Infomotions, Inc.The secret of Hegel, being the Hegelian system in origin, principle, form and matter. / Stirling, James Hutchison, 1820-1909

Author: Stirling, James Hutchison, 1820-1909
Title: The secret of Hegel, being the Hegelian system in origin, principle, form and matter.
Publisher: Edinburgh Oliver & Boyd 1898
Tag(s): hegel, georg wilhelm friedrich, 1770-1831; hegel; kant; finite; notion; negation; unity; infinite; abstract; hegel chap; philosophy; self
Contributor(s): Eric Lease Morgan (Infomotions, Inc.)
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Identifier: thesecretofhegel00stiruoft
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Discover what books you consider "great". Take the Great Books Survey.


1. The Secret of Hegel. New Edition, i6s. 

2. Sir William Hamilton, &c. Out of print. 

3. Address on Materialism. Out of print. 

4. Schwegler s History of Philosophy. Translated 

and Annotated, I2th Edition, 6s. 

5. As Regards Protoplasm. Improved Edition, zs. 

6. Jerrold, Tennyson, and Macaulay, with other 

Critical Essays, 6s. 

7. Lectures on the Philosophy of Law, with Whewell 

and Hegel, and Hegel and Prof. Robertson 
Smith, 6s. 

8. Burns in Drama, and Saved Leaves, 6s. 

9. Text-book to Kant, 145. 

10. Philosophy in the Poets, is. 
n. The Community of Property, is. 

12. Thomas Carlyle s Counsels, is. 

13. Philosophy and Religion. (The Gifford Lectures), 

os. 6d. 

14. Darwinianism ; Workmen and Work, IDS. 6d. 








LL.D. Edin. Foreign Member of the Philosophical Society of Berlin 
First-Appointed Gifford Lecturer (Edinburgh University. 1888-90) 









In La, Dottrina Delia Stato (pp. 8, 25, 30, 111, 125), by Dr G. Levi, Professore 
nella R. Universita di Catania. 

Delle opere, che abbiamo avuto occasione di citare nel corso del nostro ragionamento 
ricordiamo qui semplicemente il nome degli autori, cioe : lo Stirling, lo Spaventa, 
il Miraglia, il Kostlin, il Rosenkranz, il Michelet, lo Zeller, il Noak, il Krug, il 
Chalybaus, il Haym, lo Schubart, il Lewes, il Vacherot, il Willm, il Carle. 

Stirling, uno di quelli che piu hanno approfondito il pensiero di Hegel. 

Parecchi fra i piu illustri seguaci o diremo meglio illustrator! e fecondatori dei 
principi di Hegel, come un Gans, un Michelet, un Rosenkranz, un Stirling. 

Stirling, in qualche parte del suo bellissimo lavoro. 

Lo Stirling, il quale, quando pure non si voglia mettere innanzi a tutti i com 
mentator! e illustratori di Hegel, certissimamente a niuno e secondo, nell occasione 
che ribatte le obbiezioni del Haym, a pag. 490, II. vol. della sua limpidissima e 
penetratissima esposizione della dottrina hegeliana, alia qual opera egli diede il 
titolo " the Secret of Hegel " cita e seg. 

In Hegel als Deutschcr Nationalphilosoph (p. 296), by Professor Rosenkranz: 

Mit Welcher Tiefe und Selbstandigkeit der englische Geist sich der speculation 
Hegels zu vermachtigen im Stande sein wird, ersehen wir jetzt schon aus schrifton, 
wie die von Stirling: "The Secret of Hegel," die ein wahrhaft erstaunliches 
Phanomen ist. 

In AusFriiherer Zeit (pp. 11, 149), by Arnold Ruge : 

Das Buch des Schotten Stirling uber Hegel ist ein grosser Fortschritt in .ler 
englischen Philosophischen Literatur ein Buch, welches Hegel s Philosophic 
wirklich verdaut hat. 



I have never seen any modern British book (refers to " Secret of Hegel "). 
which appears to me to show such competence to analyse the most abstruse 
problems of the science, and, much more, such singular vigour and breadth of 
view in treating the matter in relation to literature and humanity. It exhibits 
a general power of dealing with the subject, which, I think, must compel the 
attention of readers in proportion to their strength and subtlety. One of the 
high merits of the book is its healthy moral perceptions. ... If there can be 
any question when such an incumbent can be found, I shall be glad to believe 
that Intellectual and Moral Science is richer in masters than I have had 
opportunity to know. . . . Schwegler came at last. I found on trial that I too 
could read it, and with growing appetite. I could at least appreciate well 
enough the insight and sovereignty of the annotations, and the consummate 
address with which the contemporary critics and contestants are disposed of 
with perfect comity, yet with effect. . . . The essays I have carefully read. 
The analysis of Macaulay is excellent. The "Coleridge" painful, though, I 
fear, irrefutable. . . . The " Tennyson " is a magnificent . statue the first 
adequate work of its kind his real traits and superiorities rightly shown. . . . 
I never lose the hope that you will come to us at no distant day, and be our 
king in philosophy. 


To whatever I have said of you already, therefore, I now volunteer to add, 
that I think you not only the one man in Britain capable of bringing Meta 
physical Philosophy, in the ultimate, German or European, and highest actual 
form of it, distinctly home to the understanding of British men who wish to 
understand it, but that I notice in you further, on the moral side, a sound 
strength of intellectual discernment,.a noble valour and reverence of mind, 
which seems to me to mark you out as the man capable of doing us the highest 
service in ethical science too ; that of restoring, or of decisively beginning to 
restore, the Doctrine of Morals to what I must ever reckon its one true and 
everlasting basis (namely, the divine or siipra-sensual one), and thus of vic 
toriously reconciling and rendering identical the latest dictates of modern 
science with the earliest dawnings of wisdom among the race of men. This is 
truly my opinion. 




Mode of Perusal ....... xxi 

The Secret ........ xxii 

Kant and Hegel not the German Party . . . . xxii 


Prepossessions and Prejudices ...... xxiii 

German Philosophy obsolete and bad ..... xxiii 

Schelling in judgment of Hegel ..... xxv 

Friends and Foes of German Philosophy .... xxvii 

Dilemma of opposing View ...... xxviii 

Scepticism an Anachronism ... . xxviii 

Schelling s sentence not accepted . . . xxix 

Evidence of Friends and Foes invalid ..... xxxiv 

Materialism and Advanced Thinkers xxxv 

The intellectual lead of Germany . . . xxxvii 

Advantages of the Study .... . xxxix 

Difficulties .... xl 

Terms ..... x l 

Vorstellung ..... xli 

Abstractions of Understanding . xlv 

Kant and Hegel generally .... . xlix 

The Illumination and its Correction . . . 1m 

German Politics . . . ]| x 

Principles and the Pabulum ... Ixi 

The three partial Reactions . . . Ixii 

The present Revulsion .... Ixii 

Conclusion ..... ] x ii 




Preliminaries of the Struggle to Hegel . 1 

Difficulty of Hegel ... 3 



Those that succumb and those that triumph in. regard to it .3 

These Notes on occasion of this difficulty . . . . .4 

First Impressions of the System, and of German Philosophy in general . 5 
The Encyclopaedia ....... 7 

Rosenkranz s Life of Hegel ...... 8 

Kant ......... 9 

Reinhold and other Commentators . . . . .9 

The Literature of the Subject . . . . . .11 

Zymoses ......... 13 

History, Principles, and Outcome of these . . . .14 

Relative Places of Kant, Fichte, Schelling, Hegel . . .15 

Elimination of Fichte and Schelling . . . . .15 

Hegel and Schelling at Jena . . . . . .17 

Coleridge ......... 19 

What Works of Kant and Hegel are specially studied . . .21 


A. 1. A Beginning, &c. . . . . . . .23 

2. Plato s rafirbv and Qo.Tf.pov ... . . . .27 

B. Purpose of the Logic, and a Summary of its early Portions . . 27 

C. 1. A Beginning again . . . . . . .36 

2. The Strangeness of the System . . . . .39 

3. Wesen ........ 41 

4. Objections to Kant and the rest . . . . .43 

D. 1. Objections to Hegel continued . . . . .45 

2. The Process of Self-consciousness, &c. . . .51 

3. The General Idea, &c. . . . . .53 

4. Knowledge and the All . . . . . .59 

5. Kant and the rest . . . . . . .61 

Origin of Hegel ..... .63 

6. Objections to Hegel . . . . . . .65 

E. 1. Explanations . . . . . . .67 

2. A Hegelian Dictum historically put . . . .74 

Remark general on these Notes and the Value of Hegel . . .74 


A. The Secret of Hegel ....... 79 

B. Affirmation . . . . . . . .101 

C. Difficulty and Suspicion . . . . . .105 

Causality ........ 106 

The System of Kant . . . . . . .108 

Hegel on Causality, and Hegel s System . . . .109 

D. The Rationale of Generalisation . . . . .112 

E. Hegel in earnest with Kant . . . . . .119 

F. The Notion in itself and for itself . . . . .121 

G. Finite Things and their Notion . . . . .122 
H. The absolute Affirmation, &c. . . . . . .123 




A. Idealism and Materialism ... .124 

B. Reciprocity .... .134 

C. The Notion . 138 

D. Genesis of the Notion . . . . - .147 


A. Special Origin and peculiar Nature of the Hegelian Principle . 156 

B. Same Subject .... ... 174 

C. More particular Derivation . . . 180 

D. A short Formula . 204 

E. Further Explanations . . ... 205 

F. Additional Illustration . . 210 
Remark - 214 




Being . . .218 

A. Being ......... 218 

B. Nothing. . . 218 

C. Becoming .... . 219 

1. Unity of Being and Nothing ..... 219 
Remark 1. The Antithesis of Being and Nothing in Conception . 219 

2. Defectiveness of the Expression Unity, Identity of 

Being and Nothing ..... 226 

3. The isolating of these Abstractions . . . 229 

4. The Incomprehensibleness of the Beginning . . 240 

2. Moments of Becoming ...... 241 

3. Sublation of Becoming ...... 242 

Remark. The Expression Sublation . . . . 243 


There-being ........ 245 

A. There-being as such . . . . . 245 

a. There-being in general ...... 246 

b. Quality ..... . 247 

Remark. Reality and Negation ..... 248 

c. Something ..... . . 251 

B. Finitude .... . 253 

a. Something and Another ... . 253 



b. Qualification, Talification, and Limit 

c. Finitude ..... 

(a) The Immediacy of Finitude .... 
(/3) Limitation and To-be-to 

Remark. To-be-to .... 
(7) Transition of Finitude into Infinitude . 
C. Infinitude ..... 

a. The Infinite in general .... 

b. Alternation of Finite and Infinite . 

c. Affirmative Infinitude ..... 
Transition ...... 

Remark 1. The Infinite Progress .... 
2. Idealism ..... 

Being-for-self ..... 

A. Being-for-self as such .... 

a. There-being and Being-for-self .... 

b. Being-for-One ...... 

Remark. The Expression Was fur eines > 

c. One ...... 

B. One and Many .... 

a. The One in itself . 

b. The One and the Void 

Remark. Atomistic ..... 

c. Many Ones. Repulsion ..... 
Remark. The Leibnitzian Monad 

C. Repulsion and Attraction ..... 

a. Exclusion of the One ..... 
Remark. The Unity of the One and the Many . 

b. The one One of Attraction .... 

c. The Reference of Repulsion and Attraction 

Remark. The Kantian Construction of Matter from Forces 
Attraction and Repulsion. .... 








Definiteness (Quality) ...... 322 

(Bestimmen, Seyn, Daseyn, and other terms explained a general 
expression given) ....... 323 



A. Being 

B. Nothing . 

. 328 
. 328 




C. Becoming ........ 328 

(Detailed explanations of what has led Hegel to begin thus) . 328 

1. Unity of Being and Nothing ..... 328 
Remark 1. The Antithesis of Being and Nothing in Conception . 365 

2. Defectiveness of the Expression Unity, Identity of 

Being and Nothing ..... 370 

3. The isolating of these Abstractions . . .371 

4. The Incomprehensibleness of the Beginning . . 372 

2. Moments of Becoming ...... 374 

3. Sublation of Becoming ...... 374 

Remark. The Expression Sublation .... 374 


There-being ........ 382 

A. There-being as such ....... 382 

a. There-being in general ...... 352 

b. Quality . . . . . . .384 

Remark, Reality and Negation ..... 384 

c. Something ........ 387 

B. Finitude ........ 393 

a. Something and Another ...... 395 

b. Qualification, Talification, and Limit .... 398 

c. Finitude. . . . . . . . .411 

(a) The Immediacy of Finitude . . . . .412 

(/3) Limitation and To-be-to ...... 412 

Remark, To-be-to ...... 414 

(7) Transition of Finitude into Infinitude .... 416 

C. Infinitude . . . . . . . .421 

a. The Infinite in General ...... 422 

b. Alternation of Finite and Infinite ..... 422 

c. Affirmative Infinitude ...... 424 

Remark 1. The Infinite Progress ..... 427 

2. Idealism ....... 435 

Transition ......... 453 


Being-for-self ........ 454 

A. Being-for-self as such ....... 457 

a. There-being and Being-for-self ..... 457 

b. Being-for-One ....... 457 

Remark. The Expression Was fur eines ? 458 

c. One . ...... 560 

B. One and Many ........ 461 

a. The One in itself ...... 4g3 

b. The One and the Void ...... 466 

Remark. Atomistic ..... 4(57 

c. Many Ones. Repulsion ...... 468 

Remark. The Leibnitzian Monad ..... 473 



C. Repulsion and Attraction ...... 474 

a. Exclusion of the One ...... 474 

Remark. The Unity of the One and the Many . . . 476 

b. The one One of Attraction ...... 478 

c. The Reference of Repulsion and Attraction . . . 479 
Remark. The Kantian Construction of Matter from Forces of 

Attraction and Repulsion ...... 482 






Quantity ..... ... 505 

A. Pure Quantity .... ... 505 

Remark 1. Conception of Pure Quantity .... 506 

2. Kantian Antinomy of the Indivisibility and of the 

Infinite Divisibility of Time, of Space, of Matter . 507 

B. Continuous and Discrete Magnitude . . . . .510 
Remark. The usual Separation of these Magnitudes . . . 513 

C. Limitation of Quantity ....... 514 


Quantum . . . . . . . . .519 

A. Number ........ 519 

Remark 1. The Arithmetical Operations, &c. .... 525 

2. Application of Numerical Distinctions in expression of 

Philosophical Notions ..... 528 

B. Extensive and Intensive Quantum ..... 532 

a. Difference of these ....... 532 

b. Identity of Extensive and Intensive Magnitude . . . 535 
Remark 1. Examples of this Identity .... 537 

2. Kant s Application of Degree to the Being of the 

Soul . . . . . . .539 

c. Alteration of the Quantum ...... 540 

C. The Quantitative Infinite ...... 541 

a. Notion of the same ....... 541 

b. The Quantitative Infinite Progress ..... 542 
Remark 1. The High Repute of the Proyressus in Infinitum . . 544 


c. The Infinitude of Quantum ...... 549 

Remark 1. The precise Nature of the Notion of the Mathematical 

Infinite ...... 557 

B. Quantity 

a. Pure Quantity . . . 595 

b. Quantum ..... . . 596 

c. Degree ........ 597 

Explanatory Remarks ...... 597 

Quantity from the Encyclopaedic . . . 597 




Schwegler . ... . 600 

Rosenkran/ . . 608 

Haym . . 624 



yidfTiv, T) irjTTjpa, KO.K&V 

OSrot yap /cX^rot ye fSporuv eV airtipova, yaiav. 

The Hidden Secret of the Universe is powerless to resist the might of thought ; it must 
unclose itself before it, revealing to sight and bringing to enjoyment its riches and its 
depths. HEGEL. 


THERE has been a desire expressed that this book should not be 
altered in the fear that alteration would spoil it ! My regret is 
that, in the way of alteration, where so much was required, so 
little was possible. There certainly has been the attempt a 
most anxious and painful one to mitigate for the reader, in 
translation and commentary, the uncouth unintelligibleness of 
that extraordinary new German which it has been my fate to 
deal in. The melancholy fact remains, however, that all these 
Beings Being-for-self, Being-for-other, Being-for-one, Being-for-a, 
& c . ar e hopeless : like a child that first reads, one has been 
obliged to syllabify. Still there have been explanations altera 
tions, for meaning or in taste, there have been freely put to 
use many. Nevertheless, with all the foot-notes and all the 
modifications in text, it is to be acknowledged or professed, that, 
be it a good or be it not so good, the pile itself characteristic 
faults and all remains essentially the same, if only, as a pile, 
it may be hoped, somewhat sharper-edged or clearer-surfaced. 

It may seem in place now to say a word or two as to the origin 
of the book itself. Of my nine years consecutive university 
winter sessions, the five in Arts left such deep and decided mark 
on me that I was glad to return to the relative studies when I 
could ; and for this purpose I was for six years in France and 
Germany. Then, again, if in Classics and Mathematics, it could 
hardly be said that I was not distinguished, it was certainly in 
philosophy that I was most so ; and in that connexion I could 



not but vividly recollect these, till then academically unheard of, 
instantaneous three rounds of unrestrainable and unrestrained 
applause, that crowned the reading of that essay of mine, and 
filled the old class-room to the roof with dust the sweetest 
that, ever in life, I did taste, or shall ! 

No wonder, then, that my literary leisure went all but wholly 
to philosophy, and, in the end, specially to that philosophy to 
which in Germany, as it were, the eyes of all Europe seemed 
turned. As for Hegel, it was somewhat strange that seeing the 
name while still at home and even without a dream of Germany 
with surprise, for the first time, in a Eeview, I was some 
how very peculiarly impressed by it. But the special magic 
lay for me in this, that, supping with two students of 
German before I was in German as deep as they, I heard this 
Hegel talked of with awe as, by universal repute, the deepest 
of all philosophers, but as equally, also, the darkest. The one 
had been asked to translate bits of him for the press ; and the 
other had come to the belief that there was something beyond 
usual remarkable in him: it was understood that he had not 
only completed philosophy, but, above all, reconciled to philosophy 
Christianity itself. That struck ! 

Probably this will suffice as to the rationale of the appearance 
of the Secret of Hegel, but, perhaps, the reader would like to know 
the main biographical facts of Hegel himself. 

Hegel was born at Stuttgart on the 27th of August 1770. 
His father was a government Bureaucrat, and the family one 
of upper middle-rank. An industrious and zealous student, he 
was long and variously traiued in private and in the Gym 
nasium at Stuttgart. For five years at the University of Tubin 
gen he was an eminently good student, and of a recognised 
unofficious, but markedly genial and solid bearing. Thereafter 
for some years a family-tutor, he habilitated himself at Jena, 
in 1801, as a Doccnt in Philosophy. There he was appointed 
to a Professorship shortly before the political catastrophe ousted 
him from it again. For two years he edited at Bamberg a political 
journal. He was then Ptector of the Academy at Niirnberg till 


called in 1816 to a Professorship at Heidelberg. In 1818 he was 
translated to Berlin, and speedily became there the master of a 
widely influential school that was not unfavoured by the Gov 
ernment. He died of cholera on the 14th November 1830. He 
had been thoroughly educated. He knew French and English, 
and something of Italian. He was a passed master in 
Classics, and in knowledge of Aristotle, for example, even led 
the way. Grounded to the full in Mathematics and the Physical 
sciences, it was wonderful what he gained for himself by industry 
outside as it were say in Art, Painting, Music. His works, as 
they appear on the shelves, are in a score of volumes. His char 
acter was integrity, judgment, and goodwill themselves as 
husband, father, teacher, man. He was plain, unpretentious, 
real ; as it was said, Bicderkeit characterised him, but not less 
Lmtigkcit : he enjoyed society and very much the excursion of 
remission, whether lengthened or short. His life has been ad 
mirably written by Rosenkranz, himself a most accomplished man 
of an attractive and susceptible endowment, and of Philosophy 
an illustrious and most popular Professor. 


THIS is the last fruit, though first published, of a long and earnest 
labour devoted, in the main, to two men only Kant and Hegel, 
and more closely, in the main also, to the three principal works 
(the Kritiken) of the one, and the two principal works (the Logic 
and the Encyclopaedia) of the other. This study has been the 
writer s chief not just to say sole occupation during a greater 
number of years, and for a greater number of hours in each day of 
these years, than it is perhaps prudent to avow at present. The 
reader, then, has a good right to expect something mature from 
so long, unintermitted, and concentrated an endeavour ; it is 
to be feared, however, that the irregularity of the very first look of 
the thing will lead him to believe, on the contrary, that he is only 
deceived. The truth is, that, after a considerable amount of time 
and trouble had been employed on an exposition of Kant and a 
general introduction to the whole subject of German Philosophy, 
it was suddenly perceived that, perhaps, the most peculiar and 
important elements to which the study had led, were those that 
concerned Hegel, while, at the same time, the reflection arose that 
it was to Hegel the public probably looked with the greatest 
amount of expectant interest, if also of baffled irritation. This indi 
cates the considerations which led to the hope that the importance 
of the matter might, in such a case, obtain excuse for a certain 
extemporaneousness that lay in the form that, in short, the 
matter of years might compensate the manner of months. 

I do not think it worth while to make any observations on 
the different sections or parts contained in these pages ; I remark 


only that if the reader who probably, nevertheless, will take 
his own way would read this book in the order and manner 
its own composer would prescribe, he will begin with the part 
marked II., A Translation from the Complete Logic of the whole 
First Section, Quality? and force himself to dwell there the very 
longest that he can. Only so will he realise at the vividest the 
incredulity with which one first meets the strangeness and unin 
telligibleness of Hegel. Again, in reading the chapters of the 
Struggle to Hegel, which he will take next, he ought to retain 
this translation still in his hands. The various portions of this 
struggle will, in fact, be fully intelligible only to him who endea 
vours, repeatedly, to advance as far as Limit, either in the trans 
lation or in Hegel s own Logic. Finally, after such preliminaries, 
the translation II., or the correspondent original, should, in com 
pany with the commentary and interpretation III., be rigorously, 
radically, completely studied, and then the rest taken as it stands.* 

The secret of Hegel may be indicated at shortest thus : As 
Aristotle with considerable assistance from Plato made explicit 
the abstract Universal that was implicit in Socrates, so Hegel 
with less considerable assistance from Fichte and Schelling made 
explicit the concrete Universal that was implicit in Kant. 

Further, to preclude at once an entire sphere of objections, 
I remark that Kant and Hegel are the very reverse of the 
so-called German Party with which in England they are very 
generally confounded. It is the express mission of Kant and 
Hegel, in effect, to replace the negative of that party, by an affirma- 
tive : or Kant and Hegel all but wholly directly both, and one of 
them quite wholly directly have no object but to restore Faith 
Faith in God Faith in the immortality of the Soul and the 
Freedom of the Will nay, Faith in Christianity as the Kevealed 
Eeligion and that, too, in perfect harmony with the Eight of 
Private Judgment, and the Eights, or Lights, or Mights of Intelli 
gence in general. 

* This need not alarm the most perfunctory reader, however, who will find three- 
fourths of the work as Preface, Conclusion, Commentators, Struggle, and much of 
the Commentary sufficiently exoteric and easy. 


IN intruding on the Public with a work on Hegel, the first duty 
that seems to offer, is, to come to an understanding with it (the 
public) as regards the prepossessions which commonly obtain, it is 
to be feared, not only as against the particular writer named, but 
as against the whole body of what is called German Philosophy. It 
will be readily admitted, to be sure, by all from whom the admis 
sion is of any value, that just in proportion to the relative know 
ledge of the individual is his perception as well of the relative 
ignorance of the community. But this general ignorance, to wit 
were no dispensation from the duty indicated : for just in such 
circumstances is it that there are prepossessions, that there are 
in the strict sense of the word prejudices ; and prejudices consti 
tute, here as everywhere else, that preliminary obstacle of natural 
error which requires removal before any settlement of rational 
truth can possibly be effected. We cannot pretend, however, to 
reach all the prejudices concerned ; for, thought in this connexion 
being still so incomplete, the variety of opinion, as usual, passes 
into the indefinite; night reigns a night peopled by our own 
fancies and distinct enumeration becomes impossible. 

Nevertheless, restricting ourselves to what is either actually or 
virtually prominent in the one case by public rumour, and in 
the other by private validity perhaps we shall accomplish a 
sufficiently exhaustive discussion by considering the whole ques 
tion of objections as reduced to the two main assertions, that 
German Philosophy is, firstly, obsolete and, secondly, lad. The 
latter category, indeed, is so comprehensive, that there is little 
reason to fear but that we shall be able to include under it (with 
its fellow) all of any consequence that has been anywhere said on 
the subject. Of these two assertions in their order, then. 

Of the First, certain proceedings of Schelling constitute the 
angle ; but to understand these proceedings, and the influence they 


exerted, a word is first of all necessary in regard to what, at the 
date in question, was universally held to be the historical progress 
of German Philosophy. The sum of general opinion in that regard 
we may state at once, in fact, to have been this : Kant was sup 
planted by Fichte, Fichte by Schelling, and Schelling by Hegel. 
Any dissension, indeed, as to the sequent signification of this series 
was, as is natural, only to be found among the terms or members 
to it themselves. Kant, for example, publicly declined the affilia 
tion which Fichte claimed from him. But then this was still 
settled by the remark of Keinhold, that, though Kant s belief could 
no longer be doubted, it yet by no means followed that Fichte was 
wrong. As for Fichte and Schelling, they had had their differences 
certainly, the master and the pupil, for the latter had gone to school 
to other masters, and had insisted on the addition to the original 
common property of a considerable amount of materials from with 
out : nevertheless, it may be taken for granted that they themselves, 
though not without reluctance on the part of one of them perhaps, 
acquiesced in the universal understanding of their mutual relations. 
Hegel again, who had at first fought for Schelling, who had pro 
duced the bulk of that Critical Journal which had on the face of 
it no origin and no object but polemically to stand by Schelling 
who, in particular, had written that Dissertatio which demonstrated 
the advance of Schelling over all his predecessors, and the conse 
quent truth of the Identitatssystem who, in a word, seemed to 
have publicly adopted this system and openly declared himself an 
adherent of Schelling, Hegel, it is true, had afterwards declared off, 
or, as the Germans have it, said himself loose, from Schelling. But 
here, too, it was not necessary to take Hegel at his own word ; for 
who does not know what every such mere declaration, such mere 
saying, is worth ? Every man, in view of the special nick which 
he himself seems to have effected in the end, would fain see elimi 
nated before it all the nicks of his predecessors, but not the less on 
that account is that former but the product of these latter. On the 
whole, then, despite some little natural interior dissension, it was 
certain that Fichte was the outcome of Kant more certain, 
perhaps, that Schelling was the outcome of Fichte, and even 
on the whole more certain still that Hegel was the outcome of 

Such we may assume to have been the universal belief at the 
death of Hegel in 1831. But now it was the fortune of Schelling 
to survive Hegel, and for a period of no less than twenty-three 


years, during part of which it became his cue to overbid Hegel, 
and pass him in his turn. During what we may call the reign 
of Hegel, which may be taken to have commenced, though at 
first feebly, with the appearance of the Phaenomenologie in 1807, 
Schelling had preserved an almost unbroken and very remarkable 
silence. No sooner was Hegel dead, however, than Schelling let 
hints escape him this was as early as 1832 of the speedy 
appearance on his part of yet another Philosophy, and, this time, 
of transcendent and unimagined import. No publication followed 
these hints, nevertheless, till 1834, when, in reference to a certain 
translation of Cousin, he gave vent to a very sharp and depreciatory 
estimate of the Hegelian Philosophy, and on grounds that were 
equally hostile to his own, from which that of Hegel was supposed 
to have sprung. Lastly, at Berlin in 1841, he publicly declared his 
previous Philosophy and, of course, the Philosophy of Hegel 
seemed no less involved to have been a poem, a mere poem, 
and he now offered in its place his Philosophy of Ptevelation. 
Now, with these facts before it, at the same time that all Germany 
united to reject this last Philosophy as certainly for its part a 
poem whatever its predecessor might have been, how could the 
general public be expected to feel ? Worn out with the two 
generations of fever that had followed the Kritik of Kant, would 
not the natural impulse be to take the remaining philosopher of 
the series at his word, and believe with him that the whole matter 
had been in truth a poem, a futile striving of mere imagination in 
the empty air of an unreal and false abstraction ? This same 
public, moreover, found itself, on trial, compelled to forego the 
hope of judging Hegel for itself, and, while the very difficulty 
that produced this result would seem to it to throw an anterior 
probability on the judgment of Schelling, it had every reason to 
feel convinced that he, of all men, was the one who, in a super- 
eminent degree, was the best qualified to judge for it. He, by uni 
versal acknowledgment, had thoroughly understood and thoroughly 
summed both Kant and Fichte ; by an acknowledgment equally 
universal, it was his system that had given origin to the system of 
Hegel : moreover, he had lived longer than Hegel, and had enjoyed, 
counting from the Critical Journal, the ample advantage of more 
than fifty years of the study of the works of Hegel. If any man, 
then,possessed the necessary ability, the necessary acquirements, the 
necessary presuppositions every way, to enable him to understand 
Hegel, that man was Schelling, and there could, therefore, be no 


hesitation whatever in accepting the judgment of Schelling as what, 
in reference to the Philosophy of Hegel, was to be universally 
considered the absolutely definitive conclusion, the absolutely 
definitive sentence. If Schelling were inadequate to understand 
Hegel, what other German could hope success ? and, the door being 
shut on Germany, was it possible to expect an open sesame from 
the lips of any foreigner ? Rosenkranz remarks of the Times, that 
it ridiculed the attention which we devoted to the conflict of Schel 
ling with the School of Hegel, and opined that we were abstruse 
enthusiasts, for the whole difference between Hegel and Schelling 
came at last to this, that the first was very obscure, and the second 
obscurer still. But surely, in the circumstances described, the 
Times was not only entitled to say as much as that, but, more 
still, that the whole thing had been but an intellectual fever, and 
was now at an end, self-stultified by the admission of its own 
dream. In fact, as has been said, the declaration of Schelling 
amounted to a sentence. And so the general public took it we 
may say not only in Germany, b ut throughout Europe. Thence 
forth, accordingly, stronger natures turned themselves to more 
hopeful issues, and German Philosophy was universally aban 
doned, unless, as it were, for the accidental studies of a few ex 
ceptional spirits. Since then, indeed, and especially since the 
failure of political hopes in 1848, Germany on the whole has, by 
a complete reaction, devoted to the crass concretes of empirical 
science the same ardour which she previously exhibited in the 
abstract atmosphere of the pure Idea. 

This will probably be allowed to suffice as regards the case of the 
affirmative in reference to the first assertion that German Philo 
sophy is obsolete. What may be said for the negative, will be 
considered later. Meanwhile, we shall proceed to state the case 
of the affirmative of the second assertion that German Philosophy 
is bad. 

The proof of this assertion, current opinion usually rests, 
firstly, on the indirect evidence of the reputed friends of German 
Philosophy, and, secondly, on the direct findings of its intelligent 

Are not the friends of the German Philosophers, we are asked, 
for example, just all these people who occupy themselves nowa 
days with Feuerbach and with Strauss ; and do not they belong, 
almost all of them, to an inferior Atheistico-Materialistic set, or, 
at all events, to those remnants of the Aufklcirung, of Eighteenth 


Century Illumination, which still exist among us? Then, are not 
Essayists and Reviewers, with Bishop Colenso, generally spoken 
of as the German Party ; while, as for Strauss and Renan, are 
they not, by universal assertion and express name, the pupils of 
Hegel ; and is not the one aim of the whole of these writers to 
establish a negative as regards the special inspiration of the Chris 
tian Scriptures, and shake Faith ? There was Mr Buckle, too, 
who, as is very clearly to be seen, though, to be sure, his mind 
was not very well made up, and he vacillated curiously between 
the Deism with an Immortality (say) of Hume and the Atheism 
without an Immortality of Comte there was Mr Buckle, who 
still knew nothing and would know nothing but the Illumination, 
and did not he round his tumid but vacant periods with allusions 
to the German Philosophers as advanced thinkers of the most 
exemplary type ? By their fruits you shall know them, and shall 
we not judge of Kant and Hegel by these their self-proclaimed 
friends, which are the fruits they produced ? ISTor so judging, 
and in view of the very superfluous extension in an age like the 
present of scepticism and misery (which is the sole vocation of 
such friends), shall we hesitate to declare the whole movement 

But, besides this indirect evidence of the reputed friends, there 
is the direct testimony of the intelligent foes of the philosophy 
and philosophers in question : we possess writers of the highest 
ability in themselves, and of consummate accomplishment as to 
all learning requisite Sir William Hamilton, Coleridge, De 
Quincey, for example who have instituted each of them his own 
special inquest into the matter, and who all agree in assuring us 
of the Atheistic, Pantheistic, and, for the rest, self-contradictory, 
and indeed nugatory, nature of the entire industry, from Kant, 
who began it, to Hegel and Schelling, who terminated it. Surely, 
then, a clear case here, if ever anywhere, has been made out 
against the whole body of German Philosophy, which really, 
besides, directly refutes itself, even in the eyes of the simplest, 
by its own uncouth, outre, bizarre, and unintelligible jargon. 
Beyond a doubt the thing is bad, radically bad, and deservedly at 
an end. Advanced thinkers come themselves to see, more and 
more clearly daily, the nullity of its idealism, as well as its 
obstructiveness generally to the legitimate progress of all sensible 
speculation, and Mr Lockhart (if we mistake not) had perfect 
reason, if not in the words, at least in the thoughts, when he 


exclaimed to a would-be translator of German Philosophy, What ! 
would you introduce that d d nonsense into this country ? 

It would seem, then, that the affirmative possesses an exceed 
ingly strong case as regards both assertions, and that the negative 
has imposed on it a very awkward dilemma in each. Either grant 
German Philosophy obsolete, or prefer yourself to Schelling : this 
is the dilemma on one side. Then on the other it cries : Either 
grant German Philosophy lad, or justify Scepticism. 

Now, to take the latter alternative of the first dilemma would 
be ridiculous. To take that of the second, again, would be to 
advance in the teeth of our own deepest convictions. 

Scepticism has done its work, and it were an anachronism on 
our part, should we, like Mr Buckle, pat Scepticism on the back 
and urge it still farther forward. Scepticism is the necessary 
servant of Illuminations, and Illuminations are themselves very 
necessary things ; but Scepticism and Illuminations are no longer 
to be continued when Scepticism and Illuminations have accom 
plished their mission, fulfilled their function. It is all very well, 
when the new light breaks in on us, to take delight in it, and to 
doubt every nook and corner of our old darkness. It is very 
exhilarating then, too, though it breed but wind and conceit, to 
crow over our neighbours, and to be eager to convince them of the 
excellence of our position and of the wretchedness of theirs. But 
when, in Schelling s phrase, Aufkldrung has passed into Aus- 
kldrung when the Light-up has become a Light-out, the Clear- 
ing-up a Clearing-out when we are cleared, that is, of every 
article of our stowage, of our Inhalt, of our Substance things are 
very different. As we shiver then for hunger and cold in a crank 
bark that will not sail, all the clearing and clearness, all the light 
and lightness in the world, will not recompense or console us. 
The vanity of being better informed, of being superior to the pre 
judices of the vulgar, even of being superior to the superstition 
of the vulgar, will no longer support us. We too have souls to 
be saved. We too would believe in God. We too have an 
interest in the freedom of the will. We too would wish to share 
the assurance of the humble pious Christian who takes all thank 
fully, carrying it in perfect trust of the future to the other side. 

To maintain the negative, then, as regards the two assertions 
at issue, will demand on our part some care. Would we main 
tain, as regards the first, that German Philosophy is not obsolete, 
we must so present what we maintain as not in any way offen- 


sively to derogate from the dignity and authority of the intellect 
and position of Schelling. On the other hand, would we maintain, 
as regards the second, that German Philosophy is not bad, this too 
must be so managed that Scepticism, or, more accurately, the con 
tinuance of Scepticism, shall not be justified rather so that 
German Philosophy shall appear not bad just for this reason, that 
it demonstrates a necessary end to Scepticism and this, too, with 
out being untrue to the Aufklarung, without being untrue to the 
one principle of the Aufklarung, its single outcome the Right of 
Private Judgment. 

With reference to the first assertion, then, that German Philo 
sophy is obsolete, we hold the negative, and we rest our position 
simply on the present historical truth, that the sentence of Schel 
ling, however infallible its apparent authority, has not, in point of 
fact, been accepted. The several considerations which go to prove 
this follow here together. 

Many other Germans, for example, of good ability, of great 
accomplishment, and thoroughly versed in Schelling himself, have, 
despite the ban of the latter, continued to study Hegel, and have 
even claimed for him a superior significance, not only as regards 
Schelling or Fichte, but even as regards Kant. As concerns other 
countries, the same state of the case has been attested by the trans 
lations which have appeared. Translations are public matters, 
and call for no express enumeration ; and as regards the German 
writers to whom we allude, perhaps general statement will suffice 
as well. We shall appeal only, by way of instance, to one friend and 
to one foe of Hegel. The former is Schwegler, whose premature 
death has been universally deplored, and whom we have to thank, 
as well for a most exhaustive and laborious investigation of the 
Metaphysic of Aristotle, as for what it is, perhaps, not rash to 
name the most perfect epitome of general philosophy at present in 
existence.* This latter work is easily accessible, and the summaries 
it contains are of such a nature generally, and as respects Schel 
ling and Hegel in particular, though drawbacks are not wanting, 
as to relieve us of the fear that its authority in the question will 
be readily impugned. The foe (i.e. of Hegel) whom we would adduce 
here is Haym, who applies to Schelling s estimate of Hegel such 
epithets as spiteful and envious, and asserts it to contain ran 
cour, misintelligence, and a good deal of distortion. -f The same 

* Englished, three years later, by the author, 
t Vide Haym : Hegel und seine Zeit, p. 23. 


evidence, both of friend and foe, is illustrated and made good by 
the present state, not only in Germany, but everywhere in Europe, 
of the study of the four writers who represent the philosophy in 
question. As regards Schelling himself, for example, that study 
may be almost named null, and his writings are probably never read 
now unless for purposes of an historic and business nature. Reading, 
indeed, seems unnecessary in the case of what was life-long incon 
sistency, stained too by the malice, and infected by the ineptitude, 
of the end. Of Fichte, much of the philosophical framework has 
fallen to the ground, and what works of his are still current, at the 
same time that they are in their nature exoteric, interest rather by 
their literary merits and the intrinsic nobleness of the man. But 
the hopes that were founded on Kant and Hegel have not yet 
withered down, and the works of both are still fondled in the 
hands with however longing a sigh over the strange spell of diffi 
culty that clasps them from the sight. With reference to the 
former, Germany, at this very moment, loudly declares that with 
him is a beginning again to be made, and openly confesses that 
she has been too fast that aspiration and enthusiasm have out 
stripped intelligence. As for Hegel, the case is thus put by an 
accomplished English metaphysician:* Who has ever yet uttered 
one intelligible word about Hegel ? Not any of his countrymen 
not any foreigner seldom even himself. With peaks here and 
there more lucent than the sun, his intervals are filled with a sea 
of darkness, unnavigable by the aid of any compass, and an atmo 
sphere, or rather vacuum, in which no human intellect can breathe. 

. . Hegel is impenetrable, almost throughout, as a mountain of 
adamant. This is the truth, and it would have been well had 
other writers but manifested an equal courage of honest avowal. 
But it is with very mixed feelings that one watches the allures of 
those who decorate their pages^vith long passages from the Delian 
German of this modern Heraclitus, as if these passages were perti 
nent to their pages and intelligible to themselves this at the very 
moment that they declare the utter impossibility of extracting any 
meaning from what they quote unless by a process of distillation! 
Hegelian iron, Hegelianly tempered into Hegelian steel the 
absolute adamant this is to be distilled ! Bah ! take heart, hang 
out, sew on your panni purpurei all the same ! 

The verdict of Schelling, then, seems practically set aside by the 
mere progress of time ; and there appears to lie no wish nearer to 

* Professor Terrier, whose recent death (1864) \ve are now mourning. 


the hearts of all honest students nowadays, than that Hegel (and 
with him Kant is usually united) should be made permeable. And 
justification of this wish, on the part of students who are con 
fessedly only on the outside, is to be found in this that, even 
from this position, the works of both these writers, however 
impenetrable in the main, afford intimations of the richest promise 
on all the deeper interests of man. The Kritik of Pure Reason 
and the Kritik of Judgment remain still vast blocks of immovable 
opacity; and even the Kritik of Practical Reason has not yet (1864) 
been represented with any approach to entirety in England : never 
theless, from this last work there have shone, even on British 
breasts, some of those rays which filled the soul of Richter with 
divine joy with divine tranquillity as regards the freedom of the 
will, the immortality of the soul, and the existence of God. Hegel 
is more impervious than Kant ; yet still, despite the exasperation, 
the positive offence which attends the reading of such exoteric 
works of his as have been attempted to be conveyed to the public 
in French or English, we see cropping occasionally to the surface 
in these, a meaningness of speech, a facility of manipulating, and 
of reducing into ready proportion, a vast number of interests which 
to the bulk of readers are as yet only in a state of instinctive chaos, 
and, just on every subject that is approached, a general over 
mastering grasp of thought to which no other writer exhibits a 
parallel. In short, we may say that, as regards these great Ger 
mans, the general public carries in its heart a strange secret 
conviction, and that it seems even to its own self to wait on them 
with a dumb but fixed expectation of infinite and essential result. 
On this head, then, the conclusion forced upon us seems to be, that 
German Philosophy is indeed not understood, but not, on that 
account, by any means obsolete. 

We come now to the negative of the second assertion, that 
German Philosophy is lad, and have to consider, first of all, what, 
on the opposite side, has been said for the affirmative, and under 
the two heads of the indirect evidence of reputed friends, and the 
direct testimony of intelligent foes. Under the first head, the 
plea began by alluding to a certain small Atheistico-Materialistic 
Party; but to this it is sufficient reply to point out that the 
adherents of a Strauss and a Eeuerbach must be widely discrimi 
nated from those of a Kant and a Hegel. Further, what the plea 
states next, that Strauss and Renan are par excellence named the 
pupils of Hegel, is, as mere ascription, of small moment before the 


fact that their supposed master would have found the industry of 
both, in view of what he had done himself, not only superfluous, 
but obstructive, contradictory, and even, in a certain point of view, 
contemptible. Much the same thing can be said as regards the 
English writers who seem to follow a similar bent : whatever may 
be the inner motives of these writers (Essayists and Eeviewers, 
&c.), their activity belongs to that sphere of Rationalism against 
which Hegel directly opposed himself. Still to spread the negative 
a negative the spreading of which has long reached ultimate tenuity 
and in those days when it is not the negative but the affirmative 
we need this would have seemed to a Hegel of all things the 
most unnecessary, of all things the most absurd. 

Mr Buckle who comes next certainly praises Kant as, per 
haps, the greatest thinker of his century; and, though he does 
not name Hegel, he seems to speak of the philosophers of Ger 
many in general as something very exalted. But, observe, there 
is always in all this the air of a man who is speaking by antici 
pation, and who only counts on verifying the same. Nor beyond 
anticipation can any broader basis of support be extended to 
those generous promises he so kindly advanced, of supplying us 
with definitive light at length on German Philosophy, and on the 
causes of the special accumulation of Thought and Knowledge 
in that great country I It is, indeed, to be feared that those 
promises rested only on faith in his own invincible intellect, 
and not on any knowledge as yet of the subject itself. He had 
a theory, had Mr Buckle, or, rather, a theory had him a theory, 
it is true, small rather, but still a theory that to him loomed huge 
as the universe, at the same time that it was the single drop of 
vitality in his whole soul. Now, that such redoubted thinkers 
as Kant and Hegel, who, in especial, had been suspected or accused 
of Deism, Atheism, Pantheism, and all manner of isms dear to 
Enlightenment, but hateful to Prejudice (or vice versa) that 
these should be found not to fit his theory such doubt 
never for a moment crossed even the most casual dream of 
Buckle ! 

We hold, then, that Mr Buckle spoke in undoubted anticipa 
tion, and in absence of any actual knowledge. His book, at all 
events, would argue absolute destitution of any such knowledge, 
despite a certain amount of the usual tumid pretension ; and it 
was just when he found himself brought by his own programme 
face to face with the Germans, that, it appears, he felt induced 


to take that voyage of recreation, the melancholy result of which 
we still deplore. The dilemma is this : once arrived at the actual 
study of the Germans, either Mr Buckle penetrated the Germans, 
or he did not. Now, on the one horn, if he did, he surely found, 
to his amazement, consternation, horror a spirit, a thought the 
very reverse of his theory the very reverse of that superiority 
to established prejudice and constituted superstition which his own 
unhesitating conviction had led him so innocently to expect. In 
other words, if Mr Buckle did penetrate the Germans, he found 
that there was nothing left him but to bum every vestige of that 
shallow Enlightenment which, supported on such semi-information, 
on such weak personal vanity, amid such hollow raisonnement, and 
with such contradictory results, he had been tempted, so boyishly 
ardent, so vaingloriously pompous, to communicate to a world 
in many of its members so ignorant, that it hailed a crude, con 
ceited boy (of formal ability, quick conscientiousness, and the pang 
of Illumination inherited probably from antecedents somewhere) 
as a Vast Genius, and his work a bundle of excerpts of mere 
Illumination, from a bundle of books of mere Illumination, dis 
posed around a ready-made presupposition of mere Illumination 
as a Magnificent Contribution, fruit of Vast Learning, and even 
Philosophy. * 

Such would have been the case if Mr Buckle had penetrated 
the Germans : he would have been in haste to hide out of the way 
all traces of the blunder (and of the blundering manner of the 
blunder) which had pretentiously brought forward as new and 
great what had received its coup de grdce at the hands and there 
after been duly ticketed and shelved as Aufklarung by the in 
dustry of an entire generation of Germans, and at least not less 
than half a century previously. 

On the other horn, if Mr Buckle had not penetrated and could 
not penetrate the Germans a supposition not incompatible with 
the formal ability of even Mr Buckle vexation the most intense 

* The theory entertained in explanation of Mr Buckle here, has not his particular 
age in regard when he wrote his work, but a youthful ideal, whose burthen was 
Aufklarung, which had been kindled in him probably from early communication 
with some to him hero or heroes of Aufklarung, and which was filled up by what 
quotations he was able to make from a miscellaneous and mere reading in the direc 
tion of the Aufklarung. In a certain way, there is not much said here as against 
Mr Buckle : while his talent and love of truth are both acknowledged, his matter is 
identified with the Aufklarung, and this last consideration is not likely to be taken 
ill by the friends of the Aufklarung. 



would replace the boyish anticipations, the conceited promises, 
which had been with so much confidence announced. A certain 
amount of matter was here indispensable ; mere hollow, swash 
buckler peroration about superstition, fanaticism, and the like, 
would no longer serve : his own programme forced him to show 
some of the knowledge which had been here as he had himself 
declared so pre-eminently accumulated, as well as to demon 
strate something of the peculiar means and influences which had 
brought about so remarkable a result. The Theme was Civilisa 
tion, and to him civilisation was knowledge, the accumulation 
of knowledge, therefore, was necessarily to him the very first and 
fundamental condition, and of this condition Germany had been 
publicly proclaimed by himself the type and the exemplar. Mere 
generalities would no longer suffice, then the type itself would 
require to be produced the Germans must be penetrated ! But 
how if they could not be penetrated ? 

Thus, choosing for Mr Buckle which horn we may, the dilemma 
is such as to truncate or reverse any influence of his praise on the 
German Philosophers. Mr Buckle s sanguine expectations, in 
deed, to find there but mirrors of the same small Enlightenment 
and Illumination which he himself worshipped, are to be applied, 
not in determination of Kant and Hegel, but of Mr Buckle 

On the general consideration at present before us, then, we are 
left with the conclusion that the German Philosophers are un 
affected by the indirect evidence of their reputed friends. 

On the other issue, as regards what weight is to be attached to 
the verdict of the supposed intelligent foes of the Germans, there 
were required a special analysis at least of the relative acquire 
ments of each of these ; and this would lead to an inquest and 
discussion of greater length than to adapt it for insertion here. 
This, then, though on our part an actual accomplishment, will be 
carried over to another work. We remark only, that if Sir 
William Hamilton, Coleridge, and others have averred this and 
that of the Germans, whatever they aver is something quite in 
different, for the ignorance of all such, in the field before us, is 
utter, and considering the pretensions which accompany it, dis 
graceful.* As for Mr Lockhart, it will be presently seen, per- 

* The pretensions of Coleridge have been already made notorious by Professor 
Ferrier in Blackwood s Magazine for March, 1840. Those of others, though less 
simple, are equally demonstrable. 


haps, that he only made a mistake when he anathematised German 
Philosophy as nonsense, and that it is to that nonsense we 
have probably to attribute some very important results. 

As regards the unfriendly advanced thinkers who denounce 
the idealism and jargon of German Philosophy, this is as it 
should be : for German Philosophy, while it considers the general 
movement concerned as the one evil of the present, cannot but 
feel amused with the simple ways of this odd thing which calls 
itself an advanced thinker nowadays. There was a time, says 
Hegel, when a man who did not believe in Ghosts or the Devil 
was named a Philosopher ! But an advanced thinker, to these 
distinctions negative of the unseen, adds what is positive of the 
seen an enlightened pride in his father the monkey ! He may 
enjoy, perhaps, a well-informed satisfaction in contemplating mere 
material phenomena that vary to conditions as the all of this 
universe or he may even experience an elevation into the moral 
sublime when he points to his future in the rock in the form of 
those bones and other remains of a Pithccus Intelligens, which, in 
all probability (he reflects), no subsequent intelligence will ever 
handle but monkey is the pass-word! Sink your pedigree as 
man, and adopt for family-tree a procession of the skeletons of 
monkeys then superior enlightenment radiates from your very 
person, and your place is fixed a place of honour in the accla- 
mant brotherhood that names itself advanced ! So it (still) is in 
England at present; this is the acknowledged pinnacle of English 
thought and English science now. Just point in these days to 
the picture of some huge baboon, and suddenly before such 
enlightenment superstition is disarmed, priests confess their 
imposture, and the Church sinks beneath the Hippocampus of a 
Gorilla ! 

And this is but ine example of the present general truth, that 
Spiritualism seems dying out in England, and that more and 
more numerous voices daily cry hail to the new God, Matter 
matter, too, independent of any law (even law-loving Mr Buckle 
left behind !) matter, even when organised, pliant only to the 
moulding influence of contingent conditions ! This, surely, may 
be legitimately named the beginning of the end ! 

In Germany, indeed, despite a general apathy as under stun of 
expectations shocked, matters are not yet quite so bad ; and that 
they are not yet quite so bad may, perhaps, be attributed to some 
glimmering influence, or to some glimmering hope of its philo- 


sophy yet. Germany is certainly not without Materialism at 
present ; but still even now, perhaps, it cannot be said to be so 
widely spread there as in either France or England. This we may 
ascribe to the nonsense anathematised by Mr Lockhart. 

Be this as it may, we shall take leave to ascribe to this non 
sense another difference between England and Germany which, 
let it be ascribed to what it may, will as a fact be denied by none. 
This difference or this fact is, that this country is at this present 
moment far outstripped by Germany in regard to everything that 
holds of the intellect with the sole exception, perhaps, of Poetry 
and Fiction. Even as regards these, Germany has it still in her 
power to say a strong word for herself; but, these apart, in 
what department of literature are we not now surpassed by the 
Germans ? From whom have we received that more penetra 
tive spirit of criticism and biography that obtains at present ? 
Who sets us an example of completed research, of thorough 
accuracy, of absolutely impartial representation ? Who reads the 
Classics for us, and corrects and makes them plain to us plain 
in the minutest allusion to the concrete life from which they 
sprang ? Who gathers information for us, and refers us to the 
sources of the same, on every subject in which it may occur to us 
to take an interest ? But literature is not the strong point here : 
what of science ? and no one will dispute the value of that is 
there any department of science in which at this moment the 
Germans are not far in advance of the rest of Europe ? 

Now, all this activity which gives to Germany the intellectual 
lead in Europe is subsequent to her philosophies, and is, in all 
probability, just to be attributed to her philosophies. It is quite 
possible, at the same time, that the scientific men of Germany 
are no students of what is called the philosophy of their country- 
nay, it appears to the present writer a matter of certainty that 
that philosophy is not yet essentially understood anywhere : it by 
no means follows, on that account, however, that this philosophy 
is not the motive spring to that science. If the essential secret 
of philosophy has not been won, still much of the mass has been 
invaded from without, has been broken up externally, and has 
fallen down and resolved itself into the general current. Its 
language, its distinctions have passed into the vernacular, and 
work there with their own life. Hence it is that Germany seems 
to possess at present, not only a language of its own, but, as it 
were, a system of thought-counters of its own for which no other 


language can find equivalents. Let anyone take up the Anzeige 
der Vorlesungen, the notice of lectures at any G-erman University, 
and he will find much matter of speculation presented to him ; 
for everything will seem there to him sui generis, and quite dis 
similar to anything of which he may have experience in Great 
Britain or in France. Haym * remarks, as regards this vast 
difference between the spirit of Germany and that of England, 
that to compare the books that issue from the press of the one 
country with those that issue from that of the other, one is 
tempted to suppose that the two nations move on wholly different 
courses. Now, mere difference would be a matter of no moment ; 
but what if the difference point to retrogression on one side, and 
progression on the other ? It is very certain that we are behind 
the Germans now, and it is also certain that these latter continue 
to rush forward with a speed in every branch of science which 
threatens to leave us in the end completely in the lee. 

Associating this difference of progress with that difference of 
the language used for the purposes of thought, it does seem not 
unreasonable to conclude that the former is but a corollary of the 
latter. In other words, it appears probable that that nonsense of 
Mr Lockhart has been the means of introducing into the German 
mind such series of new and marvellously penetrant terms and 
distinctions as has carried it with ease into the solution of a 
variety of problems impossible to the English, despite the in 
duction of Bacon, the good sense of Locke, and even Adam 
Smith s politico-economical revelations. 

The denunciations of German Philosophy, then, emitted by 
advanced thinkers, would seem powerless beside the superiority 
of German Science to that of the rest of Europe when collated 
with the terms and distinctions of the Philosophy which preceded 
it. These advanced thinkers, in fact, are the logical contradictory 
of German Philosophy, and, if they denounce it, it in turn not 
denounces, but, lifting the drapery, simply names them. 

It is, perhaps, now justifiable to conclude on the whole, then, 

* Let us compare, to go no further, the scientific works of the English with 
those of our own country, and we shall very soon perceive that the type of English 
thought is essentially different from that of the German ; that the scientific faculty 
of the countrymen of Bacon and Locke moves in quite other paths, and makes 
quite other stadia ; that its combinations proceed by quite other notions, both 
principal and accessory, than is the case, in the same respect, with the countrymen 
of Kant and Hegel. Haym : Hegel und seine Zeit, p. 309. 


that, as regards the negative of the assertions that German Philo 
sophy is obsolete or bad, a case has been led of sufficient validity to 
set aside the opposing plea of the affirmative. It is not to be in 
ferred, however, that the case is now closed, and all said that can 
be said in support of the Germans. We have spoken of the benefits 
which seem to have been derived from the very terms ; but these 
surely are not restricted to the mere words, and others, both greater 
in number and more important in kind, may be expected to flow from 
the thoughts which these words or terms only represent. It were 
desirable, then, to know these latter benefits, which, if thoy really 
exist, ought to prove infinitely more recommendatory of the study 
we advocate than any interest which has yet been adduced. It is 
this consideration which shall form the theme, on the whole, of 
what we think it right yet prefatorily to add. 

The misfortune is, however, that, as regards the benefits in ques 
tion, they as yet only may be expected : it cannot be said 
that, from German Philosophy, so far as the thoughts are con 
cerned, any adequate harvest has yet been reaped. Nevertheless, 
this harvest is still potentially there, and, perhaps, it is not quite 
impossible to find a word or two that shall prefigure something of 
its general nature and extent. It is evident, however, that, if it is 
true, be it as it may with the terms, that the thoughts of German 
Philosophy are not yet adequately turned to account, but remain 
as yet almost, as it were, beyond the reach whether of friend or 
foe, there must exist some unusual difficulty of intelligence in the 
case ; and it may be worth while to look to this first. For the duty 
of a Preface though necessarily for the most part in a merely 
cursory manner is no less to relieve difficulty than to meet 
objections, explain connexions, and induce a hearing. The diffi 
culty we have at present before us, however, must be supposed to 
concern Hegel only; what concerns Kant must be placed else 
where. Nor, even as regards Hegel, is it to be considered possible 
to enumerate at present all the sources of his difficulty, and for 
this reason, that a certain knowledge of the matter involved must 
be presupposed before any adequate understanding can be expected 
to result. The great source of difficulty, for example, if our in 
most conviction be correct, is that an exhaustive study of Kant 
has been universally neglected a neglect, as Hegel himself (we 
may say) chuckles, not unrevenged, and the key-note of this 
same Hegel has thus remained inaccessible. Now this plainly 
concerns a point for which a preface can offer no sufficient 


breadth. We shall confine ourselves, therefore, to one or two 
sources of difficulty which may contain auxiliary matter in 
themselves, and may prove, on the whole, not quite insusceptible 
of intelligible discussion at once. 

What is called the Jargon of German Philosophy, for example, 
and has been denounced as Barbarisch by a multitude of Germans 
themselves (Haym among them), though, under the name of terms 
and distinctions, it has just been defended, may not unprofitably 
receive another word. Now, we may say at once, that if on one 
side this Jargon is to be admitted, it is to be denied on the other. 
The truth is, that if on one side it looks like jargon and sounds 
like jargon, on the other it is not jargon, but a philosophical 
nomenclature and express system of terms. The scandal of philo 
sophy hitherto has been its logomachies, its mere verbal disputes. 
Now, with terms that float loosely on the lips of the public, and 
vary daily, misunderstandings and disputes in consequence of a 
multiplicity of meanings were hardly to be avoided ; but here it 
is that we have one of the most peculiar and admirable of the 
excellences of Hegel : his words are such and so that they must be 
understood as he understands them, and difference there can be 
none. In Hegel, thing and word arise together, and must be com 
prehended together. A true definition, as we know, is that which 
predicates both the proximum genus and the differentia : now the 
peculiarity of the Hegelian terms is just this that their very 
birth is nothing but the reflexion of the differentia into the 
proximum genus that at their very birth, then, they arise in a 
perfect definition. This is why we find no dictionary and so little 
explanation of terms in Hegel ; for the book itself is that diction 
ary ; and how each term comes, that is the explanation ; each 
comes forward, indeed, as it is wanted, and where it is wanted, 
and just so, in short, that it is no mere term, but the thought 
itself. It is useless to offer examples of this, for every paragraph 
of the Logic is an example in point. If the words, then, were an 
absolutely new coinage, this would be their justification, and the 
nickname of jargon would fall to the ground. But what we have 
here is no new coinage, Hegel has carefully chosen for his terms 
those words which are the known and familiar names of the 
current Vorstelhmgen, of the current figurate conceptions which 
correspond to his Begriffe, to his pure notions, and are as the 
metaphors and externalisations of these Begriffe, of these pure 
notions. They have thus no mere arbitrary and artificial sense, 


but a living and natural one, and their attachment through the 
Vorstellung to the Begriff, through the figurate conception to 
the pure notion, converts an instinctive and blind, into a con 
scious and perceptive use, to the infinite improvement both of 
thought and speech even in their commonest daily applications. 
The reproach of jargon, then, concerns one of the greatest merits 
of Hegel a merit which distinguishes him above all other philo 
sophers, and which, while it extends to us means of the most 
assured movement, secures himself from those misunderstandings 
which have hitherto sapped philosophy, and rendered it univer 
sally suspect. Jargon is an objection, then, which will indeed 
remove itself, so soon as the objector shall have given himself 
the trouble to understand it. 

Another difficulty turns on this word Vorstellung which we 
have just used. A Vorstellung is a sort of sensuous thought; 
it is a symbol, a metaphor, as it were an externalisation of 
thought: or Vorstellung, as a whole, is what we commonly 
mean by Conception, Imagination, the Association of Ideas, &c. 
Hegel pointedly declares of this Association of Ideas, that it is 
not astrict to the three ordinary laws only which, since Hume, 
have been named Contiguity, Similitude, and Contrast, but that 
it floats on a prey to a thousand-fold contingency. Now, it is 
this Association of Ideas that constitutes thought to most of us, 
a blind, instinctive secution of a miscellaneous multitude of un 
verified individuals. These individuals are Vorstellungen, figurate 
conceptions ideas crass, emblematic bodies of thoughts rather 
than thoughts themselves. Then, the process itself, as a whole, 
is also nameable Vorstellung in general. An example, perhaps, 
will illustrate this an example which by anticipation may be 
used here, though it will be found elsewhere. God might have 
thrown into space a single geun-cell from which all that we see 
now might have developed itself. We take these words from a 
periodical which presumes itself and justly to be in the van 
at present: the particular writer also to whom they are due, 
speaks with the tone of a man who knows and justly that he 
is at least not behind his fellows. What is involved in this 
writing, however, is not thought, but Vorstellung. In the quo 
tation, indeed, there are mainly three Vorstellungen God, Space, 
and a Germ-cell. Now, with these elements the writer of this 
particular sentence conceives himself to think a beginning. To 
take all back to God, Space, and a single Germ-cell, that is 


enough for him and his necessities of thought; that to him is 
to look at the thought beginning, sufficiently closely. But all 
these three elements are already complete and self-dependent.- 
God, one Vorstellung, finished, ready-made, complete by itself, 
takes up a Germ-cell, another Vorstellung, finished, ready-made, 
complete by itself, and drops it into Space, a third Vorstellung, 
finished, ready-made, complete by itself. This done without 
transition, without explanation, the rest (by the way, another 
Vorstellung) follows; and thus we have three elements with no 
beginning at the same time that we have four with no transition 
but the fiat of the writer. This, then, is not thought, but an 
idle mis-spending of the time with empty pictures which, while 
they infect the mind of the reader only with other pictures equally 
empty, tend to infect that of the writer also with wind the wind 
of vanity. Yes ; I looked into Spinoza some time ago, and it was 
a clear ether, but there was no God : this, the remark of a distin 
guished man in conversation, is another excellent example of Vor 
stellung, figurate conception, imagination in lieu of thought. If 
one wants to think God, one has no business to set the eye a-roving 
through an infinite clear ether in hopes of seeing him at length ! 
I have swept space with my telescope, says Lalande, and found 
no God. To the expectation of this illuminated Astronomer, then, 
God was an optical object ; and as he could find with his glass no 
such optical object rather no optical object to correspond to his 
Vorstellung, which Vorstellung he had got he knew not where and 
never asked to know, which Vorstellung, in fact, it had never 
occurred to him in any way to question God there was none ! 
These, then, are examples of Vorstellungen, and not of thought ; 
and we may say that the Vorstellung of the Materialist as to space 
constitutes a rebuke to the Vorstellung of the Spiritualist as to a 
clear ether in which it was a disappointment that no God was to 
\)Qseen! God, whether as revealed to us by Scripture, or as demon 
strated by philosophy, is a Spirit; and a Spirit is to be found and 
known by thought only, and neither by the sensuous eye of the 
body nor the imaginative eye of the mind. 

Unfortunately, it can hardly be said that there is thought proper 
anywhere at present; and circumstances universally exist which 
have substituted figurate conception in its stead. In England, for 
example, the literature with which the century began was a sort 
of poetical reaction against the Aufkliirung, and the element of 
that literature is Vorstellung, Imagination merely. Acquired 


stores, experience, thought, these were not, but, instead of these, 
emotions enough, images enough, cries enough ! Nature was 
beautiful, and Love was divine : this was enough with Genius ! 
to produce the loftiest works, pictures, poems, even alchemy ! An 
empty belly, when it is active, is adequate to the production of 
gripes : and when an empty head is similarly active, what can you 
expect but gripes to correspond convulsions namely, contortions 
of conceit, attitudinisings, eccentric gesticulations in a wind of our 
own raising ? It were easy to name names and bring the criticism 
home ; but it will be prudent at present to stop here. It is enough 
to say that the literature of England during the present century 
largely consists of those Genieschwiinge, those fervours, those swings 
or springs or flights of genius, which were so suspicious and dis 
tasteful both to Kant and Hegel. Formal personal ability, ivhich 
is only that, if it would produce, can only lash itself into efforts 
and energies that are idle that have absolutely no filling what 
ever but one s own subjective vanity. Or formal personal ability 
which is only that, has nothing to develop from itself but reflexes 
of its own longing, self-inflicted convulsions ; it has no thoughts 
only Vorstellungen, figurate conceptions, emotional images, mostly 
big, haughty ones enough, too. One result of all this, is what we 
may call the Photographic writing which alone obtains at present. 
For a long time back, writers have desired to write only to our 
eyes, not to our thoughts. History now is as a picture-gallery, or 
as a puppet-show ; men with particular legs and particular noses, 
street-processions, battle-scenes these images all images ! 
mow and mop and grin on us from every canvass now. We are 
never asked to think only to look as into a peep-show, where, 
on the right, we see that, and on the left this! Now, this 
it is which constitutes an immense source of difficulty in the 
study of Hegel. Lord Macaulay remarks on the slovenly way in 
which most people are content to think ; and we would extend 
the remark to the slovenly way in which nowadays most people 
are content to read. Everything, indeed, has been done by our 
recent writers to relieve us even of that duty, and a book has 
become but a succession of optical presentments followed easily by 
the eye. Eeading is thus, now, a sort of sensuous entertainment: 
it costs only a mechanical effort, and no greater than that of smok 
ing or of chewing. The consequence of this reading is, that the 
habit of Vorstellungen, and without effort of our own, has become 
so inveterate, that not only are we unable to move in Begriffe, in 


pure notions, but we are shut out from all Begriffe by impervious 
clouds of ready-made Vorstellungen. Thus it is that writers like 
Kant and Hegel are sealed books to us, or books that have to be 
shut by the most of us after five minutes in very weariness of 
the flesh in very oppression of the eyes. 

We must bear in mind, on the other hand, that Vorstellungen 
are always the beginning, and constitute the express conditions, of 
thought. We are not to remain by them, nevertheless, as what is 
ultimate. When Kant says that the Greeks were the first to think 
in abstracto, and that there are nations, even nowadays, who still 
think in concrete, he has the same theme before him, though from 
another side. The concrete Vorstellung is the preliminary condi 
tion, but it must be purified into the abstract Begriff ; else we 
never attain to mastery over ourselves, but float about a helpless 
prey to our own pictures. (We shall see a side again where our 
abstractions are to be re-dipped in the concrete, in order to be 
restored to truth; but the contradiction is only apparent.) 

So much, indeed, is Vorstellung the condition of the Begriff, that 
we should attribute Hegel s success in the latter to his immense 
power in the former. No man had ever clearer, firmer Vorstel 
lungen than he ; but he had the mastery over them he made 
them at will tenaciously remain before him, or equally tenaciously 
draw themselves the one after the other. Vorstellung, in fact, is 
for the most part the key to mental power ; and if you know a 
man s Vorstellungen, you know himself. If, on one side, then, 
the habit of Vorstellungen, and previous formation of Vorstellungen 
without attempt to reduce them to Begriffe, constitute the greatest 
obstacle to the understanding of Hegel, power of Vorstellung is, 
on the other side, absolutely necessary to this understanding itself. 
So it is that, of all our later literary men, we are accustomed to 
think of Shelley and Keats as those the best adapted by nature 
for the understanding of a Hegel. These young men had a real 
power of Vorstellung ; and tbeir Vorstellungen were not mere 
crass, external pictures, but fine images analytic and expressive of 
original thought. 

By such dread words from Earth to Heaven 
My still realm was never riven. 
When its wound was closed, there stood 
Darkness o er the day like blood. 

Driving sweet buds, like flocks, to feed in air. 



For whose path the Atlantic s level powers 
Cleave themselves into chasms, while far below 
The sea- blooms and the oozy woods which wear 
The sapless foliage of the ocean, know 
Thy voice, and suddenly grow grey with fear, 
And tremble and despoil themselves : Oh hear ! 

These are Vorstellungen from Shelley (whose every line, we may 
say, teems with such) ; and if they are Vorstellungen, they are also 
thoughts. Keats is, perhaps, subtler and not less rich, though 
more sensual, less grand, less ethereally pure, than Shelley ; Vor 
stellungen in him are such as these : 

She, like a moon in wane, 
Faded before him, cowered, nor could restrain 
Her fearful sobs, self-folding like a flower 
That faints into itself at evening hour : 
But the God fostering her chilled hand, 
She felt the warmth, her eyelids opened bland, 
And, like new flowers at morning song of bees, 
Bloomed, and gave up her honey to the lees. 

How much these images are thoughts, how they are but analytic 
and expressive of thought, will escape no one. 
Compare with these this : 

And thou art long, and lank, and brown, 
As is the ribbed sea-sand. 

This, too, is a Vorstellung ; but, in comparison with the preceding, 
it is external and thought-less, it is analytic of nothing, it is expres 
sive of nothing ; it is a bar to thought, and not a help. Yet there 
is so much in it of the mere picture, there is so much in it of that 
unexpectedness that makes one stare, that it has been cited a 
thousand times, and is familiar to everybody ; while those of Keats 
and Shelley are probably known to those only who have been 
specially trained to judge. By as much, nevertheless, as the 
Vorstellungen of Keats and Shelley are, so far, it may be, 
superior to this Vorstellung of Wordsworth s, (Coleridge gives 
it to him,) inferences may be drawn, perhaps, as to an equal 
original greater fineness of quality on the part of both the former 
relatively to the latter. Neither will Coleridge stand this test 
any better than Wordsworth ; and even the maturer products, 
however exquisite, of Tennyson (whose genius seems bodily to rise 


out of these his predecessors) display not Vorstellungen equally 
gold-new, possibly, with those of Keats and Shelley.* Intensely 
vivid Vorstelluug, this, we may say, almost constitutes Mr Carlyle: 
in him, however, it is ?^productive mainly ; in him, too, it very 
frequently occurs in an element of feeling : and feeling is usually 
an element hot and one-sided, so that the Vorstellung glares. 
The test applied here is not restricted to writers it can be 
extended to men of action ; and Alexander and Caesar, Wellington, 
Napoleon, Cromwell, will readily respond to it. Cromwell here, 
however, is almost to be included as an exception ; for he can 
hardly be said to have had any traffic with Vorstellung at all ; or 
what of that faculty he shows is very confused, very incompetent, 
and almost to be named incapable. Cromwell, in fact, had direct 
being in his categories, and his expression accordingly was direct 
action. We have here, however, a seductive subject, and of end 
less reach ; we will do well to return. 

There is a distinction, then, between those who move in 
Vorstellungen wholly as such, and those who use them as living 
bodies with a soul of thought consciously within them ; and the 
classes separated by this distinction will be differently placed as 
regards Hegel: while the former, in all probability, will never 
get near him, the latter, on the other hand, will possess the power 
to succeed ; but success even to them, as habits now are, will 
demand immense effort, and will arrive when they have contrived 
to see, not with their Vorstellungen, but without them, or at least 
through them. 

As regards the difficulty which we have just considered, the 
division between Hegel and his reader is so, that the former 
appears on the abstract, the latter on the concrete side ; but we 
have now to refer to a difficulty where this position is reversed 
where, Hegel being concrete, the reader cannot get at him, just 
for this, that he himself cannot help remaining obstinately 
abstract. The abstractions of the understanding, this is the word 
which is the cue to what we have in mind at present. It is 
impossible to enter here into any full exposition of how Hegel, 
in the end, regarded understanding, or of how his particular 

* Still there is no wish here to do injustice to the perfectly rich imaginations of 
both Coleridge and Wordsworth. Nay, the image itself, the "ribbed sea-sand," 
though a little in excess, is not inapplicable, if only the eye, in looking along it, 
will stop in time ! 


regards were in the first case introduced. It must suffice to say 
at once, that understanding was to Hegel as the god Horos, it was 
the principle and agent of the definite everywhere; but, as such, 
it necessarily separated and distinguished into isolated, self- 
dependent individuals. Now this which has been indicated is our 
(the readers ) element ; we live and move among wholly different, 
self-identical entities which each of them as regards the other 
are abstractly held. This, however, is not the element of Hegel ; 
his element is the one concrete, where no entity is, so to speak, its 
own self, but quite as much its other ; and he holds the key of 
this concrete in that he has been enabled, through Kant, to per- 
, ceive that the conditions of a concrete and of every concrete are 
two opposites : in other words, Hegel has come to see that there 
exists no concrete which consists not of two antagonistic 
characters, where, at the same time, strangely, somehow, the one 
is not only through the other, but actually is this other. Now it is 
this condition of actual things which the abstractions of the under 
standing interfere to shut out from us ; and it is our life in these 
abstractions of the understanding which is the chief source of our 
inability to enter and take up the concrete element of Hegel. 
The Logic of Hegel is an exemplification of this Cosmical fact, 
from the very beginning even to the very end ; but it will 
sufficiently illustrate what we have said, perhaps, to take the single 
example of Quantity. 

To us, as regards quantity, continuity is one thing, and dis 
cretion quite another : we see a line unbroken in the one case, and 
but so many different dots in the other. Not so Hegel, however : 
to him continuity is not only impossible without discretion, and 
discretion is not only impossible without continuity, but dis 
cretion is continuity, and continuity is discretion. We see them, 
abstractly, apart the one independent of, different from, the 
other: he sees them, concretely, together the one dependent on, 
identical with, the other. To Hegel it is obvious that continuity, 
and discretion, not either singly, but both together, constitute 
quantity that, in short, these are the constitutive moments or 
elements of the single pure, abstract, yet in itself concrete, notion, 
quantity. If a continuum were not in itself discrete, it were no 
quantity ; and nowhere in rerum natura can there be found any 
continuum that is not in itself discrete. Similarly, if a discretum 
were not in itself continuous, it were no quantity, and so on. In 


fact, to the single notion, quantity, these two sub-notions are 
always necessary : it is impossible to conceive, it is impossible 
that there should be, a How much that were not as well con 
tinuous as discrete : it is the discretion that makes the continuity, 
and it is the continuity of discretion that makes quantity ; or it is 
the continuity that makes the discretion, and it is the discretion 
of continuity that makes quantity. Quantity is a concrete of the 
two ; they are indivisibly, inseparably together in it. Now every 
notion truly such is just such disjunctive conjunct or con 
junctive disjunct. Hence it is that dialectic arises: false in us as 
we cannot bring the opposing characters together, because of the 
abstractions of the understanding ; true in Hegel, because he has 
attained to the power of seeing these together, that is, in their 
truth, their concrete, actually existent truth. 

For example, it is on the notion, quantity as such, on the 
dissociation and antagonism of its warp and woof of its two 
constituent moments, that all those supposed insoluble puzzles 
concerning the infinite divisibility of time, space, matter, &c., 
depend ; and all disputes in this connexion are kept up by simply 
neglecting to see both sides, or to bring loth of the necessary 
moments together. My friend tells me, for instance, that matter 
is not infinitely divisible, that that table to take an actual case 
can be passed over, can both factually and mathematically be 
proved to be passed over, and hence is not infinite, but finite. I, 
again, point out that division takes nothing away from what it 
divides ; that that table, consequently, (and every part of the table 
is similarly situated,) is divisible, and again divisible usque ad 
infinitum, or so long as there is a quantity left, and, as for that, 
that there must always be a quantity left for, as said, division 
takes nothing away. Or I too can bring my Mathematics, and 
certainly with equal evidence. In this way, he persisting on his 
side, I persisting on my side, we never come together. But we 
effect this, or we readily come together, when we perceive that 
both sides are necessary to the single One (Quantity), or that each, 
in fact, is necessary to the other. In short, quantity as continuous 
is infinitely divisible ; as discrete, it consists of parts which are 
as ultimate and further indivisible. These are the two points 
of view, under either of which quantity can be set; and, more 
than that, these two points of view are, each of them, equally 
essential to the single thing, quantity, and are the moments 


which together constitute the single thing (correctly notion), 

This is not the place to point out the entire significance of the 
single fact that is suggested here, nor of how Hegel was led to it, 
and what he effected with it : this which we so suggest were a 
complete exposition of the one secret and of the entire system of 
Hegel. Such exposition is the business of the general work which 
we here introduce ; but it will be found brought in some sense to 
a point though necessarily imperfectly, as the reader arrived 
there will readily understand in the last word at the end of 
the volume. Our sole object at present is to illustrate the 
difficulty we labour under relatively to Hegel from the abstrac 
tions of the understanding, and to render these themselves, to 
some preliminary extent, intelligible. 

We may add, that the above is the true solution to those 
difficulties which have at different times been brought forward 
as paradoxes of Zeno, or as antinomies of Kant. The case, as 
summed by Hegel, (see under Quantity,) will be found to be 
particularly disastrous not only to the German, but even to the 
Grecian not only to the Hegelian, but even to the Aristotelian 
pretensions, of such men as Sir William Hamilton, Coleridge, and 
De Quincey. The two last, indeed, with that voice across the 
ages, between them, are even ludicrous. 

It is to be feared that the view given here of the difficulties of 
Hegel will prove disappointing to many. As was natural to a 
public so prepared by the passions, the interjections, the gesticula 
tions of those whom we regard as our recent men of genius, the 
general belief, in all probability, was, and still is, that Kant and 
Hegel are difficult because they soar so high, because they have 
so very much of the fervid in them, and especially because they 
are mystic. To be disabused of these big figurate conceptions 
on which we rise so haughtily may prove a pain. Indeed, as by a 
sudden dash on the solid ground, it may be a rather rude shaking 
out of us of these same bignesses, to be brought to understand 
that the difficulties of Hegel are simply technical, and that his 
Logic is to be read only by such means as will enable us to read 
the Principia of Newton industry, tenacity, perseverance ! In 
England, ever since these same fervid men of genius, a vast 
number of people, when they are going to write, think it neces 
sary, first of all, to put their mouths askew, and blow the bellows 


of their breasts up : only so, they hope, on the strong bias of their 
breath, to soar to blow themselves and us, that is into the 
Empyrean! But Hegel, alas! never puts his mouth askew, 
never thinks of biassing his breath, never lays himself out at all 
for the luxury of a soar. Here are no ardours fervours ; here is 
an air so cool, so clear, that all such tropical luxuriances wither 
in it. Hegel, no more than Kant, will attempt anything by a 
Genieschwung : all in both is thought, and thought that rises, 
slowly, laboriously, only by unremitting step after step. Apart 
from thought qua thought, Kant and Hegel are both very plain 
fellows : Kant, a very plain little old man, whose only obstacle to 
us is, after all, just his endless garrulity, his iterating, and again 
iterating, and always iterating GescJiwatz ; Hegel, a dry Scotsman 
who speaks at, rather than to us, and would seem to seek to en 
lighten by provoking us ! It is not at all rhetoric, eloquence, 
poetry, that we are to expect in them, then ; in fact, they are 
never in the air, but always on the ground, and this is their 
strength. Many people, doubtless, from what they hear of Hegel, 
his Idealism, his Absolute Idealism , &c., will not be prepared for 
this. They have been told by men who pretended to know, that 
Hegel, like some common conjuror, would prove the chair they 
sat on not a chair, &c. &c. This is a very vulgar conception, and 
must be abandoned, together with that other which would con 
sider Hegel as impracticable, unreal, visionary, a dreamer of 
dreams, a man with too many bees in his bonnet. Hegel is just 
the reverse of this ; he is wholly down on the solid floor of sub 
stantial fact, and will not allow himself to quit it no, not for a 
moment s indulgence to his subjective vanity a moment s re 
creation on a gust broom-stick of genius. Hegel is a Suabian. 
There are Suabian licks as well as Lockerly licks. Hegel is as a 
son of the border, home-spun, rustic-real, blunt: as in part already 
said, there are always the sagacious ways about him of some plain, 
honest, deep-seen, old Scotsman. Here, from the Aesthetic, is a 
little illustrative specimen of him. 

Eomances, in the modern sense of the word, follow those of 
Knight-errantry and those named Pastoral. In them we have 
Knight-errantry become again earnest and substantially real. 
The previous lawlessness and precariousness of outward existence 
have become transformed into the fixed and safe arrangements of 
civilised life ; so that Police, Law, the Army, Government, now 


replace the chimerical duties which the Knight-errant set himself. 
Accordingly, the Knight-errantry of the modern Hero is corre- 
spondently changed. As an individual with his subjective ends 
of ambition, love, honour, or with his ideals of a world reformed, 
he stands in antagonism to this established order and prosa of 
actuality, which thwarts him on all hands. In this antagonism, 
his subjective desires and demands are worked up into tremendous 
intensity ; for he finds before him a world spell-bound, a world 
alien to him, a world which he must fight, as it bears itself 
against him, and in its cold indifference yields not to his passions, 
but interposes, as an obstacle to them, the will of a father, of an 
aunt, societary arrangements, &c. It is especially our youths who 
are these new Knights-errant that have to fight their way through 
that actual career which realises itself in place of their ideals, 
and to whom it can only appear a misery that there are such things 
at all as Family, Conventional Rules, Laws, a State, Professions, 
&c., because these substantial ties of human existence place their 
barriers cruelly in the way of the Ideals and infinite Rights of 
the heart. The thing to be done now, then, is for the hero to 
strike a breach into this arrangement of things to alter the 
world, to reform it, or, in its despite, to carve out for himself a 
heaven on earth, to seek out for himself the maiden that is as a 
maiden should be to find her, to woo her, and win her and carry 
her off in triumph, maugre all wicked relations and every other 
obstruction. These stampings and strugglings, nevertheless, are, 
in our modern world, nothing else than the apprenticeship, the 
schooling of the individual in actual existence, and receive thus 
their true meaning. For the end of such apprenticeship is, that 
the subject gets his oats sown and his horns rubbed off accom 
modates himself, with all his wishes and opinions, to existent 
relations and reasonableness ; enters into the concatenation of the 
world, and earns for himself there his due position. One may 
have ever so recalcitrantly laid about him in the world, or been 
ever so much shoved and shouldered in it, in the end, for the most 
part, one finds one s maiden and some place or other for all that, 
marries, and becomes a slow-coach, a Philistine, just like the rest : 
the wife looks after the house ; children thicken ; the adored wife 
that was at first just the one, an angel, comes to look, on the whole, 
something like all the rest : one s business is attended with its toils 
and its troubles, wedlock with household cross ; and so there are 


the reflective Cat-dumps (Katzen-jammer) of all the rest over 
aaain. If the reader will but take the trouble to read this 


Scotice, the illustration will be complete. 

It is a mistake, then, to conceive Hegel as other than the most 
practical of men, with no object that is not itself of the most 
practical nature. To the right of private judgment he remains 
unhesitatingly true, and every interest that comes before him 
must, to be accepted, demonstrate its revelancy to imperical fact. 
With all this, however, his function here is that of a philosopher ; 
and his philosophy, while the hardest to penetrate, is at once the 
deepest and the widest that has been yet proposed. If the 
deepest and the widest, it is probably at this moment also the 
most required. 

It has been said already that our own day is one a pretty late 
one, it is to be hoped in that general movement which has been 
named Aufklarung, Free-thinking, the principle of which we 
acknowledged to be the Eight of Private Judgment. Now Kant, 
who participated deeply in the spirit of this movement, and who 
with his whole heart accepted this principle, became, nevertheless, 
the closer of the one and the guide of the other by this, that he 
saw the necessity of a positive complement to the peculiar negative 
industry to which, up to his day, both movement and principle 
had alone seemed adequate. The subtle suggestions of Hume 
seemed to have loosened every joint of the Existent, and there 
seemed no conclusion but universal scepticism. Against this the 
conscientious purity of Kant revolted, and he set himself to seek 
some other outlet. We may have seen in some other country the 
elaborate structure of a baby dressed. The board-like stiffness in 
which it was carried, the manifest incapacity of the little thing to 
move a finger, the enormous amount and extraordinary nature of 
the various appliances swathes, folders, belts, cloths, bandages, 
&c., points and trusses innumerable all this may have struck us 
with astonishment, and we may have figured ourselves addressing 
the parents, and, by dint of invincible reason, persuading them to 
give up the board, then the folder, then the swathe, then the 
bandage, &c. ; but, in this negative action of taking off, we should 
have stopped somewhere; even when insisting on free air and free 
movement, we should have found it necessary to leave to the 
infant what should keep it warm. Nay, the question of clothes 
as a whole were thus once for all generalised, and debate, once 


initiated, would cease never till universal reason were satisfied 
till the infant were at length fairly rationally dressed. As the 
function of the Aufklarung (for it is nothing less) must stop 
somewhere, then, when it applies itself to the undressing of the 
wrong-dressed baby, so must the same function stop somewhere 
when it applies itself to the similar undressing of the similarly 
wrong-dressed (feudally-dressed) State. A naked State would 
just be as little likely to thrive as a naked infant : and how far 
it is worth while considering is a State removed from absolute 
nudity, when it is reduced to the self-will of the individual con 
trolled only by the mechanical force of a Police ? 

No free-thinking partisan of the Illumination has ever gone further 
than that ; no partisan of the Illumination has ever said, Let the 
self-will of each be absolutely all : the control of a Police (Protec 
tion of Person and Property) has been a universal postulate, insisted 
on by even the extremest left of the movement. Yet there are those 
who say this there are those who say, Remove your meddlesome 
protection of the police ; by the aid of free competition we can 
parson and doctor ourselves, and by the aid of free competition, 
therefore, we can also police ourselves : remove, then, here also 
your vicious system of checks, as all your no less vicious system 
of bounties and benefits ; let humanity be absolutely free let 
there be nothing left but self-will, individual self-will pur et 
simple ! There are those who say this : they are our Criminals ! 
Like the cruel mother whose interest is not in its growth, but in 
its decease, our criminals would have the naked baby. But if 
self-will is to be proclaimed the principle, if self-will is the 
principle, our criminals are more consistent than our advanced 
thinkers, who, while they assert this principle, and believe this 
principle, and think they observe this principle, open the door to 
the Police, and find themselves unable to shut it again, till it is 
driven to the wall before the whole of reason, before Reason herself 
who enters with the announcement that self-will is not the 
principle, and the direct reverse of the principle. 

Now, Kant saw a great deal of this Kant saw that the naked 
baby would not do ; that, if it were even necessary to strip off 
every rag of the old, still a new would have to be procured, or life 
would be impossible. So it was that, though unconsciously to 
himself, he was led to seek his Principles. These, Kant came to 
see, were the one want ; and surely, if they were the one want in 


his day, they are no less the want now. Self-will, individual 
commodity, this has been made the principle, and accordingly we 
have turned to it, that we might enjoy ourselves alone, that we 
might live to ourselves alone, that the I might be wholly the I 
unmixed and unobstructed ; and, for result, the I in each of us is 
dying of inanition even though we make (it is even because we 
make) the seclusion to self complete even though we drive off 
from us our very children, and leave them to corrupt at Boarding- 
schools into the one common model that is stock there. We all 
live now, in fact, divorced from Substance, forlorn each of us, 
isolated to himself an absolutely abstract unit in a universal, 
unsympathising, unparticipant Atomism. Hence the universal 
rush at present, as of maddened animals, to material possession ; 
and, this obtained, to material ostentation, with the hope of at 
least buying sympathy and bribing respect. Sympathy ! Oh no ! 
it is the hate of envy. Eespect ! say rather the sneer of malice 
that disparages and makes light. Till even in the midst of 
material possession and material ostentation, the heart within us 
has sunk into weary, weary, hopeless, hopeless ashes. And of 
this the Aufklarung is the cause. The Aufklarung has left us 
nothing but our animality, nothing but our relationship to the 
monkey ! It has emptied us of all essential humanity of Philo 
sophy, Morality, Religion. So it is that we are divorced from 
Substance. But the animality that is left in the midst of such 
immense material appliance becomes disease ; while the Spirit 
that has been emptied feels, knows that it has been only robbed, 
and, by very necessity of nature, is a craving, craving, ever-restless 

These days, therefore, are no improvement on the days of Kant ; 
and what to him appeared necessary then, is still more necessary 
now. Nay, as we see, the Illumination itself does not leave self- 
will absolutely independent, absolutely free. Even the Illumina 
tion demands for self-will clothing and control. At lowest it 
demands Police ; for the most part, it adds to Police a School and 
a Post-office ; and it sometimes thinks, though reluctantly, hesi 
tatingly, that there is necessary also a Church. It sees not that 
it has thus opened the whole question, and cannot any longer, by 
its will, close it. When Enlightenment admits at all the necessity 
of control, the what and how far of this control can be argued out 
from this necessity and self-will is abandoned. For it is Reason 


that finds the necessity, it is Reason that prescribes the control ; 
and Reason is not an affair of one or two Civic Regulations, but 
the absolute round of its own perfect and entire System. In one 
word, the principle must not be Subjective Will, but Objective 
Will ; not your will or my will or his will, and yet your will and 
my will and his will Universal Will Reason ! Individual will 
is self-will or caprice ; and that is precisely the one Evil, or the 
evil One the Bad. And is it to be thought that Police alone 
will ever suffice for the correction of the single will into the 
universal will for the extirpation of the Bad ? 

To this there are wanting Principles. And with this want Kant 
began ; nor had he any other object throughout his long life than 
the discovery of Principles Principles for the whole substance 
of man Principles Theoretical, Practical, and Aesthetic : and this 
Rubric, in that it is absolutely comprehensive, will include plainly 
Politics, Religion, &c., in their respective places. This is the sole 
object of the three great works of Kant ; and they respectively 
correspond, as is easily seen, to the three divisions just named. 
This, too, is the sole object of Hegel ; for Hegel is but the 
continuator, and, perhaps, in a sort the completer, of the whole 
business inaugurated by Kant. 

The central principle of Kant was Freiheit, Free-will ; and 
when this word was articulated by the lips of Kant, the Illumin 
ation was virtually at an end. The single sound Freiheit was 
the death-sentence of the Aufklarutig. The principle of the 
Aufklarung, the Right of Private Judgment, is a perfectly true 
one. But it is not true as used by the Aufklarung, or it is used 
only one-sidedly by the Aufklarung. Of the two words, Private 
Judgment, the Aufklarung accentuates and sees only the former. 
The Aufklarung asks only that the Private man, the individual, 
be satisfied. Its principle is Subjectivity, pure and simple. But 
its own words imply more than subjectivity its own words imply 
objectivity as well ; for the accent on Private ought not to have 
blinded it to the fact that there is equally question of Judgment. 
Now, I as a subject, you as a subject, he as a subject, there is so 
no guarantee of agreement : I may say A, you B, and lie C. But 
all this is changed the instant we have said Judgment. Judgment 
is not subjectively mine, or subjectively yours, or subjectively his : 
it. is objectively mine, yours, his, &c.; it is a common possession; 
it is a thing in which we all meet and agree. Or, it is not sub- 


jective, and so incapable of comparison, but objective, capable of 
comparison, and consequently such that in its regard we virtually 
do all agree and, in the end, actually shall all agree. Now, Private 
Judgment with the accent on Private is self-will ; but with the 
accent on Judgment, it is Freiheit, Freedom Proper, Free-will, 
Objective Will, Universal Will. This is the Beginning: this is 
the first stone of the new world which is to be the sole work of at 
least several succeeding generations. Formally subjective, I am 
empty ; exercising my will alone, I am mere formalism, I am only 
formally a man ; and what is formal merely is a pain and an 
obstacle to all the other units of the concrete it is a pain and an 
obstacle to itself it is a false abstraction in the concrete, and 
must, one way or other, be expunged.* The subject, then, must 
not remain Formal he must obtain Filling, the Filling of the 
Object. This subject is not my true Me; my true Me is the 
Object Reason the Universal Thought, Will, Purpose of Man 
as Man. So it is that Private Judgment is not enough : what is 
enough is Judgment. My right is only to share it, only to be 
there, present to it, with my conviction, my subjective conviction. 
This is the only Right of the Subject. In exercising the Right of 
Private Judgment, then, there is more required than what attaches 
to the word Private ; there must be some guarantee of the Judg 
ment as well. The Rights of the Object are above the Rights of 
the Subject ; or, to say it better, the Rights of the Object are the 
true Rights of the Subject. That the Subject should not be empty, 
then that he should be filled up and out to his true size, shape, 
strength, by having absorbed the Object, this is a necessity ; only 
so can the Private Judgment be Judgment, and as such valid. If, 
then, the Aufklarung said, Self-will shall work out the Universal 
Will by following Self-will, Kant and Hegel put an end to this by 
reversing the phrase, and by declaring, Self-will shall work out, 
shall realise Self-will that is, effect a true will of any kind by 
following the Universal Will. The two positions are diametrically 
opposed : the Aufklarung, with whatever belongs to it, is virtually 
superseded. The Aufklarung is not superseded, however, in the 
sense of being destroyed ; it is superseded only in that, as it were, 
it has been absorbed, used as food, and assimilated into a higher 
form. The Right of Private Judgment, the Rights of Intelligence 

* Let the reader recall to mind any abstract person he may know, and think 
how deranging and unbearable he is. 


these, the interests of the Aufklarung, are not by any means 
lost, or pushed out of the way : they are only carried forward into 
their truth. Nay, LiberU EgaliU Fraternity themselves are not 
yet lost; they, too, will be carried forward into their truth: to that, 
however, they must be saved from certain merely empty, formal 
subjectivities, blind remnants of the Aufklarung, furious sometimes 
from mistaken conscientiousness ; furious, it is to be feared, some 
times also from personal self-seeking. 

But what is the Object ? what is Reason ? what is objective 
Judgment ? So we may put the questions which the Aufklarung 
itself might put with sneers and jeers. Lord Macaulay, a true 
child of the Aufklarung, has already jeeringly asked, Who are 
wisest and best, and whose opinion is to decide that ? Perhaps 
an answer is not so hopeless as it appeared to this distinguished 
Aufgeklarter. Let us see 

It was not without meaning that we spoke of Reason as entering 
with the announcement that Self-will was not the principle, and 
we seek firstly to draw attention to this, that Reason does not 
enter thus only for the first time now ; there is at least another 
occasion in the world s history when she so entered. The age into 
which Socrates was born was one of Aufklarung, even as that of 
Kant and Hegel. Man had awoke then to the light of thought, 
and had turned to see by it the place he lived in, all the things 
that had fallen to his lot, his whole inheritance of Tradition. 
Few things that are old can stand the test of day, and the sophists 
had it speedily all their own way in Greece. There seemed 
nothing fit any longer to be believed in, all was unfixed ; truth there 
seemed none but the subjective experience of the moment ; and 
the only wisdom, therefore, was to see that that experience should 
be one of enjoyment. Thus in Greece, too, man was emptied of 
his Substance and reduced to his senses, his animality, his relation 
ship to the monkey and, for that part, to the rat. Now it was, 
then, that Socrates appeared and demanded Principles, Objective 
Standards, that should be absolutely independent of the good-will 
and pleasure of any particular subject. Of this quest of Socrates, 
the industries of Plato and Aristotle were but Systematisations. 
It was to Thought as Thought that Socrates was led as likely to 
contain the Principles he wanted, and on that side which is now 
named Generalisation. Socrates, in fact, seems to have been his 
torically the first man who expressly and consciously generalised, 


and for him, therefore, we must vindicate the title of the True Father 
of Practical Induction. A, he said, is valour, and B is valour, and 
C is valour ; but what is valour universally ? So the inquiry went 
forward also as regards other virtues, for the ground that Socrates 
occupied was mainly moral. Plato absolutely generalised the 
Socratic act, and sought the universal of everything, even that of a 
Table, till all such becariie hypostasised, presences to him, and the 
only true presences, the Ideas. Aristotle substituted for this 
Hypostasis of the Ideas the theory of the abstract universal 
(Logic), and a collection of abstract generalised Sciences (Ethics, 
Politics, Poetics, &c.). Thus in Greece, too, Eeason, in the person 
of Socrates, entered with the announcement that the principle is 
not self-will, but a universal. 

But were such principles actually found in Greece ? And, if so, 
why did Greece perish, and why have we been allowed to undergo 
another Aufklarung? It will be but a small matter that Socrates 
saw the want, if he did not supply it : and that he did not supply 
it, both the fate of Greece and we ourselves are here to prove ! It 
must be admitted at once that Socrates and his followers cannot 
have truly succeeded, for in that case surely the course of history 
would have been far otherwise. The first corollary for us to draw, 
however, is Look at the warning! Aufklarung, Illumination, 
Enlightenment, destroyed Greece ; it lowered man from Spirit to 
Animal; and the Greek became, as now, the serf of every con 
queror. In Borne we have the same warning, but material appli 
ances being there so infinitely greater, and the height from which 
the descent was made being there, perhaps, so much higher in 
colours infinitely more glaring, forms infinitely more hideous, and 
with a breadth and depth of wallowing misery and sin that would 
revolt the most abandoned. It is to be noted, too, that for Socrates, 
Rome had only Cicero (the vain, subjective, logosophic Cicero> 
who, however, as pre-eminently a master of words, will always 
be pre-eminent with scholarly men). In presence of such 
warnings, then, the necessity of a success in the quest of 
objective standards greater on our part than that on the part of 
Socrates, becomes of even terrible import. Nevertheless, again, 
the unsuccess of the latter and his followers was by no means 
absolute. Such principles as are in question were set up by all of 
them. By way of single example, take the position, That it is 
better to suffer than to do injustice, where, as it were, the subject 


gains himself by yielding himself. We shall afterwards see, too, 
that Aristotle had at least reached terms of the concrete notion 
about as good as any that can be given yet. Nevertheless, it is to 
be said that, on the whole, the inquest in their hands proved un 
successful : their principles remained a loose, miscellaneous, un- 
certiorated many; the concrete notion was probably blindly touched 
only; unity and system were never attained to; and, in the main, 
the ground occupied at last was but that of formal generalisation 
and the abstract universal. 

But now at last have we succeeded better? do we know 
Eeason ? have we the Object ? Or, in the phrase of Macaulay, 
can we tell who are wisest and best, and whose opinion is to 
decide that ? In the first place, we may say that the question of 
wisest and best is pertinent only to the position of Hero-worship ; 
a position not occupied by us a position which sets up only the 
untenable principle of subjectivity as subjectivity. A man is not 
wisest and best by chance only, or caprice of nature ; we were but 
badly off, had we always only to wait for our guidance so we were 
but badly off, were it left to each of us, as it were, to taste our 
wisest and best by subjective feeling. A man is wisest and best by 
that which is in him, his Inhalt, his Filling his absorbed, assimi 
lated, and incorporated matter : it is the Filling, then, which is the 
main point ; and in view of that Filling, abstraction can be made 
altogether from the great man it fills. Lord Macaulay s questions, 
then, (and those of Hero-worship itself,) are seen, abstraction being 
made from the form, to be identical with our own do we know 
Eeason, have we the Object ? 

Now, if it were question of an Algebra, a Geometry, an 
Astronomy, a Chemistry, &c., I suppose it would never occur 
to anyone to ask about the wisest and best, &c. ; I suppose, in 
these cases, it is a matter of lifetle moment whether we say Euler, 
Bourdon, or Peacock ; Euclid, Legendre, or Hutton ; Berzelius, 
Liebig, or Eeid, &c. : I suppose the main thing is to have the 
object (otherwise called the subject) itself, and that then there 
would be no interest in any wisest and best, or in opinion at all. 
In the matter of Will, Eeason, Judgment, then, did we but know 
the Object, the Universal, and could we but assign it, in the same 
way as we know and assign the Object, the Universal, in the case 
of Algebra, Chemistry, &c., the problem, we presume, would, 
by universal acknowledgment, be pretty well solved. But just 


this is what Hegel asserts of Philosophy. We hear much in 
these days of Metaphysic, Philosophy having crumbled down 
definitely into ruins this, by an unworthy misapplication and 
perversion, on the authority of Kant himself this, at the very 
moment that Hegel claims for himself the completion of the 
Kantian Philosophy into a Science, an exact Science, and its 
establishment for ever this, from men more ignorant of what 
they speak about than any Mandarin in China ! Nay, if we are 
to believe Hegel and no man alive is at this moment com 
petent to gainsay him the exploit is infinitely greater still, the 
science accomplished infinitely more perfect and complete than 
any Algebra, Astronomy, Chemistry, or other science we possess. 
This perfection and completion we may illustrate thus: Geometry 
is an exact science ; it rests on demonstration, it is thoroughly 
objective, it is utterly independent of any subjective authority 
whatever. But Geometry is just a side-ly-side of particulars ; it 
is just a crate of miscellaneous goods ; it properly begins not, 
ends not ; it is no whole, and no whole product of a single 
principle. Now, let us conceive Geometry perfected into this 
a perfectly-rounded whole of organically-articulated elements 
which out of a single principle arise and into a single principle 
retract, let us conceive this, and we have before us an image of 
the Hegelian System. This science, too, is to be conceived as 
the Science of Science the Scientia of Scientia ; it is to be 
conceived to contain the ultimate principles of all things and 
of all thoughts to be, in a word, the essential diamond of the 
universe. These pretensions have, of course, yet to be verified. 
Nevertheless, the Concrete Notion, which is the secret of Hegel, 
will be found a principle of such rare virtue that it recommends 
itself almost irresistibly. The unity and systematic wholeness, 
too, attract powerfully, and not less the inexpugnable position 
which seems, at length, extended to all the higher interests of 
man. And at last we can say this, should the path be but a 
vista of the imagination and conduct us nowhere, it yields at 
every step the choicest aliment of humanity such aliment as 
nourishes us strongly into our true stature. 

To such claims of this new Science of Philosophy, there lies a 
very close objection in Germany itself. In all practical matters, 
the German is said to be slow/ and, indeed, quite behind; and 
such quality and such position are held to comport but ill with 


the generations have not yet eaten. This is the whole. Europe 
(Germany as Germany is itself no exception) has continued to 
nourish itself from the vessel of Hume, notwithstanding that the 
Historic Pabulum has long since abandoned it for another and 
others. Hence all that we see. Hume is our Politics, Hume is 
our Trade, Hume is our Philosophy, Hume is our Eeligion, it 
wants little but that Hume were even our Taste. 

A broad subject is here indicated, and we cannot be expected 
at present to point out the retrogression or the leside-tlie-point of 
all philosophy else, as in the case of Eeid, Stewart, &c. Neither 
can we be expected to dwell on the partial re-actions against the 
Aufklarung which we have witnessed in this country ; as, firstly, 
the Prudential Re-action that was conditioned, in some cases, 
by Public considerations, and in others by only Private ones ; 
secondly, the Re-action of Poetry and Nature, as in Wordsworth, 
Coleridge, Shelley, &c. ; and thirdly, the Germanico-Literary Re 
action, as in Carlyle and Emerson. The great point here is to see 
that all these re-actions have been partial and, so far as Thought 
qua Thought is concerned, incomplete, resting for their advance 
ment, for the most part, on subjective conceit (calling itself to 
itself genius, it may be), that has sought aliment, inspiration, or 
what was to it prophecy, in contingent crumbs. Hence it is that 
what we have now, is a retrograde re-action a Revulsion and of 
the shallowest order, back to the Aufklarung again; a re-action 
the members of which call themselves advanced thinkers, 
although at bottom they are but friends of the monkey, and would 
drain us to our Senses. In this Revulsion in this perverted or 
inverted re-action, we must even reckon Essayists and Reviewers, 
Strauss, Renan, Colenso, Feuerbach, Buckle, and others. It is 
this retrogressive re-action, this revulsion to the Aufklarung, that 
demonstrates the insufficiency of the previous progressive re-actions 
against the Aufklarung, Prudential, Poetical, and Germanico- 
Literary. In short, the only true means of progress have not 
been brought into service. The Historic Pabulum, however 
greedily it has been devoured out of Hume, has been left untouched 
in the vessel of Hegel, who alone of all mankind has succeeded in 
eating it all up out of the vessel of Kant. This is the true nature 
of the case, and these generations, therefore, have no duty but 
to turn from their blunder a blunder, it is to be admitted, at the 
same time, not quite voluntary, but necessitated by certain 


difficulties and apply themselves to the inhaustion of the only 
food on which, it will be found, Humanity will thrive.* 

* Aufklarung, a word which, meaning in its ordinary use simply enlightenment 
up-lighting or lighting-up may be translated, with reference at once to the 
special up-lighting implied, and a certain notorious exposition of it, the Age of 
Reason. " This, from Essay on Lord Macaulay in 1860, was, at least as known to me, 
the first British mention of a German word that is now somewhat current. When 
enlightenment is said in England, the hearer has no call to think of infidelity ; but 
his own word to a German suggests at once a whole historic movement (of 18th 
century) which issued in an opening of the eyes to the Biblical lacunae. This has 
had a shallow result in many or most a salutary only in a few, who regret to hear 
or see, on every new step of science, the constant repetition of a supposed quite 
enlightened, You see ? which is now utterly irrelevant. Men of science may be 
right in their negative ; but that is no reason why they should fail to recognise the 
positive. Educated people ought really to be ashamed of a raid that is now out of 
date, and only blocks advance. After all, it is simply vulgar. 






