In others of the cases referred to, it is virtually absolute existences and vital ideas and aims, which are placed under the mere category of Being or not-Being. Two cases are then possible. As the first concrete thought-term, Becoming is the first adequate vehicle of truth. These examples find a parallel in the story of the peasant who, as his ass trudged cheerfully along, went on adding ounce after ounce to its load, till at length it sunk under the unendurable burden. 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. (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. The instinct that induces us to attach a settled import to Being, or to both, is the very necessity which leads to the onward movement of Being and Nothing, and gives them a true or concrete significance. 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. Only in, and by virtue of, this mere generality is it Nothing, something inexpressible, whereof the distinction from Nothing is a mere intention or meaning. The first problem discussed on this blog and arguably the primary problem of philosophy is the dialectical tension between being and becoming. Quality is, in the first place, the character identical with being: so identical that a thing ceases to be what it is, if it loses its quality. If we now ask for the difference between something and another, it turns out that they are the same: which sameness is expressed in Latin by calling the pair aliad-aliud. In the process of measure, therefore, these two pass into each other: each of them becomes what it already was implicitly: and thus we get Being thrown into abeyance and absorbed, with its several characteristics negatived. [c] But the Many are one the same as another: each is One, or even one of the Many; they are consequently one and the same. Thus pure being by itself is not possible, but only a unity of being and non-being, i.e. § 91. At present, students of nature who are anxious to avoid metaphysics turn a favourable ear to Atomism. In this first example we must call to mind, once for all, [that]: the only way to secure any growth and progress in knowledge is to hold results fast in their truth. Or, if we reflect that the finite, when identified with the infinite, certainly cannot remain what it was out of such unity, and will at least suffer some change in its characteristics (as an alkali, when combined with an acid, loses some of its properties), we must see that the same fate awaits the infinite, which, as the negative, will on its part likewise have its edge, as it were, taken off on the other. But in the case of mere Being and Nothing, distinction is without a bottom to stand upon: hence there can be no distinction, both determinations being the same bottomlessness. It was asked, for example, whether a single grain makes a heap of wheat, or whether it makes a bald-tail to tear out a single hair from the horse’s tail. Quality may be described as the determinate mode immediate and identical with Being — as distinguished from Quantity (to come afterwards), which, although a mode of Being, is no longer immediately identical with Being, but a mode indifferent and external to it. The distinction between Being and Nought is, in the first place, only implicit, and not yet actually made: they only ought to be distinguished. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. The relation too of the earlier to the later systems of philosophy is much like the relation of the corresponding stages of the logical Idea: in other words, the earlier are preserved in the later: but subordinated and submerged. that it is somewhat as well as somewhat else. All things have their measure: i.e. Measure is implicitly Essence; and its process consists in realising what it is implicitly. Man, if he wishes to be actual, must be-there-and-then, and to this end he must set a limit to himself. Nothing, if it be thus immediate and equal to itself, is also conversely the same as Being is. Hegel argues that such a thing/stuff would be indistinguishable from (pure) nothing, hence being and nothing are identical (and also not identical). We often hear it maintained that thought is opposed to being. A distinction of course implies two things, and that one of them possesses an attribute which is not found in the other. 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. When we say ‘I’, we express this reference-to-self which is infinite, and at the same time negative. into Being as Quantity. And this in general is the distinction between the forms of Being and Essence: in Being everything is immediate, in Essence everything is relative. Professor Macann has just completed a vast philosophical project in four parts entitled Beingand Becoming. 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. However, Marx would create his own unique interpretation of the Hegelian dialectical triad. the quantitative terms of their existence, their being so or so great, does not matter within certain limits; but when these limits are exceeded by an additional more or less, the things cease to be what they were. Author’s contribution The sole author designed, analyzed and interpreted and prepared the manuscript. For a metaphysical definition of God is the expression of his nature in thoughts as such: and logic embraces all thoughts so long as they continue in the thought-form. That ‘ought to be’ betrays the incapacity of actually making good a claim which is at the same time recognised to be right. (1) The proposition that Being and Nothing is the same seems so paradoxical to the imagination or understanding, that it is perhaps taken for a joke. What philosophy has to do with is always something concrete and in the highest sense present. Thus by its inherent contradiction Becoming collapses into the unity in which the two elements are absorbed. The progression to infinity never gets further than a statement of the contradiction involved in the finite, viz. their further specialisation, is passing over into another. Given something, and up starts an other to us: we know that there is not something only, but an other as well. 