Hegel’s Science of Logic



§ 1088

1. Appearance is the existent mediated by its negation, which constitutes its subsistence. This its negation is, indeed, another self-subsistence; but this is equally essentially a sublated self-subsistence. The existent is accordingly the return of itself into itself through its negation and through the negation of this its negation; it has, therefore, essential self-subsistence; just as it is equally immediately a sheer positedness which has a ground and an other for its subsistence. In the first place, therefore, Appearance is Existence along with its essentiality, positedness with its ground; but this ground is a negation; and the other self-subsistent, the ground of the first is likewise only a positedness. In other words, the existent is, as an Appearance, reflected into an other which it has for its ground, which other is itself only this, to be reflected into an other. The essential self-subsistence which belongs to it because it is a return-into-self is the return of the nothing through nothing back to itself on account of the negativity of the moments; the self-subsistence of the existent is, therefore, only the essential illusory show [wesentliche Schein]. The connection of the reciprocally grounding existents consists therefore in this reciprocal negation, namely, that the subsistence of the one is not the subsistence of the other, but is its positedness, which relation of the positedness alone constitutes the subsistence of the existents. The ground is present as it is in truth, namely, to be a first that is only presupposed.

§ 1089

Now this constitutes the negative side of Appearance. But in this negative mediation is immediately contained the positive identity of the existent with itself. For it is not a positedness relatively to an essential ground, or is not an illusory being in a self-subsistent; it is positedness that is related to a positedness, or is an illusory being only in an illusory being. It relates itself in this its negation or in its other, which is itself a sublated moment, to itself, and is therefore self-identical or positive essentiality. This identity of the existent is not the immediacy that belongs to Existence as such, the merely unessential which subsists in an other. On the contrary, it is the essential content of Appearance which has two sides, first, to be in the form of positedness or external immediacy, secondly, to be positedness as self-identical. According to the first side it is a determinate being, but one which is contingent, unessential and, in keeping with its immediacy, is subject to transition, coming-tobe and ceasing-to-be. According to the other side, it is the simple content determination exempt from this flux, the enduring element of it.

§ 1090

This content in general, besides being the simple element in that which is transitory, is also a determinate, inwardly diverse content. It is the reflection of Appearance into itself, of negative determinate being, and therefore essentially contains determinateness. But Appearance is the simply affirmative manifold variety which wantons in unessential manifoldness; its reflected content, on the other hand, is its manifoldness reduced to simple difference. The determinate essential content is, more precisely, not merely simply determinate, but, as the essential moment of Appearance, is complete determinateness; the one and its other. In Appearance each of these two has its subsistence in the other in such a manner that at the same time it is only in the other's non-subsistence. This contradiction sublates itself; and its reflection-into-self is the identity of their double-sided subsistence: the positedness of the one is also the positedness of the other. They constitute one subsistence, but at the same time as a diverse, mutually indifferent content. Hence in the essential side of Appearance, the negative aspect of the unessential content, its self-sublation, has returned into identity; it is an indifferent subsistence, which is not the sublatedness, but rather the subsistence, of the other.

This unity is the law of Appearance.

§ 1091

2. The law is therefore the positive side of the mediation of what appears. Appearance is at first Existence as negative self-mediation, so that the existent is mediated with itself through its own non-subsistence, through an other, and, again, through the non-subsistence of this other. In this is contained first, the mere illusory being and the vanishing of both, the unessential Appearance; secondly, also their permanence or law; for each of the two exists in this sublating of the other; and their positedness as their negativity is at the same time the identical, positive positedness of both.

This permanent subsistence which Appearance has in law, is therefore, conformable to its determination, first, opposed to the immediacy of being which Existence has. ®

True, this immediacy is in itself reflected immediacy, namely the ground which has withdrawn into itself; but now in Appearance this simple immediacy is distinguished from the reflected immediacy which first started to separate itself in the thing. The existent thing in its dissolution has become this opposition; the positive side of its dissolution is that identity-with-self of what appears, as positedness, in its other positedness. Secondly, this reflected immediacy is itself determined as positedness over against the simply affirmative immediacy of Existence. This positedness [Gesetztsein] is now the essential and the truly positive. The German expression Gesetz [law] likewise contains this determination. In this positedness lies the essential relation of the two sides of the difference which law contains; they are a diverse content, each side being immediate with respect to the other, and they are this as the reflection of the vanishing content belonging to Appearance. As essential diversity, the different sides are simple self-related content-determinations. But equally, neither is immediate on its own, but each is essentially a positedness, or is, only in so far as the other is.

