Hegel’s Science of Logic
Highlighted text is Lenin's underlining. The ® accesses Lenin's annotations.
The Idea is the adequate Notion, that which is objectively true, or the true as such. When anything whatever possesses truth, it possesses it through its Idea, or, something possesses truth only in so far as it is Idea. The expression 'idea' has often been employed in philosophy as in ordinary life for 'notion', indeed, even for a mere ordinary conception: 'I have no idea yet of this lawsuit, building, neighbourhood', means nothing more than the ordinary conception. Kant has reclaimed the expression Idea for the notion of reason. Now according to Kant, the notion of reason is supposed to be the notion of the unconditioned, but a notion transcendent in regard to phenomena, that is, no empirical use can be made of such notion that is adequate to it. The notions of reason are to serve for the comprehension of perceptions, the notions of the understanding for understanding them. But in fact, if the latter really are Notions, then they are Notions — they enable one to comprehend , and an understanding of perceptions by means of notions of the understanding will be a comprehension of them. ®
But if understanding is only a determining of perceptions by such categories as for example whole and parts, force, cause, and the like, it signifies only a determining by reflection; and similarly, by understanding can be meant only the specific representation of a completely determined sensuous content; thus when someone, having been directed that at the end of the wood he must turn left, replies 'I understand', understanding means nothing more than the grasping of something in pictorial thought and in memory. 'Notion of reason', too, is a somewhat clumsy expression; for the Notion is something altogether rational; and in so far as reason is distinguished from understanding and the Notion as such, it is the totality of the Notion and of objectivity. In this sense the Idea is the rational; it is the unconditioned, because only that has conditions which essentially relates itself to an objectivity, but an objectivity that it has not itself determined but which still confronts it in the form of indifference and externality, just as the external end still had conditions.
Reserving then the expression 'Idea' for the objective or real Notion and distinguishing it from the Notion itself and still more from mere pictorial thought, we must also reject even more vigorously that estimate of the Idea according to which it is not anything actual, and true thoughts are said to be only ideas. If thoughts are merely subjective and contingent, they certainly have no further value; but in this respect they are not inferior to temporal and contingent actualities which likewise have no further value than that of contingencies and phenomena. On the other hand if, conversely, the Idea is not to have the value of truth, because in regard to phenomena it is transcendent, and no congruent object can be assigned to it in the world of sense, this is an odd misunderstanding that would deny objective validity to the Idea because it lacks that which constitutes Appearance, namely, the untrue being of the objective world. In regard to practical Ideas, Kant recognises that 'nothing can be more harmful and unworthy of a philosopher than the vulgar appeal to an experience that allegedly conflicts with the Idea. This very experience would not even exist if, for example, political institutions had been established at the proper time in conformity with Ideas, and if crude conceptions, crude just because they had been drawn from experience, had not taken the place of Ideas and so nullified every good intention.' Kant regards the Idea as a necessity and as the goal which, as the archetype, it must be our endeavour to set up for a maximum and to which we must strive to bring the condition of the actual world ever nearer. ®
But having reached the result that the Idea is the unity of the Notion and objectivity, is the true, it must not be regarded merely as a goal to which we have to approximate but which itself always remains a kind of beyond; on the contrary, we must recognise that everything actual is only in so far as it possesses the Idea and expresses it. It is not merely that the object, the objective and subjective world in general, ought to be congruous with the Idea, but they are themselves the congruence of Notion and reality; the reality that does not correspond to the Notion is mere Appearance, the subjective, contingent, capricious element that is not the truth. ®
When it is said that no object is to be found in experience that is perfectly congruous with the Idea, one is opposing the Idea as a subjective standard to the actual; but what anything actual is supposed in truth to be, if its Notion is not in it and if its objectivity docs not correspond to its Notion at all, it is impossible to say; for it would be nothing. It is true that the mechanical and chemical object, like the nonspiritual subject and the spirit that is conscious only of the finite, not of its essence, do not, according to their various natures, have their Notion existent in them in its own free form.
But they can only be true at all in so far as they are the union of their Notion and reality, of their soul and their body. Wholes like the state and the church cease to exist when the unity of their Notion and their reality is dissolved; man, the living being, is dead when soul and body are parted in him; dead nature, the mechanical and chemical world — taking, that is, the dead world to mean the inorganic world, otherwise it would have no positive meaning at all — dead nature, then, if it is separated into its Notion and its reality, is nothing but the subjective abstraction of a thought form and a formless matter. Spirit that was not Idea, was not the unity of the Notion with its own self, or the Notion that did not have the Notion itself for its reality would be dead, spiritless spirit, a material object.
The Idea being the unity of Notion and reality, being has attained the significance of truth; therefore what now is is only what is Idea. Finite things are finite because they do not possess the complete reality of their Notion within themselves, but require other things to complete it — or, conversely, because they are presupposed as objects, hence possess the Notion as an external determination. The highest to which they attain on the side of this finitude is external purposiveness. That actual things are not congruous with the Idea is the side of their finitude and untruth, and in accordance with this side they are objects, determined in accordance with their various spheres and in the relationships of objectivity, either mechanically, chemically or by an external end. That the Idea has not completely leavened its reality, has imperfectly subdued it to the Notion, this is a possibility arising from the fact that the Idea itself has a restricted content, that though it is essentially the unity of Notion and reality, it is no less essentially their difference; for only the object is their immediate, that is, merely implicit unity. But if an object, for example the state, did not correspond at all to its Idea, that is, if in fact it was not the Idea of the state at all, if its reality, which is the self-conscious individuals, did not correspond at all to the Notion, its soul and its body would have parted; the former would escape into the solitary regions of thought, the latter would have broken up into the single individualities.
But because the Notion of the state so essentially constitutes the nature of these individualities, it is present in them as an urge so powerful that they are impelled to translate it into reality, be it only in the form of external purposiveness, or to put up with it as it is, or else they must needs perish. The worst state, one whose reality least corresponds to the Notion, in so far as it still exists, is still Idea; the individuals still obey a dominant Notion.
