Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

Conspectus of Hegel’s Book
Lectures On the History
of Philosophy

Volume XIII. Volume I of The History of Philosophy.
History of Greek Philosophy

Written: 1915
Source: Lenin’s Collected Works, 4th Edition, Moscow, 1976, Volume 38, pp. 247-268
Publisher: Progress Publishers
First Published: 1930 in Lenin Miscellany XII
Translated: Clemence Dutt
Edited: Stewart Smith
Transcription & Markup: Kevin Goins
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive (2008).You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.

Note that this document has undergone special formating to ensure that Lenin’s sidenotes fit on the page, marking as best as possible where they were located in the original manuscript.




“Anaximander (610-547 B. C.) supposes
man to develop from a fish.” (213)



...“Hence the determinations are dry,
destitute of process, undialectical, and sta-
tionary....” (244)

negative de-
of dialectics

This refers to the general ideas of the
Pythagoreans;—“number” and its sig-
nificance, etc. Ergo: it is said in regard
to the primitive ideas of the Pythago-
reans, their primitive philosophy; their
“determinations” of substance, things,
the world, are “dry, destitute of process
(movement), undialectical.”


Tracing predominantly the dialectical in
the history of philosophy, Hegel cites the

views of the Pythagoreans: ...“one, added
to even, makes odd (2+1 = 3);—added
to odd, it makes even (3+1 = 4);—it”
(Eins[3]) “has the property of making ge-
rade (= even), and consequently it must
itself be even. Thus unity contains in it-
self different determinations.” (246)

Musical harmony and the philosophy of

(“harmony of
the world”)

“The subjective, and, in the case of hear-
ing, simple feeling, which, however, exists
inherently in relation, Pythagoras has at-
tributed to the understanding, and he at-
tained his object by means of fixed deter-
minations.” (282)

relation of
the subjec-
tive to the

Pp. 265--266: the movement of the heav-

enly bodies—their harmony—the har-
mony of the singing heavenly spheres
inaudible to us (in the Pythago-
): Aristotle, De coelo, II, 13
(and 9)[4]:


...“Fire was placed by the Pythagoreans
in the middle, but the Earth was made
a star that moved around this central body
in a circle....” But for them this fire was
not the sun.... “They thus rely, not on
sensuous appearance, but on grounds....
These ten spheres”

                              ten spheres or orbits
or movements of the ten planets: Mer-
cury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Sun,
Moon, Earth, the Milky Way and the
Gegenerde[5] (—antipode?) invented “for
an even number,” for 10[6]

                                         “like all that
is in motion, make a sound; but each
makes a different tone, according to the
difference in its size and velocity. This
is determined by the different distances,
which bear a harmonious relationship to
one another, in accordance with musical
intervals; by this means a harmonious
sound (music) arises in the moving spheres


Concerning the soul, the Pythagoreans
thought “die Seele set: die Sonnenstäub-
[7] (p. 268) (= dust particle, atom)
(Aristotle, De anima, I, 2).”[8]

An allusion
to the struc-
    ture of

the role of
dust (in the
sunbeam) in

In the soul—seven circles (elements)
as in the heavens. Aristotle, De ani-
, I, 3—p. 269.

on the resem-
blance of the
and the

And here immediately are recounted the
fables that Pythagoras (who had taken
from the Egyptians the doctrine of the im-
mortality of the soul and the transmi-
gration of souls) related about himself, that
his soul had dwelt 207 years in other people,
etc., etc. (271)


NB: the linking of the germs of scien-
tific thought with fantasy à la religion,
mythology. And nowadays! Likewise,
the same linking but the proportions
of science and mythology are different.


More on the theory of numbers of Pytha-
    “Numbers, where are they? Dispersed
through space, dwelling in independence
in the heaven of ideas? They are not
things immediately in themselves, for a
thing, a substance, is something quite
other than a number—a body bears no
resemblance to it.” 254
    Quotation |from Aristotle?—Met-
, I, 9, is it not? From Sextus
Empiricus? Unclear|.


