing-in-itself, would also be to posit the non-ego as logically prior to the ego. The non-ego would then logically condition the ego to posit the non-ego. The ego must know the truth as an unconditioned rather than a conditioned idea, just as the ego must will itself towards the good unconditionally free rather than condtionally enslaved to another. Dogmatism is the logical conditioning of the ego by the non-ego, which denies the unconditionality of the ego to know the truth and to freely will the good. Dogmatism is self-contradictory because, in denying the unconditionality of the ego, it both affirms and denies the logical pre-conditions of true theory and free practice. Schelling's criticism of dogmatism can be parceled into the traditional criticisms of skepticism and determinism: any absolute skepticism, which denies truth, also denies the truth of skepticism, and thereby self-contradictorily denies the very thing that it affirms; just as any determinism, which denies free will, also denies that the opinion of determinism is freely willed according to its truth, and thereby selfcontradictorily denies truth to be a necessary condition of opinion even as it affirms the truth of the opinion of determinism. Hence, dogmatism must be rejected as theoretically self-contradictory and practically self-defeating. The Janos-Faced Dualist interpretation of the philosophy of Hegel, in which conscious understanding is opposed to unconscious speculative reason, is simply the Fichtean opposition between the Ego and the non-Ego. When absolutized this Fichtean opposition becomes the no less gigantomachic clash of the absolute which we may know and absolute which we can never know; or, in the language of Schelling, the absolute Ego and the absolute non-Ego. Both the absolute Ego and non-Ego are limited by the mutual externality of the other so that neither may be truly absolute. The absolute ego and non-Ego mutually contradict one another without, however, annihilating one or the other. Rather, each opposed pole is retained in its contrary relation to the other. The mutual relationality of absolute Ego and non-Ego is the mediation of the contradiction. Contradiction is explosive nothingness, but is posited by

thought as something constitutive: the hypostatic contradiction. The hypostatic contradiction is the ancient Platonic idea of the soul, that moves itself by negating itself within itself. Speculative reason posits itself in-and-through the positing of the hypostatic contradiction. The Dualist interpretation reduces the Plato's World-Soul and Hegel's Weltgeist to the absolute positing the hypostatic contradiction, which is nothingness made something in and through thought. For the Dualist interpretation, the philosophy of Hegel reduces to the persistent self-positing of Fichtean subjective idealism. Fichteanism reduces to an infinite ought-to-be which never comes to be anything more than an unfulfilled expectation. The duality of mind and absolute results in a schizophrenia of Kantian and Hegelian logic which eviscerates the subject of consciousness, just as it absolutely negates the absolute object of the universe. Indeed, the absolutization of the hypostatic contradiction is the absolutization of nothingness: the mutual limiting of absolute Ego and non-Ego by one another within the paradoxical Absolute consigns both Ego and non-Ego to be subsumed within the infinitude of the nothingness of the contradiction which mediates and envelops both together. The infinity of self-cycling contradiction leads irreversibly down the event horizon of a logical black hole into a singularity of nothingness. Neither thought nor being may ever escape from the infinite cycle of its own self-posited damnation. The Janos-Faced Dualist interpretation necessarily implodes in upon itself in an absolute suicide of reason. Students of Hegel would be advised to remember Nietzsche's admonition "Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." (Beyond Good and Evil, Aphorism 146)