While Plato placed primacy on the world of being in his theory of forms, Hegel contrarily emphasises the higher reality of becoming. The atom, in fact, is itself a thought; and hence the theory which holds matter to consist of atoms is a metaphysical theory. For first, every philosophy that deserves the name always embodies the Idea: and secondly, every system represents one particular factor or particular stage in the evolution of the Idea. Here too is Becoming, but richer and more intensive than mere logical Becoming. Thus essentially relative to another, somewhat is virtually an other against it: and since what is passed into is quite the same as what passes over, since both have one and the same attribute, viz. Since this otherness, though a determination of Quality itself, is in the first instance distinct from it, Quality is Being-for-another — an expansion of the mere point of Determinate Being, or of Somewhat. This article is the continuation of the first one published in this journal a year ago. We say, Now, This time, and then we keep continually going forwards and backwards beyond this limit. The Nothing which the Buddhists make the universal principle, as well as the final aim and goal of everything, is the same abstraction. On the one hand, the quantitative features of existence may be altered, without affecting its quality. Glancing at the principle of the Eleatics, Heraclitus then goes on to say: Being no more is than not-Being; a statement expressing the negativity of abstract Being, and its identity with not-Being, as made explicit in Becoming; both abstractions being alike untenable. From measure follows the advance to the second subdivision of the idea, Essence. The identity between quantity and quality, which is found in Measure, is at first only implicit, and not yet explicitly realised. The claim I want to defend is that Hegel is the philosopher most open to the future precisely because he explicitly prohibits any project of … These two transitions, from quality to quantum, and from the latter back again to quality, may be represented under the image of an infinite progression — as the self-abrogation and restoration of measure in the measureless. (Ausgleichung) with Being – absolute being-determinate. The negation of negation is not a neutralisation: the infinite is the affirmative, and it is only the finite which is absorbed. But, after all, the nexus binding the many with one another is by no means a mere accident: as we have already remarked, the nexus founded on their very nature. This too is metaphysics; and metaphysics which, for its utter unintelligence, there would be sufficient reason to guard against. We cannot therefore regard the limit as only external to being which is then and there. Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit pg 459 Measure is the qualitative quantum, in the first place as immediate — a quantum, to which a determinate being or a quality is attached. These (a) have in the first place passed over quality into quantity (§ 98), and quantity into quality (§ 105), and thus are both shown up as negations. ©. Thus Being, but as negation of the negation, is restored again: it is now Being-for-self. The essence of becoming however, for Heraclitus, is time for--time is the 'first sensible essence' of being, and the true essence, wahre Wesen, of being. In its beginning, the thing is not yet, but it is more than merely nothing, for its Being is already in the beginning. The sensuous consciousness is in ordinary estimation the most concrete and thus also the richest; but that is true only as regards materials, whereas, in reference to the thought it contains, it is really the poorest and most abstract. The qualitative character, which in the One or unit has reached the extreme point of its characterisation, has thus passed over into determinateness (quality) suppressed, i.e. Being, therefore, must be the first category. Now in some of these cases the objectors foist in private aims, the utility a thing has for me, and then ask, whether it be all the same to me if the thing exist and if it do not. When we say ‘I’, we express this reference-to-self which is infinite, and at the same time negative. We see, in the first place, existences in Nature, of which measure forms the essential structure. The old Atomists viewed the world as a many, as their successors often do to this day. The one is not what the other is. At first glance, the theses of Heraclitus and Parmenides seem irreconcilable when being and becoming are opposed. When Heraclitus says ‘All is flowing’, he enunciates Becoming as the fundamental feature of all existence, whereas the Eleatics, as already remarked, saw only truth in Being, rigid processless Being. Not so in Essence: here there is no real other, but only diversity, reference of the one to its other. to be an other, it follows that something in its passage into other only joins with itself. The three forms of being here mentioned, just because they are the first, are also the poorest, i.e. And if we then look at thought, it cannot escape us that thought also is at least what is absolutely identical with itself. (1) When thinking