J. B. Baillie. The Origin and Significance of Hegel’s Logic 1901

Chapter VII: The “Phenomenolgy” (continued) – Phenomenology and Logic

So far we have considered how the conception of Absolute Knowledge is arrived at, and what it means. We must now determine briefly the relation in which its content stands towards the other forms of knowledge which led up to it.

On this point we are not left in much doubt. To begin with, it holds in the case of Absolute Science, as also of every stage in the process of experience, that its truth contains in itself the truth of the preceding form of experience. The latter is not abolished in toto when we attain a higher stage. It is negated by its own more complete truth, what it ideally contains or implies. The very meaning of degrees of truth indicates that the lower exists with the higher; if this were not so the truths would be either of the same value, or altogether incomparable. In the present case, the later truth possesses within itself the preceding, and the highest, the absolute truth contains all the truth in the preceding forms of experience.

Now the principle in virtue of which this is possible may be expressed in two ways, from the point of view of objective Reality, or that of the subject of experience. In both cases the result is the same. Reality, as the ultimate object of experience, is present from the lowest stage of experience to the highest. In the various forms passed in review we are not dealing with objects out of all relation to each other; the object, e.g., in Sense-experience is not absolutely dissociated from that in Observation.

If this were so these various forms of experience could not be successive stages in the evolution of the content of the object; they would simply deal with different objects. To make of them a single whole there must be one object to which they all refer, and of which they are various determinatives. That one object is ultimate Reality; this is the substantial material out of which the whole structure of experience is built, the point of reference for all the forms of knowledge, that about which there is knowledge. Now this Reality is in experience from first to last; the modes of experience are different ways of bringing it before consciousness.

Its presence is revealed by each particular stage of experience, and also by the change from one form of experience to another. If its completeness is not adequately represented by any given mode, it asserts itself by compelling an alteration in the mode of experience which is to interpret it. Each stage contains Reality, but Reality more completely evolved contains the moments which exhibit it less completely, while Supreme Reality contains all its moments. The identity, therefore, of ultimate Reality throughout the whole process guarantees the essential connexion between the various objects of experience, while the different kind of connexion is determined by the fact that Reality appears at the various stages with increasing fulness and completeness. It is true, as has been already pointed out, that each different mode of consciousness is a determination of the single life of the one individual mind present through all experience. Similarly each mode of reality, each object, is an appearance of a single ultimate Reality. The diversity of forms of this Reality does not, and, since experience is one, cannot affect its unity.

But this relation of Absolute Knowledge to the other forms of experience is made evident also when we consider the subject of experience.

All the forms of experience are modes of a single consciousness, of the one mind which is operative in all experience.[1] Each reveals a phase of the life of mind, a mode of the Ego; but one reveals its reality more truly than another. They all agree, therefore, in being realisations of mind; they differ in the completeness with which they express its essential nature. That essential nature we saw was to be self-conscious. All these forms contain a truth of mind, a mode of its self-conscious life; and each is indispensable to its exhaustive expression. Even the highest mode is unable to exhibit the entire life of mind. The Self is the concrete whole of experience, and each form reveals a phase distinct from the others.

Mind is too rich to be exhaustively expressed by any one form of experience, and is equally too poor to do without any. The highest form, therefore, is not a substitute for the other forms of experience, but subsists with them. Its connexion with the others lies in the fact that it absolutely reveals the self which they only in part realised. But it is precisely the same self which is realised in all; its perfect expression must, therefore, contain all the truth it contains, namely, the truth of the other forms of experience. In the final stage, therefore, we have a twofold result; we have at once a highest truth and a definite relation of this truth to the lower truths of experience.