ONE approaches Hegel for the first time such is the voice of 
rumour and such the subjects he involves as one might approach 
some enchanted palace of Arabian story. New powers imagina 
tion is assured (were but the entrance gained) await one there- 
secrets as it were, the ring of Solomon and the passkeys of the 
universe. But, very truly, if thus magical is the promise,, no less 
magical is the difficulty; and one wanders round the book as 
Aboulfaouaris round the palace irrito, without success, but not 
without a sufficiency of vexation. Book palace is absolutely 
inaccessible, for the known can show no bridge to it ; or if acces 
sible, then it is absolutely impenetrable, for it begins not, it enters 
7101;, what seems the doorway receives but to reject, and every 
attempt at a window is baffled by a fall. 

This is the universal experience ; and one is almost justified to 
add, that whether in England, or in France, or in Germany itself 
this, the experience of the beginning, is, also, all but equally 
universally the experience of the end. And yet how one cloaks 
the hurt, how one dat vcrba dolori, how one extenuates defeat- 
nay rather, perhaps, how one rises in triumph over the worthless, 
which is, however, only the sour! It is but scholasticism, one 
is happy enough to see at last ; or a play upon words ; at all 
events there is no advance in it on Plato/ or on Aristotle, or 
on Plotinus, or on Thomas Aquinas ; at least that Being and 


Nothing " is " the same, is but a letise of good, heavy, innocent 
Teutscliland ; and then there cannot be a doubt but everyone 
must recoil at the reconciliation of contraries/ aye, and shudder 
at Pantheism ! But not thus is it that Hegel will be laid, and 
not thus is it that in the end our own ignorance shall be hailed 
as knowledge. 

But, if it be thus with those who admit defeat with those, that 
is, who actually acknowledge their inability to construe (though for 
the most part, at the same time, with the consistency of an ostrich, 
they comically assume to confute}, it must be confessed that one s 
satisfaction is not perfect, either, with those who arrogate a victory 
and display the spoils. A victory ! one is apt to mutter, yes, a 
victory of the outside a victory, as it were, of the table of con 
tents a victory of these contents themselves, perhaps, but so that 
it looks like a licking of them all up dry a victory then which 
has been, not chemically or vitally, but only mechanically effected ; 
effected in such wise, indeed, that the displayed spoils (the books 
they write) consist but of a sort of logical Petrefadenkunde, but of 
a grammatical fluency of mere forms, which, however useful to a 
professor as a professor, affect others like the nomenclature of 
Selenography ; whose Mare Magnum and Lacus Niger and Monies 
Lucis (if these be the names) are names only names, that is, of 
seas and lakes and mountains in the Moon, which can possess 
correspondent substance, consequently, for him only who reaches it 
a consummation plainly that must be renounced by a Seleno- 

It is in view of this difficulty of Hegel that the chapters bearing 
in their titles to refer to the struggle to Hegel have been, though 
with considerable hesitation, submitted to the reader. They con 
sist, for the most part, of certain members of a series of notes 
which, as it were, fell by the way exclamation is natural to pain 
during the writer s own struggle to the Logik and the Encyclo 
paedic. Originating thus, these notes (though sometimes written 
as if referring to a reader) brought with them no thought of publi 
cation so far as they themselves were concerned ; many of them, 
indeed, were destroyed before any such thought occurred ; and as 
the rest remained, they remain still, for to change them now would 
be but to ariachronise and stultify them. Imperfections, then, of 
all sorts are what is to be looked for in them ; but still the hope 
is entertained that they may assist, or that, should they fail to 
assist, they may succeed to encourage ; for, representing various 


stages of success, or imsuccess, in the study of Hegel, they may be 
allowably expected to have peculiar meaning for more than one 
student, who, finding his own difficulties reflected in what claims 
to have passed them, may feel himself stimulated afresh to a 
renewed attempt. 

In the circumstances of the case too, I am sure the reader will 
not deem it unreasonable that he should be warned that the 
opinions expressed in these notes both as interimistic and pro 
visional in themselves, and as always referring to another, whether 
from the point of view of Hegel or from that of his commentator 
must not be regarded as deliberate products of either, but must 
be viewed only as a preparatory scaffolding to be afterwards 

I shall always recollect the first time I opened the Encyclopaedia 
of Hegel. It was the re-edition by Eosenkranz (Berlin, 1845) of 
Hegel s own third edition, a compact, substantial, but not bulky 
volume, with clear and well-sized type, that seemed to offer a 
ready and satisfactory access to the whole of this extraordinary 
system. Surely, was the thought, there will be no difficulty in 
making one s way through that ! What a promise the very con 
tents seemed to offer, if floating strangely in such an air of novelty! 
First of all, three grand Parts: the Science of Logic, tire Philosophy 
of Nature, the Philosophy of Spirit ! Evidently, something very 
comprehensive and exhaustive was a,bout to be given us ! For 
Logic, Nature, Spirit which last of course could only refer to 
intelligence, or to thinking, willing, feeling self-consciousness in 
general being all three explained to us, there manifestly could 
remain nothing else to ask after. Then the Sub-parts! As the 
Parts were three, so under each of the three the Sub-parts were 
also three. Under Logic: the doctrine of Being, the doctrine of 
Essence, the doctrine of the Notion. Under Nature : Mechanic, 
Physic, Organic. Under Spirit: Subjective Spirit, Objective 
Spirit, Absolute Spirit. Nor did two trichotomies suffice ; there 
was a third into the majuscules A, B, C, a fourth into the minus 
cules a, b, c, a fifth into the grammata a, 0, y, and lastly (not to 
mention an occasional excursion to the Hebrew Aleph, Beth, Gim- 
mel), the discussion in the body of the work was seen a sixth 
(seventh) trichotomy to proceed by the numbers 1, 2, 3. The 
outer look at least was attractive ; there was balance, there was 
symmetry, and the energy of a beginner could at lowest hope that it 
was in presence, not of artifice and formality, but of nature and 


reality. At all events, be it as it might with the form, the matter 
was unexceptionable, and promised knowledge of the most com 
plete, interesting, and important nature. For under Logic, there 
were not only Propositions, Syllogisms, &c., to be discussed, but 
all the great questions of Ontology also, as Being, and Existence, 
and Noumenon, and Phenomenon, and Substance, and Cause and 
Effect, and Reciprocity, &c. &c. Then the treatment of Nature 
seemed an extremely full one ; for Static, and Dynamic, and 
Mechanic, and Chemistry (Chemism rather), and Geology, and 
Botany, and Physiology, and much else, seemed all to have place 
in it. Lastly, at once how pregnant and how new the matter of 
the Philosophy of Spirit appeared ! Psychology, Morals, Religion, 
Law, Politics, Society, Art, and Philosophy : these were the sub 
jects discussed, but all in a new order, and under new categories, 
and with strange new associates at their sides. What was Being- 
for-self, for example, and what was Phenomenology, and the World 
of Appearance, and, above all, what was the Absolute Idea ? 

But let us cease to wonder let us begin to read. 

Well, we have read the Fore-word of Rosenkranz. We have 
found in it, certainly, a considerable sprinking of to us new 
words ; some of them, too, of endless syllable, Mongolic, merely 
stuck together on the agglutinative principle, such as Sichinsichselb- 
streflectiren (which does not occur here, however), or Ineinander- 
greifen (which does) ; but we have gone through v/ith it we seem 
to ourselves to have understood it there is no hidden difficulty in 
it, so far as we can judge. Though we have heard in it, too, that 
there is a split in the school, and that Hegelianism is not in 
Germany what it was ; we have been told as well that this 
Encyclopaedia is a national treasure, the estimation of which will 
only grow with time ; that other sciences are obliged to conform 
themselves to the notions it contains, and that it presents a preg 
nant concentration beside which the Manuels de Philosophic of the 
French and others are but shallow maunderings, empty and 
antiquated. For our own part, moreover, we have felt ourselves, 
throughout the reading, in presence of what is evidently both a 
highly developed, and a wholly new, method of general thought. 
Altogether the Fore-word of Rosenkranz is a word of encourage 
ment and hope. 

We go further now we enter upon He <el himself. Alas ! 
Hegel is not Rosenkranz, and the Fore-word aPter a thousand 
efforts, with surprise, with incredulity, with astonishment, with 


vexation, with gall, with sweat seems destined for ever to 
remain the Hind-word also. 

Even if a ray of light seems suddenly to leap to you, most 
probably your position is not one whit the better for it ; for the 
gleam of the beginning proves, for the most part, but a meteor of 
the marsh ; a meteor with express appointment, it may be even, 
to mislead your vanity into the pitfall of the ridiculous. You 
shall have advanced, let us assume, for example, to the words: 
The Idea, however, demonstrates itself as Thought directly 
identical with itself, and this at the same time as the power 
to set itself over against itself, in order to be for itself, and in 
this Other only to be by itself. You shall have seen into these 
words, let us say, so far ; and you shall have sniirkingly pointed 
them out to friends, and smiled complacently over the hopeless 
blankness that fell upon their features; but in the smirk, and in 
the smile, and in the delusion that underlies them, you shall 
have, like Dogberry, to be written down an ass the while. 
These words but abstractly state the position of Idealism do 
they ? And so, hugging yourself as on a secret gained, you relax 
pleasedly into the cloudland of the Vorstelluny, to see there, far 
off across the blue, the whole huge universe iridescently collapse 
into the crystal of the Idea. You will yet see reason to be 
ashamed of your cloudland, to be disappointed with your secret, 
how true soever, and to find in every case that you have not 
yet accomplished a single step in advance. 

The Encyclopaedia proves utterly refractory then. With 
resolute concentration we have set ourselves, again and again, 
to begin with the beginning, or, more desperately, with the end, 
perhaps with the middle now with this section, now with that 
in vain ! Deliberate effort, desultory dip tis all the same thing ! 
We shut the book ; we look around for explanation and assistance. 

We are in Germany itself at the moment (say) ; and very 
naturally, in the first instance, we address ourselves to our own 
late teacher of the language, Other writers^ he replies, may be 
this, may be that ; but Hegel ! one has to stop ! and think ! and 
think! Hegel! Ach Gott / Such a weary look of exhausted 
effort lengthens the jaw ! and it is our last chance of a word 
with our late teacher; for henceforth he always unaccountably 
vanishes at the very first glimpse of our person, though caught 
a mile off! 

But here is a friend of ours, an Englishman, of infinite ability, 


of infinite acquirement, conversant with many languages, but 
especially conversant with German, for he has held for years a 
German appointment, and rejoiced for years in a German wife. 
He will assist us. With what a curious smile he looks up, and 
shakes his head, after having read the two or three first sen 
tences of the first preface to the Encyclopaedia ! This preface is 
Hegelian iron certainly, and with the tang of Hegelian iron in 
every word of it; but, looking at it now, it is difficult to under 
stand that it should ever have seemed hard. Nor do I suppose 
that it really was hard to the friend alluded to. Only, the closely 
wrought concentration must have seemed exceedingly peculiar; 
and it must have been felt that in such veords common and 
current as they are as Inhalt, Vorstellung, Begriff, and even 
dusserliche Zweckmassigkeit, dusserliche Ordnung, Manier, Ueber- 
gange, Vermittelung, &c,, there lay a meaning quite other than the 
ordinary one ; a meaning depending on some general system of 
thought, and intelligible consequently only to the initiated. 

We are driven back on books again then ; and we have recourse 
to the Life of Hegel as written by Eosenkranz. This writer 
possesses at once a facile and a lucid pen, beneath which, too, 
there rise up ever and anon the most expressive images, the most 
picturesque metaphors. Image, metaphor, facility, lucidity, all 
seem ineffectual, however, the instant they come to be applied to 
what alone concerns us the philosophy of Hegel. The per 
spicuity and transparency which give light everywhere else, here 
suddenly so far as we are concerned vanish ; and there is an 
incontinent relapse, on our part, into the ancient gall. Let the 
reader look, for example, at these, the first two sentences of what 
appears in the work referred to as a formal statement of the 
system of Hegel ! 

Philosophy was to him the. self-cognition of the process of the 
Absolute, which, as pure Ideality, is not affected by the vicissitude 
of the quantitative difference of the Becoming which attaches to 
the Finite. The distinction of the Pure Idea, of Nature, and of 
the Spirit as personification of history, is eliminated in the total 
totality of the Absolute Spirit that is present in them. 

The reader will do well to refer to the original, and to examine 
from time to time the succeeding page, or page and a half, in test 
of his own proficiency. Insight into Hegel will have begun, when 
the passage referred to has become sun-clear. Not more than 
begun, however, for the glance into the system involved here 


extends only to the totality, and, compared with a knowledge 
which were truly knowledge, is altogether inadequate. In the 
case of Hegel, there is nothing more deceptive than what are 
called general views. It is extreme injustice to all interests 
concerned, to sum up his system in a paragraph ; and still worse 
to fancy that it is understood, and finished off, and done with in 
the single word Pantheism. He who would know Hegel, must 
know what Hegel himself would call das Einzelne, and even das 
Einzelne des Einzelnen ; that is, he must not content himself with 
some mere fraudulent or illusory general conception of the whole ; 
but he must know the particular (strictly, the singular ), and 
the particular of the particular. The System of Hegel is this : 
not a mere theory or intellectual view, or collection of theories or 
intellectual views, but an Organon through which as system of 
drill, instruction, discipline passed, the individual soul finds itself 
on a new elevation, and with neiu powers. A general view that 
shall shortly name and give shortly to understand a single 
statement that shall explain this were a demand not one whit 
more absurd as regards the Principia of Newton than as regards 
the Logic of Hegel. Of the latter, as of the former, he only knows 
anything who has effected actual permeation. Fancy the smile 
into which the iron of Hegel broke when the never-doubting 
M. Cousin requested a succinct statement of The System ! Mon 
sieur, said he, ces choses ne se disent pas succinctement, surtout en 
frangais ! 

The Life of Hegel by Eosenkranz, then, however interesting, 
however satisfactory otherwise, failed there at least for us 
where only we wished it to succeed. It extended no light for 
perception of the System. There it was dark and impervious 
as dark and impervious as the Encydopaedie itself. The opening 
sentences of the relative statement and the succeeding passages 
already referred to were flung, in the wonder they excited, to 
more than one correspondent, and the total totality remained 
an occasion of endless smile. 

From all this it was evident, then, that the System of Jlegel 
was something eminently peculiar, and that, if it were to be 
understood at all, the only course that remained was to take it 
in its place as part and parcel of what is called German Philo 
sophy in general ; and, with that object, to institute, necessarily, 
a systematic study of the entire subject from the commencement. 
Now that commencement was Kant; in regard to whom, so far, 


at least, as Hume and the philosophy of Great Britain generally 
were concerned, we might assume ourselves to possess what 
preliminary preparation was specially required. With Kant, 
then, without carrying the regression further, and with reasonable 
hope of success, we might begin at once. 

The Kritik of Pure Reason was accordingly taken up, and an 
assiduous study of the same duly set forward. The Introduction 
and the Aesthetik necessitated, indeed, the closest attention and 
the most earnest thought in consequence of the newness of 
the matter and the imperfections of the form, but offered on the 
whole no serious impediment. It was otherwise, however, with 
the Transcendental Analytik, the burthen of which is the Deduc 
tion of the Categories, pronounced by Hegel what is hardest in 
Kant even pronounced by Kant what is hardest in himself. 
Here there was pause ; here the eyes wandered ; here they looked 
up in quest of aid from without. 

The translations that offered themselves to hand were most 
of them to be regarded but as psychological curiosities. They 
seemed on the whole, in fact, to have been executed as it were 
with the eyes shut, or as if in the dark ; and consequently they 
fell on the eyes of the reader like a very blanket of the night/ 
against the overpowering weight of which no human lid could 
stir. Eeinhold,* Schwegleiyf not were procured, but fell in the 
way, scarcely with the required profit. The former was one of 
those nervously clear, nervously distinct individuals who blind 
with excess of light and deafen with excess of accent; while 
the latter, excellent, admirable, afforded only a summary that 
was scarcely of any avail to the interest concerned the Deduc 
tion of the Categories. Saintes* extended a thin varnish of 
the Literature of the Subject; but, as regarded the main object 
of a full perception of what that really was that the Kritik of 
Pure Eeason strove to, he was as far from throwing any satis 
factory light on Kant, as afterwards Vera, on the whole, to 

* Reinhold : Versuch einer neuen Theorie des Menschlichen Vorstellungs- 

f Schweglev : Geschichte der Philosophic im Umriss. 

\ Saintes : Vie et Philosophic de Kant. 

Vera : Introduction a la Philosophic de Hegel. 

It must be understood that theae censures come from one whose desire was 
thoroughly to see into the whole connexion and details of the systems in question, 
and that consequently another who should only aim at a general conception may 
feel very differently towards some of the works mentioned. Rosenkranz and Sibree, 



me at least in the one little volume was from throwing a 
sufficient one on what I really wanted to know of Hegel. Three 
Vortrdge (just to complete the digression here which the refer 
ence to Vera has begun) of Kuno Fischer, besides that they came 
years too late, were not done justice to by acquisition and perusal 
of the two volumes on Kant which were announced to follow. 
Haym (Hegel und seine Zeit) was a man of genius, but all his 
admirable writing, all his brilliantly-pointed expression, failed to 
convince me that there was nothing in Hegel. The prefatory 
notice to the extracts of Frantz and Hillert, a slender pamphlet 
on Hegel s subjective Logic published by Chapman, Gruppe 
Gegenwart, &c., der Philosophic, Fortlage die Lucken des 
Hegelschen Systems (I may also mention Coleridge s Biographia 
Literaria, and Lewes s Biographical History of Philosophy) 
these and the other works already named constitute what in 
my case is the Literature of the subject; and, though very 
readily allowing each its own peculiar merits (Schwegler s 
book is indispensable) it is not too much to say that a single 
satisfactory idea on the main thing wanted by a struggling 
student who would be thorough, is not to be got from the 
whole of them. He who after such reading supposes himself 
to possess an adequate conception of Kant and Hegel simply 
deludes himself.* 

On the whole, the conclusion at this stage was, that we must 
return to the principals. If we really desired to come to any 
knowledge of Kant and Hegel, or, for that part, of Fichte and 
Schelling either, it was with Kant and Hegel, with Fichte and 
Schelling, that we had alone to do. Accordingly, Tennemann, 
Chalybaeus, Michelet, though heard of, were not consulted. 
Neither were the Elucidations to Hegel by Eosenkranz inquired 
for; and the same author s suggestive Eeformation of the 
Hegelian Logic only came to hand when it was no longer 
required. The pertinent articles in the Conversations-Lexicon 

for example, speak alike highly of the work of Vera ; and they are both authorities 
of weight. Rosenkranz, as is well known, is the Hcgclianer par excellence. And 1 
have no hesitation in characterising Mr Sibree s translation of Hegel s Philosophy of 
Histonj as by far the best contribution to German philosophy that has as yet (1864) 
appeared in England. The one work is no test : Vera has written many works on 
Hegel, all excellent. He himself, besides, was one of the most amiable, accom 
plished, and delightful of men. 

* The reader will remember that the reference above to Schwegler s book pre 
ceded by some years any thought of its translation by the author. (New note. ) 


were too short to be of much service as regards the Philosophies 
themselves ; but useful light was obtained here and there on the 
technical meanings of German philosophical terms. 

It was a consolation to learn from another such encyclopaedic 
work, whose name I forget, that Hegel had been a shut book both 
to Goethe and Schiller, and that, as regards Jean Paul, it was in a 
manner an expression wrung from him, that Hegel was the 
subtlest of all metaphysical heads, but a very vampire of the 
living man. In a like reference, it was not unpleasing to know 
that the Kritik of Pure Eeason had remained opaque to Goethe, 
and to perceive from the words conveying it, that the claim of 
the same great man to an understanding of the Kritik of 
Judgment was perhaps not less susceptible of a negative than 
of an affirmative. Such evidences of the difficulty, then, were a 
consolation to the suffering individual student, at the same time 
that everything seemed to confirm the truth of his conclusion, 
that, in this case, as in most others, the true policy was to pass 
by the subordinates, and hold perseveringly by the principals. 

But again, if we may neglect what is named the Literature of 
the subject, as but a parasitic consequent, how far, it may be 
asked, are we justified in assuming this or any movement to lie 
in its principals alone, and what is the same thing on another 
side how far is it possible to separate the consideration of 
any such movement from the consideration of its literature ? 
These questions probably enable us to open at best what we 
would proceed to say. The movement, of which there is question 
at present, is an intellectual movement of such a nature as is 
not rare in history. The Germans commonly distinguish such 
movements by the word Gahrung, which signifies zymosis, fer- 
mentatio, ferment. Now the dramatic zymosis of England, at 
the end of the sixteenth and .the beginning of the seventeenth 
century, presents a considerable analogy to the philosophical 
zymosis of Germany at the end of the eighteenth and the 
beginning of the nineteenth century ; while neither of them, 
perhaps, can well be surpassed, as an example of the class, by 
any other which has occurred in history. In both, the same 
passionate enthusiasm, the same eager haste, the same burning 
rush, the same swift alternation of io triumphe, the same pre 
cipitation and superfetation of production. Man, strung to his 
utmost, vies his utmost ; and each new day brings forth its 
portent; which portent, again, in its place and season, is as 


temporary centre and feeding fuel to the growing, glowing, and 
inflaming hubbub. 

Germany, for its part, however, was luckily free, as indeed 
behoved philosophy, from an element of sense which deformed 
and disgraced the English ferment. For such pure white flames 
as Kant and Fichte, the substance proper of the spirit was oil 
enough ; the natural speed of their own life sufficed them ; 
they required not, like Marlow, the fierce combustible of wine, 
as it were to give them edge upon themselves, that so they might 
eat into themselves, and devour up their own sweetness in an 
instant s rush. Yet Fichte, absolutely without a fear absolutely 
without a misgiving in the intensity of his sincerity, in the 
intensity of his honesty, in the intensity of his conviction, was 
as swift and precipitate as even Marlow. Of this, his every act, 
his every word is proof. He kindles to Kant, he writes his 
Kritik of All Eevelation in four weeks, he rushes to Konigsberg, 
lie extends to Kant this same Kritik by way of introductory 
letter. He becomes professor at Jena; his lectures are as 
inflaming fire, and his works Wissenschaftslehre, Eechtslehre, 
Sittenlehre leap from him like consecutive lightnings. The 
Journal he edits is, for its plainness of speech, confiscated by the 
Government: he rises up, he rushes to the front, he defends, he 
appeals, he listens to no private Hush, man! hold your tongue, we 
are going to look over it ; he will have lawful conviction or 
1 signal satisfaction. Submit to be threatened ! it is he will 
threaten, he will quit quit and take his people with him ; he and 
they will found a university for themselves ! So single, so entire 
in his conviction of his first philosophy, this is no impediment to 
equal singleness, to equal entirety in his conviction of his second. 
Then, when the political horizon darkens over his country, he 
calls his compatriots to arms calls to them through the very 
roulades of the French drums, calls to them in the very hearing 
of the French governor ! Nor when, as if in answer to his call, 
the war arises, does the student slink into his study as if his work 
were done. No! the word is but exchanged for the deed; and in 
the doing of the deed, both he and his brave wife fall a sacrifice to 
their own nobleness! * The eagle Fichte ! whose flight was arrow- 
straight, whose speed the lightning s ! Or take him in less serious 
and more amusing circumstances. The enthusiasm in the days of 
Marlow, the drunkenness of intellection could not be greater than 
* But she recovered, while he died. (New.) 


this. Fichte visits Baggesen, whom as yet he has not seen ; 
Baggesen has a child at the point of death, and cannot receive 
Fichte. They cannot part thus, however: Baggesen comes to 
Fichte in the stair ; and there the two of them, Fichte and 
Baggesen, find Consciousness a subject so interesting, that, in such 
position, in such circumstances, they remain discussing it an hour 
and a half, turning away, the one from the other, at last, each, we 
may suppose, as in the dream of a seraph. 

It must be admitted, indeed, that the excitement in Germany 
took on, in some respects, larger proportions than that in England. 
The numbers of the affected, for example, were much greater in the 
former country than in the latter. The former country, indeed, 
would probably count by hundreds as the other by tens. Schulze, 
Kraus, Maimon, Krug, Kiesewetter, Erhard, Eberhard, Heyden- 
reich, Bouterweck, Bendavid, Fries, Eeinhold, Bardili, Beck, 
Hiilsen, Koppen, Suabedissen these really are but a tithe of the 
names that turn up in the German fluctuation, and each of them 
is to be conceived as but a seething froth-point in the immeasurable 

In these zymoses, then, whether in Germany or in England, we 
may say that those who took part in them were stirred to their 
very depths; that they stood up, as it were, convulsed; that they 
emulously agonised themselves mutually, to the production of 
results, in both countries, on the whole transcendent, almost 
superhuman. Now, however wide was the seething sea in 
England, we all know, in these days, that it has subsided round a 
single, matchless island, Shakspeare, the delight, the glory, the 
wonder of the world ; beside which, it is, on the whole, only by a 
species of indulgent indifference on our parts that we allow certain 
virtuosi to point out the existence of some ancillary islets. But 
just as it is in England as regards the dramatic zymosis, it is, or 
will be, in Germany as regards the philosophic ; only, the latter 
country, perhaps, will distinguish its single island by a double 
name. We have arrived now at the point where an answer to the 
questions which we have left a short way behind us is easy, is 
self-evident. The seething thing, named English Drama, or 
German Philosophy, is one thing ; and the practical outcome of 
the seething, another. Thus different, each, then, may be con 
sidered apart and by itself ; and two diverse branches of human 
industry are seen to become hereby possible. He who shall make 
it his business to watch the gathering of the materials for the 


seething the first bells or bubbles of the same the further 
progress, all the consecutive phases as they appear in time 
will be the Phenomenologist or Historian of the Seething. By 
this historian, plainly, no detail is to be neglected, nor is any 
name to be omitted. 

A very different task, however, is his who would take the other 
branch, and discuss only the settled outcome of the ferment : and 
this is the task in special reference to German Philosophy which 
we here would desire to attempt ; a task which is, probably, 
insusceptible as yet of the form of art which as yet cannot be 
effected, as it were, by a picture, by a statue, or even by a homo 
geneous essay, but which must content itself with the ground in 
its regard being simply broken into. For us then, with such 
object, the majority of the names tossed over in the turmoil will 
have no interest ; for us, in short, the principals will suffice. And 
thus, by another road, we are brought to the same conclusion as 
before to neglect, namely, the Literature of the subject ; and 
this, not only so far as it follows, but also so far as so to speak 
it accompanies the ferment. But again the terms principals 
and outcome are not necessarily coincident. In the ferment of 
the English Drama, Marlow, Ben Jonson, and others may, even 
beside Shakspeare, be correctly enough named principals; yet it 
is the last alone whom we properly term outcome. As it is, then, 
in the English movement, so probably will it be in the German 
also; and in this light, perhaps, there awaits us a closer circum 
scription yet than that which we had already reached. In other 
words, there may be principals here, too, whom, in part or in 
whole, it is not necessary to regard as outcome. 

The reader, indeed, may have already perceived a tendency on 
our part to talk somewhat exclusively of Kant and Hegel ; and 
may already, perhaps, resent the slight thereby implied to Fichte 
and Schelling, as to men who have hitherto ranked on the same 
platform as equals themselves, and no less equals of the others 
also. No man, for instance, will subordinate Fichte to Schelling ; 
yet, as there has been assigned to Kant the relative place of 
Socrates, and to Hegel that of Aristotle, so there has always 
been reserved for Schelling no less proud a place the place of 
Plato. It may well be asked, then, why should Fichte and 
Schelling give way to Hegel ? Is it possible to take up the works 
of either of the former without perpetually coming on Ankldnge 
on assonances to Hegel for which this latter seems the debtor ? 


Do not sources apparently of special inspiration to Hegel crop out 
all through the Ideen and the Transcendentale Idealisrrms 
all through the Wissenschaf tslehre, and the Eechtslehre, and 
the Sittenlehre ? Are not the considerations contained in 
these works largely the material on which at least Hegel turns ? 
Whence else could there have been extended to him the ruts or 
the rails whereby his waggon was enabled to roll forward with 
filling to the inane ? In what respect is the single quest of 
Schelling or of Fichte to be distinguished from that of Hegel or of 
Kant ? Is it not true that there is but one quest common to all 
the four of them ? Is not, after all, this quest with each but, in 
one word, the a priori? Do not they all aim at an a priori 
deduction of the all of things a deduction which shall extend to 
man the pillars of his universe, and the principles as well by 
which he may find support and guidance in all his ways and 
wishes ? If, then, they are thus successive attempts at the same 
result, why should they not all of them be equally studied ? To 
this we may answer, that, so far as there is a succession, there is 
no wish to deny the right of any of them to be studied. We 
seek a practical concentration only, and, in the interest of that 
concentration, we would eliminate everything that is extraneous, 
everything that is superfluous but nothing more. Now, as 
regards Kant, there is no room for doubt ; his place is fixed, not 
only by common consent, but by the very nature of the case. It 
was he who originated the whole movement, and without him not 
a step in it can be understood. As regards Hegel, not so much to 
common consent is it that he owes his place, as to the inexorable 
sentence of history ; for there has been no step since his death 
which is not to be characterised as dissolution and demise. But 
if Hegel be the historical culmination and end, both Fichte and 
Schelling must submit to be historical only so far as they lead to 
him only so far as they approve themselves in his regard as 
nexus of mediation to Kant. Now, at a glance, there is much in 
both of them that is extraneous, and incapable of being regarded 
as historically connective in any respect. Fichte, for example, 
had two philosophical epochs ; and if both belong to biography, 
only one belongs to history. The epochs of Schelling were, I 
suppose, three times more numerous ; but, of them all, only the 
second and third are historical ; those, namely, which, following 
the first, the initiatory identification with Fichte, sought to 
vindicate for Nature an independent place beside the Ego, and 


then resumption for both into an indefinite Absolute. Nay, of 
the two epochs just named, it is even possible that we ought to 
strike off the latter ; for there are not wanting good reasons to 
maintain that the work of this epoch the resumption, namely, of 
both Nature and the Ego into the Absolute belongs, not to 
Schelling but to Hegel. Some of these reasons we shall see 
presently. Meantime, we shall assume the philosophical majority 
of Hegel to commence with the publication of the Phaeno- 
menologie des Geistes, in 1807. On this assumption, the 
historical works of Fichte are the Wissenschaftslehre in its 
various forms, the Grundlage des Naturrechts, and the System 
der Sittenlehre ; while the Ideen zu einer Philosophic der 
Natur/ the Von der Weltseele/ the Erster Entwurf eines 
Systems der Naturphilosophie, the l System des Transcendentalen 
Idealismus, and the Darstellung meines Systems der Philosophie, 
shall represent the historical works of Schelling. 

It is very probable, however, that even these conclusions will 
become to the student, as he advances, doubtful. With Fichte 
and with Schelling, his satisfaction will not always be unmixed; 
and reasons will begin to show themselves for believing Hegel 
however apparently their debtor, both for stimulation and 
suggestion to have, after all, in the end, dispensed with both, 
and taken a fresh departure from Kant for himself. In such 
circumstances, he will incline to think still further concen 
tration both justifiable and feasible. No doubt it is interesting, 
he will say, to see the consecutive forms which the theme of 
Kant assumes now in the hands of Fichte, and now in the hands 
of Schelling. No doubt this is not only interesting, but also, 
for Hegel, in some sort adjuvant. Still, if it is true that all 
culminates in Hegel, and that Hegel himself has made good his 
attachment to Kant, with practical elimination of all that is 
intermediate, then, evidently, for him whose object is the outcome 
only, Fichte and Schelling are no longer indispensably necessary. 
Then the dissatisfaction with these writers themselves ! 

As writers this, at least, is the experience of the present 
student Fichte and Schelling were incomparably the most 
accomplished of all the four, and offered by far the least impedi 
ment to the progress of a current intelligence. Schelling, however 
(his vindication of nature as in opposition to Fichte, and such 
like, being neglected), seemed to have little to offer as stepping- 
stone to Hegel besides what we may call, perhaps, his Neutrum 


of Keason his generalised Universal of Eeasons which neutrum 
again coalesces in effect with the absolute neutrum, which resumes 
into itself both nature and the ego, both objectivity and subjectivity. 
And even as regards this, probably by far the most important 
element nameable Schellingian in Hegel, there were considerations 
which might just reverse the received relation of its origin. 

The facts on which the considerations alluded to rest are these : 
Hegel, when his time was come and his system at least in its 
first form lay complete in his desk, wrote to Schelling disclosing 
his intention to enter the career of Letters, or rather Philosophy, 
and asking his advice as to where to settle. He feared the 
literary revel ,and riot of Jena, he said : would not Bamberg, with 
opportunities to study Roman Catholicism, be a judicious pre 
liminary residence ? Hegel wrote this letter in November 1800, 
and his arrival in Jena the following January was the result of the 
correspondence. Now Schelling, who had but just summed and 
completed himself and had but just given himself to the world 
as summed and completed in his System des Transcendentalen 
Idealismus, is found, immediately after his first meetings with 
Hegel, and with signs of haste and precipitation about him, 
offering himself to the world again, new summed, new completed 
this time, indeed, as he professed, finally summed, finally completed, 
in what was at least partially antagonistic of the immediately 
previous sum his * Darstellung meines Systems der Philosophic. 

These facts are few, but they probably cover a whole busy 
beehive of human interests both as regards Schelling and as 
regards Hegel. Haym, for example, a writer of brilliant genius, 
whom we have already mentioned, scarcely hesitates to insinuate 
that this haste of Schelling was probably not unconnected with 
the new-comer Hegel this, as thinking, perhaps, of the proverbial 
communicativeness of first meetings. If, then, Hegel, on these 
occasions communicated anything to Schelling, the burthen of 
such communication would be most probably the Neutrum or 
Absolute ; for, while it is the most prominent element in Hegel 
that can be called Schellingian, it is precisely in the last-named 
work of Schelling s that it emerges on the whole fully formed and 
fully overt. In this way, this same neutrum or absolute may be 
viewed as the honorarium or hush-money paid by the Unknown 
to the Known for the privilege of standing on the latter s shoulders 
and in the light of the latter s fame. For possibly the application 
of Hegel to Schelling was not without its calculations. It broke 


a long silence, and it concerned correspondents very differently 
placed. Hegel was by four years and five months the senior of 
Schelling : as yet, nevertheless, he had done nothing ; he was but 
an obscure tutor, and his existence was to be wholly ignored. 
Schelling, on the contrary, though so much his junior, was already 
an old celebrity, a placed professor, an established author, a 
philosopher the rival of Fichte, the rival of Kant. To Hegel, 
unknown, obscure, of no account, nothing, but who would rank 
precisely among these highest of the high who would, in fact, as 
the paper in his desk prophesied to him, be all the immense 
advantages that would lie in Schelling s introduction, in Schelling s 
association of him with himself as philosophical teacher, as 
literary writer, could not be hid. Why, it would be the saving to 
him of whole years of labour, perhaps of a whole world of heart 
breaks. There is, quite accordingly, a peculiar tone, a peculiar 
batedness of breath in the letter of Hegel : admiration of 
Schelling s career, almost amounting to awe, is hinted ; he looks to 
Schelling with full confidence for a recognition of his disinterested 
labour (the paper in his desk), even though its sphere be lower ; 
before trusting himself to the literary intoxication of Jena, he 
would like preliminarily to strengthen himself somewhere else, say 
at Bamberg, &c. &c. It is difficult to avoid distrusting all this, 
for we feel it is precisely Jena he wants to get at, and we know 
that he was not slow to come to Jena when Schelling bade him. 
Then, we seem to see, Bamberg had served its turn ; it and its 
opportunities for the study of Catholicism might now go hang ! 
what was wanted had been got. 

In their first meetings at Jena, then, such being the relative 
positions of the two former fellow-students, Hegel, it may be 
supposed, would naturally desire to conciliate Schelling would 
naturally desire indirectly to show him that the advantages of a 
partnership would not, after all, be so very wholly on one side, 
would naturally desire to make him feel that he (Schelling) had 
not done so ill in giving the stranger the benefit of his intro 
duction and the prestige of his fame. Very probably, then, Hegel 
would not hesitate, in such circumstances, to show Schelling, if he 
could, that in his (Schelling s) own doctrines there lay an element 
which, if developed, would extend to the System the last touch 
of comprehensiveness, simplicity, and symmetry.* 

* Certainly in the eyes of all this is what Hegel, in his Diflferenz des Fichteschen 



But this Neutrum or Absolute will be found to be very 
fairly expressed, and more than once too, in the Transcendentale 
Idealismus ! 

An absolut Identisches in which the Objective and Sub 
jective" shall coalesce is talked of in various places. We may 
instance these : At page 29, we hear of ein Absolutes, das von 
sick selbst die Ursache nnd die Wirkung Subject und Object 
ist; 5 at pages iv. and v. of Preface, an Allgemeiuheit is talked 
of, in which das Einzelne vollig verschwindet; again, at page 29, 
the Selbstbewusstseyn is identified with Nature, and both with 
the absolute identity of Subjective and Objective ; lastly, pp. 4, 5, 
we have the following : Nature reaches the highest goal, to 
become wholly object to its own self, only through the highest 
and last reflexion, which is nothing else than Man, or, more 
generally, that which we name Reason, through which (reflexion) 
nature first returns completely into its own self, and whereby it 
becomes manifest that nature is originally identical with that 
which is recognised in us as what is intelligent and conscious. 

This would seem to dispose definitively of any pretensions of 
Hegel. But again, it is a curious thing that, once a doctrine has 
become historically established, we are often startled by expres 
sions in the works of previous writers which seem accurately to 
describe it ; yet these previous writers shall have no more insight 
into the doctrine concerned than any Indian in his woods ; and 
we ourselves should have found something quite else in the 
expressions, had we read them before the doctrine itself was 
become historically overt. Small individuals there are in the 
world, however, who ferret out such ex post facto coincidences, and 
assume to denounce thereby some veritable historical founder as 
but a cheat and a thief and a plagiarist ! Now, this might have 
happened here, and Schelling,.for all his expressions in the Tran 
scendental Idealism, might have been quite blind to their real 
reach till he had had his eyes opened by the communications of 
Hegel; in which circumstances, too, it would be ill-natured to 
blame him for showing haste to make good his own in the eyes of 
the public. It is certain that a Universal of Reason lies much 
more in the way of the notions of Hegel than in that of those of 
Schelling, who, in the duality of reality here and ideality there, 

and Schellingischen Systems, did for Schelling. Schelling, as everybody knew, sank 
both sides of his philosophy into an Indifferenzpunkt. If this punkt was implicitly 
an absolute for Schelling, perhaps Hegel made it for him even explicitly such. (New. ) 


seems to leap to a neutrum which, as indifference, is a neutrum, 
which is zero (the Null !) rather than an absolute, rather than 
reason. Be all this as it may, we are compelled, as it comes to us, 
to attribute this tenet to Schelling ; and the Hegelian may still 
take to himself the consolation which, indeed, lay open to his 
master he may sardonically look on at the little use Schelling 
made of it at the little use Schelling could make of it, as it 
wanted to him that connexion with Kant which enabled Hegel, 
by giving body to the form, to realise his system. 

For the rest, the balanced magnet of an absolute, and more, the 
subordination of all to Art as highest outcome of this absolute 
itself the restlessness and inconstancy of his faith whether as 
regards others or himself, his silence during the life of Hegel, 
his malicious breaking of silence after the death of Hegel, and the 
little intelligence he seemed to show of the very system he broke 
silence on, all this dissatisfied with Schelling, and left an impres 
sion as of the too ebullient ardour that o erleaps itself. Schelling 
has been said to resemble Coleridge, and not without reason so far 
as the latter s similarly ebullient youth is concerned. Doubtless, 
too, some will see in both a like versatility of opinion, and a like 
unsatisfactoriness of close : but, in these respects, any likeness 
that can be imputed is not more than skin-deep ; and otherwise, 
surely, not many points of comparison can be offered. Coleridge, 
exquisite poet, was, with all his logosophy, no philosopher ; and it 
is difficult to believe even that there is any single philosopher in 
the world whom he had either thoroughly studied or thoroughly 
understood. Suhelling had both studied and originated philo 
sophy. Than Coleridge, consequently in that regard, he was 
infinitely profounder in acquisition, infinitely profounder in medi 
tation of the same ; he was infinitely clearer also, infinitely more 
vigorous, infinitely richer, and more elastic in the spontaneity of 
original suggestion and thought. 

As for Fichte, having overcome the difficulty of his second 
proposition, which is that of Entgegensetzung, all seemed easy so 
far as study was concerned ; and undoubtedly there lay in certain 
of his political findings in his method of movement by thesis, 
antithesis, and synthesis, and in that his undeniable and most 
valuable contribution, the unconditionedness of the notion of the 
ego elements to which Hegel owed much ; but notwithstanding 
this, and notwithstanding the impetuous nobleness of the man, 
whose unhesitating headlong singleness, if to be viewed with 


Mr Carlyle as a rock at all, must be viewed as a rock, not at rest, 
but in motion, irresistible from without, nor yet quite resistible 
from within, the general aspect of the system is, on the whole, 
unsubstantial and unreal ; the in and in of the development 
wearies and awakens doubt, and one finds oneself easily sympa 
thising with the aged and somewhat chagrined Kant, when, in a 
letter to Tieftrunk, he characterises it as a sort of ghost/ a mere 
thought-form/ without stuff, which is incapable of being 
clutched, and which accordingly makes a wonderful impression 
on the reader. 

On the whole, then, for us, but very little material could be 
pointed to as separating Hegel from Kant; nay, this material 
itself could be derived quite as well at first hand from the original 
quarry, as at second hand from the trucks of the quarry-men ; and 
generally, in all respects, it was Hegel who specially continued 
and developed into full and final form all the issues which Kant 
had ever properly begun. The true principals, then, were Kant 
and Hegel ; and, they being won, all others might be cheerfully 
neglected. Neither as regards their difficulty, surely, was there 
any reason to dread eventual despair, were but the due labour 
instituted. What they understood, another might understand ; 
and for no other purpose than to be understood, bad these their 
works been written, had these their works been published. 

Let us confine ourselves to Kant and Hegel, then ; nay, for the 
start, let us confine ourselves in them to those works of theirs 
which are specially occupied with the express scientific statement 
of their respective systems. In a word, let us at first confine 
ourselves to three works of each : as regards Kant, to the Kritik 
of Pure Reason, the Kritik of Practical Reason, and the Kritik 
of Judgment; as regards Hegel, to the Phaenomenologie des 
Geistes, the Logik, and the Encyclopaedic. This, then, is what 
has been done indeed, to the production of greater restriction 
still, from the above enumeration, the Phaenomenologie des 
Geistes is, on the whole, to be eliminated.* 

The present work relates to Hegel alone ; and the immediately 
succeeding chapters present a series of notes which, as products of 
an actual struggle to this autbor, may prove, perhaps, not unadapted 
to assist, or at least encourage, others in a like undertaking. 

The reader, meantime, is not to suppose that by confining our- 

* Of course this does not mean that the student is not, eventually, to know all the 
works of the Masters. (New. ) 


selves to Kant and Hegel, we wish it to be inferred that we 
consider these writers beyond the reach of some of the same 
objections already stated as regards Fichte and Schelling. The 
restriction in question is not due to any such motive, but depends 
only on considerations of what really constitutes the thing called 
German Philosophy; in regard to which, at least in the first 
instance, every restriction seemed necessarily a boon, if at once 
productive of simplification, and not incompatible with a suffi 
ciently full statement of the essential truth of the subject. By 
such motives is it that we have been actuated : and be it further 
understood that our present business is not with objections, not 
with judgment of the systems at all, but only as yet and if possible 
with their statement and exposition. 




A. 1. 

THE Idea is thought : thought consists of ideas to think is to 
follow ideas. Thought, then, as whole of ideas, is an element sui 
generis, and will possess its own organic order ; ideas will follow 
an order native to and inherent in them : but the general, the 
universal of all ideas may be called the idea. The idea, then, is 
self-identical thinking ; self-identical because in its own nature 
the idea is two-sided an objective side is, as it were, exposed and 
offered to a subjective side, and the result is the return, so to 
speak, of the idea from its other, which is its objective side, into 
itself, or subjective side, as satisfied, gratified, and contented know 
ledge. We are not required to think of existent nature in all this, 
but only of the nature of a general idea of the idea in its own self. 
Besides being self-identical thinking, it is thus also seen to be, as 
defined by Hegel, the capability of opposing or exposing itself to 
itself, and that for the purpose of being in its own -self and for its 
own self just its own self, in fact. In this process the objective 
side can evidently be very properly called its state of otherness or 
hetereity ; and it is only when it arrives at this state of otherness 
or hetereity, and has identified Jt with itself, that it can be said to 
be by itself that is, at home and reconciled with itself. 

The notion of a general idea idea as a general, as a universal 
ike, idea is taken and looked at by the mind, and is seen to possess 
this immanent process or nature. But idea follows idea or the, 
idea is in constant process : to show the order and train of these, 
or the moments of this process, may be called the system of 
thought, that is, of Logic, then. Now, what is concerned here, is 
not the succession of ideas as they occur subjectively on what is 
called the association of ideas, but it is that succession which 
occurs in real thinking, in thought as thought in objective 


thought, in the performance of the Idea s own immanent process 
and function. 

Now, how then will the Idea, the speculative Idea, arise and 
develop itself in any subject ? The first question that will 
naturally suggest itself will relate to Being. The idea will be 
first asked, or will first ask itself, to exercise its function, to do its 
spiriting on the fact of existence, for the nearest and first character 
of the Idea is that it is. The idea, then, first of all, holds itself as 
a mirror to the general thought of existence to Being in its 
abstract generality, to the mere essence of the word is. Now, it 
cannot do so without the opposite notion of nothing also arising. 
It is implies or involves it is not, or, at all events, it was not; it 
cannot help saying to itself, the moment it looks at it is, it was not. 
Not and is, then, is and not, must arise together, and cannot help 
arising together. Neither can they help flowing into the kindred 
notions, origin and decease, or coming to be and ceasing to be. 
The instant we think of Being, Existence, just as Being, Existence, 
in general, without a single property or quality, the notions of not, 
of coming to be, and of ceasing to be (which are both included in 
Becoming), must follow and do follow. So is it with us when we 
think, so is it with our speculative ideas that is, so is it with the 
speculative idea the Idea then ; and so was it also in History. 
The first philosophical systems must have revolved around these 
simple notions, and Hegel is quite in earnest when he maintains 
the coincidence of History and of Logic. What is this Seyn, this 
Being ? Whence comes it ? Whither goes it ? What is change ? 
What is the influence of number, quantity, proportion ? Why is 
it ? These are the simple questions that circle round Being, Origin, 
Decease, Becoming. What is it particularly to be individually 
to be (Daseyn, Fiirsicbseyn) ? These really are the questions of 
the Ionics, of the Eleatics, of Heraclitus, of Pythagoras, of 
Democritus, &c. 

Now these notions are all capable of being included under the 
designation Quality, for they are all replies to Qualis ? Mere exis 
tence as an idea soon passes into that of special or actual existence 
that really is and continues to be in the middle of that coming to 
be and ceasing to be. It is next also seen to be not only existent 
in the middle of this process, but individually existent, as it were 
personally existent. The whole progress of Hegel through Seyn, 
Nichts, Werden, Entstehen, Vergehen, Daseyn, Reality, Negation, 
Something, Other, Being-in-itself, Being-for-other, Precise Nature, 


manifested Property, Limit, &c. ; these may be viewed as adum 
brations of stages of infantile consciousness : Dim thought that 
there is, that there is nothing, that there comes to be, that there 
ceases to be, that there is a middle state that is in the coming to 
being and the going from being ; that this is marked-off being, 
defined being ; that there is a definite and an indefinite ; that there 
was negation, that there is reality ; that this reality thickens itself 
under reflexion and reference on reality and on negation, and from 
reality to negation, and from negation to reality, into a something 
that is what it is to be in itself, in which distinction disappears 
and it remains a familiar Unity. 

When a blind man recovers sight, all is a blur, an indistinct 
formless blur that seems to touch him, that is not distinguished 
from himself, or that conceivably he could not have distinguished 
from himself, had he not learned from the other senses that there 
was another than himself. Now, a child is in the position of the 
blind man who recovers sight, but without ever having learned 
a single item from any other sense, or in any other manner. 
Naturally, then, that there is, &c., abstract Seyn, &c., will be the 
sequence of unrecorded consciousness. Distinctions of quality 
will certainly precede those of quantity the differences of kind 
will be seen before the fact of the repetition of an individual. 

This Logic, then, may be viewed as the way we came to think 
the way in which thought grew, till there was a world for 
Reflexion, for Understanding to turn upon. Even this, then, 
is an othering of its own self to see its own self, and it is the 
mode in which it did other itself. It is quite apart from nature 
or from mind raised into spirit ; it is the unconscious product of 
thought ; and it follows its own laws, and deposits itself accord 
ing to its own laws. Hegel, as it were, swoons himself back 
into infancy trances himself ^through all childhood, and awakes 
when the child awakes, that is, with reflexion, but retaining a 
consciousness of the process, which the child does not. It is a 
realisation of the wish that we could know the series of develop 
ment in the mind of the child. His meaning of Reflexion, of 
Understanding, of Reason, comes out very plain now, for the 
process is a transcending of the Understanding, and a demon 
stration of the work of pure Reason. Then, again, it is common 
to us all it is an impersonal subject. 

To repeat conceivably there is first a sense of being or the 
vague, wide idea Being ; there is no /in it : I is the product of 


reflexion ; it is just a general there is ; it is the vast vague infinite 
of Being ; it has its circumference everywhere, and its centre no 
where. That is plain that Being is at once such centre and 
circumference ; for though it is vast, and everything and every 
where and, at the same time indefinite, and vague and nowhere 
still, as Being, as a vast that is, there is a principle of punctual 
stop in it of fixture, of definiteness ; it is indefinite and in 
determinate, but, as is, it is also definite and determinate. 

This is conceivably the first sense of Being. But evidently in 
what has been already said there is a sense of Nothing involved. 
It is the boundless blank, that is, and no more ; it is the roofless, 
wall-less, bottomless gulf of all and of nothing : senses or ideas 
of Being and Nothing, like vast and infinite confronting vapours 
the infinite vaporous warp and infinite vaporous woof, confront 
ing, meeting, interpenetrating, wave and weave together, waft and 
waver apart, to wave and weave together again. 

Then, as the only conceivably true existence the only thing 
conceivably worth existence is mind, thought, intelligence, 
spirit, this must have been the first, if not as man, then as 
God. And the first of the first was such process. The sense of 
the indistinguishable the necessity, the besoin of the distinguish 
able ! No, then, is the principle that creates distinction. There 
is no use to explain this ; we can go back no further : it is the 
universe it is what is. Understanding begins, so to speak, when 
Reason ceases. 

The Logic, then, is the deposit and crystallisation in Reason 
previous to Reflexion. It is the structure that comes ready 
constructed to Understanding. The detection of its process is 
the ahalysis or resolution of what the understanding looks upon 
as something simply and directly there something ready to its 
hand, something simply and directly given, and which is as it 
is given. It is what each of us has done for himself during 
infancy and childhood, in darkness and unconsciousness ; or it is 
the work of Reason before Reflexion. We see, then, that under 
standing, which transcends so much, as in astronomy, &c., must 
itself be transcended, and speculative reason adopted instead. 
Carlyle s unfathomaUeness of the universe must be seen to rest 
on understanding. 

After all, too, there may be Jacob Bohmic cosmogonic ideas 
at bottom : no saying how far he allows these notions of Being 
and Nothing to take the form of forces, and build up the All. If 


there be no Jenseits only a here and this which supposition 
does not, in Hegel s way, infringe in the slightest the truth of 
Immortality then his theory is as good as any. How otherwise 
are we to conceive a beginning? A beginning is what is begun, 
and is not what is begun. The beginning of all beginnings 
cannot differ. Being, too, is the basal thought and fact of all. 
Nothing, the principle of distinction and difference, is equally 
basal. It is very difficult to conceive objective thought, however, 
and to conceive it gradually developing itself into this actual 
concrete me, with these five fingers, which now write on paper, 
with pen and ink, &c. Something seems always to lie in the 
actual present, the actual immediate, that says such a genesis 
from abstract thought is impossible. Yet again, a genesis of 
thought from mere matter that is equally impossible ; thought 
must be the prius : then how conceive a beginning and progress 
with reference to that prius ? Our system of reconciliation 
(English Idealism) is a deus ex machina: I the thinking 
principle am so made that such a series presents itself! Which 
just amounts to I am tired thinking it; I just give it up to 
another, and say he cuts the knot believing my own saying 
with much innocence and simplicity, and resting quite content 
therein, as if I really had got rid of the whole difficulty and 
solved the whole matter. English Idealism, in its one series, 
is certainly a simpler theory than the ordinary one, that there 
are two series that first it (the object) and that then I (the 
subject) are so made. Stone-masonry and wood-carpentry are 
thus spared the Prius. Yet, again, there is nothing spared the 
Prius; all has been thrust into it, out of the way, as into a 
drawer, which is then shut, but it is all still in the drawer. 
Whether it (the object) is so made and / (the subject) am so made, 
or only 7 am so made, the so is in the Prius ; whatever else be 
in the Prius, the Prius is responsible to that extent: the so is; 
and since the so is, the Prius must be so. We are still in 
presence, then, of the whole problem, which is simply the So. 
All this is plain to a Hegel, and all this he would meet by his 
absolute idealism. Hegel has a particular dislike to the deus 
of modern enlightenment, which he names an empty abstraction. 
An abstract summum an abstract prius and nothing more, 
seems indeed to constitute what goes to make up the idea, when 
we examine it closely. But if Hegel ridicules the deus of 
deism, it must be allowed he is sincere in his devotion before 

PLATO S ravrov, ETC. 27 

God who, as every man s own heart as tradition, as Scripture 
tells us, is a Spirit. Nor does he believe that he contradicts 
either Reason or Scripture when he endeavours to know God. 
Hegel is probably right in opening his eyes to a deus ex 
machina, and in desiring to draw close to God, the Spirit, in 
that he endeavours to deduce from this universe, the universal 
Subject of this universe. Nevertheless, his principle has much 
more the look of a mere regulative than of a constitutive and 
it is a constitutive that we must have. 

A. 2. 

Plato discovers a boyish delight in the exercise of the new 
found power of conscious generalisation extended to him by 
Socrates. Hegel seems to have learned a lesson in this art from 
Plato, for TCIVTOV and Odrepov, or identity and otherness, which 
are the instruments or moments of the generalisation of the latter, 
seem to perform a like function in the dialectic of the former. 
The Socratic evolution of the idea through elimination of the 
accidental from the concrete example presents analogies (when 
transferred from mere ethical ideas to ideas in general) to both 
the Heraclitic and the Eleatic modes of thought. The accidental 
which is eliminated, is analogous to the fluent and changeable of 
Heraclitus ; while the idea that remains is analogous to the 
permanent and abiding One of the Eleatics. As if what is were 
an absolute Being, but also a relative yet really existent Non- 
being. In the relations of the Ideas, the principle of Identity is 
Eleatic, that of Difference is Heraclitic. The Ideas are the 
Universal and Necessary in the Particular and Contingent : the 
latter is only by reason of them; still the former come forward 
or appear only in it. How very analogous the categories, the 
dialectic, &c. &c., of Hegel to all this ! 


One, single, empirical man cannot be taken, but he and what 
he embodies are universalised, as it were, into a universal subject. 
The Logic is the immanent process of the Reason of this subject. 
The logical values are, as it were, depositions from the great sea 
of reason; and yet, by a turn, the great sea takes all up again 
into its own transparent simplicity and unity. We are admitted 


to the ultimate and elementary fibres of the All. Being and 
Nothing interweave to Becoming. Coming to be and Ceasing to be 
interweave to So-to-be, to So-being, or Here-being to sublunary 
existentiality, to mortal state, which again is just Quality. Reality 
and Negation interweave to Something and Other. In Something 
and Other, the subtle delicacy of the thought-manipulation comes 
well to light, and displays the nature of the whole work, which is 
the construction of the Thing-in-itself from materials of thought 
only. So it is that the understanding succeeds reason, and turns 
on the work of reason as on its material. Let us rapidly sketch 
the development in a single wave. 

There is a tree, a horse, a man there is a feeling, there is a 
passion, there is a thought. All these phrases are, without doubt, 
universally intelligible. Now, in the whole six of them, there is 
presents itself as a common element; and it suffers no change in 
any, but is absolutely the same in all. There is a tree, &c. there 
is a thought, &c. however different a thought may be from a tree, 
or a feeling from a house, the phrase there is has precisely the same 
meaning when attached to tree or house that it has when attached 
to thought or feeling. Let us abstract, then, from these subjects, 
from these words, and repeat the phrase there ? s, there is, till the 
special element which these two words contribute begins to dawn 
on our consciousness. Let us repeat to ourselves there is with 
reference to matters not only outward, but inward ; and let us 
repeat it, and again repeat it, till it acquires, so to speak, some 
body as a distinct thought. If we succeed well with the two 
words there is, we shall find no difficulty in making one other step 
in advance, and in realising to ourselves a conception of what is 
meant by the bare word is. 

But the reader must understand that he is to do this. He is 
now to cease reading, and to occupy himself a good half-hour with 
the rumination of what he has just read. If he contents himself 
with simple perusal, he will find himself very soon stopped by 
insurmountable obstacles, and most probably very soon compelled 
to give up in disgust. But if he will devote one half-hour in the 
manner we have indicated, the result will be a perfect conception 
of the meaning of is, that is, of Abstract or Pure Being, of Abstract 
or Pure Existentiality, of the Hegelian Seyn. And most appro 
priately is it named abstract; for it is the ultimate and absolute 
Abstract. It is that which may be abstracted or extracted from 
every fact and form of existence, whether celestial or terrestrial, 


material or spiritual. Rather it is the residue when we abstract 
from all these. It is the absolutely terminal calx the absolutely 
final residuum that continues and must continue for our thought 
when abstraction is made from the whole world. Let there be no 
stone, no plant, no sea, no earth, no sun, no star in all the firma 
ment let there be no mind, no thought, no idea, no space, no time, 
no God let the universe disappear we have not yet got rid of is: 
is will not, cannot disappear. Let us do our best to conceive the 
universe abolished let us do our best to conceive what we call 
existence abolished still we shall find that we cannot escape 
from the abstract shadow is which we have indicated. Being is 
absolutely necessary to thought; to thought, that is, it is abso 
lutely necessary that there be Being. Ask yourself, What would 
there be, if there were just nothing at all, and if there never had 
been anything neither a God, nor a world, nor an existence at 
all ? Ask yourself this and listen ! Then just look at the ques 
tion itself, and observe how it contains its own dialectic and 
contradiction in presupposing the Being it is actually supposing 
not to be ! 

It may appear to the reader a very simple thought, this, and a 
very unnecessary one : still, if he will consider that it is the 
universal element that there is nothing in the heaven above 
nor in the earth beneath where it is not present, and that it is as 
essential a constituent of thought as of matter, ife will probably 
appear not unnatural that it should be begun with in a system of 
Universal Logic, of Universal Thought. Without it there is no 
thought, and without it there is no thing. Take it even as a 
matter of conception, it is that which is absolutely first that 
which, without us or within us, is absolutely over-against us, 
absolutely immediate, absolutely and directly present to us. 
The Eleatics had a perfect right to exclaim, Being only is, 
and nothing is just nothing at all ! 

Look at it again, now ; call up the shadow is let us once 
more realise to ourselves all that we think when we say there is 
with any reference or with no reference let us place before us the 
conception of abstract existence, of abstract Seyn. and we shall 
perceive that it is characterised by a total and complete absence of 
any possible predicate. It is the absolute void, the absolute inane. 
Like the mathematical point, it is position without magnitude ; 
and again, it is magnitude without position it is everything in 
general, and nothing in particular: it is, in fact, nothing. 


If this prove repugnant to the reader, let him ask himself, what 
then is it, if it is not nothing ? or let him ask himself, what then 
is nothing ? and the result of his deepest pondering will be that, 
after all, the shadow nothing is the shadow is that abstract 
nothing and abstract being, or the abstract not and the abstract 
is, contain precisely the same thought, and that the one, quite as 
much as the other, is the absolute void, the absolute inane that 
the one quite as much as the other is position without magnitude, 
and magnitude without position that each involves and implies 
the other, and that both are all in general, and nothing in 
particular. It is absolutely indifferent, then, which we take first, 
as either only leads to the other. Nothing the conception con 
tained in the absolutely abstract Nothing, involves the position 
implied in abstract Being, and the latter is as absolutely predi- 
cateless as the former. The shadow is, abstract existentiality, 
will, if the endeavour to think it be continued long enough, be 
seen in the end to be the absolute nothing, the absolute void. 
There is no object whatever suspended in it ; nay, there is not 
even space to admit of either object or suspension. For the reader 
is required to realise the conception there is in reference not only 
to material things, but in reference also to immaterial things 
ideas, thoughts, passions, &c., where already qualities of space are 
excluded. And then, again, nothing or not similarly perseveringly 
pondered and realised to thought, will be seen in the end to imply 
is or Being, and to possess an absolutely identical characterisation, 
or an absolutely identical want of characterisation, as is or Being. 

The reader may possibly feel it absurd, unreasonable, even 
unnatural, to be asked to occupy himself with such thoughts; but 
we pray him not to be disheartened, but in simple and good faith 
to believe that the call is made on him for his best endeavours to 
co-operate with us, not without hopes of a solid and satisfactory 
result. That Being should be Nothing, and Nothing Being, is not 
absurd, if only that Being and that Nothing be thought which we 
have done our best to indicate. We are not fools, and we discern 
as perfectly as another the difference of house and no house, 
dinner and no dinner, a hundred dollars and no dollar. 

The reader must have the goodness to recollect that our Nothing 
is the abstract Nothing the thoroughly indeterminate, and not 
the, so to speak, concrete and determinate Nothing implied in that 
word when used as the contrary of some concrete and determinate 
Something. No dinner is nothing certainly, but then it is a quali- 


fied nothing: it is a nothing that refers to a special something, 
dinner; it contains in itself, so to speak, this reference, and so is 
distinguished from other analogous terms. We hope, then and, 
however apparently unmeaning our language may be, we hope also 
that the reader will lend us his faith yet awhile longer that it 
is now plain to everyone that, in our sense of the terms, Pure 
Being and Pure Nothing are the same. They are both absolute 
blanks, arid each is the same blank ; still it must be understood 
that our sense is the true sense of Pure Being and Pure Nothing 
the true sense of Being and Nothing taken strictly as such, taken 
in ultimate analysis. Again, it is still true that Being is not 
Nothing and Nothing is not Being. We feel that though each 
term formulates the absolute blank, and the absolutely same blank, 
there is somehow and somewhere a difference between them. 
They point to and designate the absolutely same thought, yet still 
a distinction is felt to exist between them. Being and Nothing 
are the same, then, and they are not the same. Each formulates 
and implies the same elements ; but one formulates what the other 
only implies, which latter, in turn, formulates what the former 
only implies. Being formulates, so to speak, Being and implies 
Nothing; while Nothing implies Being but formulates Nothing. 
Being implies negation but accentuates position ; while Nothing 
implies position but accentuates negation. But this is just another 
way of saying they are the same. The two conceptions, as point 
ing to absolutely the same thought, are still essentially the same. 
Their difference, however, when the two are steadily looked at 
in thought, is seen to generate a species of movement in which 
they alternately mutually interchange their own identity. Being, 
looked at isolatedly, vanishes of its own accord, and disappears in 
its own opposite ; while Nothing again, similarly looked at, refuses 
to remain Nothing, and transforms itself to Being. The thought 
Being leads irresistibly to the thought Nothing, and the thought 
Nothing leads as irresistibly to the thought Being: that is, they 
disappear mutually into each other. 

The real truth of the whole thought, therefore, is represented by 
neither the one expression nor the other : this truth is seen to lie 
rather in the movement we have indicated, or the immediate 
passage of the one no matter which we make the first into the 
other. The truth of the thought, then, is that they mutually pass, 
or, rather, that they mutually have passed, the one into the other. 
But what is this process ? If Being pass into Nothing, is not that 


the process that we name decease ? and if Nothing pass into Being, 
is not that the process that we name birth, or origin, or coming to 
be ? Are not both processes a coming to be in the one case, 
Nothing coming to be Being, and in the other Being coming to be 
Nothing ? Are they not both, then, but forms of Becoming, and 
does not the general process Becoming contain and express the 
whole truth of Being and of Nothing ? 

The abstract thoughts, then, that we name Pure Being and Pure 
Nothing are so mutually related that they are the same, and yet 
not the same ; in other words, they are susceptible of distinction, 
but not of separation. Again, the abstract process of which birth, 
growth, decay, death, &c., are concrete examples, and which we 
name pure or abstract Becoming, is so constituted that it presents 
itself as the truth of both Being and Nothing ; it is seen to contain 
both as in their own nature inseparate and inseparable, and yet 
distinguishable, but only by a distinctivity which immediately 
resolves and suppresses itself. Their truth, in fact, is this mutual 
disappearance of the one into the other, this mutual interchange ; 
and that is precisely the process that we name Becoming. The 
truth of the matter is that the one passes into the other and not 
that they are but this is Becoming. 

There may, to the general reader, appear something unsatisfac 
tory in all this, as though it were a mere playing upon words. It 
is not what he has been accustomed to ; he is not at home in it ; 
he feels himself in doubt and embarrassment. He has been led, in 
a manner new and strange to him, from one thought to another ; 
he is not sure that the process is a legitimate one ; and he is in 
considerable apprehension as to the results. Still we beg a little 
further attention on his part, and we shall not hurry him. He 
may suspect us of having practised on him a mere tour deforce ; 
but as yet he has not gone very far, and we entreat him to retrace 
his steps and examine the road he has already beaten. Let him 
realise to himself again the thought is, pure being, and he will find 
himself impelled by the very nature of the thing, and not by any 
external influence of ours, to the thought not, nought, or pure 
nothing. Having then realised these thoughts, he will find again 
that they, in their own peculiar mutual influences, imply the 
process, and impel him involuntarily to the thought, of pure 

If we consider now the process or thought expressed by the term 
Becoming, we shall see that in it Being and Nothing are elements, 


or, rather to borrow a word from mechanical science Moments. 
Becoming is the unity of both ; neither is self-dependent, each is 
distinct, yet each disappears into the other, and Becoming is the 
result of the mutual eclipse of both. They are thus, then, moments 
of Becoming, and, though transformed and so to speak van 
ished, they are still there present, and still operative and active. 
Becoming has two forms according as we begin, with Being and 
refer to Nothing, or begin with Nothing and refer to Being. It is 
evident, too, that Coming to be, and Ceasing to be, involve a middle 
ground of reality, that is : nay, Becoming itself, as based on the 
diversity of its moments, and yet as constituting their disappear 
ance, involves a neutral point, a period as it were of rest, where 
Becoming is become. This neutral point, this period of rest, in the 
process of Becoming where Becoming is become, this middle point 
of reality between Coming to be and Ceasing to be, we name 
There-being or So-being, that is the being distinguishably there, or 
the being distinguishably so, what we might also call state Daseyn, 
ordinary existency, finite existency. 

The reader, probably, will not have much difficulty in realising 
to himself this further step which, not we, but the thing itself, 
the idea itself, has taken. Pure Being leads irresistibly to Pure 
Nothing, and both together lead irresistibly to pure Becoming, the 
forms or moments of which are Coming to be and Ceasing to be : 
now, between these moments, or in the mutual interpenetration of 
these moments that is to say, in Becoming itself there is 
involved or implied an intermediate punctum that is, a middle 
point of unity, of repose this point, this stable moment, or quasi- 
stable moment, in which Becoming is as it were Become, is There- 
being or So-being. Becoming indicates absolutely a become, and 
that become as such and in perfect generality is mortal state, 
sublunariness, in every reference, but in no special. 

So-being, then, as being no longer becoming but become, is 
eminently in the form of being ; or, in other words, So-being 
emphatically is. The one-sidedness, however, does not in reality 
exclude the other element, the not, the nothing ; Becoming lies 
behind it it is but product of Becoming, and both elements must 
appear. The other element, indeed, the not, will manifest itself as 
the distinctive element. (We are now, let us remark, following 
Hegel almost literally, as the reader will see for himself by 
referring to the original or to the actual translation which he 
will find elsewhere.) 



So-being, or There-being, is being, but it is now predicable being. 
It is not like pure being, wholly unlimited, wholly indeterminate ; 
it is now, on the contrary, limited and determinate. But limita 
tion is negation. So-being, in fact, is Being qualified by a Non- 
being ; but both present themselves in a condition of intimate and 
perfect interpenetration and union. The resultant unity is, as it 
were, no compound, but a simple. Neither element preponderates 
over the other. As far as So-being is being, so far is it non-being, 
so far is it definite, determinate, limited. The defining element 
appears in absolute unity with the element of being, and neither 
is distinguished from the other. Again, the determinating prin 
ciple, viewed as what gives definiteness, as itself definiteness, as 
definiteness that is, is quality. Quality is the characteristic and 
distinctive principle of So-being. But as So-being is constituted, 
so is Quality. Quality, with special reference to the positive 
element of So-being, quality viewed as being, is Reality, while, on 
the other hand, with reference to the negative element, viewed as 
determinatingness, it is Negation. 

We see, then, the presence of distinction, difference in So-being; 
we see in it two moments, one of reality and one of negation. Still 
it is easy to see also that these distinctions are null ; in fact, that 
quality is inseparable from So-being, and that these moments are 
inseparable from quality ; that is, that they subsist or consist 
there in absolute unity. Each, in fact, can be readily seen to imply 
and constitute the other ; or each is reflexion from and to the other. 
But the resolution or suppression of distinction is a most important 
step here, for from it results the next determination, one of the 
most important of all. For this perception yet withdrawal of 
distinction involves a reflexion, a return from the limit or differ 
ence back to the reality. But this reflexion, this doubling back to 
and on itself implying at the same time absorption or assimilation 
of the limit, the difference is the special constitutive nature of 
So-being. But a further thought springs up to consciousness here. 
In saying all this, we are manifestly saying of So-being, that it is 
in itself or within itself (for reflexion from, with absorption of, the 
limit into the reality itself is nothing else) that it is a somewhat 
that is, or just that it is Something. 

Something, then, as Self- reference, as simple reference to self, 
is the first negation of the negation. Arriving at the negation, 
reflexion took place back on itself with resolution of the negation. 
Something, then, as negation of the negation is the restoration of 


simple reference to self, but just thus is it mediation, or corn- 
mediation of itself with itself. This principle manifests itself, but 
quite abstractly, even in Becoming ; and it will be found in the 
sequel a determination of the greatest importance. But if 
reflexion back to and on itself in So-being gives birth to Some 
thing, a similar reflexion in regard to negation gives birth to the 
conception or determination of otherness, or other in general. So- 
being, then, appears again in these moments as Becoming, but of 
this Becoming the moments are no longer abstract Being and 
Nothing, but themselves in the form of So-being Something 
and Other. 

Here the reader will do well once again to retrace his steps, and 
ascertain accurately the method which has determined results so 
important and striking. The results Something and Other are the 
most important we have yet obtained, and it is absolutely neces 
sary to be decided as to the legitimacy or non-legitimacy of their 

We started then with Being, in which, as abstract, the decisive 
point is its indefiniteness, through which indefiniteness it passes 
into Nothing. Being and Nothing, in their mutual interchange of 
identity, led directly to Becoming, which, in its own nature, and 
in the opposition of its moments, manifested a quasi-permanent 
middle point of There-being or So-being. So-being, then, mani 
fested itself as Being with a limit, with a restriction. The 
element being was its proximate geilus, while the limit was its 
differentia. The proximate genus appears, then, as Eeality, while 
the differentia appears as negation. Between being and limit, 
proximate genus and differentia, reality and negation, a process of 
reflexion, as between reciprocally reflex centres, takes place, 
rather has taken place. This reflexion, on the side of reality, 
elicits the conception of simple reference to self, which involves 
a being in or within self, of somewhat within itself or Something. 
On the side of negation, reflexion elicited the conception of other 
ness, of another, of other in general. And it is these determina 
tions of Something and Other which we have now to examine. 

Something and Other readily show themselves as interchange 
able. Each is Something, and each is relatively Other. True, the 
Other is constituted by this reference to Something, but it 
manifests itself as external to this Something. It may thus be 
isolated and considered by itself. But thus considered, it 
presents itself as the abstract other, the other as other, the other 


in itself, the other of itself, the other of the other. Physical 
nature is such other. It is the other of Spirit. Its nature, then, 
is a mere relativity, by which not an inherent quality, but a mere 
outer relation is expressed. Spirit, then, is the true Something, 
and Nature is what it is only as opposed to Spirit. The quality 
of Nature, then, isolated and viewed apart, is just that it is the 
other as other, that it is that which exists externally to its own self 
(in space and time, &c.). 

C. 1. 

That there is, is thought only in itself. Thought in itself 
come to itself come to be constitutes is. Thought in its very 
commencement and absolute beginning the very first reference 
of thought the very first act of thought could only be is i.e. 
the feeling, sentiment, or sense of Being. This is the Cogito-Sum 
of Descartes, and this is the Ich-Ich of Fichte. In fact, the Ich- 
Ich of Fichte having passed through the alembic of Schelling and 
become a neutrum, an impersonativum, receives from Hegel the 
expression of est Seyn which single word conveys to him the 
whole burthen of the phrase, Seyn ist der Begriff nur an sick or 
Being is the Notion only in itself. 

To Hegel, a commencement, a beginning, is not, as it is to us, a 
creature of time, an occurrence, a thing that took place ; it is a 
mere thought a thought that possesses in itself its own nature, 
and in the sphere of thoughts its own place. And just thus is it 
again for Hegel a creature of time, an event, an occurrence, a 
thing that took place. To Hegel, then, the idea of a commence 
ment is unavoidable ; but still it is only an idea so and so 
constituted and so and so placed in respect of others. To us it 
is more than an idea it is an event, an actuality. To Hegel it is 
also, in one sense, more than an idea. To Hegel also it is an 
event, an actuality ; but still to him it remains in its essence 
ideal it remains an idea so placed and so constituted that we 
name it event, actuality, &c. To us, too, the notion of a 
beginning is an unavoidable and absolutely necessary pre 
supposition ; but this beginning we attribute to the act of an 
agent God. In the system of Hegel, God, too, is present; and 
without God it were difficult to see what the system would be; 
but to Hegel, when used as a word that contains in it a dispen 
sation from the necessity of a beginning, this word amounts only 


to a deus ex machina ; or the idea which it is supposed to imply, 
being but an ultimate abstraction, void, empty (in fact, idea-less), 
is slighted by him as the le dieu-philosophe, the deus of the 
Aufklarung For by such phrases we may at least allow ourselves 
to translate his thought. To Hegel the introduction of this deus 
is only a postponement of the question, only a removal of the 
difficulty, and that by a single step ; it is but the Indian elephant, 
which, if it supports the world, demands for its own feet the 
tortoise. To Hegel, in his way, too, God is a Subject, a Person, a 
Spirit ; but as that he is the sphere of spheres and circle of circles, 
in whose dialectic evolution the notion of a beginning is K 
constitutive point, element, or moment, but at the same time not 
participating in that material and sensuous nature which we 
attribute to the character of a beginning. 

Still, when our object is a beginning in relation to thought as 
thought to thought perfectly universally, whether the reference 
of our view be to the thought of God, or to the thought of man, 
we must all of us admit that a beginning of thought is to thought 
a presupposition absolutely necessary. Such necessity exists for 
my thought, for your thought, for all thought let us say, then, 
for thought in general. But the beginning of thought as thought 
could only be that it was. All that thought beginning could say 
for itself would be is, or, if you like, am ; both words referring 
simply, so to speak, to the felt thought of existence in general. 
The absolutely first as regards thought just is thought is, or 
rather the possibility of thought, is, for as yet it is only un 
developed and unformed. We look at thought as it was 
necessarily constituted at the moment of its supposed birth, and 
entirely apart from involution in any material organ or set of 
organs with that or these we have nothing to do, our whole 
business is with thought, and with thought as it in its own self 
unfolded and expanded itself. We have nothing to do with any 
physiological process we watch only thought, the evolution of 
thought, the process of thought. Taking thought, then, supposi- 
titiously at its moment of birth, we can only say of it, it is. Nay, as 
already remarked, it could only say is, or am, of itself, or to itself; 
for thought is reflex, thought speaks to itself, thought is conscious, 
and the very first act of thought though in blindness, dumbness, 
and, in a certain sense, in unconsciousness would, of necessity, 
be a sense of Being. Thought, then, begins with the single 
predicate is (or am), and its further progress or process will 


evidently consist of an evolution or multiplication of predicates ; 
thought will simply go on naming to itself what it finds itself to be ; 
and this is just the history of the world. It is at this system of 
predication, then at this evolution of predicates that here, in 
logic, we are invited to assist. 

The meaning of the phrase, Being is the Notion only in itself/ 
will probably now be beginning to show itself. The Begriff, the 
Notion, has just come to be; Der Begriff ist, or cogito-sum ; for 
Begriff is cogito, and sum is is. Thought now is, thought is in 
itself, it has come to itself so far ; it refers to itself, to its being ; 
it has come to be, it simply is as yet, however, only in itself. 
There is, as yet, only blank self-identity. 

It will not be too much to say further, here also, that as 
thought grows, the characteristics, the predicates that will add 
themselves, will all possess as well the form of Being they will 
all be we shall be able to say of each of them, it is. Further, we 
shall be able to say that they are distinguishable, that is that they 
are different, that is that they are other to other. The very 
process of the growth the progression will be from one to the 
other, a constant transition, that is, to other, others, or otherness. 
The reason common to all this is just that as yet the Notion is 
only in itself, the form as yet is only that of a Seyn, of a Being, of 
an Is, of simple self-identity. 

The process is predication merely a substrate or subject is 
excluded, and there can be no form of proposition or judgment. 
It is a progression from predicate to predicate because the 
progress of Eeason before consciousness the Seyn is rather 
a process of deposition and concretion, and implies neither subject 
nor proposition. 

C. 2. 

Shall I be able to conduct you through this vast Cyclopean 
edifice this huge structure this enormous pile this vast mass 
that resembles nothing which has ever yet appeared in France 
or England or the world ? One of those vast palaces, it is, of 
Oriental dream, gigantic, endless, court upon court, chamber 
on chamber, terrace on terrace, built of materials from the east 
and the west and the north and the south marble and gold and 
jasper and amethyst and ruby, old prophets asleep with signet 
rings guarded by monsters winged and unwinged, footed and 


footless, there out in the void desert, separated from the world 
of man by endless days and nights, and eternally recurrent and 
repeating solitudes, lonely, mysterious, inexplicable, a giant 
dreamland, but still barbaric, incoherent, barren ! After all, the 
omnium gatherum of infinite laboriousness, a Chinese puzzle, a 
mighty ball (in snow-ball fashion) of picked-up pieces of broken 
crystal reflexions of Heraclitus, and Parmenides, and Pythagoras, 
and Plato, and Aristotle, and Plotinus, and Proclus, and Descartes, 
and Spinoza, and Kant, and Fichte, and Jacob Bohm, and a 
thousand others! No growth after all, but a thing of infinite 
meddle and make a mass of infinite joinings, of endless seams 
and sutures, whose opposing edges no cunning of gum, or glue, or 
paste, or paint can ever hide from us ! 

Like Goethe, Hegel is a proof of the simple open susceptibility 
and ready impressibility of the G-ermans. Contrary to general 
supposition, they are really inoriginative. Nothing in Germany 
grows. Everything is made : all is a Gemachtes. It is an endless 
recurrence to the beginning, and a perpetual refingering of the old, 
with hardly the addition of a single new original grain. 

Hegel coolly accepts the new position demands no proof, 
supplies no proof only sets to work new-arranging and new- 
labelling. All is ideal, and all is substance, but all must have the 
schema of subject. Nature is but the other of Spirit, and the 
Logical Idea unites them both. This is parallel to the scheme 
of Spinoza Extension, Thought, and Substance. The general 
schema is to be considered applicable also as particular, or as 
method. All are ideas ; they must be classified, then thrown 
into spheres, objective, subjective, and so on. The logical are 
the common categories the secret machinery of the whole the 
latent, internal, invisible skeleton. 

Say a pool of water reflects the world above. Now, let there be 
no above, but let the pool still reflect as before. The pool, then, 
becomes in itself reflector and reflexion, subject and object Man. 
IlestoTe now again the above which we withdrew, the above that 


was reflected in the pool the mighty blue gulf of the universe ; 
and call that the reflexion of a mightier to us invisible pool, 
which is thus also reflector and reflexion, subject and object, but, 
as pool of all pools, God. This is an image of Hegel s world. 
He will have no Jenseits, no Yonder and Again ; all shall be 
Diesseits, a perpetual Here and Now. God shall be no mystery ; 
he will know God. He will apply the predicates and name the 


subject. The logical formulae are the real predicates of God. 
God is that real and concrete not that unreal and abstract, not 
that nonentity and nowhere that is understood as the dieu of the 
Philosophes, the infidel god. Being and Non-being are the ultimate 
secrets of the universe, the ultimate and essential predicates of God. 

He blinks no consequences ; each individual as only finite, as 
only Daseyn, as only quasi-permanent moment must be resolved 
into the Werden, which alone is the truth of Being and Non- 
being. He will pack all into the form he has got he will not 
see that anything sticks out of it he will not allow himself to 
think that either he or we see that it is a packing. 

Again, the system is like the three legs which are the symbol 
of the Isle of Man. Throw it as you will, it keeps its feet. Turn 
it, toss it, it is ever the same, and triune. There is a magical toy 
just like it consisting of three plates or so seize any one of 
them, and all clatters down into the same original form. 

The Thing-in-itself is a mere abstraction, a surface of reflexion, 
a regulative. Is, taken immediately, that is, without reflexion, is 
a pure abstraction. It is a pure thought a mere thought. Hegel 
sees thus an immense magical hollow universe construct itself 
around from a few very simple elementary principles in the 

He has completely wrested himself from mere mortal place on 
the outside groping into a concrete delusion. He sees himself 
like a planet circling round a centre ; he sees that his own nature 
mirrors that centre ; then he forcibly places himself in the centre, 
to take up, as it were, the position of God, the Maker, and 
sees himself as mere man as concrete delusion circle round 

How small must all other men appear to him that trip over 
his Seyn and his Nichts what fearful laughter is in this man ! 

Does he not come out from the centre of that world, that den, 
that secret chamber of his, begrimed with powder, smelling of 
sulphur like some conjuror, hard and haggard, his voice 
sepulchral and his accents foreign, but his laugh the laugh of 
demons ? Contrast this with the simple pious soul, on the 
green earth, in the bright fresh air, patiently industrious, 
patiently loving, piously penitent, piously hopeful, sure of a new 
world and a new life a better world and a better life united to 
his loved ones ; there for ever in the realms of God, through the 
merits of his Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

WESEN. 41 

C. 3. 

In Wesen Hegel has to exhibit the metaphysical nature of 
Essence ; the peculiarity of which is assumed by us to lie in this, 
that it alone constitutes the reality, while the manifestation con 
stitutes the unreality; nevertheless, at the same time, also, the 
manifestation depends on the essence, and yet, no less, the essence 
depends on the manifestation. This is a simple idea ; but with 
this, and this only, Hegel contrives to wash over page after page. 
Such a conception quite suits the nature of the man ; his delight 
is endless in it. He looks at it incessantly, finding ever some new 
figure, some new phrase for the extraordinary inter-relations of 
-essence and manifestation. And never were such words written 
selcouth, uncouth, bizarre, baroque pertinent and valuable only 
to a Hegel. Style and terminology how clumsy, inelegant, obscure ! 
Then the figures, like life in excrement, an endless sprawl an 
endless twist and twine endless vermiculation, like an anthill. 

We will not remain content with the manifestation, we must 
pierce through it to the centre verity, he says ; it is the back 
ground that contains the true, the immediate outside and surface 


is untrue. Then this knowledge is a reflexive knowledge it 
does not take place by or in the essence it begins in another, it 
has a preliminary path to travel a path that transcends the 
-directly next to us, or, rather, that enters into this. Thought 
must take hints from the immediate, and thus through inter- 
agency attain to essence. Then and so on ! Strange, meaning 
less, stupid as all this may seem, it is still the same thing that 
is spoken of the mutual relations that result from a thing 
considered at once as essence and manifestation. The manifestation 
exhibits itself as real and unreal, as separable from essence and 
inseparable, and the whole idea is the product of a process of 
reflexion between the two parts between the sort of negative 
abstraction or interior that is viewed as what is eminently real 
and that corresponds to essence, and the affirmative manifestation 
or exterior, that is yet viewed as relatively negative and unreal. 
Essence, in short, is an idea resulting from reflexes between an 
outer manifestation and an inner centre or verity. Such is the 
whole metaphysic of the matter, and to this we have page after 
page applied.* 

* This just shows, however, that we must verify our categories our distinctions 
our common terms of thought and speech. 


C. 4. 

Kant ideally constructed all as far as the Th in g-in -itself, God, 
Immortality, &c. Fichte transmuted the Thing-in-itself into the 
Anstoss, the Appulse, and summed up the others under the Ego. 
Schelling got rid of Ego, Anstoss, &c., in his neutrum of the 
Absolute. Hegel only mediated what Kant had left immediate, 
up to the stand-point of Schelling; that is, he deduced by a 
process of evolution the Thing-in-itself, &c. The means he 
adopted consisted of his expedients of abstraction and reflexion. 
Through these he succeeds in showing the mediate nature of these 
Bestimmungen, values, previously looked on as immediate. 

There is much that is suggestive in Kant, much that is sound 
and pregnant ; but there is again even in him, mainly Britannic 
as he is, the German tendency to ride an idea to death to be 
carried on one s hobbyhorse, nothing doubting, far into the inane. 
The non-reality of his categories, the inconceivableness of their 
application, the unsatisfactoriness of his conclusions on time and 
space, the insufficiency of his schema of time in regard to 
causality (bunglingly borrowed, though it be, and in a crumb-like 
fashion, by Sir W. Hamilton) all this, and much more, must be 
held as evident. Then Eichte develops a most pregnant con 
ception in that of the pure Ego, but he stops there ; or, rather, 
everyone instinctively refuses to follow him further on his hobby 
horse of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis, and wonders at the 
simple, futile laboriousness of the noble, honest man. Schelling 
and his neutrum must content themselves with their temporary 
or contemporary influence. He was ever, as it were, a susceptible, 
ardent stripling a creature of books and the air of chambers : 
his transcendence of the Ego anly misled Hegel, and his neutrum 
is untenable. If ever man dropped into the grave an exasperated 
stripling of fourscore, it was Schelling. He longed to be great ; 
but neither Fichte, nor Spinoza, nor Jacob Bohm, nor Plotinus, 
nor Hegel could supply him with a bridge to what he coveted. 
Hegel has a brassier and tougher determination to be original at 
all costs than Schelling. He attacks all, and he reconciles all. 
He is as resolute a Cheap-John, as cunning and unscrupulous and 
unhesitating a hawker, as ever held up wares in market. Here, 
too, we have the same credulity in the sufficiency of his hobby 
horse, the same tendency to superfetation and monstrosity. Strange 


how such a tough, shrewd, worldly man should have so egregiously 
deceived himself! Because he could new-classify and new-name, 
he actually thinks that he new-knows and new-understands ! He 
actually believes himself to say something that explains the 
mystery, when he says materiature has no truth as against Spirit, 
and when lie talks of the monstrous power of contingency in 
nature ! No ; the current belief (as shown in Kossuth) that the 
Germans have got deeper into the infinite than other people is an 
out-and-out mistake. They have generated much monstrosity 
both in literature and philosophy, through the longing to be great 
and new; to equal the bull, they have blown themselves out like 
the frog, and burst that s all ! A few grains of sound thinking 
can be gathered out of them, but with what infinite labour ! From 
Fichte, the Ego; from Schelling, Nil; from Hegel, amid infinite 
false, some true classification and distinction ; from old Kant, 
certainly the most, and with him the study of metaphysic must in 
Great Britain recommence. 

In regard to Hegel, satisfaction and dissatisfaction are seldom 
far from each other, but the latter predominates. If, for a 
moment, the words light up, and a view be granted, as it were, 
into the inner mysteries, they presently quench themselves again 
in the appearance of mere arbitrary classification and artificial 
nomenclature. The turns are so quick and thorough ! one 
moment we are north, the next south, and, in fact, we are required 
to be in both poles at once ! An art that so deftly and so swiftly 
turns this into that, and that into this, rouses suspicion : we fear 
it is but the trick of speech ; we fear we have to do with a fencer 
but all too cunning ; we are jealous of the hot and cold blowing, 
and, like Sir Andrew Aguecheek, we exclaim, An I thought he 
had been so cunning in fence, &c. 

We cannot help seeing an attempt to knead together all the 
peculiarities of his predecessors : the categories, freedom, and 
antinomies of Kant, the Ego, and the method of Fichte, the 
substance and the neutrum of Schelling. It is thus he would 
make his Absolute Subject, to whom we can see no bridge ! 
who is either ourselves, or we cannot get at him. If he is not 
ourselves, he refuses to cohere ; we cannot articulate the bones of 
this Universal, nor breathe into him individual life ! He will not 
cohere, indeed ; like the great image in Daniel, he breaks in 
pieces of his own accord, and falls down futile. The sense is often 
multiform, like a gipsy s prophecy or the scrolls of the alchemists. 


The singular is being constantly hypostasised, but not as singular 
as transformed rather into his huge, vast, self-contradictory, 
untenable Universal ! 

D. 1. 

The transition from Seyn (Being) to Daseyn (There-being, That- 
being) is a faulty one. The contradiction latent in Werdeu 
(Becoming) itself, and made obvious to thought by alternate 
consideration of its two antagonistic forms, moments, or elements, 
is inadequately expressed by Daseyn. The inadequacy is one of 
excess : Daseyn means more than the idea to which it is applied. 
Fixedness in the flux, or quasi-permanence in the flux, is the sole 
notion arrived at by consideration of the contradiction in question. 
Now Daseyn, it must be admitted, implies, so far as its etymology 
is concerned, but little more than this. While Seyn is Being, 
Daseyn is TAere-being or Here-being ; while the former is 
is, the latter is there or here is; and the there or here, though in 
itself an appellative of space, and though as yet space and its 
concerns have no place among these abstract thoughts, involves 
an error so completely of the infinitely small kind, that it may 
justifiably be neglected. But an appellative of space is not the 
only foreign element, the interpolation of which we have here to 
complain of, and it is not the etymological use of the word which 
we are here inclined to blame. It is in the ordinary and everyday 
use of the word that the source of the error lurks. Daseyn, in 
fact, not by virtue of the step it indicates in the process, but by 
virtue of its own signification, introduces us at once to a general 
insphering universe, and particular insphered unities. Nay, 
Hegel himself tacitly accepts all this new material so con 
veniently extended to him, for- he says at once Daseyn is Quality ; 
that is, having arrived at the one particular quality, fixedness, lie 
hesitates not to sublime it into the type of all quality, or into 
quality in general. This, however, is just what the Germans 
themselves call Erschleichung ; there is here the semblance only of 
exact science, the reality, however, of interpolation and sur 
reptitious adoption. Seyn, Nichts, Werden, Entstehen, Vergehen 
(Being, Nothing, Becoming, Origin, Decease), have been turned 
and tossed, rattled and clattered before us, till the sort of in 
voluntary voluntary admission is abstracted, Oh, yes, we see ; 
Daseyn is the next step. But after this admission the logical 


juggler has it all bis own way: Daseyn being conceded bim in 
one sense, tlie fine rogue uses it henceforth freely in all. 

It may be objected that we do not sufficiently consider the 
nature of the fixedness that we do not sufficiently realise what 
fixedness it is. This fixedness, it may be said, is the fixedness in 
the flux, the fixedness between coming to be and ceasing to be \ 
and fixedness, so placed, indicates a very peculiar quality the 
quality, in fact, of all quality. It is the abstract expression of 
every existent unity, whether bodily or mental; just such fixed 
ness is the abstract absolute constitution of every existent 
particular entity ; and it is no subreption to call it quality, for 
every entity that bodily or mentally is there, is there by virtue of 
this fixedness in the coming and going that is, by virtue of 
its quality. To this, the only reply is, You admit the objection r 
you drag in the empirical world. Then they say, Why, we have 
never excluded it. We admit the presence of Anschauen (percep 
tion) behind all our reasoning ; but we contend that all our 
reasoning is absolutely free from it, that there is no rnateriature 
whatever in it, that it consists of absolutely pure abstract thought. 
Our Werden is the pure thought of all actual Werdens ; our Daseyn 
is just what of pure thought all actual Daseyns contain. Daseyn 
is nothing but that abstract fixedness. Then we conclude with It 
is all very well to say so, but the presence of actual perception is 
constantly throwing in prismatic colours, and the whole process, 
if it is to be conceived as a rigorous one, is a self-delusion. 

This (of Bestimmung, Beschaffenheit, und Grenze, in the full 
Logic) is the most intricate and the least satisfactory discussion we 
have yet been offered. There is no continuous deduction : the 
deduction, in fact, seems to derive its matter from without, and so 
to be no deduction at all. The distinctions are wire-drawn, 
equivocal, shadowy, evanescent. The turns and contradictions are 
so numerous, that suspicion lowers over the whole subject. It is 
an imbroglio and confusion that no patience, no skill can satisfac- 
torily disentangle. The greater the study, the more do weak points 
come to light. For what purpose, for example, has Eigenschaft, a 
word involving the same matter, been treated several pages pre 
viously in an exoteric fashion, if not to prepare the way for the 
esoteric fashion here ? Then will this hocus pocus with Bestimm- 
theit, Bestimmung, Beschaffenheit, An sich, An ihm, &c., really 
stand the test of anything like genuine inspection ? We are first 
told that, &c. He then describes, &c. A very pretty imbroglio, 


truly ! and one that results from the same thoughts being con 
torted through all manner of different terms. But this is the least 
of the confusion, the greatest is behind, &c. We are next told,&c. 
Suppose we apply his own illustration to his own words, we shall 
find that in man his Bestimmung is Denken, his Bestimmtheit 
ditto, his An sich ditto, and his An ihm ditto. His Seyn-fiir- 
Anderes is called his Natiirlichkeit, but might easily be shown to 

o / 

be just Denken too. The confusiop, in fact, becomes everywhere 
worse confounded. All seems a mere arbitrary play of words, the 
player perpetually shifting his point of view without giving notice 
of the shift. But what, then, can be the truth here ? The truth 
is, we have just to do with a brassy adventurer who passes himself 
off as a philosopher, but presents as his credentials only an involved, 
intricate, and inextricable reformation of the industry of Kant ; 
and this, in the middle of adventurer-like perpetual abuse, correc 
tion, and condemnation of this same Kant. The object he seems 
to have here before his eyes, is the special constitutive quality of 
Something, which is a compound of outer manifestation and inner 
capability. Then, that there is sometimes an outer manifestation 
that does not seem directly to depend on the inner force, but to be 
mere outside. Then, that accidental and essential manifestations 
are really the same. Then, that a thing changed by influence of 
something, reacts on that something, contributes elements to its 
own change and maintains itself against the Other. Water liquid, 
and water frozen, are the same yet different, for example, two 
somethings and one something ; the negation seems immanent, it 
is the development of the Within-itself of the Something. Other 
ness appears as own moment of Something as belonging to its 
Within-itself. Then, that the identity and diversity of the two 
Somethings lead to Limit, &c. &c. The whole business of Hegel 
is here to reduce these empirical observations into abstract terms, 
and to treat them as if they were results of thought alone, and as 
if they were legitimately and duly deduced from his abstract com 
mencement with pure Being. The confusion of language, the 
interpolation of foreign elements, the failure of exact deduction, the 
puzzle-headed fraudulence of the whole process, can escape no one. 
He draws first his great lines of Being and Nothing. Then, over 
the cross of these two lines, he sets himself, like a painter, to lay 
on coat after coat of verbal metaphysic with the extravagant 
expectation that the real world will at length emerge. The first 
coat to the cross is Werden ; again it is Daseyn ; and again it is 


Fiirsichseyn. It also becomes manifest that he alternately paints 
with two colours and with one : Being and Nothing two, Becoming 
one, Origin and Decease two, Daseyn one, Keality and Negation two, 
Something one, An sich and Seyn-fiir-Anderes two, and so on. 
It will be found, in fact, that the whole process is but a repeated 
coating of Being and Nothing, now as diverse and again as identical 
till the end of the entire three volumes. 

Nor is it a bit better with his exoteric works not a bit with 
the Philosophy of History, the most exoteric of all ! Second 
chapter, second section, second part, it has a strange effect to hear 
He^el talk of the Greek and Christian Gods in the same breath : 


Man, as what is spiritual, constitutes what is true in the Grecian 
gods, that by which they come to stand above all Nature-gods, and 
above all abstractions of a One and Supreme Being. On the 
other side, it is also stated as an advantage in the Grecian gods, 
that they are conceived as human, whereas this is supposed to be 
wanting in the Christian God. Schiller says, " Men were more 
Godlike when gods were more menlike." But the Grecian gods 
are not to be regarded as more human than the Christian God. 
Christ is much more Man : he lives, dies, suffers death on the 
Cross ; and this is infinitely more human than the man of beauti 
ful nature among the Greeks! Was there ever any really divine 
sense of the All awakened in him ? What curious maundering 
dreaming, or dreaming maundering, is all that playing at philoso 
phising over the Greek gods ! He talks much of abstract and con 
crete ; but, after all, did the concrete ever shine into him but through 
the abstractions of books ? Of the origin of these gods in common 
human nature, do we get a single glimpse in all his maundering ? 
They come from other nations and they did not, they are local and 
not local, they are spiritual and they are natural ; and it is black 
and white, and red and green, and look here and look there, and 
this is so and so, and that is so and so : and so all is satisfactorily 
explained, clear and intelligible ! How could he ever get anyone 
to Ifsten to such childish theorising disconnected theorising, and 
silly, aimless maundering the thought of his substance, that 
develops itself from An sich to Filr sich, recurring to him only at 
rare intervals, and prompting then a sudden spasmodic but vain 
sprattle at concatenation and reconciliation ? The fact is, it is all 
maundering, but with the most audacious usurpation of authorita 
tive speech on the mysteries that must remain mysteries. God 
must take form, for nothing is essential that does not take form ; 


but if God is to appear in an appropriate expression, this can only 
be the human form : what is this maundering does Hegel see 
anything ? What is God to Hegel ? Does he figure a universal 
thought, conscience, will, emotion, a universal spirit? Has that 
spirit the sense of I ? can there be thought, conscience, emotion, 
will, without I ? How am I to figure myself beside this Hegelian 
universal ? How comes my thought to be mine, egoised into my 
I ? How am I specialised out of the Universal ? Is it not a 
vain wrestling to better name the All in characteristics of mind ? 
Is there any deduction any explanation ? 

The exasperating sensation in attempting to construe all this- 
into ordinary words or forms of thought! It is just that there 
is no Jenseits, no Yonder, only a Here and Now of Spirit running 
through its moments ! What relief to the understanding on such 
premises, but the Materialism of Fetierbach or the Singleism of 
Stirner, which seem indeed to have so originated ? 

Language contains so many words, distinguished by so very 
slight, subtle, and delicate meanings, that it gives vast oppor 
tunities to a genius such as that of Hegel ; who delights to avail 
himself of them all, to join them, disjoin them, play with them 
like an adept, arriving finally to be able to play a dozen games at 
once of this sort of chess, blindfold. His whole talk seems to be 
a peculiar way of naming the common, a simply Hegel s way of 
speaking of naturalism. What is, is, and I give such and such 
names to it and its process, but I do not fathom or explain it 
and its process I merely mention it in other than the usual 

The Vestiges transcend the actual only in a physical interest ; 
but here the physical is translated into the metaphysical. The 
final aim of all is consciousness ; and said consciousness is figured, 
not as subjective, as possessed .by some individual, but as objective 
and general, as substantive and universal. The realised freedom 
of spirit viewed as substantive reason, this is the process we are to 
see taking place, and it is in the form of the State we are to recog 
nise its closest approximation to realisation ! The State is the 
nidus in which are deposited all the successive gains of the world- 
spirit. The State is the grand pupa of existence, surrounded by 
the necessary elements of nourishment, &c. Mankind are seen, 
then, like coral insects, subjectively secreting intelligence, and 
depositing the same objectively in the rock of the State ! 

Is, then, a Constitution the great good, as it were the fruit and 


outcome of the whole universe ? In spite of all changes in ideals 
and reals, is there an objective spiritual gain handed down from 
generation to generation? Can this be exhibited? Out of the 
human real, reposing on and arising from the human ideal, is there 
a universal real or ideal gained ? Can it be characterised ? Carlyle, 
as witness Paris-city/ admits that much has been realised ; but is 
not his standpoint chiefly rejection of the objective and assertion 
of the subjective ? Is not that the nucleus of Hero-worship, 
which looks for weal from living individuals, not from the objective 
depositions of reason (in the shape of institutions) in time ? Is, 
then, the great practical question that of Hegel, not what was he 
or what was another, but what are the objective gains of the world- 
spirit ? 

Hegel alludes to an element in man that elevates him above 
the place of a mere tool and identifies him with the Universal 
itself; there is the divine in him, freedom, &c. the brute is not, 
&c. but, he says, we enter not at present on proof ; it would 
demand an extensive analysis, &c. &c. ! ! Fancy the audacious 
cheek of the Professor, beating down his hearers by mere words 
giving other names to common categories as if they were all 
thereby explained and in his waistcoat pocket ! Where is his 
justification where is the basis of all those fine airs of superi 
ority? Does he believe more than a Divine government of 
the world does he see aught else than the hard lot of much 
that is good and true ? Is the one explained or only named by 
the word Reason, and the other by Contingency? which 
latter has received from the former, the Idea, authority to 
exercise its monstrous influence ! Must we not repeat dedit 
verba ? 

It is intelligible how the State looms so large in Hegel s eyes. 
It is a type of the step in philosophy named the transcending 
of the Ego. The will and the idea here are not expressions of 
what is individual, but of what is general. This is true, too, to 
the aim of the Socratic generalisation which raised up the 
universal and necessary out of the particular and accidental. 
But does all one s worth come from the State ? Since the 
State grows in worth, must not a portion of worth come from 
the individual ? Is not the individual always higher than the 
State, Christ than Jewry, Socrates than Athens, Confucius than 
China ? 

Hegel is always pedagogue-like with him naming is explaining. 



Nor is it true that we are more subjective, the Greeks more objec 
tive. Xenophon (the murmurs of the individual Ten Thousand), 
as well as Homer (Thersites), shows subjectivity to have had 
greater influence then than now. 

How definitively conclusive Hegel is to himself on all these 
matters in this Philosophy of History ! Whether he is in 
Africa or Europe, America or Asia, he dictates his views equally 
imperially his findings are infallible, never doubt it, sir! Ah 
me ! these sentences on all and everything in the world are 
quite irreversible ! In Ashantee, the solemn ceremony begins 
with an ablution of the bones of the mother of the king in the 
blood of men, why does Absolute Wisdom omit to ask itself, 
What, if she still live ? The statesman shows his son how very 
little wisdom is required in the governing of the world ; and 
Hegel makes plain here that Absolute Knowledge has only to 
assert and again assert, and always assert. How unscrupulous 
that sniff of condemnation ! How unhesitating that decisiveness 
of sentence in the midst of so little certainty ! bless you ! he 
does not fear ! An impure spirit, with impure motives, takes to 
an ethereal subject, will take rank with the best, will speak as 
authoritatively as they, and pours out indiscriminately slag and 
ore : Germany here, too, true to its character of external inten 
tional effort according to the receipt in its hands. But in that 
leaden head of his, what strange shapes his thoughts take, and 
how strangely he names them ! 

