As work in black studies has demonstrated, the major works of Kant and Hegel set the current terms of race. They do so not only by playing race against a falsely transparent humanity, but by constructing what counts as real. One effect among many is that the real becomes aligned with the non-racial. In Hegel, historical relation functions as a medium of reality that entails that properly historical societies appear as ‘non-racial’ in their self-understanding, while non-historical societies, located in the medium of reality but without opening themselves to it, now appear as ‘racial’ in their self-understanding. A crucial characteristic that people now have, in this view, one that is symptomatic of their relation to historical reality, is their supposed practice of raciality and/or their incapacity to desire to be non-racial. Assigning non-raciality to historicity reassigns racial characteristics elsewhere – in fact, exactly where they are in systems of scientific racism, and to the same degrees. It also continues to be the case that blackness is placed inside and outside ethnic categories, as a kind of exemplary pure raciality that is more and less than Africanness. As we will see, Hegel attributes racialisation primarily to racialised people themselves. This line of thought terminates in the political priority of the non-racial.

These implications bear upon the radical, negative, non-teleological, ‘left’ Hegel specifically, and are for that reason especially pertinent as a matter for radical self-examination. The problem with the critical consensus that Hegel’s dialectical subtlety triggers ‘right’ and ‘left’ interpretations is that left Hegelians often assume that anti-Hegelians are objecting to the rightist Hegel and that their own task is therefore to explain the resources that Hegel still offers to the left. This leaves no room for left criticism of left Hegelianism, and more to the point, threatens to close the logical space for racism in radical thought. At the most, as modelled by postracialism, radical thought finds left racism in other leftists making mistakes of conceptual exclusion. My goal here isn’t to rehearse right/left arguments, and so I start with the following understandings:

(1) Hegel is radically historical rather than dogmatic. He is opposed to nature and essence, even as he preserves the extent to which communities may require some ideas of nature and essence. Further, his vision of history is neither progressive nor simply teleological, because

(2) Hegelian subjectivity and historicity centre self-division, aporia, disarticulation and negativity, and are radically non-identitarian; [BONDE DA TELEOLOGIA SEM FREIO]

(3) Hegel promotes radical openness to history as a structural necessity of relation; relation and speculation should be understood as the media of openness, and themselves incomplete and open;

(4) the speculative proposition is the container of relation in flux, and the model for all Hegelian propositions;

(5) relation in Hegel is grounded in non-relation, the Absolute of the system, and this Absolute is absolutely the opposite of the ‘given’. [NADA ESTÁ DADO – HISTÓRIA É NIILISMO]

It is in these philosophical choices that I find Hegel’s specific contribution to racial capitalism. They matter particularly much because they continue to characterise the preferences of left political theory. Despite their inadequacies, I cannot help preserving the ambiguity of the terms ‘progressive’, ‘left’ and ‘radical’ for the time being, not only because it is as difficult to say whether Hegel was radical or liberal as it is to say whether he was right or left, but because the structure of (post)racial thinking consolidated in Enlightenment philosophy affects the range of ‘progressive’ views from liberal to radical. I am concerned to make the point that radicals cannot distinguish themselves from liberals in this regard. The racism of radical circles is not a matter of inconsistency, but of the values affirmed above, which are often shared by positions that agree on little else.”

When instead we grasp that ‘racial thinking’ is not only used to subordinate others in open racism, but also projected, in a way that is itself racist, in order to cast them as less political, we may see more clearly that the set of radical Hegelian values can’t be relied on to ensure its own enlightenment. Efforts to devote radical politics to anti-racism in general are likely to be recuperated into the idea that this will make anti-racism more properly political in comparison to the practice of other groups who are still stuck in racial thinking and its errors of exclusion. Since such a radical stance is perfectly consistent with anti-blackness, a specific address to anti-blackness needs to become a radical platform in its own right. [O MOVIMENTO ANTI-RACISTA PRECISA EXISTIR, INEXORAVELMENTE, LIGADO AO MARXISMO OU ANTI-CAPITALISMO, PORÉM AUTÔNOMO, POR SI SÓ, POIS NÃO SE RESOLVE SÓ ECONOMICAMENTE, TEM UMA DINÂMICA PRÓPRIA.]

The frantic anti-blackness of Hegel’s depiction of sub-Saharan Africa in Lectures on the Philosophy of World History is well-known. Building on that knowledge, we might explore Hegel’s curious use of postracial ideals of relation there and in the less-discussed Philosophy of Religion. If Africa is ‘savage’, after all, it is because ‘Africa proper’ is ‘self-enclosed’.” RESUMINDO: HEGEL NÃO ERA SÓ RACISTA, COMO XENÓFOBO. SEU RACISMO E SUA XENOFOBIA SÃO PERFEITAMENTE COMPLEMENTARES PARA JUSTIFICAR SEU PONTO DE VISTA QUANDO É NECESSÁRIO “DESLIGAR A CHAVE RACISTA” OU “DESLIGAR A CHAVE XENOFÓBICA”, ALTERNATIVAMENTE. UM ETNOCENTRISMO BRANCO-EUROPEU DE DUAS BASES.

If Hegel’s geographical materialism predicts cultural backwardness for Africa, his theory of historical realisation, and particularly its emphasis on openness and negativity, predicts his geographical materialism. In order for Hegel’s account of Africa to be what it is, it has to be able to indict African societies for being racial. That is, ‘racial’ practices are already a benchmark of the non-political. The key element of African societies’ inferiority is their self-enclosure and ‘government … patriarchal in character’, by which Hegel means their reliance on kinship structures, or what he assumes are kinship structures. Self-enclosure and kinship-centredness collapse into one: Hegel’s causal logic here is that African societies, having no access to the foreign influences that would expand their scope, fall back into themselves and reproduce the prehistoric family unit. Insofar as kinship structures are blood ties (Hegel does not explore the possibility of a difference between the two), Hegel’s African societies are cast as racial in the way that later political science would criticise them for being ‘tribal’. The series abstract non-racial open and familialracialclosed renews the model of race that it finds in travel literature, not despite but through its greater abstraction.”

Hegel mentions, for example, that ‘the original organisation that created social distinctions’ in India ‘immediately became set in stone as natural determinations (the castes).’ In Hegel’s account of India, ‘distinctions imposed by nature’ trap consciousness of social relations at the first available moment, the moment that locates value in natural origin. Such periods of entrapment, he explains, may occur whenever ‘peoples may have had a long life without a state before they finally reach their destination.’

MENOS QUE HUMANOS, OU NA REALIDADE MENOS QUE ANIMAIS (POIS OS HINDUS, ACIMA NA ESCALA, JÁ SERIAM OS SUB-HUMANOS): “In Hegel’s account of Africa, by contrast, no impulse ever arises to make what is happening into a conscious social system, so that ‘even the family ethos is lacking in strength.’ What Hegel imagines to precede incipient social organisation is a reproductive primal horde that, if it were to be systematised, would generate a natural order, as in the example of Hegel’s imagination of caste; but Hegel’s sub-Saharan Africa does not even get that far. These imaginations function as justifications for colonisation. Yet, Hegel’s disapproval of ‘natural’ orders is taken to be something he gets right and as evidence for the extent to which he is not racist. As Joseph McCarney writes, defending Hegel from Robert Bernasconi’s explanations of his racism, ‘history is precisely, in one aspect at least, the escape of spirit from nature, its overcoming of all natural determinants such as common descent or blood relationship.’

Hegel’s posthumanist and humanist ideas of relation are shaped by his radical negativity. Diverging political uses of Hegel are made possible by this speculative destabilisation of identity. At the same time, negativity generates the historical subject and, along with it, the nonhistorical actor, as nonraciality advances by saddling nonhistorical societies with racial practices whose ‘depth’ appears as the ambiguity of blackness. Negativity is especially able to legitimate the historical subject because the historical subject is shattered in it, displaying the objectivity of historical process. Not primarily a recognition of an other, it is more fundamentally a capacity to be dismembered, and therefore formed, by the Absolute. This capacity, it turns out, cannot be taken for granted. The negativity of the historical life that ensues affords a position from which to dismiss nonhistorical life.”

A radically anti-identitarian movement of subjective undoing often walks in the tracks of subject-building, as Gayatri Spivak pointed out in her criticism of Deleuze in 1988.” Cosmopolitismos anti-historicistas que estão apenas criando neo-historicismos.

it’s problematic that Hegel substitutes pulp fiction images of Africa for something that he states he cannot comprehend (‘because it is so totally different from our own culture, and so remote and alien in relation to our own mode of consciousness’). It can seem obviously better for Hegel to stay in non-relation, and in his famous formulations Hegel calls precisely for staying with the negative, which renews itself at every moment. Yet, Hegel also makes the ‘openness’ of the negative into the measure of authentic development and then uses it to generate racist images of Africans who ‘lack’ it.”

This reasoning is more than a problem in Hegel and more than a matter of Eurocentrism, or of stereotypes. It’s a specifically postracial Enlightenment technology that imputes racism elsewhere to demand colonial access (which figures as non-racial because it demands opening) to, and disposition over, the racial human. For radical philosophy, [entendo o termo como aqui como ‘marxismo ortodoxo’, me corrijam se eu estiver errado] racism is a priori elsewhere. That’s why the defence of racial hierarchisation by ‘mention’ – the criteria are not the radical writer’s criteria – redoubles the contradiction of attributing raciality by postracial praise of the non-racial. Postracial reasoning as such creates racial elsewheres through complaints about over-valuation of kinship, attachment, and so forth on the part of the others of Europe: their lack of openness, their lack of access to and/or disinterest in relation, their failure to be properly disturbed by non-relation.”

As Donna Jones suggests, this imputed imperviousness to disarticulation (historical subjectivity) entails that ‘black people are not thought to die.’ [a crítica VINDA DA ESQUERDA de que ‘os negros não se des-essencializam como haveria de ser’] Much as they can only merit the full force of slavery by proving to be slaveholders, what Hegel believes is African indifference to foreign stimulation allows them to be the objects of a peculiarly postracial racism. In this sense, I’m not sure that blacks are being correlated to the Real of the system, in which case their non-given status would have the history-authenticating function of non-relation itself. Postracially, they are lined up before the Real along with others, and singularly fail to notice it. Thus, life in sub-Saharan Africa ‘consists of a series of contingent happenings and surprises’ – by which fact itself, however, Africans in particular cannot, according to Hegel, be surprised.” Uma espécie de PILATISMO (Pôncio Pilatos) aplicado à África.

“‘The Jewish religion’, as recent anti-political theology tracks very well, lacks the ‘latitudinarian tolerance’ of international modernity. As the historian of time [e tem como ser historiadora de outra coisa?] Vanessa Ogle points out, 19th-century coordinators of time schemes, building global capital, quickly came to perceive ‘peoples who do not partake’ in the global effort as ‘guilty of the crime of opposing it.’ Similarly, Christianity not only moralises, but invents particularity by offering itself as freedom from it. [ECUMENISMO HIPÓCRITA] Hegel stresses that he judges Judaism only by its lack of commitment to access: ‘it is only a limitation in this respect and not a limitation of the religion qua religion’necessarily, or it would otherwise be Christianity! In this way Judaic ‘particularity’, Muslim ‘excarnation’ and the provinciality of certain forms of Christianity are born only together with their vaunted open alternative, [pensar na crítica hegeliana das infinitas seitas norte-americanas] the historical real of global relation. The Christian structure of Hegel’s anti-identitariansim is as well-known as his hostility to certain actually existing forms of Christianity for still not being open enough.”

Hegel aligns them [primitives, non-political societies] with nonraciality and raciality, the political [societies] of course being nonracial. Political consciousness may now order more and less mature fractions of citizenry against the background of groups not sufficiently political, as were the racial societies of the past.”

