Hegel’s Science of Logic

Essence - Ground


(a) The Relatively Unconditioned

§ 1021

1. Ground is the immediate, and the grounded the mediated. But it is positing reflection; as such it makes itself into a positedness and is presupposing reflection; thus it relates itself to itself as to a sublated moment, to an immediate by which it is itself mediated. This mediation, as the progress from the immediate to the ground, is not an external reflection but, as we have seen, the native act of the ground itself, or, what is the same thing, the ground-relation, as reflection into self-identity, is equally essentially self-alienating reflection. The immediate to which the ground is related as to its essential presupposition is condition; real ground is therefore essentially conditioned. The determinateness which it contains is the otherness of itself.

§ 1022

Condition is, therefore, first, an immediate manifold something. Secondly, this something is related to another, to something that is ground, not of the first something, but in some other respect; for the first something is itself immediate and without a ground. According to that relation it is posited; the immediate something ought to be, as condition, not for itself but for something else. But at the same time, the fact that it is thus for another, is itself only a positedness; this fact that it is a posited is sublated in its immediacy, and a something is indifferent to its being a condition. Thirdly, condition is an immediate in such a manner that it constitutes the presupposition of the ground. In this determination it is the form relation of the ground, withdrawn into identity with itself, and is consequently the content of the ground. But the content as such is only the indifferent unity of the ground, as in form - without form there is no content. Further, it frees itself from this indifferent unity in that, in the complete ground, the ground relation becomes a relation external to its identity, whereby the content acquires immediacy. In so far, therefore, as condition is that in which the ground-relation has its self-identity, it constitutes the content of the ground; but because the content is indifferent to this form, it is only implicitly its content, something which has yet to become content and hence constitutes material for the ground. Posited as condition, something has the determination (in accordance with the second moment) of losing its indifferent immediacy and becoming moment of something else. Through its immediacy it is indifferent to this relation; but, in so far as it enters into this relation, it constitutes the in-itself of the ground and is for the latter the unconditioned. In order to be condition, it has in the ground its presupposition and is itself conditioned; but this determination is external to it.

§ 1023

2. Something is not through its condition; its condition is not its ground. Condition is the moment of unconditioned immediacy for the ground, but is not itself the movement and the positing that is negatively self-related and that makes itself into positedness. The ground-relation, therefore, stands over against condition. Something has, apart from its condition, also a ground. This is the empty movement of reflection, because reflection has the immediacy that is its presupposition, outside it. But it is the whole form and the self-subsistent mediating process; for the condition is not its ground. Since this mediating process is, as a positing, self-related, it is from this side also an immediate and unconditioned; true, it presupposes itself, but as a discarded or sublated positing; on the other hand, what it is according to its determination, that it is in and for itself. In so far as the ground relation is a self-subsistent relation-to-self, and it has within it the identity of reflection, it has its own peculiar content over against the content of the condition. The former is content of the ground and therefore essentially formed; the latter, on the other hand, is only an immediate material, whose relation to the ground is external to it while, at the same time, it no less constitutes the in-itself of the ground. It is thus a mixture of the self-subsistent content which has no relation to the content of the ground-determination, and of such content that enters into the ground-determination and, as its material, is meant to become a moment of it.

§ 1024

3. The two sides of the whole, condition and ground, are, then, on the one hand, indifferent and unconditioned in relation to each other; the one, as the unrelated, to which the relation in which it is condition is external, the other as the relation or form, for which the determinate being of the condition exists only as material, as something passive, whose form, which it possesses on its own account, is unessential. But further, the two sides are also mediated. Condition is the in-itself of the ground; so much is it an essential moment of the ground-relation, that it is the simple self-identity of the ground. But this, too, is sublated; this in-itself is only a positedness; the immediate determinate being is indifferent to the fact that it is condition. The fact, therefore, that the condition is an in-itself for the ground constitutes that side of it which makes it mediated. Similarly, the ground-relation, in its self-subsistence, also has a presupposition, and has its in-itself outside it. Thus each of the two sides is the contradiction of indifferent immediacy and essential mediation, both in a single relation-or the contradiction of self subsistent existence and the determination of being only a moment.

(b) The Absolutely Unconditioned

§ 1025

At first, each of the two relatively unconditioned sides is reflected into the other; condition, as an immediate, into the form relation of the ground, and the latter into the immediate determinate being as its positedness; but each, apart from this reflected being of its other in it, is self-subsistent and has its own peculiar content.

