Encyclopaedia of the Philosophical Sciences
Part III: The Philosophy of Spirit


(a) Theoretical Spirit - (b) Practical Spirit

§ 363

Spirit has shown itself as the unity of the soul and consciousness, — the former a simple immediate totality, and the latter is knowledge which is not limited by any object, and no longer stands in relation to it, but is knowledge of the simple, neither subjective nor objective totality. Spirit originates, therefore, only from its own being, and only relates itself to its own determinations.

§ 364

The soul is finite, insofar as it is immediate or determined by nature; consciousness is finite, insofar as it has an object; and spirit is finite, insofar as it immediately has determinacy in itself or insofar as the determinacy is posited by spirit. In and for itself it is absolutely infinite objective reason, which is defined as its concept and its reality, knowledge, or intelligence. Hence the finitude of spirit consists more precisely in the fact that knowledge has not grasped the being of reason in and for itself. This is infinite, however, only insofar as it is absolute freedom, and thus presupposes itself as the immediate determinacy of its knowledge. It thereby reduces itself to finitude, and appears as the eternal movement of suspending this immediacy and comprehending itself

§ 365

The progress of the spirit is development, because its existing phase, knowledge, involves consciousness in and for itself as the purpose or rationale. Thus the action of translating this purpose into reality is strictly only this formal transition into manifestation. Insofar as knowledge is infinite negativity, this translation in the concept is creativity in general. Insofar as knowledge is only abstract or formal, the spirit in it does not conform to its concept, and its purpose is to bring forth the absolute fulfilment and the absolute freedom of its knowledge.

§ 366

The way of the spirit is: (a) to be theoretical: it has to do with its immediate determinacy and the positing of this determinacy as its own; — or, it has to free knowledge from its presuppositions and therefore from its abstractions, and make the determinacy subjective. Since the knowledge in itself is determined in and for itself or exists as free intelligence, it is immediately: (b) will, practical spirit, which in the first place is immediately willed, and its determination of will is to be freed from its subjectivity, so that it exists as free will and objective spirit.

§ 367

The theoretical and the practical spirit still fall in the sphere of the subjective spirit in general; this knowledge and will are still formal. But as spirit it is above all the unity of subjectivity and objectivity. As subjective spirit it is thus just as productive, though its productions are primarily formal. The production of the theoretical spirit is only of its ideal world, whereas the production of the practical spirit is of formal material and the content of its own world.

The doctrine of the spirit is usually treated as empirical psychology, with the spirit considered as a collection of powers and faculties which find themselves thrown together in a coincidental fashion. Thus it seems that one or the other faculty could just as well exist or not, a view which does not occur in physics, for example, where it is clear that nature would lose quite a bit if such a feature as magnetism did not exist. — The relation of the faculties to each other is of course seen as extremely necessary or purposeful, but this utility of the faculties appears often to be very remote, or even at times in bad taste.

Psychology belongs, like logic, among those sciences which in modem times have derived the least use from the more general intellectual culture and the deeper concepts of reason. It thus finds itself in a dreadful condition. To be sure, the turn taken by Kantian philosophy has given it greater importance: it has even been claimed that in its empirical condition it constitutes the foundation of metaphysics, for metaphysics is to consist of nothing but the empirical apprehension and the analysis of the facts of human consciousness, above all as facts, just as they are given. But this view of psychology, which mixes the standpoint of consciousness with anthropology, has actually changed nothing of its condition. It has only meant that, both for the spirit as such and for metaphysics and philosophy generally, all attempts to recognise the necessity of what is in and for itself have been abandoned, along with the effort to realise the concept and the truth.

(a.) Theoretical Spirit
§ 368

Intelligence finds itself determined; as knowledge, however, intelligence consists in treating what is found as its own. Its activity is to be reason for itself because it is reason in itself and to make subjective its objectivity subsisting in and for itself. Intelligence is therefore not receptive, but rather essentially active, suspending the pretence of finding reason, or raising the purely formal knowledge, which it is as the self-discovery of reason, to a determinate knowledge of itself. The manner of this elevation is itself rational, because it is reason, and a necessary, conceptually determined transition of one determination of its activity into the other.

(1) The distinction of intelligence from will is often incorrectly taken to mean that each has a fixed and separate existence, as if will could exist without intelligence, or the activity of intelligence could be without will. But this would miss the truth of the will, for only free self-determination is will, as the will is intelligence, and freedom itself exists only as self-certainty in the immediate determination subsisting in itself Thus the truth of intelligence manifests itself as will, or rather, intelligence shows itself in the will as truth. The will of the spirit to be intelligence is its self-determination, by which the purposes and interests posited by the spirit are abstracted so that it does not relate to itself as will.

