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A History of Philosophy in Epitome by Schwegler

Hegel holds fast to this thought


Different

philosophers had already made a thankworthy beginning towards collecting and examining the pure conceptions of the reason, as Aristotle in his categories, Wolff in his ontology, and Kant in his transcendental analytics. But they had neither completely collected, nor critically sifted, nor (Kant excepted) derived them from one principle, but had only taken them up empirically, and treated them lexicologically. But in opposition to this course, Hegel attempted, (1) to completely collect the pure art-conceptions; (2) to critically sift them (_i. e._ to exclude every thing but pure thought); and (3)--which is the most characteristic peculiarity of the Hegelian logic--to derive these dialectically from one another, and carry them out to an internally connected system of pure reason. Hegel starts with the view, that in every conception of the reason, every other is contained _implicite_, and may be dialectically developed from it. Fichte had already claimed that the reason must deduce the whole system of knowledge purely from itself, without any thing taken for granted; that some principle must be sought which should be of itself certain, and need no farther proof, and from which every thing else could be derived. Hegel holds fast to this thought. Starting from the simplest conception of reason, that of pure being, which needs no farther establishing, he seeks from this, by advancing from one conception ever to another and a richer one, to deduce the whole system of the pure knowledge
of reason. The lever of this development is the dialectical method.

Hegel's dialectical method is partly taken from Plato, and partly from Fichte. The conception of negation is Platonic. All negation, says Hegel, is position, affirmation. If a conception is negated, the result is not the pure nothing--a pure negative, but a concrete positive; there results a new conception which extends around the negation of the preceding one. The negation of the one _e. g._ is the conception of the many. In this way Hegel makes negation a vehicle for dialectical progress. Every presupposed conception is denied, and from its negation a higher and richer conception is gained. This is connected with the method of Fichte, which posits a fundamental synthesis; and by analyzing this, seeks its antitheses, and then unites again these antitheses through a second synthesis,--_e. g._ being, nothing, becoming, quality, quantity, measure, &c. This method, which is at the same time analytical and synthetical, Hegel has carried through the whole system of science.

We now proceed to a brief survey of the Hegelian Logic. It is divided into three parts; the doctrine of _being_, the doctrine of _essence_, and the doctrine of _conception_.

1. THE DOCTRINE OF BEING. (1.) _Quality._--Science begins with the immediate and indeterminate conception of _being_. This, in its want of content and emptiness, is nothing more than a pure negation, a _nothing_. These two conceptions are thus as absolutely identical as they are absolutely opposed; each of the two disappears immediately in its contrary. This oscillation of the two is the pure _becoming_, which, if it be a transition from nothing to being, we call _arising_, or, in the reverse case, we call it a _departing_. The still and simple precipitate of this process of arising and departing, is _existence_ (_Daseyn_). Existence is being with a determinateness, or it is _quality_; more closely, it is _reality_ or limited existence. Limited existence excludes every other from itself. This reference to itself, which is seen through its negative relation to every other, we call being _per se_ (_Fuersichseyn_). Being _per se_ which refers itself only to itself, and repels every other from itself, is _the one_. But, by means of this repelling, the one posits immediately _many_ ones. But the many ones are not distinguished from each other. One is what the other is. The many are therefore one. But the one is just as truly the manifold. For its exclusion is the positing of its contrary, or it posits itself thereby as manifold. By this dialectic of _attraction_ and _repulsion_, quality passes over into quantity: for indifference in respect of distinction or qualitative determinateness is _quantity_.


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