The Philosophy of Spirit (Jena Lectures 1805-6)
PART I. Spirit according to its Concept

A. Intelligence

In Spirit, the subsistence of an object – its space – is Being. Being is the abstract, pure concept of subsistence. I and the thing are in space. Space is posited as essentially distinct from its content. It is not the essence of its fulfilment itself. It is only a formal universal which is separate from its particular. The subsistence of Spirit, however, is truly universal; it contains the particular itself. The thing is. It is not in Being [as content is in space]; rather it itself is.

That, in immediate form, is the essence of intuition (Anschauung): knowing some being (Seyenden). Spirit, however, is this mediated with itself. Spirit is what it is only in transcending what it is immediately, stepping back from it. In other words, we are to consider the movement in Spirit, i.e., how a being becomes universal for it, or how it makes a being universal, positing it as what it is. Being is the form of immediacy, but Being should be posited in its truth.

(a) Spirit is immediate, as generally intuiting, so that a being is for it. But it comes back out of this immediacy, returns into itself, is for itself. It posits itself [as] free of this immediacy, distancing itself from it at first; it is like an animal, it is time, which is for itself, and [it is] the freedom of time as well – this pure subject that is free of its content but also master of it, unlike space and time which are selfless.

Spirit (Geist) [i.e., mind] starts from this Being and [then] posits it within itself as something that is a not-being, as something in general sublated (aufgehobnes). In so doing, Spirit [mind] is the representational power of imagination (vorstellende Einbildungskraft) as such. It is the Self against itself. At first, Spirit itself is intuition; it places itself in opposition to this Self. The object [i.e. the external thing] is not its object now, but rather its own intuition, i.e., the content of the perception as its own [content]. When I look at something (Im Anschauen), what I look at is in me – for it is I, after all, who look at it; it is my looking. Spirit steps out of this looking, and looks at its looking – i.e., it looks at the object as its own, at the object [now] cancelled as a being [and taken as] image. In the looking, Spirit is the image. For it, insofar as it is consciousness, [the object] is a being that is severed from the I. For us, however, it is the unity of both [i.e., its independent being and the I]. It becomes clear to Spirit that it [i.e., Spirit itself] is in and for itself (an und fur sich) – but to begin with, in the looking, Spirit is only in itself. It complements this [being-in-itself] with the for-itself, with negativity, separation from the in-itself, and goes back into itself. It takes its first self as an object, i.e., the image, Being as mine, as negated (als aufgehobnes).

This image belongs to Spirit. Spirit is in possession of the image, is master of it. It is stored in the Spirit’s treasury, in its Night. The image is unconscious, i.e., it is not displayed as an object for representation. The human being is this Night, this empty nothing which contains everything in its simplicity – a wealth of infinitely many representations, images, none of which occur to it directly, and none of which are not present. This [is] the Night, the interior of [human] nature, existing here – pure Self – [and] in phantasmagoric representations it is night everywhere: here a bloody head suddenly shoots up and there another white shape, only to disappear as suddenly. We see this Night when we look a human being in the eye, looking into a Night which turns terrifying. [For from his eyes] the night of the world hangs out toward us.

Into this Night the being has returned. Yet the movement of this power is posited likewise.

The image is many-sided, its form as its determinacy – and this leads to other determinations and to multiplicity in general. The I is the form, not only as simple self but also as movement, the relation of parts of the image – positing the form, the relation, as its own. Insofar as it comprises a part of the content it transforms it. [The I] for itself is here free arbitrariness – [able] to dismember images and to reconnect them in the most dissociated manner. If the self, in its drawing forth of images, allows itself to go nearer the passive relation, then it is under the domination of the so-called association of ideas – an English phrase referring, even today, to the mere image (e.g., of a dog), an idea. The laws of this association of ideas refer to nothing more than the passive ordering of representation (e.g., if two things are usually seen together they tend to be reproduced together, and so on). This arbitrariness is empty freedom, for its content is [merely] sequential, merely formal, and concerns form alone.

