Hegel’s Science of Logic
Highlighted text is Lenin's underlining. The ® access his annotations.
The truth of being is essence. ®
Being is the immediate. Since knowing has for its goal knowledge of the true, knowledge of what being is in and for itself, it does not stop at the immediate and its determinations, but penetrates it on the supposition that at the back of this being there is something else, something other than being itself, that this background constitutes the truth of being. This knowledge is a mediated knowing for it is not found immediately with and in essence, but starts from an other, from being, and has a preliminary path to tread, that of going beyond being or rather of penetrating into it. Not until knowing inwardises, recollects itself out of immediate being, does it through this mediation find essence. The German language has preserved essence in the past participle [gewesen] of the verb to be; for essence is past — but timelessly past — being.
When this movement is pictured as the path of knowing, then this beginning with being, and the development that sublates it, reaching essence as a mediated result, appears to be an activity of knowing external to being, and irrelevant to being's own nature.
But this path is the movement of being itself. It was seen that being inwardises itself through its on nature, and through this movement into itself becomes essence. ®
If, therefore, the absolute was at first defined as being, now it is defined as essence. Cognition certainly cannot stop short at manifold determinate being, nor yet at being, pure being; the reflection that immediately forces itself on one is that this pure being, the negation of everything finite, presupposes an internalisation, a recollection [Erinnerung] and movement which has purified immediate, determinate being to pure being. Being is accordingly determined as essence, as a being in which everything determinate and finite is negated. It is thus the indeterminate, simple unity from which what is determinate has been eliminated in an external manner; the determinate element itself was external to this unity and, after this elimination, still remains confronting it; for it has not been sublated in itself but only relatively, only in relation to this unity. We have already mentioned that if essence is defined as the sum total of all realities, then these realities likewise are subordinate to the nature of the determinateness and to the abstractive reflection and this sum total reduces to empty oneness. Essence is in this way only a product, an artefact.
External negation — and this is what abstraction is — only shifts the determinatenesses of being away from what is left over as Essence; it only puts them, so to speak, elsewhere, leaving them the affirmative character they possessed before. But in this way, essence is neither in itself nor for itself; what it is, it is through an other, the external, abstract reflection; and it is for an other, namely abstraction and, in general, for the simply affirmative being that remains confronting it. Its character, therefore, is to lack all determinate character, to be inherently lifeless and empty.
But essence as it has here come to be, is what it is, through a negativity which is not alien to it but is its very own, the infinite movement of being. It is being that is in itself and for itself; it is absolute being-in-itself in that it is indifferent to every determinateness of being, and otherness and relation-to-other have been completely sublated. But it is not only this being-in-itself; as mere being-in-itself it would be only the abstraction of pure essence; but it is equally essentially being-for-self; it is itself this negativity, the self-sublating of otherness and determinateness.
Essence as the completed return of being into itself is thus at first indeterminate essence. The determinateness of being are sublated in it; they are contained in essence in principle but are not posited in it Absolute essence in this simple equality with itself has no determinate being; but it must develop determinate being, for it is both in itself and for itself, i.e. differentiates the determinations which are implicit in it. Because it is self-repelling or indifferent to itself, negative self-relation, it sets itself over against itself and is infinite being-for-self only in so far is as it is at one with itself in this its own difference from itself. The determining then is of a different nature from the determining in the sphere of being, and the determinations of essence have a different character from the determinatenesses of being. Essence is absolute unity of being-in-itself and being-for-itself; consequently its determining remains within this unity and is neither a becoming nor a transition, nor are the determinations themselves an other as other, or relations to other; they are self -subsistent, but at the same time only in their association with each other in this unity. Since essence is at first simple negativity, it now has to posit in its own sphere the determinateness that is only implicit in it, in order to give itself determinate being and then being-for-self.
In the whole of logic, essence occupies the same place as quantity does in the sphere of being; absolute indifference to limit. But quantity is this indifference in an immediate determination, and the limit is present in it as an immediately external determinateness, quantity passes over into quantum; the external limit is necessary to quantity and is affirmatively present in it [ist an ihr seiend]. In essence, — on the other hand, the determinateness is not a simple immediacy but is present only as posited by essence itself; it is not free, but is present only as connected with its unity. The negativity of essence is reflection; and the determinations are reflected, posited by essence itself and remaining in essence as sublated.
Essence stands between being and Notion; it constitutes their mean, and its movement is the transition from being into the Notion. Essence is being-in-and-for-itself, but in the determination of being-in-itself; for the general determination of essence is to have proceeded from being, or to be the first negation of being. Its movement consists in positing within itself the negation or determination, thereby giving itself determinate being and becoming as infinite being-for-self what it is in itself. It thus gives itself its determinate being that is equal to its being-in-itself and becomes Notion. For the Notion is the absolute that in its determinate being is absolute, or is in and for itself. But the determinate being which essence gives itself is not vet determinate being as in and for itself, but as given by essence to itself, or as posited, and is consequently still distinct from the determinate being of the Notion.