However, the Idea has not merely the more general meaning of the true being, of the unity of Notion and reality, but the more specific one of the unity of subjective Notion and objectivity. That is to say, the Notion as such is itself already the identity of itself and reality; for the indefinite expression 'reality' means in general nothing else but determinate being, and this the Notion possesses in its particularity and individuality. Similarly too, objectivity is the total Notion that out of its determinateness has withdrawn into identity with itself. In the former subjectivity the determinateness or difference of the Notion is an illusory being [semblance] that is immediately sublated and has withdrawn into being-for-self or negative unity; it is an inhering predicate. But in this objectivity the determinateness is posited as an immediate totality, as an external whole. Now the Idea has shown itself to be the Notion liberated again into its subjectivity from the immediacy in which it is submerged in the object; to he the Notion that distinguishes itself from its objectivity, which however is no less determined by it and possesses its substantiality only in that Notion. 'This identity has therefore rightly been defined as the subject-object, for it is as well the formal or subjective Notion as it is the object as such. But this must be understood more precisely. The Notion, having truly attained its reality, is this absolute judgment whose subject, as self-related negative unity, distinguishes itself from its objectivity and is the latter's being-in-and-for-self, but essentially relates itself to it through itself; it is therefore its own end and the urge to realise it; but for this very reason the subject does not possess objectivity in an immediate manner, for if it did it would be merely the totality of the object as such lost in objectivity; on the contrary, objectivity is the realisation of the end, an objectivity posited by the activity of the end, an objectivity which, as positedness, possesses its subsistence and its form only as permeated by its subject. As objectivity, it has in it the moment of the externality of the Notion and is therefore in general the side of finitude, change and Appearance, a side, however, which meets with extinction in its retraction into the negative unity of the Notion; the negativity whereby its indifferent mutual externality exhibits itself as unessential and a positivity, is the Notion itself.
The Idea is, therefore, in spite of this objectivity utterly simple and immaterial, for the externality exists only as determined by the Notion and as taken up into its negative unity; in so far as it exists as indifferent externality it is not merely at the mercy of mechanism in general but exists only as the transitory and untrue. Although therefore the Idea has its reality in a material externality, this is not an abstract being subsisting on its own account over against the Notion; on the contrary, it exists only as a becoming through the negativity of indifferent being, as a simple determinateness of the Notion.
This yields the following more precise definitions of the Idea. First, it is the simple truth, the identity of the Notion and objectivity as a universal ®in which the opposition and subsistence of the particular is dissolved into its self-identical negativity and is equality with itself. Secondly, it is the relation of the explicit subjectivity of the simple Notion and its objectivity which is distinguished therefrom; the former is essentially the urge to sublate this separation, and the latter is the indifferent positedness, the subsistence that is in and for itself null. ®
As this relation, the Idea is the process of sundering itself into individuality and its inorganic nature, and again of bringing this inorganic nature under the power of the subject and returning to the first simple universality. The identity of the Idea with itself is one with the process; the thought which liberates actuality from the illusory show of purposeless mutability and transfigures it into the Idea must not represent this truth of actuality as a dead repose, as a mere picture, lifeless, without impulse or movement, as a genius or number, or an abstract thought; by virtue of the freedom which the Notion attains in the Idea, the Idea possesses within itself also the most stubborn opposition; its repose consists in the security and certainty with which it eternally creates and eternally overcomes that opposition, in it meeting with itself.®
In the first instance, however, the Idea is once again only immediate or only in its Notion; objective reality is, it is true, conformable to the Notion, but it is not yet liberated into the Notion, and the latter does not exist explicitly for itself as Notion.
Thus though the Notion is soul, it is soul in the guise of an immediate, that is, its determinateness does not appear as soul itself, it has not grasped itself as soul, it does not possess its objective reality within itself; the Notion is as a soul that is not yet fully a soul.
At this first stage the Idea is Life: the Notion that, distinguished from its objectivity, simple within itself, pervades its objectivity and, as its own end, possesses its means in the objectivity and posits the latter as its means, yet is immanent in this means and is therein the realised end that is identical with itself. This Idea, on account of its immediacy, has individuality for the form of its existence. But the reflection-into-self of its absolute process is the sublating of this immediate individuality; thereby the Notion which, as universality in this individuality, is the inwardness of the latter, converts the externality into universality, or posits its objectivity as being the same as itself.
In this second stage, the Idea is the Idea of the true and the good as cognition and volition ®. In the first instance, it is finite cognition and finite volition, in which the true and the good are still distinguished and each appears as yet only as a goal. The Notion has, in the first instance, liberated itself into itself and as yet given itself only an abstract objectivity for its reality. But the process of this finite cognition and action converts the initially abstract universality into a totality, whereby it becomes a complete objectivity. Or, to consider it from the other side, finite, that is, subjective spirit, makes for itself the presupposition of an objective world, just as life has such a presupposition; but its activity consists in sublating this presupposition and converting it into a positedness. In this way its reality is for it the objective world, or conversely, the objective world is the ideality in which it cognises itself.
Thirdly, spirit cognises the Idea as its absolute truth, as the truth that is in and for itself; the infinite Idea in which cognition and action are equalised, and which is the absolute knowledge of itself.
