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Re: [xmca] Where is thinking

Let 1,000 Hegels bloom!


On 4/21/09 7:28 PM, "Andy Blunden" <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

> Let 1,000 flowers bloom. And may every flower cross
> pollinate with every other flower! No problem. But that does
> not mean that there is no problem with the Hegel that Marx
> and Lenin read being cast into the skip parked out the back
> of the library, or with the meaning of terms being jumbled
> up into meaninglessness. ("Being determines consciousness"
> said Marx, but if Being is personal identity formation, does
> Being still determine consciousness? For example)
> It is my very mission to facilitate interaction between
> divergent currents of thinking, most specifically
> Hegelianism, Marxism and CHAT, and I am more than happy to
> appropriate French philosophy along with the way.
> But this wave of master-servant (NB "servant" not "slave"
> which was an insertion of Kojeve's) mythology is actually
> destroying, burying and eradicating Hegel's legacy. Kojeve
> and Sartre were brilliant writers whose contribution I
> value. I even see Sartre as a precurser of my own work. But
> why dump Hegel? Isn't it worth considering that one passage
> in his early work which in its whole structure and tenor
> though not content, is very untypical of Hegel, if taken out
> of context, could lead to misunderstanding? even if that
> misunderstanding is itself an interesting insight?
> Andy
> Martin Packer wrote:
>> Andy,
>> I don't see the mixing of Hegelian and existentialist concepts as
>> problematic. Existentialism started with Kierkegaard, right? He was writing
>> a kind of anti-Hegelianism, in which rather than there being a logic that
>> guarantees the movement of spirit, there are moments in which a leap is
>> necessary. He wrote of a "leap of faith" but (just as with Hegel) a secular
>> reading is possible. These are the moments when humans must choose, without
>> guarantees, without certainty, without transparent rationality.
>> So existentialism has always had ties to Hegel. The existential-Marxists, it
>> seems to me, were rediscovering in Marx what Michael just mentioned, a place
>> for agency on the level of the individual. That has been a valuable
>> counterpoint to those readings that find in Marx, like Hegel, only an
>> anonymous movement to the historical process in which no genuine choices are
>> available.
>> Martin
>> On 4/21/09 10:28 AM, "Andy Blunden" <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:
>>> I'm actually quite fond of Sartre, Martin, and I appreciate
>>> his efforts in "Critique of Dialectical Reason" to make
>>> something like an activity reading of Hegel. It is the
>>> eclectic mixing up of Existentialist concepts with Marxist
>>> or Hegelian concepts that I object to. What does "Being"
>>> mean? It depends doesn't it, whether you are reading Hegel,
>>> Engels or Heidegger. I can't cope with mixing up these
>>> sources indiscriminately.
>>> There may be differences between French and German Marxism,
>>> but I think we are here talking about post-WW2 Marxism, yes?
>>> and the particular experiences of Algeria, 1968, Berlin, the
>>> PCF, etc., and Kojeve. And there is no doubt that the legacy
>>> of the French Revolution still figures hugely in France.
>>> But I really think this has little to do with a reading by
>>> Marx or French Marxists of the master-servant narrative at
>>> any time earlier than 1933.
>>> For a start, the Phenomenology had not even been translated
>>> into French until 1939. So a knowledge of the master-servant
>>> narrative was kept to a pretty small group in France. A few
>>> professional philosophers like Koyre and Hyppolite.
>>> When I started up the Hegel-by-HyperText website in 1999, it
>>> intrigued me that I got mail from two quite distinct groups
>>> of people. One of these groups I just could not understand
>>> what they were talking about. After a while I realised that
>>> these were people who had read Kojeve or were reading Hegel
>>> in the wake of Kojeve. This is a completely different
>>> philosopher than the one I learnt as a Marxist, reading
>>> Marxists texts and then moving on from Marx, Lenin and
>>> Lukacs to study Hegel's Logic. This other group only knew
>>> these 2% of Hegel's first book. The other group usually knew
>>> only the Logic and Philosophy of Right, the books that Marx,
>>> Engels, Lenin, Lukacs & Co. commented on.
>>> Why not read my book Martin? Much easier to read than the
>>> Phenomenology!
>>> Andy
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