At first, essence shines or shows within itself, or is reflection; secondly, it appears; thirdly, it manifests itself. In its movement, essence posits itself in the following determinations:
I. As simple essence, essence in itself, which in its determinations remains within itself.
II. As emerging into determinate being, or in accordance with its Existence and Appearance.
III. As essence that is one with its Appearance, as actuality.
Essence issues from being; hence it is not immediately in and for itself but is a result of that movement. Or if essence is taken at first as an immediacy, then it is a specific determinate being confronted by another such; it is only essential, as opposed to unessential, determinate being. But essence is being that has been sublated in and for itself; what confronts it is only illusory being [Schein]. The illusory being, however, is essence's own positing.
Essence is first reflection. Reflection determines itself and its determinations are a positedness which is at the same time reflection-into-self.
Secondly, we have to consider these determinations of reflection or essentialities.
Thirdly, essence as the reflection-into-self of its determining converts itself into ground and passes over into Existence and Appearance.
Essence that issues from being seems to confront it as an opposite; this immediate being is, in the first instance, the unessential.
But secondly, it is more than merely unessential being, it is essenceless being, it is illusory being.
Thirdly, this illusory being is not something external to or other than essence; on the contrary, it is essence's own illusory being. The showing of this illusory being within essence itself is reflection.
Essence is sublated being. It is simple equality with itself, but only in so far as it is the negation of the sphere of being in general.
Essence thus has immediacy confronting it as an immediacy from which it has become and which in this sublating has preserved and maintained itself. In this determination, essence itself is simply affirmative [seiendes], immediate essence, and being is only a negative in relation to essence, not in and for itself; therefore essence is a determinate negation. In this way, being and essence are again related to each other as others; for each has a being, an immediacy, and these are indifferent to each other, and with respect to this being, being and essence are equal in value.
But at the same time, being, as contrasted with essence, is the unessential; in relation to essence, it has the determination of sublated being. Yet in so far as it is only related to essence simply as an other, essence is not strictly essence but only a differently determined being, the essential.
The distinction of essential and unessential has caused essence to relapse into the sphere of determinate being, since essence in its initial phase is determined as immediate, simply affirmative [seiendes] essence and hence only as other over against being. The sphere of determinate being is thereby made the base, and the fact that the being in this determinate being is being-in-and-for-itself, is a further determination external to determinate being itself; and conversely, while essence is indeed being-in-and-for-itself, it is so only in relation to an other, in a specific reference. Accordingly, in so far as the distinction is made of an essential and an unessential side in something [Dasein], this distinction is externally posited, a separation of one part of it from another that does not affect the something itself, a division which has its origin in a third. Such a division does not settle what is essential and what is unessential. It originates in some external standpoint and consideration and the same content can therefore be regarded now as essential and again as unessential.
Closer consideration shows that when essence is characterised as essential only relatively to what is unessential, it is because it is taken only as sublated being or determinate being. In this way, essence is only the first negation, or the negation which is a determinateness through which being becomes only determinate being, or the latter becomes only an other. But essence is the absolute negativity of being; it is being itself, but not determined only as an other, but being that has sublated itself both as immediate being and also as immediate negation, as negation that is infected with otherness. Thus being, or determinate being, has not preserved itself as an other — for we are in the sphere of essence — and the immediate that is still distinguished from essence is not merely an unessential determinate being but the immediate that is in and for itself a nullity; it is only a non-essence, illusory being.
1. Being is illusory being. The being of illusory being consists solely in the sublatedness of being, in its nothingness; this nothingness it has in essence and apart from its nothingness, apart from essence, illusory being is not. It is the negative posited as negative.
Illusory being is all that still remains from the sphere of being. But it seems still to have an immediate side that is independent of essence and to be simply an other of essence. The other contains in general the two moments of determinate being and negated determinate being. Since the unessential no longer has a being, all that remains to it of otherness is the pure moment of negated determinate being; illusory being is this immediate, negated determinate being in the determinateness of being, in such wise that it has determinate being only in relation to an other, only in its negated determinate being; the non-self-subsistent which is only in its negation. All that is left to it, therefore, is the pure determinateness of immediacy; it is reflected immediacy, that is, immediacy which is only by means of its negation and which, when contrasted with its mediation, is nothing but the empty determination of the immediacy of negated determinate being.
Thus illusory being is the phenomenon of scepticism, and the Appearance of idealism, too, is such an immediacy which is not a something or a thing, in general, not an indifferent being that would still be, apart from its determinateness and connection with the subject. Scepticism did not permit itself to say 'It is'; modern idealism did not permit itself to regard knowledge as a knowing of the thing-in-itself; the illusory being of scepticism was supposed to lack any foundation of being, and in idealism the thing-in-itself was not supposed to enter into knowledge. But at the same time scepticism admitted a multitude of determinations of its illusory being, or rather its illusory being had for content the entire manifold wealth of the world. In idealism, too, Appearance embraces within itself the range of these manifold determinatenesses.