The most trivial form of that false distinction is the imagined possibility that the understanding could exist without the heart, and the heart without the understanding. Such a view is the abstraction of the observant understanding, which holds fast to such distinctions. Just as it is the actual understanding in the individual which makes this kind of separation, ushers in the untruth of intellectual thought and remains fixed there, thus it is an understanding which is just as much will. But it is not philosophy which should take such untruths of thought and the imagination for truth. – A number of other phrases used for intelligence, namely, that it receives and accepts impressions from outside, that ideas arise through the causal operations of external things upon it, and so on, belong to a point of view which mixes sensory and rational determinations (§ 336), a standpoint that is alien to the spirit and even less appropriate for philosophy. – That the intelligence appears determined in infinitely multiple, contingent ways is equally the standpoint of entirely finite individuality, and the extreme untruth of empirical observation.

(2) A favourite form of reflection deals with forces and faculties of the soul, the intelligence, or the spirit. In regards to a faculty – the dynamics of Aristotle have an entirely different meaning – it characterises being for itself and is different from the entelechy, from the activity of being for itself and from reality. Faculty, like force, is the fixed determinacy of any thought content, conceived as reflection into self Force (§ 85) is, to be sure, the infinity of form, of inside and outside; but its essential finitude constitutes the indifference of the content in contrast to the form (ibid. note). In this lies the irrational element which by this form of reflection and observation of the spirit, treating the spirit as a number of forces, is brought into the spirit as it is also brought into nature. What can be distinguished in this activity is stereotyped as an independent determinacy, and the spirit is made in this way into a skeleton-like, mechanical collection. If a force of the spirit, that is, its contents, the particular determinacy which it contains, is considered, it proves again to be determinate, that is, dialectic and transitory, not independent. Thus it is precisely the used form of a force that suspends itself which should be the reflection into self or determinacy, and is affixed to independence. In this way the concept emerges, in which the forces disappear.

This concept and the dialectic are intelligence itself pure subjectivity of the self in which the determinations as fluid moments are suspended, and for which the absolute concrete is the night of the self where there is intelligence as well as the determinations of their activity which are taken as forces. As the simple identity of this multiplicity it determines itself as the simplicity of a determinacy, understanding, the form of a force, of an isolated activity, and grasps itself as intuition, the power of imagination, the faculty of understanding, and so on. But this isolation, the abstractions of activities and the opinions of them are not the concept and the rational truth themselves.

§ 369

As the soul, intelligence is immediately determined, as consciousness it is related to this determinacy as to an external object; as intelligence it finds itself thus determined. It is therefore: (1) feeling, the inarticulate weave of the spirit into itself in which it is to some extent palpable, and contains the whole material of its knowledge. For the sake of the immediacy in which the spirit is as feeling or sensation, it exists above all only as individual and subjective.

§ 370

The form of sensation is, to be sure, a determinate affection, but this determinacy is simple and in it the differentiation of both their content against other contents, and the externality of it against the subjectivity which is still not posited.

It is commonly enough assumed that the spirit has in its sensation the material of its representations, but this thesis is more usually understood in a sense antithetical to that which it has here. In contrast with the simplicity of feeling, it is usual rather to assume that the primary mental phase is judgment generally and the distinction of consciousness into subject and object, and the particular quality of sensation is derived from an independent object, external or internal. Here in the sphere of the spirit, this standpoint of consciousness opposed to idealism has been submerged. The feeling or the sensation are, by their form, resembling content, since it is this immediate, still implicitly undifferentiated, dull knowledge of the spirit.

Aristotle, too, recognised the determination of sensation, for he saw that the sentient subject and the sensed object, separated by consciousness, only exist as the sensation of the possibility, though he said of the sensation that the entelechy of the sentient and the sensed are one and the same. – No prejudice is probably more false than the thesis that nothing exists in thought which does not exist in the senses, —and indeed, in the usual sense which is attributed to Aristotle. His actual philosophy, however, is the exact opposite of this idea.