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. Hegel’s opening words are: “Being, pure being, without any further determination.”(82) This anacoluthon “lacks a verb – for Hegel cannot even say that being is.”1 Too simple for something so active as a verb, Pure Being is immediacy as such, taken on its own terms without reference to anything else. Such a statement would be to some extent correct; but is just as open to perversion and falsehood as the unity of Being and Nothing already noticed. this paper assesses the logic of those steps, in which measure becomes fully present but unable to This is the true meaning of a much misunderstood phenomenon in the history of philosophy — the refutation of one system by another, of an earlier by a later. Indeed, Hegel explicitly flags the transition from becoming to determinate being as an exemplary case of the movement of Aufhebung, of suspension or sublation: a movement of simultaneous dissolution and resolution of opposing thought-determinations integrated into a more complex unity. If I = I, or even the intellectual intuition, are really taken to mean no more than the first, they are in this mere immediacy identical with being: while conversely, pure being, if abstract no longer, but including in it mediation, is pure thought or intuition. What really takes place here is that the immediacy, which still attaches to measure as such, is set aside. On chance they laid the task of collecting the atoms which float about in the void. If we further say that the infinite is the not-finite, we have in point of fact virtually expressed the truth: for as the finite itself is the first negative, the not-finite is the negative of that negation, the negation which is identical with itself and thus at the same time a true affirmation. Consequently, in this religion the divine Being is revealed. Properly speaking, ideality is not somewhat outside of and beside reality: the notion of ideality just lies in its being the truth of reality. Such changeableness in existence is to the superficial eye a mere possibility, the realisation of which is not a consequence of its own nature. 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. Still, when abstract being is confused in this way with being modified and determinate, it implies some perception of the fact that, though in determinate being there is involved an element of negation, this element is at first wrapped up, as it were, and only comes to the front and receives its due in Being-for-self. Measure, the third grade of being, which is the unity of the first two, is a qualitative quantity. In Becoming the Being which is one with Nothing, and the Nothing which is one with Being, are only vanishing factors; they are and they are not. To Kant we owe the completed theory of matter as the unity of repulsion and attraction. Such an infinite, which is only a particular, is conterminous with the finite which makes for it a limit and a barrier: it is not what it ought to be, that is, the infinite, but is only finite. Becoming always contains Being and Nothing in such a way, that these two are always changing into each other, and reciprocally cancelling each other. We lay down a limit: then we pass it: next we have a limit once more, and so on for ever. It is only from Being-Nothing-Becoming does the more famous triad derive. The negation of negation is not a neutralisation: the infinite is the affirmative, and it is only the finite which is absorbed. Touched, so to speak, by the infinite, it would be annihilated. ( Log Out / a houseremains what it is, whether it be greater or smaller; and redremains red, whether it be brighter or darker. Following the seminal work of Plato and Aristotle, the tacit assumption of philosophers was that being and becoming were diametrically opposed. Pure Being makes the beginning: because it is on the one hand pure thought, and on the other immediacy itself, simple and indeterminate; and the first beginning cannot be mediated by anything, or be further determined. This ideality of the finite is the chief maxim of philosophy; and for that reason every genuine philosophy is idealism. 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. 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. The two other complementary categories, reflecting one of Hegel's initial divisions, were those of Being and Becoming. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. 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 go on to consider determinate Being as a determinateness which is, we get in this way what is called Reality. Generally speaking, it is the point of view which has in recent times been emphasised in Germany. 'The being of the determinations is no longer simply affirmative as in the entire sphere of being, but is now a sheer positedness, the determinations having the fixed character and significance of being related to their unity'; 'Sie sind statt Seiender wie in der ganzen Sphare des Seins nunmehr schlechthin nur als Gesetzte, schlechthin mit der Bestimmung und Bedeutung, auf ihre Einheit'. [b] The relation of the negative to itself is a negative relation, and so a distinguishing of the One from itself, the repulsion of the One; that is, it makes Many Ones. Quality, moreover, is completely a category only of the finite, and for that reason too it has its proper place in Nature, not in the world of the Mind. However, some two thousand years after Plato, Hegel offers a novel and radically different solution to the classical dialectic. 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. How precisely does this come about? Had they been deduced, we should then have seen the How and Why of a unity which is merely asserted. 