The Idea of Life is concerned with a subject matter so concrete, and if you will, so real, that with it we may seem to have overstepped the domain of logic as it is commonly conceived. Certainly, if logic were to contain nothing but empty, dead forms of thought, there could be no mention init at all of such a content as the Idea of Life. But if absolute truth is the subject matter of logic, and truth as such is essentially in cognition, then cognition at least would have to be discussed. So called pure logic is usually followed up with an applied logic — a logic dealing with concrete cognition, not to mention the mass of psychology and anthropology that it is often deemed necessary to interpolate into logic. But the anthropological and psychological side of cognition is concerned with its manifested aspect, in which the Notion on its own account has not yet come to have an objectivity the same as itself, that is, to have itself for object. The part of logic that treats of this concrete side does not belong to applied logic as such; if it did, then every science would have to be dragged into logic, for each is an applied logic in so far as it consists in apprehending its subject matter in forms of thought and the Notion. The subjective Notion has presuppositions which present themselves in psychological, anthropological and other forms. But to logic belong only the presuppositions of the pure Notion in so far as they have the form of pure thoughts, of abstract essentialities, that is, the determinations of being and essence. Similarly, in respect of cognition, the Notion's apprehension of itself, logic will not deal with other shapes of its presupposition but only with that which is itself Idea; this latter, however, necessarily falls to be dealt with in logic. Now this presupposition is the immediate Idea; for since cognition is the Notion in so far as this is for itself but as a subjectivity is in relation to an objectivity, the Notion is related to the Idea as presupposed or immediate Idea. But the immediate Idea is life. ®
To this extent the necessity of treating of the Idea of life in logic would be based on the necessity, otherwise recognised, too, of treating here of the concrete Notion of cognition. But this Idea has come upon the scene through the Notion's own necessity; the Idea, that which is true in and for itself, is essentially the subject matter of logic; since it is at first to be considered in its immediacy, it must be apprehended and cognised in this determinateness in which it is life, in order that its treatment shall not be an empty affair devoid of determinate content. All that we need perhaps to remark is how far the logical view of life differs from any other scientific view of it; this is not the place, however, to concern ourselves with how life is treated in the unphilosophical sciences, but only with differentiating logical life as pure Idea from natural life which is dealt with in the philosophy of nature, and from life in so far as it stands in connection with spirit. The former of these, as the life of nature, is life as projected into the externality of existence and having its condition in inorganic nature, and where the moments of the Idea are a multiplicity of actual formations. Life in the Idea is without such presuppositions which are in the form of shapes of actuality; its presupposition is the Notion as we have considered it, on the one hand as subjective, on the other hand as objective. In nature life appears as the highest stage, a stage that nature's externality attains by withdrawing into itself and sublating itself in subjectivity. In Logic it is simple inwardness [Insichsein], which in the Idea of life has attained an externality that genuinely corresponds to it; the Notion that earlier appeared on the scene as subjective Notion is the soul of life itself; it is the urge that mediates for itself its reality throughout objectivity. Nature, having reached this Idea from the starting point of its externality, transcends itself; its end does not appear as its beginning, but as its limit, in which it sublates itself. Similarly, in the Idea of life the moments of its reality do not receive the shape of external actuality but remain enclosed within the form of the Notion.
In spirit, however, life appears partly as opposed to it, partly as posited as at one with it, this unity being reborn as the pure offspring of spirit. For here life is to be taken generally in its proper sense as natural life, for what is called the life of spirit as spirit, is its peculiar nature that stands opposed to mere life; just as we speak, too, of the nature of spirit, although spirit is not a natural being and is rather the opposite of nature. Life as such, then, is for spirit partly a means, and as such spirit opposes it to itself; partly spirit is a living individual and life is its body; and again, this unity of spirit with its living corporeality is born from spirit itself as an ideal. None of these relations to spirit concerns logical life and life is to be considered here neither as instrument [Mittel] of a spirit, nor as a moment of the ideal and of beauty. In both cases, as natural life and as life standing in relation with spirit, life possesses a determinateness of its externality, in the first case through its presuppositions which are other formations of nature, in the second case through the ends and the activity of spirit. The Idea of life by itself is free from the former presupposed and conditioning objectivity as well as from relation to the latter subjectivity.
Life, considered now more closely in its Idea, is in and for itself absolute universality; the objectivity that it possesses is permeated throughout by the Notion and has the Notion alone for substance. What is distinguished as part, or in accordance with some other external reflection, has within itself the whole Notion; the Notion is the omnipresent soul in it, which remains simple self-relation and remains a one in the multiplicity belonging to objective being. This multiplicity, as self-external objectivity, has an indifferent subsistence, which in space and time, if these could already be mentioned here, is a mutual externality of wholly diverse and self-subsistent elements. But in life externality is at the same time present as the simple determinateness of its Notion; thus the soul is an omnipresent outpouring of itself into this multiplicity and at the same remains absolutely the simple oneness of the concrete Notion with itself. The thinking that clings to the determinations of the relationships of reflection and of the formal Notion, when it comes to consider life, this unity of its Notion in the externality of objectivity, in the absolute multiplicity of atomistic matter, finds all its thoughts without exception are of no avail; the omnipresence of the simple in manifold externality is for reflection an absolute contradiction, and as reflection must at the same time apprehend this omnipresence from its perception of life and therefore admit the actuality of this Idea, it is an incomprehensible mystery for it, because it does not grasp the Notion, and the Notion as the substance of life. This simple life, however, is not only omnipresent; it is absolutely the subsistence and immanent substance of its objectivity; but as subjective substance it is the urge, and moreover the specific urge, of the particular difference, and no less essentially the one and universal urge of the specialised difference that reduces this its particularisation into unity and maintains it therein. It is only as this negative unity of its objectivity and particularisation that life is a self-related life that is for itself, a soul. As such it is essentially an individual, which relates itself to objectivity as to an other, to a non-living nature.
Consequently the original judgment of life consists in this, that it detaches itself as an individual subject from objectivity, and in constituting itself the negative unity of the Notion, makes the presupposition of an immediate objectivity.
Life is therefore first to be considered as a living individual that is for itself the subjective totality and is presupposed as indifferent to an objectivity that confronts it as indifferent.
Secondly, it is the life process, the process of sublating its presupposition, positing as negative the objectivity that is indifferent to it and actualising itself as that objectivity's power and negative unity. By so doing it makes itself into the universal that is the unity of itself and its other.
Hence life is thirdly the genus process, the process of sublating its individualisation and relating itself to its objective existence as to itself. Accordingly, this process is on the one hand the return to its Notion and the repetition of the first diremption, the becoming of a new individuality and the death of the first, immediate one; but on the other hand, the Notion of life that has withdrawn into itself is the becoming of the Notion that is in relationship with itself and exists universally and freely for itself - the transition into cognition.