§ 1092

Thirdly, Appearance and law have one and the same content. Law is the reflection of Appearance into identity-with-self; Appearance, as the null immediate, thus stands opposed to that which is reflected into itself, and they are distinguished according to this form. But the reflection of Appearance by virtue of which this difference is, is also the essential identity of Appearance itself and of its reflection, which is, in general, the nature of reflection; it is the self-identical in the positedness and is indifferent to that difference which is the form, or positedness; a content, therefore, which continues itself from Appearance into law, the content of law and Appearance.

§ 1093

Accordingly, this content constitutes the substrate of Appearance; law is this substrate itself, Appearance is the same content, but contains still more, namely, the unessential content of its immediate being. The form-determination, too, by which Appearance as such is distinguished from law, is, namely, a content and is likewise a content distinguished from the content of the law. For Existence, as immediacy in general, is likewise a self-identity of matter and form which is indifferent to its form determinations and therefore a content; it is thinghood with its properties and matters. But it is the content whose self-subsistent immediacy is, at the same time, only as a non-subsistence. But the identity of the content with itself in this its non-subsistence is the other, essential content. This identity, the substrate of Appearance, which constitutes law is Appearance's own moment; it is the positive side of essentiality by virtue of which Existence is Appearance.

§ 1094

Accordingly, law is not beyond Appearance but is immediately present in it; the realm of laws is the stable image of the world of Existence or Appearance. But the fact is rather that both form a single totality, and the existent world is itself the realm of laws, which, as that which is simply identical, is also identical with itself in positedness or in the self-dissolving self-subsistence of Existence. ®

Existence withdraws into law as into its ground; Appearance contains these two, the simple ground, and the dissolving movement of the manifested [erscheinenden] universe whose essentiality it is. ®

§ 1095

3. Law is therefore essential Appearance; it is the latter's reflection-into-self in its positedness, the identical content of itself and of unessential Existence. Now first, this identity of law with its Existence is at first only the immediate, simple identity, and law is indifferent to its Existence; Appearance has a further content other than the content of law. The former content is, indeed, unessential and is the withdrawal into the latter; but for law it is a first which is not posited by it; as content, therefore, it is externally connected with law. Appearance is a host of more precise determinations which belong to the 'this' or the concrete, and are not contained in law but are determined by an other.

§ 1096

Secondly, that which Appearance contains distinct from law, determined itself as a positive or as another content; but it is essentially a negative; it is form and its movement as such, which belongs to Appearance. The realm of laws is the stable content of Appearance; Appearance is the same content but presenting itself in restless flux and as reflection-into-other

It is law as the negative, simply alterable Existence, the movement. of transition into the opposite, of self-sublation and withdrawal into unity. Law does not contain this side of restless form or negativity; Appearance, therefore, as against law is the totality, for it contains law, but also more, namely, the moment of self-moving form.

