File spoon-archives/bhaskar.archive/bhaskar_2000/bhaskar.0009, message 84

Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2000 08:33:19 +1000
Subject: Re: BHA: Hegel, dialectics, etc

Hi Phil,

One of my favorite passages from Hegel is where he replies to the statement 
that no man is a hero to his valet.  His repost is that this is because the 
valet is a valet.

Phil, I do not mind your elevation of Hegel or to be precise your 
recognition of his greatness.  Though I am intrigued by a thought that at 
the conference one of Alan's criticisms of FEW was that Roy had re-read 
Hegel in a too favorable light.  Where I wonder do you stand on Hegel's 
idealism.  Do you take refuge in the glib inversion metaphor or do you 
follow through the logic of your admiration for the greatest of idealists? 
Your lines on the material power of ideas strike me as just like a touch of 
equivocation. It is almost as if you are claiming he is a materialist.

I will have to read more on Hegel's life.  I am convinced you are wrong but 
cannot meet you challenge.  When I know more, comrade, you can be sure that 
you will be held to account. I don't suppose you would count Popper as 

Ummm ... I thought not.

Now your point about comparing K. to H. is largely conceded by me on the 
grounds of H.'s greater greatness.  You are swinging after the bell here. 
There is a towel in the ring. Ouch!  Stop!! Please!!

Having said that I have to say that Kierkegaard moves me deeply in a way 
that Hegel (as much as I have read) seldom does.  It is Kierkegaard's 
suffering that is most to the fore. That for me is the line to Adorno not, 
as you insist on claiming, the use of masks or indulging in avant la lettre 
postmodernist clowning.  Think of the passages in Adorno's aesthetic theory 
when he declares that the purpose of art is to covey suffering.  Something 
that philosophy cannot do. think of the fate of poetry after Auschwitz and 
his championing of Beckett.  The hand of Kierkegaard is in all of 
this.  Think too of FEW. It also endeavours to convey something of this 
suffering in the novella.

Now the thought about truth content and the subjective theory of truth is 
little more than just a speculation at the moment.  I agree with you it is 
interesting and certainly when I get time I will try to do the reading.

Finally does FEW sever the link between the past and the present?  I do not 
think so at all.  If anything it does the opposite.  It is surely about the 
saturation of the present with the past.  Though there are tricky bits 
about the time machine and the moving back and forwards between the 
lives.  Still there is certainly food for thought here.  Again if I can get 
time I will get back to it.

Warmest of regards


Re:  Gang of Three?  Did I get it wrong?  Are there more of you???

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