Now, from the considerations which we have adduced, it becomes easy to determine the relation in question. Every mode of mind contains and expresses a truth of experience; every one is essential just for that reason. Each is a specific moment in the living reality, mind. All of these modes together contain the whole truth of experience. But since in Absolute Knowledge mind knows itself, in the form of self, and mind is the entire and absolute reality, the complete knowledge of the self of mind must clearly exhaust the whole content of reality. None of the other forms considered possess this characteristic, for in none of them does mind profess to know its self as it is in itself; none of them, therefore, exhaustively embrace the whole area of reality, or express the whole nature of mind. Thus, then, Absolute Knowledge will not merely contain and make explicit the ultimate content, the absolute truth of reality; it will also contain the whole truth of reality, will be the sphere of complete as well as absolute truth. But if so, then clearly as a form of knowledge it covers, when taken solely by itself, precisely the field exhausted by the whole inquiry of the Phenomenology. For this, as we have pointed out, embraces the whole truth of experience. But in that case, if the final form of knowledge has as its object the whole truth of which mind is capable, and if the whole sphere of truth has been exhausted by the various forms of mind which have appeared in the inquiry, then it is evident that the content of truth as it is laid bare in the former must be identical or correspond with the truth as it has appeared in the latter. It cannot be the same, for the reasons already indicated. The truth in the two cases must therefore correspond. In other words, the notions which make up the content of Absolute Science appear in the Phenomenology as forms of consciousness, as modes of mind.[2] And this holds good of every form under which mind has appeared.[3] For, as Hegel puts it, “as mind in its concrete existence is not richer than Science, neither is it in its content poorer.” The whole of that truth which is necessary to completely exhaust the range of truth attained and possessed by mind must likewise be contained in a science which professes simply to furnish complete truth in its absolute and perfect form.

It must not be supposed that we have here two different truths of the one experience, or, again, two different experiences of one and the same complete truth. We cannot have the former, for truth is one, experience being one, and mind itself being a unity. To suppose that we could have two truths would mean either that we had not exhausted the area of truth known to mind, or that the one mind could have totally diverse experiences.

But the former alternative is excluded by the assumption that the Phenomenology had passed in review all the mind’s truth, and the latter by the fact that one mind simply means one experience. Again, we cannot have two different experiences of complete truth for the like reasons.

Absolute Knowledge is certainly an experience; but it is only a moment in a single experience. Absolute Knowledge as one activity of mind is one experience amongst others. When completely developed with all it contains it covers the whole area of experience. Consequently that which at once constitutes Science a determinate mode of experience, and yet makes it possible for it to embrace all experience, can only be the attitude taken up by mind in Absolute Knowledge, the character of the truth which it contains and reveals. Or, to put it otherwise, the truth appears differently in experience taken as a whole, and in Absolute Knowledge which embraces in its scope all experience. In the former (in experience) truth appears in concrete form as attitude of mind, as the body and substance of actual human life and history. In the latter (Absolute Knowledge) truth is divested of the palpable flesh and blood of the concrete manifestation of human experience, and appears simply as the vital energy of its substance, as its ultimate essence, its absolute and final meaning.

While, then, there is this distinction, it must not be supposed that there is any opposition between the form (particular manifestation) of mind as such, and the notion which in Absolute Knowledge is its essence, that a notion is external to the form of experience. On the contrary, the notion is not merely the resulting final truth of mind, it is also the inner reality of the form of experience itself. It is at once the culminating point of experience and the ground of experience. The movement towards the perfect form of mind does not merely complete itself in the notion, but the notion is the inner principle of that movement itself.[4] Each concrete form of experience is in its essential nature a notion.[5] This, indeed, is what we might have expected. For, on the one hand, it is mind’s own inner and ultimate truth which is gradually evolved by the process of the inquiry, a result which by the very nature of the process could not be arrived at unless it were contained immanenter in the preceding forms; and on the other hand, Absolute Knowledge explicitly professes to state the full and essential content of mind, and can only do so if its peculiar content is actually the inner truth of each phase of experience in which mind appears. In the one case, truth in its diversity is extended or spread out over, and in the form of, experiences of mind, which appear in the actual history of mind, and which differ from one another because they are experiences occupying different moments and spheres in its history. In the other case, truth is as a whole and at once contained in and expressed by a single distinct form of experience, whose characteristic it is to contain the whole essential content of mind, a content whose diversity consists in the determinate difference of one notion from another.