Life is the immediate Idea, or the Idea as its Notion not yet realised in its own self. In its judgment, the Idea is cognition in general.
The Notion is, as Notion, for itself in so far as it freely exists as abstract universality or as genus. As such, it is its pure self-identity, which inwardly differentiates itself in such a manner that the differentiated moment is not an objectivity, but is likewise liberated into subjectivity or the form of simple selflikeness, and hence the object of the Notion is the Notion itself. Its reality in general is the form of its determinate being and the point of interest is the determination this form, on this determination rests the difference between what the Notion is in itself or as subjective and what it is when submerged in objectivity, and then in the Idea of life.
In the latter it is indeed distinguished from its external reality and posited for itself, yet this its being-for-self it possesses only as the identity that is a relation to itself as submerged in its subjugated objectivity, or to itself as indwelling, substantial form. The elevation of the Notion above life means that its reality is the Notion form liberated into universality. Through this judgment the Idea is duplicated into the subjective Notion whose reality is the Notion itself, and into the objective Notion that is in the form of life. Thinking, spirit, self-consciousness, are determinations of the Idea where it has itself for object, and its determinate being, that is, the determinateness of its being, is its own difference from itself.
The metaphysics of the spirit, or, as it was more commonly expressed, of the soul revolved round the determinations of substance, simplicity, immateriality — determinations in which the general idea of spirit taken from empirical consciousness, was laid down as subject, and it was then asked, What predicates agree with our observations? This kind of procedure could get no further than the procedure of physics, which reduces the world of phenomena to general laws and reflective determinations since it too was based on spirit merely in its phenomenal aspect; in fact this procedure was bound to fall short even of the scientific character of physics.
Since spirit is not only infinitely richer than nature, but also, its essence is constituted by the absolute unity of opposites in the Notion, it exhibits in its phenomenal aspect and relation to externality contradiction in its extreme form. Consequently, it must be possible to adduce an experience in support of each of the opposed reflective determinations, or starting from experience it must be possible to arrive at opposite determinations by way of formal syllogistic reasoning.
Since the predicates immediately yielded by spirit's phenomenal aspect in the first instance still belong to empirical Psychology, there only remain, strictly speaking, for the metaphysical consideration, the wholly inadequate determinations of reflection. Kant, in his criticism of rational psychology adheres to this metaphysics, insisting that, in so far as rational psychology purports to be a rational science, the smallest addition from observation to the general idea of selfconsciousness would transform that science into an empirical one and mar its rational purity and its independence of all experience. Consequently, on this view, nothing is left but the simple representation, 'I', a representation devoid of any content of its own, of which we cannot even say that it is a notion but a mere consciousness that accompanies every notion. Now according to the further Kantian conclusions, by this 'I', or if you like, it (the thing) that thinks, nothing further is represented than a transcendental subject of thoughts = x, which is cognised only through the thoughts which are its predicates, and of which, taken in its isolation, we can never have the least conception.
In this context, the 'I' has the inconvenience, to use Kant's own expression that we must already make use of it whenever we want make any judgment about it; for it is not so much a single representation by which a particular object is distinguished, but rather a form of representation in general in so far as this is to be called cognition. Now the paralogism committed by rational psychology, says Kant, consists in this, that modes of self-consciousness in thinking are converted into notions of the understanding as applied to an object; that the 'I think' is taken as a thinking being, a thing-in-itself; and that in this way, from the fact that I always occur in consciousness as a subject, and that too as a singular subject, identical in all the multiplicity of representation, and distinguishing myself from the latter as from something external to me, the unjustified inference is drawn that the 'I' is a substance, and further a qualitatively simple being, and a one, and something that has a real existence independently of the things of time and space.
I have drawn out this exposition in some detail, because it shows clearly the nature of the previous metaphysics of the soul and especially, too, the nature of the criticism by which it was made obsolete. The former aimed at determining the abstract essence of the soul; in doing so, it started originally from observation and converted the empirical universality of observation and the wholly external reflective determination attaching to the individuality of the actual, into the form of the above-mentioned determinations of essence. Kant in his criticism had generally in mind only the state of the metaphysics of his time, which in the main adhered to these abstract, one-sided determinations wholly devoid of dialectic; the genuinely speculative ideas of older philosophers on the notion of spirit he neither heeded nor examined. In his criticism then of those determinations, he followed quite simply Hume's style of scepticism; that is to say, he holds fast to the 'I' as it appears in self-consciousness, from which, however, since it is its essence — the thing-in-itself — that we are to cognise, — everything empirical must be omitted; nothing then is left but this phenomenon of the 'I think' that accompanies every representation — of which 'I think' we have not the slightest conception. ®
Certainly, it must be conceded that we have not the least conception the 'I', or of anything whatever, not even of the Notion itself, so long as we do not really think, but stop short at the simple, fixed general idea and the name. It is an odd thought — if it can be called a thought at all — that I must already make use of the 'I' in order to judge of the 'I'; the 'I' that makes use of self-consciousness as a means in order to judge, this is indeed an x of which, as well as of the relationship of such 'making use', we cannot have the slightest conception. But surely it is ridiculous to call this nature of self-consciousness, namely, that the 'I' thinks itself, that the 'I' cannot be thought without its being the 'I' that thinks, an inconvenience and, as though there was a fallacy in it, a circle. It is this relationship through which, in immediate self-consciousness, the absolute, eternal nature of self-consciousness and the Notion itself manifests itself, and manifests itself for this reason, that self-consciousness is just the existent pure Notion, and therefore empirically perceptible, the absolute relation-to-self that, as a separating judgment, makes itself its own object and is solely this process whereby it makes itself a circle. ®
A stone does not have this inconvenience; when it is to be thought or judged it does not stand in its own way. It is relieved from the burden of making use of itself for this task; it is something else outside it that must give itself this trouble.
The subjective Idea is in the first instance an urge. For it is the contradiction of the Notion to have itself for object and to be its own reality, yet without the object being an other, that is, self-subsistent over against it, or without the difference of the Notion from itself possessing at the same time the essential determination of diversity and indifferent existence. The specific nature of this urge is therefore to sublate its own subjectivity, to make its first, abstract reality into a concrete one and to fill it with the content of the world presupposed by its subjectivity.