In the preface to the Phaenomenologie, observe the dry, sap 
less, wooden characterisation, in strange, abstract, prosaic figures, 
of the hapless plight of the unfortunate Schellingian ! Hegel it 
is, rather than Schelling, who has put in place of reasoning, a 
curious species of inward vision applied it is to strange things 
of wire in an element of sawdust, dull, dead, half-opaque, sound 
less, fleshless, inelastic a motion as of worms in a skull of wood 
not the ricli shapes in the blue heaven of the true poet s 
phantasy ! How he continues throwing the same abstract, 
abstruse, confused prose figures at Schelling ! Verily, as Hum- 
boldt says of him, language here has not got to the DurcJibrech: 
that is, we may say, perhaps, language remains ever underground 
here, muffled, and never gets to break through, as flowers elsewhere 
do, or as other people s teeth do ! Eeally, Hegel s rhetoric is 
absolutely his own. There is something unbefangenes sirnple- 
tonish in him: he is still the Suabian lout ! 


D. 2. 

This referring to a passage in the same preface is just a 
description in abstracto of self-consciousness. The Ego is first 
unal simplicity, that is, unal or simple negativity; but just, as 
it were, for this very reason (that is, to know itself and be no 
longer negative, or because it finds itself in a state of negativity) 
it becomes self-separated into duality it becomes a duplication, 
a duad, the units of which confront each other, in the forms of 
Ego-subject and Ego-object ; and then, again, this very self- 
separation, this very self-duplication, becomes its own negation 
the negation of the duality, inasmuch as its confronting units are 
seen to be identical, and the antithesis is reduced, the antagonism 
vanishes. This process of self-consciousness has just to be trans 
ferred to the All, the Absolute, the Substance, to enable us to 
form a conception of unal negativity of Spirit passing into the 
hetereity of external nature, finally to return reconciled, har 
monious, and free into its own self. Surely, too, that process of 
self-consciousness strikes the key-note of the whole method and 
matter of Hegel ! 

A n sick may be illustrated by an ill-fitting shoe. First, con 
sciousness is only in itself or, as the German seems to have it, 
only at itself, only in its own proximity : there is malaise quite 
general, indefinite, and indistinct; it is everywhere in general, 
and nowhere in particular. But, by degrees, the mist and blur, 
the nebula, resolves itself into foci and shape ; Ansichseyn 
becomes Eiirsichseyn, and it is seen that the shoe is too wide 
in the heel that and nothing else. 

The intermedium is the first step in the divine process (the 
phase of universality, latent potentiality being first assumed) ; it 
is reflexion into its own self, and as such only, and no more, it 
is the awakening of consciousness, the kindling, the lighting, the 
flashing up of the Ego, which is pure negativity as yet. First, 
the Ego was only in or at itself, everywhere in general and 
nowhere in particular, that is, latent only, potential only (the 
formless infinite, indefinite nebula) ; then comes reflexion of this 
into itself or on to itself, and this reflexion is a sort of medium, 
an element of union, a principle of connection between self and 
self. In this stage, the previously indefinite comes to be for 
itself; that is to say, in the physical world, it is a finite, 


circumscribed, individual entity, and in the metaphysical a self- 
consciousness. Reduced to its most abstract form, it is nothing 
but a Becoming a becoming something a focus in the nebula, 
an Ego in consciousness. Ego is immediate to Ego, focus to 
focus ; the mediacy then leads only to a condition of immediacy. 
Process is no prejudice to unity, nor mediacy to immediacy ; it 
is a one, a whole, an absolute, all the same. 

The same reason the same forms, processes, peculiar experi 
ences and characters, exist in the outer world which exist in the 
inner: analogy passes into its very depths the outer is just the 
inner, but in the form of outerness or hetereity, alienation. Thus 
Hegel, horsed on his idea, penetrates and permeates the whole 
universe both of mind and matter, and construes all into a one 
individuality which is Substance, the True, the Absolute, God. 

The idea is evidently substance, for it is common to all ; it is the 
common element; it is the net into which all is wrought, whether 
physical or metaphysical. Behind the logical categories, there lie 
side by side the physical and the spiritual. Hegel really meant it 
and Rosenkranz is wrong to take it as mere figurative exaggera 
tion when he says that what is here is the demonstration of 
G-od as he is in his eternal essence before the creation of nature 
and a finite spirit. 

Much is Aristotelian in the above. There are reflexes of the 
tivvaftis and the evepyeia. It is Metaphysic Proper, an inquiry 
into the essential TO TI <TTIV. 

Negation in Hegel always seems to produce affirmation, not 
destruction. Negation seems in him, indeed, but the specific 
title of the element of variety and distinction. Such element is, 
in fact, negation. It is negation of its own unity, and each 
constituent member is the negative of the rest and of the whole. 

The whole is to be conceived as an organic idea a concrete 
idea in which beginning is to be taken as also ideal, not a thing 
in time and nature, but a mere thought so and so characterised 
and articulated with the rest. The same is the case with subjec 
tivity in general, and my subjectivity in special. 

There are periods when thought compromises existence when 
it becomes destructive, negative. These are periods of so-called 
enlightenment. But thought, that has done this, must in its turn 
be looked at. The true nature of the Begriff must be seen 
into ; and he who understands Hegel s word Begriff, understands 


Despite the intensity of his abstraction, there is always in 
Hegel a glance at the whole concrete actual universe. Yet to 
read him is not to judge of things as this or that, but to follow a 
thread of aqua regia that dissolves and resolves the things them 
selves a menstruum in which the most hard and solid objects 
become quick and flow. Hegel, indeed, seems ever to drive into 
the very grounds of things. Still, his secret is very much the 
translating of the concrete individual into the abstract general or 
universal. He is always intelligible when we keep before us the 
particular individual he is engaged translating, but let us lose 
the object, the translation becomes hopeless. The eye must never 
wander; let a single hint be missed, let a single stitch drop, the 
whole is to recommence again. The first chapter of the Phaeno- 
menologie, on Sensuous Certainty, is generally looked on as very 
extravagant and imtenable ; still it is really in abstract terms a 
very fair description of the progress of consciousness from crude 
Sensation to intelligent Perception. This is its intention, and 
not a dialectic destruction of an outer world. Still, Hegel may 
very well speak of a reversion or inversion ; for whereas elsewhere 
things support thoughts, in him, on the contrary, thoughts support 
things, and the tendency in the reader to dazzle, dizziness, and 
turn, cannot be wondered at. But the thought being the prius, 
this method must be right. 

D. 3. 

Hegel will look at everything and say what it is. In his eyes, 
what we call the common idea of God is an abstraction utterly 
vague and predicateless. Then, again, it is thought that is the 
true mental act applicable to God. God, as a universal, is not 
only thought, but in the form of thought. We see here, then, 
that Hegel s system is a universe of thought, in which Nature, 
the Ego God himself, in a sense are but moments ; or the 
universe is an organon of thought into which all particulars the 
whole itself are absorbed as moments; and the aggregate of these 
moments which, however, is other than an aggregate constitutes 
the organic whole. The general conception under the phrase 
Supreme Being as eighteenth century enlightenment (in which the 
bulk even of Ecclesiastics, forgetting their Bible, now share) has it 
is quite abstract, quite formal, or formell ; that is, it is an empty 


formal act in which there is no substance it is a longing opening 
of the jaws, but there is no nut between them. 

The universe in time is viewed grandly as a spirit whose object 
is to bring before his own consciousness all that he is in himself, 
and each new fact so brought becomes superseded and transformed 
as a step to a higher stage. History is really such consciousness 
in perpetual enlargement, enfranchisement, elevation. This can 
be personified as a Spirit ; and all being thought this Spirit is 
the Universe, the One, the All, God. In it empirical Egos are 
but as moments, but as scales of thought. It is plain, then, that 
philosophy with Hegel will be the developed sum of all preceding 
philosophies. The progress pictured in the History of Philosophy 
is the process of philosophy itself ; and in philosophy, this 
progress is seen in unempirical development. Thought as it is, is 
concrete ; that is, it is Idea. The knowledge or science of this, 
relating as it does to a concrete, will be a system for a concrete 
is self-diremption in self-union or self-conservation. And here, 
then, is it at once necessity and freedom : necessity, as so and so 
constituted ; freedom, as that constitution is its own, and has its 
own play, its own life. A sphere of spheres it is (each a necessary 
moment) and the entire idea constituted by the system of these, at 
the same time that the entire idea appears also in each. 

The Idea is thought, not as formal, but as the self-evolving 
totality of its own peculiar principles and laws, which it gives to 
its own self, and not already has and finds to its hand in its own 
self. This is characteristic of Hegel. He thus avoids the 
question of a first cause ; constituting thought as the first, the 
last, and the only. That thought might give itself its own 
distinctions is evident from language. To use but inadequate 
examples, thing is but a form of think, thanMul but another way 
of saying thinkfvil. 

Can creation be accounted for otherwise ? Assume God well, 
creation is simply his thought ; in the world of man and nature 
we have simply to do with the thought of God. We cannot 
suppose God making the world like a mason. It is sufficient that 
God think the world. But we have thus access to the thought of 
God the mind of God. Then our own thought as thought is 
analogous. So the progress of generalisation is to study thought 
as thought in the form of a universal. Thought being viewed in 
this way, the whole is changed : creation, God, and all else have 
taken up quite new and different relations; nor is there any 


longer the difficulty of a beginning, &c. Logic, thus, has to do 
quite with the supersensual ; mathematic is seen to be quite 
sensuous in comparison. 

In the beginning Seyn und Nichts, Being and Nothing there 
is room for much reflexion. We are not to suppose that it relates 
to formal and professional logic only. It must be taken sub specie 
ccfernitatis. The whole question, What was the beginning what 
was it that was the first? is there. The answer, God, does not 
suffice ; for the question still recurs, And God whence ? Hegel 
must be credited witli the most profound and exhaustive thought 
here. It is the first question in universal metaphysic. What 
was the beginning ? How are we to conceive that ? Rather, we 
feel that it is inconceivable : we feel that, when we answer, Oh, 
God of course, we have yielded to our own impatience to our 
own weariness of what is never-ending, and that the terminus we 
have so set up is arbitrary merely, a word mainly ; that, in short, 
the business is to begin again so soon as we have taken breath 
and recovered temper. There is a whole school, however, which 
pronounces this to be the answer ; that is, that answer there is 
none for us. Humanity is to see here its own deficiency and 
insufficiency of original nature. We are only adequate to a 
compartment, not to the whole. Our sphere is limited ; our 
functions must learn and acknowledge their own bounds. Percep 
tion and confession of ignorance in regard to all such questions, 
constitute on our part wisdom and philosophy. 

This however, is, in reality, but again the human mind halting 
for breath, resting for temper. The question recurs, and will 
recur, so soon as action itself, after its own pause, recurs. Not 
but that the new action may fare similarly, and be obliged to halt 
with the same result ; a state of matters which will simply con 
tinue till there is a successful effort towards the satisfaction of a 
need which is absolutely inextinguishable, however temporarily 
appeasable. To a mind like Hegel s, all this is obvious, and he 
will look steadily along the line, his mind made up to this that 
the necessity for an answer shall, so far as "he is concerned, not be 
shirked. How are we to conceive the beginning, then, he asks 
himself, and continues asking himself, till the thought emerges, 
What is a beginning ? and in a few moments more he feels he has 
the thread : of the organon, thought, the distinction beginning is 
but a moment, but an involved and constituent element, joint, or 
article. It is but a portion of the articulated apparatus, of the 


whole system or series. It is a characteristic of the universe, 
thought a characteristic among others that it has a particular 
pin or pole, or special pinion, named beginning a pole which it 
gives to its own self for its own distribution, disposition, and 

Gives its own self! the reader may exclaim: why, then there is 
something before, the beginning, that gives the beginning ! Well, 
yes ; but that is not the way to put it. There is thought, and 
there is nothing but thought ; thought is the All, and, as the All, 
it is, of course, also what we mean by the term the prius it is the 
first : these terms prius, first, beginning, &c., are, in fact, predicates, 
attributes of its own, part and parcel of its own machinery, of its 
own structure, of its own constitution. When we use the expres 
sion God, we are just saying the same thing, for God is obviously 
thought; or God is Spirit, and the life of Spirit is thought. 
Creation, then, is thought also ; it is the thought of God. God s 
thought of the Creation is evidently the prius of the Creation ; but 
with God to think must be to create, for he can require no wood- 
carpentry or stone-masonry for his purpose: or even should we 
suppose him to use such, they must represent thought, and be 
disposed on thought.* The stone-masonry and wood-carpentry, 
then, can be set aside as but the accessory and non-essential, and 
the Creation can be pronounced thought :f whether direct through 
thought, or indirect through stone-masonry and wood-carpentry, 
all recurs to God. Then God viewed personally, on the question 

* For us, then, truly to think them, is to reproduce the thought of God, 
which preceded their creation, and which, so to speak, therefore contained 

f But it is pleonastic to assume stone-masonry and wood-carpentry as inde 
pendent self-substantial entities, out of, and other than, thought. Let us say 
rather that thought is perceiving thought, thought is a perceptive thought, or the 
understanding is a perceptive understanding. So Kant conceived the understanding 
of God. Our perception he conceived to be derivative or sensuous (intuitus 
derivativus) ; while that of God appeared to him necessarily original and intellectual 
(intuitus originariug). Now the force of this is, that the perception of God makes 
its objects ; creation and per9eption, with understanding of the same, are but a one 
act in God. Man, Kant conceived, possessed no such direct perception, but only a 
perception indirect through media of sense, which media, adding elements of their 
own, separated us for ever from the thing-in-itself (or things-iu-themselves), at the 
very moment that they revealed it (or them). But suppose thought in all cases to 
be perceptive thought, thought where subject thinking and object thought are 
identical identical in difference if you like, even as the one side and the other side 
of this sheet of paper are identical in difference then we come tolerably close to 
the standpoint of Hegel. 


of a beginning must still yield the same answer. God is thought, 
and beginning is but one of its own natural poles, or centres of 
gravitation, disposition, and revolution. 

Now, in the conception beginning/ the first step or element, 
in regard to anything whatever beginning or begun, is so far as 
thought is concerned just the thought is. Even God placed 
under the focus of the category beginning, must have first said 
to himself is, there is. But in this first step there is no more 
than that. Descartes called the first step sum, but manifestly he 
ought to have said est. The ego involved in sum is a concrete 
infinitely higher in ascent than est, esse, Seyn, Being. That there 
is, is manifestly the most abstract thought that can be reached. 
That is, when we perform the process of abstraction, when we strip 
off all empirical qualities, one after the other, is is the residuum 
abstract Being, predicateless is. Even when we think of any 
natural entity, when we think even of life, say, it is evident that 
the first step of the beginning is is. But what, even under that 
point of view, would be the second ? Why, is_not. There must 
be, at first (we are using the category, \ve are seeing through our 
lens beginning at this moment) a wholly indefinite and indeter 
minate, and, so to speak (since the category natural life accom 
panies our thought here), instinctive thought or feeling is, but 
this must be immediately followed by the thought or feeling not. 
There is as yet only is, there is nothing else. That is, the very 
1 is is nought or not. But throwing off any reference to natural 
life, and restricting ourselves to thought absolutely and per se, it 
is still plainer that the abstract initial is is identical with the 
abstract and initial non-is. Because the is is the last product 
of abstraction ; it has no attribute, it is bodiless position ; it not 
only is, but it is non. One can readily see, then, that in Hegel s 
so abstract, formal, and professional statement of Seyn und Nichts, 
there is involved a creative substratum of the most anxious, 
persevering, and comprehensive concrete reflection. One can see 
that he has bottomed the whole question of a beginning. Why 
he should have set it up so abruptly and so unconnectedly steep, 
is a query impossible for us to answer. Is and is-non, then, 
contain the same subject-matter, or the same no subject-matter : 
each is an absolute and ultimate abstraction ; the is is a non-is, 
and the non-is is in the same sense an is. In this sense, then, 
Being and Non-being are identical ; neither the one nor the other 
possesses a predicate they are each nothing. But, if they are 


the same, they are again not the same, there is a distinction 
between them, and so on. 

From the position that thought is the all and the prius, it 
follows that thought must contain in itself a principle of pro 
gression or movement. Hegel asserts his method to be this 
principle ; and we should certainly very decidedly stultify our 
selves, if we should suppose that Hegel sets up this method in 
the merely arbitrary fashion of an impostor bent on some per 
sonal result. Hegel s method is the product of reflexion equally 
deep and earnest with that which originated his beginning. 
Thought s own nature is, first, position ; second, opposition ; 
and third, composition. It is evident that, however we figure 
a beginning of thought, in God or ourselves, it must possess a 
mode of progression, a mode of production, and that is abso 
lutely impossible on a principle of absolutely simple, single, unal 
identity. The first, then, though unal, must have separated into 
distinctions ; and these by union, followed again by disunion and 
reunion ad infinitum, must have produced others till thought be 
came the articulated organon it is now. It is also plain that, 
were there movement only by separation into contraries without 
reunion into higher stages, the progress would fail in systematic 
articulation, and also in improvement. Re-union, then, is evi 
dently a step as necessary as separation. The union of is 
and non-is in becomes, need also not be confined to logical 
^abstractions, but may be illustrated from the concrete. Every 
concrete process of Becoming is a union of the two. Resuming 
our illustration, too, from the life of thought, it is evident that, 
after the first dim consciousness is and the second not/ the 
third of becomes of a coming to be and of a ceasing not to 
be must succeed. 

I). 4. 

The question is, What is truth ? i.e. What is the Absolute ? 
But the absolute cannot be hopped to by means of some cabalistic 
hocus-pocus. It must be worked up to. But where does it lie ? 
Wherever it lies, to be known it must come into our knowledge. 
But we already possess knowledge. Is it so sure that the abso 
lute is not already there ? Let us take our knowledge just as we 
have it, and look at it. Let us take knowledge, not in some 
out-of-the-way, enchanted-looking corner, we do not know where, 


but as it comes up. Let us take this thing knowledge, not as 
we suppose it, not as in some sublime indeterminateness we 
imagine it, but as it manifests itself now and here to us, 
just as it at once directly shows or appears. For result as the 
Phaenomenologie, which starts thus, will show it will be found 
that the opinion of object will disappear, and that there will 
remain the idea only. Our knowing and what we know are 
identical. The object becomes, so to speak, intelligised, and the 
intellect objectivised. The relation between the supposed two 
is one of mere otherness in identity. The object is knowing but 
in the form of otherness. Knowledge involves the relation of 
two factors ; but they are both the same substance. Knowing, 
even to know itself, must have a something to know ; and this 
process involves and introduces at once the relation of otherness. 
Man s error is the hypostasising of his ideas -the separating of 
his indivisible self, by a dead wall of his own assumption, into 
an irreconcilable duality of thinking and thought. We have 
been desperately hunting the whole, infinite, unreachable heaven 
for an Absolute, which, folded up within us, smiled in self- 
complacent security, at the infatuation of its very master. We 
have wearied heaven and earth with our importunate clamours 
for a glass that bestrid the bridge of our own nose. What we 
wanted lay at the door; but to and fro we stepped over it, 
vainly asking for it, and plunging ourselves bootlessly into the 
far forest. 

It is the peculiar nature of the Idea to be the union of the 
universal and the particular in the individual. Here lie the 
elements of the explanation of the relation which the subjective 
bears to the objective. Such questions as Life and Death, the 
Soul, Immortality, God, are to be regarded from a wholly-changed 
point of view. Death is a constituent of the sphere of the Finite, 
but the Idea is imperishable. / am the Idea you he &c. ; 
but we are also singulars. As singulars, there is change death ; 
but, as participant of the self-conscious Idea, we are immortal. 
It is just an all of thought triple-natured with infinite grada 
tions and spheres. Freedom, perfect self-consciousness, is the 
goal. Take it as nature, the same thing can be said. In fact, 
it is just a double language, the object and the idea; the same 
goal, the same gradations in the one as in the other. 

The preface to the Phaenomenologie is the plainest piece 
of speaking anywhere in Hegel, and capable of being put as 


key to tbe whole system. It is full of the most hard, heavy, 
and effective thought, in new, subtle, and original directions ; 
and the expression is as heavy and effective. A most surprising 
light is thrown upon what passes unquestioned under our eyes 
and among our hands ; and the object Hegel sets himself here 
will be something beyond all precedent, if accomplished. 

At present, thought is thus and thus constituted: but the 
process of which this constitution is the result, is simply experi 
ence. A history, then, of the phases of experience since the 
beginning, the first stage of thought, up to the present, would 
enable us to understand how this present arose ; and thus we 
should get an insight into the nature of thought itself. But 
this process to Hegel has reached the highest stage of absolute 
thought: therefore, then, if he can conduct us through all the 
stages actually experienced by consciousness from the first to 
the last, he will conduct us necessarily, and with full con 
viction to ultimate and absolute thought itself. We are supposed 
to see only the bare process: but Hegel has helped himself by 
diligent reference to actual history; and we shall assist ourselves 
by looking out for reflexions of the same. There is everywhere 
a power of naming, in consequence of perception of the inner 
nature and limits of what is looked at, that must give pause, 
at all events, and open the eyes. The necessity and coherence of 
the sy sterna tisation will, at least, benefit all effort for the future. 
Hegel, indeed, clamours always for necessity and completeness of 
exposition. He cannot allow a subject to be attacked from an 
indefinite, conceded, common ground. The common ground must 
prove its nature, legitimacy, extent, &c. to the last dregs. He 
must begin with the beginning, and work all up into a one bolus 
of thought. 

D. 5. 

Kant, in demonstrating the possibility of a Transcendental 
Logic, begins the realisation of idealism. Idealism before that 
was but an abstract conception, an announced probability on a 
balance of reasons. "With Kant actual development commences, 
and he very fairly initiates the business proper of Hegel, which 
was, not to prove the principle of idealism, but construct its 
system, lay out its world. In the series, Kant is as Geometry, 
Fichte as Algebra, Schelling as Applied Mathematic, and Hegel 
as the Calculus. 


Thinking of Quantity as an intellectual notion to which things 
must adapt themselves as universal, particular, and singular, 
of Quality, and the fa priori necessities to which all a posteriori 
elements must submit in its regard, of substance and accident, 
and the conditions they impose on all experience before experi 
ence, O ne gets to see the origin of Hegel. The Idea, which 
is the All, is so constituted that it organises itself on these cate 
gories suppose them God s creative thoughts or suppose them 
simply the elements of the monad, of that which is, the Absolute. 

In the Kritik of Practical Reason, pp. 219, 220, Part 8 of 
the collected Works, occurs a passage which may be translated 
thus : 

Because we consider here, in its practical function, pure Reason, which 
acts consequently on a priori principles, and not on empirical motives, the 
division of the Analytic of Pure Practical Reason will necessarily resemble 
that of a syllogism. That is, it will proceed from the universal in the Major 
(the moral principle), through a subsumption under the same, in the Minor, 
of possible (particular) acts (as good or bad) to the Conclusion, namely, 
the subjective actualisation of Will (an interest in the practically possible 
good and the consequent Maxim). To him who follows with conviction the 
positions of the Analytic, such comparisons will prove pleasing ; for they 
countenance the expectation that we shall yet attain to a perception of the 
unity of the entire business of pure reason (theoretical as well as practical), 
and be able to deduce all from a single principle, which is the inevitable 
demand of human reason ; for we can find full satisfaction only in a complete 
systematic unity of all the possessions of our reason. 

More than one deep germ of Hegel seems to lie here. The 
movement of the syllogism, for example, is seen here as it were 
in concrete and material application, and not as only formal and 
abstract. Then the demand of unity, of a single principle ! The 
universal appears in Hegel as the Logic, the particular as Nature, 
the singular as Spirit. Then the universal, the abstract, is seen to 
be the ground of the other two. At page 107 of the Vestiges of 
the Natural History of Creation, we hear of the electric brush 
that electricity is as a brush. Well, let us say here, the Logic, the 
universal, is the electric brush, the particular (Nature) is the 
materiature which attaches to arid crassifies the ramification of 
said electric brush to the development, as it were, of a system of 
organs, and the singular (Spirit) is the one envelope of subjectivity 
that converts all into an absolute unity, at once absolutely nega 
tive and absolutely positive. In this way, we may conceive 
formed Hegel s Id6e-Monade. Again, Kant s one general principle 


is to universalise the particular, objectify the subject, convert 
An sick or nature into Fur sich or spirit ; and Hegel s really is 
just the same. 

In the Kritik of Judgment, section 86, occurs the following : 

For (such is the conviction of everyone) if the world consisted of beings 
merely inanimate, or some animate and some inanimate, but the animate still 
without reason, the existence of such a world would have no worth at all, for 
there would exist in it no being that possessed the slightest notion of any 
worth. If, again, there were also rational beings supposed to exist, but whose 
reason was such only as knew to put a value on things according to the 
relation of nature which these things bore to them (to their own gratification), 
but not to give to their own selves a priori, and independent of the experiences 
of nature, a value (in freewill), then there were (relative) aims in the world, 
but no (absolute) end-aim, because the existence of such rational beings would 
remain still aimless. But moral laws are of this peculiarity, that they 
prescribe to reason something as aim without condition consequently in the 
manner in which the notion of an end-aim requires it ; and the existence of 
such a reason as, in the relation of an aim, can be the supreme law to itself 
in other words, the existence of rational beings under moral laws can there 
fore alone be thought as end-aim (final cause) of the existence of a world. Is 
this not so, then there lie in the existence of the same either no aim at all, as 
regards its cause, or aims without end-aim. 

To this noble passage, let us add portion of the note at the 
bottom of the same page : 

The glory of God is not inaptly named by Theologians, the final cause of 
creation. It is to be observed, that we understand by the word creation, 
nothing else than the cause of the existence of a world, or of the things, the 
substances in it [ die Ursache vom Daseyn einer Welt ; literally, to a Hegel, 
the original or primal thing or matter of the being there of a world] ; as also the 
proper notion of the word [Schopfung, creation, but literally a drawing ; 
compare scooping} brings that same sense with it (actuatio substantice est 
creatio), which consequently does not already involve the presupposition of a 
spontaneously operative, and therefore intelligent Cause (whose existence we 
would first of all prove). 

There were no worth in a world, then, that cannot appreciate 
worth. The world were blind and worthless without a being that 
can think. But what is the action on the world of a being that 
can think ? By thinking, he arranges all in his own way all 
takes place and meaning, not from itself, but from him (it had no 
meaning before him). It is thus his own self he projects around 
him ; the other is but the stand for his own qualities, thereon 
disposed. The analogy of his own inner construction converts the 
opacity of the other into lucidity, transmutes its rigidity into 
pliancy ; and the other remains as nothing when opposed to the 


qualities it merely sustains. Hegel, in reading Kant, may be 
conceived as falling on such ideas, and so, as arriving at his 
anthropological monad, which, as all that is ours, as all that we 
can know anything else, too, being merely suppositious, i.e. 
again our own, again ourselves may be reasonably made, All, 
Absolute, and Infinite. Actuatio substantial est creatio is a phrase, 
too, that has not failed to bear fruit in Hegel. Ursache vom 
Daseyn, and the remarkable phrase with laws, not under laws, 
which occurs in the same neighbourhood, may be also viewed as 
suggestive of Hegelian elements. The passage in Kant offers 
to the spiritualist or idealist a bulwark impregnable to any 
materialist, a talisman in the light of which every materialist 
must fade and die. 

On Kant s theory, the world being phenomenal, materiature 
being simply an unknown appulse, giving rise to a subjective 
material, not necessarily at all like the materiature, not neces 
sarily the same in all subjects, and incapable of comparison 
as between subjects, this subjective material (all that holds 
of sensation or feeling), to become a world, would require a 
system of forms which can themselves be only subjective, 
only ab intra. These, then, would appear somehow as pro 
jected into the subjective material, to form part and parcel of 
the same. Further, they themselves, though subjective as belong 
ing to the subject, might be objective as belonging to all the 
subjects, and as capable of being identified in each by actual 
comparison; they might be of an objective and universally deter- 
minable nature. They might come from our intellectual nature, 
for example. This is Kant. The subjective material in us set up 
by the unknown outer materiature, is received into an objective 
but internal net of arrangement. Feeling is the matter, but 
intellect is the form of all experience, however outer and indepen 
dent it appear to us. Well, Kant succeeds in placing Sensation 
and Perception under Understanding, and Will under Eeason ; 
but he has still Emotion, in the general scheme of man s faculties, 
and Judgment in the particular of the cognitive faculties, undis- 
cussed. Now, what is he to do with design and beauty, which 
still keep apart from Understanding and Reason ? If he is right 
in his world, they cannot come from without ; they, too, must be 
subjective in the sense of coming from within, or they may be 
due to some harmony of the outer and inner. It is in this way, 
and from such considerations, that Judgment becomes the sphere 


of design and beauty, which are of an Emotional nature. One can 
see, then, what led Kant to be averse to all theoretic arguments 
about God ; for there was nothing noumenal known in Kant s 
world but the Categorical Imperative ; all the rest was pheno 
menal unknown materiature apart and depended on forms ab 
infra: Kant s theoretical world, in short, or world of knowledge, was 
only phenomenal. Plainly, then to Kant, all form being ab intra, de 
sign and beauty (which only show ab extra) would present a peculiar 
phase to him, and would require peculiarly to be dealt with. 

It was easy to Kant s followers to see how small a rdle was left 

V for materiature, and to fall on the idea of expunging it. Hence it 
was that Fichte attempted to build all up from these internal 
forms, and to that he required a principle of movement in them 
selves, and a radiation from a single bottom one through a 
systematic articulation of all the others. As left by Kant, 
however, he was still on the platform of consciousness and a 
subjective intellect ; hence his system could only be one of 
subjective idealism or objective egoism, which terms imply the 

v same thing. From this limited form Schelling freed the advancing 
system by his principle of an absolute or neutrum into which 
both nature and thought were resolved. But in Schelling the 
sides remained apart, and the absolute had to be sprung to. 
Hegel examined all, rethought all, and completed all. He perfected, 
first, the thought-forms into a complete self-formative system 
into an organic and, so to speak, personal whole, to which the 
particular, nature, took up the position of, as regards the first, 
only its other, and in it the universal forms only repeated them 
selves as in particularity or otherness, while, third, he summed up 

. both in the singular of Spirit. His three parts present analogies 
to the three of the syllogism, the three cognitive faculties, the 
three faculties in general, &c. ^ and to the last Kant is repeated. 

Hegel in his main principle has certainly put his finger on 
the rhythmus of the universe. Understanding steps from abstrac 
tion to abstraction ; but Reason conjoins and concretes them. 
Beginning is an abstraction, and, as such, is untrue; it is 
concrete only ivith its end, and so true. Life and death must also 
for their truth be concretely joined, and the result is the higher 
new, the birth of the Spirit. God abstractly, as Hegel puts it, is 
the mere empty word, the infidel God ; he is true only as concrete 
in Christianity, the God-man. So in all other cases. The true 
notion is the conjunction of the contradictories. 


D. 6. 

Kant s Categories form really the substance of Hegel. Hegel 
seems an apt borrower generally. His absolute is the neutruru of 
Schelling, converted into subject by the Ego of Fichte. Aristotle 
assists him in the further characterisation of this subject through 
the distinctions of Matter, Form, Actuality, &c. Plato lends his 
aid in enabling him to look at it as idea, and to develop it as 
idea. The very monad of Leibnitz, the triad of Proclus, and the 
Qualirung of Bohme are auxiliary to him. But his infinitely 
greatest obligations are to Kant, who enables him to lay out his 
whole system and carry out his whole process. 

Must we conceive, as well as name, to understand but how 
is the conception of heterisation or alienation to Nature pos 
sible ? 

Are we encouraged by the general nature of the case (all being 
Werden, and Werden being always a union of identical opposites) 
to believe that even in death there is process, that there again 
Non-being is passing into Being, and that this applies to all 
members of the universe, spiritual or material ? Or are these 
abstractions but a system of fantastic and delusive shadows shed 
of the universe into the brain of man ? Or, even so, are they not 
still thoughts are they not threads of essential thought, threads 
from the main of thought, electric threads round which cluster 
and accrete in sensuous opacity the matter-motes that make the 
universe ? It is important to pause on this. Again, it must be 
noted that the admission Seyn und Nichts ist dasselbe is the 
other important point; grant that, and Werden cannot be 
repressed. It is a conjunction of the extremes of thought; for 
Being is regarded as the primal fount of possibility, while 
Nothing is that of all impossibility. It seems violent to force us 
to conjoin them for the birth of reality. Still, each is a thought, 
and each -can be thinkingly examined : if the result declares 
identity, we must accept it, it and its consequences. 

Take any actual concrete, abstract from quality after quality, 
and observe the result. Let the concrete be this paper, for 
example : well, we say there is whiteness in it, there is cohesion, 
there is pliancy, &c. &c. now let us throw out all these, and we 
shall be left at last with there is nothing. The whole question 
now is, is this caput mortuum of abstraction an allowable base for 



the whole world of thought? In such sentence, it is very plain 
that there is and nothing, subject and predicate, are equally 
nothing, and, so far as that goes, identical ; but the objection is 
obvious that this results only from their having now no longer 
any matter of application any applicability any use. So long 
as they were in use, in actual application, in actual work, they 
were very different. When out of use, they are both of course 
equally idle, and, so far as any result is concerned, equally null. 
Food and no food are of identical result are, so to speak, equally 
nothing, if placed in a stomach that will not digest. Distinctions 
are distinctions only when in use ; they are empty, void, null, 
when unapplied ; and so, unapplied, may be set equal if you will. 
But where is the warrant to make such equality a foundation for 
the whole burthen of concrete thought in its abstract, or formal, 
or logical form ? To do so is a feat of ingenuity ; but it is a feat, 
a trick, a mockery, a delusion; and the human mind that, dazzled, 
may admire, will still refuse conviction and assent. There still 
recurs the question, however, Are we not at liberty to take up ^he 
notions Being and Non-being with a view to analysis and com 
parison ? To this the answer must be, Yes, but that yes does not 
empower you to set Being as identical with Non-being. You say 
you do not wish so to set them, that it is not you who set them 
at all, that they set themselves, and that they set themselves as 
both equal and unequal, and it is this duplicity of relation that 
sets free the notion Becoming as a notion that, essentially single, 
is yet more essentially double and contains both of the others. 
You say you do not ask us to make any reference to concrete 
things, outer or inner that you only wish us to see how abstract 
thought may build itself, &c. But 

Another objection is the refusal of the mind to believe in a 
concrete not or nothing in the identification of positive determina 
tion with negative limitation yet such is the chief lever of 
Hegel. In short, the main result will be, as regards Hegel, that 
we shall have to reject his system as articulated, and yet retain it 
largely both as a whole and in parts. The system as articulated 
is probably the result of the mere striving, so common at that 
time, after universality and necessity, which are the only two 
elements that can produce a coherent and complete whole, a 
Cosmos. Still, Hegel shows the connexion of positive determina 
tion and negative limitation that they are but different sides of 
the same reality that, as abstract thoughts, they coalesce and 


run together. It must be understood to shadow out also the only 
possible mode of conceiving an actual beginning. 

But, let us do our best, we cannot help feeling from time to 
time, that there crops out an element of weakness, of mere verbal 
hocus-pocus, distinctions which will not maintain their objective 
truth before the test of another language. No: the system that 
has built itself up so laboriously out of the unresting river must 
resolve itself into the same again, though largely to its material 
enrichment. So with the system of Kant. Still, in both, 
principles of form as well as matter will be found of permanent 
and abiding worth. 

E. 1. 

Being is the Notion only in itself. This can be taken, first, 
subjectively, and second, objectively. 

First, subjectively, the notion is thought, thought in act, a 
subject, a thinker, a spirit, God, you, I. The notion then (with 
such meaning) as being, as is, as the absolutely first, crude, dim, 
dull, opaque, chaotic, unconscious, brute / am, the first flutter 
of life, the absolute A in quickening (Alphabetic A) is only in 
itself latent, undeveloped. The German an, not quite the 
English in, here. An means properly at, beside, near. So the 
notion an sich is the notion at itself, like the first speck of life on 
the edge of the disc. The notion is, as it were, just come to 
itself. There is no answer possible, in one sense, to what is a 
thing in itself, for every possible answer would involve what it is 
for another. An sich is thus just Seyn ; both are equally incap 
able of direct explanation, neither can be said. To say it, would 
be to limit it, to negate it, to give it a determinate manifestation, 
&c. Whatever were said, it would be still more that ; that, then, 
would describe it falsely, imperfectly, incompletely, that is, 
negatively, &c. Latency, undevelopment, inchoation, is what the 
term irnplfes ; and this amounts to the universal universal, the 
summum genus, the utterly unspecified, indeterminate, indefinite 
universal principle of all particulars the Seyn the base, the 
case, the all-embracing sphere and mother liquor, and yet also the 
invisible dimensionless first of everything manifest. At bottom, 
virtually, occultly, independently, absolutely, mater ialiter, are all 
shades of An sich ; and they all resolve themselves into Seyn, and 
that into absolute, or abstract, or blank self ^identity. 


Tliis description of An sich is pertinent in every application of 
the term, whether to the all of things or any single particular 
whole ; it is a constituent in the thinking of every whole. The 
universe has no advantage in this respect over this little crystal. 
This gives a glimpse into the constitution of thought as thought; 
of which, it is not right to say that it is subject to sucli and such 
poles, but rather that these are just its modi and constitute it so 
and so; thought is just such. 

Second, objectively, of everything we may form a notion, but 
the notion is no true notion unless it correspond to its object. 
Call the object Seyn now, then obviously Seyn is just the Notion 
but as yet an sich, in itself, potentially that is. Or, take it, in a 
slightly other way. Existence, as it is there before us, or here 
with us, is just God s Notion; but in this form, it is only the 
Notion in itself, occultly, latently, undemonstrated by explanation 
and development. Again, the phrase may be taken historically 
objectively, as symbolising the first stage of thought historically. 
The hoof of Seyn breaks up into the fingers (Bestiiumungen), 
which also are (sind or sind seyend). As thus separated, they are 
to each other, other. 

A setting out of the Notion as here in itself, or a going into 
itself of Being. This susceptible of the same points of view: 
First, subjectively, I set myself out of myself, or I develop myself; 
and this just amounts again to I go into myself. The reference 
to me, of course, to be universalised into reference to the whole or 
any whole. 

There are four forms shadowed out then: 1. The first subject; 
2. The present sensuous object ; 3. History as applied to Thought ; 
4. The Notion qua notion, without distinction of object. The 
three first are but illustrative of the last. 

The second forms of a sphere are the finite (the fingers of the 
hoof). The importance of thinking through predicates and 
eliminating the subject as an entity of mere supposition and 
conception: this is the root of the multi-applicability of the 
Hegelian discussion. 

Theirs/!, the beginning, cannot be a product or result ; neither 
can it contain more than one significate. The beginning must be 
an absolutely first, and also an absolutely simple; were it either a 
derivative or a compound, it would contradict itself and be no 
beginning. But when we can say, it is, I am, &c., we have a 
beginning. The beginning of a thing is when it is. As with a 


part, so with the whole. The am or is is the absolutely first 
predicate that can be attached. To begin an examination of 
thought, then, (logic), is to begin with A in the alphabet of pre 
dication, is to begin witli the absolutely first predicate, and that is 
Being. In this shape, it is pure thought; it is utterly indeter 
minate, incoiupound, and inderivative or first. Thought is but 
predication, an ascription or attribution of predicates ; for predicate 
in the thinking subject corresponds to specificate in the thought 
object; i.e. these are identical, because the specificate can only 
exist in thought as predicate. The latter term, then, is the 
preferable in a system of logic. 

Seyn is pure abstraction. Something of the Hegelian, peculiar 
use of the word, as the separation and isolation effected by the 
analysing understanding, floats here. Suppose we apply, as 
regards Non-being, the four forms previously applied to Being. 
1. The first subject: it is evident / am in such position 
(first subject) is equal to I am not or nought as yet. 2. The 
present sensuous object also is and is not, for it properly is 
only in its absolutely first principle. 3. History as applied : 
at A, thought both was and was not. 4. The notion qua notion : 
it is in itself, and not as it is there. That it is, then, is also that 
it is not. Even as that outward Seyn, it is not as not, me, &c. 
But it is only necessary to think Being in abstract generality. 

The absolute is an affair of thought, it is not just as much as it 
is : for what is is a variety ; there is not only identity, but difference 
also. An absolute cannot be thought without a non-absolute. 
It is the non-absolute that gives the cue to the absolute. So 
when when we ask what a thing is which is the same as asking 
what is it in itself we imply by the very question that it is not, 
or why the question ? It is the non-being that gives the cue to 
the being. Here is a crystal of salt : we ask, what is it ? Tlie 
very question involves that as it is, it is not. Thought is itself 
evidently just so constituted ; it has opposite poles. Nothing, 
then, is thus a definition of the absolute. The Absolute is 
Nothing. There is only the absolute and the non-absolute. 
Only the synthesis is; neither of its antitheses per se is. Pure 
Seyn is the absolute Negative of whatever is: it is the Absolute, 
&c. This seen in the Thing-in-itself, in God as merely abstract 
supreme being of enlightenment, &c. The Nothing of Buddha is 
precisely the same abstraction. We seek the universal of Being 
by abstracting from every particular being, and the resultant 


abstraction in which we land is precisely the same entity, however 
we name it whether Being or Nothing whether the Itre supreme 
of Voltaire or the nothing of Buddha. 

What is, is thought, concrete thought, that, of itself, determines 
itself, thus and thus. The empirical ego of you or me with 
all its empirical realities it and these but forms of thought 
modi of the great sea. This great sea still is, truly is, is great and 
the all, though in me, though in you. The my and me, the you 
and yours, the in me, the in you, are but constituents of the sea, 
and can be so placed as to become mere pebbles and cockle-shells 
by it. I deceive myself, you deceive yourself: /, this /, and my, 
and all mine, you and yours, and he and his, but mere straws 
blowing beside the sea. It is my error a case applicable to you 
and him, and each of us to think them me, true me. These me, 
true me are only that ocean and that one crystal-drop, that 
infinite of space and that one eye-gleam, that unreachable all and 
that invisible point, that everywhere and that nowhere Thought, 

Our discontent with the abstractions Seyn and Nichts arises 
from their own proper life. They tend of themselves further, 
that is, to further specification. This attaches to the true idea of 
a true beginning. Freedom, as form of Nothing, shows the 
necessity of the existence of Nothing. 

Nothing is the same as Being. This is partly as taking each 
abstractly ; but the other meaning hovers near also. The Seyn as 
Ansichseyn is really the same as Nothing. Determinate Is, is 
built around a womb of nothing, which wornb is also called the 
Seyn. They are thus together Becoming : what is become was not, 
but is. The crust upon the gulf which is the womb of all, holds at 
once of Being and of Non-being : if it is this, it is not that ; it is 
not all, it is but part ; that is, it is limited, negated, or contains 
Nothing quite as much as Being. Said womb, too, being the 
absolute A and source and base of all, is the veritable is; the 
other veritably is not, its is is elsewhere, its is is in another. 
Every whole is similarly placed ; every whole is similarly a 
womb of nothing and being. It is in this womb, which is 
nothing, that it veritably is; and from it, this nothing, it is, that it 
develops, that it draws what it is. But this drawing or develop 
ment is just Becoming. Becoming, then, contains both, and is 
the truth of both. A system of monads thus, and of monads in 
monads and a monad. 

The elements of Something are reality and negation negation 


that is an otherwise-being. This latter is form ; it is not the reality, 
it is form and may vary without affecting the reality. It is thus 
an otherwise-being of the Eeality itself: it is thus the other of 
the Eeality ; it is there where the other also finds its other, its 
bar, its halt ; it is the general region of otherness, of distinction, 
separation, discrimination ; it is being-for-other, as it is that of the 
being that alone is for the other ; it is there being-for-other also 
as regards its own self; it is also its being by or with the other ; 
it is there where it is wholly for the other, for distinction, &c. 
(Realise this by reference to yourself as a Something. Your 
naturality, your personality, is your being-for-other; but are you 
in any part of that person ? It is other than your reality.) Other 
wise-being is a predicable of each and all, for by the otherwise-being 
only is it capable of discrimination : it is there where its being is 
for another. 

Something becomes another. This process endless, ceaseless, 
but what is othered is just the other. The something thus retains 
itself. It is thus the true infinite ; that, that going over into 
another, retains, in this going over and in this other, distinct 
reference to its own self. This the substance or substratum of 
Kant and Spinoza. In this process, too, or in this notion of Kant 
and Spinoza, lies Being-for-self (Fiirsichseyn), or self-reference and 
self-retention. Despite the other and othering, that which is, still 
is for itself and by itself, and with itself. This the true infinite 
which remains and abides the negation of the negation the 
mediating process of itself with itself not the bastard infinite 
that arises from mere repetition of alternation, and ends in an 
6bahi and so on ad infinitum ! It is our own fault if we make 
absolute the mere other, the mere finite and changeable. 

With Self-reference (Being-for-self) the principle of Ideality 
appears ; it is here we refer to something that does not exist as 
there or here, as a This, in outside crust, but that is ideally there 
in the centre the substance of Spinoza, the substrate of Kant, 
the absolute of Hegel. The finite is reality, but its truth is its 
ideality. The infinite of the understanding even the spurious 
one is ideal. Here we see that all philosophy, as it idealises 
reality, is idealism. 

To be for, by, and with one s own self, this is the Fiirsichseyn, 
and it is the substance or substrate of Kant, &c. Hegel s phrase is 
its perfect abstract expression. 

One bottom principle God must be assumed ; but thus all 


change is quite indifferent, and the true infinite is this bottom 
principle that abides. The surface endlessness of difference is but 
a spurious infinite. 

Self-reference is immediacy, no result of interinediacy ; it is 
directly first and present, it is inderivative, it is uncaused ; it is A, 
it is the first, the absolute but as negation of negation. The 
negativity of self-reference involves the exclusion of other units 
from the one unit; as, for example, the distinction of my me from 
my empirical affections and experiences. The one self-reference, 
thus the single unit flows over into many. This the vital cell 
from which arises the whole chapter on Fiirsichseyn. This chapter 
developing thus One and Many, Attraction and Eepulsion, &c., 
mediates the transition from Quality to Quantity, and becomes 
itself readily intelligible. 

The repulsion of the Ones will probably appear forced and 
artificial, however perhaps, at best ingenious. To the musing 
mind, it has a certain credibility. Suppose a subject of the 
Werden, suppose a beginning and progressing consciousness, the 
first thought presumably will be am, which is tantamount to is. 
Such is is but nothing, and must give rise to such thought ; but 
the not has also is, or positivity, that is, there becomes. But if 
there becomes or arises, there also departs or ceases ; while, at the 
same time, there is between both the quasi-stable moment of there 
is there. Attention is now directed to this quasi-stable moment as 
such. It has reality, it has determinateness, it implies another, it 
becomes other, and that equally other. It is thus limited and 
alterable ; but in the midst of this, the subject, the consciousness, 
remains by itself and for itself. It is one. But this one, as so 
produced, as affirmative to self and negative to other, implies 
several ones, &c. It is possible to figure what is for itself as some 
thing with qualities a crystal of salt in which case there is a 
mean of passage from the one to the many. Absolutise this 
crystal to the world: the one is the many, the many the one or 
the whole of many, which is Quantity. 

That there is, there must have been not. That not is is, there 
must have been becomes. But becomes is negative positivity, or it 
involves quality. -But quality, as what it is, is reality ; and as 
what it is not, it is determinateness. But reality with determin 
ateness, or determinate reality, is something. Something, as far 
as it is, as far as it has reality, is in itself; while so far as it is 
determinate, or as far as it has form, it has an element of other- 


ness ; for form is where something is other, where it may be 
othered while it at the same time remains unaffected. Deter- 
minateness is thus the otherwise-being of the something, it is 
where the being of the something is with other. There also is it 
that there is the general region of otherness the region of 
separation, distinction, discrimination. It is there where the other 
and all others are separated from the something. It is there 
where the something is, in every reference, for other. It is there 
where the something is for, by, and with its own other. The 
two factors or constituent elements of the something, then, are 
Ansichseyn and Seyn-fiir-Anderes, or the quality to be in self and 
the quality to be for other ; in which latter phrase, the for is 
equivalent to for, by, and with. Where the something is for, by, 
and with, another, however, it is there precisely that the bound 
or limit falls. Something thus, then, is bounded, limited, or 
finite. It has also, as we have seen, an element of otherness in 
itself. In fact, the other involved by limit is itself something. 
Something then becomes something, or the other becomes other, 
ad infinitum. But as it is only the other that is othered, the Self 
remains for, by, and with itself. But this Being-for-self, the true 
Infinite, is a principle of ideality, &c. &c. One cell is thus formed 
a self-subsistent monad ; for self-reference is self-presence or 
immediacy. As excluding the other, it is absolute. 

But even thus, must we not say Hegelianism is the crystal of 
Naturalism ? 

After all, the navel-string and mother-cake of Hegel are still 
the desiderata. Where does he attach to ? whence is he ? Well, 
these are multiform ; they may be found generally in the history 
of philosophy. The absolutely first radical is sum, which, 
objectified, becomes est and so on. Fichte s beginning can be 
shown to lead to Hegel s, as also Schelling s principle, &c. &c. 
Then there is a beginning findable in this way, that lie just takes 
up the actual as he finds it, and sorts it and names it in liis own 
fashion, and as it leads him. Or he says, God is the Wesen, and God 
is a Spirit ; and matter, &c., as made by him, can be called just 
his other. He is thought ; but as having made matter, this also 
is his that is, it is just his other. But materiality is in itself 
just the other of spirituality: the one outer, the other inner; the 
one extense, the other intense, &c. &c. : in fact, there are the Two. 

This view not without consolation. The superior actual is 
certainly thought, which uses up matter as mere aliment, and 


converts it into its own element. Such is the process, the trans 
formation of the Natural into the Spiritual. Death of the Natural 
is a matter of course, then ; but that involves as always a 
step higher, and there is no destruction. Again matter is itself 
thought. The nearest actual is, after all, the subjective moment 
of thought. The element of despair lies in the inessentiality of 
the particular, of the singular subject. Still the singular subject 
in himself is the Objective, &c. The sheet-anchor of hope is 

The immortality probably no concern of Hegel s ; he is above 
all doubt or anxiety or thought in that respect with his views of 
Matter, Thought, Spirit, the Absolute generally. His God, then, 
is le Dieu Absolu, that which is, but that is Thought, Spirit: moi, 
je suis 1 Absolu ; toi, tu es 1 Absolu ; lui, il est 1 Absolu: il faut 
que nous nous prosternions devant 1 Absolu, ce qui est notre 
mystere, notre vie essentielle, notre vrai nous-meme, 1 Universel, 
ce qui est, le vrai, le tout, le seul ! (The reversion to French here 
involuntary somehow !) 

There is a certain justification for the Hegelian God-man histori 
cally, not only in the outward Christ, but in the fact that, whereas 
formerly one s God was foreign and external to oneself in a priest, 
&c., and to be propitiated externally by a sacrifice, by rites, &c., 
the mind (reason) is now a law in conscience unto its own self, 
that it obeys God in obeying itself. This, in short, is the identifi 
cation of man s essential reason with the Divine nature. Thus, 
then, God is no longer an outer, an other, but within, and Us. 
Hegel must have largely in view this historical alteration of the 
historical standpoint. How finely he says : No proof would ever, 
or could ever, have been offered of God s existence, had our know 
ledge of and belief in such existence been obliged to wait for the 


The preceding Notes, though not to be regarded as expressive of 
definitive conclusions in any reference, will, nevertheless, assist 
such ; and so justify of themselves, we hope, their respite from 
fire. They are not, we are disposed to believe, hard to understand; 
and a reader who has any interest in the subject may be expected, 
we shall say, to read them pretty well through. But this effected, 


there will result, surely, some amount of familiarity with a variety 
of the leading notions and peculiar terms involved ; a familiarity 
which must somewhat mitigate the shock of the abrupt steepness, 
the strangeness and the difficulty of the access, which Hegel him 
self accords. The r61e to be assigned to thought as thought, for 
example the metaphysic of a beginning, the nature of abstract 
being, the special significations to be attached to abstraction, 
understanding, reason, &c. all this, and other such matter, must, 
as regards intelligibility and currency, very much gain to the 
reader as his consideration proceeds. A slight glimpse, too, of the 
genetic history of the subject may not be wanting. One or two of 
the summaries, again that is, if long separation from them may 
allow me to speak as a stranger in their regard will be found, 
perhaps, so far as they go, not without spirit and not without 
accuracy, nor yet failing, it may be, in something of that dialectic 
nexus without which Hegel can but yield up the ghost, leaving 
the structure he has raised to tumble all abroad into the thousand 
disconnected clauses of a mere etymological discursus. 

To such readers as approach Hegel with prejudice and precon 
ceived aversion, even the objections and vituperations which we 
have unsparingly but possibly quite gratuitously expended in 
his regard, may prove, on a sort of homoeopathic principle, not 
only congenial, but remedial. The charlatan of Schopenhauer 
is, perhaps, the ugliest of all the missiles which have ever yet been 
flung at Hegel ; but others quite as ugly will be found under C. 
and D. of the present chapter, and it is only the peculiarity of 
their place, together with the hope of service, which can excuse 
us for exhibiting them. 

On this head, it may be worth while remarking that it is quite 
possible that Rosenkranz, who chronicles this reproach of Schopen 
hauer, is himself not without a certain complacency in view of the 
same. Not improbably, even as he chronicles it, though with 
rejection of course, he feels at the same time that there exists in 
Hegel a side where it is at least intelligible. It was an age of 
systems, and Hegel produced his. Nor did he feel, the while, 
under any obligation to explain it, or account for it, or, in any way, 
make it down. To him, it was enough that he had produced it ; 
there it was; let the reader make what he could of it ! But just 
here lay the difficulty ! With the others with Kant, with Fichte, 
with Schelling there was a perceived and received beginning, 
there was an understood method, above all, there was a univer- 


sally intelligible speech. But, Hegel ! Hegel had changed all 
that. The ball he flung down to us showed no clue ; the principles 
that underlay the winding of it, were undiscoverable ; and what 
professed to be the explication was a tongue unknown ; not the 
less unknown, indeed, but the more exasperating, that it was 
couched, for the most part, in the oldest and commonest of terms. 
Yet still all previous great ones looking small and inferior when 
dressed in its forms it was seen, indirectly in this and directly in 
other respects, to involve claims and pretensions of a dominant and 
even domineering supremacy. Nay, though at once the necessity 
and the hopelessness of investigation were felt (necessity, in that 
there could be no security till a competent jury had sat on that 
laborious rope of the Hegelian categories, and, after due inspection, 
pronounced its sufficiency ; hopelessness, in that the very nature 
of the case seemed somehow to postpone the possibility of this 
inquiry into an indefinite future) the very paramountcy of the 
pretensions, the very inextricability of the proof, had, with a public 
so prepared as then, strange power to dazzle, seduce, or overawe 
into acquiescence. 

Nor was this hid from Hegel himself ; so that there necessarily 
arose on his part, as well as on that of his hearers, such secret con 
sciousness as gradually infected and undermined whatever frank 
ness the mutual relation might have originally contained. To be 
obliged to speak, as to be obliged to hear, what is felt to be only 
half understood, is to be very peculiarly placed ; and the develop 
ment, in such circumstances, of a certain bias, of a certain 
disingenuousness, will, in hearer as well as speaker, be hardly 
prevented. Distrust grows in both; distrust, which assertion in 
the one, as acceptance in the other, strives vainly to overbid. You, 
on the one side, show possession of what is taken for a mystery of 
price; why blow away, then, -you feel, this mystery, and conse 
quently this price, by any indiscreet simplicity of speech ? You, 
on the other side, again, are credited with understanding the same; 
and the feathers of everyone concerned are flattered the right way 
when you smile the smile of the initiated not but that all the 
while, to be sure, the very fibres of your midriff are cramped to 
agony with your unavailing efforts to discern. 

But there is no necessity to go so far as this in either case. The 
bias to both, consequent on an equivocal claim, made on the one 
hand, and granted on the other, suffices. The relations in such a 
case are unsound, the common-ground largely factitious, and frank- 


ness there can be none. What results is a readiness to fall into 
loudness and let us say here effrontingness, over which hangs 
ever an air of fraudulence. 

Again, scholars, men of letters, are, for the most part, by original 
constitution, and acquired habits the latter from seclusion mainly 
that is, both in temperament and temper, keen, intense, single- 
sighted, and precipitate; naturally prone, therefore, to exhibit 
a certain unsparingness, a certain inconsiderate thoroughness, a 
certain unwitting procacity, as well in demonstrating the failures 
of others as the successes of themselves. Now this element has 
decided place in Hegel. This it is that prompts the unnecessary 
bitterness of his antagonistic criticism, as in the case of Kant, 
where, from the good, honest, sincere, moderate, and modest soul 
that fronted him, provocation was impossible, and where, indeed, 
grace, if not gratitude, should have reduced him to respectfulness 
as in the presence of the quarry of his own whole wealth. 

There is a side in Hegel, then, where the charlatan of Schopen 
hauer may have at least appeared intelligible even to Eosenkranz. 
Nay, Rosenkranz himself, in telling us (first words of his Wissen- 
schaft der logischen Idee) that, in his case, the study of Hegel has 
been the devotion of a life, alternately attracted and repelled/ 
virtually admits that a taint of doubt will penetrate even to the 
simplest faith and the most righteous inclination. On the whole, 
the conclusion may be considered legitimate then, that, from the 
circumstances explained, there is apt to fall on Hegel a certain air 
as it were of an adventurer, which it takes all his own native force, 
all his own genuine weight, all his own indisputable fulness to 
support and carry off, even in the eyes of those who, in his regard, 
cannot be considered superficial students. 

There is that in the above which may suggest, that it is not the 
spirit of the partisan which is to be anticipated here; where, 
indeed, the whole object is neither condemnation, nor vindication, 
but simply presentation, or re-presentation. To Hegel, that is, we 
would hold ourselves nakedly suscipient, as to the reader nakedly 
reflectent. And this is the nearest need at present, for Hegel 
hitherto has been but scantly understood anywhere ; receiving 
judgments, consequently, not only premature but stupid. This 
reminds me to say, what is hardly necessary, however, that the 
objections and vituperations which occur in this chapter are not 
judgments: they are but the student s travail cries. Again, it is 
to be noted that, if we judge not against, neither do we judge here 


for, Hegel. There has been too much difficulty to understand, to 
think as yet of judging; this will follow of itself, however, as soon 
as that has been effected. There is no seeking in all this to speak 
apologetically of Hegel ; such impertinent worldly squeamishness, 
did it exist, were what alone required apology. Hegel wants none. 
He is the greatest abstract thinker of Christianity, and closes the 
modern world as Aristotle the ancient. Nor can it be doubted but 
that much of what he has got to tell us is precisely that which is 
adapted to bring peace in our times, peace to the unquiet hearts 
of men, peace to the unquiet hearts of nations. 

The preceding Notes, then, will, it is hoped, prove useful, and 
constitute, on the whole, no ineffective introduction. In the suc 
ceeding chapters, the approach to Hegel becomes considerably 
closer, to end, as we believe, at last in arrival. 




THE paper, from which the present chapter principally derives, 
superscribed The Secret of Hegel, and signalised by formality of 
date, &c., has the tone of the contemporaneous record of some just- 
made discovery. This discovery, if not quite complete not yet 
the secret definitively home has certainly still its value, 
especially to the advancing learner ; but the tone is too spontane 
ous and extemporaneous to be pleasant now, and would, of itself, 
necessitate did no interest of the learner interfere considerable 
rescission, if not total suppression. Nevertheless, the interest of 
the learner shall be considered paramount, and the tone shall not 
be allowed to pretermit the paper itself: only, to avoid respective 
suicide, we shall give such turn to its statements as shall break 
the edge of what egoism the solitary student may exhibit to him 
self on emerging into the new horizon which, crowning his own 
efforts, the new height has suddenly opened to him. 

This morning, it is thus the paper a little grandiloquently 
opens, the secret of Hegel has at length risen clear and distinct 
before me, as a planet in the blue ; glimpses, previous glimpses, 
with inference to the whole, it admits ; but it returns immediately 
again to this morning when the secret genesis of Hegel stood 
suddenly before me. 

Hegel/ the paper continues, makes the remark that he who 
perfectly reproduces to himself any system, is already beyond it ; 
and precisely this is what he himself accomplished and experi 
enced with reference to Kant. Now this is to be applied to the 
writer of the paper itself, who seems to think that he too has 
reproduced Kant, and that, accordingly, he has been lifted on 
this reproduction into sight of Hegel. But the pretension of the 
position does not escape him. Surely, he goes on to soliloquise, 


he cannot consider himself the first, surely he cannot consider 
himself the only one who has reached this vision, surely he 
cannot have the hardihood to say that Rosenkranz and Schwegler, 
for example, do not understand the very master in the study and 
exposition of whom they have employed their lives ! No, he 
cannot say that, that would be too much ; such men must be 
held to understand Hegel, and even infinitely better than at this 
moment he, who has still so much of the details to conquer. 
Still, it appears, he cannot help believing that there is a certain 
truth on his side, and that, even as regards these eminent 
Hegelians, so far as he has read them, he himself is the first who 
has discovered the whole secret of Hegel, and this because he is 
the first, perhaps, to see quite clearly and distinctly into the 
origin and genesis of his entire system from Kant. 

The manner in which these writers (we allow the manuscript 
to go on pretty much in its own way now), and others the like, 
work is not satisfactory as regards the reproduction of a system, 
which shall not only be correct and complete in itself, but which 
shall have the life and truth and actual breath in it that it had to 
its own author. Their position as regards Hegel, for example, is 
so that, while to him his system was a growth and alive, to them 
it is only a fabrication and dead. They take it to pieces and put 
it up again like so much machinery, so that it has always the 
artificial look of manufacture at will. They are Professors in 
short, and they study philosophy and expound philosophy as so 
much business. All that they say is academical and professional ; 
we hear only, as it were, the cold externality of division and 
classification for the instruction of boys. Such reproductions as 
theirs hang piecemeal on the most visible and unsatisfactory 
wires. They are not reproductions in fact ; they are but artificial 
and arbitrary re-assemblages.. But to re-assemble the limbs and 
organs of the dead body of any life, is not to re-create that life, 
and only such re-creation is it that can enable us to understand 
any system of the past. In the core-hitting words of Hegel 
himself, instead of occupying itself with the business in hand, 
such an industry is ever over it and out of it ; instead of abiding 
in it and forgetting itself in it, such thinking grasps ever after 
something else and other, and remains rather by its own self than 
that it is by the business in hand, or surrenders itself to it/ 

That these men, and others the like, have very fairly studied 
Hegel, and very fairly mastered Hegel, both in whole and detail, 


we doubt not at all ; neither do we at all doubt that many of 
them very fairly discern the general relations, though they are 
inclined to underrate, perhaps, the particular obligations, of Hegel 
to Kant. Still there is something knowing all this, and ad 
mitting all this, and acknowledging, moreover, that no claim had 
probably ever yet a more equivocal look, we feel still as if we 
must in short, the claim of discovery is repeated. 

For that there is a secret of Hegel, and that there is a key 
necessary to this secret, we verily believe Eosenkranz and 
Schwegler would themselves admit ; thereby, at all events, leav 
ing vacant space for us to occupy, if we can, and granting, on the 
whole, the unsatisfactoriness which we have already imputed to 
the statements or keys offered by themselves. Yes, there is a 
secret, and every man feels it, and every man asks for the key to 
it every man who approaches even so near as to look at this 
mysterious and inexplicable labyrinth of Hegel. Where does it 
begin, we ask, and how did it get this beginning, and what 
unheard of thing is this which is offered us as the clue with 
which we are to guide ourselves ? And what extraordinary 
yawning chasms gape there where we are cold to walk as on a 
broad smooth bridge connecting what to us is unconnected and 
incapable of connexion ! There is no air in this strange region ; 
we gasp for breath ; and, as Hegel himself allows us to say, we 
feel as if we were upside down, as if we were standing on our 
heads. What then is all this ? and where did it come from ? and 
where does it take to ? We cannot get a beginning to it ; it will 
not join on to anything else that we have either seen or heard ; 
and, when we throw ourselves into it, it is an element so strange 
and foreign to us that we are at once rejected and flung out out 
to our mother earth again, like so much rubbish that can neither 
assimilate nor be assimilated. 

Yes, something very strange and inexplicable it remains for the 
whole world ; and yet excites so vast an interest, so intense a 
curiosity that Academies offer rewards for explanations of it, and 
even pay the reward, though they get no more satisfactory 
response than that the curtain is the picture. How is this ? 
When, as it were, deputations are sent to them for the purpose, 
how is it that his own countrymen cannot give such an intelligible 
account of Hegel as shall enable Frenchmen and Englishmen to 
understand what it is he really means to say ? Yet the strange 
inconsistency of human nature ! Though this be an admitted fact 


now, we have heard, years ago, from his Chair, a Paris Professor 
(Saisset) declare his conscientious hatred of Hegel, and his resolu 
tion to combat him to the death, and this too in the interest of 
spiritualism ? Why the hatred, and why this resolution, if Hegel 
were not understood ? And why treat as the enemy of spiritual 
ism a man whose first word and whose last is Spirit, and only for 
the establishment of the existence of Spirit ? And in England, 
too, we are not less inconsequent. Sir William Hamilton, even 
years ago, was reputed to have entertained the notion that he had 
refuted Hegel, and yet Sir William Hamilton, at that time, knew 
so little of the position of Hegel, with whom his pretensions, 
nevertheless, claimed evidently the most intimate relations, that 
he classes him with Oken as a disciple of Schelling ! 

Sir William Hamilton, however, is not alone here : there are 
others of his countrymen who at least do not willingly remain 
behind him in precipitate procacity and pretentious levity. A 
knowledge of Kant, for example, that is adequate to the distinction 
of speculative and regulative! feels itself still strong enough to 
refute Hegel, having melted for itself his words into meaning at 
length by distilling them ! Another similar example shall tell 
us that it knows nothing of Hegel, and yet shall immediately 
proceed, nevertheless, to extend an express report on the Hegelian 
system ; knowing nothing here, and telling us no more, it yet 
shall crow over Hegel, in the most triumphant and victorious 
fashion, vouchsafing us in the end the information that Hegel s 
works are in twelve volumes ! and whispering in our ear the 
private opinion that Hegelianism is a kind of freemasonry, kept 
secret by the adepts in their grudge to spare others the labour it 
cost themselves ! 

Besides these German scholars who, in England, are situated 
thus with respect to Hegel, there is another class who, unable to 
read a word of German, will yet tell you, and really believe they 
are speaking truth the while, that they know all about Kant 
and Hegel, and the whole subject of German Philosophy. This 
class grounds its pretensions on General Literature. They have 
read certain review articles, and perhaps even certain historical 
summaries ; and, knowing what is there said on such and such 
subjects, they believe they know these subjects. There never was 
a greater mistake ! To sum up a man, and say he is a Pantheist, 
is to tell you not one single thing about him. Summaries only 
propagate ignorance, when used independently, and not merely rela- 


tively, as useful synopses and reminders to those who have already 
thoroughly mastered the whole subject in the entirety of its details. 

A large class say, we do not want to go into the bottom of 
these things, we only want a general idea of them, we only want 
to be well-informed people. This does not appear unreasonable on 
the whole, and there are departments of knowledge where general 
ideas can be given, and where these ideas can be used very 
legitimately in general conversation. But such general ideas are 
entirely impracticable as regards the modern philosophical systems. 
No general idea can convey these ; they must be swallowed in 
whole and in every part intellectually swallowed. We must pick 
up every crumb of them, else we shall fare like the Princess in the 
Arabian story, who is consumed to ashes by her necromantic 
adversary, because unhappily she had failed to pick up, when in 
the form of a bird, all the fragments which her enemy, in the 
course of their contest, had tumbled himself asunder into. 

To say Kant s is the Transcendental or Critical Idealism ; 
Fichte s, the Subjective Idealism ; Schelling s, the Objective 
Idealism ; and Hegel s, the Absolute Idealism : this is as nearly as 
possible to say nothing ! And yet people knowing this much and 
no more will converse, and discourse, and perorate, and decide 
conclusively upon the whole subject. 

No : it is much too soon to shut up these things in formulae and 
there leave them. These things must be understood before we 
can allow ourselves such perfunctoriness ; and to be understood, 
they must first be lived. Indeed, is not this haste of ours 
nowadays, and yet this glaum and grasp of ours at comprehensive 
ness, productive of most intolerable evils ? For instance, is it not 
veritable injustice of Emerson to talk of Hume as if his only 
title to consideration arose from a lucky thought in regard to 
causality ? Does not such an example as this show the evil of 
our overhasty formulating ? He who believes that even Hume 
has been yet thoroughly understood, formulated, and superseded, 
will make a mistake that will have very detrimental effects on his 
own development. 

These well-informed men, then, who conceive themselves 
privileged to talk of Kant and Hegel, because they have read the 
literary twaddle that exists at this present in their regard, would 
do well to open their eyes to the utter nothingness of such an 
acquirement in respect to such subjects. In reference to Hegel, 
Professor Ferrier sums up very tolerably correctly in the words 


already quoted; * Who has ever yet uttered one intelligible word 
about Hegel ? Not any of his countrymen, not any foreigner, 
seldom even himself, &c. Different from the rest, Mr .Ferrier, 
like a man of sense, does not proceed, immediately after having 
uttered such a. finding as this, to refute Hegel. When we hear of 
the worthy old Philister of an Edinburgh Professor, who, regularly 
:\s the year came round, at a certain part of his course, announced 
with the grave alacrity of self-belief in sight of one of its strong 
points, I shall now proceed to refute the doctrines of our late 
ingenious townsman, Mr David Hume, we laugh, and it seems 
quite natural and reasonable now to all of us that we should 
laugh. But how infinitely more strongly fortified is the position 
of the old Edinburgh Professor, relatively to Hume, than that of 
the (so to speak) new Edinburgh Professor (Sir William Hamilton 
say), relatively to Hegel ? Hume s writing is intelligible to the 
meanest capacity, so to speak; Hegel s, impenetrable to the 
highest. We know that the old Professor could understand the 
man he opposed so far, at least, as the words are concerned ; we 
know that the new could not understand Hegel, even so far as the 
words are concerned. We know this, for he admits this; and 
even asks But did Hegel understand himself ? 

Here is the secret of Hegel, or rather a schema to a key to it : 
Quantity Time and Space Empirical Eealities. 
This, of course, requires explanation. We suppose the reader 
to have mastered Kant through the preceding reproduction of his 
system.^ Well, if so, he will have little difficulty in realising to 
himself the fact that what we give as a schema to the secret of 
Hegel, is a schema of the whole Theoretic system of Kant in its 
main and substantial position. Quantity stands for the Categories 
in general, though it is here still looked at specially. Quantity, 
then, is an intellectual thought or Begriff, it is wholly abstract, it 
is wholly logical form. But in Time and Space, we have only 
another form of Quantity ; it is the same thought still, though in 
them in a state of outwardness ; the Category is inward Quantity ; 
the Perception is entirely the same thing outwardly. Then 

* See Preface, p. xxx. 

f The allusion is to a MS. The reader will necessarily be disappointed with this 
same schema to a key to the secret ; he will necessarily find it very meagre, very 
abstract. He will think better of it by and by, however, it is hoped ; as it is also 
hoped that after the full discussion of the subject as in relation to Kant, it will 
appear anything but meagre, and anything but abstract. (I may add now that 
the Text-Book to Kant represents the mentioned MS. New.) 


Empirical Eealities, so far as they are Quantities (what is other 
than Quantity in them has other Categories to correspond to it), 
are but a further potentiating of the outwardness of the thought 
Quantity, but a further materialisation, so to speak. Here lies 
the germ of the thought of Hegel that initiated his whole system. 
The universe is but a materialisation, but an externalisation, but a 
heterisation of certain thoughts : these may be named, these 
thoughts are, the thoughts of God. 

To take it so, God has made the world on these thoughts. In 
them, then, we know the thoughts of God, and, so far, God 
himself. Probably too, we may suppose Hegel to say, Kant has 
not discovered all the categories, could I but find others, could I 
find all of them, I should know then all the thoughts of God that 
presided at the creation of the universe. But that would just be 
so far to know God himself, God as he is in truth and without 
veil ( Hlille, best translated just hull here), that is, in his inward 
thought, without wrappage (hull or husk) of outward material 
form, God as he is in his eternal essence before the creation of 
the world and any finite Spirit. 

These Categories of Kant are general Thoughts. Time and 
Space are, according to Kant himself, but the ground-multiples, 
and still & priori, in which these categories repeat or exemplify 
themselves ; and after the fashion of, firstly, these ground-unities 
(the categories), and, secondly, these a priori ground-multiples of 
the same (time and space), must, thirdly, all created things 
manifest themselves. Kant conceived these relations subjectively, 
or from the point of view of our thought. Hegel conceives them 
objectively, or from the point of view of all thought. Kant said : 
We do not know what the things are, or what the things are 
in themselves (this is what is meant by the thing-ill -itself), for 
they must be received into us through media, and, being so 
received into us, they, so far as we are concerned, cease, so to 
speak, to be themselves, and are only affections of our sense, 
which become further worked up, but unknown to ourselves, iu 
our intellectual region, into a world objective, in that it constitutes 
what we know and perceive, and what we all know and perceive, 
and, what, in the intellectual element being capable there, but 
not in that of sense, of comparison, we can all agree upon (the 
distinctive feature of the only valuable meaning of objective) 
but subjective (as dependent simply on the peculiar construction of 
us) in its whole origin and fundamental nature. 


Hegel, for his part, will not view these principles of pure 
thought and pure sense as only subjective, as attributes that 
belong to us, and are only in us, as attributes only human : he 
considers them, on the contrary, as absolutely universal general 
principles on which, and according to which, the all or whole is 
formed and fashioned. The universe is one; and the principles of 
its structure are thoughts exemplifying themselves in pure fn priori 
forms of sense, and, through these again, in empirical objects. 
These empirical objects, then, are thus but as bodies to thoughts, 
or, rather, as material schemes and illustrations of intellectual 
notions. They are thus, then, externalised, materialised, or, better, 
heterised thoughts, (i.e.) thoughts in another form or mode ; that 
is, they are but the other of thought. Nay, the pure forms of 
sense, these pure multiples or manys, named Space and Time, are, 
themselves, but thoughts or notions in another form. Time in its 
succession of parts, and Space in such succession of parts, each is 
but perceptively what the notion Quantity is intellectually. They, 
then, too, are but thoughts in another form, and must rank, so far, 
with the empirical objects. We have thus, then, now the Universe 
composed only of Thought and its Other : thought meaning all the 
notions which we find implied in the structure of the world, all the 
thoughts, as we may express it otherwise, which were in God s mind 
when he formed the world, and according to which he formed the 
world, for God is a Spirit and thinks, and the forms of his thinking 
must be contained in his work. Nay, as God is a Spirit and thinks, 
his work can only be thought ; as God is a Spirit and thinks, the 
forms of his thinking must be, can only be That which is. In 
correct parlance, in rigorous accuracy, only God is. It is absurd to 
suppose the world other than the thought of God. The world 
then is thought, and not matter ; and, looked at from the proper 
side, it will show itself as such. But a judicious use of the 
schema of Kant enables us to do this. 

Quantity Time and Space Material Forms. 

Here is thought simply passing into types; into symbols that 
is, only into forms or modes of its own self. Properly viewed, 
then, the world is a system of thought, here abstract and there 
concrete. To that extent, this view is pantheistic ; for the world 
is seen as the thought of God, and so God. But, in the same way, 
all ordinary views are pantheistic ; for to each of them, name 
itself as it may, the world is the work of God, and so God : as 
the work of God, it is the product of his thought, the product 


of himself, and so himself. The pantheism of Hegel, then, is 
only a purer reverence to God than the pantheism of ordinary 
views, which, instead of hating Hegel, ought to hate only that 
materialism with which these ordinary views would seek to con 
found Hegel, but to which he is the polar opposite, to which he 
nourishes a holier hatred than they themselves. 

Here, then, we have arrived at the general conception of the 
system of Hegel : but this is, by a long way, not enough. Such 
general conception is the bridge that connects Hegel to the 
common ground of History, so that he is no longer insulated 
and unreachable, but can now be passed to in an easy and 
satisfactory manner. We see now that what he has to say 
springs from what preceded it ; we now know what he is about 
and what he aims at ; and we can thus follow him with intelli 
gence and satisfaction. But it is necessary to know a Hegel 

Kant had the idea, then, but he did not see all that it con 
tained, and it was quite useless so long as it remained in the 
limited form of principles of human thought. But Hegel him 
self, perhaps, could not have universalised or objectivised these 
principles of Kant, had he not been assisted by Fichte and 
Schelling. Kant showed that our world was a system of 
sensuous affection woven into connexion by the understanding, 
and, principally, by its universal notions, the categories. But 
Kant conceived these sensuous affections to be produced by 
the thing-in-itself or things in themselves, which, however, we 
could not know. Fichte now, seeing that these things in them 
selves were absolutely bare, naked, and void mere figments of 
thought, in fact conceived they might safely be omitted as 
suppositions, as not at all necessary to the fact, from which we 
might just as well begin at once, without feigning something 
quite unknown and idle as that beginning. All now, then, was 
a system of thought, and as yet subjective or human thought. 
For this seemingly baseless and foundationless new world, a 
fulcrum was found in the nature of self-consciousness. 

Till self-consciousness acts, no one can have the notion I/ 
no one can be an I. In other words, no one knows himself an 
I, feels himself an I, names himself an I, is an I, until 
there be an act of self-consciousness. In the very first act 
of self-consciousness, then, the I emerges, the I is born ; 
and before that it simply was not. But self-consciousness is 


just the I, self-consciousness can be set identical with the 
I : the I, therefore, as product of self-consciousness, is product 
of the I itself. The I is self-create, then. I start into 
existence, come into life, on the very first act of self-conscious 
ness. I then ( I was not an I before) am the product 
of my own act, of my own self-consciousness. Of course, I am 
not to figure my body and concrete personality here, but simply 
the fact that without self-consciousness nothing can be an c I 
to itself, and with the very first act of self-consciousness I 
begins. (We may say, too, what is, but is not to itself I, is 
as good as is not which, properly considered, is another clue to 
Hegel.) Here, then, is something self-created, and it is placed 
as the tortoise under this new world ; for it is from this point 
that Fichte attempts to deduce, by means of a series of opera 
tions of the thought of this I, the whole concretion of the 
universe. Although Fichte attained to a certain generality by 
stating his Ego to be the universal and not the individual Ego, 
still a certain amphiboly was scarcely to be avoided; and the 
system remained airy, limited, and unsatisfactory. 

Eichte had developed the outward world from the Ego, as the 
inferable contradictory of the latter that is, as the Non-ego; 
but Schelling now saw that the Non-ego was as essential a 
member in the whole as the Ego ; and he was led thus to place 
the two side by side, as equal, and, so to speak, parallel. Thus 
he came to the thought, that if from the Ego we can go to the 
Non-ego, it will be possible to pass through the same series 
reverse-wise, or from the Non-ego back to the Ego. That is, 
if we can develop Nature from Thought, we may be able also 
to find Thought the laws and forms of Thought in Nature 
itself. It is evident that Thought and Nature would be thus 
but two poles, two complemejitary poles, the one of Ideality, 
the other of Keality. But this conception of two poles neces 
sarily introduced also the notion of a centre in which they 
would cohere. This middle-point would thus be the focus, the 
supporting centre, from which all would radiate. That is to 
say, this middle-point would be the Absolute. But the absolute 
so conceived is a neutrum; it is neither ideal nor real, it is 
wholly indefinite and indeterminate. No wonder that to Oken, 
then, it presented itself as, and was named by him, the Null. 
But the general conception of an absolute and neutrum operated 
with fertility in another direction. Every I is just an I, 


and so we can throw aside the idea of subjectivity, and think 
of the absolute I : but the absolute I is Reason. Reason is 
ascribed to every man as that which constitutes his ego ; we 
can thus conceive Reason as per se, as independent of this par 
ticular subject and that particular subject, and as common to 
all. We can speak of Reason, then, as now not subjective but 
objective. This new neutrum, this new absolute, it could not 
now cost much difficulty to identify and set equal with the 
former neutrum, or absolute, that was the centre of coherence 
to ideality and reality. But in Schelling s hands, supposing it to 
have been originally his own, it remained still wholly indefinite, 
vacuous, idle : it required, in short, the finishing touch of Hegel. 

We can conceive now how Hegel was enabled to get beyond 
the limited subjective form of Kant s mere system of human 
knowledge, and convert that system into something universal 
and objective. The thing-in-itself had disappeared, individuals 
had disappeared ; there remained only an absolute, and this 
absolute was named Reason. But Hegel could see this absolute 
was a neutrum, this reason was a neutrum ; they were but names, 
and not one whit better than the thing-in-itself. But were the 
categories completed, were they co-articulated were they taken, 
not subjectively as man s, but objectively as God s, objectively 
just as Thought itself were this organic and organised whole 
then substituted for the idle and empty absolute neutrum of 
Schelling, the thing would be done ; what was wanted would 
be effected; there would result an absolute not idle and void, 
not unknown and indefinite, but an absolute identified with 
truth itself, and with truth in the whole system of its details. 
The Neutrum, the Reason, the Absolute of Schelling could be 
rescued from indeterminateness, from vacuity, from the nullity 
of a mere general notion, by setting in its place the Categories 
of Kant (but completed, &c.) as the thing, which before had been 
the name, Reason. You speak of Reason, says Hegel to Schelling, 
but here it actually is, here I show you what it is, here I bring it.* 

As yet, however, we still see only the general principle of Hegel, 
and the connexion in which it stands with, or the connexion in 
which it arose from, the labours of his predecessors. But such 
mere general principle is quite unsatisfactory. This, in fact, 
explains why summaries and the mere literature of the subject are 

* This is still to be supposed true, though, of course, both Fichte Und Schelling 
had each his own statement of the categories. (New.) 


so insufficient : the general principle remains an indefinite word 
a name merely till it gets the core and meaning and life of the 
particular. Probably the very best summary ever yet given of 
Kant is that of Schwegler, and it is very useful to him who already 
knows Kant ; but good as it is, it is only literature (see the vast 
difference between literary naming, and living, struggling, working 
thought, by comparing Schwegler s statement of Kant with Hegel s 
in the Encycloptedia !) it only characterises, it does not reproduce, 
and it is impossible for any one to learn Kant thence. We must 
see Hegel s principle closer still, then, if we would thoroughly 
understand it. We take a fresh departure then : 

Quantity Time and Space Empirical Objects. 

I have conceived by this scheme the possibility of presenting 
the world as a concrete whole so and so constituted, articulated, 
and rounded. But I have not done this I have only conceived 
it : that is, I have not demonstrated my conception ; I have not 
exhibited an actuality to which it corresponds. How set to work 
to realise this latter necessity, then ? The abstract, universal 
thoughts, which underlie the whole, and on which Kant has struck 
as categories, are evidently the first thing. I must not content 
myself with those of Kant ; I must satisfy myself as to whether 
there are not others. In fact, I must discover all the categories. 
But even should I discover all the categories, would that suffice ? 
Would there be anything vital or dynamical in a mere catalogue 
Must I not find a principle to connect them the one with the 
other a principle in accordance with which the one shall flow from 
the other ? Kant, by the necessity he has proclaimed of an archi 
tectonic principle, has rendered it henceforth for ever impossible for 
us to go to work rhapsodically, contented with what things come 
to hand, and as they come to hand. By the same necessity he has 
demonstrated the insufficiency* of his own method of uniting the 
elements of his matter the method of ordinary discussion, that is, 
of what Hegel invariably designates raisonnement. This raisonne- 
ment suppose we translate it reasonment is by Kant s own 
indirect showing no longer applicable where strict science, where 
rigorous deduction is concerned. Mere reasoning good sense, that 
simply begins, and ends, and marches as it will, limited by nothing 
but the necessity of being such as will pass current, that is, such 
as begins from the beginning conventionally thought or accepted 
by the common mind, and passes on by a like accepted method of 
ground after ground or reason after reason, which similarly approves 


itself to the common mind, almost on the test of tasting, is no 
longer enough. There is conviction now only in rigorous deduc 
tion from a rigorously established First. No ; after the hints of 
Kant, mere reasonment or intelligent discussion hither and thither, 
from argument to argument, ungrounded in its beginning, unse 
cured by necessity in its progress, will no longer answer. We are 
now bound to start from a ground, a principium, an absolutely first 
and inderivative. It will not do to start from an absolutely form 
less, mere abstract conception named by what would be serene 
philosophical wisdom, but what is really, with all its affectation, 
with all its airs of infallibility, mere thin superficiality and barren 
purism First Cause, &c. : Eeason will not stop there. Should we 
succeed in tracing the series of conditions up to that, we should 
not remain contented : the curiosity of what we name our reason 
would stir still, and set us a-wondering and a-wondering as to 
what could be the cause, what could be the beginning of the first 
cause itself. Philosophy, in short, is the universe thought ; and 
the universe will not be fully thought, if the first cause, &c., 
remain unthought. 

To complete philosophy, then, we must not only be able to think 
man, and the world in which he finds himself, but what we name 
God also. Only so can we arrive at completion ; only so can the 
all of things be once for all thought, and thus at length philosophy 
perfected. How are we to think a beginning to God, then ? It 
all lies in our scheme : Quantity Time and Space Empirical 

Quantity, standing for the categories in general, though itself 
but a single and even a subordinate category, is Reason, that but 
repeats itself in its other, Time and Space, and through these again 
in Empirical Objects. Reason, then, is the thing of things, the 
secret and centre of the whole. But Reason can be only fully 
inventoried, when we have fully inventoried the categories. But 
when we have done so, is it reasonable to suppose that they will 
remain an inventory, a catalogue ? Is it not likely that, as in 
their sum they constitute Reason, they will be held together by 
some mutual bond, and form in themselves, and by themselves, a 
complete system, an organised unity, with a life and perfection of 
its own ? Nay, even in Kant, even in the meagre discussion of 
the categories which he supplies, are there not hints that suggest 
an inward connexion between them ? Kant himself deduces 
Action, Power, Substance, &c., from Causality ; and in his discus- 


sion of Substance and Accident, do not similar inward connexions 
manifest themselves ? Even in Kant, though he conceives them 
as merely formal, and as absolutely void till filled by the multiple 
of, first, perception and then sense, they are seen to be more than 
formal ; they are seen even in themselves, even abstractly taken 
to possess a certain characteristic nature : even thus they seem 
to manifest the possession of certain properties the possession, in 
short, of what Hegel calls Inhalt ; a certain contained substance 
matter, essence ; a certain foiling of manifestible action, a certain 
Bestimmung in the sense not only of vocation and destination, but 
of possessing within themselves the principles which conduct to 
that end or destiny. 

This word Inhalt we shall translate Intent; and this meaning 
will be found in the end to accord sufficiently with its common one. 
Gehalt, in like manner, will be translated Content ; and we, in 
starting with Intent and Content in England, are not one whit 
worse off than Hegel himself was in starting with Inhalt and 
Gehalt in Germany. Use will make plain. The categories, then, 
even abstractly and apart from sense, may be supposed to possess 
a certain natural Intent, a certain natural filling, and so a certain 
natural life and movement of their own. 

Let me, then, we may suppose Hegel to continue, but find the 
complete catalogue of the categories, and with that the secret prin 
ciple on which they will rank, range and develop themselves ; 
let me effect this, and then I shall have perfectly a pure concrete 
Eeason, pure because abstract, in the sense that abstraction is made 
from all things of sense, and that we are alone here with what is 
intellectual only, but concrete, in the sense that we have here a 
mutually co-articulated, a completed, an organic, a living whole 
Eeason as it is in its own pure self, without a particle of matter, 
and so, to that extent and considering the source of that Eeason, 
God as he is without hull, before the creation of the world or a 
single finite intelligence. Nay, why demand more ? Why crave 
a Jenseits, a Beyond, to what we have ? Why should not that be 
the all ? Why should we not, realising all that we anticipate by 
the method suggested why should we not realise to ourselves the 
whole universe in its absolute oneness and completeness, and with 
the whole wealth of its inner mutual interdependent and co-arti 
culated elements ? Why not conceive an absolute Now and Here 
Eternity the Idea, the concrete Idea that which is the 
Absolute, the All ? We see the universe we find the eternal 


principles of thought on which it rests which constitute it ; why 
then go further ? Why feign more a Jenseits, an unknown, that is 
simply a Jenseits and an unknown, an unreachable, an unexistent ? 
No ; let us but think the universe truly, and we shall have truly 
entered into possession of the universal life, and of a world that 
needs no Indian tortoise for its pedestal and support. Pantheism ! 
you call out. Well, let it be pantheism, if it be pantheism to show 
and demonstrate that God is all in all that in him we live, move, 
and have our being that he is substance and that he is form, that 
he is the Absolute and the Infinite ! 

But conditioned cannot understand the unconditioned, you say ; 
the contingent cannot understand the absolute, finite cannot under 
stand the infinite; and in proof thereof you open certain boys 
puzzle-boxes of Time and Space, and impale me on the horns of 
certain infantile dilemmas. Well, these wonderful difficulties you 
will come to blush at yourselves, when you shall have seen for 
yourselves, and shall have simply endeavoured to see what I, 
Hegel, have given you to see. 

But what difficulty is there in the Infinite ? Let us go to fact, 
and not trouble ourselves with fictions and chimeras. Let us have 
things, and not logical forms (using this last phrase simply as it is 
now generally understood), and that is the business of philosophy, 
and this it is that you simply fail to see in my case ; that I give 
you things, namely, and not words ; that I conduct you face to 
face with the world as it is, and ask you to look into it : let us 
have things, then, and where is the difficulty of the Infinite? Is 
not the Infinite that which is? Is there any other infinite than 
that which is ? Has not that which is been from all eternity, and 
will it not be to all eternity ? Is not the Infinite, then, that which 
is ? And what are we sent here for ? Are we sent here simply 
to dig coals and drink wine, and get, each of us, the most we can 
for our own individual vanity and pride, and then rot ? What, 
after all, is the business of man here ? To advance in civilisation, 
you say. Well, is civilisation digging coals and drinking wine, &c. ; 
or is civilisation thought and the progress of thought ? Is there 
anything of any real value in the end but thinking ? Even in 
good feelings, what is the core and central life ? Is it not the good 
thought that is in them ? There is no feeling worthy of the name 
(tickling the soles of the feet, for example, is not worthy of the 
name) but is as dew around an idea ; and it is this idea which 
glances through it and gives it its whole reality and life. We are 


sent here to think, then that is admitted. But what are we sent 
to think ? Why, what but that which is and this is infinite ! 
Our business here, then, even to use your own language, is to think 
the Infinite. And where is the difficulty, if the instrument with 
which you approach the Infinite thought be itself infinite ? Is 
it not thought to thought ? Why should not thought be able to 
put its finger on the pulse of the Infinite, and tell its rhythinus 
and its movement and its life, as it is, and ever has been, and ever 
will be ? 

And the Absolute ! It is impossible to reach the Absolute ! 
What, then, is the Absolute ? Bring back your eyes from those 
puzzle-boxes of yours (Space and Time), which should be no 
puzzle-boxes, if, as you say you do, you understand and accept 
the teaching of Kant in their very respect ; bring back your eyes 
from those puzzle-boxes bring them back from looking so hope 
lessly vacuously into it is nothing else your own navel and 
just see what is the Absolute ? What does thought, in any one 
case whatever of its exercise, but seek the Absolute ? Thought, 
even in common life, when it asks why the last beer is sour, the 
new bread bitter, or its best clothes faded, seeks the Absolute. 
Thought, when it asked why an apple fell, sought the Absolute and 
found it, at least so far as outer matter is concerned. Thought, 
when, in Socrates, it interrogated the Particular for the General, 
many particular valours for the one universal valour, many 
particular virtues for the one universal virtue, sought the Absolute, 
and founded that principle of express generalisation and conscious 
induction which you yourself thankfully accept, though you 
ascribe it to another. Thought in Hume, when it asked the secret 
foundation of the reason of our ascription of effects to causes, 
sought the Absolute ; and if he did not find it, he put others, of 
whom I Hegel am the last, on the way to find it. What since the 
beginning of time, what in any corner of the earth, has philosophy, 
has thinking ever considered, but the Absolute? When Thales 
said water, it was the Absolute he meant. The Absolute is the 
fire of Anaximenes. The numbers of Pythagoras, the one of 
Parmenides, the flux of Heraclitus, the vovs of Anaxagoras, the 
substance of Spinoza, the matter of Condillac, what are all these 
but names that would designate and denote the Absolute ? What 
does science seek in all her inquiries ? Is it not explanation ? 
Is not explanation the assigning of reasons ? Are not these 
reasons in the form of Principles ? Is not each principle to all 


the particulars it subsumes, the Absolute ? And when will ex 
planation be complete, when will all reasons be assigned ? When 
but when we have seen the ultimate principle ? and the 
ultimate principle, whether in the parts or in the whole, may 
surely be named the Absolute. To tell us we cannot reach the 
Absolute, is to tell us not to think ; and we must think, for we 
are sent to think. To live is to think ; and to think is to seek 
an ultimate principle, and that is the Absolute. Nor have we 
anything to think but that which is, which is the Infinite. Merely 
to live, then, is to think the Infinite, and to think the Infinite is 
to seek the Absolute ; for to live is to think. Your Absolute and 
your Infinite may be, and I doubt not are, quite incomprehensible, 
for they are the chimeras of your own self-will ; whereas I confine 
myself to the realms of fact and the will of God. So on such points 
one might conceive Hegel to speak. 

Keason, then, and the things of Sense, constitute the universe. 
But the things of Sense are but types, symbols, metaphors of 
Eeasou are but Eeason in another form, are but the other of 
Reason. We have the same thing twice : here, inward or in 
tellectual ; and there, outward or sensuous. By inward and 
intellectual, however, it is not necessary to mean what pertains 
to the human subject : the inward and intellectual to which we 
allude, is an inward and intellectual belonging not specially to 
human beings as such, but an inward and intellectual in the form 
of universal principles of reason, which constitute the diamond 
net into the invisible meshes of which the material universe 
concretes itself. Eeason, then, is evidently the principle of the 
whole, the Absolute, for it is Itself and the Other. This, then, is 
the general form of the universal principle of the pulse that 
stirs the all of things. That, which being itself and its other, 
reassumes this other into its own unity. This, the general 
principle, will also be the particular, and will be found to apply 
to all and every subsidiary part and detail. 

Nay, what is this, after all, but another name for the method of 
Fichte that method by which he sought to deduce the all of 
things from the inherent nature of the universal ego ? His method 
is Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis ; or, in Hegel s phraseology 1, 
Eeason ; 2, its other ; 3, Eeason and its other. Now this, though 
summing up the whole, has a principle of movement in it, when 
applied, by which all particulars are carried up ever towards the 
general unity and completeness of the whole. 


If we are right in this idea, and if we but find all the categories, 
we shall find these flowing out of each other on this principle in 
such wise that we have only to look on in order to see the genesis 
of organic Eeason as a self-supported, self-maintained, self- 
moved life, which is the all of things, the ultimate principle, the 
Absolute. Supposing, then, the whole of reason thus to co- 
articulate and form itself, but independently of Sense, and to that 
extent abstractly, though in itself an intellectual concrete, it will 
not be difficult to see that it is only in obedience to the inherent 
nature, the inherent law, that, raised into entire completion in 
this abstract form, it now of necessity passes as a whole into its 
Other, which is Nature. For Nature, as a whole, is but the other 
of Eeason as a whole, and so always they must mutually correlate 
themselves. It is mere misconstruction and misapprehension to 
ask how the one passes into the other to ask for the transition of 
the one into the other. What we have before us here is not a 
mundane succession of cause and effect (such mundane successions 
have elsewhere their demonstrated position and connexion), but it 
is the Absolute, that which is, and just so do we find that which 
is, constituted. That which is, is at once Reason and Nature, but 
so that the latter is but the other of the former. 

If, then, we have correlated and co-articulated into a whole, 
the subordinate members or moments of Reason, it is evident that 
the completed system of Reason, now as a whole, as a one, will 
just similarly comport itself to its other, which is Nature. In 
like manner, too, as we found Reason per se to constitute a system, 
an organised whole of co-articulated notions, so we shall find 
Nature also to be a correspondent whole correspondent, that is, 
to Reason as a whole, and correspondent in its constitutive parts or 
moments to the constitutive parts or moments of Reason. The 
system of Nature, too, being completed, it is only in obedience to 
the general scheme that Reason will resume Nature into its own 
self, and will manifest itself as the unity, which is Spirit, and 
which is thus at length the final form and the final appellation 
of the Absolute : the Absolute is Spirit. And Spirit, too, 
similarly looked at and watched, will be found similarly to 
construct and constitute itself, till at last we shall reach the 
notion of the notion, and be able to realise, in whole and in part, 
the Idea, that which is, the Absolute.* And, on this height, it 

* "From the logical Idea the concrete Idea is distinguished as Spirit, and the 
absolutely concrete Idea as the absolute Spirit" (Hegel, WW. xvii. 172). (New.) 


will be found that it is with perfect intelligence we speak of 
Eeason, of the Idea, thus : 

The single thought which philosophy brings with it to the study of history 
is simply that of Reason : that it is Reason that rules the world ; that, in the 
history of the world, it is Reason which events obey. This thought, with 
respect to history, is a presupposition, but not with respect to philosophy. 
There by Speculative Science is it proved that Reason and this term shall 
suffice us on this occasion without any nearer discussion of the reference and 
relation involved to God that Reason is the substance as well as the infinite 
power, the infinite matter as well as the infinite form, of all natural and 
spiritual life. The substance is it, that, namely, whereby and wherein all 
Actuality has being and support. The infinite power is it, in that it is not so 
impotent as to be adequate to an ideal only, to something that only is to be 
and ought to be not so impotent as to exist only on the outside of reality, 
who knows where, as something special and peculiar in the heads of certain 
men. The infinite matter is it, entire essentiality and truth, the stuff, the 
material, which it gives to its own activity to work up ; for it requires not, 
like functions of the finite, the conditions of external and material means 
whence it may supply itself with aliment and objects of activity. So to speak, 
at its own self it feeds, and it is itself and for itself the material which itself 
works up. It is its own presupposition and its own absolute end, and for 
itself it realises this end out of the inner essence into the outer form of the 
natural and spiritual universe. That this Idea is the True, the Eternal, the 
absolutely Capable, that it reveals itself in the world, and that nothing reveals 
itself there but it, its honour and glory ; this, as has been said, is what is 
proved in philosophy, and is here assumed. * 

Such, then, we believe to be the secret origin and constitution 
of the system of Hegel. We do not -say, and Hegel does not say, 
that it is complete, and that no joining gapes. On the contrary, 
in the execution of the details, there will be much that will give 
pause. Still in this execution we may say as much as this on 
our own account all the great interests of mankind have been 
kindled into new lights by the touch of this master-hand ; and 
surely the general idea is one of the hugest that ever curdled in 
the thought of man. Hegel, indeed, so far as abstract thought is 
concerned, and so far as one can see at this moment, seems to 
have closed an era, and has named the all of things in such 
terms of thought as will, perhaps, remain essentially the same 
for the next thousand years. To all present outward appearance, 
at least, what Aristotle was to ancient Greece, Hegel is to 
modern Europe. 

We must see the obligations of Hegel to his predecessors, 

* Hegel, Phil of Hist., 3rd edition, pp. 12, 13. 


however, and among these, whatever may be due to Fichte and 
Schelling, Kant must be named the quarry. Still it is to be 
remarked that Hegel did not content himself with these, but 
that he subjected the whole wisdom of the ancients, and the 
whole history of philosophy, to a most thorough and searching 
inquest. And not that only : Hegel must not be conceived as a 
worker among books alone ; the actual universe as it is in history 
and present life was the real object of his study, and, as it mani 
fested itself, his system had also to adapt itself; and never, 
perhaps, was the all of things submitted to a more resistless 

Still the secret of Kant is the secret of Hegel also : it is the 
notion and only the notion which realises, that is, which trans 
mutes into meaning and perception, the particulars of sense. 
That the ego together with the method of Fichte, and the 
neutrum together with the correlated ideal and real of Schelling, 
also contributed much, no one can doubt. We can see, too, the 
corroborative decision he derived from his profound and laborious 
analysis of the ancients, and indeed of the whole history of 
philosophy. Still there remains to Hegel in himself such pene 
tration of insight, such forceful and compellative power as 
stamps him as yet the respective master of thought. 

NOTE 1. 

The transmutation of Kant into Hegel may be presented in yet 
another manner. Hegel s Idee is just Kant s Apperception, and 
the moments in the transformation are these : Apperception is 
the word for my essential reality and core, and this not only as 
regards my subject but as regards my object ; for it compels this 
object to conform, or rather transform itself to it. The object, 
that is, is a concretion of Apperception through its forms of space 
and time and the categories ; and empirical matter is but its 
contingent Other. What is permanent and universal in the object 
holds of Apperception. Apperception, however, is not specially 
mine: it is yours, it is his, it is theirs. There is a universal 
Apperception, then, and it, together with its empirical other, 
constitutes the universe. But, on the ideal system, the other of 
Apperception (the Thing-in-itself) is also itself Apperception. 
Apperception, then, is the universe. Hegel now had only to 
see into what Apperception consisted of, and then state it as the 


Idee. It is presented thus, as all we know and as complete in 
itself, so that we need not assume an unnecessary and redundant 
elsewhere a superfluous other side, or other place. The notion 
of Beyond or Ulteriority, this very notion itself must be conceived 
as forming part of our own system of notions. It should not be 
applied out of that system. We have but there is but this 
here and this now. 

NOTE 2. 

In thinking God, the necessity for the unity or identity of 
two contraries is obvious. Jacob Bohme saw into this with great 
lucidity. Boundless affirmation is a dead, dull, unconscious 
nonentity. Boundless extension were no universe. Limit is 
necessary to the realisation even of extension ; negation to that 
of affirmation. If there is to be a product, a thing with articula 
tions and distinctions in it, a system with rnanifestible properties 
and qualities, there must be a No as well as a Yes. Negation is 
quite as real as Affirmation. The mind is the same in the form 
of memory that it is in judgment : the mind, then, is not a mere 
Yes, it is a No also. Memory is not judgment ; this is not that ; 
but the one opposite does not cancel the other. In all distinction, 
the element effective of distinction works through negation : this 
is not that. Without negation, then, there were no distinction, 
that is, no manifestation, that is, no life. To think God, then, 
as alive and real, a principle of distinction, of negation must be 
thought in him that is, the unity or identity of contraries. 

There is a difficulty (on the Hegelian view) in connecting 
myself (as a single separate subject) with the universal object 
or all. It is difficult to perceive how I am related to it, how I 
birth from it, or decease into it, &c. &c. But this whole side, 
perhaps, is only an apparent difficulty. That which lives, and 
all that lives is thought ; I find my I to be a constituent 
moment o that all of thought. It is the subjective moment and 
absolutely necessary and essential to the life of the whole. In fact, 
just as when the logical notion (the all of the categories, the 
intellectual organic principles of the whole) is complete, it breaks 
through into nature in other words, when as complete in itself, 
it must, like every other moment in the system, relate itself to u 
its other, so the subject as other of the object is absolutely 
necessary, and they are mutually complementary, and so, both 
essential constituents in the all of things. 


This notion of a life which is thought, is the ground on which, 
presumably, after Hegel, we must rest the notion of the immor 
tality of the soul. We are moments in the great life : we are the 
great life : we are thought and we are life ; and nature and time 
do not master us who are Spirits, but we them which are but 
forms and pass. 

God again, in accordance with the same views, as related to a 
world of thought, may be looked at variously in philosophy, as 
the Absolute in religion, as the Father, the Creator, the Preserver, 
God, the inner verity, the Being whom we are to glorify, adore, 
obey, love. In the Hegelian system there is no contradiction in 
all this. The religious moment is as essential as the philosophical 
or the natural. 

Hegel s views can conciliate themselves also admirably with 
the revelation of the New Testament ; for his one object is also 
reconciliation, the reconciliation of man to God, of the abstract 
atom which man now is to the Substance of the Universe. 
Christianity in this way becomes congruent with the necessities 
of thought. History is a revelation, and in history, Christianity 
is the, revelation. It revealed to a world that sat amid its own 
ruins, with its garments rent, and its head in ashes, the religion of 
Vision, of Love, of sweet Submission. The Hegelian system supports 
and gives effect to every claim of this religion. And this, too, 
without any necessity to put out the eyes of the mind and 
abdicate reason ; this, too, with perfect acceptance of, and sub 
mission to, all the genuine results of criticism, whether French or 
German, though Hegel deprecates any such industry now, and 
thinks its purpose has been served. 