This illusory being and this Appearance are immediately thus manifoldly determined. This content, therefore, may well have no being, no thing-in-itself at its base; it remains on its own account as it is; the content has only been transferred from being into an illusory being, so that the latter has within itself those manifold determinatenesses, which are immediate, simply affirmative, and mutually related as others. Illusory being is, therefore, itself immediately determinate. It can have this or that content; whatever content it has, illusory being does not posit this itself but has it immediately. The various forms of idealism, Leibnizian, Kantian, Fichtean, and others, have not advanced beyond being as determinateness, have not advanced beyond this immediacy, any more than scepticism did. Scepticism permits the content of its illusory being to be given to it; whatever content it is supposed to have, for scepticism it is immediate. The monad of Leibnitz evolves its ideas and representations out of itself; but it is not the power that generates and binds them together, rather do they arise in the monad like bubbles; they are indifferent and immediate over against one another and the same in relation to the monad itself. Similarly, the Kantian Appearance is a given content of perception; it presupposes affections, determinations of the subject, which are immediate relatively to themselves and to the subject. It may well be that the infinite obstacle of Fichte's idealism has no underlying thing-in-itself, so that it becomes purely a determinateness in the ego; but for the ego, this determinateness which it appropriates and whose externality it sublates is at the same time immediate, a limitation of the ego, which it can transcend but which has in it an element of indifference, so that although the limitation is on the ego, it contains an immediate non-being of the ego.
2. Illusory being, therefore, contains an immediate presupposition, a side that is independent of essence. But it does not have to be shown that illusory being, in so far as it is distinct from essence, sublates itself and withdraws into essence; for being in its totality has withdrawn into essence; illusory being is in itself a nullity; all that has to be shown is that the determinations which distinguish it from essence are determinations of essence itself, and further, that this determinateness of essence which illusory being is, is sublated in essence itself.
It is the immediacy of non-being that constitutes illusory being; but this non-being is nothing else but the negativity of essence present within it. In essence, being is non-being. Its intrinsic nothingness is the negative nature of essence itself. But the immediacy or indifference which this non-being contains is essence's own absolute being-in-itself. The negativity of essence is its equality with itself or its simple immediacy and indifference. Being has preserved itself in essence in so far as the latter in its infinite negativity has this equality with itself; it is through this that essence itself is being. The immediacy of the determinateness in illusory being over against essence is consequently nothing other than essence's own immediacy; but the immediacy is not simply affirmative [seiend], but is the purely mediated or reflected immediacy that is illusory being-being, not as being, but only as the determinateness of being as opposed to mediation; being as a moment.
These two moments, namely the nothingness which yet is and the being which is only a moment, or the implicit negativity and the reflected immediacy that constitute the moments of illusory being, are thus the moments of essence itself. What we have here is not an illusory show of being in essence, or an illusory show of essence in being; the illusory being in essence is not the illusory being of an other, but is illusory being per se, the illusory being of essence itself.
What we have here is not an illusory show of being in essence, or an illusory show of essence in being; the illusory being in essence is not the illusory being of an other, but is illusory being per se, the illusory being of essence itself.
Illusory being is essence itself in the determinateness of being. Essence has an illusory being because it is determinate within itself and thereby distinguished from its absolute unity. But equally this determinateness is absolutely sublated in its own self. For essence is the self-subsistent, which is as self-mediated through its negation, which negation essence itself is; it is therefore the identical unity of absolute negativity and immediacy. The negativity is negativity per se; it is its relation to itself and is thus in itself immediacy; but it is negative self-relation, a negating that is a repelling of itself, and the intrinsic immediacy is thus negative or determinate in regard to it. But this determinateness is itself absolute negativity, and this determining which is, as determining, immediately the sublating of itself, is a return-into-self.
Illusory being is the negative that has a being, but in an other, in its negation; it is a non-self-subsistent being which is in its own self-sublated and null. As such, it is the negative returned into itself, non-self-subsistent being as in its own self not self-subsistent. This self-relation of the negative or of non-self-subsistent being is its immediacy; it is an other than the negative itself; it is its determinateness over against itself; or it is the negation directed against the negative. But negation directed against the negative is purely self-related negativity, the absolute sublating of the determinateness itself.
The determinateness, therefore, which illusory being is in essence is infinite determinateness; it is the purely self-coincident negative; it is thus the determinateness which as such is self-subsistent and indeterminate. Conversely, the self-subsistent, as self-related immediacy, is equally sheer determinateness and moment and is only as self-related negativity. This negativity that is identical with immediacy and immediacy that is thus identical with negativity, is essence. Illusory being, therefore, is essence itself, but essence in a determinateness, in such a manner, however, that this is only a moment of essence and essence is the reflection of itself within itself.
In the sphere of being, there arises over against being as an immediacy, non-being, which is likewise an immediacy, and their truth is becoming. In the sphere of essence, we have first essence opposed to the unessential, then essence opposed to illusory being, that is, to the unessential and to illusory bel rig as the remainder of being. But both essence and illusory being, and also the difference of essence from them, derive solely from the fact that essence is at first taken as an immediate, not as it is in itself, namely, not as an immediacy that is as pure mediation or absolute negativity. The first immediacy is thus only the determinateness of immediacy. The sublating of this determinateness of essence, therefore, consists simply and solely in showing that the unessential is only illusory being and that the truth is rather that essence contains the illusory being within itself as the infinite immanent movement that determines its immediacy as negativity and its negativity as immediacy, and is thus the reflection of itself within itself. Essence in this its self-movement is reflection
Reflection is determinate reflection; hence essence is determinate essence, or it is an essentiality.
