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Having identified limit and quantum in this at first sight unintelligible way Hegel specifies, as if ramming home this identification, that the limit, as the quantum, can be "in itself multiple", as "extensive magnitude". Less startlingly, the limit is, "as Intensive magnitude or Degree", "in itself simple determinateness (qualitative simplicity)." Extensive or Intensive magnitudes, as conceived here, apply only to specified or limited quantity, the "how much" (quantum), whereas Quantity itself may be viewed as having both Continuous and Discrete magnitude. In either case we have not to do with two differing species of a more general reality but with two reciprocal aspects of the latter. It comes out here, more than ever, how "Quantity", and the same will apply to "Degree", names, qua category, a specific moment in the dialectical march to the Absolute Idea, in turn determining this moment, and nothing else. Although this might apply to any doctrine of categories it is more strictly true of Hegel's than of either Aristotle's or Kant's, as being categories of predication and of phenomenal mind respectively. Quantity is the extreme or last result of Quality as such, but also only as this category too was here defined. This applies all the way back to the immediate Beginning which began the dialectic and which was only called Being, as Becoming was only called Becoming, whatever we say of Nothing and, for example, why it was not rather called non-Being. The dialectic does not merely pick or take up its stages as, so to say, previously named. Naming and extensional linguistic explanation (also of a certain intensive "magnitude" of course) are rather used here as ways for communicating the prior reality of Thought or Reason, logos. Hence this study, this communication, is Logic. If correct, therefore, it represents a huge advance in philosophical method, though even this term, qua term, must be regarded as analogically taken from the workaday world of established practices. As speculative Hegel will identify such method with the Absolute Idea itself, at least as "the specific consciousness", which the Idea has in thinking itself, "of the value and currency of the 'moments' in its development." The "Method of this content" will be, as it were finally, all "that at this stage is left as form for the idea" (237). It is analogical as referring first to the concrete process, or rather action, of thinking (ideating*?) the Idea and not to the chapter and verse of the various texts (at least two) setting forth or, rather, recording, like fossils in a rock, such a life. This is the mystery of reading, or, a fortiori, of writing. It lies behind a question once asked by Aquinas, "Can one man or woman teach another?" He answers that teaching is activating the other's own intellect (making the flame leap, said Plato) as the physician only "heals" by getting the other's nature to heal itself. Ultimately, as implicit ground for this possibility, self and other are the same and what is done to one is done to all (the essential misery of murder). As Thought the dialectic has a stake in thus transcending language. Hegel deals with this, though without the exclusive emphasis of a more partial or technical "linguistics", in his Philosophy of Spirit, under the more general rubric of a theory of signs, of semiotic.1 So here, under Quantity2, quantity is dealt with not in abstraction from but in disregard of mathematics, as a more pure a priori. One can say this despite the hundred or so pages of disquisition upon mathematical themes in Hegel's The Science of Logic and even though Number itself, as with Pythagoras, has here presented itself as a genuine category. From this
Cf. Derrida, op. cit. By using initial capitals I attempt to keep the category-name distinct from the more general term, begging the reader's indulgence where, I fear, I may fail to keep to this rule.
viewpoint one cannot even be sure antecedently that mathematicians, as such, concern themselves with Number itself. Thus in attempting this Frege, the mathematician, became a self-reflective philosopher in actu while, conversely, it is still not clear whether extensional "mathematical logic" is indeed logic. Its famous "great strides" may rather argue the opposite, a striding away, a reduction of everything to "Extensive magnitudes" in search of a "convenience" better served by not thinking at all, as Hegel remarks (103, Zus.).3 It is rather the other way round. What first confronts us is the unitary or continuous magnitude, though in the first place, as Hegel (along with Spinoza) emphasises, this refers primarily to the whole. By analogy or, rather, metonymy with this we single out or "break off" other wholes. Analytic "discretion", to pun in irony, the discrete, comes later and to thus break something (a quantum) off is a tool, a praxis4, which often or always harms or distorts what it works with, as, ex hypothesi, does the observer of "quanta" (no punning intended) in contemporary physics. For he is himself an analysis or abstracted aspect (thus by no means a fragment) and not the whole which "counts itself".5 Quantity, again, is only contingently connected (not to say "related") to our "normal" more mathematical notion of it. Quantity first appeared, in fact, as the quality not which changes but which occurs to or is instanced in but without affecting "the being itself", to which it is "external". Nonetheless, "the Absolute is pure Quantity" (99), which however Hegel relates to the "definition" of it as Matter.6 The