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Unformatted text preview: The Project Gutenberg EBook of Hegel's Philosophy of Mind by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at Title: Hegel's Philosophy of Mind Author: Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel Release Date: March 5, 2012 [Ebook 39064] Language: English ***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK HEGEL'S PHILOSOPHY OF MIND*** Hegel's Philosophy of Mind By Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel Translated From The Encyclopaedia of the Philosophical Sciences With Five Introductory Essays By William Wallace, M.A., LL.D. Fellow of Merton College, and Whyte's Professor of Moral Philosophy in the University of Oxford Oxford Clarendon Press 1894 Contents Preface. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Five Introductory Essays In Psychology And Ethics. . . . Essay I. On The Scope Of A Philosophy Of Mind. . . Essay II. Aims And Methods Of Psychology. . . . . Essay III. On Some Psychological Aspects Of Ethics. Essay IV. Psycho-Genesis. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Essay V. Ethics And Politics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Section I. Mind Subjective. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sub-Section A. Anthropology. The Soul. . . . . . . . Sub-Section B. Phenomenology Of Mind. Consciousness. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sub-Section C. Psychology. Mind. . . . . . . . . . . Section II. Mind Objective. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Distribution. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sub-Section A. Law. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sub-Section B. The Morality Of Conscience. . . . . Sub-Section C. The Moral Life, Or Social Ethics. . . Section III. Absolute Mind. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sub-Section A. Art. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sub-Section B. Revealed Religion. . . . . . . . . . . Sub-Section C. Philosophy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Index. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Footnotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 4 5 40 76 122 149 175 181 182 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 212 223 263 265 266 271 276 320 322 327 332 348 363 [v] Preface. [vi] I here offer a translation of the third or last part of Hegel's encyclopaedic sketch of philosophy,—the Philosophy of Mind. The volume, like its subject, stands complete in itself. But it may also be regarded as a supplement or continuation of the work begun in my version of his Logic. I have not ventured upon the Philosophy of Nature which lies between these two. That is a province, to penetrate into which would require an equipment of learning I make no claim to,—a province, also, of which the present-day interest would be largely historical, or at least bound up with historical circumstances. The translation is made from the German text given in the Second Part of the Seventh Volume of Hegel's Collected Works, occasionally corrected by comparison with that found in the second and third editions (of 1827 and 1830) published by the author. I have reproduced only Hegel's own paragraphs, and entirely omitted the Zusätze of the editors. These addenda—which are in origin lecture-notes—to the paragraphs are, in the text of the Collected Works, given for the first section only. The psychological part which they accompany has been barely treated elsewhere by Hegel: but a good popular exposition of it will be found in Erdmann's Psychologische Briefe. The second section was dealt with at greater length by Hegel himself in his Philosophy of Law (1820). The topics of the third section are largely covered by his lectures on Art, Religion, and History of Philosophy. I do not conceal from myself that the text offers a hard nut to crack. Yet here and there, even through the medium of the translation, I think some light cannot fail to come to an earnest student. Occasionally, too, as, for instance, in §§ 406, 459, 549, Preface. 3 and still more in §§ 552, 573, at the close of which might stand the words Liberavi animam meam, the writer really “lets himself go,” and gives his mind freely on questions where speculation comes closely in touch with life. In the Five Introductory Essays I have tried sometimes to put together, and sometimes to provide with collateral elucidation, some points in the Mental Philosophy. I shall not attempt to justify the selection of subjects for special treatment further than to hope that they form a more or less connected group, and to refer for a study of some general questions of system and method to my Prolegomena to the Study of Hegel's Philosophy which appear almost simultaneously with this volume. OXFORD, December, 1893. [xi] Five Introductory Essays In Psychology And Ethics. [xiii] Essay I. On The Scope Of A Philosophy Of Mind. The art of finding titles, and of striking out headings