Hegel vs. Aristotle Thesis

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Hegel's System: The New Philosophy of Idealism, Death, Sense of Life/Family

Hegel's philosophy is regarded as an instance of transcendental philosophy ( Taylor, Westphal). However, this view overlooks or ignores Hegel's severe criticism of transcendental philosophy. To paraphrase Jacobi's remark concerning the thing-in-itself, it is impossible to enter the Kantian philosophy without taking a transcendental turn, but it is equally impossible to remain in the Kantian philosophy after taking the transcendental turn. For Kant raised but did not resolve the problem of the ontological interpretation of the transcendental ego, and, with it, transcendental philosophy. Hence, as Hegel repeatedly pointed out (Peperzak 1960, p 12). Kant is trapped in the impossible predicament of attempting to know before he knows. The problem of the ontological interpretation of transcendental philosophy can be postponed, but not avoided, save at the price of a merely methodological idealism, which Kant is not willing to accept. This brings us to the second interpretive model (Aristotle 1984, p 45).Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Thesis on Hegel vs. Aristotle Assignment

What is the ontological interpretation of the transcendental ego? Several problems rear their ugly heads when this question is addressed. If the transcendental ego is retained, it seems to require a referent or "carrier." If the referent is identified with "human being," the result is a "left-Hegelian" interpretation (Aristotle 1984, p 56). However, this interpretation calls into question the foundational status of the transcendental subject as the ultimate condition of possible experience, and calls forth the charges of psychologism and relativism. In order to avoid relativism and anthropologism, the "right-Hegelian" interpretation rejects the identification of the transcendental subject with the human subject, and works out instead an onto-theological interpretation of Geist (Plant 1973, p 16). Then Hegel is regarded as a transcendent metaphysical theologian in the Aristotelian-Neo-Platonic sense: the self-othering of Geist in nature is understood as a version of the Neo-Platonic emanation theory which has been transformed by a concept of subjectivity as negatively dialectical. The problem with this interpretation is that the transcendental method is ruined by the apparently dogmatic postulate of onto-theology. Hegel would recognize and reject both of these alternatives, for the former is basically a warmed-over version of the subjective idealism of Fichte. And the latter a version of the dogmatic Naturphilosophie of the early Schelling. Common to both is the acceptance and/or retention of the transcendental ego. I think that Hegel rejects this concept, or transforms it. He does not take up the ontological question in this form.

Chapter Two

Literature Review

Third, there is the social-intersubjective interpretation of Geist. This interpretation of Geist has recently been set forth in an interesting study by Ludwig Siep 1 and has begun to receive attention by other German scholars (Nohl 1966, p 481). I wish to explore this model. The question is. If Geist is fundamentally social-intersubjective, then what does Hegel's so-called "idealism" mean? For in its common acceptation, "idealism" seems to contradict and exclude intersubjectivity because it eliminates the ontological transcendence of the other, and is haunted by the problem of solipsism, as both Husserl and Sartre have pointed out (Harris 1972, p 108). Moreover, Sartre claims that Hegel's ontological idealism founders on the problem of intersubjectivity: the Geist that is certain of being all reality has displaced the other ontologically. But it might with greater accuracy be replied that what is interesting about Hegel's concept of Geist is that it is the result of, and consequently presupposes, the very intersubjective meditation which Sartre (wrongly) thinks it eliminates! (Hegel, 1988).

Connection of Natural Life

This part of the dissertation shall deal with Hegel's connecting of natural life and mind (Hegel 1988, p 362) .. Hegel too conceives natural life as a self-relating circular movement; but this he comprehends not as an Aristotelian but as a movement (Bewegung) of the Notion, which is ultimately subject. N?, says Hegel, obtains a deeper comprehension in the modern concept of Spirit (Geist) 4 and Spirit as subject is the higher truth of substance (Plant 1973, p 17). Thus. In comparing the Aristotelian and Hegelian connecting of natural life and mind we are comparing the subordination of physical motion to the principles, respectively, of substance and subject, N? And Spirit. In both thinkers, however, natural life attains its perfection in knowing, so that we may refer to the two thinkers' conceptions of natural life by the term "noetic living" (Gray 1968, p 24).