Another equally familiar prejudice as this historical one is the idea that there is more in feeling than in thought; this point is often made in regards to moral and religious feelings. Now it has happened that the material which itself is the feeling spirit is the being determined in and for itself of reason. But this form of simplicity is the lowest an the worst, in which it can not be as spirit, as the free entity or the infinite generality which is its essence. It must, rather, above all go beyond this untrue manner of its being, because it exists in immediacy as determinate, and in any case is only a contingent, subjective, and particular entity. If someone refers on any topic not to the nature and the concept of the issue, least of all to reasons or to the generalities of common sense, but to one's own feeling, the only thing to do is to leave them alone, because by their behaviour they reject the community of rationality, and shut themselves up in their own isolated subjectivity, their private and particular selves.

§ 371

The abstract identical direction of the spirit in sensation, as in all other of its further determinations, is attention: the moment of the formal self-determination of the intelligence.

§ 372

This self-determination is, however, essentially not abstract; as an infinitude it dissolves the simplicity of its determinate being and thereby suspends its immediacy. Thus it posits itself as a negative, the felt entity, distinct from the intelligence as reflective into itself and from the subject, in which feeling is suspended. This level of reflection is the representation.

§ 373

(2) The representing activity of the intelligence is: (a) recollection. With its simple, dissolving sensation and its determination as a negative extreme set against the reflection into itself recollection posits the content of the sensation as subsisting outside of itself Thus it throws content into space and time, and is intuitive. The intuition is immediate, insofar as the abstract alienation and the intelligence are not all reflection into themselves and set against this externality.

§ 374

This positing, however, is the other extreme of the diremption: the intelligence posits the content of its feeling in its own inwardness, in a space and time of its own. In this way the content is an image or representation in general, freed from its initial immediacy and abstract individuality among other things, and taken up, at first abstractly and ideally, into the form of the self's generality.

§ 375

Recollection is the relation of both, the subsumption of the immediate, individual intuition under this formal generality, the representation which is the same content. Thus the intelligence in the determinate sensation and its intuition are inward, recognise themselves thus, no longer require the intuition and possess it as their own.

§ 376

(b) The intelligence which is active in this possession is the reproductive imagination, the production of images from the inferiority of the self The concrete images are in the first place related to the external, immediate space and time which are treasured along with them. – But since the image in the subject, where it is treasured, only has the negative unity in which it is carried and receives its concretion, thus its originally concrete condition, by which as a unit of sensation and intuition or in consciousness it is determined, has been broken up. The reproduced content, belonging as it does to the self-identical unity of the intelligence, and emerging from its interior into the representation, is a general representation, which supplies the link of association for the images which according to circumstances are either more abstract or more concrete representations.

The "laws of the association of idea? were of great interest, especially during that outburst of empirical psychology which occurred at the same time as the decline of philosophy. In the first place, it is not "ideas' which are associated. Secondly, these modes of association are not laws, just for the reason that there are so many laws about the same thing that they suggest an arbitrariness and a contingency which are the very opposite of a law. The ongoing sequence of images and representations suggested by association is in general the play of thoughtless representation, in which the determination of the intelligence is still an entirely formal generality, a content given in the images. – Image and idea are only distinguished by the fact that the former is more concrete; representation, the content, may be an image, concept, or idea, but always has the character, though belonging to intelligence, of being given and immediate in terms of its content. – Otherwise it appears, since intuition is immediate relation, the self an ideal one, and thus its self-reflection is an external generality, which is not yet the determination of the content, whereas representation and its production are a determinate generality – that intuition, representation, and imagination are essentially thinking, although they are not yet liberated thought, and their content is not a thought. —

Abstraction, which occurs in the representative activity, by which general representations are produced, is frequently explained as the incidence of many similar images one upon the other, and is supposed to be thus made intelligible. If this superimposition is to be no mere accident or without principle, a force of attraction in similar images must be assumed, or something of the sort, which at the same time would have the negative power of rubbing off the still-dissimilar elements against each other. This force is in fact intelligence itself the self as a general entity that by its memory gives the images generality directly.

§ 377

Thus even the association of representations is a subsumption of the individual under a single generality. This generality is at first a form of the intelligence. But it is in itself just as much determinate, concrete subjectivity, and its own content can be a thought, concept, or idea. As the subsumption of images under a specific content, intelligence recollects them in themselves as determinate, and forms them into their content. In this way it is creative imagination, imagination which symbolises, allegorises, or poeticises.