material realm, namely, is that where things are outside of or alienated from one another, partes extra partes, precisely the situation the "analytical method" tries to bring about in regard to thoughts. Thus Quantity as a "stage of the Idea" refers more to negation than to externality. The latter is mere picture. Thus intensive magnitude permits the notion "more of the same", i.e. without being different, more without becoming several, mehr that is not mehreres. Greek science worked in general with opposites and their relative proportions, like hot and cold, dry and wet. Even in Aristotle's ethics there is not much room for growth in virtue, though he has of course the notion of habit. However it only becomes a virtue at all when it is thus "had", as hexis, habitus, the "having" of it which it is, in perfection! You either have it or you don't. But contrast growth in spirit or in wisdom, in "grace"? Here intensive magnitude, more of the same without being different and in that sense an external quality, is needed. In the sense that the Absolute is pure quantity we cannot but be referred to the dialectic as Hegel's attempt to get behind the ultimately sham discreteness of language, the "broken off" spaces between words, to the continuum as reflected in the being of finite things. Such being is identical with just their specific finitude, their degree on a scale, the limit, the finite intensity (of "magnitude") appropriate to each thing (its "measure", we will see later). In this sense qualitative changes, for example (change is not essential to this picture), are at bottom quantitative, as water gets more and more cold to become ice. Or as, in Christian theology, the
In support of these suggestions (not meant as mere insinuations) I cite the work on logic of a late friend and mentor, Henry B. Veatch, especially his Intentional Logic of 1952. For exposure of the misapprehension etc. evidenced in reviews of and comments upon this work see my Philosophy or Dialectic, Peter Lang, Frankfurt, 1995, I, 5 (pp. 61-70). 4 Cf. 104: "Not only therefore may the quantum be increased or diminished without end: the very notion of quantum is thus to push out and out beyond itself." Thus Hegel overcomes the restrictive Kantian (or Lockean) conceptualism by maximising it, in true dialectical fashion. All possible conceptions, like all the possible worlds of modern physics, are stabs at the final result, moments of the method. This is not of course to say that all conceptions are possible. 5 A conception broached in V, q.v. 6 Hegel writes "when it is defined to be" (if I can rely on the translation) and that is exactly right, given Hegel's account of ideal reality. Here definition becomes a more open or less exclusive variety of identification than we usually intend with this latter term. The Absolute may and has to be thus identified with any and every category "in passing", as it were. Here Hegel, having recast definition, rescues identity from "the Philosophy of Identity" (cf. 103, Zus., last paragraph).
Devil is not God's opposite but a kind of final minimum of good. He is good as a created spirit. This conception implicitly rejects the idea that "moral" and "physical" good are equivocal varieties of the latter. The Kantian "good will" is, malgré Kant, good as is a given bottle of beer, viz. good in its kind, though, we may agree, of more practical and indeed ontic importance. Here, however, if we are moving towards an ontology of pure spirit or spirits, partially heralded by Kant's two spheres (and Manicheism everywhere), the picture, though not perhaps the meanings of words, changes. We may compare Hegel's distinction between truth and correctness. Nonetheless if we said it is true that the cat is on the mat we would say the same, by "true", as if we said "It is true that God exists". Here too Hegel's distinction between saying and meaning must hold, in so to say the opposite direction to his when speaking of "I", where we say the universal of universals, though meaning (trying to mean), impossibly, "this individual". "I cannot say what I merely mean" (20). In this sense, equally, a man can always become worse, "piling sin on sin" (Aquinas), and contrariwise. The Absolute here is Quantity itself, along with, in final identity, goodness, but not evil as antithesis or second member of a putative triad. The antithesis is always finite, as even Nothing denies Being before itself being anything.7 But the movement is after all similar to that of Aquinas's Fourth ("Platonic") Way to God, miscalled proof, reasoning from the more or less "external" to absolute and hence mutually identical qualities as such. So we have quantity, matter, degree. Hegel cannot but have had in mind the Augustinian catch-phrase, culled from the Psalter and handed down (traditum) further by Leibniz, that God created all things "in" number, weight and measure. Still, the notion of matter suggested at 99 has little to do with weight (pondus) and more with "substrate", hypokeimenon in Greek philosophy, introduced with or without need in the earlier The Science of Logic. This materia prima or pure potentiality easily switches over, in materialism, to absolute power, an intrinsic dialectical relation more than it is a misunderstanding merely, as some would loftily maintain. So we have indeed "nullified" quality. As regards Atomism, Hegel distinguishes sharply a philosophical (dialectical) moment of that name, first appearing in antiquity, from the corresponding reductionist or extensionalist temptation in a later physics. Here the crucial reciprocity of repulsion