Pp. 279-280—the Pythagoreans accept the

ether (...“A ray penetrates from the
sun through the dense and cold ether,”

Thus the conjecture about the ether
has existed for thousands of years, re-
maining until now a conjecture. But
at the present time there are already
a thousand times more subsurface chan-
leading to a solution of the prob-
lem, to a scientific determination of
the ether.



In speaking of the Eleatic school, Hegel
says about dialectics:

...“We here” (in der eleatischen Schule[10])
“find the beginning of dialectics, i.e.,
simply the pure movement of thought
in Notions; likewise we see the opposition
of thought to outward appearance or sen-
suous Being, or of that which is implicit
to the being-for-another of this implicit-
ness, and in the objective existence we see
the contradiction which it has in itself,
or dialectics proper....” (280) See the next

what is

Here are essentially two determinations
(two characteristics, two typical features;
Bestimmungen, keine Definitionen[12]) of

α) “the pure movement of thought
   in Notions”;
β) “in the (very) essence of objects
   (to elucidate) (to reveal) the con-
   tradiction which it (this essence)
   has in itself (dialectics

In other words, this “fragment” of He-
gel’s should be reproduced as follows:
    Dialectics in general is “the pure move-
ment of thought in Notions“ (i.e., putting
it without the mysticism of idealism:
human concepts are not fixed but are
eternally in movement, they pass into
one another, they flow into one another,
otherwise they do not reflect living life.
The analysis of concepts, the study of
them, the “art of operating with them”
(Engels)[14] always demands study of the
movement of concepts, of their inter-
connection, of their mutual transitions).

In particular, dialectics is the study
of the opposition of the Thing-in-itself
(an sich), of the essence, substratum, sub-
stance—from the appearance, from “Be-
ing-for-Others.” (Here, too, we see a tran-
sition, a flow from the one to the other: the
essence appears. The appearance is essen-
tial.) Human thought goes endlessly deeper
from appearance to essence, from essence of
the first order, as it were, to essence of
the second order, and so on without

Dialectics in the proper sense is the
study of contradiction in the very essence
of objects:
not only are appearances tran-
sitory, mobile, fluid, demarcated only
by conventional boundaries, but the es-
of things is so as well.

Hegel on
(see the

Sextus Empiricus presents the point of
view of the Sceptics as follows:

...“Let us imagine that in a house in
which there are many valuables, there
were those who sought for gold by night;
each would then think that he had found
the gold, but would not know for certain
whether he had actually found it. Thus
philosophers come into this world as into
a great house to seek the truth, but were
they to reach it, they could not tell
whether they had really attained it....”

the compari-
son is
a tempting

Xenophanes (the Eleatic) said:

“Did beasts and lions only have hands,
    Works of art thereby to bring forth, as
do men,
    They would, in creating divine forms,
give to them
    What in image and size belongs to them-

Gods in the
image of

selves....” (289-290)

“What especially characterises Zeno is
dialectics, which ... begins with him....”

“We find in Zeno likewise true objective
dialectics.” (309)

(310: on the refutation of philosophic
systems: “Falsity must not be demonstrat-
ed as untrue because the opposite is true,
but in itself....”)


“Dialectics is in general α) external dia-
lectics, in which this movement is differ-
ent from the comprehension of this move-


ment; β) not a movement of our intelli-
gence only, but what proceeds from the
nature of the thing itself, i. e., from the
pure Notion of the content. The former
is a manner of regarding objects in such
a way that reasons are revealed and aspects
of them shown, by means of which all
that was supposed to be firmly fixed, is
made to totter. There may be reasons which
are altogether external too, and we shall
speak further of this dialectics when deal-
ing with the Sophists. The other dialectics,

however, is the immanent contemplation
of the object: it is taken for itself, without
previous hypothesis, idea or obligation,
not under any external conditions, laws,
grounds. We have to put ourselves right
into the thing, to consider the object in
itself and to take it in the determina-
tions which it has. In regarding it thus,
it” (er) (sic!) “shows from itself that it con-
tains opposed determinations, and thus
transcends itself; this dialectics we more
especially find in the ancients. Subjec-


tive dialectics, which reasons from exter-
nal grounds, does justice when it is granted
that: ‘in the correct there is what is not
correct, and in the false the true as well.’
True dialectics leaves nothing whatever
to its object, as if the latter were defi-
cient on one side only; but it disintegrates
in the entirety of its nature....” (p. 311)