Reflection is the showing of the illusory being of essence within essence itself. Essence, as infinite return-into-self, is not immediate but negative simplicity; it is a movement through distinct moments, absolute self-mediation. But it reflects itself into these its moments which consequently are themselves determinations reflected into themselves.
Essence is at first, simple self-relation, pure identity. This is its determination, but as such it is rather the absence of any determination.
Secondly, the proper determination is difference, a difference that is, on the one hand, external or indifferent, diversity in general, and on the other hand, is opposed diversity or opposition.
Thirdly, as contradiction, the opposition is reflected into itself and withdrawn into its ground.
Remark: A = A
Remark: The Law of Diversity
Diversity, like identity, is expressed in its own law. And both these laws are held apart as indifferently different, so that each is valid on its own without respect to the other.
All things are different, or: there are no two things like each other. This proposition is, in fact, opposed to the law of identity, for it declares: A is distinctive, therefore A is also not A; or: A is unlike something else, so that it is not simply A but rather a specific A. A's place in the law of identity can be taken by any other substrate, but A as distinctive [als Ungleiches] can no longer be exchanged with any other. True, it is supposed to be distinctive, not from itself, but only from another; but this distinctiveness is its own determination. As self-identical A, it is indeterminate; but as determinate it is the opposite of this; it no longer has only self-identity, but also a negation and therefore a difference of itself from itself within it.
That everything is different from everything else is a very superfluous proposition, for things in the plural immediately involve manyness and wholly indeterminate diversity. But the proposition that no two things are completely like each other, expresses more, namely, determinate difference. Two things are not merely two — numerical manyness is only one-and-the-sameness — but they are different through a determination. Ordinary thinking is struck by the proposition that no two things are like each other — as in the story of how Leibniz propounded it at court and caused the ladies to look at the leaves of trees to see whether they could find two alike. Happy times for metaphysics when it was the occupation of courtiers and the testing of its propositions called for no more exertion than to compare leaves! The reason why this proposition is striking lies in what has been said, that two, or numerical manyness, does not contain any determinate difference and that diversity as such, in its abstraction, is at first indifferent to likeness and unlikeness. Ordinary thinking, even when it goes on to a determination of diversity, takes these moments themselves to be mutually indifferent, so that one without the other, the mere likeness of things without unlikeness, suffices to determine whether the things are different even when they are only a numerical many, not unlike, but simply different without further qualification. The law of diversity, on the other hand, asserts that things are different from one another through unlikeness, that the determination of unlikeness belongs to them just as much as that of likeness, for determinate difference is constituted only by both together.
Now this proposition that unlikeness must be predicated of all things, surely stands in need of proof; it cannot be set up as an immediate proposition, for even in the ordinary mode of cognition a proof is demanded of the combination of different determinations in a synthetic proposition, or else the indication of a third term in which they are mediated. This proof would have to exhibit the passage of identity into difference, and then the passage of this into determinate difference, into unlikeness. But as a rule this is not done. We have found that diversity or external difference is, in truth, reflected into itself, is difference in its own self, that the indifferent subsistence of the diverse is a mere positedness and therefore not an external, indifferent difference, but a single relation of the two moments.
This involves the dissolution and nullity of the law of diversity. Two things are not perfectly alike; so they are at once alike and unlike; alike, simply because they are things, or just two, without further qualification — for each is a thing and a one, no less than the other — but they are unlike ex hypothesi. We are therefore presented with this determination, that both moments, likeness and unlikeness, are different in one and the same thing, or that the difference, while falling asunder, is at the same time one and the same relation. This has therefore passed over into opposition.
The togetherness of both predicates is held asunder by the 'in so far', namely, when it is said that two things are alike in so far as they are not unlike, or on the one side or in one respect are alike, but on another side or in another respect are unalike. The effect of this is to remove the unity of likeness and unlikeness from the thing, and to adhere to what would be the thing's own reflection and the merely implicit reflection of likeness and unlikeness, as a reflection external to the thing. But it is this reflection that, in one and the same activity, distinguishes the two sides of likeness and unlikeness, hence contains both in one activity, lets the one show, be reflected, in the other. But the usual tenderness for things, whose only care is that they do not contradict themselves, forgets here as elsewhere that in this way the contradiction is not resolved but merely shifted elsewhere, into subjective or external reflection generally, and this reflection in fact contains in one unity as sublated and mutually referred, the two moments which are enunciated by this removal and displacement as a mere positedness. ®
Remark 1: Unity of Positive and Negative
Remark 2: The Law of the Excluded Middle
Remark 3: The Law of Contradiction
Remark: The Law of Ground
Remark: Formal Method of Explanation From Tautological Grounds
Remark: Formal Method of Explanation From a Ground Distinct From That Which is Grounded
When all the conditions of a fact are present, it enters into Existence. The fact is, before it exists; it is, in fact, as essence or as an unconditioned; secondly, it has determinate being or is determinate, and this in the two-fold manner above considered, on the one hand, in its conditions, and on the other, in its ground. In the former, it has given itself the form of external groundless being because it is, as absolute reflection, negative self-relation, and it makes itself into its own presupposition. ®
This presupposed un-conditioned is therefore the groundless immediate, whose being is nothing except to be present as something groundless. When, therefore, all the conditions of the fact are present, that is when the totality of the fact is posited as a groundless immediate, this scattered multiplicity inwardises [erinnert] itself in its own self. The whole fact must be present in its conditions, or all the conditions belong to its Existence, for all of them constitute the reflection; or, determinate being, because it is condition, is determined by form; consequently its determinations are determinations of reflection and the positing of one essentially involves the positing of the others. The inwardisation of the conditions is at first the falling to the ground [das Zugrundegehen] of immediate determinate being and the becoming of the ground. But this makes the ground a posited ground, that is, it is just as much sublated ground and immediate being, as it is ground. When therefore all the conditions of the fact are present, they sublate themselves as immediate being and presupposition, and equally ground sublates itself. Ground emerges merely as an illusory being that immediately vanishes; accordingly, this emergence is the tautological movement of the fact to itself, and its mediation by conditions and ground is the vanishing of both. The emergence into Existence is therefore immediate in such a manner that it is mediated only by the vanishing of mediation.
