Horizons
of
Identity:

An
Investigation
into
the
Nature
of
the
Self







 Horizons
of
Identity
 An
Investigation
into
the
Nature
of
the
Self
 
 ©
2011
ANDREW
GLYNN
 


1


The
following
is
an
exercise
in
testing
a
set
of
assumptions
about
reality,
the
self,
and
the
self
as
reality.

 The
assumptions
in
question
will
first
be
laid
out
as
clearly
as
possible.

Once
this
is
accomplished
to
a
 reasonable
degree
the
work
will
endeavor
to
put
the
assumptions
to
test
within
thinking
itself.





 Preview:

The
Set
of
Assumptions
 The
Self
as
System


 1. The
Nature
of
Systems


 The
Self
is,
like
other
experiential
‘things’,
essentially
a
systemic
organization.

It
is
through
system
that
 beings
achieve
a
more
or
less
enduring
stability
and
in
such
enduring
can
be
said
to
‘be’.

Other
than
 technically
‘created’
systems
that
are
intentionally
organized
by
an
external
entity,
systems
arise
 through
self‐organization
and
emergence.

The
question
of
the
ground
of
self‐organization
and
 emergence
is
fundamentally
the
same
question
as
the
question
of
‘why
there
are
essents
at
all
rather
 than
nothing’.

Without
self‐organization
and
emergence
resulting
in
systems,
there
would
be
nothing
 that
could
endure
sufficiently
to
be
said
to
‘be’
in
any
meaningful
sense.

Those
systems
that
are
 organized
by
an
external
entity
are
dependent
at
second
hand
on
the
self‐organization
of
the
entity
 responsible.
 Systems
are,
for
the
most
part,
determinate
organizations
of
other
systems
at
a
lower
scale.

There
is
no
 intrinsic
difference
between
a
system
and
a
‘subsystem’
other
than
the
scale
perspective
one
chooses
to
 view
as
cogent.

Systems
can
be
said
to
be
subsystems
in
a
second
sense,
in
that
their
ability
to
endure
is
 dependent
on
the
higher
scale
systems
in
which
they
take
part.

A
system
is
not
merely
a
set
of
systems
 however,
which
could
be
any
arbitrary
collection,
but
is
functional
in
a
determinate
manner.

Precisely
 what
is
meant
by
‘functional’
will
be
explored
further
below,
but
a
short
definition
is
that
determinate
 potentials
can
be
disinhibited
and
thereby
actualized
by
specific
events.
 Systems
can
be
simple
or
complex,
closed
or
open,
deterministic
in
a
linear
manner,
a
logarithmic,
 exponential
or
manner,
or
a
chaotic
manner,
a
random
manner,
or
completely
nondeterministic.

While
 there
is
a
physical
substrate
at
some
scale
to
every
system,
there
may
be
layers
of
scale
at
which
the


2


Horizons
of
Identity:

An
Investigation
into
the
Nature
of
the
Self


entirety
of
the
system
is
made
up
of
nonphysical
emergent
features
of
smaller
scale
physical
systems.

In
 these
cases
the
emergent
systems
can
themselves
produce
emergent
features
that
organize
into
further
 systemic
layers.

Recursion
and
reflexivity
can
explode
the
complexity
of
such
a
layered
system
as
one
 assesses
it
at
ever
higher
layers
of
emergence.

Emergent
systems
can
be
nondeterministic
even
when
 the
physical
substrate
itself
is
deterministic.
 Causality
does
not
function
in
the
same
manner
from
a
lower
to
a
higher
scale
as
it
does
from
a
higher
 to
a
lower,
in
that
determinations
from
a
higher
scale
can
directly
determine
the
behavior
of
a
lower
 scale
system,
but
lower
scale
systems’
effects
on
system
in
which
they
take
part
is
fundamentally
 unpredictable.


 Every
system
is,
in
the
foundational
sense,
a
‘real’.

Together
the
sum
of
extant
finite
systems
do
not
 result
in
a
“reality
as
a
whole”.

Instead
individual
realities
cross,
overlay
and
merge
with
each
other
in
a
 dynamic
manner.

To
conceptualize
this
dynamic
reality
in
a
static
way,
reality
is
analogous
to
a
subway
 system
made
up
of
an
unknown
number
of
different
intersecting
subway
lines
that
are
themselves
 always
changing,
being
extended,
being
shortened,
switched
to
different
directions.

No
single
station
 has
access
to
more
than
a
few
lines
and
the
stations
themselves
are
built
and
demolished
on
a
constant
 basis.

There
is
no
way
to
exit
the
subway.

Individual
realities
may
be
in
a
station,
or
at
any
point
on
any
 train
on
any
line,
and
the
reality
they
can
be
aware
of
is
dependent
on
their
spatial
and
temporal
 perspective.

The
system,
as
well,
is
so
large
that
any
individual
within
their
lifespan
cannot
traverse
it.

 Although
multiple
individuals
share
much
of
what
is
perceived,
no
two
individuals
can
have
precisely
the
 same
perspective.

The
further
apart
any
two
given
individuals
are,
as
well,
the
more
distinct
their
views
 of
reality
will
be.




Horizons
of
Identity:

An
Investigation
into
the
Nature
of
the
Self







 


3


2. The
System
of
Self


 The
peculiarity
of
the
system
we
call
the
Self,
is
that
it
is
a
real
that
is
aware,
and
aware
in
a
particular
 manner.

At
a
certain
level
and
type
of
organization
a
system
can
become
aware
in
multiple
ways
that
 are
dependent
on
the
awareness
of
lower
scale
systems.

The
initial
stage
of
awareness
could
be
 referred
to
as
sensation.

The
awareness
of
sensation
is
aware,
but
not
of
any
‘thing’
in
particular,
or
 even
of
anything
in
general,
it
is
simply
affected
in
a
reflexive
way
by
its
environment.

Sensation
as
such
 is
effectively
only
reactive.

Perception
is
an
awareness
that
is
directed
in
terms
of
what
it
becomes
 aware
of.

Conscious
awareness
is
the
first
level
of
awareness
that
is
aware
of
reality.

However
it
does
 not
yet
determine
that
reality
is
reality.

Self‐consciousness
is
aware
of
itself
and
reality,
and
determines
 reality
phenomenally
as
the
not
self,
as
everything
it
experiences
that
is
over
against
itself.

Knowing
 what
the
self
is
aware
of
is
first
possible
at
the
level
of
self‐conscious
awareness.


Self‐consciousness
 can
become
reflexive
in
a
specific
manner,
such
that
consciousness
itself
is
aware
of
the
process
of
self
 consciousness
and
can
observe
its
own
self‐consciousness
at
work.

The
result
is
what
we
see
as
the
 ‘adult’
self,
capable
of
ethical
determination,
theoretical
contemplation
and
conceptualization.


The
 reflexively
self‐conscious
real
is
the
origin
of
the
abstract
conception
of
a
split
between
‘subjective’
and
 ‘objective’
knowing,
an
abstraction
that
inherently
contradicts
itself.

Consciousness,
or
the
‘subject’,
is
 simultaneously
an
‘object’
for
that
subject.

This
contradiction
is
the
origin
of
the
possibility
of
the
 alienation
of
the
self
from
itself.

The
knowing
of
self
consciousness
(the
childlike
or
mythological
self)
 and
reflexive
self
consciousness
(the
adult
self)
is
relational
in
the
sense
that
it
is
the
knowing
of
reality
 in
relation
to
the
self
which
is
distinct
from
reality,
although
in
the
latter
case
it
is
also
part
of
the
reality
 it
distinguishes
itself
from.


 The
Self
is
also,
by
and
large,
a
shared
self.

Although
in
each
case
it
is
individually
‘mine’,
arising
as
it
 does
through
initiation
into
society,
at
the
outset
it
is
completely
determined
by
that
society.

 Individuation
initially
proceeds
by
negation;
aspects
of
the
societal
self
are
rejected
during
adolescence,
 creating
the
‘private’
self.

Individuation
may
be
more
or
less
extensive,
but
it
is
from
whatever
level
of
 individuation
that
in
fact
is
achieved
by
negation
that
positive
projections
of
the
self
one
may
become
 are
made.

These
projections
are
themselves
always
projections
of
a
repetition
of
a
particular
possibility,
 but
as
they
are
enacted
in
new
circumstances
the
repetition
never
results
in
the
identical
actualization.

 The
most
common
type
of
individuation
is
individuation
through
the
choice
of
a
particular
societal
role
–
 for
the
most
part
individuals
are
what
they
do,
and
individuate
very
little
beyond
that.

Hence
the
 commonplace
that
the
first
question
asked
upon
meeting
somebody
is
to
do
with
their
job,
their
chosen
 (to
a
greater
or
lesser
degree)
role
in
society.

From
that
knowledge,
combined
with
knowledge
of
the
 individual’s
particular
societal
background,
particulars
about
a
given
person
can
be
assumed,
and
their
 more
particular
individuations
perceived
rapidly
by
virtue
of
the
difference
between
the
presumed
and
 actual
individual
behavior.
 


4


Horizons
of
Identity:

An
Investigation
into
the
Nature
of
the
Self



 3. The
Self
and
the
Subject


 The
Self,
as
it
becomes
aware
of
itself,
is
always
aware
of
itself
as
it
is
in
a
particular
situation.

A
 moment
becomes
situational
when
the
understanding
one
has
is
forced
to
change
due
to
an
evental
 eruption
in
the
world
of
one’s
experience.

The
experience
of
conflict
between
the
realities
an
event
 demonstrates
as
real
and
one’s
prior
understanding
is
the
origin
of
the
awareness
of
oneself
as
a
self.

 One
notices
oneself
as
other
in
a
temporal
sense,
other
to
a
Self
that
has
changed
in
consonance
with
its
 world,
at
the
very
moment
of
such
a
change.