(b) The object has thereby received form in general, the determination of being mine. And in being looked at again, its being no longer has this pure signification of being [as such], but of [being] mine: e.g., it is familiar to me, or I remind myself of it, or immediately in it I have the consciousness of myself. In the immediate intuition [I had] only the consciousness of it; but if it is familiar it takes on for me this express determination. We are also reminded of something through something else; merely the image of the object is brought in upon us; remembering adds the element of being-for-self (Fürsichseyn). I have already seen or heard it; I remind myself of it; I do not merely see or hear the object, but I thereby go into my inner self – I remind [erinnere: literally, “re-internalize”] myself, taking myself out of the mere image, and placing myself into myself. I then “place” [or: posit] myself vis-à-vis the object in a special way.

(c) This being-for-me, which I add to the object, is that Night, that Self, in which I immersed the object – the object which is now brought forth and is an object for me. And what is before me [now] is a synthesis of both content and I. Yet the external object itself was negated (aufgehoben) in that very synthesis, and has become something other than it is. It has come under the domination of the Self, and has lost the significance of being immediate and independent. Not only has a synthesis occurred, but the being of the object has been negated (aufgehoben).

The point, therefore, is that the object is not what it is. Its content is not free of its being; its being is Self. Its content is its simple essence as such, [but] this is something other than its being. As a totality, it counts as different, has a different essence; the Self has a different meaning, or counts as a sign. In the sign, it is the being-for-self (as the essence of the object) that is the object, and it is negated according to its totality, its content. Its content no longer has its own free value. Its being is the I itself – Idealism, become its own object. [According to this view:] the thing is not what it is. Its being is the Self. My being-for-self is [now] the object as the essence of the thing, connected in memory only synthetically, externally. Here the I, as the inner [aspect] of the thing, is itself the object. As yet this inwardness of the thing is separated from its being; the universal [i.e., the thing qua thing], is not yet posited.

This fact – that I look at the thing as a mere sign, yet at its essence as I, as meaning, as reflection in itself – this itself is [my] object. Only then is it merely immediate inwardness; it must also enter into existence (Daseyn), become an object, so that on the contrary this inwardness is made external – a return to being (Seyn).

This is language, as the name-giving power. The power of imagination provides only the empty form; [it is] the designative power positing the form as internal. Language, on the other hand, posits the internal as being (seyendes). This, then, is the true being of spirit as that of spirit as such. It is there as the unity of two free Selves [i.e., imagination and language] and [as] an entity (Daseyn) that is adequate to its concept. At the same time it immediately negates itself – fading, yet perceived. Above all, language speaks only with this Self, with the meaning of the thing; it gives it a name and expresses this as the being of the object.

[We might ask, for example,] What is this? We answer, It is a lion, a donkey, etc. – [namely] it is. Thus it is not merely something yellow, having feet, etc., something on its own, [existing] independently. Rather, it is a name, a sound made by my voice, something entirely different from what it is in being looked at – and this [as named] is its true being. [We might say:] This is only its name, the thing itself is something different; but then we fall back onto the sensory representation. Or [we might say:] It is only a name, in a higher sense, since to begin with, the name is itself only the very superficial spiritual being. By means of the name, however, the object has been born out of the I [and has emerged] as being (seyend). This is the primal creativity exercised by Spirit. Adam gave a name to all things. This is the sovereign right [of Spirit], its primal taking-possession of all nature – or the creation of nature out of Spirit [itself].

[Consider] Logos, reason, the essence of the thing and of speech, of object (Sache) and talk (Sage), the category – [in respect to all of these,] man speaks to the thing as his. And this is the being of the object. Spirit relates itself to itself: it says to the donkey, You are an inner [subjective] entity, and that Inner is I; your being is a sound which I have arbitrarily invented. The sound, “donkey,” is altogether different from the sensate entity. Insofar as we see it, and also feel or hear it, we are that entity itself, immediately one with it and fulfilled. Coming back as a name, however, it is something spiritual, altogether different.