The fact emerges from the ground. It is not grounded or posited by it in such a manner that ground remains as a substrate; on the contrary, the positing is the movement of the ground outwards to itself and its simple vanishing. Through its union with the conditions, ground receives an external immediacy and the moment of being. But it receives this not as something external, nor through an external relation; on the contrary, as ground, it makes itself into a positedness, its simple essentiality unites with itself in the positedness and is, in this sublation of itself, the vanishing of its difference from its positedness, and is thus simple essential immediacy. Ground, therefore, does not remain behind as something distinct from the grounded, but the truth of grounding is that in it ground is united with itself, so that its reflection into another is its reflection into itself. Consequently, the fact is not only the unconditioned but also the groundless, and it emerges from ground only in so far as ground has 'fallen to the ground' and ceased to be ground: it emerges from the groundless, that is, from its own essential negativity or pure form.
This immediacy that is mediated by ground and condition and is self-identical through the sublating of mediation, is Existence.
Essence must appear
Being is the absolute abstraction; this negativity is not something external to being, which is being, and nothing but being, only as this absolute negativity. For the same reason, being only is as self-sublating being and is essence. But, conversely, essence as simple equality with itself is likewise being. The doctrine of being contains the first proposition: being is essence. The second proposition: essence is being, constitutes the content of the first section of the doctrine of essence. But this being into which essence makes itself is essential being, Existence; it is a being that has come forth from negativity and inwardness.
Thus essence appears. Reflection is the showing of illusory being within essence itself. Its determinations are enclosed within the unity simply and solely as posited, sublated determinations; or, reflection is essence which, in its positedness, is immediately identical with itself. But since essence is ground, it gives itself a real determination through its reflection, which is self-sublating or which returns into itself; further, since this determination, or the otherness, of the ground relation sublates itself in the reflection of the ground and becomes Existence, this endows the form determinations with an element of self-subsistence. Their illusory being completes itself to become Appearance.
The essentiality that has advanced to immediacy is, in the first instance, Existence, and an existent or thing — as an undifferentiated unity of essence with its immediacy. It is true that the thing contains reflection, but its negativity s, in the first instance, extinguished in its immediacy; but because its ground is essentially reflection, its immediacy sublates itself and the thing makes itself into positedness.
Secondly, then, it is Appearance. Appearance is that which the thing is in itself, or its truth. But this merely posited Existence which is reflected into otherness is equally the transcending of its itself in its infinitude; to the world of appearance is opposed the world that is reflected into itself, the world of essence.
But the being that appears and essential being, simply stand in relation to one another. Thus Existence is, thirdly, essential relation; what appears manifests what is essential, and this is in its Appearance.
The relation is the still-imperfect union of reflection-into-otherness and reflection-into-self; the perfect interpenetration of both is actuality.
Remark: The Thing-in-itself of Transcendental Idealism
Mention has already been made above of the thing-in-itself in connection with the moment of determinate being, of being-in-self, and it was remarked that the thing-in-itself as such is nothing else but the empty abstraction from all determinateness, of which admittedly we can know nothing, for the very reason that it is supposed to be the abstraction from every determination. The thing-in-itself being thus presupposed as the indeterminate, all determination falls outside it into an alien reflection to which it is indifferent.
For transcendental idealism this external reflection is consciousness. Since this philosophical system places every determinateness of things both as regards form and content, in consciousness, the fact that I see the leaves. of a tree not as black but as green, the sun as round and not square, and taste sugar as sweet and not bitter, that I determine the first and second strokes of a clock as successive and not as one beside the other, nor determine the first as cause and the second as effect, and so on, all this is something which, from this standpoint, falls in me, the subject.
This crude presentation of subjective idealism is directly contradicted by the consciousness of freedom, according to which I know myself rather as the universal and undetermined, and separate off from myself those manifold and necessary determinations, recognising them as something external for me and belonging only to things. In this consciousness of its freedom the ego is to itself that true identity reflected into itself, which the thing-in-itself was supposed to be. 1 have shown elsewhere that this transcendental idealism does not get away from the limitation of the ego by the object, in general, from the finite world, but only changes the form of the limitation, which remains for it an absolute, merely giving it a subjective instead of an objective shape and making into determinatenesses of the ego and into a turbulent whirlpool of change within it (as if the ego were a thing) that which the ordinary consciousness knows as a manifoldness and alteration belonging only to things external to it. At present we are considering only the thing-in-itself and the reflection which is in the first instance external to it; this reflection has not yet determined itself to consciousness, nor the thing-in-itself to ego. We have seen from the nature of the thing-in-itself and of external reflection that this same external reflection determines itself to be the thing-in-itself, or, conversely, becomes the first thing-in-itself's own determination.