The philosophies of Kant and Hegel only give definiteness and 
distinction to the religion of Christ. In Christ the Vision was so 
utter into the glory and the beauty of the all that it passed into 
Love, which, in its turn, was so rich and utter that it passed into 
Submission, also itself the richest and sweetest ; and thus Percep 
tion, Emotion, Will coalesced and were the same, and the triple 
thread of man had satisfaction in its every term. Now to all this 
Vision, and Love, and Submission, Kant and Hegel give only the 
definiteness of the intellect; that is, they assist at the great 
espousals of Eeason and Faith. 

Hegel ascribes to Christ the revelation that God is man or that 
man is God. Now, there is a side to this truth (touched on 
already) which has escaped notice. Before Christ, God was 


external to man, and worship or obedience to him consisted in 
external ceremonies. But since Christ, God is inward to man : 
he is our conscience. We no longer ask the will of God from 
external oracles, from external signs, &c., but from our own 
selves : that is, we are now a law unto ourselves, we are to 
our own selves in the place of God, we are to ourselves God, God 
and man are identified. All that, indeed, lies in the principle, so 
dear to the children of the thin Enlightenment even, the right of 
private judgment. In this way, then, too, as in every way, is 
Christ the Mediator, the Eedeemer, the Saviour. 

The teaching of the Hegelian system as to the free-will of man, 
is decisive in its exhaustive comprehensiveness of view. The 
life of the All is to make itself for itself that which it is in itself 
that is, progressively to manifest itself, to make actual what is 
virtual, to show evolved, developed its inner secrets, to make its 
inner outer, or, best of all, in the phrase with which we began, 
to make itself for itself that which it is in itself. Now it is from 
this that the true nature of the free-will of man flows. So far as 
it is only as we are in ourselves that we can develop ourselves, 
there is necessity ; but, again, it is we ourselves that develop 
ourselves, which is freedom : both fall together in the notion of 
JReason ; which, to be free, is necessary. 

The following nearer glimpses, though later in date, cohere 
sufficiently with the preceding to be included in the same chapter. 
They are distinguished by the letters B, C, &c. for convenience of 
reference, though not distinguished in themselves by diversity of 


In every sense, Being is a reflexion from (or as against) Non- 
being. Assume God, and remain contented with such first, as the 
self-expiained and self-evident punctum saliens, then Creation, 
when it is, is a reflexion from and against the previous nothing, 
the nothing before it was. Assume thought (spirit) as the first, 
that runs through its own cycle from indefinite An-sich (In- 
itself) to the complete entelecheia of Fur-sich (For-itself), then 
Being (there is, or am) is a reflexion from and against Non- 
being. Assume a primal, material atom, then it is a reflexion 
against non-being, and without a background of non-being, 
unreceived into an element of non-being, progress, development of 


any kind, would be impossible. Every way, the first spark of 
affirmation is from and against an immediately precedent negation. 
The first ray of consciousness is felt to be developed as against 
and on occasion of, a realm of nothing. Being and nothing are 
indissoluble pairs : they are but obverse and reverse of the same 
thought, of the same fact ; and their identity is the secret of the 
world. Take either, you have the other also ; even when hid from 
you by the abstraction the abstractive power of your own 
understanding, it is not the less there. Try Nothing for a start, 
and seek thereby to annihilate Being, you will find the attempt in 
vain ; for, ever, even from the sea of Nothing, a corner of Being 
will pertinaciously emerge. In short, negation implies affirmation, 
and not less (nor more) the latter, the former. To negate 
(negation) is as much in rerum natura as to affirm (affirmation). 
They are ground-factors of the absolute of that which is, and 
which is, just because it is, just because it is and must be, 
nameable otherwise also thought. Diversity in identity as identity 
in diversity (but another expression of the one fact, the in 
dissoluble union of affirmation and negation) is the ultimate 
utterance to which thought can arrive on thinking out the 
problem of its own existence. This is but an abstraction it may 
be said. Granted ; it is but a formal enunciation ; nevertheless, 
let it be seen still that it names the ultimate substantial fact, and 
that the state of the case would remain the same suppose the 
world then to remain were every human being destroyed. To 
be sure, in thinking these thoughts we are always attended by a 
Vorstellung, we have always the conception something before our 
imagination and dominating our understanding. We say always, 
yes, identity in difference, difference in identity certainly; but 
then there must have been something in which there was the 
identity in difference, &c. There must have been a substantial 
something in which that formal and abstract thought was realised 
was seen to be true. But this seems self-contradictory. Now 
how remove this difficulty ? How reconcile ourselves to the 
discrepancy and divarication ? 

This can be done in no other way than by following out thought 
in all its directions, each of which will be found to terminate in 
it just is so. The primitive and radical constituent fact, or 
property of the all, of that which is, of the absolute, is just that 
affirmation and negation, identity and difference, being and 
nothing, must be taken together as constituting between them but 


a single truth. Either alone is but half a truth, either alone is 
meaningless, unsupported, evanescent, either alone, in fact, is no 
truth : throughout the whole wide universe, either alone exists 
not ; the vacuum itself is. If we would have truth, things as they 
arg, then we must take them together as a one identical something 
even in diversity. This, each can illustrate for himself by 
referring to any one member of the complement of the universe 
a stone, a coin, a river, a feeling, a thought. Nothing can be per 
ceived or conceived that has not this double nature, in which 
negation is not as necessary a moment of its constitution, as 
affirmation. In short, it is this, because it is not that ; that really 
just is, it is because it is not. Much private reflexion is required 
to substantiate all this to individual thought. Nevertheless, each 
faithful individual thinker will find in the end no other 

What is, then, is thought, whose own ground-constitution is 
affirmation and negation, identity and difference. It is easy to 
see that, if we commence, like the materialists, with a material 
atom and material forces, the conclusion will be the same. The 
progress disproves the possibility of absolute original identity. 
Starting with God, too, this result is immediate. God is a Spirit, 
God is thought. Thought, that is, is the ultimate element of the 
universe, and on thought does the whole universe sit. Proceeding 
from thought, the universe is in itself but thought, a concretion of 
thought if you will, still in itself but thought. But from this we 
have now a substantial, corresponding to our formal, first. 
Thought and its other, or God and his universe (a unity), this 
is the first fact, and affords a substantial support to the formal 
truth that identity and diversity, affirmation and negation, being 
and nothing, coalesce, or cohere in a single unity. Now assuming 
this to be the primal and rudimentary determination, all additional 
and progressively further such will be found but successive powers, 
successive involutions (potentiations) of this, and of this in its 
essential and native simplicity. The truth is not the one or the 
other, the truth is the one and the other, the truth is both. But 
this re-union (in the case of Nothing and Being) is not a return to 
the first identity ; the identity which now emerges is the higher 
one of Becoming. The thought that differentiates Being and 
Nothing, and then unites them, cannot do so without progress. 
This elaboration is a new step, and thought finds by its own act 
that it has arrived at the new and higher fact and thought of 


Becoming, for Becoming is the substantial union of Being and 
Non-being. No one can show anything in this world that 
absolutely is, or that absolutely is not ; everything that can be 
shown, neither is, nor is not, but becomes : no man has ever gone 
twice through the same street. Not only is the unity ever richer, 
but the very moments which formed it, become, when looked back 
upon, themselves richer. Being and Nothing formed Becoming; 
but these re-looked at in Becoming are seen now to be Origin 
and Decease, and so on. In short, thought is what is, and its own 
inner nature is to be as itself against its other, while its life or 
progress is to overtake and overpass this other, and re-identify 
it with its own self, but ever with a rise or increase. This will be 
found accurately to express the history of thought : this will be 
found accurately to express the history of the world. 

The pulse of thought, then, the pulse of the universe, is just 
this : that any whole of affirmation being complete, does not 
remain as such, but, developing its differences, passes over into its 
own opposite, a movement which further necessitates re-union in 
a higher form. Every concrete in rerum natura will prove the 
actual existence of this process. In the production of the 
mammifer, according to certain naturalists, animalcule, worm, fish, 
reptile, bird succeed each other, overthrow each other, so to speak 
with Hegel, refute each other, but this only by assumption each 
into its own self of that which it succeeds and supplants, attaining 
thus a higher form. Bud, flower, fruit, is the illustrative sequence 
of the Phaenomenologie to the same effect. Even so, thought, face 
to face only with its own abstract self, will be found to take on a 
succession of ascending phases, which ever as complete develop 
differences, pass into their opposites, and re-unite into higher 
unities, till a system results, whole within itself, and consisting of 
members which accurately correspond with the abstract universals 
which the ordinary processes of abstraction and generalisation 
have (hitherto in a miscellaneous, empirical, and unconnected 
manner rhapsodically, as Kant would say) pointed out from time 
to time in what exists around us. 

This system, again, now a whole, obeys the same law, and 
passes into its opposite, Nature, which opposite, becoming itself 
complete, re-unites with its co-ordinate, abstract thought, the 
notion, Logic, to the realisation of both in the higher form of 
Spirit. The three ultimate forms, then, are Notion, Nature, 
Spirit, each of which is a whole within itself, and all together 


unite into the crowning Unity, the Absolute, or the Absolute 
Spirit, which, as it were, giving the hand to, and placing itself 
under, the first notion, abstract being, substantiates its abstraction, 
and conjoins all into the system and light and satisfaction of an 
explained universe. 

This, truly, is the one object of Hegel : to find an ultimate 
expression in terms of exact thought for the entire universe both 
as a whole and in detail. It is not as if one took the ball of the 
world in his hand, and pointing out the clue, should seize it, and 
unwind all before us : but it certainly is, reverse-wise, as if one 
took the clue of the unwound ball, and wound it all on again. Or 
again, we may have observed some one hold a concrete, say a 
coagulum of blood, under a stream of water, till all colour dis 
appeared from the reticulated tissue, till, as it were,all matter (washed 
out of the/orra) disappeared, and left behind only pure form, trans 
parent form. Now this is just what Hegel desires to accomplish 
by existence. He holds the whole huge concrete under the 
stream of thought, he neglects no side of it, he leaves no nook of 
it un visited ; and he holds up at last, as it were, the resultant and 
explanatory diamond. In short, the philosophy of Hegel is the 
crystal of the universe : it is the universe thought, or the thought 
of the universe. 

But suppose we resign these pretensions, which may too readily 
seem extravagant, and take Hegel in a more every-day manner, 
we can still say this : That all questions which interest humanity 
have been by him subjected to such thought as, for subtlety, 
for comprehensive and accurate rigour, challenges what best 
thought has ever yet been so applied. In brief, in Hegel we have 
offered us principles, first principles, those principles which 
constitute the conscious or unconscious quest of each of us : 
theoretically as regards what we can know ; practically (or 
morally) as regards how we should act; and aesthetically as 
regards the legitimate application of feeling : and these three heads, 
it is plain, (the principles of politics, of course, included) must 
contain all that interests mankind : these three heads contain a 
response to the world s one want now ; for the world s one want 
now is principles. 


When one remains, a common case in the study of Hegel, 
unintelligent, on the outside, of his dialectic, one feels indeed on the 


outside ; and the terms take on a very forced and artificial look. 
One cannot help suspecting then, indeed, externality, labour from 
the outside, in Hegel also. However laborious (and consequently 
a serious sincerity in that respect), one gets to fear the presence 
of cunning in these deductions, of underhand intention, of 
interested purpose, of mere jesuistry, casuistry, and contrivance. 
The double edge seems to glitter so plainly all about ; this is said, 
and the opposite has been said, and it appears a matter of mere 
arbitrary choice whether it is the one or the other that is said and 
where and when, both being evidently equally sayable anywhere 
and anywhen, that conviction revolts, and the whole industry 
drops down piecemeal before us, a dead and disenchanted hull, an 
artificial externality, a mere dream of obliquity and bias, set up 
by the spasmodic effort and convulsive endeavour of a feverish 
ambition that, in ultimate analysis, is but vanity and impotent 
self-will. So shows Hegel when our own cloud invests him. But 
the cloud rising, lets the sun strike where it clung, and before 
us hangs an enchanted universe again, which a vast giant 

Entrance here may be effected thus (the remark concerns the 
discussion of causality) : 

Take causality : how is it to be explained ? No explanation 
has been worth the paper it covered with the exception of 
(Hume is most valuable, and an indispensable preliminary) 
those of Kant and Hegel. Kant s : a function of judgment 
original to the mind, involving a unity of an intellectual plurality ; 
a sensuous plurality, in two perceptive forms (space and time), 
sensuous, but original to the mind, independent of, and anterior to, 
any actual impression of sense : these are the elements to be con 
joined into the notion of causality. Well, the intellectual unity, 
which is the function of judgment named Eeason and Con 
sequent, is not a unity as such, but is a unity of a multiple, the 
terms of which are, 1, Eeason, and, 2, Consequent. The con 
junction involved here of a plurality to a unity is wholly 
intellectual, and may be called, looking to the form of its process, 
an intellectual schema. Suppose now another faculty besides 
judgment to be possessed originally, and of itself, from the first 
of a certain plurality which should be analogous to the plurality 
contained in the above function of judgment, would not conceiv 
ably faculty coincide with faculty, (each being equally in the 
mind), in such fashion that the plurality of the latter faculty 


might undergo the influence of the unitising function of the former 
faculty (judgment) to the production of another schema which 
should also be anterior to experience and original to the mind ? 
Productive Imagination, for example, which holds of sense in that 
it exhibits objects, and of intellect in that it is not necessarily 
beholden to any direct intervention of an actual act of special 
sense for these objects but may spontaneously produce them to 
itself, may be a faculty capable of exposing to the action of the 
functions of judgment pluralities of a sensuous nature but still 
such as are anterior to all actual sense. Productive Imagination is, 
indeed, nameable in general, only reproductive, for the objects it 
exhibits to itself are if spontaneously exhibited then, and with 
out any calling in of special sense then originally at least for 
the most part, products of sense ; but it may also merit the name 
productive simply, from this that it may possess in itself objects of 
its own and anterior to all action of sense whatever. But 
Imagination is present to Judgment, and the objects of the former 
are necessarily present to the functions of the latter ; there will, 
consequently, therefore, be conjunct results : one of these is 
Causality, a result of sensuous multiples (space and time) inherent 
a priori in Productive Imagination brought under that unitising 
function of Judgment named Reason and Consequent. Or, to 
take it more particularly once again : suppose that time and space 
present sensuous multiples analogous to the preceding intellectual 
multiple, and suppose these forms, though perceptive and sensuous, 
to be still independent of special sense, to be a priori, and to 
attach to the mind itself, to lie ready formed in the productive 
imaginative faculty of the mind, in fact, then this faculty, being 
intellectual, can be conceived capable of presenting its stuff, its 
multiples directly to the action of the various functional unities 
of judgment. This is conceivable, and it is conceivable also that 
the intellectual schema of judgment would reproduce itself as an 
imaginative, and, so far, sensuous schema out of the peculiar 
multiples, space and time, or that the intellectual schema, unity, 
notion would receive these (space and time) as stuff or matter in 
which to sensualise or realise itself. Reason and Consequent, then, 
which is an original function of judgment, and which represents an 
intellectual schema, or the intellectual unity of a multiple, being 
applied to an analogous multiple in productive imagination, which 
is the sequence of time, a sequence which is given necessary 
(what is second being incapable of preceding what is first in time, 


so far as time is as such concerned),* there may conceivably result 
an imaginative, and so far sensuous schema, which will only want 
the filling of actual (special) sense, of actual event, to come 
forward as cause and effect, which, though manifesting itself only 
in contingent matter (this amounts to the objection of Hume), will 
bring with it an element of necessity by reason of its intellectual 
or a priori elements (and this is Kant s special industry, his 
answer, or his complement to Hume). This is Kant s explanation, 
then. Looked at narrowly, it is a chain of definite links (how 
much of this chain did he see, who states Kant s Causality to be 
just a separate and peculiar mental principle ?), a system of definite 
machinery, attributing no new, depending only on old, constituents 
of the mind ; but this chain lies still evidently between two 
unknown presuppositions. The mind and its constitution con 
stitute the presupposition on the one side ; no basis of absolute 
and necessary connexion is assigned to it ; we have still loosely 
to ascribe it to the act and will of God that it is namely, 
and as it is. The other presupposition is absolutely unknown, 
absolutely blank things in themselves, which act on special 
sense to the development of effects in us, which effects we 
confound with the things, and which, as it were, clothing these 
unknown things in themselves, become to us the vast system of 
the outward and inward universe. There are thus two unknown 
things in themselves postulated by the theory of Kant, an 
outward acting on outer sense to the development of the outer 
world, and an inner (our absolute ego, but, as known only through 
media of sense, unknown in itself) acting on inner sense to the 
development of the inner world of feelings, &c. What we know, 
then, is, the effects on our senses, outward and inward (for Kant 
holds an inner sense for our own emotional states), of two unknown 
things in themselves, and the manipulation to which our faculties 
(as source of form) subject these effects (as stuff, or matter). 
This is the result of the Theoretical Philosophy of Kant. This 
result he complements, however, by a certainty gained practically 
of the existence of God, of Immortality and of Freewill, as 
expounded in his Practical Philosophy. The Theoretical world 

* It seems obligatory here to point to this : If the necessity of the time sequence 
conditions the necessity of the causal sequence, how account for the necessity, not 
of sequence, but of co-existence, in the relation of reciprocity, action and reaction ? 
Kant himself names the category of reciprocity even in connexion with that of 
causality. See here subsequent writings. (New.) 


belongs wholly to the Understanding (so far, at least, as all 
constitutive principles are concerned), and has no traffic (con- 
stitutively] but with the Conditioned. The Practical world, on the 
other hand, belongs wholly to Reason, and is in direct relation 
with the Unconditioned. The ^Esthetic world offers itself between 
these two extremes as belonging to (the only remaining cognitive 
faculty) Judgment, and as manifesting, at all events, a certain 
harmony between the Conditioned and the Unconditioned 
a certain possibility of relation between them, not indirect as 
through sense only, but direct also. So constituted are the three 
great Kritiken which expound the system of Kant ; a system 
which stands largely still in serious want of patiently intimate 
and comprehensive exposition. Hegel, for his part, has certainly 
given it the necessary study ; but, quite as certainly, he blinds an 
uninitiated reader, on the whole, to the magistral position of the 
action of Kant by loudness on the one hand, as by silence on the 

Now Hegel, and his theory of causality : 

The unknown things in themselves will not content him ; he 
must know them too, and accomplish a system of absolute know 
ledge. The first look at Causality in Hegel s hands is very dis 
appointing. Issuing from Substantiality and passing into Recipro 
city, as in Kant, what occurs between seems only an abstract 
description of the phenomena of causality. The description is very 
accurate certainly nay, rather, it is an exact reproduction of all 
the movements of our naked thought, when we explain, or, in 
general, deal with, any example whatever of concrete cause and 
effect. Now, it strikes us, to describe is not to explain. Kant gives 
a theory, in which we see an intelligible reason for this, and an 
intelligible reason for that, till all coheres to a system which would 
explain and account for precisely that which we wish explained 
and accounted for. Hegel does no such thing. He simply 
describes the fact in wonderfully penetrating abstract language 
certainly (which, however, it costs an agony of mental effort to 
follow and understand), but still it is just the fact, and as it pre 
sents itself there in experience. What are we to make of this 
then ? Are we to understand that abstract description is explana 
tion ? Is an absolute generalisation of causality, in such wise that 
we have an accurate characterisation which will adapt itself to 
every concrete example whatever, any accounting for the fact and 
the notion and the necessity of causality ? To be able to answer 


this question, is to understand Hegel. It is really so : Hegel s 
theory of causality is constituted by an abstract description of the 
absolute universal or general of causality. But just thus it consti 
tutes the notion causality : it gives position and development to the 
secret system of the movements of thought thought, in general, 
your thought, my thought, all thought in its regard. We see 
thus, as it were, the very secret maggots of our brain in motion. 
But this metaphor must not be dwelt on till it mislead. What we 
have to see here is that, after all, Hegel s description is, so to speak, 
not his description, nor anybody s description ; his description is 
the notion, and constitutes the notion, the notion causality. The 
notion here is not something belonging subjectively to Hegel, and 
subjectively described by him. The description is so that it is 
not subjective but objective ; the description is so that its move 
ments are the movements of the notion itself: in short, it is the 
notion itself that we have objectively before our minds then (if we 
have but realised the words), the notion in its own nature, in its 
own inner life and energy and movement. Again, as we have 
seen, it is transformed from one notion, and to another, it is but a 
transformation in a series of such. Now if we trace this series in 
either direction, we shall find it to consist of objective notions all 
similar to that of causality, all transformed from and to each other 
in an element of necessary thought, and this too with a beginning, 
a middle and an end which round into each other, and constitute 
together a self-complete system. Now this system is what Hegel 
names Logic. 

The question recurs, however, where is the explanation ? Where 
is the connexion with that which is with the world of reality ? 
After all, it is just abstract thought just the various thoughts 
which actual experience of sense occasions in us. We have derived 
these thoughts from experience and where is there any explana 
tion in them of experience and the world of experience ? Has not 
Hegel with his abstract scholasticism but simply returned to Locke 
(with whom all knowledge was a product of experience alone) ? 
And has the world ever seen a more complete case of self-stultifi 
cation, than this pretending to explain to himself, and this offering 
to explain to us, the whole mystery of existence, by an infinite 
series of abstract terms, which it took a lifetime to produce, and 
which it demands a lifetime in us intelligently to reproduce (the 
varieties in the form of the reproduction too being commensurate 
only with the individual readers) was ever, in short, self-stultifi- 


cation more complete and monstrous ? Are not the dicta of Locke 
and Hegel, though apparently a reversal the one of the other, after 
all identical ? Locke says, Notions are abstractions from Sensa 
tions ; while, for his part, Hegel says, Sensations are concretions 
from Notions : where, at bottom, is the difference ? Yes, but 
observe, Hegel s series is the organic system of thought complete 
so to speak, alive in itself. It is the thought of sensuous experi 
ence ; and it would be hard to say what sensuous experience were, 
apart from, and beside, this thought. It is sensuous experience in 
itself. Sensuous experience apart from it, does not seem a body / 
even. Sensuous experience can only be called the other of this. 
This is the pith, the truth, the reality, of sensuous experience, and 
sensuous experience itself beside it, is but its other. Yes, you 
object, but it is taken from sensuous experience it is the ultimate 
winnowing if you will, the crystal if you will, of sensuous experi 
ence but without preceding sensuous experience it could never 
have been acquired. Yes, we reply, but what matters that ? We 
do not wish it to be subjective thought ; it is objective thought ; it 
is thought really out there, if you will, in that incrustation that is 
named world. It, this world and all outer objects, are but sensu 
ous congeries, sensuous incrustations of these thoughts. Did a 
human subject not exist, it is conceivable that this congeries and 
incrustation would still exist ; and it would exist still a congeries 
and incrustation of objective thought. The universe, in fact, is but 
matter modelled on thought. Thought is a system, and this system 
is the universe, and the element of sense, or what we conceive as 
that element, is nothing as against this system, and can only be 
named with propriety the Other. 

But now, if all this be conceived as the Absolute, as simply that 
which is, is any other explanation required ? Thought is once for 
all as it is, and as it is, it has been developed before you in a 
necessary system. In this system causality has its own place. 
To demonstrate this necessary system of thought, and to demon 
strate the place there of causality, is to account for and explain 
causality. Such is Hegel s work : he does not move by reasons for 
this, and by reasons for that ; he rejects what he designates raison- 
nement, reasonment : he believes himself to have explained the 
universe, when he has demonstrated the notion and the necessary 
system of notions. To tell what is truly to tell what is this it is 
to Hegel to philosophise : and Hegel never seeks to transcend 
what is. That which is, is the Absolute ; and it will be enough if, 


sufficiently fortunate to find the clue, we should be able to unwind 
that which is, out before our eyes, into its whole system of neces 
sary moments with a necessary first and a necessary last that 
necessarily connect and cohere together. 

Thus Hegel : Thought is the real contents of the universe : in 
Nature, it is but as other, and in a system as other : in Spirit, it 
returns from Nature, its other, into its own self, is by its own self, 
and is its own energy. The Absolute Spirit, then, God, is the first 
and last, and the universe is but his difference and system of 
differences, in which individual subjectivities have but their part 
and place. Subjectivity, however, is the principle of central 
energy and life : it is the Absolute Form. The thought of subjec 
tivity again, that is, the thought it thinks, just amounts to the 
whole system of objective notions which are the absolute contents. 
Thus is man, as participant in the absolute form and the absolute 
matter, raised to that likeness with God of which the Bible speaks ; 
but God himself is not detracted from or rendered superfluous. 
Pantheism is true of Hegel s system, just as it is true of all others, 
Christianity and Materialism included ; and there is nothing in 
the system to disprove or discountenance a personal God, but on 
the contrary. 


Think the Universal, that is, Pure Being, or what is All in 
general and not any one Particular and such thought is a neces 
sity, we must sum up the universe in one, we must think Pure 
Being, we must think the Universal : it is all, but it has no bound, 
no mark, no line, no point, whether within or without it there is 
no within, there is no without, there is no spot in it, of colour, or 
plight, or opacity, there is not a checker anywhere descriable, it is 
signless, it is noteless, it is nothing, it is all and it is nothing, it is 
everywhere and it is nowhere ; it has identically the same character 
as nothing, or the same characterlessness. Try nothing : it yields 
the same result ; it is everywhere and nowhere, it is nothing and 
it is all, for existence as such follows necessarily such an assign 
ment as even that of nothing. Now here is the great difficulty 
how is the universal to become the particular, or how is the parti 
cular to get to the universal ? Only, one would say, by the 
addition of another. But this other any other contradicts the 
former universal. If there be this other, then the former was not 


the universal. Such must be the case unless the other be even in 
its otherness identical with the universal. But how is this conceiv 
able ? The same, yet not the same ! Identity, yet non-identity ! 
How can such opposites be implicated into formal unity, and 
difference annulled ? Nay, were such process accomplished, how 
from formal unity, an absolute simple, an absolute one, could 
plurality, multiplicity, variety be extricated and deduced ? Such 
simple, such one, must remain for ever simple, for ever one. Nay, 
remain, and for ever, are determinations inapplicable. What 
is attempted to be described, to be said, to be spoken, to be thought, 
is simply indescribable, unsayable, unspeakable, unthinkable. The 
proposition, then, is simply a non-ens, an impossibility. Its con 
ception is a conception simply, but as a conception that is incon 
ceivable, it must be named a mere arbitrary supposition of my 
own, a mere arbitrary position (attitude) of my own self, and which 
cannot be persisted in, mere Meynung, S6a, opinio, mine-ing, 
my-ing, or me-ing. But it cannot in reality be my d or me d : the 
universal must involve the particular, for it is othered, there is 
this diversified universe. 

The actual universal, then, is one which involves the particular. 
What is, then, is at once simple unal universal, and composite 
plural particular. This is the Infinite, the Eternal, the Never- 
ending, and the Nowhere-ending; and just so is it the Eternal, 
that it is itself and its other. Were it itself only, and not also its 
other, it were bounded, limited, finite ; it were obstructed, cabin d, 
cribbed, confined by this other ; it were itself metamorphosed into 
another by this other ; its infinity and universality were negated 
and denied, and we were forced to look further, to look beyond it 
for a truer universal that should, by embracing at once it and its 
other, restore the universal equilibrium and balance. 

But have we more here than a mere necessity of our own 
thought ? No doubt, it is a primary antithesis, contrariety, even 
contradiction, for the other to the universal seems not only 
contrary but contradictory to seems to negate, to render nugatory, 
null, and impossible, any such universal ; but is not this an affair 
of thought simply ? 

Or are we to suppose it in rerum natura, the foundation-stone, 
the elephant and tortoise, the cross-beams, the fork, the inter 
section, the crux of the universe ? (In more senses than one 
probably a crux.) Do we see a universal in rerum natura, that 
is at once universal and particular? See is an inadequate, an 



inapplicable word: it would not follow that though we did not 
see such, we might not know such. Seeing is but a province, but 
a part; surely we cannot consign the Absolute to its keeping, 
surely we cannot agree to admit its finding as final. But, even a 
wider province than seeing being allowed us, we are met at once 
by an objection which seems fatal: a universal, or the universal, 
never can be known to us : we are such that we never can know a 
universal : what is other than ourselves, is known as other, that is, as 
necessarily particular. Sense can bring no outer to us that is not 
particular ; sense can bring no inner to us that is not particular : 
knowledge of a universal is impossible to us. But is knowledge 
limited to the revelations of sense, and to these revelations as 
received by sense ? In this question we have come to one of the 
most important turning-points that exist : there is here veritably 
a most critical parting of the ways, which, as taken, decides on a 
man s whole future. 

To take the facts of sense as the facts of sense, to keep them 
separate each in its oneness and independence, and live among 
them thus would be what ? Consider well ! Would it not be 
exactly the life of a lower animal, the life of a beast ? Look at 
the cows grazing ! They receive the facts of sense as the facts 
of sense, and in their entire isolatedness and sunderedness. They 
hunger, they crop the grass, they stumble over a stone, they are 
stung by a gadfly, they are driven by a man, by a dog, by a stick ; 
they are excited by a red rag, &c. &c. : may not the cows be 
represented as stumbling from particular to particular, as knowing 
no better, and as knowing no other ? And in what respect would 
man differ did he stop by the isolated and individual fact of 
sense ? There are certainly men who might be readily character 
ised as differing from the lower animals only in the relatively 
greater number and variety of the sensuous facts received : men 
who rise and eat and drink and plod or idle, and apparently think 
not. But can this phase of humanity be considered the true 
phase of humanity ? Can these men be said to know truly ? 
Can these men be said to live truly ? Or rather, be it as it may 
with these men, does not Humanity as Humanity, now and from 
the beginning, comport itself quite otherwise ? Is there not one 
word which describes, accurately describes, exhaustively describes, 
the conjunct action of universal mankind from the time that 
was to the time that is and to the time, we may safely add, that 
will be : the one word, generalisation ? In every department of 


human industry this will be found the case : it and it alone 
the process represented by the word generalisation (what we 
called elsewhere the seeking of the Absolute) has altered, and 
alters daily, man s whole universe for him, from the heaven above 
him, and sun and moon and stars, to the very dust of his footing. 
This is the plastic force that has moulded universal history, 
Eeligions rise at its coming, and at its going fall. Politics are 
its playthings ; science, its creature. Cities grow, grow, grow 
without stop or stay grow to its bidding. The whole universe of 
man is in perpetual transformation, in perpetual flux, in perpetual 
rise beneath it. It is the loom, the ever-changing, ever-growing 
loom in which the vestments of humanity vestments of religion, 
poetry, philosophy, science vestments of institutions, govern 
ments, customs, manners vestments of head or neck, or foot or 
hand or body are from day to day wrought for him. It in fact 
actually is : The roaring loom of time which weaves for God the 
garment we see him by. 

Generalisation attains its summit in universalisation : it would 
seem, then, that the life of man, the final cause of man,is to seek the 
universal. But how does this seeking comport itself with the facts 
of sense ? Does it receive them as they are, and leave them as they 
are, or does it further manipulate and utterly transform them ? Has 
man, then, been wrongly employed all this time, and ought he to 
have remained fixed by the facts of sense, and inquired no 
further? What long vistas of thought and of truth and of 
instruction, such questions open to us ! No ; plainly man has 
not rested by the facts of sense, and as plainly he could not rest 
by them. But there is system and a purpose in this universe, 
and of this universe man is indisputably the highest term, the 
consummate outcome; what has proved itself his ultimate 
activity, then, must be allowed the highest place in this system 
and in this purpose. Generalisation, then, is a necessary moment 
in the business of the universe, and the effecting of generalisation 
is the special vocation and destination of man. We have not to 
stand by the particular of sense, then, on the contrary, it belongs 
to us to rise to the universal of reason ; and great already has this 
rise been. Eead Pliny, and consider what a new heaven and a 
new earth the generalisation of 1800 years has effected ! Few 
things are more striking than the second book of Pliny: the 
creed of ultimate thought 1800 years ago ! All that was then the 
best effort of intelligence; all that was then the likeliest account; 


that then was the universe thought ! Every step in this rise too 
has been a transformation, often a contradiction, of sense. The 
earth is not a plane, the heavens do not turn round aver it, the 
sun does not get up in the east and go down in the west, &c. 
Theoretically, then, the business of man has been to transcend 
sense, to leave to sense its own truth, but to transmute it into a 
higher. Morally, also, man has displayed a like progress against 
sense and towards reason, let Comte-ites say what they will. 

The truth is not attained by the senses, then : before such 
attainment, the intervention of the intellect is required, the 
intervention of thought, and that is inevitably the elevation of the 
particular into the general. Things, then, must be thought as 
well as felt and perceived, and so only does knowledge result. 
In searching for the universal, then, in rerum natura, we are not 
limited to our senses but have a right to add to them, nay, we are 
irresistibly called upon to add to them, as instruments of inquiry, 
the faculties of the intellect also. That this is so, the very men 
whom we have instanced as taking their stand by sense, can be 
adduced to prove. They do think and they must generalise, for 
they cannot use the rudest language spoken without in the very 
word (as Hegel points out), river, bread, tree, whatever it may be, 
rising to a general. Nay, the very beasts of the field that 
stumble from particular to particular, are not absolutely without 
thought, for each of their dull feelings, each of their dim per 
ceptions is at bottom, thought, thought in itself: these feelings, 
these perceptions, are impossible without thought; are, so far, 
modes of thought, not thought as thought, but thought in 

Is there, then, in rerum natura the universal or a universal, or 
is such only an affair of thought ? For only an affair of thought, 
as Hegel remarks, may be something very worthless, as also some 
thing very valuable. Chimeras and hobgoblins and what not are 
only affairs of thought, but they are utterly worthless. The 
reason of this is, that they are only of thought, that is, that they 
are that abstract, formal universal merely which has not its other, 
its particular, as identical with it ; or, if you will, they are such 
abstract, formal particular as is identical with its own self only, 
and has no universal to which to unite itself. So far as thought, 
then, is to be of avail in the inquiry, it must not be subjective 
thought engaged with its own bubbles, but objective thought that 
has before it a veritable ens, and holding consequently both of 


the particular and the universal. Does thought, does sense, 
or both, or either, possess such ens an ens, then, that is in rerum 
natura ? 

What at once are space and time ? Why, at once, both are 
matters concretely of perception and, so far, of sense. Neither, 
indeed, is taken in expressly by any sense we do not smell 
them, or taste them, or hear them, nor properly do we touch them, 
or see them still what is smelt, tasted, heard, touched, seen, is 
smelt, tasted, heard, touched, seen, as in both. We cannot 
touch, see, &c., without touching, seeing, &c., extension and motion 
in extension with consequent lapse of duration ; and there is here 
what amounts to both space and time. Space and time, at all 
events, are more than thoughts ; whencesoever derived, and how 
soever otherwise constituted, they are both objects not of thought 
only but of perception also. They are really both perceived, 
through the intervention of Other, it may be, in the first instance, 
but still they are both perceived. Now of what nature are space 
and time ? Is either finite ? Has either a limit, whether any 
where, or anywhen ? The question, of course, is strictly absurd ; 
for the one is all and anywhere, and the other is all and anywhen. 
Nay, there is that, not only in the phrases all and anywhen, all and 
anywhere, but in the simple words where, when, which might have 
suggested the due train of reflexion here, and prevented time and 
space from being used as puzzle-boxes to the gravelling of mere 
reason. These puzzles, in fact, result only from this that time 
and space are true universals such universals as are identical 
with their particular. The question of a limit to a where and a 
when, then, which, from the very necessity of thought, or, what is 
the same thing, from the very necessity of their own nature, are 
at once everywhere and anywhere, everywhen and anywhen, is 
strictly absurd. Still, we can put the question by way of 
experiment ; and the answer from everyone is precisely what we 
have shown the simple ideas, where and when, of themselves 
suggest. None is the answer ; there is no limit to either space or 
time : in their very notion, they are simply pure quantities. 
There is an objection, however, if not to the infinitude of space 
and time, at all events to our knowing of that infinitude. To 
know the infinitude of either, would require us to pass through 
this infinitude. We can only vouch for what we know, and our 
knowledge of either must be limited : we can neither traverse 
infinite space, nor endure through infinite time. Therefore, it is 


said, the conclusion is, they may be finite or they may be infinite, 
but, so far as we know them, they must be finite. This is but a 
puerility, a puerility of that fussy, bustling, unmisgiving pre 
tentiousness, which we know to root in shallowness itself, but to 
which human nature tends silently, weakly, to yield just because 
of the unmisgivingness, and consequent pertinacity. The solution, 
of course, is easy, and has been already given in several forms. 
The one true form is just this, however : Time and space are simple 
Quantities, pure Quantities. For the exhibition of the puzzles, 
we have so often alluded to, we are not confined to space and 
time; let us but take quantity simply, just the notion quantity, 
and we shall find them all to emerge thence : but quantity is a 
notion absolutely necessary; we are it, and it is us, just as surely 
as thought itself. Or to speak more palpably to current conception: 
time and space are given infinite, we know them infinite, we even 
perceive them infinite, or, at all events, know that, put us where 
you may or when you may to perceive either, we shall perceive no 
end to it. They are given infinite, they are known infinite, they 
are perceived infinite, they are, infinite. 

In rerum natura, then, there are infinities, there are universals : 
space and time, at least, are two such. But are they of the class 
we seek universals at once themselves and their particular ? We 
have said yes already, but we may now more particularly see the 
reason. Infinite space has many finite spaces ; infinite time has 
many finite times. Or universal space has many particular spaces; 
universal time has many particular times. 

From these very examples, then, out of rerum natura, it is 
intelligible that there is a universal which is particular, and 
becomes realised into singularity again by reflexion into identity, 
by reference of difference in itself back into identity with itself. 
Such universal is a true universal. For the universal as such and 
no more, the particular as such "and no more, the singular as such 
and no more : these are but creatures of subjective thought, and 
exist not in rerum natura. The truth of all the three is their 
union, and each is what it is, through, and by reason of, the others. 
This is what is named the Antithesis, and it repeats itself at every 

The lesson here, then, is, not to take things in isolation, and 
separation, and individualisation, but together. The mainspring 
separated from the watch, is but an insignificant bit of metal, 
useless, without the vestige of a notion, which even a child flings 


speedily away. To remain standing by the particular to the 
exclusion of the universal, or by the universal to the exclusion of 
the particular in general, to remain standing by the one to the 
exclusion of the other, is but an affair of abstract understanding, is 
but the conversion of an item of a concrete into an abstract whole, 
is but, as Hegel names it, an abstraction of the understanding 
Understanding as opposed to reason, which latter, reversing 
the work of the former, resumes difference into identity. The 
truth is not infinite or finite, but infinite and finite, not liberty or 
necessity, but liberty and necessity, not right or wrong, but right 
and wrong, not this side or that side, up or down, but this side 
and that side, up and down in short, the truth is, not the 
universal or the particular, but the universal and the particular. 

The intolerant should take this lesson those nervous, peracute 
individuals who perpetually peremptorily prescribe their right to 
their fellows who en revanche have fire (pain) in their bellies to 
burn up the wrong of everybody else who would reform, reform, 
reform, but who, in the end, would only petrify into their own 
painful thin rigidity the foison of the world ! 


Hegel is in earnest with Kant s idea. Kant held the mind, by 
its notions, to determine that is, give unity of form, system, 
intellectual meaning to outward multiples or manifolds which 
corresponded sensuously to the inward, or intellectual, multiples 
or manifolds, involved, comprehended, or embraced in the 
respective unities of the concrete notions themselves. Kant s 
notions, however, are few and disjunct. They form no system 
whether as regards complete compass, or thoroughly inter 
connected details. They rise not, neither, to their own universal. 
They give us only, and in an unconnected manner, an explanation 
of how it is that we give to the contingent manifold of sense the 
necessary determinations : one, some, all ; reality, negation, limita 
tion ; substantiality, causality, reciprocity ; possibility, actuality, 
necessity. Hegel firstly completes and universalises the system 
of notions thus begun by Kant. Secondly, he gives this system 
unity of origin and of interconnexion. Thirdly, he exhibits each 
notion in its own pure proper nature without admixture of foreign 
elements of any kind. Fourthly, he demonstrates this system to 
be Logic, the Idea, the all of thought that is in the universe, and 


that conditions the universe, and that creates, regulates, and 
moves the universe. Fifthly, he demonstrates Nature to be 
only this connected All of thought, not, however, as before, only 
inwardly to intellect, but now outwardly to sense ; that is, he 
uncloses Kant s imperfect and cramped schematism of judgment 
into the expanse of Nature as explained by the philosophy of 
the same ; and here he leaves no corner unvisited, but demon 
strates the presence of the notion in the most crass, refractory, 
extreme externality demonstrates all to be but a concretion of 
the notion. 

Thus it is Hegel is in earnest with the idea of Kant, which was, 
that outward objects arrange themselves around subjective but 
universal notions of our own ; which subjective notions, then, 
present themselves to us objectively as part and parcel, and 
very largely part and parcel, of every externality of sense 
that can come before us. Hegel, indeed, is so complete, that 
he leaves existential reality at the last as a mere abstraction, 
as nothing when opposed to the work of the notion. Thus 
it is intelligible, too in Hegelian language that it is the 
understanding which, coming to objects as an outer to an outer, 
and taking them as they are, believing them as they are, subjects 
them to a mere formal external process of reflexion, to which the 
distinctions it finds remain fixed and incommunicable, and which 
results only in classified arrangement according to its own unex- 
amined and disjunct notions which are only taken for granted 
of cause and effect, substantiality, reality, reciprocity, &c. &c. To 
this mere position, attitude, and operation of the understanding 
which is thus separate from the object and separate from the all 
and has before it only a pedantically classified chaos of fixed and 
incommunicable separates or particulars, Hegel opposes Eeason, 
which, according to the inner constitution of the notion, advances 
at once to the perfect characterisation of every particular, and, at 
the same time, its identification with, and involution into, the one 
entity or syllogism, which is at once all, and some, and one. Before 
the wand of this compulsive conjurer, we see the vast universe 
stir, shake, move, contract itself, down, down, closer, closer, till the 
extremest member is withdrawn the ultimate tip, the last frag 
ment disappears, and the whole is licked up into the pure negativity. 
Forth from this absolutely negative point, as from an invisible but 
magic atom, we can see the whole huge universe shaken out 



Extricate (the reference is to In itself, For itself, &c.) the 
Hegelian double-entendre. If God has created the heaven and 
the earth if the thought of God as a Spirit has created the heaven 
and the earth that is, simply, if thought is what is, then Seyn, 
what is (these outward things we see, say), is (are) thought in 
itself. These outward things as products of thought, rather as 
individuals, as members, as component parts (and as necessarily 
such, for we cannot conceive God or thought to act on caprice) in 
the totality which makes up that which is, these outward things 
are (so viewed, and the totality being thought, thought in itself) 
in the sense that this Seyn, these existences constitute what it (the 
totality, thought) is. What is this up-coiled ball ? Unravel it 
these individuals that sprawl out are what the ball is in itself. The 
particularities into which the ball can be unclosed, are what the 
ball is in itself. The illustration is easily applied to the universe, 
to thought, or to any totality in general. But now if the universe 
be thought, then the particulars of the universe will be just thought 
in itself. The universe is thought, and whatever is in the universe 
is thought, and the particulars in the universe just go to make up 
what thought is in itself. Hegel certainly means this by in itself; 
and in that case, it is an external Seyn which the in itself refers 
to. But Hegel also means that the particulars are only parti 
culars, that they are not the universal, not thought as thought, 
but thought only as particularised thought then in itself, thought 
not in its proper form as thought. In this sense, however, it is 
evident that the In itself refers now to something inward. 

In the sensuous singulars, then, let us say, into which thought 
runs out, it sees what it is in itself. By reflexion in regard to 
these, thought becomes for itself. It develops, that is, a variety of 
reflexions in regard to an inner and an outer, a phenomenal phasis 
and a noumenal principle, substance and accident, cause and effect, 
&c., by which it explains to itself these particulars and singulars, 
and so becomes as for itself, as thought to thought. Now, the 
whole sphere of this reflexion may be named Wesen, or essential 
inner substance and principle, and consists of reflexes that, as it 
were, ply between the Seyn or outer, and the Wesen or inner. 
This Wesen, then, is the An sich, the In itself now ; and the 
irrepressible presence of dialectic is seen here. The external Seyn 


was thought in itself; but this in itself has passed now into the 
sense of inner. The Seyn has become Wesen : we ask what is it 
in itself? Then, again, this In itself becomes For itself, because 
the In itself of a thing is what it really is, is itself, its centre, its 
For itself, while its outer show is only what is for another for you 
and me, or anything other that comes to it externally. Expres 
sions, thoughts themselves seem drunken then, as much under 
movement as the outer flux which never is but always becomes. 
In itself has no sooner been accepted as an outer, than it is seen, 
in the turning of a hand, to have become its own opposite, the 
innermost inner. But thought in these reflexions being for itself, 
further perceives that these are thoughts ; it is then now led up to 
the consideration of thought as thought ; that is, it is now In and For 
itself, it is thought in thought and thought for thought. But this 
result is just the Idea, or the unity of an Objective and a Subjec 
tive ; and this, again, amounts to Absolute Idealism, or a system in 
which the Notion is at once pulse and substance. The movement 
of the notion, then, is to make itself for itself what it is in itself; 
and this is its life and existence and purpose as the Absolute, the 
one monad, the all that is, which life and existence and purpose 
may all be viewed as identical with the honour and glory of God. 
God thus characterised, may be considered ae determined. But 
this is not pantheism. Pantheism is some unreasoning dull belief, 
that just what we see, and as we see it, is all that is is God. But 
here Hegel strikes the mass till it collapse to Deity a person, a 
life, a reality, a spirit, an infinity ! 


Hegel says, The finitude of things consists in this, that their 
existence and their universal, their body and their soul, are indeed 
united else they were nothing but they are separable and are 
mutually independent. Now it is very difficult to see into this* 
but here is a sort of a meaning. Water is water, a certain par 
ticular ; but water is HO, or hydrogen and oxygen, and HO can 
be viewed as relatively its universal. Water is thus finite, its 
universal being thus other than itself, united to but separable 
from itself. Hegel s idea, however, probably is, that the finite 
things are other than thought, which is their true soul, their true 
universal. With man it is otherwise: he is thought; particular 


and universal fall together in him. As finite things are, there 
say before us, they are different from their notion. 


If God is the affirmation of all that is, he is likewise, and even 
so, the negation of all that is: all that is disappears into the very 
breath that bears it; or, in what it appears, it disappears. This is 
an excellent example of the dialectic that is, and must be.* 

* Let the reader be reminded that we are still in the Struggle. Technical 
terms come to be directly considered later. 





IT is vexatious on the part of Haym, in the manner of a rhetorical 
expedient familiar to most, to name some of the early categories 
with a and so on, to describe the series of these as a long string, to 
assert their production by an illusory reference every now and 
then to the world of fact, and so to pronounce them worthless. 
This action of Haym s is quite beside the point. This, in fact, is 
just to miss the categories, and their true nature. What if they 
should derive from reference to the concrete actual world as it is? 
What if they did come thence? If Haym does not like to see 
them derived thence, whence else, even in the name of common 
sense, would he wish them ? Is there something more veracious 
and veridic than nature, then something more real than reality 
itself ?, 

Is Hegel, then, likely to be very fell on this reproach of Haym s, 
that he has taken his categories from nature, from reality (which 
is here the sense of nature) ? Ah, but Haym will say, the 
categories profess to be se//-derived ! Well, if in one sense the 
categories do profess this, still Hegel has again and again pointed 
out that the substantiating result for all, the most abstract as the 
most concrete, is empirical fact, actual fact of nature veritably 
offered and presented to us. This, in truth, is the secret of 
Hegel s greatness, that he has no traffic with any necromantic 
products of mere thought, but even in his highest, even in his 
furthest, even in his most abstruse, recondite, and hard to under 
stand has ever the solid ground beneath his feet. So it is here : 
the categories really are in nature and the substantial quarry of 
actual fact. True also is it, however, that, considered in a 
generalised form, freed from application in the concrete con 
sidered, as it were, in the element of thought alone, absolutely 


abstractly for and by themselves (and this just describes the 
everyday action of thought on any and every object, and why then 
should thought be ordered to suspend its ordinary procedure here?) 
true it is that these categories are seen to constitute a system by 
themselves. But, a system, what does that imply, unless that they 
are all in mutual connexion, and with means of communication 
from the one to the other in such wise that if you shall truly think 
any one, you cannot help truly arriving at all the rest ? Do you 
suppose that all that concrete, which you call natural universe, 
came there without thought, and without thoughts ? Do you 
suppose that the constitution of each separate atom of that 
concrete does not involve thought and several thoughts ? And 
then, the interconnexion of these atoms to this whole huge 
universe, is it all an affair without thought, then ; or is there not 
rather an immense congeries of thoughts involved and implied in 
all these innumerable interconnexions ? You seem to think that 
there is no necessity to take it so ; you seem to think that it is 
enough just to take it as you find it. And how do you find it ? 
Just a basis of so much soil, dirt, earth, out there around us, down 
there beneath us ! You have found it so ; it has so come to you, 
and so you take it, and you would put no questions to it ! 
Questions ! you say ; what do you mean ? Why question the 
common mud ? What thought or thoughts can be involved in 
mere mud ? But just this is it : the categories are the thoughts 
of this mud the thoughts it implies, the thoughts, so to speak, 
that presided at its creation, the thoughts that constituted and 
constitute it, the thoughts that are it. What necessity for all that ? 
you seem to say again. There it just is ! If asked how it came 
there, Why, we must just say God ! 

Now, what do you mean here ? Is it not just this : I live, 
I see, I feel, I think ; and there is an innumerable plurality and 
variety in what I live, in what I see, in what I feel, in what I 
think. Now, I cannot live, &c., this innumerable plurality, with 
out thinking it all up into a First and One. Is not this very much 
what you mean when you come to think what you mean ? Has any 
man since the world began ever found it otherwise ? Is not God 
the word, the key-word, for the clearing up to us, up and out of 
the way, of this inmimerable variety ? Prove the being of God 
proof of the being of God ; what absurdity ! Prove the breath I 
breathe prove the thought I think ? That is it prove the 
thought I think ! I must think, must I not ? But to think is 


to think is just in so many words God ! That is the ultimate 
and extreme goal ; or it is the ultimate and all-including centre 
the one punctum of stability, the one punctum of certainty in 
which all thought coils itself to satisfaction and rest. To the 
central fire and light of reality which is named consciousness, you 
acknowledge the presence of the one in, and the countless out : 
now as absolutely certain as their presence, is the presence to the 
same centre, of a first and one that is the reason of both God. 
To think is God. 

God, then, is a word standing for the explanation of the variety 
that is. But, standing so, there is no explanation assigned, there 
is only one indicated. Standing so, there is indicated a being 
named God ; but there is no beingness assigned. Now, let us be 
in earnest with this natural fact and it is a natural fact as we 
are with all other natural facts ; let us not simply name it, and 
know that it is there, and so leave it. Let us turn to it rather, 
and look at it. Once, when we heard thunder and saw lightning, 
we cried, God ! God ! and ran into our caves to hide ourselves ; 
but by-and-by we took courage, and stood our ground, and waited 
for thunder and lightning, till now we have made them, as it 
were, even our domestic servants. So was a natural fact, so is it. 
As in this case, so in a thousand others, God was the exclamation 
that summed to us variety ; and as in it, so in them, it was not 
allowed to remain a mere exclamation, a mere word, but had to 
transmute itself from word to thing, or, better, had to transform 
itself from the Vorstellung, the crude figurate conception, into the 
Begriff, the intellectually seen notion. Now, such varieties as 
these of thunder and lightning were but examples of variety in 
general, were but examples of the main fact, the variety of this 
universe ; and again, it is not as regards any particular variety, 
but as regards the universal .variety, that the word God is used 
nowadays for the First and One: this is what we have now to 
consider. (Of course, Religion is a concrete of certain doctrines, 
and God, as the centre of these, is a word having many meanings 
a word designative of a thought subject of many predicates 
besides First and One. It is only the natural fact that man must 
think God, and must think God as First and One, and not the 
developed predication of Religion, which is sought to be considered 

The cry that rises spontaneously to the lips on sight of this 
living variety, is God ; and the necessity of the cry is, a First and 


One, a meaning to the All ! Now this First and One, which we 
must think, let us take courage and stand to see. But, let us 
observe well, it is as yet just a First and One, not some vast 
Grandeur some huge, formed, or unformed, Awe of the imagina 
tion, which we merely mean^bul know not; it is just a First and 
One, the fact before thought, not the phantom before imagination : 
in a word, it is the Begriff, and not the Vorstellung, which we 
seek to take courage before, and stand to see. 

So far as thought is concerned, then, the word God for us as 
yet indicates a First and One, or an explanation of the variety. 
Explanation, indeed, is preferable to First and One for it implies 
not only a First and One, but also a transition to the many, to the 
variety, from the First and One. Let us take it so, then. God, in 
what the word indicates as yet to thought, amounts to no more 
than the explanation. God is the explanation. But how must 
an explanation, or the explanation, be thought ? For this ex 
planation must belong to an element of necessity ; it can be no 
matter of contingency and chance ; it must be something in its 
nature absolutely fixed and certain. How, then, must it be 
thought ? for very certainly only in one way can it be thought. 
This is the question of questions ; this is th.e beginning of thought ; 
this is the first of Hegel ; this is Alpha : how must we think the 
explanation ? Can we, for example, think the explanation a 
thing, a stone perhaps ? Can we think it water, or fire, or earth, 
or air ? * Can we think the explanation the sun or the moon ? 
Can we think it space ? Can we think it time ? To all we shake 
the head. But we have science now, and great groups of things 
have received explanations of their own: can any of these 
explanations be extended to the case before us ? 

Is magnetism an explanation for us ? Can we think the First 
and One, that has power of transition to the Many, electricity ? 
Can we think a first of electricity, and a succession out of its 
identity of all ? Can electricity make an opaque atom ? You 
have read the Vestiges, and you have very great confidence in 
the electric brush. That the brush should become a nebula is 
quite conceivable to you ; nor less conceivable is it that the 
nebula should opacify in foci, and so give birth to an opaque 
atom. To the question, Can electricity make an opaque atom, 
you answer then, Perhaps! Can this atom take life? The 

It is thus, as we see from the ancients, that abstract thought begins : so after 
mythology (the mythological explanation) philosophy arises. 


electric brush is still powerful within you, and you answer again, 
Perhaps ! Can this life develop and develop, and rise and rise ? 
you still say, Perhaps. Can this life become in the end man and 
thought? you still say, Perhaps. Now this is the present 
material theory of creation ; this is the explanation, this is the 
First and One with transition to the Many, this is the God of the 
materialists. The materialists are to themselves practical men; 
they depreciate the imagination, and they cry up the under 
standing : it is a remarkable fact, however, that the bulk of self- 
named practical men are the slaves of phantasy merely. Consider 
how it is here ! Electricity, as yet, is but a name used as 
indicating the common principle of certain separate facts. The 
facts remain still of an interrupted, scattered, ill-connected 
nature, and the common principle, in its vagueness, remoteness, 
shadowiness, is as unsatisfactory as the facts : neither the One nor 
the Many cohere well to each other; neither the One nor 
the Many cohere well to themselves, or, in other words, the 
relative science is yet very imperfect. Electricity, thus, being 
something unknown, and, as we say, mysterious, is in famous 
fettle for the use of Imagination, who can easily apply it, in her 
dreaming way, in explanation of anything unknown, seeing that 
just as being unknown, it is capable of all. It is imagination, 
then, and not understanding, which, in the case before us, takes up 
electricity as a phantom which is dreamed a First and One with 
transition, &c., but which is no known One and of no known series. 
But an idol of the phantasy, where explanation is the quest, is 
empty and inapplicable. A mere name will not suffice here. If 
you want my conviction, you must get me to understand 
electricity as a First and One; you must somehow contrive to 
place it before me in transition to the Many. Has electricity as yet 
really effected a single transition ? Electricity is the power of the 
water-drop, you say. But even as you take it, electricity is not 
the water-drop : no, even according to you, it is Hydrogen and 
Oxygen that are the water-drop. You make experiments, you 
demonstrate the power of electricity in the water-drop to be equal 
to I know not what immensity of horse-power. But what is that 
to HO ? What does your electricity do there ? Why is it 
necessary ? Your explanation has infinitely complicated the 
explanation, infinitely deepened the mystery. Besides, is it so sure 
that this power is actually in the water-drop ? Your experiment 
was a process, your experiment was not the water-drop. The 


electricity was a product a product of your energy, of your 
operation, of your process, of your experiment. The water-drop 
was left on one side. Is it not possibly to be suspected that 
chemistry now-a-days may be synthetic where it is thought 
analytic, multiplicative where it is thought divisive, involvative 
where it is thought evolvative ? Show me a single transition of 
electricity from A to B, where B is richer and more various than 
A, yet still A. Show me a single opaque atom which is electricity 
and only electricity. Show this single atom becoming another. 
Show me this atom taking life. Show me this life becoming 
another, becoming a higher. Show me life becoming thought. 
To suppose electricity thus augmenting itself, is it not mere 
superfetation of imagination, mere poverty of thought ? In 
practical men, too, to whom spades are spades ! Can the under 
standing be ever asked to look on at such a process at electricity 
as the unal first, that passes into another, an atom, an infinity of 
atoms, an infinite variety of atoms that passes again into another, 
life and an infinity of lives, that passes yet again into another, 
thought and an infinity of thoughts ? But suppose this : electricity 
made matter, matter organisation, organisation thought! What 
all this while have you been doing with space and time ? Has 
electricity made these also ? If not, then it is not a first and one. 
The God of the materialist, then, has had a God before him who 
made space and time ; rather, perhaps, the materialist was so lost 
in his evolution of electricity, that he* forgot all about space and 
time. But let us suppose electricity adequate to space and time 
also what is the result then ? Why, then we have certainly 
what is wanted a First and One with power of transition to the 
Many, a single material principle whose own duplication and re 
duplication have produced the All. But what is this ? A simple 
in a manner, unsensuous, too, as invisible, intangible, &c., in itself 
that holds virtually in it that holds virtually within its own 
unity and simplicity Matter and Time and Space, and Man and 
Thought and the Universe, why this is Idealism ! Between 
the electricity of the materialist and the thought of the idealist, 
where is the difference ? Each is a simple that virtually is the 
congeries, a unity that virtually is the many. Ex hypothesi, 
electricity in its very first germ involved the capacity to become 
all the rest, that is, Virtually was all the rest that is, all the rest 
is virtually, that is, ideally, in it. The rest, in the first instance, 
was not actually, but only virtually or ideally in it. The 



materialist must, then, to this extent admit himself an idealist, 
and that there is no difference between himself and his former 
opposite save in the first principle. The one says thought, the 
other electricity, but both mean the First and One which contains 
all the rest, which implies all the rest; the First and One in 
which all the rest ideally are or were. We have only now to 
consider the principles ; and if any preference can be detected in 
either, it will be sound reasoning to adopt the preferable. In this 
way, either the materialist must, seeing its superiority, adopt 
thought and become wholly an idealist; or the idealist must, 
seeing its superiority, adopt electricity and become partially a 
materialist, that is, so far as his first principle is concerned. But 
the first principle which is to contain all the rest, being supposed 
material and outward, evidently presupposes space and time. It 
must be granted, then, that electricity, if adequate to all the rest, 
is inadequate to space and time, and leaves them there absolutely 
unexplained, absolutely foreign to its own self. Here, then, the 
advantage is with the other principle, thought, which is not 
outward, but inward which is independent of space and time, 
which involves space and time. You can never pack space and 
time into an outward, but you may, and very readily, into an 
inward. Thought has an advantage over electricity here, then. 
Again, a second advantage possessed by the former over the latter 
is, that an inward is still nearer to me certainly to myself, the 
centre of all certainty than any outward. Again, an inward is 
liker myself, is more homogeneous than an outward. And again, 
let it be said at last, thought, as an infinitely more powerful 
principle than electricity, is also an infinitely preferable one. But 
you object here Thought is conditional on man, electricity is in 
dependent. The answer is easy : It is quite certain that thought 
is as independently present in the universe as electricity. The 
world is but a congeries of me ans to ends, and every example of 
such involves a thought. The wing that beats the air is a 
thought ; an eye that sees, a sense that feels, an articulation that 
moves, a pipe that runs, a scale that protects, all these, and 
myriads such and they are thoughts are as independent in 
nature as electricity. There is not an atom of dust but exhibits 
quantity and quality; electricity itself exhibits power, force, 
causality and these are thoughts. The idealist may now say to 
the materialist, then, idealism in the end, being common to both, 
and my rationale of the same being infinitely preferable to yours, 


you are bound, on all laws of good reasoning, to abandon your own 
and adopt mine. 

How must the explanation be thought ? We name and even 
the materialist will not say no the explanation God, and, as we 
have seen, these predicates must be thought in his regard : that he 
is First, that he is One, and that in him is transition to the Many. 
Now, it is by necessity of thought that we attach these predicates 
and the question is, does not the necessity of thought go further ? 
We say, it will be observed, transition, and not creation ; and the 
reason is, that creation is an hypothesis of imagination, and not a 
necessity of thought as thought. Creation is but a clumsy 
rationale : it is what Kant would call a synthetic addition ; it is a 
mere addition of a pictured something to a pictured nothing ; it is 
a metaphor of imagination, and not a thought of thought proper 
in a word, it is a Vorstellung, not a Begriff; a crude, current, 
figurate conception, and not a notion. Creation is but the meta 
phor of transition ; the former is the Vorstellung, the latter is the 
notion. The predicates we have hitherto found are certain, then : 
they must be allowed. We think, and to think is that. To think 
is to seek an explanation, and an explanation is a First and One 
with capability of transition to all actual examples of the Many. 
But this principle evidently of First and One becomes the many, 
and becomes the various, even by virtue of its capability of transi 
tion. As many, as various, it is endless, it is unlimited; it is 
now, was, and ever will be ; and, however various, it is still at 
bottom one and the same. This is to be granted : the materialist 
calling it a principle, the spiritualist and the idealist calling it 
God, a Spirit, Thought, agree in this, that the principle (call it as 
you will) must be thought as One, as First, as capable of transi 
tion (say creation, if you will), as unlimited whether in time or 
space, and yet as at bottom always self-identical. But a self- 
identity that can become other, both in number and in kind, is 
an identity with itself that becomes different from itself. The 
principle (the principium) contains in it, involves, implies both 
identity and difference. This is plain : granted identity alone, 
and you have identity, identity perdrix, toujours perdrix till the 
end of time, which is never. For progress, then, for a single step, 
it is absolutely necessary that your receipt should contain not 
identity alone, but difference also. Have paper and the colour of 
paper only, and all the painting in the world will never make a 
mark. To suppose God creator of this universe by act of his will, 


alters not the matter one jot : in that case, he has thought differ 
ence, he has willed difference, he has made difference. The differ 
ence is still derived from his identity. Without his identity, 
the poised universe of difference shakes, sinks, vanishes, disappears 
like smoke. In short, God as thought, and not merely imagined, 
involves a coexistence of identity and difference, of unity and 
plurality, of first and last. 

The predicates which we have at this moment in characterisa 
tion of the principle or principium are : Firstness, unity, plurality, 
identity, difference, illimitation, and limitation. Why, here are 
quite a succession of categories from a single necessary thought. 
All of these are themselves necessary thoughts. No thinker that 
lives and thinks, but must think one and many, identity and 
difference, limitation and illimitation, &c. The misfortune is, 
indeed, that while he must think both of the members of each of 
these pairs, he conceives it his duty somehow to think only one, 
and that to think both would be self-stultification, and a contra 
diction of the laws of thought themselves. He will see at least 
he ought to see now, however, that he has been practising a 
cheat on himself, and that he must think both. 

Now these are thoughts, and absolutely necessary thoughts, for 
these thoughts are actually in the universe, and on them the 
universe actually is made. Even were there no man in the world, 
and were the world supposed still to exist, there would be in the 
world unity and plurality, and difference and identity, and limita 
tion, &c. Nay, there are single things that are at once all these. 
Space is unity, and space is plurality ; space is identity, and space 
is difference ; space is limitation, and space is illimitation. And as 
it is with space, so it is with time. But neither space nor time, 
nor both, can be the principle, the principium themselves : let 
them exist for ever and everywhere, let them coexist for ever and 
everywhere, still they are barren still from such clasps as theirs 
not one atom of thought shall spring, not one atom of matter shall 

There are categories, then ; and, like water from a sponge, they 
exude from the very nature of things. It is no objection, then, 
this of Haym s, that we have Nature at our back when we state 
these categories. That such is the case, is beyond a doubt. Still, 
these categories, exuding from the concrete, do come together into 
a common element or system, and they are the thoughts which 
the nature of things involves, whether there be a human thinker 


or not, and which are capable of being discerned directly a human 
or any other thinker comes upon the scene. 

The first thought, of course, is simply that of First. Before there 
was a first if that be possible there was the thought of it. The 
first is the first, and that is the thought even prior to the thing. 
Suppose it was a grain of sand that was first, why that grain of 
sand involves thought : it is there in quantity and quality, it is 
alone, it virtually contains all, &c. All these are thoughts, and 
first itself is a thought. But what is first ? Why, just God, the 
principle, just what is. What is, is the first that is. But what 
is, is. What is involves Being. Ah, there we have it : Being is 
the absolutely first, the absolutely universal predicate in thinking 
this universe, figure the subject of predication as you may. Being, 
that what is, is, this is the first, and this also is the immediate or 
the inderivative. It is what is, and we do not ask for anything 
higher as producer of it ; it is what is, and it is consequently the 
first. Now, as Being is the necessary first, it will suffice for the 
present to assert that what Haym calls the long string of the cate 
gories just necessarily ravels out of it, and simply assures itself of 
its own truth by that occasional glimpse at the concrete actual to 
which Haym would wholly attribute it. And such we think a 
legitimate mode of illustrating the possible or probable incubant 
thoughts of Hegel. 

Hegel s general undertaking, indeed, seems to be, to restore the 
evolution immanent to thought itself (which evolution has only 
presented itself concretely and chronologically in the particular 
thinkers preserved in history) to restore this evolution to uni 
versal consciousness, in abstract purity, and in such wise that the 
whole movement and every moment of the movement should 
be understood as each veritably is, with Idealism, or rather the 
IdeVMouade, as the result, and thereby infinitude retrieved for 
man in union and communion with God what we may call, 
Eecovered Paradise to all mankind. 

It is no mere process of the generalisation of particular historical 
facts, however, that we are to see in Hegel. History, no doubt, 
lies paradeigmatically behind the system, but the connexion 
between them is probably of a subtler nature than the usual 
generalisation. We are not to suppose that Hegel has taken the 
exact concrete facts of the history of philosophical thought as 
it has manifested itself in time, and so to speak, broken, and trod, 
and pressed them down into an ultimate lymph which is thought 


itself iii its own nature and in its own life not to suppose that 
he has grasped the solid masses themselves, and compressed and 
kneaded them till they became the transparent and plastic essence 
which is his Logic, but rather that, along the long range of solid 
rocks from Thales to Kant at the foot of these he has laid him 
self down as the pure and harmonising mirror into which their 
pure reflexions fall. Till the reader, then, has acquired a certain 
ease of traffic, as it were, not with the bodies, but with the souls of 
facts, the reference to history in Hegel may as readily to use a 
foreign expression disorient as orient him. 


Hegel acts on the dictum of Aristotle, f) yap Xveris rfj? airopias 
evpeo-i? ea-Tiv, in the sense that the finding of the knot is the 
loosening of it, for we may name a main object with him to be the 
elimination of the antithesis by demonstration of the antithesis ; 
which said antithesis is at first Being, and Non-being and at last 
the absolute Subject- Object, the Spirit, that which is in itself and 
by itself and for itself, the Absolute, the concrete reciprocal of all 
reciprocals. It is also to be seen that this reciprocity or re 
ciprocation is in its nature notional, is identical with that which 
Kant discovered to constitute perception, which to him was, 
shortly, and simply Hegel s Notion ! the subsumption of the par 
ticular under the universal to the development of the conjunctive 
singular. Kant, too, perceived that sensation and perception were 
but externally what thought, or the categories, were internally. 
Kant, however, did not bring his thoughts together. This was 
done by Hegel to the production and by no other means of the 
Hegelian system. He saw, first of all, in a perfection of con 
sciousness which Kant lacked, this reciprocity of inner and outer, 
of thought and sense. He saw "also that these elements related 
themselves to each other as universal and particular ; and, seeing 
as much as that at the same time that the whole reach of Kant s 
theory of perception was clear before him, a theory in which all 
the three moments of the notion have place, it was not difficult 
for him to complement and complete them by the addition of the 
singular. Quite generally, then, he was able to state to himself 
that the ultimate truth of the universe was just this : Notional 
reciprocation pervades the whole, and is the whole; and, more 
particularly, in this movement the ultimate point of repose is the 


production of the singular by its subsuming the particular (which 
is as matter, that is, negation, or simply difference) under the 
universal (which is form, or affirmation, or identity). 

Seeing this, the next step or question would be, how put 
together all the details in completeness and perfection how inter 
connect, how systematise them ? Having come to that which is 
most general as the ground unit, or rather as the ground form, it 
would be natural to make it the first, and endeavour to find a 
transition from it to the rest. Hegel s first step, then, in this light, 
would be, in the first instance, to exclude sense and perception as 
the mere other or copy of the more important intellect. In such 
restriction, his element evidently would be the purely logical. 
Now, the categories lying before him, he had in them logical 
elements not due to the merely subjective movement of notion, 
judgment, and syllogism ; and he could not possibly escape the 
thought of an objective logic as a necessary addition to the usual 
subjective one. 

Now, how begin ? What category was the most general objec 
tive one ? It was manifestly not Kelation nor Modality ; for both 
Relation and Modality concern a foregone conclusion presuppose, 
that is, their own substrate. It must either be Quantity or Quality. 
But the latter is evidently prior to the former. The quantity of 
any what is a secondary consideration to the what itself; and we 
see Kant himself succumbing to the necessity of this priority in 
his Kritik of Judgment. Let us begin with Quality, then. But 
what is the most universal quality, so far as all particular qualities 
are abstracted from, and there is question only of quality as it is 
thought, question only of the thought of quality? Why,- Being! 
Being is a qualitative thought, and it is, at the same time, the most 
abstract, the most universal of all thoughts. But should we com 
mence with this thought, transition from it, movement is no longer 
possible by process of logical generalisation : such possibility can 
be attained only through the reverse process of logical determina 
tion or" specification. But a specification, beginning with such 
first, would, if ended, especially if ended in a circle of return be 
a complete system ; and a specification, again, can be effected only 
through the addition of the necessary differentiae. But just such 
power possessed the formula derived from Kant. For the genus 
was the same as Kant s general notion, the difference the same 
as his particular notion (we may call it so, for, though to Kant 
it was only materials of sense, we know now that even so it is 


only the other of thought, it still is in itself thought), and the 
species stood to the genus and differentia just as the singular 
stood to the universal and the particular.* 

Seyn, being, would be a beginning, then ; but how find a differ 
entia by which to convert it into a species, which species, too, 
should be the absolute species proxima ? We have found the 
universal genus, but how find the universal differentia? Why, 
if the one is being, if the one is the universal identity and mani 
festly the ultimate genus must be the universal identity, and, 
looking at it in that way, being is easily seen to be just that the 
other must be, as already named indeed, the universal difference, 
the universal source of distinction and separation, which just is 
negation, not, or nothing. The universal difference, then, is but 
the contrary of the universal genus ; and our very first step has 
brought us to the antithesis at its sheerest and abruptest. 

But, subsuming not or nought under being, which is precisely 
what we have to do in a process of logical specification or deter 
mination, what species results ? To subsume not under being, or 
to incorporate not with being, is to give not the character of being 
is, so to speak, to being-ate not is to give being to not : and 
what does that amount to but a becoming ? Nought passing into 
being (being passing into nought, if you will) is surely becoming. 
Now, this as first reciprocation is type of all the rest. Take 
Hegel s widest or most general division of Logic, Nature, Spirit : 
the last subsumes the second under the first; spirit logicises 
nature ; spirit is the conjunctive singular of the universal (logic), 
and of the particular (nature) ; spirit is the concrete One of iden 
tity and difference. Again, spirit is the ultimate sublimation or 
concretion of the form becoming, as logic is of being (identity) and 
nature of non-being (difference). 

Of other Hegelian divisions, Begriff subsumes Wesen under 
Seyn, or Begriff, notion, gives being to what is called Wesen, or 
essential principle ; Maass subsumes Quantity under Quality, or 
Measure qualifies Quantity. Fiirsichseyn, singular being, subjec 
tive being, subsumes Daseyn, particular being, objective being, 
natural being, under Seyn, universal being, subjective and objec 
tive Being, logical Being, &c., &c. In the Philosophy of Nature, 
as in that of Spirit, the triplicity is certainly not so formally exact 
as it is in these examples ; but it still aims at the same pattern, 
and throughout the Logic it remains almost always perfectly true 

* It is Kant s theory of perception that underlies this. 


to itself. This is obvious in such examples, for instance, as Daseyn, 
Quality, Something; Identity, Difference, Ground; Substantiality, 
Causality, Eeciprocity, &c.; where the third member is the product 
of the subsumption of the second under the first, or results, so to 
speak, by infecting the second with the nature of the first In 
fact, the object is to be serious with the notion of reciprocity and 
its resolution in a relation. The antithesis constituted by recipro 
city is taken in its abstractest form as Being and Nothing, and 
it is gradually raised to its ultimate concretion of subject and 
object. The first resolutive relation, too, Becoming, is contained 
in the last, the Absolute Spirit. We are to suppose the threads 
of the antithesis gradually thickening from the lowest to the 
highest, and the relation, or the crossing of the threads, gradually 
thickening likewise. Throughout, then, we have but the anti 
thesis in its series of stages. 

This explication goes pretty deep into the nature of the Hegelian 
industry ; but Hegelian writing is not thereby at once made cur 
rent, readable at sight. No ; Hegelian difficulty largely remains : 
not that it is because, as Goethe thought, Hegel wanted lightness, 
or because, as Humboldt thought, speech had never come to a 
thorough breaking-through with him. No: the reason of the 
difficulty lies partly in the fact that Hegel will give no sign of the 
origin of his system, nor of the concretes that lie under his abstract 
characterisation ; partly in the fact, too, that this characterisation 
is abstract, and the most abstract that, has ever yet been exempli 
fied on the whole perhaps : partly again in this, that he has sought 
to make the abstract evolution of his Logic parallel with the con 
crete evolution of philosophical thought in history ; and partly, 
finally, that each sphere demands for its characterisation its own 
words, which words remain ever afterwards intelligible only when 
referred to the sphere where they, as it were naturally, took birth 
and presented themselves. No reader, however intelligent, will 
ever be at ease with Hegel till he has gone through the whole 
system Of Logic with such diligence and completeness as to have 
ever all the technical words present to his consciousness in the 
exact sense in which they were employed by Hegel. Even so, 
Hegel himself is often in such an agony of difficulty with the 
refractoriness of his own materials, and what he sees is so hard 
to be learned from the abstraction of the language, that there is 
little hope of ready reading in such an element ever for anyone. 

One other source of difficulty lies in the artificiality and for- 


malism which are everywhere present in the construction. With 
each new product a new differentia is necessitated to be derived 
from this product, which reunited to the product gives rise to a 
third and higher. Such a method entails outside effort, and the 
appearance of artificial straining. Still, Hegel is to be considered 
as genuine. He might certainly have made himself perfectly easy 
to be understood, had he explained his connexion to Kant, and 
described what he would be at both in principle, method, and 
result ; and so far suspicion and a grudge will always follow him. 
Nevertheless, Hegel is the historical continuator of Kant, and he 
has really carried forward the interest of philosophy as received 
from the hands of Kant. Nay, with all its artifice, his method is 
the true one that is, if Kant was right, and a science of Meta- 
physic is now founded and begun and the elevation of the 
antithesis must henceforth be the business of philosophy, as it is 
of experience probably, and life itself. 


Few things more tantalising, after all, than Hegel s constant 
reference to the Notion, the Begriff. What, of course, is meant, 
is the logical notion, or the notion as notion. It will not do, how 
ever, to have recourse here to merely technical logic, to merely 
technical definition, and content ourselves with a mere phrase, a 
mere abstract expression. Any mere technicality of any mere 
book is something very different from what Hegel aims at. The 
Notion, in fact, is the concrete notion ; the notion is the notion 
that was taken up by Kant, and which, passing through the hands 
of Fichte and Schelling, reached finally those of Hegel himself. 
The Notion, then, is simply Kant s notion ; and the transformation 
of Kant s notion into Hegel s Idea, is the one business of the 
Hegelian Logic. The Notion, in short, is Eeciprocity. For this 
is the true name for the purpose that impelled Kant in a similar 
direction in Metaphysic to that of Copernicus in Astronomy. 
Kant sought to invert the relation ; sought rather more than this 
to reciprocate the relation to prove objects not only affecting 
but affected ; that is, not only influencing us, but influenced by us. 
The notion, then, passing from Hume to Kant in the form of 
Causality, was converted by the latter virtually into that of 
^Reciprocity. Eeciprocity this is the ultimate abstraction for, the 
ultimate generalisation of, the work of Kant ; this is that work s 


true appellation. Most wonderful is the penetrating, rending, 
irresistible force of Hegel. Thought becomes reduced before him 
to its ultimate nerve : the volumes of Descartes, Spinoza, Leibnitz, 
Locke, Hume, are transformed to sentences in a paragraph ; and the 
vast Kant has become a single word. Substance becomes Causality, 
Causality becomes Reciprocity, and Reciprocity becomes the Notion. 
In Kant, however, it was only the notion an sich, the notion in 
itself; it had the immediacy, the identity, the instinctivity, the 
unconsciousness of nature. In Kant it only appeared, but it knew 
not its own self in him ; or Kant was quite unconscious that the 
one notion which moved in his whole industry was Reciprocity. 
From Kant and the stage of immediacy, it soon passed, however, 
to Fichte and Schelling, or the stage of reflexion, the stage of the 
difference, the stage of negation, the stage of particularisation, and 
as soon, finally, to Hegel, or the stage of complete and total recon 
ciliation and insight the stage of singularisation, which is the 
stage also of the restoration of immediacy by the sublation of 
mediacy (the negation of the negation, or, what is the same thing, 
commediation with self). Reciprocity on this last stage, being 
developed to its issues, is now the Idea, which one word expresses 
the resolution of objectivity in reciprocity with subjectivity and 
of subjectivity in reciprocity with objectivity into the concrete 
reciprocity of the notion, the logical notion, the notion as notion, 
which is itself a reciprocity, and the ultimate reciprocity of univer 
sality, particularity, and singularity. , All this, of course, is very 
hard to realise to understanding ; but, after a due analysis both of 
Kant and Hegel, the desired light will always go up to honest 

All this can be said differently ; it is all capable of being 
expressed in the Aristotelian formula that relates to Form, 
Matter, and perfect Actualisation. The Svva/j.^, v\rj, and 
evreAe xeta * of Aristotle amount precisely to the Begriff, Urtheil, 
and Schluss of Hegel. In fact, all that is said in Hegel is but 
the sirfgle principle involved in this formula, in one or other of 
its innumerable forms : always and everywhere with him and 
in him we have to do wholly and solely with the resultant unity 
of a triple reciprocity. And in this, it may be, Hegel has hit an 
essential, or the essential secret of the universe. Omne trinum 

* Dr Thomas Brown was talking of the mystic Entelecheia of Aristotle as 
something unfathomable at a time when it had been familiar to Hegel at least for 
some years. 


perfectum rotundum ; all good things are three: three is the 
sacred number, the fundamental figure, the foot that scans the 
rhythmus of the Universe. This is the ultimate cell, the multi 
plication and accumulation of which has built the All. The 
universal becomes particular, and both are resolved or combined 
into singularity, which, indeed, only realises each. Any cell in 
its material, structure, and function, will be found to illustrate 
this. Such, indeed, is the inner nature, the inner movement, the 
rhythm of self-consciousness itself; and self-consciousness is the 
prius of all. It is the first and centre, and all else are but 
reduplications, inspissations, crassations of it outwards. This 
simplicity constitutes a great difficulty in Hegel ; for with what 
ever he may be occupied, he can always only see in it the same form, 
and speak of it in the same dialect. Hegel s so frequent utterance 
in regard to immediacy which has made itself such by resolution 
of mediacy attaches itself to the same principle. It agrees with 
this, too, that what is to explain, account for, or act as ground in 
any reference, is always with Hegel the stage which is named 
Schluss, Entelechy, Singularisation, Eeconciliation, &c., the nature 
of which just is that it is an Immediate resultant from Mediacy, 
the inner nerve being always reciprocity. 

Hegel just modified and developed the stand-point of Kant. 
In his hands, for example, the categories must become the category 
or the notion ; and this again, freed from subjectivity, and looked 
at objectively as what is, must become the Absolute or the Idea 
in its first, or simplest, or most abstract form or principle. When, 
indeed, the light went up to him from Kant, his object would 
be to complete these categories, these substantial creative notions, 
-to complete them, to found them, and to derive them from a 
principle from a something first, simple, and certain. But, with 
such abstract generalised notions or universals before him, the 
inquest or request would naturally be the abstract generalised 
universal notion as notion. From this he could begin: this 
should be the life of all the other generalised notions (as being 
their universal), and through them of all existence generally. 
What is this ultimate notion, then ? What is the notion as such ? 
Where find it? how conceive it? These presumably were 
Hegel s first thoughts, and we are here certainly on his real trail, 
which Haym, with all his laborious investigation of the Hegelian 
steps in the writings themselves both published and manuscript 
of Hegel, has unquestionably missed. This, indeed, could only 


manifest itself to one who stood at last on an exhaustive analysis of 
the deduction of the categories. From such coigne of vantage 
there is a sudden glimpse at last into the initial secret of Hegel, 
his junction to the world of his predecessors, the one broad 
bridge that at once made him and them, a one and identical 
common country. 

With all effort, Hegel could not expect to attain what he 
sought immediately. But as regards where he ought to search, he 
would find himself naturally referred to logic. But what is logic ? 
what is the foundation of logic ? How came logic to birth ? 
What is so named, is seen at first sight to imply, at all events, 
that all other concretes are left out of view, presumably, perhaps, 
as considered to their ultimate, and that thought abstractly, 
thought as thought, is what is now examined. Historically, then, 
all objective elements and interests are behind logic ; or, 
historically, so situated is the genesis of logic. In other words, 
logic is the historical outcome of the investigation of all particular 
concretes which present themselves. So is it that logic becomes, 
as it were, the biographic ghost of history in its element of 
abstract or generalised thought. Nay, the steps of generalisation 
which present themselves, so to speak, historically in the life of 
the public individual, may be seen to repeat themselves in the 
progress from instinct to reason, from brutality to morality, &c. 
&c. biographically in the life of the private individual. In this 
manner there is the glimpse of a concrete logic obtained. But 
Hegel must be conceived as returning from such general view to 
the particular question, What is the notion as notion ? And in 
the answer to this question it is that the origin, the principle, the 
form, and even, in a certain light, the matter of the Hegelian 
system lie. But we may come to the same point from other 

There is in the brain of Hegel a dominant metaphor. This 
metaphor relates to a peculiar evolution which is characterised 
thus : It begins, of course, with a first ; but this first is presently 
seen to imply its opposite, which opposite, developed in its turn, 
coalesces with the former to the production of a third, a new form, 
constituted by and containing, but only impliciter, the two former 
as moments. This third, this new form, develops itself now up to 
the full of its unity, and is presently seen to imply its opposite 
with the same results. Now, we have to conceive this process 
repeated again and again till an end is reached ; which end, we 


have further to conceive, passes back into the first, and thus the 
whole movement constitutes a simple circle. Each link in this 
circular chain, too, is seen to be a kind of triple unity. Ever, 
indeed, there seems somehow a flight of three, the last of which is 
always a return to the first, but changed, as if it were richer, 
heavier, more complete more completely developed, in fact. 
Each of the three terms concerned must be conceived to begin, to 
fill, to reach its full ; and when full, to show, as it were, the germ 
of its opposite, which rising up into its full, seeks union and 
coalescence with its former to a new production. This is the one 
metaphor of the thought of Hegel ; and even here we can see that 
we have never moved from the spot; for this metaphor is but 
another way of expressing the one movement or principle already 
characterised in so many ways as Swapis, v\rj, ei/reXe xeta ; Begriff, 
Urtheil, Schluss ; universality, particularity, singularity ; thesis, 
antithesis, synthesis ; being, essence, notion, &c. &c. Wherever 
we are in Hegel indeed, we have ever the same triplet before us in 
one or other of its innumerable forms. Always there are the two 
opposites or reciprocals which coalesce like acid and alkali to 
a base a base in which they still implicitly are, but only as 
moments. This base, again, if the result of its moments, is really 
their base, their ground, their foundation, their Grundlage. If 
they found it, it founds them. It is the mother-liquor into which 
they have passed : it is a living base out of which they can arise 
and show themselves, and into which they can again disappearingly 
return. This is the Hegelian metaphor : a ground, a base, from 
which arise members, which again withdraw themselves a 
differentiated Common or One. And what is this but the dis 
junctive or reciprocal whole of Kant, suggested to him by the dis 
junctive judgment, and discussed by him at so much length, and 
with such fresh, new, and creative vigour ? A sphere of reciprocity : 
this is the whole. This is the "Hegelian Idee-Monade. The re 
ciprocity still must be understood as notional reciprocity the 
triple reciprocity of universal, particular, and singular, each of 
which, as reciprocal of the others, holds the others in its own way, 
and is in fact the others. It is identity gone into its differences 
indeed, but still even in these identical with itself. Differentiated 
identity, or identified difference, constitutes the one reciprocal 
sphere of Hegel a sphere which is the whole universe a sphere 
which is each and every atom in the universe a sphere which, as 
self-consciousness, or rather as the Notion (self-consciousness in its 


simplest statement), is the one soul, the one spirit which is life, 
vitality itself and the only life, the only vitality. Thus it is 
which is so curiously characteristic of the Hegelian philosophy 
that every attempt to understand or explain any the least con 
siderable of its terms becomes a flight into the system itself. So, 
for particular example, is it that the third is always the base and 
the truth of the first and second. We see this corroborated by 
fact ; for it is simply the progress of thought to give itself the new 
as the reason or explanation or ground of the old, or of what pre 
ceded it. Thus it is that the modern world is the truth of the 
ancient, Spinoza the truth of Descartes, Hume the truth of Locke, 
and Kant the truth of Hume, as Hegel is of Kant. On this last 
particular ground, and in harmony with the whole system, Begriff 
is third where Seyn and Wesen are first and second. The Hegelian 
Logic even outwardly presents these three stadia, and the reason 
lies in the Hegelian notion, or is just another side of the Hegelian 
metaphor. There is opposed to perception this world of outer 
images: these constitute the Seyn, the immediacy. But now 
understanding takes what perception offers will not content itself 
with what perception offers as it is offered, will treat this in its 
way, and insists on demanding the inner nature of this outer nature, 
the inner being of this outer being ; it insists on satisfaction to its 
own Reflexion, and demands the Wesen of this Seyn, the inner 
essentity of this outer appearance, the Noumenon of the Pheno 
menon. But all this can be said in the two words, Begriff and 
Urtheil. The act of perception may be named the immediate 
Begriff, the Begriff in itself: in itself as being yet only virtual, 
that is, existent and factual, but object of consciousness as yet 
neither to itself nor anything else ; in itself, too, as really in itself 
for every particular into which the whole sphere (or notion) goes 
asunder, constitutes, each with each, just what the sphere or notion 
is in itself ; and in itself as really in itself in this sense, that to 
what&yer yet it may develop itself, that development depends on, 
is conditioned by, the first natural germ as it was in itself when 
first manifested. In particular explanation of the third or last 
phase, it may be stated that self-will is the notion in itself of the 
whole developed notion of morality. At the same time, it will be 
as well to enter a caveat against this statement being supposed to 
favour what is called the selfish system. Self-will is the notion of 
morality in itself; but it is only through its negative of humilia- 


tion and submission that it reaches its own consummation ; and 
this can hardly be a dogma of the Selfish System. 

But if the act of perception be the notion in itself, the act of 
understanding is the notion for itself. Perception is content to 
hold its matter just as it is, and asks no further. Understanding 
is not so content ; understanding will not so hold its matter, 
^ understanding must peep and pry and spy into, understanding 
must separate, its matter separate it for its own passage into it : 
understanding, too, having once effected this separation, keeps it 
up ; it regards this separation as the truth ; it holds each part to 
be in its truth only when separated from the whole, and in isola 
tion by itself: understanding, that is, puts faith only in its own 
abstractions. Perception holds what we may call its matter 
perception itself being only relatively as form immediately ; 
whereas understanding will hold and must hold this matter (the 
same matter) only mediately. But the object or matter immediately 
is the object or matter in itself, and the object or matter mediately 
is just the object or matter for itself. Understanding, then, will 
not have the object otherwise than as it is mediately, as it is in 
reflexion, as it is for itself. Understanding, that is, scouts outer 
nature, and will have inner nature. Though it has it there as in 
perception, it still asks what is it ? It demands the Wesen of this 
Seyn. Seyn, then, is the mtent, ingest, or matter of all per 
ception ; and Wesen is the intent, ingest, or matter of all under 
standing : and this matter in perception is only unmittelbar or an 
sich, while in understanding it is mittelbar or fur sich. In per 
ception, that is, it is just the undeveloped Begriff, just what is 
apprehended or begrasped in its first direct unity ; but in under 
standing it is the judgment (a judgment has been passed on the 
matter in regard to what it is) and the judgment is the Ur-theil, 
the primal or primitive parting, the dis-cernment. But now is the 
opportunity of the third branch of logic, of reason, to reunite in 
the Schluss (the shut, the close), what has been separated by 
understanding in the Urtheil, and restore it to the unity of per 
ception in the higher form of reason : in which form it is the 
notion, the logical notion, the true and complete notion, and Seyn 
and Wesen are now complemented by their third. 

But here now, then, we have a new triad for the principle of 
Hegel : Simple Apprehension, Judgment, and Eeasoning ! The 
three stadia of common logic are, after all, representative of what 
Hegel would be at ! The three stadia of common logic constitute 


but a stage of the Hegelian evolution constitute between them 
but the Hegelian notion and in very perfect form ! Hegel too, 
then, has seen into the depths of the meaning of the common 
logic ; and he co-operates with Kant to restore it from death and 
inanity to life and wealth. How striking this placing parallel with 
each other the forms Perception and Simple Apprehension ; and 
the matters Seyn and Begriff! What vision this of Under 
standing as that which separates and remains fixed by what it 
separates the judgment, the Urtheil, which is the primitive part 
ing ! "What new truth in the function of Reason as reconciliant 
speculation, which restores the notion, the first product as it came 
to us, but now in its very truth ! What wonderful sagacity to 
regard all Begriff, Urtheil, Schluss as but the turns of a single 
movement, which movement is the one essential secret of all 
that is ! 

But this the psychological triad of Perception, Understanding, 
and Reason, or the logical one of Simple Apprehension, Judgment, 
and Reasoning is capable of being applied both historically and 
biographically. Historically Seyn, the intent of Perception, 
sufficed the earliest men. The Notion, the Begriff, what was 
simply begrasped and begriped of Simple Apprehension, was 
enough for them. They asked no questions, they simply lived ; 
it was an era of Faith. How many times the Notion, meaning 
thereby the whole logical movement and that is tantamount to 
the whole vital movement has passed through its own phases 
historically, cannot be said. There seems good reason for suppos 
ing the philosophy of Aristotle to have been in some sort an 
Absolute Idealism ; aud in that case, the Greeks at all events 
represent one complete cycle of the Notion. We see the stage of 
Perception and Seyn, or of Simple Apprehension and Begriff, the 
age of faith, in Homer. Then the first appearance of the Urtheil, 
of the separating and dis-cerning Understanding, the first appear 
ance of the Negation, is the turning of such thinkers as Thales 
and the other Ionics on the Seyn, outer being, and the question 
ing of it, the demanding the Wesen, the inner principle of it, the 
resolution of it by reflexion into its differences, water, fire, earth, 
and what not. Then the separation, the reflexion, the abstraction, 
the generalisation so begun a beginning of Idealism it is, for 
even Water when proposed as the principle by Thales is, as Hegel 
tells us, but a beginning of Idealism ; if it is the principle, it is a 
unity which ideally holds, which ideally is, the total variety 


waxed more and more perfect, more and more pure, in the succeed 
ing philosophers. We have Pythagoras, for example, seeking an 
explanation in the numerical difference, which is so far an abstract 
ing from outer solidity. Then we have the first absolutely abstract 
thought, the Eleatic being. In fact, Heraclitus, Democritus, 
Anaxagoras, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, can be all used as types of 
certain stages of the movement of the notion and applied in ex 
planation of the system of Hegel. Of this movement, we may 
conceive the modern world to constitute another cycle. In the 
Middle Ages, there was simple apprehension the reign of Faith. 
Then came Eeflexion to break into this unity, and set up the 
differences as principles. This Eeflexion, as in Greece so here, 
culminated in an age of Aufklarung. People conceived themselves 
fully enlightened as to their ancient folly, and hastened to rid 
themselves of it at the shortest in some cases, as Carlyle has it, 
by setting fire to it. But, looking at this Eeflexion, only in the 
philosophical element, and omitting Descartes, Spinoza, and the 
rest, we remark that the Aufklarung culminated in David Hume, 
and passing from him to Kant, received from this latter its first 
turn into the final form, completed by Hegel, of the universal 
reconciliant Idea or Schluss of Speculation and Eeason. This last 
form is what we have now to welcome : the doubts, despairs, 
despondencies of mere reflexion are ended ; we have to quit the 
penal fire of the negative, and emerge into the sunshine of the 
new and higher positive of the positive which restores to us, and 
in richer form, all that understanding, all that reflexion, all that 
scepticism and the enlightment of the eighteenth century had 
bereft us of. Thus does the Notion describe its cycles; and it 
may be remarked of these, that each, though full, is a rise on its 
predecessor. The Greek, though a complete cycle, is still, as it 
were, in the form of the first moment, Seyn ; it is a cycle an sich. 
The modern world again is dominated by Wesen, and may be 
named a cycle fur sich. To believe the analogy, we shall be 
followed then by a cycle an und fur sich, in which Eeason shall 
predominate ! How strangely this coheres with prophecy and 
the utterances of Scripture ! 

What is said historically, may be said biographically : Seyn, 
Wesen, Begriff, or Begriff, Urtheil, Schluss, are the three stages 
in the life of every thinker. 

Why the Notion, Begriff, is third to Being and Essence, will 
have now made itself apparent in a variety of ways. The directest 


is simply that of what is: Seyn is the first form, Weseii the 
second, and Begriff the third. This explains itself at once by refer 
ence to the faith of the religious era, the unrest of the reflective 
era (Hume), and the restored repose of the rational era effected by 
the Notion (Begriff) of Kant and Hegel. The third form can be 
easily seen, too, though preceded by the others, to be at the same 
time the ground, Grundlage, or containing base of these. We 
may remark here, too, that we have now the necessary light 
whereby to place and appreciate Comte. The constitution of the 
notion really gives him a show of truth as regards an age of 
Eeligion and an age of Metaphysic ; but it is a fatal error to 
suppose them past only, and not still operant, now and always : 
Comte, too, knows nothing of the how or why, or real nature pf his 
ages, and it is amusing to compare his third and final one (the 
Aufklarung) with that (Eeason, Faith) of Kant and Hegel. Comte, 
with the smirking, self-complacent sufficiency of the shallow, 
orders us to return to Seyn (Perception), Phenomena ; and knows 
not, that he brings to the examination of the same, all the 
categories of reflexion, full-formed, and in that he drifts a prey to 
these categories, thinks himself by their means (whose nature is 
hid from him) master of the Phenomena ! 


The third paragraph of the opening of the third volume of the 
Logic of Hegel, entitled Vom Begriff im Allgemeinen, may be 
translated thus : 

Objective Logic, which considers Being (Seyn) and Inbeing or Essentity 
(Wesen), constitutes properly the genetic exposition of the Notion, More 
particularly, Substance is the real Inbeing, or Inbeing so far as it is united 
with Outbeing (Seyn) and gone over into Actuality. The Notion has, there 
fore, Substance as its immediate presupposition ; or Substance is that in itself 
which the Notion is as in manifestation. The dialectic movement of Sub 
stance through Causality and Reciprocity onwards, is therefore the immediate 
genesis of the Notion, and by this genesis its Becoming is represented. But 
its Becoming, like Becoming everywhere, implies that it (the Becoming) is the 
reflexion of what becomes into its Ground, and that the next presentant other 
into which the former (that which is engaged becoming) has passed, constitutes 
the truth of this former. Thus the Notion is the truth of Substance ; and 
while the particular mode of relation in Substance is Necessity, Freedom 
manifests itself as the truth of Necessity, and as the mode of relation in the 

It was in reading this passage that the historic light went up 


to us as to what the Begriff really meant. Of course, it was 
known, we may say, all along previously, that, as stated by 
Schwegler and Haym, it was a tenet of Hegel that the. history of 
philosophy was, in outward concretion and contingency, what the 
development of the notion was in the inward concretion and 
necessity of logic. But still, on the whole, the tenet was looked 
loosely at, in the manner of Haym and Schwegler themselves, as 
a mere analogy and ideal, as a mere Eegulative, and not by any 
means as a Constitutive. Schwegler expresses this thus : 
History is no sum in arithmetic to be exactly cast up. Nor 
anywhere in the history of philosophy, either, can there be talk 
of an d priori construction ; what is factual cannot be applied as 
the illustrative exemplication of a ready-made notional schema : 
but the data of experience, so far as capable of a critical inquest, 
are to be taken as ready-furnished to us, and their rational con 
nexion is to be analytically exposed ; only for the arrangement 
and scientific articulation of this historical material can the 
Speculative idea supply a Regulative. As said, however, in read 
ing the above passage from Hegel, a light went up, and Hegel 
was seen to be much more in earnest with his peculiar tenet than 
it seemed to have occurred to anyone even to surmise. It was 
seen, in fact, that the Notion was Kant s notion, and that its 
genesis lay in the thinking of the philosophers who had preceded 
him, in the thinking, that is, of Descartes, Spinoza, Leibnitz, 
Locke, Hume, to whom Substance really presented itself though 
each named it otherwise, perhaps as what was the whole object 
of inquiry and research. Concrete facts do undoubtedly lie behind 
the abstraction of Hegel ; and if this abstraction can, on one side, 
be viewed as the development of thought as thought, apart from 
any other consideration, it can also be viewed, on the other side, 
as being but the counterpart of the actual particular facts of 
history. To him, indeed, who* is well read in history in general, 
and in that of philosophy in particular, the light now offered will 
shine into meaning many tracts of Hegel which might have 
appeared previously quite impervious. 

In further reference to the exposition of Substance being the 
genesis of the Notion, we remark, that what is in and for itself, is 
to itself at once its own ground and its own manifestation, its own 
identity and its own difference, its own affirmation and its own 
negation, &c. &c. Now Substance is all this: the notion conveyed 
by this word is just that it is its own Wesen and its own Seyn, its 


own Inbeing and its own Outbeing, its own ground and its own 
manifestation, &c. It is evident that the sort of movement in 
volved here in this species of play between inside and outside, 
ground and manifestation, identity and difference, may be appro 
priately termed reflexion : for neither factor is, in itself, absolute, 
independent, isolated, &c.; neither factor has an independent exist 
ence both have only a relative existence, either is quite as much 
in its other as in itself. The ground is ground just because of the 
manifestation, and the manifestation is manifestation just because 
of the ground. Thus they are reciprocals, and reciprocals in unity. 
Again, the Notion that is, our notion, Kant s notion, or rather 
now Hegel s notion is the unity of Being and Reflexion, or Seyn 
and Wesen. The categories, or their universal, the category, let 
us say, is as much outward as inward ; it is what is, whether we 
look outwards or inwards ; that is, it is Seyn, Being. And again, 
inasmuch as in it we can look both outwards and inwards, it in 
volves or is Reflexion ; that is, the Notion is the Unity of Being 
and Reflexion. In fact, all that is wished to be said here (begin 
ning of fourth paragraph of Vom Begriff im Allgemeinen ), is that 
the movement of Substance is manifestation of what it is in itself, 
and this manifestation is identical with what it is in itself, and 
Substance and Manifestation are just identical together and in 
general : further, that this movement of Substance is evidently 
identical with the movement of the Notion, and the former con 
stitutes thus the genesis of the latter. In other words, the evolu 
tion of Substance through Causality, Reciprocity, &c., in the heads 
of Spinoza, Hume, and Kant terminated in the genesis of the Idea 
in the brain of Hegel. In short, Descartes, Spinoza, Hume, &c., 
are simply abstracted from, and the development which these and 
others gave to Substance (for the object then was an inner prin 
ciple or truth that should explain phenomena and such is Sub 
stance) may be considered as the development of Substance itself, 
or as the dialectic movement of the plastic All of thought which 
was then in the form of Substance. 

Substance unites in its own self both of the correlative sides: it 
is that which as Inbeing is also Outbeing ; it is both inner ground 
and outer manifestation ; that is, it is Actuality, or what actually 
is. There can be no doubt but the thoughts of Descartes, and the 
rest, circfed around the poles which these simple ideas represent. 
Substance is that in itself which the Notion is in manifestation. 
This means, Kant s Notion which is now in actual manifestation 


is but a development from Substance ; and Substance, therefore, 
was in itself what Kant has actually developed it into. The dia 
lectic movement of Substance through Causality and Reciprocity 
onwards is therefore the immediate genesis of the Notion ; and by 
this genesis its Becoming is represented. It is well to know this 
literal truth to history on the part of Hegel, especially as concerns 
the characteristic tenets both of Kant and himself. Categories, 
Dialectic, Method, have all been regarded hitherto as appurten 
ances of the system, and of nothing but the system : close literal 
generalisation, though in ultimate abstraction, of actual outer facts 
has not been thought of; and Hegel s claim on actual history has 
simply given rise so far as precise fact was concerned to in 
credulous shakings of the head. The truth in general, however, is 
what was said a short way back, of Hegel being a pure mirror into 
which fell the pure reflexions of the long line from Thales to Kant; 
and in particular the truth is, that the text of the Logic may in 
this place be regarded as a direct awallegory of the actual origin 
of the Idea of Hegel in his studies of his immediate predecessors, 
especially Kant. 

Hegel does not stop at reciprocity, and it may appear wrong, 
therefore, to assert that the notion is reciprocity. It is to be ad 
mitted that the notion is beyond and more than simple reciprocity: 
still it preserves the colour and lineaments of its parent ; and the 
notion is a reciprocity, the notion, in fact, is the notional recipro 
city represented by any one of the many triads we have already 
seen. This, we may just point out in passing, has escaped Kosen- 
kranz, who mistakes the genesis of the notion so much, that he 
proposes a reform of the Hegelian Logic, the main item of which 
is untruth to history the insertion of Teleology between Eecipro- 
city and the Notion. It wants but a very slight glance at the 
system to discern that it is a triple sphere of triple spheres end 
lessly within one another almost in the fashion of a Chinese toy, 
and that the essential principle of each triplicity is reciprocity. 
Compare Logic and Nature, for example, as they appear in the 
system: is it not as if there were an inner congeries hanging down 
side by side with an outer congeries, without direct transition from 
the one to the other, but each perfectly parallel to the other 
parallel, that is, in reciprocity ? Is not the Hegelian method but 
an evolution or development an expansion through all that is, of 
the notion? Is it not simply an exhibition or demonstration of 
the notion in all that is in existence, or an arrangement of all that 


is in existence on the notion? What is the precise meaning, for 
example, now, of Hegel s rejection of what he calls raisonnement ? 
Why, raisonnement is the method that existed while causality was 
the notion ; but that method it is proper to withdraw and change, 
now that reciprocity (in a notional form certainly) is the notion. 
This is a true insight into the most characteristic and obscure of 
all the very extraordinary procedds of Hegel. While causality 
reigned, explanation consisted in assigning a reason for a conse 
quent ; that is, raisonnement was the method. Now, however, 
that reciprocity reigns, it is reciprocity that must guide, and con 
stitute henceforth (till a new principle) the method of all theorising, 
and of all explanation. And this is simply what Hegel has per 
formed : instead of accounting for this universe by a series of 
causes and effects, or reasons and consequents, he has simply 
carried his notional reciprocity, orderingly, arrangingly, into it, 
and presented it to us as a sphere of spheres, all of which follow 
notional reciprocity as their law and principle. 