With the “principle of development” in
the twentieth century (indeed, at the end
of the nineteenth century also) “all are
agreed.” Yes, but this superficial, not
thought out, accidental, philistine “agree-
ment” is an agreement of such a kind as
stifles and vulgarises the truth.—If every-
thing develops, then everything passes from
one into another, for development as is
well known is not a simple, universal and
eternal growth, enlargement (respective dim-
inution), etc.—If that is so, then, in the
first place, evolution has to be under-
stood more exactly, as the arising and
passing away of everything, as mutual
transitions.—And, in the second place,
if everything develops, does not that
apply also to the most general concepts
and categories of thought? If not, it means
that thinking is not connected with being.
If it does, it means that there is a dialec-
tics of concepts and a dialectics of cogni-
tion which has objective significance. +

the question
of dialec-
its objective

The principle  
of develop-
The principle
of unity...
+ In addition, the uni-
versal principle of de-
velopment must be com-
bined, linked, made to
correspond with the uni-
versal principle of the
unity of the
, nature, motion,
matter, etc.


“Zeno’s treatment of motion was above
all objectively dialectical....” (p. 313)


...“Movement itself is the dialectic of
all that is....” It did not occur to Zeno
to deny movement as “sensuous certainty,”
it was merely a question “nach ihrer (move-
ment’s) Wahrheit” (of the truth of move-
ment). (313) And on the next page, where
he relates the anecdote how Diogenes the
Cynic, of Sinope, refuted movement by
walking, Hegel writes:

NB. This can
and must be
: the
question is
not whether
there is
but how
to express
it in the logic
of concepts

...“But the anecdote continues that, when
a pupil was satisfied with this refutation,
Diogenes beat him, on the ground that,
since the teacher had disputed with reasons,
the only valid refutation is one derived
from reasons. Men have not merely to sat-
isfy themselves by sensuous certainty, but
also to understand....” (314)

Not bad!
Where is this
of the anec-
dote taken
from? It is
not to be
found in Dio-
genes Laerti-
us, VI, § 39,[15]
or in Sextus
cus, III, 8[16]
(Hegel p.
314). Did He-
gel invent it?

Zeno has four ways of refuting motion:
1. That which is moving to an end must

first cover half of the path. And of
this half, again first its half, and so
on ad infinitum.

Aristotle replied: space and time
are infinitely divisible (δννάμει[17])
(p. 316), but not infinitely divided
(ένεργεία[18]), Bayle (Dictionnaire,[19]
Vol. IV, article Zeno) calls this reply
of Aristotle’s pitoyable[20] and says:

...“if one drew an infinite number
of lines on a particle of matter, one
would not thereby introduce a division
that would reduce to an actual infin-
ity that which according to him was
only a potential infinity....”

And Hegel writes (317): “Dies si ist

i.e., if one carried out the infinite
division to the end!!

...“The essence of space and time is mo-
tion, for it is universal; to understand
it means to express its essence in the form


of the Notion. As unity of negativity and
continuity, motion is expressed as the No-
tion, as thought; but neither continuity
nor discontinuity is to be posited as the
essence....” (pp. 318--319)

“To understand means to express in the
form of notions.” Motion is the essence
of space and time. Two fundamental con-
cepts express this essence: (infinite) con-
tinuity (Kontinuitä) and “punctuality”
(= denial of continuity, discontinu-
). Motion is the unity of continuity
(of time and space) and discontinuity (of
time and space). Motion is a contra-
diction, a unity of contradictions.


Überweg-Heinze, 10th edition, p. 63
(§ 20), is wrong when he says that Hegel
“defends Aristotle against Bayle.” Hegel
refutes both the sceptic (Bayle) and the
anti-dialectician (Aristotle).
    Cf. Gomperz, Les penseurs de la
, p ...[22], the forced recognition, under
the lash, of the unity of contradictions,
without recognising dialectics (owing to
cowardice of thought)....