From the other side, this urge is determined in the following manner: the Notion is, it is true, the absolute certainty of itself; but its being-for-self is confronted by its presupposition of a world having the form of implicit being, but a world whose indifferent otherness has for the self-certainty of the Notion the value merely of an unessentiality; it is thus the urge to sublate this otherness and to intuit in the object its identity with itself. This reflection-into-self is the sublated opposition, and the individuality which initially appears as the presupposed implicit being of a world is now posited as individuality and made actual for the subject; accordingly the reflection-into-self is the self-identity of the form restored out of the opposition — an identity that is therefore determined as indifferent to the form in its distinctiveness and is content.
This urge is therefore the urge to truth in so far as truth is in cognition, accordingly to truth in its proper sense as theoretical Idea. Objective truth is no doubt the Idea itself as the reality that corresponds to the Notion, and to this extent an object may or may not possess truth; but, on the other hand, the more precise meaning of truth is that it is truth for or in the subjective Notion, in knowing. It is the relation of the Notion judgment which showed itself to be the formal judgment of truth; in it, namely, the predicate is not merely the objectivity of the Notion, but the relating comparison of the Notion of the subject-matter with its actuality. This realisation of the Notion is theoretical in so far as the Notion, as form, has still the determination of subjectivity, or has still the determination for the subject of being its own determination. Because cognition is the Idea as end as subjective, the negation of the world presupposed as an implicit being is the first negation; therefore also the conclusion in which the objective is posited in the subjective, has at first only this meaning, that the implicit being is only posited in the form of subjectivity, or in the Notion determination, and for this reason is not, in that form, in and for itself. Thus the conclusion only attains to a neutral unity or a synthesis, that is, to a unity of things that are originally separate and only are externally so conjoined. Since therefore in this cognition the Notion posits the object as its own, the Idea in the first instance only gives itself a content whose basis is given, and in which only the form of externality has been sublated. ®
Accordingly, this cognition still retains its finitude in its realised end; in its realised end it has at the same time not attained its end, and in its truth has not yet arrived at truth. For in so far as in the result the content still has the character of a datum, the presupposed implicit being confronting the Notion is not sublated; equally therefore the unity of Notion and reality, truth, is also not contained in it. Oddly enough, it is his side of finitude that latterly has been clung to, and accepted as the absolute relation of cognition — as though the finite as such was supposed to be the absolute! At this standpoint, the object is credited with being an unknown thing-in-itself behind cognition, and this character of the object, and with it truth too is regarded as an absolute beyond for cognition. In this view of cognition, thought determinations in general, the categories, reflective determinations, as well as the for Notion and its moments are assigned the position of being finite determinations not in and for themselves, but finite in the sense that they are subjective in rely on to this empty thing-in-itself, the fallacy of taking this untrue relation of cognition as the true relation has become the universal opinion of modern times. ®
From this determination of finite cognition it is immediately evident that it is a contradiction that sublates itself — the contradiction of a truth that at the same time is supposed not to be truth — of a cognition of what is, which at the same time does not cognise the thing-in-itself. In the collapse of this contradiction, its content, subjective cognition and the thing-in-itself, collapses, that is, proves itself an untruth. But cognition must, in the course of its own movement, resolve its finitude and with it its contradiction; this examination of it made by us is an external reflection; but cognition is itself the Notion, the Notion that is its own end and therefore through its realisation fulfils itself, and in this very fulfilment sublates its subjectivity and the presupposed implicit being. We have therefore to consider cognition in its own self in its positive activity. Since this Idea is, as we have seen, the urge of the Notion to realise itself for itself, its activity consists in determining the object, and by this determining to relate itself in the object identically to itself. The object is in general something simply determinable, and in the Idea it has this essential side of not being in and for itself opposed to the Notion. Because cognition is still finite, not speculative, cognition, the presupposed objectivity has not as yet for it the shape of something that is in its own self simply and solely the Notion and that contains nothing with a particularity of its own as against the latter.
But the fact that it counts as an implicit beyond, necessarily implies that its determinability by the Notion is a determination it possesses essentially; for the Idea is the Notion that exists for itself, is that which is absolutely infinite within itself, in which the object is implicitly sublated and the end is now solely to sublate it explicitly. Hence, though the object is presupposed by the Idea of cognition as possessing an implicit being, yet it is essentially in a relationship where the Idea, certain of itself and of the nullity of this opposition, comes to the realisation of its Notion in the object.
In the syllogism whereby the subjective Idea now unites itself with objectivity, the first premise is the same form of immediate seizure and relation of the Notion to the object that we saw in the relation of end. The determining activity of the Notion upon the object is an immediate communication of itself to the object and unresisted pervasion of the latter by the Notion. In this process the Notion remains in pure identity with itself; but this its immediate reflection-into-self has equally the determination of objective immediacy; that which for the Notion is its own determination, is equally a being, for it is the first negation of the presupposition. Therefore the posited determination ranks just as much as a presupposition that has been merely found, as an apprehension of a datum; in fact the activity of the Notion here consists merely in being negative towards itself, restraining itself and making itself passive towards what confronts it, in order that the latter may be able to show itself, not as determined by the subject, but as it is in its own self.
Accordingly in this premise this cognition does not appear even as an application of logical determinations, but as an acceptance and apprehension of them just as given, and its activity appears to be restricted merely to the removal of a subjective obstacle, an external husk, from the subject-matter. This cognition is analytic cognition.
We sometimes find the difference between analytic and synthetic cognition stated in the form that one proceeds from the known to the unknown, the other from the unknown to the known. But if this distinction is closely examined, it will be difficult to discover in it a definite thought, much less a Notion.
It may be said that cognition begins in general with ignorance, for one does not learn to know something with which one is already acquainted. Conversely, it also begins with the known; this is a tautological proposition; that with which it begins, which therefore it actually cognises, is ipso facto something known; what is not as yet known and is to be known only later is still an unknown. So far, then, it must be said that cognition, once it has begun, always proceeds from the known to the unknown.