What is said in regard to the relativity, or mode of relation 
which obtains in Substance as opposed to that which obtains in 
the Notion, is very important, and displays a most deep and un 
mistakable historical dye. On the stage of Substance, man, as his 
thought could only then show to him, was under Necessity ; and 
Necessity constituted then the great subject of discussion: but 
here, on the stage of notional reciprocity, the prius of which 
exhibits itself as subjective or of the nature of thought, we are in 
an element of Freedom, that element being thought or reason, 
which is but our inmost selves, and which to obey, then, is but to 
obey ourselves is but Self-obedience, and that is Liberty. It is 
historical also, that he who first announced the notion of reciprocity, 
and in its subjective or notional form, was the same Kant who was 
the first to demonstrate, as if by exact proof, this fact of our Moral 
Liberty or Freedom. Is it not wonderful concentration on the 
part of Hegel, then, to shut up such enormous masses as the dis 
cussions of Kant in single and brief phrases ? 

Still, there is difficulty enough : this (the fourth paragraph of 
Vom Begriff im Allgemeinen ) is, on the whole, one of those 
hopeless passages which so often bring the reader of Hegel into 
the gall of vexation and the bitterness of despair. In the Egyptian 
fog of the first sentence of this paragraph, how is it possible for 
any man to see? How hopeless must the British student of Hegel 
find himself in such a quandary as this ! Of course, he is at a full 


stop. If he has not yet tried the second book of the objective 
Logic, winged by hope from the reference, he tries it now, but 
speedily shuts it again to begin at the first which -is but too 
evidently the preliminary necessity. The first, however, is no less 
obdurate than the others; and the baffled reader finds himself im 
potent, imbecile, flushed, on the outside of a vast block, inacces 
sible, impenetrable, hopeless as the flank of Atlas. But is Hegel 
always then to remain this intemerate height ? Not so : the his 
torical and other clues which we are here engaged on will be 
found, in the end (as we have largely seen already), adequate to a 
successful ascent here and everywhere. 

Philosophy has reached in Kant an entire new position. Kant 
may be named that position an sich; Ficlite and Schelling, the 
same fur sich; and Hegel is its an und fur sich the absolute 
power, the pure negativity, that, as absolute power, reconnects 
itself with itself, and so is an undfilr sich. Hegel thus indicates 
that he has consummated the whole task of the ages by bringing 
the All to the last orb and drop and point of unity in the negative 
fur sich; that is, the All both in the one whole and the infinite 
details ; and this, too, for itself or consciously, the fully objecti- 
vised or filled subjectivity, and the fully subjectivised or vitalised 
objectivity which latter result indicates a life that, as it were, 
eats up all objects into its own self, into its own unity, so that all 
that is remains at last the reine Negativitdt; negative in that it has 
negated all into itself ; but negative, too, in that it can negate itself 
into All, the One into the Many as well as the Many into One, 
Unity into Variety as well as Variety into Unity, Identity into 
Difference as well as Difference into Identity. 

But just this is the Notion, or the Notion is just the pure 
negativity that negates its One (the Universal) into Many (the 
Particular), and negates this Many again into the One which is the 
concrete Singular and Unity of both. This is but the general ex 
pression of the notion ; but no notion is different. No object in 
the outer world even but is so constituted : a grain of sand even is 
a universal which has passed into a particular, and has again 
cohered into a singular. Nay, apart from this constitution, what 
is the sand ? Can any one tell this ? Is it sayable ? Anything 
else, in truth, is but abstract reference to itself, and is what the 
Germans call a Gemeintes a thing meant, a thing opined merely. 
In fact, we are to track and trace the notion everywhere. Every 
thing runs through its moments. These moments constitute the 


universal movement. Consider these moments in the form of the 
three historical periods, of the three psychological acts, or best of 
all, of the three logical functions ! As Seyn (Simple Apprehension), 
for example, we have the first reflexion of the Notion, as Nichts 
(Judgment) the second, and as Werden (Eeason) the third, which 
last is the negation of the negation, or the restoration of the first 
in higher form. 

Hegel, then, completed Kant by ascending to the category of the 
categories the category as such, the notion. This, without doubt, 
he was enabled to effect by a careful analysis of the source from 
which Kant himself had supplied himself Formal Logic. The result 
of this analysis was discernment of the notion, and consequently of 
the fact, that all Philosophy (Ontology included) had gone into 
Logic, which fact he henceforth proclaimed. He saw, moreover, 
that the entire of philosophic thought which had preceded the new 
position inaugurated by Kant, constituted what might be named 
an Objective Logic. The realisation of this Objective Logic, he was 
gradually enabled to accomplish by a profound study of the history 
of philosophy, but always in the company of the Kantian categories 
and his own generalisation of the same. He found, for example, 
that a beginning was almost indifferent (the beginning of all philo 
sophy that preceded Kant viewed as an Objective Logic, which is 
the true beginning, being unconsidered), inasmuch as what was 
everywhere, and repeated itself everywhere, was simply the Notion. 
Quantity, for instance (as seen in Kant), formally expresses the 
notion in universality, particularity, and singularity. Nay, Quan 
tity in its notion is but the Notion. Quality is equally so, for its 
third member, Limitation, is very inadequately represented by this 
word. Eelation exhibits the same nature. Other assonances, but 
essentially of the same character, present themselves. Thus, 
Immediate is the unparticularised Universal, Reflexion is the 
Particular, and the commediated result or notion is the Singular. 
In short, these and other triads represent the Notion. With this 
mode of viewing all things, it is not difficult to see that Seyn is just 
the beginning that would occur to thought ; and the history of 
philosophy demonstrates it to have so occurred, and as such. It is 
the universality as such, the ultimate generality or abstraction ; it 
is the Immediate it is formal, it is identical ; as it was the first 
stage of historical thought, so it is the first stage of biographical 
thought it is the absolutely first and simple, that is, it is the 
first of everything and the base of everything. How else can one 


begin than by saying it is ? The is must be simply accepted ; 
what we have to do is to understand it. It is stupid abstraction 
to seek to start before is, is. The beginning as beginning is just 
it is; till you can say that, you can say nothing; and it is the 
first thing you can say : indeed, should you go back into an ulti 
mate analysis of what is, it is the first thing you must just simply 
say. It is just the beginning of Descartes (in a way) generalised 
from / am to it is, or simply is, or simply to-be or being. In fact, 
it is to say no more than this to say, with eighteenth-century 
enlightenment, God is : for the three letters there are (as used) a 
bare word, and wholly undetermined. The beginning of Fichte, 
the ego, so also the identity of Schelling : these are at bottom just 
the same thought as being. 

It is, besides, the fundamental base : every particular feels 
granting it power to feel that being is its first and centre and 
secret and life. Nay, it is the one absolutely inextinguishable 
entity. Conceive all life withdrawn endeavour to conceive the 
annihilation of even space and time ; still you will find you cannot 
get rid of Being, of the notion is. Do all you can to reduce the 
universe to nothing, to conceive that it is an accident that there 
should be existence at all ; endeavour your utmost to conceive 
that all this is superfluous, and that there might just be nothing ; 
do this and endeavour this, and you will find even nothing turns 
up, ever somehow, the thought is, the thought there is the thought 
of being, of existence. That there should be nothing at all is an 
inconceivable empty abstraction. We are bound, then, to admit a 
centre of existence, of being, independent even of space and time ; 
and what is this but Idealism ? Where can this centre be, which 
will be, even if you destroy space, where but in thought ? He 
that will in his solitary walks occupy himself earnestly with such 
reflexions, will at last find a light go up to him, a light in which 
he will see space shrinking into disappearance, and yet being, 
existence, solid and immovable as the centre and the core of 
thought itself. We cannot annihilate being, we must just begin 
with it and say, there is. But this being is a notion, and will take 
on the forms of the notion. It comes to us in the first form of the 
notion, which is the universal, the affirmative, the immediate, the 
identical, the formal, the abstract, the ansich. But just because it 
is a notion, a true notion, its universal will part into the particular, 
its affirmative pass into the negative, its ansich free itself through 
opposition to flirsich, &c., &c. ; and in similar terms the third step 


to concrete! unity may also be described. Thus, then, the whole 
progress will be a flight ever of three stages, each new flight being 
always stronger and stronger, till, by guidance of the notion itself 
and its own native rhythm, we exhaust the universe, and reach the 
totality articulated into itself absolute truth, the absolute. 

Hegel had convinced himself well that this was the method, by 
historical study, by biographical thought, and by reference to out 
ward nature and the concrete everywhere. Deep examination of 
Kant gave him the notion, the form, while universal study, of a 
more or less exhaustive and penetrative character, gave him the 




THE beginning is Kant, whose notion was that objects adapted 
themselves to the subject. This is his Copernican notion his 
notion in its simplest form. Its particularisation is, the Categories 
as functions of Apperception, and in possession of a complex or 
manifold, in the shape of the sensuous but & priori forms, Space 
and Time. This particularisation constituted to Kant an ti priori 
subjective machinery form by which our sensations (matter 
& posteriori, in that they are excited by causes external to our 
selves, but subjective, quite as much as the a priori elements, in 
that they are simply our own states) are taken up and converted 
or projected into the connected world of experience or of percep 
tive objects. In this way, each of us inhabits a universe of his 
own subjective sensational states (still nameable inner or outer) 
reticulated into nexus, law, and system by his own subjective 
intellectual functions. The sensational elements, further, being 
incapable of comparison as between subject and subject, are thus 
in the more important derivative moral sense of the word strictly 
subjective; while the intellectual elements, on the contrary, being 
capable of demonstration, through comparison, as the same in each 
of us and common to us all, are thus in the more important sense 
the word derived from its use in reference to morals objective ; 
objective, that is, in their validity and evidence, though subjective 
in their constitution and place as of the mind and belonging to 
the mind.* 

* These two senses of the words subjective and objective ought to be well under 
stood and well discriminated by every student of Philosophy. After a careful and 
protracted analysis, we cannot find Sir William Hamilton, from the maniier in which 
he understands the words, whether using them himself or quoting them from others, 
to have had any glimpse of their second, derivative, and more peculiarly German 
and important sense. Yet this is the sense in which the words are principally used 


Further, this world which Kant would have us inhabit is, 
theoretically (that is, so far as direct knowledge is concerned), 
phenomenal only. All that we know, every actual object of our 
knowledge, is indebted for its matter (form merely is inadequate 
to the constitution of any object of knowledge) to sense, either 
outer or inner : but sense, being a medium, conveys no knowledge 
of what the thing which affects sense is, but only of what or how 
it appears. Still, though all that we know even our own ego is 
phenomenal, there are legitimate inferences to the noumena of 
things-in-themselves without us, of God above us, and of our own 
ego as a free and immortal spirit within us. The sensational 
elements, to which we owe the matter or manifold or simply many 
of knowledge, are a posteriori, then ; and the intellectual elements, 
to which we owe the form or nexus or unities and unity of know 
ledge, are a priori : the latter, that is, are part and parcel of our 
original structure and constitution, while the former are, so far as 
their occasions are concerned, derivative from elsewhere, or, as we 
name it, from experience, for which we have in this reference to 
wait. But the two terms (things), what is a priori and what is 
d, posteriori, are too heterogeneous to clasp and weld together at once 
and without more ado. There is an intermediate element in and 
through which they cohere with each other. This is the provision 
of a formal manifold, a perceptive manifold (space and time), which, 
being at once, as perceptive, sensational, and, as formal and a 
priori, intellectual, constitutes a medium in which the matter of 
affection (sensations) and the form of function (categories, notions) 
coalesce to the production of this whole formed universe, outer 
and inner. Shortly, then, the many of affection are mediated 
into the one of function through the intellectual and a priori- 
placed, but sensational and a ^?0sm0n-presentant, perceptive forms 
of space and time ; which are thus, as limitlessly projected spectra 
or cones of illumination, subjective as but within us, but objective 
as appearing with everything from without as from without. In 
this way, then, we see that sensation undergoes the manipulation 
of intellect. 

But in this notion of Kant, that which was the spark to Hegel 

by Hegel, who may be even found speaking slightingly of the other sense as the 
common one ; and as for Kant, in his Streit der Facultaten there occur even pro 
minently these formally denning words : Welche zwar subjective Wichtigkeit (fvir 
mich), aber keine objective (fiir Jedermann geltende) enthielten. The chapter in the 
K. of P. R. oft Meinen, Wissen und Glauben is a very easy one, and being in the 
practical interest, uses the distinction passim, as do the practical works generally. 


lay here : the category as quantity, quality, relation, &c. though 
a unity, was a unity of a multiple, which multiple Kant named 
the intellectual schema. Now and here properly is .the spark 
time and space are found to possess sensuous multiples, to consti 
tute sensuous schemata, which accurately correspond with these 
intellectual multiples or schemata. The sensuous multiples, in 
fact, of space and time are only externally what the intellectual 
multiples of the categories are internally ; nay, special sense itself 
is but the same multiple, only placed in degree more external still. 
That is, there is the centre, the unit self-consciousness ; then im 
mediately by this centre lies the multiple of the category : next to 
the multiple of the category (or categories), again, lies that of time ; 
the multiple of space is external to that of time : lastly, on the 
absolute outside there lie the multiples of special sense, or our 
actual sensations. Here are just, as it were, three degrees (count 
ing time and space together) of the externalisation of central self- 
consciousness three forms of the same unit. To Hegel to 
whom, further, the things-in-themselves (generally expressed in 
the singular as the thing-in-itself) that Kant figured as causes of 
our special sensations, were manifestly mere unnecessary assump 
tions, mere abstractions of reflexion, and supererogatory additions 
to the sensations themselves the subjectivo-objective nature of 
the whole world sprung up clear at once. That the world of sense 
is but a repetition externally of the internal category here at once 
is the idea both of his Objective Logic and of his Philosophy of 
Nature. In this way, what we call Hegel s Ide e-Monade must 
arise to him an absolute, a sum of all, a one and only reality that 
was at once the subject and the object in absolute concrete unity 
and identity. 

But, having got this notion of Kant, which now in him and for 
him had grown or become the Idea, how did he proceed to realise 
his conception in actual execution ? The first step could be no 
other than to complete the categories, which were now seen to be 
the secret of the world ; for as they themselves were the whole 
inner, it was but an externalisation of themselves that constituted 
the whole outer. 

This was the first act, and beyond doubt Hegel was most active 
and industrious, and indeed wholly unwearied, in studying Kant 
in their regard ; and not only Kant, but all other philosophers, 
ancient and modern : and not only philosophers and books merely, 


but nature without him, and mind within him, and history as 
record and preservative solution of both. 

This study would conceivably result in a collection ; of which 
collection, as we see still from the mere outside, that of Kant 
not only as regards the Categories proper, but also the Notions of 
Reflexion, the Ideas, &c. constitutes the bulk still, and still 
infinitely the best. But even on the principles of Kant, Hegel 
could not content himself with a mere collection. All in Kant 
disposes itself architectonically (Kant s own word) on, and derives 
itself architectonically from, a single principle. After Kant, in 
fact, an architectonically-principled system is a necessity, and 
indispensable. How find a new architectonic principle, then ? 
Categories have manifested themselves to be the whole truth ; but 
categories are notions notions relatively abstract, if in themselves 
concrete ultimate generalisations : all that is necessary is simply 
to generalise them, and so obtain their universal, or the notion as 
notion. But what is the notion as notion ? It will be no formal 
identity either : it also will probably contain a multiple like the 
rest. In this multiple, too, probably there will lie the means of 
transition ; which being carried out, may terminate in ultimate 
instance by leaving the categories an organic system. 

Here now, again, Hegel just simply follows the lead of Kant. 
As Kant went to formal logic for his judgment, or category, Hegel 
betakes himself thither also in search of his notion. Nay, little 
hesitation was left him as to where specially to look for his notion ; 
for Kant having already used up Judgment for his Categories, and 
Reasoning for his Ideas, formal Logic had now only Simple Appre 
hension to offer ; and simple apprehension was, besides, the precise 
rubric to which the nature of the case referred him (Hegel) in any 
question of notions, or a notion. As Kant found the forms of the 
Judgment to be Quantitative, Qualitative, &c., so quite as readily 
Hegel finds the forms of the Notion to be Universal, Particular, 
and Singular. These three forms constitute the multiple of the 
notion as notion. But the idea of an architectonic principle could 
not let these forms again merely fall out of each other : it de 
manded nexus for them, too, and union in a common whole. 
Here it is that Hegel manifests great subtlety of insight. Indeed, 
in this whole matter, Hegel presents vast industry, vast labour, 
vast thought; the result of which was to say it in sum his 
modification of the Aristotelian Logic, or his Subjective Logic, for 


which, nevertheless, it is right to add, abundant materials already 
lay in the works of Kant. 

But here, as specially regards an architectonic principle, and 
the forms of the notion itself, Hegel again directly follows the 
hint of Kant. Kant transformed the classifications of the Judg 
ment under the rubric of technical logic, so named into actual 
functions of the thinking subject into actual functions of apper 
ception or self-consciousness. Hegel similarly vitalised and 
subjectivised the technical forms of the notion. Hegel, following 
the abstract notion into its abstract movements of life in the 
actual thought of the subject, saw that that movement was the 
universal (in the sense of the all-common, the common whole, 
the one, the monade, the absolute for this movement is the move 
ment of the notion in absolute generality), determining itself to a 
particular, from which it returns again to itself, but as Singular. 
This, certainly, is the ultimate nerve of thought. We certainly, 
for our parts, ordinary persons in this ordinary material world, 
separate independent subjects beside separate independent objects, 
conceive ourselves to be determined by these objects, and to 
return to ourselves from them or their examination with, so to 
speak, a mere colouring knowledge. But the position of idealism 
is once for all held by Hegel, and the (universal) subject accord 
ingly is, in his eyes, self-determined ; so that the absolute universal 
of the subject s innermost or most characteristic movement, is the 
universal (himself), determining himself to the particular (his 
state as object), and returning to himself from the same as 
singular (the notion, the knowledge gained, the reunion of the 
particular the other, the negative of the universal with itself 
or with this universal). This is the nerve of self-consciousness ; 
and self-consciousness is the absolute the dimensionless point 
that, though point and dimensionless, is the Universe. Self- 
consciousness is the universal, the all-common (as in German), or 
the common whole that is : but it thinks itself; and itself in being 
thought is to itself its object, its negative, its particular, which so 
is just the particular of the universal. But so long as itself is to 
itself in the form of object, or other, which it considers, it has not 
completed the act of thought: that act is completed when it 
returns, as knowledge, to itself as singular, that is, from the 
particular back into the universal. This is the single secret of 
Hegel ; and his obscurest writing is but an abstract, and so almost 
mystifying description of all this. 


But let us open our eyes to the step we have just taken. 
Self-consciousness was, to us, a short way back, the centre, and 
all the rest was as the circumference external to it. But in this 
mode of looking, the centre is simply a dead identity, a mere 
abstract formless unity. Now, however, we have given a multiple, 
a life, a movement to the centre itself; for we have found that it 
is just the notion as notion, the category of categories, the uni 
versal into which these are generalised. Self-consciousness, in 
short, is now identified with the notion, and all now is in living 
nexus from the inmost centre out to the extremest verge. But 
let us open our eyes a little wider, and ask how stands it now 
with the concrete universe, and what sort of a philosophical or 
religious creed must we now entertain ? Well, we must now 
suppose self-consciousness the absolute. There is no difficulty in 
this word absolute, electricity, for example, is the absolute 
of the materialists : it is to them the first, the all, and the 
only, which gradually condenses (or gyrates, it may be) into 
an opaque atom and all atoms, which again gradually organise 
themselves into the functions of life and thought, &c. Elec 
tricity, capable of all this, were very intelligibly an absolute. 
True, as we have seen, it would still be a defective absolute, 
and so no absolute, for it assumes space and time as quite 
independent of itself: still, what we are required to conceive 
under the word absolute will be easier to us from this reference 
to the industry of the materialists. Well, we are now to suppose 
self-consciousness the absolute. Self-consciousness necessarily, 
and of its own self, is, and is What is. Self-consciousness is its 
own foundation of support, and its own prius of origination. 
Self- consciousness, being but thought, requires evidently no 
foundation to support it: it is independent, indeed, not only of 
considerations of space, but also of those of time. Space and time 
belong to it, not it to them ; and notions, consequently, of a 
foundation on which to support it, or of a prius to which to 
attach it are manifestly inapplicable to it. It is the necessity. 
Since there is a universe, something must have been necessary. 
Now this something is just self-consciousness. Self-consciousness 
is the necessity to be. It is in the nature of self-consciousness 
that it should be its own cause, and its own necessity, and its 
own world. Thought is a necessity and the only necessity, and 
thought is self-consciousness. But should we be satisfied with 
self -consciousness as the one, how account for the many, the 



variety of this formed universe ? Self-consciousness is no formal 
identity, no abstract unit : it involves a multiple, it is a movement. 
It is to the evolution of this multiple, to the continuation of this 
movement, and on its own necessity the necessity of thought as 
thought that we are to attribute the whole. But all this is very 
difficult to realise in conception. On the one hand, this primary 
vesicle, or atom, or call it what you may, of thought, which 
grows into the universe, though named thought, seems to differ 
but little from any supposed primary atom of matter to whose 
development the universe might be ascribed. In fact, idealism in 
this way is just a sort of materialism. This evolution of an 
absolute necessity seems as mechanical, cold, cheerless, and 
unsatisfactory under the one name as under the other. Whether, 
so to speak, it is seed-thought or seed-matter which grows into 
the universe, seems to us to make no difference, and the whole 
affair becomes not even pantheism, but simply materialism 
idealistic materialism if you will, without question of a God at 
all. On the other hand, and looking at it in another way, where 
am I to conceive self-consciousness unless in myself? Am I the 
absolute ? Am I God, then ? There is that in the very question 
which confutes the supposition. I, with my aches and my pains, 
with my birth and my death, am too manifestly in involution 
with nature am too manifestly in subordination to the powers 
of nature, to the very vermin of nature ever to entertain any such 
absurd notion. Nay, it is this very involution with nature which gives 
countenance to the counter opinion as maintained by the materialists. 
My birth and my death are processes which differ in no essential 
respect from those exhibited in the birth and death of the vilest rat 
that ever crawled. I am an animal even as the rat is. His death 
is but the cessation of so much machinery : no soul glides by that 
whitened tongue as he gnaws the trap that stifles him ; no one can 
believe in any soul there ; no one can believe in any exhalation 
thence. The rat and his birth and his death are but affairs of matter 
plainly, mere gross matter, despite an anatomical organism and 
physiological processes as wonderful as our own. How in our 
case, then, believe in the unproved, in the unevidenced allegation 
of a soul separable from our bodies, which allegation has been got 
up by some of the weaker brethren in support of their own 
vanity ? Assuredly, when we consider mere nature alone, the 
creed of the materialist brings with it a weight of conviction 
which sets absolutely at nought any such dream as an absolute 


self-consciousness in mere humanity. How, then, are we at all 
to conceive this self-consciousness of Kant and Hegel, which is to 
be supposed the one truth of which all else that is constitutes 
but forms ? Well, in the first place, Hegel might answer, You 
are only asked to look at the fact; make it conceivable after 
wards to yourself, or not, as you may. The fact just is, that all 
that is (and every item of all that is) exhibits in its deepest base 
the type of self-consciousness, the type of thought; and even 
thus far you are secured from the materialist and his mere 
suggestion of what we named seed-matter. Nay, as we have 
shown already, a single seed-matter which was, however infinitely 
extended in space or prolonged in time, yet at one certain time 
and in one certain space, virtually or impliciter this whole 
formed variety of organisation, thought, &c., would amount to 
a principle, not materialistic, but idealistic. Fancy electricity 
at one time all and alone ! Well, it is something invisible, im 
ponderable, &c. &c., and it is a single entity, yet it contains in it 
the possibility of becoming absolutely all that we see and think 
now ; that is, electricity, so characterised in itself, was then 
virtually all that is now : what is this but idealism ? Even thus 
your seed-matter shows itself identical with seed-thought only 
that seed-thought contains time and space, which seed-matter 
does not. But you have no warrant to suppose seed-thought at 
all from our doctrine, if by seed-thought we are to suppose a 
principle impersonal and brute. Thought or self-consciousness 
cannot be impersonal : thought or self-consciousness, however 
endowed with power of development and evolution, always implies 
a subject. Now, it was to this subject that your last and most 
serious difficulty related. But why should this subject appear to 
you so difficult, and why should you hesitate to name it God ? 
The self-consciousness of the universe is the divine self-conscious 
ness, and not the human : why should this seem difficult on the 
Hegelian notion ? Perhaps the difficulty lies here that we see 
no provisfon as yet for more than one self-consciousness, and that 
we cannot understand the transition from the one divine self- 
consciousness into the many human. It is to be said, however, 
that Hegel demonstrates number and quantity to be a necessity 
of the notion ; that he exhibits the notion, or rather the idea, 
externalising itself into nature, to which field man, so far as he 
is animal, certainly belongs ; and that he afterwards delineates 
the development of spirit, in which sphere also man, in that he 


thinks, &c., has place. Perhaps you are not satisfied yet, how 
ever, and the Absolute Spirit, into which as into a subjective 
focus Hegel would fain direct all, looms out very vague and 
hazy to you ; perhaps the personality both of God and man seems 
to you to be suddenly extinguished again in what you named 
already seed-thought; perhaps the whole result may seem to 
you but an indefinite pantheism, in which if the individual 
human subject is not himself the absolute, it is difficult or 
impossible to say what he is. But why should it be im 
possible to conceive the divine idea as externalising itself, 
and man holding of God both in nature and in spirit ? The self- 
reflecting pool of a pool was mentioned, some chapter or two back, 
when an attempt was made to illustrate these thoughts : and why 
should a reflected but self-reflecting droplet of a self-reflecting 
drop be impossible on the Hegelian system ? Hegel has demon 
strated the subordination the nothingness of nature as against 
spirit. He has thereby saved you who are thought and a spirit 
from nature. Now, you are once for all in the universe, you 
are no waif of chance, you are an outcome of the necessity to be 
and this not only in the externalisation of nature, like the rat, but 
in the original and primitive substantivity of thought why not 
conceive yourself, by continuation of the same necessity, then, 
spirit still in communion with the Spirit of God, when the death 
of the body shall have given birth to Spirit ? What is there in 
the Hegelian system to render such conception more difficult now 
than it had seemed previously ? Does God, conceived as creating 
nature, and as creating man the probationer of nature, that is to 
inherit an immortality of heaven or hell according to the events 
of his probation -is this conception, taken just so, in any respect 
easier than the probable conception of Hegel ? Cannot we, at all 
events, rise from Hegel with a clearer, firmer conviction of the 
existence of an infinite principle in this universe with a clearer, 
firmer conviction of this infinite principle being thought, spirit 
and with a clearer, firmer conviction that man partakes of this 
infinite principle, and that consequently he is immortal, free, and 
in communion with God ? For, I confess it all comes to this, and 
that philosophy is useless if inadequate to this. A philosophy, in 
fact, whose purpose and effect are not to countenance and support 
all the great interests of religion, is no philosophy, but a material 
for the fire only. But, it may be objected here, if the end of 
philosophy is only religion, philosophy will be superfluous, should 


its end be attainable independently of itself; there is revealed 
religion, and it brings its own evidence, and why should this 
cumbersome and vague and unsatisfactory interposition of philo 
sophy be foisted in at all ? This, the gravest of questions, deserves 
the gravest and sincerest of answers. 

The answer lies in the necessity of history ; and, in the case 
before us, this necessity of history is named Aufklarung. This 
single word, in fact, constitutes the answer to the question 
considered. Eighteenth-century enlightenment, which is the 
Aufklarung alluded to, cannot now be regarded as a temporary 
and accidental outbreak of infidelity principally French ; it has 
now taken its place as an historical movement, and must now be 
acknowledged as a necessary member of the appointments of 
providence. The French criticism, English criticism, German 
criticism, which belonged to that movement, cannot any longer 
be ignored: on the contrary, all the ascertained and approved 
results of these must now be admitted into that common stock 
of the possessions of humanity which is named truth or knowledge. 
But the position of revealed religion does not remain unmoved the 
while. For one thing, revealed religion must henceforth consent to 
place its documents on the ordinary and common basis of evidence, 
historical and other ; and, indeed, it is precisely the nature of this 
evidence which renders desirable any appeal to philosophy. The 
humble pious Christian who performs his probation of earth in 
full consciousness of the eye of heaven, is certainly independent 
of philosophy, and has, to that extent, no call to seek its 
aid. In fact, it is to consult the interests of truth as truth, to 
admit here that in the bliss of conviction the humble pious Chris 
tian who may never have heard of philosophy, is probably prefer 
ably situated to the greatest philosopher that ever lived. It follows 
not from this, however, that there is not that in philosophy which 
even to the humble pious Christian would constitute a gain. In 
the singleness of his view, in the singleness of his endeavour, he 
who woufd be religious merely becomes narrow and thin and rigid. 
The warmth that should foster becomes with him the fire that 
shrivels ; while the light, the mild light that should guide, becomes 
constricted in his strait heart into the fierce flash that misleads. 
Humanity wells from him ; he becomes a terror and an edge from 
which even his children flee. To give the due breadth, then, to 
this too keen edge, it may have been that the Aufklarung, in the 
purposes of providence, appeared ; and just such function does 


philosophy possess for all, for the fierce in faith as for the no less 
fierce in the so-called reason still arrogated to themselves by the 
fragments of the Illumination. Man must not rigidly restrict 
himself to a single duty, but must unclose himself into the large 
ness of his entire humanity. It is good to know all things the 
stars of heaven and the shells of earth, and not less the won 
drous entities which philosophy discloses in the bodiless region of 
thought as thought. . The humble pious Christian, then, indepen 
dent of philosophy as regards his faith, may still profitably resort 
to the same for the pasture of his humanity. But religion is not 
confined to the humble only ; and never was there a time in the 
history of humanity when the proud heart longed more ardently 
than now to lay itself down in peace and trust within the sanctuary 
of religion, an offering to God. Now for these latter is it that 
religion since the Aufklarung must appeal to philosophy. And 
just to fulfil this function was it that Kant and Hegel specially 
came. The former, breathing ever the sincerest reverence for 
Christianity, had no object during his long life but the demonstra 
tion to himself and others of the existence of God, the freedom of 
the Will, and the immortality of the Soul. The latter followed in 
the same cause, and, in addition to the reconstruction of the truths 
of natural religion, sought to reconcile to philosophy Christianity 

This, then, as regards Hegel is ever to be borne in mind, what 
ever doubts and difficulties may afflict the student, that his one 
object is the reconstruction of religion, both natural and revealed, 
and on the higher basis which the Aufklarung, so far as it has ap 
proved itself true to the essential interests of humanity, demands. 
Very obscure, certainly, in many respects is the system of Hegel, 
and in none, perhaps, obscurer than in how we are to conceive 
God as a subjective spirit, and man as a subjective spirit, and God 
and man as in mutual relation. Beyond all doubt, however, 
Hegel really attempts this and believes himself to fulfil this. It 
is to be said, too, that the contradiction which is objected tcr the 
thought of Hegel may be equally objected to the fact of the universe. 
Finite and infinite, conditioned and absolute, both are; and of this 
fact, the dialectic of Hegel may be the true thought. Confiding in 
such hope, let us proceed and see to the bottom the true nature of 
this immeasurable Hegelian claim. 

Hegel, then, converted the simple apprehension of the technical 
logician into a vital function, the notion qua notion, self-conscious- 


ness in its ultimate nerve self-consciousness, so to speak, in its 
ultimate throb. But he has carried the same lesson of Kant into 
other fields. Technical logic in its technical forms corresponds 
with actual vital functions ; but so it is everywhere the history 
of thought itself, if vitally resumed, will be found to correspond 
with facts of individual consciousness. The various philosophers 
are but thought itself on its various stages ; and instead of reading 
this movement as the outer thing which history usually appears 
to us, we ought to read it as the organic movement of thought as 
thought. Spinoza, for example, thinking substance, is but the 
notion as substance developing itself; and abstracting from 
Spinoza, we can quite easily conceive the process, and consider the 
process as a plastic movement in and by itself. Passing to Hume, 
substance becomes causality, or the notion, leaving the form of 
substance, assumes that of causality. Abstract now from Hume, 
then, and observe the plastic movement itself, which speedily 
transforms causality into reciprocity, and through reciprocity 
(in the brain of Kant for it is not only that reciprocity follows 
causality and causality substance in the tables of Kant, but Kant 
performed the act of reciprocity, he altered the relative position 
of subject and object, or through him this position became in 
different) into the notion. But, the notion ! what notion ? Why, 
just Kant s notion for Kant s notion is virtually identical with 
the notion qua notion of Hegel, or Kant s notion just is this 
notion but in itself. Hegel s notion, in fact, is the absolute 
universal of thought, the primal or ultimate nerve, which is both 
the primitive and original form, and the primitive and original 
matter of all that is; and Kant s notion is at bottom nothing else, for 
Kant s notion is that objects adapt themselves to the subject, that 
things obey or adapt themselves to notions, that the categories are 
multiples which repeat themselves externally in a word, that the 
notion (the category is a notion) is the original and only vitality. 
Nay, Kant, though he knew it not himself, really named the notion, 
and in its ultimate abstraction, when he asked, Why are synthetic 
judgments, a priori, possible ? This is what Hegel means when 
he says the notion ; and if anyone will take the trouble to read 
Of the notion in general, with which the Subjective Logic opens, 
or the Absolute Idea with which it closes, he will probably 
be able to perceive that Hegel himself, both esoterically and 
exoterically, though even in the latter case grudgingly and 
enigmatically as it were, confirms the statement. In very truth, 


the abstraction of Hegel is often of a quasi-allegorical nature ; and 
the origin, history, and progress of the Kantian Philosophy are 
very much the matter of the same in the sections alluded to. 

Hegel, then, despite hie enigmatic disclosures, has well kept his 
own secret ; but the instant one applies the keys which have now 
been given, the whole flies asunder into ease and light. 

The movement of the abstract notion, (it is relatively always 
abstract, though inherently also always concrete,) for example, 
has three steps. In the first, it is the universal, that is, it is in 
itself, as it were, passively shut together into its own identity, 
virtually the all and each but undeveloped ; in the second, it is 
the particular, or it is for itself, that is, it surveys itself, has given 
itself an object, and so has differentiated itself into subject and 
object; and in the third, it is the singular, or subject and object 
have coalesced again, or just it has gone together with its own self 
again, that is, it is in and for itself, or rather, in, for, and by itself. 
But these are the three parts also of the one organic logical move 
ment, which one organic movement of thought may just, indeed, be 
named the notion : the first step is simple apprehension, the 
second is judgment, and the third is reason or reasoning. The 
connexion, perhaps, is best seen in the German words for the 
objects of these three departments (which together constitute the 
whole) of Technical Logic, Begriff, Urtheil, Schluss. The 
Begriff is the notion yet in its entirety, in its unity, in its 
identity, as begripped, begriped, or begrasped together. The 
Urtheil is the Ur-theil (ordeal in English compare theil, deal, 
and the Trench tailler), the primitive or first parting, the judg 
ment which is a dis-cernment, that is, both a separation and an 
elevation into special notice of a part. The Schluss is the shut, 
the close, the return of the movement to unity. As Begriff, 
then, there is but unity, self-identity, a mere formal oneness ; 
but as whole, common whole, universal, which we have taken it 
to be, it yet virtually contains all in itself all variety, that is, 
or all particulars ; it is only not yet stated, or expressed, in this 
form, not yet this form in position (Gesetzt) : it, therefore, vir 
tually all these, but not yet set gesetzt, or formally stated as 
all these, is as yet in itself; or its own substantial variety is as 
yet only virtual, only in itself. The Begriff-stage of the notion 
is, therefore, only the notion an sick, or in itself. This is the 
Suva/mis of Aristotle. But this state of the case is changed in the 
Urtheil. A process of sundering has taken place a movement 


of reflexion ; the Notion is aware of something (itself still, and so 
is the movement reflexion) which is the object, the particular. 
But, on the ideal basis, object being but subject, we may say that 
the Begriff, which as Begriff is only in itself, is now as Ur-theil, 
for itself: that is, it has an object, or there is something for it, 
which something again being but itself, it itself may just be said 
to be for itself. As Schluss, or singular, again, the notion has 
returned to itself, and is in and for itself. But on this stage, it is 
again a unity, a self-immediate, and in a higher form than it was 
at first, because it has returned to itself enriched by the particular 
which it discerned or into which it dis-cerned, in the judgment. 
This new unity, as a unity, and as self-immediate, may again be 
considered as in the form of Begriff, that is, as in itself, and 
again as passing into the form of judgment for itself, and return 
ing into a new Schluss as in and for itself. 

Now this is the whole of Hegel, and this is his ultimate secret. 
These are the steps : An sich, Fur sich, An und fur sich. They 
have analogues in Aristotle and elsewhere ; but unless they be 
regarded simply in their derivation from Kant, they will be 

One can see that with this principle the idealist has a great 
advantage over the materialist, so far as a consistent cosmogony 
is concerned. In the first place, were the theory of the materialist 
to prove satisfactory, his conclusion would, by its own dialectic, 
strike round from materialism into idealism ; for an invisible, im 
palpable, imponderable, and so already very immaterial and 
ideal something, like electricity, which in itself or virtually were 
all that is, would be, and could be, nothing but idealism. And 
in the second place, the theory of the materialist is very unsatis 
factory : for a single material simple, even if able to add to its 
size by its own duplication, could never even by an eternity of 
duplication add anything but itself to itself, it could never add 
another than itself; again, whatever may be asserted, or plausibly 
theorised-, no transition of matter to thought, to organisation, to 
multiplicity, even to a single other, has ever been proved ; and, 
lastly, could a material one vary itself into a many, not only 
material but spiritual, and not only so material, but also otherwise 
material, and had such process been actually proved, time and 
space would remain unaccounted for on the outside still. How 
different it is with the ideal principle ! It is at once not only a 
one, but a many ; it is at once evidently a principle of transition 


in itself, and It is proved such ; it is at once adequate to matter 
(its other) and to thought ; moreover, it is adequate to time and 
space : lastly, in addition, it is the nearest verity to, the most 
vital fact in, each of us, and it requires neither an elephant of 
support nor a tortoise of origination it is causa sui and principium 

But let us apply what we have found in direct explication of 
the system of Hegel as it stands. The notion as notion, as 
organic whole of the movements we have seen, is to be the 
architectonic principle which is to be beginning, middle, method, 
and result to the whole of philosophy. How begin, then ? Why, 
just the notion is. Is is a verity ; so that there must be is a 
verity, and it is the notion that just must be and is. The notion 
is, and the notion firstly is in itself. Now the notion in itself is 
the stage of the Begriff or of simple apprehension, and the object 
here on the great scale is nature. Nature is the notion yet 
begrasped together, the notion as before simple apprehension, 
or perception and sensation. It is in nature that the notion is as 
yet only latent, only virtual, only potential, only impliciter, only 
an sich. Nature will afterwards appear as the notion also Ausser 
sich : the two ideas are at bottom not incompatible, but identical ; 
such is the dialectic of thdught and speech ; and this is no pre 
judice to us here regarding nature as the notion an sich. But if it 
is in nature that the notion is an sich, it is in spirit, or in feeling, 
willing intelligence, that the notion becomes fur sich, or consciously 
looked at ; and again it is in the realm of abstraction from both 
these concretes, from the concrete of a subject as well as from 
the concrete of an object it is in logic that the notion is in 
and for itself. But thought is the prius of all ; therefore it is, 
that in the universal rubric, the ordinary order is reversed, and 
what is last as in phenomenal evolution is first as in noumenal 
fact. In this way, then, we can see into the first inscription found 
in the Hegelian writings Logic, Nature, Spirit. Still, there are 
reflexions possible in an opposite sense which, on the principles of 
Hegel, would justify the same triad, and in the same order : it 
is possible to look at logic as if it were the notion an sich, at 
nature as if it were the notion fiir sich, and at spirit as if it were 
the notion an und fur sich ; and it is quite possible that Hegel, 
though he directly styles logic the science of the idea in and for 
itself, did regard, and did arrive at, his general division in this 
latter manner : it is certain he places logic relatively to nature and 


spirit as on a stage of An sich, and that he regards spirit as the 
highest form of the idea. The result of logic, to be sure, is the 
idea in and for itself ; but even thus the result can be regarded as 
a new Begriff, as a new unity in itself, and again developed into a 
new in and for itself, or spirit. 

But, however this be, let us take each of these grand forms, one 
after the other, and apply the same formula. Let us take logic, 
and confine ourselves to the notion as in the element of the same. 
Now in this element what is the most immediate or an sich form 
of the notion ? Why, that What is, is just What is or Being. 
What now in the same element is it for itself? Here we have to 
consider that we are in a moment of reflexion ; that we seek a 
mediate, not an immediate ; that we say to ourselves, what is 
What is ? that is, what is it in its essence, its principle, its true 
inner nature, its true self; what is the in-being of that out-being, 
or what is being as for itself? The answer plainly is Wesen. Lastly, 
what is it that unites these ? what is it that is in and for itself? 
The notion as notion (the Begriff) is what is in and for itself, and 
unites in itself both Seyn and Wesen. 

In these three forms, now, we have the three moments of 
thought as they have manifested themselves in outer history. 
The last stage, the Begriff, refers to the Begriff of Kant, and 
is the stage of the development of the Kantian philosophy ; 
though Begriff, it is a stage of reason,, a stage of Schluss. Wesen 
is the stage of reflexion, and has reference to the period of the 
Aufklarung, where an inner explanation is demanded of every 
thing ; that is, where the movement is reflexion, where what is 
direct and immediate is not accepted as such, but its principle is 
demanded. This is called also the stage of understanding proper, 
as faculty which seeks, and maintains for its own sake, distinctions, 
which are at bottom, however, but separations and isolations. 
That this is the stage of Urtheil or judgment is also well seen. 
Seyn precedes reflexion ; it is the stage of instinctive natural 
belief, that takes what is as it is there at first hand before it. 
We may conceive reflexion to be an affair of the modern world, 
and to cover the whole field from Bacon to Kant. Seyn precedes 
Bacon, and reason is subsequent to Kant. 

Taking now Seyn apart from Wesen and Begriff, and applying 
our formula, what is the result ? Now here the notion is in the 
element of being ; there is no reference to inner principle or to 
notion : there is no appeal either to reason or understanding, but 


simply to sensuous perception. We are in presence only of what 
is sensuously before us : but still it is that as thought, as logically 
thought. What is being as logically thought in itself? What is 
to wit, what, so to speak, superficially is, as logically thought in 
itself, is plainly Quality. Quality is what is directly perceived as 
constituting What is in itself. For itself now is quality gone into 
its differences, the negative moment of quality ; but that is a 
little consideration is certainly necessary here quantity. In 
quantity, what superficially is, is for itself; for it is an out-of-one- 
another, a mere externality. Measure, again, is evidently the 
union of both quality and quantity. The correctness of quality 
and quantity to the formula becomes oeyond a doubt on referring 
to the mode in which Hegel regards both. In the triad Seyn, 
Daseyn, Fiirsichseyn, the same principles will be seen. Being is 
just the moment of simple Apprehension, the stage of the Begriff, 
the undifferentiated universal. Daseyn, again, is the universal 
gone into its difference, gone into its particularity, and the union 
of both is the singularity of Fiirsichseyn. Seyn, Nichts, Werden, 
being, nothing, becoming, constitute again a triad of the same 
nature. Nichts is the negative moment, the judgment, while 
Werden is the moment of reason which re-unites the two pre 
ceding moments into a new third. Under Daseyn, again, we have 
Daseyn as such, Finitude and Infinitude : and here the An sich 
or simple formal identity, the Fur sich, or the Urtheil, or the 
dif-ference, and the An und fur sich, or concrete identity, or 
Schluss, are all apparent. Then under Daseyn as such, there is 
Daseyn in general, Quality as its difference, and Something as 
the conjunctive Schluss. Under all the divisions of Daseyn, 
in fact, will be found the attempt to begin with formal abstract 
identity as the universal or common whole, and pass through the 
difference and particular to the new or concrete singular whole. 
The same thing is mirrored in Quantity, Quantum, Degree, and 
repeated in all the sub-forms, as will be seen if these are properly 
analysed, to an extraordinary degree of closeness. The formula 
of identity, difference, and reconciliation of both are seen in Wesen, 
Erscheinung, and Wirklichkeit also. Certainly, the matter occa 
sionally proves refractory ; but the formula is never let go, but is 
ever the principle of transition in ever} discussion. In fact, the 
movement of the notion as notion, which may be described as the 
reciprocity of a disjunctive sphere, is attempted to be imitated 


everywhere. Let us just set down a few more of these Hegelian 
rubrics by way of additional examples. 

Subjectivity, objectivity, idea, might almost be used as names 
for the movement itself. Then positive, negative, and infinite 
judgments ; categoric, hypothetic, and disjunctive (the last as 
specially viewed by Kant and Hegel refers to a concrete sphere) ; 
assertoric, problematic, apodictic. Under judgment we do in one 
or two cases, indeed, find, not a triplicity, but a quadruplicity ; but 
under the Absolute Idea in the conclusion of the Logic will be 
found some reasonings which, without being directly applied by 
Hegel to these particular instances, very well explain how the 
triplicity may be stated as a quadruplicity. 

The formula again manifests itself in Mechanism, Chemism, 
and Teleology, and also in the subordinate divisions under each of 
these heads. Logic and its sub-forms stand not alone either, but 
under Nature and Spirit the same principle can be everywhere 
traced. In short, the beginning is always with the form in which 
the notion is naturally direct or immediate to us ; it is the 
notion as it presents itself in its undeveloped virtual in itself, 
in its formal identity or selfness, in its unbroken universality. 
This is a stage which is subjectively the stage of sensation passing 
into perception. Logically, it is the stage of simple apprehension 
and the Begriff. Then the middle is the stage of reflexion : the 
universal, self-identical unit passes now into its differences, into 
its particularities ; and its particularities are just its differences, 
for relatively to the genus, the species is particular, and a genus 
in its species is just in its differences, or the species are just the 
dif-fereuces of the genus. This is a negative stage, a stage of 
separating and discriminating understanding only. Humanity on 
this stage is in a period of Aufklarung, and sharp emphatic divi 
sion and distinction is peremptorily accentuated on all subjects 
and interests. The negative is after all pain, however ; and this 
stage is always one of finitude, unhappiness, discontent: it is 
now that Hegel s Ungliickliches Bewusstseyn reigns. The last 
stage is the stage of reason, of re-union and reconciliation. His 
torically, it is a period when the wounds of the Aufklarung are 

From this scheme, a thousand utterances of Hegel, unintelligible 
else, will spring at once into meaning. It does not follow, however, 
that Hegel will henceforth be quite easy to read. No ; Hegel s 
dialect remains as abstract as ever : the dialectic of the transition 


is often in such refractory matter, that it is laboured to insupportable 
pain, or subtle to evanescence ; and in brief, Hegel will never be 
easy reading. A useful hint here will be, that Hegel often uses 
words so in their directly derivative sense, that this sense and the 
usual sense, as it were, coquet with each other into a third sense. 
The reader must always look narrowly at the composition and 
analytic sense of the words used. Begriff, Urtheil, Schluss, are 
alone sufficient to exemplify both the analytic signification and the 
coquetry. The Urtheil, for example, even as the Ur-theil, or primi 
tive parting, is still the Judgment, &c. 

This, then, is the special origin and peculiar nature of the 
Hegelian method a method which claims to be a form identical 
with the matter: and the claim must be allowed; for what is 
concerned, is thought in essential form, and so also in essential 
matter. Still, however, the system, even in that it is developed 
on a formula, has the formalism and artificial look which attend 
such, in a sort, mechanical aids everywhere else ; and after all, it 
is the matter, or what may be specially discussed, that in the end 
despite the discovery and application of an absolute, or the 
absolute form will assign the relative value of the total industry. 
Perhaps, what is really good in the system, would be quite as 
good if disencumbered of the stiffness of the form, and freed from 
the stubborn foreignness of the language. This we have yet to 


The central ego is externalised into the category that into 
time, that into space, that into sensation. In ultimate generalisa 
tion, again, the form of the category is universality, particularity, 
and singularity. In that ultimate form, moreover of the notion 
as notion the category is scarcely any longer to be named 
externalisation, but rather "simply expression of the ego ; for the 
form indicated by the category is the form of the ego as the ego. 
The ego is, firstly, the universal ; it is identity, it is immediacy, it 
is An sick. The ego, secondly, surveys itself; that is, it gives 
itself, or becomes to itself, the ^ar^icular, the difference, the dis 
cernment, the reflexion : it is Fur sick (and Andcrs-seyn and Seyn 
fur Anderes are evidently just identical with Fur sick, the moment 
the ego is the all). The ego, thirdly, returns from survey of 
itself with increase of knowledge ; that is, returning into itself 

* The form, as absolute form, can never cease to have value. 


(the universal) from or with the particular, it does not just re- 
assume its old identity, but is now the singular, which is identity 
in diversity, immediacy in reflexion, the universal in the par 
ticular, or it is An und fur sich. 

The multiple of the category as category, or of the notion as 
notion, will constitute at once the beginning, middle, and end of 
the organic whole. But this multiple is the common form of all 
the particular multiples presented in the several categories ; and 
that common form, or the ultimate generalisation of the function 
of the categories, is the conjunction of a many into a one. But 
this just amounts to the union of Pa?^icularity and C/wversality 
into Singularity. This, again, is precisely the movement of 
Apperception itself. The reduction of the manifold, under the 
category, to or in apperception this is the singularisation of a 
particular through a universal; and this is just the form and 
movement of self-consciousness, as self-consciousness, of the ego 
as ego. Nay, the same terms constitute an exact abstract expres 
sion of the movement we call Perception, and Kant s philosophy 
amounts to a new theory of this concrete act. 

The example of the restoration of external dead forms (the pro 
positions, syllogisms, &c. of technical Logic) into internal living 
functions was, as was his habit, generalised by Hegel. The 
Begriff, the notion, the ultimate generality or universality, in 
complete abstraction from all and every subject, substantiated as 
the objective all of existence this is not the only result in the 
hands of Hegel of an extension of the principle of Kant. The 
same principle was applied to a variety of other, if not to all 
other concrete fields. There are fields, indeed, where this 
principle seems instinctively applied by common consent. 
Textile Manufacture, Ceramic Art, and a hundred other similar 
industries, are always objectively conceived and spoken of by us: 
we look at them as distinct objects in themselves, and that 
develop themselves, and we do not refer to the successive subjects 
that manipulated them. Now, what we do in such cases, Hegel 
did in the case of abstract thought. He abstracted from the 
historical subjects of philosophy, and placed philosophy itself as a 
plastic object forming itself before him. Hegel has stated this 
openly himself, but he has not been rightly taken at his own 
word ; and this most important step for the interpretation of his 
writings has, as it were, been taken short, to the production of a 


By history itself, Hegel has repeated the same process ; but 
perhaps this process is more remarkable in its application to 
religion. Religion is a concrete sphere of man s world, actually, 
vitally there, and manifesting itself on various stages of develop 
ment and evolution even like the rest. People talk of the proof 
for the existence of God who is the object of religion, as if we 
could not know this object, nor have religion without this proof. 
But, as Hegel points out, if we had been obliged to wait for the 
proof in order to have religion and a knowledge of God, neither 
religion, nor such knowledge, would be now in the world. Re 
ligion is a fact of man and man s world, manifesting itself in 
successive phases like every other of his concrete surroundings. 
Hegel then took the series of its phases, as the successive develop 
mental movements of a plastic object, and exhibited it to us so, 
in complete abstraction or separation from its complicating and 
encumbering subjectivities. Now this step of Hegel is precisely 
the step required to be taken by many well-meaning men now-a- 
days, to whom the letter of religion seems to cause so much 
difficulty and uneasiness that they desire to see it still proceeded 
against in the manner of the Aufklarung. The letter of religion, 
however, ought to be seen to be but a subjectivity, but an external 
and transitory form, and the plastic object itself which is now, was 
always, and ever will be, is what alone ought to be looked at. It 
is but the thought of an infant which in these days finds itself 
arrested by arithmetical questions in regard to the Israelites, or 
by astronomical, geological, or other difficulties, in regard to the 
Bible generally. Hegel is not further behind in his arithmetic 
than others, probably ; yet it was by force of absolute and eternal 
truth that he regarded the Christian religion as the revealed 
religion, and it was with consistent conviction that he bore him 
self throughout life as a sincere adherent to the Lutheran faith. 
To him, it was clear that fhe Aufklarung had accomplished its 
work, that to attempt to continue that work was a blunder 
and an anachronism, and that, on the contrary, it was the 
business of the new day, assimilating into itself the truth 
of its predecessor, yet to atone for the damages wrought 
by that predecessor, and restore the rights of that higher faith 
and reason to which, in its subjection to the understanding 
merely, it this same predecessor, the Aufklarung had done so 
much injustice. How superfluous, then, how retrograde, how 
simply silly all your Feuerbachs and Strausses (to say nothing of 


Bishop Colenso, and Essays and Eeviews ) would have appeared 
to him ! So far as happiness was concerned, Hegel knew well 
that the humble pious Christian who had never heard of dis 
crepancy, difficulty, or doubt, was even infinitely superior to the 
profoundest philosopher in existence ; and he would have con 
sidered it a very thin sincerity, a very painful conscience, a very 
mistaken conscience, which, in the interests of theoretic truth, 
should insist on damaging the practical (moral and religious) 
truth of a soul so blessed. To Hegel the repose of such souls was 
sacred. No doubt, he felt that their enlargement theoretically, or 
so far as knowledge (insight) is concerned, was desirable, but 
practically they were at present well, and disturbance in behalf 
of theory (knowledge) might advantageously be postponed till the 
work of the understanding should be fairly seen into, and the 
reign of reason established. Disturbances there had already been 
enow ; our souls were miserable, and the world was reeling asunder 
into a selfish atomism under the influence of the Aufklarung : it 
was time to stop all that, it was time to bring the Aufklarung 
itself to the bar and demonstrate its insufficiency : it was time, in 
short, to complement, and atone for understanding by reason, in 
the keeping of which latter was the higher and highest weal of 
man religion, God, the freedom of the will, the immortality of 
the soul, and all the blessings of the Evangile of Christ.* 

The philosophy of Hegel, then, is simply this substantive or 
objective history of philosophy : it is philosophy as plastic object 
unfolding itself in entire freedom from every external subjective, 
from every external chronological, concomitant or ingredient. 
With special reference to Hegel himself, we see philosophy, in the 
relative development, passing from the Begriff of Kant into the 

* Had Bishop Colenso and the Essayists and Reviewers, then, understood their 
age, instead of thrusting the negative on faith, they would have demonstrated to 
understanding its mere blindness to the affirmative, and would thus consequently, 
instead of bringing misery to the happy, have brought happiness to the miserable. 
It is the business of no man now-a-days to continue the Aufklarung. We acknow 
ledge what it has done for us, but we go our own way the while. No negative 
criticism of the letter shall longer bind us to the affirmative of the spirit. If Chris 
tianity, so far as external history is concerned, must submit to the ordinary imperfec 
tion, of empirical form, it can still irrefutably rest its authority on the inspiration of 
its matter, and strengthen itself into safety and security by a conjunctive reference 
to the supernatural and revelatory character of history in particular and the world 
in general, as well as the demonstration of reason in the new philosophy. It is the 
business of to-day to bind up our still-dripping wounds, and not to continue 
piercing us with the cold point of Eighteenth-century enlightenment. 



Idea of Hegel. This point, however, has probably been pretty 
well missed. Men saw, indeed, that Hegel characterised philo 
sophy as that in abstraction which its own history is in -concretion ; 
but they hardly believed him in earnest. They saw here and 
there some analogy between certain of the categories in abstract 
logic, and certain of the actual doctrines of the historic philo 
sophers, Ionic, Italic, Eleatic, &c. ; but they never supposed that 
the logical progress was to be considered as strictly parallel with 
the historical progress ; still less did they suppose that the con 
ception was continued into modern philosophy ; and least of all 
that that peculiar Logic of Hegel contained a demonstration of its 
own derivation from the philosophy of Kant. They believed, on 
the contrary, that the former was a system sui generis, an edifice 
apart a system and edifice independent of all other systems and 
edifices, whether of Kant or others. One feels that this allegation 
must expect opposition. The connexion of the Hegelian system 
with the history of philosophy has not been ignored by subsequent 
German students and critics, but again and again formally main 
tained. Haym, for example, in the very second paragraph of his 
book avers, as it (the philosophy of Hegel) is the history of 
philosophy in mice, so it is philosophy in nuce. It is impossible 
for words to say in any more direct fashion that the philosophy of 
Hegel is the history of philosophy. Still, it is to be asserted here 
that the connexion of the system of Hegel with history is under 
stood in a very different sense by Haym from that which we 
suppose ourselves at present to entertain. Haym, after all, has 
not attained to the truth as regards Hegel. Haym represents the 
system of Hegel as something quite arbitrary and artificial, which 
has arisen in obedience to a desire to make the Real harmonise 
with the Ideal, and according to conceptions of Grecian symmetry. 
This, the result of Haym, is a complete and total mistake : Haym 
makes Hegel act on an external motive, whereas Hegel really acted 
on one internal ; Haym makes Hegel to labour consciously towards 
an ideal object, whereas Hegel worked consciously towards a real 
object. Hegel, in fact, takes philosophy, actual philosophy, as it 
comes to him from Kant, Fichte, and Schelling, and remoulds it 
onwards on its own objective principles, and not on his own sub 
jective ones just as Kant receiving philosophy from Hume, 
attempted honestly to mould it onwards thence. 

The proof of the truth of what lies here will consist in this, 
that, after all explanations, Hegel has remained obscure and 


unintelligible ; whereas now as we hope, that is the Hegelian 
system will be found at least open. It is a curious thing, this 
contrast between words and the meaning of words. Haym s words 
are perfect ; they seem to state the case quite as directly as those 
of Hegel: yet Haym, in all probability, never said to himself: 
why, that abstract characterisation means Kant, this again Fichte 
and Schelling, and that other Hegel himself; in fact, it just 
expresses the development of the Begriff; there it is An sick with 
Kant, here Fur sich with Fichte and Schelling, and there, finally, 
it is An und fur sich with Hegel : that so abstract paragraph, in 
short, is the history in nuce of philosophy in Germany ! ! Now 
here the key was complete, and a realisation effected of the words 
of Hegel in a field and with a literality of which Haym had never 

In this there lies a correction for those who are perpetually 
finding the historical views of the great masters perfectly antici 
pated in crumbs of their predecessors : for in the light of a 
subsequent idea words may readily seem to convey that of which, 
as written and when written, they had not the remotest glimpse. 
The industry that would attribute the merit of the new light to 
the preceding perfectly dark words is mean : it is false and 
fraudulent to the great historical name in its injustice ; and it is 
false and fraudulent in that it seeks to procure for itself the credit 
of research and the glory of originality. Thus, here, words may 
be found in many writers directly enunciative of the connexion of 
Hegel s philosophy with the history of philosophy such words 
are perfectly direct there in his own works at the same time that 
these writers themselves had no perception of the close and literal 
application which really obtained. 

How striking the course of thought : Substance, Causality, 
Reciprocity, Begriff, Idee ! Bacon, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibnitz, 
Locke, Hume, Kant, Fichte, Schelling, Hegel, are all there. The 
reciprocity lay in Kant, who altered the relative positions of 
subject and object, and thus was the notion, the notion of recip 
rocity, an sich. In Fichte and Schelling, the notion of reciprocity 
passes into its differences of subjectivity and objectivity, and 
becomes fur sich. Kant is the notion in immediate or universal 
form ; Fichte and Schelling, the notion in particular form. But it 
is Hegel who takes the notion of reciprocity as such, who converts 
it into the an und fur sich, the concrete singular, and exhibits it 


everywhere as the substantial, original creative cell, and as the 
substantial, original, universal system of cells the Idee. 


The opening determinations of the system present themselves 
so abruptly, that one is apt to ask : How did Hegel come upon 
them ? Cannot they be connected in some ordinary way with 
ordinary thought ? Is there no means of bridging over the chasm 
between ourselves here and Hegel there ? Hegel very rightly 
asserts that all this is discoverable just in what the notion of a 
beginning brings with it, and it may be recommended to everyone 
to think out the matter from this point of view for himself : still, 
what the above questions indicate as the want of the inexperi 
enced reader is to be found in the genesis of Hegel from Kant, 
and in the successive notions which arose to the former in the 
progress of that genesis. 

The categories in Kant had a burthen, a manifold, an ingest, a 
matter of their own. They and this matter, though subjective in 
origin, though in us, projected themselves out there into the 
objects, and came back to us (in sensation) with the objects and in 
the objects, forming in fact, though unconsciously to us, a, most 
important, or the most important, portion of the objects. This is 
the first thought that, conceivably, rose to Hegel in the genesis in 
question ; and he may be supposed to express it to himself thus : 
The object is formed by me, wholly by me ; for the thing-in-itself 
which has been left as an unknown noumenon by Kant, is but an 
abstraction, and exists not. What is, is my Sensation, in my 
Space and Time, in my Categories, and in my Ego. But each Ego 
as Ego is identical with my Ego as Ego. What substantially is, 
then, what necessarily is, what universally is what, apart from 
all consideration of particular Subjects or Egos, objectively is, is 
Sensation in the net of Space and Time ganglionised into the 
Categories. All is ideal, then ; but this ideal element (the com 
mon element that remains to every subject on elimination of the 
individual subject) can only be named an objective one. Now in 
this objective element there are two parts one capable of being 
described as sensuous, and the other as intellectual. But these 
two parts are not wholly discrepant and heterogeneous. The 
sensuous part, for example, is but a copy, but an externalisation of 
the intellectual part. The former is but the other of the latter. 


The latter, then, is the more important, and contains all that, 
essentially and substantially, its other is. In such relation, 
indeed, its other is to it as nothing. Neglecting the other, or the 
copy, then, let us confine our attention to the categories, to the 
intellectual part, to the inner part, of which the other is but the 
other, or, what is the same thing, a repetition sensuously and 

Well, these categories declare themselves at once as objective 
thoughts. So far as there is an out, they are out there objectively 
in the world ; or the world is made on these categories, on these 
thoughts. This, then, is the first Hegelian thought : the category 
is objective, is in the object or forms the object. To know all the 
categories, then, would be to know all the thoughts which formed 
the universe to know all the thoughts, indeed, which are the 
universe. But such knowledge, concerning as it does the thoughts 
of God, would be tantamount to a knowledge of God himself. 

From this scheme it will be evident, how completely all that is 
peculiarly Hegelian lay already in the findings of Kant. 

But to look more closely, we may say that directly this light 
went up to Hegel, it would naturally and necessarily be the 
categories that would engross all his attention the categories of 
Kant. What were they ? Where had Kant got them ? How 
had Kant manipulated them ? Could nothing more be made of 
them ? Here, surely, was a most promising field for an aspirant 
to the honours of philosophy ; and most thoroughly, it must be 
said, was it ransacked, and turned over, and re-modelled, and re 
made, and re-presented by Hegel. Ee-presented indeed, so that 
even any trace of the original, would scarcely with any readiness 
suggest itself. The same work, however, which established Hegel, 
serves also to discover him ; and this is the thorough investiga 
tion of that which is the essential part, the essential and central 
secret indeed of the whole system, of Kant the Deduction of the 

It is curious to watch the manoeuvres of Hegel here, the manner 
in which, when led to the subject, he speaks of these categories of 
Kant. By way of example, let us refer to a very remarkable 
Note which occurs in the Allgemeine Eintheilung of his Logic 
(Berlin, 1833, pp. 52, 53). The correlative text runs thus : 

Kant has, in latter times, set opposite to what has been usually named 
logic, another logic, a transcendental logic namely. That which has been here 
named objective logic would correspond in part to that which with him is the 


transcendental logic. He distinguishes it from what he names universal logic in 
such wise that it (a) considers the notions which refer themselves a priori to 
objects, and consequently does not abstract from the whole matter of objective 
knowledge, or that it contains the rules of the pure thinking of an object, and 
(/3) at the same time relates to the origin of our perception so far as it (our 
perception) cannot be ascribed to the objects. It is to this second side that 
the philosophical interest of Kant is exclusively directed. His main thought 
is, to vindicate the categories for self-consciousness, as the subjective ego. In 
consequence of the direction thus imposed, the view remains standing fast 
within consciousness and its antithesis [of an object and subject, to wit] ; and 
besides the empirical element given by sensation and perception, it has some 
thing else left over which is not entailed and determined by thinking self- 
consciousness, a thing-in-itself, a something foreign and external to thought ; 
though it is easy to see that such an abstractum, as thing-in-itself, is itself only 
a product of thought, and that, too, only abstracting thought. 

The Note itself runs thus : 

I may mention that I take frequent notice in this work of the Kantian 
philosophy (which to many may seem superfluous), because this philosophy 
its more particular character as well as the individual parts of the execution 
may be considered as they may in this work or elsewhere constitutes the 
base and starting point of later German Philosophy, and this its merit remains 
undetracted from by what may be excepted to in its regard. In the objective 
logic frequent reference requires to be made to it for this reason also, that it 
enters into particular consideration of important, more special sides of the 
logical element, while later discussions of philosophy have, on the contrary, 
paid little heed to this (the logical element), have partly indeed exhibited in 
its regard often only a barbarous but not unrevenged contempt. The 
philosophising which is the most widely extended among us, passes not 
beyond the Kantian results, that reason can come to know no true material 
content, and as regards absolute truth that we are to be directed to Belief. 
In this philosophising, however, the beginning is immediately made with 
that which in Kant is the result, and consequently the preceding executive 
development, which is itself a philosophical cognition, and from which the 
result issues, is cut off beforehand. The Kantian philosophy serves thus as a 
bolster for indolence of thought, which comforts itself with this, that all is 
already proved and done with. For actual knowledge, and a definite real 
something of thought which is not to be found in such sterile and arid self- 
comforting, recourse ought, therefore, to be had to the mentioned preceding 
executive development. 

Now, in the passage from the text, the Hegelian objective logic 
is said to correspond partly to the Kantian transcendental logic. 

This, then, in one point of view, may be considered as an 
admission of the one system being partly derived from the other. 
The remark, however, is casual and general, and, taking into its 
scope, as it does, the whole of the transcendental logic without 


restriction to the deduction of the categories, it really gives no 
hint that would lead anyone to put any stress on the connexion, 
or expect anything further from its development than what lay on 
the surface, viz., that the categories of Hegel included, among others, 
those of Kant. The two points which are stated in characterisa 
tion of the position of Kant, are in reality identical. They are 
given quite in the language of Kant, and not a trace of that turn 
which made them Hegel s can be found in them. Hegel passes 
lightly over them, indeed, to state that Kant s leading thought is 
to vindicate the categories for the subjective ego (that is, as 
functions of the subjective ego), and he concludes by alluding to 
the defective and inconsistent nature of the Kantian theory. No 
one from such writing could believe that Hegel was aware that 
any particular advantage had accrued to him from the Kantian 
system ; and when one reads the unrespecting criticism with 
which we find Kant perpetually assailed throughout the whole 
course of Hegel s unabridged Logic, the very last idea that would 
occur to anyone would be that the system of Hegel is contained 
all but ready-formed in the system of Kant that it emerged, 
indeed, from the same almost at a scratch of the nail. Nay, it is 
Kant s treatment of these very categories that Hegel, nevertheless, 
censures the oftenest and the most unexceptively. A page further 
on than the last just quoted, for example, we find Hegel expressing 
himself as follows: 

Inasmuch now as the interest of the Kantian philosophy was directed to 
the so-called transcendentality of the categories, the result of their treatment 
issued void ; what they are in themselves, without the abstract relation to Ego 
common to all, what their nature as against and their relation as towards one 
another, that has not been made an object of consideration ; the knowledge of 
their nature, therefore, has not found itself in the smallest furthered by this 
philosophy : what alone is interesting in this connexion presents itself in the 
critique of the Ideas. 

How very misleading all this writing is ! We know that the 
Ideas are universally considered less satisfactory than the Cate 
gories ; yet Hegel, when blaming the latter, can bestow a word of 
praise on the former ! Impossible to think, then, that Hegel lies 
so very completely in these very categories ! Again, Hegel is 
perpetually telling us that all his divisions into Books, Sections, 
Chapters, &c., are only something external, something added as 
mere convenient rubric for reference after the system itself has of 
itself run through all its own moments. Who can think other- 


wise, then, than that this system is a peculiar life, a life of its 
own, and a life apart? Who for a single moment would be 
tempted to suspect that in Kant, too, lay the principle and 
principles of these divisions, which must have all presented them 
selves to Hegel not after the system, but wholly beforehand ? 
But let us look at the Note now. 

Here he acknowledges the philosophy of Kant to be the basis 
and the starting-point of the later German philosophy. But cela 
va sans dire who does not know that ? Is it not common-place 
that Fichte rose out of Kant, and so on ? Does the acknowledg 
ment lead in the slightest to a perception of the peculiar obliga 
tions of Hegel to Kant ? Not by any means : he apologises for 
his frequent notice of Kant, which may appear to many quite, super 
fluous, and the award he extends to the philosophy of Kant is 
made magnanimous by allusion to the defects of its execution and 
particular details ! In fact, not any particular derivation of Hegel 
from Kant, but just the trivially current derivation of Fichte and 
of German philosophy in vague generality from Kant, is what 
Hegel s words would naturally call up to any reader here. Again, 
he admits that Kant enters more particularly into the considera 
tion of logic than later philosophers. But we recollect that 
transcendental logic is on the very outside of the book of Kant ; 
the admission, too, is quite slight and general; and so Hegel s 
observation here passes as one quite superfluous and of no import 
ance. He points out then, that later philosophers have begun 
with the Kantian result which result again is summed up so far 
truly but inadequately, and as in terms of censure so far mislead- 
ingly and have dispensed with any knowledge of the preceding 
execution. But this execution is philosophical cognition, and the 
advantage of a return to it is hinted. There is nothing in all this 
to prompt any inference of the particular truth of the case 
relatively to Hegel. Observe, however, the three words which 
are isolated from the rest by dashes, but not unrevenged ; 
they refer to the contempt of later German philosophers with 
respect to logic. It is not logic in general that is in Hegel s head 
at this moment, however. No ; what is really there is the deduc 
tion of the categories, and not unrevenged is a chuckle aside 
over what he (Hegel) has gained and they (Fichte and Schelling) 
have lost in that regard. This seems very clear as soon as the 
real nature of the relation subsisting between Kant and Hegel is 
seen into. But none of these words, whether in the text or the 


Note, would have given the slightest intimation of their home 
meaning to anyone as yet ignorant of that relation : and much less 
would they have revealed that relation. They are of such a 
nature, however, that they seem to shelter Hegel from the possible 
charge of injustice to Kant, and of having meanly concealed the 
true nature of his vast obligations to Kant when these obligations 
shall have otherwise become known. They certainly contain the truth 
implicitly ; they are very far, however, from expressing the truth 
explicitly; and Hegel must for ever bear the brand of having 
grudged the light. These words, it is true, are not the only ones 
used by Hegel when he has his own relation to Kant in his mind : 
there occur here and there others especially in Vom Begriff im 
Allgemeinen which, like these, amount to admissions, but act 
the part neither of revelation nor acknowledgment till he who 
reads them has contrived to obtain for himself the necessary light 
from elsewhere. 

The scheme of the Kantian categories we have already presented 
in such form, that no one who has any knowledge of Hegel can 
possibly help exclaiming, Why, Hegel is all there ! Hegel certainly 
owes to Kant his main principles in every way, and his leading 
views in general. Hegel, to be sure, is an intellect of irresistible 
force, and, in the course of his fexposition, there occur infinite 
originalities, infinite new lights, which are of the greatest import 
to the development of thought and even perhaps history. The 
looking at apperception, the categories, the intellectual manifold 
of these and the sensuous one of space and time, sensation, free 
will, the antinomies, the ideas, the notions of reflexion the 
looking at these and other such, the materials of the inexhaustibly 
rich Kant, in an objective manner, was a most happy light that 
went up to Hegel, and quite comparable to that light which 
went up to Kant out of the materials of Hume. And how inter 
esting these lights are ! * The light that went up to Hume out of 
Locke, is as historically visible as those two others ; and the true 
nature of philosophy and the history of philosophy will never be 
understood as it is, by the student of philosophy, till these lights 
go up to him in the same way they went up to their first possessors. 
As regards Hegel, too, some rays of the light that rose up to him 
apparently all out of Kant, must be attributed, as we have said 
already, to Fichte and Schelling. The objectivising of the cate- 

* Dem ersten, der, etc. , . . . dem ging ein Licht auf, ... so ging alien Natur- 
forschern ein Licht auf. (Kant, K. of P. R., Pref.). New. 


gories and their system constituted probably, in the main, the 
light that made Hegel. Such implicit admissions, as we have 
seen, then, cannot screen Hegel from the reproach at least of 
ingratitude to Kant, or from the macula of peculiarly equivocal 
concealment a macula not one whit lightened or lessened by this, 
that the concealment was calculated to become, if need were, a 
grudging and equivocal revealment. That utter insulation of 
Hegel, that absolute inaccessibility which has remained so long 
obdurate, that impenetrable hardness of form and speech we may 
regard all this though a peculiar dialect was inevitable as to 
some extent matter of intention. It is certain Hegel saw that he 
was not understood ; and it is now equally certain that, with a 
word about his derivation from Kant, he might have made all easy 
at once. He was surprised by sudden death, however, at a time 
of life when he might reasonably have expected to have lived, say, 
at least some ten years longer ; and it is quite possible that, had 
he been spared, he might have condescended to explain the enigma 
and have kindly vouchsafed us some mitigation of the hardness of 
his forms and dialect. 

It is not to be unconsidered, either, that the German polemical 
tone is of a ruder nature generally than would be tolerable in 
England. Hegel, in one of his papers and in so many words, calls 
some one a liar ! Hegel, indeed, is, in this respect, always con 
sistent with himself, and Kant and the individual just alluded to 
are by no means exceptions. Hegel s polemical tone everywhere 
is always of the hardest, of the most unsparing always, if we may 
say so, of the most unmincing and butt-end description. One has 
but to think of all occasions on which his biographer allows us to 
see Hegel in conflict, to become aware of a general bearing quite 
correspondent to the burthen of what has been already said. We 
hear of him, for example, apropos of one of his most friendly fellow- 
professors, who, in the programme of the session, had presumed to 
recommend to his students out of love a work of Hegel : we 
hear of him when in conflict with a Koman Catholic priest who 
had taken umbrage at the manner in which Hegel, in his public 
lectures, had expressed himself in respect to a mouse which was 
supposed to have nibbled the Host : we hear of him in his literary 
or philosophic societies : and on all such occasions, we cannot help 
getting to think of Hegel as of a man of an audacious stomach 
as of a man of a bold and unhesitating self-will. His attitude to 
Schelling bears this well out also. We saw already, how he broke 


ground, when his time had come, by writing to Schelling in 
what calculated manner, and with what probable views. Well, 
once in Jena, we have to see him a declared Schellingian. He 
starts forward at once to the front, indeed, as the most zealous and 
pugnacious of disciples, and he fights for his master with all the 
unhesitating brass of an advocate by special retainer. In a few 
years, however, when Hegel can dispense with prominence on 
another man s height, the manner in which he says himself 
loose from Schelling is as cruel and determined as is well con 
ceivable. This is to be seen in the preface to the Phaenomenologie, 
a work which, previous to its publication, Schelling told its author 
he looked forward to as the deepest work of the age ! That hard 
heart of Hegel, that relented not, at such words, to mitigate his 
preface ! and to Schelling what bitter commentary on his own 
expectations that preface must have seemed ! It is to be borne in 
mind, too, that when Hegel was exhibiting open zeal for Schelling, 
and demonstrating with an air of perfect conviction the advance 
which Schelling s position constituted, as compared not only with 
that of Fichte, but with that of Kant also at that very moment 
he had in his desk the first sketch of his own system, a system 
that lay directly in that of Kant, a system that proved the con 
tempt entertained by Schelling for the execution and details of 
Kant, and for logic in general, to have been, as we have seen, not 
unrevenged. It lay in the nature of the Hegelian iron, then, to 
kick out of sight the ladders of his rise, to provide for self, to take 
measures afar off, and to set deep plans for the realisation and 
particularisation of self. His attitude in later years to Govern 
ment coheres with the same view. It certainly lay in the nature 
of his philosophy to profess constitutional conservatism and per- 
horresce the usually inconsiderate and shallow innovator of pre 
judice and passion ; but to connect himself so closely, as he did, 
with the Ministers of the day, and to become, as it were, their 
fee d and recognised fighting-man, their retained gladiator, their 
staunch bull-dog of philosophy on hire it was in the nature of 
his own self-seeking that this lay. Let us study and appreciate 
Hegel, indeed, as long and deeply as we may, a tone will cling to 
him that still brings somehow involuntarily to the palate savour 
of poisonous brass. * 

The insulation of Hegel, then, the rubbing out of his own 
footsteps, the removal of all preliminary and auxiliary scaffolding, 

* Certainly that poisonous brass here is quite all too much ! (New.) 


the concealment generally despite a certain equivocal revealment 
of his relation to Kant, must be pronounced, in great part at 
least, an operation of prepense calculation and intentional design. 
This operation it is our present business here -to render abortive ; 
and the means to this lie in a statement of the general nature 
of the Kantian Categories, of the special light that went up to 
Hegel in their regard, and of his probable steps and mode of 
transit from this light to his complete system. It was with 
this statement we were engaged, when called off to animadvert 
on the blame which, dashed somewhat by certain considerations 
must attach to Hegel, of an interested disownment of Kant and 
concealment of the first steps of his own operations. 

What they were where they had been got these categories, 
then, this was not difficult to perceive. They were derived from 
the various classes of propositions, as these propositions presented 
themselves in the ordinary text-books of technical or Aristotelian 
Logic. The various kinds of propositions (or judgments) Kant 
conceived must relate to the various kinds of the act of the 
faculty of Judgment itself, or to the various functions of this 
faculty. The functions of this faculty, then, in such case, were 
either Quantitative, Qualitative, Kelative, or Modal. As Quan 
titative, again, they were either Universal, Particular, or Singular ; 
as Qualitative, either Affirmative, Negative, or Limitative; as 
Eelative, either Categoric, Hypothetic, or Disjunctive; and as 
Modal, either Problematic, Assertoric, or Apodictic. Further 
here, it is sufficient to state now that Kant transformed the 
technical classes of propositions into functions of judgment, and 
into certain h priori ground-notions of synthesis, correspondent 
to these functions, and resultant from them. Here, then, we 
see what the categories are and where they were got. 

But Kant similarly transformed the technical classes of Syl 
logisms into certain d priori ground-notions of Synthesis which 
he named the Ideas. The function of these Ideas was only 
Eegulative, whereas that of the Categories was Constitutive. 
But, what is the important point for us at present, the former 
are a vitalisation of Reason, while the latter perform the same 
service for Judgment. It was, plainly, to technical or formal logic, 
then, that Hegel was referred, when he sought to investigate 
the categories, and endeavour, by the completion of their system, 
to complete the system also of ground-thoughts, which not only 
permeated and arranged the universe, but which actually con- 


stituted and created it, all that held of Sense being but a copy 
and repetition of all that held of Intellect. 

In this search Hegel found himself, even as regards the Cate 
gories and Ideas, to make many modifications. Still in Judgment 
and Reason he had, on the whole, been forestalled by Kant. 
There was one division of logic, however, which still lay virgin 
and untouched by Kant, the first namely, or that which has 
been inscribed Simple Apprehension. Well, as Kant had been 
so successful with Judgment and Reason, it was at least possible 
that a like success might attend an investigation of Simple Appre 
hension also, if conducted on the same principles and directed by 
the same view. But Kant s categories were notions and, as notions, 
ought to belong to simple apprehension. There was thus a con 
nexion between Simple Apprehension and Judgment ; they were 
not wholly isolated and incommunicable; the forms of the one 
might pass into the forms of the other; the one, indeed, might 
be but a gradation of the other. Here we have in perfection 
one of the most special and peculiar of all the Hegelian levers. 
Kant himself blindly expressed this in relating the categories 
to Apperception or Self-consciousness : he failed to perceive that, 
as notions, they might have been set down as ground-acts of 
Apprehension, and that Apprehension then might be set identical 
with Apperception or Self-consciousness. Had Kant seen this, he 
would probably have utilised in his peculiar way, and adopted 
into his system, the whole body of Technical Logic. 

But again, the categories are generalisations, and the question 
in that light is spontaneous : Can they not be generalised further ? 
As the original functions of Apperception itself, this at first sight 
seems impossible, and they themselves ultimate. Still they are 
notions, and the universal of them is the Notion. But the Notion 
as the Notion is just the Faculty as the Faculty, Apprehension 
as Apprehension, or Apperception as Apperception. Here is 
another example of gradation in the same matter, another 
coalescence of differences into identity : the faculty and the 
function were both seen to constitute, so to speak, the same 
stuff and to possess the same life. There is involved here another 
of the great Hegelian levers the elimination, that is, of faculties ; 
the elimination, indeed, of all substrata of functions, qualities, 
thoughts, &c. the reduction of all to Gesetztseyn, which we may 
translate, perhaps, reflexion, or adjectitiousness. 

Again, the one function of all the categories is, the conversion 


of the Universal, through the Particular, into the Singular. Such 
is the absolutely generalised function of the categories as they 
are understood by Kant. This, then, is the Notion, -and this is 
the inner movement of the Notion. Nay, such is the inner 
movement of Apprehension, such is the inner movement of 
Apperception itself. This is the pulse of Self-consciousness ; this 
is the nerve of the Ego. This movement, this pulse, this nerve, 
is what is ultimate rather what is first in the constitution of 
this universe. This is the First and One (throb) which has 
expanded into the All : this is Vitality : this is the Infinite Form 
and the Infinite Matter ; this is the Absolute ; this is What is.* 

The conception of the notion as notion, then, was not for Hegel 
far to seek ; and this notion, with such views, and so instructed by 
Kant, he could not very well have missed. The categories were 
but generalisations ; it was but natural to demand a generalisation of 
them. This was imposed on him, too, by his very necessity to attain 
a First and One. Nay, consideration of Kant s Apperception itself 
would lead him to Simple Apprehension, and to the same thought. 
He was in search of a principle by which he might obtain a 
beginning, secure a method of progression, and complete a system : 
such quest as this lay at once to hand, the instant he perceived the 
reach of the notion of Kant as expressed in the categories, especially 
when these were objectivised. Hegel knew from Kant that in every 
notion there was matter and form ; and it was not difficult for him 
to perceive that what Kant called the intellectual schema, was the 
multiple contained in the notion and tantamount to its matter. 
In regard to the Notion as Notion, it would be with joy he would 
perceive that there Matter and Form as was a particular want 
of Schelling coalesced and were identical ; that the movement 
which constituted the Form of the Notion, constituted also its 
Matter. Kant himself defines a pure notion to be such as arises 
out of the understanding, "auch dem Inhalte nach (also as regards 
matter). Logik in Kant s Works, p. 270. 

At page 271 of the same work, these words might have proved 
suggestive to Hegel : The Idea does not admit of being obtained 
by Composition (Aggregation) ; for the Whole is here sooner than 
the part. At all events, this is a main tenet of Hegel on the 
question of the original tortoise of the universe. There cannot be 
a doubt that Hegel had examined with great attention the Logic 

* This, we may add also, is how d priori Synthetic Judgments are possible, or the 
Notion is the d, priori Synthetic Judgment. 


of Kant; and there is much matter there capable of proving 
richly suggestive. At page 274, we have the following, after an 
admirable account of Abstraction in general which we can 
recognise as the source of Hegel s incessant word abstract : The 
abstractest notion is that which has with none that is different 
from it anything in common. This is the notion of Something; 
for what is different from it is Nothing, and has therefore with 
Something nothing in common. Again, from page 279, these 
words might be very significant for Hegel : By means of con 
tinued logical abstraction there arise always higher, as, on the 
contrary, by means of continued logical determination always 
lower notions. The greatest possible abstraction yields the 
highest or abstractest notion that from which there cannot be 
any further predicate (or significate) thought-off. The highest 
completed determination would yield a thoroughly determinate 
notion, or such a one that no further significate could be thought 
to it. 

Altogether, it was not difficult for Hegel, once possessed of that 
glimpse by which Ego was seen to be externalised by the Category, 
the Category by Time and Space, and these by Sensation, to 
perceive that Apprehension itself (or Apperception or the Ego) 
perfectly generally expressed, would constitute the Notion, and 
that a thorough completion and articulation of a system of 
Categories from the Notion would constitute, in the strictest 
language, a consummate philosophy, or the entirety of those 
universal principles according to which the universe was organised, 
and of which the whole outward was but a repetition. As regards 
his method, too, it was plain that if he was to begin with what 
was most general, he must proceed to what was most particular 
(the Singular), and thus his progress would be, not a generalisation, 
but a specification or individualisation logical determination, in 
short. The passages just cited from the Logic of Kant, then, may 
perhaps not be without bearing on the beginning, progress, and 
termination of Hegel. For his beginning is that which is 
abstractest of all, his progress logical determination, and his 
termination that which is concretest of all. In this, what is last 
supports and is ground to all that precedes ; for it is verily that 
which is ; and all that has been done, has been to begin with the 
simplest link of the complicated chain that constitutes the 
interior of the ultimate principle, and to let all manifest itself in 
development towards this ultimate concrete whole. This whole, 


again, is with Hegel sooner than the part ; the Seyn is just the 
Seyn, or What is, is ; and Hegel conceived that, as a philosopher, 
he had nought to do but demonstrate this Seyn in its intellectual 
principles and constitution ; and thus Hegel was an empiricist. 

Hegel has clung very closely to Kant, then, and his special 
guide seems to have been frequently the latter s special Logic itself. 
There are additional proofs of this. The work in question begins 
thus : Everything in Nature, as well as in the lifeless as in the 
living world, takes place according to rules. Now, one may say 
that Hegel s single industry has been to carry out this into all and 
every : his one idea has been to exhibit all as an organism, and 
every as a necessary member of the same. Then, again, Kant 
follows this up by observing that at the bottom of the crude, un 
conscious concrete that, in the first instance, every and each human 
interest is seen to constitute, there lies an intellectual pure system 
which acts, as it were, as the supporting skeleton and as more. 
For instance, under Speech, which, as it first shows, is so very crude 
a concrete, something so very unconscious and uninvestigated, 
there lies a very decided pure intellectual system, on and round 
which all the rest gathers as so many motes on and round a 
system of pure rays Grammar (a Grammatik). 

Thus, says Kant, for example, Universal Grammar is the form of language 
in general : some, however, speak, without knowing grammar ; and he who 
speaks without knowing it, really has a grammar and speaks according to 
rules, of which, however, he is unconscious. . . . Just as all our faculties 
in general, understanding in especial, is in its acts astrict to rules, which 
may be investigated by us. Understanding, indeed, is to be regarded as 
the source and as the faculty of rules. ... It is eager to seek rules, and 
satisfied when it has found them. The question occurs, then, as understand 
ing is the source of rules, on what rules does it itself proceed 1 . . . These 
rules we may think for themselves, that is, in abstracto, or without their 
application [which is accurately the moment of understanding, judgment, 
Ur-theil, abstraction, or fur sich in Hegel]. ... If we now, however, set aside 
all ingredients of knowledge [it would be more intelligible to an Englishman 
or a Frenchman to say perception], which derive only from the objects, and 
reflect solely on the operation of understanding in general, we discover those 
rules which in every respect, and quite irrespective of any and every particular 
object of thought, are absolutely necessary, just because without them we 
should not be able to think [or perceive] at all. These rules, therefore, can be 
seen, and seen into, d priori, that is, independently of all experience, because 
they concern merely the conditions of the operation of understanding in 
general, be it pure or empirical, without distinction, indeed, of the objects at 
all. . . . Thus the science which consists of these universal and necessary 
rules, is merely a science of the Form of our cognition through understanding, 


or of thought. And we may form for ourselves, therefore, an idea of the 
possibility of such a science, in the same way as of a universal Grammatik 
(or Grammar), which shall regard nothing further than the mere form of 
Speech in general, apart from words, which constitute only the matter of 
speech. This science of the necessary laws of understanding and reason in 
general, or what is the same thing of the mere form of thought in general, 
is called Logic. Thus as a science which considers all thought in general, 
irrespective of the objects, which are only as the matter of thought, Logic will 
constitute the foundation of all the other sciences, and must necessarily be re 
garded as the Propcedeutic of all exercise of the understanding. 

Most readers read such sentences without realising the thought 
of their writer ; they seem to them to allude only to what is called 
formal Logic, which, everybody knows, abstracts from all matter 
of thought ; and they pass on without any consideration further. 
Not so Hegel: he enters into the very mind of Kant, and sees 
what he sees. But what Kant sees is not the Aristotelian Logic, 
but a pure Form, which, subjective in that it is of intellectual 
or mental origin, is yet veritably objective, a pure objective shape, 
to which every actual material object must congrue. Kant sees, 
in fact, a diamond net of intellect pure form which the matter 
of special sense (as it were, falling and condensing on the net) 
crassifies into actual outer objects. This is in rude outline Kant s 
new theory of perception, and Hegel, whether he called it per 
ception or not, saw perfectly well what it was, and spent his life 
in the realisation of it. He saw Kant s notion here which he 
could afterwards identify with the notian as notion he saw that 
of which Kant said we might form an Idea, and of this he just 
by infinite labour formed (or realised) the Idea : Hegel s Idee is 
nothing but Kant s Idea (but, as here in Kant, the Idea is but 
notion, but an sich) of the possible science suggested. Kant ideates 
an d, priori diamond objective net of perception : Hegel realises the 
same as a systematic articulately-detailed whole his Logic ; which, 
viewed as an objective whole, he names (probably with reference to 
the word as used here by Kant) the Idea. Kant s transcendental 
Idea, then r is now to be conceived as simply developed into the 
Logical Idea of Hegel. Or, to say it otherwise, the Logic of Hegel 
is intended to le in absolute truth all that Kant pictures ; it would be 
the diaphanous skeleton, the inner, necessary, pure, abstract system, 
pure as a Grammatik, pure as a Mathematic, pure as an Algebra 
pure as an ultimate, perfectly generalised Calculus on and round 
which the innumerable opaque motes of outer matter should gather, 
group, and dispose themselves into the concrete world of thought and 



sense. Hegel set himself in earnest to realise the idea of Kant, and 
sought to find a pure Noetic of Knowledge (Logic) as others seek 
to find the pure Grammatik of Speech (Grammar). If Hegel s 
Logic, indeed, is not this, it is nothing. But it is this perhaps 
not perfectly it is this, and has discovered those pure essentities 
of thought which are the spring and levers of the whole. For 
example, a whole universe of concrete sorrow, whole lifetimes of 
concrete anxiety, concentrate themselves in those simple essen 
tities Finite and Infinite concentrate themselves, and demonstrate 
themselves, and answer themselves, resolving and clearing them 
selves into insight and peace. Our most earnest English writers 
now-a-days to confine ourselves to writers may be conceived as 
just staggering blindly back at present caught in the last draught 
of the receding Aufklarung. To be blown about the desert dust, 
or sealed within the iron hills, a particle of matter: this they ponder, 
all of them. To them, time has become a maniac scattering dust, 
life a fury slinging flame, and men but flies, that sting, lay eggs, 
and die. The great bulk of earnest men, now-a-days, in short, 
longing for Eeligion, yearning for God and Immortality, weeping 
towards Christ, longing, yearning, weeping towards all those 
essential truths of humanity which the light of the understanding, 
brought to the fierce focus of the Aufklarung, has shrivelled into 
ashes within their hearts such men may all be conceived as at 
certain seasons sitting hour after hour in gloom and silence ponder 
ing these things, and rising at length with a sigh, and the mournful 
refrain, No hope, no hope ! But these two words, Finite and Infinite, 
being discussed in ultimate abstraction (which is their truth), in 
Logic proper at once the knot resolves itself and the cloud lifts. 

Kant, in the same sense, characterises this conceived Logic as 
the Universal art of Eeason, the Canonica Epicuri and that, as 
such, it borrows no principles from any other science. And 
again, he says In Psychology we consider how thought is seen 
and known usually to proceed, not how it must or ought to pro 
ceed ; but in Logic we do not want to know how the under 
standing is, and how it thinks, and how it has hitherto proceeded 
in thinking but how in thinking it must and ought to proceed : 
Logic is to teach us the correct use of the understanding, that is, 
that use of understanding that agrees with its own self. And 
here we are not to deceive ourselves that the burthen of the 
ordinary definition of Logic, the right use of Eeason, is what 
is aimed at. No ; what is aimed at is something very different : 


it is the intellectual objectivity of knowledge as opposed to the 
sensuous objectivity of the same; for even of the latter, the 
former is the essential antecedent, or there is no sensuous 
objectivity in which the intellectual elements do not constitute 
the essence. How very earnest Hegel has been with all this, 
and how completely he has assimilated it, is, on accurate acquaint 
ance, very plain. The question, says Kant, is not what and 
how much does understanding know, or how far does that know 
ledge extend ; but in Logic the question is only, how will the 
understanding know its own self, that is, its own pure form, and 
forms, that lie in abstracto under the crass and opaque concrete. 
Again, he defines his transcendental Logic to be that in which 
the object itself is conceived as an object of mere understanding, 
which surely is tantamount to calling said Logic an objective 
Logic. And he winds up with the following express definition 
in small capitals : Logic is a rational science not as regards 
mere form only, but as regards matter also ; a science d priori 
of the necessary laws of thought, but not in respect of any 
particular objects, but in respect of all objects in general; a 
science, therefore, of the correct exercise of understanding and 
reason in general, but not subjectively, that is, not with reference 
to empirical (psychological) principles as the understanding does 
think, but objectively, that is, with reference to & priori principles 
as it must and should think. What study Hegel has made of 
all this, his Logic demonstrates. Here, again, Hegel s idea is 
well seen : Technical or Scientific Logic is a science of the 
necessary and universal rules of thought, which can and must 
be known & priori, independently of the natural exercise of under 
standing and reason in concrete, although they can be first of 
all discovered only by means of the observation of said natural 
exercise. Here, too, is something very Hegelian : In this Logic 
not the smallest regard is to be entertained whether of the 
objects or of the subject of thought. This is accurately the 
Hegelian Logical Idea, which is (though in abstracto} the concrete 
thought of all that is, elimination being made of all reference to 
any actual empirical object or any actual empirical subject.* 

Kant, to be sure, declares that Logic can be no science of 
speculative understanding, for so it were an organon for dis 
covery, acquisition, and a ddition, and no mere Propaedeutic 
or canon for regulation and dijudication; while Hegel, on 
* For perfect light on this Idea, see p. 96, Note New. 


his side, seems to have converted Logic just into this speculative 
organon. Nevertheless, this very act of Hegel may be not uncon 
nected with this very remark of Kant. As regards method, again, 
Kant says : By Method is to be understood the mode and manner 
in which a certain object, to whose cognition this method is to be 
applied, may be rendered capable of being completely understood : 
it must be taken from the nature of the science itself, and, as a necessary 
order of thought thereby determined, it does not admit of alteration. 
Again, he accurately distinguishes Philosophy from Mathematic, and 
points out the absurdity of applying the method of the latter to 
the former. Many passages, both in the Kritik of Pure Eeason 
and in the Logic, can easily be found to prove this, and we 
need not quote. In reference to philosophy, he says there 
belongs to it, firstly, an adequate complement of rational facts ; 
secondly, a systematic articulation of these facts, or a synthesis 
of the same in the Idea of a whole. Again : Every philo 
sophical thinker builds, so to speak, his own work on the ruins 
of another; none has ever been realised, that was complete in 
all its parts. Then we have much about wisdom as opposed 
to knowledge, which repeats itself in the practical sections of 
Hegel ( Misologie, found here too in the Logic of Kant but 
that is Plato s), and then there occurs this eminently Hegelian 
sentence : Philosophy is the only science which is capable of 
procuring us this inner satisfaction [of wisdom, that is, in act 
as well as knowledge] ; for it closes, as it were, the scientific 
circle, and through it then only do the other sciences first 
acquire order and connexion. Hegel s historical idea seems here 
too: He who would learn philosophy, must regard all the 
systems of philosophy only as the history of Keason in its exer 
cise, of Eeason, that is, as it has historically manifested itself 
in actual operation. Schelling also has this thought at full in 
the Transcendental Idealism ; yet it is to be observed that 
though Kant s words, or Schelling s words, name now the Hegelian 
Idea, neither Karit nor Schelling saw the Hegelian Idea then. 

We are not to lose sight, meantime, of the bearing which Logical 
Determination has on the method and system of Hegel. The 
common secret of all these philosophisings, Kantian, Fichtian, 
Schellingian, was generalisation or abstraction. It lay at hand 
then, that the most abstract notion would, in a system, be the 
natural commencement. But, this accomplished, the question 
would then arise, how are we to proceed, in what manner advance 


from this beginning ? It cannot be by further abstraction or 
generalisation, for we suppose ourselves at the abstractest and 
most general already: determination, then, specification, is the 
only principle of transition left us. But, supposing this to be the 
method we must adopt, how put it into operation, and where end 
it ? are the next questions. As regards putting it into operation, 
that is possible by finding for every genus the differentia by addi 
tion of which it (the genus) will be transformed into the im 
mediately subordinate species ; and as regards an end, that will 
take place, when we have reached the most concrete conception 
that belongs to this universe. The beginning, then, will probably 
not be difficult, inasmuch as it is just the genus summum, or the 
last product of abstraction: neither presumably will the end be 
difficult, as, if we find the true method, it will come of itself. The 
whole difficulty now, then, relates to this method : how, being in 
possession of a genus, can we find, without addition of any other 
element, the differentia which will convert it into its first species ? 
This seems impossible; for logic holds that the genus is the 
common element, while the differentia is that which is peculiar 
to the species, just that, in short, which distinguishes the species 
from the genus. We are at once at a stop here, then ; and it 
seems that even if we had the beginning, the summum genus, any 
advance from it would be impossible, as it is a differentia that is 
the necessary instrument of movement, and a differentia lies not 
in the genus, least of all in the summum genus, but is to be found 
only in the species. Now, in what has been said lies the germ 
and motive of all Hegel s reasoning as regards a beginning, and of 
that principle as well which is named the Hegelian principle KO.T 
e^ox^v, and which has always been objected to Hegel as his absurd 
contradiction of all the laws of logic, of thought, and of common 
sense objected to him, too, invariably with that shallow exulta 
tion and exaltation peculiar to the opponent who is utterly 
ignorant of the man he fights, as if the mere objection were an 
absolutely unanswerable and utterly annihilative refutation and 
reply. But that Hegel is right, there is the universe for proof : 
God himself could not have created the world, had the summum 
genus been only summum genus, and had a differentia required to 
be waited for, from an elsewhere that existed not. It all lies there. 
The beginning and the movement of Hegel ought to be now per 
fectly intelligible, and so far, likewise, reasonable. There are 
truths absolute incapable of being changed even by absolute 


power, and this is one of them : the three angles of a triangle are 
not more absolutely equal to two right angles than the unity of 
difference and identity is absolutely true since the world is. 
Logically expressed, what has been said amounts to this : logical 
determination is only possible if the genus really contains and 
implies the differentia of the immediately following species. Now 
let us try this in actual working ; let us find the sumrnum genus,, 
and let us see whether the differentia be not held in it at least 
impliciter. But here we are just again saying, though in another 
form, what we have already so often repeated. The Genus is the 
Begriff, the Differentia is the Ur-theil, and the Species is the 
Schluss : we have not yet got beyond An sich, Fur sick, and An 
und fur sich ! The same movement, the same form press ever in 
upon us ; and they are those of the Notion. But to apply. 

Seyn, Being, is the most abstract notion of all. Everyone will 
find this the case on trial : Kant directly states this both in the 
conclusion of his Transcendental Analytic, and in his Logic ; and 
Hegel repeatedly points out that it is equivalent to the sum of all 
realities. Seyn is the beginning, then Seyn is the summum 
genus : does it contain impliciter the Differentia ? Or Being is the 
Begriff, what is the first Ur-theil both as parting and judgment ? 
But this was identified but lately as the moment of abstraction or 
fur sich : what, then, is Being in absolute abstraction, or fur sich ? 
Why, Nothing. At first glance, then, it seems wholly hopeless to 
search for any differentia here, where all is vague and indeter 
minate, and Being itself has but the value of Nothing. But what 
is to come after ? or what is the first species under Being ? "Why, 
in Being as Being, there is as yet nothing; it is a sea from which 
not a scale of distinction can be landed. The first step in such a 
sea towards a distinction must be a Becoming. Becoming, then, 
is more particular than Being : by what is it more particular ? 
Being implies that there is ; But Becoming implies both that there 
is, and that there is not. Is not, then, or simply not, is what it- 
contains more than Being. But if, by any means, we could 
have found this not first of all, though implicitly, in Being we 
should have found the differentia necessary for its conversion into 
the species Becoming. But we found this: absolutely abstract 
Being was just at the same time Nothing ; Being as Being was 
predicateless, &c. &c. 

The same process applied to Becoming will detect there, im 
plicitly contained, the differentia that converts it into Daseyn ; 


and Daseyn conveys that there not only is, but that there is actually 
there, or here, or now. Quality is found impliciter in Daseyn, and 
Daseyn is thereby converted into Etwas, Something. This, in short, 
seems the course of the march of Hegel from beginning to end. 

Of course, it is easy for us, with Hegel s scheme before us, to 
state the examples; while for Hegel the construction of his 
scheme, with all that he had to assist him in the general concep 
tion of Determination through the addition of differentiae, would 
prove very difficult. Still, though he must have had great trouble, 
the receipt being so very plain, the accomplishment of the process 
would plainly be very possible to patient trial. 

It is to be understood that Hegel did not look at the process as 
altogether external, artificial, technical form. He had come upon 
it, doubtless, when endeavouring to accomplish for the matter of 
Simple Apprehension what Kant had accomplished for that of 
Judgment and Reason, &c. No doubt, Hegel vitalised logical 
determination into the process of the concrete ; and, no doubt, 
Hegel was perfectly correct in this. The concrete, and the ulti 
mate principle of the concrete let us even name it God must 
contain identity, and it must also contain diversity. Progress is 
possible only from this to that ; but these very words imply other 
and others, diversity. But God is not to be viewed as twofold 
in God s unity, then, identity and diversity must both cohere, 
without prejudice the one to the other. This is a deep subject : 
Hegel, however, has probably thought it out; his result being 
that difference is as essential to the Absolute that is, to this 
universe and the principle and principles of this universe as 
identity itself. So long, indeed, as we remain by identity, by that 
which is always self-identical, and nothing but self-identical, 
march there is none ; but in that God created the world, he demon 
strated that self-identity was not alone what constituted him. 
Negation is as necessary as affirmation, then ; nay, Spinoza 
asserts omnis determinatio to be neyatio, implying thereby that the 
particular arises only by particularisation, that is, by differentiating 
by differencing the conceived original identity. In all philosophy, 
then, negativity is an essential constituent, as it is an essential 
constituent of the eternal frame of things. Kant had his negative 
in the form of a Thing-in-itself, and Ficht6 could not move with 
out the same principle, but ratified into the Anstoss, the appulse. 
or reflecting plane of impact. Hegel, for his part, like the royal 
thinker he was, resolves these negatives into the ultimate negative 


of nothing, nought, or not, negation as such. In fact, the ultimate 
principle is to him the pure Negativity ; and even such is Ego as 
Ego, or Self -consciousness as Self-consciousness : even such is the 
Notion ; for, like Ego, on the one side in every case it negates all 
difference into its own identity ; while, on the other side (like ego 
also in the case of idealism, or as God), it negates its own identity 
into all difference. Here is a glance into the very depths of being. 
Hegel, very probably, made progress easy to himself by the ready 
formula, Find your differentia (always impliciter in the genus}, 
and add it expliciter to the genus for the formation of the species : 
still, he had in his mind concrete truth in the shape of the 
necessity of difference to identity and of all the consequences of 
the same. The Ur-theil, the difference, is quite as necessary as the 
Begriff, the identity. What is in itself must become for itself ; 
and unity stepping asunder into differents, that is Ur-theil, that is 
dis-cernmeut. We are not content with the immediate identity of 
sense, for example ; we demand the mediacy, the explanation of 
understanding, which is a movement between differents. Hegel s 
.principle, then, is more than mere formula : what, in fact, we here 
refer to under the series genus, differentia, and species, is identical 
with that expression of his principle which Hegel generally uses 
namely, That everything passes into its opposite, but again re 
sumes the same to production of a higher form : for what else in 
logical language is this, but just that the genus contains the 
differentia, and, by manifesting and resuming the same, it passes into 
the species ? This logical language, then, is no mere dead formula 
not a mere form in a book ; it is a form that pervades and animates 
the universe itself. The identity of the seed passes into its differ 
ences and becomes the tree. As Hegel s own illustration has it, bud, 
blossom, fruit, follow each other, refute each other; yet the last 
still contains the others, and it is only identity which has passed 
into its differences. Hegel, face to face with nature, saw that this 
principle was true ; face to face with history, he found it true ; 
face to face with thought in his own soul, it still showed true ; 
and face to face with the history of philosophy, it was no less 
true. Everywhere he tried it, and everywhere the answer was tne 
same. Still, it is to be understood that even a Hegel cannot 
escape the appearance of formalism and mechanism which the 
application of a formula always entails. There is a certain formal 
mechanism in the very initial questions, What is the absolutely 
abstract genus ? what is the absolutely abstract differentia ? and in 


the answers, The absolutely abstract genus is the absolutely abstract 
identity the absolutely abstract sum of all realities, which is just 
Being as Being; the absolutely abstract difference can only be 
Nothing ; the absolutely abstract species, from the addition of such 
difference to such identity, can only be the absolutely abstract 
Becoming. These, perhaps, are the bottom thoughts ; but absolutely 
abstract thoughts look very formal beside these material things, sky 
and earth and air, and bird and beast and man. It is but formalism, 
it is but a dry gulp to us to take down Logic as creating principle 
of this Nature yet still what help ? 