§ 1097

Thirdly, this defect is present in law in this way, that the content of law is at first only diverse and so indifferent to itself; therefore the identity of its sides with one another is at first only immediate and therefore internal, or not yet necessary. In law two content determinations are essentially connected (for instance, in the law of descent of a falling body, spatial and temporal magnitudes: spaces passed through vary as the squares of the times elapsed); they are connected; this relation is at first only an immediate one. It is, therefore, likewise at first only a posited relation, the immediate in general having obtained in Appearance the meaning of positedness. The essential unity of the two sides of the law would be their negativity, that is to say, the one would contain its other within itself; but this essential unity has not yet emerged in the law. (That is why the Notion of the space traversed by a falling body does not itself imply that time corresponds to it as a square. Because fall is a sensible movement it is the relation of time and space; but first, the determination of time-that is, time as it is commonly imagined-does not itself imply its relationship to space, and vice versa; it is said that time can quite well be imagined without space and space without time; thus the one comes only externally into relation with the other, which external relation is motion. Secondly, the further determination is indifferent, namely, the magnitudes in accordance with which space and time are related in motion. The law of this relationship is empirically ascertained and in so far it is only immediate; it still demands a proof, that is, a mediation for cognition, showing that the law not only occurs but is necessary; the law as such does not contain this proof and its objective necessity.) Law is, therefore, only the positive, and not the negative, essentiality of Appearance. In the latter, the content determinations are moments of form, as such passing over into their other and in themselves are equally not themselves but their other. Accordingly, though in law the positedness of one side of it is the positedness of the other, their content is indifferent to this relation: the content does not itself therefore, is indeed essential form, contain this positedness. Law, therefore, is indeed essential form, but not as yet real form, which is reflected into its sides as content.


§ 1098

1. The existent world tranquilly raises itself to a realm of laws; the null content of its manifold being has its subsistence in an other; its subsistence is therefore its dissolution. But in this other the world of Appearance also unites with itself; thus Appearance in its changing is also an enduring, and its positedness is law. Law is this simple identity of Appearance with itself and therefore its substrate, not its ground; for it is not the negative unity of Appearance but, as its simple identity, the immediate, that is abstract unity, alongside which therefore its other content also occurs. The content is this content, internally coherent, or has its negative reflection within itself. It is reflected into an other; this other is itself an Existence of Appearance; phenomenal things have their grounds and conditions in other phenomenal things.

§ 1099

But law is, in fact, also the other of Appearance as such and its negative reflection as into its other. The content of Appearance which is distinct from the content of law is the existent, which has its negativity for its ground or is reflected into its non-being. But this other which is also an existent, is likewise reflected into its non-being; it is therefore the same and the phenomenon is therefore in fact reflected not into an other but into itself; it is just this reflection of positedness into itself that is law. But as a phenomenon it is essentially reflected into its non-being, or its identity is itself essentially no less its negativity and its other. Therefore the reflection-into-self of Appearance, namely law, is not only the identical substrate of Appearance, but the latter also has its opposite in law and law is its negative unity.

§ 1100

Now through this, the determination of law has been altered in law itself. At first, it is merely a diverse content and the formal reflection of positedness into itself, so that the positedness of one of its sides is the positedness of the other. But because it is also negative reflection-into-self, its sides are in their relationship not merely different but are negatively related to each other. Or, when law is considered merely on its own, the sides of its content are indifferent to each other; but equally they are sublated by their identity; the positedness of one is the positedness of the other, and therefore the subsistence of each is also the non-subsistence of itself. This positedness of one in the other is their negative unity and each is not only the positedness of itself but also of the other, or, each is itself this negative unity. The positive identity which they have in law as such is at first only their inner unity which stands in need of proof and mediation, because this negative is not as yet posited in them. But since the different sides of law are now determined as being different in their negative unity, or such that each of them contains its other within it, and at the same time, as a self-subsistent side, repels this its otherness from itself, the identity of law is therefore now also a posited and real identity.

§ 1101

Consequently, law likewise has obtained the moment of the negative form of its sides which was lacking, the moment, that is, which previously belonged still to Appearance. Existence has thus completely withdrawn into itself and has reflected itself into its absolute otherness in and for itself. That which was previously law is accordingly no longer only one side of the whole whose other side was Appearance as such, but is itself the whole. Existence is the essential totality of Appearance, so that it now contains the moment of unessentiality which still belonged to Appearance, but as reflected, implicit unessentiality, that is, as essential negativity. As an immediate content, law is determinate in general, distinguished from other laws, and of these there is an indeterminable number. But since it now has within it essential negativity it no longer contains such a merely indifferent, contingent content determination; on the contrary, its content is all determinateness whatsoever, in an essential relation developing itself into totality. Thus Appearance which is reflected into itself is now a world, which reveals itself as a world in and for itself above the world of Appearance.