But in spite of this close connexion between the truth as it appears in Science, and the truth as it appears in concrete experience, we must guard ourselves against a mere identification of the two. We have seen that what appears as part or moment in Science has appeared and is found concretely as mode of mind’s existence in experience. But it must not be inferred from this that we have merely to consult the latter in order to find the former, that we have merely to go over all the modes of mind as they have appeared, determine the essence of each of these, and express the result as Absolute Knowledge. In short, Absolute Knowledge is not simply and literally a reproduction in essentia of the modes of experience, a mere restatement sub specie aeternitatis of the historical appearances of truth. There is no such merely step-for-step correspondence between them. The content of truth as it appears in Absolute Knowledge has a character of its own; without this, indeed, it would not be a different mode of experience. We have stated wherein this determinateness consists, and it is in virtue of this specific character that the development and systematisation of the content of Absolute Knowledge pursues a course of its own. without any explicit reference to these modes of mind whose essence they are. “The pure notion,” as Hegel puts it, “and its further development depend solely on its own pure characteristic determinateness."[6] That Absolute Knowledge will contain and exhibit the entire absolute truth of experience is thus guaranteed by the fact that it is mind in its essential nature which is to be expounded. The ultimate identity, therefore, between the complete truth as found in Absolute Knowledge and the complete truth as spread out over experience is thus guaranteed by the fact that it is the one and the same mind whose truth is expressed in both – in the former as essence, in the latter as concrete appearance. An explicit and deliberate reference to the latter in order actually to determine and evolve the content of the former is therefore at once irrelevant and unnecessary. In the last result they cannot but contain the same. Hence, while we may look for and will discover a general correspondence, a detailed agreement need not be expected.

In regard to one important factor, however, both the Phenomenology as a philosophical exposition of the modes of experience, and the exposition contained in Absolute Knowledge are in unqualified agreement – the method by which the constructive connexion is established, by which system in the two cases is obtained. This is the same in both.[7] We saw that the essence of each form of mind was a notion, and the movement from one to another is primarily a notional movement. Again, it is the one mind whose complete truth is systematically expounded in each case. And for the attainment of system, of scientific coherence and connected development there is only one true method. The nature of this method as it is pursued in the Phenomenology has already been indicated.

The only difference between the process of the development in the Phenomenology and that in Absolute Knowledge is not in the principle by which the development in either case is obtained, but in the nature of the object-matter dealt with by each. In the former mind is ostensibly divided from its object; and the discovery of the absolute truth of knowledge was found to consist just in the gradual approximation to final explicit identification of the two opposed elements. In the latter that opposition has been overcome, truth appears in form of truth, content and form of truth are identical; and here the process of the system of Absolute Knowledge consists in the development of essential truth as such from its lowest up to its highest form. In the former this method of construction was applied to mind simply as concrete actual mind; in the latter it is applied to the truth of mind as truth. The method is bound to be the same, for the method was all along immanent in the content of the inquiry – the method which has brought out each stage, and is the vital immanent activity of each stage itself. Hence the further development of the content of any particular stage, if it is to be really true, must follow the inner movement which has deter mined the essential nature of each stage itself. Only so could any stage develop its implicit content into system. And this is all that Absolute Knowledge can do if it is to become expressed in a system. It must, that is to say, simply develop its content in the character which that content possesses. We might have also a special development of other phases of experience, e.g., that termed Sittlichkeit in the Phenomenology, and call this special development the System of Ethics (or, as it is called later on by Hegel himself, the Philosophy of Law). Or, again, we might have similarly a special development of Religion, and call it Philosophy of Religion. Yet in all these cases we simply have application of one and the same method.

Similarly it is this one method which must operate throughout the development of Absolute Knowledge, which is one mode of experience like these others, one offshoot from the root and main-stem of all experience, mind.

We have now stated as completely as is necessary for our purpose the character and content of Absolute Knowledge. We have shown its place in the concrete experience of mind as an existent fact. We have seen that it is the inevitable and necessary outcome of the inquiry into the truth of mind, and have stated in what respects it differs from, and in what it agrees with, the preceding modes of mind.

The importance of a precise determination of absolute knowledge for the development of Hegel’s Logic cannot well be over-estimated.

