Music

The Concept of Habit and the Notion of Immediacy - Sean Mc Stravick 2019

Description
In the present chapter, I wish to explore the correspondence at work between the anthropological notion of habit [Gewhonheit] and the ontological notion of immediacy [Unmittelbarkeit] in Hegel's philosophy. Nonetheless, I will deliberately not
Categories
Published
of 13
All materials on our website are shared by users. If you have any questions about copyright issues, please report us to resolve them. We are always happy to assist you.
Related Documents
Share
Transcript
  In the present chapter, I wish to explore  the correspondence at work between the anthropological notion o habit [ Gewhonheit  ] and the onto-logical notion o immediacy [ Unmittelbarkeit  ] in Hegel’s philosophy. Nonetheless, I will deliberately not deine the speciic type o correspondence at work – that is, whether habit and immediacy are identical   or equivalent  , or whether habit is a  paradigm  o immediacy. hose questions go beyond the aim o this chapter, which is to clariy the unction o immediacy as absolute secondarity. I believe this enables us to grasp the speculative nature o the relation between being and thought, and understand the spiral   structure o spirit [ Geist  ] and thus its absolute negativity. Te ‘threat o autonomous exteriority’ Hegel’s philosophy is shaped by the problem o the identiication o being and thought ( SL , 29). In this respect, it seeks to overcome the ‘nothingness o the spectral thing-in-itsel’   let by Kantian critique (SL, 27). According to Hegel, Kant made important progress in the history o philosophy by establishing that the coniguration o objectivity is dependent on the subjective orms o receptivity and spontaneity (Kant 1904: 74). he shit o the external notion o the thing-in-itsel to the internal notion o phenomenon helped achieve the essential aim o modern philosophy to maniest the subjective structure o objectivity. Nevertheless, in Kantian philosophy, the thing-in-itsel characterizes both the unknowable aect o sensory intuition and the hypothetical, albeit necessary object o a non-sensory intuition. hereore, as Béatrice Longuenesse 5 Te Concept o Habit and the Function o Immediacy  Sean McStravick  9781350056367_txt_pr.indd 753/27/2019 4:51:33 PM  Hegel, Logic and Speculation 76 pointed out, the thing-in-itsel simultaneously reers to the regulative idea o knowledge and to the unknowable source o reality (Longuenesse 2007: 22). According to Hegel, this is a theoretical law as it maintains an irreducible and unknowable pole o being external to the rame o transcendental subjectivity, thereby preventing it rom asserting the ull ‘assignability’ o being to its activity.In Hegel’s philosophy, the problem o the thing-in-itsel shits to the general problem o immediacy. Hegel eatures immediacy as both the given shape o being ( SL,  337) – that is, as the primordial and apparently set   signiicance o what is – and what ‘begins’. Hegel writes: ‘Beginnings are in every case data and postulates’ ( EI  , §9). As a beginning, immediacy betrays anticipating yet spontaneous mediations, which appear   to unction autonomously. Indeed, any predetermined method   naturally anticipates the content o knowledge and apprehends a pre-organized object   that seems to independently stand as such ( PS , §73). However, by appearing as that which is not mediated, it embodies the risk o an irreducible exteriority or spirit – o absolute otherness. In this respect, immediacy represents what I would call ‘the threat o autonomous exteriority’, which maniests itsel as a potential obstacle or spirit to establish itsel as reedom, that is, as being at home with itsel in otherness. his entails two important theoretical directions. First, Hegel’s main philosophical concern has come to be a reusal o any position o absolute immediacy. Second, this reusal is consubstantial with the positive characterization o spirit as a negative nature. Justiying and locating the ‘given’ In addressing the ‘threat o autonomous exteriority’, Hegel systematically ulils the requirement o  justiying   and locating   the given. his is the essential aim o essence.  