§ 1102

The realm of laws contains only the simple, changeless but varied content of the existent world. But now since it is the total reflection of this world it also contains the moment of its essenceless manifoldness. This moment of alterableness and alteration as reflected into self, as essential, is absolute negativity or pure form as such, whose moments however in the world in and for itself have the reality of self-subsistent but reflected Existence; just as, conversely, this reflected self-subsistence now has form within itself, by virtue of which its content is not a merely manifold, but an essentially self-coherent, content.

§ 1103

This world in and for itself is also called the supersensuous world; in so far as the existent world is characterised as sensuous, namely, as determined for intuition, for the immediate attitude of consciousness. The supersensuous world likewise has immediacy, Existence, but reflected, essential Existence. Essence has as yet no determinate being; but it is, and in a profounder sense than being; the thing is the beginning of reflected Existence; it is an immediacy that is not yet posited as essential or reflected; but it is in truth not a simply affirmative [seiendes] immediate. It is only as things of another, supersensuous world that things are posited first, as veritable Existences, and secondly as the true in contrast to what has simply affirmative being; in them it is acknowledged that there is a being distinct from immediate being, a being that is veritable Existence. On the one hand, the sensuous representation which ascribes Existence only to the immediate being of feeling and intuition is overcome in this determination; but, on the other hand, there is also in it unconscious reflection which, though having the conception of things, forces, the inner, and so on, does not know that such determinations are not sensuous or simply affirmative immediacies, but reflected Existences.

§ 1104

2. The world in and for itself is the totality of Existence; outside it there is nothing. But since it is in its own self absolute negativity or form, its reflection-into-self is a negative relation to itself. It contains opposition and repels itself within itself into the essential world and into the world of otherness or the world of Appearance. Thus, because it is totality, it is also only one side of it, and in this determination constitutes a self-subsistence distinct from the world of Appearance. The world of Appearance has in the essential world its negative unity in which it falls to the ground and into which it withdraws as into its ground. Further, the essential world is. also the positing ground of the world of Appearance; for, containing the absolute form in its essentiality, its identity sublates itself, makes itself into positedness and as this posited immediacy is the world of Appearance.

§ 1105

Further it is not merely ground as such of the world of Appearance, but its determinate ground. As the realm of laws, it is already a manifold content, namely, the essential content of the world of Appearance, and as ground with a content, the determinate ground of the other world, but only in respect of this content; for the world of Appearance still had other manifold content than the realm of laws, because the negative moment was still peculiarly its own. But since the realm of laws now likewise contains this moment, it is the totality of the content of the world of Appearance and the ground of all its manifoldness. But it is at the same time the negative of this totality and as such is the world opposed to it. That is to say, in the identity of both worlds, one of them is determined in respect of form as essential and the other as the same world but as posited and unessential, so that the ground relation has, it is true, been restored; but it is also the ground relation of Appearance, namely, as relation not of an identical content, nor of a merely diverse one, as is law, but as total relation, or as negative identity and essential relation of the opposed sides of the content. The realm of laws is not only this, that the positedness of a content is the positedness of another, but this identity is essentially, as we have seen, also a negative unity; each of the two sides of law is, in the negative unity, in its own self its other content; accordingly the other is not an indeterminate other in general, but is its other, or, it too contains the content determination of the first; and thus the two sides are opposed. Now since the realm of Laws contains within it this negative moment and opposition, and hence as totality repels itself from itself into a world in and for itself and a world of Appearance, the identity of both is thus the essential relation of opposition. The ground relation as such is the opposition which, in its contradiction, has fallen to the ground; and Existence is the ground that has united with itself. But Existence becomes Appearance; ground is sublated in Existence; it reinstates itself as the return of Appearance into itself, but at the same time as sublated ground, namely, as ground relation of opposed determinations; but the identity of such determinations is essentially a becoming and a transition, no longer the ground relation as such.