§ 1026

At first, condition is an immediate determinate being; its form has the two moments, (a) of positedness, according to which it is, as condition, material and moment of the ground, and (b) of the in-itself, according to which it constitutes the essentiality of the ground or its simple reflection into itself. Both sides of the form are external to the immediate determinate being; for this is the sublated ground relation. But, first, determinate being is in its own self only this, to sublate itself in its immediacy and to fall to the ground [zugrunde zu gehen]. Being is simply only the becoming of essence; it is its essential nature to make itself into a positedness and into an identity which, through negation of itself, is the immediate. The form-determinations, therefore, of positedness and of the self-identical in-itself, the form through which the immediate determinate being is condition, are therefore not external to it; on the contrary, it is this reflection itself. Secondly, as condition, being is now also posited as that which it essentially is, namely, as moment, hence as moment of an other, and at the same time, as an in-itself, likewise of an other; but in itself being only is through the negation of itself, namely, through ground and through ground's self-sublating, and therefore presupposing, reflection; the in-itself of being is accordingly only a posited. This in-itself of condition has two sides: one is its essentiality as essentiality of the ground, while the other is the immediacy of its determinate being. Or rather, both are the same. Determinate being is an immediate, but the immediacy is essentially the mediated, namely, through the self-sublating ground. As this immediacy that is mediated by a self-sublating process of mediation, it is at the same time the in-itself of the ground and the unconditioned of its unconditioned side; but this in-itself is itself in turn also no less only a moment or a positedness, for it is mediated. Condition is accordingly the whole form of the ground relation; it is its presupposed in-itself, but as presupposed it is itself a positedness and its immediacy is this, to make itself into a positedness and so to repel itself from itself, in such a manner that it both falls to the ground and is ground, the ground making itself into a positedness and thus also into a grounded, and these two are one and the same thing.

§ 1027

Similarly, in the conditioned ground, the in-itself is not only the reflection [Scheinen] of an other in it. This ground is the self-subsistent, that is, the self-relating, reflection of the positing, and consequently the self-identical; or, it is in its own self its in-itself and its content. But it is also presupposing reflection; it is negatively related to itself and opposes its in-itself to itself as to an other, and condition, according to its moment of in-itself as well as according to its moment of immediate determinate being, is the ground-relation's own moment; the immediate determinate being is essentially only through its ground and is moment of itself as a presupposing. This ground, therefore, is equally the whole itself.

§ 1028

What is present, therefore, is simply only one whole of form, but equally only one whole of content. For the peculiar content of condition is essential content only in so far as it is the self-identity of reflection in the form, or, as this immediate determinate being is in its own self the ground-relation. Further, this immediate determinate being is only condition through the presupposing reflection of the ground; it is the self-identity of the ground, or its content, to which it opposes itself. Therefore the determinate being is not merely formless material for the ground relation; on the contrary, because it has in its own self this form it is a formed matter, and since also in its identity with it it is indifferent to it, it is content. Finally, it is the same content as that possessed by ground, for it is content precisely as that which is self-identical in the form relation.

§ 1029

The two sides of the whole, condition and ground, are therefore one essential unity, equally as content and as form. They spontaneously pass over into one another or, since they are reflections, they posit themselves as sublated, relate themselves to this their negation and reciprocally presuppose one another. But at the same time this is only a single reflection of both and therefore their presupposing is also only one; or rather this reciprocal presupposing becomes a presupposing of their one identity as their subsistence and substrate. This identity of their common content and unity of form is the truly unconditioned, the fact in its own self. As we saw above, condition is only the relatively unconditioned. It is therefore usually regarded as itself conditioned and a fresh condition is asked for, and thus the usual infinite progress from condition to condition is introduced. Now why does a condition prompt us to ask for a fresh condition, that is, why is a condition regarded as a conditioned? Because it is some finite determinate being or other. But this is a further determination, which is not contained in its Notion. Condition as such is conditioned, solely because it is a posited in-itself; it is therefore sublated in the absolutely unconditioned.

§ 1030

Now this contains within itself the two sides, condition and ground, as its moments; it is the unity into which these have withdrawn. Together they constitute its form or positedness. The unconditioned fact is condition of both, but it is absolute condition, that is, condition that is itself ground. Now as ground, it is the negative identity that has repelled itself into these two moments; first, into the shape of the sublated ground relation, of an immediate, self-external manifoldness, without unity, which relates itself to the ground as something other to it, and at the same time constitutes the ground's in-itself; secondly, into the shape of an internal, simple form, which is ground, but relates itself to the self-identical immediate as to an other and determines it as condition, that is, determines this its in-itself as its own moment. These two sides presuppose the totality in such a manner that it is that which posits them. Conversely, because they presuppose the totality, this in turn also seems to be conditioned by them, and the fact seems to arise from its condition and from its ground. But since these two sides have shown themselves to be an identity, the relation of condition and ground has vanished; they are reduced to an illusory being; the absolutely unconditioned in its movement of positing and presupposing is only the movement in which this illusory being sublates itself. It is the fact's own act to condition itself and to oppose itself as ground to its conditions; but its relation, as a relation between conditions and ground, is a reflection into itself, and its relation to them is its union with itself.