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. Being itself and the special sub-categories of it which follow, as well as those of logic in general, may be looked upon as definitions of the Absolute, or metaphysical definitions of God: at least the first and third category in every triad may — the first, where the thought-form of the triad is formulated in its simplicity, and the third, being the return from differentiation to a simple self-reference. According to it, the will of individuals as such is the creative principle of the State: the attracting force is the special wants and inclinations of individuals; and the Universal, or the State itself, is the external nexus of a compact. The transition of Essence is therefore at the same time no transition: for in the passage of different into different, the different does not vanish: the different terms remain in their relation. 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. Part One of the Encyclopedia of Philosophical Sciences: The Logic. On the one hand, the quantitative features of existence may be altered, without affecting its quality. These sides are not parts of logic, but,rather, moments of “every logical concept”, as well as“of everything true in general” (EL Remark to §79; wewill see why Hegel thought dialectics is in everything in section 4). Immediate (sensible) consciousness, in so far as it simultaneously includes an intellectual element, is especially restricted to the abstract categories of quality and quantity. It rather goes through and through the whole of such existence. The true state of the case is rather as follows. And in its result Alteration showed itself to be Being-for-self, finally, in the two sides of the process, Repulsion and Attraction, was clearly seen to annul itself, and thereby to annul quality in the totality of its stages. Man, it may be said, is distinguished from the animal world, and in that way from our nature altogether, by knowing himself as ‘I’: which amounts to saying that natural things never attain free Being-for-self, but as limited to Being-there-and-then, are always and only Being for another. The thought, which is here the matter of sole importance, is contained only in the predicate: and hence the propositional form, like the said subject, viz., the Absolute, is a mere superfluity. If it be also said that the infinite is unattainable, the statement is true, but only because to the idea of infinity has been attached the circumstance of being simply and solely negative. The living die, simply because as living they bear in themselves the germ of death. 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. This may be looked at as an instance of the real refutation of one system by another. It cannot but seem strange, therefore, to hear such maxims as ‘Out of nothing comes nothing: Out of something comes something’ calmly taught in these days, without the teacher being in the least aware that they are the basis of Pantheism, and even without his knowing that the ancients have exhausted all that is to be said about them. Those who attribute to the finite this inflexible persistence in comparison with the infinite are not, as they imagine, far above metaphysic: they are still on the level of the most ordinary metaphysic of understanding. This result seems to superficial reflection something very grand, the grandest possible. These figures of gods are the various stages of the Idea, as they come forward one after another in dialectical development. Nothing: and that these two attributes lie undivided in the one idea: so that Becoming is the unity of Being and Nothing. Encyclopedia 1830, Vol.1: Logic ("Short Logic") translated by [Wallace1892] [Stirling1898] (as PDFs) PDF: Science of Logic ("Big Logic") (415KB) PDF: Erdmann's Logic (best comment) (13MB) §88 Encyclopedia (1830), Vol1. Thus we suppose that the moon, being something else than the sun, might very well exist without the sun. When time and space, for example, are spoken of as infinite, it is in the first place the infinite progression on which our thoughts fasten. But if the quantity present in measure exceeds a certain limit, the quality corresponding to it is also put in abeyance. Dualism, in putting an insuperable opposition between finite and infinite, fails to note the simple circumstance that the infinite is thereby only one of two, and is reduced to a particular, to which the finite forms the other particular. 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. Now although it may be admitted that every philosophy has been refuted, it must be in an equal degree maintained that no philosophy has been refuted, nay, or can be refuted. But thousands of years had to elapse before they came to apprehend thought in its purity, and to see it in the truly objective. The refutation of a philosophy, therefore, only means that its barriers are crossed, and its special principle reduced to a factor in the completer principle that follows. 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. the most abstract. In so far as in Measure quality and quantity are only in immediate unity, to that extent their difference presents itself in a manner equally immediate. This is an extraordinarily difficult moment in the interpretation of Hegel's logic. The same phenomenon is presented by the different degrees in the oxidation of metals. Essence - next section, Hegel-by-HyperText Home Page @ marxists.org, utterly without form and so without content. 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. 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. In the sphere of Being, when somewhat becomes another, the somewhat has vanished. To make this case, we study four major notions of Hegel’s Logic where vanishing has a central role (being, finitude, infinite, and Kant ... [insisted that] matter must be regarded as consisting solely in their unity. As Hegel insists: insofar as becoming shows itself in being and beings, it takes the form of time, die Form der Zeit. Posted 05/12/2014 by Brady in Cosmology, Dialectical, Modern philosophy. It is on this ground that one objects to the Atomic philosophy. Thus, e.g. A concrete thing is always very different from the abstract category as such. 