Re: MD German Idealism

From: David MOREY (
Date: Sun Feb 29 2004 - 21:42:31 GMT

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    Hi folks

    You can see from the Pirsig quote the real problem with Hegel.
    Hegel gives us his magnificent system, it is well worth it if
    you have the five years you need to get to grips with it.
    -Intellectual membership cards required. Instead Pirsig gives us
    experience=value=quality. We all have a chance of grasping this.
    But for those that are interested, Hegel is trying to do some of the
    same things as Pirsig. The attacks on Hegel from the likes
    of Nietzsche were about the lack of individual DQ recognised by Hegel.
    Hegel draws a great picture of universal/absolute idealism marching through
    history creatively laying down lots of SQ and levels, but where is the
    where is individual freedom in this march? Now, this may be unfair on Hegel
    read one way, but there is a fault of explanation and emphasis in Hegel.
    Essentially, Hegel opposes absolute idealism to Kant's subjective idealism.
    he does this because he feels that Kant''s idealism is full of dualisms.
    From the Cambridge Companion To German Idealism ed. by K Ameriks
    quoting Hegel's logic:

    Objectivity of thought, in Kant's sense, is again to a certain sense
    subjective.Thoughts, according to Kant, although universal and necessary
    categories, are only our thoughts - separated by an impassable gulf from the
    thing, as it exists apart from our knowledge. But the true objectivity of
    thinking means that the thoughts, far from being merely ours, must at the
    same time be the real essence of the things, and of whatever is an object to

    If you substitute DQ for imagination in the below (also from Ameriks' book)
    I think you will see where Hegel is coming from:

    the "imagination must not be understood as a middle term that is shoved in
    between an existing absolute subject and an absolute existing world, but
    must rather be understood as that which is first and original and out of
    which the subjective I as well as the objective world first separate
    themselves into a necessarily bipartite appearance and product."

    Where Pirsig says SQ, Plato says forms, Hegel says ideas. Like Pirsig, Hegel
    does not like Plato's eternal forms,
    the key to history is clearly change for Hegel, to understand the creation
    of the world of dualistic opposites one has
    to grasp in the understanding what they have in common, what is the more
    fundamental unity, this is the basis of Hegel's
    dialectic, often misunderstood as synthesis, a word not seen in Hegel. For
    Hegel the cosmos is therefore intelligible.
    Since Hegel's passing we have ceased to aspire to such a unified form of
    knowledge, we are generally Kantian's who
    cannot see any way of reaching the thing-in-itself to know it. Hegel says
    this thing-in-itself is just a concept, a projection
    from consciousness implying an underlying unity. Of course, hegel goes on to
    imply that this unity extends to consciouness
    (you could say quality) as a whole. Hegel takes on the implications of this,
    Pirsig only hints at it. If DQ is universal
    where does that leave human individuality? Is individuality only a matter of
    finite SQ? This is the implication the
    anti-Hegelians take. But is that what Hegel was implying? What does Hegel
    mean by the term infinite? Does it resemble
    Pirsig's DQ in its openness? He certainly describes his philosophy as a
    practical realisation of freedom. that will have to do for now. Perhaps
    Matthew K can remind us what the rejecting of Hegelianism involved.

    David M

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Platt Holden" <>
    To: <>
    Sent: Saturday, February 28, 2004 2:58 PM
    Subject: Re: MD German Idealism

    > DMB, DM:
    > > dmb says:
    > > David, I'm just saying yep, yep and here's a question. I can't locate
    > > quote at the moment, but Pirsig puts some distance between the MOQ and
    > > "Hegalian Absolutues". Maybe you know the one? Anyway, I've often
    > > EXACTLY what that means. If you've spent 17 years on the Germans, surely
    > > you're the man to ask aboout "Hegalian Absolutes". If you can provide a
    > > clear and detailed explanation, I believe it would be a forum first. I
    > > mean, I'd bet lots of people would like to read such a thing. Thanks.
    > The quote is Chap. 29 of LIla:
    > "It adds that this good is not a social code or some intellectualized
    > Hegelian Absolute. It is direct everyday experience. Through this
    > identification of pure value with pure experience, the Metaphysics of
    > Quality paves the way for an enlarged way of looking at experience which
    > can resolve all sorts of anomalies that traditional empiricism has not
    > been able to cope with."
    > >
    > >
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