Thus, then, at all events, tracing Hegel from Kant, we have 
gone deep into the former, and have well-nigh surprised, perhaps, 
his whole secret. We can throw yet another light, however, which 
of course coheres with what has been already said. Hegel con 
sistently sought in the history of philosophy for the thought which 
had immediately preceded his own, in the belief that the nexus 
between them would prove the differentia of the latter. Or we may 
say this otherwise. 

The results reached can be conceived as accruing to Hegel from 
an examination of the subjective side, as it were, of the industry 
of Kant. There is yet another side of the same industry, the 
objective. It, doubtless, occurred to Hegel spontaneously, that 
differentiation was the principle of the objective and historical 
progress of thought in outward manifestation as a succession of 
thinkers. Still this also, so far as" the expression is concerned, 
lies in Kant. We have seen already the sentence, He who would 
learn philosophy must regard all the systems of philosophy only 
as the history of the exercise of Eeason, that is, the systems of 
philosophy are the history of Eeason itself. Schelling also has 
the same thought, and, we may add, that thought also which 
Hegel realised in the Phaenomenologie. Both thoughts cohere, 
indeed, and belong to the same fact. Indeed, the vitalisation of 
logic was itself sufficient to suggest such historical expectations, for 
it showed that these dead linguistic formulae had formerly been 
alive in actual historical thought. 

Objectively, then, the thought of Hegel was preceded by that of 
Kant, as that of Kant was preceded by those of Hume, Locke, 
Leibnitz, Spinoza, Descartes. That is to say, the thought of Sub 
stance was the objective thought that immediately preceded the 
thought of Kant ; and, more closely still, it was Substance gone 
into Causality which was the immediate foregoer of the Notion of 


Kant. Now, Kant, so far as Substance was concerned, had 
completed the series appertaining to the relation involved by 
adding Eeciprocity. Eeciprocity, indeed, is the name that not 
inaptly describes the peculiar view with which Kant followed 
up the suggestions of Hume. Kant, for example, referred all 
to the reciprocity of Noumena. What constituted knowledge 
was Phenomena derived from the reciprocal action of the Nou- 
rnenon within and the Noumenon without. Eather, Kant in 
verted the previous relative positions of these two Noumena 
by subordinating the object (which had previously been the 
principal) to the subject (which had previously been secondary), 
and thus by such inversion generated a certain virtual reciprocity. 
At all events, from reciprocity the Notion of Hegel directly takes 
life : it is just with reciprocity that Hegel has seriously occupied 
himself. He has concentrated his attention on the peculiar 
manner in which Kant derives this notion of reciprocity from 
the logical function of the disjunctive judgment, and has thus 
gradually created his own Notion or Idea, which just is, that 
What is, is a concrete unity, the life of which lies in the principle 
of reciprocity, and more particularly in the notional form of 
that principle as it exhibits itself even in Kant himself. For 
in Kant, we find the singular to be but a sort of reciprocal result 
from the reciprocal interaction of the particular and the universal. 
This is best seen in the Kantian rationale of a perceptive act. 
This (any) concrete unity (perceived), the disjunctive sphere a 
single cell, say is to be conceived possessed of the reflex life of 
consciousness. An illustration suggests itself. 

In a letter written to a literary veteran, some twenty years 
ago, by a stricken youth, in one of those intrusions which are, 
to budding letters, in the light of love, so natural, but to budded 
letters, in the light of experience, so unendurable, there occurs 
the following passage : I lie in the centre of this me, this dew- 
drop, round which the rays of Deity, interpenetrating and passing 
through it, paint the spectrum of the universe. This may be 
allowed to be a fair symbol for idealism in general ; and the 
same youth, separated by many years from any knowledge of 
German, stumbled in his thoughts on what may perhaps be 
allowed to be a fair symbol for the phase of idealism which 
now occupies us. It is this : Conceive a magician, a man of 
mighty power, a Prospero, so to place before the eyes of a 
Miranda a scale of fish, a plume of bird, a tooth of beast, a 


leaf of branch, a pebble from the rock, a grain of sand, &c. r 
so, and so strangely, that they should liquidly collapse somehow 
before her eyes taking her with them into the aforesaid dew- 
drop ! Now this is a Vorstcllung of the Begriff of Hegel, or 
better, perhaps, of his Idea. The All, What is, is, so far as Logic 
is concerned, the Idea. Now, this Idea is but a dew-drop which, 
by a triplicity of reciprocity in itself, develops itself, or rather at 
any time can develop itself, into the universe. As it is, in the 
first instance that is, as simple unity or identity, knowledge (or 
particularity), there can be none in it: it is just What is an sich, 
in itself. But let it, by virtue of its own inner negativity, negate, 
isolate a single point of its yet undisturbed periphery, and there 
result immediately a particular and a universal which collapse 
into a singular. The dew-drop, the lucid vesicle, is conceived 
capable of self-consciousness. Self-consciousness as act may be 
conceived as the form, the embracing element, the prehens ; while 
the object of self-consciousness may be conceived as the matter, 
the Inhalt, the wtent or ingest, or the prehensum : lastly, the 
realisation of the prehensum to the prehens may be conceived 
as a singular act of knowledge, a union of Form and Matter, 
an Entelecheia. The applicability of several of the Hegelian 
triplets must at once suggest itself: the moments of the move 
ment, for example, are all respectively susceptible of the names, 
Begriff, Urtheil, Schluss ; Immediacy, Mediacy, and Both ; Identity, 
Difference, restoration of Identity, &. &c. 

Again, in further explanation, it is to be considered that the 
Phaenomenologie precedes the Logic, and that the latter 
work consists, in a measure, but of the abstract conclusions of 
the former work; which conclusions being placed together, are 
seen to form a system apart by themselves. 

There is possible yet another glimpse of the industry of Kant 
which will greatly assist to an adequate conception of the industry 
of Hegel. Looked at in a large and generalised fashion, the 
industry of Kant was, in ultimate instance, to reduce all the 
concreter interests of man to the three cognitive faculties. The 
result of the Kritik of Pure Eeason/ for example, is to reduce 
the whole theoretic world, the whole world of knowledge (for 
the thing-in-itself=o) to Understanding ( = Simple Apprehension 
here) ; the result, again, of the Kritik of Judgment is to reduce 
the whole aesthetic world, the world of feeling or emotion, under 
Judgment; and, lastly, the Kritik of Practical Keason refers 


the Practical world, the world of Will, to Keason. This is 
sufficiently singular in itself; and, no doubt, it was sufficiently 
singular to attract the special attention of Hegel. What a 
light it must have proved to this latter indeed ! The whole 
universe brought back into cognition, just as if all the light 
ever shed by the sun were arrested, and compressed, and brought 
back into his single focus ! That the thing thought was but the 
faculty thinking, or that known and knowing were one ! That 
the forms of thought, which collectively might be named logic, 
were the real secrets and souls of the whole immeasurable external 
chaos ! Such thoughts as these might entrance anyone ; such 
thoughts as these even spring to meet us from this side of 
Kant as from others ; and such thoughts as these are the main 
and master thoughts of Hegel. Of the realisation of such 
thoughts, indeed, it is that his whole laborious work and works 
consist. If Kant reduced all to the three cognitive faculties, 
Hegel but performed the same feat under another form when he 
reduced all to the Notion ; for the three cognitive faculties are but 
the three moments of the Notion. One can readily see now how 
it is that considerations of logic dominate everywhere in Hegel ; 
and one can now readily understand, also, his contempt of nature 
as something no more real than our ordinary trains of ideas that 
float at random. One can now understand, too, how it is that 
there is a greater difficulty in Hegel, and that is the transition to 
God. In the meantime, we may quiet ourselves by remembering 
that Hegel enters on the consideration of God on a much higher 
sphere, where it is not Logic, but the concreter interest of Eeligion, 
that is concerned. 

In this way, probably, we may have accomplished something 
not altogether unsatisfactory towards some explanation of the origin, 
principle, form, and matter generally of Hegel. 


A short but luminous formula for Hegel perhaps as good as 
any that can be devised is this : 

The Substantive is What is ; 
But the Adjective is the Substantive : 
Therefore, the Adjective is What is. 
Or the Whole is Adjective-substantive. 

If it be objected that these are but objective moments, and 


that the subjective moment is absent, the latter may be added by 
considering the adjective as now pronominally, as it were, reflected 
into the verb. 

Thus the Notion manifests itself in Grammar also. It is strange, 
this pertinacity of the Notion ! How striking as regards Christi 
anity, the Eeligion of Truth, that its moments correspond accurately, 
as we have seen, to those of the Notion ! It is the religion of 
Vision (as through the lily into the inner glory, the glory of God), 
of Love, of Submission : and these correspond to the trefoil of man, 
Cognition, Emotion, Volition, and so to the trefoil of the Notion. 


The last word of the secret of Hegel that is probably now 
required, is contained in the last paragraph of Eeciprocity, and 
constitutes the conclusion of the objective and the commencement 
of the subjective Logic. This last word is the Begriff of the 
Begriff ; a phrase often enough used by followers of Hegel, in the 
sense of totality, probably, but it is doubtful if ever by any of 
them in the sense meant by Hegel himself, who, however, has, in 
his own way, explained his meaning tolerably exoterically, too, 
to him who has the true nature of the industry of Kant fairly 
before his mind in the sections Vom Begriff im Allgemeinen, 
and Die Absolute Idee. The original German must here be 
thoroughly studied, for an English Iranslation would be so uncouth 
as absolutely to repulse approach. Some notion of what is in 
tended may perhaps be caught from this : Conceive the particular 
and that just amounts to, Take the organic series of particulars 
as the middle then the negative reflexion of these as to themselves 
collectively as an organic whole, is the universal; while this 
same negative reflexion of themselves to themselves as a unit, is 
the moment of singularity. Conceive your thirty-two teeth 
negatively reflected into themselves as a case, and also negatively 
reflected into themselves as a lite (their own functional act), and, 
through the rough Vorstellung, something of the Begriff may 
shine! This conception being properly understood at the same 
time that it is borne in mind that the whole and all is self-conscious 
thought universality and singularity are thus seen to be identical, 
while the particular is also identical with each, and is held between 
them as in a transparent distinction, so that all three coalesce 
and the result is a triune transparent distinction. 


Why is it after EECIPKOCITY ? Because such is the truth of 
actual history : it came to birth so after Substantiality, Causality, 
and Eeciprocity or after Spinoza, Hume, and Kant. Its relation 
to reciprocity appears in this that, as it comes forward here (in the 
Logik), it is in the form of Schluss, and in Seyu and Wesen respec 
tively has already been Begriff and Urtheil: though itself the 
Begriff, then, it, as in the form of Schluss, resumes the others and 
completes the reciprocity. Here in the form of Schluss, it con 
stituted elsewhere in the form of Begriff the beginning of the whole. 
Under Seyn, then, where the Begriff was im Begriffe, or as Begriff, 
all was An sich, all the distinctions also. Hence the particular 
form there of other to other. In the same way we perceive 
that, the Begriff under Wesen being im Urtheile, the form 
becomes that of separation into Reflexions. We have now to 
understand that the Begriff being im Schluss, has reached the 
perfection of its form and terminates in the Idea. The special 
movement under each division is always the same, however : 1, 
Simple Apprehension ; 2, Judgment ; 3, Eeason ; for Hegel is 
always in earnest with the realisation of the living pulse of Logic. 
Matter, indeed, cannot be his business here. That business is 
not surejy with a first artificer, and what he made and how he 
made it but with thought and the demonstration of thought as 
the absolute organ or organism, and the organic all or absolute. 
Thus it is that he always bears it with him, that thought, though 
it is itself the object looks on this object as another, in such wise 
that its knowledge of the same is of a negative nature intelligible, 
perhaps, from this illustration that, in the movement of the sun, 
what is seen, is just the negative of what is. Hegel would convert 
the new principle into Science ; but such science of the Notion 
can only be Logic. 

Verstandige Vernunft, or verniinftiger Verstand, we may remark 
here, amounts to plurality in unity, or unity in plurality; just 
what Kant meant but only as it were An sich, or implicitly and 
virtually by his Einheit and Mannigfaltiges ; and this is the 
reciprocity which Hegel has in view. Verstand here is taken so 
that its strict etymology falls into and modifies its ordinary mean 
ing. There is an idiomatic use of Verstehen which illustrates the 
Hegelian sense : Verstehen, that is, sometimes means, to become 
stale, to be injured by long standing, as it were to stand itself 
away. The relation this meaning bears to the fixed isolation, the 
sundered identity, which Hegel would have us perceive to be 


implied by understanding, is tolerably obvious. Hegel always 
regards the particle Ver as equivalent to trans, and as referent to 
.a process of transition or transformation the nature of which is 
characterised by the root. So Allgemein, Besondern, and all the 
Hegelian terms. Kant s phrase Anschauender Verstand is equiva 
lent to the Hegelian Verstandige Vernunft. In Bestimmen, too, 
see the etymological look it is a giving voice (Stimme) to What 
is ; or Logical Determination (Bestirumung), the whole process of 
Hegel, is but a sort of naming of Adam. Geist, similarly, is an 
excellent word for the ultimate, absolute, and positive Unity : the 
living Spirit of the moment is always the co-including and realis 
ing point of the All. 

As regards both Understanding and Eeason (in its dialectic 
part), it is not difficult to understand the word negative as applied 
to their function. We may just say generally, indeed, that 
thought has no purpose and no act but to negate Seyn taken as 
what sensuously is. But, more particularly, Understanding 
negates the unal self thus effecting an intercem or interpart. 
Eeason negates the negation, not into nothing, but into the 
restored unal self. Here we see : 1, Unal Self Simple Appre 
hension, or Begriff; 2, Intercern Judgment, or Ur-theil; 3, 
Resolution of Difference into a Unal Self of differents Reason 
and Schluss. Everywhere the Notion is a Negativitat : the 
Particular is negative part negating part, &c. ; the Universal, as 
negating the parts, is negative ; and the Singular, as negating all 
into the absolutely self-identical unit of Self, is eminently negative 
and eminently the reine Negativitat. In fact, what we have 
everywhere is division in the indivisible, separation in the in 
separable, difference in the identical ; so that identity is abstrac 
tion and the form of abstraction. 

Such sentences as the following will be now intelligible, and 
may prove illustrative: This spiritual movement, which in its 
unity [i.e. im Begriff] gives itself its characteristicity [i.e. its 
determinate and determinating variety, as im Urtheil], and in 
its characteristicity its equality with itself [resumption of All- 
gemeines and Be-sonderes, into Ein-zelnes ini Schluss], which 
is thus the immanent evolution of the Notion, is the absolute 
method of cognition, and, at the same time, the immanent soul 
of the import itself import here amounting to that which the 
All, both substantially and formally, is. The nature, the peculiar 
inner being, the veritably eternal and substantial element in the 


multiplicity and contingency of the phenomenal and passing out 
ward, is the notion. Only in its notion has anything actuality ; 
so far as it is diverse from its notion, it ceases to be actual, and 
is null ; the side of tangibility, palpability (Handgreiflichkeit), 
and of sensuous out-of-selfness (Aussersichseyn) belongs to this 
null side. The sensuous never is, but always is not; the notion, 
then, is its truth ; what it is apart from that notion is evidently 
a nothing : take the page before us, for example. In illustration 
of the life of the Notion, we must bear in mind the progress of 
history, in all departments, from, 1, Instinctive life, through, 2, 
Eequirements of Eeflexion into, 3, Eeason. This, in the concrete, 
is not to be looked for in the exactitude of a formula : often we 
see retrocessions of the individual, a fall-back from understanding 
to sense, as in Eeid. On the whole, in the Begriff of the Begriff 
we see that Hegel has returned to substantiality, fact, life, while 
Kant, in his categories, was still in distinctions of mere formal 
logic. Kant thus may be said to have had only a regulative, 
while Hegel has a constitutive, force. Before such merits one 
relents to conceive Hegel as absorbed in creation, and never 
sufficiently on his own outside, as it were, to explain his origin 
from Kant. But this origin and the debt to Kant are not to 
be forgotten. 

Thus, then, we see plainly how actual fact of life and history 
coheres with general logic. Being, Nothing, Becoming, through 
all the intermediate steps, are just finally hammered into, and 
correspond respectively to, the closing triunity Logic, Nature, 
Spirit. Legends of all peoples exemplify the same. Eden is 
but Simple Apprehension passing into Judgment. Then the Good 
Principle is Being, the Bad, the Negative. Faust, again, is the 
latter stage of the era of Judgment, the stage named by Hegel, 
Das ungliickliche Bewusstseyn ; the Understanding has done 
its work, Eeason has not yet begun, and all around is but empty 
abstraction, without a single rest for Faith (or Hope) of any kind : 
and the result is but a precipitation into the senses ; more com 
monly now-a-days the end is but vague despair and an impotent 
sighing for all that has been lost. 

The categories we may conceive as an internal web invisible 
to us, and of which, so long as they are uninvestigated, we are 
but the prey. Still, to most individuals, certain categories become 
enlarged isolated thickenings occur in our inner web which as 
thickened come before consciousness and from which as ganglia 


our single spirit issues. In this manner, we may conceive our 
selves enabled to analyse and pass judgment on the characters 
of men by exhibiting, that is, their ganglionised or hypertrophied 
and ossified categories, of which they were the slaves. The thin 
man acts from a single category; the rich man is a rich spirit 
resultant from many categories mutually related in a healthy 
common system. Cromwell, though so inarticulate, drew breath 
from a vast bulk of categories; and from the weight of the 
universal it was that he possessed his irresistible mass and 
moment; nor was the universal that led him, in the slightest 
hollowed out, as is so common everywhere at present, by the 
wind of the vanity of the singular. The bad effects of such 
wind are very apparent in Napoleon. "Wellington is otherwise ; 
but his universal was simply the red tape of England. 

Hegel s work is this : the spider of thought a point spinning 
its web of thought around itself: the bombyx of eternity, the 
cocoon of eternity, and their unity in eternity itself! Hegel 
takes Kant s notion as the secret, the key, of the universe. It 
is at once the absolute form and the absolute import. And it 
is this form and this import which only mvolve themselves 
throughout the whole system, from the lowest, simplest, and 
abstractest of abstractions up to the highest, most complex, and 
concretest of concretes. Once possessed of the Kantian notion, 
his way was successively to discharge its concretion till it reached 
an ultimate tenuity, and thence to let it remake itself again. Or 
we may say that Hegel lies in a consideration of the absolute 
adversatives negation, position, &c. He saw that thought was 
but as a football from inner to outer, and from outer to inner, &c. ; 
and he resolved to make shuttle what had previously been but 
shuttlecock ; that is, he wove together into indissoluble unity by 
relation what hitherto had been irreconcilably disunited by this 
very same relation. This is another synonym for his work, as 
that of reason, repairing and restoring what had been injured and 
destroyed by the eighteenth century, in the work of understanding. 
If the reflexion of Spinoza and Hume has unfixed and unsettled all, 
the reflexion of Kant and Hegel will again restore all to place and 
to peace. Hegel s one object, indeed, has been a demonstration of 
the absolute intussusception. The result is a crystal sphere per 
fectly transparent but covered with infinite tracery of intussus- 
cipient lines opaque, yet transparent which appear and disappear 
in the own movement of the sphere s own inner. 




A tempting way to state the main notion of Hegel is this : 
What is, says Spinoza, is Thought and Extension, which again are 
but modifications (even as attributes they amount to this) of one 
and the same God. Hegel says of this that there is no transi 
tion in it, no deduction, no mutual connexion. Now Hegel s 
secret is just to add the missing element ; or it is the introduction 
of intermediation and connexion into the divided and disunited 
trinity of Spinoza. This, of course, is said roughly and generally 
to give a general and rough idea ; for in reality the Nature of 
Hegel is not derived and is something very different from the 
Extension of Spinoza : at all to compare, indeed, such vast organic 
wholes as the Logic, Nature, and Spirit of Hegel with the mere 
phraseologies of Spinoza in reference to Thought, Extension, and 
God, is possible only in a wide manner on the mere outside. Still, 
to assist us to an understanding of Hegel, let us say that what he 
did was to introduce nexus and connexus into the three of Spinoza. 
Following this out, then (but as mere illustration), Hegel says, 
Extension, that is the Particular ; Thought, that is the negative 
reflexion of this Particular into itself as the Universal ; God, that 
is the negative reflexion of this same Particular into itself as the 
Singular, which is thus seen to be a union of both, and each, 
indeed, is but the other. Now this revolts; for God, at first sight, 
is in this way lost to us. God in this way appears a mere crea 
tion of our own thought in its barest form, indeed, a mere 
human reflexion. This conclusion is not quite legitimate, how 
ever. We assign to God a variety of attributes ; or God cannot 
be conceived without a variety of attributes : in a word, then, 
there is God s unity, and there is God s variety. Now, if we can 
suppose Extension adequately to collect and represent all God s 
variety, then assuredly we "shall not be very far wrong if we 
assume God s unity to be the negative reflexion into itself of God s 
variety, that is, of Extension. This reflexion, moreover, does not 
belong to us ; it must be conceived as objective fact independent 
of us. Besides, we are not at all occupied at present with the 
truth, but only with the fact of Hegel. This huge box has long 
lain shut we open it we lay out the contents : this is our work. 
By and by probably, a separate work, the appraiser will follow 
with his work, and tell us the value. One thing, it is absurd to 
think of God as an entity somewhere in space, visible and 


palpable, could we but get there. I have swept space with my 
telescope, says Lalande, and found no God. The absurdity of 
the atheist is seen in that, but there is no less also reflected in it 
the absurdity of crude theism which as yet has not reached 
thought proper, but only figurate conception (Vorstellung). But 
since Hegel, however it be with the God of Hegel, we must cer 
tainly always substitute now Begriff for Vorstellung, intellectually 
thought notion for sensuously seen image. God is no longer to be 
pictured in space ; he is not locally, topically in nature ; God is a 
Spirit, and can be only in the spiritual world, only in the absolute 
world, which is thought. 

Logic has always appeared under the three rubrics of Simple 
Apprehension, Judgment, and Reason. In this respect, Hegel s 
Logic does not differ from any other, or, if it differs, it differs only 
in being truer to the rubric. Hegel s Logic is, from first to last, in 
matter and method, in form and substance, in book and chapter, 
in section and paragraph, in sentence and even word, nothing but 
Simple Apprehension, Judgment, and Reason. Simple Appre 
hension, Judgment, and Reason, this itself is but one of the sacred 
names, just one of the synonymes of the whole. Judgment is 
but the negative reflexion of Simple Apprehension into itself, and 
Reason is but the negative reflexion that sums both. Nay, each 
is so much the other, all is so dialectic, that, it may be, Hegel 
himself sometimes mistakes the cue and places as Particular what 
is Universal, &c. This is but the Notion ; that is, in one of its 
forms. Everywhere in Hegel we have before us only the Notion. 
Being, Nothing, Becoming: Being is but Simple Apprehension 
(Perception, if you will) at its abstractest ; Nothing is the act of 
Judgment on Being; it is the negative reflexion of pure Being into 
itself; Becoming is the act of Reason on Being, and is both Being and 
Nothing in concrete unity, the truth of both, the Singular that is. 
It is just as if we said : Everything that is, is ; Everything that is, 
is not ; Everything that is, is Both that is, it becomes. Each of 
these averments, too, is true only the last is the concrete truth, 
the others are but abstractly true. Reason, in fact, is always to 
be assumed as the concrete moment that is base or mother-liquor 
to the two abstract moments of Simple Apprehension and Judg 
ment. How natural is all this in the circumstances ! The 
Idealist can only look to Logic when in search of those principles 
which are the prius of all : the Idealist, too, as in the moment of 
Reason, is but the natural third, and the concrete truth, to the 


Perceptive animal whose object is Seyn, and the abstracting 
Critic (or Judge) whose object is Wesen. 

We are to understand, then, that Hegel, from first to last, is 
but touching or tapping, into its various successive forms, the 
primitive or original cell of the Notion or the triune Eeflexion. 
There is the crystal sphere tap it lines of reflexion glance in 
it by which there are seen two in one or a triple unity, Becoming, 
in which both Being and Nothing nestle. Another touch and 
Becoming is Become Here-being, There-being, or So-being. 
Again, a tap, and reflexions glance of Reality and Negation which 
collapse to Something, and thence again expand into Being- 
for-other and Being-in-self. These collapse, in their turn, to 
Determination. Determination sunders into the duplicity of 
Beschaffenheit and shuts again into the Unity of Limit. Limit, 
sundering into the duplicity of the spurious Infinite, clasps together 
again in the unity of the genuine Infinite, and so on. Perhaps, in the 
above statement, from Being-for-other and Being-in-self onwards, 
the movement of the series appears in simpler and more consistent 
general form. Now, all these changes take place, so to speak, without 
moving from the spot Hegel never abandons the notion with which 
he starts, and all change is from reflexion on it, or, rather, in it. 

Even when, in the true Infinite, he has reached the verge of 
Being, and has passed into Quantity, Hegel has not yet moved 
from the spot: Quantity but resumes what precedes, though in 
another, that is, as another sphere. Again, Quantity returns to 
Quality, and both collapse into Measure. In this way, through 
an extraordinary alternation of Simple Apprehension, Judgment, 
and Reason, repeated in an extraordinary alternation of their own 
forms, we reach, at last, the Absolute Spirit. Now Hegel s 
hypothetical addition to Spinoza, taken as described above, gives 
the general nature of this Absolute Spirit at the shortest. The 
Particular, Nature, is negatively reflected into the Begriff 
(Thought, Logic), which is the Universal, and, through this also, 
into the Singular of the Spirit. In the very statement, there 
glitters the hem of truth in such a variety of directions, that it 
seems to bring with it its own authentication. When the objec 
tion it is only human reflexion occurs, let it occur, also, that 
human reflexion is thought. Let it occur, too, that it is to be con 
ceived as an objective reflexion, not something formal, but some 
thing intensely concrete. If it is but a reflexion, it is a reflexion 
from, and contains the absolute wealth of, both thought as thought 


and nature as nature. It is not the mere abstraction of Spinoza ; 
it is, on the contrary, the concrete of concretes. In fact, it can 
not be otherwise ; Nature, Thought, each alone, both together, 
necessitate the reflexion of God ; God is their truth, and, though 
a necessity of formal thought, is also a necessity of concrete 

But, perhaps, it will be objected again, is it not very general 
this, very thin, abstract, and bodiless this outcome of a universal 
spirit, the highest expression of which is not as in you and me, 
but in societies, institutions, literatures, arts, philosophies, &c. ? 
Is this abstract and generalised result of the human race as human 
race all that we are to get as God ? Call it idealism if you will, 
what is it better than materialism ? Is that abstract result 
institutions, laws, arts, &c. aught better than a matter into which, 
even as we form it, we perish, as the coral insect lives only that 
he may die into the coral rock ? Is this, then, the end of all the 
hopes of man ? God is but an abstract generalisation of thought ! 
and for the carrying forward of this abstract generalisation is it 
only that we emerge ! emerge but to cease ! This we are to call 
our true selves, and to this we are to sacrifice ourselves ! It is 
but natural to think thus. It is one-sided, however, to speak of 
the result of thought as an abstraction and generalisation ; there 
is neither abstraction nor generalisation as usually understood 
here present; what we have here is a life. What we have 
here is the organised universe and its organised outcome. Spirit 
is the word. Hegel has always meaning in his words, and by 
spirit he means not a ghost, not an airy vaporous body, but the 
essential concrete of all, which is a Spirit. In what Spirit do 
you live, and think, and act ? Ever, in every age, the essential, 
organic, vital drop of the whole is its Spirit ; and with each 
new age, the Spirit is ever richer intellectually, morally, 
emotionally. Nature, then, and Man Nature and Thought- 
all that is here, just taken together as an organised body what 
can the soul of this body be but even such a Spirit as is here 
indicated ? Such Spirit is the Thought, the Emotion, the Will of 
such a body such Spirit is the Spirit of God. Leave Vorstellung, 
pass to Begriff shut not only your Byron and open your Goethe 
(in every way a very finite step) but take the infinite step even 
from poet ry as poetry call it genius to philosophy as philosophy. 

In such abstractions, you say, there is no hope for you ! But 
why so ? Are not man and nature and all things thought, and 


where is thought, if not in you, who are to yourself the Ego, the I, 
in which all meet ? You are but Modus not the Absolute ; 
finite not the Infinite : you must perish ! Consult Hegel and 
see the necessity of the Modus. And what is perishing ? What 
is Death ? Where are these, when, What is, is Thought ? Modus 
finite ! is it not true that you at the same time are ? What is, 
is Thought : and are not you Thought ? Absurd that you should be 
continued ! Why so ? On the contrary, it is no more absurd that 
you should be continued than that you are. That you are is the 
guarantee of your necessity. God is a concrete Spirit God is the 
living Universal not an abstract unit why should not the death 
of the body be the birth of Spirit ? and why should not you 
continue united to the Universal Spirit then, even as you are so 
united here, in natural form, now and what is the relation to that 
Universal Spirit ? is not the One Many, and the Many One ? 
But all this is premature ! As yet we only seek to understand 
and express : as yet we have not attempted to think and judge : 
as yet we have had enough to do to find our way ; as yet we 
have not had time to think. 

The general conclusion, thus far, is that the Secret of Hegel 
is the tautological reciprocity of the Logical Notion, which is a 
concrete in itself; and this is to be found expressed in the last 
paragraph of the Section Eeciprocity. 


These Notes of the Struggle to Hegel are now concluded. 
Their general nature and burthen are effort to understand and 
express Hegel ; and a certain adoption of the side of Hegel will 
be granted as allowable to the effort to express for the sake even of 
efficiency, especially in the case of a student only speaking to 
himself in preparation for the public. The state of the fact is 
accurately depicted here. 

These Notes it was proposed to follow up by a general chapter 
on the Origin, Principle, Form, and Matter of the System, which 
should methodically bring to a focus all the findings in these 
respects which are, in a necessarily irregular and imperfect 
manner, indicated in the Notes themselves. This chapter, how 
ever, is reserved for the present, as its composition is likely to be 
more efficient later.* 

* The function of this contemplated chapter, however, will be found to a certain 
extent fulfilled by the answers to the four general questions with which the Inter 
pretation III almost opens. 

REMARK. 215 

Meantime, we may say this : The Principle is the Notion as 
expressed at the end of Reciprocity ; the Form (or Method) is 
the movement of this Notion ; and the Matter is the development, 
or simply the introduction, of this Notion into the entire wealth 
of the outer and inner Universe. As regards Origin again, that 
lies in Kant; and in this respect we may name six special refer 
ences : There is the light derived from 1, The externalisation of 
the Categories ; 2, The generalisation of the same ; 3, The utilisa 
tion of the branch of Logic (S. Apprehension) left vacant by 
Kant ; 4, The realisation of Logic in general ; 5, The Kantian 
theory of Perception ; and, 6, The reduction of what we may call 
the concrete faculties of man, Cognition, Emotion, Will, under his 
abstract ones, as named in Logic, S. Apprehension, Judgment, and 
Eeason. Lastly, as regards Kant, not only did he breathe the 
precise tendency, exhibited and perhaps perfected by Hegel, to 
wards a philosophy which should be a complete and co-articulated 
system in explanation of the All, but there lie scattered over the 
whole field of his labours a thousand hints, which must have 
proved of the greatest service to Hegel. Some of these we have 
already seen ; but there lie a multitude more both for the seeing 
and the seeking. By way of example, here is a small one : 

Metaphysic has, as the special aim of its inquiry, only three Ideas : God, 
Freedom, and Immortality, and so that the second united with the first shall lead 
to the third as a necessary conclusion (Schlusssatz). 

Indeed, we may quote further : 

All else, with which this science is occupied, serves merely as means to 
attain to these Ideas and their reality. These Ideas are not required in aid of 
natural science but to transcend nature. The attainment of them would 
render Theology, Morals, and, through the union of both, Religion, conse 
quently the highest ends of our existence, dependent on speculative Reason 
alone and on nothing else. In a systematic exposition of these Ideas, the 
order given, would, as the synthetic, be the most appropriate ; but in the 
labours, which must necessarily precede any such exposition, the analytic, or 
reverse, arrangement will be better adapted to the end proposed : for here, in 
fulfilment of our great design, we proceed from what experience offers us 
immediately to hand psychology, to cosmology, and thence to the cognition 
of God* 

Particular points of derivation as regards both Fichte and 
Schelling have been already alluded to. But, on the whole, what 
ever suggestions may have proceeded from others, Kant, the 
* Kant, Krit. d. R. V. Trans. Dialec. Book. I. Sections, Note. 


original quarry, was alone adequate to stimulate Hegel to the 
accomplishment of what he did accomplish ; and these two writers 
may be directly connected as cause and consequence. I may add 
to the six special references above, that the point in which Kant 
and Hegel are, perhaps, seen closest, is the fact that the a priori 
Synthetic Judgment of the one, and which was set up as the single 
angle of inquiry, is simply an sich what the Notion of Hegel is an 
und fur sich. It is to be considered also that, in what follows, 
much will occur adapted to bring into the true ultimate focus all 
that we have already seen as regards the explanation of the opera 
tions and general industry of Hegel.* 

* It was said, p. 178 : Hegel takes philosophy, actual philosophy, as it comes to 
him from Kant, Fichte, and Schelling ; and remoulds it onwards on its own objective 
principles, and not on his own subjective ones, just as Kant, receiving philosophy 
from Hume, attempted honestly to mould it onwards thence. This, in wide 
generality, is the literal state of the case ; and it may seem super-ingenious, super- 
exhibitive of memory, super-laboriose, painfully to collect, as possibly suggestive to 
Hegel, all these mere sporadic crumbs from Kant. Now, no doubt, Hegel knew 
perfectly well all the works up to his own date both of Fichte and Schelling ; and, 
no doubt also, both preceded him. Of all this there is no want of acknowledgment 
in Hegel himself. * Still there, in what is the immediate reference for either, at 
all sensibly neither appears. If for Fichte it is dialectic that is spoken of, then it 
is to be said that Hegel s dialectic is his own, that no man shares it with him, and 
that it is even opposed to that of Fichte, and, again, if Naturwissenschaft be the 
word in Schelling s regard, then this, too, must be said that even here the principle 
at work with Hegel is not that at work with Schelling, but one that has not been 
as much as surmised by the latter. That is, it is perfectly just to affirm that it was 
Kant Hegel studied studied to his depths that it is to Kant Hegel owes infinitely 
the burthen, and that it is from Kant he comes. 

* As regards Fichte, for example, there is the declaration of Hegel that Fichte 
was the first man in this world who ever set Reason on evolving from itself its own 
constitutive involution see Hegel, WW. xv. 308, 310, 328, and iii. 32. Named iu 
the others, it is still Fichte that is meant in the last, where also Schelling comes to 
be meant, and if here, on a particular point, with a negative, there is no lack of 
general acknowledgments elsewhere. (New Notes.) 






BEING is the indefinite Immediate ; it is devoid of definiteness as 
in reference to Essentity [i.e., any inner principle to which it were 
to be supposed due], as also of any which it might possibly have 
within itself. This reflexion-less Being is Being directly as it is 
only in its own self. 

As it is indefinite, it is quality-less being; but, in itself t the 
character of indefiniteness attaches to it, only as in contraposition 
to the definite, to the qualitative. Definite being as such, then, 
contraposing itself to being in general, the very indefiniteness of 
the latter constitutes its Quality. It will be found, therefore, 
that First being is in itself definite, and consequently, 

Secondly, that it goes over into There-being, is There-being 
[Daseyn particular existency] ; but that this latter as finite 
being sublates itself, and goes over into the infinite reference 
of being to its own self, i.e., 

Thirdly, into Being-for-self [individuality, singularity; and so 
we are to have Being successively Universal, Particular, and 




BEIN&, pure Being, without any further definition. In its in 
definite immediacy, it is only equal to itself, and neither is it 
unequal as regards other; it has no diversity within itself, and 
none in any reference outwards. Should any determination 
or mtent [Form or Matter] be supposed in its regard, which 
might be distinguished in it, or by which it might be distin 
guished from another, it would not be held fast in its purity. 
It is pure indefiniteness and vacancy. There is nothing to be 
perceived in it, so far as it is at all allowable to speak of 
perceiving at present, or it is only this pure void perceiving 
itself. Just as little is anything to be thought in it, or it is 
equally only this void thought, this void thinking. Being, the 
indefinite immediate, is, in fact, Nothing, and neither more nor 
less than Nothing. 



NOTHING, pure Nothing ; it is simple equality with itself, perfect 
vacancy, determination-lessness and wtent-lessness [form-lessness 
and matter-lessness] ; undistinguishedness in itself. So far as it 
is allowable to mention perception or thought here, the distinction 
[we may remark] is admitted, of whether something or nothing is 
perceived or thought. The perceiving or the thinking nothing 
has therefore a meaning ; both [perceiving nothing and perceiving 
something] are distinguished, thus Nothing is (exists) in our 
perception or thought; or rather it is emp ty perception and 
thought themselves ; and the same empty perception or thought 
as pure Being. Nothing, therefore, is the same form, or rather 


formlessness, and so in general the same, as what pure 
Being is. 


1. Unity of Being and Nothing. 

PORE Being and pure Nothing is, therefore, the same. What is the 
truth, is neither Being nor Nothing, but that Being, does not 
pass over, but has passed over into Nothing, and Nothing into 
Being. But the truth is just as much not their undistinguished- 
ness, but that they are not the same, that they are absolutely 
distinguished, but still, nevertheless, unseparated and inseparable, 
and either immediately disappears in its opposite. Their truth is, 
therefore, this movement of the immediate disappearance of the 
one in the other; Becoming; a movement in which both are 
distinguished, but by a distinction which has equally immediately 
resolved itself. 


The Antithesis of Being and Nothing in common conception. 

Nothing is usually opposed to Something ; Something, however, 
is already a definite JSeent [Existent], which distinguishes itself 
from [anjother Something ; and so also, therefore, the Nothing 
opposed to the Something, is the Nothing of a given Something, 
a definite Nothing. Here, however, Nothing is to be taken in its 
simple indefiniteness. Should it be considered more accurate that 
Non-being, instead of Nothing, be opposed to Being, there were 
nothing to object to this as respects the result, for in Non-being 
the reference to being is implied ; both, being and the negation of 
being, are enunciated in one, Nothing, as it is in Becoming. But 
we are concerned here, first of all, not with the form of the opposi 
tion (form, also, at the same time, of the co-reference), but with the 
abstract, immediate negation, nothing purely for itself, reference- 
less negation, what might be expressed also, were it wished, by 
the mere word not. 

The Eleatics first of all, especially Parmenides, enunciated the 
simple thought of pure being as the absolute, and as the one truth : 
only Being is, and Nothing is altogether not, enunciated this (in 


the fragments of Parmenides which remain) with the pure intoxi 
cation of thought when for the first time it has apprehended itself 
in its absolute abstraction. In the Oriental systems, in Buddhism 
essentially, Nothing, as is well known, the Void, is the Absolute 
Principle. The deep-thinking Heraclitus brought forward, against 
the former simple and one-sided abstraction, the higher total 
notion of Becoming, and said : Being is as little as Nothing is, or 
all flows, that is, all is Becoming. The popular, particularly 
Oriental proverbs, that all that is has the germ of its death even 
in its birth, while death, on the other hand, is entrance into new 
life, express at bottom the same union of Being and Nothing. 
But these expressions have a substrate, on, or in, or by which 
the transition takes place ; Being and Nothing are held asunder 
in time, are represented as alternating in it, but are not thought 
in their abstraction, and therefore not so that they are in, by, and 
for themselves the same. 

Ex nihilo nihil flt is one of the positions to which in meta- 
physic great importance was ascribed. There is to be seen in it 
either only the empty tautology, Nothing is Nothing ; or if the 
Becoming (Jit} is to have actual meaning in it, then, inasmuch as 
only nothing comes out of nothing, there is rather in fact no 
Becoming present in it, for Nothing remains in it Nothing. 
Becoming implies, that Nothing does not remain Nothing, but 
passes over into its other, into Being. If later, especially Chris 
tian, metaphy sic rejected the position, From nothing comes nothing, 
it maintained necessarily a transition from nothing into being: 
however synthetically or merely conceptively it took this position, 
still there is, even in the most imperfect union, a point in which 
Being and Nothing coincide, and their distinguishedness disappears. 
The proposition, From nothing comes nothing, nothing is just 
nothing, has its special significance in its contrariety to Becoming 
in general, and consequently also to the creation of the world out 
of nothing. Those who, waxing even wrathful in its defence, 
maintain the position nothing is just nothing, are unaware that 
they thereby express adhesion to the abstract pantheism of the 
Eleatics ; essentially, too, to that of Spinoza. The philosophical 
opinion which holds, Being is only Being, Nothing is only Nothing, 
as valid principle, merits the name of Identitatssystem : this abstract 
identity is the essence of pantheism. 

If the result, that Being and Nothing are the same, seems 
startling or paradoxical in itself, there is just nothing further to 


be said ; it were more reasonable to wonder at this wondering, 
which shows itself so new in philosophy, and forgets that there 
present themselves in this science quite other determinations than 
in ordinary consciousness and in the so-called Common Sense of 
mankind, which is not just exactly sound sense or sound under 
standing, but understanding grown up and hardened into abstrac 
tions, and in the belief or rather the superstition of abstractions. 
It would not be difficult to demonstrate this unity of Being and 
Nothing, in every example, in everything actual, in every thought. 
What was said above of Immediacy and Mediacy (which latter 
implies a reference to another, and so Negation), the same thing 
must be said of Being and Nothing, That nowhere in heaven or on 
earth is there anything that in itself contains not both, Being and 
Nothing. As, in such reference, truly, the question is of a certain 
actual Something, those elements are in it no longer in the perfect 
untruth, in which they are as Being and Nothing, but in a 
further developed form, and have become (conceived, for example, 
as Positive and Negative), the former posited, reflected Being 
the latter posited, reflected Nothing; but Positive and Negative 
imply, the one Being and the other Nothing as their abstract 
ground-principle. Thus in God himself, Quality (Energy, Creation, 
Power, &c.), involves essentially the element of negativity, 
these are a bringing into existence of an other. But an empirical 
illustration by means of examples of the position maintained 
would be here quite superfluous. As now, indeed, this unity of 
Being and Nothing lies once for all established as first truth and 
basis, and constitutes the element of all that follows, all further 
logical determinations There-being, Quality, in general all notions 
of philosophy are examples of this unity quite as much as 
Becoming. But so-called common (or sound) sense may be 
invited, so far as it rejects the undividedness of Being and 
Nothing, to try to discover a single example where the one is 
separated from the other (Something from Limitation, or the 
Infinite, God, as has been just mentioned, from energy in act). 
Only these empty things of thought, Being and Nothing, them 
selves, are such separated things, and it is they which by said 
common sense are preferred to the truth, the undividedness of 
both, which is everywhere before us. 

We cannot be supposed to seek to meet on all sides the per 
plexities into which an ordinary consciousness, in the case of such 
a logical proposition, misleads itself, for they are inexhaustible. 


It is possible only to mention a few of them. One source of such 
perplexity, among others, is that such a consciousness brings with 
it to the consideration of such abstract logical position, concep 
tions of a concrete Something, and forgets that there is no question 
of any such here, but only of the pure abstractions of Being and 
Nothing, and that it is these alone which are to be held fast. 

Being and Non-being are the same thing ; it is, therefore, the 
same thing, whether I am or am not, whether this house is or is 
not, whether these hundred dollars are or are not in my possession. 
Such inference or such application of the proposition alters its 
sense completely. The proposition contains the pure abstractions 
of Being and Nothing ; the application, on the other hand, makes 
of these a determinate Being and determinate Nothing. But, as 
has been said, the question here is not of determinate being. A 
determinate, a finite being (entity), is such as connects itself 
with others; it is a complex which stands in the relation of 
necessity with many other such, with the whole world. As 
regards the reciprocating system of the whole, metaphysic might 
advance the at bottom tautological allegation, that were a 
single dust-atom destroyed, the whole universe would collapse. 
In the instances opposed to the position in question, something 
appears as not indifferent, whether it is or is not, not for the sake 
of being or non-being, but for the sake of its concrete relations, 
which relations connect it with others such. If a determinate 
complex, any .determinate object be presupposed, this object 
because it is determinate, is in manifold relation to other objects ; 
it is not indifferent to it, then, whether a certain other object, 
with which it stands in relation, is or is not ; for only through 
such relation is it essentially that which it is. The same thing is 
the case with conception (non-being being taken in the more 
determinate sense of conception as against actuality), in the 
context of which the being Or non-being of an object, which is 
conceived as determinately in relation with some other, is not 

This consideration involves what constitutes a main moment in 
the Kantian criticism of the ontological argument for the existence 
of God, which is regarded here, however, only in reference to the 
distinction of Being and Nothing in general and of determinate 
being or non-being, which there presents itself. There was 
presupposed, as is well known in said so-called proof or argument, 
the notion of a Being, to whom all realities accrue, and conse- 


quently also existence, which was likewise assumed as one of the 
realities. The Kantian criticism took stand specially by this, that 
existence or being (these taken as synonymous) is no quality, or 
no real predicate ; that is, it is not a notion of something which 
can be added to the notion of a thing.* Kant means to say here, 
that, being is no element of comprehension. Thus, he proceeds, 
the possible contains no more than the actual ; a hundred actual 
dollars contain not in the least more than a hundred possible 
ones; that is, the former have no other logical comprehension 
than the latter. For this comprehension, considered as isolated, 
it is in fact indifferent to be or not to be; there lies in it no 
difference of being or non-being this difference on the whole 
affects it not at all ; the hundred dollars become no less if they 
are not, and no more if they are. A difference must come only 
from elsewhere. On the other hand, suggests Kant, there is 
more in my means in the case of a hundred actual dollars, than 
in that of the mere notion of the same, or their possibility. For 
the object in the case of actuality is not merely analytically con 
tained in my notion, but adds itself synthetically to my notion 
(which is a determination of my condition), without these said 
hundred dollars themselves being in the least increased by this 
existence besides my notion. 

There are presupposed here two kinds of conditions, to use 
the Kantian expressions (which are not without confusion and 
awkwardness) : the one, which Kant names notion, but by which 
ordinary conception is to be understood ; and another, the state of 
means. For the one as for the other, for one s means as for one s 
conception, a hundred dollars are a complex of comprehension, or, 
as Kant expresses himself, they add themselves synthetically 
thereto; las possessor of a hundred dollars, or as non-possessor 
of the same, or again, I as conceiving a hundred dollars, or not 
conceiving them, here, certainly, are cases of a different com 
prehension. Stated more generally: The abstractions of Being 
and Nothing cease both to be abstractions, when they receive a 
determinate comprehension (or import) : Being is then reality, 
the determinate being of a hundred dollars ; Nothing, negation, 
the determinate negation of the same. This element of com 
prehension itself, the hundred dollars, when taken abstractly by 
itself, is in the one unchanged, the same that it is in the other. 
But now that Being further is taken as state of one s means, the 

* Kant s Kritik of P. R., 2nd edn., p. 628 sqq. 


hundred dollars come into relation to a state ; and for this state, 
the determinatum which they are is not indifferent : their being 
or non-being is only Alteration [of state] ; they are transferred to 
the sphere of existence. When, therefore, it is urged against the 
unity of Being and Nothing, that it is nevertheless not indifferent, 
whether this and that (the hundred dollars) be or be not, it is a 
mistake to transfer to mere being and non-being the difference of 
whether I have or have not the hundred dollars a mistake which, 
as has been shown, rests on the one-sided abstraction which leaves 
out of view the determinate existence present in such examples, 
and holds fast mere being and non-being ; as, on the other hand, 
it (the mistake) transforms the abstract Being and Nothing, that 
[here, in this Logic] should alone be apprehended, into a deter 
minate Being and Nothing into a There-being [a finite existence]. 
Only There-being contains the real difference of Being and 
Nothing, namely, a Something and an Other. This real difference, 
instead of abstract Being and pure Nothing and their only opined 
difference, is what floats before conception. 

As Kant expresses himself, there comes through the fact of 
existence something into the context of collective experience; 
we obtain thereby an additional object of perception, but our 
notion of the object is thereby not increased. That, as appears 
from the preceding illustration, is as much as this through the 
fact of existence, essentially just because something is a deter 
minate existence, jt is in connexion with others, and among such 
also with a perceiving agent. The notion of the hundred dollars, 
says Kant, is not increased by perception. The notion here is 
the already-noticed isolatedly-conceived hundred dollars. In this 
isolated form, they are indeed an empirical matter, but cut off, 
without connexion and deterrninateness towards other (others): 
the form of identity with themselves takes from them the 
reference to another, and makes them indifferent whether they 
are perceived or not. But this so-called notion of a hundred 
dollars is a false notion : the form of simple reference to self [as 
in a notion strictly such] does not belong to such limited, finite 
matter ; it is a form put on it and lent to it by subjective under 
standing : a hundred dollars are not referent of self to self, but 
changeable and perishable. 

The thought or conception, before which only a determinate 
being, existence, floats, is to be referred to the previously-mentioned 
beginning of science made by Parmenides, who purified and 


elevated his own conception, and thereby that of all following 
times, into the pure thought, Being as such, and in that manner 
created the element of science. That which is first in science 
has of necessity to show itself historically as first. And we have 
to regard the Eleatic One or Being as the first hint of the (true) 
thought. Water and such material principles are hypothetically 
to be considered to be, or would be the universal [or All-common} 
principle ; but they are as material things not pure thoughts : 
Numbers are neither the first simple unal thought, nor that which 
is permanent in itself, but the thought which [as a thought] is 
quite external to itself. 

The reference back from particular finite being to being as such 
in its completely abstract universality, is to be regarded not only 
as the very first theoretical, but as even also the very first 
practical postulate. When, for example, there is a cry raised, as 
about the hundred dollars, that it makes a difference in the state 
of my means, whether I have them or not, or that it makes a still 
greater difference to me whether I am or not, whether an other be 
or not, the reminder may be held up without mentioning that 
there doubtless are actual means, to which such possession of a 
hundred dollars is indifferent that Man, in his moral thought, 
ought to raise himself to such abstract universality as would render 
it in truth indifferent to him whether the hundred dollars, let 
them have whatever quantitative relation they may to the actual 
state of his means, are or whether they are not indifferent to 
him even whether he himself be or not (in finite life, that is, for a 
state, determinate being is meant), &c. even si fractus illabatur 
orbis, impavidum ferient ruinae, was the utterance of a Eoman, 
and much more the Christian ought to find himself in this 

There is still to be noticed the immediate connexion in which 
the elevation over the hundred dollars, and all finite things in 
general, stands with the ontological proof and the said Kantian 
criticism of the same. This criticism has by its popular example 
made itself universally plausible : who does not know that a 
hundred actual dollars are different from a hundred merely 
possible ones that they make a sensible difference in my state of 
means ? Because, therefore, in the case of the hundred dollars 
this difference manifests itself, the notion that is, the deter- 
minatum of comprehension as mere possibility and the being are 
different from each other : and so, therefore, also God s Notion is 



different from his Being ; and just as little as I can educe from 
the possibility of a hundred dollars the fact of their actuality, so 
little can I claw out of the notion of God his existence : and the 
ontological proof is nothing but this clawing out of the exist 
ence of God from his notion. Now, if certainly it is not without 
its own truth that Notion is different from Being, God is still 
more different from the hundred dollars and other finite things. 
It is the Definition of Finite Things, that in them notion and 
being are different, notion and reality, soul and body are separable, 
and they themselves consequently perishable and mortal : the 
abstract definition of God, on the other hand, is just this that 
his Notion and his Being are unseparated and inseparable. The 
true criticism of the Categories and of Reason is exactly this to 
give thought an understanding of this difference, and to prevent 
it from applying to God the distinguishing characters and relations 
of the Finite. 


Defects of the Expression Unity, Identity, of Being and Nothing. 

There is another reason to be mentioned contributive to the 
repugnance against the proposition relative to Being and Nothing : 
this reason is, that the expression of the result, furnished by the 
consideration of Being and Nothing, in the proposition, Being and 
Nothing is one and the same, is incomplete. The accent is laid 
mainly on their being one and the same, as is the case in the pro 
position of a judgment in general, where the predicate it is, which 
alone enunciates what the subject is. The sense seems, therefore, 
to be, that the difference is denied which difference, at the same 
time, nevertheless, is immediately presentant in the proposition ; 
for it names loth terms, Being and Nothing, and implies them as 
things different. It cannot, however, be meant that abstraction is 
to be made from them, and only their unity is to be held fast. This 
sense would of itself manifest its own one-sidedness, inasmuch as 
that from which abstraction is to be made, is, nevertheless, actually 
present and expressly named in the proposition. So far now as 
the proposition, Being and Nothing is the same, enunciates the 
identity of these terms, but in effect just as much implies their 
difference, it contradicts itself in itself and eliminates itself. 
Looking at this still closer, we have here a proposition, which, 
considered strictly, involves the movement to disappear through 


its own self. But just thus there happens in its own self that 
which is to constitute its special purport namely, Becoming. 

The proposition contains thus the result it is that in itself. 
The point, however, which is to be noticed here, is the difficulty, 
that the result is not itself expressed in the proposition ; it is an 
external reflexion which discerns it in it. Here, then, in the 
beginning this universal remark must at once be made, that a 
proposition, in the form of a judgment, is not competent to express 
speculative truths : a knowledge of this circumstance is sufficient 
to obviate much misunderstanding of speculative truths. A judg 
ment is an identical reference between subject and predicate : 
abstraction is made thereby from this, that the subject has still 
more characters than those of the predicate ; as well as from this, 
that the predicate has more extension than the subject. Now, if 
the matter in hand is speculative, the non-identity of subject and 
predicate is also an essential moment; but in a judgment this is 
not expressed. The paradoxical and bizarre light in which much 
of later philosophy appears to those who are not familiar with 
speculative thought, arises frequently from the form of the simple 
judgment, when applied in expression of speculative results. 

In order to express the speculative truth, the difficulty may, 
in the first place, be attempted to be met by the addition of the 
contrary proposition, as above, Being and Nothing is not the same. 
But thus the further difficulty arises that these propositions are 
then unconnected, and so exhibit the matter in hand only in the 
state of antinomy, while it (this matter) refers only to a one and 
same thing. The terms, too, which are expressed in the two pro 
positions are to be supposed directly in union, at the same time 
that this union can be expressed only as a movement, an unrest of 
incompatibles. The most common injustice which is done to 
speculative matter, is to make it one-sided to hold up, namely, 
only one of the propositions into which it can be resolved. It 
cannot, then, be denied that this allegation is held to As true as 
is the statement, so false it is ; for if ever the one proposition of a 
speculative nature be taken, the other must, at least, be equally 
considered and assigned. There is here yet to be specially 
mentioned that, to say so, unfortunate word unity. Unity 
designates still more than identity a subjective reflexion ; it is 
especially taken as the relation which arises from comparison, 
from external reflexion. So far as such reflexion finds the same 
thing in two different objects, there is a unity present to it in such 


wise that there is presupposed, as regards this unity, the perfect 
indifference of the objects themselves which are compared, so that 
this comparing and unity nowise concern these objects themselves, 
and are a finding and determining external to them. Unity 
expresses, therefore, the quite abstract self-sameness, and sounds 
the harder and the harsher, the more those things of which it is 
enunciated show themselves to be directly different. For unity 
it would be, therefore, so far, better to say only, unseparatedness 
or inseparableness : but thus, again, the affirmative of the relation 
of the whole were not expressed. 

Thus the whole veritable result which has here yielded itself is 
Becoming. And this is not merely the one-sided or abstract unity 
of Being and Nothing ; but this movement implies : that pure 
Being is directly and simply such ; that it is, therefore, equally pure 
Nothing; that the difference of these is, but just as much that it 
eliminates itself and is not. The result, then, really asserts quite 
as much the difference of Being and of Nothing, but only as 
meant, supposed. 

We think that Being is rather something quite other than what 
Nothing is; that there is nothing clearer than their absolute 
difference ; and that there seems nothing easier than to show it. 
It is, however, just as easy to convince oneself that this is im 
possible, that it is unsay able. Those who would persist in the 
difference of Being and Nothing, let them challenge themselves to 
assign in what it consists. Had Being and Nothing each any 
determinateness by which they might be distinguished the one 
from the other, they would be, as has been observed, determinate 
Being and determinate Nothing not pure Being and pure Nothing, 
as they still are here. Their difference, therefore, is entirely 
blank; each of the two is in the same way indeterminate: the 
difference, therefore, lies not in them, but in a tertium quid, in a 
mere supposition. But supposition is a mere subjective state 
which does not belong to this course of exposition. The tertium 
quid, however, in which Being and Nothing have their support, 
must also present itself here, and it has already so presented 
itself : it is Becoming. In it they are as different ; Becoming is 
only so far as they are different. This tertium quid is another 
than they : they consist only in another ; that is to say as well, 
they consist (or subsist) not independently each. Becoming is the 
maintainment or maintaining medium of Being as well as of Non- 
being; or their maintainment is only their being in a one; 


precisely this their maintainment it is that equally eliminates 
their difference. 

The challenge to assign the difference of Being and Nothing 
includes this other also, to say, what then is Being and what is 
Nothing ? Let those who strive against perceiving that the one 
as well as the other is only a transition, the one into the other 
and who maintain of Being and of Nothing this and that just 
say what it is they speak of, that is, produce a definition of Being 
and Nothing, and demonstrate that it is correct. Without having 
complied with this first requisition of ancient science, the logical 
rules of which they accept and apply in other cases, all that they 
maintain in regard to Being and Nothing are but assertions, 
scientific nullities. Should it be said, Existence, so far as, in the 
first place, existence can be held synonymous with Being, is the 
complement to possibility, then we have thus another character 
presupposed, possibility, and Being is not enunciated in its im 
mediacy, not just as simple per se, but as conditioned. For being 
which is mediated, a result, we shall reserve the expression 
existence. But one represents to oneself Being perhaps under 
the figure of pure light, as the clearness of untroubled seeing 
Nothing again as absolute night, and one illustrates their distinc 
tion by this well-known empirical difference. In truth, however, 
if one will realise to oneself more exactly this very seeing, one 
will easily perceive that there will be seen in absolute light just 
as much and as little as in the absolute dark ; that the one seeing 
as much as the other is pure seeing seeing of Nothing. Pure 
light and pure darkness are two voids which are the same. Only 
in determinate light and light becomes determinate through 
darkness in troubled light, therefore, just as only in determinate 
darkness and darkness becomes determinate by light in illu 
minated darkness, can anything be distinguished, because only 
troubled light and illuminated darkness possess in themselves 
distinction, and are thereby determinate Being There-being, or 
So-being [Daseyn particular existence]. 


The Isolating of the Abstractions, Being and Nothing. 

The unity, whose moments are Being and Nothing as insepar 
able the one from the other, is itself, at the same time, different 
from them, and thus to them a third something, which in its own 


most strictly proper form is Becoming. Transition is the same as 
Becoming; only that in the former, the two, from the one of 
which to the other of which the movement is made, have more the 
appearance of being independently apart from each other, and the 
movement is rather conceived as taken place between them. 
Wherever and however Being or Nothing is in question, there this 
third [something] must be present also ; for these subsist not by 
themselves, but are only in Becoming, in this,- so to speak, third. 
This third, indeed, has numerous empirical forms ; but these are 
put out of view by abstraction, in order to hold fast these its own 
products, Being and Nothing, each per se, and show them inde 
pendent of movement. In reply to such simple procedure of 
abstraction, we have merely just equally simply, to point to the 
empirical existence in which said abstraction itself is only some 
thing, has a Daseyn. Through whatever reflexional forms, indeed, 
the separation of the inseparable is sought to be attained, there 
is independently present in every such attempt the opposite of its 
own self, and so, without recurring or appealing to the nature of the 
facts themselves, we may always confound every such attempt out 
of its own self, just by taking it as it gives itself, and demon 
strating in it its own other. It would be lost trouble to seek, as it 
were, to arrest all the sallies and windings of reflexion and its 
reasonment, in order to cut off and render impossible to it all the 
shifts and shuffles by which it conceals its own contradiction from 
its own self. For this reason, also, I refrain from noticing numer 
ous self-called refutations and objections which have been brought 
forward against the doctrine that neither Being nor Nothing is 
anything true, and that only Becoming is their truth ; the mental 
training calculated to give insight into the nullity of such refuta 
tions or rather, quite to banish all such weak suggestions from 
oneself is to be effected only by a critical knowledge of the forms of 
the understanding ; but those wiio are the most fertile in such objec 
tions fall on at once with their reflexions against the very first 
propositions, without by an enlarged study of logic helping or 
having helped themselves to a consciousness of the nature of these 
crude reflexions. 

We shall consider, however, a few of the results which manifest 
themselves when Being and Nothing are isolated from each other, 
and the one placed out of touch with the other, so that their 
transition is negated. 

Parmenides held fast by Being, and was but consistent with 


himself, in affirming at the same time of Nothing, that it in nowise 
is ; only Being is. Being, thus complete by itself, is indeterminate, 
and has, therefore, no reference to any other : it seems, therefore, 
that from this beginning there can be no further progress made 
from it itself, that is and any progress can only be accomplished 
by the joining on to it of something alien, something from without 
and elsewhere. The step forward, that Being is the same as 
Nothing, appears, then, as a second absolute beginning a transi 
tion that is fur sich (per se}, and adds itself externally to Being. 
Being would be not at all possibly the absolute beginning, if it 
had a determinateness ; it would then depend on another, and 
would not be immediate, would not be the beginning. If it be, 
however, indeterminate, and so a true beginning, neither has it 
anything by which to lead itself over into another ; it is at once 
the end. There can just as little anything break or dawn out of 
it, as anything break or dawn into it ; in Parmenides, as in Spinoza, 
there is no transition from Being or Substance to the Negative, 
the Finite. But if transition nevertheless is to be made 
which, as has been remarked, in the case of reference-less and 
so progress-less Being, can only take place in an external fashion, 
such transition or progress were a second, a new beginning. 
Thus Fichte s absolutely first, unconditioned axiom, A = A, is 
position, Thesis ; the second is opposition, Antithesis ; this latter 
is now to be considered partly conditioned, partly unconditioned 
(and so contradiction in itself). Now this is a progress of outer 
reflexion, which just as well again negates what it started with as 
an absolute, the opposition, the antithesis is negation of the first 
identity, as it, at the same time, immediately, expressly reduces 
its second unconditioned to a conditioned. If, however, on the 
whole, there were any right to proceed, i.e. to sublate the first 
beginning, such right must have been of this nature, that it lay in 
this first itself that another could connect itself with it ; that is, 
the first must have been determinate. But the Being [of Par 
menides] -or, again, the Substance [of Spinoza] does not enunciate 
itself as such. On the contrary, it is the immediate, the still 
absolutely indeterminate such. 

The most eloquent, perhaps forgotten, delineations of the im 
possibility to come from an abstract to a further and to a union 
of both are made by Jacobi in the interest of his polemic against 
the Kantian synthesis a priori of self-consciousness, in his Essay 
on the attempt of Criticismus to bring Keason to Understanding 


(Jac. Works, iii. vol.). He states (p. 113) the problem thus: 
That there be demonstrated the occurrence or the production of 
a synthesis in a pure [blank unity], whether of consciousness, of 
space, or of time. Space is one, Time is one, Consciousness is 
one; tell me now, how any one of these three ones shall purely 
multiply itself in itself: each is only one, and no other; an 
identical one sort, a the- this- that self sameness ! without the-ness, 
this-iiess, that-ness ; for these slumber with the the, this, that, still 
in the infinite = o of the indeterminateness, from which each and 
every determinate has yet to expect its birth. What brings 
into these three infinitudes, finitude; what impregnates space and 
time & priori with number and measure, and converts them into 
a pure multiple; what brings the pure spontaneity (I) into oscilla 
tion ? How gets its pure vowel to a consonant or rather, its 
soundless uninterrupted sounding how, interrupting itself, breaks 
it off, in order at least to gain a sort of self-sound [literally vowel], 
an accent ? One sees from this that Jacobi has very sharply 
recognised the non-ens of abstraction, whether a so-called absolute 
(i.e., only abstract) space, or a so-characterised time, or a so- 
characterised pure consciousness, ego ; he takes stand immovably 
in it for the purpose of maintaining the impossibility of a transition 
to an other, the condition of a synthesis, and to a synthesis itself. 
The synthesis, which is meant, must not be taken as a conjunction 
of characters already there externally; the question is partly of 
the genesis of a second to a first, of a determinate to a beginning 
indeterminate, partly, again, of immanent synthesis, synthesis ft, 
priori, a unity of differents that is absolutely (or that in and for 
itself is). Becoming is such immanent synthesis of Being and 
Nothing ; but because synthesis mostly suggests the sense of an 
external bringing together of things full-formed, ready-present, 
externally confronting each other, the name synthesis (synthetic 
unity) has been justly left out- of use. Jacobi asks, how does the 
pure vowel of the ego get to its consonant, what brings deter- 
minateness into indeterminateness ? The what were easily 
answered, and in his own fashion has been already answered 
by Kant ; but the question of how amounts to, in what mode 
and manner, in what relation, arid so on, and demands thus the 
statement of a particular category; but of mode and manner, 
of categories of the understanding, there cannot be any question 
here. The question of how belongs itself to the erroneous ways 
of reflexion, which demands comprehensibleness, but at the same 


time presupposes its own fixed categories, and consequently feels 
itself armed in advance against the reply to its own question. 
Neither has it with Jacobi the higher sense of a question con 
cerning the necessity of synthesis; for he remains, as has been 
said, fixed in the abstractions, in order to maintain the impos 
sibility of a synthesis. He describes (p. 147) with particular 
vivacity the procedure in order to reach the abstraction of space. 
* I must for so long strive clean to forget that I ever saw, heard, 
touched, or handled anything at all, my own self expressly not 
excepted. Clean, clean, clean must I forget all motion; and 
precisely this forgetting, because it is hardest, I must make my 
greatest concern. I must get everything in general, as I have 
got it thought away also completely and entirely shot away, 
and leave nothing whatever over but only the forcibly kept per 
ception of infinite immutable space. I may not therefore again 
think into it my own self as something distinct from it, but at the 
same time connected with it ; I may not allow myself to be simply 
surrounded and pervaded by it : but I must wholly pass over into 
it, become one with it, transmute myself into it ; I must leave 
nothing over of myself, but this my perception itself, in order to 
contemplate it as a veritably self-subsistent, independent, single 
and sole manifestation. 

In this quite abstract purity of continuity, that is, indefinite- 
ness and void of conception, it is indifferent to name this 
abstraction space, or pure perception, -pure thought; it is quite 
the same thing as what the Indian names Brahma, when, 
externally motionless and no less internally emotionless, looking 
years long only to the tip of his own nose, he says within himself 
just Om, Om, Om, or perhaps just nothing at all. This dull, void 
consciousness, conceived as consciousness, is Being (das Seyri). 

In this vacuum, says Jacobi further, he experiences the opposite 
of what he is assured by Kant he ought to experience : he finds 
himself, not as a plurality and manifold, but rather as a unit 
without any plurality and variety; nay, I am the very impossibility, 
am the annihilation of all variety and plurality, can, out of my pure, 
absolutely simple, unalterable nature, restore again,or "spook" into 
myself, not the smallest atom of any such ; thus all out-of and 
near-one-another-ness, all thereon founded variety and plurality, 
reveals itself in this purity as purely impossible. 

This impossibility is nothing else than the tautology I hold 
fast by the abstract unity, and exclude all plurality and variety ; 


hold myself in the difference-less and indeterminate, and look 
away from all that is distinguished and determinate. The 
Kantian synthesis a priori of self-consciousness that is, the 
function of this unity to sunder itself, and in this diremption or 
sundering to maintain itself is attenuated by Jacobi into the 
same abstraction. This synthesis in itself, the original ordeal} * 
is one-sidedly reduced by him into the copula in itself; an Is, Is, Is, 
without beginning and end, and without What, Who, and Which : 
this repetition of the repetition continued ad infinitum is the sole 
business, function, and production of the all-purest synthesis ; it 
itself is the mere, pure, absolute repetition itself. Or, indeed, we 
might say, rather, as there is in it no remission, that is, no nega 
tion, distinction, it is not a repetition, but only undistinguished 
simple being. But is it then still synthesis, when Jacobi omits 
precisely that by which the unity is synthetic unity ? 

In the first place, when Jacobi plants himself thus fast in the 
absolute (i.e., abstract) space, time, and consciousness, it is to be 
said that he, in this manner, misplaces himself into, and holds 
himself fast in, something empirically false ; there empirically 
exist no space and time, which were not limited, not in their 
continuity filled with variously-limited existence and vicissitude,, 
so that these limits and alterations belong unseparated and 
inseparably to space and time : in like manner, consciousness is 
filled with determinate sensation, conception, desire, &c.; it does 
not exist separated from a particular matter of some sort. The 
empirical transition, moreover, is self-evident : consciousness can 
make, indeed, void space, void time, and void consciousness itself, 
or pure being, its object and matter ; but it remains not with such, 
it presses forward out of such void to a better, i.e., in some manner 
or other, a more concrete matter, and however bad such a matter 
may be otherwise, it is so far better and truer: just any such 
matter is a synthetic one in general ; synthetic taken in the more 
universal sense. Thus Parmenides with his illusion and his opinion 
must consent to own an opposite of being and of truth ; as, 
similarly situated, is Spinoza with his attributes, modes, extension, 
motion, understanding, will, &c. The synthesis involves and 
shows the untruth of those abstractions ; in it they are in unity 
with their other not, therefore, as self-subsistent not as absolute, 
but directly as relative. 

* Das urspriinghliche Urtheilen at once the original judging and the 
original disparting. (New note. ) 


The demonstration of the empirical nullity of empty space, &c., 
*is not, however, that with which we have to do. Consciousness 
certainly can abstract, can fill itself with the indeterminate also ; 
and the abstractions it then holds fast are the thoughts of pure 
space, time, pure consciousness, pure being. Now, it is the 
thought of pure space, &c. i.e., pure space, &c. which is in itself 
to be demonstrated as null : i.e., that it as such is already its own 
contrary ; that as it is there in its self, its contrary has already 
penetrated into it ; it is already of itself gone forward out of itself 
is determinateness. 

But this manifests itself immediately in their regard [that is, as 
regards pure space, time, &c.]. They are, as Jacobi profusely 
describes them, results of abstraction ; they are expressly deter 
mined as undetermined ; and this to go back to its simplest form, 
amounts to being is being. Just this indeterminateness of being, 
however, is what constitutes its determinateness ; for indeter 
minateness is opposed to determinateness : it is itself consequently, 
as so opposed, the determinate or negative, and the pure, quite 
abstract negative. This indefmiteness or abstract negation, which 
Being in this manner has in its own self, is what outer as well as 
inner reflexion enunciates when it takes it as equal to nothing, 
and declares it an empty thing of thought, Nothing. Or it may 
be expressed thus : Since Being is determinationless, it is not the 
(affirmative) determinateness, which it is, not Being but Nothing. 

In the pure reflexion of the Beginning, as it has been taken in 
this Logic with Being as such, transition is still concealed : since 
Being is taken only as immediate, Nothing breaks by it only 
immediately forth. But all following findings, as at once Daseyn, 
are more concrete ; in it, that is already explicit which involves and 
produces the contradiction of those abstractions, and therefore their 
transition. With respect to Being as said simple, immediate, the 
recollection that it is the result of perfect abstraction, and so for 
that very reason but abstract negativity, Nothing, becomes lost 
from view behind the science which within its own self, expressly 
from Essence onwards, will present said one-sided immediate as a 
mediate, in which Being is explicated as Existence, and the 
mediating agency of this Being as the Ground. 

In the light of said recollection, the transition from Being into 
Nothing may be represented (or, as the phrase goes, explained and 
made intelligible) as something even light and trivial. It may be 
said for example, that without doubt Being which has been made 


the beginning of the science (and of science) is Nothing ; for we 
can abstract from everything ; and when one has abstracted from 
everything, there remains, of course, nothing over. But, it may 
be continued, the beginning is thus not an affirmative, not Being, 
but just Nothing ; and Nothing is then also the end, at least as 
much so as immediate Being, and even still more. The shortest 
way is to let such reasoning take its own course, and look on to see 
how the results it vaunts are characterised. Taking it for granted, 
then, that Nothing were the result of said raisonnement, and that 
now, consequently, the Beginning must be made with Nothing (as 
in Chinese philosophy), there were no necessity on that account to 
stir a hand ; for before one could stir a hand, this Nothing would 
have just as much converted itself into Being (see above, B., 
Nothing). But, further, said abstraction from all and everything 
(which all then, nevertheless, is) being presupposed, it is still to be 
more exactly understood ; the result of the abstraction from all 
that is, is first of all abstract being, being in general ; as in the 
cosmological proof of the existence of God from the contingent 
being of the world (over which being the ascent or advance con 
tained in the proof is made), being is still brought up along with 
us, being is determined as Infinite Being. But abstraction can 
certainly again be made from this pure being also ; Being, too, 
can be thrown into the all from which abstraction has been 
already made ; then there remains Nothing. It is still possible 
for us, would we but forget the thinking of Nothing i.e., its 
striking round into Being or did we know nothing of this, to 
continue in the style of one may this, one may that : we may, for 
example (God be praised !), abstract also from the Nothing (as, for 
that part, the creation of the world itself is but an abstraction 
from nothing), and then there remains not Nothing, for it is just 
from it we have abstracted, and we are once more landed in 
Being. This one can, one may, gives an external play of abstrac 
tion, in which the abstracting itself is only the one-sided activity 
of the negative. Directly at hand, it lies in this very one can, one 
may, itself, that to it Being is as indifferent as Nothing, and that 
just as much as each of the two disappears, each of them equally 
also arises : again, it is equally indifferent whether we start from 
the act of the Nothing, or from the Nothing ; the act of Nothing 
i.e., the mere abstracting is no more and no less anything true 
than the mere Nothing. 

The dialectic, according to which Plato handles the One in the 


Parmenides, is also to be regarded rather as a dialectic of external 
reflexion. Being and the One are both Eleatic forms, which are the 
same thing. But they are also capable of being distinguished : it 
is thus Plato takes them in the dialogue mentioned. Having 
removed from the One the various characters of whole and parts 
of being in itself, of being in another, &c. of figure, time, &c., 
the result is that Being does not belong to the One, for only in 
one or other of these modes does Being attach to any one Some 
thing (p. 141, E.). Plato then proceeds to handle the position, the 
One is ; and we have to see how, from this proposition, the transi 
tion to the Non-is of the One is accomplished. It takes place by 
comparing the two members of the proposition advanced, the One 
is. This proposition contains the One and Being ; and the One is 
contains more than when we say only, the One. In this that they 
are different, then, is demonstrated the moment of negation which 
the proposition holds within it. It is obvious that this path 
(method) has a presupposition, and is an external reflexion. 

In like manner as the One is here placed in connexion with 
Being, may that Being which is supposed capable of being held 
fast abstractly by itself, be demonstrated in the simplest fashion, 
without calling in thought at all to be in a union which implies 
the contrary of that which is supposed to be maintained. Being, 
taken as it is immediately, belongs to a subject, is a thing enun 
ciated, has an empirical being, and stands, therefore, on the level 
of limitation and the negative. In whatever phrases or flexions 
the understanding may express itself, when it sets itself against 
the unity of Being and Nothing, and appeals to what is immedi 
ately before us, it will find just in this very experience nothing 
but determined being, denned being, Being with a limit or nega 
tion [a term, an end], that very unity which it rejects. The 
maintaining of immediate being reduces itself thus to an empiri 
cal existence, the holding up of which cannot be rejected, and just 
because it is to an immediacy outside of thought, that its own 
appeal is made. 

The case is the same with Nothing, only reversewise, and this 
reflexion is familiarly known and has often enough been made in 
its regard. Nothing, taking in its immediacy, shows itself as 
Be-ing or Be-ent (as a thing that is) ; for it is in its nature the 
same as Being. Nothing is thought, nothing is mentally con 
ceived, it is spoken of ; it is therefore. Nothing has in thought, 
mind, speech, &c., its Being. This Being again is, furthermore as 


well, distinguished from it : it is therefore said, that nothing is 
indeed in thought, mind ; but that on that account not it is, not 
to it as such does being attach, that only thought or mental con 
ception is this Being. Notwithstanding this distinction, it is just 
as much not to be denied that nothing stands in connexion with a 
being, but in connexion, though it implies difference also, there is 
a unity with being. In whatever manner nothing may be 
enunciated or exhibited, still it shows itself in conjunction, or if 
you will contact, with a being, unseparated from a being, or just 
in a Daseyn. 

But in that nothing is thus demonstrated in a Daseyn, usually 
still this distinction of it from being (Seyri) is wont to float before 
the mind, namely, that the Daseyn of nothing [its actual exist 
ence] is entirely nothing appertinent to it itself; that it does not 
possess being for and by its own self, that it is not being as such. 
Nothing is only absence of being, as darkness is only absence of 
light, cold only absence of heat, &c. Darkness [the strain con 
tinues] has only meaning in reference to the eye, in external 
comparison with the positive, light ; and just so is cold only 
something in our sensation. On the other hand, light, heat, like 
being, are per se, are themselves, the objective, the real, the 
actuose, of absolutely quite another quality and dignity than those 
negatives than nothing. We find it frequently adduced as a 
very weighty reflexion and important cognition, that darkness is 
only absence of light, cold only absence of heat. But in this field 
of empirical matters it may be empirically remarked, in reference 
to said acute reflexion, that in light darkness certainly shows 
itself actuose, inasmuch as it determines it to colour, and only 
thereby imparts to it visibility indeed ; for, as formerly observed, 
in pure light vision is just as little possible as in pure darkness. 
But visibility is actuality in the eye, and in that actuality the 
negative has just as much share as the light itself, which passes 
for the real and positive. In like manner, cold makes itself 
perceivable enough in water, in our sensation, &c. &c.; and when 
we refuse to it a so-called objective reality, we have with that 
won altogether nothing as against it. But it might further be 
objected, that here too, as above, it is a negative of definite import 
that is spoken of, and that we have not steadily remained by 
nothing itself, to which being is, as regards empty abstraction, 
not inferior nor, indeed, superior. But it were well to take by 
themselves cold, darkness, and the like definite negations, in order 


to see what is involved in this common constitution which they 
exhibit. They are not then to be considered as nothing in 
general, but as the nothing of light, heat, &c. of something 
definite, of an import, a content [an actuality] : they are thus 
determinate, and, if we may say so, mtaining nothings. But a 
de^medness, de^erminedness, is, as comes again further on, itself 
a negation : they are thus negative nothings. But a negative 
nothing is something affirmative. The striking round of nothing, 
by reason of its definiteness (which definiteness manifested itself 
a little while ago as a Daseyn a particular state of being in a 
subject, in water, or whatever else), into an affirmative, appears to 
a consciousness which remains fixed in the abstraction of the 
understanding as the greatest of paradoxes, however simple it is 
to perceive that the negation of a negation is a positive. To be 
sure, on the other hand, the perception of this simple truth may 
appear to a like consciousness and just because of its simplicity 
as something trivial, on which therefore high and mighty 
understanding need bestow no attention. The matter meanwhile 
has, with all this, its own correctness : nay, not only has this 
correctness, but possesses, because of the universality of such 
forms or determinations, an infinite extension and universal 
application. It were not amiss, as regards these things, then, to 
pay a little attention after all. [Original curiously tangled : see 
p. 105, WW., vol. iii, ed. 1833.] 

It may be still remarked, as regards the transition of Being and 
Nothing into one another, that it ought to be taken up into the 
mind just so without any further operation of reflexion. It is 
immediate and quite abstract because of the abstraction of the 
transient moments ; i.e., because in either of these moments the 
determinateness of the other moment is not yet set (manifested as 
implied), and so as means by which the transition were to be 
effected. Nothing is not yet set (manifested as implied) in Being, 
though certainly Being is essentially [in itself] Nothing, and vice 
versa. It is, therefore, inadmissible to bring in here what are 
further determinations, and to treat Being arid Nothing as in any 
relation : said transition is not yet a relation. It is, therefore, not 
allowable to say, Nothing is the ground of Being ; or, Being is the 
ground of Nothing ; Nothing cause of Being, &c.; or, transition is 
possible into Nothing only under the condition that something is, 
or into Being only under the condition of Non-being. The sort of 
inter-reference between them cannot be further defined, unless the 


co-referred sides themselves were at the same time further deter 
mined. The connexion of Ground and Consequent, &c., has no 
longer mere Being and Nothing as the sides which it unites, but 
expressly Being which is Ground and a something something 
which, to be sure, is only a reflex, and not self-subsistent, but 
still not the abstract Nothing. 


Incomprehensible-ness of the Beginning. 

We may perceive from the preceding, what is the nature of the 
dialectic against a beginning of the world, and also its end, by 
which the eternity of matter should be supposed proved ; i.e., 
of the dialectic against becoming, origin or decease, in general. 
The Kantian antinomy respecting the finitude or infinitude of the 
world in space and time receives more particular consideration 
further on, under the notion of quantitative infinitude. Said 
simple ordinary dialectic rests on the holding fast of the antithesis 
of being and nothing. It is proved in the following manner, 
that there is no beginning of the world, or of anything else, 
possible : 

There cannot anything begin, neither so far as it is, nor so far 
as it is not : for so far as it is, it does not just begin ; and so far as 
it is not, neither does it begin. Should the world or anything 
else toe supposed to have begun, it must have begun in nothing. 
But riothing is no beginning, or there is no beginning in nothing : 
for a beginning includes in it a being ; but nothing contains no 
being. Nothing is only nothing. In a ground, cause, &c., when 
the nothing is so determined or defined, an affirmation, being, is 
contained. For the same reason there cannot anything cease. 
For in that case being would require to contain nothing. But 
being is only being, not the contrary of itself. 

It is obvious that there is nothing brought forward here against 
Becoming, or beginning and ending, this unity of Being and 
Nothing, but their assertoric denial and the ascription of truth to 
Being and Nothing, each in division from the other. This dialectic 
is, nevertheless, at least more consistent than reflective conception. 
To this latter, that Being and Nothing are only in separation, 
passes for perfect truth ; but, on the other hand, it holds beginning 
and ending as equally true characterisations : in these latter, 


however, it de facto assumes the undividedness of Being and 

On the presupposition of the absolute partedness of Being from 
Nothing, the beginning as we so often hear or Becoming, is 
certainly something incomprehensible; for we make a pre 
supposition which sublates the beginning or the becoming, which 
nevertheless we again grant; and this contradiction, which we 
produce ourselves, and whose resolution we make impossible, is 
what is incomprehensible. 

What has been stated is also the same dialectic which under 
standing uses against the notion contained in the higher analysis 
of infinitesimal magnitudes. This notion is treated more in detail 
further on. These magnitudes have been defined as such, that 
they ARE in their disappearance, not before their disappearance, for 
they were then finite magnitudes ; not after their disappearance, 
for they were then nothing. Against this pure notion it has been 
objected, and perpetually repeated, that such magnitudes are either 
something or nothing ; that there is no middle state (state is an 
inappropriate, barbarous expression) between being and non-being. 
There is here, too, assumed the absolute separation of being and 
nothing. But, on the other hand, it has been shown, that being 
and nothing are in effect the same, or, to speak the above dialect, 
that there is nothing whatever which is not a middle state between 
being and nothing. Mathematic has to thank the adoption of said 
notion, which understanding resists, for its most brilliant results. 

The adduced raisonnement, which arrives at the false assumption 
of the absolute separatedness of being and non-being, and remains 
fixed in it, is to be named, not dialectic, but sophistry. For 
sophistry is raisonnement from a groundless presupposition, which 
is accepted without examination and inconsiderately ; but we call 
dialectic the higher rational movement, in which such seemingly 
absolutely separated things pass over into one another through 
themselves through that which they are and the presupposition 
negates itself. It is the dialectic immanent nature of Being and 
Nothing themselves to manifest their unity Becoming as their 

2. Moments of Becoming. 

Becoming, Coming-to-be and Ceasing-to-be, is the unseparated- 
ness of Being and Nothing ; not the unity which abstracts from 
Being and Nothing ; but as unity of Being and Nothing, it is this 



definite, determinate [concrete] unity, that in which as well Being 
as Nothing is. But thus as each is, only unseparated from its 
other, each also is not. They ARE, therefore, in this unity, but as 
evanescents, but as sublated. They sink down from their 
previously-conceived self-siibsistcncy into moments, distinguished 
and distinguishable, but at the same time resolved. 

Considered as in reference to their distinguishedness, each is in 
it as unity with the other. Becoming, then, contains Being and 
Nothing as two unities such that each of them is itself unity of 
Being and Nothing. The one is Being as immediate and as 
reference to Nothing; the other, Nothing as immediate and as 
reference to Being : the moments are in disparate determination in 
these unities. 

Becoming is thus in a double form. In the one, Nothing is as 
immediate : this form is as beginning from Nothing which refers 
itself to Being, or, what is the same thing, passes over into Being. 
In the other, Being is as immediate : this form is as beginning from 
Being which passes over into Nothing. The former is Origin 
or Coming-to-be ; the latter, Decease, Ceasing, or Ceasing-to-be. 

Both are the same, Becoming, but, as these so diverse directions, 
they mutually interpenetrate and paralyse themselves. The one 
is Ceasing-to-be ; Being passes over into Nothing, but Nothing 
is equally the contrary of itself, a passing over into Being, 
Coming-to-be. This Coming-to-be is the other direction ; Nothing 
passes over into Being, but Being equally sublates itself, and is 
a passing over into Nothing, Ceasing-to-be. They sublate not 
themselves antagonistically, not the one the other externally ; but 
each sublates itself in itself, and is in its own self the contrary of 

3. Sublation (resolution} of Becoming. 

The equilibrium into wKich Coming-to-be and Ceasing-to-be 
reflect themselves, is, at first hand, Becoming itself. But Becom 
ing equally goes together into peaceful unity. Being and Nothing 
are in it only as disappearing ; but Becoming as such is only 
through their distinguishedness. Their disappearing, therefore, is 
the disappearing of Becoming, or the disappearing of the dis 
appearing itself. Becoming is an untenable unrest, which sinks 
together into a peaceful result. 

Or it might be expressed thus : Becoming is the disappearing of 
Being in Nothing and of Nothing in Being, and the disappearing 


of Being and Nothing generally; but it rests, at the same time, 
on the distinguished ness of these. It contradicts itself, therefore, 
within itself, because it unites such within itself as is opposed to 
its own self, but such a union destroys itself. 

This result is a disappearedness, but not as Nothing ; as 
Nothing it were only a relapse into one of the distinctions 
already sublated, not a result of Nothing and of Being. It is the 
unity of Being and Nothing which has settled into unbroken one 
ness. But unbroken oneness is Being, nevertheless, even so, no 
longer as individually a whole, but as form of the whole. 

Becoming, thus as transition into the unity of Being and 
Nothing, which unity is as beent (existent), or has the form of the 
one-sided immediate unity of these moments, is Daseyn [actual 
finite, definite existence, taken quite generally]. 


The expression, Sublation. 

Aufheben und das Aufgehobene (das Ideelle), suUation and what 
is sublated (and so only ideellement, not reellement is), this is one 
of the most important notions of philosophy, a ground-form which 
repeats itself always and everywhere, the sense of which is to be 
exactly apprehended and particularly distinguished from the 
Nothing (negation). What sublates itself, does not, on that 
account, become nothing. Nothing is the immediate [directly 
present to us] ; what is sublated, on the other hand, is a mediate, 
it is a non-beent but as result which set out from a being : it 
has, therefore, the definite particularity from which it derives still 
IN itself [impliciter; what anything has in itself, it implies or 
involves]. Aufheben, To sublate, has two senses, now signifying 
as much as to preserve, maintain, and again as much as to cause to 
cease, to make an end of. Even preserving includes the negative in 
it this negative, that something, in order to be conserved is 
removed or withdrawn from its immediacy, from an existency 
open to external influences. What is sublated or resolved is thus, 
at the same time, preserved ; it has only lost its immediacy, but 
it is not pn that account annihilated. The two characters of sub- 
lation just stated, may be described lexikalisch as two significa 
tions of the word. It is striking to find language using the same 
word for two contradictory predicables. To speculative thought, 


it is gratifying to find words which have a speculative meaning in 
themselves. The German language has a considerable number of 
these. The double meaning of the Latin tollere {which the 
Ciceronian wit tollendum esse Octavium has made notorious) is 
more circumscribed, its affirmative character amounting only to a 
lifting-up. A thing is sublated, resolved, only so far as it has 
gone into unity with its opposite ; in this more particular sense, as 
what is reflected, it may be fitly named moment. Weight, and 
distance from a point, are called, with reference to the Lever, its 
mechanical moments, because of the identity of their effect, not 
withstanding their diversity otherwise ; the one being, as it were, 
the real of a weight, and the other the ideal or ideel of a line, a 
mere character of space (S. Encycl. Hegel, 3d edn., 261, Eem). 
The remark must often occur to be made, that philosophy uses 
Latin expressions for reflected characters, either because the 
mother-tongue has not such as are required, or if having them, as 
here, because they remind more of what is immediate, while the 
foreign tongue suggests rather what is reflected. 

The more particular sense and expression which now that 
they are moments Being and Nothing receive, come out in the 
discussion of Daseyn, the unity in which they are kept or put by. 
Being is Being, and Nothing is Nothing, only as contradistin 
guished from each other ; in their truth again, in their unity, they 
have disappeared as these characters, and are now something else. 
Being and Nothing are the same ; therefore, because they are the 
same, they are no longer being and nothing, and possess now a 
different significance: in Becoming, they were origin and decease; 
in Daseyn, as a differently-determined unity, they are again 
differently-determined moments. This unity remains now their 
base [the ground, the mother-liquor that holds them], from which 
they do not again issue in the abstract sense of Being and Nothing. 




THERE-BEING is definite, determinate Being ; its determinateness, 
definiteness, is beent determinateness, beent definiteness, Quality. 
Through its quality, is it, that Something is, and as in opposition 
to an Other. Through its quality, likewise, is it alterable and 
finiiQ. Through its quality is it negatively determined ; and not 
only so as opposed to an Other, but directly in itself. This its 
negation as, primarily, opposed to the Finite Something, is the 
Infinite ; the abstract antithesis in which these distinctions [Finite 
and Infinite] appear, resolves itself into the Infinitude which is 
without antithesis, into Being-for-self (Fursichseyri). 

The discussion of There-being has thus the three divisions 

A. There-being as such ; 

B. Something and Other, Finitude ; 

C. Qualitative Infinitude. 


IN There-being 

a. as such, its determinateness, first of all, is 

b. to be distinguished as Quality. This (quality), however, is 
to be taken as well in the one as in the other moment of There- 
being, as Reality and as Negation. But so determined, There- 
being is at the same time reflected within itself ; and set as such, 
it is 

c. Something, There-beent-ity. 

* Whereness and ubiety being in the dictiona ry, perhaps it might be allowable to 
coin Tkereness and ibiety. There-being, though the literal rendering of Da-Seyn, is 
so irredeemably ugly, and Daseyn itself must now be so well understood, that per 
haps the latter term may be the preferable one to use generally. N. 


a. There-being in general. 

There-being issues from Becoming. There-being is the simple 
oneness of Being and Nothing. Because of this simplicity 
(singleness), it has the form of an immediate. Its mediation, 
Becoming, lies behind it ; it (this mediating process) has fixed 
itself, and There-being therefore appears as a prime from which 
one might begin. It is at first hand in the one-sided character 
(determination) of Being ; the other character which is also in it, 
Nothing, will likewise manifest itself in it as in contraposition to 
the former. 

It is not mere Being, but There-being ; etymologically taken, 
Being in a certain place ; but the idea of space is not relevant 
here. According to its Becoming, There-being is, in general, 
Being with a Non-being, in such wise that this Non-being is 
taken up into simple unity with [the other moment] Being. 
Non-being taken up into Being in such wise that the concrete 
[resultant] whole is in the form of Being, of Immediacy, con 
stitutes Determinateness as such [i.e., definiteness, particularity, 
peculiarity, speciality, specific force, virtue, vitality, value, say 

The Whole is likewise in the form, i.e., determinateness of 
Being, for Being has in Becoming shown itself likewise to be 
only a moment, a sublated, negatively-determined one. It is 
such as yet, however, only for us in our reflexion ; it is not yet 
thus evolved in its own self. But the determinateness as such (the 
specificity) of There-being will be the evolved and overt one, 
which is also implied in the expression There-being (Da-seyn). 
The two distinctions are always to be kept well in view ; only 
what is evolved, explicit (set) in a notion, belongs in the course of 
its development to its content ; while any determinateness that is 
not yet evolved in its own self belongs to our reflexion, whether 
employed on the nature of the notion itself, or only on external 
comparison. To call attention to a determinateness of the latter 
sort can only serve to illustrate or pre-indicate the course which 
will exhibit itself in the evolution. That the Whole, the oneness 
of Being and Nothing, is in the one-sided determinateness of 
Being, is an external reflexion ; but in the Negation, in Some 
thing and Other, &c., it will come to be posited, evolved, set. To 
notice the distinction referred to was in place here ; but to review 
all the observations which reflexion may allow itself, would lead 


to the unnecessary anticipation of what must yield itself in the 
matter in hand. Such reflexions may, perhaps, serve to facilitate 
a collective view and understanding generally; but they are 
attended by the disadvantage of being possibly regarded as 
unauthorised statements, grounds, and ground-layings for the 
further development. They are to be taken, therefore, for no 
more than they really are, and must be distinctly separated from 
what is a moment in the progress of the thing itself. 

There-being corresponds to the Being of the previous sphere. 
Being, however, is the Indefinite ; there present themselves on 
this account no significates in it. But There-being is a definite 
being, a concrete ; there manifest themselves, therefore, directly in 
its regard a number of significates, distinguishable relations of its 

b. Quality. 

Because of the immediacy in which in There-being, Being and 
Nothing are one, they do not exceed each other, they do not go 
beyond each other ; as far as There-being is Being, so far is it 
Non-being, so far is it determined, defined. Being is not the genus, 
determinateness not the species. The determinateness has not yet 
detached itself from the being ; indeed, it will not again detach 
itself from it ; for the truth which is now established as ground 
and base is the unity of Non-being with Being; on it as 
around appear all further determinations. But the reference, 
in which determinateness stands here to being, is the imme 
diate unity of both, so that there is no distinction of them as 
yet set. 

Determinateness thus isolated to itself, as beent determinate- 
ness, is Quality ; a determination wholly single and direct. 
(Determinateness in general is the more universal term ; it may be 
Quantitative as well [as Qualitative], and also still further deter 
mined.) Because of this simplicity (and singleness) there is 
nothing further to be said of Quality as such. 

But There-being, in which Nothing quite as well as Being is 
contained, is itself the standard for the one-sidedness of Quality 
as ONLY immediate or beent determinateness. Quality is to be 
exhibited quite as much in the character of Nothing, in which 
case then the immediate or beent determinateness appears as one 
such distinguished against other such, and so as a reflected one : 
Nothing thus as the determinate of a determinateness, is equally 


a something reflected, it is a negation. Quality distinguished as 
beent is Reality ; Quality as fraught with a negative, is Negation 
generally, also a Quality, but which has the value of a restriction, 
and which further on is determined as Limit, Limitation. 

Both are a There-being, but in the Reality as Quality with the 
accent that it is a Beent, it is concealed that it contains deter- 
minateness, therefore also negation : the Reality passes therefore 
only for something positive, from which negation, limitation, 
restriction, is excluded. The negation taken as mere restriction 
would be what nothing is ; but it is a There-being, a Quality only 
determined with a Non-being. 


Reality may seem a word of much ambiguity, because it is used 
of various and even opposed interests. In a philosophical sense, 
we may speak, perhaps, of merely empirical reality as a worthless 
existency. But when it is said of thoughts, notions, theories, they 
have no reality, this means that no actuality attaches to them : in 
itself or in the notion, the idea of a Platonic Republic, for 
example, may very well be true. Its worth is here not denied to 
the idea, and it is allowed to keep its place, as it were, beside 
Reality. But opposed to so-called mere ideas, mere notions, the 
real has the value of the alone true. The sense in which in the 
one case the decision as regards the truth of a matter is assigned 
to external existency, is just as one-sided as when the idea, the 
essential principle, or even the inner feeling, is represented as 
indifferent towards outer fact, or is, perhaps, considered indeed 
just so much the more excellent, the further it is removed from 

In reference to the expression Reality, we may make mention 
of the former metaphysical notion of God which, in especial, 
constituted the basis of the so-called ontological proof of the 
existence of God. God was defined as the sum of all realities 
and of this sum it was said that it included no contradiction, that 
the realities neutralised not the one the other ; for a Reality is to 
be taken only as a perfection, as an affirmative that contains no 
negation. The realities are thus not opposed to each other, do 
not contradict each other. 

It is assumed in the case of this notion of reality, that this 
latter still remains when all negation is thought out of it ; but 


just thus all its determinateness were cancelled. Eeality is 
Quality, There-being ; on that account, it implies the moment of 
the negative, and by it only is it the determinate which it is. In 
the so-called eminent sense, or as in the usual understanding 
infinite (and so, namely, it is expected of us to take it), it (reality) 
is extended into the indefinite, and loses its meaning. God s 
goodness is not to be goodness in the usual, but in the eminent 
sense; not different from his justice, but tempered by it (a Leib- 
nitzian term of accommodation, reconciliation); just as, on the 
other hand, his Justice is to be tempered by his goodness : thus 
neither goodness is any longer goodness, nor justice any longer 
justice. Power is to be tempered by wisdom ; but in this way it 
would not be power as such, for it were in subjection to the other: 
Wisdom is to be enlarged to power, but in this manner it dis 
appears as the end and means determining wisdom. The true 
notion of the Infinite and its absolute unity, which will present 
itself later, is not to be conceived as a tempering, mutual limitation 
or mixture, which is but a superficial relation, held, too, in an in 
determinate mist, with which only notionless conception can con 
tent itself. Reality, which in the above definition of God is taken 
as determinate quality, when extended beyond its determinateness 
ceases to be reality ; it is converted into, or has gone back to, 
abstract Being ; God as pure reality in all reality, or as sum of all 
realities, is the same formlessness and matterlessness as the empty 
absolute in which all is one. 

Again, Reality being taken in its determinateness, then, as 
it, reality, includes essentially the moment of the negative, the 
sum of all realities becomes just as much a sum of all negations 
the sum, then, of all contradictions, directly, as it were, the 
absolute power in which all that is determinate is absorbed. But 
as this absolute all-absorbing power is itself only so far as there 
still remains opposed to it a not yet absorbed, it becomes, when 
thought as extended into realised, unlimited power, only the 
abstract nothing. Said reality in all reality, the being in all 
There-being, which is to express the notion of God, is nothing else 
than abstract Being, the same thing as Nothing. 

Determinateness is Negation put affirmatively ; Omnis deter- 
minatio est negatio this is the proposition of Spinoza. It is a 
proposition of infinite importance ; only the negation as such is 
formless abstraction ; it is not, however, to be imputed to specula 
tive philosophy, that it views negation, or nothing, as an ultimum: 


Negation is such to speculative philosophy just as little as reality 
[as such] is to it truth. 

Of this proposition, that determinateness is negati on, the unity 
of the Spinozistic Substance, or that there is only one Substance, 
is the necessary consequence. Thought and Being (or Exten 
sion), the two attributes, namely, which Spinoza has before him, 
he could not but, in this unity [of substance] consider one, for as 
determinate realities they are negations, the infinitude of which is 
their unity : according to Spinoza s definition, of which more 
again, the infinitude of anything is its affirmation. He took them, 
therefore, as attributes that is, as such that they have not an 
individuality proper, an independent being of their own, but are 
only as in another, as moments ; or rather they are to him not even 
moments, for his substance is what is quite determinationless in 
its own self, and the attributes are, as the modi are, distinctions 
which an external understanding forms. In like manner, the sub 
stantiality of individuals cannot subsist in the face of said proposi 
tion. The individual is reference to himself by this, that he sets 
limits to everything else ; but these limits are just so limits to 
himself also, references to all else he has his being not in him 
self [alone]. The individual is certainly more than only what is 
on all sides limited ; but this more belongs to another sphere of 
the Notion : in the Metaphysic of Being it is a directly determin 
ate ; and that what is such, that the Finite as such should in and 
of itself be against this, determinateness asserts itself essentially 
as negation, and drags it [the individual, the finite] into the same 
negative movement of the understanding, which makes all dis 
appear into abstract unity, into Substance. 

Negation stands immediately opposed to Eeality : further on, 
in the special sphere of the reflected determinations, it becomes 
opposed to the Positive, which is a reality reflecting to Negation, 
a reality, in which the negative seems (shines, shows), the 
negative, i.e., which is as yet concealed in reality as such. 

Quality is then specially property, when in an external reference 
it manifests itself as immanent determination. By properties of 
herbs, for example, we understand determinations [manifested 
powers] which are not only proper to a Something, but imply also 
that it by them, in reference to others, maintains itself in a 
peculiar manner [its own proper], and allows not the foreign 
influences set in it to take their own course, but makes good its 
own determinations in these, although, indeed, it excludes them 


not. The more quiescent definitenesses, as figure, shape, are, on 
on the other hand, not always called properties, possibly not even 
qualities, inasmuch and so far as they are conceived as alterable, 
not identical with the Being or Beingness itself. 

The Qualirung or Ingualirung (the agonising or inagonising, 
inward pain-ing, pang-ing, throe-ing), an expression of Jacob 
Bohme of a philosophy that goes into the deep, but a troubled 
deep, signifies the movement of a quality (the sour, Utter, fiery, 
&c.) in its own self, so far as it in its negative nature (in its Qual, 
its pang) expresses and affirms itself through another signifies in 
general the Unrest of the Quality in itself, by which it produces 
and maintains itself only in conflict. 

c. Something. 

In There-being, its deterrninateness has been distinguished as 
Quality ; in Quality as there-beent is distinction of the reality 
and of the negation. By as much now as these distinctions are 
present in There-being, by so much are they also null and 
withdrawn. The reality contains itself negation; it is There- 
being not indeterminate, abstract Being. No less is Negation 
There-being not the nothing that is to be supposed abstract, but 
express here as it is in itself, as beent, as constitutively in There- 
being. Quality in general is thus not divided from There-being, 
which is only definite, determinate, qualitative Being. 

This sublation of the distinction is more than a mere withdrawal 
and external leaving out again of the same, or than a simple 
turning back to the simple beginning, to There-being as such. 
The distinction cannot be left out ; for it is. The factum what 
is present therefore, is There-being, distinction in it, and resolu 
tion of this distinction ; There-being not distinctionless, as in the 
beginning, but as again equal to itself through resolution of the 
distinction, the simplicity (unality) of There-being mediated through 
this resolution. This sublatedness of the distinction is the deter- 
iniiiateness proper of There-being [as it were, its special speci 
ficity]"; it is thus Insichseyn, Being-within-self: There-being is 
There-Beent-ity a Something. 

The Something is the first negation of the negation, as simple 
beent reference to self. There-being, or living, thinking, and so 
further, determines itself essentially [that is, in and from its own 
nature] as a There being-owe, a living-owe, thinking-owe (Ego), &c. 