§ 378

Intelligence has been so far perfected in the determinate recollection of creative imagination that its self-generated content has a pictorial existence. Yet the material of the pictorial creation is given, and the product does not have the immediacy of existence. Intelligence must give the creation this immediacy: as intelligence in the creation forms the totality of the representation, it has turned back from its particularisation in subjective representation and animal intuition to the free, identical relation to itself This recollection of the intuition is memory.

§ 379

(c) Memory (Mnemosyne, muse) is the unity of the independent representation and the intuition, with the former as a free attempt to utter itself immediately. – This immediacy is, because the intelligence is not yet practical, immediate, or given; but in this identity the intuition does not count positively or as self-representing, but as a representative of something else. It is an image, which has received as its soul and meaning an independent representation of the intelligence. This intuition is the sign.

The sign is any immediate intuition, but representing a totally different content from what it has for itself; – it is the pyramid, into which a foreign soul is conveyed and preserved. The sign is different from the symbol, an intuition which according to its essence and concept is determined to be more or less the thought which it expresses as symbol. Intelligence, therefore, gives proof of a freer choice and authority in the use of intuitions when it treats them as signifying rather than symbolic.

Usually, language and the sign are relegated somewhere into the appendix on psychology, or even logic, with no recognition of their necessity and connection in the system of intelligent activity. The true place for the sign is the one just mentioned: where intelligence, which intuitively generates time and place, now gives its own independent representations a determinate existence, a filled place and time, treating the intuition which it has as its own material of sensation, eliminating its immediate and unique representation, and giving it another as its meaning and soul. – This sign-creating activity may justifiably be called memory, or “productive memory,” since memory, which is often used in ordinary life as interchangeable and synonymous with recollection, and even with representation and imagination, above all has only to do with signs. And even if it is used in this more precise sense, it is otherwise thought of as only the reproductive memory: the intelligence essentially produces, however, what it reproduces.

§ 380

The intuition, which is used for a sign is in its immediate phase given and spatial. But since it exists only as suspended, and the intelligence is its negativity, the true form of the intuition as a sign is its existence in time, — but this existence vanishes in the moment of being, and its tone is the fulfilled manifestation of its self-proclaimed inferiority (§ 279). The tone which articulates itself further to express specific representations — speech and its system, language — gives to sensations and intuitions a second and higher existence than they immediately possess, and invests the images with existence in the realm of representation.

§ 381

The identity of intuition in the sign and its meaning is primarily a single production; but as a unity with the intelligence it is just as essentially general. The activity of recollecting this and thereby making it general, as well as reproducing it, is the outwardly retentive and reproductive memory.

§ 382

There are many signs in general, and as such they are absolutely contingent in juxtaposition to each other. The empty bind which fixes such sequences and holds them in this order is the entirely abstract, pure power of subjectivity, — the memory, which is called mechanical for the complete externality in which the members of such sequences are juxtaposed.

§ 383

The name is thus the thing, as it exists and has validity in the realm of representation. But it also has an externality brought forth from the intelligence, and it is the intuition which is inessential for itself standing in the use of intelligence and subjectively made, so that it only has value through the meaning given to it by the intelligence, which is the determinate representation in and for itself and the thing or the objective entity. Mechanical memory is the formal suspension of that subjectivity, whereby the contradiction of the sign falls away and the intelligence makes itself for itself in the habit of language a thing, as an immediate objectivity. In this way, through the memory, it makes the transition to thought.

§ 384

(3) Through the recollection of its immediate determinacy and the manifestation of its subjective activity of determination, the unity and truth of intelligence are achieved: the thought. The thought is the thing, the simple identity of subjective and objective. What is thought, is; and what is, is only insofar as it is thought.

§ 385

Thought is in the first place formal: generality as generality, and just as much being as the simple subjectivity of intelligence. In this way it is not determinate in and for itself; the recollected representations brought to thought are, insofar as they are still content, — a content which in itself is only the determinate being in and for itself of reason.

§ 386

Thought, however, as the free generality which it is only as pure negativity, is therefore not: (a) only the formally identical understanding, but (b) essentially diremption and determination, — judgment, and (c) the identity which finds itself in this particularisation, the concept and reason. Intelligence has determinate being in comprehension, though it existed at first as immediate material, and in itself it is absolutely only its own, thereby it exists not as determinate being, but as the act of determination.

In logic there is thought, in the first place as it is in itself then as it is for itself and in and for itself – these have been viewed as being, reflection, concept, and as idea. In the soul it is alert self-possession; in consciousness it also occurs as a phase. Thought thus recurs again and again in these different parts of philosophy, because they are different only through the element and the form of the antithesis they are in, but thought is this one and the same centre, to which as to their truth the antitheses return.

