Progress of my thesis 18.11.15
In my thesis I will argue that Hegel’s philosophy was clearly the result of his overlay of Christianity on Neoplatonism, that it embodies the highest development of Neoplatonism and that the connections between his philosophy and Neoplatonism are so numerous, consistent and profound, it should be a test of philosophers to argue not that Hegel was a Neoplatonist but that he wasn’t.
The diremption (God’s) that Magee makes so much of in his claim that Hegel was an Hermeticist draws on the second hypostasis of The Enneads.
Where for Plotinus it was the initial requirement for Intellectual-Principle in order to have knowledge – self-knowledge – it was but a metaphorical step (with which steps Hegel’s philosophy is replete) from this for Christians to make that a requirement for God to achieve his self-knowledge, via Christ’s diremption in the world.
The same fundamental error that Hegel made, twice, in his discussion of the philosophies of Plotinus and Proclus in his Lectures on the History of Philosophy point to what he himself did with Neoplatonism – not least so that he could argue that God can be cognised.
In a nutshell, he conflated the hypostases – not the first time this has been done.
While both Plotinus and Proclus referred to the One as God, for both the One was unparticipated, distinct. Neither referred to the One as ‘being’ or as having multiplicity as Hegel both wrote they did and did in his own philosophy. For Plotinus and Proclus, being and multiplicity arise in the second hypostasis, Intellect.
Hegel, beyond ‘left’ and ‘right’ Hegelianism, is a Trojan horse in capitalist ideology – a mystic who took Neoplatonism to its highest development prior to Marx’s standing it on materialist feet and making it, in the form of dialectical materialism, the epistemology of the future.
In my thesis I will be discussing the time-serving, career-building intellectual cowardice of generations of academics who have parroted Hegel’s claim to non-mystical ‘reason’ – the ‘reason’ of Plotinus – thus maintaining the patriarchy and Western white-supremacism of capitalist ideology.
This is, fundamentally, not a matter of refined philosophical discussion in wood-panelled rooms but of the power of and continued domination by the bourgeoisie.
As a materialist, I will be defending the worth and cultural impact of the revolutionary philosophy of Plotinus, who is every bit the equal of Plato and Aristotle, upon both of whom he drew.
Some of those academics who previously would not touch mysticism with a barge-pole and are now teaching it as though it was ever thus make a mockery of philosophy and of the intellectual integrity they claim to uphold. They are without shame. These, too, should be held to account.
They exemplify that ideologues, like nature, abhor a vacuum.