and attraction is discarded or simply missed. Instead, a new autonomous or natural "attractive force" is "put beside" Repulsion. Hegel finds this "confusion" also in Kant. He relates it to the political notion of a group of existing "atomic" individuals willing to form a compact as State. We are rather attracted to one another, however, to the point of compenetration, inasmuch as we repel one another, "One and many ones" (98). Again one notes the kinship with a later, post-Nietzschean psychology, without it being a matter of "reading in". Rather, to read just is to read in, as Hegel himself amply demonstrates, in his reading of ancient Atomism, for example. The "mutual implication of the two" has to be "wrested from obscurity and confusion". The "Many are one the same as another" so that Repulsion "is just as essentially a connective reference", the Void being a mere picture for "the Nothing" which separates, i.e. does not separate them, since it is nothing. The One, it is implied, is wrongly "fixed as one". One is rather or as well "Being-forself in the shape of the Many" and not only in Atomism. Thus the Infinite, the Idea, is necessarily differentiated or, which is the same, "in its own absolute truth it resolves to let the 'moment' of its particularity", as "immediate idea", "go forth as Nature".8
One might think, all the same, that Hegel, in his first triad, posits purely abstract being as "no better than" (the Buddhistic) nothing, as if he might as well have begun with Nothing instead. This speculation, however, I at least suspect will not go through. Such a nothing would be something, if not yet an Etwas or "somewhat". We would anyhow, whatever ontic prejudices are implied in our language, never be warranted in reality in passing from nothing to being. What reality? If "nothing" is a name for not anything it is not a name for any thing. It is not a name, as its use thus absolutely pretends of it. The "nothing of the Buddhists" is unavoidably a something else, as they go on to describe.
Thus the whole Logic itself, as one of three "parts" (of the written "work"), is an "external 'reflection'" of the Idea which, as Nature, is itself "percipient" (counting, as we said), "Intuition" (as in in-tueor, a looking inwards). "The outside is the inside", "the inside is the outside", since "External", we said, is a picture merely. But in so far as it "goes forth" (another picture) the Idea must return, as the Spirit which it is. Nous, as Order itself or itself Order, sets or "has set all things in order" (Anaxagoras). The perfect tense here, signifying accomplishment or per-fection, is more perfect than the present. Nature, that is, is truly viewed as "the thoughts", the Thought, "of one Mind", of "first and last". Does "the truth of poetry" (Wordsworth, The Prelude), the highest art in Hegel's view, despite the special affinity of music with the dialectic, reach further even than a philosophy still "externalised" in discrete analysis? This appears to have been Heidegger's final view. Hegel too though has a "style", an aesthetic character or form inseparable from the content of Thought. It is a "style of thought", as we say, a style, that is, elevated beyond a mere gustus, as Beauty is finally claimed as, along with unity, being, truth and goodness, one of the "transcendental predicates" of old. It is in this sense, too, that Hegel finds Christianity, say, to be its own argument, apologetic endeavours a misunderstanding, a failure to understand the "He is risen" or the previous "emptying" (kenosis).9 Style as it were silences argument, refuting refutation, confirming anew that everything finite, every predication, is false. In saying so, therefore, one implicitly invites to the notional, which in reality cannot be thus "prefaced", a favourite theme of Hegel's. Thus "atoms, molecules and the like", as here considered, whether by Hegel or by his later readers, are "beyond the range of sensuous perception" where "each thing is itself and not another thing" in "externalisation". In our day even the physicists seem to be preparing to view this "empiricist" mode of perception as abstractionist and even to fuse the actual and the possible in a kind of mirror-version of Hegel's "Doctrine of the Notion". Conversely, we noted, Hegel's text can recall or evoke Freud's case-histories and dream-interpretations, full as they are of transferences and projections, of having to mean the opposite, and thereby revealing it, of what one tries to say or "mean" (20) or dream. "If there are composites there must be simples." These atoms then, as postulated in philosophy, are not the product merely of "abstract understanding which stereotypes the factor of multeity involved in the notion of Being-for-self" and which Hegel calls Quantity (103, Zus.) or, rather, Quantum. This "multeity" is not to be taken as "an ultimate principle", as it seemed to Hegel the physicists were doing, though none of them had "seen" an atom, without being justified in such Procrustean "extensionalism". As we said, it is rather the continuous magnitude which first confronts us, the dawn of abstraction being surely a catastrophe or "fall" for primitive man, even though "essentially a thinker" (50, cp. 24 Zus.). For Rudolf Steiner "primitive" man must have been possessed of clairvoyance, which is as much as to indicate that thinking does not consist in abstraction or, as we expressed an associated point above, that reality "counts" its own quanta. A very thin line, abstractly geometrical indeed, separates such "counting", the "reason in the world, from our own".10
