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					                                SPIRIT
HEGEL’S DEFINiTION IN § 177

‘A self-consciousness, in being an object, is just as much ‘I’ as ‘object’.
With this, we already have before us the Notion [concept] of Spirit. What
still lies ahead for consciousness is the experience of what Spirit – this
absolute substance which is the unity of the different independent self-
consciousnesses which, in their opposition, enjoy perfect freedom and
independence: ‘I’ that is ‘We’ and ‘We’ that is ‘I’.

‘Reason is Spirit when its certainty of being all reality has been raised to
truth, and it is conscious of itself as its own world, and of the world as
itself.’ (§ 438)

‘Spirit is thus self-supporting, absolute, real being. All previous shapes of
consciousness are abstract forms of it…*The+ isolating of those moments
presupposes Spirit itself…’
                    THE TRUE SPIRIT. THE ETHICAL ORDER


•   HEGEL USES THE TERM ‘SITTLICHKEIT’, WHICH COMES FROM THE WORD
    ‘SITTE’ MEANING CUSTOM

•   TRUE SPIRIT IS THE SET OF PRACTICES WHICH DEFINES THE INDIVIDUALITY OF
    A CULTURAL/POLITICAL COMMUNITY

•   BUT THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF TRUE SPIRIT AGAIN BREAKS APART INTO
    SUBJECTIVE AND OBJECTIVE POLES (CONSCIOUSNESS IS AWAYS DIREMPT)

    THESE POLES ARE:

    HUMAN LAW (S)                          DIVINE LAW (0)

    MAN (THE AGENT WITHIN THE POLIS)    WOMAN (CUSTODIAN OF
                                FAMILY AND CUSTOM)

    CONSCIOUS                              UNCONSCIOUS
    CLASH BETWEEN ANTIGONE AND CREON (SOPHOCLES’ ANTIGONE)

•   THE FAMILY IS THE IMMEDIATE BEING OF THE ETHICAL ORDER

•   ‘GOVERNMENT IS THE REALITY OF SPIRIT THAT IS REFLECTED INTO ITSELF, THE
    SIMPLE SELF OF THE ENTIRE ETHICAL SUBSTANCE’ (§ 455) – SO THE
    GOVERNMENT IS SUBSTANCE BECOMING SUBJECT. BUT NEITHER CAN TAKE
    PRIORITY (IN NO SOCIETY COULD ALL PRACTICES AND CUSTOMS BE THE
    OUTCOME OF DELIBERATION – WE REALITY ON AN INEXHAUSTIBLE
    BACKGROUND OF SHARED UNDERSTANDINGS). –

•   ‘Neither of the two is by itself absolutely valid; human law proceeds in its
    living process from the divine, the law valid on earth from that of the nether
    world, the conscious from the unconscious, mediation from immediacy – and
    equally returns whence it came.’ (§ 460)

•   SINCE IN TRUE SPIRIT, INDIVIDUALS (NOT YET BEING FULLY SELF-CONSCIOUS
    INDIVIDUALS) INDENTIFY IMMEDIATELY WITH ONE OF THE ETHICAL POWERS,
    THE STAGE IS SET FOR TRAGIC CONFLICT (IN WHICH BOTH PARTIES HAVE
    RIGHT ON THEIR SIDE – OR CONVERSELY)
WHY IS BURIAL SO IMPORTANT TO HUMAN BEINGS?

HUMAN BEINGS ARE NOT MERELY NATURAL ENTITIES WHICH CAN BE LEFT TO DECAY
AND RETURN TO THE EARTH (WE HAVE PROVED OUR SELF-CONSCIOUS AS SUPERIOR
TO NATURE IN THE LIFE AND DEATH STRUGGLE, REPEATED BY POLYNEICES AND HIS
BROTHER)


• HUMAN BEINGS ARE NOT MERELY NATURAL ENTITIES WHICH CAN BE LEFT
  TO DECAY AND RETURN TO THE EARTH (WE HAVE PROVED OUR SELF-
  CONSCIOUS AS SUPERIOR TO NATURE IN THE LIFE AND DEATH STRUGGLE,
  REPEATED BY POLYNEICES AND HIS BROTHER ETEOCLES)

• THE RELATION TO THE BROTHER IS THE PUREST EXAMPLE OF AN
  IMMEDIATE ETHICAL RELATIONSHIP

• ETHICAL SUBSTANCE BECOMES THE ‘NEGATIVE POWER WHICH ENGULFS
  BOTH SIDES, THAT IS OMNIPOTENT AND RIGHTEOUS DESTINY STEPS ON
  THE SCENE.’ (§ 472)
THE DOWNFALL OF THE POLIS


  NEITHER THE OLD MAN (CREON) NOR THE WOMAN (‘the everlasting irony
  in *the life of+ the community’ – §475) CAN TAKE CHARGE OF THE POLIS.

  INDIVIDUALISM KEEPS RESURGING IN THE FORM OF THE ‘YOUTH’ –
  THE YOUNG MAN (HALFWAY BETWEEN FAMILY AND POLIS) IS (AS SON)
  ‘LORD AND MASTER’ OF THE MOTHER WHO BORE HIM, (AS BROTHER) THE
  EQUAL OF THE SISTER, AND (AS HUSBAND) THE LIBERATOR OF THE YOUNG
  WOMAN FROM THE BONDS OF THE FAMILY.

  BUT THIS INDIVIDUALISM IS INCOMPATIBLE WITH IMMEDIATE
  SITTLICHKEIT - THE YOUNG MAN, ALEXANDER THE GREAT, ABOLISHES THE
  INDIVIDUALITY OF THE MULTIPLE CITY STATES, AND INTRODUCES AN ERA
  OF UNIVERSAL EMPIRE.

				
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posted:4/9/2010
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