For its part, the individual degrades into barbarism, Hegel writes, if relation does not occur. Complementarily, every time Hegel specifies that collectivity is not enough, is not yet political, he is acknowledging that societies can have every other kind of coordination and interest and still not be relational, historical or political. If, in view of the tendency for ‘authentic’ politicality to project the raciality of the insufficiently political, the political loses some lustre, that loss can enhance a radical view of the capacity of other ways of inhabiting well-being and justice.”

In a memorable footnote, Hegel compares the entity in relation to an element in chemical reaction: ‘the acid is nothing else than the specific mode of its relation to the base – that is the nature of the acid itself.’

The metaphor of acid is a fine articulation of how entities within social relation are not yet congealed into objects, a view that wholly avoids reification. A lot of radical philosophy is linked to this sentence; everyone will like it – I like it. And indeed maintaining a relational view of the world is for Hegel what it is for contemporary theory, a safeguard against reification. In the name of this safety, however, the relation becomes utter, and the entities in relation ‘nothing else than’ the relation. ‘Nothing else’ lays all attachments down at the door at considerable expense, so no complaint of easiness-on-the-self can be made. Inside the door, then, is the political, and it sounds well-earned. But an outside, and exterior interiors, have now come into being. There, myriad phenomena, which look from within relation like attachments and identities, but may be anything from agricultural arts to diverting habits, now become evidence of nonpoliticality if they are really important to a community, i.e. if they happen to be preferred to the ‘discipline of the world’ in any friction between the two. This stigma of nonpoliticality, which can now be aimed, is, as a weapon, a kind of compensation for the historical subject’s sacrificial self-nullification. [EU ABANDONEI MINHA IDENTIDADE MODERNA, VOCÊ DEVE ANULAR A SUA TAMBÉM!] It is a place where the aggression that cannot be turned against history goes. A ‘progressive’ race discourse begins to appear here, backed up by the clarity and force of belief in the real movement of history. It could never be biologically racist; it could only speak of a nonracial alliance to which anyone could belong, if they only cared to or knew how.”

Unlike Rousseau, he doesn’t consider how his ideas would be evaluated within African and Asian social systems, even as he observes their existence. The situation would not necessarily be improved if he did, and, notably, epistemic critique per se also cannot improve it even as, at the same time, I have not reached the end of it. The end of it is the fact that Hegel’s pejorative descriptions of imaginary societies indicate fictive alternative societies that Hegel also imagines in order to reject them.”

O PROFESSOR RACISTA QUE PREFERIRIA DESTRUIR SEUS PAPÉIS ANTES DE MORRER SE PUDESSE: “It is still merely studying what Hegel thinks to consider them, at the hallucinatory limit of his language. [HISTÓRIA DA ÁFRICA HEGELIANA (FICCÇÃO)] By gathering ideas that recur across his descriptions of various regions (reflecting the fact that the descriptions never describe actual regions), it is possible to piece together, as fantastic literature, what the societies of World History and Philosophy of Religion would look like if they were not being characterised as racial for not being statist. The blank pages of history aren’t completely blank: this other fictional society is in Hegel’s lectures ephemerally, a 2nd apparition reflected in their medium, [livros baseados em discursos que ‘não deveriam ter sido publicados’, provavelmente H. diria das Lectures…] and so it is also something to consider.”

Hegel has read that in India the creation of the world involves ‘going forth’, meaning that agency lies in beings that go forth rather than in an original force that expresses them. The gods themselves go forth, which implies that they are finite and that the origin is just any place at all.”

The story is problematic logically and politically, even as fiction; it is the negated, not entirely negated other of Hegel’s philosophy of history in particular, which is to say that it is primitivist – the inside-out of what he organises, in ambiguous implication. Hegel’s incidental images of other societies are able to do no more than raise the question of what he stands against. As such, whether such societies exist is not the main question to ask, but why, regardless of whether they exist or not, Hegel is so concerned to overcome these features of possible societies, and, moreover, what it means that the principles of radical history that he develops espouse their subordination as desirable, and their elimination as possible, practices. For this set of principles is racialised through and through in terms that black studies scholarship of the last 30 years makes amply available.

It is not simply that the values placed on characteristics of development and ‘tradition’, consciousness and ‘immediacy’, and so on down the line could be different, but that terms like tradition and immediacy come to be in the process of consolidating the historical in the first place, and do not function non-circularly at all. That’s why translation into any terminology other than Hegel’s own – ‘prosaic activity’ instead of ‘immediacy’, for example – illuminates the circularity of his assumptions even though there is no non-racist language to use instead.”

Hegel breathlessly fetishises the radicality of this gesture in and of itself, focused on its power rather than its function. The same ecstasis greets the torn and disarticulated historical subject; its dismemberment is told and retold as a graphic dazzle. The ‘severe’ edge of the lines that caricature it mimic the ‘discipline of the world’. No one is a stranger to the elation of the gesture, and it can be a fine thing – for instance, to put it to work toward the destruction of all, under the name of racial capitalism, that made it possible to eliminate ‘nonhistorical’ life. But the gesture, and more than gesture, the strategies that align with it cannot but apotheosise historical mentality at the expense of something that then is not properly political. In its recurrent pattern, that something has been: the supposed racialism of ‘primitive’ societies, then racialised people’s interest in racial identity, then critical conviction about the scope of a critique of antiblackness. Because the social forms that appear as essential, provincial, and so on – the contemporary ones as much as the antique – appear so within a set of values controlled by the global open, they are something else apart from that control. What they then are isn’t necessarily better, but does have to be otherwise than what they seem to be in the grammar of their totalised antagonist. Like Hegel’s unwittingly possible snapshots of polytheism and of Africans undisturbed by non-relation, the foils of political authenticity necessarily bear more possibilities, for better and worse, than can be seen from a postracial horizon.

Hegel’s philosophy of history has appeal because it makes contingency and negativity into badges of honour, but it may look different if it is thought through that, in doing so, he makes them powerfully normative of political reality for all. Dismemberment’s power to legitimate the historical subject is visible in the frequency with which contemporary Hegelians point to it, as though to say that no one would invent a subjectivity based on dismemberment. Rebecca Comay, for example, and Lacanian Marxism generally, endorses historical dislocation as Hegel’s way of being ‘dead right’, and pathologises demurral from its affirmation. (…) Because anyone can affirm historical dislocation, everyone who is anyone must.”

The complex that Hegel refines is not the only way to organise race in the early 19th century or now. It is the progressive’s way of organising it and a key to radical racism thereafter, for, unlike reaction, radical political thought needs its racism to be postracial. [mascarado, pasteurizado]”


On Kant, see especially R.A. Judy, (Dis)forming the American Canon: African-Arabic Slave Narratives and the Vernacular (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993); Fred Moten, ‘Black Kant (Pronounced Chant): A Theorizing Lecture’, Kelly Writers House, 27 February 2007 (http://writing.upenn.edu/pennsound/x/Moten.php#2-27-07) and ‘Knowledge of Freedom’, CR: The New Centennial Review 4 (2004); and Denise Ferreira da Silva, ‘1 (life) ÷ 0 (blackness) = ∞ − ∞ or ∞ / ∞: On Matter Beyond the Equation of Value’, E-flux 79 (2017) (unpaginated). Emmanuel Chukwudi Eze’s ‘The Color of Reason: The Idea of <Race> in Kant’s Anthropology’, in Postcolonial Philosophy: A Critical Reader (Oxford: Blackwell, 1997), J. Kameron Carter’s discussion in Race: A Theological Account (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), and Robert Bernasconi’s ‘Kant as an Unfamiliar Source of Racism’, in Philosophers on Race: Critical Essays, ed. Julia K. Ward and Tommy L. Lott (Oxford: Blackwell, 2007), 145–66, show how Kant’s construction of the human and of teleology position black people as unable to survive. Eze and Bernasconi, however, preserve the value of ‘moving beyond’ race, Eze explicitly so. See Eze, Achieving Our Humanity: The Idea of the Postracial Future (New York: Routledge, 2001).

On Hegel, see especially Denise Ferreira da Silva, Toward a Global Idea of Race (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2007). Hegel’s racialisation is dialectical whereas Kant’s is transcendental, and inclusive whereas Kant’s emphasises limits. [nenhuma diferença, na boa] Kant’s contribution ends in the ‘void’, absolutely alien space reserved to the noumenal; Hegel begins by confronting Absolute non-relation to set in motion a concrete, historically produced postracial reality, behind which (self-)racialised peoples lag. The Kant/Hegel opposition is a lose/lose situation. Hegel’s role in the double bind can be seen in dialectics’ treatment of its objects of analysis as racial or not, although my focus in these pages is on the Hegelian-postracial strategy of inclusion, made possible by mandatory relation” Ok, um é racista nominal, o outro racista prático!

G.W.F. Hegel, Lectures on the Philosophy of World History, vol. 1, ed. and trans. Robert F. Brown and Peter C. Hodgson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), 196. As usual, the question of which translation to use of Hegel’s necessarily contested lectures, assembled from sets of student notes, is not really solvable. John Sibree’s 1858 translation of the Introduction and Lectures together is still the only place to find English versions of certain material. See Hegel, The Philosophy of History, trans. John Sibree [Kitchener, Ontario: Batoche Books, 2001]. I use Brown and Hodgson, the most recent translation, where possible and fall back on Sibree as necessary. Hugh Nisbet’s less apologetic edition of the Introduction is sometimes indispensable. See Hegel, Lectures on the Philosophy of World History. Introduction: Reason in History, trans. H.B. Nisbet (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1975). As Nicholas Walker observes, Brown and Hodgson’s claims to modernisation are problematic and ‘in the last analysis most of the old and many of the new problems associated with this controversial work remain largely impervious to such textual and editorial changes and revisions’ (Nicholas Walker, review of Brown and Hodgson, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, 14 December 2011, https://ndpr.nd.edu/news/lectures-on-the-philosophy-of-world-history-vol-i-manuscripts-of-the-introduction-and-the-lectures-of-1822-3/). I find Brown and Hodgson’s translation anodyne, [não-degradantes em relação à nomenclatura hegeliana clássica] but use it as a control.”

A political reply to the construction of caste that Hegel uses, and that is still in use, is Congress parliamentarian Shashi Tharoor’s argument that the British regime codified caste out of scattered heterogeneous practices and solidified the term ‘Hindu’. See Shashi Tharoor, An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India (New Delhi: Aleph Book Company, 2016).”

a nationalisation of God is not exclusive to Judaism, but paradigmatic in it; when Christians act this way they are unnecessarily restricting Christianity.”

SPEECH AND WRITING ACCORDING TO HEGEL – Derrida, 1971 (in: W.F. Hegel, Critical Assessments, ed. Robert Stern, 1993).


For the moment let us see here the indication or the incitation to recognise that the essential place of semiology is at the centre, not on the margin or as an appendix to Logic.”

metaphysics could only consider the sign as a passage, a place of passage, a passage-way (passerelle) between two moments of presence, the provisional reference from one presence to the other. The passage-way can be lifted.” Suspensa ou levantada, um dos problemas centrais da tradução da terminologia hegeliana para o Português: de preferência deve-se usar suspensão; ao mesmo tempo que um elemento “des-aparece”, isso não implica que ele suma da representação fenomênica ou seja aniquilado para não-mais-voltar. A suspensão mantém o vetor de lift (elevador, idéia de ascensão, subida, erguida, alavancagem) e ao mesmo tempo a noção do objeto da representação que fica em suspenso, i.e., desaparece para depois eventualmente re-aparecer (ascende, mas pode descender na seqüência, após momentos da representação).

time itself is but the referring of presence to itself. As such signification, the sign procedure is, to be sure, the moment of presence lost; but it is a presence lost by the very time that engages it in the movement of its reappropriation.” A suspensão é um momento necessário da dialética hegeliana.