Robert Wallace, op. cit. 6, 244, points out here how a resolve, Entschluss, must be for Hegel, as literally unclosing (de-closing, not yet English "disclosing"), the opposite of eingeschlossen, en-closed "within pure thought". 9 Cp. the section on religion, i.e. not that on the "unhappy consciousness", in The Phenomenology of Mind. 10 "Intelligent design" must mean, therefore, our own, un-conscious or alienated mind which has, so to say, to come to itself again in knowledge. Science, that is, is not just "theory-laden". It is theoria. My theory is my seeing is what I see. I see myself as evolving. I have not evolved to the point of being able to see, with "objectivity", that I have evolved, with time and a host of other finite entities thrown in, all of which is contradictory. The contradiction, as dialectical, is precisely that of the Object giving way, in consequence, to the Idea. The world again, and my thoughts, are also in this sense the thoughts of one mind. Thus the animals and plants are but myself projected. Myself and God, said Newman. But obviously they are one. That is the only possible way to take this "and", at least where a total universe is being supposed, as here ("two beings", says
We are only considering Quantity as a necessary stage, "a grade in the process of selfdetermining thought" (104). It is alone as self-determining, by thought, by reason, that every such grade is necessary, indifferently. It is only thus that increase and diminishment are necessarily thought and thought as necessary, even though such thought is capable of dismissing all empirical change, along with Time, as illusion and contradiction. Thought, too, for its part will pass beyond and annul itself as cognition and will are identified but such final truth only results from "necessary" consideration and hence positing of quantity and each successive category indifferently. Das unzulängliche ist getan, it is there in order to be negated. This, in religion, is "glory ", as light is essentially the overcoming of the dark, the non-light. Light indeed, Hegel will say, is the first ideality in Nature. So here quantum is "explicitly put", its concept (104). This occurs solely in relation, as a relation, to all other quanta and with such reciprocity that this notion quantum, as consideration of Degree now reveals, is overthrown or dismantled in its very positing. It is "an immediacy which immediately veers round into… mediation (the passing beyond and over the quantum just laid down) and", for that matter, "vice versa". With this "quantitative infinite progression" we might seem to have simply returned to the wrong, "negative infinity" of 94. By no means, even though this present notion of or in Quantity will also be superseded. Qualitative has yielded to quantitative infinity, still within the "Doctrine of Being". As regards a putative advance, however, Hegel claims that Degree, the particular limit considered generally, is intensive magnitude, whereas in (discrete) extension the question of its infinity, or in this case finitude, is separate. It might seem we cannot regard the distinguishing difference as much more than stipulative. The limit of a quantum makes it what it is. Your body temperature, as 39 centigrade (what it is) is limited to that much below 40, or some other critical point ("node") in the case of a truly specifying magnitude. At paragraph 103 the limit, "as in itself multiple" (or divisible), however, is equally identified with the extensive magnitude, of a quantum. This limit, which is quantum's character or "mode", as essence limits being (esse) in earlier blueprints of the system (of philosophy), "lies quite outside it in other magnitudes". That is, we are no longer speaking of quantity as such (as "explicitly put") but of quantum as such, and hence of quanta taken distributively (any and every). There is a universal reciprocity, therefore (and henceforth: the Reciprocity is not explicitly introduced as category, "explicitly put", until after Causality near the end of the Doctrine of Essence). All the same it is Intensive magnitude, not Extensive, which is identified with the new category of Degree (103), as "simple determinateness" (as we had passed earlier from Becoming to Determinate Being). Independent limit is absolute externality. My body temperature is intrinsically a relation to just anything else, such as the temperature of the sun or just any material particle near the centre of the earth somewhere or, why not, a particular state of mind or even Spirit as a whole. In fact, however, the Notion, Spirit, destroys any idea of whole as essentially composite. The things supposed related just are the relations, which is to say that they are not relations either, not things, not a plurality and so not "one" either. This is to think in and with "the Notion" as the latter's realising itself (160). Similarly, at a "lower" level presumed "part" (of the "whole" notion) but thus shown to annihilate all concept of part, Number is "thought in its complete self-externalisation" (104, my stress). So "the very notion of quantum is thus to push out and beyond itself", like the "Christian soldiers" of the Salvation Army (a quantum, surely) hymn, "Onward Christian Soldiers". Quantum, that is, apprehends itself as set towards an infinite progression. This, however, is at the level of Quantity itself still imperfectly or wrongly conceived. Thus it is
Newman). Nothing is more the creature of analysis than the gene. "If there are composites there must be simples." Thus too we beget one another, "members one of another".