This determination is of the highest importance, in order not to 
stop by There-being, living, thinking, &c., as generalities for the 
same reason, not by the Godhead instead of God. Something 
rightly passes with conception for a Real. Nevertheless, Some 
thing is still a very superficial determination ; just as Eeality and 
Negation, There-being and its Determinateness, though no longer 
the blank Being and Nothing, remain, all the same, quite abstract 
determinations. For this reason they are also the most current 
expressions, and the understanding, that is philosophically un 
formed, uses them most, casts its distinctions in their mould, and 
opines to possess thus something veritably good, and firmly fixed 
and definite. The Negative of the Negative is as Something only 
the beginning of the Subject ; the Being- within-self only first of 
all quite indefinite. It determines itself further on first as Beent- 
for-self and so on, till only first in the notion it attains the con 
crete intensity of the Subject. As basis of all these determinations, 
there lies at bottom the negative unity with self. But there 
withal the negation as first negation, as negation in general, is to 
be firmly distinguished from the second, the negation of the 
negation, which is the concrete absolute negativity, just as the first, 
on the contrary, is only the abstract negativity. 

Something is Beent as the negation of the negation; for this 
negation is the restoring again of the simple reference to self; 
but just thus is Something withal the mediation of itself with itself. 
Here in the Simple of Something, then still more definitely in 
Being-for-self, in the Subject, &c., is there present mediation of 
self with self ; even already in Becoming is mediation present, but 
only the quite abstract mediation; Mediation with self has reached 
position (is set, express] in Something, so far as Something is deter 
mined as a simple Identical (Einfaches). Attention may be 
directed to the presence of mediation in general, as opposed to the 
principle of the asserted mere immediacy of knowledge from which 
(according to it) mediacy is to be excluded; but no particular 
attention need be called to this moment of mediacy in the sequel, 
for it is to be found throughout, and everywhere, in every notion. 

This mediation with itself which Something is in itself, taken 
only as negation of the negation, has no concrete determinations 
as its sides ; so it collapses into the simple unity which Being is. 
Something is, and is also a There-beent ; it is in itself further also 
Becoming, which, however, has no longer only Being and Nothing 
as its moments. The one of these, Being, is now There-being, and, 


further, a There-beent. The second is equally a There-beent, but 
determined as negative of the Something an Other. The Some 
thing as Becoming is a transition, whose moments are themselves 
Somethings, and which itself, therefore, is aeration ; a Becoming 
already become concrete. Something, however, alters (others) itself 
first of all only in its notion ; it is not yet in position (express) as 
thus mediating and mediated ; it is set, first of all, only as simply 
(unally) maintaining itself in its reference to self, and its negative 
is set as equally qualitative, as only an Other in general. 



a. Something and Other; they are, first of all, indifferent as 
regards each other ; an Other is also an immediately There-beent, 
a Something ; the negation falls thus outside of both. Something 
is in itself as against its Being-for-other [its relativity to all else]. 
But the determinateness [the specificity] belongs also to its In- 
itself, and is 

b. its qualification, determination (purpose) which equally passes 
into So-constitittedness, Taliftcation, which, identical with the 
former, constitutes the immanent and, at the same time, negated 
Beiug-for-other [relativity], the Limit of the Something, which is 

c. the immanent determination of the Something itself, and this 
latter is thus finite. 

In the first division, in which There-being in general was con 
sidered, this had, as first taken up, the character of Beent. The 
moments of its development, Quality and Something, are, therefore, 
equally of affirmative nature. In this division, on the other hand, 
there develops itself the negative element which lies in There- 
being, which there (in the first division) was only first of all nega 
tion, first negation, but now has determined (or developed) itself 
up to the point of the Being-within-itself of the Something, to the 
negation of the negation. 

a. Something and an Other. 

1. Something and Other are both, in the first place, There-beent, 
or Something. 

Secondly, each is equally an Other. It is indifferent which is 


first named Something ; and just because it is first named is it 
Something (in Latin, when they present themselves both in one 
proposition, they are both called aliud, or the one the other, alius 
alium ; in the case of a mutual reciprocity, the expression alter 
alterum is analogous). If we call one There-being A, and the 
other B, B is, in the first instance, determined as the Other. But 
A is just as much the other of B. Both are, in the same manner, 
Others. The expression This serves to fix the distinction and the 
Something which is to be taken as affirmative. But This just 
expresses that this distinguishing and picking out of the one 
Something is a subjective designating falling without the Some 
thing itself. Into this external monstration falls the entire deter- 
minateness ; even the expression This contains no distinction ; all 
Somethings are just as much These as they are also Others. One 
opines or means by This to express Something perfectly deter 
mined : it escapes notice that Speech, as work of understanding, 
enunciates only what is general, except in the name of a single 
object : the individual name, however, is meaningless in the sense, 
that it does not express a universal, and seems, therefore, as merely 
posititious and arbitrary, for the same reason, single names can 
also be arbitrarily assumed, given, or also changed. 

Thus, then, otherwiseness appears as a determination foreign 
to the There-being that is so distinguished, or the Other appears 
out of the single There-being ; partly, because a There-being is 
determined as Other, only through the comparing of a Third 
[you or me] ; partly, because it is other only by reason of the 
Other that is out of it, but is not as of or for itself so determined. 
At the same time, as has been remarked, even for conception, 
every There-being is distinguishable as an other There-being, and 
there remains not any one There-being that were distinguishable 
only as a There-being, that were not without or on the outside 
of a There-being, and, therefore, that were not itself an Other. 

Both are equally determined as Something and as Other, con 
sequently as the same thing, and there is so far no distinction of 
them. This self-sameness of the determinations, however, falls 
only into outer reflexion, into the comparing of both ; but as the 
Other is at present determined, it is per sc the Other, in reference 
indeed to the Something, but it is per se the Other also outside of, 
apart from the Something. 

Thirdly, therefore, the Other may be taken as isolated, in 
reference to its own self; abstractly as the Other; the TO rre/oov 


of Plato, who opposes it to the One as one of the moments of 
totality, and in this manner ascribes to the Other a special nature. 
But thus the Other taken as such is not the Other of Something, 
but the Other in itself, that is, the Other of itself. Such Other 
in its own determination is Physical Nature ; it is the Other of 
the Spirit : this its definition is thus at first a mere relativity, by 
which there is expressed, not a quality of nature itself, but only a 
reference external to it. But in that the Spirit is the true Some 
thing, and Nature therefore in itself is only what it is as against 
(Gegen) the Spirit, its quality, so far as it (nature) is taken per se, 
is just this, to be the Other in itself, the out-of-itself-le-entity 
(in the forms of space, of time, of matter). 

The Other by itself is the Other in itself, so the Other of itself, 
so again the Other of the Other ; so, therefore, that which within 
itself is unequal simpliciter, that which negates itself, that which 
alters itself. But just thus it remains identical with itself, for that 
into which it alters itself is the Other, which any further has no 
determination else ; what alters itself is, in no different way but 
in the same, determined as an Other : in this latter, therefore, 
it goes together only with its own self. It is thus posited as reflected 
into self with sublatiou of the Otherness ; as self-identical Some 
thing from which, consequently, the Otherness, which is at the 
same time moment of it, is merely a distinguishcdness, not as some 
thing itself which is appertinent to it. 

2. Something maintains itself in its non-there-being; it is 
essentially one with it, and essentially not one with it. It stands, 
therefore, as though referring to its Otherwiseness ; it is not purely 
its Otherwiseness. Otherwiseness is at once contained in it, and 
separated from it ; it is Being -for-other. 

There-being as such is immediate, reference-less ; or it is in the 
determination of Being. But There-being as containing within 
itself Non-being, is determinate Being, Being negated within itself, 
and then nextly Other, but because at the same time it also 
maintains itself in its negation, only Bcing-for-other. 

It maintains itself in its non-there-being, and is Being; but not 
Being in general, but as reference to self opposed to its reference 
to Other, as equality with itself opposed to its inequality. Such 
Being is Being-ix-itself. 

Being-for-other and Reing-ix -itself constitute the two moments 
of the Something. There are two pairs of determinations present 
here : 1, Something and Other ; 2, Being-for-other and Being-in- 


itself. The former pair contain the reference-lessness of their 
determinateness ; Something and other fall asunder from each 
other. But their truth is their co-reference ; the Being-for-other 
and the Being-in-self are, therefore, the former determinations 
express as moments of one and the same, as determinations, which 
are co-references, and in their unity remain in the unity of There- 
being. Each of them itself, therefore, contains in it at the same 
time also its other moment, the moment that is distinguished 
from it. 

Being and Nothing in their unity, which is There-heing, are no 
longer as Being and Nothing; they are this only out of their 
unity. Thus, too, in their fluent unity, in Becoming, they are 
Origin and Decease. Being in the Something is Being-in-self. 
Being, the reference to self, the equality with self, is now no 
longer immediate, but reference to self only as Non-being of the 
Otherwiseness (as There-being reflected within itself). Just so 
Non-being as moment of the Something is, in this unity of Being 
and Non-being, not non-there-being as such, but Other, and, more 
determinately, viewed at the same time in reference to the 
distinguishing of Being from it, reference to its non-there-being, 

Thus Being-in-self is firstly negative reference to the non- 
there-being ; it has the Otherwiseness out of it, and is opposed to 
it: so far as something is in itself, it is withdrawn from otherwise- 
ness and from Being-for-other. But, secondly, it has non-being 
itself also in it ; for it is itself the Non-being of the Beiug-for- 

The Being-for-other, again, is firstly negation of the simple 
reference of the Being to itself which is to be first of all There- 
being and Something ; so far as Something is in another or for 
another is it without its own Being. But, secondly, it is not the 
non-There-being as pure Noth ing ; it is non-There-being that points 
or refers to its Being-in-self, as to its Being reflected within its 
own self, just as on the other hand the Being-in-self points or 
refers to the Being-for-other. 

3. Both moments are determinations of that which is one and 
the same, namely, the Something. Something is in itself, so far 
as it is returned into its own self out of the Being-for-other. 
Something has again also a determination or circumstance in itself 
(the accent falls here on in) or in it, so far as this circumstance 
is outwardly in it, a Being-for-other. 


This leads to a further determination. Being-in-self and 
Being- for-other are in the first place different; but that Something 
has in it the same thing which it is in itself, and contrariwise what 
it is as Being-for-other, the same thing is it also in itself this is the 
identity of the Being-in-self and the Being-for-other, in accord 
ance with the determination, that the Something itself is one and 
the same of both moments, and therefore they are in it undivided. 
This identity yields itself formally, as we see, in the sphere of 
There-being, but more expressly in the consideration of Essentity, 
and then of the relation of Inwardness and Outwardness, and in 
the precisest degree in the consideration of the Idea as the unity 
of the Notion and of Actuality. One opines to say something 
lofty with the In-itself, as with the Inner ; but what Something is 
only in itself, that also is only in it ; in itself is only an abstract, 
and so even external determination. The expressions, there is 
nothing in it, or there is something in that, imply, though some 
what obscurely, that that which is in one, belongs also to one s 
Being-in-self, to one s inner genuine worth. 

It may be observed, that the sense of the Thing-in-itself yields 
itself here, which is a very simple abstraction, but which for long 
was a very important determination, something distinguished as it 
were, just as the proposition, that we do not know what the 
things are in themselves, was a much-importing wisdom. Things 
are in themselves so far as all Being-for-other is abstracted from, 
that is as much as to say in general, so far as they are thought 
without any determination whatever ; as nothings. In this sense 
truly one cannot know what the thing in itself is. For the 
question what requires that determinations be assigned ; inasmuch, 
however, as the things, of which they are to be assigned, are to be 
at the same time things in themselves that is to say, just without 
determination there is thoughtless-wise introduced into the ques 
tion the impossibility of an answer, or there is made only an 
absurd answer. The thing in itself is the same as that absolute, 
of which nothing is known but that all is one in it. One knows 
then perfectly well what is in these things in themselves ; they are 
as such nothing but truthless, empty abstractions. What, how 
ever, the thing in itself is in truth, what is truly in itself, of this 
(or that) Logic is the exposition, in which, however, something 
better is understood by In itself than an abstraction namely, 
what something is in its Notion : this latter, however, is concrete 



in itself, comprehensible (notion-able, knowable) as notion in 
general, and cognisable as determined within itself and as con 
nected system of its determinations within itself. 

Being-in-self has at nearest the Being-for-other as its counter- 
standing moment ; but there is also opposed to it Positedness or 
Explicitness ( Gesetztseyri) ; in this expression there lies also the 
Being-for-other, indeed, but it implies markedly the already- 
accomplished bending back (reflexion) of that which is not in 
itself into that which is its Being-for-self, into that in which it is 
positively. The Being-in-self is usually to be taken as an abstract 
manner of expressing the notion ; Position (Setzeri) falls specially 
only into the sphere of Essentity, of objective reflexion ; the 
Ground (ratio) posits (setzt exinvolves, eximplies) that which is 
grounded by it ; the Cause still more brings an Effect forth, a 
There-being (a Daseyn, an entity) whose self-subsistence is im 
mediately negated, and which has the sense in it, to have its affair, 
its Being in another. In the sphere of Being, There-being comes 
only forward from Becoming, or there is implied with the Some 
thing, an Other, with the Finite the Infinite; but the Finite 
produces not the Infinite, posits, sets the Infinite not. In the 
sphere of Being, the self-determining of the notion is only first of 
all in itself; thus is it only transition a passing over ; even the 
reflecting determinations of Being, as Something and Other, or 
the Finite and Infinite, though they essentially refer to each 
other, or are as Being-for-other, have the value of what is 
qualitative and subsistent per se ; the Other is, the Finite, like the 
Infinite, appears equally as immediately beent, and standing firm 
per se ; their sense seems complete even without the other. The 
Positive and Negative, on the other hand, Cause and Effect, how 
ever much they are also taken as isolatedly beent, have at the 
same time no meaning without the one the other; there is in 
themselves their seeming (showing) the one into the other, the 
seeming of its other in each. In the various spheres of deter 
mination, and especially in the progress of the exposition, or more 
accurately, in the progress of the notion to its exposition, it is a 
main matter always well to distinguish this, what is yet in itself 
and what is posited (gesetzt set, realised), likewise the determina 
tions as in the notion and as posited, Beent-for-othcr. This is a 
distinction which belongs only to the dialectic development, and 
which the metaphysical philosophy, as also the critical, knows 
not; the definitions of [former] metaphysic, as its presuppositions, 


distinguishings, and concludings, seek only to maintain and pro 
duce what is Beent and that, too, Beent-in-itself. 

The Being-for-other is, in the unity of the Something with 
itself, identical with its In-itself; the Being-for-other is thus in 
the Something. The determinateness thus reflected into itself is 
by this again simply beent, and so again a quality the Determina 
tion, the Qualification. 

b. Qualification, Talification, and Limit. 

; The In-itself into which the Something is reflected out of its 
Being-for-other into itself is no longer abstract In-itself, but as 
negation of its Being-for-other it is mediated through the latter, 
which is thus its moment. It is not only the immediate identity 
of the Something with itself, but the identity through which the 
Something is what it is in itself also in it ; the Beiug-for-other is 
in it, because the In-itself is the sublation of the same, is out of 
the same into itself ; but quite as much also, be it observed, 
because it is abstract, and therefore essentially affected with 
negation, with Being-for-other. There is here present not only 
Quality and Keality, beent determinateness, but determinateness 
that is beent in itself, and the development is to posit it [set, state, 
exhibit, express it] as this determinateness reflected into itself. 

1. The quality which the In-itself in the simple Something 
essentially in unity with its other moment, the Being-m-#, is, can 
be named its Determination (qualification), so far as this word in 
exact signification is distinguished from determinateness in 
general. The Determination (qualification) is the affirmative 
determinateness, as the Being-in-itself, with which the Some 
thing in its There-being remains congruous against its involution 
with other by which it might be determined remains congruous, 
maintains itself in its equality with itself, and makes it good (its 
equality) in its Being-for-other. It fulfils its determination 
(qualification, vocation) so far as the further determinateness, 
which manifoldly grows through its relation to Other, becomes 
in subjection to, or agreement with, its Being-in-itself its 
filling. The Determination implies this, that what Something is 
in itself, is also in it. 

The Determination of Man is thinking reason : Thought in 
general is his simple Determinateness, by it he is distinguished 
from the lower animals. He is thought in himself (an sich), so 


far as it (thought) is at the same time distinguished from his 
Being-for-other, his special naturality and sensuous nature by 
which it is that he is immediately connected with Other. 
But thought is also in him ; Man himself is thought, he is there as 
thinking, it is his existence and actuality ; and further in that it 
is in his There-being (There-ness) and his There-ness (Existence) 
is in thought, it is concrete, it is to be taken with Implement and 
Complement, it is thinking reason, and thus is it Determination 
of Man. But this determination is again only in itself (only an 
sich) as an Is-to-be (a Sollen, a Devoir) ; that is, it, together with 
the complement, which is incorporated into its In-itself, is in the 
form of In-itself in general against the There-being not incor 
porated into it, which complement is thus at the same time still 
as externally opposing, immediate sense and nature. 

2. The filling of the Being-in-itself [the In-itself simply] with 
determinateness is also distinguished from the determinateness 
which is only Being-for-other and remains out of the determina 
tion. For, in the field of the Qualitative, there remains to the 
differences or distinctions even in their sublation [alluding to the 
various moments of the Daseyn or the Utwas] immediate quali 
tative being as opposed the one to the other. What the Some 
thing has in it divides, then, and is, on this side, external There- 
being of the Something, which is also its There-being, but belongs 
not to its In-itself. The Determinateness is thus Talification [So- 
constitutedness, and that amounts to Property, or, indeed, Accident]. 
So or otherwise constituted is Something as engaged in external 
influence and relations. This external reference on which the 
Talification depends, and the becoming determined by another, 
appears as something contingent. But it is quality of the Some 
thing to be given over to this externality, and to have a Tali 

So far as Something alters itself, the alteration falls into the 
Talification ; it is that in the Something which becomes another. 
It [Something] itself maintains itself in the alteration which 
touches only this unsteady superficies of its Otherwise-being, not 
its Determination (definition, qualification). 

Qualification and Talification are thus distinguished from each 
other ; Something is in its qualification indifferent to its talification. 
What, however, the Something has in it, is the middle term of 
this syllogism that connects both. The being in the Something, 
rather, showed itself to fall into these two extremes. The simple 


middle is the determinateness as such ; to its identity belongs as 
well qualification as talification. But the qualification passes over 
per se into talification, and the latter into the former. This lies in 
the preceding ; the connexion is more particularly this : So far as 
what Something is in itself, is also in it, it is affected with Being- 
for-other ; the qualification is thus as such open to the relation to 
Other. The determiuateness is at the same time moment, but 
contains at the same time the qualitative distinction to be different 
from the In-itself, to be the negative of the Something, or to be 
another There-being. The determinateness, which thus includes 
within itself the other, being united with the In-itself brings Other 
wise-being into the In-itself, or into the qualification, which is 
thereby reduced to talification. Contrariwise, the Being-for-other, 
isolated as talification and taken per se, is in it the same thing as 
what the Other as such is, the Other in itself, that is, of itself ; 
but thus it is self-to-self-referent There-being, thus Being-in-itself 
with a determinateness, and therefore Qualification. Thus, so far 
as both are to be held apart from each other, on the qualification 
depends the talification, which appears grounded in what is 
external, in another in general, and the foreign determining is 
determined also at the same time by the special immanent 
qualification of the Something. But further, the talification 
belongs to what the Something is in itself: with its talification 
Something alters itself. 

This alteration of the Something isjio longer the first alteration 
of the Something merely as regards its Being-for-other ; this first 
one was only the alteration appertinent to the inner notion, was 
the in-itself-\)eent one ; the alteration now is alteration posited 
(set) in the Something. The Something itself is further 
determined, and the negation appears as immanent to it, as its 
developed Being-within-itself. 

In the first place, the transition of the qualification and the 
talification into one another is the sublation of their difference ; 
but thus is There-being or Something in general replaced ; and, 
inasmuch as it is a result out of that difference, which still com 
prehends in itself the qualitative Otherwise-being, there are two 
Somethings, but not only as others opposed to one another in 
general, in such wise that this negation were still abstract and fell 
into the comparison only, but it is now rather as immanent to the 
Somethings. They are as there-beent indifferent to each other ; but 
this their affirmation is no longer immediate, each refers itself to 


itself by means of the sublation of the Otherwise-being, which in 
the qualification is reflected into the In-itself. 

Something relates itself thus out of its own self to the Other, be 
cause Otherwise-being is contained within it as its own moment ; its 
Being- within-self comprehends negation within itself the negation 
by means of which in any case it has now its affirmative There- 
being. But from this (its affirmative There-being) the other is 
also qualitatively distinguished ; it is thus set down as out of the 
Something. The negation of its other is only the quality of Some 
thing, for as this sublation of its other is it Something. Therewith 
does the Other first properly oppose itself to a There-being itself : 
to the first Something, then, the Other is only externally opposed ; 
or again as they, in effect, directly cohere, that is, in their notion, 
their connexion is this, that There-being has gone over into Other 
wise-being, Something into another Something, as much as the 
Other, is another. So far now as the Being-within-self is the 
Non-being of the Otherwise-being which is contained in it, but at 
the same time distinguished as beent, the Something itself is, the 
negation, the ceasing of another in it ; it is determined as com 
porting itself negatively against it, and as at the same time main 
taining itself thereby ; this Other, the Being-within-itself of the 
Something as Negation of the Negation, is its In-itself, and this 
sublation is at the same time in it as simple negation, namely, as 
its negation of the other Something external to it. There is one 
determinateness of these negations or Somethings which is as well 
identical with the Being-within-itself of the Somethings, as 
Negation of the Negation, as it also, in that these Negations are as 
other Somethings mutually opposed, joins them together out of 
themselves and equally disjoins them from one another (the one 
negating the other) the Limit* 

3. Being-for-Other is indefinite, affirmative community of 
Something with its Other; in Limit, the Non-being-for-Other 
comes forward, the qualitative negation of the Other, which latter 
is thereby excluded from the Something reflected into its own self. 
The development of this notion is to be observed, which manifests 
itself, however, rather as mvelopment and contradiction. This 
contradictory character shows at once in this, that the Limit as 
negation of the Something, negation reflected into itself, contains 
ideally in it the moments of the Something and of the Other, and 

* The power of A on B means as well the power of B on A that power is the 
limit. N. 


these are at the same time, as distinguished moments in the sphere 
of There-being, set down as really, qualitatively diverse. 

a. Something, then, is immediate, self-to-self-referent There- 
being, and has a limit in the first instance as against Other. The 
Limit is the non-being of the Other, not of the Something itself ; 
the Something limits in its limit its Other. But the Other is 
itself a Something ; the Limit, then, which the Something has 
aorainst the Other, is likewise Limit of the Other as a Something 

O * 

Limit of this latter so that by it it excludes from itself the first 
Something as its Other, or is a non-being of said Something. The 
Limit, thus, is not only non-being of the Other, but non-being as 
well of the one as of the other Something non-being, conse 
quently, of the Something as such. 

But Limit is essentially the non-being of the Other Something 
at the same time, then, is through its Limit. Something, in that 
it is limiting, must submit to be limited; but its Limit, as a 
ceasing of the Other in it, is at the same time itself only the being 
of the Something ; this latter is through it that which it is, has in it 
its quality. This relation is the external manifestation of the fact 
that the Limit is simple, or the first, negation, at the same time 
also that it is the other relation, the negation of the negation, the 
Within-itself of the Something. 

Something, therefore, is, as immediate There-being, Limit to 
other Something ; but it has this Limit in it, itself, and is Some 
thing through agency of it, which is just as much its non-being. 
Limit is the mediating means or agency, the medium, whereby 
Something and Other each as well is as is not. 

/3. So far now as Something in its Limit is and is not, and these 
moments are immediately, qualitatively separated, the non-There- 
being and the There-being of the Something fall asunder, apart 
from each other. Something has its There-being (its existence) 
out from (or as it is otherwise also conceived in from) its Limit ; 
but just so the Other also, because it is Something, is outside of 
its Limit. , It (the Limit) is the middle between both, and in it 
they cease. They have their There-being on the other side, the 
one from the other, of their Limit ; the Limit as the non-being of 
each is the Other of both. 

It is in respect to this diversity of Something from its Limit, 
that the Line appears as Line only outside of its limit, the Point ; 
the Plane as Plane outside of the Line ; the Body as Body only 
outside of its limiting Plane. This is how the Limit specially is 


for conception, which is out-of-its-selfness of notion, and hence 
its manifestation by preference in things of space. 

y. But, further, Something, as it is outside of the Limit, is 
unlimited Something, only There-being as such. Thus, then, it 
is not distinguished from its Other ; it is only There-being, has 
therefore the same determination as its Other each is only Some 
thing as such, or each is Other; both are thus the same thing, 
But, again, this their directly immediate There-being implies the 
determinateness as Limit, in which both are what they are, dis- 
tinguishably from each other. But this determinateness as Limit 
is equally their common distinguishableness, at once their unity 
and diversity unity and diversity of the same things, just like 
There-being. This double identity of both (There-being and 
Limit) contains this, that the Something has its There-being only 
in the Limit, and that, inasmuch also as the Limit and the 
immediate There-being are at the same time each the negative, 
the one of the other, the Something, which is established as only 
in its Limit, just as much sunders itself from itself, and points 
away over and beyond itself to its non-being, pronouncing this its 
being, and so passing over into the same. To apply this to the 
preceding example, and as regards the finding that Something is 
what it is only in its Limit, the Point is not limit of the Line, 
only in such wise that the latter just ends in the former, and is as 
existent outside of the former ; neither is the Line similarly limit 
of the Plane, nor the Plane similarly limit of the Solid with line 
and plane similarly so ending: but in the Point the Line also 
begins; the Point is the absolute beginning of the Line; even when 
it (the line) is conceived as on both sides unlimited, or, as it is 
called, infinitely produced, the point still constitutes the element 
of the line, as the line of the plane, and the plane of the solid. 
These limits are the principles (principia) of that which they 
limit ; just as unity, for example, as the hundredth, is the limit 
indeed, but also the element of the whole hundred. 

The other finding is the unrest of the Something in its Limit, 
in which, nevertheless, it is immanent its restlessness as the 
contradiction which impels it out beyond its own self. Thus the 
point is this dialectic of its own self to become line, the line the 
dialectic to become plane, the plane universal space. Of these 
there occurs the other definition, that the line originates in the 
motion of the point, the plane in that of the line, &c. This move 
ment, however, is considered then as something incidental, or as 


something just so thought. This consideration, however, is 
annulled specially by this, that the determinations from which the 
Line, &c., should be supposed to originate are, as regards the Line, 
&c., their elements and principles, and at the same time also 
nothing but their Limits : accordingly the origin cannot be con 
sidered as incidental, or only so-conceived. That point, line, 
surface, per se, contradicting themselves, are beginnings, which 
repel themselves from themselves, that the Point, for its part, 
passes over through its notion out of itself into the Line, moves 
itself in its own self, and gives origin to the Line, &c. &c. this 
lies in the notion of limit as immanent in the something. The 
application itself, however, belongs to the consideration of space ; 
but to indicate it here it is thus that the point is the absolutely 
abstract limit, but in an existent entity ; this latter (a thereness) 
is taken still quite indefinitely, it is the so-called absolute, i.e. 
abstract space, the absolutely continuous Out-of-one-another-ness 
[succession]. From this, that the limit is not abstract negation, 
but is in this there-ness, is spatial determinateness, it results that 
the point occupies space, has space, is spatial, is the contradiction, 
that is, which unites in itself at once abstract negation and con 
tinuity, and so is the going-over and the gone-over into the Line, &c., 
just as also for the same reason it results that there is no such 
thing as a Point, or a Line, or a Surface. 

Something, with its immanent Limit, established as the contra 
diction of its ownself, by which contradiction it is directed and 
impelled beyond itself, is the Finite as such. 

c. Finitude. 

There-being is determinate ; Something has a Quality, and is in 
it not only determined, but limited ; its quality is its limit, pos 
sessing which, it remains at first hand affirmative quiescent 
There-being. But this negation developed in such wise that the 
antithesis of its There-being and of Negation as its immanent 
Limit is itself the Within-itself of the Something, and this 
latter consequently is in itself only Becoming constitutes its 

When we say of things, they are finite, we understand by that, 
that they not only have a determinateness, Quality not only as 
Reality and beent-in-self distinctive nature, that they are not 
merely limited for as such they have still There-being without 


their limit but rather that non-being constitutes their nature, 
their being. Finite things are, but their reference to self is, that 
they refer themselves to themselves negatively, even in this refer 
ence to themselves dispatch themselves beyond themselves, beyond 
their being. They are, but the truth of this Being is their End. 
The finite thing alters itself not only like Something in general, 
but it passes away and it is not merely possible for it to pass away 
as if it could ~be without passing away : but the being as such of 
finite things is to have the germ of their passing away as their 
Within ; the hour of their birth is the hour of their death. 

a. The Immediacy of Finitude. 

The thought of the finitude of things brings this sadness with 
it, because it is the qualitative negation pushed to its point ; in 
the singleness of such determination, there is no longer left them 
an affirmative being distinguished from their destination to perish. 
Finitude is, because of this qualitative simple directness of nega 
tion (which has gone back to the abstract antithesis of nothing 
and ceasing to be as opposed to being), the most stiff-necked 
category of understanding ; negation as such, tality, limit, recon 
cile themselves with their Other, the There-being; even the 
abstract nothing, per se, is given up as an abstraction ; but finitude 
is negation as in itself fixed, and stands therefore up abrupt over 
against its affirmative. What is finite admits readily indeed of 
being brought to flux it is itself this, to be determined to its end y 
but only to its end ; it is the unwillingness rather to let itself be 
affirmatively brought to its affirmative, the Infinite, to let itself be 
united with it ; it is given as inseparable from its nothing, and all 
reconciliation with its other, the affirmative, is thereby truncated. 
The destination of finite things is not further than their end. 
Understanding remains immovable in this hopelessness of Finitude, 
in that, regarding non-being as the true nature of things, it makes 
it at the same time imperishable and absolute. Only in their other, 
the affirmative, were it possible for their perishableness to perish ; 
but thus their finitude would divorce itself from them, and it 
is, on the contrary, their unalterable Quality, i.e. their Quality 
that passes not over into its other, into its affirmative ; it is thus 

This is a very important consideration ; that, however, the 
Finite is absolute this stand-point truly will not readily be taken 


to itself by any philosophy, or opinion, or by understanding 
(common Sense). The opposite rather is expressly present in the 
maintaining of the finite ; the Finite is the limited, the transitory ; 
the finite is only the finite, not the intransient; this lies immediately 
in its definition and expression. But the question is, whether in 
the mode of looking, the being of finitude is stuck by, whether the 
pcrishableness remains, or whether the perishableness and the 
perishing perishes, whether the passing-away passes away ? That 
this latter, however, is not the case, is the fact even in that view of 
the finite which regards the perishing or passing -away as the 
ultimum of the finite. It is the express averment that the finite 
is irreconcilable and inconsistent with the infinite, that the finite 
is absolutely opposed to the infinite. To the infinite, being, 
absolute being is ascribed ; the finite thus remains opposite it, 
held fast as its negative ; incapable of union with the infinite, it 
remains absolute on its own side ; affirmation could come to it 
only from the affirmative, the infinite, and it would perish so ; but 
a union with the infinite is that which is declared impossible. 
If it is not to remain opposed to the infinite, but to pass or perish, 
then, as has been already said, just its passing is the ultirnum, not 
the affirmative, which would be only the passing of the passing. 
If, however, the finite is not to pass away in the affirmative, but 
its end is to be conceived as the nothing, then we are again back 
to that first abstract nothing which is long since passed. 

In the case of this nothing, however, which is to be only 
nothing, and to which at the same time an existence is attributed 
in thought, conception, or speech, there presents itself the same 
contradiction as has just been signalised in the case of the Finite, 
only that it only presents itself there, while in Finitude it expressly 
is. There it appears as subjective, here it is maintained the 
Finite stands opposed in perpetuity to the Infinite, what is in itself 
null is, and it is as in itself null. This is to be brought intel 
ligibly to consciousness ; and the development of the finite shows 
that it in it (suo Marte), as this contradiction, falls together in 
itself, and actually resolves this contradiction by this not that it 
is only perishable and perishes, but that the perishing, the pass 
ing, the nothing, is not the last, the ultimum, but that it perishes 
and passes. 


/3. To-be-to, or Obligation-to, and Limitation. 

This contradiction, indeed, is directly abstractly present in this, 
that the Something is finite, or that the finite is. But Something 
or Being is no longer abstract, but reflected into self, and developed 
as Being-within-self which has in it a Qualification and a Talifica- 
tion, and still more definitely, a Limit, which as what is Immanent 
in the Something, and constitutive of the quality of its Being- 
within-self, is finitude. We have now to see what moments are 
contained in this notion of the finite Something. 

Qualification and Talification manifested themselves as sides for 
external reflexion ; the first, indeed, itself implied Otherwise- 
being as belonging to the In-itself of the Something ; the 
externality of the Otherwise-being is on one side in the proper 
internality of the Something, on the other side, it remains as 
externality distinguished therefrom it is still externality as 
such, but in the Something. But in that, further, the Otherwise- 
being is determined as Limit, or just as negation of the negation, 
the Otherwise-being immanent to the Something is demonstrated 
or is stated as the reference of the two sides, and the unity with 
itself of the Something now (to which Something as well the 
Qualification as the Talification attaches) is its reference as turned 
to its ownself, the reference of its beent-in-self Qualification to its 
immanent Limit, which reference at the same time negates in it 
this its immanent Limit. The self-identical Within-Itself refers 
itself thus to itself as its own non-being, but as negation of the 
negation, as negating the same thing in it which at the same time 
preserves in it There-being, for that is the Quality of its Within- 
Itself. The proper limit of the Something taken thus by it as a 
negative, that at the same is essential and intrinsic, is not only 
Limit as such, but Limitation. But the Limitation here is not 
alone what is expressed as- negated (not alone the-as-negated- 
posited) ; the negation is double-edged, seeing that what is the 
posited negated is the limit; for this (Limit) in general is what is 
common to the Something and the Other, and also determinate- 
ness of the Being-in-self-ness of the qualification or determination 
as such. This Being-in-self, as the negative reference to its Limit 
(this latter being at the same time distinguishable from it), is 
thus to itself as Limitation the To-be-to, or Obligation-to (Devoir, 

That the limit, which is in the Something, prove itself as only 


Limitation, the Something must at the same time within its own 
self transcend it (the Limit), must refer itself in itself to it as to a 
non-beent. The There-being of the Something lies quiescently 
indifferent, as it were beside its limit. Something, however, 
transcends its limit, only so far as it is its sublatedness, the 
In-itself which is negative to it (the limit). And in that it (the 
limit) is in the determination [manifestible peculiar nature] itself 
as Limitation, Something transcends so its own self. 

The To-be-to (Sollen) contains therefore the double distinction, 
now determination as beent-in-self determination against the 
negation, and again determination as a non-being that is dis 
tinguished as limitation from it, but at the same time that is 
beent-in-self determination. 

The Finite thing has thus determined itself as the reference of 
its determination to its limit ; the former is in this reference To- 
be-to (Sollen), the latter is Limitation. Both are thus moments 
of the Finite both consequently themselves finite, as well the 
To-be-to as the Limitation. But only the Limitation is expressed 
as the Finite ; the To-bc-to is only limited in itself, or for us. 
Through its reference to its own immanent limit, has it limita 
tion ; but this its be-limitation is concealed in the in-itself, for in 
its There-being, that is, in its determinateness as against limita 
tion, it is expressed as the in-itself. 

What is to be, or is under obligation to be, is and at the same 
time is not. If it were, it were not merely to be. The To-be-to has 
therefore essentially a limitation. This limitation is not some 
thing foreign ; that which only is to be, is the determination 
(destination) which is now expressed as it is in fact, namely, at 
the same time only a determinateness. 

The Being-in-itself of the Something remits itself in its deter 
mination therefore into the Is-to-be, or the Ought-to-be, in this way, 
that the same thing which constitutes its Being-in-itself is in one 
and the same respect as non-being ; and that, too, in this wise, 
that in the Being-within-self, the negation of the negation, said 
Being-in-itself is as the one negation (the negating one) unity 
with the other, which is at the same time as the qualitatively 
other, limit, through which said unity is as reference to it (limit). 
The Limitation of the finite is not something external, but its own 
determination is also its limitation ; and this (limitation) is as 
well its own self, as also the To-be-to , it is what is common to 
both, or rather that in which both are identical. 


As To-be-to, now again further, the finite thing passes beyond its 
limitation ; the same determinateness which is its negation, is 
also sublated, and is thus its Being-in-itself ; its limit is also not 
its limit. 

As To-be-to, consequently, Something is raised above its limita 
tion, again contrariwise only as To-be-to has it its limitation. 
Both are inseparable. Something has a limitation, so far as in 
its determination or destination it has the negation, and the 
determination or destination is also the sublatedness of the 


The Ought-to, Is-to, Obligation-to, the To-have-to, or To-be-to, 
(Sollen, Devoir), has played recently un grand role in philosophy, 
especially in reference to morality, and likewise metaphysically 
as the last and absolute notion of the identity of the Being-in- 
self, or of the reference to self, and of the determinateness or 

You can, for you ought this expression, which was supposed to 
say a great deal, lies in the notion of the To-be-to. For the To- 
be-to is the being beyond the limitation ; limit is sublated in it, 
the Being-in-itself of the To-be-to is thus identical reference to 
self, and so the abstraction of the being able to. But, conversely, 
it is equally true, you can not just because you ought. For in the 
To-be-to there equally lies the limitation as a limitation; said 
formalism of the possibility to has in it a reality, a qualitative 
Otherwise-being, over against itself, and the mutual reference of 
both is the contradiction, consequently the not being able to, or 
rather the impossibility-to. 

In the To-be-to, begins the transcendence of Finitude, Infini 
tude. The To-be-to is what, further on in the development, 
exhibits itself, with reference to said Impossibility-to, as the 
Progressus in infinitum. 

As regards the Form of the To-be-to and the Limitation, two 
prejudices may be more particularly animadverted on. In the 
first place, great stress is usually laid on the limitations of 
thought, of reason, &c., and it is maintained that the limitation 
cannot be gone beyond. There lies in this averment the failure 
to see that just in the very determining of Something as limita 
tion, the limitation is already left. For a determinateness, limit, 
is only determined as limitation in antithesis to its other, or as 


against its unlimitated part ; the other of a limitation is just the 
beyond of the same. The stone, the metal, is not beyond its 
limitation, just because the latter is not limitation for it. If, 
however, as regards such general propositions of mere under 
standing, that the limitation cannot be transcended, thought will 
not take the trouble to endeavour to see what lies in the notion, 
attention may be directed to the actuality, where such positions 
will be found to manifest themselves as what is most unactual. 
Just by this, too, that thought is-to-be something higher than the 
actual, is to keep itself apart from it in higher regions that is, in 
that it is itself determined as a To-be-to on one side it reaches 
not as far as to the notion, and, on the other side, it is its lot to 
comport itself just as untruly towards the actual as towards the 
notion. Because the stone thinks not, not even feels, its lirni- 
tatedness is not limitation for it, that is, is not in it a negation for 
the thought, feeling, &c., which it does not possess. But even the 
stone is as Something distinguished into its determination or 
in-itself and into its There-being, and to that extent even it 
transcends its limitation; the notion which it is in itself implies 
identity with its other. If it is an acidifiable base, it is oxidis- 
able, neutralisable, &c. In the oxidation, neutralisation, &c., its 
limitation to be only as base sublates itself ; it transcends its 
limitation, just as the acid sublates its limitation to be as acid ; 
and the To-be-to, the obligation to transcend its limitation, is (in 
the acid as well as in the caustic base) so much present, that it is 
only by dint of force that these can be kept fixed as waterless, 
that is, purely non-neutral acid and caustic base. 

Should an existence, however, contain the notion, not merely as 
abstract In-itselfness, but as beent-for-self totality, as instinct, as 
life, feeling, conception, &c., it effects out of itself this to be, and 
to pass out, over and beyond the limitation. The plant transcends 
the limitation to be as germ, and just as much the limitation to be 
as blossom, as fruit, as leaf ; the germ becomes a developed plant, 
the blossom fades away into, &c. &c. A sentient existence in the 
limitation of hunger, of thirst, &c., is the impulse to pass out 
beyond this limitation, and it effects this transcendence. It feels 
pain, and the privilege of sentient nature is to feel pain ; there is 
a negation in its self, and this negation is determined in its feeling 
as a limitation, just because Sentient existence has the feeling of 
its self, which self is the totality that is out and beyond said 
determinateness (of hunger). Were it not out and beyond it, it 


would not feel it as its negation, and would have no pain. But 
it is reason, thought, which we are required to suppose incapable 
of transcending limitation reason, which is the universal, which, 
per se, is out and beyond the, i.e. all particularity, which is nothing 
but transcendence of limitation. It is true that not every going- 
beyond or being-beyond the limitation is a veritable emancipation 
from this latter, a genuine affirmation ; the To-be-to itself is already 
such imperfect transcendence, and wholly an abstraction. But 
the pointing to the wholly abstract universal suffices as against 
the equally abstract assurance that the limitation cannot be tran 
scended, or, indeed, the pointing to the infinite in general against 
the assurance, that the finite cannot be transcended. 

A seemingly ingenious fancy of Leibnitz may here be mentioned : 
if a magnet had consciousness, it would regard its direction to the 
north as a determination of its own will, a law of its freedom. 
Rather, if it had consciousness, and so will and free choice, it 
would possess thought, and so space would be for it as universal 
space, implying all directions, and thus the one direction to the 
north would be rather as a limitation of its freedom, just as it 
would be a limitation to be kept fixed in one spot, for man, but 
not for a plant. 

The To-be-to on the other side is transcendence of the limitation, 
but only a finite transcendence. It has therefore its place and its 
value in the field of the finite, where it holds fast its Being-in- 
itselfness as opposed to its limitatedness, and maintains it (the 
Ansich-seyri) as the rule and the essential, opposed to what, in 
comparison, is the null. Duty is a To-be-to, an obligation-to, 
directed against the particular will, against self-seeking greed and 
self-willed interest ; it is enjoined as a To-be-to, an obligation-to, 
on the will so far as it, in its capability of movement, can deviate 
from the true. Those who estimate the To-be-to of morals so 
high, and opine that morality is to be destroyed, if the To-be-to 
is not recognised as ultimum and as truth, just as the raisonneurs, 
whose understanding gives itself the endless satisfaction to be 
able to adduce a To-be-to, an Ought-to, and so a knowing 
letter, against everything that presently is who therefore will as 
little allow themselves to be deprived of the ought-to perceive 
not that for the finitude of their circle, the ought-to is perfectly 
recognised. But in actuality itself it stands not so hopeless with 
reason and law, that they only ought to be, it is only the 
abstractum of the Being-in-itself that maintains this just as little 


so, as that the ought-to is in itself perennial, and, what is the 
same thing, the finite absolute. The Kantian and Fichtian 
philosophy assigns the ought-to, the to-be-to, as the highest point 
of the solution of the contradictions of reason ; it is, however, rather 
only the stand-point of fixture in finitude, and so in contradiction. 

y. Transition of the Finite into the Infinite. 

The Ought-to, per se, implies the Limitation, and the Limitation 
the Ought-to. Their reference to each other is the Finite entity 
itself, which contains them both in its Being-within-itself. These 
moments of its determination are qualitatively opposed to each 
other ; the Limitation is determined as the negative of the Ought- 
to, and the Ought-to equally as the negative of the Limitation. 
The Finite entity is thus the contradiction of itself within itself ; it 
sublates itself, passes away. But this its result, the negative in 
genera], is (a) its very determination [Qualification or its In-itself] ; 
for it (the result) is the negative of the negative. The Finite is 
thus in passing away not passed away ; it has in the first instance 
become only another Finite, which however is equally a passing 
away as transition into another Finite, and so on ad infinitum. 
But (/3) this result being considered closer, the Finite has in its 
passing away, this negation of itself, attained its Being-in-itself, it 
has gone together with itself in it. Each of its moments contains 
just this result : the Ought-to passes over the Limitation, i.e., over 
its own self ; but over it, or as its other, there is only the Limitation 
itself. The Limitation, however, points immediately out over 
itself to its other, which is the Ought-to ; but this again is the 
same disunion of Being in itself (Ansichseyn) and of Being there 
(Daseyri) as the Limitation, that is, it is the same thing ; out over 
itself then it goes together equally only with its own self. This 
identity with itself, the negation of the negation, is affirmative 
being, and so the other of the Finite the Finite as that which is 
to have the First negation as its determinateness that other is the 



The Infinite in its simple notion may in the first instance be 
regarded as a new definition of the absolute ; it is as the deter- 



minationless reference to self, put as Being and Becoming. The 
forms of There-being fail or fall out in the series of the deter 
minations which can be regarded as definitions of the absolute, 
because the forms of its sphere are, per se, immediately expressed 
or put only as determinatenesses, as finite in general. The 
Infinite, however, appears directly as absolute, being expressly 
determined as negation of the Finite, and thus there is reference 
expressly made in the Infinite to the limitatedness of which Being 
and Becoming (though in themselves neither showing nor having 
any limitatedness) might yet, perhaps, be not unsusceptible and 
any such limitatedness is negated in it s, the Infinite s, regard. 

Even thus, however, the Infinite is not yet in effect excepted 
from limitatedness and finitude ; the main point is to distinguish 
the true notion of the Infinite from the bastard or spurious Infinite, 
the Infinite of Reason from the Infinite of Understanding. The 
latter, indeed, is the finitised Infinite, and it will be found that 
just in the attempt to keep the Infinite pure and apart from the 
Finite, the former is only finitised. 

The Infinite is 

a. in simple determination the affirmative as negation of the 
Finite : 

b. it is thus, however, in alternating determination with the 
Finite, and is the abstract, one-sided Infinite : 

c. the self-sublation of this Infinite with that of the Finite as a 
single process is the veritable Infinite. 

a. The Infinite in general. 

The Infinite is the negation of the negation, the affirmative, the 
being, which out of the limitatedness has again restored itself. 
The Infinite is, and in a more intense sense than the first immedi 
ate Being ; it is the veritable Being, the rising out over the Limi 
tation. At the name of ther Infinite there arises to spirit its own 
light, for spirit is not herein only abstractly with itself, but raises 
itself to its own self, to the light of its thinking, of its universality, 
of its freedom. 

First of all as regards the notion of the Infinite, it has been 
found that There-being (Daseyri) in its Being-in-itself (Ansichseyii) 
determines itself as Finite (Undliches), and transcends the Limita 
tion (Schranke). It is the nature of the Finite itself, to transcend 
its own self, to negate its negation, and to become infinite. The 
Infinite thus does not stand as something ready-made and com- 


plete, per se, over the Finite, in such wise that the Finite shall 
have and shall hold its permanence out of or under the former. 
Nor do we only as a subjective reason pass over the Finite into 
the Infinite. As, for instance, when it is said that the Infinite is 
the notion of reason, and through reason we raise ourselves over 
the things of time, this takes place nevertheless without prejudice 
to the finite, which is nowise concerned in said elevation an 
elevation which remains external to it. So far, however, as the 
Finite itself is raised into the Infinite, it is just as little any 
foreign force which effects this on it, but its nature is this, to 
refer itself to itself as limitation, limitation as such, and also as 
To-be-to, and to transcend the same (limitation), or rather as refer 
ence to self to have negated it and to be beyond it. Not in the 
sublation of the Finite is it that there arises the Infinite, but the 
Finite is only this, through its very nature to become (rise) to the 
Infinite. Infinitude is its affirmative determination, that which in 
itself it truly is. 

Thus the Finite has disappeared in the Infinite, and what is, is 
only the Infinite. 

b. Alternating Determination of the Finite and the Infinite. 

The Infinite is ; in this immediacy it is at the same time the 
negation of another, the Finite. Thus as beent, and at the same 
time as non-being of another, it has fallen back into the category 
of the Something as a determinate in general, or more accurately, 
because it is There-being reflected into self and resulting through 
sublation of the determinateness expressed or set consequently as 
There-being that is distinguished from its determinateness, it has 
fallen back into the category of Something with a Limit. The 
Finite in view of this determinateness stands opposed to the 
Infinite, as real There-being; they stand thus in qualitative 
reference as constant or permanent out of each other; the imme 
diate being of the Infinite awakes the being of its negation, the 
Finite again, which primarily seemed lost in the Infinite. 

But the Infinite and Finite are not in these categories of 
reference only; both sides are further determined as merely 
others mutually. That is to say, the finite is the limitation 
expressed as the limitation, it is There-being with the determina 
tion (nature) to go over into its Being-in-itself, or infinitely to 
become. Infinitude is the nothing of the Finite, its Being-in-itself 


(Ansichseyri) and its To-be-to, but this at the same time as reflected 
into self, the To-be-to carried out, or only self-to-self-referent quite 
affirmative being. In Infinitude there is the satisfaction present 
that all determinateness, change, all limitation, and with it the 
To-be-to itself, have disappeared determinateness is expressed as 
sublated, the nothing of the finite. As this negation of the finite 
is the Being-in-self determined, which (Being-in-self) thus as 
negation of the negation is affirmatively within itself. This 
affirmation, however, is as qualitative immediate reference to self, 
Being ; and thus the Infinite is reduced to the category that it 
has the Finite as another opposed to it ; its negative nature is 
expressed as the beent, and so first and immediate, negation. The 
Infinite is in this manner burdened with the antithesis to the 
Finite, which, as Other, remains at the same time determinate real 
There-being, though it is expressed as in its Being-in-itself, the 
Infinite at the same time sublated ; this (Infinite) is the non- 
finite ; a being in the determinateness (form) of negation. Opposed 
to the finite, the sphere of beent determinatenesses, of realities, is 
the Infinite, the indeterminate void, the other side (the beyond) of 
the Finite, which (Finite) has its Being-in-self not in its There- 
being, which (There-being) is a determinate one. 

The Infinite counter the Finite thus expressed or put in quali 
tative reference of other to each other, is to be named the spurious 
Infinite, the Infinite of the Understanding, to which it has the 
value of the highest, of absolute truth ; to bring understanding to 
a consciousness of this, that, in that it opines to have reached its 
satisfaction in the reconciliation of the truth, it, on the contrary, 
is landed in unreconciled, unresolved, absolute contradiction this 
must be effected by the contradictions into which it falls on all 
sides, as soon as it attempts application and explication of these 
its categories. 

This contradiction is immediately present in this, that the Finite 
as There-being remains counter the Infinite ; there are thus two 
determinatenesses ; there are two worlds to hand, one infinite and 
one finite ; and in their reference the Infinite is only limit of the 
Finite, and is thus only a determinate, even finite Infinite. 

This contradiction develops its -mtent into more express forms. 
The Finite is the real There-being which thus dialectically remains, 
even in that transition is made to its non-being, the Infinite ; this 
latter has, as has been shown, only the first, immediate negation 
as its determinateness counter the Finite, just as the Finite as 


regards said negation has, as negated, only the value of an Other, 
and therefore is still Something. When, consequently, under 
standing, elevating itself out of this finite world, mounts to its 
highest, the Infinite, this finite world remains stationary for it as 
a this side, so that the Infinite appears only beyond the Finite, 
separated from the Finite, and just thus the Finite separated from 
the Infinite ; both assigned distinct places, the Finite as There- 
being, Being on this side, and the Infinite again, the In-itself 
indeed of the Finite, but a Yonder away into the dim, inaccessible 
distance, out of which the Finite finds itself and remains here. 

Sundered thus, they are just as essentially referred to each other 
by the very negation which separates them. This negation, co- 
referent of them, the self-reflected Somethings, is the mutual limit 
of the one counter the other ; and that, too, in such wise that each 
of them has in it the limit not merely counter the other, but the 
negation is their Being -in-self ; each has thus the limit, even per 
se or independently in it, in its separation from the other. The 
limit, however, is as the first negation ; both are thus limited, 
finite in themselves. Still, each is also as affirmatively referent 
of self to self the negation of its limit ; it thus immediately repels 
it from itself as its non-being, and, qualitatively separated there 
from, it sets it as another being apart from itself, the Finite its 
Non-being as this Infinite, this latter just so the Finite. That 
from the Finite to the Infinite necessarily, i.e. through the deter 
mination of the Finite, transition must be made, and the Finite 
raised as into its Being-in-self, is easily granted, seeing that the 
Finite is determined, as persistent There-being indeed, but, at the 
same time, also as what is in itself nail, and therefore what in its 
own determination (nature) resolves itself; while the Infinite again 
is indeed determined as attended by negation and limit ; but, at 
the same time also as what is bee nt in itself in such wise that 
this abstraction of the self to self referent affirmation constitutes 
its determination, and with such determination consequently the 
Finite There-being lies not in it. But it has been shown that the 
Infinite itself reaches its affirmative Being as result only by means 
of the negation, as negation of the negation, and that this its affir 
mation taken as only simple, qualitative Being, brings down the 
negation it contains to simple immediate negation, and so conse 
quently to determinateness and limit, and this [qualitative being 
again] then as in the same way contradictory to its Being-in-itself is 
excluded from it as not its, rather is put as what is opposed to its 


Being-in-itself, the Finite. In that thus each, just in it and from 
its own determination, is implication of its other, they are insepar 
able. But this their unity is concealed in their qualitative other 
ness ; it is the internal one, which only lies at bottom. 

Hereby is the manner of the manifestation of this unity deter 
mined ; expressed in the There-being it is as a striking round or 
transition of the- Finite into the Infinite, and vice versd ; so that 
the Infinite only stands forward in or by the Finite, and the Finite 
in or by the Infinite, the other in or by the other, that is to say, 
each is an own proper immediate existence in or by the other, and 
their reference is only an external one. 

The process of their transition takes the following complete 
shape. Transcendence is made beyond the Finite into the Infinite. 
This transcendence appears as an external act. In this void 
beyond the Finite what arises ? What is the positive element 
therein ? Because of the inseparableness of the Infinite and 
Finite (or because this Infinite, thus standing on its own side, is 
itself limitated), Limit arises; the Infinite has disappeared its 
other, the Finite, has put itself in place. But this on the part of 
the Finite appears as an event external to the Infinite, and the 
new limit as such a one as arises not out of the Infinite itself, but, 
still, is just there. There is thus present a relapse into the pre 
vious determination which has been sublated to no purpose. But 
this new limit is itself only such as is to be sublated, or transcended. 
So there has thus again arisen the void, the nothing, in which, just 
in the same manner, again determinateness, a new limit, is met 
with and so on, ad infinitum. 

There is present the alternation of the Finite and the Infinite ; 
the Finite is finite only in reference to the To-be-to or the Infinite, 
and the Infinite is only infinite in reference to the Finite. They 
are inseparable, and at the same time absolutely others to one 
another ; each has itself the other of it in it ; thus each is unity 
of it and of its other, and is in its determinateness There-being 
There-being not to be that which it itself is, and which its 
other is. 

It is this reciprocal determination which, negating its own self 
and its own negation, presents itself as the Progressus ad Infinitum, 
which in so many forms and applications has the value of an 
ultimate, beyond which there cannot be any further transition, but 
thought, arrived at this, And so on, ad infinitum, supposes itself to 
have reached its end. This Progress appears always when relative 


determinations are pushed to their antithesis, so that they are in 
inseparable unity, and yet to each counter the other a self-sub- 
sistent There-being is ascribed. This Progress is therefore the 
contradiction which is not resolved, but is always only enunciated 
as present. 

There is an abstract transcendence present, which remains 
imperfect, in that this transcendence is not itself transcended. The 
Infinite is there before us; it is, to be sure, transcended, for a 
new limit is assumed, but just thus rather we are only back in the 
Finite. This bastard Infinite is in itself the same thing as the 
perpetual To-be-to ; it is indeed the negation of the Finite, but it 
cannot in truth free itself therefrom ; this comes forward in itself 
again as its other, because this Infinite only is as in reference to 
the Finite which is other to it. The Progress in infinitum is 
therefore only the self-repeating sameness, one and the same 
wearisome alternation of this Finite and Infinite. 

The Infinitude of the infinite Progress remains burdened with 
the Finite as such, is limited thereby and itself finite. But thus, 
consequently, it were assumed in effect as Unity of the Finite and 
Infinite. But this unity is not reflected on. This unity, however, 
is that alone which in the Finite evokes the Infinite, and in the 
Infinite the Finite: it is, so to speak, the mainspring of the 
Infinite Progress. This Progress is the externale of said Unity 
and Conception remains standing by this externale by the per 
petual repetition of one and the same reciprocation, an empty 
unrest to advance further out over the limit into the Infinite, 
which advance finds in this Infinite a new limit, by which, 
however, it is just as little able to call a halt as in the Infinite. 
This Infinite has the fixed determination of a Further side which 
cannot be reached, just for this very reason, that it is not to be 
reached, just because there is no leaving off from the determining 
of it, as the Further side, as the beent negation. In consequence 
of this its nature, it has the Finite as a Hither side opposed to it, 
which can as little raise itself into the Infinite, just for this 
reason, that it has this determination of a There-being generative 
of Another, generative consequently of a perpetual repetition 
generative of itself in its beyond itself again, and yet, at the same 
time, as different therefrom. 


c. The Affirmative Infinite. 

In this hither and thither of an alternating conclusion, now of 
the Finite, and again of the Infinite, the truth of these is already 
in itself present, and all that is necessary is simply to take up what 
is present. This movement hither and thither constitutes the 
external realisation of the notion ; what the notion contains 
impliciter is expliciter, formally expressed, in this (outer realisa 
tion), but externally, as falling asunder ; the comparison of these 
diverse moments is all that is required to yield the unity which 
gives the notion itself ; the unity of the Infinite and Finite is, as 
has been often remarked already, and as deserves now specially to 
be remembered, a one-sided expression for this unity as it is in 
truth ; but the elimination of this one-sided statement must also 
lie in the externalisation of the notion which is now before us. 

Taken in its first, simply immediate statement, the Infinite is 
only as transcendence of the Finite ; it is in its determination 
[definition, express nature] the negation of the Finite ; thus the 
Finite, as only that which is to be transcended, is the negation of 
itself just in it just that negation which the Infinite is. There 
lies thus in each, the determinateness of the other, yet, according 
to the infinite Progress, they are to be mutually excluded, and 
only reciprocally to follow each other ; neither can be stated and 
comprehended without the other, the Infinite not without the 
Finite, the Finite not without the Infinite. When what the 
Infinite is, is said, the negation, namely, of the Finite, the Finite 
itself, is co-enunciated ; for the definition or determination of the 
Infinite, it cannot be dispensed with. People require only to know 
what they say to find the Finite in the Infinite. Of the Finite, for 
its part, it is at once granted, that it is what is null, but just its 
nullity is the Infinitude, from which it is thus inseparable. In 
this way of regarding thern^ they may seem to be taken with 
reference to their other [or only in their reference]. Now should 
they be supposed reference-less, in such wise that they are con 
nected only by an And, they will stand as if mutually opposed, 
self-subsistent, each only in itself. Let us see now, how in such 
shape they are constituted. So placed, the Infinite is one of the 
two ; but as only one of the two it is itself finite it is not the 
whole, but only one side ; it has in its Opposite its limit ; it is 
thus the finite Infinite. Or there are only two Finites before us. 
Just in this, that it is thus placed as sundered from the Finite, 


and therefore as one-sided, lies its Finitude, and therefore its unity 
with the Finite. The Finite, for its part, placed as per se apart 
from the Infinite, is this reference to self, in which its relativity, 
dependency, its passingness is removed ; it is the same self- 
substantiality and affirmation of itself which the Infinite is taken 
to be. 

Both modes of consideration, though seeming at first to have a 
different determinate for their start so far as the former is 
supposed to view them only as reference of the Infinite and Finite 
to each other, of each to its other ; and the latter is supposed to 
hold them apart from each other in their complete isolation, 
give one and the same result; the Infinite and Finite, viewed 
according to the reference of both to one another, which reference 
were to be external to them, but which is essential to them, 
neither being what it is without it, contain thus each its other in 
its own determination, just as much as each taken per se, regarded 
in itself, has its other lying in it as its own moment. 

This yields, then, the decried unity of the Finite and Infinite 
the unity, which is itself the Infinite, which comprehends in 
itself its own self and the Finite and therefore is the Infinite 
in another sense than in that, according to which the Finite is 
separated from it and placed on the other side. In that they 
must be as well distinguished, each, as already shown, is also 
itself in it the unity of both ; and thus there are two such unities. 
The common element, the unity of both determinates, as unity, 
expresses both in the first place as negated, seeing that each is 
supposed to be that which it is in their distinguishedness ; in 
their unity they lose, therefore, their qualitative nature; an 
important reflexion against conception, which will not emancipate 
itself from this to hold fast, in the unity of the Infinite and 
Finite, these according to the quality which they are supposed to 
have as taken apart, and therefore to see in said unity only the 
contradiction, not also the resolution of the same by the negation 
of the qualitative determinateness of both; thus the directly 
simple all-common unity of the Infinite and Finite is falsified. 

But further, in that now also they are to be taken as different, 
the unity of the Infinite, which each of these moments is, is 
differently determined in each of them. The Infinite, so deter 
mined, has in it the Finitude which is distinguished from it ; the 
former is in this unity the In-itself, and the latter is only deter 
minateness, limit in it , but it is a limit which is the directly 


other of it (the Infinite), its antithesis ; its determination, which 
is the In-itself as such, becomes by the falsifying addition of a 
quality of such a nature vitiated ; it is thus a finitised Infinite. 
In like manner, in that the Finite as such is only the Non-Jw- 
itself, but by reason of the unity in question has likewise its 
opposite in it, it becomes raised above its value, and that too, so 
to speak, infinitely ; it is expressed (set) as the Infinitised Finite. 

In the same manner, as previously the simple, is the double 
unity of the Infinite and Finite falsified by understanding. This 
takes place here also by this, that in the one of the two unities 
the Infinite is taken as not negated, rather as the In-itself, in 
which therefore there is not to be determinateness and limitation ; 
the In-itself were by this depreciated and vitiated. Contrariwise, 
the Finite is likewise held fast as the non-negated, though in 
itself null, so that in its connexion with the Infinite it is raised 
to that which it is not, and is thereby not disappearing but 
rather perpetually continuing unfinitised against its own dis 
tinctive determination. 

The falsification, which, with the Finite and the Infinite, under 
standing commits in holding fast their mutual reference as 
qualitative diversity, in maintaining them as in their nature 
separated and indeed absolutely separated, is occasioned by for 
getting that which for understanding itself the notion of these 
moments is. According to this notion, the unity of the Finite 
and Infinite is not an external bringing together of them, nor a 
combination alien and repugnant to their distinctive nature, in 
which combination there would be conjoined what were in 
themselves separated and opposed, mutually self-substantial and 
existent, and consequently incompatible ; but each is just in it 
this unity, and that only as sublation of itself, in which neither 
shall have any advantage over the other as regards In-itself-ness 
and affirmative There-being. - As already shown, the Finite is 
only as transcendence of itself; there is contained therefore in 
it, the Infinite, the other of itself. Just so is the Infinite only 
as transcendence of the Finite ; it implies, therefore, essentially 
its other, and is, consequently, in it the other of itself. The 
Finite is not sublated by the Infinite as by an independent power 
existing apart from it ; but it is its Infinitude, to sublate itself. 

This sublation is, consequently, not alteration or otherness in 
genera], not sublation of Something. That in which the Finite 
sublates itself, is the Infinite as the negating of the Finite ; but 


this latter is long ago itself only There-being determined as a Non- 
being. It is, therefore, only the negation which in the negation 
sublates itself. Thus for its part Infinitude is determined as the 
negative of Finitude, and, consequently, of determinateness in 
general, as the void Further side ; its self-sublation in the Finite 
is a turning back from empty flight, a negation of the Further side, 
which Further side is a negative in itself. 

What is present, then, is in both the same negation of the nega 
tion. But this is in itself reference to itself, affirmation but as 
return to itself, i.e. through the mediation, which the negation of 
the negation is. These determinations are what is to be essen 
tially kept in view : the second point, however, is, that they are 
also express in the infinite progress, but, as they are so in it, not 
yet in their ultimate truth. 

In the first place, in it, both, as well the Infinite as the Finite, 
are negated both are, and in the same manner, transcended ; 
secondly, they are expressed as distinct and different, each after 
the other, as per se positive. We take thus these two determina 
tions compariugly apart, as in the comparison, an outer comparison, 
we have separated the two modes of consideration, that of the 
Finite and Infinite in their reference, and that of the same each 
taken per se. But the Infinite Progress expresses more ; there is 
present in it, also, the connexion of what is likewise distinguished, 
directly nevertheless only as transition and alternation. Let us 
see now in a simple reflexion what in effect is present. 

First, the negation of the Finite and Infinite, which is expressed 
in the infinite Progress, may be taken as simple, consequently as 
separate, and only successive. Starting with the Finite, the Limit 
is transcended, the Finite is negated. Now, then, we have the 
Further side, the beyond of the same, the Infinite : but in this 
latter the Limit again arises, and thus we have the transcendence 
of the Infinite. This twofold sublation nevertheless is expressed 
partly in general only as an external traffic and alternation of the 
moments, partly not yet as a unity ; each of these transcendings 
is a special apposition, a new act, so that they fall thus asunder 
from one another. There is, however, also further present in the 
infinite progress their reference. There is, firstly, the Finite ; then 
it is transcended this negative or beyond of the Finite is 
the Infinite; thirdly, this negation is again transcended there 
arises a new Limit, again a Finite. This is the complete, self- 
closing movement, which has arrived at that which constituted 


the beginning ; the same thing from which we started arises, i.e. the 
Finite is restored ; the same thing has therefore gone together with 
itself, has in its beyond only found itself again. 

The same is the case as regards the Infinite. In the Infinite, 
the beyond of the limit, there arises only a new limit, which has 
the same fate, as Finite to be necessarily negated. What we have 
thus again is the same Infinite, which disappeared previously in 
the new limit: the Infinite, therefore, through its sublation, 
across through the new limit, is not farther advanced, neither has 
it been removed from the Finite, for this latter is only this, to go 
over into the Infinite, nor from itself, for it has arrived by itself. 

Thus both, the Finite and the Infinite, are this movement, to 
return to themselves through their negation ; they are only as 
mediation- within themselves, and the affirmative of both contains 
the negation of both, and is the negation of the negation. They 
are thus result, and not, consequently, what they are in the deter 
mination of their beginning ; not the Finite, a There-being on its 
side, and the Infinite, a There-being or In-itself-being beyond the 
There-being, i.e. beyond that which was determined as finite. The 
unity of the Finite and Infinite is so very repugnant to under 
standing only on this account, that it presupposes as perennial or 
persistent the Limitation and the Finite as well as the In-itself; 
thus it fails to see the negation of both, which is factually present 
in the infinite Progress, as well as that they therein only present 
themselves as Moments of a Whole, and that they arise only by 
means of their contrary, but essentially also just as much by 
means of the sublation of their contrary. 

If, in the first instance, the return to self was regarded as the 
return as well of the Finite as of the Infinite to itself, there mani 
fests itself now in this result an incorrectness which is connected 
with the one-sidedness just commented on; now the Finite and 
now the Infinite is taken as starting-point, and by this only is 
it that there arise two results. But it is absolutely indifferent 
which is taken as beginning; and so the difference which pro 
duced the duplicity of the results, disappears of itself. This 
is likewise expressed in the both ways unlimited line of the 
infinite Progress, wherein each of the moments appears with like 
alternate presentation, and it is quite external, where we catch on, 
and with what begin. They are in it distinguished, but in like 
manner the one as only moment of the other. In that both of 
them, the Finite and the Infinite, are themselves moments of the 


process, they are, in community, the Finite; and in that they are 
equally also in community negated in it and in the result, this 
result as negation of said Finitude of both is with truth regarded 
as the Infinite. Their distinction is thus the double sense which 
both have. The Finite has the double sense firstly to be only the 
Finite counter the Infinite, that stands opposed to it ; and, 
secondly, to be at once the Finite and its opposing Infinite. The 
Infinite also has the double sense, to be one of said two moments 
when it is the spurious Infinite and then to be the Infinite in 
which said both, it itself and its other, are only moments. How, 
therefore, the Infinite is in effect before us, is, to be the process, in 
which it submits to be only one of its determinations counter the 
Finite, and so only one of the Finites, and to sublate this difference 
of itself from itself into the affirmation of itself, and to be through 
this mediation as true Infinite. 

This distinctive determination of the true Infinite cannot be 
contained in the formula, already animadverted on, of a unity of 
the Finite and Infinite ; unity is abstract motionless equality with 
self, and the moments are just thus as unmoved bee nts : the 
Infinite, however, is, like both of its moments, rather essentially 
only as Becoming, but becoming now further determined in its 
moments. Becoming has first abstract being and nothing for its 
determinations ; next, as Alteration, it has There-beents, Some 
thing and Other ; now, as the Infinite, it has Finite and Infinite, 
themselves as Eecoments. 

This Infinite, as a returned-ness into self, reference of itself to 
itself, is Being, but not Determination-less, abstract Being, for it 
is formally set as negating the negation ; it is consequently also 
There-being, for it contains the negation in general, and conse 
quently Determinateness. It is and is there, present, now. Only 
the spurious Infinite is the Beyond, because it is only the negation 
of the Finite that is given as Keal, thus it is the abstract, first 
Negation ; only as negatively determined, it has not the affirma 
tion of There-being in it ; held fast as only negative, it is supposed 
to be even not there, it is to be supposed unreachable. But this 
unreachableness is not its worth, but its want, which has its 
ultimate ground in this, that the Finite as such is held fast as beent. 
The Untrue is the Unreachable ; and it must be seen, that such 
Infinite is the Untrue. The image of the Progressus ad infinitum 
is the straight line, only in the two limits of which is the Infinite, 
and always only where the line and it is There-being is not, 


and which (line) proceeds out beyond to this its non-There-being, 
i.e. to the Indeterminate ; as true Infinitude, bent back into itself, 
the image is the circle, the line which has reached itself, which is 
closed and completely present, without beginning and end. 

The true Infinite thus as There-being, which is put as affirma 
tively counter the abstract negation, is reality in a higher sense 
than the former one, which was determined as simple reality ; it 
has here obtained a concrete wtent. The Finite is not the real, 
but the Infinite. Thus, too, reality becomes further on deter 
mined as Essentity, Notion, Idea, &c. It is superfluous, however, 
to repeat such earlier, abstracter, categories, as reality, on occasion 
of the concreter, and to apply them in the place of determinations 
more concrete than they are in themselves. Such repetition, as to 
say that the Essentity or that the Idea is the Eeal, has its occasion in 
this, that to unformed thought, the abstractest categories, as Being, 
There-being, Keality, Finitude, are the currentest. 

The recalling of the category of Reality has here its preciser 
occasion, in that the negation, against which it is the affirmative, 
is here the negation of the negation, and so it (Reality itself) is put 
as opposed to that Reality, which finite There-being is. The 
negation is thus determined as identity ; the Ideel * is the Finite 
as it is in the true Infinite, that is, as a determination, mtent, 
which is distinguished, but not self-subsistently beent, only as 
moment. Ideality has this concreter sense, which by a negation 
of finite There-being is not completely expressed. As regards 
reality and ideality, however, the antithesis of finite and infinite 
is understood so that the finite passes for the real ; the infinite, on 
the other hand, for the ideel : in the same way as further on the 
notion is regarded as an ideel, and as only ideel, There-being on 
the contrary as the real. Thus it avails nothing to have the 
special expression of the ideel for the assigned concrete deter 
mination of the negation ; in said antithesis, the one-sidedness of 

* The Ideal has a preciser meaning (of the Beautiful and what bears on it) than 
the Ideel ; the former has not yet any application here ; for this reason the expres 
sion Ideel is here used. As regards Reality there is no such distinction ; the Reel 
and the Real are well-nigh synonymous ; the shading of the two expressions, as it 
were, counter each other, has no interest. 

(This is Hegel s note, and valuable for the meaning of Ideel as against 
Ideal. The latter is of aesthetic application only : the former ot metaphysical ; 
it means what is, but what has gone in, what is taken up, what is only held (as in 
solution), what is aufgehoben, sublated, withdrawn, put past. This may countenance 
the suggestion that formal may be regarded as rather metaphorical, while formeZ is 
quite literal in accentuation of form.) New. 


the abstract negative which attaches to the spurious Infinite is 
returned to, and the affirmative There-being of the Finite per 
sisted in. 


Ideality may be named the Quality of Infinitude ; but it is 
essentially the Process of Becoming, and consequently a transition 
(as was that of Becoming into There-being), which is now to be 
assigned. As sublation of Finitude, i.e. of Finitude as such, 
and just as much of its only opposing, only negative Infinitude, 
this return into self is reference to its own self Being. As in this 
Being there is negation, it is There-being ; but as this negation is 
further essentially negation of the negation, self to self-referent 
negation, it is that There-being which is named Being-for-self. 


The Infinite in the usual sense of the spurious Infinite and 
the Progress into the Infinite, like the To-be-to, are the expression 
of a contradiction, which gives itself out as resolution and as 
ultimum. This Infinite is a first elevation of sensuous conception 
over the Finite into the thought, which, however, has only the 
mtent of nothing, of that which is expressly given and taken as 
non-been t a flight beyond the limitated, which flight collects 
itself not into itself, and knows not how to bring back the negative 
into the positive. This uncompleted reflexion has both of the 
determinations of the true Infinite the antithesis of the Finite 
and Infinite, and the unity of the Finite and Infinite perfectly 
before it, but brings not these two thoughts together; the one 
conveys along with it the other inseparably, but it (the reflexion) 
lets them only alternate. The fact of this alternation, the infinite 
progress, is always then present whenever the contradiction of the 
unity of two determinations and of their antithesis is persisted in. 
The Finite is the sublation of itself ; it includes in itself its nega 
tion, Infinitude, the unity of both , Process is made out beyond 
over the Finite to the Infinite as its Further side, separation of 
both ; but beyond the Infinite there is another Finite the beyond, 
the Infinite, contains the Finite, unity of both ,- but this Finite 
is also a negative of the Infinite, separation of both, and so on. 
Thus in the relation of causality, cause and effect are inseparable ; 
a cause which should have no effect is not a cause, as an effect 


which should have no cause were no longer an effect. This 
relation gives therefore the infinite progress of causes and effects ; 
something is determined as cause, but it has, as a finite ( and it 
is finite just specially because of its separation from the effect) 
itself, a cause, i.e. it is also effect ; consequently, the same thing 
which was determined as cause, is also determined as effect unity 
of cause and effect , what is now determined as effect has again 
a cause, i.e. the cause is to be separated from its effect and taken 
as a different something ; this new cause is again itself only an 
effect unity of cause and effect ; it has another for its cause 
separation of both determinations, and so on ad infinitum. 

A more special form can be given the progressus in this way ; 
it is asserted that the Finite and the Infinite are one unity ; this 
false assertion requires now to be corrected by the opposite one, 
that they are directly different and mutually opposed ; this again 
is to be corrected, into the assertion that they are inseparable, that 
the one determination lies in the other, through the averment of 
their unity, and so on ad infinitum. In order to understand the 
nature of the Infinite, it is no difficult request, that we should 
have a consciousness that the infinite progress, the developed 
infinite of understanding, is so constituted as to be the alternation 
of the two determinations, of the unity and of the separation of 
both moments, and then again that we should also have a conscious 
ness, that this unity and this separation are themselves inseparable. 

The resolution of this contradiction is not the recognition of 
the equal correctness and of the equal incorrectness of the two 
statements ; this were only another form of the persistent con 
tradiction ; but the Ideality of the two, as in which they, in their 
difference as mutual negations, are only moments ; said monotonous 
alternation is factually as well the negation of their unity as of 
their separation. In it (the Ideality) is just as factually present 
what has been shown above, that the Finite passes beyond itself 
into the Infinite, but just so beyond the same again it finds itself 
spring up anew, and consequently therein it only goes together 
with its own self, as the Infinite similarly ; so that the same 
negation of the negation becomes the affirmative result, which 
result demonstrates itself consequently as their truth and their 
prime. In this Being consequently as the Ideality of both of 
the characters distinguished, the contradiction is not abstractly 
vanished, but resolved and reconciled, and the thoughts are not 
only complete, but they are also brought together. The nature of 


speculative thought shows itself in this detailed example in its 
special form, it consists alone in the taking up of the opposed 
moments in their unity. In that each shows itself factually to 
have in it its contrary as such, and in it to go together with itself, 
the affirmative truth is this unity that gives movement to itself 
within itself, the taking together of both thoughts, their infinity, 
the reference to self not the immediate, but the infinite 

The test of philosophy, by such as are already in some degree 
familiarised with thought, has been frequently placed in the 
problem, to answer, How the Infinite comes out of itself, and into 
Finitude ? This, it is usually supposed, cannot possibly be made 
comprehensible. The Infinite, by the notion of which we have 
arrived, will in progress of the present development further deter 
mine itself, and show in it, in all the multiplicity of the forms, 
what is here demanded, or How it, if we are to express ourselves 
thus, comes to Finitude. At present we consider this question 
only in its immediacy, and in regard to the previously considered 
sense which the Infinite is wont to have. 

On the answering of this question it is supposed in general to 
depend whether a philosophy exist ; and in that people give out 
that they will be content to let it rest on this, they believe them 
selves to possess in the question itself, a sort of qucestio vexata, an 
unconquerable Talisman, through which they are firmly secured 
against any answer, and consequently against philosophy and the 
establishment of philosophy. But even in other objects a certain 
education is presupposed, in order to understand how to put 
questions, and still more in philosophical objects is such education 
to be presupposed necessary in order to attain a better answer 
than only that the question is worth nothing. As regards such 
questions, it is usually fair to point out, that the matter does not 
depend on the words, but that it is intelligible from one or other 
of the phrases of the expression, what it is it depends on ? Ex 
pressions of sensuous conception as going and coming out, and the 
like, which are used in the question concerned, awake the 
suspicion, that it (the question) belongs to the position of ordinary 
conception, and that for the answer also there are expected just 
such sensuous conceptions, as are current in common life and have 
the shape of a sensuous similitude or metaphor. 

When, instead of the Infinite, Being in general is taken, then 
the determining of Being, that is, a negation or finitude in it, 



seems more readily intelligible. Being, to be sure, is itself the 
undetermined, but it is not immediately expressed in it that it is the 
contrary of the determined. Whereas the Infinite has this 
expressed; it is the raw-Finite. The unity of the Finite and 
Infinite seems thus immediately excluded ; it is on this account 
that uncompleted reflexion is at its stubbornest against this unity. 
It has been shown, however, and, without entering further into 
the determination of the Finite and Infinite, it is immediately 
evident, that the Infinite in the sense in which it is taken by the 
reflexion alluded to, that is, as contraposed to the Finite, has 
in it its other, just because it is contraposed to it, and is therefore 
already limited, and even finite, the spurious Infinite. The 
answer to the question, How the Infinite becomes Finite, is con 
sequently this, that there is no such thing as an Infinite that is 
first of all Infinite and which is afterwards under a necessity to 
become finite, to go out into the Finite; but that it is per se by and 
for its own self already just as much finite as infinite. In that 
the question assumes that the Infinite is on one side per se, and 
that the Finite which has gone out into separation from it, or 
which may have come whencesoever it may is, separated from it, 
truly real : here rather it were to be said, that this separation is 
incomprehensible. Neither such Finite nor such Infinite has truth ; 
the untrue, however, is unintelligible. But it must just as much 
be said, they are intelligible ; the consideration of them, even as 
they are in conception, that in the one the distinctive nature of 
the other lies to have simple insight into this their inseparable- 
ness, is to comprehend them ; this inseparableness is their notion. 
In the self -substantiality of said Infinite and Finite, on the other 
hand, said question sets up an untrue Intent, and implies at once 
an untrue reference of the same. On this account it is not to be 
answered, but rather are the false presuppositions it implies i.e., 
the question itself to be negated. Through the questioning of the 
truth of said Infinite and Finite, the position is altered, and this 
alteration retaliates on the first question the perplexity which it 
sought to inflict ; this question of ours is to the reflexion from 
which the first question issues, new, as such reflexion possesses not 
the speculative interest which, by and for its own self, and before 
it co-refers determinations, seeks to ascertain whether these 
same determinations are, in the manner in which they are 
presupposed, anywise true. So far, however, as the untruth of 
said abstract Infinite, and of the similar Finite which is to remain 


standing on its side, is recognised, there is to be said as regards 
the exit of the Finite out of the Finite, that the Infinite goes out 
into the Finite, just because, in the manner in which it is taken 
as abstract unity, it has no truth, and no principle of subsistence 
or consistence in it ; and conversely, for the same reason of its 
nullity, the Finite goes in into the Infinite. Or rather it is to be 
said, that the Infinite is eternally gone out into the Finite, that, 
no more than pure Being, is it absolutely alone per se, without 
having its other in it itself. 

Said question, How the Infinite goes out into the Finite, may 
mean the still further presupposition, that the Infinite in itself 
includes the Finite, and consequently is in itself the unity of itself 
and of its other, so that the difficulty refers itself essentially to the 
separating, which as such is opposed to the presupposed unity of 
both. In this presupposition, the antithesis which is held fast, 
has only another form ; the unity and the distinction are separated 
and isolated from each other. Said unity, however, being taken 
not as the abstract indeterminate unity, but as the determinate 
unity of the Finite and Infinite, as it already is in said presup 
position, the distinction also of both is already present in it, a 
distinction which, at the same time, is not a letting-loose of these 
into separated self-dependency, but retains them in the unity as 
ideel. This unity of the Infinite and Finite and their distinction 
are the same insepardbiU as Finitude and Infinitude themselves. 


The position, that the Finite is ideel, constitutes Idealism, The 
idealism of philosophy consists in nothing else than in recognising 
the Finite as not a veritable Beent. All philosophy is essentially 
Idealism, or at least possesses it as its principle, and the question 
is only how far has it carried out this principle ? Philosophy is 
this as much as religion; for religion just as little recognises the 
Finite as a veritable Being, as an ultimate, absolute, or as non- 
posititious, uncreated, eternal. The contrast of idealistic and 
realistic philosophy is therefore without import. A philosophy 
which should ascribe to the finite There-being as such, genuine, 
ultimate, absolute Being, would not deserve the name of philo 
sophy ; the principles of earlier or of later philosophies, water, or 
matter, or atoms, are thoughts, universals, ideels, not things, as 
they directly find themselves before us, i.e.) in sensuous singleness; 


even the Thaletic water is not such thing, for, though certainly 
empirical water is meant, it is also conceived at the same time as 
the In-itself or Essentity of all the other things ; and these are not 
self-substantial entities, grounded in themselves, but they are 
expressed (resultant) from (of) another [the Water], i.e., they are 
ideel. The principle, the universal, being named the ideel, (as 
still more the notion, the idea, the spirit, are to be named ideel), 
and then again single sensuous things being to be conceived as 
sublated, as ideel in the principle, in the notion, or still more, in 
the spirit, attention may be directed, in passing, to the same 
double side, which showed itself in the Infinite; that is to say, that 
at one time, the Ideel is the concrete, the veritably Beent, but at 
another time again, just as much its moments are what is ideel, 
namely what is sublated in it, in effect, there is only the One 
concrete Whole, from which the moments are inseparable. 

By the Ideel, as commonly opined, is especially meant the form 
of conception ; and what is in my conception in general, or what 
is in the notion, the idea, in the imagination, &c., is called ideel, 
so that ideel applies even to fancies conceptions, which are not 
only diverse from the real, but are to be supposed essentially not 
real. In effect the Spirit is the Idealist proper ; in it, as it is when 
feeling, conceiving, still more when thinking and comprehending, 
the wtent or object is not as the so-called real There-being; in the 
singleness of the ego, such external Being is only sublated it is 
for me, it is ideel in me. This subjective idealism, be it the un 
witting idealism of consciousness in general, or be it consciously 
enunciated and upheld as principle, regards only the conceptive 
form according to which an wtent (an object) is mine ; this form 
is upheld in systematic subjective idealism, as the only true one, 
to the exclusion of the form of objectivity or reality, or of the 
external There-being of the mtent. Such an idealism is formell, 
inasmuch as in its attention to the form it neglects the content of 
conception or thought, which whether conceived or thought 
may still remain quite in its finitude. With such idealism, there 
is nothing lost, as well because the reality of such finite matter 
There-being and its finite complement is retained, as because 
(inasmuch as it is abstracted from) said matter is to be regarded 
as of no consequence in itself; and again there is nothing won 
with it, just because there is nothing lost, for the ego, the concep 
tion, the spirit, remains filled with the same finite matter. The 
antithesis of the form of subjectivity and objectivity is certainly 


one of the Finities; but the matter, how it appears in sensation, 
perception, or even in the more abstract element of conception, of 
thought itself, contains finities in abunda nee, which (unities), by 
exclusion of the single mode of finitude alluded to, the form, 
namely, of subjective and objective, are not yet by any means got 
rid of, and have still less disappeared of themselves. 




IN Being-for-self qualitative Being is completed; it is infinite 
Being. The Being of the beginning is determination-less. There- 
being is sublated (negated), but only immediately sublated 
(negated) Being ; it thus, in the first case, contains only the first, 
just immediate negation ; Being is indeed equally retained, and in 
There-being both are united in simple unity ; but just on that 
account they are in themselves mutually unequal ; their unity is 
not yet in position. There-being is, therefore, the sphere of differ 
ence, of dualism, the field of finitude. The determinateness is 
determinateness as such a relative, not absolute determinateness. 
In Being-for-self, the difference between the being and the deter 
minateness or the negation is posited and equated ; Quality, 
Otherwise-ness, Limit, as also Eeality, Being-in-itself, To-be-to, 
&c., are the imperfect infigurations of the negation into the Being, 
so that in them the difference of both still lies at bottom. In that 
in the Finitude, nevertheless, the negation has gone over into the 
Infinitude, into the posited negation of the negation, it (the nega 
tion) is simple reference to self, and, therefore, in itself the equa 
tion with the Being, absolute determinate Being. 

Being-for-self, is, firstly, immediate Being-for-self-ity, One. 

Secondly, the One .goes over into the plurality (many) of Ones, 
Repulsion; which otherwise-ness of the One resolves itself in the 
ideality of the same, Attraction. 

Thirdly, the reciprocal determination of Eepulsion and Attrac 
tion, in which they sink together (collapse) into equilibrium, 
passes over (and so also Quality, which in Being-for-self reached 
its point) into Quantity. 




The total notion of Being-for-self has yielded itself. It were 
only now necessary to point out that the conception corresponds to 
the notion, the conception which we attach to the expression, 
Being-for-self, in order to be authorised to use said expression 
for said notion. And so, indeed, it seems ; we say that something 
is for itself, so far as it negates the otherwiseness, its reference 
to and communion with other, so far as it has repelled these, 
abstracted from tbem. The other is in it only as sublated, as its 
moment ; Being-for-self consists in this, that it bas so gone beyond 
the limitation, its otherwiseness, that, as this negation, it is the 
infinite return into itself. Consciousness contains as such in itself 
the determination of Being-for-self, in that it represents to itself an 
object which it feels, perceives, &c., that is, in that it has within 
it the mtent of this object, which mtent is thus in the manner of 
an ideel; consciousness is, in its very perception, in general in its 
involution with its negative, with its other, by its own self. Being- 
for-self is the polemical negative attitude towards the limiting 
Other, and through this negation of it, it is a being reflected within 
itself, although too beside this return of consciousness into itself 
and the ideality of the object, the reality of this latter is also 
preserved in that it is, at the same time, known as an external 
object. Consciousness is thus appearant* or it is the Dualism on 
one side to know of an object outer and other to it, and on the 
other side to be for itself, to have the object ideel in it to be not 
only by such other, but in it also by its own self, ^(/"-conscious 
ness, on the other hand, is Being-for-self as completed and set ; 
the side of reference to another, an outer object, is eliminated. 
Self-consciousness is thus the nearest example of the presence of 
infinitude, always of an infinitude abstract, truly, but which, at 
the same time, nevertheless, is of a quite other concrete nature 
than Being-for-self in general, the infinitude of which latter has 
still only a quite qualitative determinateness. 

* That consciousness is thus erscheinend surely can only mean that it is thus 
consciousness (not se/-consciousness) presents itself as an object to itself. (New.) 


a. There-being and Being-for-seif. 

Being-for-self, as already intimated, is Infinitude sunk together 
into simple Being ; it is There-being (has existency), so far as the 
negative nature of infinitude, which is the negation of the nega 
tion, in the now, once for all, explicit form of the immediacy of 
Being, is only as negation in general, as simple qualitative 
determinateness. Being, in a determinateness such that it is 
There-being, is, however, directly also diverse from Being-for-self, 
which is only Being-for-self so far as its determinateness is said 
infinite one ; still There-being is, at the same time, moment of the 
Being-for-self ; for this latter contains certainly also Being that 
has been subjected to negation. Thus the determinateness, which 
in There-being as such is another, and Being-for-other, is bent back 
into the infinite unity of the Being-for-self, and in Being-for-self 
the moment of There-being is present as Being-for-One (or just 

b. Being-for-One. 

This moment expresses how the Finite is in its unity with the 
Infinite, or is as Ideel. The Being-for-self has not negation in it 
as a determinateness or limit, and not therefore as reference to a 
There-being other from it. Though this moment has been 
designated as Being-for-One, there is still not yet anything present 
for which it were, the One not, whose moment it were. In 
effect such is not yet fixed in Being-for-self; that for which 
Something ( and there is here no Something ) were, what the 
other side should at all be, is in like manner moment, just only 
Being-for-One, not yet One. There is thus as yet an indistinguish- 
ableness of the two sides, which two sides may flit before the 
mind in the Being-for-One ; there is only a Being-for-Other, and 
because it is only a Being-for-Other, this Being-for-Other is also 
only Being-for-One ; there is only the one ideality of that for 
which or in which there should be a determination as moment 
and of that which should be moment in it. Thus Being-for-one 
and Being-for-self form no veritable determinatenesses counter 
each other. So far as the difference is assumed for a moment and 
a Being-for-self-ity is spoken of here, this latter is the Being- 
for-self-ity as sublatedness of the Otherwiseness, and this 
(Being-for-self-ity) again refers itself to itself as to the sublated 
other, and is therefore for-one (for a) ; it refers itself in its other 


only to itself. The Ideel is necessarily for-one, but it is not for 
another; the one (the a), for which it is, is only itself. Ego, 
therefore, the Spirit, or God, are Ideels, because they are infinite ; 
but they are not ideel, as beents-for-self, diverse from that that 
is for-one (for a). For so they were only immediate, or, nearer, 
There-being and a Being-for-other ; because that which were for 
them, were not themselves but another, if the moment of being 
for-one attached not to them. God is therefore for himself, so far 
as he is himself that that is for him. 

Being-for-Self and Being-for-One are therefore not different 
imports of Ideality, but are essential, inseparable moments of it. 


The Expression Was fiir eines ? 

The apparently, at first sight, singular expression of our language 
for the question of quality, what for a thing (was fiir ein Ding) 
something is, gives prominence, in its reflexion-into-self, to the 
moment considered here. This expression is in its origin idealistic, 
seeing that it asks not, what this thing A is for another thing B, 
not what this man is for another man ; but what this is for a 
thing, for a man? so that this Being-for-one [say for a, or for a 
one] has, at the same time, come back into this thing itself, into 
this man himself; that that which is and that for which it is, is 
one and the same thing, an identity, such as the ideality must 
also be considered to be. 

The ideality attaches in the first instance to the sublated 
determinations, as diverse from that in which they are sublated, 
which again may be taken as the Eeal. In this way, however, 
the Ideel is again one of the moments and the Real the other ; 
but the Ideality is this, that both determinations are equally only 
for-one, and pass valid only for-one, which one ideality is just thus 
undistinguished Reality. In this sense, Self-consciousness, the 
Spirit, God, is the Ideel, as infinite reference purely to self, Ego 
is for Ego, both are the *ame thing ; Ego is twice named, but of 
such a two, each is only for-one, ideel; the Spirit is only for the 
Spirit, God only for God, and only this unity is God, God as 
Spirit. Self-consciousness, however, as consciousness passes into 
the difference of itself and of another, or of it^ ideality in which it 
is perceptive, and of its reality in that its perception has a deter- 


ruinate witent, which intent has still the side to be known as the 
unresolved negative, as There-being (an object). Nevertheless, to 
call Thought, Spirit, God, only an Idee l, presupposes the position 
on which finite There-being passes for the Real, and the Idee l or 
the Being -for -one, has only a one-sided sense. 

In assigning the principle of Idealism, in a preceding Remark, 
it was said that the decisive question in the case of any philosophy 
was, how far has this principle been carried out in it ? As regards 
the mode of carrying this out, a further remark may be made in 
connexion with the category by which we stand. On this point 
the question is, whether, beside the Being-for-self, finite existence 
is not still left independently standing, moreover, again, whether 
there be set in the Infinite itself the moment for-one, a bearing of 
the idee l to its own self as idee l. Thus the Eleatic Being, or the 
Spinozistic Substance, is only the abstract negation of all deter- 
minateness, without ideality being set in it itself ; with Spinoza, 
as will be considered again further on, infinitude is only the 
absolute affirmation of a thing, and thus only unmoved unity ; 
his substance, therefore, comes not even to the determination of 
Being-for-self, much less to that of subject and Spirit. The 
Idealism of the pure and lofty Malebranche is in itself more 
explicit ; it contains the following ground-thoughts : As God 
comprehends within himself all the eternal verities, the Ideas, 
and Perfections of all things, in such wise that they are only his, 
we for our part see them only in him ; God awakes in us our 
sensations of objects through an action which has nothing 
sensuous in it, in consequence of which we imagine that we 
obtain not only the idea of the object, which idea represents its 
truth, but the sensation also of its existence ( De la recherche de 
la Verite", Eclairc. sur la nature des ide es, &c.). As then the eternal 
verities and ideas (essentities) of things are in God, so also is their 
Daseyn in God, idee l, and nofc an actual Daseyn ; though as our 
objects, they are only for-one. This moment of explicit and 
concrete idealism, which is wanting in Spinozism, is present here, 
inasmuch as the absolute ideality is determined as knowing. 
However deep and pure this idealism is, nevertheless the above 
relations partly contain much that is indeterminate for thought, 
while, again, their mtent (the matter they concern) is partly 
quite immediately concrete (Sin, Redemption, &c., appear in them 
just directly so) ; the logical character of infinitude, which should of 
necessity be its basal element is not completely carried out, and 


so this lofty and genuine idealism, though certainly the product 
of a pure speculative spirit, is not yet that of a pure speculative, 
or veritably foundation-seeing and seeking, thought. 

The Leibnitzian Idealism lies more within the limit of the 
abstract notion. The Leibnitzian ideating principle, the Monad, 
is essentially ideel. Ideation is a Being- f or-self in which the 
determinatenesses are not limits, and consequently not a There- 
being, but only moments. Ideation is also, indeed, a more con 
crete determination [ Vorstellen comprehends in it Perception, &c.], 
but has here no wider meaning than that of Ideality ; for with 
Leibnitz even what is without any consciousness is a concipient, 
a percipient. In this system, then, otherwise-ness is eliminated ; 
spirit and body, or the monads in general, are not others for one 
another, they limit not each other, have no influence on one 
another; all relations in general fall away, which depend on a 
Daseyn as ground and source. Any plurality in it is only an 
ideel and inner one ; the monad in it (the plurality) remains 
referred only to its own self ; the particulars develop themselves 
within it, and are no references of it to others. What on the real 
side is taken as there-beent reference of the monads to one another, 
is an independent only simultaneous Becoming, shut in to the 
inner being of each of them. That there is a plurality of monads, 
that consequently they are also designated as others, nowise 
affects the monads themselves ; this is the reflexion of a third 
(party) that falls outside of them ; they tire not in themselves others 
to one another; the Being-for-self [the In-being] is kept pure, 
without the side-by-side-there of a There-being [an Out-being, a 
finite existence]. But just here lies the uncompletedness of this 
system. The Monads are such concipients only in themselves (an 
sich), or in God as the Monad of Monads, or just in the System. 
Otherwiseness is still present ; let it fall into what it likes, into 
the ideation (the reflexion) itself, or however the third be char 
acterised, which considers them as others, as a plurality. Their 
plurality as existences is only excluded, and that only for the 
moment, the monads are only set by abstraction as such that they 
are non-others. If it is a third party that sets their otherness, it 
is also a third party that withdraws the same ; this whole move 
ment, indeed, which makes them ideel, falls on the outside of 
them. Should one remind us that this movement of thought 
falls nevertheless itself only within an ideating monad, one must 
be reminded as well that the very intent of such thought is 


within its own self external to itself. Transition is made from the 
unity of the absolute ideality (the monad of monads) immediately, 
without understanding how ( through the figurate conception 
of creation) to the category of the abstract (reference-less) plurality 
of a finite existency, and from this equally abstractly back again 
to the same unity. The ideality, the ideation in general, remains 
something formell, as much so, even when elevated into or as 
consciousness. As in the already adduced fancy of Leibnitz about 
the magnetic needle, if it had consciousness, considering its 
direction to the north as a determination of its own free will, 
consciousness is only thought as one-sided form, which is indifferent 
to its determination and mtent, so the ideality in the monads is 
a form that remains external to the plurality. Ideality is to be 
immanent to them, their nature is to be ideation ; but their 
relation is on one side their harmony, which falls not into their 
existence itself, and so is a pre-appointed one (a pre-established 
one) ; on the other side, this their Daseyn is not conceived as 
Seyn-fiir-Anderes, nor further as ideality, but is determined only 
as abstract plurality ; the ideality of the plurality, and the further 
determination of the units into harmony, is not immanent and 
proper to this plurality itself. 

Other idealism, as, for example, the Kantian and Fichtian, gets 
not further than the To-be-to (Sollen) or the infinite progress, and 
remains in the dualism of There-being and Being-for-self. In 
these systems the thing-in-itself, or the infinite appulse, enters 
immediately indeed into the Ego, and becomes only &for-it ; but still 
departure is thus made from a free other- wise-ness, which perpetually 
abides elsewhere as a negative Ansichseyn [as what is independent 
in itself and negative to it (the Ego)]. The Ego, therefore, may be 
characterised as Ideel, as Beent-for-self, as infinite reference to 
self; but the Being-for-one is not completed to the disappearance 
of said unknown whereabouts of a thing-in-itself, or of said direction 
towards such unknown. 

c. One. 

Being-for-self is the simple unity of itself and of its moment, 
the Being-for-one. There is only one determination present, the 
reference-to-itself of the sublation. The moments of Being-for-self 
have collapsed into indistinguishableness, which is immediacy or 
being, but an immediacy which founds itself on the negating 


which is set or posited as its determination. The Being-for-self is 
thus Being-for-self-zfo/ / and in that in this immediacy its inner 
import disappears, it is the quite abstract limit of itself, One, or 
the One. 

We may remark beforehand on the difficulty which lies in the 
following exposition of the development of the One, and on the 
reason of it. The moments which constitute the notion of the 
One as Being-for-self go asunder in it ; they are, 1, Negation in 
general ; 2, two negations ; 3, and so of a Two that are the same 
thing ; 4, that are directly opposed ; 5, reference to self, identity 
as such ; 6, negative reference and yet to self. These moments go 
asunder here by this, that the form of Immediacy, of Being, comes in 
in the case of Being-for-self as Being-for-self-ity ; through this im 
mediacy, each moment becomes set as a special beent determination; 
and nevertheless they are equally inseparable. Of each determina 
tion thus its contrary must be equally said ; it is this contradic 
tion which, by the abstract tality of the moments, constitutes the 



The One is the simple reference of Being-for-self to itself, in 
which reference its moments have collapsed into themselves, in 
which therefore it has the form of immediacy, and its moments 
therefore are now There-beents. 

As reference of the negative to itself the One is a Determining, 
and as reference to itself it is infinite ^//"-determining. But 
because of the immediacy now again present, these differences are 
no longer only as moments of one and the same self-determination, 
but they are set at the same time as beent. The Ideality of the 
Being-for-self as totality thus strikes round, firstly, into JReality, 
and that, too, into the most fixed and abstract, as One. Being-for- 
self is in the One the set unity of Being and There-being, as the 
absolute union of the reference to other and of the reference to 
self; but now there enters also the determinateness of Being 
counter the determination of the infinite negation, counter the Self- 
determination, so that, what One is in itself, it is now only in it, 
and consequently the negative is another as distinguished from it. 
What shows itself as there before it distinct from it, is its own Self- 
determining ; its unity with itself thus as distinguished from itself 


has sunk into Reference, and as negative unity is negation of itself 
as of another, exclusion of the One as of another from itself, the 

a. The One in its own self. 

In its own self is the One on the whole ; this its Being is no 
There-being, no determinateness as reference to other, not talifica- 
tion ; it is this, that it has negated this circle of categories. The 
One is consequently incapable of any becoming-otherwise; it is 
un-other&ble, unalterable. 

It is undetermined, no longer so, however, as Being is so ; its 
indeterminateness is the determinateness which reference to itself 
is, an absolute determined-being, or absolute determinedness ; set 
{settled) Being-within-self. As from its notion self-to-self-referent 
negation it has the difference within it, a direction from itself 
away out to other, which direction, however, is immediately turned 
round, because from the moment of ^{/"-determining there is no 
other to which to go, and so has gone back into itself. 

In this simple immediation, the mediation of There-being and 
Ideality even has disappeared, and so consequently also all diversity 
and multiplicity. There is nothing in it (within it) ; this nothing, 
the abstraction of the reference to self, is here distinguished from 
the Being-within-self itself, it is a set issue (an ezimplicatiwn), 
because this Being-within-self is no longer the Simple (unit) of 
the Something, but has the determination, that, as mediation, it is 
concrete ; as abstract, however, it is indeed identical with One, 
but diverse from its determination (qualification). This nothing 
so-determined and as in a one (in one or just in a) is the nothing 
as vacuum, as void. The void is thus the Quality of the One in 
its immediacy. 

b. The One and the Void. 

The One is the Void as the abstract reference of the negation to 
itself. But from the simple immediacy, the affirmative Being of 
the One which is still present, the void as the Nothing is directly 
different, and in that they stand in one reference, of the One itself 
namely, their difference is express or explicit ; but different from 
what is Beent (the Beent), the nothing as void is out of (outside 
of) the beent One. 

The Being-for-self, in that in this manner it determines itself as 
the One and the Void, has again reached a state of There-being 


(existency). The One and the Empty have, as their common 
simple basis, the negative reference to self. The moments of the 
Being-for-self come out of this unity, become mutually external ; 
in that the quality of Being comes in through the simple unity of 
the moments, it [this quality of Being] sets itself to one side, and 
so down to There-being [mere finite existency], and therein its 
other quality, the negation in general, places itself opposite, 
similarly as There-being [an existency] of the Nothing, as the 


The One in this form of There-being is the stage of the category, 
which with the Ancients presented itself as the Atomistic principle, 
according to which the Essentity of Things is, the Atom and the 
Void (TO crroyuoi or ra aro/ma KOI TO KCVOV}. Abstraction, advanced 
to this form, has acquired a greater determinateness than the 
Being of Parmenides and the Becoming of Heraclitus. However 
high it places itself in that it makes this simple determinateness 
of the One and the Void the principle of all things, reduces the 
infinite variety of the world to this simple antithesis, and makes 
bold out of this latter to know the former, no less easy is it for 
crude figurate conception to set up for itself, in its reflexion, here 
Atoms, and there, just alongside, an Empty. It is no wonder, 
therefore, that the atomistic principle has at all times maintained 
itself ; the equally trivial and external relation of Composition, that 
requires to be added in order to attain the semblance of a Con 
crete and of a variety, is equally popular with the atoms them 
selves and the void. The One and the Void is Being-for-self, the 
highest qualitative Being-within-self, fallen into complete exter 
nality ; the immediacy or the being of the One, because it is the 
negation of all otherwiseness, is set as no longer determinable and 
alterable ; in view of its absolute reserve and repulsiveness, there 
fore, all determination, variety, connexion, remains for it but a 
directly external reference. 

The atomistic .principle nevertheless, remained not in this 
externality with its first thinkers, but besides its abstraction it 
had also a speculative burden in this, that the vacuum was 
recognised as the source of motion ; which is quite another 
relation of the atom and the void than the mere side by side of 
these, and their indifference mutually. That the void is the 
source of movement, has not the unimportant sense that some- 


thing can only move itself in a void and not in a space already 
filled, as in this latter there would be found no more place ; in 
which sense the void would be only the presupposition or condi 
tion, not the ground (ratio) of motion ; just as here also movement 
itself is presupposed as already existent, and the essential, a 
ground of it, is forgotten. The view, that the void is the ground 
of motion, contains the deeper thought that in the negative 
generally there lies the ground of the Becoming, of the unrest of 
self-movement; in which sense, however, the negative is to be 
taken as the veritable negativity of the infinite. The void is 
ground of movement only as the negative reference of the One to 
its negative, to the One, i.e., to its own self, which, nevertheless, is 
set as a There-beent (as a Daseyn). 