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. That is to say, when reality is explicitly put as what it implicitly is, it is at once seen to be ideality. Hegel’s terminology is translated into 21st century English and the core passages are formalized. This advance is the logical deduction and the movement of thought exhibited in the sequel. The objection to the form of definition is that it implies a something in the mind’s eye on which these predicates may fasten. 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. And if we then look at thought, it cannot escape us that thought also is at least what is absolutely identical with itself. But since the distinction has not at this point assumed definite shape (Being and Nothing are still the immediate), it is, in the way that they have it, something unutterable, which we merely mean. The other, as opposed to the something, is itself a something, and hence we say some other, or something else; and so on the other hand the first something when opposed to the other, also defined as something, is itself an other. Substantial truth is something far above these abstractions and their oppositions. This process of measure, which appears alternately as a mere change in quantity, and then as a sudden revulsion of quantity into quality, may be envisaged under the figure of a nodal (knotted) line. At first, no doubt, looking at the nature of quantity as an indifferent and external character of being, we are disposed to answer these questions in the negative. According to Hegel the essence of nature is process. Whenever such contradiction, then, is discovered in any object or notion, the usual inference is, Hence this object is nothing. If we understand being as it is defined by reflection, all that we can say of it is that it is what is wholly identical and affirmative. While thought thus imagines itself elevated to the infinite, it meets with the opposite fate: it comes to an infinite which is only a finite, and the finite, which it had left behind, has always to be retained and made into an absolute. [c] What we now in point of fact have before us, is that somewhat comes to be an other, and that the other generally comes to be an other. Quantity, on the contrary, is the character externalto being, and does not affect the being at all. Hegel contends that being and non-being are really the same and are in a state of dynamic tension – and that what arises from this tension is becoming. 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. Indeed time is pure becoming, the essential unity of being and nothing. Even Becoming, however, taken at its best on its own ground, is an extremely poor term: it needs to grow in depth and weight of meaning. And that in two ways. Such lines we find in Nature under a variety of forms. In its beginning, the thing is not yet, but it is more than merely nothing, for its Being is already in the beginning. Essence also is indeterminate, but in another sense: it has traversed the process of mediation and contains implicit the determination it has absorbed. Again, Being-for-self may be described as ideality, just as Being-there-and-then was described as reality. In the history of philosophy, this stage of the logical Idea finds its analogue in the system of Heraclitus. But, again, the limit, as the negation of something, is not an abstract nothing but a nothing which is — what we call an "other". Being-there-and-then, as in the first instance apprehended in its being or affirmation, has reality (§ 91); and thus even finitude in the first instance is in the category of reality. 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. 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. The same stricture is applicable to those who define God to be mere Being; a definition not a whit better than that of the Buddhists, who make God to be Nought, and who from that principle draw the further conclusion that self-annihilation is the means by which man becomes God. (5) The maxim of Becoming, that Being is the passage into Nought, and Nought the passage into Being, is controverted by the maxim of Pantheism, the doctrine of the eternity of matter, that from nothing comes nothing, and that something can only come out of something. (2) No great expenditure of wit is needed to make fun of the maxim that Being and Nothing are the same, or rather to adduce absurdities which, it is erroneously asserted, are the consequences and illustrations of that maxim. 2 Being, Nothing, Becoming; Dasein, Finitude, Infinitude; Being-for-self, the One and the Many, Repulsion and Attraction, Quantity, Quantum, quantitative Relation, and finally the Measure, which flexes over itself and completes the first explicit form of reflection. 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. Change ). We are in the habit of saying that things are not merely qualitatively, but also quantitatively defined; but whence these categories originate, and how they are related to each other, are questions not further examined. The ordinary consciousness conceives things as being, and studies them in quality, quantity, and measure. ‘To become’ is the true expression for the resultant of ‘to be’ and ‘not to be’; it is the unity of the two; but not only is it the unity, it is also inherent unrest — the unity, which is no mere reference-to-self and therefore without movement, but which, through the diversity of Being and Nothing that is in it, is at war within itself. The case is otherwise with the Positive and the Negative. Here the term does not merely mean outward and immediate existence: but rather that some existence agrees with its notion. Merely are or are not as somewhat else be charged with reducing the infinite progression, because same... 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