is to begin, we have nothing but thought in its merest indeterminateness: for we cannot determine unless there is both one and another: and in the beginning there is yet no other. An occupational view of health can encompass the relationship between doing well, well‐being and becoming healthy at cellular to global, biological to socio‐cultural and microscopic to macroscopic levels. In Being-for-self enters the category of Ideality. But the truth of the finite is rather its ideality. As simple Being, the One is simple self-reference; as Being modified it is determinate: but the determinateness is not in this case a finite determinateness — a somewhat in distinction from an other — but infinite, because it contains distinction absorbed and annulled in itself. All that is wanted is to realise that these beginnings are nothing but these empty abstractions, one as empty as the other. Quantity, on the contrary, is the character externalto being, and does not affect the being at all. The first problem discussed on this blog and arguably the primary problem of philosophy is the dialectical tension between being and becoming. It means, in short, that we are to set aside that limitation which is in every reality, so that God shall be only the real in all reality, the superlatively real. Author’s contribution The sole author designed, analyzed and interpreted and prepared the manuscript. DOING, BEING AND BECOMING IN TERMS OF ECOLOGICAL AND GLOBAL CONCERNS AND TOWARDS SOCIAL CHANGE FOR HEALTHIER LIFESTYLES. Thus we find Being identified with what persists amid all change, with matter, susceptible of innumerable determinations — or even, unreflectingly, with a single existence, any chance object of the senses or of the mind. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. This ideality of the finite is the chief maxim of philosophy; and for that reason every genuine philosophy is idealism. For this, reason we have bestowed a greater amount of attention on this distinction. If we let somewhat and another, the elements of determinate Being, fall asunder, the result is that some becomes other, and this other is itself a somewhat, which then as such changes likewise, and so on ad infinitum. The prose in Hegel's Science of Logic is sibylline, (3) and, in its interpretation, it is always useful to cleave to the fundamentals of Hegel's method. The word ‘reality’ is however used in another acceptation to mean that something behaves conformably to its essential characteristic or notion. It would be wrong however to view the process of repulsion as if the One were the repellent and the Many the repelled. The real question is not whether we shall apply metaphysics, but whether our metaphysics are of the right kind: in other words, whether we are not, instead of the concrete logical Idea, adopting one-sided forms of thought, rigidly fixed by understanding, and making these the basis of our theoretical as well as our practical work. With this intent, reflection has recourse to the plan of discovering some fixed predicate for Being, to mark it off from Nothing. And similarly, Mind on its part is not merely a world beyond Nature and nothing more: it is really, and with full proof, seen to be mind, only when it involves Nature as absorbed in itself. The finite, this theory tells us, ought to be absorbed; the infinite ought not to be a negative merely, but also a positive. Through the dialectical process of being-nothingness-becoming, the initial simple idea of a thing is recast into a more complex understanding that dissolves the contradictions. If we enunciate Being as a predicate of the Absolute, we get the first definition of the latter. This aspect of being is also what appears as quantity in our ordinary conceptions. Generally speaking, it is the point of view which has in recent times been emphasised in Germany. I have found only one essay on the subject. This is (in thought) the absolutely initial definition, the most abstract and stinted. It is sufficient to mention here, that logic begins where the proper history of philosophy begins. How precisely does this come about? To make this case, we study four major notions of Hegel’s Logic where vanishing has a central role (being, finitude, infinite, and We speak, for example, of the reality of a plan or a purpose, meaning thereby that they are no longer inner and subjective, but have passed into being-there-and-then. If Being was to be the starting point, it must be the primal cause. The distinction between Nature and Mind is not improperly conceived, when the former is traced back to reality, and the latter so fixed and complete as to subsist even without Mind: in Mind it first, as it were, attains its goal and its truth. Hegel with his students in Berlin. Becoming. Somewhat is by its quality, firstly finite, secondly alterable; so that finitude and variability appertain to its being. No doubt philosophy has also sometimes been set the task of finding an answer to the question, how the infinite comes to the resolution of issuing out of itself. Therefore we must also posit the objects not-being or nothingness. Being however is an absolute absence of attributes, and