For in fact, as must have become already evident, Absolute Knowledge is simply that science which appears in his system as Logic.[8] Absolute Knowledge is not science in general, but science taken in its essential “abstract” content, science in its ultimate terms, the very notion of science.

It is not a descriptive analysis of any and every science, but has the definite determination of a special science. It is science of the essential content of experience. Such a science was for Hegel Logic.

That this identification of Absolute Knowledge with Logic was in no sense an after-thought on Hegel’s part is quite evident from the passages referred to, and indeed from the nature of Absolute Knowledge itself. But if, then, Hegel established the Logic as the final and complete truth of mind, and maintained precisely the same position when working out the Logic itself, the significance of Absolute Knowledge as stated in the Phenomenology for the determination of the nature and content of the Logic in the form in which we now have it is manifestly very great.

Between the appearance of the Phenomenology in 1806-7 and that of the first volume of the Logik 1812, we have no writings published by Hegel to assist us in the discovery of the process by which the Logic, as such, was being constructed. We have, indeed, one publication which, while it did not appear in printed form till after his death, was, in its substance, produced during this interval. I refer to the Philosophische Propaedeutik.[9] Interesting as are these collected notes of Hegel’s lec tures[10] to the Gymnasium pupils in Nürenberg during his Rectorate (1808-16), and helpful as they are in the elucidation of some points in his scheme, it is for two reasons impossible to consider them of much value for the elucidation of the last stage in the development of his Logic.

In the first place, the treatment of Logic which we find in these notes is in its main outline the same as that found in the final systematic statement, and in its details differs from it only in unimportant points. These notes, therefore, in no way indicate any better than the final Logic itself how his positions were obtained. In the second place, the form in which these notes were furnished was determined solely with reference to the needs and capacities of those to whom they were given. So that what does not appear in them cannot be assumed to have been absent from the mind of the author himself, or not to have been yet grasped by him; and what does appear in them was in its matter and method such as to be adapted to the intelligence of those who listened to it. Hence, for instance, it is significant that the inner and immediate connexion of one part with another, and its immanent development out of it by the strenuous application of the only true philosophical method,[11] scarcely appear at all in these notes. What is found, and what indeed gives them their value, is primarily the precise distinction of one element from another, and the grouping of the elements under general headings – exactly what was necessary for the beginner in philosophy, but which for that reason was not a completely philosophical exposition.

In the absence, then, of direct assistance from any statement by Hegel himself between 1807 and 1812, we must seek to determine the mode of the construction of the Logic by such aid as the Phenomenology can supply. And that identification of Logic with Absolute Knowledge which we have already mentioned furnishes a satisfactory and entirely trustworthy clue by which to attain this object. For not merely is this identification consciously made in the Phenomenology, but it is ratified and repeated in the statements made in the Logic itself. This indicates, indeed, that Hegel had attained his final philosophical position by 1806 (or perhaps a year or two earlier, for the Phenomenology was written between 1803 and 1806), and that the general scheme and plan of his system was explicitly present to him from that time onward.

This general scheme, as well as the fundamental point of view, do not seem in any important respect to have been altered at any subsequent period. We are justified, therefore, in passing from the Phenomenology at once to the construction of the Logic. We need not pause to gather up the results hitherto attained, or to indicate in what respects development in his view has taken place. This will be better dealt with after the discussion of the Logic itself.

We propose, then, to show how, from the nature and import of Absolute Knowledge, the construction of the Logic arose and was determined.

And we shall try to exhibit this first of all with reference to the general nature of the Content of the Logic; and secondly, with regard to the Method pursued in the Logic.

But to begin with, it is necessary to state as clearly as possible the relation in which the Phenomenology stands to the Logic, as far at least as this has not already been dealt with. We have considered, from the point of view of the Phenomenology, the relation in which Absolute Knowledge as a mode of mind stands to the other modes of the mind’s experience. We have now to consider from the point of view of the Logic what relation the whole inquiry in the Phenomenology bears to the purpose of the Logic. It is the same problem regarded from two standpoints; in the one case from that of Phenomenology per se, in the other from that of Logic per se. We must carefully guard ourselves, therefore, from trespassing on ground already covered.