In
response
to
evental
change,
the
self
invents
the
I‐ subject
in
order
to
assess
the
situation
and
come
to
a
decision.


 The
I‐subject,
far
from
being
the
self
in
its
actuality,
is
invental,
arising
in
response
to
the
evental
nature
 of
a
situation.

It
is
a
radical
simplification
of
the
self,
one
that
can
assess
a
situation
using
only
a
few
 apparently
cogent
particulars,
and
come
to
a
timely
decision.

We
experience
its
invention
in
the
“step
 back”
out
of
our
engrossment
in
whatever
we
are
involved
with
and
detachment
to
an
observational
 stance.

Since
we
do
this
when
theorizing
as
well
as
when
required
to
make
ethical
decisions,
psychology
 has
for
millennia
mistaken
this
derivative
mode
as
being
the
usual
mode
of
the
self,
when
it
is
simply
the
 usual
mode
of
the
self
when
psychologizing.
 While
the
moment
of
self‐identification
arises
from
a
sense
of
otherness
to
oneself,
the
factical
manner
 of
self‐description
arises
out
of
one’s
sense
of
otherness
to
a
factical
other
or
others,
within
the
 individual
and
as
a
group.

Individuation
to
a
unique
self,
beyond
individuation
to
the
self
as
part
of
a
 distinct
group,
or
further
individuation
as
a
result
of
accidental
personal
privilege,
is
essentially
feudal
in
 origin.
Within
the
feudal
system,
for
the
first
time,
the
elite
class
achieves
a
positive
factical
freedom
in
 relation
to
the
land
they
own
but
do
not
have
to
work,
while
the
serf
simultaneously
experiences
a
 negative
factical
freedom
in
the
lack
of
ownership
of
the
land
he
works.

In
both
cases
this
factical
 freedom,
initially
expressed
through
a
struggle
for
ownership,
provides
the
opportunity
for
an
 ownership
of
the
self
fundamentally
inaccessible
to
the
citizen
or
slave
of
the
ancient
period.

In
the
very
 sense
of
the
sameness
in
difference
between
the
master
and
serf,
the
awareness
of
a
common
 humanity
that
did
not
unite
the
citizen
and
slave
and
therefore
a
common
right
to
own,
the
notion
of
 the
individual
as
distinct
from
the
social
self
arises.
The
alienation
of
the
self,
although
it
is
taken
much
 further
within
post
feudal
capitalist
society,
is
the
a
priori
for
the
ability
to
properly
take
ownership
of
 that
self.
 


Horizons
of
Identity:

An
Investigation
into
the
Nature
of
the
Self






5



 4. Predispositions
and
the
Disposedness
of
the
Self


 The
self
is
also
always
experienced
as
a
limit,
specifically
the
limit
of
the
situation,
which
is
also
always
 therefore
a
limit
situation.

The
situation
is
experienced
primordially
in
a
material
fashion,
which
 requires
that
the
self
be
disposed
to
reality,
that
the
self
submit
to
reality
such
that
specific
realities
can
 matter
to
the
self.
 That
things,
events,
persons
can
matter
to
the
self
implies
that
the
self
is
predisposed
to
concern.

Each
 self
has
specific
predispositions,
in
fact,
to
be
concerned
with
specific
realities.

One’s
predispositions
act
 as
the
limit
of
one’s
submission
to
reality;
one
can
only
be
disposed
to
submit
to
specific
aspects
of
 reality
and
allow
them
to
matter,
to
engage
one’s
concern
and
disinhibit
actualization
of
one’s
 determinate
potentials.


 Predispositions
can
be
modified,
to
a
greater
or
lesser
degree
in
different
individuals,
by
the
individual’s
 own
will,
and
it
is
in
this
way
that
freedom
of
the
will,
and
therefore
the
individual,
is
a
potential
of
the
 self.


Subsystems
of
the
self
that
themselves
have
no
awareness,
and
certainly
no
self‐awareness,
act
in
 accordance
with
the
self’s
will.

This
is
achieved
by
the
higher
layers
of
the
system
self‐producing
the
 events
that
disinhibit
the
actualization
of
the
simpler
systems’
determinate
potentials
in
a
specific
way.

 In
this
manner
the
will
can
disinhibit
the
movement
of
the
leg
muscles
in
such
a
way
as
to
initiate
 walking,
or
kicking
a
football.


At
a
much
higher
level,
by
modifying
the
aspects
of
reality
that
one
is
 disposed
to
let
matter,
one
can
to
a
degree
control
what
one
is
concerned
with.


The
highest
levels
of
 the
system
of
self
are
capable
of
modifying
even
what
the
self
is
aware
of,
intensifying
the
control
one
 has
over
one’s
concerns.

A
simple
example
of
this
is
in
the
act
of
forgetting.

As
has
been
observed
by
 many
people
remembering
is
passive,
forgetting
is
active.

The
self
forgets
in
order
to
not
be
concerned
 with
something,
to
have
it
no
longer
matter
in
the
way
it
would
were
it
to
continue
to
be
remembered.
 The
material
nature
of
awareness
and
concern
results
in
an
awareness
that
is
fundamentally
oriented
to
 what
is
pragmatic
to
the
self.

Even
curiosity,
which
busies
itself
with
apparently
‘useless’
activity,
is
only
 aware
of
those
things
that
are
pragmatic
for
relieving
the
burden
of
boredom.


 


6


Horizons
of
Identity:

An
Investigation
into
the
Nature
of
the
Self


5.
Things
as
Systems

In
viewing
things
as
things,
and
even
more
so
in
the
reduction
of
things
to
objects,
the
inherent
 dynamism
in
anything
that
can
properly
be
said
to
be
is
lost.

The
naïve
materialism
of
substance
falls
 apart
even
within
physics,
the
science
that
initially
most
promoted
it,
since
the
most
basic
particles
are
 immaterial.

These
base
particles
can
only
endure
in
any
meaningful
way
when
they
form
a
system
–
 otherwise
they
simply
appear
and
disappear
in
a
random
way.
What
we
know
as
“evolution”
is
a
 particular
case
of
a
general
tendency
of
systems
to
self‐organize
and
self‐optimize,
a
tendency
that
is
 itself
impossible
to
ground.

The
question
“why
do
systems
self‐organize?”
is
functionally
equivalent
to
 “why
is
there
anything
and
not
nothing?”

Space‐time,
the
laws
of
physics,
and
other
aspects
of
reality
 once
thought
foundational
are
all
emergent
features
of
systems.


 The
self
is
itself
like
an
onion
of
self‐enclosing
layers
of
system,
which
develops
as
emergent
features
of
 a
given
systemic
layer
self‐organize
into
increasingly
complex
systemic
formations.

Hegel’s
description
 of
the
Self
in
the
Phenomenology
of
Spirit
as
a
dialectical
development
that
always
includes
what
it
 supersedes
captures
this
emergent
phenomenon
remarkably
well,
where
each
layer
becomes
part
of
 the
system
it
produces.




Horizons
of
Identity:

An
Investigation
into
the
Nature
of
the
Self







 


7


Chapter
1:

The
Revelation
of
Reason


The
rationality
of
the
world
of
reflexively
self‐conscious
man
was
experienced
first
in
a
revelatory
 manner.

It
was
from
this
revelation
of
the
Self’s
manner
of
being
as
a
subject
that
the
“rational”
or
 metaphysical
world
was
initially
projected.

This
projection
initiated
what
we
know
as
Western
history.



 Hegel
states
that
the
rationality
of
history
“is
not
a
presupposition
of
study;
it
is
a
result
which
happens
 to
be
known
to
myself
because
I
already
know
the
whole.”

As
in
many
other
instances,
Hegel
is
 misunderstood
most
by
not
taking
what
he
says
as
literally
as
he
means
it.

As
a
result
that
“happens”
to
 be
known
to
Hegel,
knowledge
of
the
whole
has
to
be
understood
as
something
that
“happened”
to
 Hegel,
as
a
particular
concrete
event.

This
event
has
to
include
an
understanding
that
history
as
rational
 history
is
already
over,
otherwise
the
whole
could
not
be
known.
History
as
rational
history
ended
when
 the
possibilities
inherent
in
the
initial
projection
of
the
“rational
world”
were
exhausted.



 The
event
that
exhausted
the
positive
possibilities
of
the
metaphysical
projection
of
the
world
is
 intrinsically
tied
to
the
event
that
potentiated
the
projection.

Both
events
were
simultaneously
 individual
and
societal,
such
that
their
occurrence
initiated
changes
in
society,
but
only
those
who
had
 the
concurrent
individual
experience
of
the
event
initially
experienced
those
changes.

The
event
that
 potentiated
the
projection
of
the
rational
world
was
the
emergence
of
a
system
of
the
Self
that
is
 capable
of
reflexively
observing
a
particular
manner
in
which
self‐consciousness
itself
can
operate.

This
 system
is
that
aspect
of
the
Self
we
term
the
“theoretical”,
and
the
manner
of
self‐consciousness
it
is
 able
to
observe
is
self‐consciousness
in
the
manner
of
the
rational
subject.

As
“able
to
shed
light”,
the
 theoretical
is
always
simultaneously
theological,
in
the
sense
that
it
refers
back
to
the
original
Greek
 notion
of
theo
as
the
purely
verbal
“shining”
that
lets
anything
be
experienced.

However
ideal
as
a
 ‘mental’
shift
this
event
seems
at
first
glance,
it
could
only
arise
out
of
a
material
praxis.

Self‐conscious
 man
had
been
inventing
tools
for
millennia,
but
without
the
reflexive
observation
of
self‐consciousness
 in
the
process
of
invention
those
inventions
were
immediately
ascribed
to
something
external,
such
as
a
 gift
of
a
god,
and
hence
not
producible.