The ‘in view’ designates the theoretical pre-eminence of the gaze, as well as the authority of the final aim, the telos of reappropriation of full presence, the ordination of the theory of signs to the light of parousia.” Parousia (grego): presença, aterrissagem (descida, chegada, retorno no sentido de reapropriação, no sentido mítico de Ulisses voltando à sua casa e também do passageiro que parte em viagem mas retorna, arrive back home, o contrário de arise, erguer-se, levantar-se, partir, que bem podia ser usado no lugar de lift). Ousia, sem par-, é Ser.

It could be shown that this very general necessity governs metaphysics in its essence and in its totality – which is one with its history, and, I would even go so far as to say: with history as such.

We should then expect Hegelianism, which is so generally said to represent the completion of metaphysics, both in the sense of accomplishment and in the sense of end, to give the most systematic and powerful, the most ingathered, ingathering, assembled, assembling form to this metaphysical gesture. We should find a primary index of this in an architectonic reading that aims to locate the place Hegel assigns to the theory of signs in the system. For such an architectonic reading it would doubtless be best to consult here the Encyclopaedia of Philosophical Sciences (1817).”

The theory of signs is inscribed in the 3rd part of the Encyclopaedia, that is in the Philosophy of Mind, following the Science of Logic (Lesser Logic) and the Philosophy of Nature. What does this division answer to? To briefly collect its meaning it is enough that we refer to what Hegel himself says at the end of the Introduction to the Encyclopaedia, § 18: [Os parentêses na citação são de Derrida]

As the whole science, and only the whole, can exhibit what the Idea or system of reason is, it is impossible to give in a preliminary way (or precursorily) a general impression of a philosophy. Nor can a division ( distribution) of philosophy into its parts be intelligible, except in connection with the system. A preliminary division, like the limited conception from which it comes, can only be an anticipation (something anticipated). Here, however, it is premised that the Idea turns out to be the thought which is completely (simply) identical with itself, and not identical simply in the abstract, but also in its action of setting itself over against itself, so as to gain a being of its own, and yet a being in full possession of itself while it is in this other.¹”

¹ Não só em potência, essência (em-si) mas também em ato, aparência (para-si), e conseqüentemente ao mesmo tempo em e para si, unidade sujeito-objeto (consciência em Hegel).

Em seguida H. divide a Filosofia em 3 momentos, esclarecendo que é uma divisão didática e nunca um momento subsiste ):

1. Lógica, o conhecimento da essência isolada, em-si, a Idéia.

2. Filosofia da Natureza, o conhecimento da aparência isolada, para-si, o Outro. (momento provisório da separação sujeito-mundo)

3. Filosofia da Mente (consciência), o conhecimento da descida ou chegada da Idéia ou essência ao se manifestar (do em si que se acopla ao para si, da etapa ou processo consumado descrito acima). Identidade final da diferença (Idéia e Outro no Um).


A Filosofia da Mente pode ser subdividida em 3 momentos:

3.1. A mente subjetiva: abstração da auto-relação, a liberdade absoluta da Idéia consigo mesma (no arbitrário), mas falsa, pois “fora do mundo”.

3.2. A mente objetiva: a abstração da objetividade material do mundo, enquanto algo alheio à Idéia. A liberdade é entendida como necessidade, pura causalidade cega.

3.3 A menta absoluta: a unidade realmente existente, concreta, da consciência como objetividade e idealidade, a liberdade como tal. A “verdade” em sua dinamicidade, como compreendida por Hegel.

Por que o momento 3.1 está negritado acima? Porque Derrida entende a teoria do signo lingüístico como o equivalente a esta etapa. Um “modo” ou “determinação finita”, “transição ou etapa necessária da auto-superação”. Derrida chama o 3.1 ou signo de “transição da transição”. A Idéia auto-suficiente é negada, suprimida pelo Outro (próxima etapa afirmativa).

Derrida subdividirá, ainda, o 3.1, seu objeto de interesse neste texto, em:

3.1.1. O imediato: o Espírito-na-natureza (Naturgeist), o objeto do ponto de vista da Antropologia (do tempo de Hegel, mero modo de expressar a relação de alteridade homem vs. natureza, não a Antropologia científica que estuda a diferença cultural entre culturas ou homens diferentes – está muito mais para ciência exata que para um campo social, pois abarca até a fisiologia humana, como teremos a oportunidade de ver mais abaixo).

3.1.2. O mediato: reflexão no sentido comum. A consciência abstraída, tratando-se como objeto exterior (o objeto do ponto de vista da Fenomenologia da Mente).

3.1.3. Objeto-de-si-mesmo: o objeto do ponto de vista da Psicologia (hegeliana), reconhecendo-se idêntico ao que era outro (reincorporando-se).

Para Derrida, a teoria do signo pertence em sua delimitação, mais precisamente, ao momento da Psicologia (3.1.3), “definida como ciência da Mente determinando a si mesma em si mesma como objeto para si mesma”.

A semiologia, como parte da ciência do objeto para si mesmo, não pertence à ciência da consciência, isto é, à fenomenologia [3.1.2].” “Esta psicologia está divorciada da natureza. Estamos não só referidos aqui a todas as tentativas semiológicas do séc. XVIII, que eram todas psicologizantes, mas referidos, em última instância, a Aristóteles, o patrono que Hegel invoca em sua Psicologia da Mente quando, na Introdução acima, descreve:

Os livros de Aristóteles Da Alma (Peri Psychis) … são por isso e ainda, de longe, o trabalho especulativo de valor mais admirável, talvez o único de valor, neste tópico. A principal meta de uma filosofia da mente só pode ser reintroduzir o conceito no conhecimento-da-mente, o que quer dizer redescobrir a lição destes livros de Aristóteles.

Define Aristóteles, em outro livro:

A palavra falada (ta en tiphoni) é o símbolo de afecções ou estados da alma, e a palavra escrita é o símbolo da palavra falada. Assim como nem todo homem tem a mesma escrita, nem todo homem tem o mesmo som da voz, mas os estados da alma, de que essas expressões são o signo imediato ou primário (semeia protos) são os mesmos para todos, assim como as coisas, de que esses estados são apenas a imagem.”

Mas quando afirmo [Derrida] que é tradicional fazer da semiologia dependente da psicologia, não penso apenas no Hegelianismo do passado, mas no que se revela como além do Hegelianismo, isto é, superação do Hegelianismo, e não só algo derivativo e compreendido no Hegelianismo. Porque essa é uma tradição metafísica, ininterrompida pelas ciências humanas contemporâneas. Nos seus Cursos de Lingüística Geral, Saussure traça duas vezes o plano para uma semiologia geral juridicamente [?] dependente da psicologia.”

A Lingüística é só uma parte da ciência geral da semiologia; as leis descobertas pela semiologia serão aplicáveis à lingüística, e esta última será circunscrita em limites bem-definidos dentro da massa de fatos antropológicos.” Saussure

Uma observação: hoje entendo a Lingüística como uma Semiologia no sentido saussureano, e a lingüística de Saussure como uma subdivisão desta. Isto é, entendo que nunca houve esta expansão desejada por Ferdinand de Saussure.

Hjelmslev, apesar de reconhecer a importância da herança saussureana, levantou a questão da crítica aos pressupostos dessa mesma herança, i.e., criticou a autoridade atribuída à psicologia e o privilégio acordado à ‘substância expressiva’ sonora ou fônica.” Nesse tocante, creio que Saussure ainda siga atual e não procede a crítica hjelmsleviana: a lingüística segue sendo o estudo do signo psíquico, em clara antecipação à consideração de que surdos-mudos aprendem a língua sem prejuízo (o processo mental incorpora a questão da escuta e da fala, não havendo quebra epistemológica dos pressupostos de Saussure).¹ Por outro lado, a fala continua sendo a instância privilegiada em detrimento da escrita, como se vê no princípio da arbitrariedade das mudanças lingüísticas (sobre as quais a literatura não têm nenhum controle, uma vez que a língua se desenvolve organicamente no cotidiano do universo dos falantes totais daquela língua).

¹ Muitos estudantes de lingüística de nosso tempo querem desqualificar Saussure no trecho em que ele se refere ao ‘signo acústico’, porém o sentido mais correto do que ele quis expressar em sua época teria de ser retraduzido nas atuais edições de sua obra clássica como ‘psíquico’ no lugar de acústico, porque se refere a um processo interior, mental.

Veremos como a excelência psíquica e a preeminência fônica andam juntas também em Hegel, por razões que são histórica e essencialmente metafísicas.”

A psicologia estuda as faculdades ou modos gerais da atividade mental enquanto atividade mental – intuição, representação, rememoração, etc., desejos, etc.” H.

A teoria dos signos, consistindo essencialmente numa teoria da fala e da escrita, está contida em duas notas de rodapé bastante extensas de H., notas estas mais longas que os próprios parágrafos aos quais estão subordinadas, no sub-tópico intitulado ‘Imaginação’ [na Enciclopédia]. A Semiologia seria, portanto, um desenvolvimento pertencente à teoria da imaginação, e mais especificamente, à Fantasiologia ou Fantástica¹ [Phantasiology ou Phantastics] hegeliana.”

¹ Ainda não li o original (a Enciclopédia). Talvez Fantasística ou mesmo Phantasística, com ‘ph’, sejam traduções mais acertadas.

O que é imaginação? Representação (Vorstellung) é intuição relembrada-interiorizada (erinnerte). Pertence à inteligência (Intelligenz), que consiste em interiorizar a imediatidade sensível, ‘para apresentar a si mesmo como possuidor da intuição de si mesmo’ (in sich selbst anschauend zu setzen) – para suspender e conservar, no duplo movimento da negação (Aufhebung), a subjetividade pertencente à interioridade,¹ para que seja exteriorizada em si mesma e ‘esteja em si mesma em sua própria exterioridade’ (in ihrer eigenen Ausserlickhkeit in sich zu sein). Na lembrança temos o movimento decisivo da representação em que a inteligência é chamada de volta a si, e está em si mesma em sua exterioridade. Na lembrança o conteúdo da intuição se torna uma imagem – está livre da imediatidade e individualidade a fim de permitir a transição para a representação conceitual objetiva. E a imagem lembrada e interiorizada na memória não é mais uma ‘existência’, i.e., presente, na memória, mas depositada fora da consciência (bewusstlos aufbewahrt), retida numa morada inconsciente. A inteligência pode ser concebida como essa reserva, essa capa escura no fundo da qual as imagens enterradas são escavadas.² Hegel também chama essa instância ou reserva de ‘abismo noturno’ ou ‘abismo inconsciente’.”

¹ O texto em inglês de Derrida traz “inferiority”, inferioridade. Pode ser um jogo semântico de Hegel sobre ascender e baixar, também; mas como está em oposição a exterioridade aqui, acho mais provável que seja só erro de digitação.

² Fuck Freud!

Que a rota que vamos percorrer seja circular e que esse abismo seja em verdade uma pirâmide é um enigma sobre o qual devemos perguntar se ele deve ser suspendido como uma verdade que estava no fundo de um poço e devemos trazer à luz ou então decifrado como inscrição que adorna o monumento.” Os próprios verbos interiorizar e recordar em alemão têm a mesma raiz. Sobre a pergunta retórica de Derrida, veremos que é um pouco dos dois.

A síntese dessa imagem interna com a existência relembrada é ela mesma o conceito de representação: mediante esta síntese o interno agora tem a qualificação para aparecer diante da inteligência e existir propriamente, estar-aí (Dasein)” H. § 454

Esta explicação de H. serve para a memória re-produtiva, passiva, que não cria suas próprias memórias, apenas recebe dados do exterior. É só a primeira etapa da explicação da faculdade da memória.

O que é produzido e exteriorizado no momento seguinte (a segunda etapa da faculdade da memória) e espelhado (simétrico, contrário) é o signo. Ele é emitido pela imaginação produtiva ou criativa. Nossa capacidade de fantasiar, no sentido hegeliano.