Now the inadequacy of the standpoint at which this philosophy stops short consists essentially in holding fast to the abstract thing-in-itself as an ultimate determination, and in opposing to the thing-in-itself reflection or the determinateness and manifoldness of the properties; whereas in fact the thing-in-itself essentially possesses this external reflection within itself and determines itself to be a thing with its own determinations, a thing endowed with properties, in this way demonstrating the abstraction of the thing as a pure thing-in-itself to be an untrue determination.
Existence is the immediacy of being to which essence has restored itself again. This immediacy is in itself the reflection of essence into itself. Essence, as Existence, has issued from its ground which has itself passed over into it. Existence is this reflected immediacy in so far as it is in its own self absolute negativity. It is now also posited as this in that it has determined itself as Appearance.
Accordingly Appearance is at first essence in its Existence; essence is immediately present in it. The fact that it is not immediate but reflected Existence, constitutes the moment of essence in it; or, Existence as essential Existence is Appearance.
Something is only Appearance — in the sense that Existence as such is only a posited being, not a being in and for itself. This constitutes its essentiality, to have within itself the negativity of reflection, the nature of essence. This is not an alien, external reflection to which essence belongs and which, by comparing essence with Existence, pronounces the latter to be Appearance. On the contrary, as we have seen, this essentiality of Existence which constitutes its Appearance, is the truth of Existence itself. The reflection by virtue of which it is this, is its own.
But if it is said that something is only Appearance, in the sense that contrasted with it immediate Existence is the truth, then the fact is that Appearance is the higher truth; for it is Existence as essential Appearance, whereas Existence, on the contrary, is still essenceless Appearance because it contains only the one moment of Appearance, namely, Existence as immediate reflection, not yet as its negative reflection. When Appearance is called essenceless, one thinks of the moment of its negativity as though the immediate by contrast were the positive and the true; but the fact is that this immediate does not as yet contain the essential truth. it is when Existence passes over into Appearance that it ceases to be essenceless.
Essence at first reflects an illusory being [schein] within itself, within its simple identity; as such it is abstract reflection, the pure movement from nothing through nothing back to itself. Essence appears, so that it is now real illusory being, since the moments of illusory being have Existence. As we have seen, Appearance is the thing as the negative mediation of itself with itself; the differences it contains are self-subsistent matters which are the contradiction of being an immediate subsistence and at the same time only in an alien self-subsistence, of therefore having their subsistence in the negation of their own self-subsistence, and again for that very reason also only in the negation of this alien negation, or in the negation of their own negation. Illusory being is the same mediation, but its unstable moments have, in Appearance, the shape of immediate self-subsistence. On the other hand, the immediate self-subsistence which belongs to Existence is, on its part, reduced to a moment. Appearance is accordingly the unity of illusory being and Existence.
Appearance now determines itself further. It is essential Existence; the latter's essentiality is distinguished from Appearance as unessential and these two sides enter into relation with each other. It is therefore at first simple self-identity which also contains various content-determinations; and these themselves as well as their relation are what remains self-equal in the flux of Appearance; this is the law of Appearance.
Secondly, however, the law which is simple in its diversity passes over into opposition; the essential moment of Appearance becomes opposed to Appearance itself, and the world of Appearance is confronted by the world of essence [die an sich seiende Welt].
Thirdly, this opposition returns into its ground; that which is in itself is in the Appearance and conversely that which appears is determined as taken up into its in-itself; Appearance becomes correlation or essential relation.
Remark: Immediate Identity of Inner and Outer
The movement of essence is in general the becoming of the Notion. In the relation of inner and outer, the essential moment of this emerges namely, that its determinations are posited as being in negative unity in such a manner that each immediately is not only it other but also the totality of the whole. But in the Notion as such this totality is the universal-a substrate which is not yet present in the relation of inner and outer. In the negative identity of inner and outer which is the immediate conversion of one of these determinations into the other, there is also lacking that substrate which above was called the fact.
It is very important to notice that the unmediated identity of form is posited here without the movement of the fact itself, a movement pregnant with content. It occurs in the fact as this is in its beginning. Thus pure being is immediately nothing. In general, everything real is, in its beginning, such a merely immediate identity; for in its beginning it has not yet opposed and developed its moments; on the one hand it has not yet inwardised itself out of externality. and on the other hand, it has not yet externalised and brought forth itself, out of inwardness by its activity. It is therefore only the inner as determinateness against the outer, and only the outer as determinateness against the inner. Hence it is partly only an immediate being; partly, in so far as it is equally the negativity which is to be the activity of the development, it is as such essentially only as yet an inner.