The
ideal
change
simultaneously
changed
the
manner
of
 material
tool
creation
itself,
as
something
projectable
and
therefore
to
a
degree
predictable,
at
least
 insofar
as
it
became
possible
to
predict
that
further
invention
would
likely
occur.

The
idea
of
creation
as
 producible
is
the
foundation
of
the
technological,
just
as
its
essence
lays
in
the
potential
for
a
totalizing
 making‐available
that
producibility
confers.
 A
revelatory
experience
is
one
of
“sudden”
understanding
or
insight
into
something.

The
common
 experience
of
epiphany
is
revelatory
in
this
sense.

In
learning
a
new
subject
matter,
for
instance,
we
 initially
take
in
information
that
is
only
tangentially
relational.
We
may
see
certain
relations
between
 different
aspects
of
the
matter,
but
we
don’t
initially
experience
the
full
relationality
that
makes
it
 inherently
‘one’
matter.

At
some
point,
not
specifically
predictable,
we
“all
at
once”
see
the
matter
as
a
 whole,
including
how
every
aspect
fits
into
the
matter.


The
matter
has,
for
us,
become
one
thing,
and
 as
such
systemic.

The
word
‘revelation’
though
is
here
reserved
for
a
sudden
understanding
that
 encompasses
the
entirety
of
what
we
know.

This
can
only
occur
when
a
new
system
of
the
Self
itself


8


Horizons
of
Identity:

An
Investigation
into
the
Nature
of
the
Self


forms.

In
emerging
as
a
new
layer
that
encompasses
and
includes
every
prior
layer,
the
new
system
 inherently
‘sees’
everything
known
to
the
Self
“at
once”.

Since
the
new
system
is
the
most
external
 layer,
it
cannot
generally
understand
the
means
by
which
everything
could
be
seen
at
once.

Just
as
self‐ conscious
man
ascribed
his
inventions
to
an
external
force,
the
revelation
of
self‐consciousness
itself
as
 the
rational
subject
was
ascribed
to
an
external
force.

For
mythological
man,
a
tool
could
be
the
gift
of
 ‘a
god’.

The
revelation
of
reason,
though,
implied
something
beyond
the
notion
of
the
‘gods’
as
they
 had
been
thought
to
that
point.

 The
implied
notion
is
the
notion
of
the
Theos
as
the
‘One’.

When
Plato
decided
in
favor
of
Parmenides’
 ‘one’
origin
over
Heraclitus’
‘many’
the
universe
as
everything‐there‐is
became
projectable
 imaginatively,
and
thus
also
mathematically.

In
the
shift
from
Plato
to
Aristotle
the
projectability
of
the
 universe
as
everything‐there‐is
became
a
guiding
assumption,
one
that
logically
relied
upon
the
‘One’
as
 the
Theos,
described
in
detail
by
Aristotle
as
the
Prime
Mover.

The
revelation
of
reason
as
inventive
 praxis,
though,
required
something
beyond
the
logically
necessary
traits
of
the
Prime
Mover.

Plotinus’
 reinterpretation
of
Aristotle
was
itself
irrational,
but
simultaneously
elevated
reason
to
the
status
of
the
 origin
of
everything‐there‐is.

Inscribed
into
the
new
and
theologically
misunderstood
praxis
of
 Christianity
the
‘One’
as
the
rational
creator
of
everything
was
pasted
onto
the
mythological
persona
of
 Jehovah.

The
resulting
world‐historical
projection,
itself
experienced
in
a
revelatory
manner,
was
then
 ascribed
to
Jehovah
as
‘Divine
Revelation’.

The
revelation
of
the
rational
subject
became
simultaneously
 the
revelation
of
the
One
Divine
Creator.

The
world‐historical
projection
that
made
‘natural
science’
 possible
was
a
theological
projection.
 At
the
same
time
the
projection
was
enacted
as
a
material
praxis,
the
praxis
of
technology.

What
is
 admissible
as
reality
within
the
metaphysical
world‐historical
projection
always
originates
in
pragmata
–
 our
theoretical
abstractions
are
always
abstractions
of
something
useful.

With
the
change
from
tools
as
 individually
‘given’,
where
the
relationality
of
equipment
as
a
whole
remained
unseen,
to
tools
as
 technological,
as
inherently
deriving
their
meaning
from
that
relationality,
reality
is
revealed
in
a
 technological
way.


The
universe
as
a
relational,
systemic
whole
is
at
root
an
abstraction
of
the
 equipmental
totality
of
technology.

The
rationality
of
rational
history
inheres
in
a
progressive
revealing
 of
reality
as
enframed.

Through
the
technological
enframing
of
reality
every
aspect
of
reality
is
only
 insofar
as
it
is
made‐available.

Technological
enframing
reduces
or
flattens
any
given
real
to
its
able‐to‐ be‐made‐always‐available,
or
exchangeable
aspects.

Eventually
this
reduction
of
reality
is
applied
to
the
 most
immediate
real,
the
Self
itself,
but
seen
only
as
the
rational
I‐subject,
reduced
to
a
human
 resource.


Horizons
of
Identity:

An
Investigation
into
the
Nature
of
the
Self







 
 Chapter
2:

Levels
of
Complexity
Within
the
Self­Aware
Self
 


9


This
section
is
painted
with
an
exceedingly
broad
brush.

In
actuality
these
changes
overlap
with
people
 and
societies
where
the
psyche
is
partially
in
multiple
states,
and
there
are
numerous
smaller
changes
 within
each
with
varying
attributes.

With
the
compartmentalization
of
the
psyche
individuals
may
also
 maintain
mythological
thinking
in
one
sphere
of
life,
metaphysical
thinking
in
another,
and
post
 metaphysical
in
a
third,
or
any
combination
of
these.


 
 1
The
Mythological
Psyche
 
 The
mythological
psyche
delineates
the
emergence
of
self‐consciousness
itself.
Man
is
aware
of
himself
 as
the
author
of
his
actions
but
not
of
the
source
of
the
decisions
behind
those
actions
except
in
the
way
 that
he
has
been
initiated
into
a
sense
that
'they'
have
always
already
decided
that
that
is
the
way
things
 are
done.
Man
is
at
the
mercy
of
the
law,
moral,
arbitrary
and
absolute,

not
able
to
perceive
himself
in
 the
moment
of
decision
and
thereby
to
judge
the
ethicality
of
those
decisions
in
the
specificality
of
the
 situation.
The
theoretical
stance
is
also
hidden,
derivative
as
it
is
from
the
ethical
stance,
as
man
is
 inquisitive
but
unable
to
perceive
himself
in
the
act
of
projecting
his
own
theoretical
ideas.
Materially
 man
is
inventive
with
tools
and
aware
of
their
significance
within
the
tool‐context,
but
while
he
can
 project
himself
using
a
not
yet
existent
tool
and
thereby
inventing
it,
he
is
unable
to
perceive
this
 projection
and
self
achieved
invention,
such
that
the
finished
invention
is
ascribed
to
an
external
force
 such
as
a
god.

 
 Within
the
mythological
psyche
meanings
of
things‐within‐the‐world
are
immediate
and
unquestioned,
 developed
from
birth
through
ritual
acceptance
of
society's
messages
of
“how
things
are
done”.
 Novelties
have
the
immediate
meaning
conferred
by
the
projected
god
that
bestowed
the
novel
gift.
 Gods
themselves
are
experienced
as
the
trace
of
their
passing,
that
trace
being
the
gift
of
the
god
itself.


10


Horizons
of
Identity:

An
Investigation
into
the
Nature
of
the
Self



 The
Metaphysical
Psyche

With
the
emergence
of
the
doubly
reflexive
self‐consciousness
man
for
the
first
time
became
aware
of
 himself
as
the
author
of
his
decisions
and
the
inventor
of
his
inventions.
With
this
awareness
comes
the
 end
of
the
moral
law
and
the
beginning
of
the
age
of
ethical
decision,
where
the
psyche
can
observe
 itself
in
the
process
of
decision
and
therefore
judge
the
ethicality
of
the
decision
he
is
in
the
process
of
 making.
This
reflexive
movement
from
one's
engrossment
in
things
is
experienced
as
the
“step
back”
in
 which
one
“assesses”
things,
whether
ethically
or
theoretically.
Within
this
step
back,
triggered
by
an
 event
that
requires
decision
or
analysis,
the
invental
I‐subject
comes
into
being.
During
one's
everyday
 engrossment
in
the
world
the
I
is
not
simply
ignored,
it
is
completely
absent.
With
the
invental
I‐subject
 the
rest
of
the
World
is
posited
as
'objective',
as
something
the
I‐subject
can
operate
against
rather
than
 as
part
of.
Since
this
“step
back”
is
the
a
priori
for
a
reflective,
representational
and
theoretical
stance,
 the
I‐subject
is
posited
as
the
'real'
self
whenever
the
self
is
theorized
about,
and
representation
as
the
 primordial
mode
of
experience.
Since
the
“step
back”
is
engendered
originally
in
order
to
facilitate
 decision
the
I‐subject
tends
to
see
everything
as
an
either/or
duality,
with
the
result
that
theory
splits
 things
into
couples
such
as
form/matter,
ideal/material,
true/false,
etc.
The
I‐subject
is
simplistic
by
 necessity,
as
the
complexity
of
the
world
known
by
the
Self
is
far
too
much
for
timely
decision
making,
 but
this
also
leads
to
simplistic
reductionism
in
theoretical
idea
creation.
The
reduction
of
the
thing
with
 its
complex
interactions
of
significance
to
the
meaningless
object
within
a
calculable
projection
proved
 extremely
useful
from
a
technological
perspective,
and
in
the
crucial
metaphysical
turn
the
'objective'
 approximations
of
experience
used
for
calculation
are
projected
as
the
'real'
substantive
underlying
the
 'approximations'
of
experience,
which
are
determined
to
be
'merely'
subjective.
With
this
movement
 modern
science
projects
itself
as
the
arbiter
of
truth,
when
in
fact
it
has
abandoned
the
sphere
of
 significance,
without
which
there
can
be
neither
truth
nor
untruth.
The
best
it
can
do
is
determine
the
 correctness
or
incorrectness
of
its
representations
within
a
mathematical
approximation
of
the
world.