By the end o the Doctrine o Being  , the immanent determinations o being appear as ‘laws’. his appearance o immediate exteriority to itsel sublates the resulting ‘in-dierence’ o being and prevents it rom being complete ( SL , 326–335). As a result o this negativity, or ininite relation to itsel, being passes into essence in order to relect itsel as negativity. hus, the relection o immediacy or o being is not the suppression o the immediateness (conceived as the state o being immediate) but rather the progressive recalling o itsel as a conceived and conceiving thing.In order to circumscribe immediacy to the activity o spirit, and reute its absolute exteriority, Hegel’s strategy amounts to operating immediacy as a 9781350056367_txt_pr.indd 763/27/2019 4:51:33 PM  Te Concept o Habit and Function o Immediacy 77 logical unction  within substance, thereby making it a moment   o spirit itsel. Substance is characterized as the immediacy o   thought, as the immediacy  or   thought and as the unity o both as subject   ( PS , §17). Substance can be described as the reciprocal process by virtue o which subjective immediacy (immediacy o   thought) and objective immediacy (immediacy  or   thought) mediate one another, thus making it the subject rom a speculative standpoint. In logical words, being (as immediacy) is both generated by   and generating o   gnosis. Concept [ Begri  ], which is the ‘power o substance’ ( EI  , §160), 1  is thereby deined as the subjective and productive activity which structures the sel-movement o substance, that is to say, as the perpetual process o sel-generation o immediacy. In this respect,  justiying and locating immediacy entail assigning the given to its conceiving srcin and acknowledging its unction as a conceived thing within the general movement o absolute spirit – absolute spirit being ‘the one and universal substance as spiritual’ ( EIII  , §554), that is, the speculative and ininite unity o the subjective and objective spirit. On one hand,  justiying   immediacy makes the assignment o reality to its rational and subjective orm possible. On the other hand, locating   immediacy allows asserting the reedom o Concept.First,  justiying   immediacy is the bringing about o its rational and structuring mediations. In order to achieve this, Hegel uses the device o relection, which drives the Doctrine o Essence . Indeed, Hegel speciies that ‘being is, in general, unrelected immediacy’ ( EI  , §142 R). Relection consists in the ‘intropassing’ o being – that is, the ‘recalling’ o its essence as negativity. It is the shit rom being   to shine , that is, to something that is positedness yet seems  to be srcinal. However, by deining essence as ‘past being’ ( SL , 337), the relection o being implies that the relective agent does not dier rom the relected patient, but rather introspects what constituted itsel as such. So, relection is the progressive clariication o the internal and underlying rational determinations o immediacy, thereby producing various levels o intelligibility or orms o what is immediate – existence, phenomenon, eectiveness – which all gradually narrow down the gap between the objective being and its srcin. Ultimately, in ‘eectual reality’ ( Wirklichkeit  ), which is ully rationalized reality, being is shown to be identical to thought ( EI  , §142 A).Secondly, locating   immediacy does not mean suppressing its authority, but rather acknowledging its unction within the general movement o the idea – which is rational reality or the unity o concept and objectivity ( EI  , §213). In order to locate immediacy, Hegel thematizes rationality’s spontaneous eiciency within being, thereby clariying that being is the inertial positivity o thought  . Indeed, immediacy presupposes a movement that shows its derivation rom 9781350056367_txt_pr.indd 773/27/2019 4:51:34 PM  Hegel, Logic and Speculation 78 the ree and autonomous  activity o concept ( EI  , §§157–159). In act, the idea ‘resolves to let […] the immediate idea, as its relected image, go orth reely as Nature’ ( EI  , §244). In other words, the status o immediacy shits to what Hegel reers to as a ‘second immediacy’ ( SL , 746).. In this respect, the main thesis o the Logic  consists in asserting that immediacy is subjectively conceived yet appears as objective and that a beginning or immediacy is a result. Hegel summarizes this process as ollows: In passing over into essence, being   became […] a  positedness , and becoming   or the passing over into an other   became a  positing  ; conversely, the  positing   or the reflection o essence sublated itsel and restored itsel to a non-posited  , an srcinal   being ( SL , 530). Immediacy is indeed thematized as both a necessary objective actuality – which appears  as a law  or a subject – and the result o any potential subjective or conceptual act o conceiving. he various ‘orms’ o being that are analysed in the Logic  are not ‘ontologically’ dierent, but vary ‘onto-logically’ alongside the gradually enhanced capacity or rationality to acknowledge its own active presence within it. In the preace o the Outlines o the Philosophy o Rights , Hegel recapitulates this