2. Achilles will not overtake the tortoise.

“First the half” and so on endlessly.
Aristotle answers: he will overtake
it if he be permitted “to overstep the
limits.” (320)
And Hegel: “This answer is cor-
rect and contains all that can be
said” (p. 321)—for actually the half
here (at a certain stage) becomes the


...“If we speak of motion in general, we
say that the body is in one place and then
it goes to another; because it moves it is
no longer in the first, but yet not in the

cf. Chernov’s

second; were it in either it would be at
rest. If we say that it is between both,
this is to say nothing at all, for were it
between both, it would be in a place, and

this presents the same difficulty. But move-
ment means to be in this place and not
to be in it; this is the continuity of space
and time—and it is this which first makes
motion possible.” (Pp. 321--322)


Movement is the presence of a body in
a definite place at a given moment and
in another place at another, subsequent
moment—such is the objection which Cher-
nov repeats (see his Philosophical Studies)
in the wake of all the “metaphysical”
opponents of Hegel.
    This objection is incorrect: (1) it de-
scribes the result of motion, but not mo-
tion itself; (2) it does not show, it does
not contain in itself the possibility of mo-
tion; (3) it depicts motion as a sum, as
a concatenation of states of rest, that is
to say, the (dialectical) contradiction is
not removed by it, but only concealed,
shifted, screened, covered over.


“What makes the difficulty is always
thought alone, since it keeps apart the mo-
ments of an object which in their separa-
tion are really united.” (322)


We cannot imagine, express, measure,
depict movement, without interrupting con-
tinuity, without simplifying, coarsening,
dismembering, strangling that which is liv-

ing. The representation of movement by
means of thought always makes coarse,
kills,—and not only by means of thought,
but also by sense-perception, and not only
of movement, but every concept.
    And in that lies the essence of dialectics.
    And precisely this essence is ex-
pressed by the formula: the unity, identity
of opposites.


3. “The flying arrow rests.”

And Aristotle's answer: the error
arises from the assumption that “time
consists of the individual Nows” (έχ
τών νϋν) p. 324.

4. Half is equal to the double: motion

measured in comparison with an un-
moving body and in comparison with
a body moving in the opposite

At the end of the § on Zeno, Hegel com-
pares him to Kant (whose antinomies, he
says, “do no more than Zeno did here”).

The general conclusion of the dialectic
of the Eleatics: “the truth is the one, all
else is untrue”—“just as the Kantian phi-
losophy resulted in “We know appearances
only.” On the whole the principle is the
same.” (p. 326)

But there is also a difference.


“In Kant it is the spiritual that de-
stroys the world; according to Zeno, the
world of appearance in itself and for itself
has no truth. According to Kant, it is our
thought, our spiritual activity that is bad;—
it shows excessive humility of mind to be-
lieve that knowledge has no value....”

Kant and his
ism, scep-
ticism, etc.)

The continuation of the Eleatics in Leu-
cippus and among the Sophists...



After Zeno (? he lived after Heracli-
tus?)[24] Hegel passes on to Heraclitus and
    “It” (Zeno’s dialectics) “may, to that
extent, also be called subjective dialec-
tics, insofar as it rests in the contemplative
subject, and the one, without this dialec-
tics, without this movement, is one ab-
stract identity....” (328)


but it was previously said, see the
passage quoted from p. 309, and
others, that Zeno’s dialectics is ob-
dialectics. Here is some kind
of superfine “distinguo.” Cf. the

“Dialectics: (α) external dialectics,
a reasoning which goes hither and
thither, without reaching the soul of the


thing itself; (β) the immanent dialectics
of the object, but (NB) following within
the contemplation of the subject; (γ) the
objectivity of Heraclitus, i.e., dialectics
itself taken as principle.” (328)

subjective dialectics.
in the object there is dialectics,
but I do not know, perhaps it is
Schein,[25] merely appearance, etc.
fully objective dialectics, as the
principle of all that is

(In Heraclitus): “Here we see land; there is

no proposition of Heraclitus which
I would not have adopted in my Log-
....” (328)

“Heraclitus says: Everything is be-
coming; this becoming is the principle.
This is contained in the expression: Being
no more is than not-Being....” (p. 333)