so is Nought. With such empty and other-world stuff philosophy has nothing to do. (6.) […], Posted by Alfred Whitehead: process philosophy and scientific materialism | thelycaeum on 12/21/2014 at 10:30 am, […] jettisons the relevance of static things such as substance, form and matter. Kant ... [insisted that] matter must be regarded as consisting solely in their unity. But on the other hand, we must not forget that by the continual increase or diminishing of a state, we finally get to a point where, apart from all other circumstances, this quantitative alteration alone necessarily draws with it an alteration in the quality of the constitution. The various kinds of plants and animals, in the whole as well as in their parts, have a certain measure: though it is worth noticing that the more imperfect forms, those which are least removed from inorganic nature, are partly distinguished from the higher forms by the greater indefiniteness of their measure. In the world of objects too, we have measure. Hegel was heavily inspired by heraclitus, saying that "there is no proposition of Heraclitus which I have not adopted in my Logic." The second sub-category in each triad, where the grade of thought is in its differentiation, gives, on the other hand, a definition of the finite. Auguste Comte and positivism | thelycaeum, Karl Marx and historical materialism | thelycaeum, Alfred Whitehead: process philosophy and scientific materialism | thelycaeum. certainty of oneself, or with a definition or intuition of the absolute truth, these and other forms of the kind may be looked on as if they must be the first. In Being then we have Nothing, and in Nothing, Being; but this Being which does not lose itself in Nothing is Becoming. Given something, and up starts an other to us: we know that there is not something only, but an other as well. The indeterminate, as we have it, is the blank we begin with, not a featurelessness reached by abstraction, not the elimination of all character, but the original featurelessness which precedes all definite character and is the very first of all. But measure shows itself absorbed and superseded in the measureless: yet the measureless, although it be the negation of measure, is itself a unity of quantity and quality. But, again, the limit, as the negation of something, is not an abstract nothing but a nothing which is — what we call an "other". For example, we use the expression: This is a real occupation; This is a real man. Comparison between Hegel’s Being-Nothing-Becoming and I-Ching’s Yin-Yang-I (Change) John Z. G. Ma 1* 1California Institute of Integral Studies, 1453 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94103, USA. What the objector really means by comprehension — by a notion — is more than his language properly implies: he wants a richer and more complex state of mind, a pictorial conception which will propound the notion as a concrete case and one more familiar to the ordinary operations of thought. Hegel argues that such a thing/stuff would be indistinguishable from (pure) nothing, hence being and nothing are identical (and also not identical). the most abstract. Hegel expresses his idea of dialectical progress in its fullest in the suggestion that the evolution of reality is the result of the thinking of the Hegelian god. The reflection which finds a profounder connotation for Being and Nothing is nothing but logical thought, through which such connotation is evolved, not, however, in an accidental, but a necessary way. that it is somewhat as well as somewhat else. But the fact is, mutability lies in the notion of existence, and change is only the manifestation of what it implicitly is. In Being-there-and-then, the negation is still directly one with the Being, and this negation is what we call a Limit (Boundary). Parmenides, who conceives the absolute as Being, says that ‘Being alone is and Nothing is not’. There must be an abyss, an impassable gulf between the two, with the infinite abiding on yonder side and the finite steadfast on this. However, Hegel’s insight was that that antithesis of being was not becoming but rather “non-being” or nothing. This book provides an accessible and thorough analysis of “The Doctrine of Being,” the first part of Hegel’s Science of Logic. In the attempt to contemplate such an infinite, our thought, we are commonly informed, must sink exhausted. Whenever we speak of the One, the Many usually come into our mind at the same time. It is true indeed that we must abandon the unending contemplation, not however because the occupation is too sublime, but because it is too tedious. Rather, Hegel derives this logical movement of Becoming to Determinate Being, not on the basis of our personal demands but, from the internal logic of Being itself; that is, Being’s own structure necessitates this move to Determinate Being. Nothing, if it be thus immediate and equal to itself, is also conversely the same as Being is. The ancients saw plainly that the maxim, ‘From nothing comes nothing, from something something’, really abolishes Becoming: for what it comes from and what it becomes are one and the same. For, so far as the expression