that any real quantum will fulfil all the requirements of the Notion. Thus this truth, about any "possible world", even itself an a priori truth (the dialectic reveals) is the foundation for the remorseless march of the dialectic, of Logic,11 that is to say, towards its Result and indeed End. Thus even as logica docens logic, though transcending logica utens, remains a praxis, an art, the "highest praxis" which is Thought, theoria as, say, ethically viewed by Aristotle or Augustine. In speaking of "(Onward) Christian soldiers" above we refer principally to a "moment" through which world cultural history necessarily passed. In accordance with the requirements of the Notion, however, what is maybe post-Christian thus taken will equally be all the more Christian, not destroyed but more and more fulfilled, in history, like Quantity in the dialectic or, admittedly, like anything else. There is, therefore, "a contradiction which attaches to the quantum", as to all the categories this side of Infinity, solutio omnium quaestionum, "both generally and… as degree". This, again, just is the Infinite Quantitative Progression decried, and12 descried, by Zeno. The self-externalisation mentioned is the quantum's, any quantum's, Number's quality. Quantum is a Being-for-self, therefore. As such ("explicitly put") the Quantum, which Quantity essentially is (101), is, in turn, "the Quantitative Ratio, writes Hegel (105). This is both "an immediate quantum", "in its Exponent", e.g. 2 in the ratio 3:6, 7:14 etc., and "also mediation, viz. the reference of some one quantum to another". This only explains why ratio specifically is identified with Quantum, as if uniquely, if Ratio is taken as naming relation in infinite reciprocity as just explained, hence philosophically "justifying" the etymological coinciding of the arithmetical notion with Reason by a real identification and/or identity. There can, for that matter, be a ratio between more than two numbers where governed by one exponent, e.g. 2:4:8. Thus Ratio is also or becomes the principle of Series, a notion more fully explored by McTaggart, first as explaining away Time, in particular (A-series, B-series), then as transcending it (C-series, D-series). We are not here talking mathematics, we are talking (Hegelian) Quantity and, thereby, reality manifested as sophia, God help us. The value of the quanta thus "expounded", exponentially so to say, "is only in this relation", a situation which when generalised will destroy or "cancel" the category, at least with a small c, of relation itself. Quantity thus "returns to itself" in this progression. Its quality lies just in this Externality, the "continual extrusion of number beyond itself" (my stress). Number "is determined by number", so is, again, self-determining number, is quantity, quantum, ratio (Reason), freedom. Freedom is non-finite or unbounded necessity, the necessity which just is Reason. Hence "the quantitative itself in its externality is relation to self", as is, equivalently, quality, to which quantity is here, in thought, returned, after first seeming to "abrogate" quality and even Being. What, one might thus ask, has number to do with "existence"? Here though, in quantity, what can be altered yet remains the same, e.g. the same house or quality. There is an inherent contradiction, to be resolved, "for the time being", in Measure or "qualitative quantity" (sic 106, Zus.). "The two sides of the ratio are still immediate quanta" (106). In the ratio the one side is measured by the other side, with the Exponent as determining result (!). This exponential and indeed Pythagorean number can be seen (though not as exhausting metaphysical resource) as the measure and, that is to say, quality of anything whatever. We will though stop short of saying, will refuse to say, that "justice is the number four", an assertion compared by Peter Geach, in his book on McTaggart, with saying that thoughts are brain processes, which he
Use of the capital L here might raise a question whether such Logic is not itself a category of the dialectic, of Thought finally disclosed as Spirit or Absolute Mind, itself led up to in an analogous way by Art and Religion. When we enquire about Mind we think first of logic and then, it may be, of nature and so on to the absolute. Or, as asking after activity of Spirit, we might think first of art, then of religion and on to thought as thinking itself (philosophy, absolute self-knowledge). 12 As in Lockean vistas of "primary and secondary qualities".
wishes to reduce to the absurd. Many, however, do not stop short of saying just this, as Hegel here does not refuse to identify with Pythagoras. "The Notion is pure play", on account, that is, of its utter seriousness. It is the Serious (well, we have been speaking of series).
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