Uma existência imaginada é uma imagem existenciada.

O que é internalizado se torna universal para si mesmo, e logo é expelido como intuição concreta (“an affirmation that may appear abusive or unintelligible”, D.) ou coisa. Nesse esquema H. não omite que é tributário de Kant.

Finalmente, notemos que a imaginação transcendental é também o movimento de temporalização que Heidegger repetiu tão admiravelmente em seu Kant e o Problema da Metafísica

A união dos contrários e a semio-poiesis. “Productive imagination is the MittelpunktH.

Ao final do texto vamos finalmente entender o que significam essas aspas!

O signo em si mesmo não é nada.

A imaginação, quando percebida como a agência dessa unificação, é razão (Vernunft), mas só razão formal, porque a matéria ou o tema que encapsula é para a imaginação enquanto (qua) imaginação uma matéria indiferente; ao passo que a razão enquanto (qua) razão determina também o conteúdo com vistas à verdade.” § 457

O signo só é um ponto-médio do caminho para a verdade da consciência (fica a meio caminho), e no entanto ele não é um acidente (arbitrário), no sentido de ser um momento, embora abstrato (nisso, ele é arbitrário), necessário no desenvolvimento da racionalidade e da aparição da verdade.

Por que a verdade independe do, ou melhor, depende da ausência do, signo?”

Por que o signo é só um momento inferior, um conceito metafísico menor?” (Neste sentido talvez o ‘interior’ lá em cima fosse mesmo inferior!)

Por que a verdade não se expressa (em signos)?”

Then ‘Why’ (Pourquoi) here no longer indicates a question about the in-view-of-what? (pour quoi), about the telos or the eschaton of the movement of signification; nor does it indicate a question about an origin: ‘Why?’ taken as ‘because of what?’ ‘Starting with what?’ etc. ‘Why’ is then the still metaphysical name for a question about the metaphysical system that links the sign to the concept and to truth. But this question can break through and penetrate only in freeing itself from even this Why-form, undetermined as it may seem.”

O signo só é o que é hoje no campo do conhecimento porque a metafísica foi encerrada ou arrematada – ele se beneficiou disso.”

O signo é, na definição de Hegel, portanto, a unidade de uma ‘representação independente’ e de uma ‘intuição’. Porém, na identidade da representação e da intuição, algo excepcional sucede: essa intuição não é uma simples intuição, como a intuição em geral. Um ser é dado, uma coisa é apresentada, apresentada para imediata recepção no presente. Exemplo: a cor dum chapéu está-lá para a intuição. Porém, como é indissociável da representação (Vorstellung) essa presença representa, i.e., reapresenta algo que não é em si mesmo, ou não é o mesmo, mesmidade, mas diferença. É colocada (a cor) no lugar de algo outro (etwas anderes vorstellend), um representativo representacional de algo mais (aqui Vorstellung não é só apresentação, é representação no sentido literal, pois indica o papel de mediação). O quê representa? Do quê o significante apresentado à intuição é significante? Como H. determina o representado ou o significado? É claramente uma idealidade contrastada com a real corpo-realidade (ou corporeidade) do significante. H. chama esse significado do signo, o Bedeutung (geralmente traduzido como ‘significação’; eu, por outro lado, prefiro traduzir como content de vouloir-dire).¹”

¹ O conteúdo-significado; seguindo a estranha expressão francesa, o conteúdo do querer-dizer.

Corpo-significante e alma/idealidade-significado

O signo é, pois, uma encarnação.” “Isso segue válido em Saussure e Husserl. Para este último o signo é animado pela intenção de significações como corpo (Körper) tornando-se ou devindo corpo-próprio (Leib) animado por Geist (alma, espírito). Para Husserl a palavra viva é uma espiritualidade corporificada.”

Mas Hegel enfatiza não só a aquisição do corpo-próprio, mas o lado inerte e inanimado, tumba.” Há um trocadilho em grego, usado por Platão, entre soma e sema (corpo e tumba, o corpo é uma prisão da alma).

O corpo do signo é aquele monumento no qual a alma vai ser silenciada e confinada, guardada, mantida, conservada, tornada presente.” pirâmide-embalsamamento-monumento-inscrição

trabalho da morte”

H. usa deliberadamente o signo pirâmide, ou diríamos o símbolo piramidal, para designar ou para significar o signo.” “H. vê no hieróglifo egípcio uma espécie de paralisia da dialética.”

O “algo mais” acima é justamente o negativo. Todas as cores que não são a cor do chapéu. A intuição-do-ausente.

A alma consignada na pirâmide é estrangeira. Se a alma é transposta, transferida, transplantada no monumento-significado, é de outra ordem que a pedra-significante, do intuitivo dado. E essa heterogeneidade é, primeiro, a irredutibilidade da alma e do corpo, do inteligível e sensível, do conceito (idealidade-significado) e do corpo sensível do significante. (representação) H.

Há um abismo ou alteridade intransponível aí. Para H., essa é a distinção entre signo e SÍMBOLO. Um símbolo simboliza naturalmente algo que se lhe assemelha. Um signo é totalmente convencionado, não há ligação natural entre significante e significado.

Essa teoria da natureza arbitrária do signo e essa distinção entre signo e símbolo é retomada em extenso e de modo mais claro na Introdução à primeira seção da Estética (‘Do símbolo em geral’).”

Se ainda havia alguma dúvida de que todo o sistema conceitual que domina a assim chamada revolução da lingüística – quero dizer, a lingüística saussureana – usa como modelo explícito a metafísica, precisamente a metafísica que opõe conceitos entre si, a da semiologia hegeliana, creio que agora essa dúvida não pode mais se colocar.”

A palavra símbolo foi utilizada por vários autores para designar o signo lingüístico, ou mais especificamente o que aqui se chama significante. O princípio da arbitrariedade do signo que acabo de explicitar é totalmente contrário à persistência desse uso. Uma característica do símbolo é que ele nunca é inteiramente arbitrário; não é inócuo, porque há indícios de uma conexão natural entre significante e significado. O símbolo da justiça, um par de balanças, não pode ser substituído impunemente, p.ex., por um tanque.” Saussure

the production of arbitrary signs manifests the freedom of mind.” O telos da Psicologia hegeliana, a aquisição da liberdade.

Na atribuição de significados, portanto, a inteligência manifesta uma liberdade e uma maestria incomparáveis no uso de intuições que não são nunca manifestas nas simbolizações.” H., § 458

Aí vemos concluída a pirâmide de Hegel.” É como se o ‘espaço arquitetônico’ escolhido por H. para representar a aquisição de, por um lado, uma razão vazia (ainda uma razão incompleta) e, por outro, uma liberdade irrestrita pela consciência, em uma de suas etapas, fosse exatamente a parte que cabe deixar oca nas construções, para que a distensão dos metais e outros sólidos não comprometesse todo o esqueleto da construção.

This sign-creating activity may be distinctively named ‘<productive> memory’ (produktive Gedächtnis) (the primarily abstract ‘Mnemosyne’); and since ‘memory’ (Gedächtnis), which in ordinary life is often used as interchangeable and synonymous with ‘remembrance’ (recollection) (Erinnerung), and even with ‘conception’ and ‘imagination’, has always to do with signs only.” (Remark, § 458)

In his fine essay on Proust, G. Deleuze has shown very well that the Remembrance of Things Past was less an exercise of memory than a semiotic activity or experience. You see that Hegel does not distinguish between the two, and that there is here another occasion to underline an affinity between Proust and Hegel.”

ONDE GERALMENTE OS MATEMÁTICOS PARAM DE TENTAR DESAFIAR HEGEL: “É a minha tese [Derrida] a do privilégio do sistema lingüístico – que é fônico – sobre todos os demais sistemas semióticos. Um privilégio, destarte, também da fala sobre a escrita; e da escrita fonética sobre qualquer outro sistema de notação ou qualquer outro tipo de inscrição, em particular os hieróglifos ou a escrita ideográfica. Mas também da escrita fonética perante a escrita matemática formal (qualquer que seja ela), a álgebra, a pasigrafia [uma espécie de Esperanto taquigráfico] e outros projetos de escritura universal do tipo leibniziano (fracassados), sobre o qual Leibniz gabou-se de ‘não necessitar, por princípio, referir-se à voz (vox) ou à palavra’.”

That is if one accepts, and in the measure that one accepts considering Hegelianism as the completion of Western metaphysics, the pre-eminence of the phoni is one with the essence of metaphysics. And thus whatever in certain modern sciences – for example in a certain work of glossematics carried out by Hjelmslev, but this is but one example – scientifically questions this privilege of the vox, both as voice and as word, in some measure trangresses the metaphysical closure itself.”

no signo a intuição sensível-espacial é sublimada temporariamente” Mas o que entra no lugar do espaço ao ser negado é o tempo, que em si é (o lado oculto do) espaço. O signo como temporalização em Heidegger (acima).

a fase mais verdadeira da intuição usada como signo é a existência no tempo (Dasein – o sendo-aí em intuição – in der Zeit: uma fórmula que devemos considerar ao mesmo tempo como dizendo que o tempo é o Dasein do conceito).” “Por que é a da intuição sublimada a sua fase mais verdadeira? Porque o tempo é o espaço sublimado.” O MEIO É A MENSAGEM: É a única forma do corpo (significante) desaparecer conservando-se a si mesmo na forma da idealidade (significado, conceito), ou seja, como outro. “But what is the signifying substance, what glossematicians call the expressive substance, most proper to be thus produced as time itself? It is sound, sound lifted from its naturalness and bound to the mind’s relation with itself, to the psychi as subject for itself and auto-affecting itself – the animated sound, the phonic sound, the voice, the Ton.” O homem é o único animal que vive-no-tempo porque ele fala (e compreende a fala).

The voice is what unites the anthropological naturalness of the (natural) sound with the psychic-semiotic ideality, what consequently joins the Philosophy of Mind to the Philosophy of Nature, and within the Philosophy of Mind joins anthropology to psychology between which, I recall, phenomenology, the science of consciousness, is inscribed.”

This means, in Hegelian language, that it is the essence of time as existence of the concept. But at the same time (so to speak) language, inasmuch as it interiorises and temporalises Dasein as it was in the given of sensible-spatial intuition, elevates existence itself, sublates (relève) it in its truth, at its highest level. It makes the sensible existence pass to representational or intellectual existence, to the existence of the concept. And this transition is precisely the moment of articulation that transforms the sound into voice and noise into language – a theme that would also merit a whole comparison with De Saussure.” O pensamento se materializa e a vida (fenomênica) fica em suspenso. Pode-se dizer que é a versão hegeliana da Idéia de Platão: acima do reino da Representação, no reino da representação, ao mesmo tempo, sem contradição, ou suportando a contradição (um em- como se não fosse em-, e sim num ‘além-tempo’: uma transcendência imanente).

But he contents himself with this systematics or architectonics. He does not fill out the field whose limits and topography he delineates. There are, none the less, indications of the lineaments of such a linguistics. For example, he admits that linguistics must be distinguished into a formal (grammatical) element and a material (lexicological) element.”

Ideality in general is, in Hegelian terms, ‘the negation of the real, which is none the less at the same time conserved, virtually retained (virtualiter erhalten), even if it does not exist’. But ideality as an element of language since the sign is the sublation (relève) of the sensible intuition of the real – has its own sense organs, its own elements of sensibility. Two senses share physical ideality between them: the sense for light and the sense for sound. These two elements have a privilege to which Hegel devotes numerous and splendid analyses in the Encyclopaedia and in the Aesthetics.