goes, the finite seems left in its place-it is not expressly stated to be absorbed. A concrete thing is always very different from the abstract category as such. Thus the two categories are made equal and parallel. But it must not be touched by the infinite. So long as the One is fixed as one, it is certainly impossible to regard its congression with others as anything but external and mechanical. The readiest instance of Being-for-self is found in the ‘I’. The infinity of reflection here discussed is only an attempt to reach the true infinity, a wretched neither-one-thing-nor-another. For Hegel, analysis of a thing reveals its internal contradictions. Hegel and the Becoming of Essence David Gray Carlson Professor of Law Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law In the Science of Logic, Hegel derives essence from being. Where it is felt necessary to begin either with what is absolutely certain, i.e. We lay down a limit: then we pass it: next we have a limit once more, and so on for ever. Such was the true starting-point of philosophy, which is always knowledge by thought: and here for the first time we find pure thought seized and made an object to itself. The answer to this question follows from what Becoming has already shown itself to be. at a state with a territory of ten thousand square miles and a population of four millions we should, without hesitation, admit that a few square miles of land or a few thousand inhabitants more or less could exercise no essential influence on the character of its constitution. It accordingly seems as if the diversity had been unduly put out of court and neglected. If we proceed to consider their quantity, we get the conception of an indifferent and external character or mode, of such a kind that a thing remains what it is, though its quantity is altered, and the thing becomes greater or less. Thus, e.g. To suppose that by stepping out and away into that infinity we release ourselves from the finite, is in truth but to seek the release which comes by flight. This tendency is maintained even in measure. Thus, for example, in Nature what are styled elementary bodies, oxygen, nitrogen, etc., should be regarded as existing qualities. (1) The Atomic philosophy forms a vital stage in the historical evolution of the Idea. To refute a philosophy is to exhibit the dialectical movement in its principle, and thus reduce it to a constituent member of a higher concrete form of the Idea. The distinction between Being and Nought is, in the first place, only implicit, and not yet actually made: they only ought to be distinguished. Again, Being-for-self may be described as ideality, just as Being-there-and-then was described as reality. § 91. The One, as already remarked, just is self-exclusion and explicit putting itself as the Many. Professor Macann has just completed a vast philosophical project in four parts entitled Beingand Becoming. To the religious sense of the Greeks the divinity of measure, especially in respect of social ethics, was represented by Nemesis. But it is known precisely in its being known as Spirit, as a Being that is essentially a self-conscious Being. It is said that besides reality there is also an ideality. On the one side limit makes the reality of a thing; on the other it is its negation. Posted 05/12/2014 by Brady in Cosmology, Dialectical, Modern philosophy. On the other hand, this increase and diminution, immaterial though it be, has its limit, by exceeding which the quality suffers change. The true state of the case is rather as follows. After this examination (with which it were well to compare — Plato’s Philebus), tending to show the nullity of the distinction made by understanding between the finite and the infinite, we are liable to glide into the statement that the infinite and the finite are therefore one, and that the genuine infinity, the truth, must be defined and enunciated as the unity of the finite and infinite. Much depends on rightly apprehending the notion of infinity, and not stopping short at the wrong infinity of endless progression. Had they been deduced, we should then have seen the How and Why of a unity which is merely asserted. And (2) since the result is the abolition of the contradiction, it comes in the shape of a simple unity with itself: that is to say, it also is Being with negation or determinateness: it is Becoming expressly put in the form of one of its elements, viz., Being. Hegel, however, in his Science of logic , did not think there was much hope for delineating a "meaning" of being, because being stripped of all predicates is simply nothing. (1) Hence was derived the second definition of the Absolute: the Absolute is the Nought. ( Log Out /  It is on this ground that one objects to the Atomic philosophy. But the mutual implication of the two, which makes what is true and concrete in them, would have to be wrested from the obscurity and confusion in which they were left even in Kant’s Metaphysical Rudiments of Natural Science. German physicists for some time accepted this pure dynamic. The progression to infinity never gets further than a statement of the contradiction involved in the finite, viz. The