[In this light] the world, nature, is no longer a realm of images internally suspended (aufgehoben), having no being. Rather, it is a realm of names. The realm of images is the dreaming spirit, concerned with a content lacking all reality, all existence. Its awakening is the realm of names. Here we have a division: Spirit is [only] as consciousness; only now do its images have truth. The dreamer believes this as well, but it is not true – the dreamer cannot distinguish himself from the one awake, while the one awake can distinguish himself from the one who is dreaming, in that what is so for him is true. “It is true” [means] it is no longer merely one’s being-for-self that is there, the object [as] images. Rather, the enclosed being-for-self at the same time has the form of being: it is.

In names, we actually first overcome the looking (An schauen), the animal [physiological] aspect, as well as space and time. The looked-at [object] is evanescent; its totality is like a simple atmosphere, an aroma, simple individuality, raised out of feeling into a higher spiritual sense. Individuality, actuality as such – but it is as yet primal, without its own content, immediate. The name has yet another meaning than what it is. The object, in the sign, has another meaning than what it is – the inner. The meaning of a name, on the other hand, is the sensate being. Its content must become equal to its simple existent spirituality.

The Spirit goes back into itself from this being of the name – that is, its name-giving is an object for it as a realm, a multitude of names. They are simple, enclosed in themselves. The many-sidedness of the image is enveloped and suppressed in this Self. The power of imagination takes the object (with its many-sidedness) out of its immediate environment. Yet the name is solitary, without relation or tie. [Names comprise] a series which is not self-supporting, since the name has no determinacy in it, no intrinsic relation to something else.

The I is all alone the bearer, the space and substance of these names. It is their order, their interrelation of complete mutual indifference. In themselves they have no rank or relation. Thus the I must now look at itself as ordering this, or look at them as ordered and maintaining this order, so that it is permanent.

The I is first of all in possession of names; it must preserve them in its Night – as serviceable, obedient to the I. Not only must it regard names in general, it must also look. at them in its space as a fixed order – for this is their interrelation and necessity, the intrinsic relation of many different names. It is up to the I to create their content out of itself. Its content consists of undifferentiated (gleichgultigen) names; but in their indifference as a multitude, the Self, as something negative, is not as it truly is. The negative element, in the multitude of names, is the independent relation of each to the other. This relation is ascribed to the names as such; the I holds them fixed in necessity – a necessity not yet ascribed to them but only that of a fixed order.

Or it is actual memory, having itself still in its object, as understanding which has an object. Memory preserves the name in general, the free and arbitrary connection of this image (or meaning) and a name, so that the image evokes the name, and the name the image. But on a higher level the relation is freed of this inequality, so that a name is related only to another name [or sound] – e.g., the words “lightning,” “thunder” (Blitz, Donner), in their [phonetic] similarity to the empirical phenomenon – but free names are not interrelated. The I is the force of this free order – an order not yet posited as necessary, although it is an order [nevertheless].

The I is the free bearer, the free non-objective order – it is the first I to grasp itself as force. It itself is necessity, free of representation, the fixing and fixed order. The exercise of memory is therefore the first work of the awakened spirit qua spirit. The inventing and bestowing of names is a creative arbitrariness. In memory this arbitrariness is what disappears first – the I has come into being. The name is [now] a fixed sign, a permanent relation, universal. The I has [thus] surrendered its arbitrariness in its being, positing itself as universal. Therefore order, here, is necessary relation as such. Yet this itself is as yet an inner or contingent order – an arbitrary necessity [as it were] – for its aspects are not yet posited, are not yet in themselves. It is merely a necessity in general, i.e., contingent.