In so far as sound is concerned, it is noteworthy that linguistics refers us from psychology to anthropology (psycho-physiology), and that this latter refers us to physics. It is the reverse route of the teleology and movement according to which the Idea is reappropriated to itself as mind by rising from and sublating the nature [en (se) relevant (de) la nature] in which it was lost while being betokened therein. But at the beginning of the Physics light is posited as the first but abstract manifestation, an undifferentiated identity of qualified prime matter. It is through the light that nature refers to itself, manifests itself to itself. As is said in the Aesthetics, ‘light is the first ideality, the first auto-affirmation of nature. In light nature for the first time becomes subjective.’E fez-se Luz, e fez-se o Verbo (a Voz).

Signs, Hegel reflects, are not consumed. And this is to be related to the fact that the signifying matter is for Hegel always sound or light. We should have to ask if there is no other, and even whether audible or visible signs are not in some way eaten or consumed.

In any case, if sight is ideal, hearing, Hegel notes, is even more so; it as it were sublates (relève) sight.” Espaço Tempo. As artes visuais em geral, e os túmulos e inscrições egípcias em particular, negam a negação, tentam paralisar a dialética.

Há uma interseção astuciosa entre consumar (a metafísica) e consumir (a luz e o som) aqui (pois comer, devorar é acabar, completar). Afinal essa construção hegeliana é eterna ou está sofrendo erosão? Derrida encerra o ensaio falando da possibilidade de outra metafísica se – e somente se – alguém for pelo caminho da diferença (e não pelo da indiferença totalizante hegeliana), ou seja, alguma tentativa no sentido do que Hjelmslev empreendeu por volta dos anos 50.

HEGEL & O ESPÍRITO DA MÚSICA (Como que para comprovar que, procurando bem, todos os grandes filósofos, mesmo se odiando e discordando uns dos outros, chegam a conclusões fundamentais em comum – sobre a música, Hegel, Schopenhauer e Nietzsche são o consenso em contínuo – uma faixa de música alemã bastante longa): “since the calm, disinterested contemplation of works of art, far from seeking to suppress objects, lets them subsist as they are and where they are, what is conceived by sight is not the ideal in itself, but on the contrary perseveres in its sensible experience. But the ear, on the contrary, without practically (praktisch) turning to objects, perceives the result of the interior trembling (innern Erzitterns) of the body by which not the calm material figure, but a first ideality coming from the soul is manifested and revealed. As, on the other hand, the negativity in which the vibrant matter (schwingende Materia) enters constitutes a sublation (Aufheben of the spatial state, which sublation is in its turn sublated by the reaction of the body, the exteriorisation of this double negation, the sound (Ton) is an exteriorisation which is in its upsurge annihilated again by its own being-there, and vanishes by itself. By this double negation of exteriority inherent in the principle of sound, sound corresponds to the internal subjectivity in that sonority (Klingen), which of itself already is more ideal than real corporeality, renounces even this ideal existence and thus becomes a mode of expression of pure interiority.”²

¹ Entender sublimação do modo mais físico-químico possível – sem a interferência da hedionda psicanálise! Por isso eu prefiro sempre traduzir sublimação como simples negação quando posso – já que em Hegel a negação é sempre transitória (toda evaporação de matéria sólida é cíclica – cf. o motto marxista mais famoso!).ª De fato quando se diz que o tempo é o espaço sublimado, é o espaço negado, sem mais, nem menos do que isso.

ª Nada obsta o capitalismo (o real mais real) evaporar no ar!

² Aqui de novo o texto traz inferiority: agora estou certo de que era erro tipográfico: há a simetria corporeidade real (espaço puro) – pura interioridade (negação total do espaço).

This decisive concept of vibration, of trembling (Erzittern) as a physical transition from space to time, as sublation of the visible in the audible, the real in the ideal, this teleological concept of sound as a movement of idealisation and of Aufhebung of natural exteriority, is also explicated in the Encyclopaedia in the Physics (§ 300). We must then come back to it if we wish to account for the material part of language, that is lexicology.”

Thus in the linguistic part of semiology Hegel can make the move he advises against in general semiology: he can make of the question of writing an accessory question treated as an appendix, an excursus, a supplement. This move, we know, was made by Plato and Rousseau; it will also be made by De Saussure.”

It is from the province of immediate spatial intuition to which written language proceeds that it takes and produces the signs.” H.

Alphabetic writing is in and for itself the most intelligent’, says Hegel. Inasmuch as it respects, conveys and transcribes the voice as idealisation and movement of mind relating itself to its own interiority, phonetic writing is the most historical element of culture, most open to infinite development. ‘Learning to write an alphabetic writing must be considered a means of infinite culture (unendliche Bildungsmittel).’Um meio de imagem infinito, ‘diz’-nos a língua alemã! Sobre o negrito: de fato nós definimos nossa História pela escrita (mesmo quando esquecemos de definir que é a escrita fonética): antes da escrita, era a pré-História. Resta a pergunta: abriremos mão da cultura, ou ainda viveremos dentro da História? Mesma pergunta, em roupagem diferente, sobre o fim da Metafísica em H..

History as history of mind, the development of the concept as logos, the onto-theological deployment of parousia, is not hindered, limited, interrupted by alphabetical writing, which, on the contrary, inasmuch as it better effaces its own spacing, is the highest, the most sublating mediation.” Através do registro escrito (e amplio: da notação musical) podemos trazer de volta à memória qualquer momento sublime, ou idealidade, negação do real, do espaço ao menos, enquanto sobrevivemos na nossa forma fundamental que é o tempo, e vivenciar o Absoluto (em Hegel). Podemos, em suma, transcender a mundanidade. A pós-modernidade não vem destruindo a cultura, mas apenas jogando no mesmo terreno. Agora entendo por que Jean Baudrillard levanta a hipótese de que essa condição pode durar indefinidamente…

In effect, as everyone knows, and as Hegel recognises with a lucidity very rare in this domain, there is no purely phonetic writing; the alphabetical system we use is not and cannot be completely phonetic. A writing can never be penetrated and sublated completely by the voice. And the non-phonetic functions, the so to speak – silences, of alphabetic writing are not factual accidents or by-products one might hope to eliminate (punctuation, numbers, spacing). Hegel recognises this in passing in a parenthesis he quickly closes, and in which we read, concerning hieroglyphic writing: ‘(and hieroglyphics are used even where there is alphabetic writing, as in our signs for the numbers, the planets, the chemical elements etc.)’.”

Speaking of the hieroglyphic or Chinese writing, Hegel notes (as he does in other texts, notably in the Logic): ‘this feature of hieroglyphic – the analytic designation of representations – which misled Leibniz to regard it as preferable to alphabetic writing is rather in antagonism with the fundamental desideratum of language – the name’.

In assigning limits to universal, that is mute writing, writing not bound to the voice and to natural languages, in assigning limits to the function of the mathematical symbolism and calculus, considered as the work of the formal understanding, Hegel wishes to show that such a reduction of speech would interrupt the movement of Aufhebung, which is the movement of idealisation, of the history of mind and the reappropriation of logos in the presence to itself and infinite parousia. What is most written, most spaced, least vocal and internal in writing is what resists dialectics and history. We then cannot question the Hegelian concept of writing without questioning the whole history of metaphysics. For it is not a question of returning to Leibniz, concerning whom I have endeavoured elsewhere to show that his project remained metaphysical, and is fundamentally accessory to the system on the basis of which Hegel addresses his objections to him.

The writing from which metaphysics is to be questioned in its closure is then not writing such as metaphysics had itself determined it, that is such as our history and our culture enable us to think it, in the most familiar evidence of what is obvious. This writing in which the outside of metaphysics is announced could have, among other names, that of difference.”


Today Marx’s dialectic dominates a large part of the total population of the globe, while Kierkegaard’s has been adapted by some of the most outstanding thinkers of the free world, notably Heidegger and Tillich, Barth and Niebuhr.

Two later revolts against Hegelianism dominate English and American philosophy in the twentieth century: pragmatism and analytic philosophy. William James, though occasionally he attacked Hegel himself, reconstructed Hegel somewhat in the image of his Harvard colleague, Royce, who was then the outstanding American idealist; while Moore, at Cambridge, who was joined by Russell, led the fight against the influence of Bradley and McTaggart.”

One of the few things on which the analysts, pragmatists, and existentialists agree with the dialectical theologians is that Hegel is to be repudiated: their attitude toward Kant, Aristotle, Plato, and the other great philosophers is not at all unanimous even within each movement; but opposition to Hegel is part of the platform of all four, and of the Marxists, too. Oddly, the man whom all these movements take to be so crucially important is but little known to most of their adherents; very few indeed have read as many as 2 of the 4 books that Hegel published.

Hegel is known largely through secondary sources and a few incriminating slogans and generalizations. The resulting myth, however, lacked a comprehensive, documented statement till Karl Popper found a place for it in his widely discussed book, The Open Society and Its Enemies. After it had gone through three impressions in England, a revised one-volume edition was brought out in the United States in 1950, five years after its original appearance.

Forward-looking liberals and even believers in ‘piecemeal social engineering’, like Popper, often distort history, too. And so, alas, did Hegel.”

The calamity in our case is twofold. First, Popper’s treatment contains more misconceptions about Hegel than any other single essay. Secondly, if one agrees with Popper that ‘intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish’ (p. 253), one should protest against his methods; for although his hatred of totalitarianism is the inspiration and central motif of his book, his methods are unfortunately similar to those of totalitarian ‘scholars’ — and they are spreading in the free world, too.”

Although the mere presence of nineteen pages of notes suggests that his attack on Hegel is based on careful scholarship, Popper ignores the most important works on his subject. This is doubly serious because he is intent on psychologizing the men he attacks: he deals not only with their arguments but also — if not altogether more — with their alleged motives. This practice is as dangerous as it is fashionable, but in some cases there is no outright evidence to the contrary: one can only say that Popper credits all the men he criticizes, except Marx, with the worst possible intentions. (Marx he credits with the best intentions.)

beginning with Dilthey’s pioneering study of 1906 and the subsequent publication of Hegel’s early writings, ample material has been made available concerning the development of his ideas. There is even a two-volume study by Franz Rosenzweig, the friend of Martin Buber, that specifically treats the development of those ideas with which Popper is concerned above all: Hegel und der Staat.

Furthermore, Popper has relied largely on Scribner’s Hegel Selections, a little anthology for students that contains not a single complete work. Like Gilson in The Unity of Philosophical Experience (p. 246), Popper takes over such a gross mistranslation as ‘the State is the march of God through the world’, although the original says merely that it is the way of God with the world that there should be the State, and even this sentence is lacking in the text published by Hegel and comes from one of the editor’s additions to the posthumous edition of The Philosophy of Right — and the editor admitted in his Preface that, though these additions were based on lecture notes, ‘the choice of words’ was sometimes his rather than Hegel’s. ”

The passage on war in Hegel’s Phenomenology of the Spirit, in the section on ‘The Ethical World’, was written when Hegel — a Swabian, not a Prussian — admired Napoleon and was published in 1807, a year after Prussia’s devastating defeat at Jena.Não em subserviência ao império prussiano, como alega Popper.

QUILT QUOTATIONS (COLAGEM OU COLCHA DE ASPAS):Sentences are picked from various contexts, often even out of different books, enclosed by a single set of quotation marks, and separated only by three dots, which are generally taken to indicate no more than the omission of a few words. Plainly, this device can be used to impute to an author views he never held.

Here, for example, is a quilt quotation about war and arson: ‘Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword… . I came to cast fire upon the earth… . Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you… . Let him who has no sword sell his mantle and buy one.’ This is scarcely the best way to establish Jesus’ views of war and arson. In the works of some philosophers, too — notably, Nietzsche — only the context can show whether a word is meant literally.”

Popper writes like a district attorney who wants to persuade his audience that Hegel was against God, freedom, and equality — and uses quilt quotations to convince us.

