Hegel Update 3: Tainted

Agent Smith
“I fear that I’ve somehow been infected by it.”

So, another half hour, another 3 paragraphs of the Preface which I will need to reread. As stated earlier, I’m attempting to read Phenomenology of Spirit without reference to any study guide or critiques, under the theory that 1) I might inadvertently accept an interpretation by one of the various warring camps of Hegelians and Marxists, when I want Hegel to have a chance to speak for himself; and 2) it’s the more truly scholarly and manly thing to do. When one is done reading the source materials, then of course it’s perfectly good to read commentators and partisans – you just don’t want to start there.

So far, so good. But last night, ran across the word “sublation” – normally, I’d form a good idea what the word means from context and and a guess at etymology. And so I did. However, this is Hegel, Destroyer of Naive Understandings of Words. So I risked Googling it.

You’d think you’d get a dictionary definition, but the first half dozen or so hits were to Wikipedia and various Hegelian and Marxist online resources. Where angels fear to tread. So I looked at a couple – the general sense of the word I’d arrived at was right, but the German word* translated as sublate is very rich in meaning, and…

…I got suckered in. For only a minute, until I found myself reading about the importance of judging the spiritual level of people in order to see how enlightened they are so as to understand how much truth they could stand, and…

…I got out. Nope, nope and nope, ain’t going there.

I feel, however, tainted.

* Aufheben


Author: Joseph Moore

Enough with the smarty-pants Dante quote. Just some opinionated blogger dude.

2 thoughts on “Hegel Update 3: Tainted”

    1. Well, an Hegelian would probably say that, while in one sense, you can’t handle the truth as an individual concrete subject, in another sense, in which Spirit comes to know itself in and for itself in its moment of Absolute Knowledge as both Subject and Substance, your individual truth-handling-inability is sublated in the Spirit’s becoming self-consciousness – thus, you, as suspended in the Universal Absolute, can, in that sense, handle the truth.

      OK, your quip is funnier.

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