Now this holding on to such a relation of the name or names is the immaterial movement and occupation of Spirit with itself. It no longer connects sensory existing representations together arbitrarily, merely reproducing them as they are. Rather, it is a free force and maintains itself as this free force. At the same time, its work is such that the I makes itself into what it is in name-giving, namely a thing, a being (seyendes); it is of the names, and it is a thing. The I makes itself into a thing, in that it fixes the order of names within itself. It fixes them within itself, i.e., it makes itself into this unthinking order, which has the mere appearance of order. In the appearance of order there lies the I – necessity, the Self with its aspects. But these aspects are as yet purely indifferent. Only as memory can the I make itself into a thing, because the thing into which it makes itself is in itself I. It is now the active I, the movement making itself into that object which (in naming) it immediately is. The for-itself of recollection is here its activity [turned] to itself – bringing forth itself, negating (negiren) itself. If the name is seen as the object about which the I is active, then the I annuls itself (hebt sich auf).

This work is therefore the primary inner effect upon itself, an altogether unsensory occupation and the beginning of the free elevation of the Spirit, for here it has itself as object – a far higher work than the childish occupation with external, sensory or painted pictures (plants, animals with a big snout, yellow mane, long tail, etc.). This [concern with] seeing, attention, is the primary necessary activity – [ concern with] seeing precisely, with the activity of Spirit, fixing, abstracting, extracting, exertion, and overcoming of what is indeterminate in sensation. Yet this activity is not directed at itself.

[In] this concern with itself, [the I has the aim of] producing itself (sich hervorzubringen) – the reverse of that [process] which makes a thing into the I. Holding to an order is the I’s thinking its own content. The content is not due to the name which the I sees as its own. Rather, it is due to the form, order – but as a fixed, arbitrary, contingent [order], it is externality, thingness. I know something by heart – [this means that] I have made myself into an indifferent order. I am order, relation, activity – but this order is arbitrary. The I is thereby made into a thing.

This directedness to the name thus has the opposite significance: namely, that the directedness to the I, with the negation of the name as a being-for-itself, is posited as arbitrary, active. What is posited is the universality – with equal value and equal elevation (aufgehobenseyn) given to the active I and the object: namely, the I has become the object. In the name it has only become a being, as opposed to being-for-itself; so that the name is as yet arbitrary, particular.

Thing, understanding, necessity: the thing as simple universality, necessity as self-movement. The thing has a necessity to it, since it has the I’s selfhood to it. A difference in the thing is a difference in the Self; i.e., it is a negative relation to itself. Understanding, insight is the difference, not in the thing but rather of the thing vis-à-vis the understanding. Actually it is not the understanding which belongs here, but rather the experience of consciousness [i.e., a phenomenology of spirit].

Thus the I is active in connection with the thing or with universality as such, i.e., the movement of the universal is posited. The difference between the two [I and the thing] is that the I is differentiated from itself – it is the universal to which it is opposed as the negativity which it itself contains. This negativity itself, in the form of universality, is particularity. Both [subject and object] are completely indifferent to one another, since each is the universal, i.e., each is the relation of itself to itself.

These extreme [poles], however, are at the same time simply related to one another: identical to one another in their indifference or universality, each related to itself but also for the other – since each itself is what it is only in opposition to the other. The ground [of everything] has come to be through this movement, enveloping the universal within it in its simplicity – only as negativity – and concealing it. The particular, on the other hand, as the negative, is negative in excluding the other, the not-negative, the universal. Both relate to themselves and are thus universal, yet at the same time only one of them is the Universal. Each is the negative of the other, yet only one of them is the Negative. The one (the particular) is inwardly universal in its relation to itself – to itself, since it excludes the other and its external being, and is negative toward this other. The other (the universal), however, is internally negative; it contains the negativity in itself but is universal outwardly.

Each thereby has externally what it is internally, as has the other. In other words, the in-itself of each, that which it is not for the other, this is the other; it is that which is for it. Each is its own contrary, both are themselves this movement: this being-other, yet being self-related; relation, too, is the contrary of their equivalence (Gleichgültigkeit) which they have in judgment.

