Re: (OPE-L) RE: logical order and historical order

From: jairus (jairus@VSNL.COM)
Date: Fri Feb 20 2004 - 08:41:40 EST

Re: (OPE-L) logical order and historical order
The most relevant passages from Hegel's introduction are on pp. 29-31 of the English translation of the Lectures. Here Hegel distinguishes two 'kinds of progression' . I quote, 'The one kind of progression which represents the deduction of the the business of Philosophy', clarifying that by 'Philosophy' here he means the Science of Logic in particular. 'But the other method, which represents the part played by the history of Philosophy, shows the different stages and moments in development in time, in manner of occurrence, in particular places, in particular people or political short, it shows us the empirical form'.  Having drawn a distinction which clearly corresponds to that between the 'logical' and the 'historical', he then asserts that (as far as Philosophy goes) there is an isomorphism between the two kinds of 'sequence'. Thus, 'I maintain that the sequence in the systems of Philosophy in History is similar to the sequence in the logical deduction of the Notion-determinations in the Idea'. '[I]f the fundamental conceptions of the systems appearing in the history of Philosophy be entirely divested of [everything regarding] their outward form, their relation to the particular and the like, the various stages in the determination of the Idea are found (i.e. replicated, JB) in their logical Notion'. (This explains my ref. to constructing 'essential histories'.) 'Conversely, in the logical progression taken for itself, there is, so far as its principal elements are concerned, the progression of historical manifestations', to which Hegel immediately adds, 'but it is necessary to have these pure Notions in order to know what the historical form contains'. He sums up by asserting, 'It may be thought that Philosophy must have another order as to the stages in the Idea than that in which these Notions have gone forth in time; but in the main the order is the same'.  E.g. a purified history of philosopy would start with Parmenides and his conception of Being, just as the Science of Logic begins with (pure) Being. Histories of Greek philosophy which are less than pure, so to speak, will come to Parmenides somewhat later, however, e.g. Guthrie, who first deals with the earliest Presocratics and deals with Parmenides and Zeno only in vol.2 .

I don't wish to suggest that there is a similar isomorphism between the history of capital and its logical deduction in Marx; far from it. That is precisely where the problem arises, it seems to me, which is why it may help to start with the way Hegel understands the relationship between the two 'sequences' or 'kinds of progression' in his own field. Jairus 

  ----- Original Message -----   From: Gerald A. Levy   To: OPE-L@SUS.CSUCHICO.EDU   Sent: Wednesday, February 18, 2004 8:37 PM
  Subject: (OPE-L) RE: logical order and historical order

  Hello again Jairus:
     >>> A possible way forward is to see how Hegel defines the relationship between the history of philosophy and the 'system' of philosophy in the introduction to his Lectures on the History of Philosophy. He provides a solution of sorts but one which involves writing 'essential histories'... <<<

  What is the exact reference?  I looked again through the   "Introduction" (116 pages in the Haldane and Simson translation),    along with my marginal notes, and couldn't find the section   you are alluding to.
     In solidarity, Jerry

     *PS on Hegel, Marx and History*:
     For Hegel, the concept of history, in particular 'Universal History':
          "is founded on the essential and actual aim, which actually is         and will be realized in it -- the plan of Providence; that, in short,
        there is Reason in history, must be decided on strictly philosophic
       ground, and thus shown to be essentially and in fact necessary"
       (_Hegel's Philosophy of Mind_, Wallace translation,  Oxford: 1971:        p. 277).        Clearly, Marx's conception of historical reason and necessity had
  no place for Spirit and "the plan of Providence."   An appeal to necessity    from a materialist perspective  was reconstituted by Marx without an
  appeal to Providence.  Yet, aren't there problematic  *teleological*
  presuppositions in a vision which suggests that when the relations
  of production block the further development of the forces of
  production a revolution ensues and a historically more advanced mode
  of production is ushered in?    In both the  "Introduction" to the   _Contribution_ and in other writings including  _Capital_ there is an   assertion of historical *inevitability*.  In what sense are the trajectories
  and outcomes of social processes inevitable?  In positing inevitability   Marx may have been influenced by Darwin,  but one can not presume that   if there are necessary and inevitable outcomes in the theory of natural   selection and evolution (and, in any event, even Darwinian theory   allows for historically contingent events, like climatic change,  to alter   the evolutionary process) then social history also has necessary and   inevitable outcomes.

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