§ 387

Thought, as the free concept, is also free in terms of the content. The determinacy of reason is the proper determinacy of subjective intelligence, and as determinate it is its content and existence. Thinking subjectivity is thereby actual; its determinations are purposes; it is free will.

(b.) Practical Spirit
§ 388

The spirit as intelligence is primarily, however, abstract for itself; as free will it is fulfilled, because it exists as concept, as self-determining. This fulfilled being for itself or individuality constitutes the side of existence or reality, the idea of the spirit, whose concept is reason.

§ 389

This existence of the self-determination of spirit is in the first place immediate, where spirit finds itself and as inward in itself or through nature it is self-determining individuality. It is therefore: (1) practical feeling.

§ 390

Free will is the individuality or the pure negativity of the self-determining being for itself which is simply identical with reason and therefore general subjectivity itself, the will as intelligence. The immediate individuality of the will in practical feelings thus has this content, but as immediately individual, hence contingent and subjective.

An appeal is sometimes made to the feeling of right and morality which the person has in himself to his benevolent dispositions and so on, and to his heart in general, that is, to the subject, insofar as the different practical feelings are all united in it. As far as this appeal implies: (1) that these determinations are immanent in themselves, and (2) that when feeling is opposed to the logical understanding, it, and not the partial abstractions of the understanding, may be the totality, the appeal has a legitimate meaning. But on the other hand, feeling too may be one-sided, inessential, and bad; through the form of the immediacy it is essentially contingent and subjective. The rational, which exists in the shape of rationality when it is apprehended by thought, has the same content as the practical feeling has, but depicted in its generality and necessity, in its objectivity and truth.

Thus it is foolish, on the one hand, to suppose that in the transition from feeling to law and duty there is any loss of content and excellence; it is this transition which first brings feeling to its truth. It is equally foolish to consider intellect as superfluous or even harmful to feeling, heart, and will; the truth and, what is the same thing, the rationality of the heart and will can only find a place in the generality of the intelligence, not in the individuality of feeling.

On the other hand, however, it is suspicious and even worse to cling to feelings and the heart as against intelligent rationality, because all that the former holds more than the latter is only particular subjectivity, vanity and caprice. – For the same reason it is out of place in an observation of feelings to deal with anything beyond their form and to discuss their content; for the latter, when thought, is precisely what constitutes the self-determinations of the spirit in its generality and necessity, its rights and duties.

§ 391

The practical feeling, as the self-determination of the thinking subject in general, contains the “ought” in relation to its subsisting individuality, which is in itself worth nothing, and is determinate only in its identity with generality as a true being subsisting for itself But the practical feeling, in its immediate individuality with the “ought,” exists only in relation to determinacy; and since in this immediacy it still has no necessary identity, it only yields the feeling of pleasantness or unpleasantness.

(1) Delight, joy, pain, and so on, shame, repentance, contentment, and so on, are partly only modifications of the formal practical feeling in general, but also partly different in the content which constitutes the determinacy of their “ought."

(2) The celebrated question of the origin of evil in the world, at least insofar as evil is understood merely as unpleasantness and pain, finds its answer here. For evil is nothing other than the incongruity between the “is" and the “ought.” This “ought,” however, has many meanings, indeed, infinitely many, since contingent purposes also have the form of the “ought.” In the case of these casual aims, evil only practices what is rightfully due to their vanity – and nullity. They are themselves the evil, and that there are such and numerous other individuals inadequate to the idea derives from the necessary indifference of the concept towards immediate being in general: the concept, as free reality, relates to being essentially as determinate nullity in itself although being is also given access to free reality through the concept; ” a contradiction which is called evil. In death there is neither evil nor pain; for in inorganic nature the concept does not confront its existence. But in life, and still more in the spirit, there. is this distinction at hand, and this negativity, activity, self freedom, are the principles of evil and of pain. — Jacob Boehme viewed serfhood as pain and torture, and as the source of nature and the spirit.

§ 392

The practical “ought” is (2) a real judgment. The immediacy of feeling is, for the self-determination of the will, a negation; it thus constitutes the subjectivity of the will, which should be suspended in order for the will to be identical for itself Since this activity of the form is not yet liberated and is therefore formal, the will is still natural will, drive and inclination, and with the more precise determinacy that the totality of the practical spirit places itself into an individual one of the limited determinations, namely, passion.