(c) Emergence of the Fact [Sache] into Existence

§ 1031

The absolutely unconditioned is the absolute ground that is identical with its condition, the immediate fact in its truly essential nature. As ground, it relates itself negatively to itself, makes itself into a positedness; but this positedness is a reflection that is complete in both its aspects and a form-relation that is self-identical in them as we have seen from their Notion. This positedness is accordingly, first, the sublated ground, the fact as the reflectionless immediate-the side of conditions. This is the totality of the determinations of the fact-the fact itself, but cast out into the externality of being, the restored sphere of being. In condition, essence releases the unity of its reflection-into-self as an immediacy, which however from now on has the character of being a conditioning presupposition and of essentially constituting only one of the sides of essence. The conditions are, therefore, the whole content of the fact, because they are the unconditioned in the form of formless being. But they also have, by reason of this form, another shape besides the determinations of the content as it is in the fact as such. They appear as a multiplicity without unity, mixed with non-essentials and other circumstances that do not belong to the sphere of determinate being in so far as this constitutes the conditions of this specific fact. For the absolute, unrestricted fact, the sphere of being itself is the condition. The ground, which withdraws into itself, posits condition as the first immediacy and it relates itself to this as to its unconditioned. This immediacy as sublated reflection is reflection in the element of being, which thus develops itself as such into a whole; the form, as a determinateness of being, goes on to multiply itself and thus appears as a manifold content distinct from and indifferent to the determination of reflection. The unessential, which belongs to the sphere of being and which the latter, in so far as it is condition, strips off, is the determinateness of immediacy in which the unity of form is submerged. This form unity, as the relation of being, is present in it at first as becoming-the transition of one determinateness of being into another. But the becoming of being is further the transition to essence and the withdrawal into ground. The determinate being, therefore, that constitutes the conditions is, in truth, not determined as condition by something else and used by it as material; on the contrary, it is through its own act that it makes itself into a moment of another. Also, far from its becoming starting from itself as the true first and immediate, the truth is that its immediacy is only something presupposed, and the movement of its becoming is the act of reflection itself. Accordingly the truth of determinate being is to be condition; its immediacy is, solely through the reflection of the ground-relation which posits itself as sublated. Becoming is, therefore, like immediacy, only the illusory being of the unconditioned, in that this presupposes itself and therein has its form; and the immediacy of being is accordingly essentially only a moment of the form.

§ 1032

The other side of this reflective movement [Scheinen] of the unconditioned is the ground-relation as such, determined as form over against the immediacy of the conditions and the content. But it is the form of the absolute fact, and it possesses within itself the unity of its form with itself, or its content; and in the very act of determining this content to be condition it sublates the diversity of the content and reduces it to a moment, just as, conversely, as essenceless form it gives itself the immediacy of a subsistence in this self-identity. The reflection of the ground sublates the immediacy of the conditions and relates them, so making them moments in the unity of the fact; but the conditions are presupposed by the unconditioned fact itself, which thus sublates its own positing, or its positing directly converts itself equally into a becoming. The two are therefore one unity; the immanent movement of the conditions is a becoming, a withdrawal into ground to the positing of ground; but the ground as posited, that is to say, as sublated, is the immediate. The ground relates itself negatively to itself, makes itself into a positedness and grounds the conditions; but in thus determining immediate determinate being as a posited, the ground sublates it and thereby first constitutes itself ground. This reflection is accordingly the mediation of the unconditioned fact with itself through its negation. Or rather, the reflection of the unconditioned is at first a presupposing-but this sublating of itself is immediately a positing which determines; secondly, in this presupposing, reflection is immediately a sublating of what is presupposed and a determining from within itself; thus this determining is again a sublating of the positing and is in its own self a becoming. In this, the mediation as a return-to-self through negation has vanished; it is the simple, internal movement of reflection [einfache, in sich scheinende Reflexion] and groundless absolute becoming. The movement of the fact to become posited, on the one hand through its conditions, and on the other through its ground, is merely the vanishing of the illusion of mediation. The process by which the fact is posited is accordingly an emergence, the simple entry of the fact into Existence, the pure movement of the fact to itself.

Transition to Appearance

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