“The recognition of the fact that Being
and not-Being are only abstractions de-
void of truth, that the first truth is to be
found only in Becoming, forms a great ad-
vance. The understanding comprehends both
as having truth and validity in isolation;
reason on the other hand recognises the one
in the other, and sees that in the one its
other” (NB “its other”) “is contained—
that is why the All, the Absolute is to be
determined as Becoming.” (334)

“Aristotle says (De mundo,[26] Chapter 5)

that Heraclitus ‘joined together the
complete whole and the incomplete’
(part)” ... “what coincides and what
conflicts, what is harmonious and what
discordant; and from out of them all
(the opposite) comes one, and from
one, all.” (335)

Plato, in his Symposium,[27] puts forward
the views of Heraclitus (inter alia in their
application to music: harmony consists
of opposites), and the statement: “The art
of the musician unites the different.”

Hegel writes: this is no objection against
Heraclitus (336), for difference is the es-
sence of harmony:

“This harmony is precisely absolute Be-
coming, change,—not becoming other, now
this and then an other. The essential
thing is that each different thing, each
particular, is different from another, not
abstractly so from any other, but from its
other. Each particular only is, insofar
as its other is implicitly contained in its

Quite right
and impor-
tant: the
“other” as
its other,
into its

“So also in the case of tones; they must
be different, but so that they can also
be united....” (336) P. 337: incidentally
Sextus Empiricus (and Aristotle) are reckon-
ed among the ... “best witnesses”....

Heraclitus said: “die Zeit ist das erste
körperliche Wesen”[28] (Sextus Empiricus)—
p. (338)

körperliche[29]—an “unfortunate” expres-
sion (perhaps, Hegel says (NB), it was
chosen by a sceptic (NB),—but time, he
says, is “das erste sinnliche Wesen”[30]....

...“Time is pure Becoming, as per-
ceived....” (338)

In regard to the fact that Heraclitus
considered fire as a process, Hegel says:
“Fire is physical time, it is this absolute
unrest” (340)—and further, in regard to
the natural philosophy of Heraclitus:

...“It” (Natur) “is process in itself....”
(344) “Nature is the never-resting, and
the All is the transition out of the
one into the other, from division into
unity, and from unity into division....”
    “To understand Nature means to rep-
resent it as process....” (339)

Here is what is said to be the narrow-

ness of natural scientists:

...“we listen to their account“ (Natur-
forscher[31]), “they only observe and say
what they see; but this is not true, for un-
consciously they transform what is im-
mediately seen by means of the Notion.


And the strife is not due to the opposi-

tion between observation and the absolute
Notion, but between the limited rigid
notion and the Absolute Notion. They
show that changes are non-existent....”


...“Water in its decomposition re-
veals hydrogen and oxygen: these have
not arisen for they were already there
as such, as the parts of which the water
consists” (thus Hegel mimics the na-
tural scientists)....


“As we find in all expression of per-
ception and experience; as soon as men
speak, there is a Notion present, it
cannot be withheld, for in conscious-
ness there is always a touch of univer-
sality and truth.”

Quite right and important—it is pre-
cisely this that Engels repeated in more
popular form, when he wrote that natu-
ral scientists ought to know that the re-
sults of natural science are concepts, and
that the art of operating with concepts
is not inborn, but is the result of 2,000
years of the development of natural science
and philosophy.[32]
    The concept of transformation is taken
narrowly by natural scientists and they
lack understanding of dialectics.


...“He” (Heraclitus) “is the one who first
expressed the nature of the infinite, and
who first understood nature as infinite in
itself, i.e., its essence as process....” (346)

On the “concept of necessity”—cf. p.
347. Heraclitus could not see truth in
“sensuous certainty” (348), but in “necessity”


NB ||Absolute mediation” (348)


“The rational, the true, that which I
know, is indeed a withdrawal from the
objective as from what is sensuous, individ-
ual, definite and existent; but what rea-
son knows within itself is just as much
necessity or the universal of being; it is
the essence of thought as it is the essence
of the world.” (352)

NB: Necessi-
ty = “the universal of
Being” (the
universal in



368: “The development of philosophy in

The develop-

history must correspond to the de-
velopment of logical philosophy; but
there will still be passages in the lat-
ter which are absent in historical de-

ment of phi-
losophy in
history “must
(??) to the
of logical

Here there is a very profound and cor-
rect, essentially materialist thought (ac-
tual history is the basis, the foundation,
the Being, which is followed by conscious-


Leucippus says that atoms are invisible
“because of the smallness of their body”
(369)—Hegel, however, replies that this
is “Ausrede”[35] (ibid.), that “Eins”[36] cannot
be seen, that “das Princip des Eins” “ganz
ideell”[37] (370), and that Leucippus is no
“empiricist”, but an idealist.

