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[Xmca-l] Re: Hegel's notion of The Notion

Concepts are first of all things which exist; because they exist, the mind is capable of grasping them, in fact, they are exactly the way the mind grasps the world (etymologically concept = to grasp). The way they exist is in human activity and the artifacts we use in that activity. Since you have made a start on this Greg, I have to say that I think you need this and also the section to follow called "The Subjective Notion" to get a decent picture.


Andy Blunden
On 12/05/2017 1:40 AM, Greg Thompson wrote:
​Okay Andy, I've started into the Hegel text that you suggested (I don't think you truly appreciate how slow of a reader I am! BTW, the text Andy shared can be found here: https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/hegel/works/hl/hlnotion.htm), and I came across this notion of The Notion by Hegel in Section 1279:

"Now although it is true that the Notion is to be regarded, not merely as a subjective presupposition but as the /absolute foundation/, yet it can be so only in so far as it has /made/ itself the foundation. Abstract immediacy is no doubt a /first/; yet in so far as it is abstract it is, on the contrary mediated, and therefore if it is to be grasped in its truth its foundation must first be sought. Hence this foundation, though indeed an immediate, must have made itself immediate through the sublation of mediation."​

This seems core to the kind of realism that Hegel is building up (a realism of concepts) and, I think, remains a revolutionary conception today. The idea here seems to be that the Notion is not a "subjective presupposition" but is rather much more real than that. But, I guess I'm wondering HOW can this be?

There are multiple objections, but perhaps the biggest objection comes from 20th century social science's preoccupation with social construction. In this tradition, concepts are things held in the head, subjective and maybe also intersubjective, but always mediated (and some might say "derivative"). Hegel seems to be offering a much different take - one in which concepts are much more primary. Am I right here?

And, what is this business about the "sublation of mediation"? (and where does this last bit jibe with CHAT? Many people in CHAT speak of mediation but I don't recall anyone speaking of the "sublation of mediation").

Any help with this text would be appreciated.

(and this is closely related to "the stuff of words" but I still felt that this needed a new thread.).


Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
880 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602