This makes itself apparent in all natural, scientific and spiritual development generally and it is essential to recognise that because something is at first, only inner or also is in its Notion, the first stage is for that very reason only its immediate, passive existence. ®
Thus — to take at once the nearest example — the essential relation here considered is only implicitly [an sich] the relation, only its Notion, or is at first only internal, before it has moved through the mediation of the relation of force and has realised itself. But for this reason it is only the outer, immediate relation, the relation of whole and parts, in which the sides have a mutually indifferent subsistence.
Their identity is not as yet within themselves; it is only internal and the sides therefore fall apart, have an immediate, external subsistence. Thus the sphere of being as such is as yet still the completely inner and is therefore the sphere of simply affirmative [seienden] immediacy or externality. Essence is at first only the inner, and it, too, is for this reason taken as a wholly external, unsystematised, common element; one speaks of public instruction, the press [Schulwesen, Zeitungswesen], and understands thereby something common formed by an external aggregation of existing objects lacking any essential connection or organisation; or to take concrete objects, the seed of the plant, or the child, is at first only inner plant, internal man. But this is why the plant or the man as germ is an immediate, and outer, which has not as yet given itself the negative reference to itself, is something passive, a prey to otherness. Thus God, too, in his immediate Notion is not spirit; spirit is not the immediate, that which is opposed to mediation, but on the contrary is the essence that eternally posits its immediacy and eternally returns out of it into itself.
Immediately, therefore God is only nature. Or, nature is only the Inner God, not God actual as spirit, and therefore not truly God. Or, in our thinking, our first thinking, God is only pure being, or even essence, the abstract absolute, but not God as absolute spirit, which alone is the true nature of God.
Actuality is the unity of essence and Existence; in it, formless essence and unstable Appearance, or mere subsistence devoid of all determination and unstable manifoldness, have their truth.
Existence is, indeed, the immediacy which has proceeded from ground, but form is not as yet posited in it. In determining and forming itself it is Appearance; and when this subsistence which is determined only as reflection-into-an-other is developed further into reflection-into-self, it becomes two worlds, two totalities of the content, one of which is determined as reflected into itself, the other as reflected into an other. But the essential relation exhibits their form relation, the consummation of which is the relation of inner and outer in which the content of both is only one identical substrate and equally only one identity of form. By virtue of the fact that this identity is now also identity of form, the form determination of their difference is sublated, and it is posited that they are one absolute totality.
This unity of inner and outer is absolute actuality. But this actuality is, in the first instance, the absolute as such — in so far as it is posited as a unity in which form has sublated itself and made itself into the empty or outer difference of an outer and inner.
Reflection is external in its relation to this absolute, which, it merely contemplates rather than is the absolute's own movement. But since it is essentially this movement, it is so as the negative return of the absolute into itself.
Secondly, we have actuality proper. Actuality, possibility and necessity constitute the formal moments of the absolute, or its reflection.
Thirdly, the unity of the absolute and its reflection is the absolute relation, or rather the absolute as relation to itself — substance.
Remark: The Philosophy of Spinoza and Leibniz
The absolute is the unity of inner and outer as initial, implicit unity. The exposition appeared as external reflection which, on its side, has the immediate before it as something already given, but is at the same time the movement and relation of this to the absolute, and as such movement leads it back into the absolute and determines it as a mere 'way and manner'. But this 'way and manner' is the determination of the absolute itself, namely, its initial identity or its merely implicit unity. And through this reflection, too, not only is that initial in-itself posited as essenceless determination but, since the reflection is negative self-relation, it is through this alone that the in-itself becomes this mode. This reflection, as sublating itself in its determinations and in general as the self-returning movement, is first truly absolute identity and at the same time is the determining of the absolute or its modality. The mode is therefore the externality of the absolute, but equally only as the reflection of the absolute into itself; or it is the absolute's own manifestation, so that this manifestation is its reflection-into-self and therefore its being-in-and-for-itself.
The absolute as such manifestation, the absolute which is nothing else and has no content save that of being self-manifestation, is absolute form. Actuality is to be taken as this reflected absoluteness. Being is not yet actual: it is the first immediacy; its reflection is therefore a becoming and transition into an other; or its immediacy is not being-in-and-for-itself. Actuality also stands higher than Existence. True, Existence is the immediacy that has proceeded from ground and conditions, or from essence and its reflection. It is therefore in itself what actuality is, real reflection, but it is not yet the posited unity of reflection and immediacy. Existence therefore passes over into appearance in that it develops the reflection which it contains.
It is the ground that has fallen to the ground; its determination is the restoration of the ground; thus it becomes essential relation and its final reflection is the positing of its immediacy as reflection-into-self, and conversely; now this unity in which Existence or immediacy, and the in-itself, the ground or the reflected are simply moments, is actuality. The actual is therefore manifestation; it is not drawn into the sphere of alteration by its externality, nor is it the reflecting of itself in an other, but it manifests itself; that is, in its externality it is itself and is itself in that alone, namely only as a self-distinguishing and self-determining movement.
Now in actuality as this absolute form, the moments are only as sublated or formal, not yet realised; their difference thus belongs at first to external reflection and is not determined as content.
Actuality as itself the immediate form — unity of inner and outer is thus in the determination of immediacy over against the determination of reflection-into-self; or it is an actuality as against a possibility. Their relation to each other is the third term, the actual determined equally as a being reflected into itself, and this at the same time as a being existing immediately. This third term is necessity.