 
 As
Nietzsche
saw,
Christianity
rendered
the
philosophical
changes
in
the
psyche
accessible
to
far
larger
 numbers
of
people.

As
in
the
mythological
psyche
the
god
is
experienced
in
its
having
passed
by
leaving
 the
trace
of
its
gift,
in
this
case
the
birth
of
the
Christ.

But
in
the
phrase
“and
God
became
man”
lies
 hidden
the
full
meaning
of
this
passing
as
the
passing
away
of
the
father.

With
the
passing
away
of
the
 Son
on
the
cross
the
'one'
continues
in
the
more
philosophical,
abstract
form
as
the
'ghost'
haunting
 Christianity
for
the
rest
of
its
history.
 
 As
part
of
the
split
between
the
'subjective'
and
'objective',
understanding
is
placed
on
the
side
of
the
 (merely)
subjective
and
explanation
on
the
side
of
the
objective.
With
the
fateful
decision
that
the
 ultimate
origin
is
unique,
the
'one',
whether
that
is
Being
(interpreted
as
the
Beingness
of
beings),
god,
 or
a
physical
singularity,
all
'objective
explanation'
comes
to
aim
at
uncovering
the
unique
origin
of
its
 objects.
The
significance
imbued
in
every
thing
by
its
god
within
a
mythological
world
is
replaced
by
its


Horizons
of
Identity:

An
Investigation
into
the
Nature
of
the
Self






11


meaning
within
a
prescribed
(whether
intentional
or
mechanical)
fate
predetermined
at
the
origin.
With
 this
history
is
born
as
the
history
of
the
significance
of
things
and
their
development.

 
 The
individual
psyche
continues
to
develop
from
its
beginning
within
a
ritual
framework,
things
are
“just
 done
that
way”
without
explanation
or
understanding,
and
the
child's
ability
to
“do
things
the
way
they
 are
done”
marks
that
child
as
more
or
less
an
initiate
to
their
society.
As
the
child
reaches
adulthood
he
 or
she
may
begin
to
question
and
look
for
understanding,
explanation
or
both,
but
it
is
only
on
the
basis
 of
the
ritualistic,
'religious'
sense
of
society
gained
during
upbringing
that
that
questioning
pose
first
 becomes
possible.
At
first
the
questioning
of
science,
whether
theological
or
natural,
seems
anti‐ religious
in
the
sense
that
it
no
longer
simply
accepts
that
things
“are
as
they
are”,
but
in
fact
it
cannot
 pose
those
questions
without
ritually
assumed
foundations,
and
those
religious
foundations
inevitably
 lead
to
those
questions.
Even
in
the
extremes
of
scientific
atheism
or
pantheistic
paganism
in
a
Christian
 context,
the
Christian
god
assumed
throughout
Christian
society
remains
fully
assumed.


Scientific
 atheism
simply
recalculates
the
number
to
zero,
while
pantheism
recalculates
the
number
as
many.
The
 apparent
battle
between
atheism
and
religion,
on
closer
examination,
is
in
actuality
a
battle
between
 metaphysical
onto‐theology
and
mythological
immediacy.
The
fundamentalist,
who
within
his
or
her
 belief
system
remains
mythological
in
essence,
sees
god
or
the
gods
as
immediate
in
every
thing,
as
the
 immediate
significance
or
meaning
of
any
thing
whatsoever,
while
the
meta‐physician,
whether
their
 belief
structure
is
Christian
or
scientific,
sees
that
meaning
as
'subjective',
with
the
'object'
as
deriving
its
 meaning
from
its
origin.
Either
within
god's
predestined
intent
or
within
its
scientific
explanation
from
 its
unique
origin.
 
 The
advances
made
materially
during
the
metaphysical
epoch
arose
not
from
metaphysics
itself,
either
 through
revealed
religion
or
through
natural
science,
but
from
the
self‐knowledge
of
man
as
the
 inventor
of
tools.
The
material
history
of
man
is
the
history
of
tool
making,
or
more
generally
the
history
 of
technology.
Yet
just
as
man
became
aware
of
himself
as
the
originator
of
new
inventions,
this
was
 misunderstood
as
the
work
of
the
I‐subject.
The
resulting
individual
attribution
of
invention,
rather
than
 its
attribution
to
the
shared
social
self,
led
to
the
material
history
documented
and
analyzed
by
Marx
 and
his
followers.
What
has
been
lacking
is
the
awareness
that
as
socially
inventive
technology
cannot
 be
controlled
by
subjective
decision.
Technology
thereby
as
social
development
has
driven
individual
 man
rather
than
vice
versa,
just
as
other
social
changes
have
affected
individuals
in
a
more
decisive
 fashion
than
individuals
have
decided
those
changes.
As
technology
has
progressed
science
has
more
 and
more
taken
the
role
of
an
accounting‐for
what‐is‐revealed
through
technology
as
a
societal
work.
 Galileo's
theories
accounted‐for
the
observations
made
possible
by
the
technology
of
the
telescope.
 Heisenberg's
accounted‐for
the
observations
made
possible
by
the
new
observational
tools
at
his
 disposal.
Heisenberg
was
the
first
scientist
to
become
aware
of
the
absolute
nature
of
this
dependence.



12


Horizons
of
Identity:

An
Investigation
into
the
Nature
of
the
Self



 The
Post­Metaphysical
Psyche


 With
the
falling
apart
of
the
intrinsic
'obviousness'
of
the
dogma
of
revealed
religion
culminating
in
 Hegel's
experience
of
the
human
origin
of
divine
revelation
itself,
combined
with
the
self‐decimation
of
 the
mechanistic
view
of
the
world
originally
propagated
by
science,
the
origin
of
significance
or
meaning
 became
extremely
problematic.
As
Nietzsche
saw,
the
end
of
the
'real
world'
postulated
by
Plato
as
 underlying
apparent
experience
was
also
the
end
of
any
belief
in
the
mathematical
projections
of
 science.
Post‐Cantorian
mathematics
is
not
a
rebirth
of
mathematics
but
a
self‐implosion
of
 mathematics
as
claiming
to
be
descriptive
of
reality.
As
Badiou
saw,
mathematics
was
always
primarily
 the
language
of
ontology,
but
beyond
that
it
was
specifically
the
language
of
metaphysical
onto‐ theology,
the
implosion
of
Platonic
onto‐theology
could
only
result
in
a
corresponding
implosion
in
its
 language.
.
The
'one'
haunts
post‐Cantorian
mathematics
the
same
way
the
'ghost'
haunts
Christian
 theology
‐
'a'
set
may
be
always
a
multiple
of
multiples,
but
it
remains
'a'
set
‐
and
for
the
same
reason.
 Both
are
based
on
the
same
decision
for
the
'one'
as
origin
over
the
many.
Badiou's
attempt
to
choose
 the
many
remains
within
the
purview
of
metaphysics
just
as
Sartre's
reversal
of
existence
and
essence
 remains
metaphysical.
It
is
the
apparent
necessity
of
the
decision
itself
that
is
brought
about
by
the
 experience
of
the
event
as
thingly
and
the
resulting
invental
I‐subject.
As
a
result
Badiou
continues
to
 posit
and
question
the
nature
of
the
subject
and
the
subjective
in
general.


 
 The
situation
for
the
sciences
has
as
a
result
changed
radically
in
a
post
metaphysical
world.
Physics
is
 no
longer
a
reality
behind
or
beyond
worldly
appearances.
Discussion
of
a
post‐modern
quantum
 cosmology
cannot
be
construed
as
a
description
of
some
reality
'beyond'
phenomenological
experience
 but
a
useful
approximation
of
those
appearances.
Genetic
investigation
can
no
longer
be
seen
as
a
 predictive
methodology
for
envisioning
the
adult
organism,
but
as
raw
material
for
the
organism
to
 dynamically
configure
and
reconfigure
itself.

Neurology
is
the
study
of
how
the
psyche
utilizes
the
 mechanisms
at
its
disposal.

As
a
result
phenomenology
comes
to
the
fore
as
the
arbiter
of
reality
 beyond
religious
or
scientific
metaphysics.
The
hermeneutical
method
first
used,
however,
suffers
from
 a
fateful
reliance
on
ideology.
 
 As
one
thinks
hermeneutically,
moving
from
part
to
whole
to
part
and
understanding
each
more
fully
 from
the
other,
ideology
or
belief‐system
is
the
means
by
which
one
traverses
the
gap.
The
gap
itself
 comes
about
through
representing
functioning
systems
as
static
organizations
of
parts.
Relative
knowing
 is
the
knowing,
itself
dependent
on
ideology,
that
'relates'
part
and
whole
through
a
belief‐absolute
 knowing
on
the
other
hand
abandons
this
static
representation
and
thinks
the
dynamic
system
in
its
 functioning
dynamism,
where
the
relations
between
functioning
parts
dynamically
create
the
always‐ changing
whole.
The
ability
to
'see'
the
always‐changing
whole,
together
with
the
parts
and
their


Horizons
of
Identity:

An
Investigation
into
the
Nature
of
the
Self






13


dynamic
relations
'at
once'
arises
from
a
further
reflexive
development
of
the
psyche,
where
the
'all‐at‐ onceness'
of
epiphany
or
revelation
reflexively
occurs
within
the
understanding
itself.
Understanding‐ understanding
systemically
dynamizes
the
emergent
phenomena
of
an
epiphany
into
an
emergent,
 functioning
system
of
the
psyche
itself.
To
those
who
can
'see',
as
Nietzsche
points
out,
belief
is
no
 longer
relevant.