§ 393

Inclinations and passions have as their contents the same self-determinations as the practical feelings. Because the ones, like the others, are immediate self-determinations which do not yet have the form of rationality, they are multiple particularities. They have, on the one hand, the rational nature of the spirit as their basis, but on the other hand they belong to the subjective, individual will; they are thus essentially infected by contingency, and stand to the individual and to each other in a relation marked by external, confining necessity.

The same holds for the inclinations as for the feelings: although they are self-determinations of the free will in itself in terms ' of content they are not free for themselves, nor have they reached generality and objectivity. To be sure, passion already contains this in its determination, though it is limited to a particularity of the will and the subjectivity of the individual, be the content what it may. But with regard to the inclinations the question is raised: which are good, and which are bad; up to what degree will the good continue to be good; and, as there are many, each with its own particularities, how have they, since they are after all located within one subject and according to experience can not all be gratified, suffered at least a little reciprocal restriction? In the first place, as regards these many drives and inclinations, the case is much the same as with the psychic forces, the aggregate of which is the theoretical spirit, – a collection which is now increased by the number of drives. The formal rationality of the drive and the inclination consists merely in the general drive not to be subjective, but rather to be realised. Yet their true rationality can not reveal itself from a perspective of external reflection, partly because it presupposes that a number of independent natural determinations and immediate drives are fixed, partly because the immanent reflection of spirit itself goes beyond their particularity and immediacy, and gives them a rationality and objectivity in which they exist as necessary relations, rights, and duties. It is this objectification which reveals their content, their relation to each other, and above all their truth. As Plato showed, the full reality of justice can only be presented in the objective figure of justice, namely, the construction of the state as ethical life.

The answer to the question, then, of which are the good and rational inclinations, and how they are to be subordinated to each other, transforms itself into the exposition of the laws and forms of common life produced by the relations of the spirit as it suspends its subjectivity and realises itself,— an objectivity in which precisely its self-determinations in general lose the form of inclinations, just as the content loses subjectivity, contingency, or caprice.

§ 394

The general moment in these drives is the individual subject, the act of satisfying impulses or formal rationality, namely, the translation from subjectivity into objectivity. In the latter the former returns to itself: that the thing which has emerged contains the moment of subjective individuality, is called the interest.— Since the activity is the individual subjectivity in that dialectical movement, nothing is brought about without interest.

§ 395

Here, however, interest does not yet exist as the merely formal activity or pure subjectivity, but has as drive or inclination a determinate content from the immediate will. The dialectic of this multiple and particular content is, however, the simple subjectivity of the will itself which raises the contradiction of the drives in the first place as reflecting will into formal generality, and itself makes (3) happiness its goal.

§ 396

Happiness is the confused representation of the satisfaction of all drives, which, however, are either entirely or partly sacrificed to each other, preferred and presupposed. Their mutual limitation, on the one hand, is a mixture of qualitative and quantitative determinations; on the other hand, since the inclination is a subjective and immediate basis for determination, it is the subjective feeling and good pleasure which must have the decisive vote as to where happiness is to be placed.

§ 397

The will, which as passion is abstract understanding and converges into a unity of its determinacies, is liberated in the general purpose of happiness from this individualisation. The many particular inclinations, however, still taken as immediate, independent determinations, are at the same time suspended in the unity of purpose of happiness, and as such are dependent. The will stands as this indeterminate generality, reflected into itself over the individual inclination; the generality is initially that of the will, since the two converge and thereby produce determinate individuality and reality; the will exists from the standpoint of having to choose between inclinations, and involves choice.

§ 398

The will is in this way free for itself since it is, as the negativity of its immediate determinate being, reflected into itself; however, insofar as the content that it includes with this individuality and reality remains a particularity, it is only real as subjective and contingent will. As the contradiction of realising itself in particularity and yet finding satisfaction in the generality from which it at the same time derives, the will is in the first place the process of dispersion and the suspension of an inclination through the other, and the partial gratification which it entails, through another to infinity.

§ 399

The truth, however, of the particular aim of the will, of the particularity which is just as much determinate as suspended, and of the abstract individuality, of choice, which yields just as much of a content in such a purpose as it does not yield, is the unity in which both are only a moment; the absolute individuality of the will, its pure freedom, which determines itself for itself in and for itself The spirit in this truth of self-determination, which is itself the goal as the pure reflection into itself is thus, as general, objective will, the objective spirit.

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