((stretching of a point
by the idealist Hegel,
course, stretching a point.))

([Straining to make Leucippus conform
to his Logic, Hegel expatiates on the impor-
tance, the “greatness” of the principle (368)
Fürsichsein,[38] descrying it in Leucippus.
It savours in part of stretching a point.][39]

But there is also a grain of truth in it;
the nuance (the “moment”) of separateness;
the interruption of gradualness; the mo-
ment of the smoothing out of contradic-
tions; the interruption of continuity—the
atom, the one. (Cf. 371 i.f.):—“The one
and continuity are opposites....”

Hegel’s logic cannot be applied in its
given form, it cannot be taken as given.
One must separate out from it
the logical (epistemological) nuances, after
purifying them from Ideenmystik[40]: that
is still a big job.)


“The Atomists are, therefore, generally
speaking, opposed to the idea of the crea-
tion and maintenance of the world by
means of a foreign principle. It is in the
theory of atoms that natural science first
feels released from the need for demonstrat-
ing a foundation for the world. For if nature
is represented as created and held together
by another, then it is conceived of as not
existent in itself, and thus as having its
Notion outside itself, i.e., its basis is
foreign to it, it has no basis as such, it is
only conceivable from the will of another—
as it is, it is contingent, devoid of ne-
cessity and Notion in itself. In the idea
of the atomists, however, we have the con-
ception of the inherency of nature, that is
to say, thought finds itself in it....” (372-373)

(Hegel is
afraid of the
word: keep
away from
me) versus

In the presentation—according to Dio-
genes Laertius, IX, § 31-33—of the atomism
of Leucippus, the “vortex” (Wirbel— δίνην)[41]
of atoms, Hegel finds nothing of interest
(“no interest,” ...“empty representation,”
“dim, confused ideas”—p. 377 i.f.).


Hegel’s blindness, the one-sidedness of
the Idealist!!



Democritus is behandelt[42] by Hegel in
a very stiefmütterlich[43] fashion, in all
pp. 378-380! The spirit of materialism is
intolerable to the idealist!! The words of
Democritus are quoted (p. 379):

“Warmth exists according to opin-
ion (νόμφ) and so do cold and colour,
sweet and bitter; only the indivisible
and the void are in accordance with
truth (έτεή)” (Sextus Empiricus, Ad-
versus Mathematicos
, VII, § 135).[44]

And the conclusion is drawn:

...“We see this much, that Demo-
critus expressed the difference between
the moments of Being-in-itself and
Being-for-other more distinctly....”

By this “the way is at once opened up”
to “the bad idealism,” that ... “meine Emp-
findung, mein....”[45]

“bad ideal-
ism” (my
feeling) cf.

...“A sensuously notionless manifold of
feeling is established, in which there is
no reason, and with which this idealism
has no further concern.”

E. Mach...



Anaxagoras. Noΰς[47] “the cause of the world
and of all order,” and Hegel elucidates this:

...“Objective thought ... reason in the
world, also in nature—or as we speak of
genera in nature, they are the universal.
A dog is an animal, this is its genus, its
substantial; the dog itself is this. This
law, this understanding, this reason is
itself immanent in nature, it is the essence
of nature; the latter is not formed from
without as men make a chair.” (381-382)

the concept
of genus is
“the essence
of nature,” is

“Noΰς is the same as soul (Aristotle
on Anaxagoras)—p. 394

and ...[48] the elucidation of this
1eap from the general in nature
to the soul; from objective to subjec-
tive, from materialism to idealism.
C’est ici que ces extrêmes se touchent
(et se transforment!)[49]


On the homoeomeriae[50] of Anaxagoras
(particles of the same kind as the whole
body) Hegel writes:
    “Transformation is to be taken in a

double sense, according to existence and
according to the Notion....” (403-404)
Thus, for instance, it is said that water
can be removed—the stones remain; blue
colour can be removed, red, etc., will

tion (its

“This is only according to existence;
according to the Notion, they only inter-
penetrate, it is inner necessity.” Just as
one cannot remove the heart by itself from
the living body without the lungs perish-
ing, etc.