No conception is bandied about more unscrupulously in the history of ideas than ‘Influence’. Popper’s notion of it is so utterly unscientific that one should never guess that he has done important work on logic and on scientific method. At best, it is reducible to post hoc, ergo propter hoc. Thus he speaks of ‘the Hegelian Bergson (p. 256 and n. 66) and assumes, without giving any evidence whatever, that Bergson, Smuts, Alexander, and Whitehead were all interested in Hegel, simply because they were ‘evolutionists’ (p. 225 and n. 6).

His Hegel chapter is studded with quotations from recent German writers, almost all of which are taken from The War Against the West by Kolnai. In this remarkable book Friedrich Gundolf, Werner Jaeger (Harvard), and Max Scheler are pictured as ‘representative of Nazism or at least its general trend and atmosphere’. Kolnai is also under the impression that the men who contributed most ‘to the rise of National Socialism as a creed’ were Nietzsche ‘and Stefan George, less great but, perhaps because of his homosexuality, more directly instrumental in creating the Third Reich’ (…) that the great racist H.S. Chamberlain ‘was a mellow Englishman tainted by noxious German influences’ ; and that Jaspers is a ‘follower’ of Heidegger. It would seem advisable to check the context of any quotations from Kolnai’s book before one uses them, but Kolnai generally gives no references.

Of the goods that man has cherished
Not one is as high as fame;
When the body has long perished
What survives is the great name.

For every Nazi who knew Hegel’s remarks about fame there must have been dozens who knew these lines. Does that prove Schiller a bad man? Or does it show that he was responsible for Nazism?”

he constantly makes common cause with Schopenhauer against the allegedly proto-fascist Hegel, whom he blames even for the Nazis’ racism — evidently unaware that Fries and Schopenhauer, unlike the mature Hegel, were anti-Semites.

Hegel’s earliest essays, which he himself did not publish, show that he started out with violent prejudices against the Jews. (…) When Hegel later became a man of influence, he insisted that the Jews should be granted equal rights because civic rights belong to man because he is a man and not on account of his ethnic origins or his religion.”

It does not follow that Fries influenced the Nazis. [Ele deu idéias proféticas como marcar os judeus com símbolos nas roupas; disse, não muito diferente de Wagner e tantos outros em seu século, que a Judeidade deveria ser exterminada, mas que não tinha nada contra judeus específicos, isto é, homens concretos conhecidos, amigos até…] He was soon forgotten, till, in the twentieth century, Leonard Nelson, a Jewish philosopher, founded a neo-Friesian school that had nothing to do with Fries’s racial prejudices.” As voltas que o mundo (e o espectro político) dá!

Popper, though he has written an important book on Die Logik der Forschung, The Logic of Research, does not find it necessary to check his hunches by research when he is concerned with influences in his Hegel chapter.”

Hegel was rarely cited in the Nazi literature, and, when he was referred to, it was usually by way of disapproval. The Nazis’ official ‘philosopher’, Alfred Rosenberg, mentioned, and denounced, Hegel twice in his best-selling Der Mythus des Zwanzigsten jahrhunderts. [O Mito dos Anos 1920] Originally published in 1930, this book bad reached an edition of 878,000 copies by 1940. In the same book, a whole chapter is devoted to Popper’s beloved Schopenhauer, whom Rosenberg admired greatly.”

Plato, unlike Hegel, was widely read in German schools, and special editions were prepared for Greek classes in the Gymnasium, gathering together allegedly fascist passages. In his introduction to one such selection from the Republic, published by Teubner in the series of Eclogae Graecolatinae, Dr. Holtorf helpfully listed some of his relevant articles on Plato, including one in the Völkischer Beobachter, which was Hitler’s own paper. Instead of compiling a list of the many similar contributions to the Plato literature, it may suffice to mention that Dr. Hans F.K. Günther, from whom the Nazis admittedly received their racial theories, also devoted a whole book to Plato — not to Hegel — as early as 1928. In 1935, a 2nd edition was published.”

Hegel certainly has grievous faults. Among these is his obscure style, but it is dry and unemotional in the extreme. A detailed account of his almost incredibly unemotional style as a lecturer has been given by one of his students, H.G. Hotho, and is quoted in Hermann Glockner’s Hegel (1, 440 ff.), and in Kuno Fischer’s Hegel, too. If ‘hysterical’ means, as Webster says, ‘wildly emotional’, Popper deserves this epithet much more than Hegel.”

the critical and rational methods of science’ could hardly establish Popper’s contention that the philosophy of Jaspers is a ‘gangster’ philosophy (p. 272 ).”

In the name of ‘the critical and rational methods of science’, one must also protest against such emotional ad hominem arguments as that Heidegger’s philosophy must be wrong because he became a Nazi later on (p. 271), or that Haeckel can hardly be taken seriously as a philosopher or scientist. He called himself a free thinker, but his thinking was not sufficiently independent to prevent him from demanding in 1914 <the following fruits of victory …>’ (n. 65).”

Popper’s occasional references to ‘the doctrine of the chosen people’, which he associates with totalitarianism, show little knowledge of the prophets though a great deal of emotion, and his references to Christianity are also based on sentiment rather than the logic of research. He is ‘for’ Christianity, but means by it something that is utterly at variance with the explicit teachings of Paul, the Catholic Church, Luther, and Calvin.” “Julius Streicher, in his violently anti-Semitic paper, Der Stürmer, constantly quoted the Gospel according to St. John.”

These simple sentences have seemed striking to some and have excited hostility — even from people who would not wish to deny some understanding of philosophy, not to speak of religion… . When I have spoken of actuality, one might have inquired, without being told to do so, in what sense I use this expression; after all, I have treated actuality in an elaborate Logic and there distinguished it precisely not only from the accidental, which, of course, has existence, too, but also, in great detail, from being there, existence, and other concepts.” Hegel, na Enciclopédia, sobre o mal-entendido de sua famosa citação “todo racional é real”, aludindo ao conceito de realidade efetiva, sem dúvida…

It would prevent some confusion if Hegel’s term wirklich were translated actual, seeing that he opposed it to potential rather than to unreal or nonexistent.”

Hegel would consider rational the conscience of an opponent of Hitler who recognized his own absolute right to make himself free and to realize his unalienable rights — but not the conscience of a fanatic impelled by personal motives or perhaps by an equally objectionable ideology.

It is no wonder that the Nazis found small comfort in a book that is based on the conviction that ‘the hatred of law, of right made determinate by law, is the shibboleth [estrangeirismo, anomalia, exceção] which reveals, and permits us to recognize infallibly, fanaticism, feeble-mindedness, and the hypocrisy of good intentions, however they may disguise themselves’ (§258 n.).”

Success is not the standard invoked in the Philosophy of Right when Hegel speaks of ‘bad states’.”

Hegel’s philosophy is open to many objections, but to confound it with totalitarianism means to misunderstand it. Ernst Cassirer puts the matter very clearly in The Myth of the State (1946), a book dealing with much the same material as Popper’s, but in a much more scholarly manner. His Hegel chapter ends: ‘Hegel could extol and glorify the state, he could even apotheosize it. There is, however, a clear and unmistakable difference between his idealization of the power of the state and that sort of idolization that is the characteristic of our modern totalitarian systems.’

Hegel, like Augustine, Lessing, and Kant before him and Comte, Marx, Spengler, and Toynbee after him, believed that history has a pattern and made bold to reveal it. All these attempts are controversial in detail and questionable in principle; but a sound critique of Hegel should also take into account his remarkable restraint: he did not attempt to play the prophet and was content to comprehend the past.”

His attitude depends on his religious faith that in the long run, somewhere, somehow freedom will and must triumph: that is Hegel’s ‘historicism’.”

Philosophy of Right (§258). Throughout, he tries to avoid the Scylla of that revolutionary lawlessness that he associates with Fries and the Wartburg festival and the Charybdis of conservative lawlessness that he finds in Von Haller’s Restauration der Staatswissenschaft.”

Hegel’s notion [de que em cada época reinava um povo] was surely suggested to him by the way in which the Romans succeeded the Greeks — and perhaps also the Greeks, the Persians; and the Persians, the Babylonians.” “Hegel’s conception is dated today: we know more than he did about the history of a great number of civilizations. We can no longer reduce world history to a straight line that leads from the Greeks via the Romans to ourselves; nor can we dispose of ancient Asia as ‘The Oriental Realm’ and understand it simply as the background of the Greeks. We are also aware of ambiguities in the conception of a Volk or nation and should not apply such terms to the carriers of Greek or Roman civilization.”

There is no single plan into which all data can be fitted, and Hegel was certainly something of a Procrustes.”

Public opinion contains everything false and everything true, and to find what is true in it is the gift of the great man. Whoever tells his age, and accomplishes, what his age wants and expresses, is the great man of his age.”

from Hegel’s contention that ‘there is an ethical element in war, which should not be considered an absolute evil’ (§324), Popper deduces that Hegel considered war ‘good in itself.’

For in Europe every people is now limited by another and may not, on its part, begin a war against another European people. If one now wants to go beyond Europe, it can only be to America.” Curso de Estética. Interessante. Hegel diz que acabou o material para poesia épica ou epopéias no solo europeu, e que novas histórias só poderiam ser contadas, com base em fatos reais, no Novo Continente, que progrediria…

NOW THE LAND OF THE PAST: “In his lectures on the philosophy of history, Hegel also hailed the United States as ‘the land of the future’. Plainly, he did not believe that world history would culminate in Prussia. His lectures on history do not lead up to a prediction but to the pronouncement: ‘To this point consciousness has come.’

When philosophy paints its grey on grey, a form of life has grown old, and with grey on grey it cannot be rejuvenated, but only comprehended. The owl of Minerva begins its flight only at dusk.”

Quando a filosofia retrata o grisalho, uma forma de vida se tornou velha demais, e o que é reconhecido como grisalho não pode rejuvenescer, só ser compreendido. A coruja de Atena só alça seu vôo na escuridão.”

A análise filosófica sempre chega tarde. O que chegou a conceito já é História, não mais efetividade (ato, presente). Mas é para isso que serve o olhar filosófico: para momentos de crise, não para o auge da civilização. Ressaca da cultura. A coruja é por si só um animal de fábula, velho, astuto, sábio; a coruja de Minerva é o mascote da própria Deusa da Sabedoria e da Justiça, e portanto está a seu serviço, mas também sob sua proteção. Poder-se-ia dizer, com qualquer outro pássaro, que levanta vôo e canta alegre na aurora, mas esse pássaro filósofo não é. Sombra e noite. Retorno à caverna. Liberdade póstuma.

P.S.: Quase toda tradução para português que vejo deixou de me agradar de um tempo pra cá… Por isso resolvi eu mesmo traduzir o trecho.

Antídotos para Popper e que não sejam ao mesmo tempo apologias do Nacionalismo, preceituados por Kaufmann, sob a forma de 2 obras de um mesmo autor (na verdade 1 obra e 1 capítulo):

Hans Kohn, The Idea of Nationalism (1944) / “Nationalism and the Open Society” in: The Twentieth Century (1949). Com certeza a expressão “Open Society” estava de moda!

Popper’s use of ‘tribalism’ and ‘nationalism’ is emotional rather than precise, and he accuses Hegel of both. Even so he must admit that Hegel ‘sometimes attacked the nationalists’ (p. 251).”

Aparentemente, H. contrasta Estado e nação: para ele, nação é a barbárie ‘burocratizada’. Uma não-unidade territorial, a despeito de unitária formalmente. Parece falar de uma terra abandonada por Deus, pelos sabiás e pelas palmeiras, sem aurora, crepuscular, mas também sem filosofia, como o Brasil…


The state was to be built from ‘below’, through the sheer enthusiasm of the masses, and the ‘natural’ unity of the Volk was to supersede the stratified order of state and society.”

The Nazis did find some support for their racism in Schopenhauer, with whom Popper constantly makes common cause against Hegel, and in Richard Wagner, who Popper eccentrically insinuates was something of a Hegelian (p. 228) though he was, of course, a devoted disciple of Schopenhauer.”