which catch the eye or ear, and lead the mind by easy paths of association to the subject under exposition, was not one of Hegel's gifts. A stirring phrase, a vivid or picturesque turn of words, he often has. But his lists of contents, when they cease to be commonplace, are apt to run into the bizarre and the grotesque. Generally, indeed, his rubrics are the old and (as we may be tempted to call them) insignificant terms of the text-books. But, in Hegel's use of them, these conventional designations are charged with a highly individualised meaning. They may mean more—they may mean less—than they habitually pass for: but they unquestionably specify their meaning with a unique and almost personal flavour. And this can hardly fail to create and to disappoint undue expectations. (i.) Philosophy and its Parts. Even the main divisions of his system show this conservatism in terminology. The names of the three parts of the Encyclopaedia are, we may say, non-significant of their peculiar contents. And that for a good reason. What Hegel proposes to give is no novel or special doctrine, but the universal philosophy which has passed on from age to age, here narrowed and there widened, but still essentially the same. It is conscious of its continuity and proud of its identity with the teachings of Plato and Aristotle. The earliest attempts of the Greek philosophers to present philosophy in a complete and articulated order—attempts generally attributed to the Stoics, the schoolmen of antiquity—made it a tripartite whole. These three parts were Logic, Physics, and Ethics. In their entirety they were meant [xiv] 6 [xv] Hegel's Philosophy of Mind to form a cycle of unified knowledge, satisfying the needs of theory as well as practice. As time went on, however, the situation changed: and if the old names remained, their scope and value suffered many changes. New interests and curiosities, due to altered circumstances, brought other departments of reality under the focus of investigation besides those which had been primarily discussed under the old names. Inquiries became more specialised, and each tended to segregate itself from the rest as an independent field of science. The result was that in modern times the territory still marked by the ancient titles had shrunk to a mere phantom of its former bulk. Almost indeed things had come to such a pass that the time-honoured figures had sunk into the misery of rois fainéants; while the real business of knowledge was discharged by the younger and less conventional lines of research which the needs and fashions of the time had called up. Thus Logic, in the narrow formal sense, was turned into an “art” of argumentation and a system of technical rules for the analysis and synthesis of academical discussion. Physics or Natural Philosophy restricted itself to the elaboration of some metaphysical postulates or hypotheses regarding the general modes of physical operation. And Ethics came to be a very unpractical discussion of subtleties regarding moral faculty and moral standard. Meanwhile a theory of scientific method and of the laws governing the growth of intelligence and formation of ideas grew up, and left the older logic to perish of formality and inanition. The successive departments of physical science, each in turn asserting its independence, finally left Natural Philosophy no alternative between clinging to its outworn hypotheses and abstract generalities, or identifying itself (as Newton in his great book put it) with the Principia Mathematica of the physical sciences. Ethics, in its turn, saw itself, on one hand, replaced by psychological inquiries into the relations between the feelings and the will and the intelligence; while, on the other hand, a host of social, historical, economical, and other researches cut it off Essay I. On The Scope Of A Philosophy Of Mind. 7 from the real facts of human life, and left it no more than the endless debates on the logical and metaphysical issues involved in free-will and conscience, duty and merit. It has sometimes been said that Kant settled this controversy between the old departments of philosophy and the new branches of science. And the settlement, it is implied, consisted in assigning to the philosopher a sort of police and patrol duty in the commonwealth of science. He was to see that boundaries were duly respected, and that each science kept strictly to its own business. For this purpose each branch of philosophy was bound to convert itself into a department of criticism—an examination of first principles in the several provinces of reality or experience—with a view to get a distinct conception of what they were, and thus define exactly the lines on which the structures of more detailed science could be put up solidly and safely. This plan offered tempting lines to research, and sounded well. But on further reflection there emerge one or two difficulties, hard to get over. Paradoxical though it may seem, one cannot rightly estimate the capacity and