“Nature likewise exists only in unity,
just as the brain exists only in unity with
the other organs” (404)

whereby some conceive transformation
in the sense of the presence of small
qualitatively determined particles and
their growth (respective diminution)
[combination and separation]. The
other conception (Heraclitus)—the
transformation of the one into an other.


Existence and Notion—are to be dis-
tinguished in Hegel approximately as
follows: fact (Being) taken separately,
torn from its connection, and connection
(the Notion), mutual relation, concat-
enation, law, necessity.


415: ...“The Notion is that which things
are in and for themselves....”

Hegel speaks of grass being the end for
animals, and the latter for men, etc., etc.,
and concludes:
    “It is a circle which is complete in itself,
but whose completion is likewise a passing
into another circle; a vortex whose mid-
point, that into which it returns, is found
directly in the periphery of a higher circle
which swallows it up....” (414)


So far the ancients are said to have fur-
nished little: “Universal is a meagre deter-
mination; everyone knows of the univer-
sal, but not of it as essence.” (416)

the “univer-
sal” as “es-

“But here we have the beginning of
a more distinct development of the relation-
ship of consciousness to Being, the de-
velopment of the nature of knowledge as
a knowledge of the true.” (417) “The mind
has gone forth to express essence as thought.“

of the nature
of knowl-

“We see this development of the univer-
sal, in which essence goes right over to the
side of consciousness, in the so much de-
cried worldly wisdom of the Sophists.”(418)

((End of the first volume)) [The second
volume begins with the Sophists.]




[1] The Ionic school, or Miletian school (from the town of Miletus, trading and cultural centre of the ancient world on the coast of Asia Minor), was the earliest school of naturalistic materialism (6th century B.C.) in the history of Greek philosophy. (See F. Engels, Dialectics of Nature, Moscow, 1954, p. 250.)

[2] Pythagorean philosophy (6th-4th. century B.C.)—an idealist philosophy that considered the essence of all things to lie in numbers. Named after Pythagoras, the founder of a philosophical, religious and political league in Crotona (Southern Italy) that fought for the supremacy of the aristocracy.

[3] one—Ed.

[4] Aristotle’s work De coelo (On the Heavens) belongs to his natural-philosophic writings and consists of four books that are subdivided into chapters. In modern editions, these books are designated by Roman nvmerals and the chapters by Arabic ones.

[5] Antichthon—Ed.

[6] The number ten was viewed by the Pythagoreans as sacred, as the most perfect number, embracing the entire nature of numbers.

[7]the soul is solar dust”—Ed.

[8] Aristotle’s work De anima (On the Soul) belongs to his natural-philosophic writings and consists of three books.

[9] The Eleatic school (end of 6th-5th century B.C.) was named after the town of Elea in Southern Italy. In contradistinction to the natural dialectic teachings of the Miletian school, and of Heraclitus, regarding the changeable nature of things, the Eleatic school believed in their indivisible, immovable, unchangeable, homogeneous, continuous, eternal essence. At the same time, some of the propositions of representatives of the Eleatic school, and particularly the proofs advanced by Zeno concerning the contradictoriness of motion (the so-called paradoxes of Zeno), despite their metaphysical conclusions, played a positive role in the development of ancient dialectics, having raised the problem of expressing in logical concept the contradictory character of the processes of motion.

[10] In the Eleatic school—Ed.

[11] The next page of the manuscript contains the text given below.—Ed.

[12] determinations, not definitions—Ed.

[13] Determination is the comprehensive conception of the object which characterises its essential aspects and connections with the surrounding world and the laws of its development. Definition, in this case, is the abstract formal-logical determination that takes into account only the external features of the object.

[14] See F. Engels, Anti-Dühring, Moscow, 1959, p. 21. Also see p. 264 of this volume.