In other respects, however, further determinations of the 
ancients respecting the shape and position of the atoms, the 
direction of their movement, are arbitrary and external enough, 
and stand withal in direct contradiction to the fundamental 
determination of the atom. With the atom, this principle of the 
hightest externality, and consequently also of the highest notion- 
lessness, physical science suffers [is at fault] in its molecules, its 
particles ; as is also the case with that political science which 
starts from the single will of the individuals. 

c. Many Ones. 

The One and the Void constitutes Being-for-self in its nearest 
or first There-being. Each of these moments has negation for its 
determination, and is at the same time set as a There-being. As 
regards the former, the one and the void is the reference of the 
negation to the negation as of another to its other ; the one is the 
negation in the form of Being, the empty the negation in the form 
of non-being. But the one is essentially only reference to itself 
as referent negation, i.e., is itself what the empty out of it is 
supposed to be. Both, however, are also set. as an affirmative 
There-being, the one as the Being-for-self as such, the other as 
indeterminate There-being generally, and each as referent to the 
other as to another There-being. The Being-for-self of the One is, 
nevertheless, essentially the Ideality of the There-being and of 
the Other; it refers itself not as to another, but only to itself. 
But in that the Being-for-self is fixed as One (an a), as a JBeent for 


self, as immediately existent, its negative reference to self is at the 
same time reference to a Beent ; and as this reference is at the 
same time negative, that, to which it refers itself, remains deter 
mined as a There-being and another ; as essentially reference to its 
own self, the other is not the indeterminate negation as a void, but 
is similarly one. The One is thus a Becoming of (rather to) a 
plurality of Ones. 

Properly, however, this is not quite a Becoming ; for Becoming 
is a going over from Being into Nothing ; One, here on the con 
trary, becomes only One. One, as referred, implies the negative 
as reference, has the negative therefore itself in it. Instead of 
Becoming, there is therefore, firstly, present the proper immanent 
reference of the One ; and, secondly, so far as this reference is 
negative and the One at the same time beent, it is itself that the 
one drives off from itself. The negative reference of the One to 
itself is Repulsion. 

This Repulsion, thus as position of a plurality of Ones but 
through One itself, is the special coming out of itself of the One, 
but to such ones out of it as are themselves only One. This is 
the repulsion in accordance with the notion, that repulsion which 
is in itself. The second repulsion is different from this one, and 
is that which floats, in the first instance, before the conception of 
outer reflexion, as not the production of the Ones, but only as a 
mutual distance of presupposed Ones already there. It is to be 
seen now, then, how said in-itself-beenl repulsion determines itself 
into the second, the external one. 

First of all, we have to fix for certain, what characters the 
many Ones as such possess. The Becoming to the Many, or the 
becoming-produced of the Many, disappears immediately, as a 
becoming-se^ (implied) ; the produced Ones are Ones, not for other, 
but refer themselves infinitely to themselves. The one repels 
only itself from itself, therefore becomes not, but already is; what 
is conceived as the repelled one is likewise a One, a Beent ; repel 
ling and being-repelled attaches in the same manner to both, and 
constitutes no difference. 

The Ones are thus prae-set (presupposed) as counter one another; 
set (implied) through the repulsion of the One from itself ; prac 
(of the pre-supposed), set as not set ; their being-set is sublated, 
they are Beents counter one another, as referent of themselves 
only to themselves. 

The plurality appears thus not as an Othcrwiseness, but as a 



determination perfectly external to the One. One, in that it 
repels itself, remains reference to itself; as so also that one that is 
taken at first as repelled. That the Ones are other counter each 
other, are held together in the determinateness of plurality, nowise 
concerns, therefore, the Ones. If the plurality were a reference of 
the Ones themselves to one another, they would limit each other, 
and would have a Being-for-other affirmatively in them. Their 
reference and this they have through their virtual unity as it 
is here set, is determined as none ; it is again the previously- 
determined Void. This void is their limit, but a limit external to 
them, in which they are not to be for one another. The limit is 
that in which what are limited as well are as are not ; but the void 
is determined as the pure non-being, and only this constitutes their 

The repulsion of the One from itself is the Explication of that 
which in itself the One is ; but Infinitude, as laid asunder (out- 
of-one-another, explicated) is here Infinitude come out of itself, but 
it is come out of itself through the immediacy of the Infinite, of 
the One. This Infinitude is quite as much a simple reference of 
the One to One, as rather the absolute referencelessness of the 
One ; the former as according to the simple affirmative reference 
of the One to itself, the latter as according to the same reference 
as negative. Or the plurality of the One is the own proper setting 
of the One ; the One is nothing but the negative reference of the 
One to itself, and this reference, therefore the One itself, is the 
Many Ones. But just thus the plurality is directly external to 
the One ; for the One is just the sublation of the Otherwiseness, 
the repulsion is its reference to self, and simple equality with 
itself. The plurality of the Ones is Infinitude as unconcerned, 
self-producent Contradiction. 


The Leibnitzian Idealism has been already noticed. We may 
add here, that, from the ideating monad onwards, which monad 
is determined as beent-for-self, it advanced only to Repulsion as 
just considered, and indeed only to plurality as such that in it the 
ones are each only for itself, indifferent to the There-being and 
Being-for-self of any others, or as such that in it in general others 
are not in any way for the one. The monad is per se the com 
pletely isolated world; it requires none of the others; but this 


inner variety which it has in its ideation alters nothing in its 
determination as beent only for itself. The Leibnitzian idealism 
takes up plurality immediately as one given, and comprehends it 
not as a repulsion of the monad ; it has plurality, therefore, only 
on the side of its abstract externality. The atomistic has not the 
notion of ideality ; it takes the one not as such that it compre 
hends within itself both moments, the Being-for-self and the Being- 
for-it, not therefore as an ideel, but only as simple, dry Being-for- 
self-ity. But it goes beyond the mere indifferent plurality ; the 
atoms come into further mutual determination, though properly 
only in an inconsequent manner ; whereas, on the contrary, in the 
indifferent independency of the monads, plurality remains as fixed 
and immovable ground-determination, so that their reference falls 
only into the Monad of Monads, or into the reflecting Philosopher. 


a. Exclusion of the One. 

The many ones are beents; their There-being or reference to one 
another is non-reference, it is external to them ; the abstract 
void. But they themselves are now this negative reference to 
themselves (to one another), as to beent others ; the exhibited 
contradiction, infinitude set (expressed) in immediacy of being. 
Thus now the repulsion finds that immediately before it, which is 
repelled by it. It is in this determination Exclusion; the one 
repels from itself the many ones only as unproduced by it, as non- 
set by it. This repelling is, reciprocally and universally, relatively 
limited by the Being of the Ones. 

The plurality is in the first instance not set otherwiseness 
(not expressly so determined) ; the limit is only the void, 
only that in which the ones are not. But they also are in the 
limit ; they are in the void, or their Kepulsion is their common 

This reciprocal repulsion is the set (express) There-being of the 
many ones ; it is not their Being-for-self, so that they were only 
distinguished in a third something as a many or a much, but it is 
their own distinguishing, and preservative of them. They negate 
themselves (each other) mutually, set one another as such that 


they are only for-one. But they negate just as much, at the same 
time, this, that they are only for-one; they repel this their ideality 
and are. Thus the moments are sundered, which are directly 
united in the ideality. The one is in ics Being-for-self also for- 
one, but this one, for which it is, is itself; its distinction from 
itself is immediately sublated. But in the plurality the distin 
guished one has a being , the Being-for-One, as it is determined in 
the exclusion, is therefore a Being-for-other. Each becomes thus 
repelled by another, sublated and made a one that is not for itself, 
lout for-one, and that another one. 

The Being-for-self of the many ones shows itself, therefore, as 
their self-preservation, through the mediation of their mutual 
repulsion, in which they mutually sublate themselves, and set the 
others as a mere Being-for-other ; but, at the same time, this self- 
preservation consists in this, to repel this ideality, and to set the 
ones not to be for another. This self-preservation of the ones 
through their negative reference to one another is, however, rather 
their dissolution. 

The ones not only are, but they conserve themselves through 
their reciprocal exclusion. Firstly, now, that by which they should 
keep firm hold of their diversity counter their becoming negated 
is their Being, and that, too, their Being-m-se//" counter their refer 
ence to other ; this Being-in-self is, that they are ones. But all 
are this; they are in their Being-in-self the same thing, instead of 
having therein the fixed point of their diversity. Secondly, their 
There-being and their mutual relation, i.e., their setting themselves 
as ones, is a reciprocal negating; this, however, is likewise one and 
the same determination of them all, through which then they 
rather set themselves as identical ; as by this, that they are in 
themselves the same thing, their ideality which was to be as resultant 
through others is their own, and they therefore just as little repel 
it. They are thus in their being and in their setting only one affir 
mative unity. 

This consideration of the ones that (in both of their determina 
tions, as well so far as they are, as so far as they mutually refer), 
they show themselves as only one and the same thing and indis 
tinguishable is our comparison. It is, however, to be seen what, 
in their mutual reference itself, is set (express) in them. They are, 
this is in this reference presupposed, and are only so far as they 
mutually negate themselves, and repel at the same time from 
themselves this their ideality, their negatedness, i.e., so far as they 


negate this mutual negating. But they are only so far as they 
negate, and so, in that this their negating is negated, their being 
is negated. It is true, in that they are, they were not negated by 
this negating, it is only an externality for them ; this negating of 
the other rebounds off from them and reaches only touchingly 
their surface. But again only through the negating of the others 
do they turn back into themselves ; they are only as this media 
tion, this their return is their self-preservation and their Being- 
for-self. In that again their negating effectuates nothing, through 
the resistance which these beents, as such or as negating, offer, they 
return not back into themselves, maintain themselves not and are 

The consideration was previously made that the ones are the 
same thing; that each of them is one, just like the other. This is 
not only our reference, an external bringing together, but the repul 
sion is itself reference, the one excluding the ones refers itself to 
them, the ones, i.e., to its own self. The negative relation of the 
ones to one another is thus only a going together with self. This 
identity into which their repulsion goes over is the sublation of 
their diversity and externality, which, as excludents, they were 
rather mutually to maintain. 

This setting of themselves on the part of the many ones into a 
single One is Attraction. 


The Unity of the One and the Many. 

Self-dependency pushed to the point of the beent-for-self unit is 
that abstract formell self-dependence which is self-destructive ; the 
extremest, stubbornest error which takes itself for the most perfect 
truth ; appear ant in concreter forms as abstract freewill, as pure 
Ego, and then further as the Bad. It is that freewill which so 
misunderstands itself, as to set its substantial being in this ab 
straction, and in this Being-by-self flatters itself purely to win 
itself. This self-dependency is more definitely the error to regard 
that as negative, and to maintain oneself against that as negative, 
which on the contrary is one s very being. It is thus the negative 
bearing to one s own self which, in that it would win its own very 
being, destroys the same, and this its act is only the manifestation 
of the nullity of this act. Eeconciliation is the recognition of 


that against which the negative bearing goes as rather one s true 
being, and is only as a leaving-off from the negativity of one s 
Being-for-self instead of persisting in it. 

It is an ancient saying, that the One is Many, and in especial 
that the Many is One. As regards this the observation may be 
repeated, that the truth of the One and the Many expressed in 
propositions appears in an inadequate form, that this truth is to 
be understood and expressed only as a Becoming, as a process, 
repulsion and attraction, not as Being, in the way in which in a 
proposition it is set as quiescent unity. The dialectic of Plato 
in the Parmenides concerning the deduction of the Many from the 
One, namely from the proposition, One is, has been already 
noticed and remarked upon. The inner dialectic of the notion has 
been assigned ; the easiest way is to take the dialectic of the 
proposition, that the Many is One, as external reflexion; and 
external it may well be here, seeing that the object also, the 
Many, is what is mutually external. This comparison of the 
Many with one another gives at once the fact that the one is ab 
solutely characterised just as the other is ; each is one, each is one 
of the many, is excluding the others ; so that they are absolutely 
only the same thing, or absolutely there is only one determination 
present. This is the fact, and there needs only to take up this 
simple fact. The obstinacy of the understanding stubborns itself 
against taking this up, because before it, and rightly too, there 
flits also the difference ; but this difference is as little excluded 
because of said fact, as certainly said fact despite said difference 
exists. One might, as it were, console understanding as regards 
its simple apprehension of the fact of the difference by assuring it 
that the difference will presently come in again. 

b. The one One of Attraction. 

Eepulsion is the self-severing of the One firstly into Many, the 
negative bearing of which is powerless, because they mutually 
presuppose one another as Bee nts: it (Repulsion) is only the 
To-be-to (Sollen) of Ideality: this latter, however, is realised in 
Attraction. Repulsion goes over into Attraction, the many Ones 
into one One. Both, repulsion and attraction, are at first hand 
different, the former as the reality of the Ones, the latter as their 
set ideality. Attraction refers itself thus to repulsion, so that it 
has this latter as its presupposition. Repulsion furnishes the 


material for attraction. Were there no Ones, there would be 
nothing to attract ; the conception of lasting attraction, of the 
consumption of the Ones, presupposes an equally lasting production 
of the Ones ; the sensuous conception of attraction in space holds 
the stream of the attracted Ones to last ; in place of the atoms 
which disappear in the attracting punctum, there comes forward 
another Many out of the void, and on, if it is desired, ad inftnitum. 
If attraction were conceived as accomplished, i.e., the Many brought 
to the point of a single One, there would only be an inert One, 
there would no longer be any attraction present. The ideality 
there-beent in attraction has still in it the character of the 
negation of itself the many Ones to which it is the reference, 
and attraction is inseparable from repulsion. 

Attraction attaches, in the first instance, equally to each of the 
many Ones as immediately present Ones ; none has a preference 
over the other : there seems thus an equilibrium in the attraction 
present, properly an equilibrium of attraction and of repulsion, 
and a dull repose without there-beent ideality. But there can be 
no speaking here of a preference of any such one over another, 
which would be to presuppose a determinate difference between 
them the attraction rather is the setting of a present indis- 
tinguishableness of the Ones. Only attraction itself is the setting 
of a One different from the rest; they are only the immediate 
Ones which through repulsion are to conserve themselves ; but 
through their set negation there arises the One of attraction 
which therefore is determined as the mediated One ; the One that 
is set as One. The first Ones, as immediate Ones, turn not in 
their ideality back into themselves, but have this (ideality) in 

The one One, however, is the realised ideality that is set in the 
One ; it is attractive through the mediation of repulsion ; it implies 
this mediation within itself as its determination. It absorbs thus 
the attracted Ones not into itself as into a point, i.e., it does not 
abstractly sublate them. In that it implies repulsion in its deter 
mination, this latter retains the Ones as Many at the same time in 
it ; it brings, so to speak, by its attracting, something for (before) 
itself, it gains an extension or a filling. There is thus in it unity 
of repulsion and attraction in general. 


c. The reference (relation} of Repulsion and Attraction. 

The difference of One and Many has determined itself as the 
difference of their mutual Reference, which has divided itself into 
two references, Repulsion and Attraction, of which each, in the 
first instance, stands self-dependently out of the other, still so that 
they essentially cohere. The as yet indeterminate unity of these 
has to yield itself more closely. 

Repulsion, as the ground-determination of the One, appears first, 
and as immediate, like its Ones which, produced by it, are still at 
the same time set as immediate. The repulsion appears, thus, 
indifferent to the attraction, which adds itself externally to it as 
thus presupposed. On the other hand, attraction is not presup 
posed by repulsion ; so that in the setting and being of this latter 
the former appears to have no share, i.e., so that repulsion is not 
already in it the negation of itself, the Ones are not already in 
them negated. In this way, we have repulsion abstractly per 
se ; as similarly attraction has, counter the Ones as Beents, 
the side of an immediate There-being, and comes to them quite 
as another. 

If we take accordingly bare repulsion thus per se, it is the 
dissipation of the many ones into the indefinite, beyond the 
sphere of repulsion itself; for it is this, to negate the reference of 
the many to one another ; referencelessness is their they being 
abstractly taken determination. Repulsion, however, is not 
simply the Void ; the Ones as referenceless are not repellent, not 
excludent, as their determination requires. Repulsion is, though 
negative, still essentially reference; the mutual repulsion and 
flight is not the freeing from that which is repelled and fled 
from, the excludent stands still in connexion with that which is 
excluded by it. This moment of reference, however, is attraction, 
and so consequently in repulsion itself ; it is the negating of that 
abstract repulsion according to which the Ones were only self-to- 
self referent Beents, non-excludent. 

In that, however, departure is taken from the repulsion of the 
there-beent Ones, and so also attraction is set as coming externally 
to them, both are with their inseparableness still kept asunder 
as diverse determinations ; it has yielded itself, however, that not 
merely repulsion is presupposed by attraction, but just as much 
also there takes place the counterreference (coup) of repulsion to 


attraction , and the former has just as much its presupposition 
in the latter. 

By this determination they are inseparable, and at the same 
time they are determined as To-be-to and Limitation, each counter 
the other. Their To-be-to is their abstract determinateness as of 
Beents-in-themselves, which determinateness, however, is withal 
positively directed beyond itself, and refers itself to the other deter 
minateness, and thus by means of the other as other each is ; their 
self-dependency consists in this, that in this mediacy of being 
they are set as another determining for one another : Repulsion as 
setting of the Many, Attraction as setting of the One, the latter at 
the same time as negation of the Many, and the former as negation 
of their ideality in the One, so that only by means of repulsion 
attraction is attraction; and only by means of attraction, repulsion is 
repulsion. That therein, however, the mediation with self through 
other is rather in effect negated, and each of these determinations 
is mediation of itself with itself, this yields itself from their nearer 
consideration, and takes them back to the unity of their notion. 

In the first place, that each presupposes itself, refers itself in 
its presupposition only to itself, this is already present in the 
mutual bearing of Repulsion and Attraction while still only 

The relative repulsion is the reciprocal repulsion of the many 
ones which are conceived as finding themselves immediate, and 
already in existence there. But that there are many ones, is repul 
sion itself; the presupposition which it was supposed to have is 
only its own setting. Further, the determination of being which, 
in addition to their being set, was supposed to attach to the Ones 
by which they were prae or there beforehand belongs likewise 
to the repulsion. The repelling is that whereby the ones manifest 
and maintain themselves as ones, whereby they as such are. 
Their being is the repulsion itself ; it is thus not a There-being 
relative to another, but relates itself entirely only to its own self. 

The attraction is the setting of the One as such, of the real One, 
against which the many in There-being are determined as only 
idee l and disappearant. Attraction thus at once presupposes 
itself sets itself as out before to be ideellement in the form, that 
is, of the other ones, which otherwise are to be Beent-for-Self and 
Repellent-for-C^ers, and so also therefore for an attracting some 
thing. Against this determination of repulsion they attain ideality 
not only through relation to attraction, but it is presupposed, it is 


the in-itself-beent ideality of the Ones, in that they as Ones that 
conceived as attracting included are one and the same thing and 
undistinguished from one another. 

This its-own-self-prae-Setting (its own presupposition) of both 
elements, each per se, is further this, that each contains in itself 
the other as moment. The Self-presupposing generally is in one 
the setting itself as the negative of itself; Repulsion, and what is 
so presupposed is the same thing as what presupposes Attraction. 
That each in itself is only moment, is the transition of each out of 
itself into the other, is to negate itself in itself, and to set itself as 
the other of itself. In that the One as such is the coming-asunder- 
from-itself, it is itself only this, to set itself as its other, as the 
Many, and the Many are only equally this, to fall together into them 
selves and to set themselves as their other, as the One, and just in 
it only to refer themselves to themselves, each in its other just to 
continue itself there are thus also present, but virtually and 
unseparated, the coming-asunder-from-self (Repulsion) and the 
setting-of-self-as-one (Attraction). It is set, however, in respect of 
the relative repulsion and attraction, i.e., those whereby immediate 
there-beent ones are presupposed, that each itself is this negatipn of 
it in it, and so also consequently the continuity of it into its other. 
The repulsion of there-beent Ones is the self-conservation of the 
one by means of the mutual repulsion of the others, so that (1) 
the other ones are negated in it, the side of its There-being or of 
its Being-for-other, but this side is just thus attraction as the 
Ideality of the Ones and that (2) the One is in itself without 
reference to the Others ; but not only is the In-itself as such long 
since gone over into the Being-for-self, but in itself, by very deter 
mination, the one is said Becoming of Many. The Attraction of 
there-beent Ones is the ideality of the same and the setting of the 
One, in which thus it (attraction), as negation and as production 
of the One, sublates itself as setting of the one is in it the nega 
tive of itself, Repulsion. 

With this the evolution of Being-for-self is completed, and 
arrived at its result. The One as referring itself infinitely, i.e., as 
set negation of the negation to its own self, is the mediation or 
process, that it repels from itself itself as its absolute (i.e., abstract) 
otherwiseness (the Many), and, in that it refers itself to this its 
non-being, negatively, as sublating it, is just therein only the 
reference to its own self ; and One is only this Becoming, or such 
that in it the determination that it begins, i.e., that it is set as 


Immediate, as Bee nt and that likewise as result it has restored 
itself as One, i.e., the equally immediate, excludent One : this deter 
mination has disappeared ; the process which it [the One] is, sets 
and implies it always only as a thing sublated. The sublating, 
determined at first only as relative sublating, reference to other 
There-beent-ity, which reference is thus itself a different repulsion 
and attraction, demonstrates itself just thus to go over into the 
infinite reference of mediation through negation of the external 
references of Immediates and There-beents, and to have as result 
just that Becoming which in the retentionlessness of its moments 
is the collapse, or rather the going together with itself into simple 
immediacy. This Being, in the form which it has now attained, is 

To review shortly the moments of this Transition of Quality 
into Quantity : The Qualitative has for its ground-determination 
being and immediacy, in which immediacy the limit and the 
determiiiateness is so identical with the being of the something 
that the something itself with its alteration (that of the determin- 
ateness) disappears ; thus set it is determined as finity. Because of 
the immediacy of this unity, in which the difference has disappeared, 
which difference, however, is still in itself there (in the unity of 
Being and Nothing), this difference falls as otherwiseness in general 
out o/said unity. This reference to other contradicts the immediacy 
in which the qualitative determinateness is reference to self. This 
otherwiseness sublates itself in the infinitude of Beiug-for-self, 
which realises the difference (which, in the negation of the nega 
tion, it has in it and within itself) as one and many and as their 
references, and has raised the Qualitative into its veritable unity, 
i.e., into the unity that is set as no longer immediate but as self- 
comrnediating unity. 

This unity is thus (a) Being, only as affirmative, i.e., immediacy 
mediated with itself through the negation of the negation, Being 
is set as the unity that interpenetrates and pervades its own 
Determinatenesses, Limit, &c., which are set as sublated in it : (/3) 
There-being ; it is in this determination negation or determinate- 
ness as moment of the affirmative Being, no longer immediate, 
nevertheless, but reflected into itself, referent of self, not to other, 
but to self ; what is simpliciter what is determined in itself the 
One; the otherwiseness as such is itself Being-for-self: (y) Being- 
for-self, as that Being that continues itself all through the deter 
minateness, and in which the One and In-itself-determiued- 


ness is itself set as sublated. The One is at the same time as 
gone out beyond itself and determined as Unity, the One conse 
quently, the directly determined Limit, set as the Limit, which is 
none, which is in or by Being, but to which Being is indifferent, 
or which is indifferent to Being. 


The Kantian construction of matter by means of forces attracting and repelling. 

Attraction and Kepulsion, as is well known, are usually regarded 
as forces. It will be proper to compare this definition of them, 
and the dependent relations, with the notions which have come 
out in their regard. In the conception alluded to (of forces) they 
are considered as self-dependent, so that they refer themselves not 
through their nature to each other ; i.e., that each is not to be 
considered only a moment transient into its contrary, but as 
immovably and persistently opposed to the other. They are 
further conceived as coalescing in a Third, Matter ; so, however, 
that this Becoming into One [the coalescence] is not considered as 
their truth, but each is rather a First [a prime], and a Beent-in-and- 
for-self [a self-dependent], while matter or affections of it are set 
and produced by them. When it is said, that Matter has within 
itself the forces, there is understood by this unity of them a con 
nexion, but such that in it still they are at the same time presup 
posed as existent in themselves and free from each other. 

Kant, as is known, constructed matter out of the repulsive and 
attractive forces, or at least, as he expresses himself, brought forward 
the metaphysical elements of this construction. It will not be 
without interest to view this construction more closely. This 
metaphysical exposition of an object which seemed not only itself, 
but in its properties to belong only to experience, is for one part 
worthy of notice in this, that it, as an essay of (experiment with) 
the Notion, has at least given the impulse to the more recent 
philosophy of Nature, that philosophy which makes Nature its 
scientific ground, not as it is only sensibly given to be seen, but 
which construes its principles from the absolute Notion ; for another 
part also because stand has been frequently taken by said Kantian 
construction, and it has been considered a philosophical begin 
ning and foundation of physics. 

Such an existence as sensuous matter, is, indeed, no object of 


logic, just as little so as space and the forms of space. But there 
underlie the repulsive and attractive forces, so far as they are 
regarded as forces of sensuous matter, these same pure determina 
tions of the One and the Many and their mutual references, which 
have been just considered, and which I have named Eepulsion and 
Attraction because these names present themselves at nearest. 

Kant s procedure in the deduction of matter from these forces, 
named by him a construction, deserves not, when considered close, 
this name, unless every kind of reflexion, even the analytic, be name- 
able construction, as indeed for that matter later Nature-philosophers 
have given the name of construction to the most vapid raisonnement 
and the most groundless melange of an arbitrary imagination and a 
thought-less reflexion, which specially employed and everywhere 
applied the so-called Factors of Attraction and Eepulsion. 

Kant s procedure is at bottom analytic, and not constructive. 
He presupposes the conception of matter, and then asks what 
forces are necessary to produce its presupposed properties. Thus, 
therefore, on one side, he requires an Attractive force, because 
through Repulsion alone without Attraction no matter could properly 
exist. ( Anfangsgr. der Naturwissensch, S. 53, f.) On the other 
side he derives Eepulsion equally from matter, and alleges as 
ground of this, because we conceive of matter as impenetrable, and 
this because matter presents itself to the sense of touch, through 
which sense it manifests itself to us, in such a determination. 
Eepulsion therefore is, further, at once thought in the very notion 
of matter, because it is just immediately given with it ; but Attrac 
tion, on the contrary, is annexed to it through inferences. There 
underlies these inferences, however, what has just been said, 
namely, that a matter which had only repulsive force would not 
exhaust what we conceive by matter. This, as is plain, is the 
procedure of a cognition, reflective of experience, a procedure 
which first of all perceives peculiarities in the phenomena, places 
these as basis, and for the so-called explanation of them, assumes 
correspondent elements or forces which are to be supposed to pro 
duce said peculiarities of the phenomena. 

In regard to the difference spoken of as to how the repulsive 
force and as to how the attractive force is found by cognition in 
matter, Kant observes, further, that the attractive force belongs 
quite as much to the notion of Matter although it is not contained 
in it. Kant italicises this last expression. It is impossible to 
see, however, what is the distinction which is intended to be 


conveyed here ; for what belongs to the notion of a thing must 
veritably be contained in this thing. 

What makes the difficulty, and gives occasion to this empty 
expedient, consists in this, that Kant one-sidedly, arid quite 
beforehand, reckons in the notion of matter only that property of 
Impenetrability, which we are supposed to perceive by feeling, on 
which account the repulsive force, as the holding-off of another 
from itself, is to be supposed as immediately given. But again, if 
matter is to be considered as incapable of being there, of existing, 
without attraction, the ground for the assertion of this must be a 
conception of matter derived from sensible experience ; attraction, 
therefore, must equally be findable in such experience. It is 
indeed easy to perceive that Matter, besides its Being-for-self, 
which sublates the Being-for-other (offers resistance), has also a 
connectedness of what is for itself [of its parts, that is, identified 
with itself], extension and retention in space in solidity a very 
fast retention. Explanatory physical science demands for the 
tearing asunder, &c., of a body a force which shall be stronger than 
the mutual attraction of its particles. From this fact, reflexion 
may quite as directly deduce the force of attraction, or assume it 
to be given, as it did in the case of repulsion. In effect, when 
the Kantian reasonings from which attraction is to be deduced 
are looked at ( The proof of the theorem that the possibility of 
matter requires a force of attraction as second fundamental force, 
loc. cit.\ they are found to contain nothing but that, with mere 
Eepulsion, matter would not exist in space. Matter being pre 
supposed as occupying space, continuity is ascribed to it, as ground 
of which continuity there is assumed an attracting force. 

Granting now, then, to such so-called construction of matter, at 
most an analytic merit detracted from, nevertheless, by the 
imperfect exposition the fundamental thought is still highly to 
be prized the cognising of matter out of these two opposed char 
acters as its producing forces. Kant s special industry here is the 
banishment of the vulgar mechanical mode of conception, which 
takes its stand by the single character, the impenetrability, the 
Beent-for-self punctuality, and reduces the opposed character, the 
connexion of matter within itself, or of several matters mutually 
(these again being regarded as particular ones), to something 
merely external ; the mode of conception which, as Kant says, 
will not admit any moving forces but by Pressure and Push, 
i.e., but by influence from without. This externality of cognition 


always presupposes motion as already externally existent in 
matter, and has no thought of considering it something internal, 
and of comprehending it itself in matter, which latter is just thus 
assumed per se as motionless and inert. This position has only 
before it common mechanics, and not immanent and free motion. 
Although Kant removes this exernality in that he converts 
attraction, the mutual reference of material parts, so far as these 
are taken as mutually separated, or just of matter generally in its 
Out-of-its-self-ness, into a force of matter itself, still on the other 
side his two fundamental forces, within matter, remain external 
and self-dependent, each per se opposite the other. 

However null was the independent difference of these two forces 
attributed to them from this standpoint of cognition, equally null 
must every other difference show itself, which in regard to their 
specific nature is taken as something which is to pass for firmness 
and solidity, because they, when regarded in their truth as above, 
are only moments which go over into one another. I shall con 
sider these further differentiations as Kant states them. 

He defines, for example, attraction as a pervading force by 
which one matter is enabled to affect the particles of another even 
beyond the surface of contact im-mtdiately ; repulsion, on the 
contrary, as a surface-force by which matters are enabled to 
affect each other only in the plane of contact common to them. 
The reason adduced for the latter being only a surface-force is as 
follows : The parts in mutual contact limit the sphere of in 
fluence the one of the other, and the repelling force can affect no 
remoter part, unless through those that lie between ; an immediate 
influence of one matter on another, that should be supposed to go 
right through the parts or particles in consequence of an extensive 
force (so is the repulsive force called here) is impossible. ( S. 
ebendas. Erklar. u. Zusatze, S. 67.) 

It occurs at once to remark that, nearer or remoter particles of 
matter being assumed, there must arise, in the case of attraction 
also, the distinction that one atom would, indeed, act on another, 
but a third remoter one, between which and the first, or the attract 
ing one, the second should be placed, would enter directly, and in the 
first instance, the sphere of the interposed one next to it, and the 
first consequently could not exercise an immediate simple influence 
on the third one ; and thus we have a mediated influence as much for 
attraction as for repulsion. It is seen, further, that the true pene 
tration of an attracting force must consist in this alone, that all the 


particles of matter in and for themselves should attract, and not 
that a certain number should be passive while only one were active. 
As regards repulsion, it is to be remarked, that in the adduced 
passage, particles are represented in mutual contact, that is, we 
have at once the solidity and continuity of a ready-made matter 
which allows not any repulsion to take place through it. This 
solidity of matter, however, in which particles touch each other, that 
is, are no longer separated by any vacuum, already presupposes the 
remotion of repulsion ; particles in mutual contact are, following 
the sensuous conception of repulsion that is dominant here, to be 
taken as such that they do not repel each other. It follows quite 
tautologically, then, that there where the non-being of repulsion is 
assumed, there cannot be repulsion. But this yields no additional 
descriptive character as regards the repulsive force. If it be 
reflected on, however, that particles touching each other touch 
only so far as they still keep themselves out of each other, the 
repulsive force will be seen necessarily to exist, not merely on the 
surface of matter, but within the sphere which is to be supposed a 
sphere of attraction only. 

Further, Kant assumes that through attraction matter only 
occupies a space without filling it (loc. cit.} ; because matter 
does not by its attraction fill space, this attraction is able to act 
through the empty space, as no matter intervenes to set bounds to 
it. This conclusion is about of the same nature as that which 
supposed above something to belong to the notion of a thing, but 
not to be contained in the thing itself: only so can matter occupy 
yet not Jill a space. Then it was through repulsion, as it was first 
considered, that the ones mutually repelled each other, and mutu 
ally referred to one another only negatively that is, just through 
an empty space. But here it is attraction which preserves space 
empty ; through its connecting of the atoms it does not fill space, 
that is as much as to say, it maintains the atoms in a negative 
reference to one another. We see that Kant unconsciously encoun 
ters here what lies in the nature of the thing that he ascribes to 
attraction precisely the same thing that he, at the first view, 
ascribed to repulsion. In the very effort to establish and make 
fixed the difference of the two forces, it had already occurred, that 
the one was gone over into the other. Thus through repulsion 
matter was to fill a space, and consequently through it the empty 
space to disappear which attraction leaves. In effect, in that it 
eliminates empty space, it eliminates the negative reference of the 


atoms or ones, i.e., their repulsion ; i.e., repulsion is determined as 
the contrary of itself. 

To this obliteration of the differences there adds itself, still 
further, the confusion that, as was remarked in the beginning, the 
Kantian exposition of the opposed forces is analytic, and through 
out the whole investigation, matter, which was to have been derived 
only from these its elements, appears from the first ready-formed 
and fully constituted. In the definition of the surface-force and 
of the pervading force, both are assumed as moving forces, whereby 
matters are to be supposed capable of acting the one way or the 
other. They are enunciated thus, then, as forces not such that 
only through them should matter exist, but such that through them 
matter, already formed, should only be moved. So far, however, as 
there is question of forces by means of which various matters might 
act on each other and impart movement, this is quite another thing 
than the determination and connexion which they should have as 
the moments of matter as such. 

The same antithesis, as here between Repulsion and Attraction, 
presents itself further on as regards the centripetal and centrifugal 
forces. These seem to display an essential difference, in that in 
their sphere there stands fast a one, a centre, towards which the 
other ones comport themselves as not beent-for-self ; the difference 
of the forces, therefore, can be supported on or by this presupposed 
difference of a central one and of others as, relatively to it, not 
self-subsistent. So far, however, as they are applied in explana 
tion for which purpose, as in the case also of repulsion and 
attraction, they are assumed in an opposed quantitative relation, so 
that the one increases as the other decreases it is the movement 
which they are to explain, and it is its inequality which they are 
to account for. One has only to take up, however, any ordinary 
relative explanation as of the unequal velocity of a planet in its 
course round its primary to discern the confusion which pre 
vails in it and the impossibility of keeping the quantities distinct ; 
and so the one, which in the explanation is taken as decreasing, 
may be always equally taken as increasing, and vice versd. To make 
this evident, however, would require a more detailed exposition 
than can be here given ; all the necessary particulars, nevertheless, 
are to be found again in the discussion of the Inverted Relation. 





THE language he has encountered must appear very strange to the 
uninitiated English reader, and, perhaps, he may be inclined to 
attribute the circumstance to imperfection of translation. Let 
him be assured, however, that in German, and to the German 
student who approaches Hegel for the first time, the strangeness 
of the initiatory reception is hardly less repulsive than it has 
but even now proved to himself. There is no valid reason for 
despair, then, as regards intelligence here, because it is a trans 
lation that is before one, and not the original. To due endeavour, 
the Hegelian thought will gather round these English terms quite 
as perfectly, or nearly so, as round their German equivalents. 
Comment nevertheless is wanted, and will facilitate progress. 

Bestimmen and its immediate derivatives constitute much the 
largest portion of the speech of Hegel. The reader, indeed, feels 
for long that with Bestimmung and Bestimmung he is bestimmt (or 
wrstimmt) into Unbestimmtheit ; and even finds himself, perhaps,, 
actually execrating this said Bestimmung of Hegel as heartily as 
ever Aristotle denounced or renounced the Idea of Plato. Stimme 
means voice, and the action of Bestimmen is to supply voice to what 
previously had none. As already said, then, Hegel s Bestimmung 
is a sort of naming of Adam : it is a process of logical determina 
tion a process in which concrete determinateness, or determinate 
concretion, grows and grows in organised complexity up from 
absolute abstract indeterminateness or from absolutely indeter 
minate abstraction to a consummate absolute. To Hegel what is, 


is thought ; and the life of thought can only be logical determina 
tion, or the distinguishing (differentiating) of indefinite abstraction 
(the beginning of thought) into ultimate concrete definiteness (the 
end of thought) by means of the operation of the faculties of 
thought (Simple Apprehension, Judgment, and Reason), to the 
resolution of the Begriff (the An sick, the indefinite Universal} 
through the Ur-theil (the Fur sick, the separation into Particulars, 
into Many, as against One), and the production of the Schluss (the 
concrete Singular), which is the All of Thought, Thought elevated 
into its ultimate and complete concretion as the absolute Subject 
(which again is the ultimate An und fur sick). This is a very 
complete expression for the industry of Hegel. Bestimmen, then, 
is to develop in abstract thought all its own constitutive, consecu 
tive, and co-articulated members, or elements, or principles. 
Bestimmen attaches or develops a Bestimmung, and produces 
Bestimmtheit. Bestimmen is to be-voice, to vocify, voculate, render 
articulate, to define, determine, or distinguish into the implied con 
stitutive variety: even to accentuate will be seen to involve the 
same function ; or we may say modulate, then modify that is, 
dis-cern into modi the native constituent modi. Bestimmen is 
the reverse of generalisation ; instead of evolving a summum 
genus, it involves a species infima, or rather an individuum not 
indeed infimum, but summum. Generalisation throws out differ 
entiae, Bestimmung (specification, particularisation) adds them. The 
one abstracts from difference and holds by identity ; the other 
abstracts from identity and holds by difference. Bestimmen, then, 
is to produce, not logical extension, but logical comprehension 
(Inhalt), logical determination ; it adds differentiae or significates ; 
it means to specify, to differentiate, to distinguish, to qualify, 
characterise, &c., or more generally, just to define or determine. 
Bestimmtheit has the sense in it of the past participle : it is a 
differentia-turn, speciftcatum, qualificatum a determinate, a definite 
in general, or the quality of determinateness and definiteness ; 
hence tne meanings attached by Hegel himself to it of form, 
product, &c., and of element when that word signifies, not a 
constituting, but a constituted element. Bestimmung may refer 
to the process as a whole, but it generally applies to a resultant 
member of this process : it is what corresponds to a predicate ; 
it is a significate, a specificate, a differentia, &c. ; it is an attribute, 
a property, a peculiarity, a speciality, a particularity, a quality; it 
is a principle, a sign, an exponent, a constituent, and, in that 


, an element also. It may be translated character, char 
acteristic, article, member, modus, determination, definition, trait, 
feature. Then looking to the use of the trait, the senses vocation, 
destination, &c., are brought in. Qualification is another very 
useful word for it, and so likewise are form, function, factor, term, 
specification, expression, value, even affection, state. Bestimmtheit, 
then, here (in the text before us), is determinateness, the char 
acter] sticity, the specificity, the definitivity of a thing, the one 
single vis or virtue that makes it what it is and that is always 
due to Quality. 

Being, Seyn, to understand this word, abstract from all par 
ticular being, and think of being in general, or of the absolute 
generality of being. There must be no sense of personality 
attached to it, as is so common in England ; nor, indeed, any 
sense of anything positive. The common element in the whole 
infinite chaos of all and everything that is, is being. Seyn, in 
Germany, often in Hegel himself, means the abstraction of 
sensuous Isness : but here it is more general than that ; it is the 
quality of Isness pur et simple; it brings with it a sense of 
comprehensive universality. Carlyle ( Frederick the Great, 
vol. iii. p. 408) says, " Without Being," as my friend Oliver was 
wont to say, " Well-being " is not possible." Cromwell had 
soldiers and other concrete materiel in his eye, when he said 
being here ; still put as being, these are abstractly put. In like 
manner, we have here to put, not soldiers, &c. only, but all that 
is, abstractly as being. It refers, in fact, to the absolutely 
abstract, to the absolutely generalised thought of being. In short, 
being as being must be seen to be a solid simple without inside or 
outside, centre or sides : it is simply to be taken an ihm selber, 
absolutely abstractly ; it is the unit into which all variety, being 
reflected, has disappeared : it is the an sick of such variety. 

The meaning of Immediate, Unmittelbar, will be got by practice : 
what is abstractly, directly present. Anything seen, felt, &c., is im 
mediate. Being, then, is simply what is indefinitely immediate 
to us. It (the term immediate) is derived from the logical use 
of it as in Immediate Inferences, i.e., inferences without inter 
mediate proposition. Essentity or Essence, Wesen, is inner or 
true, or noumenal being as opposed to outer, apparent, sensuous, 
or phenomenal being. It is the principle of what is or shows. 
It may be translated also inbeing, or principial being. By practice, 
however, the Hegelian Wesen will attach itself even to Essence 


once tlie thought is seen. It is evident that, the thought of pure 
or abstract Seyn being realised, there is no call for any reference 
to the thought of Wesen. Absolutely abstract being seems self- 
substantial, and awakens no question of a whence or what ; it is 
thus free from any determination which it might receive by being 
related to Essence : in this absolute generalisation, indeed, Seyn 
and Wesen have coalesced and become indistinguishable. But it 
is as opposed to Wesen that Seyn acquires the sensuous shade 
already spoken of. In that contraposition, Seyn is phenomenal 
show ; it is the Seyn of Wesen, and so outer, and very outer a 
palpable crust, as it were, which very tangibly is. As yet, as we 
have said, our Seyn is the abstraction from all that is, and so the 
common element of all that is. It is to be said and seen, also, 
that the two shades of Seyn tend to run together, for, after all, 
each at last only implies immediacy to consciousness. 

In itself (An sich\ italicised, means in itself as virtually, irn- 
pliciter, or potentially in itself: it is the Svva/uu? of Aristotle. At 
the end of the first paragraph, we have also an in its own self 
which is not italicised : this is a translation of the peculiarly 
Hegelian German, an ihm selber, an innovation on his own 
tongue to which Hegel was compelled in order to distinguish 
another and current shade of meaning which might confuse the 
sense he wished to attach to an sich. An ihm selber, in fact, 
implies, not the mere latent potentiality of an sich, but a certain 
overt potentiality, a certain manifestation, a certain propria persona 
actuality, formal presence, a certain assonance to the Aristotelian 
eVreXe xeta. Hegel intimates, as we saw above (pp. 256-7), that an 
sich, with the accent not on sich, but on an, may be viewed as equiva 
lent to an ihm. But an sich, on the whole, in the passage referred 
to, has taken on a shade of meaning quite peculiar to the place (Lk. 
i. pp. 126-7). In this latter case what is an ihm is to be regarded 
as Seyn-fiir-Anderes, and so outwardly an ihm (in it}. Hegel 
illustrates the meaning here by the common expressions, there is 
nothing in him or in it, or there is something in that, and seems 
to see implied in these a certain parallelism or identity between 
what is latent in itself, and what is overt in it. The addition of 
the selbst or selber introduces another shade, and renders the task 
of a translation still more difficult ; for in English an ihm selber is 
in itself quite as much as an sich. To separate the words, as in 
the first German phrase, and say in it self, would be hardly 
allowable. Perhaps the plan actually adopted is as good as any : 


that is, to italicise in itself when it stands for an sick, and to 
leave it without such distinction, or write it, as here, in its own 
self (also without italics), when it represents an ihm selbst or 
seller. What is intended to be conveyed by the text Seyn an ihm 
selber, Being in its own self, is not hard to make out : it means 
being as (when abstractly thought) it is there before us overtly in 
its own self, and without reference to another or any other. An 
sich, then, implies potential latency ; An ihm selber, irrespective 
selfness, or irrespective, self-dependent overtness; and An ihm, 
such overtness connected with and equivalent to such latency. 
Again, these terms will occur in Hegel, not always in their 
technical senses, but sometimes with various shades, and very 
much as they occur in other writers. It must be confessed, 
indeed, that it is these little phrases which constitute the torment 
of everyone who attempts to translate Hegel. An, for example, 
in the phrase an ihm, is often best rendered by the preposition by. 
An, in fact, is not always coincident with the English in. An 
denotes proximity, and is often best translated by at or by : nay, in 
all of the three phrases above, the substitution of at or by for in 
will help to illustrate the contained meaning. Consider the phrase 
Das Seyn scheint am Wesen, which we may translate, the 
phenomenon shows in the noumenon ; would not the sense seem 
to be more accurately conveyed by, the phenomenon shows by the 
noumenon, or even by, the phenomenon shows at the noumenou ? 
"When an refers to overtness or manifestation, then, we may trans 
late it by* 

There-being or Here-being is the translation of Daseyn, and is an 
unfortunate necessity. ^Existence might have answered here; but 
Existence, being reserved by Hegel to name a much later finding, 
is taken out of our hands. What a German means by Daseyn is, 
this mortal sojourn, this sublunary life, this being here below ; 
and what Hegel means by it, is the scientific abstract thought 
implied in such phrases. It is thus mortal state, or the quality of 
sublunariness ; it is existential definiteness, or definite existen- 
tiality, and implies reference thus to another or others. It is 
determinate being, Here-being, There-being, Now-being, or, best 
perhaps, b-being or That -being ; it is the quasi -permament 
moment of being that manifests itself between Coming to be, and 
Ceasing to be; it is the to-be (Seyn) common to both phrases : and 

* It is to be borne in mind, too, that the Ansich of a thing is the special inner 
being of it, the essential truth of it. N. 


this constitutes the perfectly correct abstract description, or 
thought (the notion), of every single Daseyn or Here-being, 
or So-being, and consequently of Daseyn, Here-being, So-being, 
as such.* 

Being-for-self is the literal rendering of Fursichseyn ; which, 
indeed, cannot be translated otherwise. It means the reference 
of all the constituents of an individuality, of a personality, of a 
self, to the punctual unity of that individuality, or personality, or 
self: it is the focus in the draught of the whole huge whirlpool, 
that whereby its Many are One. For, however, does not com 
pletely render Fur. The German, when much intruded on, 
exclaims, One can never be Fur sick here! Vowels also are 
described as letters which fur sich sound, consonants not so. Fur 
sick, then, is the Latin per se and a little more : it expresses not 
only independence of others, but occupation for oneself. Were a 
Voter, when asked, Whom are you for ? to reply, For myself, 
he would convey the German fur mich. That is fur sich which 
is on its own account. By Fursichseyn, Being-for-self, then, we 
are to understand a being ~by one s own self and for one s own 

Generally, in reading Hegel, let us bear both the current and 
the etymological meanings in mind. That finite, for example, is 
literally ended or limited, infinite unended or unlimited, must not 
be lost sight of. Finally, I will add this, that almost all the tech 
nical terms of Hegel appear in Kant *also, especially in his Logic, 
where much light is thrown upon them as used, not by the latter 
only, but by the former as well. 

* When your servant announces to you, The Postman ist da, that is Da-Seyn. 
This environment of miscellaneousness is Daseyn ; and every item of it is a Dasey- 
endes your pen, ink, chair, table, &c. These are all finites items of finite exist 
ence, Daseyn. Schelling (WW. i. 309) has this : It is sufficiently striking that 
the language has so exactly distinguished between the Dasyenden (that is in space 
and time) and the Seyenden (that is independent of any such condition ). A Da- 
seyendes what is un-mediatedly , as though by direct sense, face to face with us is 
also an immediate. 

I may add here what has its cue, p. 385. To call the categories functions 
of apperception is quite common ; but then Ego to Kant is only a logical point 
and wholly empty, where is there room for functions ? But again, if (ii- 733 n.) 
dieses Vermbgen ist der Verstand selbst, and understanding is judgment, &c. ! Kant, 
in the Deduction of the Categories, if even with no thought of functions, certainly 
gives an objective rdle to apperception. N. 



A, Pure, Being. B. Nothing. C. Becoming: 1. Unity of Being 

and Nothing. 

THE explanation of terms already given seems sufficient for the 
above sections also ; and we may now apply ourselves to some 
interpretation of the particular matter, confining our attention for 
the present to what of text precedes Remark 1. We shall rely 
upon the reader perusing and re-perusing, and making himself 
thoroughly familiar with all he finds written in the paragraphs 

All that they present has remained hitherto a universal stum 
bling-block, and a matter of hissing, we may say at once, to the 
whole world. Probably, indeed, no student has ever entered here 
without finding himself spell-bound and bewildered, spell-bound and 
bewildered at once, spell-bound and bewildered if he has had the 
pertinacity to keep at them and hold by them perhaps for years. 
When the bewilderment yields, however, he will find himself, it 
is most likely, we shall say, putting some such questions as the 
following : 1. What has led Hegel to begin thus ? 2. What does 
he mean by these very strange, novel, and apparently senseless 
statements ? 3. What can be intended by these seemingly silly 
and absurd transitions of Being into Nothing, and again of both 
into Becoming? 4. What does the whole thing amount to; or 
what is the value of the whole business ? These questions being 
satisfactorily answered, perhaps Hegel will at last be found 

1. What has led Hegel to begin thus ? To this question, the 
answer is brief and certain : Hegel was led to begin as he did in 
consequence of a profound consideration of all that was implied 
in the Categories, and other relative portions of the philosophy, of 


Kaut. But in order to awaken intelligence and carry conviction 
here, it is obviously incumbent upon us to do what we can to 
reproduce the probable course of Hegel s thinking when engaged 
in the consideration alluded to. No doubt, for a full explanation, 
there were necessary some preliminary exposition of the industry 
of Kant ; but, simply assuming such, we hope still to be able to 
describe at present Hegel s operations, so far as Kant is concerned, 
not unintelligibly.* 

The speculations peculiar to Hume generally, and more especi 
ally those which bear on Causality, constitute the Grundlage, the 
fundamen, the mother-matter of the products of Kant. Now in 
this relation (of Causality) there are two terms or factors, the one 
antecedent and the other consequent ; the former the cause, and 
the latter the effect. But if we take any cause by itself and 
examine it d priori, we shall not find any hint in it of its corre 
sponding effect : let us consider it ever so long, it remains self- 
identical only, and any mean of transition to another to aught 
else is undiscoverable. But again, we are no wiser, should we 
investigate the matter a posteriori: that the effect follows the 
cause, we see ; but why it follows the reason of the following 
the precise mean of the nexus the exact and single copula this 
we see not at all. The source of the nexus being thus undiscover 
able, then, whether & priori or h posteriori, it is evident that 
causality is on the same level as what are called Matters of Fact, 
and that it cannot pretend to the same authority as what again are 
called delations of Ideas. Did it belong to these latter examples 
of which are the axioms and other determinations of Mathematic 
it would be both necessary and intelligibly necessary ; but as it 
belongs only to the former class, the weight of its testimony its 
validity can amount to probability only. That a straight line is 
the shortest possible from any here to any there, I see to be uni 
versally and necessarily true from Kelations of Ideas ; but that 
wood burns and ice melts, I see to be true only as Matters of 
Fact, which are so, but might, so far as any reason for the state of 
the fact is concerned, be otherwise : they are, in truth, just matters 
of fact, and relations of ideas do not exist in them. Matters of 
Fact, then, are probable ; but Relations of Ideas are apodictic, at 
once necessary and universal. Causality now belonging to the 
former, it is evident that the nexus between the fire and the burn- 

* The Text-Book to Kant has been already referred to as realising a contemplated 
preliminary exposition. N. 


ing of wood (say) is but of a probable nature. The fire burns the 
wood, I perceive ; but it might not : the affair concerns contingent 
matter only, and no examination of the relation, either d priori or 
a posteriori, can detect any reason of necessity. Causality, then, 
as presenting itself always in matters of fact, and as exhibiting 
neither d priori nor d posteriori any relation of ideas, cannot claim 
any authority of necessity. Why, then, when I see a cause, do I 
always anticipate the effect ; and why, when I see an effect, do I 
always refer to a cause ? Shut out, for an answer here, from the 
relations of ideas, and restricted to matters of fact, I can find, 
after the longest and best consideration, no ground for my antici 
pation but custom, habit, or the association (on what is called the 
law of the Association of Ideas) of things in expectation which I 
have found once or oftener associated in fact; for so habitual 
becomes the association, that even once may be found at times to 
suffice. Thus far Hume. 

But now Kant who has been much struck by the curious new 
views so ingeniously signalised by Hume, and who will look into 
the matter and not shut his eyes, nor exclaim (as simply Reid did, 
in the panic of an alarmed, though very worthy and intelligent, 
divine), God has just put all that into our souls, so be off with 
your sceptical perplexings and perplexities. (Neither will he 
pragmatically assert, like Brown, Causality is a relation of an 
invariable antecedent and an invariable consequent, and absurdly 
think that by the use and not the explanation of this term invari 
able, which is the whole problem, he has satisfactorily settled all !) 
now Kant, who is neither a Reid nor a Brown, but a man as 
able as Hume himself, steps in and says, this nexus suggested by 
you (Hume) between a cause and its effect, is of a subjective 
nature only ; that is, it is a nexus in me, and not in them (the 
cause and the effect) ; but such nexus is inadequate to the facts. 
That this unsupported paper falls to the ground the reason of that 
is not in me surely, but in the objects themselves ; and the reason 
of my expectation to find the same connexion of events (as between 
unsupported paper and the ground} is not due to something I find 
in myself, but to something I find in them. I cannot intercalate 
any custom or habit of my own as the reason of that connexion. 
True, as you say, neither d priori nor a posteriori can I detect the 
objective copula ; and true it is also that we have before us only 
contingent matter or Matters of Fact : nevertheless, the nexus is 
such that mere custom is inadequate to explain it. The nexus is 


such, indeed, that (as Brown saw *) it introduces an element of 
invariability, and custom evidently cannot reach as far as that ; so 
that the question remains, why are the objects invariably con 
nected in our expectation why, in short, is the relation of causal 
ity as necessary and as universal in its validity as any axiom of 
Mathematic, as any one of those very Relations of Ideas from which 
it has but this moment been expressly excluded ? Every change 
(effect} has its cause : this is a truth of no probable nature ; we say, 
we see that cork floats, but it might not; but we cannot say we 
see that change has its cause, but it might not : on the contrary, 
we feel, we know, that change must and always have its 
cause. Now, the source of this Necessity and Universality 
that is the question, and lie where it may, it very plainly can 
not be an effect of any mere subjective condition of ourselves, 
of any mere anticipation through habit. Hume certainly has 
shut us out though very oddly he himself (in custom) had 
recourse to such from all a posteriori sources ; for whatever 
is known ct posteriori, or by experience, is but a Matter of 
Fact, and therefore probable only, or contingent only. But, if 
the source cannot be b, posteriori, it must be a priori. Hume, to 
be sure, talks of an a priori consideration in this very reference 
(causality) ; but there must be another and truer & priori than 
the a priori of Hume. Now, first of all, what is it that we name 
the a posteriori ? That is a posteriori, the knowledge of which is 
due to experience alone ; and the organ of experience is percep 
tion, sensation, inner or outer ; inner for affections from within, 
and outer for affections from without. But Locke traces all our 
knowledge to affection either of outer or of inner sense, therefore 
all our knowledge must be a posteriori. But this is manifestly 
erroneous ; for in that case, there could be no apodictic, no neces 
sary and universal knowledge at all : but there is such knowledge 
universally admitted, too in what are called relations of ideas ; 
and causality seems itself though with a difference another 
instance of the same kind. This latter knowledge, then (the 
apodictic), cannot be & posteriori, and, consequently, it must be a 
priori. But besides sensuous affection, we possess only intel- 

* It is sufficiently curious, in the end, to perceive that Brown, when he said 
invariable connexion -is Causality, and we know all the cases of such connexion by the 
will of the Divine Being, 1 fancied himself to be saying something against Reid, or 
something for or against Hume or just fancied himself to be philosophising 
indeed ! 


lectual function: if the former be the source and seat of the a 
posteriori, then the latter may be the source and seat of the & 
priori. But that being so, the necessity of causality must still 
have its seat in the mind, in us ; or, in other words, its source 
must be subjective and we have just declared a subjective 
source impossible ! Again, we have just said also that causality 
concerns contingent matter: change itself is only known d, pos 
teriori or by experience ! Here seem great difficulties. How 
can what is only h posteriori obey what can only be h priori ? 
And how can an h priori or necessary truth have a subjective 
source, or belong to the mind only ? As has been seen already 
also and just said, this necessity of causality is not the only truth 
that cannot be fi posteriori ; we are led to enlarge the problem to 
the admission of the whole sphere named Relations of Ideas. 
Relations of Ideas ! The phrase belongs to Hume himself, and he 
admits the necessity involved : did Hume, then, never ask whence 
are they ? and did he unthinkingly fancy that, though Ideas 
themselves as but derivative from Matters of Fact were con 
tingent and probable, the Relations that subsisted among them 
might be apodictic and necessary ? Had Hurne stumbled on 
such considerations as these, he would have been led into a new 
inquiry ; he would have been forced to abandon his theory of all 
our knowledge being limited to Impressions of Sense and resultant 
Ideas of Reflexion ; he would have been forced to see that, as 
there are apodictic truths, there must be a source of knowledge & 
priori as well as d posteriori, and that all our ideas are not neces 
sarily copies of our impressions. Stimulated by the example of 
causality, too, he might have been led to see that the element of 
necessity did not restrict itself to Relations of Ideas only, but 
associated itself with contingent matter, with Matters of Fact as 
well; and might have asked, therefore, are there not, besides 
causality, other such examples of an apodictic force in & posteriori 
or contingent matter ? what is the whole sphere of necessary 
knowledge, as well pure as mixed? and what is the peculiar 
source of all such knowledge ? In this way, he might have been 
led to perceive that apodictic matter, impossibly & posteriori, must 
be & priori, and an a priori which had attained new reaches. He 
had talked, for example, of examining a cause & priori in search of 
its effect, as has been already remarked: but, after all, this & 
priori is & priori only as regards the effect ; after all, any know 
ledge gained by the examination would be of an & posteriori 


nature. The true in priori, then, must be anterior, not to this and 
that experience, but to all experience ; it must concern a know 
ledge that is not empirical, that reaches us not from elsewhere 
through a channel of sense. Plainly, then, it must be an element 
confined to the mind itself ; and plainly also, lie where it may, it 
must lie elsewhere than in sensation. Now, it is this elsewhere 
than in sensation that gives the cue and clue to the possibility of 
an element of necessity subjective as in us, but of an objective 
VALIDITY and of an objective HOLE. Sensation being excluded, 
there remains for us the understanding only ; and it is not so 
difficult to surmise that principles of the understanding a faculty 
that concerns insight, discernment, evidence may bring with 
them their own authority. The contributions of sensation, for 
example, are wholly subjective in this sense, that they are mine 
only, or yours only, or his only that they are incapable of com 
munication, and, consequently, incapable likewise of comparison. 
An odour, a savour, a touch, a sound, a colour, affects me, affects 
you, affects him ; but the affection of each is peculiar and proper 
to himself; we cannot show each other our affections; that is, 
they are incommunicable and incapable of comparison. But it is 
different with the contributions of understanding : these bring 
their own evidence ; this evidence is the same to all of us ; it can 
be universally communicated, and universally compared. Now, a 
validity of this nature may be correctly named objective, for it is 
independent of every subject. An objective role, again, implies that the 
possessor of such rdle presents itself with and in objects. A priori 
principles, then, will be principles peculiar to the understanding 
only ; subjective in that they have their source in the mind, in us, 
but objective in that they possess a universal and necessary validity 
independent of every subject ; and objective, perhaps, also in this, 
that though subjective in origin, they present themselves with and 
in objects in every event of actual experience. In this manner, we 
can see the possibility of an apodictic element both pure and 
mixed. In fact, we see that the whole business was opened, 
when we opposed sensuous affection to intellectual function, and 
assigned the d posteriori to the one and the d priori to the other. 
This very sentence, indeed, is the key to German Philosophy ; it 
is a single general expression for the operations as well of Hegel 
as of Kant. German Philosophy, as we all know, begins with the 
question: How are Synthetic Judgments a priori possible ? Now 
to this question, the answer of Kant and the answer is his 


system is, Intellectual Function with the apriori seusuous forms, 
or sensuous species Space and Time ; while the answer of Hegel 
implying in his case a system also is, Intellectual Function alone.* 
But to apply this to Causality how find in the mind a principle 
correspondent to something so very outward and a posteriori, and 
yet so apodictic and necessary ? Now the intellect, or the under 
standing, is just Judgment ; and Judgment has functions, of which 
functions the various classes of propositions (which are but 
decisions or judgments of Judgment) are the correspondent Acts. 
Now the hypothetical class of propositions points to a function of 
Judgment which we may name Reason and Consequent. Evi 
dently at once here is a function of Judgment, the sequence of 
the elements of which is exactly analogous to the sequence of 
the elements of Causality. The state of the case, however, is not 
yet free from great difficulty. Assuming the function of Reason 
and Consequent to be the mental archetype of Causality, how are 
we to connect it with contingent matter, and reduce it into a 
relation which within us as Reason and Consequent comes to 
us actually from without in the shape of innumerable real causes 
and innumerable real effects ? This very important portion so 
suggestive as it proved to Hegel of Kant s industry is wholly 
unknown in England, and seems to have been universally 
neglected (unless by Hegel) in G-ermany. If the reader will 
take the trouble to turn up the works of Sir William *Hamilton, 
he will find Kant s theory relegated to that class which names 
Causality only a special and peculiar mental principle, and 
nothing more. Of the deduction of the principle and in a 
System of such from the very structure of the mind itself, and 
of the laborious succession of links whereby it is demonstrated to 
add itself to outward facts and come back to us with the same, 
there is not one word in Hamilton. He knows only that Kant 
opines Causality to be a peculiar mental principle ! In short, no 
Ahnung, not even a boding of the true state of the case, seems ever 

* The antithesis of matters of fact and relations of ideas is virtually identical with 
that of sensuous affection and intellectual function. Unnamed, it underlies the whole 
thing. Hume shut himself out from relations of ideas by erroneously seeing (in 
Causality, &c. ) matters of fact only. Kant was driven by the evidence or peculiar 
validity of causality to what was in effect relations of ideas. Hegel, in effect, has 
only cleared relations of ideas into their system that crystal skeleton which, the 
whole truth of the concrete, of sensuous affection, of matters of fact, underlies and 
supports the same. Of this, so to speak, invisible skeleton Causality is but one of 
the bones. The above answer put to Kant is to Hegel the What that is asked 
for by Jacobi gee back, p. 232. N. 


to have dawned on this great German scholar, who knew the 
Germans just so well and intimately that he annihilated them all ! 
It is amusing to observe the self-assured Sir William fooling 
himself to the top of his bent with his sharp distinctions and 
well-poised divisions about Kant violating the law of parsimony, 
postulating a new and express principle, while he, for his own vast 
part, on the contrary, &c. &c. ! ! ! Hamilton, however, introduces 
into his own theory (!) a certain relativity of time ; and relativity 
of time but with something of a claim to coherency and sense, 
the while belongs the theory of Kant also. Now, one can 
believe that Hamilton was at least an ardent manipulator of the 
leaves of books. 

Time it was that became in the hands of Kant the medium of 
effecting the reduction in question, or that connexion between the 
inner and the outer which was manifestly so necessary. It will 
not be required of us at present, however, to track the probable 
heuristic course of Kant any further in this direction. Suffice it 
to say, that the desire to incorporate an inner law with outer 
bodies especially in such a reference as Causality necessarily 
led Kant to a consideration of Space and Time. The result of 
this consideration was, that space and time, though perceptive 
objects and so far sensuous, were a priori and so far intellectual, 
so far appertinent to the mind itself. In this way, there was a 
priori or native to the mind, not only function, but affection : both 
being side by side in the mind, then, function had affection in its 
clutch, or Unity had a Many on which it might exercise its energy. 
A schema, an d priori schema was thus formed, into which matter 
from without that is, empirical or a posteriori matter had to fit 
itself to the eventual production of the formed, of the rational, 
of the ruled and regulated universal context of Experience. 

Indeed, thought Kant, how can it be otherwise ? The a posteriori 
is but affection : we are, of course, acted on from without, but we 
know only the resultant affections set up. These are within us : 
they have no system in themselves, they are wholly contingent : 
this system which they so much require, they can only obtain 
within us, and the understanding alone is what is adequate to the 
want. In the end, the affections of sense were found to be con 
strued into the formed universe, through the a priori perceptive 
spectra, Space and Time, and under the synthetic energy of the 
various functions of Apperception.* Lastly, the various syntheses 
* See Note, p. 327 at end. 


of these functions were named Categories. Causality, then, is but 
a function of Apperception, externalised into, and coming back to 
us from, or with, actual outer objects, through the media, sensuous 
but & priori, or & priori but sensuous, of Space and Time. Now, 
observe what the world has become ! It is now wholly in us ; 
but we to it are quite formal ; we are but the subjectivity that 
actualises it, as it were, into life ; it is function and affection it 
is the matter within us: abstracting from ourselves then, that 
matter of function and affection remains, and the world is this : 
There are intellectual Syntheses (Categories), there are Space and 
Time, there are Empirical Affections. But, narrowly looked at 
and this is a consequence of Kant s own industry, though it never 
occurred to Kant empirical affections, as well as space and time, 
are but externalisations of the categories, are but outwardly 
what the categories are inwardly. The categories, then, are 
truly what is; the categories are the true essence of the 
universe : in the categories we have to look for the ultimate prin 
ciples, and the ultimate principle of everything that is. This is 
what occurred to Hegel ; and it is here that he receives the torch 
from the hands of Kant, and proceeds to carry it further. Intellec 
tual Function is the secret, then : almost it would seem as if the 
work of Kant and Hegel were but a new analysis of the human 
mind, a new statement of its constituent elements, an identification 
of this mind and these elements with, an enlargement of this mind 
and these elements to, the mind and elements of God and all so 
that creation should be seen to be but the other of this mind and these 
elements to be but the external counterpart of these, its internal 
archetype and archetypes. Now this is probably the shortest and 
clearest general view we have yet attained to ; but we cannot 
stop here the uninitiated reader must be carried more deeply 
into the details still, before he can be dismissed as competently 
informed. Nevertheless, it will always be of use to bear in mind 
that the ultimate proposition of Hegel seems to be this: To 
know all the Functions which Affections obey, and to demonstrate 
the presence of the former everywhere in the latter, would be at 
once to know the Absolute, and to complete Philosophy. 

Let us look well at these categories, then, says Hegel, and 
consider them in their own absolute truth. First of all, then, there 
are the four capital Titles, as Kant names them, Quantity, Quality, 
Relation, and Modality. Now, of these the first three are evi 
dently objective and material, while the last is only subjective 


and formal : the first three concern the constitution and construc 
tion of objects themselves, the last only their relation to us. But 
to the development of the absolute world, we abstract from our 
selves, and it would seem, therefore, as if we must abstract also 
from this modality of Kant. Things exist in Quantity, Quality, 
and Relation ; and this division seems complete in itself. As for 
Subjectivity and it is subjectivity that modality involves it is a 
sphere apart; Subjectivity, in short, implies Tilings and something 
more. Things have their own laws ; but Subjectivity appears in 
an element which, while implying laws of its own, involves sub 
jection to those of things also. Subjectivity, then, appears a 
higher stage, and it seems necessary to complete things or objec 
tivity first. 

The first glance of Hegel, then, eliminates for the nonce mod 
ality, and we have to see him now employed on Quantity, Quality, 
and Eelation. Now, are these the most universal of all objective 
categories, and are they complete ? Again, this being so, are they 
deducible the one from the other, and all from a common principle 
which is obviously the First and the Fundament ? The categories 
being the Absolute, being tr . - What is, it is evident that their 
completion and in a system would constitute, at last, Philo 
sophy. They cannot, thei be left standing as we receive them 
from Kant. Notwithstanding that Kant derives them from the 
functions of Judgment, actual analysis fails ; they have not 
in him the architectonic oneness and fullness which he himself 
desiderates, but rather that rhapsodic appearance of undeduced- 
ness and incompleteness which he himself abhors. They 
look meagre, disconnected, arbitrary : we instinctively refuse 
to accept them as the inner and genetic archetypes of all 
that is. We must be better satisfied in their regard : they 
must be larger and fuller somehow : we must trace them 
both up to their necessary source, and down into all the rami 
fications of their completed system. In this way, we shall 
have the crystal of the universe, the diamond net into which 
the whole is wrought, God and the thoughts of God before the 
birth of time or a single finite intelligence, or even entity. 
Idealism thus would be finished and complete. Thought would 
constitute the universe: the universe would simply be thought, 
thought in its two reciprocal sides, thought inner and thought 
outer. The proper name for Philosophy in this case would be 
Logic ; for, indeed, the all of things would simply be reduced to 



Logic. Nay, Logic would be the Absolute Logic would supplant 
and replace Theology itself. The chaos of this universe, in fact, 
that stands before ordinary intelligence, would shapingly collapse 
into the law and order and unity of a single life a life which we 
should understand a life which each of us should participate 
modally. The Substance, Attribute, and Modus of Spinoza would 
thus be realised, would thus have flesh on their bones, and be 
alive and actual. These are grand thoughts, suggestive of a close 
at last to the inquest of man : we must complete them : we must 
take up the lead that Kant has given us : we must strike boldly 
through the gate which he led up to it by Hume has been the 
first to open to us ! Let us look well to what he has done, then ; 
let us follow all his steps ; above all, let us look again into all the 
materials he has collected as categories. What we have to do is 
to complete their Many, and to find their One : what we have to 
do is to demonstrate the All, and in co-articulation with the 
Principium with that which is first and one and inderivative ! 

As regards their One, that in Kant is Apperception, Judgment ; * 
but Judgment is only a single moment of Logic : there remain 
two others Simple Apprehension and Reason. The last, cer 
tainly, Kant has drawn into consideration, but perhaps imper 
fectly ; and, as regards the second (the first in the rubric), he has 
not thought of it at all. But, if Logic is to be considered the 
principle of the whole (and why should not Logic constitute the 
principle of the whole ? what God has created must be but an 
emanation of his own thought, of his own nature ; and do we not 
know that man, so far as he is a Spirit, is created in the likeness 
of God ? why, then, should not Logic, which is the crystal of 
man s thought, be the crystal also of God s thought, and the 
crystal as well of God s universe of that universe which, as God s 
universe, must be but the realisation, the other side, of God s 
thought ?) if Logic, then, is to be the principle of the whole, we 
must be serious with Logic, and take it together in all its parts. 
Simple Apprehension, then, is a moment no more to be omitted 
than any of the rest. 

But, possessing the light of system and unity which Kant s 
demand for an architectonic principle has kindled in us, we 
cannot be content with Logic itself in these mere chapters and 

* Kant (WW. ii. 69, 70, 79, 733) identifies consciousness with understanding, 
understanding with judgment, and judgment with thought or thinking itself. See 
also Text-Book to Kant, p. 389. New. 


headings, in this mere side-by-side of Simple Apprehension 
Judgment, and Keason : they, too, must be organically fused into 
a concrete unit, which unit were evidently the ultimate or basal 
unit, the absolutely primordial cell in other words, the Absolute 
itself. But is this possible ? can we view these as but elements 
of a single pulse, moments of a single movement? Yet, again, 
what we are contemplating is a principle too subjective for our 
objects as yet, and we seem to be tending too much to the stand 
point of Kant. Kant held by Apperception and a subjective 
idealism : Kant postulated an elsewhere which, received into our 
organs, only so and so affected us, only so and so appeared to us 
in consequence of the constitution peculiar, not to it (the else 
where, the thing-in-itself), but to them (the organs). In this 
way, knowledge could only be phenomenal and provisional. But 
it is not so that we would view the problem : we eliminate sub 
jectivity in the first instance ; we stretch out the threads of the 
categories as the primordial and essential filaments ; on these we 
lay the particularised universe of things ; and then we say, 
Behold the world, behold what is ! With such design before us, 
then, we cannot begin with Simple Apprehension, Judgment, 
and Reason : these, as named, concern subjectivity ; and even if 
they are the ultimate moments of the All, we must have them 
in another form before we can lay them down as objective 
categories of foundation and support. We can talk of Quantity, 
Quality, and Relation, for these are objective, and all things sub 
mit to their forms. But the moments of Logic in the form of the 
moments of Logic are too subjective to serve a similar purpose : 
in such form, they seem alien to things. The moments of Logic 
in such form, then, will not answer as a beginning, however 
much they may constitute the true rhythm of all things. In 
other words, the Logical movement is the ultimate principle 
but we do not find it in the beginning in that form ; it has a 
preliminary path to describe before reaching the same. But let 
us look again at the categories as we find them in Kant. 

Well, we look at them and it is to be seen, without difficulty, 
that they are but results of generalisation. The question 
occurs, then, has this process reached completion, or is it sus 
ceptible of being carried further? Again, in the latter event, 
might not, in ultimate generalisation, a category be anticipated 
which should be the category of categories, or the notion of 
notions; for Kant himself calls the categories notions, Stamm- 


begriffe, root-notions. The notion of notions ! well, but we have 
just seen that the logical movement must be the fundamental 
principle ; if, in another way, therefore, a notion of notions is to 
emerge with a claim to the like authority and place, the two 
results must coincide and be identical. In other words, this 
ultimate generalisation, this last abstraction, which is the notion 
of notions, will constitute the first form of the logical pulse and, 
in general, just the beginning that we want. This logical pulse, 
too, being coincident with the ultimate category or notion of 
notions, is capable of being regarded as KCIT e^ox^ the Notion. 

But the categories are, so to speak, concrete abstractions : they 
possess a filling, content, matter, an implement, a complement, an 
ingest, an intent, a tenor, a purport, an import (Inhalt) : Quantity 
possesses universality, particularity, singularity ; Quality, affirma 
tion, negation, limit; Relation, substance, causality, reciprocity. 
The ultimate Category, or the Notion, then, being also a concrete 
abstraction like the rest, will possess a filling of its own ; and this 
filling or matter must be the universal of all these fillings or 
matters. Each of these matters, again, must be but a particular 
of it (the matter of the notion), as universal. They, then, thus 
particulars of the same universal, must be mutually related and 
affiliated as congruent differences of the same identity. But in 
this last phrase we have a hint given us as to how we should 
regard the matter of the notion. These words identity and 
difference can be used in description of the first two moments of 
the matter of all the Titles. Under Quantity, Universality, not 
only in its notion, but in its very name, points to unity or 
identity; while Particularity, again, is but difference the 
particulars are but the differences of the universal, the species but 
the differences of the genus. Under Quality, Affirmation is plainly 
identity but the identity, so to speak, of common concurrence ; 
and as plainly Negation is difference, for it implies a No to a Yes, 
or difference is at twain, and" two contain difference. Under Re 
lation, Substance is but the supporting identity of the All of things, 
while Causality is but the difference in this identity implying, as 
it does always, the first and the second, the one and the other. 
The fourth Title of Kant we have eliminated for the present as it 
refers to subjectivity : nevertheless, the fourth title is equally 
illustrative of the same facts Nay, in the Titles themselves, let 
alone their moments, cannot a like relation be detected ? Is not 
the Quality of anything just its own identity ? and is not 


Quantity just anything s own difference ? Increase or decrease of 
Quantity (within limits) does not alter Quality (you arid I would 
be much the same were we some pounds heavier : the cabbage is 
its own identity (and this lies in its quality), but its growth from 
day to day (Quantity) constitutes its difference) And this is a 
lesson to us Kant is wrong to place Quantity before Quality 
now that attention is called to this, we seem to see, just in a 
general way indeed, that Quality ought to precede Quantity: 
Quality is indeed the inner reality or identity, while Quantity is 
but the outer difference. In identity and difference, then, we seem 
to have obtained wider universals for the two first moments of all 
the Kantian triads. But they are triads ; what, then, of a third 
moment in this our own new triad ? may we hope to find a 
similar wider universal for it also ? Now this will not be difficult, 
if we observe in each triad the relation which the third term or 
moment bears to the first and second. The third moment, in fact, 
always seems to participate in both of those which precede ; we 
can see it, in a manner, to conjoin and sum these. The singular, 
for example, contains in it both the universal and the particular ; 
limitation implies both affirmation and negation ; while, in the last 
place, reciprocity or community seems to contain in its one virtue 
both that of substantiality and that of causality. But these triads 
of Kant have been derived from certain Logical triads which also 
manifest the same property. To convince himself of this, let the 
reader but glance at the Table in Kant that sums the various 
judgments : Disjunctive, for example, does it not involve a virtue at 
once Categoric and Hypothetic ? Nay, does not the third Title, 
Eelation (we have eliminated the fourth), manifest itself, as but, in 
a manner, a uniting medium of both Quantity and Quality 
though, to be sure, it is a relation proportion of quantity, with 
quality as a result rather than Eelation in general, which 
accurately accomplishes this ? (By-the-bye, let us not forget this 
exact new third just discovered for Quantity and Quality 
Proportion, Measure, Maass /) 

But if the third moment is always related to the first and 
second, they, too, probably will be mutually related ? It really is 
so. This, indeed, we have already said : in every case, it is the 
relation of identity and difference. On looking quite close, 
indeed, the second moment (difference) is seen to be just the 
opposite, the contrary, the negative of the first (identity). Nega 
tion is the opposite of affirmation ; particularity is the opposite of 


universality ; and the same relation does in fact obtain between 
substantiality and causality, for the latter involves reference to 
dependence or derivation, and that is the opposite of substan 
tiality. Nay, looking to the Titles themselves, there is virtually 
the same relation between Quality and Quantity ; for if the one is 
inner, the other is outer. 

The three moments, then, are always interconnected, as Yes, No, 
and Both. This is sufficiently singular, and suggests very clearly 
the possibility of ranging all in a common system. The movement 
plainly is one of identity, opposition, and reconciliation of both 
in a new identity. This movement, accordingly, name it 
as we may (in the terms of Aristotle as formerly, if it is thought 
fit), is the notion of notions, or the notion. This movement will 
be the logical movement also. Yes ; the same relation but repeats 
itself in the triad Simple Apprehension, Judgment, and Reason 
(Begriff, Urtheil, Schluss) : Judgment always says no to the awards 
of Sense, and Reason reconciles them in a new and higher truth. 
Such is but the history of the world ! What we see everywhere 
is but the logical movement repeating itself in a variety of forms 
and under a variety of names. We have certainly discovered the 
principle, then, and the proper pulse of this principle : but how 
are we to set it in action to the production of a system ? The 
categories have presented themselves as triads, the moments of 
which collapse, in the case of each triad, into a trinity (tri-unity). 
Now, let us but find the first trinity, and the sequence of trinities 
ought to flow of itself, according to the movement, up to the 
ultimate trinity, which is the consummation of the whole : in this 
way, the thing would be done our aim accomplished ! 

The course of Hegel s thoughts and the nature of his whole 
industry dialectic and all can now have no difficulty to any 
reader. A glance at the contents of the Logik or Encyclopaedie 
will from the mere outside amply suffice to confirm all. Consider 
this one point : it occurred "to ourselves, a moment ago, that it 
was difficult to find and name a proper third to identity and differ 
ence as identity and difference ; and we were tempted to say, com 
munity or reciprocity itself. On turning to the contents of the 
works named (the Logik and the Encyclopaedie ), we found 
Hegel had experienced the same difficulty ; for in the one work, 
the third to identity and difference is the Contradiction, while in 
the other it is the Ground. This last term approaches, it will be 


observed, the one which had occurred to ourselves, Community; for 
the Ground is the Community of the Differences. 

Hegel now, then, has realised Logic. He has discovered the 
principle of the Categories, and of their concatenation as well a 
principle which is true in fact, and which is capable of being 
made the principle of the universe. What he has to do now, then, 
is to complete the categorical trinities, and, at the same time, con 
duct them all up to, or derive them all down from, a similar 
simple multiple, or multiple simple, which were the First and 
inderivative. But to this he possesses a clue in perceiving that 
the process is one of logical determination, where, necessarily, the 
first is the absolute abstraction, and the last the absolute concre 
tion. Again, both of these will be but forms of the absolute 
principle, which is the notion; and the notion quantitatively 
named, but with a qualitative force is the reciprocal unity, or 
the tautological reciprocity of universality, particularity, and singu 
larity. Here, in fact, is the type of the system itself : the absolute 
universal will be the First, while the absolute singular will be the 
Last, and the absolute particular or the ultimate categories which 
represent all the ground-thoughts descriptive and constructive of 
the universe will be the Middle, or the matter comprehended 
between the first and last. For a First, then, Hegel sees that he 
must find the most abstract universal, or the most universal 
abstract ; or that he must find that trinity which shall exhibit the 
notion in its most abstract or universal form. In a word, he must 
find the most abstract universal identity (the genus), the most 
abstract universal difference (the differentia), and the most abstract 
universal community of identity and difference (the species), or 
however else we may name and the names are legion the 
several constituent moments of the notion. But Hegel has 
actually before him other categories and many remarks of Kant 
for his express guidance and direction in this whole industry. 
Some of these, as in relation to Something and Nothing, &c., we 
have seen already ; and here, from the Kritik of Pure Reason, 
are a few more, which the reader will now see must have contained 
much matter eminently suggestive to Hegel : 

It is to be observed that the Categories, as the true Stammbegriffe (root- 
notions) of pure understanding, possess their equally pure derivatives, which 
can by no means be omitted in a complete system of Transcendental Philosophy, 
but with whose mere mention I may be content in a mere critical preliminary 


Hegel, then, could see what he had to do for the construction of 
a system. Poor Kant, like a hen that had hatched ducks, was 
never done with cluck-clucks of consternation over the mad fashion 
in which his rash brood Fichte and the rest dashed into the 
bottomless water of speculation, never done with cluck-clucks of 
consternation and of fervid warning to return to the solid land of 
kritical procedure, for which he pathetically assured them their 
excellent Darstellungsgabe (say style) could do so much. It is 
questionable if he could have recognised in Hegel that return to 
his own results which he so ardently longed for and so unweariedly 
called for. It is quite certain now, however, that the whole work 
of Hegel was simply to furnish that complete system of the 
Transcendental Philosophy indicated by Kant. 

Let me be permitted (the veteran proceeds) to name these pure but deriva 
tive notions, the predicables of pure understanding (in contrast to the predica 
ments). If we have the original and primitive notions, the derivative and 
subaltern may be easily added, and the family-tree of pure understanding 
completely delineated. As I have here to do, not with the completion of the 
system, but only with that of the principles towards it, I may be allowed to 
postpone the addition of such a complement to another work. This object, 
however, may be pretty correctly reached, if any one but take in hand the 
ordinary ontological text-books, and set, for example, under the category of 
Causality, the predicables of power, action, passion, &c. ; under Reciprocity, 
those of the present, resistance, &c. ; and under Modality, origin, disease, 
&c. &c. The categories combined with the modi of pure sense [Time and 
Space], or with one another, furnish a great number of derivative a priori 
notions, &c. 

Hegel was thus directly referred to the very manner in which 
he should set about his task ; and his task was comparatively easy, 
for, as Kant himself points out 

The great compartments (Facher) are once for all there it is only neces 
sary to fill them up ; and a systematic Topik, like the present, does not 
readily permit us to miss the places to which each notion properly belongs, at 
the same time that it causes us readily to remark those which are still empty.* 

Kant proceeds : 

As regards the Table of the Categories, some curious remarks may be made 
which may have, perhaps, advantageous results as respects the scientific form 
of all rational truths. For that this Table, in the theoretic part of philosophy, 
is uncommonly serviceable, nay indispensable, in order completely to project 

* The above quotations are from the K. of P. K. 10 ; those that follow, from 
11, same work. 


a plan towards the Whole of a Science, so far as this science is to rest on a 
priori notions, as well as mathematically to distribute the same according to 
definite principles, appears directly of itself from this, that said Table contains 
at full all the elementary notions of understanding, and even the form of a 
system of the same in the human understanding, and consequently furnishes 
direction and guidance to all the moments of any contemplated speculative 
science, and even to their order, as indeed I have already given elsewhere an 
example in proof (s. Metaphys. Anfangsgr. der Naturwissensch ). Here now 
are some of these remarks : 

The first is : that this Table, which contains four classes of Categories, parts 
first of all into two Divisions, the first of which is directed to objects of Per 
ception (pure as well as empirical) ; the second, again, to the Existence of these 
objects (whether as referred to one another or to the understanding) [Quantity 
pure, Quality empirical, Relation mutual reference, Modality reference 
to the understanding ]. 

The first class I would name that of the mathematical, the second that of 
the dynamical, Categories. The first class, as is evident, has no correlates, 
which are found only in the second. This difference must have its reason [as 
Hegel has well investigated] in the nature of the understanding. 

2nd Remark. That in every case there is a like number three of the 
categories of every class, which summons to reflection [and Hegel reflected 
and pondered this to some effect], as all a priori distribution elsewhere through 
notions is necessarily a Dichotomy [Black or not-Black, &c.]. Moreover, that 
the third category in every case [Hegel is all here] arises from the union of the 
second with the first of its class. 

Thus Allness (Totality) is nothing else than Plurality [a Many] considered 
as Unity ; Limitation is nothing else than Reality united to Negation ; Com 
munity is one Substance Causally determining another Reciprocally ; lastly, 
Necessity is nothing else than Existence given by Possibility itself. Let it 
not be thought, however, that the third category is for this reason a merely 
derivative one, and not a root-notion of pure understanding. For the union 
of the first and second in order to produce the third notion demands a special 
act of understanding, which is not identical with that which is exerted in the 
case of the first and second. Thus the notion of a Number (which belongs to 
the category of Totality) is not always possible where there are the notions of 
Plurality and Unity (as, for example, in the conception of the Infinite) ; nor 
out of this, that I unite the notion of a cause and that of a substance, is Influ 
ence that is, how one substance can be the cause of something in another 
substance directly and without more ado to be understood. From this it is 
obvious that a special act of understanding is necessary to this ; and so as 
regards the rest. 

3rd Remark. In the case of a single category, that, namely, of Community, 
which occurs under the third Title, is the agreement with the corresponding 
form in the Table of the Logical Functions here the disjunctive judgment) 
not so self-evident as in that of the others. 

In order to assure oneself of this agreement, it is to be observed : that in all 
disjunctive judgments the sphere (the Many of all that is contained under the 
judgment) is conceived as a whole distributed into parts (the subordinate 
notions), and, as these parts cannot be contained the one under the other, 


they are thought as mutually co-ordinated, not subordinated, in such wise 
that they, act on each other, not one-sidely as in a series, but reciprocally as 
in an aggregate (if one member of the distribution is established, all the rest 
are excluded, and vice versa). 

Now what we have to think is a similar conjunction in a Whole of Things, 
where the one is not subordinated as effect to the other as cause, but co 
ordinated as at the same time and reciprocally cause in reference to the other 
(for example, the case of a body, the parts of which at once reciprocally attract 
and resist each other), which is quite another sort of conjunction than that 
met with in the simple relation of the cause to the effect (of reason to conse 
quent), in which the consequent does not reciprocally in its turn determine the 
antecedent, and does not therefore constitute a whole with it (like the Creator 
with the world). The same process which understanding observes when it 
represents to itself the sphere of a distributed notion, it observes also when it 
thinks a thing as capable of distribution ; and as the members of distribution 
in the former mutually exclude each other, and nevertheless are united to 
gether in a single sphere, so it conceives the parts of the latter as such that 
existence attaches to each of them as substances independently of the rest, 
and yet that they are united together in a single whole. 

In these remarks the reader will readily observe many germs 
which it was the business of Hegel only to mature. That, under 
each class, the third category, for example, should be a concrete 
of the two former this an sick, virtually, is the dialectic of Hegel. 
Ouce, indeed, that Hegel had observed this peculiarity, and that 
lie had also generalised the categories into the category, his system, 
we may say, and in all its possibilities, was fairly born. Kant 
observes,* that there are two stocks or stems of human knowledge, 
which arise perhaps from a single common root, as yet unknown to 
us, namely, Sense and Understanding, through the former of which 
objects are given, and through the latter thought Now, to see that 
this bringing together of sensation and intellect amounted to the 
percipient Understanding (intuitus originarius, intellectuelle An- 
schauung, anschauender Verstand) of Kant to see moreover that 
Kant s own industry had no other tendency than to realise such 
reduction and identification," this also may be named the be 
ginning of Hegel; for, in a word, Hegel s system is a demonstra 
tion that Sensation and Understanding are virtually one, the 
former being but outwardly what the other is inwardly, and each 
the necessary reciprocal counterpart of the other. This, too, is 
evidently the effect of the speculations of Kant in reference to the 
Categories and the Schemata resultant from the conjunction of 
these with Time and Space. To co-ordinate and reduce to one, 
* K. of P. R., Introduction, subfinem. 


Sense and Intellect, or Sensations and Ideas (Notions), this is 
another of those curt statements of the whole which may conduce 
not only to the understanding, but to the judging, of the Hegelian 
system. Hegel himself has remarked, that to reproduce a system 
is the true way critically to judge it : he intimates even that he 
who faithfully reproduces a system is already beyond it. Now, no 
doubt, these curt statements are calculated to bring one s know 
ledge up to the very apex of insight; but they only mislead, 
deceive, ruin, when they themselves are taken as knowledge, and 
when it escapes notice that their function is not to constitute 
knowledge, but only to give focus to knowledge. A general 
statement is but gas and of a very dangerous kind in the mouth 
of him who is empty of the particulars. In these curt words, 
tending though they do to carry us beyond what they concern, 
there is this danger, then, to all parties in humanity ; and there 
is yet in them another danger to a single party. To the 
Materialist, for example, such words as above are so glaringly 
absurd, and the enterprise they indicate so glaringly stupid, that 
he feels justified, from the mere outside, to neglect and reject all 
industries (as those of Kant and Hegel) which are capable of 
being characterised by them. It is the former danger which is 
the important one, however, and the latter we may neglect, for, as 
the idealist views man as Spirit, the materialist views him only as 
Animal, however acute he (the materialist) may be, then, as 
regards mundane commodity, he is wholly opaque to what alone 
is human Eeligion, Philosophy, and even Poetry and is mani 
festly of no account to men who can interest themselves in such 
subjects as the present. 

To possess a curt formula for the whole of Hegel, does not 
dispense us from the labour of the particular, then ; and we have 
yet much of this to achieve. 

It is now to be seen, nevertheless, that a complete answer to 
our first question as to what led Hegel to begin as he did, is 
rapidly rising on us. We see what was the One of his system, 
and how he found it ; we see also what his Many are to be, and 
how he is to find them. Of a clue to the First of his Many 
we have also some perception now, though this First itself has not 
yet exactly announced itself. Suppose Hegel, in quest of this 
Firdt, &c., to adopt the hint of Kant and take the text-books of 
Ontology in his hand, or suppose him to inspect the derivative 
categories all the categories, indeed, mentioned by Kant him- 


self, it will not be difficult to discern how it was he was enabled 
to succeed. Kant expressly states as categories, Daseyn and 
Nichtseyn, or Being and Non-being ; and he also elsewhepe sug 
gestively speculates in regard to Something and Nothing, an ulti 
mate Abstract, &c. : it could not be difficult, then, for Hegel with 
his eyes opened as they now were to the general issue, by the 
? ealisation of the Logical Movement itself to see that Seyn and 
Nichtseyn were categories to be ranked under Quality, that 
Quality, as we have ourselves so very clearly seen, must precede 
Quantity, and that this very sub-category Seyn was itself the 
most abstract quality conceivable. But Seyn being this ab- 
stractest notion of all, his beginning was found. Though the notion 
constituted the principle, he could not make the notion in the 
form of notion the beginning. The notion itself must have a 
beginning, and this beginning might be constituted by Seyn. The 
notion itself in its own development must submit to the law of 
its own rhythm, and could not appear on the scene in any 
Minerva-like completeness as at once the full-formed notion. The 
notion itself must begin, and must begin by appearing under the 
form of its own first moment universality, identity, or an sick, 
&c. But appearing as the absolutely first universality, or the ab 
solutely tirst identity, it could only appear as the primal indefinite- 
ness that is and that is pure being. What is call it the world, 
call it God, call it the notion if it began, could only begin in ab 
solute indefiniteness. In fact, it is not necessary that this in- 
definiteness should ever have been it is enough that, if we want 
what we call a beginning, we must begin with indefiniteness. 
What is a beginning ? A beginning implies that there at once is 
and is not and how can that be named otherwise than as pure 
.being, indefinite being ? that what is, is but as yet absolutely 
indefinitely ? This is the true Begriffvl the Vorstellung primor 
dial chaos. Afundamen, afomes, a v\rj, a rudimentum, a Grundlage, 
a groundwork, a mother- matter is always postulated by the Vors 
tellung ; but this postulate translated into the language of thought 
proper, amounts to the indefiniteness that is, or pure being. 

But if pure being be the first, according to the law of the notion, 
its own opposite, or non-being, must be the second, and the third 
must be a new simple that concretely contains both; or the third 
must be a species of which the first is the genus, and the second the 
differentia : but this here is just Werden; every becoming at once 
is and is not, or is at once being and non-being Here, then, is 


the absolutely first triad, the absolutely first form of the always, 
tri-une notion ; or here is the absolutely germinal cell : it is impos 
sible to go further back than to the absolute indetiniteness that 
at once is and is not, but becomes. It is an error on our part to 
have a difficulty here, and to stultify ourselves with the Vorstel- 
lung of a substrate, of a something that was this indefiniteness. 
In one sense that is not requisite, as it is here Logic that we have 
before us as it is here with thoughts only, and not with things 
that we have to do. But if we want a substrate, that we possess 
in thought. Thought is and thought is all that is (or the notion), 
and the first form was indefiniteness, but an indefiniteness that 
still was. Or take it otherwise, there actually is, there really is, 
there can be no doubt of that ; there really is this variegated uni 
verse Jupiters, and belts of Saturn, and double stars, and the sun 
and the earth ; Barclay s porter, Hook s patent coffee-roaster, and 
what not : well, the beginning of all that if ever there was a be 
ginning must have been in an indefinite One, the only name for 
which could be pure being. Let any one turn and twist it as he 
may, he will find no other issue. Hegel s beginning, then, is true, 
not only to the principles of Kant, not only to the requirements of 
Logic, or to those of this new logical notion generalised by Hegel 
out of Kant, but it is true also to the nature of facts such as we 
see and know them. 

Surely, this was an immense success for Hegel. Having 
realised Logic, and seen it to be the essential all having dis 
covered the notion itself to have also discovered the absolutely 
initial form, not only of that notion, but just of the facts around 
us as any peasant may see them ! 

Being, Non-being, Becoming ! Here is the trinity as it must 
have been in its beginning ! 

Again, from the realisation of Logic, it followed that Logic 
would be the vital pulse in every sphere that every sphere, in 
short, would be but a form, but a metaphor, but a Vurstellung of 
Logic : but, this being so, history itself would have to submit to 
the same truth, history itself would present in its process only a 
development of Logic. But limiting ourselves in history to the 
history of Logic itself, we should expect to find even this special 
history following the same laws. The first special logicians, then, 
would in this case be found historically to be engaged with Seyn, 
Nichtseyn, Werden, &c. On inquiry, Hegel found all this true to 
fact: all this is represented in the Greek thinkers that precede 


Socrates. Nay, all this is true up to the present instant : for the 
notion itself only emerged an sick (the moment of Simple Appre 
hension) in Kant, became fur sich or agnised into its differences 
(the moment of Ur-theil) in Fichte and Schelling, and transformed 
itself to an undfitr sich (the moment of Schluss) in Hegel. This 
is another reason why, though the notion was the bottom truth, 
no beginning could be made with it in that form : to have 
attempted this, would have been to stultify history. It is in 
history that we have series which demand beginnings ; and as 
regards Logic, it is in history that we must find its beginning also. 
Thus is it that Hegel was driven to a profound study of thought 
as it has historically appeared, and the result of this study was to 
confirm him in the sequence of the logical series which he con 

We may safely hold now, then, that the first question How it 
was that Hegel was led to begin as he did is fairly answered. 
"We see at once the nature of his one the nature of his many 
the nature of his first and where and how he got them. 

2. What does Hegel mean by these very strange, novel, and appar 
ently senseless statements ? This presents now no difficulty. So 
much of the answer, however, has passed into what precedes, or 
must be reserved for what follows, that very little is left us to say 
under the present head. 

The indefinite immediate seems a strange phrase ; but what else 
can be said of pure being, but that it is the indefinite immediate ? 
There is an immediate to us we are there is something present 
to us: now, if we take no note of any particularity in this that is 
present to us, but generalise all particularities into their common 
one) what we reach is indefinite, but it is still immediate. Being 
is not annihilated by the abstraction, there still is; and what is, 
when we absolutely abstract from all particularity, is just the 
indefinite immediate. The result of such abstraction is but the 
void self-identical faculty ; o r it is just thought gone into its own 
indefinite blank where it will see none and have none of its own 
constituent distinctions. But anything like a personal reference 
any thought of any individual s special faculty destroys the 
abstraction. Being is what is when everything is abstracted from 
the absolute universal of all particulars : and being, surely, is 
simply that one thing in which all particulars concur. Whatever 
is, is, or is being ; that is, being is common to everything. In this 
abstraction, it is evident that we are quite freed from any question 


of an inner principle whence this being might arise. Indefinite 
being brings with it no such want; or indefinite being, as the 
materia communis, is felt to be this principle itself. Being is 
simply indefinitely What is; and, as we know that there is a 
definitely What is, we know that what indefinitely is, is just the 
fundamen and tout-ensemble of all that definitely is. All that 
requires to be understood in the paragraph that regards Seyn will 
now be perfectly intelligible. Other terms not as yet noticed, 
have their places elsewhere. 

We may add only that An sick is perhaps the best term for the 
initial identity, the initial indefinite potentiality, which, if a 
beginning is required at all, must be attached as beginning to the 
notion. The notion as indefinite identity is in the moment of 
simple apprehension ; though simple apprehension, as form, is 
itself much later in the series of developments ; and as indefinite 
identity the notion may be correctly described as simply an sick, 
simply in itself, simply virtual, or potential, or impliciter. But 
this is just pure Seyn : pure being is nothing more and nothing 
less than simply the notion an sick, or, if you like, the notion of 
an sich. But, in obedience to the laws of What is, identity must 
pass into difference, Simple Apprehension must become Judgment, 
the Begriff must sunder its be -griped -ness into the part-ing 
which is the Urtheil ; the An sich must awake into Fur sich. 
Thus is it that we see how Fur sich becomes applicable to the 
second step: Fur sich refers to a certain amount of consciousness; 
recognition is implied ; and recognition is a result of distinction, 
of difference. Against this appropriation of Fur sich for the second 
moment of the universal pulse, we know that many objections 
may be urged from the usage of Hegel himself. Even in the table 
of contents, for example, we see Fiirsichseyn placed as the resum 
ing moment of Reason. Nor is it an affair of place only ; for we 
know that Fiirsichseyn denotes the collapse of all particularity 
into singularity. Neither is this the only example of a similar 
usage. Nevertheless, we believe that we are right in the main, and 
that even the exceptions will give little pause to the student who 
is anything instruit. The very chapter in Hegel which is specially 
entitled Fiirsichseyn is devoted to the evolution of the One and 
the Many with a view to the transition of Quality into Quantity.* 

* So far as the Ur-theil gives unity to its own dif-ference, it has the action of 
Fiirsich ; but to give that name to the moment of Unterschied is, as a matter of 
mere naming, of no moment. N. 


The third step now is readily intelligible as the stage of an and 
fiir sick. 

3. What can be intended by these seemingly silly and absurd 
transitions of Being into Nothing, and again of both into Becoming ? 
Well now, there is, after all, no great difficulty here. Suppose we 
define Nothing, how otherwise can we define it than as the 
absence of all distinguishableness, that is, of every discrimen 
whatever? But the absence of every recognisable discrimen 
whatever is just the absence of all particularity, and the absence 
of all particularity is but the abstraction from all particularity 
pure being! Pure being and pure nothing, then, are therefore 
identical. Pure Seyn can be no otherwise defined than pure 
Nichts: Seyn like Nichts, and Nichts like Seyn each is the 
absence of all distinguishableness, or of every recognisable 
discrimen whatever. Did you take up anything, and call it pure 
Seyn, and yet point to a discrimen in it, you would only be 
deceiving yourself, and speaking erroneously ; for in pure Seyn 
there can be no discrimen. Seyn must be universal, and any 
discrimen would at once particularise it. Thus, then, Pure Being 
and Pure Nothing are absolutely identical they are absolutely 
indistinguishable. It is useless to say nothing is nothing, but 
being is something : being is not more something than nothing is. 
We admit Nothing to exist ; nothing is an intelligible distinction ; 
we talk of thinking nothing and of perceiving nothing : in other 
words, nothing is the abstraction from every discrimen or 
particularity. But an abstraction from every discrimen, does not 
involve the destruction of every or any discrimen : all discrimina 
still exist; in nothing we have simply withdrawn into indefiniteness. 
This nothing, then, of ours still implies the formed or definite 
world. Precisely this is the value of Pure Being : when we have 
realised the notion pure being, we have simply retired into the 
abstraction from all discrimina, but these for all our abstraction 
and retirement still are. Pure Being and Pure Nothing, then, 
point each to the absolutely same abstraction, the absolutely same 
retirement. In both, in fact, thought, for the nonce, has turned 
its back on all its own discrimina ; for thought is all that is, and 
all discrimina are but its own. In fact, both being and nothing 
are abstractions, void abstractions, and the voidest of all abstrac 
tions, for they are just the ultimate abstractions. Neither is a 
concrete ; neither is, if we may say so, a reale. WTiat, then, is 
What actu is in point of fact is is neither the one nor the other ; 


but everything that is, is a <rvvo\ov, a composite, of both. This is 
remarkable that the formed world should hang between the 
hooks of two invisible abstractions, and, at the same time, that 
every item of the formed world should be but a a-vvoXov of these 
two invisible abstractions. We cannot handle being here and 
nothing there, as we might this stone or that wood ; yet both stone 
and wood are composites of being and nothing : they both are and 
are not and this in more senses than one. They are that is, they 
participate in being. They are distinguishable, they involve 
difference ; difference implies negation : that is, they participate in 
non-being. The stone is not the wood, the wood is not the stone : 
each, therefore, if it is, also is not. Again, neither the one nor the 
other is, any two consecutive moments, the same ; each is but a 
Werden, but a Becoming. A day will come when both the one 
and the other, both this wood and that stone, will have dis 
appeared : their existence was a process, then every instant of 
their existence was a change, and it took the sum of these changes 
to accomplish their disappearance. All here is mortal nothing 
is twice the same no man ever passed twice through the same 
street. This, then, is the truth of being and nothing: neither is ; 
what is, is only their union and that is becoming ; for becoming 
is nothing passing into being, or being passing into nothing. 
This will probably suffice to guide the student who can and will 
think, in the proper direction to gain his own repose as regards 
these seemingly silly transitions. 

One word may still be added advantageously, however, in 
reference to the difference of Being and Nothing ; for, absolutely 
identical, they are still absolutely different : in them, indeed, the 
two sides which obtain throughout the universe have reached 
their absolute and direct antithesis. In Being, thought is, will 
ingly in Nothing, thought is, unwillingly in abstraction from 
all particularity. Being is the tub that sees itself just emptied ; 
Nothing ,is the same tub that would now see itself refilled. 
Thought is well pleased to find itself in being ; but in indefinite- 
ness (nothing) it is uneasy ; it has a want, it craves craves, in 
short, to have definiteness, particularity, difference, craves to 
know and to see itself to know and to see its own distinctions, 
its own discrimina : and this evolution of thought s own self to 
thought s own self, what is it but the universe ? Thus is it that 
thought is the pure negativity, and sets its own negative which is 
the object. Thus is it that thought does not remain indefinite 



but presses forward, according to its own rhythm, on to the revela 
tions of history and existence. This is another curt formula for 
what Hegel would : it corresponds exactly to his phrase in regard 
to Reason making itself fur sich that which it is an sick. It is well 
worthy of observation, too, that the second moment of the one 
throb, the one pulse, that which corresponds to the Ur-theil is one 
of pain. The Ur-theil, which is a breaking asunder into the 
differences, is but as a throe of labour : the evolution of Existence 
is but the absolute in travail. Daseyn is but a continual birth 
and birth is pain. So it is that he errs mightily who seeks in 
life as life repose: life as life is monstration and probation 
movement difference ; repose is reachable only in elevation over 
the finite pa