§ 1106

The world in and for itself is, therefore, itself a world distinguished within itself into the totality of a manifold content; it is identical with the world of Appearance or the posited world and in so far its ground; but its identical relationship is at the same time determined as opposition, because the form of the world of Appearance is reflection into its otherness and this world has therefore veritably withdrawn into itself in the world in and for itself in such a manner that the latter is its opposite. The relation is, therefore, specifically this, that the world in and for itself is the inversion of the manifested world.


§ 1107

The world in and for itself is the determinate ground of the world of Appearance and is this only in so far as it is within itself the negative moment, and hence the totality of the content determinations and their alterations which corresponds to the world of Appearance but at the same time constitutes its completely opposed side.

The two worlds are therefore in such a relationship that what is positive in the world of Appearance is negative in the world in and for-itself, and conversely, what is negative in the former is positive in the latter. The north pole in the world of Appearance is in and for itself the south pole, and conversely; positive electricity is in itself negative, and so on. What is evil, a misfortune and so on, in manifested existence is in and for itself, good and a piece of good fortune.

§ 1108

In point of fact it is just in this opposition of the two worlds that their difference has vanished, and what was supposed to be the world in and for itself is itself world of Appearance, while this conversely in its own self is the essential world. The world of Appearance is in the first instance determined as reflection into otherness, so that its determinations and Existences have their ground and subsistence in an other; but since this other is likewise a reflection-into-an-other they are related therein only to a self-sublating other, hence to themselves; the world of Appearance is thus in its own self the law which is identical with itself. Conversely, the world in and for itself is at first the self-identical content exempt from otherness and change; but this, as complete reflection of the world of Appearance into itself, or, because its diversity is difference reflected into itself and absolute, contains the negative moment and relation to itself as to otherness; it thereby becomes essenceless content, self-opposed and self-inverting. Further, this content of the world in and for itself has thereby also received the form of immediate Existence. For it is in the first instance ground of the world of Appearance; but since it has opposition within it, it is equally sublated ground and immediate Existence.

§ 1109

Thus the world of Appearance and the essential world are each in themselves the totality of self-identical reflection and reflection-into-an-other, or of being-in-and-for-self and Appearance. Both are self-subsistent wholes of Existence the one is supposed to be only reflected Existence, the other immediate Existence; but each continues itself in its other and is therefore in its own self the identity-of these two moments. What is present, therefore, is this totality which repels itself from itself into two totalities, one the reflected, the other the immediate, totality. Both, in the first instance, are self-subsistents, but they are self-subsistent only as totalities, and they are this in so far as each essentially contains. within it the moment of the other. Accordingly the distinct self-subsistence of each, of that determined as immediate and that as reflected, is now so posited that each is only as essential relation to the other and has its self-subsistence in this unity of both. ®

§ 1110

We started from the law of Appearance; this is the identity of a varied content with another content, so that the positedness of the one is the positedness of the other. In law, this difference is still present, in that the identity of its sides is at first only an inner identity which these sides do not yet have within themselves. Thus first, this identity is not realised; the content of law is not as an identical, but an indifferent, varied content; and secondly, the content is thereby only implicitly determined such that the positedness of the one is the positedness of the other; this is not yet present in the content. Now, however, law is realised; its inner identity is also determinately present, and conversely the content of law is raised into ideality; for it is a content sublated within itself, reflected into itself, in that each side has its other within it and is therefore veritably identical with it and with itself.

§ 1111

Thus law is essential relation. The truth of the unessential world is, at first, a world in and for itself and other to it; but this world is a totality since it is itself and that first world. Thus both are immediate Existences and hence reflections into their otherness, and also for this same reason veritably reflected into self.

“World” expresses in general the formless totality of manifoldness; this world, both as essential and as manifested has fallen to the ground in that the manifoldness has ceased to be a mere variety; as such it is still a totality or universe, but as essential relation. There have arisen two totalities of the content in the world of Appearance; at first they are determined as mutually indifferent self-subsistents and each has the form within itself, but not as against the other; but the form has also shown itself to be their relation, and the essential relation is the consummation of their unity of form.

The Essential Relation - next section

Hegel-by-HyperText Home Page @ marxists.org