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Re: [xmca] Classical German Philosophy


A quick clarification on what I just said.

Although I said that Hegel never asked his readers to attend to stream of consciousness to understand Being, Identity, etc., this is *not* true of his present-day interpretors.

Stephen Houlgate for example, a very prominent Hegel scholar teaches Being and Identity etc. in *exactly* this way, by attention to stream of consciousness, and Houlgate believes that this was Hegel's method.

It is one of the reasons that I feel strongly about this issue. Many present-day readers of Hegel come to him via or at least after Heidegger, and consequently, in my view, completely misunderstand him. Which is after all something very easy to do!


Andy Blunden wrote:
Martin, I ended up referring to two "sets of concepts." After all, not only is there a distinction to be made between Heidegger and Husserl, but after all a very great one between Marx and Hegel! which I also elided. It just seems to me that there is a very big gulf between the two sets of concepts along this axis. Where would you draw the main of difference, Martin?

I am only just now struggling with Heidegger. His famous "Principle of Identity" Lecture begins:

"The usual formulation of the principle of identity reads: A=A. The principle of identity is considered [by Heidegger?] the highest principle of thought. We shall try to think about this principle for a while. For we should like to find through this principle what identity is [by thinking about it].

"When thinking attempts to pursue something that has claimed its attention, it may happen that on the way it undergoes a change. It is advisable, therefore, in what follows to pay attention to the path of thought [aka stream of consciousness] rather than its content. To dwell properly upon the content would simply block the lecture."

I read the above opening words as clear evidence that the ultimate subject matter of Heidegger's work is what is inside his head, as it was for Husserl, albeit at a meta-level twice removed. His listeners are asked to look into their own minds. This is not something Aristotle, Hegel, Marx or Vygotsky's readers were ever asked.

He later ascribes this most abstract and empty of principles to "the whole of Western European thinking," from Parmenides on, which is the most outlandish performative contradiction. But if we are not to concern ourselves with the *content* of the idea but only the thought itself, then of course, the claim can stand.

This doesn't mean he's worthless; of course not. But I still think it's a very different project.


Martin Packer wrote:

I'm sorry, but you are misreading phenomenology. Husserl and Heidegger had completely different ontologies, as I have tried to explain here more than once. To claim that your reading is a 'fact' is going to mislead people.


On Mar 11, 2010, at 7:47 AM, Andy Blunden wrote:

: be aware of the fact that for everyone from
Aristotle to Hegel to Marx to Vygotsky, "Being" and
"ontological" meant one thing (or at least one related set
of concepts) and from Husserl to Heidegger to Sartre and so
on, it meant the exact opposite. Both sets of concepts are
fine, but they have very different referents.


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Andy Blunden http://www.erythrospress.com/
Classics in Activity Theory: Hegel, Leontyev, Meshcheryakov, Ilyenkov $20 ea

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