Absolute Knowledge or Logic, then, is, like every other mode of knowledge of which mind is capable, in the first instance a fact which exists in the experience of mind. It is not itself unreal; it is an actual mode of concrete mind; not the only mode, but one which exists beside others. It is one form of experience, and appears as an existent fact in the history of mind.[12] This is what is common both to Absolute Knowledge as treated in the Phenomenology and Logic as a fait accompli in the system. This aspect of the Logic, we shall see, is of vital importance.

In the next place, there is a more inner connexion between Logic and Phenomenology. The latter professes to be the ante-chamber to the former, and the former “presupposes” the latter.[13] The sense in which the Phenomenology is to be regarded as the presupposition of Logic is not difficult to determine, if we bear in mind the nature of the two sciences in themselves. The Phenomenology is the philosophical statement of the modes of experience which mind possesses; it takes the modes simply as modes, merely as existent facts in experience, and criticises and systematises them. Logic deals with the absolute truth of the highest mode of mind. The first science (the “Science of Experience”), therefore, deals with this highest mode simply as a mode; the second science is an exhaustive exposition of what this mode contains. Consequently the object-matter of the two sciences is not the same. Each science is qua content sui generis. If this were not so, the first step in the Logic would be the immediate outcome of the last of the Phenomenology, whereas the Notion of Science is only found towards the end of the Logic, and the beginning of the Logic is determined by turning back to the beginning of the Phenomenology.[14] The Phenomenology, then, can be the presupposition of the Logic only in the sense that it deals with the form of the science of Logic, the character of the content found there.

This character, as we have seen, is that in it we have the absolute unity of truth with certainty, and of thought with reality, of Notion (Begriff) with Being (Seyn). Such a unity is presupposed in Logic, and is not established there. Logic starts under the assumption, and its whole procedure depends on the assumption, that the opposition of these elements has been entirely removed. The very meaning of “pure truth” requires and implies this; and the whole of the Logic from first to last contains pure truth, and that only. If, then, it contained anything implying that opposition, it would not contain what it professes to deal with. Thus that initial presupposition regarding the character of the content of Logic cannot, by the very nature of the science, be established inside Logic itself; but allowing Logic to start from it, the various notions with reference to which this assumption holds good, can be completely determined and connected. But for the very reason that the specific content of Logic is not self-evident, is a philosophical truth, and is presupposed by Logic, it requires to be justified, and systematically established. And this not merely for the sake of other minds than the author’s, i.e., those who do not prima facie accept it, but for the sake of the unity and completeness of the system itself, which, just because claiming to exhibit absolute truth, must show that it already in some sense contains also other truths as well.

It is thus the nature of the subject-matter of Logic which the Phenomenology philosophically establishes and determines in the manner we have shown. It is, therefore, the presupposition of the Logic in the sense that it establishes as a truth what Logic assumes at the start and throughout the system; it proves and justifies the presupposition of speculative Logic. Neither the presupposition nor the proof of it is an express part of Logic itself. Logic as a science could be presented without any such justification of its point of view, and is in fact carried out without any reference to that presupposition.[15] The content of Logic has the same character at every step and moment of the system, at the end as well as at the beginning. That character is implied in the construction of Logic in the same sense in which extension as the character of space is implied in the science of Geometry. It is simply the essential nature of space for Geometry, its ultimate datum. What Logic deals with just consists of such elements as possess that quality of being “pure truth.” If there are no such elements, if the notion of Absolute Knowledge is meaningless or false, the whole structure of Logic as understood by Hegel must collapse completely. That there are such elements is what the Phenomenology establishes; if that result is true the principle of the Logic must be sound. What those elements in extenso are, and what are their relations – this is exhibited in the Logic. Hence the truth of the point of view of Logic, the validity of the conception of the nature of its subject-matter, (the ground notions of experience), is determined by the Phenomenology and falls outside Logic itself. But, this being granted, the truth of the Logic as systematic science does not depend on, and is not guaranteed by the fact established by the Phenomenology; the Logic guarantees its own truth, is a self-closed science. The Phenomenology “justifies” the claim of Logic to deal with absolute truth. This is only secured by systematic consideration of all forms of truth found in experience, the truth contained in Logic being shown to be the ultimate truth of experience. The “justification” is therefore a “deduction”; Logic is the outcome and final truth of experience. Thus, then, the Phenomenology is the philosophical presupposition of the standpoint of Absolute Idealism; the Logic is its systematic exposition. The former is the Critique of Experience; the latter is the Metaphysic of Experience.