Popper offers us the epigram: ‘Not <Hegel + Plato>, but <Hegel + Haeckel> is the formula of modern racialism’ (p. 256). Why Haeckel rather than Bernhard Förster, Julius Langbehn, Hofprediger Stöcker, Chamberlain, Gobineau, or Wagner? Why not Plato, about whose reflections on breeding the Nazis’ leading race authority, Dr. Günther, wrote a whole book — and Günther’s tracts on race sold hundreds of thousands of copies in Germany and went through several editions even before 1933? And why Hegel?”

The transubstantiation of Hegelianism into racialism or of Spirit into Blood does not greatly alter the main tendency of Hegelianism’ (p. 256). Perhaps the transubstantiation of God into the Führer does not greatly alter Christianity?”

One can sympathize with G.R.G. Mure when he says that the increasingly violent and ill-informed attacks on Hegel have reached a point in Popper’s Hegel chapter where they become ‘almost meaninglessly silly’. But familiarity with Hegel has waned to the point where reviewers of the original edition of The Open Society and Its Enemies, while expressing reservations about the treatment of Plato and Aristotle, have not generally seen fit to protest against the treatment of Hegel; and on the jacket of the English edition Bertrand Russell [certamente o ‘filósofo’ mais burro de todos os tempos] actually hails the attack on Hegel as ‘deadly’ — for Hegel. Since the publication of the American edition in 1950, John Wild and R.B. Levinson have each published a book to defend Plato against the attacks of Popper and other like-minded critics, and Levinson’s In Defense of Plato goes a long way toward showing up Popper’s methods. But Popper’s 10 chapters on Plato, although unsound, contain many excellent observations, and his book is so full of interesting discussions that no exposé will relegate it to the limbo of forgotten books. The Open Society will be around for a good long while, and that is one reason why its treatment of Hegel deserves a chapter.”

Ironicamente, a citação que fecha o texto é de Popper, comentando sobre Toynbee. Mas, numa daquelas divertidas inversões dialéticas, serve como uma luva para quem deve emitir um juízo sobre A Sociedade Aberta e Seus Inimigos (embora ache que ainda é dar bola demais para Popper):

I consider this a most remarkable and interesting book… . He has much to say that is most stimulating and challenging… . I also agree with many of the political tendencies expressed in his work, and most emphatically with his attack upon modern nationalism and the tribalist and ‘archaist’, i.e., culturally reactionary tendencies, which are connected with it. The reason why, in spite of this, I single out … (this) work in order to charge it with irrationality, is that only when we see the effects of this poison in a work of such merit do we fully appreciate its danger (pp. 435 f.).”


The Hegelian method, therefore, is not at all ‘dialectical’: it is purely contemplative and descriptive, or better, phenomenological in Husserl’s sense of the term.”

Conceito & conceito: “Like the Spirit or the Idea, each Concept is hence double and single at the same time; it is both ‘subjective’ and ‘objective’, both real thought of a real entity and a real entity really thought. The real aspect of the Concept is called ‘object’ (Gegenstand), ‘given-Being’ (Sein), ‘entity that exists as a given-Being’ (Seiendes), ‘In-itself’ (Ansich), and so on. (…) [e agora as coisas menos importantes em H.] and occasionally ‘concept’ (Begriff) in the common sense (when Hegel says: nur Begriff).” “in the Truth — Knowledge is purely passive adequation to essential-Reality.”

When all is said and done, the ‘method’ of the Hegelian Scientist consists in having no method or way of thinking peculiar to his Science. The naive man, the vulgar scientist, even the pre-Hegelian philosopher — each in his way opposes himself to the Real and deforms it by opposing, his own means of action and methods of thought to it. The Wise Man, on the contrary, is fully and definitively reconciled with everything that is: he entrusts himself without reserve to Being and opens himself entirely to the Real without resisting it. His role is that of a perfectly flat and indefinitely extended mirror: he does not reflect on the Real; it is the Real that reflects itself on him, is reflected in his consciousness, and is revealed in its own dialectical structure by the discourse of the Wise who describes it without deforming it.

If you please, the Hegelian ‘method’ is purely ‘empirical’ or ‘positivist’: Hegel looks at the Real and describes what he sees, everything that he sees, and nothing but what he sees. In other words, he has the ‘experience’ (Erfahrung) of dialectical Being and the Real, and thus he makes their ‘movement’ pass into his discourse which describes them.”

science is born from the desire to transform the World in relation to Man; its final end is technical application. That is why scientific knowledge is never absolutely passive, nor purely contemplative and descriptive. Scientific experience perturbs the Object because of the active intervention of the Subject, who applies to the Object a method of investigation that is his own and to which nothing in the Object itself corresponds.”

EXPLICAÇÃO DADA AO CHOQUE: “And we can even say that, in a certain way, Hegel was the first to abandon Dialectic as a philosophic method. He was, at least, the first to do so voluntarily and with full knowledge of what he was doing.”

In Aristotle the dialectical method is less apparent than in Plato. But it continues to be applied. It becomes the aporetic method: the solution of the problem results from a discussion (and sometimes from a simple juxtaposition) of all possible opinions — that is, of all opinions that are coherent and do not contradict themselves. And the dialectical method was preserved in this ‘scholastic’ form until our time in both the sciences and philosophy.”

It was in the form of Cartesian meditation that the dialectical method was used by the authors of the great philosophical ‘systems’ of the 17th and 18th centuries: from Descartes to Kant-Fichte-Schelling.”

Thus, Hegel’s Science is ‘dialectical’ only to the extent that the Philosophy which prepared it throughout History has been (implicitly or explicitly) dialectical.”

History is what judges men, their actions and their opinions, and lastly their philosophical opinions as well.”

RIDÍCULA HAGIOGRAFIA: “He can find it all alone, while sitting tranquilly in the shade of those ‘trees’ which taught Socrates nothing, but which teach Hegel many things about themselves and about men.”

In short, Hegel does not need a dialectical method because the truth which he incarnates is the final result of the real or active dialectic of universal History, which his thought is content to reproduce through his discourse.”

Tem de ser um ensaio irônico…


The 10 years after Hegel’s death were the apogee of Hegelianism. His students, who had lived under the master’s spell during his lifetime, went out and popularised his teachings and translated them into the language of politics – or much more correctly, translated politics into the language of Hegelianism.

In 1841, the establishment deliberatively moved to ‘expunge the dragon’s seed of Hegelian pantheism’ from the minds of Prussian youth. A newly-appointed Minister for Culture mobilised Friedrich Schelling to come to Berlin and do the job. Friedrich Schelling was the second, and in 1841, the only living representative of Classical German Philosophy. The former Professor of Philosopher at Jena after Fichte’s dismissal for heresy, who as a youth had been a close friend of Hegel, had both encouraged Hegel and enlisted his support in his struggle against Fichte.”

Two old friends of younger days, room mates at the Tübingen theological seminary, are after 40 years meeting each other again face to face as opponents; one of them 10 years dead but more alive than ever in his pupils; the other, as the latter say, intellectually dead for 3 decades, but now suddenly claiming for himself the full power and authority of life. Anybody who is sufficiently ‘impartial’ to profess himself equally alien to both, that is, to be no Hegelian, for surely nobody can as yet declare himself on the side of Schelling after the few words he has said – anybody then, who possesses this vaunted advantage of ‘impartiality’ will see in the declaration of Hegel’s death pronounced by Schelling’s appearance in Berlin, the vengeance of the gods for the declaration of Schelling’s death which Hegel himself pronounced in his time” Engels, Schelling on Hegel, December 1841

Old doctors and ecclesiastics, the jubilee of whose matriculation can soon be celebrated feel the long-forgotten student haunting their minds again and are back in college. Judaism and Islam want to see what Christian revelation is all about: German, French, English, Hungarian, Polish, Russian, modern Greek and Turkish, one can hear them all spoken together – then the signal for silence sounds and Schelling mounts the rostrum. [púlpito]”

The audience also included the Russian anarchist, Mikhail Bakunin, and Søren Kierkegaard, who was to be the founder of Existentialism. Schelling’s proposition was that Hegel had confused ‘essence’ and ‘existence’, and what was required was a return to a philosophy of existence. Kierkegaard ridiculed Hegel for ‘reconstructing’ history in retrospect, ‘but history has to be lived forwards, not backwards’. For his part, Engels insisted that the youth and all enemies of the autocracy must rally to the defence of Hegel. He characterised Schelling’s proposition as a ‘philosophy of revelation’, or ‘positivism’ (as opposed to the ‘negative’ standpoint of Reason).

Schelling did not, as it turned out, win much support for his position, but the young Danish theologian Kierkegaard, declaring the bankruptcy of Reason, can be seen as the founder of Existentialism, which is continued through Friedrich Nietzsche, Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger and through Heidegger is a significant component of today’s philosophical cloudscape.” Um tanto simplificador, mas ok.

Arthur Schopenhauer, who had taught at the University of Berlin for 24 semesters, and had spoken regularly to an empty lecture hall, next door and at the same hour when Hegel lectured to a large and ever-growing audience, renounced, in May 1825, his career to live as a recluse. In 1844, an obscure Berlin bookseller accepted the manuscript of Schopenhauer’s oft-rejected The World as Will and Idea without remuneration; and this book (…) gained Schopenhauer worldwide recognition”

The emergence of labour as a conscious social force puts a final end to the classical period of bourgeois epistemology. The explosion of 1841 anticipates this explosion and the irreversible sea-change which follows. ‘Nature’ has spoken. For bourgeois philosophy prior to this time, the labouring masses (or what the post-moderns call the ‘sub-altern’ – the ‘congregation’ who get spoken of and to, but have themselves no right to speak) were like Nature, something ‘beyond sensation’, the unconscious.”

The figures who launch the initial attack on Hegel, Feuerbach and Schelling, did not gather around them a substantial and lasting following. John Stuart Mill and Auguste Comte were already well-known by the end of the 1830s, and as it turns out, the principal figures of the first period immediately following 1841 are Mill, Comte and later Herbert Spencer (Positivists), Søren Kierkegaard and Arthur Schopenhauer (the precursors to Existentialism), the Anarchist Mikhail Bakunin and Communists Karl Marx and Frederick Engels.” “Despite the mutual hostility which is a professional prerequisite and despite the political diversity within each camp, we have on the one hand, the ‘sociologists’ Comte, Mill and Spencer, and on the other hand, the ‘psychologists’ Kierkegaard and Schopenhauer.”

The problem is that Comte’s solution (which was probably the dominant one) led to a further shattering of the unity of human labour, with 1,001 ‘specialists’ beavering away in their own little area. Thus, the great synthesis which Hegel achieved, albeit idealistically, was lost on the very people who most needed it.”

[Kierkegaard’s] whole thing about moods is a knife aimed at the whole basis of Logic, [and] ‘Rationalism’” “Kierkegaard goes on to say that Ethics is also not the correct science to deal with sin as ‘Ethics is after all an ideal science, … Ethics bring ideality into reality; on the other hand its movement is not designed to raise reality up into ideality.’ So it is only ‘dogmatics’, i.e. Christian dogma, which is capable of dealing with sin: ‘While psychology is fathoming the real possibility of sin, dogmatics explains original sin, which is the ideal possibility of sin’.”

Schopenhauer’s philosophy is (…) given the name of Voluntarism, seeking to resolve the scepticism of Kant by identifying the thing-in-itself with Will (rather than Ego as with Fichte or Nature as in the earlier Schelling).” “However, within of the secular religious mentality of classical epistemology, this subjective idealism is invariably reactionary in its political implications because it belittles the creative function of labour and promotes the unrestricted action of the rulers.”

Both these tendencies have inspired and attracted the political right, and there is certainly nothing progressive or optimistic about them. Both were religious but non-conformist, Kierkegaard a devout Lutheran at war with the established Church, Schopenhauer a respectable German bourgeois, with a somewhat ‘New Age’ interest in Hinduism.”

