Professor Baillie is most anxious that we - both members and guests - should have a wider exposure to the origin and significance of Hegel's system of logic.
"Whatever be the cause of the fascination which Hegel exercises over the academic world - it may be what his first great expositor in this country, Dr. Hutchison Stirling, called his 'Secret' - there is no question as to its reality and permanence. The author holds that unless the student of Hegel can discover the clue to the tale of the categories the system will remain for the most part a sealed secret. It is, no doubt, only experts in Hegelianism who are entitled to give an opinion upon the value of his work. Remember, readers, that while for Spinoza omnis determinatio est negatio, Hegel sought to demonstrate, on the contrary, that omnis negatio est determinatio. Their method, therefore, may be said to characterise their philosophy as accurately as their principle. The one is on all points the counterstroke of the other."
Is there though a real difference, or were Spinoza and Hegel saying the same thing only in a different way? Indeed must a "different way" itself be perforce at bottom the "same way"? What are the views of members?
I would be tempted not to split hairs here, Sydney, as everything depends here on the correct understanding of the status and significance of negativity. Spinoza and Hegel may not totally have agreed with one another, but so what? Few people do! My personal preference, however, is for Baruch Spinoza. Spinoza had a vision of the world as an absolutely unitary entity, any division of which was a mutilation. So does kleines c.
We are all part of a greater whole. Spinoza was one of the great polymaths of Western civilisation. He tried to produce a total view of reality which embraced both mathematical science and God. What he did was to adopt a global picture of seventeenth century natural science. Then he recommended religious attitudes to the world so conceived.
Immanuel Kant picked up on Spinoza's vision, and arguably became the supreme system builder of modern philosophy. If we accept the principle of cause and effect, Kant thought that appearances can be deceptive. Perceiving subjects as such cannot but bring certain predispositions to bear, and only what fits in with those predispositions can be experienced. We see what our model of the world allows us to see, so to speak, Sydney?
Last Edit: Aug 23, 2013 10:31:23 GMT -5 by Deleted
. . . Immanuel Kant picked up on Spinoza's vision, and arguably became the supreme system builder of modern philosophy. If we accept the principle of cause and effect, Kant thought that appearances can be deceptive. Perceiving subjects as such cannot but bring certain predispositions to bear, and only what fits in with those predispositions can be experienced. . . .
"Human blood becomes black when it contains an excess of phlogiston. The powerful body odour of darkies is due to their skin giving off excess phlogiston extracted from their blood. In fact their skin is dark because so much phlogiston has collected at the ends of their arteries in readiness to be dephlogisticated through it. The air in the region of the Gambia is highly phlogisticated because of all the swamps." - from his Specification of a concept of Human Race (1785).
Silly old fool! (Kant I mean not our highly esteemed member.) And then there is his materialistic theory of humour:
"All our thoughts have a movement harmonically associated with a movement of the organs of the body; a sudden displacement of the mind, in observing its object, from one standpoint to another, corresponds to an alternating tension and relaxation of the elastic parts of our entrails, which movement is communicated to our diaphragm (just as in the case of ticklish people), which in turn causes our lungs to expel air in a quick succession of puffs, in a way beneficial to our health; and it is that movement alone, and nothing that takes place in the mind, that is the true reason for our pleasure in a thought that fundamentally represents nothing." - from his Critical Analysis of the Power of Judgement, paragraph 54.
A quick succession of puffs indeed! Silly silly old fool!
Obviously, from a scientific point of view, it is possible to give Immanuel Kant or any of the great philosophers from previous millennia a masterclass, Sydney, because science is an area in which we have so demonstrably moved forward in our individual and collective understanding.
This very conversation, online, is a technological by-product of the tremendous advances in computing over the past few decades, for example.
Nevertheless, it is the depth with which Immanuel Kant addressed philosophical problems, and his penetrating analysis, that have, in many ways, never been surpassed. By comparison, Hegel and Spinoza were mere side shows?