There are other senses in which we may regard the Phenomenology as the presupposition of the Logic. We may, for instance, take it to be the process by which the individual is led up to the standpoint of the Logic. In this sense it is, for the individual approaching the system, the first step to the understanding of it. It undoubtedly has this function; but this subjective purpose cannot be supposed to exhaust the nature of the work; it is determinative of its aim, but not constitutive of its content.

The Phenomenology is an objective science, a philosophical “Science of Experience,” is necessary to the system, not a mere introduction to it, and is called by Hegel himself the first part of the “System of Science."[16] If it had only this subjective significance, it would be singular that it should be regarded as an integral part of the system of Idealism, still more that it should be considered to be in a sense the whole system. We might, again, say that the Logic historically presupposes the Phenomenology. But this is really irrelevant, and is dependent solely on the author’s own method of exposition. To be first in time is not necessarily to be a condition of truth.

Finally, we must determine the relation in which the content of Logic stands to that of Phenomenology. Both cover the whole of reality – in the one case as the content of actual experience, in the other as the content of absolute truth; in the one case as concrete appearance, in the other as ultimate reality. Each science is complete in itself, and is self-determined, and yet each goes over the same field. No sphere of reality, therefore, lies outside either. But in that case each can be regarded as containing the whole of Hegel’s philosophy;[17] each[18] contains the system as a whole in a different form. And this, paradoxical as it seems, is true, though it is only partially true; for each, while containing the whole system, is itself merely a part of that system.

But though each science can be regarded as covering the whole system, this does not mean that the system has two beginnings, nor, again, that there are two systems. It is one and the same principle which is present in both sciences; in the one science (Phenomenology) the principle appears explicitly as a result at the end of the inquiry; in the other it is explicit at the beginning; in both cases it is operative throughout.

The difference of science, as we have seen, lies in the difference of immediate object-matter, and the difference of beginning is determined by that object-matter. There is, as Hegel insists, no absolutely first philosophical science, though in each philosophical science as such we must begin at the absolute beginning for that science.[19] There are, indeed, differences in value for the system between these two sciences; for the one (Logic) states in ultimate form the complete and absolute truth contained in the system, while the other contains the truth of the system in the concrete forms of actual experience, the essence of which, as we saw, is itself just the ultimate form as it appears in Logic. But this does not render either science superfluous for the complete systematic statement of Idealism.

It is not, then, the area, the extent of reality covered by each science, which makes them distinct, but the aspect of reality which is regarded in the two cases. And when we ask what constitutes the distinction, the answer has already been indicated. In the Logic, mind, the whole of whose experience was passed in review in the Phenomenology, expresses the content of its experience in that form which for mind is ultimate (because mind is there most at home with itself) and absolute (because self-subsistent). But this form is just the notions, the thoughts, which constitute its essential nature qua mind. Mind per se is not a void, nor is it a tabula rasa. It has a determinate content, thought, which is that by which mind is mind. And since thought was proved constitutive of all the various forms of experience, the reflexion in the medium of those notions is bound to cover the same area of reality as the previous science.

But we have already anticipated that development of Logic out of this conception of Absolute Knowledge, which we now proceed to state.

Note The place of the Phenomenology in the various forms of the System.

From the fact that in the Encyclopaedia “Phenomenology of Mind” is a subdivision of the “Philosophy of Mind,” it has been supposed that the Phenomenology of 1807 was afterwards not considered by Hegel to be an integral part of his System, and must therefore be regarded as at most of significance for the uninitiated only.