range of foundations, before one has had some familiarity with the buildings erected upon them. Thus you are involved in a circle: a circle which is probably inevitable, but which for that reason it is well to recognise at once. Then—what is only another way of saying the same thing—it is impossible to draw an inflexible line between premises of principle and conclusions of detail. There is no spot at which criticism can stop, and, having done its business well, hand on the remaining task to dogmatic system. It was an instinctive feeling of this implication of system in what professed only to be criticism which led the aged Kant to ignore his own previous professions that he offered as yet no system, and when Fichte maintained himself to be erecting the fabric for which Kant had prepared the ground, to reply by the counter-declaration that the criticism was the system—that “the curtain was the picture.” The Hegelian philosophy is an attempt to combine criticism [xvi] 8 [xvii] Hegel's Philosophy of Mind with system, and thus realise what Kant had at least foretold. It is a system which is self-critical, and systematic only through the absoluteness of its criticism. In Hegel's own phrase, it is an immanent and an incessant dialectic, which from first to last allows finality to no dogmatic rest, but carries out Kant's description of an Age of Criticism, in which nothing, however majestic and sacred its authority, can plead for exception from the all-testing Elenchus. Then, on the other hand, Hegel refuses to restrict philosophy and its branches to anything short of the totality. He takes in its full sense that often-used phrase—the Unity of Knowledge. Logic becomes the all-embracing research of “first principles,”—the principles which regulate physics and ethics. The old divisions between logic and metaphysic, between induction and deduction, between theory of reasoning and theory of knowledge,—divisions which those who most employed them were never able to show the reason and purpose of—because indeed they had grown up at various times and by “natural selection” through a vast mass of incidents: these are superseded and merged in one continuous theory of real knowledge considered under its abstract or formal aspect,—of organised and known reality in its underlying thought-system. But these first principles were only an abstraction from complete reality—the reality which nature has when unified by mind—and they presuppose the total from which they are derived. The realm of pure thought is only the ghost of the Idea—of the unity and reality of knowledge, and it must be reindued with its flesh and blood. The logical world is (in Kantian phrase) only the possibility of Nature and Mind. It comes first—because it is a system of First Principles: but these first principles could only be elicited by a philosophy which has realised the meaning of a mental experience, gathered by interpreting the facts of Nature. Natural Philosophy is no longer—according to Hegel's view of it—merely a scheme of mathematical ground-work. That may be its first step. But its scope is a complete unity (which Essay I. On The Scope Of A Philosophy Of Mind. 9 is not a mere aggregate) of the branches of natural knowledge, exploring both the inorganic and the organic world. In dealing with this endless problem, philosophy seems to be baulked by an impregnable obstacle to its progress. Every day the advance of specialisation renders any comprehensive or synoptic view of the totality of science more and more impossible. No doubt we talk readily enough of Science. But here, if anywhere, we may say there is no Science, but only sciences. The generality of science is a proud fiction or a gorgeous dream, variously told and interpreted according to the varying interest and proclivity of the scientist. The sciences, or those who specially expound them, know of no unity, no philosophy of science. They are content to remark that in these days the thing is impossible, and to pick out the faults in any attempts in that direction that are made outside their pale. Unfortunately for this contention, the thing is done by us all, and, indeed, has to be done. If not as men of science, yet as men—as human beings—we have to put together things and form some total estimate of the drift of development, of the unity of nature. To get a notion, not merely of the general methods and principles of the sciences, but of their results and teachings, and to get this not as a mere lot of fragments, but with a systematic unity, is indispensable in some degree for all rational life. The life not founded on science is not the life of man. But he will not find what he wants in the text-books of the specialist, who is obliged to treat his subject, as Plato says, “under the pressure of necessity,” and who dare not look on it in its quality “to draw the soul towards truth, and to form the philosophic intellect so as to uplift what we now unduly keep down1 .” If the philosopher in this province does his work but