This
knowing
is,
as
Hegel
saw,
qualitatively
absolute.

Self‐conscious
metaphysical
 knowledge
knows
itself
as
the
I‐subject,
which
it
distinguishes
from
the
'objective'
world.

The
'objective'
 world
includes
all
the
contents
of
consciousness,
including
consciousness
itself.

Reflexive
self‐ consciousness
can
even
observe
the
operations
of
this
I‐subject.

Systemic
understanding
retains
 awareness
of
the
I‐subject,
consciousness
and
things‐within‐the‐world
in
their
unity,
dispensing
with
the
 relations
that
self‐consciousness
set
up,
and
is
thereby
qualitatively
absolute.
 
 At
the
same
time,
absolute
knowing,
removing
itself
from
the
knowing
that
had
long
since
gravitated
to
 abstract
explanation
and
retiring
back
into
the
understanding
abandoning
the
logic
of
techne
and
 returning
to
the
logos
of
significance
and
context,
is
not
a
knowing
at
all
in
the
technical
sense.

It
is
an
 understanding
of
understanding
that,
distressed
at
the
loss
of
wonder
in
the
posture
of
standing‐over
 beings,
allows
beings
their
dynamic
transgression
of
their
reduced
significance
as
resources
in
the
event
 of
their
appearing,
returning
to
the
awe,
wonder
and
amazement
of
the
first
beginning
of
philosophy.

 Renewing
the
absolute
loss
of
comprehension
of
their
ability
to
appear
as
the
beings
they
are
at
all,
 which
in
their
systemic
dynamism
always
already
transgresses
any
grounding
we
may
have
attempted
to
 provide
through
our
technical
abilities,
and
within
this
transgressing
of
the
horizons
we
have
assumed
 the
horizons
themselves
become
operative
in
a
new
and
overt
manner.
The
grounding
available
is
only
 the
always‐withdrawing
abyssal
grounding
of
the
inabiding
of
the
evental
Da
of
the
da‐sein
we
are
of
 necessity
driven
towards
and
implicated
in
by
the
necessity
of
our
provision
for
their
appearance‐as.


 
 This
crossing
from
technical
knowing
to
erotic
understanding‐understanding
is
enowning
itself,
which
 recoils
back
into
enownment
‐
enslavement
in
da‐sein's
own
eroticism.

Owned
by
the
awe
and
eros
of
 the
transgressing
appearing
of
beings,
da‐sein
is
drawn
to
the
transgressing
eroticism
of
the
desired
and
 consensual
enownment
‐
enslavement
topology
in
his
own
erotic
life.
 
 


14


Horizons
of
Identity:

An
Investigation
into
the
Nature
of
the
Self



 Chapter
3:

Hegel’s
Phenomenenology
of
Spirit
 Attempting
to
Reveal
the
Meaning
of
Revelation

 Hegel’s
Phenomenology
of
Spirit
attempts
to
serve
the
same
purpose
that
was
later
attempted
by
 Nietzsche
in
Thus
Spake
Zarathustra
and
Heidegger
in
Contributions
to
Philosophy
(from
Enowning).

 Indeed
in
a
religious
sense
the
Spiritual
Exercises
of
Ignatius
Loyola
also
attempt
this
purpose.
In
order
 to
fully
understand
absolute
knowing,
or
the
eternal
recurrence,
or
enowning,
or
the
Revelation
of
 Christianity,
one
has
to
have
undergone
the
experience
of
revelation
itself.

 What
differentiates
the
post‐religious
revelations
is
that
they
include
the
revelation
of
the
nature
of
 revelation
itself.

As
a
result
they
are
interpreted
in
a
non‐religious
manner.

 Revelation
is
not
something
that
comes
to
da‐sein
from
the
‘outside’
but
‘happens’
to
da‐sein
when
the
 system
of
self‐consciousness
is
superseded
by
the
emergent,
self‐certain,
self‐organizing
system
of
 understanding.
Hegel’s
(and
likely
many
others’)
experience
of
the
meaning
of
revelation
exhausted
the
 possibilities
of
the
conceptual
epoch
(religious‐metaphysical‐scientific)
as
recognized
in
different
ways
 by
Marx,
Nietzsche
and
Heidegger.

 “The
purpose
of
the
Phenomenology
of
Spirit,
is
to
raise
consciousness
to
self‐consciousness
 and
onward
to
the
path
where
consciousness
in
general
finds
the
absolute
Notion.
Hegel
said
 this
about
his
method
and
that
means
the
Notion
as
well.
He
notes,
“The
method
itself
by
 means
of
this
moment
expands
itself
into
a
system.”
(Science
of
Logic,
E.T.,
p.
838).
Hegel
rarely
 wrote
about
his
system,
so
this
important
idea
is
a
distinctive
link
among
the
Notion,
the
 method,
and
the
system.
Hegel
clearly
said
that
the
“…the
absolute
method,
which
has
the
 Notion
for
its
soul
and
content…(Science
of
Logic,
E.T.,
p.839).
Think
about
the
nature
of
“the
 absolute
method.”
Who
today
would
claim
to
have
“the
absolute
method?””
(Ferrer,
2002)

 The
absolute
method
raises
self‐consciousness
towards
the
path
where
consciousness
in
general
finds
 the
absolute
Notion,
systemic
understanding.

 “The
method
itself
by
means
of
this
moment
expands
itself
into
a
system.”
(Ferrer,
2002)

 It
expands
itself
into
a
system.
The
’system’
is
not
finally
of
Hegel’s
making
but
of
his
experience.
“Who
 today
would
claim
to
have
“the
absolute
method”?
(Ferrer,
2002).
 
Only
someone
with
the
experience
of
the
revelation
of
the
meaning
of
revelation
that
becomes
systemic
 could
make
such
a
claim.
 “The
purpose
of
the
Phenomenology
of
Spirit
is
to
get
us
to
the
standpoint
of
the
circle
of
 circles,
namely,
the
pure,
absolute,
eternal,
spiritual,
ensouled
reflected
into
itself
–
Notion.”

 “Hegel
commented
in
a
personal
way,
“I
find
the
distinctive
mark
of
(the)
Science
in
the
self‐ movement
of
the
Notion…”
(Indem
ich
das,
wodurch
die
Wissenschaft
existiert,
in
die
 Selbstbewegung
des
Begriffes
setze).

 This
plainly
points
to
the
importance
that
the
Notion
has
for
Hegel’s
system.
The
final
goal
for
 Hegel’s
is
the
absolute
Notion;
this
is
his
methodology,
movement,
and
the
content
of
his
 metaphysical
system.”
(Ferrer,
2002)



Horizons
of
Identity:

An
Investigation
into
the
Nature
of
the
Self






15


The
Notion
is
not
an
abstract
notion
of
any
thing.
It
is
the
absolute
Notion,
of
which
there
is
always
only
 one
–
the
revelation
of
the
meaning
of
revelation.

 “…
The
purpose
of
the
Phenomenology
of
Spirit
is
by
analogy
like
Plato’s
allegory
of
the
cave
in
 the
Republic.
It
is
the
movement
from
the
shadows
out
of
the
cave
into
the
sunlight.
The
 purpose
of
the
Phenomenology
of
Spirit
is
to
bring
us
to
an
absolute
beginning.
The
 Phenomenology
of
Spirit
is
the
ladder
to
the
absolute
beginning
as
the
Science
of
Logic.


The
 third
point
is
the
Phenomenology
brings
the
system
to
the
point
of
the
absolute
Notion,
which
 are
both
the
methodology
and
the
movement
of
Hegel’s
metaphysical
system.”

 “Why
would
Hegel
have
started
with
sense
certainty
as
he
did
in
the
Phenomenology
of
Spirit?
 How
are
the
patterns
of
consciousness,
self‐consciousness,
Reason,
Spirit,
in
their
self‐unfolding
 a
concern
of
Philosophy?
The
education
of
consciousness
through
history
to
Philosophy
is
 important,
but
it
is
not
Philosophy
…”
(Ferrer,
2002)

 The
analogy
is
accurate
in
the
sense
that
the
allegory
of
the
cave
is
the
exposition
of
the
emergence
of
 reflexive
self‐consciousness.

In
patterns
Hegel
recognizes
the
emergence
from
this
system
of
The
 System,
or
in
Hegel’s
terms,
The
‘Science’
(the
self‐organized
system
of
understanding).
The
beyond
was
 new
to
Hegel
in
1806,
due
to
the
experience
commemorated
in
the
poem
Eleusis,
dedicated
to
the
poet
 Holderlin.

 “…
To
overcome
historical
alienation
in
thought
through
a
conceptual
comprehension
of
this
 dialectical
movement.
This
philosophical
overcoming
of
alienation
makes
possible
a
 reconciliation
or
‘acceptance’
of
the
dynamic,
self‐reproducing,
but
at
the
same
time
self‐ superseding
contradictions
of
modernity.”
“In
this
way
the
PhG
attempts
to
lead
us,
as
 philosophically
educated
but
unsatisfied
modern
individuals,
to
philosophical
self‐knowledge
in
 absolute
Spirit.
Identity
and
difference,
I
shall
argue,
remain
operative
concepts
for
this
 dialectical
movement,
particularly
in
the
chapters
on
consciousness
and
self‐consciousness.
 Hegel’s
overall
aim
in
the
PhG
is
thus
to
overcome
the
difference
of
consciousness
and
 formalism
of
self‐consciousness
through
the
intersubjective
unity
of
Spirit
which
preserves
both
 difference
and
identity”
(Sinnerbrink,
2002)

 Dialectic
is
merely
the
“rational”
explanation
of
the
revelation
of
revelation.
But
in
this
case
Hegel
 departs
from
dialectic,
overcoming
the
difference
requires
the
preservation
of
both
identity
and
 difference
in
the
difference
between
them.
Hegel
thereby
introduces
hermeneutics
into
his
dialectic.
 “Hegel
describes
the
PhG
as
depicting
the
“coming‐to‐be
of
Wissenschaft
as
such
or
of
knowledge””
 Wissenschaft
or
philosophical
Science,
according
to
Hegel,
refers
to
the
self‐organizing
system
of
 speculative
knowledge,
whose
introduction
consists
of
phenomenology
itself.
Such
a
system— comprising
Logic
(not
naïve,
simple
logic,
but
logic
as
the
interplay
between
knowing
and
reality),
the
 philosophy
of
Nature,
and
philosophy
of
Spirit—is
the
appropriate
expression
of
absolute
knowing
as
 the
system
of
reflexively
understanding
understanding
in
its
all‐at‐onceness;
it
is
the
vision
that
goes
 beyond
the
self
and
reality,
which
contradicts
itself
where
the
self
becomes
the
reality
looked
at.

