From: "Paul Healey" <>

Hegel's 'Absolute Idealism'

After taking up Andy's suggestion, that I should look at Cyril Smith's comments about Hisorshi Uchida's book: Marx's Grundisse and Hegel's Logic, I reached the following conclusion: once the Marxist accepts production can be measured in terms of Hegel's Logic, consistency means equality can be measured in the same way.

Hegel's dialectic is an inevitable part of his Logic. How is 'true humanity', as Smith attributes Marx's edifice with, measured ? If Marx new, I think the tune he was playing would of been quite different.

Let me put this problem in the context in which I believe I have resolved it; It was Errol E. Harris's book: Formal, Transcendental and Dialectical Thinking: logic and reality (1978 ), that really got my interest in Hegel going. Up until then I had followed Kant's Logic, but I was never very happy with his unreserved use of the syllogism - as part of a methodology for making decisions, it just doesn't work! At the same time I was also reading E.V. Ilyenkov's book: Dialectical Logic (1977). Like him I also accept that Formal Logic has no concept of value. In fact it was his reading of Marx's value that helped me resolve my concept of probability ( p331 ).

It also appears that others eg. like Paul M. Churchland ( see A Neurocomputational Perspective 1989 ) are aware of the logical tools, in this case 'back propagation', that are far more effective then those provided by formal logic. If I am right; that the dialectical concept of chance, is itself categorically consistent, and can be demonstrated so by complete induction the formal logician will have to accept his tools cannot do the job.

Hegel's concealment could therefore better be understood as a methodological understanding of correct decision making. Assuming a set of historical values, is quite different from providing the beginning of a methodology upon which different measures of value can be tested. To use a popular turn of phrase, if Hegel were alive, he would also be accusing Marx of 'subjective idealism' albeit for different reasons: for Marx nothing can be known outside that which is for-itself. Only in terms of history and chance ( relative and absolute ) does 'true humanity' have an identity.