The distinguishing feature of analytic cognition is already defined in the fact that as the first premise of the whole syllogism, analytic cognition does not as yet contain mediation; it is the immediate communication of the Notion and does not as yet contain otherness, and in it the activity empties itself of its negativity. However, this immediacy of the relation is for that reason itself a mediation, for it is the negative relation of the Notion to the object, but a relation that annuls itself, thereby making itself simple and identical. This reflection-into-self is only subjective, because in its mediation the difference is present still only in the form of the presupposed implicit difference, as difference of the object within itself. The determination, therefore, brought about by this relation, is the form of simple identity, of abstract universality. Accordingly, analytic cognition has in general this identity for its principle; and transition into an other, the connection of different terms, is excluded from itself and from its activity.
If we look now more closely at analytic cognition, we see that it starts from a presupposed, and therefore individual, concrete subject matter; this may be an object already complete in itself for ordinary thought, or it may be a problem, that is to say, given only in its circumstances and conditions, but not yet disengaged from them and presented on its own account in simple self-subsistence. Now the analysis of this subject matter cannot consist in its being merely resolved into the particular picture thoughts which it may contain; such a resolution and the apprehension of such picture thoughts is a business that would not belong to cognition, but would merely be a matter of a closer acquaintance, a determination within the sphere of picture-thinking. Since analysis is based on the Notion, its products are essentially Notion-determinations, and that too as determinations immediately contained in the subject matter.
We have seen from the nature of the Idea of cognition, that the activity of the subjective Notion must be regarded from one side merely as the explication of what is already in the object, because the object itself is nothing but the totality of the Notion. It is just as one-sided to represent analysis as though there were nothing in the subject matter that was not imported into it, as it is one-sided to suppose that the resulting determinations are merely extracted from it. The former view, as everyone knows, is enunciated by subjective idealism, which takes the activity of cognition in analysis to be merely a one-sided positing, beyond which the thing-in-itself remains concealed; the other view belongs to so-called realism which apprehends the subjective Notion as an empty Identity that receives the thought determinations into itself from outside. Analytic cognition, the transformation of the given material into logical determinations, has shown itself to be two things in one: a positing that no less immediately determines itself as a presupposing. Consequently, by virtue of the latter, the logical element may appear as something already complete in the object, just as by virtue of the former it may appear as the product of a merely subjective activity. But the two moments are not to be separated; the logical element in its abstract form into which analysis raises it, is of course only to be found in cognition, while conversely it is something not merely posited, but possessing being in itself. ®
Now since analytic cognition is the transformation indicated above, it does not pass through any further middle term; the determination is in so far immediate and has just this meaning, to be peculiar to the object and in itself to belong to it, and therefore to be apprehended from it without any subjective mediation. But further, cognition is supposed also to be a progress, an explication of differences. But because, in accordance with the determination it has here, it is Notion-less and undialectical, it possesses only a given difference, and its progress takes place solely in the determinations of the material. It seems to have an immanent progress only in so far as the derived thought determinations can be analysed afresh, in so far as they are a concrete; the highest and ultimate point of this process of analysis is the abstract highest essence, or abstract subjective identity — and over against it, diversity.
This progress is, however, nothing but the mere repetition of the one original act of analysis, namely, the fresh determination as a concrete, of what has already been taken up into the abstract form of the Notion; this is followed by the analysis of it, then by the determination afresh as a concrete of the abstract that emerges from it, and so forth. But the thought determinations seem also to contain a transition within themselves. If the object is determined as a whole, then of course one advances from this to the other determination of part, from cause to the other determination of effect, and so on. But here this is no advance, since whole and part, cause and effect, are relationships and moreover, for this formal cognition, relationships complete in themselves such that in them one determination is already found essentially linked to the other. The subject matter that has been determined as cause or as part is ipso facto determined by the whole relationship, that is, determined already by both sides of it. Although the relationship is in itself something synthetic, yet for analytic cognition this connection is as much a mere datum as any other connection of its material and therefore is not relevant to its own peculiar business. Whether a connection of this kind be otherwise determined as a priori or a posteriori is here a matter of indifference, for it is apprehended as something found already there, or, as it has also been described, as a fact of consciousness that with the determination whole is linked the determination part, and so forth. While Kant has made the profound observation that there are synthetic a priori principles and has recognised their root in the unity of self-consciousness and therefore in the identity of the Notion with itself, yet he adopts the specific connection, the concepts of relation and the synthetic principles themselves from formal logic as given; their justification should have been the exposition of the transition of that simple unity of self-consciousness into these its determinations and distinctions, but Kant spared himself the trouble of demonstrating this genuinely synthetic progress — the self-producing Notion. ®
Analytic cognition is the first premise of the whole syllogism — the immediate relation of the Notion to the object; identity, therefore, is the determination which it recognises as its own, and analytic cognition is merely the apprehension of what is. Synthetic cognition aims at the comprehension of what is, that is, at grasping the multiplicity of determinations in their unity. It is therefore the second premise of the syllogism in which the diverse as such is related. Hence its aim is in general necessity. The different terms which are connected, are on the one hand connected in a relation; in this relation they are related and at the same time mutually indifferent and self-subsistent, but on the other hand, they are linked together in the Notion which is their simple yet determinate unity. Now synthetic cognition passes over, in the first instance, from abstract identity to relation, or from being to reflection, and so far it is not the absolute reflection of the Notion that the Notion cognises in its subject matter. The reality it gives itself is the next stage, namely, the stated identity of the different terms as such, an identity therefore that is at the same time still inner and only necessity, not the subjective identity that is for itself; hence not yet the Notion as such. Synthetic cognition, therefore, has indeed the Notion determinations for its content, and the object is posited in them; but they only stand in relation to one another, or are in immediate unity, and just for that reason, not in the unity by which the Notion exists as subject.
