Q: How did Hegel overcome Kant’s phenomenal/noumenal dilemma?

Hegel with his Berlin students, Sketch by Franz Kugler

Hegel with his Berlin students, Sketch by Franz Kugler

A. By plagiarising Plotinus.

‘Consider sense-knowledge: its objects seem most patently certified, yet the doubt returns whether the apparent reality may not lie in the states of the percipient rather than in the material before him; the decision demands intelligence or reasoning. Besides, even granting that what the senses grasp is really contained in the objects, none the less what is thus known by the senses is an image: sense can never grasp the thing itself; this remains forever outside.

…The only way to this is to leave nothing outside of the veritable Intellectual-Principle which thus has knowledge in the true knowing (that of identification with the object), cannot forget, need not go wandering in search. At once truth is there, this is the seat of the authentic Existents, it becomes living and intellective: these are the essentials of that most lofty Principle; and failing them where is its worth, its grandeur?

…Thus veritable truth is not accordance with an external; it is self-accordance; it affirms nothing other than itself and is nothing other; it is at once existence and self-affirmation.’

Plotinus, The Enneads (Abridged), Trans., Stephen MacKenna, Penguin, London, 1991, V.5.1-2

red-star

Image

14 thoughts on “Q: How did Hegel overcome Kant’s phenomenal/noumenal dilemma?

    • Hi Robert,
      thank you for your interest.

      Kant argued that we can never know things-in-themselves (noumena), only things as they appear to us (phenomena).

      This was a major issue for the idealists after Kant.

      Hegel’s ‘solution’ was to argue that it is through appearance that the object is known – that appearances are not a barrier but a gateway.

      From a materialist perspective this is correct, but Hegel argued from an idealist perspective – he made subject and object and the relation between them the processes of consciousness itself.

      And that perspective, as I would like to exemplify by the quotation, Hegel got from his study of Neoplatonism – and did not acknowledge its profound significance to him – as have not so many other philosophers who have also contributed to morphing the Reason of Plotinus into the ‘Reason’ of Western supremacism and patriarchy.

      Best regards,
      Phil

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Inese,
      Some questions:
      > where did you study philosophy?
      > who is your favourite philosopher and why?
      > are there any philosophers you dislike and if so, why?
      > why was visiting Kant’s grave a stunning experience?
      Phil

      Like

      • I understand your questions 🙂 Well, it is a long story, I shouldn’t have commented in the first place, but what is done is done. I studied Veterinary in Moscow State Academy of Veterinary Medicine and Biotechnologies in the 1970s. We all had to study History of Philosophy during first two semesters, and after that Marxist Philosophy and Scientific Communism – the ideology of the Soviets. It was compulsory at any University. My generation possessed the art of reading between the lines – we were quite immune to the brain-washing ideology, but kept to ourselves for obvious reasons. As you know, Immanuel Kant had a huge influence on Karl Marx – it is why his grave in Kaliningrad ( former Königsberg) wasn’t vandalized, and it even has an inscription in Russian. But somehow I knew that Kant wouldn’t be happy to learn about his Marxist connections. I was fascinated with the philosophy of noumena, and agreed with Kant’s Ethics, and much more. You ask why it was a special experience visiting his grave. Oh it was indeed, because Kant and I shared a secret – we both knew that Marx and Lenin lied, and these lies keep poisoning humans’ mind up to present day. That’s the answer. Sorry if I didn’t express myself clear – English is not my first language.
        Inese

        Like

      • Hi Inese,
        thank you for your honest and thorough reply.

        One more question (if you don’t mind – I ask a lot of questions, which has got me into trouble more than once) – just so I can be sure, are you Russian by birth (I have a definite reason for asking you this, which I will expand on)?

        Best wishes,
        Phil

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Inese,
        thanks. The reason I asked you this is because I have such a strong sense from your blog that you were born Irish, so much so that I would be amazed to learn that you were not.

        And if you were not born Irish, it would be a good lesson to me (books and covers etc.).

        Best regards,
        Phil

        Like

  1. I was born and raised a cosmopolitan – I would get a good spanking if my parents heard me utter a single word of critic concerning any race or nation. These words were forbidden in our family. Sure I am not Irish – you must have noticed that my English is not perfect.
    Have a happy New Year!
    Inese

    Like

    • Hi Inese,
      thank you. Congratulations on being cosmopolitan. I think of myself similarly.

      With regard to your English, I always thought it was your first language and I had noticed how well you write.

      I asked you if you had been born in Ireland because your photography and writing show such a strong feeling for the country and its culture.

      Best wishes as always,

      Phil

      Liked by 1 person

      • I can see that.

        Thanks – I’m both learning, and learning about you.

        One of the things I have learnt through our exchange is that to ‘be born in Ireland’ is clearly not the same as to ‘be born Irish’ (the expression I used, and my poor choice of words).

        Where the former refers only to a place of birth, the latter implies a cultural orientation. I was born in Australia (not a matter of my choosing) and while I live in this country which I believe I understand, I am an Australian citizen.

        But that certainly doesn’t make me ‘Australian’ – someone who subscribes to and upholds what this culture is – which I don’t and of which I am extremely critical.

        And that before I get to my global perspective.

        Best wishes,

        Phil

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s