3 Jan 2013

Pt2.Ch5.Sb3 Somers-Hall’s Hegel, Deleuze, and the Critique of Representation. ‘The Metaphysical Deduction and Metaphysics’ summary

Corry Shores
[Search Blog Here. Index-tags are found on the bottom of the left column.]

[Central Entry Directory]
[Deleuze Entry Directory]
[Henry Somers-Hall, Entry Directory]
[Hegel, Deleuze, and the Critique of Representation, Entry Directory]

[Note: All boldface and underlining is my own. It is intended for skimming purposes. Bracketed comments are also my own explanations or interpretations.]


Henry Somers-Hall


Hegel, Deleuze, and the Critique of Representation.

Dialectics of Negation and Difference


Part 2: Responses to Representation

Chapter 5: Infinite Thought

Subdivision 3: The Metaphysical Deduction and Metaphysics

Very Brief Summary:

Unlike Kant, Hegel thinks that when we are deriving the categories of thought, we are likewise uncovering the structures of reality.


Brief Summary:

Kant’s metaphysical deduction determines the categories of our thought. But for Kant, this does not tell us about the things in themselves but rather about the conditions for our knowing them. Hegel will use his dialect to obtain the categories of thought, but he also thinks that we are also determining the structures of reality.



Previously we saw that Hegel wants to accomplish what Kant’s metaphysical deduction aims to do, namely, to determined the categories of thought, but Hegel does not want to do so on the basis of Kant’s [unsupported and sometimes circular] assumptions. But rejecting these assumptions, Hegel is able to derive the categories through productive negations of concepts’ determinations.

Now we will see how Hegel’s aims are even broader than this. Kant’s movement to a transcendental idealism “replaced metaphysics with transcendental logic, meaning that what we were concerned with now were the structures that condition experience, rather than the kind of truths that would transcend experience.” (134) This movement also reduces philosophy’s scope to the form of possible experience.

This means that the "proud name of an Ontology that presumptuously claims to supply, in systematic doctrinal form, synthetic a priori knowledge of things in general (for instance, the principle of causality) must, therefore, give place to the modest title of a mere Analytic of pure understanding" (CPR, B303). [134]

Hegel also wants to determine the categories of thought, but he thinks we can still analyze the structure of reality. [Hegel sees as a result of Kant’s work a straddling the opposition of subject and object.] “Hegel is thus arguing not just for a determination of the categories of thought but also of being.” (134) But “the equation of thought and being does not allow us to derive without presuppositions the nature of specific objects, but rather the structure of the object in general.” (135) Also, Hegel is not saying that objects and thoughts are the same thing, but rather than they share the same structure. “in equating thought and being, Hegel is not | arguing for a form of panpsychism but rather that reality itself is structured according to the same categories as thought.” (134-135) Since structures of thought and being are not necessarily different, we can also try to delineate the world’s structure. Hegel will not begin with such Kantian assumptions as the distinction between the phenomenal and noumenal worlds. “Instead, we must simply take pure being, that which thought discloses, at face value and allow being itself to determine whether it is merely the appearing of something else.” (135)

Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit prepares us for the task of the Science of Logic. “Instead of requiring us to accept that thought is identical to being at the beginning of our enquiry, the Phenomenology provides a bridge from our conception of ordinary consciousness to absolute knowing.” (135) It shows that or consciousness is inadequate to the object, because our consciousness’ understanding of its relation to the object is one-sided and thus false. When we are merely conscious that an an object is, we are unable to differentiate its various moments, reducing it to a simple this, here, now. (135-136) [We soon develop an absolute knowing where thought and being are identical.]

From the collapse of sense certainty, we are led to a new form of consciousness that seeks to overcome the limitations of its forerunner. The ultimate stage of the Phenamenology, absolute knowing, represents the moment where the opposition between subject and object, which has driven the process of generation of new forms of consciousness collapses, and so we are left simply with the identity of thought and being. We are therefore left with a negative result (as William Maker characterizes it), or a bracketing of consciousness (in Hyppolite's terms), whereby we are free to begin the positive project of science without having to assume that thought is separated from the object of thought. (136)


Hegel’s dialectic develops concepts immanently, but this means we cannot really skip any part of the Science of Logic to describe it. So we will now summarize the important parts.

Somers-Hall, Henry (2012) Hegel, Deleuze, and the Critique of Representation. Dialectics of Negation and Difference. Albany: SUNY.

No comments:

Post a Comment