It
is
 “The
most
sublime
Concept
and
the
one
which
belongs
to
the
modern
age
and
its
religion”
(PhG
22/25).
 Understanding
(as
absolute
Geist)
has
moved
beyond
the
unity
and
immediacy
of
ethical
life
and
faith
in
 ancient
and
medieval
life
worlds,
but
also
beyond
the
formal
self‐reflection
that
defines
the
life
world
of
 the
Enlightenment.”




(Sinnerbrink,
2000)
 Self‐organizing
system
is
an
extraordinary
description
for
Hegel’s
notion,
written
long
before
systems
 theory
and
the
demonstrations
of
strong
emergence
and
self‐organization
as
fundamental
rules
of
the


16


Horizons
of
Identity:

An
Investigation
into
the
Nature
of
the
Self


world
we
perceive,
as
are
its
elements:
the
complexity
necessary
for
the
next
systemic
emergence
in
 “the
most
sublime
Concept.”,
and
“…
the
unity
and
immediacy
of
ethical
life
…
in
ancient
and
medieval
 life
worlds
…
also
…
the
life
world
of
the
Enlightenment.”.
Here
Hegel
expresses
the
overcoming
of
 earlier
epochs
in
the
transition
to
the
new.
Those
life
worlds
have
literally
ended.
Hegel
himself
 ‘happened’
to
experience’
the
end
of
the
“World”
in
the
sense
of
the
religious‐metaphysical‐scientific
 world
of
his
predecessors.

 “Hegel
says
that
the
rationality
of
history
“is
not
a
presupposition
of
study;
it
is
a
result
which
 [he
adds
without
apology]
happens
to
be
known
to
myself
because
I
already
know
the
 whole.””(Lischer,
n.d.)

 “Spirit
has
not
only
lost
its
essential
life;
it
is
also
conscious
of
this
loss,
and
of
the
finitude
that
is
 its
own
content”
(Sinnerbrink,
2002)

 This
anticipates
and
deserves
a
comparison
with
Heidegger’s
‘finitude
of
being’
and
‘abandonment
by
 being’
as
experienced
through
(the
event
of)
Ereignis.

 “Rather
than
successfully
developing
consciousness
to
the
standpoint
of
reason,
Hegel
finds
in
 post‐Kantian
idealism
a
reversion
to
the
standpoint
of
reflection
through
the
elevation
of
either
 the
subjective
or
objective
pole
of
the
“absolute
identity”.”
(Sinnerbrink,
2002)

 For
Hegel,
then,
consciousness
must
develop
and
overcome
its
own
limitations,
rather
than
being
 posited
as
a
non‐substantial
subject
or
a
non‐substantial
“absolute
identity”.
Identity
or
subject
is
 indeed
non‐substantial,
but
not
absolute,
only
absolute
knowledge
of
the
absolute
Notion
through
 absolute
method
achieves
what
Kant,
Schelling
and
others
aimed
at.

 “Hegel’s
criticism,
directed
obliquely
at
Schelling,
is
that
contemporary
philosophy
fails
to
“give
 difference
its
due”.
 ”
(It)…fails
to
comprehend
the
complex
interplay
of
form
and
content,
identity
and
difference,
 subject
and
object,
which
defines
rational
actuality.
Consequently,
there
is
a
failure
to
construct
 an
organic
system
of
reason
in
which
these
antitheses
are
reconciled
within
a
self
 comprehending
unity.”
(Sinnerbrink,
2002)

 The
‘complex
interplay‘
is
the
universe
or
reality
itself,
which
‘plays
because
it
plays’,
together
with
the
 interplay
between
knowing
and
the
known.
The
failure
is
not
to
construct
an
organic
system
(a
 contradiction
in
terms
in
any
case)
but
to
experience
self‐comprehending
unity
as
a
’system
of
reason‘.

 “This
thesis
can
be
justified
only
by
performing
the
exposition
of
the
system
itself;
that
is,
by
 demonstrating
the
suspension
of
the
opposition
between
substance
and
subject
within
self‐ knowing
Spirit.”
(Sinnerbrink,
2002)

 Here
is
the
crux
of
the
goal
of
the
Phenomenology,
along
with
that
of
Thus
Spake
Zarathustra
and
vom
 Ereignis.
It
must
not
simply
demonstrate
but
provoke
the
experience
of
that
suspension.
This
is
the
 meaning
of
Heidegger’s
statement
that
vom
Ereignis
“failed
to
achieve
precisely
the
form
that
I
require
 as
a
Work.”

A
Work
for
Heidegger
reveals
something
beyond
itself,
as
in
the
Work
of
art,
or
the
Work
of
 technology.


Horizons
of
Identity:

An
Investigation
into
the
Nature
of
the
Self






17



 Chapter
4:

The
Negativity
of
Thinking
as
Experience
of
Reality

“One
important
sense
of
what
Hegel
calls
the
“Subject”
is
free
activity
or
simple
negativity,
a
 “doubling”
movement
of
self‐positing
that
sets
up
another
in
opposition
to
itself,
negates
this
 opposition,
and
then
returns
to
itself
in
its
self‐identity
that
has
integrated
otherness.”"
 (Sinnerbrink,
2002)
 “The
Absolute
is
thus
essentially
a
result;
it
is
the
Whole
in
the
complete
process
of
its
historical
 unfolding
and
cultural
self‐recollection
in
absolute
Spirit.”
(Sinnerbrink,
2002)

 Hegel
‘happens’
to
know
absolute
Spirit
in
history
because
he
‘happens’
to
know
the
whole.
It
is
not
a
 result
of
anything
other
than
a
specific
experience
that
‘happened’
to
Hegel.

 “The
phenomenological
exposition
aims
to
lead
the
philosophically
and
culturally
situated
 individual
“from
his
uneducated
standpoint”
to
speculative
Science,
the
aether
of
“pure
self‐ recognition
in
absolute
otherness”
(PhG
19/¶26).
The
loss
of
identity,
the
experience
of
 diremption
and
alienation
that
generates
the
need
of
philosophy,
is
transfigured,
Hegel
claims,
 by
the
self‐recognition
of
alienated
subjectivity
in
the
ultimate,
self‐grounding
form
 intersubjective
Spirit,
namely
speculative
philosophy.
At
the
end
of
this
philosophical‐historical
 odyssey,
the
naïve
consciousness
comes
to
recognize
itself,
indeed
return
to
itself,
in
the
 philosophical
self‐consciousness
of
Spirit
in
its
historical
cultural
development.”

 “Unlike
ancient
wisdom,
Hegel’s
phenomenology
seeks
to
be
not
only
the
love
of
wisdom
but
 also
a
“science
of
wisdom”
(self‐organizing
system
of
wisdom)
itself,
the
philosophical
 comprehension
of
the
experience
of
the
Whole.
“

 “Such
claims
to
knowledge,
moreover,
are
never
given
in
their
full
complexity
but
need
to
be
 developed
through
the
“dialectical
experience”
of
testing
various
patterns
of
knowing
and
truth.
 Hegel
thus
says
of
philosophical
Science
that
it
manifests
itself
historically
and
culturally
in
an
 underdeveloped
form:
“in
coming
on
the
scene
it
is
not
yet
Science
in
its
developed
and
 unfolded
truth”
(PhG
55/¶76).
What
we
shall
observe
in
the
course
of
the
PhG
is
precisely
how
 philosophical
knowledge
develops
itself
into
a
reflexive,
self‐grounding,
and
conceptually
 articulated
Whole.
”
(Sinnerbrink,
2002)

 Hegel
explicates
through
dialectic,
but
the
moment
of
the
“articulated
Whole”
is
pre‐given
in
a
specific
 experience.



18


Horizons
of
Identity:

An
Investigation
into
the
Nature
of
the
Self



 Chapter
5:

Overcoming
Appearance
vs.
the
In­itself


“Hegel
underlines
in
this
context
the
ontological
sense
of
consciousness
as
a
relation
to
 otherness
that
is
also
a
self‐relation:
“Consciousness
simultaneously
distinguishes
itself
from
 something,
and
at
the
same
time
relates
itself
to
it”
(PhG
58/82).
Consciousness
is
a
bipolar
 relation
comprising
the
two
moments
of
being‐for‐another
and
being‐in‐itself,
or
knowing
and
 truth:
knowing
designates
the
being
of
something
for
consciousness;
while
truth
is
this
being‐in‐ itself
that
consciousness
knows
to
be
posited
outside
itself.
Because
consciousness
itself
posits
 the
distinction
between
knowing
and
truth
in
each
configuration,
consciousness
itself
provides
 the
standard
for
the
self‐examination
of
knowledge.”
(Sinnerbrink,
2002)

 The
self‐reflexive
‘relation’
between
Self,
Self
as
other,
and
Self
as
itself
is
posited
by
consciousness
itself
 in
a
specific
mode
of
experience.
Consciousness
provides
the
ability,
through
its
reflexive
systemic
 complexity,
of
producing
the
emergent
self‐organizing
system
of
knowing,
or
understanding
 understanding
itself,
understanding
the
revelation
of
meaning
of
revelation.

