Hegel

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, hegel, spirit, ego, immediacy, and culture

One of the most remarkable fruits of Hegel's work is his insight into the primal types of powers definitive of the different strata and modes of human subjectivity:  (1) the self-cohesion of immediacy in its basal and passive ineptitude to objectify, define, conceptualize, or criticize anything (Ansichsein or being-in-itself); (2) the objectifying and alienative powers of conscious ego (Fursichsein or being-for-itself); and (3) the extraordinary powers of spirit to reconcile or synthesize modes (1) and (2) into a higher-order union (An-und-Fursichsein).  You can readily see that this is a schema I make repeated use of, for its illuminating division of powers; but it implies of course also that, in circumstances where spirit is not feasible or active to mediate the lower-order modes, then immediacy and alienative consciousness are going to be repeatedly cycling through forms of warfare with one another.  Personalities and cultures in the absence of mediational spirit are wracked by the abysmal and nearly ineffable violent intolerance that immediacy (naivete, faith, the differenceless resolution of all things into a lukewarm bath of unthinking subjective plasm) has for conscious ego (articulation, logic, formulated theories/concepts/ideologies), and vice versa:  this Kulturkampf makes the whole society like a patient suffering from autoimmune conditions, one system in him having reacted biochemically with another (antigens generating antibodies). But all immediacy or soulish psyche is laced with the predisposition to develop into conscious ego regardless of also being liable to react against its fully formed character.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, hegel, self-mastery, and spirit

CS has the same problems with evil that it does with corporeality and with the domain of nature; it cannot comprehend the possibility of a dimension of counterforces that will not comply with its too-saccharine or Apollonian vision of spirit.  It represents bourgeoisified spirituality, as Protestantism does in another sense, or modernized Catholicism in yet another, and New Ageism in still another.  Modernly alien principles of spirit are being subjected to occupying banausic-materialist and doulic-appetitive forces.  Precisely what CS thought it should "leapfrog" over was the phenomenological education in lower-order organizing forces that Hegel understood to be indispensable to actual rather than illusory self-mastery.  (Marx, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, etc. indeed tried to outdo Hegel in this basalism or Dionysianism, and made that argument more phenomenologically elastic.)

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, hegel, and subjectivity

The problems of human subjectivity replicate themselves at many different scales, like the overtones and undertones in a stringed instrument striking ghost-intervals up and down into infinity.  This is not Hegel's ingenuity, it is his responsiveness to the organic structure in us that echoes itself throughout the whole architecture.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

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