form or presentation of logic, he says, has three sides ormoments (EL §79). Thus the history of philosophy, in its true meaning, deals not with a past, but with an eternal and veritable present: and, in its results, resembles not a museum of the aberrations of the human intellect, but a Pantheon of godlike figures. In this case, when a measure through its quantitative nature has gone in excess of its qualitative character, we meet what is at first an absence of measure, the Measureless. And as reflected into itself in this its character or mode, Determinate Being is a somewhat, as existent. Though it received much scholarly attention in the past, interpreters of this text have generally refrained from examining it in a sufficiently detailed manner. Reality, Being-for-another & Being-for-self Barren abstractions, like Being and Nothing — the initial categories which, for that reason, are the scantiest anywhere to be found — are utterly inadequate to the nature of these objects. Or when we study all that Repulsion involves, we see that as a negative attitude of many Ones to one another, it is just as essentially a connective reference of them to each other; and as those to which the One is related in its act of repulsion are ones, it is in them thrown into relation with itself. This identity of being and thought is not however to be taken in a concrete sense, as if we could say that a stone, so far as it has being, is the same as a thinking man. Were it so, the history of philosophy would be, of all studies, most saddening, displaying, as it does, the refutation of every system which time has brought forth. The case is otherwise with the Positive and the Negative. The repulsion therefore has an equal right to be called Attraction; and the exclusive One, or Being-for-self, suppresses itself. But if to have no notion merely means that we cannot represent in imagination the oneness of Being and Nought, the statement is far from being true; for everyone has countless ways of envisaging this unity. A quantitative change takes place, apparently without any further significance: but there is something lurking behind, and a seemingly innocent change of quantity acts as a kind of snare, to catch hold of the quality. To put an attractive by the side of a repulsive force, as the moderns have done, certainly gives completeness to the contrast: and the discovery of this natural force, as it is called, has been a source of much pride. All doubts and admonitions, which might be brought against beginning the science with abstract empty being, will disappear if we only perceive what a beginning naturally implies. In this way, the Hegelian world is one that gradually unfolds through dialectical analysis, progressively leading to a fuller understanding of the cosmos. The self-existing unit is not, like Being, void of all connective reference: it is a reference, as well as Being-there-and-then was, not however a reference connecting somewhat with an other, but as unity of some and the other, it is a connection with itself, and this connection, be it noted, is a negative connection. 12 This Being which Hegel is speaking of as the first category is the “Pure Being” that we have to think, not any particular sort of being, such as this desk, this book, that chair. Suppose e.g. Thus Zeno, who first showed the contradiction native to motion, concluded that there is no motion; and the ancients, who recognised origin and decease, the two species of Becoming, as untrue categories, made use of the expression that the One or Absolute neither arises not perishes. (4) It remains to note that such phrases as ‘Being and Nothing are the same’., or ‘The unity of Being and Nothing’ — like all other such unities, that of subject and object, and others — give rise to reasonable objection. Each of the Many however is itself a One, and in virtue of its so behaving, this all rounded repulsion is by one stroke converted into its opposite — Attraction. Negation is no longer an abstract nothing, but, as a determinate being and somewhat, is only a form of such being — it is as Otherness. Man, if he wishes to be actual, must be-there-and-then, and to this end he must set a limit to himself. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. At around the same time, Goethe was developing his colour theories in the Farbenlehre of 1810, and introduced similar principles of combination and complementation, symbolising, for Goethe, "the primordial relations which belong both to nature and vision". The unreflecting observer supposes that determinate things are merely positive, and pins them down under the form of being. Repulsion is a term originally employed in the study of matter, to mean that matter, as a Many, in each of these many ones, behaves as exclusive to all the others. Plato says: God made the world out of the nature of the “one” and the “other” (ton eterou): having brought these together, he formed from them a third, which is of the nature of the “one” and the “other”. In modern times the importance of the atomic theory is even more evident in political than in physical science. 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