 “In
this
sense,
consciousness
comprises
a
hermeneutic
unity
of
knowing
and
truth,
concept
and
 object.
Consciousness
takes
something
or
other
to
be
the
in‐itself
or
the
object,
while
 knowledge
is
the
being
of
the
object
for
consciousness.
Where
examination
shows
that
these
 moments
of
knowing
and
truth
do
not
correspond,
our
usual
experience
is
that
consciousness
 must
alter
its
knowledge
so
as
to
conform
to
the
object.
The
phenomenological
experience,
 however,
is
quite
different:
knowledge
and
object
form
a
hermeneutic
unity
in
which
a
change
 in
our
knowledge
of
an
object
implies
a
change
in
the
object
of
our
knowledge.
What
 consciousness
previously
took
to
be
the
in‐itself
turns
out
to
have
been
only
an
in‐itself
for
 consciousness;
consciousness
in
turn
posits
a
new
standard
of
truth
according
to
which
objects
 are
now
understood.
This
self‐testing
of
knowledge
thus
results
in
a
transformation
in
the
 hermeneutic
pattern
of
knowing
and
truth.’
”
(Sinnerbrink,
2002)

 This
‘hermeneutic
unity
of
knowing
and
truth,
concept
and
object’
is
an
ideological
posit
that
‘takes
 something
or
other
to
be
the
in‐itself
or
the
object’.
Through
ideology
‘knowledge
and
object
form
a
 hermeneutic
unity
in
which
a
change
in
our
knowledge
of
an
object
implies
a
change
in
the
object
of
our
 knowledge.’
Our
’self‐testing
of
knowledge’
(ideology)
‘thus
results
in
a
transformation
in
the
 hermeneutic
pattern
of
knowing
and
truth.’

 “…
Experience
involves
a
dialectical
movement
of
reflection
that
produces
a
new
object
and
 figure
of
consciousness
through
determinate
negation:
the
productive
negation
of
content
that
 produces
another
determinate
content
necessarily
related
to
its
predecessor.
”
(Sinnerbrink,
 2002)

 Upon
meeting
someone
new
for
instance,
ideology
(as
prejudgment)
unites
knowing
with
reality
until
 ‘the
productive
negation
of
content’
(negation
of
the
prejudice)
disproves
aspects
of
this
ideology
and
 thus
‘produces
another
determinate
content’
through
the
modification
of
that
ideology
and
a
new
unity
 of
knowing
and
reality.

 “This
process
of
determinate
negation,
an
untrue
mode
of
knowledge
itself
produces
a
more
 complex
configuration
of
consciousness
as
a
definite
result.
This
result
is
“the
nothing
of
that
 from
which
it
results—a
result
that
contains
what
was
true
in
the
preceding
knowledge”
(PhG


Horizons
of
Identity:

An
Investigation
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of
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Self






19


61/87).
The
goal
of
this
progression
is
to
attain
the
point
“where
knowledge
finds
itself,
where
 Concept
corresponds
to
object
and
object
to
Concept”
(PhG
57/80).
At
this
point,
the
distinction
 in
consciousness
between
cognition
and
being,
or
certainty
and
truth,
is
suspended
in
absolute
 knowing.”
(Sinnerbrink,
2002)

 
An
untrue
mode
of
knowledge
itself
produces
a
more
complex
configuration
of
consciousness
as
a
 definite
result.

This
increased
complexity
of
consciousness
is
the
prerequisite
for
emergence
of
the
new
 understanding
“where
knowledge
finds
itself,
where
Concept
corresponds
to
object
and
object
to
 Concept”
where
”
…the
distinction
in
consciousness
between
cognition
and
being,
or
certainty
and
 truth,
is
suspended
in
absolute
knowing.”.

 “The
phenomenology
concludes
with
this
attainment
of
the
level
of
the
Concept,
the
 overcoming
of
alienation
in
self‐knowing
Spirit:
the
subject‐object
opposition
is
suspended,
 immediacy
proves
to
be
mediation,
and
the
separation
of
knowing
and
truth
is
overcome
in
the
 self‐comprehending
Concept.”
(Sinnerbrink,
2002)

 ’Self‐knowing
spirit’
and
’self‐comprehending
Concept’
are
the
unification
of
mind
and
Concept
in
 absolute
knowing,
absolute
method
and
absolute
Notion,
all
terms
for
the
dynamic
functioning
system
 of
reflexive
understanding.

 “It
is
manifest
that
behind
the
so‐called
curtain
which
is
supposed
to
conceal
the
inner
world,
 there
is
nothing
to
be
seen
unless
we
go
behind
it
ourselves,
as
much
in
order
that
we
may
see,
 as
that
there
may
be
something
behind
there
which
can
be
seen
(PhG
102/165).”
(Sinnerbrink,
 2002)
 Hegel
here
anticipates
Heidegger’s
notion
that
the
‘interior’
is
invented,
we
always
begin
‘outside’
with
 the
things
themselves.



20


Horizons
of
Identity:

An
Investigation
into
the
Nature
of
the
Self



 Chapter
5:

Alienated
Self­Consciousness


“Hegel’s
discussion
of
self‐consciousness
represents
one
of
the
pivotal
moments
in
the
unfolding
of
the
 PhG.
Consciousness
of
an
otherness
distinct
from
itself
has
been
superseded
by
self‐consciousness
in
 the
Other;
the
conscious
subject
has
begun
its
transformation
into
self
conscious
(inter)subjectivity.
“

 “Three
aspects
of
the
Concept
of
self‐consciousness
emerge,
corresponding
to
the
elements
of
 universality,
particularity,
and
individuality:
the
abstract
identity
of
self‐consciousness
or
‘I
=
 I’(universality);
self‐consciousness
as
desire,
leading
to
the
life
and
death
struggle
and
master/slave
 relationship
(particularity);
and
the
intersubjective
‘doubling’
of
self‐
consciousness
that
marks
the
 emergence
of
Spirit
(individuality).”
(Sinnerbrink,
2002)

 The
‘abstract
identity
...
of
‘I
=
I’
comprises
the
substantial
subject.
Self‐consciousness
as
desire,
leading
 to
the
life
and
death
struggle
and
master/slave
relationship.’
produces
the
first
problematic
of
the
 substantial
subject,
which
is
overcome
by
the
‘intersubjective
‘doubling’
of
self‐consciousness
that
 marks
the
emergence’
of
reflexively
self‐conscious
self‐consciousness,
or
 ethical/metaphysical/theoretical
thinking.


Horizons
of
Identity:

An
Investigation
into
the
Nature
of
the
Self






21



 Chapter
6:

The
Truth
of
Self­Certainty


This
short
transitional
passage
(166‐177)
describes
the
inversion
or
reflection
of
the
bipolar
structure
of
 consciousness
into
a
tripolar
model
of
self‐consciousness.
The
True
is
no
longer
otherness
or
external
 objectivity
but
consciousness
in
its
own
knowing:
“the
in‐itself
turns
out
to
be
a
mode
in
which
the
 object
is
only
for
an
other”

 “The
circular
movement
of
self‐consciousness
is
a
simultaneous
positing
and
suspension
of
 difference,
a
consciousness
of
difference
that
is
also
identical
with
a
consciousness
of
itself,
but
 which
has
not
yet
attained
the
comprehension
of
this
infinite
relation.”
(Sinnerbrink,
2002)

 The
‘tripolar
model’
includes
consciousness,
self‐consciousness,
and
self‐conscious
self‐consciousness.
 Spirit
has
not
yet
entered
the
scene
as
understanding
understanding,
or
absolute
Knowing.

 “As
self‐consciousness,
it
is
movement;
but
since
what
it
distinguishes
from
itself
is
only
itself
as
 itself,
the
difference,
as
an
otherness,
is
immediately
superseded
for
it;
the
difference
is
not,
 and
it
is
only
the
motionless
tautology
of:
‘I
am
I’;
but
since
for
it
the
difference
does
not
have
 the
form
of
being,
it
is
not
self‐consciousness
(PhG
104/167)”
(Sinnerbrink,
2002)

 “Self‐consciousness
is
essentially
the
reflection
out
of
sensuous
otherness
(PhG
104/167),
a
 reflection
from
the
world
of
sensuous
objectivity
back
to
the
subject
as
conscious
of
itself.
But
 how
does
self‐consciousness
establish
its
particular
self‐identity
in
relation
to
this
otherness?
Is
 there
a
kind
of
relation
to
something
different
or
distinct
from
me
that
in
the
very
same
relation
 negates
this
difference
and
thus
returns
me
to
myself?
The
answer
is
desire
[Begierde]:
a
 relationship
that
negates
sensuous
otherness
so
as
to
establish
the
unity
of
one’s
own
definite
 self‐identity.”
(Sinnerbrink,
2002)
 “…
Self‐consciousness
has
a
doubled
object:
the
immediate
phenomenal
object
of
desire,
and
 self‐consciousness
as
the
“objective”
of
desire,
that
for
the
sake
of
which
something
is
desired
 (oneself
or
one’s
life.”

 “A
self‐consciousness,
in
being
an
object,
is
just
as
much
‘I’
as
object.
With
this,
we
already
have
 before
us
the
Notion
of
Spirit.
What
still
lies
ahead
for
consciousness
is
the
experience
of
what
 Spirit
is—this
absolute
substance
which
is
the
unity
of
the
different
independent
self
 consciousnesses
which,
in
their
opposition,
enjoy
perfect
freedom
and
independence:
‘I’
that
is
 ‘We’
and
‘We’
that
is
‘I’”
(PhG
108‐
9/177).”