As in the case of Plato's concept of nature, circular motion is for Aristotle the best possible kind of motion and the one that enables nature to be as good as possible (Gray 1968, p 25). For Aristotle however, circular motion does not render nature a one Living Creature fashioned in the likeness of the divine in the first place, nature is not at all a one living creature (Hegel, 1988). Rather, circular motion constitutes for all living creatures their ways of attaining the perfections possible for their specific natures. But perfection in the full sense belongs to God, and it is in Aristotle's separating and connecting the divine perfection of ? "i" (noesis) from the perfections of natural life that we shall see how the latter is conceived as a circular motion and a noetic living.

Being simply, or life most complete, is God, who is cause of nature insofar as He is "first in complete reality" (Nohl 1966, p 487). God is substance in the complete sense, not a natural substance containing matter and thereby unrealized potentiality. God is an eternal self-sufficing thinking of thinking -- not a motion which is incomplete, but an actuality, hence pure form without matter and therefore without possibility of being otherwise. In the sense that He cannot be other than He is, God is necessary, hence good and the object of desire and thought: in this way He is the ultimate cause of nature's unfailing motion (Gray 1968, p 26).

To be natural is to be something less than "first in complete reality." although this does not mean for Aristotle that nature is not fully real or is merely phenomenal in a Kantian sense (Aristotle 1984, p 982). Not to be first in complete reality means above all to be subject to change or becoming other: in the first place, subject to change in place, i.e., locomotion, which is the basis for all natural change. All things in nature, including the imperishable heavenly substances, in some way become other; nothing natural remains eternally selfsame, nothing is in every sense a one in actuality, nothing is wholly self-sufficient, nothing is self-active or necessary with a necessity all its own. In all of these ways natural substances fall short of the perfection of God (Taylor 1975, p 14). At the same time, however, these ways mark the perfections of living beings that pertain to them qua natural: for example, to be self-sufficient, self-active, and a one apply most of all to living beings which for that reason most especially of all natural things deserve the name "substance" (Peperzak 1960, p 18). But how do we distinguish the perfect self-activity of the unchanging Divine Life from the self-activity of a changing natural life? Like his teacher Plato before him, Aristotle puts forward the concept of circular motion: unlike rectilinear motion, which proceeds up to one point and then beyond it to another and so on into the infinite circular motion encompasses a changing and a return upon self of the same (Crites, 1998). As Aristotle contrasts rectilinear and circular motion within a problematic of substance. Hegel will contrast the spurious and the genuine infinite in his problematic of subject (Nohl 1966, p 488).

Living in Harmony and Human Relations

The idea of a living organization that harmoniously rules human relations and makes the State into a true totality is a profound idea that would dominate the nineteenth century. It would be found again in various books of French philosophers who set critical periods of history in opposition to organic periods. They investigate a new constructive theory of the State after the Revolution. Another consequence of the Hegelian theory of right that we are going to study is seen as related to his theory of progress. The Aufklarung envisaged a unilateral progress, a march toward the unity of humanity always the same as itself, but at the same time captive of the prejudices of childhood. But the idea can no longer be true of theoreticians such as Herder and Hegel, who divide divine unicity and in peoples see realizations that are diverse but always expressions of absolute life. "A kind of pluralistic pantheism has taken the place of the rationalistic monism of the Occident," and we can even say that in his first sketches of philosophy of history, Hegel thinks less about a continued progress than about various developments, about successions of realizations as incomparable in their kind as an ancient tragedy and a drama of Shakespeare (Crites, 1998). However, the idea of historical evolution will have more and more of a place in the Hegelian vision of the world, and it… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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