[15] The reference is to the work of Diogenes Laertius, Lives and Opinions of Famous Philosophers, consisting of ten books. It was published in ancient Greek by G. Gübner, Vols. 1-2, Leipzig, 1830-33.

[16] The reference is to the work of Sextus Empiricus, Basic Tenets of Pyrrhonism, in three books.

[17] in potentiality—Ed.

[18] in actualityEd.

[19] The reference is to Pierre Bayle, Dictionnaire historique et critique (Historical and Critical Dictionary), 4 Vols., Amsterdam and Leyden, 1740.

[20] pitifulEd.

[21] “This if is good!”—Ed.

[22] Lenin has in mind the French translation of the first volume of Theodor Gomperz’s work Griechische Denker (Greek Thinkers).

[23] The reference is to § 1 of the book by V. Chernov, Philosophical and Sociological Studies, Moscow, 1907.

[24] Heraclitus (c. 530-470 B.C.) lived prior to Zeno of Elea (c. 490-480 B.C.). Hegel discusses Heraclitus after the Eleatics because his philosophy, especially his dialectics, was superior to that of the Eleatics, in particular, the dialectics of Zeno. Whereas Eleatic philosophy embodied, in Hegel’s view, the category of being, Heraclitus’ philosophy was an historical expression of the higher, more concrete and genuine category of becoming. This is an example of how Hegel “adapted” the history of philosophy to fit the categories of his logic. At the same time Hegel’s treatment of Heraclitus and the Eleatics reflected the actual law-governed nature of the history of philosophy as a science. Such deviations from the chronological order are quite legitimate in examining the history of individual aspects or categories of philosophy, since in this case their development emerges in a form free from historical accident. Lenin wrote the following in his fragment On the Question of Dialectics about the “circles” in philosophy: “Ancient: from Democritus to Plato and the dialectics of Heraclitus” and remarks: “Is a chronology of persons essential? No!” (See present volume, p. 360.)

[25] semblance, show—Ed.

[26] The work De mundo (On the Universe), included in Aristotle’s collected works, was written after Aristotle’s death by an unknown author at the end of the 1st or beginning of the 2nd century A.D.

[27] Symposium (Feast)—a dialogue by Plato.

[28] “Time is the first corporeal essence.”—Ed.

[29] corporeal—Ed.

[30] “the first sensuous essence”—Ed.

[31] of natural scientists—Ed.

[32] See F. Engels, Anti-Dühring, Moscow, 1959, pp. 21-22.

[33] fate—Ed.

[34] logos—Ed.

[35] “subterfuge”—Ed.

[36] “One”—Ed.

[37] “the principle of the One” is “altogether ideal”—Ed.

[38] Being-for-itself—Ed.

[39] In Lenin’s manuscript these five lines have been crossed out.—Ed.

[40] mysticism of ideasEd.
      [Back to note #14]

[41] Diogenes Laertius (p. 235)—“vertiginem”—Latin translation.—Ed.

[42] treated—Ed.

[43] step-motherly—Ed.

[44] The reference is to the work of Sextus Empiricus, Against Mathematicians, consisting of 11 books, six of which are devoted to a critique of grammar, rhetoric, geometry, arithmetic, astronomy and music, and five (Against Dogmatists) to a critique of logic, physics and ethics.

[45] “my feeling, mine

[46] A critique of the subjective idealist teachings of Mach on sensations was presented by Lenin in his book Materialism and Empirio-Criticism, Chapter 1, §§ 1 and 2 (V. I. Lenin, Materialism and Empirio-Criticism, Moscow, 1960, pp. 32-61).

[47] reason—Ed.

[48] A word has remained undeciphered here.—Ed.

[49] “It is here that these extremes come into contact (and are transformed!).—Ed.

[50] Homoeomeriae — according to Aristotle, a term used by Anaxagoras to denote tiny material elements consisting in their turn of an infinite number of smaller particles and containing all existing properties (“all in everything”). The elements themselves are inert and set in motion by νοΰς (mind, reason), believed by Anaxagoras to be a kind of fine and light matter. He explained any emergence and destruction by the junction and separation of elements. In the extant fragments of Anaxagoras’ works these elements are called “seeds” or “things”; the term homoeomeriae was introduced by Aristotle.


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