But first of all, since the actual and the possible are formal differences, their relation is likewise merely formal and consist only in the fact that the one like the other is a positedness, or in contingency.
Now since in contingency, the actual as well as the possible is positedness, they have received determination in themselves; the actual thereby becomes, secondly, real actuality and with it equally emerges real possibility and relative necessity.
Thirdly, the reflection of relative necessity into itself yields absolute necessity, which is absolute possibility and actuality.
In finite causality it is substances that are actively related to each other. Mechanism consists in this externality of causality, where the reflection of the cause into itself in its effect is at the same time a repelling being, or where, in the self-identity which the causal substance has in its effect, the cause equally remains something immediately external to it, and the effect has passed over into another substance. Now, in reciprocity this mechanism is sublated; for it contains first the vanishing of that original persistence of the immediate substantiality, and secondly the coming-to-be of the cause, and hence originativeness as self-mediating through its negation.
At first, reciprocity displays itself as a reciprocal causality of presupposed, self-conditioned substances; each is alike active arid passive substance in relation to the other. Since the two, then, are both passive and active, any distinction between them has already been sublated; the difference is only a completely transparent semblance; they are substances only inasmuch as they are the identity of the active and the passive. Reciprocity itself is therefore still only an empty mode of representing this; all that is still required is merely an external bringing together of what is already both in itself and posited. First of all, it is no longer substrates but substances that stand in relation to each other; in the movement of conditioned causality, the still remaining presupposed immediacy has been sublated, and the conditioning factor of the causal activity is still only the passivity of being acted upon, or the passivity of the cause itself. But further, this 'being acted upon' does not originate in another causal substance, but simply from a causality which is conditioned by being acted upon, or is a mediated causality. Consequently, this initially external moment which attaches to cause and constitutes the side of its passivity, is mediated by itself, is produced by its own activity, and is thus the passivity posited by its own activity. Causality is conditioned and conditioning; the conditioning side is passive, but the conditioned side equally is passive. This conditioning or passivity is the negation of cause by the cause itself, in that it essentially converts itself into effect and precisely through this is cause. Reciprocity is, therefore, only causality itself; cause not only has an effect, but in the effect it stands, as cause, in relation to itself.
Causality has hereby returned to its absolute Notion, and at the same time has attained to the Notion itself. At first, it is real necessity; absolute identity with itself, so that the difference of necessity and the related determinations in it are substances, free actualities, over against one another. Necessity is, in this way, inner identity; causality is the manifestation of this, in which its illusory show of substantial otherness has sublated itself and necessity is raised to freedom.
In reciprocity, originative causality displays itself as an arising from its negation, from passivity, and as a passing away into the same, as a becoming; but in such a manner that at the same time this becoming is equally only illusory; the transition into an other is a reflection into itself; the negation, which is ground of the cause, is its positive union with itself.
In reciprocity, therefore, necessity and causality have vanished; they contain both, immediate identity as connection and relation, and the absolute substantiality of the different sides, hence the absolute contingency of them;, the original unity of substantial difference, and therefore absolute contradiction. Necessity is being, because it is-the unity of being with itself that has itself for ground; but conversely, because it has a ground it is not being, it is an altogether illusory being, relation or mediation. Causality is this posited transition of originative being, of cause, into illusory being or mere positedness, and conversely, of positedness into originativeness; but the identity itself of being and illusory being is still an inner necessity.
This inwardness or this in-itself, sublates the movement of causality, with the result that the substantiality of the sides standing in relation is lost, and necessity unveils itself. Necessity does not become freedom by vanishing, but only because its still inner identity is manifested, a manifestation which is the identical. movement of the different sides within themselves, the reflection of the illusory being as illusory being into itself. ®
Conversely, at the same time, contingency becomes freedom, for the sides of necessity, which have the shape of independent, free actualities not reflecting themselves in one another, are now posited as an identity, so that these totalities of reflection-into-self in their difference are now also reflected as identical, or are posited as only one and the same reflection.
Absolute substance, which as absolute form distinguishes itself from itself, therefore no longer repels itself as necessity from itself, nor, as contingency, does it fall asunder into indifferent, self-external substances; on the contrary, it differentiates itself, on the one hand, into the totality — heretofore passive substance — which is originative as reflection out of the determinateness into itself, as a simple whole, which contains within itself its positedness and is posited as self-identical therein-the universal; on the other hand, it differentiates itself into the totality — heretofore causal substance — into the reflection equally out of the determinateness into itself to a negative determinateness which, as thus the self-identical determinateness is likewise posited as the whole, but as self-identical negativity-the individual. But because the universal is self-identical only in that it contains the determinateness within itself as sublated, and therefore the negative as negative, it is immediately the same negativity which individuality is; and individuality, because it is equally the determinate determinate, the negative as negative, is immediately the same identity which universality is. This their simple identity is particularity, which contains in immediate unity the moment of determinateness of the individual and the moment of reflection-into-self of the universal. These three totalities are, therefore, one and the same reflection, which, as negative self-relation, differentiates itself into these two, but into a perfectly transparent difference, namely, into a determinate simplicity or simple determinateness which is their one and the same identity.
This is the Notion, the realm of subjectivity or of freedom.
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