There is much to be said against this view. In the first place, in the “Philosophy of Mind” the section described as “Phenomenology of Mind” takes up a stage in the development of Mind in general, and deals with this simply as a stage; it does not work out the full significance of this, nor all that it contains. It deals with it primarily on its subjective side, i.e., as a stage in the development of consciousness as such. In the Phenomenology of 1807 the full significance of that stage is worked out; it is the stage where we find what is called “Experience.” Hence the full analysis of what it contains is the so-called “System of Experience,” Phenomenology. If we care to draw a somewhat doubtful distinction, the “Phenomenology of Mind” in the Encyclopaedia may be said to deal with consciousness in its subjective aspect; in the construction of 1807, Phenomenology deals with consciousness in its objective significance.

Again, Hegel made the “Phenomenology of Mind” a part of the “Philosophy of Mind” in the Propaedeutik, which first took shape in 1808, a year after the publication of the Phenomenology. It is therefore unlikely that his interpretation of its significance changed so soon. And this is confirmed by the fact that, though he treated “Phenomenology of Mind” in this manner in the Propaedeutik, we find that the Phenomenology of 1807 still had its original significance; for it is described in the preface to the first edition of the first volume of the Logic (1812) as the first part of the System of Science.

In the next place, the Phenomenology of 1807 is constructed primarily by the same method as the rest of Hegel’s Philosophy. Now, for Hegel, systematisation by the dialectic method is synonymous with being an integral part of the System of Idealism. We have therefore as much right to take the Phenomenology to be an integral part of the System as, e.g., the Philosophy of Law. In fact, the same argument which would show that he changed his views regarding the former would equally prove that he altered his ground in the treatment of the latter.

All that we can maintain then is, that the purpose of the treatment in the two cases is different, and that this is due to the aspect of “Consciousness,” (which is the stage of mind to which Phenomenology applies), dealt with in each case. But this does not necessarily mean any change of point of view on Hegel’s part. The difference really lies in the point of view from which the same fact is regarded. “Phenomenology of Mind” as it occurs in “Philosophy of Mind” may indeed be said to bear much the same relation to Phenomenology as a completed “System of Experience,” that the Phenomenology of 1807 bears to the Logic, in the way above described. The “Philosophy of Mind” shows the place in the life of spirit of the stage of “Consciousness in relation to an object,” much as the Phenomenology of 1807 shows the place of Absolute Knowledge in the System of Experience.


1. Hegel regards this mind as on the one hand the “universal individual,” i.e., the individual as the representative of humanity as a whole, which possesses all these various modes, has realised itself in all; on the other as the “particular individual” which has to pass through these various stages to completely realise mind (Phän. pp. 21, 22). These two points of view are blended in the inquiry itself, which may thus be interpreted in the light of either.

2. Phän. pp. 43, 69, 575, 576, 582, 589, 590.

3. ibid. p. 590.

4. Phän. p. 43; Logik, i. 8; WW. iii.

5. The notion is simply the formal unity of subject and object which are indissolubly bound up in every experience, for experience is just the union of subject and object.

6. Phän. p. 589.

7. Phän. pp. 43 f., 67; Logik, i. 7, 8, 38, 39.

8. Phän. pp. 26 f., 42 ff.; Logik, i. 8, 31 ff.

9. Werke, xviii.

10. The lectures were begun in 1808, and after continual correction finally, in 1811, took the shape in which we now have them. Cf.

Rosenkranz, Preface to “Prop.” Werke, xviii. p. vi.; Leben, p. 249.

11. There is hardly any indication of an explicitly adopted philosophical method at all in the Propaedeutik. Yet Hegel’s method had been used in constructing the Phänomenologie, and its importance recognised.

12. Phän. pp. 583, 585.

13. Logik, i. 31 f.

14. “Being” in the Logic is the naked essence of mere “sense-experience,” with the analysis of which the Phenomenology begins, v. Infra, chap. viii. Note A.

15. Cf. Logik, i. 57 f.

16. Phän. p. 69.

17. Logik, i. 8. The change made in the title later does not seem in any way vital.

18. Cf. Phän. pp. 589 ff.; Logik, iii. 25 f.

19. Cf. Briefe, Theil i. 354; Ency. (Ausg. I.) § 30.