This constitutes the finitude of this cognition; because this real side of the Idea in it still possesses identity as an inner identity, its determinations are to themselves still external; because the identity is not in the form of subjectivity, the Notion's own pervasion of the object still lacks individuality; what corresponds to the Notion in the object is indeed no longer the abstract but the determinate form and therefore the particularity of the Notion, but the individual element in the object is still a given content. Consequently, although this cognition transforms the objective world into Notions, it gives it Notion-determinations only in respect of form, and must find the object in respect of its individuality, its specific determinateness; such cognition is not yet self-determining. Similarly, it finds propositions and laws, and proves their necessity, but not as a necessity of the subject matter in and for itself, that is, not from the Notion, but as a necessity of the cognition that works on given determinations, on the differences of the phenomenal aspect of the subject matter, and cognises for itself the proposition as a unity and relationship, or cognises the ground of phenomena from the phenomena themselves.
We have now to consider the detailed moments of synthetic cognition.
First, the still given objectivity is transformed into the simple and first form, hence into the form of the Notion. Accordingly the moments of this apprehension are none other than the moments of the Notion, universality, particularity and individuality. The individual is the object itself as an immediate representation, that which is to be defined. The universality of the object of definition we have found in the determination of the objective judgment or judgment of necessity to be the genus, and indeed the proximate genus; that is to say, the universal with this determinateness that is at the same time a principle for the differentiation of the particular. This difference the object possesses in the specific difference, which makes it the determinate species it is and is the basis of its disjunction from the remaining species.
Definition, in thus reducing the subject matter to its Notion, strips it of its externalities which are requisite for its concrete existence; it abstracts from what accrues to the Notion in its realisation, whereby it emerges first into Idea, and secondly into external existence. Description is for representation, and takes in this further content that belongs to reality. But definition reduces this wealth of the manifold determinations of intuited existence to the simplest moments; the form of these simple elements, and how they are determined relatively to one another, is contained in the Notion. The subject matter is thus, as we have stated, grasped as a universal that is at the same time essentially determinate. The subject matter itself is the third factor, the individual, in which the genus and the particularisation are posited in one; it is an immediate that is posited outside the Notion, since the latter is not yet self-determining.
In the said moments, which are the form-difference of definition, the Notion finds itself and has in them the reality correspondent to it. But the reflection of the Notion-moments into themselves, which is individuality, is not yet contained in this reality, and therefore the object, in so far as it is in cognition, is not yet determined as subjective. Whereas, cognition on the contrary is subjective and has an external starting point, or it is subjective by reason of its external starting point in the individual. The content of the Notion is therefore a datum and contingent. Consequently, the concrete Notion itself is contingent in a twofold aspect: first it is contingent in respect of its content as such; secondly it is contingent which determinations of the content from among the manifold qualities that the object possesses in external existence are to be selected for the Notion and are to constitute its moments.
The latter point requires closer consideration. For since individuality, which is determined in and for itself, lies outside the Notion-determination peculiar to synthetic cognition there is no principle available for determining which sides of the subject matter are to be regarded as belonging to its Notion-determination and which merely to the external reality. This constitutes a difficulty in the case of definitions, a difficulty that for synthetic cognition cannot be overcome. Yet here a distinction must be made. In the first place, the definition of products of self-conscious purposiveness is easily discovered; for the end that they are to serve is a determination created out of the subjective resolve and constituting the essential particularisation, the form of the concrete existent thing, which is here the sole concern. Apart from this, the nature of its material and its other external properties, in so far as they correspond to the end, are contained in its determination; the rest are unessential for it.
Secondly, geometrical objects are abstract determinations of space; the underlying abstraction, so-called absolute space, has lost all further concrete determinations and now too possesses only such shapes and configurations as are posited in it. These objects therefore are only what they are meant to be; their Notion determination in general, and more precisely the specific difference, possesses in them its simple unhindered reality. To this extent, they resemble the products of external purposiveness, and they also agree with the subject matter of arithmetic in which likewise the underlying determination is only that which has been posited in it. True, space has still further determinations: its three-dimensionality, its continuity and divisibility, which are not first posited in it by external determination. But these belong to the accepted material and are immediate presuppositions; it is only the combination and entanglement of the former subjective determinations with this peculiar nature of the domain into which they have been imported that produces synthetic relationships and laws. In the case of numerical determinations, since they are based on the simple principle of the One, their combination and any further determination is simply and solely a positedness; on the other hand, determinations in space, which is explicitly a continuous mutual externality, run a further course of their own and possess a reality distinct from their Notion; but this no longer belongs to the immediate definition.
But, thirdly, in the case of definitions of concrete objects of Nature as well as of spirit, the position is quite different. In general such objects are, for representation, things of many properties. Here, what we have to do in the first instance is to apprehend what is their proximate genus, and then, what is their specific difference. We have therefore to determine which of the many properties belong to the object as genus, and which as species, and further which among these properties is the essential one; this last point involves the necessity of ascertaining their interrelationship, whether one is already posited with the other. But for this purpose there is so far no other criterion to hand than existence itself. The essentiality of the property for the purpose of the definition, in which it is to be posited as a simple, undeveloped determinateness, is its universality. But in existence universality is merely empirical. It may be universality in time - whether the property in question is lasting, while the others show themselves transitory in the subsistence of the whole; or it may be a universality resulting from comparison with other concrete wholes and in that case it goes no further than community. Now if comparison indicates as the common basis the total habitue as empirically presented, reflection has to bring this together into a simple thought determination and to grasp the simple character of such a totality. But the only possible attestation that a thought determination, or a single one of the immediate properties, constitutes the simple and specific essence of the object, is the derivation of such a determination from the concrete properties of the subject matter. But this would demand an analysis transforming the immediate properties into thoughts and reducing what is concrete to something simple. Such an analysis, however, would be higher than the one already considered; for it could not be abstractive, but would have to preserve in the universal what is specific in the concrete, unify it and show it to be dependent on the simple thought determination.