general requirement in practical terms: Afer all, the truth about Right, Ethics, and the state is as old as its public recognition and ormulation in the law o the land, in the morality o everyday lie, and in religion. What more does this truth require – since the thinking mind is not content to possess it in this ready ashion? It requires to be grasped in thought as well; the content which is already rational in principle must win the  orm  o rationality and so appear well-ounded to untrammelled thinking. Such thinking does not remain stationary at the given […]. On the contrary, thought which is ree starts out rom itsel and thereupon claims to know itsel as united in its innermost being with the truth ( OPR , 3). In other words, the immediacy that characterizes the mind’s relation to the truth as reality – its ‘simplicity’ and ‘oldness’ – requires to be negated, that is, turned into an appearance, analysed and rationally justiied, in order or ree thought to acknowledge its own presence within it, and thus claim ownership  over it ( PS , §32). he locating and justiying o immediacy are thus the turning o the acquired   yet beginning immediacy into a conquered   immediacy that is apprehended as the result o a rational elaboration.his general critique o immediacy maniests itsel within the system as the dialectic o immediacy and mediation. Yet, this implies two things. Firstly, it demands an ascending dialectical dimension through which thought relects 9781350056367_txt_pr.indd 783/27/2019 4:51:34 PM  Te Concept o Habit and Function o Immediacy 79 immediacy and returns to its positing authority. herein lies the essential movement o the Phenomenology o Spirit  . Consciousness gradually acquires knowledge o itsel within what is given. Yet in Hegel’s philosophy, the absolute knowledge is not the condition o possibility o immediacy. On the contrary, as Jean-François Kervégan argued, the ascending dialectic cannot be disassociated rom a descending dialectic which ‘brings the absolute knowledge back to the sensory certainty, and the absolute idea back to pure being, and the absolute mediation back to pure immediacy’ (Kervégan 2011: n.p.; my translation ). hereore, secondly, the critique entails a certain validation  o the given. Only in virtue o this double process can immediacy be eectively identiied with reason and apprehended as an appearance o being which derives rom the ree and autonomous conceptual activity. In other words, ‘second immediacy’ is the truth o immediacy. Absolute secondarity and second nature It is patent that Hegel operates this notion o ‘absolute secondarity’ in order to suppress any orm o deinitive and natural given oundation or thought – be it objective or subjective – while at the same time containing any possible disjunction between being and thought. By maniesting the temporal trace and spiral structure rom which it proceeds, Hegel establishes that immediacy is comprised o a process through which all mediations simpliy into the spontaneous appearance o the given. 2  Moreover, in Hegel’s Philosophy o Spirit  , immediacy operates as a second nature. For this reason, it seems that immediacy harnesses the mechanisms o habit.However, the notion o habit seems to imply an intuitive empiricist-based philosophical understanding. Scottish empiricism has indeed had the merit o attributing a determining unction to habit in its genetic apprehension o immediate reality. In the Enquiry concerning Human Understanding  , Hume established that the causal scope o our knowledge o reality is not a rationally consistent one, but rather the result o habit. Hume states that ‘all inerences rom experience (…) are eects o custom, not o reasoning’ (Hume 2000: 38). Nonetheless, Hume’s philosophy tends to clear habit rom its spiritual content and alls short o ully appreciating that the intellectual modalities o the reception o the given participate in the nature o what is received. Indeed, this empiricist-based approach o habit ails to overcome the separation between the given and thought. 9781350056367_txt_pr.indd 793/27/2019 4:51:34 PM
Search
Similar documents
View more...
Tags
Related Search
We Need Your Support
Thank you for visiting our website and your interest in our free products and services. We are nonprofit website to share and download documents. To the running of this website, we need your help to support us.

Thanks to everyone for your continued support.

No, Thanks
SAVE OUR EARTH

We need your sign to support Project to invent "SMART AND CONTROLLABLE REFLECTIVE BALLOONS" to cover the Sun and Save Our Earth.

More details...

Sign Now!

We are very appreciated for your Prompt Action!

x