 “Hegel
claims
that
we
have
already
attained
reciprocal
recognition
in
the
concept
of
self‐
 consciousness,
which
will
prove
to
be
the
Concept
of
Spirit.
But
this
intersubjective
turn
has
not
 emerged
from
the
experience
of
self‐consciousness
itself.
On
the
contrary,
the
“experience
of
 what
Spirit
is”—as
a
recognitive
intersubjective
unity
of
self‐
consciousnesses
still
lies
far
ahead
 for
consciousness,
and
will
not
explicitly
emerge
until
the
section
on
mutual
forgiveness
in
the
 section
on
religion.”

 “By
superseding
the
Other
each
self‐consciousness
at
the
same
time
“receives
back
its
own
self
 ”
(or
affirms
its
own
self‐identity),
and
by
superseding
itself
each
“thus
lets
the
other
again
go
 free”
(or
implicitly
recognizes
the
Other
as
independent)[30]
(PhG
109/¶181).
In
this
reciprocal
 movement,
I
supersede
the
Other
and
thereby
affirm
myself,
but
in
superseding
myself
I
also


22


Horizons
of
Identity:

An
Investigation
into
the
Nature
of
the
Self


allow
the
Other
to
be
free.
As
Pinkard
remarks,
the
relation
to
the
Other
that
constitutes
self‐ consciousness
is
“double‐edged”
in
the
sense
that
“the
other
both
affirms
and
undermines
that
 subject’s
sense
of
himself,
and
it
is
this
double‐edged
quality
that
leads
to
the
dialectic
of
 dependence
and
independence
that
structures
the
discussion
of
mastery
and
servitude.”
(1996,
 54).”
(Sinnerbrink,
2002)

 Hegel
returns
to
the
self‐consciousness
as
interior
and
reaching
‘outwards’,
a
sense
that
originates
in
the
 positing
of
the
I‐subject
itself.
The
self
always
experiences
the
other
as
other
and
only
through
this
 means
desires
the
other
for
himself.
The
subject’s
sense
of
himself
as
a
substantial
subject
(separated
I‐ subject)
is
reaffirmed
rather
than
overcome.
 “The
subject
must
secure
his
independence
by
becoming
dependent
on
the
recognition
by
an
 “other”
such
that
the
subject
finds
his
independence
affirmed
by
virtue
of
being
dependent
on
 an
“other”
who
confers
his
recognition
by
virtue
of
affirming
his
own
dependence
on
the
 subject”
(Sinnerbrink,
2002)

 The
subject
secures
his
independence
as
a
substantial
separated
I‐subject
only.

 “It
undergoes
the
experience
of
unequal
recognition,
a
relationship
of
domination
that
is
 (partially
and
inadequately)
resolved,
through
the
intersubjective
mediation
of
the
Other,
in
the
 experience
of
the
unhappy
consciousness.”
(Sinnerbrink,
2002)

 “…
The
first
experience
of
self‐consciousness
is
that
of
domination:
the
unequal,
non‐
reciprocal
 recognition
relation
between
master
and
slave.”
(Sinnerbrink,
2002)

 This
presupposes
the
previous
‘life
and
death
struggle’
for
domination.
This
struggle
is
the
struggle
to
 maintain
and
enhance
the
invention
of
the
substantial
subject
in
the
face
of
the
recognition
by
the
other
 of
it
as
a
facade
and
is
thus
mediated.

 “These
“proto‐subjects”
of
desire
each
seek
to
establish
a
stable
sense
of
self‐identity.”
 (Sinnerbrink,
2002)

 There
is
no
sense
yet
of
self‐identity
as
the
invental
in
response
to
the
event
of
encounter.

 “…
At
this
stage,
their
“reflection
into
a
unity”—namely
an
intersubjective
unity
of
mutual
 recognition—has
not
yet
been
achieved;
independent
master
and
dependent
slave
exist
rather
 in
an
oppositional
relationship
of
domination.
Self‐consciousness
must
still
undergo
the
 experience
of
domination
and
subjection.”
(Sinnerbrink,
2002)



Horizons
of
Identity:

An
Investigation
into
the
Nature
of
the
Self






23



 Chapter
7:
Experience
of
Mastery
and
Servitude


“The
experience
of
mastery
and
servitude
presents
a
socially
objectified
relationship
of
non‐ reciprocal
recognition.
The
master’s
affirmation
of
his
self‐identity
and
independence
proves
to
 be
dependent
on
recognition
by
the
Other
but
not
of
the
Other
as
such.
The
slave’s
subjection,
 by
contrast,
provides
the
preconditions
for
the
development
of
autonomy
through
the
 experience
of
the
fear
of
death
(the
recognition
of
finitude),
and
service,
discipline,
and
 cultivation
within
social
objectivity
as
responses
to
this
experience
of
finitude
and
being‐for‐self.
 ”

 “…
Hegel
presents
the
struggle
for
recognition
as
a
decisive
experience
in
the
constitution
of
 self‐conscious
subjectivity
and
individuality.
At
the
same
time,
we
should
note
that
this
episode
 is
superseded
in
the
more
complex
configurations
of
reason
and
Spirit.”
(Sinnerbrink,
2002)

 The
Master‐slave
dialectic
results
in
individuation,
but
still
as
subjects
of
objective
society.
For
this
 reason
it
is
not
the
end
of
the
dialectic
but
must
in
turn
be
superseded.

 “The
master/slave
relation
lacks
the
moment
of
reciprocity:
although
the
slave
sets
aside
his
 own
being‐for‐self,
and
thereby
does
to
himself
what
the
master
does
to
him,
the
master
does
 not
do
to
himself
what
he
does
to
the
slave,
nor
does
the
slave
do
to
the
master
what
he
also
 does
to
himself.
The
master
learns
that
his
independence
or
being‐for‐self
has
not
yet
been
 raised
to
truth,
for
the
master’s
self‐identity
as
independent
is
constituted
through
the
“reified”
 and
dependent
consciousness
of
the
slave
(PhG
114/¶193).
The
truth
of
independent
or
 mastering
consciousness
lies
in
the
dependent
or
slavish
consciousness.
The
independent
 master
is
in
fact
dependent
upon
the
slave,
both
for
the
material
needs
of
life
and
for
his
 recognition
as
master.
By
contrast,
the
dependent
slave,
through
the
experience
of
service
and
 discipline,
will
set
the
preconditions
for
overcoming
domination
and
subjection.”
(Sinnerbrink,
 2002)

 By
not
recognizing
the
ontological
freedom
that
is
prerequisite
for
any
behaviour
whatsoever
the
 Master
fails
to
see
the
slave
as
a
priori
equal.
Only
once
this
is
seen
can
forced
Master/slave
 relationships
become
chosen
relationships.
The
Master
here
gains
nothing,
because
he
is
only
 recognized
by
one
he
considers
incapable
of
providing
equal
recognition.

 “Self‐consciousness
can
overcome
this
“freedom
still
enmeshed
in
servitude”
only
through
 socially
recognized
labour,
the
process
though
which
it
comes
to
recognize
itself
historically
 within
social
objectivity.”
(Sinnerbrink,
2002)

 This
mistake
is
the
mistake
of
dialectical
materialism
as
well.
Social
objectivity
can
only
recognize
the
 individual
as
a
subject.


24


Horizons
of
Identity:

An
Investigation
into
the
Nature
of
the
Self



 Chapter
8:

The
Movement
from
Self­Consciousness
to
Absolute
Knowing

 Certainty
and
Truth
of
Reason


“In
the
experience
it
has
undergone,
the
unhappy
consciousness
has
become
aware
of
the
unity
 between
the
Universal
and
its
own
individual
action
and
being.
It
has
attained
the
level
of
the
 representation
of
reason
[Vernunft],
but
not
that
of
the
unity
of
universal
and
individual
in
 reason
itself“
“Rational
self‐consciousness
now
affirms
the
equal
essentiality
of
the
world
as
 itself,
and
finds
itself
reflected
within
universal
objectivity;
it
discovers
its
self‐identity
in
 otherness,
the
unity
of
the
consciousness
of
its
own
individuality
and
of
universal
being.”
 (Sinnerbrink,
2002)

 ‘Rational
self‐consciousness’,
however,
remains
mere
self‐consciousness
and
not
Spirit.
It
has
discovered
 self‐identity
but
not
the
nature
of
the
Self
and
the
invental
I‐subject.

 “The
manner
in
which
self‐consciousness
immediately
finds
and
determines
itself
and
its
object
 will
depend
on
the
history
of
self‐consciousness
and
its
historical
situation
(PhG
134/234).
The
 immediate
appearance
of
reason,
however,
is
an
abstraction
of
its
truth,
which
will
prove
to
be
 “the
absolute
Concept,”
“Although
self‐consciousness
begins
to
comprehend
or
to
think
the
 Concept,
the
need
for
a
genuine
transcendental
deduction
of
the
categories
remains
unfulfilled.
 Hegel
therefore
moves
from
the
empty
Idealism
that
has
forgotten
its
path
of
experience
to
the
 philosophical
possibility
of
two
speculative
paths
or
perspectives:
a
logical
deduction
of
the
 plurality
and
validity
of
the
categories
as
a
systemic
whole
(undertaken
in
the
Science
of
Logic),
 and
the
phenomenological
disclosure
(performed
by
the
Phenomenology)
of
the
path
through
 which
Reason,
as
a
mere
self‐certain
assertion,
proves
itself
and
attains
a
genuine
 understanding
of
its
own
fundamental
claim:
that
Reason
is
Spirit.”
(Sinnerbrink,
2002)

 The
’systemic
whole’
is
not
in
any
way
a
logical
deduction
but
an
experience
of
absolute
knowing
itself.
 ‘Reason,
as
a
mere
self‐certain
assertion,
proves
itself
and
attains
a
genuine
understanding
of
its
own
 fundamental
claim’
by
self‐reinforcement
in
the
revelation
of
the
meaning
revelation
itself:
the
 emergent
system
of
reflexive,
absolute
understanding.

 


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