Franco Chiereghin on the concept of “the Concept” in Hegel’s Science of Logic

We are kicking off the “Ideas” section of our blog with a summary of Franco Chiereghin’s presentation “The Concept: Forward and the Concept in general”. This presentation was given at the first event of our 2013 seminar series: “Themes and Problems of Hegel’s Philosophy” . This year, the series focused on the third part of Hegel’s Science of Logic: the Doctrine of the Concept. Chiereghin discussed the introductory section of this part of Hegel’s logical system.

In the first part of his presentation, Chiereghin explained why Hegel’s Subjective Logic is both a part and the whole of Hegel’s logical system. Next Chiereghin highlighted the innovative character of Hegel’s Doctrine of the Concept, both with respect to Hegel’s own Objective Logic and to the previous tradition of formal logic. Many characteristics of Hegel’s Doctrine of the Concept were foreshadowed in the Logic of Port Royal.  After the sections on concepts, judgments and syllogisms, the Logic of Port Royal, presents a doctrine of method, which can be considered to be a legacy of Descartes’ philosophy. This doctrine is also the main topic of the closing section of Hegel’s Subjective Logic.

In the second part of the presentation, Chiereghin analyses the nature of the Concept, which is not only a Grundlage, but also a self-determining ground. More specifically, the self-development of the Concept consists in the process of sublation (Aufhebung) of the previous determinations of the system. The analysis of this process is accompanied by Hegel’s confrontation with Spinoza and Kant on the genesis of the concept.

Another important topic of Hegel’s text is the relationship between Subjective and Objective Logic. This relationship can be described in two ways: first, as a genesis and development of thought’s self-determination, second, as the “way of truth”. The latter is an explication (in the Latin sense of the term, explicatio), that is to say a self-differentiation of the Concept, through which it generates what seems to be its own ground.

Finally, Chiereghin addresses Hegel’s treatment of the relationship between the Concept and the notion of freedom. Since the Concept is what is free, it becomes the foundation for any intersubjective relation. Those relations are authentic only insofar as they express freedom. In Hegel’s view, freedom is precisely the distinctive feature of those relations that constitute the structure of the Concept itself.

–> Franco Chiereghin’s text.pdf (ita; edited by Elisa Bello)

by Elisa Bello

(translated by Michela Bordignon)

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