The relations of the manifold determinations of immediate existence to the simple Notion would however be theorems requiring proof. But definition is the first, still undeveloped Notion; therefore, when it has to apprehend the simple determinateness of the subject matter, which apprehension has to be something immediate, it can only employ for the purpose one of its immediate so-called properties - a determination of sensuous existence or representation. The isolation, then, of this property by abstraction, constitutes simplicity, and for universality and essentiality the Notion has to fall back onto empirical universality, the persistence in altered circumstances, and the reflection that seeks the Notion-determination in external existence and in picture thinking, that is, seeks it where it is not to be found. Definition, therefore, automatically renounces the Notion-determinations proper, which would be essentially principles of the subject matter, and contents itself with marks, that is, determinations in which essentiality for the object itself is a matter of indifference, and which are intended merely to be distinguishing marks for an external reflection. A single, external determinateness of this kind is too inadequate to the concrete totality and to the nature of its Notion, to justify its selection for its own sake, nor could it be taken for the true expression and determination of a concrete whole. According to Blumenbach's observation, for example, the lobe of the ear is absent in all other animals, and therefore in the usual phraseology of common and distinguishing marks it could quite properly be used as the distinctive characteristic in the definition of physical man. But how inadequate such a completely external determination at once appears when compared with the conception of the total habitue of physical man, and with the demand that the Notion determination shall be something essential! It is quite contingent whether the marks adopted in the definition are pure makeshifts like this, or on the other hand approximate more to the nature of a principle. It is also to be observed that, on account of their externality, they have not been the starting point in the cognition of the Notion of the object; on the contrary, an obscure feeling, an indefinite but deeper sense, an inkling of what is essential, has preceded the discovery of the genera in nature and in spirit, and only afterwards has a specific externality been sought to satisfy the understanding. In existence the Notion has entered into externality and is accordingly explicated into its differences and cannot be attached simply to a single one of such properties. The properties, as the externality of the thing, are external to themselves; that is why, as we pointed out in the sphere of Appearance when dealing with the thing of many properties, properties essentially become even self-subsistent matters; spirit, regarded from the same standpoint of Appearance, becomes an aggregate of a number of self-subsistent forces. Through this standpoint, the single property or force, even where it is posited as indifferent to the others, ceases to be a characterising principle, with the result that the determinateness, as determinateness of the Notion, vanishes altogether.
Into concrete things, along with the diversity of the properties among themselves, there enters also the difference between the Notion and its actualisation. The Notion in nature and in spirit has an external presentation in which its determinateness shows itself as dependence on the external, as transitoriness and inadequacy. Therefore, although any actual thing no doubt shows in itself what it ought to be, yet in accordance with the negative judgment of the Notion it may equally show that its actuality only imperfectly corresponds to this Notion, that it is bad. Now the definition is supposed to indicate the determinateness of the Notion in an immediate property; yet there is no property against which an instance cannot be brought in which the total habitus, though it enables one to discern the concrete thing to be defined, yet the property taken as its characteristic shows itself immature or stunted. In a bad plant, a poor specimen of an animal, a contemptible human being, a bad state, aspects of its concrete existence are defective or entirely obliterated that otherwise might have been adopted for the definition as the distinguishing mark and essential determinateness in the existence of such a concrete. But for all that, a bad plant or a bad animal, etc., still remains a plant or an animal. If, therefore, bad specimens too are to be covered by the definition, then all the properties that we wanted to regard as essential elude us through instances of malformations in which those properties are lacking. Thus for example the essentiality of the brain for physical man is contradicted by the instance of acephalous individuals, the essentiality of the protection of life and property for the state, by the instance of despotic states and tyrannous governments. If the Notion is asserted against such an instance and the instance, being measured by the Notion, is declared to be a bad specimen, then the Notion is no longer attested by phenomena. But the self-subsistence of the Notion is contrary to the meaning of definition; for definition is supposed to be the immediate Notion, and therefore can only draw on the immediacy of existence for its determinations for objects, and can justify itself only in what it finds already to hand. Whether its content is in-and-for itself truth or a contingency, this lies outside its sphere; but formal truth, the agreement between the Notion subjectively posited in the definition and an actual object outside it, cannot be established because the individual object may also be a bad specimen.
The content of definition is in general taken from immediate existence, and being an immediate content has no justification; the question of its necessity is precluded by its origin; in enunciating the Notion as a mere immediate, the definition refrains from comprehending the Notion itself. Hence it represents nothing but the form determination of the Notion in a given content, without the reflection of the Notion into itself, that is, without the Notion's being-for-self.
But immediacy in general proceeds only from mediation, and must therefore pass over into mediation. Or, in other words, the determinateness of the content contained in the definition, because it is determinateness, is not merely an immediate, but is mediated by its opposite; consequently definition can apprehend its subject matter only through the opposite determination and must therefore pass over into division.
In synthetic cognition, therefore, the Idea attains its end only to the extent that the Notion becomes for the Notion according to its moments of identity and real determinations, or of universality and particular differences — further also as an identity that is the connection and dependence of the diverse elements. But this subject matter of the Notion is not adequate to it; for the Notion does not come to be the unity of itself with itself in its subject matter or its reality; in necessity its identity is for it; but in this identity the necessity is not itself the determinateness, but appears as a matter external to the identity, that is, as a matter not determined by the Notion, a matter, therefore, in which the Notion does not cognise itself. Thus in general the Notion is not for itself, is not at the same time determined in and for itself according to its unity. Hence in this cognition the Idea which falls short of truth on account of the inadequacy of the subject matter to the subjective Notion. But the sphere of necessity is the apex of being and reflection; through its own essential nature it passes into its manifestation, which is the Notion as Notion. How this transition from the sphere of necessity into the Notion is effected in principle has been shown in treating of necessity; the same transition also presented itself as the genesis of the Notion at the beginning of this Book.
Here necessity has the position of being the reality or subject matter of the Notion, just as the Notion into which it passes now appears as the Notion's subject matter. But the transition itself is the same. Here too it is only at first implicit and lies as yet outside cognition in our reflection; that is, it is still the inner necessity of the cognition itself. It is only the result that is for it.
The Idea, in so far as the Notion is now explicitly determined in and for itself, is the practical Idea, or action. ®
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