badly, he may plead the novelty of the task to which he comes as a pioneer or even an architect. He finds little that he can directly utilise. The materials have been gathered and prepared for very 1 Plato, Rep. 527. [xviii] 10 [xix] [xx] Hegel's Philosophy of Mind special aims; and the great aim of science—that human life may be made a higher, an ampler, and happier thing,—has hardly been kept in view at all, except in its more materialistic aspects. To the philosopher the supreme interest of the physical sciences is that man also belongs to the physical universe, or that Mind and Matter as we know them are (in Mr. Spencer's language) “at once antithetical and inseparable.” He wants to find the place of Man,—but of Man as Mind—in Nature. If the scope of Natural Philosophy be thus expanded to make it the unity and more than the synthetic aggregate of the several physical sciences—to make it the whole which surpasses the addition of all their fragments, the purpose of Ethics has not less to be deepened and widened. Ethics, under that title, Hegel knows not. And for those who cannot recognise anything unless it be clearly labelled, it comes natural to record their censure of Hegelianism for ignoring or disparaging ethical studies. But if we take the word in that wide sense which common usage rather justifies than adopts, we may say that the whole philosophy of Mind is a moral philosophy. Its subject is the moral as opposed to the physical aspect of reality: the inner and ideal life as opposed to the merely external and real materials of it: the world of intelligence and of humanity. It displays Man in the several stages of that process by which he expresses the full meaning of nature, or discharges the burden of that task which is implicit in him from the first. It traces the steps of that growth by which what was no better than a fragment of nature—an intelligence located (as it seemed) in one piece of matter—comes to realise the truth of it and of himself. That truth is his ideal and his obligation: but it is also—such is the mystery of his birthright—his idea and possession. He—like the natural universe—is (as the Logic has shown) a principle of unification, organisation, idealisation: and his history (in its ideal completeness) is the history of the process by which he, the typical man, works the fragments of reality (and such mere reality must be always a collection of fragments) into Essay I. On The Scope Of A Philosophy Of Mind. 11 the perfect unity of a many-sided character. Thus the philosophy of mind, beginning with man as a sentient organism, the focus in which the universe gets its first dim confused expression through mere feeling, shows how he “erects himself above himself” and realises what ancient thinkers called his kindred with the divine. In that total process of the mind's liberation and self-realisation the portion specially called Morals is but one, though a necessary, stage. There are, said Porphyry and the later Platonists, four degrees in the path of perfection and self-accomplishment. And first, there is the career of honesty and worldly prudence, which makes the duty of the citizen. Secondly, there is the progress in purity which casts earthly things behind, and reaches the angelic height of passionless serenity. And the third step is the divine life which by intellectual energy is turned to behold the truth of things. Lastly, in the fourth grade, the mind, free and sublime in self-sustaining wisdom, makes itself an “exemplar” of virtue, and is even a “father of Gods.” Even so, it may be said, the human mind is the subject of a complicated Teleology,—the field ruled by a multifarious Ought, psychological, aesthetical, social and religious. To adjust their several claims cannot be the object of any science, if adjustment means to supply a guide in practice. But it is the purpose of such a teleology to show that social requirements and moral duty as ordinarily conceived do not exhaust the range of obligation,—of the supreme ethical Ought. How that can best be done is however a question of some difficulty. For the ends under examination do not fall completely into a serial order, nor does one involve others in such a way as to destroy their independence. You cannot absolve psychology as if it stood independent of ethics or religion, nor can aesthetic considerations merely supervene on moral. Still, it may be said, the order followed by Hegel seems on the whole liable to fewer objections than others. Mr. Herbert Spencer, the only English philosopher who has even attempted a System of Philosophy, may in this point be [xxi] 12 Hegel's Philosophy of Mind compared with Hegel. He also begins with a First Principles,—a work which, like Hegel's Logic, starts by presenting Philosophy as the supreme arbiter between the subordinate principles of Religion and Science, which are in it “necessary correlatives.” The positive task of philosophy is (with some inconsistency or v...
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