The name of Irrationalism which we can attach to Existentialism and Voluntarism and to a certain extent also Pragmatism, should not be taken as a term of abuse.”

The period following the expurgation of Hegelianism in Germany has John Stuart Mill the leading figure of philosophy in Britain and Auguste Comte in France. Both were great synthesisers and reflected the scientific optimism of the bourgeoisie of their time, taking their inspiration from Kant and Hume, seemingly unmoved by either Hegelianism or its condemnation in Germany. Each, however, respond to the changed social conditions of Europe by the promotion of Ethics.” “Jeremy Bentham, renowned for his theories of prison reform, should properly be given credit as originator of Utilitarianism, but it was Mills that systematically elaborated the theory and did so in conjunction with political economy and his theoretical work on the foundations of the British political system.”

Comte was no democrat however. His notion of social organisation imitated the hierarchy and discipline of the Catholic church. From various Enlightenment philosophers he adopted the notion of historical progress, and from Saint-Simon he drew the need for a basic and unifying ‘sociology’ to explain existing social organisations and guide social planning for a better future.” “Both men [Comte & Mill] assisted in promoting women’s suffrage in the wake of the tragic death of the love of their life, and both were advocates of reform of various kinds within their own country.” “In these two ‘progressive’ bourgeois gentlemen, we see in classic form the national characteristics of British and French philosophy: Mill, an ethic based on the laws of the political economy of laissez faire capitalism, Comte, an ethic of the benign dictatorship of Reason based on laws of socio-historical formation of knowledge and belief.”

Human society was long, long ago shattered by the social division of labour, and the transcendence of this rupture is a long drawn out historical struggle. The mystical character of the process follows from the limitations imposed on professional thinkers under conditions where the real contact with Nature, real production and the real satisfaction of natural human needs is unspoken and unconscious because the producing class itself is silent.”

The period of transformation of bourgeois ideology we are looking at is the period, in Britain, from the publication of the People’s Charter in 1838 which continued up to the final Chartist demonstrations in 1848, the same year which saw the popular uprising in Paris in February, bringing down the July Monarchy, the rioting in Vienna which led to the fall of Metternich and the emancipation of the peasantry, the nationalist uprisings in Hungary, the movement for representative government in Germany and the publication of the Communist Manifesto, and leads up to the founding of the First International and The American Civil War in 1863 and the Paris Commune in 1871. The uprisings and revolutions of 1848 are all defeated but all in one way or another see many of their objectives achieved during the period of relative stability and prosperity which followed.”

The Origin of Species is not to be published until 1859, while the science of psychology is still embroiled in mysticism. Helmholtz formulates the law of conservation of energy in 1847 and his work on nerve signals and body heat during the 1850s cut the ground away from vitalism. The sciences of anthropology and sociology begin from this period.”

In a sense, one must give Comte his due: in declaring the end of the period of metaphysical speculation and the beginning of the period of natural scientific investigation with sociology at the centre, he stated with fair accuracy exactly what was taking place.”

British political economy and French social theory have the elements of the puzzle, but they cannot put it all together. The German bourgeoisie has suffered humiliating defeat at the hands of the Junkers, and German Idealism has been debunked.”

Revolutionary socialist ideology also developed in a struggle. Both theoretical anarchism and modern socialism sprung from the dissolution of the Young Hegelians and drew upon the whole of bourgeois culture. The struggle between Anarchism (Bakunin, Proudhon, and others) and Communism (Marx and Engels) was the principal axis of development of the workers’ movement throughout the next two generations including the First International, the Paris Commune and the Russian Revolution.”

WHAT IS LIVING AND WHAT IS DEAD ON HEGEL TODAY? – Howard Kainz, (in: Hegel, The Philosophical System, 1996)

Croce also indulged in a psychoanalytic speculation that Hegel’s 19th-century adversaries – Schopenhauer, Janet, and others – hated him because they saw him as the symbol of philosophy itself, ‘which is without heart and without compassion for the feeble-minded and for the lazy: Philosophy, which is not to be placated with the specious offerings of sentiment and of fancy, nor with the light foods of half-science’.”

A phenomenon that would lead us to believe such a renaissance is in progress is the constant increase of books on Hegel in the last four decades. What are the reasons for this continually growing interest in Hegel? One obvious reason is pragmatic: the necessity for understanding Hegel in order to assess Kierkegaard’s reaction against him, Marx’s and Sartre’s use of Hegelian concepts in developing their own positions, Heidegger’s interpretation of Hegel, and Derrida’s attack on Hegelian ontotheology. A second reason is that in some quarters, interest in Hegel is concomitant with a reaction against analytic philosophy.” “[On the other hand,] Richard Bernstein broaches this third possibility, arguing that analytical philosophers are finding more and more that single and discrete analyses ‘spill over to other issues’ (as happens in Hegel’s analyses), that progress on epistemological issues requires confrontation with metaphysical issues (a requirement Hegel insisted on), that one can’t deal effectively with reference and denotation without getting into ontology (another Hegelian insight), and so forth. A fourth reason, also noted by Bernstein, has to do with developments in philosophy of science that seem to reflect Hegelian themes – e.g., theories about the evolution of scientific paradigms and recognition of the influence of social contexts on scientific theories (Bernstein, 39). A fifth reason has to do with Hegel’s political theory: in 1989, renewed interest in this aspect of his work was generated when Francis Fukuyama published an article in The National Interest, portraying Hegel as a prophet of the triumph of liberalism over communism.”

A few decades ago, [Mortimer] Adler looked to scholastic realism as an anchor of sanity in a philosophical world gone adrift in sectarian rivalry and undisciplined individualism.” “For those still seeking a perennial philosophy but disenchanted with the scholastic model, Hegel may seem an improvement, if not the ultimate answer. For Hegel saw all philosophical schools and systems as the unfolding of one central problematic – the relationship of being to thought – and he also managed to synthesise the ‘transcendental turn’ (Kant’s ‘Copernican revolution’) into his overall schema (something scholastic realism was constitutionally unable to accomplish). The synthesising power of the Hegelian system is of course challenged to the utmost in an intellectual world grown accustomed to evolution, relativity, the demise of monarchical political systems, the decline of the west, and multi-valued logics.”

HISTORICISMO-HISTORIOGRAFIA: “This renewed interest in history may quite conceivably have been brought about by the very pluralism and factionalism of contemporary philosophy, much as a society in times of confusion or anarchy may grope for stability by studying its own history and heritage. Those who seek in the history of philosophy some illumination about contemporary philosophical goings-on will find a kindred spirit in G.W.F. Hegel; for Hegel, perhaps more than any other modern philosopher, emphasised the history of philosophy, and in a very real sense even identified philosophy with its history.”

After all, philosophy, following the example of science, has become extremely specialised and compartmentalised, and in these days of a never-ending ‘knowledge explosion’, who would seriously lay claim to knowing ‘all things’ – the whole universe or even its infinite ‘areas of discourse’? But for one disgruntled underground species of philosophers, those who can’t quite give up that grandiose aspiration, the study of Hegel allows them to do something of this sort, with a certain degree of respectability and without having to put on airs of being geniuses.” “I should re-emphasise that Hegel himself did not claim to ‘know all things’; he claimed only to have uncovered the ‘absolute standpoint’ making possible a balanced, no longer one-sided perspective, on perennial philosophical issues.”

The most serious and most important inducement to study Hegel, in my opinion, is an interest in, and a need for, metaphilosophy.” “For those who understand ‘metaphilosophy’ in the fourth sense [I exposed] – as a study of philosophical discourse – it becomes the study of philosophical discourse about ‘philosophical discourse’.”

One salutary result of the study of Hegel has been a holistic view. One cannot read Hegel seriously and sympathetically without beginning to view the specialisation and prima facie autonomy of various branches of philosophy as unnecessary (ontologically or otherwise) and even counterproductive.”

Hegel had no patience with the idea that the formula ‘one man, one vote would guarantee political self-determination’.” “At a time when Hitler’s election on the basis of the ‘one man, one vote’ is still a fairly recent memory – and when ‘control’ over the federal government by average American working people is often reduced to perilous choices, every few years, between congressional or presidential candidates neither of whom is thought satisfactory – it would be appropriate for us to ask whether there is any more natural way to ensure constant participation by and representation of citizens in a free state. Especially with today’s revolutionary advances in communication technologies, the possibilities of full democratic participation have to be rethought.”

The existence of paradoxes puts to the test our linguistic and logical conventions regarding univocity and non-contradiction, but we should not dismiss them simply on this ground. Dismissing paradox for such a is reason would be analogous to, say, Einstein‘s dismissing the change of mass of subatomic particles at high speeds because it flouted Newtonian physics. It was by going beyond this apparent contradiction that Einstein arrived at new paradoxical insights; analogously, it may just so happen that some philosophical truths are apparent contradictions on the level of ordinary logic, but paradoxical truths nevertheless. When we think of the consensus among physicists, biologists, and chemists on many foundational issues and, by contrast, the lack of consensus – and the many contradictions – among philosophers on every issue, it may not seem unlikely that paradox, which incorporates oppositions and contradictions but also surpasses them, may be the most appropriate mode of expression in philosophy.”

Hegel’s theology is speculative and patristic, rather than biblical or ‘systematic’ in the current theological sense; but it offers intensive examination of many important theological issues. Karl Barth suggests in one place that Hegel is the Thomas Aquinas of Protestantism; and the Catholic theologian Hans Küng devotes a book to a constructive elaboration of Hegel’s Christology. But the conflict between leftist and rightist interpretations of Hegel, begun after his death, is still going strong.”

H.S. Harris suggests that Hegel’s description of his Philosophy of History as a ‘theodicy’ was a ploy to distract attention from the revolutionary social theory of the Phenomenology.”

Let me now balance this account of the positive aspects of Hegelianism with an appraisal of some of Hegel’s more salient deficiencies and errors.”

Marx tried to use Hegel’s dialectical methodology without succumbing to Hegel’s ontology; Kierkegaard in his ‘aesthetic’ works reinterprets or reapplies many ideas from Hegel’s phenomenology. Others exonerate Hegel’s system but consider his dialectic the drawback. I side with the former group. Hegel’s system is obviously patterned after Fichte’s and Schelling’s attempts to build systems and is thus ‘dated’. Although Hegel’s system provides a wealth of insights, it would not be worthwhile to follow in his footsteps by philosophising in sets of intertwining and nested triads.”

For one thing, in line with the Hellenist sentiment of his era, he idolised the Greeks, but he saw fit to characterise the Romans – of the republic and the empire – as essentially a band of robbers who got together and then required strong, practical laws and eventually tyranny to keep them from turning on each other.”

In the Philosophy of History, Hegel not only writes off China as being outside history but refuses to give any serious attention to Russia or the other Slavic countries because they contributed nothing important to (European) history.”

Hegel, like Kant, seemed to think of Negroes as a definitely inferior race. He theorised that although they were stronger and more educable than American Indians, Negroes represented the inharmonious state of ‘natural man’, before humans’ attainment of consciousness of God and their own individuality”

Hegel’s ideas of women similarly reflect ‘scientific’ attitudes that prevailed at the time but would now be considered sexist. For example, in his treatment of the family in the Philosophy of Right, he generalises that women are ruled by feeling, can be educated only by something like osmosis, and should never be put in charge of a state (PR, §166, Zusatz).

Hegel’s praise of war and overall militarism (PR, §324), even though it was tempered by his opposition to nationalism (Hösle 582n), strongly influenced 19th-and-20th-century war ideologies, up to and including Nazism (Hösle 581).”

I am sure that Hegel himself, who insisted strongly on the historical and cultural limitations of any philosophy, would not be a Hegelian now – if by ‘Hegelian’ is meant someone who champions monarchy, systems built out of triads, outdated scientific ideas, and so forth.”