The inward being of each is differentiated from its outward being. They are thus divided in themselves, self-negating (sich aufhebende). That inward being is in and for itself. But this too (e.g., negativity, universality) is its other. Thus the universal is self-identical. Thus it is negativity, since this is its inner. Just as it is particularity, it is also universality, the contrary, non-identity. Its true being is its outward being, i.e., only in its relation, not in and for itself. At the same time, the universality of either side [outer and inner] thereby has the significance of being. The two sides are so identical to one another that here too what they are in themselves falls apart into two equivalent aspects. The universality as such is only the one; being, however, is the reality itself, subsistence as multiplicity.

Both are therefore universal, and only one is the Universal. They are beings (seyende), and yet they are not identical in this being (Seyn): the one sort of being is the inner, the in-itself of the other, and they are negative. Their unity is itself something other than both extremities, since they are opposed to one another; yet their juxtaposition is such that precisely in that respect wherein they are juxtaposed they are identical – and again, in such a way that their juxtaposition is something other than their self-identity. Yet precisely in their unity and their mutual opposition they are related to one another; and in that both are other than this unity, this otherness is their middle term which relates them. The conclusion is therefore posited: insofar as the two extremes are opposed they are one in some third element; and insofar as they are identical, it is precisely their opposition, that which divides them (das sie dirimirende), that is the [unifying] third element.

This third element, however, is such that it is everything the other two are. It is universality, negativity – and since there is more than one universal, it is their being. Universality is such that it is immediately identical with itself and is opposed to itself, divided into itself and its contrary. The same is true for negativity. And simple being is immediate multiplicity. It is the unity of contraries – the self-moving universal that divides itself into beings which are that unifying third – and is thereby the pure negativity. The understanding is reason, and its object is the I itself.

The main point is that the thinghood, insofar as it is universality, at the same time presents itself immediately as being, and the negativity or unity is thereby posited. Thinghood, represented as being, comes to its conclusion by way of judgment. Their relation, by means of the contrary, is something other, the third element. Yet each is mediated with the other by means of this third element: the particular, in its self-relation according to its Self, is in itself not there; the understanding is its in-itself. Likewise, the universal is not there as negativity. This is its in-itself – and the same goes for the understanding, since this is the in-itself (das Ansich).

The understanding is (a) the inner side of each; but likewise it is (b) the outer side of each, since as negativity it is the external, the existence (Daseyn) of the particular; and as universal it is the external, the existence of the universal. It is likewise (c) the being (Seyn) of many, containing all that is [multifarious and mutually] indifferent. Thus it is this pure movement of universality, which is the in-itself and the existence that is differentiated from it. The understanding is reason which is its own object. Reason is the inferred conclusion in its infinitude, dividing itself into extremes – each of which, insofar as it exists, immediately has its other as its in-itself.

In this light, intelligence has no other object for its content, but having grasped itself it is its own object. The thing, the universal, is for intelligence as the thing is in itself: sublated [negated] being, as positive, as I. Intelligence is actual (wirklich) the possibility of an effect (Wirken). The object is in itself what intelligence is, and this is why the object can be sublated (aufgehoben) – but intelligence has not yet been active for itself (“for itself” in the sense that the intelligence has looked upon the transformation as its own, upon activity as the Self – i.e., the change, its objective minus, as it itself).

This intelligence is free, yet its freedom is, on the other hand, without content, at whose cost and loss it has freed itself. Its movement is the opposite: to fulfill itself – not through passive absorption, but through the creation of a content wherein the intelligence has the consciousness of its own activity, i.e., as its own positing of content or making itself its own content. In theoretical knowing, the intelligence can as well know in terms of imagery, in memory, knowing itself, not as content but as form. Thus the I itself is not the ground [the basis], the universal, upon which the determinations and differentiations of intelligence are presented.


B. Will

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