Classical german philosophy. University of Padova research group

Workshop: Existence: A Continuation of the Dialectic of Hegel’s Science of Logic (Kingston University, June 28th 2018)

We are happy to give notice that a workshop seminar entitled Existence: A Continuation of the Dialectic of Hegel’s Science of Logic will be held at Kingston University (Penrhyn Road Campus, London JG 3003) on June 28th, 2018.

With the recent success of the workshop seminar on the opening of Hegel’s Science of Logic, this sequel workshop will continue from the dialectic of Being-Nothing-Becoming by examining the Existence [Dasein] chapter. The workshop will begin by following the development of the Doctrine of Being from the categories of Existence into Finitude, while the second half of the day will be devoted to the question of Infinity.

The organizers propose to use the recent Cambridge University Press edition of Hegel’s Science of Logic, translated by George di Giovanni (2010) as it is now considered the standard English translation. That said, they will also occasionally refer to the original German text as well as the older A.V. Miller translation for comparison if occasion calls for it.

Attendees are expected to have read the text and engage in a discussion prompted by a series of questions. The workshop will be facilitated by Borna Radnik and Eric-John Russell (PhD Candidates at the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy).

For a PDF of the readings or any other inquiries, please contact: K1543754@kingston.ac.uk.

11am – 2pm: “Existence as such” and “Finitude” (Giovanni translation / pp. 83-108); 20-30 min. presentation on the sections to open up the discussion summary followed by workshop questions (not exhaustive):
  • How can Existence in general assume the form of a new immediacy if, at the same time, it contains the mediated unity of Being and Nothing?
  • As Existence, Being has acquired greater determinacy. In what way can it be said that Existence is both the further development of Being as well as the development of determinateness itself?
  • In one of his ‘Remarks’, Hegel uses the occasion of Existence to discuss the role of negation and Substance in Spinoza. How does this discussion relate to the quality of Being that is Existence?
  • How does Something, for Hegel, derive out of the dialectic of Existence?
  • How does Hegel explain the difference between Limit and Finitude?
  • What role does reflection play in the dialectic of Finitude?
  • Explain the syllogism between Determination, Determinateness and Constitution.
  • In what way can it be said that the category of Limit is for Hegel a mediating category?
  • Why does Hegel, perhaps counter-intuitively, characterize Finitude as ‘eternal’?
  • What role does the is and ought play in the dialectic of Finitude?

2:45-5:45pm: “Infinity” (Giovanni translation / pp. 108-125); 20-30 min. presentation on the sections to open up the discussion summary followed by workshop questions (not exhaustive):

  • The ‘ought’ is what marks the transition from the concept of finitude to the infinite. Is this merely a logical transition, or does it have ontological ramifications? If the “ought” sublates itself, does this not imply a criticism of Kantian morality?
  • Hegel’s distinction of the ‘bad’ or false infinity, from the ‘true infinite’ is famous. He charges the bad infinite of reproducing finitude within itself. How does the logic of the bad infinite work?
  • To oppose finitude and the infinite is to engender contradictions, according to Hegel. How?
  • Hegel describes the separation between the finite and the infinite as having a ‘double meaning’ (pp.118). Explain this.
  • The concept of the ‘true infinite’ has finitude and the infinite for its two moments. True infinity contains both within one and the same process. Why?
  • The true infinite becomes a circle, bending back upon itself, rather than exhibiting a linear progression (pp. 119). What does Hegel mean by this?
  • Hegel asserts that true finite has finitude as its ontologically constitutive moment. The finite is therefore a determinate ideal (pp. 119). If the finite is that which perishes, then does this not also hold for finite human beings? Is death an implicit concept here?
  • Hegel claims that all philosophy is, at base, an idealism (pp. 124). What does this mean?

The workshop is free to the public and will conclude by assessing the prospects of continuing with the Science of Logic in its entirety with those interested. New attendees are welcome.

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